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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes

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Meatloaf Withh Sundried Tomatoes (1)

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 Gravy

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 in the post.

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 With Sundried Tomatoes (19)

Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes (6)

Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes (18)

Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes (13)

Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes (5)

Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes (2)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 6-8 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 finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 3/4 cups seasoned Italian breadcrumbs

2-pounds of ground chicken (substitute ground turkey)

Gravy:
2 cups unsalted chicken broth
2 cups unsalted beef broth
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

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 5-7 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.  The will ensure there will be no air pockets. Bake for 40-50 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.

Directions For Gravy:
To a 3-quart saucepot add 2 cups unsalted chicken broth, 2 cups unsalted beef broth, 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 sauce pot 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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Cannellini Bean Tapenade Topped With A Grape Tomato Salad

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Now Tapenades are traditionally made with olives and capers, but not always! Sometimes pestos contain olives. It can be confusing. I think of a Tapenade as more of some type of purèed vegetable as compared to pesto with a herb or leafy green base which may be used an uncooked sauce.

Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans

The last meal I posted was my Pork Tenderloin Over A Bed Of Cannellini beans. I had quite a bit of the beans leftover. I didn’t want to waste them because they were so delicious so I turned them into a quick Cannellini Bean Tapenade to have the next day for lunch. The Cannellini beans were prepared with sautèed leeks, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. All I needed was a few extra ingredients and I’d be able to have an amazing lunch.

Leftover Cannellini Beans

This recipe can be made by using canned Cannellini beans. I’ve posted a recipe for this below. Make sure to rinse and drain the canned Cannellini beans.

 

This is really easy to make and is so delicious.

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Here I have a lemon, sun-dried tomatoes, and an 8-ounce wedge of Pecorino cheese. I’m only going to use half of the cheese for this recipe. First I need to process the cheese.

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So as you can see I ground up half the wedge of Pecorino cheese, and processed the sun-dried tomatoes.

I wanted to make sure not to overfill the food processor with all these ingredients at one time. There was no reason to add any more salt because the beans were already seasoned, and the cheese also has a salty bite. I did add some black pepper to each batch, and a sprinkling of Italian parsley for some freshness.

This is what the Cannellini Bean Tapenade looks like when it’s finished.

In the second bowl is a Grape Tomato Salad. All this is are some halved sweet grape tomatoes, granulated sugar, Kosher salt,  freshly cracked black pepper, red wine vinegar, freshly chopped basil, and E.V.O.O. that have been tossed together. I’m going to spoon these delicious tomatoes on top of the Cannellini Bean Tapenade.

I spread the Cannellini Bean Tapenade on the toasted Ciabatta bread then spooned on the delicious tomato salad.

I promise you won’t be able to eat just one.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes:
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheets, 10 cup food processor

Ingredients:
3 cups Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped and processed
4-ounces Pecorino cheese, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O
2 tablespoons of chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 loaf of Ciabatta bread, sliced and toasted or grilled (yields 16 slices)

Tomato Salad Topping:
2 pints of yellow and red grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup *E.V.O.O.
2 tablespoon freshly chopped basil

Directions For Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Slice the Ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top surface of each slice of Ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Directions For Grape Tomato Salad:
In a large bowl add all the ingredients for the tomato salad. Mix to combine, set aside to let marinate.

Directions For Cannellini Bean Tapenade:
Start with a food processor fitted with the metal blade. First, cut the cheese up into cubes. Add the cheese to the food processor. Turn the processor on and let it run for about 2-3 minutes or until cheese is the consistency (refer to pictures above) you need. Second, process the sun-dried tomatoes, until finely chopped.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the E.V.O.O. and the grated cheese) into the food processor. Pulse until combined. Next, add the grated cheese and pulse just to combine. Last, add the *E.V.O.O. through the feeding tube. Continue to pulse until the Tapenade reaches desired consistency (refer to picture above). The Tapenade will have great texture because of the sun-dried tomatoes. Transfer the Cannellini Bean Tapenade into a serving bowl.

Drizzle a little *E.V.O.O. over the top.

To serve, spread the Cannellini Bean Tapenade on the toasted Ciabatta. Spoon on the Grape Tomato Salad.

*E.V.O.O. is Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

 

 

 

 

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Stuffed Artichokes

 

Stuffed Artichoke

 

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Growing up, whenever there was a special occasion this dish was in high demand. I can remember she would always ask what it was that we would like her to make. Stuffed Artichokes was one of those dishes.

I believe that Italians utilize as much of a vegetable as they can. If you know anything about artichokes a lot of it is either trimmed off or cut off until you get to the heart. Well, preparing the artichoke this way you don’t waste hardly any of it. Let me explain. I find that many home cooks tend to be intimidated by this strange thistle. But I’m here to fix that if I can.

Start by pulling off some of the outer leaves from the bottom. Then take a pair of kitchen scissors, trim the tips (the pointy sharp part) of the leaves. Next, cut the stems off so they will have a flat bottom. You’ll see why later.

Fill a 6-quart stockpot 1/2 to 3/4’s of the way full with water. Cut 2 lemons in half, juice the lemons right into the water. Throw the remaining parts of the two lemons into the water too. This will stop the artichokes from turning brown and oxidizing.

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As you can see I trimmed the stalks down quite a bit and threw them in as well. They are eatable also. To keep the artichokes submerged in the boiling water, place a plate on top like this.

