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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Taste The Love

Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes

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Meatloaf is a favorite in my house. I’m always trying to reintroduce new flavors into my meatloaf. Whether I’m trying different types of ground meat or adding different ingredients, meatloaf is comfort food. This is my Meatloaf With Sun-Dried Tomatoes.

Meatloaf Withh Sundried Tomatoes (1)

Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes (1)

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I want to talk about my gravy for this dish. Sometimes I like to make a gravy that’s more in the style of an Au Jus. What I mean is, it’s more on the brothier side than a thicker style gravy. I’ll get into more detail later.

I’m making this meatloaf with ground chicken. It’s leaner and I can play around with some new flavors. Let’s get started.

Meatloaf Gravy

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 Servings
Equipment: 12-inch sautépan, 1  rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
1 red and yellow bell pepper, diced
1 Poblano pepper diced, (substitute green bell pepper)
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves grated garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup half and half
5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Ketchup
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups seasoned Italian breadcrumbs

2-pounds of ground chicken (substitute ground turkey)

Gravy:
2 cups chicken stock, unsalted
2 cups beef stock, unsalted
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste (Kosher salt)

Side Dish: 2 15-ounce bags frozen petite Green Peas

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and diced peppers, cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Set aside to cool.

Place all the ingredients, from the list above, into a large mixing bowl adding the breadcrumbs last. Mix together until you get the consistency of wet sand. To that add the cooled sautéed onions and peppers and the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Mix to combine.

Finally, add the meat. With clean hands, gently toss the mixture together, making sure it’s combined but not compacted.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Transfer the meat mixture over to the lined sheet pan. Pat the meat into a flat rectangle and then press the sides in until the meat forms a cylinder down the middle of the pan. This will ensure there will be no air pockets. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the internal temperature, in the middle, reads 155-160-degrees F.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. There you have it my Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes.

Directions For the Gravy:
To a 3-quart saucepot add 2 cups chicken stock, 2 cups of beef stock, and 5 sprigs of fresh thyme. Over medium heat, bring the liquid up to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, add 4 tablespoons of cornstarch to 4 tablespoons of cold water. Whisk together until smooth paste forms. Whisk the *slurry (cornstarch/water mixture) into the saucepot with the broth (chicken/beef) until the liquid comes back up to a bubble, 2-3 minutes. Fish out the thyme sprigs.

*Slurry:  Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Whisk until smooth paste forms. Add the slurry into the hot, simmering liquid you want to thicken. 2 tablespoons per cup will give you a thicker, more gravy-like consistency.

Homestyle Baked Mac & Cheese

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Cajun-Style Jambalaya

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A great way to be transported from your dining room to the French Quarter is with my Cajun-Style Jambalaya! This one-pot wonder is done in layers. What I mean is, I’m going to season and cook each layer as I go, building layers of flavor.

The first is to prep all the vegetables.

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Next, on to the proteins for this dish.

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I marinate the chicken and shrimp in a mixture of olive oil,  Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, along with a Cajun seasoning blend.

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Once you season the shrimp transfer them to the refrigerator until they ready to be added to the pot. They’re the last ingredient to be added to this dish.

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Slice the sausage.

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The liquids along with the tomato paste are ready. So we are ready to start!

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, chef’s knife, 2 large mixing bowls, large platter

Marinade For Chicken And Shrimp:
Shrimp:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 yellow onion, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 Poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 green onions, white parts sliced, (green tops sliced on the bias save for garnish)
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 12-ounce package Andouille sausage sliced (5 links)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx. 1 pound)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning
1 1/4 cups long-grain white rice
1 28-ounce can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
3 cups of chicken stock, unsalted

Directions:
1. In a large preheated Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Stirring frequently, add garlic, Fresno chili, (white parts) green onions, dried oregano, fresh thyme, Kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Cook for 1 minute.

2. Add in marinated diced chicken. Cook until golden brown, 5 minutes

3. Add in bell peppers, diced onion, diced Poblano pepper, tomato paste, sliced Andouille sausage, and stir through. Cook until fragrant, 4 minutes.

4. Add chicken stock, Cajun seasoning blend, crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, and rice cover reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until rice is tender and liquid is almost absorbed around 25 minutes.

5. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook until shrimp are pink and just cooked through around 3 to 5 minutes.

6. Turn heat off and the green onion tops for garnish, stir to combine.

Serve hot. This is my Cajun-Style Jambalaya.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Whenever it turns out to be a gloomy day, I get this huge craving for a hot bowl of soup. My Chicken Tortilla Soup with all its wonderful toppings fits the bill perfectly.

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Tuscan Soup (6)

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Cilantro

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Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

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Chicken Broth

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Limes

Red Onion

Diced Red Onion (2)

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Prep Time: 40 minutes (this includes the garnish and toppings for the soup)
Cook Time: 48 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 6-quart Dutch oven with a lid, mesh sieve, 2-cup measuring cup, measuring spoons

Ingredients For Roasted Chicken:
2 bone-in, skin-on, chicken breasts
4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients For Tortilla Strips:
1 package of corn tortillas
some non- stick cooking spray
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt

Ingredients For the Soup:
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 quarts of chicken broth, unsalted
2 cups of water (reserve 1/2 cup for cornmeal)
1 red bell pepper, seeded, large dice
1 green bell pepper, seeded, large dice (substitute green bell pepper)
1 onion, large dice
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno pepper)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of green onions, sliced, (the white and light green parts)
1 (11-ounce) can of Ro*Tel (tomatoes with green chilies)
1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, low sodium, drained and rinsed
1 (11-ounce) can of white shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 tablespoons of cornmeal
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

Toppings:
1/2 cup of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup of green onions tops, thinly sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 (8-ounce) package of shredded Colby Jack cheese
1/4 cup of red onion, finely diced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Start by spraying both sides of the corn tortillas with non-stick cooking spray. Stack the tortillas on top of each other slicing them into strips. Divide the strips in half giving you two equal portions. Arrange the tortilla strips into a single layer on each baking sheet pan. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow the tortilla strips to cool for 15 minutes before placing them into a large resealable bag.

Adjust oven temperature to 350-degreed F.
On a rimmed baking sheet pan place two chicken breasts. Rub the top of each breast with olive oil. Sprinkle each one with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Allow the chicken to cool for 30 minutes before removing the skin and chicken from the bone. Use your hand to shred the chicken. Transfer to a large platter. Set aside.

In the meantime, while the chicken is in the oven, prep all the vegetables, open all the cans, drain the corn and black beans for the soup.

In a preheated Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil. To the oil, add dried oregano, ground cumin, chili powder, and tomato paste, stir to combine. Stirring frequently, cook for 1 minute to allow the spices and tomato paste to bloom. Next, add the onions, diced peppers, Fresno chili, garlic, bay leaf, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, stir to combine.

Stirring occasionally, cook for 5 to 7 minutes giving everything a chance to marry and soften. Next, add the fire-roasted tomatoes with juice, Ro*Tel, black beans, and corn, and cooked shredded chicken, stir to combine. Add chicken broth and water, again stir to combine. Bring the soup up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.

During the last 15 minutes of cooking, in a measuring cup, add 3 tablespoons of cornmeal to 1/2 a cup of water, mix well. Pour this mixture into the simmering hot soup, stir to combine.

Turn the heat off, remove the bay leaf.

To serve, ladle the Chicken Tortilla Soup into a porcelain serving bowl. Add all or any combination of the green onions tops, chopped cilantro, finely diced red onion, cheese, and crispy tortilla strips. Serve with a lime wedge.

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