Meatza

This gem of culinary shellshock skill and mastery comes from the June 1976 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.

Yes that’s a pizza crust made from meatloaf.  Yes those are pitted avocado halves, swimming happy and care-free in a viscid hot pool of cheddar cheese sauce.  Parsley and tomatoes are perched atop the steaming dinner pile to make it healthy.  I reserve the right to love the bacon. In an epic spin on “make some food look like something else,” this recipe uses rib-sticking hand-processed meat product to create an equally unhealthy comfort food.  I would have never considered mimicking one from the other.  But when strapped for time in the Seventies, innovation it seems came out in shades of green and brown. And topped with avocados.

“Consider the Avocado Meatza,” Bon Appetit writes, “an Americanized version of pizza.”

The method for making this quick, hearty meal starts off much like meat loaf. Instead of being baked in a loaf pan, however, the mixture gets patted out like a pie shell on a baking sheet, and coolking time is cut to a fraction. Most meat loaves required at least an hour; the Meatza takes 20 minutes.

Undiluted cheddar cheese soup goes atop the half-baked meat; avocado slices and bacon alternate pinwheel fashion over this sauce. Cherry tomato halves circle the edge and the colorfully garnished dish goes back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

Easy, nutritious, and attractive.

I’m thinking “Easy” is the only truthful claim.

I will admit that it does have a certain allure. I can’t stop looking at it, like the shapeless form at the base of a tall building that I know at one time walked upright. Like the nose of a train that took out a cow on the Great Plains. Like any recipe that uses Vegetable Jell-O. Incidentally, when I was transcribing this from the magazine, I mis-spelled meatloaf as meatload.

Either one would be accurate.

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