Monthly Archives: June 2014

Meatloaf.

I’d do anything for meatloaf, but I won’t do that. I’m referring, of course, to the delicious entree and not the singer. I’ve seen Rocky Horror. I don’t see him being on the menu, though I secretly love his music and used to have it between my My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Sisters of Mercy CDs. It’s easier to hide on your iPod/iPhone. Please. Don’t judge.

This brings me to a recipe and a mystery. First the mystery, then the recipe.

Once upon a time, when I was young, my grandfather lived in an in-law apartment behind our garage.  It was a small comfortable studio affair with a kitchen.  From that kitchen came many wonderful things, like his meatloaf.  When he’d cook, the exhaust from his kitchen was near my bedroom window and I always knew when good things were about to happen.  Of course, he also made fish in there, and when he did, it made my bedroom smell like low tide, which started my never ending dislike/queasy/occasionally accepting relationship with fish (the kind with scales.. if it’s shellfish, all bets are off.. I’m totally in).  That was cured by a trip to Japan.  I totally digress.  Meatloaf.  Not the singer.

So.. he made this incredibly unbelievably fantastically awesome meatloaf.  I was young when he passed so I remember what it tasted like but I don’t remember how he made it.  It came in two parts.  Delicious loaf of meat, and this tomato sauce with garlic in it.  I have successfully recreated a close facsimile of the loaf.  The sauce, unfortunately, is lost to history.  Many have tried to recreate it.. (they tried and failed?  they tried and died.  Wait.. this isn’t Dune.. sorry).  I don’t have the patience to tear up half a loaf of bread into small chunks like he did so I cheat and use panko.. but I think the loaf portion is fairly accurate.  Since I’ve given up on trying to recreate the sauce (as have my mother and my sister) I have tried to put my own spin on it.

Recipe:

1/2 lb ground beef (I use 85/15)
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 lb johnsonville brat sausage meat (or three brats emptied out)
2 eggs
1 cu milk (no diet?  use heavy whipping cream… seriously)
1 cu panko – PLAIN
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (Lea and Perrins.. the white worcestershire is also awesome)

topping (adjust as necessary for volume):
1/2 cu dijon moostard
1/2 cu clove honey

Take the loaf ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated.  DO NOT USE A LOAF PAN.
(wait, what?  no loaf pan, you say?).. I repeat.  A LOAF PAN THOU SHALT NOT USE.
Cover the bottom of a pyrex casserole dish with tin foil (for cleanup).  Take the thoroughly mixed loaf and spread out in a vague loaf mound shape (see below).  Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.  Mix the topping ingredients and pour over the loaf.  Put back in for another 10-15 minutes.  Remove, permit to rest.. or at least gasp briefly.. then cut and serve.

The next day?  Meatloaf, havarti, and mayo sammiches.  Mmmmm.. meatloaf.

Proper meatloafing technique can be found here:

Split pea soup

Wow.. it’s been a while. I’ve been busy moving. I’m back in central Florida where I belong and it’s been a challenge. That, and I finally went in to the doctor since I’m over 40, submitted to a blood test (i HATE needles) and found out, to nobody’s shock, that I have high cholesterol. I’m taking that into account with my current food..plan..thing.. and it turns out that I didn’t have to make too many changes. I am watching the nutrition panels more, which I guess is a good thing.

One of the things I missed the most about Florida is Publix. Now that I’ve moved back, there are three of them within a 2 mile radius of my place. They happened to be having a sale on dried goods and I picked up some dried split peas to make some soup. I haven’t had it in a while so, since it’s rained all day, today was the perfect day.

1 1 pound (16 oz) package of dried split peas
4-6 cups of water
1/3 cup worcestershire sauce
1 cup Goya mojo (I use the bitter orange)
1/2 pound smoked ham cut into small pieces

Take the split peas and soak in a dutch oven in 4-6 cups of water. Usually the package says you don’t need to soak them but since I don’t put my soup in a food processor, you need them to soften before cooking. After soaking for about 2 hours, bring to a boil then bring down to medium and cover. You’ll want to stir every few minutes for an hour. The peas should begin to break apart and turn the water green. Add the smoked ham. Continue to cook on medium low for another hour. You should have enough residual heat that the peas will explode into the water. Eventually the pea mush will settle to the bottom. When it’s a the consistency you want, remove about 2/3 of the standing water, add the worcestershire and mojo. Give it a good stir and cook for another 15-20 minutes and let rest.

I love this with toasted cheddar cheese and tomato sandwiches on rye. Great for a rainy day.