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Category Archives: main dishes

Meatloaf 1950s Style

Traditional 1950s Dinner
90% Lean Beef Meatloaf
I Bake in Multiples to Freeze for Later
Delicious!
Sauté Onion and Garlic
Use White Bread Dried Out Overnight
Slice Dried Bread Into Small Cubes
4 Cups Dried Bread Cubes
Hot Milk and Bread Mixed to a Paste
All the Ingredients Ready to Mix by Hand
Mixing Technique
Meatloaf Ready to Bake!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds 90% lean ground beef or more lean
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups hot milk
  • 4 cups dried white bread cubes (dry overnight 6-8 slices bread)

Directions

  1. Slice bread into small cubes and set aside
  2. Sauté onion in butter and oil until tender but not browned. Add garlic and sauté 1/2 minute. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl place beef and add onion mixture, salt, pepper and eggs.
  4. Heat milk in a medium saucepan. Add bread cubes. Mix with a whisk until it becomes a paste. Add to the beef mix.
  5. Use your clean hands to mix the meatloaf together
  6. Divide mixture into 4 loaves on 2 shallow baking pans covered in parchment paper. Rinse hands in cold water to help pat each loaf into shape. This helps with the stickiness.
  7. Drizzle ketchup over loaves making a pattern.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F about 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  9. This is my mom’s recipe which I’ve adapted. She would add a squirt of mustard and ketchup to the mixture. But I place ketchup on the top of the loaves and serve it also at the table to dip each bite into!
  10. Voila! Enjoy and let me know what happens!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Cheesy Creamy Broccoli Soup

Tieghan has another delish recipe I love! She’s at Half Baked Harvest and this is hers! I added potato instead of flour and bumped up the spices! She calls it Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This reminds me of the Canadian Cheese Soup I have made. Sautéed veggies, broth thickened up and cheese added at the end! Comfort food!

Check out Tieghan’s blog! She is a powerhouse of talent!

https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/lighter-creamy-broccoli-cheddar-soup/

A stick or immersion blender is essential to making this. Using a standard blender or food processor also works but is more tedious

Tender cauliflower, carrots, broccoli stems ready to purée
Broccoli florets and spices added to purée
Shredded Gouda and White Cheddar
Left some tender broccoli whole after 2nd purée

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or 2 tablespoons fresh
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups broth
  • 1 head cauliflower, not too big, chopped
  • 4 cups broccoli florets and their chopped crown stems. Don’t use the long stalks
  • 2 bay leaves (Morton & Bassett is my favorite)
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon smoky paprika
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 cups hard cheddar like cheese, shredded plus more for serving. I like the sharp cheddar and also aged Gouda is super here too! Use a mix of cheeses if you have them

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven heat oil and butter. Add onion, thyme and carrots and sauté till tender
  2. Add potatoes, broth, broccoli STEMS and cauliflower. Cover and simmer. When tender remove from heat. Purée with stick blender till smooth
  3. Return soup to heat and add broccoli florets, bay leaves, cayenne, and smoky paprika. Simmer until broccoli is tender. Remove bay leaves and remove from heat. Use the stick blender to slightly mash up. Make sure to leave much of the broccoli in whole pieces
  4. Return soup to heat. Add coconut milk and cheese; stir till melted. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
  5. Top each bowl of soup with additional cheese and thyme
  6. This is a very forgiving recipe. The quantities of ingredients don’t have to be exact. But I do love these seasonings! I’ve been using a fresher version of bay leaves rather than the brittle dry style and enjoy their taste and fragrance. Smoky paprika and cayenne are a must!! Add more broth if needed. I like Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base to make broth. Combine no more than 1 teaspoon base per cup of water
  7. Voila!

Chili con Carne with Ground Meat

Beef Chili with Butter Beans
Ingredients for Chili

This recipe is from Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cookbook published in 1975. He was a famous food journalist, cookbook author and restaurant critic.

I was just out of college when I visited my cousin Donna and her husband Dekle in San Juan, Puerto Rico where he worked for a pharmaceutical company. She enjoyed cooking and entertaining. This was her favorite cookbook at the time in the late 1970s. They were a successful power couple and they lived a fast, furious and tragic life. Memorable people who loved life, good food, family and friends

I use 2 pounds of ground beef instead of Craig Claiborne’s 3 pounds. I also add 1 of beans.

