Tag Archives: tomato sauce

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole

20 Jan
Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole

I made a soup with similar ingredients to this many moons ago with a mile-long ingredients list, so this time around I decided to simplify it a bit more plus turn it into a casserole. As much as I love soup, sometimes I crave a bit more heft in the bite.

I ALMOST made this inedible, as I had the Hungarian sweet paprika and cayenne pepper sitting side by side in identical containers during prep. I actually poured ONE TABLESPOON of cayenne pepper on top of the tomatoes, but praise be I immediately noticed my mistake and was able to scoop most of it out before stirring it in. The end result was still a tad spicier than I intended, but overall a great comforting meal for a cold night. It sure warmed my husband up, lol! And even though this is over an hour in the oven, I guarantee this is way less time than the traditional stuffed method!

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole

1 tablespoon olive oil
1  pound ground beef, pork, or turkey (I used half beef/half pork)
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can no-salt tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine or white vinegar
1/2 cup white rice, uncooked
1 3/4 cups homemade or low sodium beef broth
1 small head cabbage (about 1 pound), quartered and sliced thin
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Ground Beef and Pork Mixture

Ground Beef and Pork Mixture

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a skillet, brown the ground ground meat and chopped onions in the olive oil over medium heat until meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute or two more. Drain the grease, if any. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it and add salt, to taste. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix in the next 7 ingredients (diced tomatoes through the rice).

Tomato Rice Mixture

Tomato Rice Mixture

Lightly spray an 8 x 8 casserole dish with oil, then layer half the cabbage on the bottom.

Cabbage and Beef Layer

Cabbage and Beef Layer

Top with half the ground meat mixture, then half the tomato sauce mixture. Repeat. Last, pour the beef broth over all.

Layers Complete

Layers Complete

Cover dish tightly with foil, and cook in oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle cheese over top and broil for just a few minutes to melt cheese. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes, then serve.

p.s. We had to say goodbye to our beloved Hannah Banana last week. Our rescue dog of 14 years is deeply missed.

Hannah Banana

Hannah Banana

Hannah Banana

Hannah Banana

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

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Goulash ~ an Old Stand-by in a New (Old) Dish

19 Nov
Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash in Vintage Enamel-Ware

This is not a new recipe but it gave me a chance to use one of my new (old) casserole dishes I picked up at a garage sale a few months ago. It is vintage enamel-ware from the 1980s made by Lincoware, in the Lauria design. It came in a nesting set of three for only $1 each. How cool is that?

Some nights just call for your stand-by comfort casserole, and last night was no exception. This is one of my daughter’s favorite meals I make, and she actually happened to be home for a Friday night, of all things. I had a half-pound of ground beef left in the freezer needing used up, so halved the recipe and in doing so the vintage casserole dish became a perfect vessel for cooking the smaller portion.

However, I do have a new recipe I’m working on using the sous-vide technique, and will take a whopping 24-hours to cook! And no, I’ll not be slaving over it that entire time, I’ll be off doing my usual housework and PT exercises (and sleeping for a portion of that) while the cooking device does the work for me!

I’m also copying the goulash recipe below for any newcomers hesitant to click on a linky to get it. This takes less than an hour to make, which is always a winner in my book! Enjoy!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup dry elbow macaroni pasta
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (or 2 8-0unce cans)
1 jar homemade canned tomatoes diced, or 1 can low-sodium diced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the burger and chopped onions, then grind a bunch of black pepper over it. Cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. In the last minute or so, add the minced garlic. Drain any grease, if needed.

When the water is boiling for the pasta, add the macaroni and cook until just before al dente, then drain and set aside. It will cook more in the oven. Meanwhile, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and herbs to the ground beef and stir to incorporate.

