Comfort food is a capricious love. It satisfies instantaneously – the classic Proustian effect. But when 10 wine-addled adults have finished a giant tureen of shepherd's pie or gourmet mac and cheese, the sparkle of dinner-party conversation can die a stuffed and carby death. Instead, why not offer guests a more manageable hit of comfort food by serving it bite-sized during the appetizer course? Take, for instance, meat loaf sliders. You can form them in muffin tins or ramekins. However, rectangular pans, like the 2.5-inch ones used in the loaves pictured here, are undeniably cuter. Bake at 350 F for 20 to 30 minutes, until juices run clear. Serve with a homemade salsa fresca or a dipping sauce – even ketchup. Guaranteed not to put anyone to sleep.
Chef Michael Tong is the owner of Toronto's Sublime Catering.