Cheddar-Stuffed Florentine Meatloaf with Creamy Potato Gravy. That sure is a mouthful! I wondered aloud at the dinner table if I should call this meal “Company-Worthy Meatloaf” or “Man-Pleasing Meatloaf.” They’re both accurate, but vague.
My husband and son looked at me like I had three heads and said, “Why don’t you just call it ‘meatloaf?'”
So yes, I’m going to leave the taste testing and photo judging to them, but I’ll stick to the headline writing for now. Unless I want a blog with 20 recipes named “Pasta.”
Anyway, this meal is most definitely company worthy and man pleasing, almost comically so. I mean, every single time I’ve served this to dinner guests, they love it and usually request the recipe. But the guys…they go nuts.
Invariably they look at me and say, with reverence, “That’s the best meatloaf I’ve ever had!” It must be the oozing cheddar and the flavorful gravy. It’s like a cheeseburger gone upscale. (The spinach is all mixed in and doesn’t cause any problems for veggie haters.)
Honestly, this is the only meatloaf I’ve ever served. I’ve been making this, with slight variations, since my now 20-year-old son was a toddler. It all started when I read an article in Parents Magazine about what chefs serve to their children. Wolfgang Puck served something like this to his kids.
I must have inadvertently recycled the magazine, because I could never find it, and it’s not online. So, while I usually like to follow some type of written recipe or at least my notes on them, I’ve been winging this meatloaf for years, making various changes along the way. No matter what though, it’s one of my family’s favorite meals, and my husband sometimes requests this for his birthday. (See the man-pleasing paragraph above.)
With my latest tweaks, I finally feel ready to publish this Cheddar-Stuffed Florentine Meatloaf with Creamy Potato Gravy. I’ve ditched the breadcrumbs in favor of oats, which I always have on hand and like using in my meatballs. I’ve added chopped garlic cloves in place of the garlic powder, and for the biggest and best change of all, I’ve added the creamy potato gravy.
The original recipe used canned cream of sodium — I mean mushroom — soup as the gravy. I started making mine from scratch, which was delicious too. But then, instead of serving mashed potatoes on the side, I decided to just incorporate the potatoes in the gravy so it’s a complete dinner. So, the gravy here is actually cream of potato soup, where you cook your cubed spuds in the microwave and throw them in the blender with some chicken stock before adding that to your milk-based cream sauce.
Yum, yum and yum. And I’m not even a guy.
(Recipe Source: Inspired by a Wolfgang Puck recipe I saw in Parents Magazine many years ago. Creamy Potato Gravy adapted from cream of vegetable soup in Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 1989)