Next add the cheddar and mix until cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked macaroni until combined. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish sprayed with oil. Top with the Mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Let rest about 5 minutes, then serve with buttered bread, and a salad if you want.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Cheesy Baked Goulash

9 Apr
Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

 

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash Just out of Oven

Howdy friends and family! This is a repost recipe from three years ago that never got much attention from my readers, minus the intro paragraphs. Unfortunately, we had a series of three medical events in the house recently that has prevented me from creating a new recipe for you this week. (One event was an excruciating back spasm that lasted an hour and a half before I felt I wasn’t going to die. After multiple trips to both my doctor and chiro, I now have the pain under control.)

The other event was too low of blood pressure, and I thought I would pass out so had to have my high blood pressure meds adjusted. The third event involved my daughter but she’s healing up nicely since an outpatient procedure. However, on the first day I felt well enough to cook, I dragged out my old stand-by recipe for this dish of Cheesy Baked Goulash. My daughter requests this often, and for my new readers, I am glad to share it with you. I am also fortunate to have a hubby that cooks and for takeout pizza, ha! Happy Spring!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup dry elbow macaroni pasta
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (or 2 8-0unce cans)
1 jar homemade canned tomatoes diced, or 1 can low-sodium diced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the burger and chopped onions, then grind a bunch of black pepper over it. Cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. In the last minute or so, add the minced garlic. Drain any grease, if needed.

Browned Burger and Onions

Browned Burger and Onions

When the water is boiling for the pasta, add the macaroni and cook until just before al dente, then drain and set aside. It will cook more in the oven. Meanwhile, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and herbs to the ground beef and stir to incorporate.

Cooked Macaroni and Tomato Beef Sauce

Cooked Macaroni and Tomato Beef Sauce

Or you can be like me and forget the parsley until later. Next add the cheddar cheese (or perhaps parsley if you forgot) and mix until cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked macaroni until combined.

Cheddar Cheese and Parsley Added

Cheddar Cheese and Parsley Added

Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish sprayed with oil. Top with the Mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes.

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Let rest about 5 minutes, then serve with buttered bread, and a salad if you want.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Indian Butter Chicken

26 Sep
Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

An absolutely wonderful friend of mine sent me a large package of garam masala earlier this year. I even had the pleasure of rooming with her this past weekend for a charity fundraising event in Minneapolis.

OK, it was a big party with lots of shenanigans, laughing, and tears of joy. But a fundraising event nonetheless where the proceeds of the event go to the MODs Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization dedicated to supporting wildlife conservation, education and art. Oh, so where was I? Yes, the garam masala. This is a food blog, right?

I actually made this back in July when we had a short spurt of unseasonably cold weather, just before it zoomed right up into the triple digits. It didn’t feel right posting about it while everyone was sweating buckets and craving cool salads.

Now that fall has arrived, it’s time to introduce you to one of the many dishes to come using garam masala, a wonderfully complex spice used commonly in North Indian and South Asian food. It’s a perfect dish for a cool fall night.

Indian Butter Chicken
Adapted from Indian Butter Chicken at foodiecrush

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
2 cups Half and Half or cream
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
Lime wedges and cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving

Cut and Seasoned Chicken

Cut and Seasoned Chicken

Cut the chicken into one-inch chunks and season with salt and ground black pepper, to taste. In a very large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the diced onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until translucent.

Onions in Oil and Butter

Onions in Oil and Butter

Add the garam masala, ginger, and chili powder and cook for several more minutes, stirring often.

Garam Masala and Other Spices Added

Garam Masala and Other Spices Added

Whisk in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and bay leaves and cook for a few more minutes. Add the half and half or cream, stirring until it comes to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 5 more minutes.

Simmering the Creamy Tomato Sauce

Simmering the Creamy Tomato Sauce

Meanwhile, add the remaining oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to another large skillet and cook the chicken over medium-high heat until the chicken is lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. (Somehow I missed a photo of that step.)

Chicken in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Chicken in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Transfer the chicken to the creamy tomato sauce and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the peas and remaining butter to the sauce and continue cooking until the butter has melted.

