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    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

    Comfort Food - Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

    This is a particularly good meatloaf recipe
    The actual recipe called for Ground Beef and Ground Pork
    As I have a member of my family who doesn't like pork
    No allergy… just not keen, so I bought some very good Italian Pork Style Sausage
    instead, hoped he wouldn't notice
    No complaints from, the non-porker, so my plan worked!
    Once again The Epicurious Website supplied this idea


            1 cup fine fresh breadcrumbs
            1/3 cup whole milk
            1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
            1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
            4 garlic cloves
            2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil, I use Ricebran oil
            2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
            1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
            3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
            600 gms ground beef chuck,
            6 Italian Style Sausages, skin removed
            2 large eggs
            1/2 cup ketchup, divided, plus more for serving


    Preheat oven to 175C
    Line a rimmed baking sheet or 13x9" shallow baking dish with foil.

    Soak breadcrumbs in milk in a large bowl until ready to use.
    Pulse onion, celery, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped.
    (Alternatively, you can finely chop by hand.)
    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium.
    Add onion mixture, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
    Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-7 minutes.
    Remove from heat, stir in Worcestershire, and scrape into bowl with breadcrumb mixture.
    Add beef, sausages, eggs, 1/4 cup ketchup, and remaining 1 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper,
    then mix with your hands to combine.
    Form meatloaf mixture into a long, well-packed, approximately 5"-wide loaf shape on prepared baking sheet.
    Brush top of loaf with 1/4 cup ketchup.
    Bake meatloaf about 30 - 40 minutes, Slide a skewer into the middle of the meatloaf
    lift out the skewer place it on your lip
    if it's hot
    It's done
    Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.
    To accompany this yummy Meatloaf
    Chef Bobby Flay's Mashed Potato
    Mashed potato using Creme Fraiche and a Lemon Vinaigrette with Fresh Herbs
    Bobby's recipe called for fresh Oregano, I used that but the kids and I thought it was perhaps a little strong, so I have changed the herb to Mint for this version
    Much better

        2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
        1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
        ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
        1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Parsley leaves
        ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh Mint


        2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
        Kosher salt
        ½ cup crème fraiche
        Finely grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon
        2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
        2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
        2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
        Ground black pepper

    The Creme Fraiche mix on the left, The Vinaigrette on the right
    For the Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette:
    In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice and mustard until combined.
    Slowly add olive oil, whisking until emulsified.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Stir in parsley and mint 
    Set aside.
    For the Potatoes:
    Put potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water by 2 inches and add 1 tablespoon salt.
    Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to simmer, cover and cook until fork-tender,
    about 20 minutes.
    Drain well, return potatoes to the pan and put back over low heat, stirring a few times, to dry well.
    Add crème fraîche, lemon zest, parsley, mint and chives.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Gently crush with a potato masher until combined.

    If desired, potatoes may be covered and kept in a warm oven for up to 30 minutes.
    To serve, transfer to a bowl and drizzle with Meyer lemon vinaigrette while still hot.

    And for the Greens
    Broccoli, The Kid's Favourite
    So so simple, to cook Broccoli this way
    You need
    Olive oil
    2 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
    Zest of a lemon 
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    You really just want to blanch the Broccoli
    Break the Broccoli in manageable florets,
    Bring a pot of salted water to the boil
    Add the Broccoli
    Bring back to the boil
    cook for about 3 minutes
    Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process

    Set aside
    Just before serving

    In a pan add 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
    Add Garlic and lemon zest, sea salt and black pepper
    Toss around, don't brown the garlic, it will get bitter
    Add the Broccoli
    Toss well and make sure it is heated through

    A Perfect Dinner for Kids and Non Kids

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017

    Garlicky Chicken With Lemon-Anchovy Sauce and Spinach

    Who doesn't like Roasted Juicy Lemony Garlic Chicken
    The anchovies add that extra "je ne sais quoi"
    So please add them, even if you are not keen on anchovies
    Just think of extra seasoning
    I found this on the NY Times Cooking Page, recipe attributed to Melissa Clarke
    It's more or less true to the recipe
    BUT, I added some spinach for colour and goodness
    Also the recipe called for Boneless, Skinless Thighs
    Noooo we want the bone and the skin for that extra flavour
    Plus, if you are not calorie counting, there is the gorgeous skin to eat
    AND the bones to suck, the best bit I reckon
    Ingredients for 4 people

        4 large chicken thighs, Skin on, Bone in
        1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
        Freshly ground black pepper
        6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
        ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
        5 anchovy fillets
        2 tablespoons drained capers, patted dry
        1 large pinch chile flakes
        1 lemon, halved
        Fresh chopped parsley, for serving

    1 bag spinach, broken up

    Heat oven to 175C
    Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper
    and let rest while you prepare the anchovy-garlic oil. 
     Mince one of the garlic cloves and set it aside for later.

