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creamy mushroom meatloaf

This was a really nice change from your typical meatloaf. The sauce tasted as though it had some wine in it, but I think it was just the shiitake mushrooms. Definitely makes a lot of sauce/gravy, which is perfect for a side of mashed potatoes.

Creamy Mushroom Meatloaf

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1 1/2 pounds ground meat (beef, turkey or a veal/pork/beef mix)
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced (rehydrated the dry ones we had in our pantry)
1 pinch salt
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped (subbed 1 tbsp dried)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups beef or pork broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. In a mixing bowl, mix thoroughly all remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
3. Melt butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in mushrooms and a pinch of salt; cook and stir until mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in fresh rosemary. Add flour and stir to coat the mushrooms; cook and stir for about 3 minutes.
5. Whisk in beef broth, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
6. Turn heat to high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer a few minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream.
8. Slide prepared meatloaf into the sauce. Spoon sauce over the top of the meatloaf.
9. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 1 1/2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F.
10. Remove pan from the oven and gently remove meatloaf to a serving platter. If you like, skim the extra fat off the surface of the sauce.
11. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat to reduce until thick, about 5 minutes.

meat & potatoes

I think this is the second time I’ve ever made lamb. This was really good!

Roasted Lamb Breast

4 lbs lamb breast, separated into two pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, basil)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika

1/2 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, minced
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Whisk olive oil, salt, cumin, black pepper, dried Italian herbs, cinnamon, coriander, and paprika in a large bowl until combined.
  3. Coat each lamb breasts in the olive oil and spice mixture and transfer to a roasting pan, fat side up.
  4. Tightly cover roasting pan with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork, about 2 hours.
  5. Remove lamb from oven and cut into four pieces.
  6. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  7. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place lamb pieces on it. Brush the tops of each piece with fat drippings from the roasting pan.
  8. Bake lamb until meat is browned and edges are crispy, about 15 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, combine chopped parsley, vinegar, fresh lemon juice, garlic, honey, red pepper flakes, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  10. Increase the oven’s broiler to high and brown lamb for 4 minutes. Remove from oven.
  11. Serve lamb topped with parsley and vinegar sauce.

Mushroom Mashed Potatoes

6 yukon or red potatoes, quartered
3 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced
6 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sour cream

Boil potatoes until soft, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute onions and mushrooms until tender.

Mash with a potato masher (or bottom of a drinking glass).

Add onions, mushrooms and remaining ingredients and stir into mashed potatoes.

Garlic Green Beans
Good, but was missing something. Next time I think I’ll add sliced almonds or something.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb green beans, trimmed
2 cloves garlic, sliced salt, to taste

Blanch the green beans: Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Add green beans. Cook green beans in boiling water for 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain and run cold water over the beans.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic. Once garlic is fragrant, add the beans and salt and saute.

zucchini muffins & lara bars

We are spending the weekend in NJ, and there won’t be a fridge, so I made a couple things in preparation, just in case Marcy gets hungry and/or won’t eat what we have at our meals. Basically, I wanted something that didn’t need refrigeration (at least for the weekend) and that had some kind of substantial nutrition. ¬†First, were zucchini muffins, which I think were more for me in the case that I get hungry, too. ūüôā And then my friend sent me the recipes she uses to make homemade Lara bars for her child. I chose the pineapple (sunshine) version.

The muffins have the perfect sweetness, and could maybe even use a bit more, but it doesn’t matter, because they have the most excellent crumb (I think, because I added some whole wheat flour).

Zucchini muffins
(makes 12 large muffins)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and grated

Stir first 8 ingredients into large bowl. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients. Stir into flour mixture until batter is just combined. Stir in zucchini and apples. Spoon into well greased muffin cups, filling to the top.¬†Bake at 350¬į for 20-25 minutes.

