Sunday, December 23, 2007

Brrr!

First day of winter today and it was freezing outside! Wanted something comforting for dinner:


From Padma Lakshmi's cookbook Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet I made this salad:
Halved seedless black grapes
Thin slices of Bartlet pears
Arugula
Italian parsley (hers had cilantro)
Sheep's milk cheese (I had none so I used Parmesan) cut very thin - I used a vegetable peeler

For the dressing, she called for grape seed and orange oils but my kitchen isn't yet stocked with such exoticness so I used extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a tiny bit of dijon mustard to emulsify them and about half a teaspoon of honey.

This is my new favorite salad - I was worried about not having cilantro but the parsley was a good substitute - fresh and lemony.


For this meatloaf I used what I knew from memory, Alton Brown's recipe and another one I found that was BACON-WRAPPED.

Approx. 2 lbs ground beef
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 box garlic croutons smashed into crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
good handful of chopped Italian parsley
cumin
cayenne pepper
crushed red pepper
Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper
1/2 small can tomato paste

Preheat to 350. Wrap a wire rack in foil, poke holes in it and then place in a foil-lined roasting pan. It'll save on clean up. Combine everything in a big bowl and mix with your hands. I like to grab in both fists and squeeze through my fingers to mix everything well. After it's mixed well, pack it into a loaf pan. Invert it over the rack and give it a good shake - you should have a good-sized meat log. Apply the glaze liberally on the top and sides:

Tomato paste (leftover)
Ketchup
White wine vinegar
Brown sugar
Dijon mustard

I didn't use exact measurements, I just went by taste. Using thick cut bacon (about 6 slices) apply them crosswise over the loaf, slightly overlapping each one. Tuck the ends under the loaf to prevent them from curling. Bake for 45 mins-1 hour, until the bacon is crisp.

Definitely not lunch lady meatloaf!

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