Saturday, February 1, 2014

Meat Loaf is a Perfect Game Day Treat! #SuperBowl14 #comfortfood

Meat Loaf has always been a favorite of mine-a real comfort food. This one is a little different in that the meat is mixed with minced vegetables and spices before baking. In this picture, I have placed the mini loaf on a bed of shredded raw Brussels Sprouts, sliced mushrooms, and heirloom tomatoes tossed with a little vinaigrette and a splash of pomegranate molasses-just because I had it in the fridge.

Mini Meat and Vegetable Loaves:  M Yield: 24 Mini Loaves
Individual servings make feeding a crowd much easier!
Prep time: 30 min.  Forming loaves: 20 min.    Baking loaves: 45-50 min.
2 large onions                       
3 stalks celery                       
4 large cloves garlic                   
4 large carrots                       
8 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup soy milk
1 cup catsup
6 eggs
1 ½ cups unflavored non dairy bread crumbs
4 pounds chopped steak-ground twice
Electric food processor
2 large skillets
2 jelly roll pans lined with parchment
  1. Preheat oven to: 350 F. Line jelly roll pans with parchment paper.
  2. Peel onions, carrots, and garlic. Mince vegetables together in food processor. Set aside.
  3. Heat four tablespoons vegetable oil over medium flame in each skillet. Put half the minced vegetables in each skillet and sauté until very soft. Cool slightly.
  4. Mix the pepper, cumin and nutmeg. Divide spices between both skillets and stir well with wooden spoon.
  5. Beat eggs lightly with catsup and soy milk. Pour some into each skillet and stir well. Add ¾ cup bread crumbs to each skillet and mix thoroughly.
  6. Break up chopped meat into small pieces and add two pounds to each skillet. Mix thoroughly.  Scrape both pans of meat veg-meat mixture into one large bowl. Mix again. I like to do this part with my hands.
  7. Gently form small loaves (with your hands) about four inches long and two inches wide and 1 ½ inches high. Don’t pack the meat too tightly or the loaves will be heavy. Arrange loaves on prepared jelly roll pans and bake them 45-50 minutes. Serve mini meat loaves hot with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. They are so moist, they don’t even need gravy.
Note: These mini loaves are very versatile. They also make a great lunch or picnic dish. For lunch: Allow the loaves to come to room temperature. Slice them and arrange slices attractively on a platter surrounding roasted vegetables or rice salad- or both. For a picnic: Put a couple of slices of meat loaf between two slices of fresh Italian bread with a thick slice of tomato and romaine lettuce. It’s wonderful.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Vegetarian Mushroom and Barley Soup (recipe, pareve) #meatlessmonday

This soup is brimming over with flavor oozing from loads of fresh vegetables and chopped dill.
Prep time: 30 min.  Simmering time: 60 min.
6 carrots                       
1 large leek
1 large onion
1 small celery root
1 pound white potatoes
1 pound mushrooms
½ cup barley
3 ounces vegetable oil
8 cups fresh/boxed vegetable broth
3 bay leaves
6 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
12 cup soup pot with cover
  1. Halve leek lengthwise and wash carefully. Slice white and pale green parts. Set aside.
  2. Peel onion, parsnips and celery root. Dice vegetables and add to leeks.
  3. Peel carrots. Halve large ones lengthwise. Cut all carrots into ¼ inch slices. Add to other vegetables.
  4. Wipe, trim stems and slice mushrooms. Add to vegetables.
  5. Peel and dice potatoes. Set aside.
  6. Pour vegetable oil in soup pot. Heat over medium flame. Add vegetables and sauté until onions are translucent.   Add potatoes, barley, stock, and bay leaves to the pot. Cover, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook one hour or until vegetables are very tender. Add dill. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot.
Note: As with other soups made with grains, it is best to strain the broth from the solids when you make the soup a day in advance of serving it. If you choose not to do this, know that the barley will absorb much of the liquid and the soup will thicken. In this case, you can add more pareve vegetable broth or water to thin the soup until it reaches the desired consistency.