Monday, October 19, 2009

Turkey Meatloaf

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa's 1st book:  The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

I am not a huge meatloaf fan.  There are way too many bad versions out there.  A lot of folks have some sort of sentimental attachment to the dish, but my mom was more apt to make overcooked broccoli and stinky salmon than meatloaf (too much veggie chopping, probably) so I harbor no such longings.  But, I did try the BC turkey version some years back and, surprise surprise, it was quite good.  So when the weather turns a little bit chilly, I break this one out.  The BC version makes enough meatloaf to last for weeks on end, so I halved the recipe:

1 yellow onion
1 T olive oil
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t dried thyme
1/6 (just eyeball 1/2 of the 1/3 cup measure) worcestershire sauce
just under 1/2 c chicken stock/broth
3/4 t tomato paste
2 1/2 lbs ground turkey (do NOT get the extra lean as the loaf will dry out.)
3/4 c bread crumbs (yes, I use panko)
2 eggs, beaten
just under 1/2 c ketchup

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Saute over medium heat the onion, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme for about 15 min.  Add the worcestershire sauce, chicken stock and tomato paste and mix well.  Take off the stove and let cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs and onion mixture in a bowl.  Mix well and shape into a rectangular loafish shape on a rimmed cookie sheet covered with foil.  Spread the ketchup evenly on top.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours.

You can put a pan of hot water under the meatloaf in the oven if you don't want cracks to appear on the top of the loaf.

Keep leftovers for sandwiches the next day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Red Lettuce with Balsamic Onions

Adapted from Ina Garten, Food Network

I know it sounds super simple, but it is sooooooo good. And you can use any leftover onions to throw on top of a cheese pizza or shove into a sandwich or top your bag o' lettuce the next day. This makes a crazy amount of dressing, so save for use throughout the week!

3 small red onions (or 1 great big one)
1/4 c good (but not your best) balsamic vinegar
1 c olive oil
1 1/2 t kosher salt
1 t freshly ground pepper (I use my coffee grinder for this since I don't drink coffee anymore)
6 T minced shallots (2 large)
2 t dijon mustard
1/4 good red wine vinegar
2 heads red leaf lettuce (or a bag or two if you are lazy like me)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cut onions in half and then into 1/4 in or so slices. Toss with balsamic, 1/4 c olive oil, 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper. Spread out on foil covered rimmed baking sheet and bake for 12-15 min.

Remove from onion and toss with 2 more T of balsamic (I skip this step, personally.) Allow to cool.

Whisk shallots, mustard, red wine vinegar, 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t pepper in a small bowl. Add 3/4 cup olive oil while stirring (I just shake everything together in a lidded tupperware cup until emulsified, but I already admitted I am lazy.)

Put out your lettuce, dress with vinegrette to taste (I don't put much on), top with onions, sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper and serve. You can also add avocado if you are feeling fancy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad w/Arugula and Hazelnuts

This fall salad is adapted from Suzanne Goin's "Sunday Suppers at Luques." It is especially good as the salad at Thanksgiving dinner.

2/3 c hazelnuts, toasted
1 T plus 1 t hazelnut oil (I use walnut, but in a pinch, olive will do it.)
1 T finely diced shallot
3 T pomegranate juice
1/3 c pomegranate seeds (just buy the darn thing from the market, split it open and pop out the seeds while submerging it in a bowl of water...the seeds are much, much fresher and juicer than any pre sorted seeds you buy at TJs or any other market.)
1 T sherry vinegar
2 t rice vinegar
3 T olive oil
2 small fuyu (the flat ones) persimmons
1/2 lemon
1/2 pound of arugula

Chop the hazelnuts after toasting and toss them with the hazelnut/walnut/olive oil and a generous pinch of salt.

Place the diced shallot, pom juice, both vinegars and 1/2 t salt in a bowl and let sit 5 min. Whisk in the olive oil and pepper (I hate to whisk, so I put it in a bowl with a lid and shake shake shake it like a polaroid picture until blended.)

In a large salad bowl, toss the persimmons and pom seeds with the dressing (not all of it...use your judgment) and that lemon juice you squeezed out of the 1/2 lemon. Gently toss in the arugula and taste for seasoning. Scatter the nuts atop and beam with pride at the beautiful salad you just made.