Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This is Not Your Mother's Meatloaf!

This is not your mother's meatloaf that features Lipton Onion Soup....oh, how I hated it!  There is nothing like the overwhelming taste and crunch of onions to really make me cringe.  I have never told mom how much I dislike her meatloaf.  I have graciously accepted a copy of her recipe every time that I mention I am making meatloaf.

I believe that the reason I rarely make meatloaf is because of the one I grew up having to eat.  My dad's philosophy was that if it was good enough for him, it was good enough for the kids.  Enough said...

Recently I came across two recipes for meatloaf that sounded really good.  One was from Cathy at Wives with Knives.  Her recipes are always delicious and I started out to make hers as written when I found another meatloaf recipe filed away on the computer.  It was from Tasting Table by Chef Marc Taft of Marietta, GA. It looked very similar and equally as good.  So, I set out to create my own recipe from  the two.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf!

2 Tbsp extra virgin  olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic,  crushed
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp chili powder
Salt and freshly ground black  pepper
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
2 eggs
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/8 tsp hot sauce
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
4 slices of bacon

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a medium skillet set over medium heat, heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft, 5to 7 minutes.  Stir in the ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/4 tsp chili powder, and 1/2 tsp  dry mustard.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, cooked onion and ketchup mixture, eggs, and thyme.  Add the panko and milk and mix well.

Lightly grease a loaf pan or baking sheet with 1 Tbsp melted butter.

Make the glaze.  In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the ketchup chili powder, Worcestershire Sauce, hot sauce, brown sugar and any butter remaining after lightly greasing the pan.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

Form the meat mixture into a log and place it on the baking sheet or in the loaf  pan.  Lightly coat the top with some glaze.  Lay the bacon slices across the loaf lengthwise with the pieces touching each other.

Place in the oven and bake until the meat is firm, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending upon the oven.  I tested it with the meat thermometer. The last 15 minutes of baking spread half of the glaze over the top of the bacon and increase the oven temperature to 375° F.   Remove from the oven and set aside to cool just a little before slicing.  Serve with the remaining glaze.


I think that the best part of a meatloaf dinner are the meatloaf sandwiches the next day!  Yum

I am sharing today at Foodie Friday hosted  by Michael at Designs by Gollum.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brenda's Incredible Blueberry Muffins

A friend recently commented that she was making those absolutely incredible muffins....what muffins? I wondered.  I emailed and quickly got a response, she commented, "Excuse me while I wipe my mouth..they are from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen."  That was easy enough for me, as I follow Brenda....somehow, though, this post slipped right past me!  Well thank you, Chris, for mentioning Brenda's Incredible Blueberry Muffins aka Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins.

The one thing I know about Brenda is that she is an amazing cook...and a great Wordscraper competitor!  I have made many of Brenda's recipes and they are consistently wonderful. I made the muffins just as Brenda recommended.

Brenda's Incredible Blueberry Muffins 
aka Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins

1 cup butter
1 - 1 1/4 cup sugar (I used 1 cup, some recipes for these muffins call for 1 1/4 cups)
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups blueberries*
sugar for top (I used "sugar in the raw")
*the extra 1/2 cup is optional, I didn't add them
Preheat oven to 375F.
With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture alternately with milk and vanilla.
Optionally, mash 1/2 cup of the blueberries, and stir in by hand (this will turn batter a light shade of blue and add a touch of blueberry flavour, but this step may be skipped, if you wish). Gently stir in the remaining 2 cups blueberries (if using frozen blueberries, you may want to toss them with a bit of flour to avoid them sinking to the bottom of the muffins) by hand. Grease muffin tins well, including tops of pans. Pile mixture high in each cup. Sprinkle sugar on top. Bake for 30 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.


Blueberries are a wonderful treat...blueberry muffins,  well, they are hard to beat!

I am participating in Full Plate Thursday sponsored by Miz Helen's Country Cottage and Foodie Friday sponsored by Designs by Gollum.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chi Chi's Chimichangas

One should never get their new blog assignment for The Secret Recipe Club when hungry!  Cruising through a new blog while hungry means that one will have difficulty narrowing down the possibilities. That was the situation when I cruised Mommy's Menu by Toni.  Toni is a mother of seven who manages to prepare healthy meals everyday for her family and on a budget.  That is something that all of us can appreciate during the present economy.

I was in the mood for chicken and we love Mexican food so when I found the recipe for Chi Chi's Chimichangas I knew I would be serving them for dinner and since I had never made chimichangas before it was also going to be an adventure!

Preparation is key to a happy chef with this recipe.  I found that having everything prepped made the process go smoothly.

