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Al Roker uses crispy fried onions — not breadcrumbs! — in his flavorful meatloaf recipe

The TODAY weatherman opens up his kitchen for another night of "What I'm Makin' for Dinner" on Instagram.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Erica Chayes Wida

Al Roker has been keeping busy at home by giving America regular weather updates in the morning and whipping up plenty of comfort food for his family at night.

Al, who has been inspiring his followers and fellow food lovers to cook all sorts of delicious dishes, recently showed his fans how to make a super simple meatloaf with some hearty vegetable sides. This dinner is definitely a winner.

"Hey, everybody! It's 'What Im Makin for Dinner' with yours truly, with my son Nick running camera. Thank you, Nick," Al said in his video.

First, Al whipped up a batch of little purple Brussels sprouts. Having recently divulged his secret to baking perfectly crispy bacon, Al shared his trick for extra savory sprouts. (Spoiler alert, it involves bacon!).

"OK, so now were rendering the bacon. The idea is to, without making it too crispy, getting that beautiful bacon fat. Come in closer, Nick, right there," Al said while pointing to his pan of sizzling bacon cubes. "Yeah! You notice the bacon fat is starting to develop ... once we do that, we're gonna use this and a little olive oil to coat these beauties (the Brussels sprouts) right over here."

To reward his son's excellent filming skills, Al gave him a delicious piece of thick bacon "as payment."

"How's that?" Al asked.

"Really good," Nick replied.

Next, Al poured the liquid fat over the halved Brussels sprouts and peeled garlic cloves. Then he tossed everything together in a glass baking dish.

In a separate baking dish, Al prepared the diced sweet potatoes. First, he drizzled on some bourbon maple syrup for more sweetness, then added some olive oil and warm spices like paprika and cinnamon.

Next up: the meatloaf!

"I don't have breadcrumbs, but I'm going to use a little something different," Al said. While he usually uses onion soup mix for extra flavor, this time he swapped in crispy fried onions to act as a binding agent, instead of the usual breadcrumbs.

In about an hour, Al's beautiful ketchup-topped meatloaf is done.

In the video, Al shows the finished product off to his cameraman.

"All right, there we have it. Dad made meatloaf. It looks quite yummy, I should say," Nick said.

Al Roker's Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups crispy fried onions (store-bought)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ¼ cup ketchup

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, reserving 1 cup of ketchup for the top of the meatloaf.
  3. Place mixture in a baking dish and, using your hands, form into a loaf.
  4. Spread remaining ketchup over the top and bake until cooked through, about 1 hour, or until a thermometer reads 160 F. Slice and serve.

Roasted Purple Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Ingredients

  • ½ pound slab bacon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds purple (or regular) Brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt with herbs
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until it becomes crispy and fat is rendered, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Once fat has rendered, remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Next, add bacon fat to a 9- by 13-inch pan with Brussels sprouts and whole garlic cloves. Add salt and chili flakes; mix to combine.
  4. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until Brussels sprouts are cooked through and the edges turn slightly golden brown.
  5. Add reserved bacon pieces to the sprouts, toss and enjoy.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Prepare a sheet tray by lining it with foil.
  3. Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl, then pour coated potatoes onto a sheet tray and arrange in one even layer.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are golden brown and cooked through. Enjoy!