Sometimes I use beef that has been ground only once. It’s coarser and chewier and often made specifically for chili. I definitely use 90% lean beef

The type and freshness of your seasonings make an ordinary recipe extraordinary! We recently discovered the brand of spices called Morton & Bassett San Francisco. Very flavorful and aromatic! Another good spice company is Penzey’s which is available online and in the Penzey’s brick and mortar shops

If you like your chili especially spicy, add more chili powder!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, broken in pieces (Cento San Marzano brand is my fav!) it’s deep rich color and flavor make a better sauce!
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can beans, drained (black beans, butter beans, cannellini beans, or northern beans)
  • Pasta, bite size pieces such as rigatoni, farfalle, or elbow, cooked
  • Cheddar cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil
  2. Sauté onion and green pepper until wilted
  3. Add the meat. Cook and break up lumps with large spoon
  4. Add garlic and seasonings. Stir and add the vinegar. Simmer on low a few minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
  6. Add beans and simmer 5 minutes
  7. Serve over pasta and top with grated cheddar cheese
  8. Our family has enjoyed this for decades!

Voila!

Corn & Andouille Soup

Corn & Andouille Soup

Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Tastes is a gold mine of recipes. This one in particular is easy and sooo flavorful! Fresh corn is essential!! Don’t use frozen or canned

Most of his recipes have their own seasoning mix. It gives the recipes a special zest and flavor I don’t find anywhere!

The soup takes an hour and a half or so to prepare. I use the Better than Bouillon Organic Roasted Chicken Base to make the stock

Fresh andouille is also a good thing. I order it from Jacob’s World Famous Andouille and Sausage. The link is here

http://www.cajunsausage.com/

A substitute for andouille is your favorite smoked pork sausage.

This makes 10 or so servings that are about 2 cups in size. It’s hearty and full of flavor but not heavy and fatty. There is no roux or added fat in preparing this soup. The only fat is from the andouille which is lean. We love it!!

Ingredients

Seasoning Mix

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Other Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped onion, in all
  • 3 cups seeded and chopped green peppers, in all
  • 1 pound andouille, quartered lengthwise, then cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 7 cups chicken stock, in all
  • 7 cups fresh corn kernels, 6 ears
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon mixed fresh garlic

Directions

  1. In a small bowl combine seasoning mix
  2. Heat a heavy 4 quart pot over high heat until very hot, about 3-4 minutes
  3. Add 2 cups onions and 2 cups of the green peppers, the andouille, and 2 tablespoons of the seasoning mix
  4. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot often for 20 minutes. If necessary add a little of the stock to prevent burning
  5. Turn heat to low and add the corn, tomatoes, flour, garlic, the remaining onion and green pepper, 4 cups of the stock and the remaining seasoning mix
  6. Cook and scrape the bottom of the pot often for 40 minutes
  7. Add the remaining stock, increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately
  9. If you like, sprinkle some cayenne or paprika on the outer edge of each serving bowl for a fun visual touch as I did!

Voila!

Grilled Chicken Caprese

Burrata and Grilled Pesto Chicken

This recipe is from Half Baked Harvest, my favorite food blogger! It’s easy, simple and quick!

Make a marinade with pesto for the chicken. Skewer it with tomatoes. Grill. Serve on a platter with burrata, mini mozzarella balls and more pesto marinade. Tieghan serves it with grilled bread, but it’s also yummy on pasta!

To see more photos of this dish and to read more about it go to http://HalfBakedHarvest.com

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup pesto
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes or more
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • Salt, pepper, and chili flakes
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces burrata or more
  • 1 cup mini mozzarella balls or more

Directions

  1. To make marinade in a small jar combine pesto, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Cover and shake it up!
  2. In a medium bowl combine half the marinade and the chicken. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix well.
  3. In another small bowl combine 1 tablespoon olive oil and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Thread the chicken and tomatoes on skewers. Grill over medium high heat till chicken is just done and tomatoes slightly char. Don’t over cook! Grill just a few minutes to the internal temperature of 160 degrees F. No higher!!
  5. Break open the burrata onto a platter. Add mozzarella balls and then the chicken and tomatoes on or off the skewers. Drizzle remaining marinade over it all. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic if you want. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Top with torn basil leaves.
  6. Serve with thick slices of grilled bread. Spread and pile the toppings on the bread or pasta
  7. Voila!

