Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tex-Mex Style Meatloaf with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce

The next time you think meatloaf, think something different from the usual ground beef, onions, bell pepper, and ketchup. Like spicy chiles, smoky chipotle, garlic, and fresh, herbal cilantro—all baked into a juicy mixture of ground beef and pork.

Top it off with creamy, melted cheddar cheese with chopped jalapeno for one flavorful, inviting meatloaf—Tex-Mex style.

You probably won’t have leftovers, but if you do, cold meatloaf sandwiches make a delectable lunch the next day.

For extra info on making cheese sauce, check out Chicken and Black Bean Nachos with Cheddar Sauce.

Serves 4


For the Meatloaf
  • olive oil, for oiling dish
  • 1 lb ground chuck
  • 1/3 lb ground pork
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 habanero chile, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup panko (or other fine, dry breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • sea salt
For the Jalapeno Cheese Sauce
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno chile
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • sea salt
  • 4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese

For the Meatloaf
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly oil an 11 X 7-inch baking dish.
  2. Place the ground beef, ground pork, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently to combine. (Don’t overwork the mixture—keep it light and airy.)
  3. Form the mixture into about a 7-1/2 X 5-inch rectangle, 2 inches thick. (An even thickness will make slicing it into serving pieces easier.)
Meatloaf Mixture 
Meatloaf Ready to Bake
  1. Bake the meatloaf, uncovered, 45-50 minutes, until the meats are juicy and cooked through. Remove and let rest 5 minutes.
Baked Meatloaf
To serve, cut the meatloaf into 8 slices and place 2 on each of 4 plates. Spoon cheese sauce (recipe below) on top and serve right away.

For the Jalapeno Cheese Sauce
  1. Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat and melt the butter. Add the jalapeno and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the flour and cook, continuing to stir, 4 minutes.
Jalapeno in Butter 
Flour Stirred In
  1. Add 1/3 cup of milk, whisking constantly to prevents lumps. Once the first 1/3 cup is blended in, add another 1/3 cup. Once blended, add the final 1/3 cup. Season with salt.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce slowly, stirring a few times, until it is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes.
Cooked Milk Mixture
  1. Remove from the heat a stir in 1/4 of the cheese. Once the cheese is blended, stir in the remaining cheese, 1/4 at a time.

First Part of Cheese Whisked In
Jalapeno-Cheese Sauce
This Tex-Mex meatloaf pairs well with a side of Garlicky Refried Black Beans

Tex-Mex Style Meatloaf with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce

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