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Homemade Meatloaf

Homemade Meatloaf

Growing up in the ’70s, I remember one of the most traditionally made dinners was meatloaf. My mom had her version #tastethelove, my friends’ moms had their version, and my grandmother had her version. They were all delicious but so very different. I think that’s what makes this dish so common throughout many households but so individually unique is meatloaf is a blank canvas. You can add ingredients you like making your meatloaf specifically to your liking. Traditionally meatloaf is made with ground beef, but that’s not the case anymore, ground pork, chicken, or turkey can be used to make meatloaf today.

My Homemade Meatloaf is a family favorite. Let me show you what goes into my Homemade Meatloaf, starting with the roasted garlic.

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Roasted Red Peppers

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Prep Time: 15 minutes (prep the vegetable while roasting the garlic)
Cook Time:  2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 large mixing bowls, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, 1 (3-quart) saucepot

Ingredients:
1-pound of lean ground sirloin (90% lean)
2-pounds of ground pork
1 bulb of garlic, 4 cloves, roasted, 2 cloves, raw and minced
1 1/2 onions, small dice
3 ribs of celery, small dice
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup roasted Piquillo peppers, small dice
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups breadcrumbs, Italian-style
1/4 cup half-and-half
4 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup

Ingredients For Brown Gravy:
4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Kitchen Boquet, browning and seasoning sauce
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of chicken broth, low sodium

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Peel and discard the papery out layer of the garlic bulb, leaving intact the skins of the individual cloves. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to 1/2-inch from the top of the cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.

Set the garlic on top of a piece of foil. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over each exposed head, using your fingers to rub the olive oil over all the cut, exposed garlic cloves. Sprinkle each head with a pinch of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Wrap the garlic bulbs up in the foil. Place the foil packet on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cloves are lightly browned and feel soft when pressed. Remove from the oven, carefully open the foil packet and set aside to cool.

While garlic is roasting prep all the vegetables.

In the meantime, in a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add olive oil, diced onions, diced celery, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and minced garlic. As the veggies start to soften, add 1 taablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and freshly chopped thyme leaves, stir to combine. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes. Turn off and remove from the heat to let cool.

Adjust oven temperature to 350-degrees F.

In the large mixing bowl, with the roasted garlic, diced roasted red peppers, and beaten eggs add the Italian-style bread crumbs, half and half, fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, Kosher salt, fresh black pepper, dried oregano, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and the cooled vegetable mixture, mix to combine.

Next, it’s time to add the meat to the bowl with all the other ingredients. Using your hands, mix in the meat until it’s all just combined, do not overmix. After everything is combined and all that goodness is mix throughout, form the meatloaf and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form the meatloaf delicately into a pretty looking loaf. Refer to the picture above. There’s no need to do anything else to the meat. The oven will take care of making it look all nice, beautiful, crispy, and brown. Trust me!

While the meatloaf is in the oven make start the Lumpy Mashed Potatoes, Click the link below for the recipe.

I bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 155-degrees F. Transfer the meatloaf to the counter, cover with foil and allow to rest for another 15 minutes. There will be some carry over cooking time.

Directions For Brown Gravy:
In a saucepot on medium heat, melt the butter, add the fresh thyme leaves. Next, the flour and whisk together making sure to get all visible lumps. Add Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, continuously whisking until mixture turns light brown in color. Turn the heat down to low and slowly add the chicken broth, whisking constantly. Add Kitchen Boquet and Worcestershire sauce. Turn the heat back up to medium. Continue whisking until gravy boils and thickens 3 to 5 minutes.

Lemon Pepper Asparagus 

Lumpy Mashed Potatoes

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Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread

 

My 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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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, mini food processor, stand mixer with a paddle attachment

Ingredients:
1 (2-pound) boule (round French loaf of bread)
1 cup (2-sticks) butter, unsalted and room temperature
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, grated
4-ounces of 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 stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter, grated garlic, softened cream cheese, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, grated garlic, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and basil. Mix to combine. Stuff all the bread crevasses with the filling.

Place the baking sheet, just below the center position. Bake for 20 to 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 to 2 minute longer allowing the cheese to become gooey and delicious.

My Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread goes perfect with a side of marinara sauce.

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

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Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Peppers

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My Quinoa Roasted Stuffed Peppers are really flavorful and delicious. I promise you, the fact that there’s no meat in this recipe is not an issue. The colors and texture I’ve incorporated in this dish will blow your mind!

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Stuffed Roasted Peppers

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 3-quart saucepan, 2 (9 x 13) baking dishes, chef’s knife, 10-cup food processor, 12-inch sauté pan, 8-inch sauté pan, 2 large mixing bowls

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of olive oil, extra for the tops of the stuffed peppers
2 red bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 orange bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 yellow bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
1 1/2 cup of frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
4 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups of Roma tomatoes, seeded, diced, and drained
1 onion quartered
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 pint of cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 chipotle pepper in Adobo, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons of thyme leaves, chopped
1 1/2 cups of wheat germ
1 1/4 cups of vegetable stock plus 6 tablespoons, unsalted
1 cup of quinoa

Note: You may have to trim a very thin slice off the bottoms of each pepper so they will stand upright. Be careful not to cut too much off exposing the inside of the pepper.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Arrange the peppers on two rimmed baking sheet pans. Cook for 30 minutes allowing them to soften before filling.

In the meantime start by making the filling. Add quartered onions and garlic to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Next, add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes to the food processor, again, pulse just until finely chopped. Add the chipotle pepper and the processed mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes to the same bowl.

Add the drained Roma tomatoes and fresh thyme leaves to the bowl, mix to combine. Set aside.

In a small dry sauté pan over medium-low heat add the pine nuts. Cook, swishing the pan around, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until you start to smell their aroma. Immediately remove from the heat. Set aside.

Start by rinsing the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. If you’ve never made quinoa, it’s really easy. First, you always want to do a quick rinse of the quinoa to remove the *saponin. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.

In a large heavy-bottom pot over medium-low heat add (or leave) some of the water remaining on the quinoa so that it’s moist. Add the quinoa to the heated pan. Make sure not to overcrowd. Using a whisk, quickly stir the quinoa around allowing any excess water to be absorbed by the grains of quinoa.

Once the water is completely absorbed and the quinoa begins to pop, you’ll know it’s drying out. Continue stirring until the grains of quinoa begin to brown. The aroma will begin to smell nutty, around 5 minutes.

In another pot bring the 3 cups of vegetable stock up to a boil and salt. Pour the hot vegetable stock into the pot containing the quinoa. Give the quinoa a good stir, cover (with the glass lid). With the heat still on medium-low, simmer until all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

After 30 minutes remove the peppers out of the oven.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat add the olive oil. Transfer the processed vegetables to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until tender, all liquid has evaporated, and the vegetable mixture has thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the thawed peas and toasted pin nuts, stir to combine. Continue cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Combine the vegetable mixture with the cooked toasted quinoa. Stir to combine. Using a large spoon fill all 16 peppers to the top. Arrange the peppers, side by side, in the baking dishes. Sprinkle wheat germ evenly over the top of each pepper. Top each one with shredded Mozzarella.

Drizzled 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top of each pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of vegetable stock into the bottom of each of the baking dishes.  Bake for another 30 minutes.  To finish, turn the oven to broil setting, (keep a close eye) and cook for around 5 minutes or until the cheese and the tops become a light golden brown.

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