Grilled Chicken with Yogurt Marinade

Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs

The New York Times has given me so many inspirational recipes and this is one of them! Quick and easy. I doubled the recipe to make leftovers for my kids to take to their homes. Making easy recipes my family likes encourages them to try something new too!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 2 cloves minced garlic or more
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or more
  • 1/2 teaspoon or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme or more
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large lemon, ZEST AND JUICE

Directions

1. In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients except lemon juice and chicken.

2. Add chicken and mix well. Cover and refrigerate 3-24 hours

3. Remove from frig 30 minutes before grilling

4. Clean grill grates and coat them with a bit of oil. Grill on high to medium high heat until done or reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 6-8 minutes per side.

5. Place chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper and pour lemon juice over all. Add chopped parsley and lemon wedges if you like

Absolutely delicious!!

Mediterranean Style Chicken

Voila!

Custard Baked Eggs

Pickled Red Onion & Custard Eggs
English Muffin Egg Sandwiches

Joanne Chang & Food52 is the inspiration for this recipe. Theirs was a Breakfast Sandwich made with brioche buns and hot sauce and lettuce. I also like these custard eggs with Pickled Red Onions and a salad or some sautéed veggies like zucchini.

Here’s the recipe for their eggs

Ingredients

  • 9 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup half & half
  • Butter for the pan
  • 6 slices cheddar cheese optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F
  2. Butter an 8-9 inch square baking pan
  3. In a medium bowl whisk eggs and salt
  4. Add half & half and whisk again
  5. Pour eggs into buttered pan
  6. Place pan of eggs into a larger size pan and then pour hot water into the outer pan to reach halfway up the sides of egg pan
  7. Place foil over eggs or cover with a baking sheet
  8. Bake 20-35 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean
  9. Cool 10 minutes and slice into 6 squares with a sharp knife
  10. If adding cheese, lift squares out of pan and place in another baking pan. Cover with cheese slices. Return to oven until melted.
  11. Serve on buttered brioche buns with lettuce and hot sauce or serve with Pickled Red Onions and sautéed zucchini

Lemon Marinated Fish Salad

Lemon Marinated Lin Cod

We discovered Lincod from Alaska which we buy frozen from an Alaskan fisherman. Whitefish or walleye or any other mild flavored fish would work too.

This recipe is adapted from an Italian recipe that uses salted cod or bacalao

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whitefish or cod, grilled
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 3 green onions sliced

Directions

  1. Season fish and grill till just done
  2. Set aside to cool
  3. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar
  4. Stir in parsley, capers and green onion
  5. Taste the marinade and add more of any ingredient to your taste. I prefer the tart lemony flavor,
  6. Gently break apart fish into smaller pieces about bite size. Don’t make them too small
  7. Pour marinade over fish and toss gently
  8. Serve room temperature as an appetizer or as a main dish. It can be eaten with a fork or on crackers, Naan or sliced baguette,

Voila!

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup with Croutons and Cheese

You may think this soup is not popular in the real France, I did. But I was wrong! It is a classic hearty meal served all over France with pride and love! It will always be popular and on the menu!

I have made many versions of French Onion Soup including recipes from Julià Child, Everyday Parisian, This French Life, La Cuisine Paris, and The Original Dish. This recipe is a combination of techniques with Julia Child’s being the main classic source.

Here are some differences between the recipes I’ve tried.

Some recipes don’t add flour as Julia does. I think the browned flour adds depth to the flavor and a tiny bit of thickening to the broth.

Others use more onion or a variety of onions. I prefer using only yellow onions in this soup. Sweet onions end up being condensed in a not good sweet flavor.

Bay leaf and sage are often omitted and sometimes thyme is added. I like the sage and bay flavors. They’re richer.

Red or white wine? I’ve seen both in recipes. I prefer the earthy flavor and fragrance of sherry.