Pineapple “sunshine” lara bars

  • 1 c. (160g) dried, unsweetened pineapple
  • 1/3 c. warm water
  • 1 c. (120g) cashews
  • 1/4 c. (20g) unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • dash salt

Soak the dried fruit in warm water for 5-10 minutes.¬† Meanwhile, gather remaining ingredients and pour into a food processor.¬† Drain the fruit and add to the food processor.¬† Process for 30 ‚Äď 60 seconds or until the mixture sticks together when pinched with your fingers.¬† Pour into a loaf pan and press firmly into bars with a spatula.¬† Chill for 10 minutes and then cut into 6 bars.¬† Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

fried catfish and clam-ey soup

Noah recently bought a cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated,¬†The New Best Recipe. It’s really cool – they test out all the factors that go into making each dish and share with you their process and results. For example when making chocolate chip cookies, they test how brown sugar vs white sugar affected the taste and texture, along with different ratios of ingredients, what type of baking sheets work best, etc. They even sometimes test out various brands of butter or some other ingredient.

Anyway, we’ve used a few of their recipes since, and last Friday Noah fried up some wonderfully crisp and light catfish using our new cookbook. It was really good, but we did think it was a bit wasteful. You end up using a lot of oil and flour, but maybe it was worth it?

The weekend before we had invited some friends over for a clambake (also using the cookbook, but we thought the recipe was just ok), and I used the leftover juices to make a soup.

Pan Fried Catfish
To minimize splatters and maximize safety, use a Dutch oven with sides at least 5 inches high (instead of a regular skillet) when frying the fish.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable oil for frying, or as needed
  • 2 catfish fillets (about 12 oz each), skin and dark fatty flesh just below the skin removed, fillets cut in half lengthwise
  • lemon wedges

Directions:

1. Place 1/2 cup of the flour in a wide, shallow dish. In another wide, shallow dish, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup flour, cornmeal, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and the cayenne. In a third shallow dish, whisk the eggs with 1 tbsp of the oil until combined.

2. Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels and sprinkle each side with salt and pepper to taste. Drop the fish into the flour and shake the dish to coat. Shake the excess flour from each piece, then, using tongs, dip the fillets into the egg mixture, turning to coat well and allowing the excess to drip off. Coat the fillets with the cornmeal mixture, shake off the excess and set aside.

3. Heat 1/2 inch oil in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over high heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 400 degrees. (The oil should not smoke, but it will come close.) Place 2 catfish fillets in the hot oil and fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 4 mins. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the oil between 385-390 degrees. Remove the fillets from the oil with a slotted spoon and lay them on a plate lined with several layers of paper towels; blot to remove any excess oil. Set aside. Bring the oil back to 400 degrees and repeat the cooking process with the remaining fillets.

4. Serve the fried fish immediately with either lemon wedges or dipping sauce.

Soup
Ok, so this isn’t really a recipe, but it was my first time making soup from leftover broth. Basically, add whatever you want, but make sure there’s enough liquid to boil everything.

I had about a cup of clam broth leftover, so I added 1 cup of chicken broth and boiled some diced potatoes and leftover shredded carrots. Before serving, I topped it with sliced scallions. It was super good!

moroccan chicken

I loved Moroccan food when I was in college (still do, but just never have opportunities to eat it). And suddenly, last week I found myself longing for beautifully spiced, tender chicken and veggies over a bed of couscous. This recipe, did not disappoint!

Moroccan Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground¬†cayenne¬†pepper
  • 3 chicken legs
  • 1 (16 ounce) can garbanzo beans
  • 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 30 oz chicken broth
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the couscous according to package directions.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook onion and garlic  until tender. Mix in bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Place chicken in the pot, and cook until well browned. Pour garbanzo beans, tomatoes, carrots and broth into the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 25 minutes.
  3. Mix zucchini into pot. Season with salt. Continue cooking 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Serve stew over cooked couscous.

pound cake with ice cream and berries

*Found this post in my drafts, so it is about two months old!

I suddenly had a craving this week for cold cake with ice cream and berries. I used the poundcake recipe from my Moosewood book of desserts, and unfortunately, overcooked it just a bit.  But, it was still delicious!

Poundcake Loaf with Ice Cream and Berries

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, at room temperature
 1 1/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour the loaf pan.

Cream the butter until light. Add the sugar and cream until fluffy. Add the ggs one at a time, beating welll after each addition. Add the vanilla, baking powder and salt and beat well. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing until well incorporated. Add the milk and beat until well blended, another minute or so.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours. Cool the pan on a rack before serving.