I've tried several meatloaf recipes over the years and I believe the one below is the best. It's incredibly basic but flavorful. The key ingredient: horseradish. I know, it's a little odd but trust me when I say it's really good. Give it a try - you won't regret it (and if you wrinkle your nose as you measure out the horseradish, that's okay because that's what I do too.) Here's the recipe and my alterations are below:
(courtesy of FoodNetwork.com / Diners Drive-In and Dives)
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. ground beef, moistened
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 C. bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the horseradish, mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix ground beef, onion, egg, and Worcestershire sauce. Add contents of small bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the bread crumbs and combine well.
Place mixture into a 1-lb. loaf pan. Pour ketchup over top and place in oven. Bake uncovered for 45-60 mins. Makes 4 servings.
My alterations: I've made this with 1 tsp. horseradish (as directed) and with two. I think doubling the horseradish is the way to go. I also have made this with beef and with ground turkey. We prefer the turkey version. I've only used regular bread crumbs but I'm thinking the Italian crumbs might be interesting. I also use whatever onion I have on hand -- yellow, purple, etc. And if you're in sweltering weather somewhere else in the US (it was a lovely 76 degrees here today - not to rub your nose in it or anything) and you don't want to eat hot meatloaf, use the leftovers for cold meatloaf sandwiches; they're yummy!