Chi Chi's Chimichanga

Serves 4

2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds for less heat)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
kosher salt to taste
1 small  tomato, chopped,  plus more for topping
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped, plus additional for topping
2 1/2 cups shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken or poach breasts, shredded)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 (15 oz) can refried beans
4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, plus additional for topping
Mexi-sauce, for topping (recipe below)
Shredded lettuce, for topping
Avocado, chopped for topping
Mexican Red Rice, for serving

Preheat oven to 450° F.  Melt the butter with 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet; transfer to a bowl.  Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil in the skillet and add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno,  cook over medium-low heat until soft.  Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and 1 tsp salt;  toast 30 seconds.  Add the tomato and cilantro and cook until slightly dry, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the chicken and sour cream and warm through.  Remove from the heat.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and brush with some of the butter-oil mixture.  Spread 2 tablespoons refried beans down the center of each tortilla, leaving a 2-inch border on the ends.  Top with 1 cup chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese.  Fold in the ends and roll up.

Put the chimichangas seam-side down on the baking sheet; brush them with the butter-oil mixture.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes (keep an eye on them so that they do not burn) per side, brushing again after you  flip them.

To serve, top with the sauce, more cheese, lettuce, tomato and avocado.  Serve with Mexican Red Rice and the remaining refried beans.


1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt
2 (4 oz) cans green chilies, drained
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Saute 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves in a skillet over medium-low heat in a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil.  Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt; cook 30 seconds.  Stir in the green chilies and cook 2 minutes.  Add 1 cup chicken broth and simmer until thickened, then puree.  Stir in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.


This recipe appealed to me because the Chimichangas are baked.  It is a much less fattening method of preparation.  We enjoyed every bite.  This was a great recipe.  It wasn't real spicy so if you like spicy-hot food as we do, you will need to ratchet it up a little bit!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bar Eggs aka Pickled Eggs

When Easter rolled around the first year that Mr. T and I were married, I said that I was going to make pickled eggs.  My being from the east coast and his being from the west coast, he didn't expect the pretty redish-pinkish pickled eggs and beets that I presented.  His concept of pickled eggs were the kind that he had eaten when he was in college and was able to go to Joe Jost's in Long Beach.

Joe Jost's opened in 1924, during prohibition, and was a barber shop and  pool hall.  It has almost 90 years of history to back up its status as a Long Beach institution.  Going to Joe Jost's means three things:  a schooner of beer, a tasty "Joe's Special" sandwich and pickled eggs!

Mr. T wanted to make "the" pickled eggs and the search for a recipe began.  It was tough in the days before the internet....what did a person do?  Well, I combed cookbooks and the food section of the LA Times that was published each Wednesday.  One day I found a pickled egg recipe!  I had no idea if it was "the" pickled egg recipe, but it was worth a try.

Bar Eggs aka Pickled Eggs

2 dozen hard-cooked eggs, peeled (use the smallest eggs available)
3 to 4 cups distilled white vinegar
1 (16 oz) jar sweet cherry peppers, drained (Mr. T substitutes 10-12 hot chili peppers.)
6 cloves garlic, halved
3 bay leaves
1 tsp chopped chives
1 tsp  crushed red peper
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp whole all spice, optional
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 to 1 tsp turmeric

Place hard-cooked eggs in a clean glass or ceramic jar with a cover.  Add vinegar, cherry or chili peppers, garlic bay leaves, chives, red pepper, peppercorns, allspice, salt, mustard seeds and turmeric.  Cover and allow eggs to age overnight.

Serve each egg with a pepper.  Eggs will keep without refrigeration up to  one month but will  become more pungent in flavor.


Mr. T said that they were close...close enough...

For fun I did a little searching and I think I will surprise him by trying out a new recipe....just to see if we can get even closer to the original!

I am sharing at Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Designs by Gollum.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fontina Crostini with Lemon Gremolata

My daughter really outdid herself last week when she made the pot of Turkey Vegetable Soup with Cheese-Filled Tortellini, to share.  Not only did she bring us soup, she brought us some wonderful Fontina Crostini with Lemon Gremolata to go with it....and, dessert!

Lindsey, is the guest chef, again!

Fontina Crostini with Lemon Gremolata
Cuisine at Home, December 2011

Serves 8

For the Gremolata, combine:
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
1 Tbsp each minced lemon zest and fresh thyme
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 tsp red pepper flakes

For the Crostini, Brush:
16 baguette slices, 1/2-inch thick
2 Tbsp olive oil
16 thin slices of Fontina cheese, 8oz.

Preheat broiler with rack 6 inches from element.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

For the gremolata,  combine
Parmesan, zest, thyme, garlic, slat, black pepper, and pepper flakes in a small bowl;  set aside.

For the crostini, brush bread on one side with oil.  Arrange slices on prepared baking sheet, oiled side up;  broil until lightly toasted, 1-2 minutes.

Top each crostini with 1 slice of cheese.  Divide gremolata mixture among crostini broil until cheese melts, 1-2 minutes more.


These were perfect little bites to accompany the soup!

I am participating in Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Designs by Gollum and Fusion Fridays at Jennifer Cooks.