Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Recipes!

I tried a few new recipes this past weekend with the boy out of town and brought back some favorites he won't eat. On Friday, I tried Ina Garten's Meatloaf.

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean)
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs (recommended: Progresso)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (recommended: Heinz)
Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don't mash or the meat loaf will be dense. Shape the mixture into a rectangular loaf on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F and the meat loaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven, under the meat loaf, will keep the top from cracking.) Serve hot.

I prefer mine a little more on the tomato side, but it was still tasty and easy to make.  I heated up some leftover corn to go with it.

On Saturday, I made Tyler Florence's French Onion Soup. It was pretty tasty.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere
Directions

Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.

Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

On Sunday, I roasted a chicken with a little butter, lemon slices, thyme and rosemary.  It was good, but I'll still have to play around with it.  For my first try, it wasn't bad.  It was good enough to eat at least.  I also made roasted cauliflower with it. That was delicious. I've made it before, and it always gets better and better.

Oven Roasted Cauliflower, Onions, and Garlic
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, cut in half if large
  • 1-2 small onions, cut into large cubes
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Optional Garnish - chopped parsley or chives, crushed red pepper flakes, or parmesan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place veggies in a large casserole dish; toss with dressing. Bake at 400F for about an hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Garnish.

Last night, we had various leftovers - the soup for an appetizer and meatloaf as a main course.  I sauteed up some shallots in butter, added snow peas and then squeezed a slice of lemon.  It's such an easy and tasty veggie and just something different than our usual stand by veggies.

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