Peas and Butter Added to the Sauce

Peas and Butter Added to the Sauce

Oh my gosh, just look at that beautiful BUTTAH!

Melting Butter

Melting Butter ~ Divine!

Serve over cooked rice and garnish with lime wedges and cilantro leaves.

Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

28 Feb
Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

Pistachios, am I nuts? No, this is Pastitsio, also known as Pasticcio, and sometimes spelled Pasticchio. But my tattered Better Homes and Garden cookbook names this Greek dish it the latter. No matter how you spell it, it’s dang good! It also messes up a lot of pots and pans. But don’t let that stop you from making this guest-worthy casserole.

You can shorten the cooking time by preparing some of the steps concurrently, or, if you have a lazy weekend day with lots of time you can just methodically work your way through each step. The end result will be the same. Bites of savory tomato and ground beef pasta topped with a lusciously puffy bechamel/egg crust. Are you drooling yet???

I had not made this in probably 5 or 6 years, so I just followed the recipe again as written (mostly) in the cookbook. Traditionally, this dish is made with a tubular pasta but I think the smaller macaroni works well with this. My family agreed it could use a few tweaks, but even so we all enjoyed this immensely. I’ve added my tweaks to the recipe below, and I think you’d be satisfied with them. So here it goes:

Pasticchio
From Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Recipes

6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) dry elbow macaroni
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the real stuff!)
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce (I would also add a can of diced tomatoes next time)
3/4 teaspoon salt (I used Mrs. Dash, but we agreed real salt would be better)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I actually used 1/4 teaspoon, and it was the right amount)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (I ground in liberal amounts)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Paprika, to make it pretty

Pasta Mixture

Pasta Mixture

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain, and set aside to cool for a bit. When cooled enough not to cook the egg you will be adding, stir in 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of milk, and the beaten egg. Set aside.

Beef and Tomato Sauce Mixture

Beef and Tomato Sauce Mixture

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and chopped onion until the meat is cooked and the onion is tender. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in the tomato sauce (and can of diced tomatoes, if using), and the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper. Set aside.

Bechamel Cream Sauce

Bechamel Cream Sauce

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and a little bit of salt to form a paste. Pour in the 1 1/2 cups of milk all at once, whisking continuously. Cook and stir until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Add the other beaten egg to a bowl, then pour half the sauce into the bowl with the egg and combine. Then pour that mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of it. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese until combined.

Final Prepping of the Casserole

Final Prepping of the Casserole

Layer half the macaroni mixture to a lightly oil-sprayed 2-quart casserole dish. Spread the meat mixture evenly on top of the pasta, then the remaining macaroni. Spread the cream sauce over all. (Optionally sprinkle ground paprika over it, to make it pretty.) Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a side salad or vegetable. Guest-worthy, indeed!

Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

2 Oct

Fall is in the air and it’s probably time to repost one of my blogs for my readers while we wait on closing on a house. Up this week is a nice fall soup recipe that can take advantage of those fall/winter greens. Enjoy!

anotherfoodieblogger

Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

I have a confession to make. I have never made stuffed cabbage rolls in my life. For years and years I have drooled over pictures of them, but the long process to stuff the cabbage leaves and braise for several hours always intimidated me. So I did the next best thing. I turned them inside out and made soup instead! While researching what ingredients go into a stuffed cabbage roll dish, I discovered that every Eastern European country has their own version of this dish. Ukranians typically make theirs with pork, sauerkraut and onions, while the Romanians add a generous amount of fresh dill to their sauce. Polish cuisine mixes ground beef or pork with rice, which is the common Americanized version. Hungarians add paprika to theirs, which I did too. Most of the sauces are tomato-based, except for in Sweden where they typically serve…

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Quick and Easy Stacked Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole

