The other day I came across a recipe for meatloaf that certainly seemed like something ‘special’. Years ago, every family had a meatloaf recipe that was so dearly loved, it achieved iconic status. Today, I’m not so sure that is the case anymore. Nevertheless, this recipe was called ‘1770 House Meatloaf’ which made me curious as to what the history was behind it. Most every review raved about it being pure comfort food and much more than just meatloaf.
From my research on this meatloaf I found that the 1770 House is an East Hampton Inn and Restaurant famous for this dish. East Hampton Village on Long Island, New York is a beautiful village. It’s been that way for years with a glorious pond right as you come into town where swans swim in summer and skaters take to the ice in winter.
The 1770 House has welcomed guests with hospitality and comfort, a tradition that continues to attract guests from around the world to the intimate Inn, steps from the heart of East Hampton Village. The venerable home, today a boutique hotel and restaurant, seamlessly integrates historic elegance with luxurious, modern amenities and first-class dining.
This glorious colonial house has two restaurants—a more formal fine dining room on the ground level and, down a flight of stairs, a cozy ‘tavern’ with its roaring fireplace and comfort food menu. And always, on this seasonally changing menu, there is Chef Kevin Penner’s remarkable meatloaf with its even more remarkable garlic sauce.
This familiar dish is simple enough that it can be prepared as a weekday meal, but that has been elevated by adding a few key ingredients. The celery and thyme infuse the mix with intense flavor, and the garlic sauce works perfectly. The outcome is a delicious dish with moist texture: not your average meatloaf.
So there you have it …. meatloaf with first-class dining status!
1770 House Meatloaf w/ Garlic Sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion & celery and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent but not browned. Set aside to cool slightly.
Place the beef, veal, pork, parsley, thyme, chives, eggs, milk, salt & pepper in a large mixing bowl. Put the panko in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the panko is finely ground.
Add the onion mixture & the panko to the meat mixture. With clean hands, gently toss the mixture together, making sure it's combined but not compacted.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Pat the meat into a flat rectangle and then press the sides in until it forms a cylinder down the middle of the pan (this will ensure no air pockets). Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the middle reads 155 F. to 160 F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve hot with the Garlic Sauce.
Combine the oil & garlic in a small saucepan & bring to a boil. Lower the heat & simmer for 10 -15 minutes, until lightly browned. Be careful not to burn the garlic or it will be bitter. Remove the garlic from the oil and set aside.
Combine the chicken stock, butter & cooked garlic in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat & cook at a full boil for 35 - 40 minutes, until slightly thickened. Mash the garlic with a fork, whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper & taste for seasonings. Spoon the warm sauce over the meatloaf.
- Since there are just two of us, I made the full recipe then divided the mixture into 3 portions. I baked all 3 & used one for our supper meal today, froze the second one for a future meal & with the third, I sliced it for 'meatloaf' sandwiches. Doesn't get better than that!
Every region of the world has its unique flavors and spices. In many cases, the best way to discover a new cuisine is by its spice rack. No other ingredient can help us taste the characteristic flavors of a cuisine quite as easily, immediately tipping us off to the differences between a mild German dish and a spice-packed Indian one. But spices also tell the story of our world—the history of how we’re all connected. As people have brought their flavors with them, they’ve been shared and reinterpreted giving us the various, vastly different global, national, and regional cuisines we love to explore.
When you think of spiced chicken loaf, a mixture of ground chicken combined with a lot of hot spices and baked in a loaf pan comes to mind. In this particular chicken loaf, you use boneless/skinless chicken pieces along with an assortment of spices which are roasted together in a loaf form. Once baked, slices of the chicken loaf become a tasty filling served in pita bread.
The pockets in pita bread make them perfect for making sandwiches, wraps or other types of recipes you can hold in your hand.
Traditional pita bread is a round bread with a pocket in the middle. Pita bread must be cooked in ovens that can get extremely hot (at least 500° F). The pocket in a pita is made by steam, which puffs up the dough during the baking process. When the bread cools, it becomes flat again, but a pocket is left in the middle of the bread.
Spicy Chicken Loaf
Combine spices in a bowl. Slice chicken into strips & place in a plastic bag. Add spices & toss to coat chicken well.
Line a glass 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper & place the chicken in layers one on top the other, alternating dark & white meat. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat oven to 350 F.
Place onion semi-circles & hot green pepper (if using) over the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with black pepper.
Roast for about 1 -1 1/2 hours. Remove the loaf & pour off the liquids that have accumulated in the pan. It is important that the loaf be 'dry', without liquids.
Remove from the pan, transfer to a cutting board & slice. Serve as part of a pita bread filling.