    In a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil.
    When the oil is hot, add the 5 smashed whole garlic cloves,
    the anchovies, capers and chili.
    Let cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the anchovies,
    until the garlic browns around the edges and the anchovies dissolve,
    3 to 5 minutes.
    Add the chicken thighs skin down and cook until nicely browned on one side, 5 to 7 minutes. 
    Flip the thighs, place the pan in the oven and cook another 5 to 10 minutes,
    until the chicken is cooked through.
    When chicken is done, transfer thighs to a plate (be careful, as the pan handle will be hot).
    Place skillet back on the heat and add remaining minced garlic and the juice of one lemon half.

    Cook for about 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
    Return chicken to the pan and cook it in the sauce for another 15 to 30 seconds.
    Transfer the chicken to a warm serving plate
    Add spinach to the pan
    Cook for 2-3 minutes, till spinach wilts

    Squeeze the remaining lemon half into the pan and
    pour everything over the chicken
    Goes well with Potato Bake

    Argentine Steak-More Food for Winter

    I have no idea why dish this was named Argentine Steak...but once again it came from the tried and true "Triple Tested" Cook Book...A favourite Cookbook from the 60's and 70s for those of us that lived in Wellington and Environs, during that time 
    Perfect for a dinner party
    Simple, cheap and better still... best prepared the night before
    A young Mothers' Dream Party Meal

    I have resurrected it for this Winter
    Got thumbs up from my guests
    1.5 Kg Blade steak 
    2 tablespoons sugar
    2 Tablespoons Flour
    1 tsp curry powder
    1 tsp ground ginger

    1 glass port
    1 glass tomato sauce
    1/2 glass vinegar
    1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    Juice and zest of 1 lemon
    1 clove garlic crushed with a some sea salt

    Cup Grated cheese
    Chopped bacon (3 rashers)

    Handful Pitted Prunes

    Parsley, finely chopped

    Cut Steak into 2 in pieces
    Place on flat oven proof dish 13” x 9” / 350 x 240 mm
    Mix sugar, flour, ginger and curry powder
    Massage into meat
    Pour over Port, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire. lemon juice and rind
    Plus grated  cheese and chopped bacon
    You can prepare the dish ahead and leave overnight in the fridge ( recommended )
    Pre-heat oven 175C
    Cover with tinfoil
    Bake for  1 hour
    Add prunes
     Bake for another hour
    Garnish with some finely chopped parsley
    Serve with Potato Mash and Garlicy Green beans

    For the beans
    Top and tail the beans
    Blanch in salted boiling water for just 2 mins
    Drain and run under cold water to cool
    Put aside till you need them

    In another pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed with a little sea salt
    Zest of 1 lemon

    Heat gently over medium heat, don't brown the garlic, it will get bitter
    Add cooked green beans
    Toss over medium heat till they are heated through

    Monday, July 10, 2017

    Veal Orloff - Veal Roast That Can Wait

    Veal Prince Orloff, Veal Prince Orlov, Veal Orloff, or Veal Orlov is a 19th-century dish of Russian cuisine, which was created by the French chef Urbain Dubois in the employ of Prince Orloff, 
    former Russian ambassador to France.  Source Wikipedia 
    The secret of this dish is in making a very tasty stuffing, which is slathered over slices of perfectly cooked Veal,  Covered with Cheese sauce and can be prepared earlier in the day and baked just before dinner is needed

    Make ahead, in fact it is probably better, so that flavours meld
    I was inspired by Julia Child and it was excellent
    You can buy the meat especially, to make this dish or 
    Even better, on this occasion I had a piece of Lamb Rump
    leftover from dinner the previous night
    Why not improvise and use Lamb instead of Veal, so I did
    Got the thumbs up from my Lodger
    I served it with Mashed Potatoes and Mrs Child’s idea for tarting up Frozen Peas
    Recipe below

    I will give the instructions to make the "stuffing" first
    This can be made and put aside until needed
    It is made up of of Rice and Onion Puree
    Chopped Mushroom Sauce
    and a good old Bechamel Sauce

    Please don't be put off by the steps, it is worth it

    First prepare the Soubise (Rice and onions)
    ¼ cup raw white rice
    1 litre boiling water
    1 Tb salt

    Drop the rice into boiling salted water.
    Boil 5 minutes. Drain.