15 May
Quick and Easy Stacked Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole

Quick and Easy Stacked Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole

Talk about a super-easy mid-week meal to make when life is busy and you’re craving Tex-Mex! I was hankering some spicy, per usual, and amazingly I had every single ingredient on hand for this meal. I guess that’s not entirely amazing, since I always keep a good stock of Tex-Mex spices and herbs on hand. I was really wanting to use my new Ninja food processor I got for Mother’s Day from my fabulous family to mix up some awesome homemade Ancho chile paste for this, as I also had dried Ancho chiles sitting around. However, time got the best of me so I used store-bought ground Ancho chile powder instead. (Actually, the label on the package says Pasilla chile powder, but Ancho chile powder is dried Pasillas peppers.) Either way, these easy casserole-style enchiladas were a hit, and we barely had enough leftover for two the next day. Double or triple accordingly!

Ground Beef Ready to Mix with Sauce and Spices

Ground Beef Ready to Mix with Sauce and Spices

Quick and Easy Stacked Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped sweet or yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Ground black pepper, to taste
8-ounce can sliced black olives, divided
1 tablespoon Ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
1 8-0unce can no-salt tomato sauce
3 medium-size flour tortillas, torn into chunks
1 1/2 cups shredded blend of cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup water
Cilantro, chopped green onion, sliced black olives, and sour cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium skillet (ooh look, my new red ceramic-lined skillet!), cook the ground beef, onion, garlic, and pepper until the burger is browned. Drain any grease. Add about 3/4 of the sliced black olives and mix well. Now add the Ancho chile powder (you can sub with New Mexico Red, or regular chile powder in a pinch), the green chiles, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and simmer for a few minutes. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with oil, then line the bottom with half the torn tortilla chunks and very lightly spray the tops of the tortillas. Spread half the meat mixture over top, then half the cheese. Repeat with another layer of tortillas and a light spray of oil on them, meat, and cheese. Drizzle the half cup of water around the edges of the casserole. Cover tightly, and cook for a half hour. Uncover and broil for a few minutes. Take out and let rest for five minutes. Garnish with cilantro, green onion, sliced black olives, and sour cream (any or all optional). I had this meal prepped, cooked, and on the table in one hour flat. Can’t go wrong with that! And plates were licked clean.

Enchilada Sauce Ready for Casserole

Enchilada Sauce Ready for Casserole

Sloppy Joes Sliders

27 Mar
Sloppy Joes Sliders Fresh Out of Oven

Sloppy Joes Sliders Fresh Out of Oven

Until I made these last week, I had not had Sloppy Joes in upwards of 30 years, seriously. My mom always made them from the stuff out of a can, and it was one of my least favorite meals she made us as kids. Don’t get me wrong, my mom is a fantastic cook, but when you have six kids in soccer and the various games and practice schedules, sometimes dinner just had to be quick and easy. I was inspired to make these after making Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders for Super Bowl, but wanted to make it from scratch and had to rely on what was in the fridge and pantry, (except for the King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, which I insisted hubby drive to the store to get for me after he dropped our daughter off at piano lessons). First off, the variations to make these are off the charts. So I printed out two of the recipes combined them to give me the basis for the sauce. My daughter was gone for dinner that night, so I only prepared a half-rack of rolls, but made enough Sloppy Joes so that we could just heat up the Joes and plop on the rolls for a quick lunch/snack later in the week. I am happy I made these, and now have another ground beef meal to add to the rotation. Feel free to leave off the roll-topping sauce at the end, but it does add a wonderful dimension to the flavor.

