Monday, September 13, 2010

"Smells Like Comfort Food"

That's what Don said when he walked in the door.



This is not the sexiest food photo ever, but man, does it taste good!

You can make the meat part however you like. Some like combinations of meat. I prefer lean ground beef. Seasoning can can use onion soup mix, or your own combination of spices and veggies.

This meatloaf had some Montreal steak spice, soya sauce, worcestershire sauce and chopped onion. I also usually put milk moistened bread crumbs in the mix because Don likes a tender, crumbly meat loaf. If you like yours a little more solid, add an egg. It's important to note that you shouldn't overwork your meat because it might make it tough. I usually mix all my stuff in the bottom of the bowl first, then squish the meat in until everything is just mixed.

I have started making, essentially, a giant burger on a sheet pan so that there's more surface area to caramelize, rather than a loaf pan...though the loaf pan makes for a nicer looking slice on the plate.

The "money" of my meatloaf is the topping. It's a combination of ketchup, brown sugar and dry mustard. I mix it up, adjusting until I am happy with the flavours, and smear it on before cooking.

How do you do your meatloaf?

Potato and Cheddar Soup


This is another one of those "throw what you have in a pot" type recipes, but I'll do my best to approximate what I use.

Chop an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic and sweat in a soup pot. Meanwhile, peel and chop 5 potatoes. Toss them into the pot to warm a bit, then add 2 cups stock. Add some thyme if you have it, and let simmer (covered) for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft. This will be dependent upon how small and evenly you cut the potatoes in the first place.

Add 2 cups milk, and bring up to simmer (do not boil!). Continue to simmer about 10 minutes, remove from heat, and hit with an immersion blender (also called a stick blender...if you don't have one, whir it up in the blender or food processor and then put it back in the pot). Pureeing the potatoes is what is going to thicken this soup, but some people like some chunky texture. You control the degree of smoothness!

Add about a cup of shredded sharp cheddar (or whatever blend of cheese you have). Honestly, it's rarely only a cup that goes into the soup. I start with about that, and taste, adding more as I go until it tastes the way I like it. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

This time, we had some proscuitto in the fridge, so I chopped it and fried it until crisp. This plus some raw chopped green onion served as our topping, but you could add anything you like on a loaded baked potato...even more cheese (I love cheese!)

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