Tag Archives: parsley

Just Another Meatloaf

I’m surprised there’s not a meatloaf blog, where every day illustrates a different version of the loved (or not) fare. There are a few blogs with meatloaf in the title, but they turn out to be about other things, even when they are about cooking. Maybe I’m overstating people’s love of meatloaf. I probably make it once every two or three weeks with variations. Today, I was faced with having no breadcrumbs, so I’m using rolled oats for the filler. It’s been a long time since I’ve used oats, but I remember them adding a sweetness to the mix. For the meat, I’m using one pound of ground beef and one pound of Jimmy Dean® Sage Sausage, which means a lot of the flavoring is already done for me. I’ve been using this sausage in meatloaf for a while, to rave reviews.

Still, it’s just another meatloaf.

Meatloaf with Oatmeal and Sausage

  • Servings: one 2 lb loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°

3/4 cup rolled oats (not the quick cooking variety)

1/2 cup milk

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon bacon fat—for a nice smoky flavor

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 eggs, beaten

1 lb ground beef

1 lb Jimmy Dean® Sage Sausage (or your favorite country sausage)

salt & pepper

  1. Combine rolled oats and 1/2 cup milk in large mixing bowl. Decide later if you need more milk.
  2. Sauté the onion, seasoned with salt & pepper, in the bacon fat over medium heat until translucent. Pour over the oats and milk and let sit until cool. This also allows the oatmeal to soften a bit in the milk and warm onions. An alternative would be to microwave the oats and milk for about 1 minute and then cool. I like to wait until the oats have absorbed most of the milk, because there is nothing else in this meatloaf to soak it up. This is your substitute for bread crumbs.
  3. When the mixture is cooled, stir in the beaten eggs, tomato paste, and parsley.
  4. Mix in the meats with your hands until it’s all combined well, adding more milk if needed. I found 1/2 cup to be plenty.
  5. Shape into a loaf and place in an oblong baking dish with space around the loaf, so it doesn’t touch the sides of the dish.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour or until the center reaches 165°; remove to platter to serve.

Pheasant Meatball Curry

This is a pretty quick and easy curry, unless you count all the work Missy did to find us the pheasants.

morepheasants

Aside from grinding the meat myself, which is really pretty quick, I cut corners by using prepared curry powder, ginger, and garlic. I already had roasted peppers and crushed tomatoes in the freezer, so it couldn’t have come together any easier. A little bag of shelled peas thrown in to simmer at the end finished it off.

You can use a smaller amount of tomato if you like more emphasis on the coconut milk and a less-pink sauce.

Pheasant Meatball Curry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Meatballs:

about 1 1/2 pounds ground pheasant breast

1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon grated ginger or ginger paste

1 tablespoon grated garlic or garlic paste

Curry:

1 medium onion, diced

1 tablespoon (or more) curry powder

1 tablespoon grated ginger or ginger paste

1 tablespoon grated garlic or garlic paste

1/2-1 cup canned crushed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded

2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded, chopped

1 can coconut milk

1 cup fresh shelled peas, if available, or frozen peas

  1. Mix all the meatball ingredients lightly. I like to use a large meat fork with just two tines to mix lightly. There is no egg or breadcrumb filler in these meatballs, so it’s not hard to lightly mix. I like the shaggy look of the parsley sticking out all over these meatballs.
  2. Form into about 21 meatballs, slightly smaller than golf balls, setting aside until the curry is ready.
  3. In a large skillet with straight sides, sometimes called a chicken fryer, cook the diced onion in about 1 tablespoon cooking oil, such as canola or coconut, over medium heat until soft and translucent, but not browned.
  4. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and curry powder to release those flavors.
  5. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and peppers.
  6. Stir in the coconut milk.
  7. Place the meatballs in one layer in the sauce. Don’t worry that they are not covered and don’t stir yet or you will break them up.
  8. Cover the pan and bring the sauce to a low boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes, stirring to turn the meatballs over after 10 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle the peas, fresh or frozen, over the meatballs and sauce, and continue to simmer, covered, for about 5 more minutes. The meatballs should reach an internal temperature of about 140°.

Serve the meatballs and sauce over rice.

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

Yes, I’m calling it soup and my husband will just have to deal with it. I’ll make him some garlic bread to dredge in it.