Sloppy Joes Ground Beef, Peppers, and Onions

Sloppy Joes Ground Beef, Peppers, and Onions

Sloppy Joes Sliders

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup hot water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon Mexican oregano (or regular)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular)
1/4 teaspoon dried ground mustard
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or regular)
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 6-ouce can of tomato paste
1 12-count package King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
Shredded Swiss Cheese

Sloppy Joes Mixture

Sloppy Joes Mixture

For the roll topping:
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Sloppy Joes Ready to Top

Sloppy Joes Ready to Top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onions, red bell pepper, and garlic with ground black pepper to taste. When cooked through and starting to stick, drain the grease and deglaze the pan with the hot water.  Reduce the heat to medium, then add the rest of the ingredients except the rolls, cheese, and roll topping. Mix well and simmer until heated through and thickened, about 10 or 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix all the roll-topping ingredients and microwave for 30 seconds. Next assemble the sliders. Cut the rolls in half lengthwise, add the bottom of teh rolls to a lightly oil-sprayed casserole dish, then layer the Sloppy Joes on the bottom of the rolls. Next top with Swiss cheese. Last, add the roll tops, then brush the roll-topping over the rolls. Cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover, and broil for just a few minutes. Keep an eye on them! Mine started to burn pretty quickly, so ended up with a few slightly more than browned on top. Good thing my hubby likes burnt toast, he got the darker ones. These sure were good, and way better than that stuff out of the cans!

Sloppy Joes Slider

Sloppy Joes Slider

Spicy Black Beans and Rice with Fried Egg and Bacon

9 Feb
Spicy Black Beans and Rice with Fried Egg and Bacon

Spicy Black Beans and Rice with Fried Egg and Bacon

Finally, I am getting around to posting a dish my husband made over three weeks ago! Sad, but true — I kept pre-empting his cooking with mine. Well, he was gone for two weeks of that time and figured he wouldn’t notice anyways. So this interesting and spicy gooey dish came about from a cookbook he gave me for Christmas called Make it Tonight: 150 Quick and Delicious Weeknight Recipes by Fine Cooking.  The book is filled with eye-catching photos and simple one page recipes that can be made in a shortish span of time for a weeknight dinner. I’ve read the book through several times, and have bookmarked many recipes to try in the future. Although a majority of the recipes look tasty and easy, the Fine Cooking part should have tipped me off that there are a LOT of ingredients in there I just don’t have or keep stocked in the fridge or pantry on a regular basis (if at all, ever). Take this dish, for example. It calls for Salsa Lizano, “found in nearly every Costa Rican home, restaurant, and roadside food stand.” Seeing as we live approximately 4,219 miles from Costa Rica, we were hard-pressed to find this sauce. So we did the next best thing. We tried to make it ourselves. If I’d actually read the recipe closer I would have noticed to substitute Worcestershire sauce for it, but I went off on a tangent had husband add the ingredients that are in Salsa Lizano individually. From the sidebar: “Salsa Lizano is a smooth, light brown, vegetable-based sauce with a touch of sweetness and a hearty punch of spice, including cumin, mustard, and turmeric.”  To me, that read: “Mix together soy sauce, a pinch of sugar, cumin, mustard, and ginger.” Hey, it turned out fabulous!

I now present to you this highly-adapted recipe from Fine Cooking. And my husband really did make this himself! I was the ingredient finder for him, as he didn’t know where to find most of the stuff in our jam-packed spice cabinet. And the bacon part is completely optional. This actually came from the Meatless Mains section of the book, but hubby loves his bacon! So do I.

Spicy Black Bean Sauce for Rice

Spicy Black Bean Sauce for Rice

Spicy Black Beans and Rice with Fried Egg and Bacon

6 strips of bacon
3/4 cup long-grain rice
1 tablespoon reserved bacon grease
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground dried ginger
1 small tomato, chopped
1/4 cup canned tomato sauce (freeze the rest)
1 cup homemade or low sodium chicken broth
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 or 2 eggs per person
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Fry up the bacon to make the house smell divine. Cook an extra strip or two for munching on while you make the rest of the dish. While the bacon is cooking, prepare rice according to package directions. Once your bacon is done, reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease and add to a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more. Now add the sugar, cumin, soy sauce, mustard, ginger, and chopped tomatoes, and mix well. Next pour in the tomato sauce and chicken broth, then add the black beans and ground pepper to taste. Bring up to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until the liquid reduces to the level of the beans, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat or to the lowest possible setting, and cover to keep warm. In another skillet, cook the eggs to your liking sprinkled with black pepper. We like ours over-easy, with the whites cooked through but the yolk runny in the middle. Add the rice/bean mixture to a bowl or plate, and top with an egg or two. Garnish with crumbled bacon and cilantro. Wow, this was really good!

