I’ve never been a picky eater. But meatloaf was not one of my favorites, even though the dish has withstood the test of time as a favorite comfort food. Well, what a difference one recipe can make! I went from never giving meatloaf a second thought to maybe thinking about it a little too much. These days I can’t get enough of this special recipe that makes meatloaf so very flavorful and moist. What secrets does this variation hold? There are several. First, the two cups of whole milk that the breadcrumbs happily soak in. That alone gives the meatloaf a rich and ultra moist texture. Second, sautéing the sweet yellow onion adds to the moisture plus gives the loaf a slight natural sweetness. Then the sauce that gets brushed over the top before baking gives this meatloaf a hint of spice, a bit of heat from the dry mustard and sweetness from the brown sugar. All in all, this is a wonderful meal for the family, especially when paired with mashed potatoes, gnocchi, pasta or just some charred crusty French bread. This quote from Bon Appetite magazine summed up meatloaf the best: “Meatloaf in its many iterations and guises was often a sort of culinary scrap heap, a refuge for leftovers, in the spirit of many casseroles and of shepherd’s pie. It was a way to stretch protein. It was a way to use up excess vegetables. It was a ragtag orchestra of ingredients on the verge of expiration. And it made music more uplifting than anyone could have anticipated.” This recipe is definitely music to my ears and a brand new one woman fan favorite!
large sweet yellow onion, chopped fine
Growing up Italian, homemade meatballs were a dinner staple enjoyed over pasta, in a sub roll or as savory appetizers before the main meal. But last week, while teaching a cooking class on Greek foods, I had to set my Italian roots aside and absolutely drool over Greek Meatballs known as Soutzoukakia. These morsels of magic have a wonderful combination of spices like cumin, cinnamon and oregano with a red sauce that completely enrobes them with even more flavor! Greek Meatballs are delicious with seasoned Orzo, rice or, dare I say, on a bed of Italian pasta?
It was on this day, decades ago, that my Momma and I celebrated my birthday in Madrid, Spain.
She took me on a magnificent trip to six European countries on our way to her hometown of Treviso, Italy. It was in Madrid where we both fell in love….with Paella. The place was Restaurante Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world, according the Guinness Book of World Records, and to this day, one of the most charming establishments I’ve ever visited. We bought our Paella pan there and have loved making this authentic Spanish dish ever since. If you’re in the mood to party, a Paella Party (with plenty of Sangria to wash it down!) can be a very tasteful get-together!
For Father’s Day, why not treat Dad to something special he can really sink his teeth into? I’m talking about the Big Daddy Burger with a very special sauce; a sauce that America loves. If you believe social media, the Chick-fil-A Original Dipping Sauce Is one of the most craveable condiments for burgers, bites and nuggets. In cooking school this week I had a class filled with Dad’s and their kids, creating special recipes for Dad’s big day. We wondered if we could re-create the famous Chick-fil-A dipping sauce for our chicken burgers. So we put our heads, creativity and ingredients together and started whisking away! Wow!! Winner, winner, chicken dinner and a delicious sauce for Dad’s Father’s Day burger and fries!
“Those who have a three or four hour drive can wrap the steak in foil, wire it onto the manifold of a car or truck and arrive at their destination with a cooked contribution.” Well, the Foil Baked Steak was the recipe I almost chose from the St. Clement’s Guild of Sun City Cookbook, until I came to the part where you strap it to the manifold. This isn’t to say I won’t attempt it sometime. I just have to find a vehicle in which I can actually access the manifold. Won’t that be an adventure! In the meantime, you’ll be delighted at the recipe I chose instead. This wonderful chicken dish is wrapped up in a beautiful crescent roll bundle. Just take store bought or leftover rotisserie chicken, blend it with a flavorful mixture of sautéed vegetables and then wrap it all up in flakey bread dough. Baked Chicken Pockets was adapted from a recipe in this delightful church cookbook called, Our Daily Bread, published in 1982. I opted out of using the canned pimento in the original recipe and instead sautéed a mixture of sweet onion, mushrooms and garlic, and then blended it with the recommended combination of cream cheese and butter. The result is a fantastic and fun dish that you can make in no time and one that kids will absolutely devour. Best of all, no engines required!