Friday, May 4, 2012
Dinner last night was exceptionally basic, quick and tasty. I was running a little behind due to a previous engagement but was able to whip this meal up pretty quickly once I arrived back home. There's something comforting about meatloaf. It's the familiar, belly-filling warmth of a down-home cooked meal that appeals to me... I can't resist. We're not talking your stereotypical mom's fallback last minute type lump of meat in a baking dish with breadcrumbs kind of meatloaf- I got a little creative this time and the results, I assure you, taste nothing like mom's. Earlier in the week I purchased two of the biggest artichokes I've ever seen (the size of soccer balls, I swear) at the Concord Farmer's Market for the low, low price of $6. These things are so big I figured we couldn't finish both of them in one sitting, so I sliced just one in half to steam and serve along with a bushel of sauteed white button mushrooms. We ate the entire meatloaf, so that's got to mean something right? Right. Mmm Mmm good.
1 lb. locally raised organic 95% lean ground beef
1 tbsp. red chili pepper, chopped finely
1 clove garlic
1 bulb shallot
1 cup rolled raw oats
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. fresh parsley
Place beef into large mixing bowl and set aside. Chop chili pepper, garlic, shallot and parsley- add to beef. Pour raw oats and honey into bowl as well. Crack whole egg into beef mixture. This is where it gets fun- use your bare hands to blend entire concoction until thoroughly mixed. Take 4x12 loaf pan and lightly grease with olive oil. Remove beef from bowl and press into loaf pan, taking caution to keep beef a level height throughout pan (for even cooking). Place in 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. When time is up, let meatloaf stand for five minutes before slicing and serving.
1 or 2 large globe artichokes
Remove stem at base of artichoke and discard. Cut pointy, sharp thorns off of leaf tips using a pair of kitchen shears. Slice artichoke in half from tip to bottom. Place in a large stock pot along with a steamer basket and just enough water to peek through bottom of basket. Place tight lid on pot, bring water to a boil and let steam for 25 minutes. Serve with clarified butter.
*Sauteed Button Mushrooms*
1 lb. of farm grown white button mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp cracked pepper
Rinse mushrooms of debris using a colander and cold water, drain and pat dry. Pour olive oil into large skillet and turn heat on medium. Chop garlic into fine pieces, add pepper and garlic to skillet. Pour mushrooms into skillet and increase heat. Mushrooms will start to cook after about 3 minutes, saute until golden and shiny, about 10 minutes. Serve with meatloaf.
*Tomato Paste* (if preferred on top of meatloaf)
2 vine ripe tomatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
This is basic. Slice and dice tomatoes. Place in medium mixing bowl along with olive and salt/pepper. Take a fork or masher and squish tomatoes into a fine mush (a food processor or blender works great for this as well). Remove, add salt/pepper to desired taste and serve with meatloaf- a great alternative to ketchup!
After all of this cooking and eating this week, I am very much looking forward to a weekend of fun festivities, friends and laughter. Perhaps a bicycle ride or two as well. Cinco De Mayo is this weekend, so there's got to be celebration in store somewhere! I hope all of you enjoy the beautiful weather as well, get out there, have a blast and EAT!