Corn fritters can be sweet or savory, consisting of a batter or dough made with corn kernels (often whole canned corn), flour, milk, eggs, and melted butter. They are often served with fruit, jam, cream, or honey. Sometimes they are also made with creamed corn, and then baked and served with maple syrup. They originated in Native American cuisine and are a traditional snack that’s eaten in the Southern United States. Europeans adopted the recipe of corn fritters from native Americans and modified the ingredients to fit their continent.
These bright crispy morsels make great additions to summer barbecues and backyard gatherings as they will go with just about anything. While they may have originated in the south, corn fritters can easily be changed up with peppers, onions, or herbs to give them regional and seasonal flair.
When paired with other vegetables and a pan-fried fish filet, corn fritters create a unique fish sandwich. Don’t look at corn fritters as just a side dish, but a functional part of a complete meal.
They’re also a popular fried food that has been given their own ‘holiday’ in the USA. A holiday that always falls on July 16th and is known as National Corn Fritters Day. Origination and the history of the National Corn Fritters Day remain anonymous.
Corn has always appealed to me. I could eat corn anytime, for any meal. Today, I’m making some savory, cheesy corn fritters to go with our fish fillets for a supper meal.
Cheesy Corn Fritters
In a bowl, combine corn, cornmeal, flour, paprika, salt & pepper, egg, parmesan, green onion, cilantro & lime juice. Add a splash of water if mixture is too dry.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a skillet. Divide corn mixture into 4 large or 8 small portions in pan to form patties. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream if desired. If you are making them into a fish burger, we used tartar sauce instead.
Crepes come in many flavors and styles and can be eaten as appetizers, side dishes, main courses or desserts. Barley flour is nutty and nutritious and perfect to use in crepes.
Barley has always been a grain I have enjoyed. Not only a good choice in soups and entrees, but perfect when ground into flour for baked goods. Barley has a weaker gluten than wheat flour, however, so it may not rise as well as recipes made with wheat flour. As a result, barley flour is usually mixed with wheat flour when baking yeast breads.
An underrated and underused grain, barley is actually Canada’s 3rd largest crop after wheat and canola. More barley is grown in Alberta than any other province.
That lovely nutty flavor that works well with fruits like apples and pears, is amazing in a savory meal of chicken and mushrooms.
Most of us don’t think nutrition when we think of crepes. Generally, crepes use all-purpose flour, milk and butter with more butter added to the pan. These crepes use whole barley flour in both the crepes and the filling .. how good is that!
Chicken & Mushroom Barley Crepes
In a bowl, combine flour & salt. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth.
Heat a small non-stick skillet or crepe pan (6-8-inches) over medium-high heat. Brush bottom of pan with oil. Using a 1/4 cup measure of batter, add to pan & quickly tilt pan to cover bottom with batter.
Shake pan to loosen crepe & cook until edges of crepe begin to curl & it no longer sticks to the pan, about 30 seconds.
Gently flip crepe over & cook for a few seconds. Remove from pan & set aside. Repeat with remaining batter.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter, sauté mushrooms & garlic until lightly browned. Add flour, stirring until completely mixed in. Gradually stir in milk, salt, pepper & dried herbs; cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
If you are using broccoli florets, cook in microwave for 1 or 2 minutes to precook slightly.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Set out a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
Set aside 1 cup of the sauce. Into remaining sauce add the chicken, broccoli & 1/2 of the grated cheese; gently combine.
Spread a small amount of reserved sauce in bottom of baking pan. Divide filling between crepes. Gently fold each side of the crepe to the middle. Place crepes seam side down in baking dish & top with 1/2 of sliced green onion, remaining sauce & cheese.
Since the sauce is fairly thick, I set the pan of crepes into another pan that had about 1/2-inch of water in it to create a 'water bath'. This helped them to cook without getting to crisp on the bottom.
Cover the pan with a sheet of foil & bake for 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven & sprinkle with remaining green onion. Serve.
- If you would prefer to make smaller crepes, use a 1/8 measuring cup or 2 Tbsp instead of the 1/4 cup measure. It should give you roughly 10 crepes.
I realize mushrooms aren’t for everyone but if you do enjoy them, it seems there are no end to recipes you can use them in. As well as making a great filling for your quiche, its nice to add even more color and flavor with crust variations. Keep in mind that the best time to add extra ingredients to your pastry is after you’ve blended your flour and butter together in the food processor and before pulsing in the cold water.
Here’s a few ideas to elevate savory quiche crusts:
Herbs: Try adding 2 tablespoons each of any of these fresh herbs – chives, thyme, parsley, rosemary & sage. If you only have dried herbs, cut back to about 1/2-1 teaspoon each.
Cheese: As we all know, cheese makes everything better! Adding it to pastry is amazing. Try mixing it up with different combinations of cheese: Gruyere in the filling and parmesan in the crust for example.
Spices: Such as turmeric, fennel seed or even a grind of peppercorn (black, white or pink) can significantly alter any savory crust.
