As Culinary Kitchen prepares for its move into a much larger location, we scheduled one last Chefs Recipe Challenge to say farewell to the old space and prepare for a new format.
For the final challenge, I still had meatloaf on the roster and wanted to get the dish the makeover it deserved. Back in January, I met chef Sam Fitch of Rococo's Catering. The veteran Oklahoma City chef and I talked at length about meatloaf and its many possibilities. I knew immediately I had the right guy to make meatloaf into a gourmet dish.
Sam and his boss, chef Bruce Rinehart, joined me and guests at the Culinary Kitchen for a pair of meatloaf “cupcakes” frosted with whipped potatoes.
Bruce made a homemade ketchup and Sam added pesto to his “frosting” and the results were enough to make me want to go back to the days when I had meatloaf once a week.
Since Sam joined Rococo's as head caterer a year ago, business has been moving, Bruce said. Meanwhile, Rococo now has two locations on North May Avenue — the original at 2824 and the other at 12252 inside Northpark Mall. Chef Don Duncan is in the kitchen at the original while chef Jason Bustamante mans the grill at Northpark, where a cruise-line style brunch is held each Sunday. Featuring steaks, seafood and pasta, Rococo also hosts cooking classes and wine dinners every month. To keep track, go online to rococo-
Meantime, that's it for this incarnation of Chefs Recipe Challenge. We plan to start a new version in July. Look for announcement in The Oklahoman in the coming weeks.
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Bruce's meatloaf cupcake recipe
1½ pounds of fresh ground 70/30 chuck
1½ pounds of fresh ground pork
1 tablespoon of toasted chopped garlic
¼ cup of roasted red peppers, small diced
¼ cup of roasted small diced onions
1 whipped egg
1 cup of panko crumbs
½ cup half and half
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon of fresh chopped thyme
1 cup ketchup
6 strips of thick bacon
A little salt and black pepper
3 peeled and diced Idaho potatoes
1 tablespoon of butter
A little more half and half
Chicken and sun-dried tomato meat loaf
2½ pounds ground
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated
¼ cup chopped onion
1½ tablespoons fresh basil
1½ tablespoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
1½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup feta cheese
Chef's note: For added flavor and color, whip six ounces of pesto into the potatoes, this will also introduce some fat into this lean dish.