Not Your Mama's Meatloaf

By: Kirsten Vala
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I met Alex Guarnaschelli from The Cooking Loft at a recent Food Network event, and I was amazed by how warm, personable and funny she is. When she breaks out her deadpan punch-lines, she seems more like a stand-up comic than a chef.

But Alex is a chef. She worked her way up in the culinary world by cooking her way through some amazing restaurants, and now she's the executive chef at the upscale New York City restaurant, Butter. And her show? It's like taking a short class at the Institute of Culinary Education (where she's an instructor), without the commute or the hefty price tag.

When I was searching for new content to feature on our Comfort Foods page, I ran across a video of Alex giving a great meatloaf-making tip. (She cooks and tastes a mini patty before putting the whole loaf into the oven.) I decided to try the tip and the recipe for myself. You know, for research. . .

Alex's recipe is not your typical "mama's meatloaf." She uses both ground beef and pork, and then adds a cup of sour cream (which she says helps with browning). The secret ingredient is fresh tarragon, which adds a unique herbal note. It's different! (And yes, in a good way.)

Most of all, I loved Alex's sampling tip (my meatloaf mixture needed more salt and breadcrumbs). Do you have any meatloaf-making tips or secret ingredients?

- Kirsten, Web Editor

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