    3 Tb butter
    A 6- to 8-cup, heavy, fireproof casserole with cover
    1 lb. (3½ cups) sliced yellow onions
    ½ tsp salt

    Melt the butter in a pan
    Stir in the onions and salt, and coat well with butter; 

    stir in the rice.
    Cover and cook over very low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour,
    until the rice and onions are very tender but not browned.
    Keep an eye on it and if the mix is getting too brown add some water
    Puree in a blender and set aside

    The Mushroom Duxelles
    250 gms finely minced fresh mushrooms (makes 2 cups)
    3 Tb minced shallots or green onions
    2 Tb butter
    1 Tb oil

    An 8-inch heavy-bottomed skillet
    Salt and pepper

    Melt the butter and the Oil in the hot pan
    Add onions and mushrooms
    Toss together and cook for about 5-6 minutes until  all juices are absorbed
    Season with Salt and Pepper
    Set aside

    Make the Béchamel Sauce
    Take a  heavy-bottomed saucepan

    6 Tb butter
    8 Tb flour
    3 Cups Hot Milk
    1 Bay leaf
    Sea salt and Freshly Ground Black pepper
    Pinch of nutmeg

    ½ cup whipping cream
    1/2 cup Grated Cheese
    Extra grated Cheese for topping

    Infuse the milk with Bay Leaf and good grind of Pepper 
    Use the microwave for this so so simple

    Melt the butter in the saucepan.
    Stir in the flour and cook slowly together, stirring,
    until they foam for 2 minutes without coloring.
    Remove from heat,
    pour in all the hot liquid at once and beat vigorously with wire whip.
    Beat in the seasonings.
    Bring to the boil, stirring, and boil for 1 minute.
    Correct seasoning.
    Sauce will be very thick.
    Pour 1 cup of sauce into the cooked rice and onions.

    Add mushrooms to the onion and rice mix

    Beat the cream into the rest of the sauce and set aside

    Now you are ready to assemble

    Slice the roast meat into neat serving slices about 3/16 of an inch thick,
    piling them to one side in the order in which you sliced them.
    The roast is now to be returned in slices to the serving platter:
    Place the last slice you carved in the platter,
    sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper,
    then spread with a spoonful of the filling.
    Overlap the next slice of veal on the first, sprinkle with salt and pepper,
    spread with filling, and continue thus down the length of the platter.
    Spread any extra filling around and over the meat.
    Take the remaining Béchamel Sauce and warm it up
    You may need to add a little more cream or milk if necessary
    Take off heat
    Add the 1/3 cup grated cheese
    Beat well till cheese melted

    Spoon over the meat
    Cover with extra grated cheese
    About 30 to 40 minutes before serving, set in the upper position of a preheated, 180 C-degree oven until the sauce is bubbling and the top has browned lightly.
    Do not overcook, or the meat will dry out and lose character.

    Once ready, the dish will stay warm for 20 to 30 minutes in the turned-off hot oven, its door ajar.

    So to make the best Pureed/Mashed Potatoes
    This may sound strange but I got this idea from another Cooking Icon
    Delia Smith
    Beat your cooked potatoes with a hand held electric Beater
    It's a bit hard to give exact quantities, so this a rule of thumb way to cook

    1 med Potato per person, more for greedy people
    Freshly Ground Black Pepper

    Peel and cut potatoes into large cubes
    Put into cold salted water
    Bring to boil and simmer till fork tender

    Back onto the heat
    add enough milk to just cover the bottom of the pan
    Get out your handbeater and start slowly to beat
    Start adding  knobs of cold butter, till it reaches the consistency that you like

    Season with Freshly Ground Black Pepper

    How To Make Frozen Peas a bit more exciting
    This method of cooking frozen peas gives them the character they often lack.
    Use two pans when you are cooking more than two 500 gms packs of peas;
    if too many peas are cooked in one pan,
    the cooking liquid will not evaporate by the time the peas are done.
    For each 500 gm package of frozen peas:
    1 Tb butter
    1 Tb minced shallots or green onions
    ¼ tsp salt
    Pinch of pepper
    ½ cup chicken stock or canned chicken or mushroom broth, or water

    Allow the peas to thaw enough so they can be separated.
    Bring the butter, shallots or green onions, seasonings, and liquid to the boil in a pan. 
    Add the peas, cover, and boil slowly for 5 to 6 minutes or until the peas are tender.
    Uncover and rapidly boil off any remaining liquid.
    Correct seasoning.
    Put peas and potatoes in serving dishes
    Maybe a little more  butter on the Potatoes
    Voila... Dinner is served
    Devour. It is fantastic