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On medium-high heat, bring the artichokes up to a boil. Once up to a boil adjust the heat so as to keep the water at a boil but not so high the water boils over. Continue to cook the artichokes for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Transfer the artichokes and the stems to a large plate to cook. Prepare the filling while boiling the artichokes.

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To make the filling, in a large bowl, add Italian style bread crumbs, grated garlic, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, golden raisins, freshly ground black pepper, flat-leaf Italian parsley, and julienned Prosciutto. No salt. The prosciutto and cheese are salty enough. Finally, add the *E.V.O.O., stir to combine. You want the consistency of wet sand. You may need to adjust the amount of oil depending on the type and amount of breadcrumbs used.

 

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Take the cooled artichoke and remove the center. This is where the thistle is located and is not editable.  Repeat this process with the other artichokes. Pull the leaves apart gently until the center of the artichoke is exposed, take a tablespoon and dig out the thistle. It looks like a circular hairy piece also known as the choke.

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You can see here above how the center is now hollowed out. To stuff, the artichokes, start with the bottom working your way around pulling the leaves apart gently and with your fingers. Continue until you reach the center. Stuff as much of the filling between each row of leaves.

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Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
In a large baking dish, place the stuffed artichokes along with the stems. Add a cup of white wine. Top each artichoke with more cheese and drizzle each one with a good amount of E.V.O.O.

Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the filling is nice and hot, the cheese is golden brown, and the artichokes have absorbed almost all of the wine.

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When you’re ready to eat the Stuffed Artichokes, just pull each leaf off using the leaf as a natural spoon, getting all that deliciousness off each one. As you make your way to the center, there you’ll find the best surprise of all, the heart of the artichoke. The heart is the most tender part of the whole artichoke. Don’t forget about those stems too, YUM!

This dish is a show stopper and any dinner party.

Stuffed Artichoke

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6- stockpot, 9 x 13 baking dish

Ingredients:
4 medium fresh artichokes
4 cups of Italian style breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 1/2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus 4 tablespoons
2 tablespoon pine nuts
6 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
6 slices Prosciutto, julienned
1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O. more if necessary
1 cup of good dry white wine
2 lemons, juiced, save lemons for the water
water

Directions:
Start by pulling off some of the outer leaves from the bottom. Then take a pair of kitchen scissors, trim the tips (the pointy sharp part) of the leaves. Next, cut the stems off so they will have a flat bottom.

Fill a 6-quart stockpot 1/2 to 3/4’s of the way up with water. Cut 2 lemons in half, juice the lemons right into the water. Throw the remaining parts of the two lemons into the water too. This will stop the artichokes from turning brown and oxidizing.

As you can see I trimmed the stalks down quite a bit and threw them in as well. They are eatable also. To keep the artichokes submerged in the boiling water, place a plate on top like this.

On medium-high heat, bring the artichokes up to a boil. Once up to a boil adjust the heat so as to keep the water at a boil but not so high the water boils over. Continue to cook the artichokes for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Transfer the artichokes and the stems to a large plate to cook. Prepare the filling while boiling the artichokes.

For the Filling:
In a large bowl add Italian style bread crumbs, grated garlic, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, golden raisins, freshly ground black pepper, flat-leaf Italian parsley, and julienned Prosciutto. No salt. The prosciutto and cheese are salty enough. Finally, add the *E.V.O.O., stir to combine. You want the consistency of wet sand. You may need to adjust the amount of oil depending on the type and amount of breadcrumbs used.

Continued Directions:
Take the cooled artichoke and remove the center. This is where the thistle is located and is not editable. Repeat this process with the other artichokes. Pull the leaves apart gently until the center of the artichoke is exposed, take a tablespoon and dig out the thistle. It looks like a circular hairy piece also known as the choke. The center of the artichoke should be hollowed out.

To stuff, the artichokes, start with the bottom and work your way around pulling the leaves apart gently and with your fingers.  Continue until you reach the center. Stuff as much of the filling between each row of leaves.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
In a large baking dish, place the stuffed artichokes along with the stems. Add a cup of white wine. Top each artichoke with more cheese and drizzle each one with a good amount of *E.V.O.O.

Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the filling is nice and hot, the cheese is golden brown, and the artichokes have absorbed almost all of the wine.

Garnish with fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature.

*E.V.O.O. is short for Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

 

 

 

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Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

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This Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread couldn’t be easier to make or more delicious. First, start out with a boule. That’s just French for “ball”. Place the boule on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

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Now for its close-up. You won’t believe how good this is.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Cook Time: 35 minutes
Equipment: Rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper

Ingredients:
1 2-pound boule (round French loaf of bread)
1 cup (2-sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, grated
4-ounces cream cheese room temperature
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, reserved for the top
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5  fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F
Place the boule (round loaf of French bread) on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper score the bread, in a criss-cross pattern, almost all the way through.

In a large bowl, add room temperature unsalted butter, grated garlic, softened cream cheese, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, grated garlic, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and finely chopped basil leaves. Mix to combine. Stuff all the bread crevasses with the filling.

Place the baking sheet, just below the center position. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven. Turn the oven off. Sprinkle the top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Place the boule back into the hot oven, keeping a close watch for another 1-2 minute longer allowing the cheese to become gooey and delicious.

Notes:
If you are using a smaller loaf, you will need to cut back on the amount of cheese and other ingredients you use.

Serve hot. Perfect with a side of marinara sauce.

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