Mac N’ Cheese Stuffed Meatloaves
Yields: 4 servings
Mac N’ Cheese
1 cup (6-ounces) Datilini pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
2 pounds ground chuck
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons coarse Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
12 saltine crackers, finely crushed
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup ketchup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 4 mini disposable foil loaf pans.
For the mac n’cheese, fill a medium saucepan three-quarters full with water. Bring to a boil over medium- high heat, and add the shells. Cook the pasta until almost al dente, 4 minutes. Drain the pasta through a colander. Pour the pasta shells into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the milk until smooth. Add the remaining milk. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in the cream cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese until smooth. Stir in the salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Transfer the cheese sauce to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool. Once cool, pour the cheese sauce over the pasta. Stir in the remaining ½ cup cheese.
Tear 4 pieces of plastic wrap about half the size of a piece of paper. Lay each piece on the counter beside each other. Using a ½ cup measuring cup, scoop the mac n’cheese in the middle of each sheet of plastic wrap. Working with one at a time, fold one side of the plastic wrap over the mac n’cheese. Create a 4-inch log by using your hands, twisting the ends of the plastic wrap, and rolling the mac n’cheese back and forth on the counter. Repeat with the additional mac n’cheese to create 4 logs. Freeze the logs for at least 2 hours.
For the meatloaf, combine the diced bell pepper and onion in an electric food chopper or food processor. Pulse until minced fine.
In a large bowl, add the ground chuck, pepper and onion mixture, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, crushed crackers, and beaten eggs. Gently combine with your hands. Do not overwork the meat mixture.
Take a fourth of the meatloaf mixture and place a frozen mac n’cheese log in the middle. Form the meatloaf mixture around the log to enclose completely. Place in a loaf pan. Repeat the process with the additional meatloaf mixture and mac n’ cheese logs.
Place the loaf pans on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until the juices run clear. Uncover and carefully drain the fat. Top with 3 tablespoons of ketchup on each meatloaf and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove each meatloaf from the pan and serve warm.