I’m starting with packaged chicken stock, but cooking the chicken in that stock for a double punch of chicken flavor, and I’m not removing the skin from the chicken, because —chicken fat! You can’t overestimate the importance of chicken fat in your soup for flavor. Then, I’m using a combination of brown basmati and wild rices, cooked in the stock, so they soak up all that flavor and do some thickening.

I used 3 chicken thighs, bone-in skin-on, and 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. While it was a lot of meat, it was just fine for the 2+ quarts of soup.

Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

  • Servings: makes 2 quarts
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Stock and chicken:

3 large chicken thighs, with skin and bones, browned in 1 tablespoon bacon fat

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 large carrot, cut in large chunks

1 large yellow onion, with skin, cut in half

top of large celery bunch, about three inches, including leaves

2 quarts chicken stock, packaged or homemade

1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

  1. Brown chicken thighs in 1 tablespoon bacon fat in large stock pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken breasts and continue to simmer the thighs in the stock, covered, for another 30 minutes.
  4. Remove thighs. Strain stock and return to pot.
  5. Pull the chicken into rough shreds or cut uniformly while the rice cooks.

Rice:

1 cup brown basmati rice

1/4 cup wild rice

tender heart of celery bunch (about 1 1/2 cups), including leaves, thinly sliced

3-4 carrots, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)

about 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

  1. Bring strained stock to boil and stir in rices and vegetables.
  2. Reduce to simmer, cooking. covered, for about 45 minutes or until done.

Finishing soup:

pulled chicken (about 4 cups)

2 cups heavy cream

Optional: about 1 cup frozen corn

salt & pepper to taste

  1. Add chicken to simmering stock; return to simmer.
  2. Add cream, salt & pepper to taste, and corn, if using. Return to simmer, cooking until heated through, especially if you added frozen corn.
  3. If you prefer a thicker gravy, here are some tips from The Kitchn on ways to thicken soup: http://www.thekitchn.com/soups-on-7-ways-to-make-any-so-106057

 

Roasted Ratatouille

no skillets were harmed in the making of this dish

I usually sauté a ratatouille in stages in a large skillet, adding the tomatoes at the end to bring it all together. Today, I’m going to roast it all in one big dish, even the bacon, still adding some crushed tomatoes at the end. I just wish a had more than a few garlic cloves to throw in, but those few will have to do. I’m going to try to keep all the vegetables cut to the same size, not too small, and use enough olive oil, keeping in mind that the bacon is going to add its own fat. I’m using a smoked, thick-sliced bacon from a local butcher, maybe just 2-3 slices, so it’s not overwhelming. My poor husband will be eating a ribeye and some roasted zucchini, because he has silly opinions of eggplant and mushrooms.

It’s a cold, winter day, so having the oven on is a bonus, one that I would prefer to standing at the stove on a Saturday. I used two old standby Pyrex dishes, the 3 and 4 quart oblong sizes, to fit in all the ingredients, sprinkling the bacon over the tops to brown up and drizzle their bacony goodness all over. The glass baking dishes were a real mess, but I’m giving the dishwasher a chance to redeem them.

Roasted Ratatouille

  • Servings: depends on if you share
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 400°

1 medium-large eggplant

10 oz Baby Bella mushrooms

1 large onion

1 large red bell pepper

I medium-large zucchini

3-5 unpeeled cloves of garlic

3 slices thick bacon

6 oz crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

lots of olive oil

salt & pepper

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  1. Clean then cut all the vegetables in a large dice; I quartered the mushrooms and cut the zucchini in angled chunks. Toss each separately in olive oil to coat and place in glass baking dish. I kept each vegetable in a separate row in case any were done sooner than the others and needed to be removed—none did. I had too many to all go in one dish. The eggplant went in a dish of its own, topped with the unpeeled garlic cloves.
  2. Salt and pepper all the vegetables, then sprinkle diced bacon over the top. This allows you to see when the bacon is browned and to remove it, if needed.
  3. Roast at 400° for 45 mins. Remove from oven, but keep the oven on. Combine all the roasted vegetables in one dish.
  4. Press roasted garlic out of cloves and mix with tomatoes and herbs. Toss vegetables with the tomato mixture, mounding it in the center of the dish.
  5. Return to oven for about 5 minutes or until hot and a little bubbly.
  6. Serve with lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. I prefer this to mixing in the cheese, because it reheats better. Then you can always add the cheese in whatever way you are eating the ratatouille—with polenta or scrambled eggs, for example.