Thursday, October 27, 2011

What to do with Leftovers: Meatloaf

I recently heard that MidWesterners had a stereotype.  I was not aware of this, but I do embody it.  The stereotype is that we're very nice, and we make casseroles.  Yep, I do that.  While meatloaf isn't really a casserole, I think it fits into the MidWestern stereotype, and I'm happy to embrace it.  I know some people have horror stories about dry, terrible meatloaf, but I've never had that problem.  In fact, meatloaf is one of my dad's favorite foods, and a few years ago my mom made it for Thanksgiving instead of a turkey.  One key to a moist meatloaf is to put some water in the bottom of the baking dish, about an inch, and cover the meatloaf for the first 45 minutes of cooking.  It will steam the meat and keep everything moist.  I made meatloaf recently, and I always make mashed potatoes and use the pan drippings for gravy.  I had leftovers that I wanted to doctor up a bit, so I thought I'd make Manhattans (my husband calls them this) or hot meatloaf sandwiches (my term).  Basically I just layered everything up.  I put bread on the bottom, topped with meatloaf, then potatoes, and then gravy.  Heat everything up separately and then assemble for best results.   If you need a recipe for meatloaf then scroll down past the picture, and you will see what I do.


2 lbs. hamburger
4 slices of sandwich bread torn up
1 T. salt
1small onion chopped
2 eggs
1/2 cup tomato juice
catsup for the top

Mix all ingredients together except catsup.  I think mixing by hand works the best.  Shape into a loaf and place in baking pan. Top with catsup to taste.  Add about an inch of water to the bottom of the pan and cover.  Bake at 400 F. for 45 minutes.  Remove lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Corned Beef Hash and Eggs

I love corned beef.  Every year on St. Patrick's day I make corned beef, cabbage, and parsley buttered red potatoes.  I also buy a second corned beef to freeze and eat later in the year.  A few weeks ago I decided it was time to pull the corned beef out of the freezer.  I cooked it in the crock pot, and ate it with a lot of cabbage.  The problem was that I had a lot left over.  My solution: corned beef hash.  Corned beef hash is something that I've always enjoyed.  I used to buy cans of it, you know the stuff that kind of looks like dog food.  I'd plop the hash out of the can and fry it until it was crispy.  I bought the canned stuff recently, and it just tasted greasy.  Homemade has is much better.

Here's what I did:

I had some leftover baked potatoes in the fridge that I peeled and tossed in a preheated cast iron pan with a little oil. Be sure to season with salt and pepper.  If you don't have pre-cooked potatoes then steam or microwave your potatoes before putting them in the pan.  I cooked the potatoes on medium-low for about 10 minutes.  The potatoes were starting to brown and get crispy.  Next I added half a chopped onion, and cooked this for another 5 minutes.  Last, I added the diced hash and cooked until the potatoes were really crisp and the hash was warm.  I served the hash with over-easy eggs on top.  This is a really easy breakfast using leftover and so much better than the canned stuff.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hot Apple Cider with Buttered Rum: Because More Drinks Need Butter

I'm finally back to posting, and it was difficult to decide what to post first because I have so many pictures waiting.  I thought I would post this hot apple cider because it's perfect for this time of year.  Around here I can actually get unpasteurized apple cider which I'm really excited about.  I haven't really liked apple cider since it started being pasteurized.  I do remember the taste from my childhood, and I must admit that I did a happy little dance in the farmer's market when I found it.  Don't be frightened of putting butter in a drink.  Think of it like a delicious sauce that runs throughout your drink adding a nice element.  It's not at all greasy.

Here's what you do.

Heat apple cider on the stove, or if you're taking this to a party you can put it in a crock pot with or without the rum.
meanwhile, place a small pat of butter (1 tsp or so) in the bottom of a coffee mug.
Add a shot (1 to 2 oz) of rum to the mug.
Top with hot cider.
Let butter melt and stir.

I used unsalted butter, so I also added a small pinch of salt to the cup.  Also, do not use margarine for this.  It will melt strangely and not give the same effect.  If it's margarine or nothing I'd just go with nothing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm still here

Hey, just a quick post to say that yes, I'm still here.  I've been cooking more, and I'm getting into a better routine with grad school.  I plan on getting back to a point where I can post something most weekdays.  I will have a food post up either late tonight or early tomorrow.  Thanks for your patience.