Mom’s Meatloaf

7 Mar
Mom's Meatloaf

Mom's Meatloaf

I’ve had a heck of a time getting around to writing this blog this week. It was appointment week in my house for some reason, all scheduled at separate times for different reasons. And of course I still had to work, too. The results of the appointments are… 1. One-week followup for surgery: I need to keep an eye on the inflammation going on in my mouth. Today it is worse, I might need antibiotics. 2. Scheduled maintenance on car: The awful screech in our brakes was a rock stuck in one. Problem solved. 3. First orthodontist appointment for daughter: She has an overbite issue that will add an additional year to the correction to her overcrowding. She will need to be in braces two and a half years. Ka-ching! 4. Still waiting on results of husband’s blood test. He also goes in for a dentist appointment tomorrow. Lastly, there was an impending hatch at an owl box I watch. Luckily it was happening around my lunch break time and was able to observe it, even while on a conference call! We welcomed Maggie into the world today, a beautiful (in my eyes) little barn owl. They look like little dinosaurs when they are born, but grow into such majestic raptors.

Meatloaf Mixture

Meatloaf Mixture

One appointment I won’t mind keeping is picking up my sister from the airport tomorrow! HI SEESTER! I hope you read this, lol!!! She will be visiting for two weeks, and I plan on making Tetrazzini Crepes while she is here and will be sure to write about it.

Now, finally to the recipe! I always enjoyed my mom’s meatloaf growing up. She always had to make two of them at a time to feed our large family, but with only three of us, one is plenty sufficient. I asked her many years ago for the recipe, and she said she used the one on the back of a container of oatmeal! Over the years I have adapted that recipe into one that changes each time I make it depending on what vegetables I have on hand and what spices I decide to use (as usual).

When I decided to make this meatloaf the other night (actually a result of reading a What’s For Dinner post on Facebook), my husband was heading to the store.  He has been saying we need to eat less red meat, so I suggested ground turkey. Well that fell flat. “Ewwww” is what he actually said. So then I asked him to buy one pound of fresh burger, because all our burger was frozen. One of the tricks to making a good  meatloaf is using fresh  burger and handling the meat as little as possible while blending. When you try to defrost a pound of frozen burger in a hurry in the microwave, the edges usually end up cooking before the inside is completely defrosted, resulting in an inconsistent product to work with. He got home from the store, and no fresh burger. “It was over four dollars a pound!” he complained. “Well it feeds us two meals! I only asked you to buy ONE POUND!” I retorted. Men.  OK, but I still love him.

Mom’s Meatloaf

1 pound fresh ground burger, or turkey
1 egg
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
Black pepper to taste
Any other spices, to taste
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup vegetables, chopped or shredded (I typically use bell pepper or carrots, sometimes mushrooms or celery)
3/4 cup plain dried oatmeal
Ketchup

In medium bowl, whisk the egg and tomato sauce until well blended. Stir in the spices, vegetables, and oatmeal. The night I made this, I used Cajun spice, Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, and a pinch of cayenne.  I decided to make it spicy! I also used shredded carrots for the vegetable. Add the ground burger or ground turkey to the bowl, and gently fold together with your hands until mixed but don’t over do it! Put the mixture into a lightly oil-sprayed meatloaf pan, glass or metal. Press the mixture down firmly until fairly compact, then pour a generous amount of ketchup over the top. Using the back of a spoon, spread the ketchup evenly. I always add more pepper to the top too. Then stick a knife down between the meatloaf and pan and run it around the pan to help separate it so it won’t stick so much. Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour. Take out and then let rest for about ten minutes. We served with mashed potatoes and green beans.

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