Meatloaf Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack/Cheddar cheese blend
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup medium-hot taco sauce
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. finely chopped Jalepenos
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
Gravy flour as needed to thicken drippings

Start off by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then lightly grease either a small Bundt pan or a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan and set it aside.

In the meantime, place the ground beef and the ground pork into a large mixing bowl. Then in a second mixing bowl thoroughly combine the cheeses, the breadcrumbs, the buttermilk, the taco sauce, the eggs, the cilantro, the Jalepenos, and the salt.

When all the ingredients are uniformly combined, pour them over the beef and pork and, with your hands, work them gently into the meat mixture. Note: Make every effort not to overwork the ground meat or it will turn out heavy and dense instead of light and fluffy. When everything is blended, stop mixing!

At this point, transfer the meat mixture to the prepared baking pan you've selected. Then bake the meatloaf for 60 minutes or until it is no longer pink in the center (about 150 degrees). When it's done, remove it from the oven, drain off the drippings with a baster bulb, and cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

When the loaf is cool enough to handle, remove it from the baking pan, slice it into serving sizes, and top the slices with a rich gravy made from the pan drippings.


(To make the pan gravy, bring the drippings to a boil in a small saucepan. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk in just enough gravy flour (about 2 level tablespoons is a good place to start) to cause the drippings to thicken after they cook for about 5 minutes or so).

Polenta Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 head fresh garlic, roasted
2 cups whole milk
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. diced green chilies
3/4 cup coarse ground yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup canned white corn
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack/Cheddar cheese blend
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Start off by heating the olive oil and the butter in a large non-stick saucepan (a glass Dutch oven will also do the job nicely). Next, smash and cream the roasted garlic, add it to the skillet, and saute it every so slightly until incorporated in the butter and oil.

At this point, whisk in the vegetable broth, the whole milk, the cilantro, and the green chilies and bring everything to a boil. Then, in small amounts at a time, add the cornmeal slowly, stirring it continuously to keep it from lumping (I prefer using a wire whisk to get the cooking process started, then switching to a chef's spoon later).

When all the corn meal is in the pan, stir in the white kernel corn, reduce the heat to low and bring the polenta to a gentle simmer. Now cover the pan and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes-but stir it briskly on a regular basis every few minutes to keep it from scorching and sticking to the pan. You'll know when it's done because the mixture will become creamy and thick.

All that's left is to remove the pan from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the Monterey Jack, the cheddar, and the Parmesan cheeses. Polenta is best when served immediately. Oh, yeah-and be sure to ladle on some of the meatloaf gravy for a little extra zip!