GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — If you like to get creative for Halloween and want to freak out the kids a little bit, Chef Char suggests you roast up a rat! Well, not a real rat. Instead, something that looks like a rat!  

Meatloaf ingredients:

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt & pepper 
  • Roasted Rat Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup French' fried onions
  • 2 Tablespoons sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce

Decorations:

  • 2 pickled white onions (eyes)
  • 6 strands of raw spaghetti (whiskers)
  • 2 slices of potato (ears) 
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, for basting
  • 1/2 cup French's Fried Onions (hair) + 1/2 cup shredded cheddar (hair) 
  • 1 black olive (nose)
  • 1 strand cooked fettuccine noodle (tail)
  • Additional BBQ sauce and ketchup for final display

Meatloaf Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside. 
  2. Sauté onion and bell pepper until soft, then mix in a large mixing bowl with the rest of meatloaf ingredients until well combined.  
  3. Shape half of the meat mixture into a large teardrop shape on the prepared cookie sheet. 
  4. In another mixing bowl, mix together the cheese and 1/2 cup of French fried onions. Spread the cheese and fried onions mixture onto the teardrop of meatloaf, leaving, at last, an inch around the edge. Place remaining meat mixture on top of the filling and again, shape the meat into a large teardrop. Make sure you press the edges together around the filling. The teardrop is both the body and head of the rat.
  5. Gently but firmly press the potato slices into the top of the rat's head for the ears. Press the onions in for eyes, and the uncooked spaghetti for whiskers. 
  6. Brush the body of the rat with the BBQ sauce. Carefully brush the head and nose area with BBQ sauce as well. 
  7. Bake the meatloaf at 350 until meatloaf is completely cooked: approximately one hour.
  8. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Use a knife to cut a small hole at the nose of the rat and press the black olive on. Carefully transfer to a serving platter and add the cooked fettuccine tail.  Garnish with a chunk of cheese and rat trap, if desired.

Chef Char invites you to check out the upcoming cooking classes she will be teaching at Kitchen 242 in the Muskegon Farmers Market!  Classes are typically held every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in downtown Muskegon.

Visit this link www.eventbrite.com/d/mi--muskegon/chef-char-morse to sign up to save a seat for you and a friend for a fun evening of recipe sharing, culinary demonstrations, hands-on experience and lots of fabulous food tasting.  

Follow Chef Char on Facebook for class announcements and fun with food.

Visit Chef Char’s blog for Char’s favorite recipes.

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