Chicken or beef broth? Homemade or store bought? Many new chefs like the lighter flavor of chicken broth. Classic French onion soup is made with homemade beef broth. I don’t have time for that. The Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base is what I use. It’s a great beef concentrate paste you mix with hot water. The professional kitchens use it and it can be found in most grocery stores in the soup section. Their Organic Chicken Base is also very good

After spending several weeks in France I’ve learned that torn croutons are easier to eat than a large slice of toasted bread floating on top of the soup. The croutons don’t need to be brushed with oil before roasting either. Just tear the baguette into 1-2 inch pieces and bake at 425F 5 minutes or less, until lightly toasted on 1 side. They crisp up further when cooling.

The grated cheese can be any hard strong flavor cheese like Swiss, Emmental, or Parmesan. Emmental is Swiss Alpine cheese and is the classic. Mozzarella is too stringy when melted.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, not sweet onions, peeled, halved and sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 8 cups hot beef broth, Better Than Bouillon Beef Base mixed with water
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 French baguette
  • Grated Swiss cheese, Emmental, Comté or Parmesan. Not a real stringy cheese

Directions

  1. In a heavy 4 quart saucepan or casserole melt butter. Add onion and mix well.
  2. Cover saucepan and cook over medium low 15-20 minutes, stirring at times, until soft and translucent.
  3. Raise heat to medium high and remove cover. Add salt and sugar. Stir on and off. You will caramelize the onions to a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  4. Lower heat to medium, stir in flour and cook about 2 minutes until flour is lightly browned. Remove from heat.
  5. Whisk in 1 cup broth and blend well. Add remaining broth, sherry, bay and sage. Heat to simmering for 40 minutes. Season to taste.
  6. This makes 8 big servings. It freezes well!
  7. To make individual gratinéed style, tear some bread pieces from a baguette. Enough to cover the surface of each bowl. Place bread on a baking sheet in a 425 degree oven and bake 2-5 minutes. Watch closely. Crisp and very slightly brown the top side. They will crisp up further as they cool.
  8. Place oven proof bowls on a baking sheet. Fill each with the soup. Cover the soup surface with croutons. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  9. Place under broiler 2 minutes or just until melted or slightly browned.
  10. Serve each soup bowl on a dinner plate.
  11. Voila! There you have it!
Browned Sautéed Onion
Browned Flour and Onion
French Onion Soup
Toasted Croutons
Onion Soup Gratinéed with Cheese, Broiler Ready
Voila! Bon Appetit!

Citrus Baked Fish Fillet

Halibut Filets Nestled in Citrus

I love this quick and bright flavored method of cooking fish. It’s a recipe from “Salt Fat Acid Heat” by Samin Nosrat, a most informative cooking instruction and creative foolproof cookbook! This is a slow-roasted process that insures even perfect cooking. Just don’t bake it too long

I used clementines I had on hand. Samin recommends blood oranges or Meyer lemons. I did use the lemon zest for the oil rub as she directed. Her recipe was for salmon while I used halibut or whitefish. In her cookbook it’s called Slow-Roasted Salmon

Halibut Ready for Baking

Ingredients

  • 2 – 4 oz halibut fillets
  • Salt for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 thinly sliced orange, any variety

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 225 Degrees F
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment
  3. Arrange orange slices in 2 areas about the size of each fillet
  4. Lightly salt the fish on both sides
  5. Nestle the fish on the orange slices
  6. In a tiny bowl combine oil and lemon zest
  7. Rub the oil mixture over the fillets
  8. Place in oven. Slow roast at 225 F about 15 minutes or just until fish begins to flake when you poke it with a knife

Use any quantity of fish you want. Samin Nosrat used a 2 pound fillet of salmon with 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons olive oil in her recipe. She also used blood oranges or Meyer lemons as her bed of citrus.

Samin Nosrat also recommends pulling any salmon fish bones out with a tweezers before preparing it. Great idea, right?!

If you’re roasting a 2 pound salmon fillet, plan to slow-roast for about 40 minutes or just until thick part begins to flake when poked with a knife.

I hope you give this recipe a try. Let me know what you think!

Voila!