Monday, November 21, 2011

Italian Meatloaf (polpettona ripiena)

As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. It reminded me of scotch eggs in a way and that is a good thing in my book. There is something about the way that sausage gets nice and crispy that I just love.

(this is Marios version)

I followed the recipe pretty closely, though I only made 1/2 recipe. Two lbs of meat total instead of four seemed just fine for my household. I also could not find the cheese he mentions, I used a soft provolone instead but I'm sure any semi soft cheese would work just fine. I wouldn't go with anything too sharp otherwise you might overwhelm the vegetables. I blanched the carrots as directed but didn't bother blanching the spinach or the scallions. All of those extra steps for the spinach just seemed like too much work.

One tip I would recommend, that made it much easier to work with, is lining your work surface with wax paper. Spread the flour and breadcrumb mixture on the paper and then when it's time to roll you can use the wax paper as a tool to help you get a nice tight wrapping. Otherwise I think it would be very hard to wrap up without tearing it over and over again.

I also didn't make the sauce, I used my stoneware pan and when I looked at what was left in the pan and it was mostly fat. It did not seem like it was going to make an appetizing sauce at all. I may not have used enough water in the pan, I didn't measure.

All in all this is a really delicious recipe that is a fun change from regular meatloaf and it looks really impressive as well.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Asian Glazed Drumsticks with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cider Reduction

This is another recipe from Skinny Taste (her photo is much more appetizing than mine!); I'd made it before with boneless chicken breasts and thighs, and we really liked it. The flavor was excellent and they're very easy. But since Mark and our daughter are both huge fans of "chicken on the bone" I decided to do them a favor and make the recipe the real way. It was very good. :) Go here for the original recipe. My only change was letting the sauce reduce a bit too much and I'd planned on having sauce for the side, so I needed to add more volume. I plated the chicken, then deglazed the pan with some apple cider and let it reduce. We sprinkled the chicken with the last of the fresh chives from our herb garden and a Tbsp of toasted sesame seeds.

Meanwhile, I cut the bases off a half pound of Brussels sprouts, cut them in half, and removed the outer leaves. Washed, then tossed on a pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, and 3-4 crushed garlic cloves. I roasted them at 400 for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. The cider glaze went really well with these and they made quite a satisfying side. Both kids ate the chicken (with the skin removed; the Sriracha sauce adds enough spice that they would notice).

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Maple Mustard Pork Chops with Maple Mustard BBQ Sauce

Maple and Mustard, sweet and tangy, they go together well.
I have used the BBQ sauce for other dishes in the past most notably my savory rosemary waffles. It is a versatile sauce that could be used with many things. These pork are where I first discovered them.

This is yet another recipe from BBQ USA that I absolutely love.

I made it most recently with some incredible pork chops from Stones Throw Farm

For the pork you will need

4 Pork chops (1/2 - 3/4 inch thick)
kosher salt
black pepper
3 Tbsp mustard powder
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup maple syrup (Grade B or Dark is best)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil.

Put the chops in a baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the mustard powder, about 1 tsp per side. Rub the dry ingredients into the pork with your fingers, then drizzle on the soy sauce and work it into the pork until it forms a paste. Whisk together the oil and maple syrup and then pour it over the pork, turning to coat. Let the pork marinate for at least 30 minutes, longer is fine. Grill the pork chops over medium heat, you don't want to have the grill too hot otherwise the maple syrup will burn.
Grill the pork 6-7 minutes per side until it reaches an internal temperature of 165. Let th epork rest for 5 minutes and served with the maple mustard BBQ Sauce

You will need

1 Tbsp Butter
2 slices bacon cut into 1/4 inch slivers (replaced with pancetta today)
1 small onion finely chopped ( about 3/4 cup)
1 clove garlic minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste 
3/4 cup maple syrup (grade b if you can find it)
6 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion garlic and bacon. Saute until the bacon is crispy then add the tomato paste. Stir for a minute or two then add the mustard, syrup and vinegar. Bring to a boil then reduce hit to low and simmer 10- 12 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste. You can serve it hot or at room temp