Bacon: Even just a little bacon will add some smokiness to the quiche. Be sure to chop it small enough after frying so it can be well incorporated into the crust.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Although they add tanginess and a nice smoky red color, they are often best as a background flavor. Since they can easily overpower when used in the filling, add them to the crust.
Wild Mushroom Quiche w/ Parmesan Crust
In a medium bowl, combine flour, grated Parmesan & salt. Cut in shortening & butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture forms coarse crumbs the size of small peas.
Combine ice water and lemon juice (or vinegar); drizzle 1/2 of the lemon water over cold flour mixture and stir until the dough just starts to come together or turns “shaggy”. Begin adding a few more tablespoons of water at a time, stirring between each addition. Once most of the water has been used (but you have a tablespoon or two remaining) use your hands to gather the shaggy strands into a ball and knead the dough two or three times. If you have dry bits remaining in the bowl, add a little additional water.
Gather the dough in a ball, dust your counter with a tiny amount of flour, and quickly pat dough into a small flat disk. Cut dough in half and then stack one piece on top of the other, flour side down. Use the heel of your hand and press the dough down and divide once more. Cover each piece with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator, but overnight is best.
Slice green onion & mushrooms. Sauté in butter, add minced garlic, stirring often. Allow to cook for five minutes uncovered so the moisture evaporates.
Cut broccoli into florets & add to pan along with chopped red pepper. Cook another 6 minutes then remove from heat.
Grate Havarti cheese. In a container, whisk together eggs, milk & seasonings.
Remove pastry from refrigerator & place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll dough out to fit a 9-10-inch pie pan. Trim away any excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang to form the crust.
Sprinkle a small amount of the Havarti over bottom; top with vegetable mixture then remaining Havarti.
Bake until quiche tests done. Since the quiche is made with milk instead cream it will take longer to bake. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This quiche tastes great just out of the oven, but even better the next day.
- Don't hesitate to use cream instead of milk if you would like a richer filling.
Its hard to believe its already Easter Sunday. In North America, many of us like to enjoy or host an Easter brunch. Traditional favorites very often include glazed baked ham, quiche, frittata & French toast casseroles. Of course, there are the classic hard boiled eggs that have been dyed & decorated for the occasion. Many countries make their own signature Easter breads ands buns. The one thing that I always loved about Easter was it signified the coming of ‘Spring’ in our part of the world. Plants were coming to life in the garden, the birds were singing their cheery, little tunes & the stores were filled with beautiful pastel colored Easter ‘things’.
I wanted to come up with something unique for our Easter brunch this year. French toast is always good but I was thinking more along the savory line. Sweet potatoes seem to be one of those polarizing food items, people either love or hate. For most part, I think its the memory of the overly sweet casserole most of us remember from our childhoods. But have you ever thought about using them in a savory context?
I had seen an idea using grated sweet potato patties with avocado and poached eggs. The temptation to kick it up a notch and make a savory sweet potato ‘toast’ for a base become a wonderful Easter brunch for Brion & I.
Savory Sweet Potato Toast w/ Avocado & Poached Egg
Savory Sweet Potato Bread
Pierce sweet potato several times, and wrap in a paper towel. Microwave the wrapped potato 4 - 6 minutes, or until it is soft to the touch & cooked through. Remove from oven, cool slightly, peel & mash. Measure correct amount needed for bread & reserve the rest for another use.
In a small bowl, combine water, milk, sugar & yeast . Allow to sit until yeast is frothy.
In another bowl, whisk together flour & salt.
In a large bowl, combine sweet potato, butter, black pepper, cumin, coriander, thyme & sage. Taste & adjust seasonings if desired. Add yeast & flour mixtures. Combine well but don't overmix.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface & knead until dough is smooth & elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, & set in a draft free place until doubled in bulk.
Turn the dough out onto a flat work surface lightly dusted with flour. Leave to rest about 10 minutes. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Flatten, shape into a loaf & set inside of pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap & set aside to rise.
Preheat oven to 375 F. When dough is about an inch over the top of pan, place in oven & bake about 45 minutes, rotating pan about half way through baking time. Remove from oven & allow to cool completely before slicing. It is a good idea to make bread the day before you want to serve it.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place cherry tomatoes in an oven proof dish. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil & roast for about 15 minutes.
Cut avocados in half & peel off skin. Lay one half of the avocado, cut side down, & slice the avocado thinly. Fan out avocado slices so that they form a long line with the slices overlapping each other. Starting from one end, curl avocado slices toward center. Continue curling the avocado slices until you have a 'rose'. Repeat with remaining 3 halves.
Heat a griddle to 350 F. Slice sweet potato bread to your desired thickness. Lightly butter bread slices on both sides. When grill is heated, grill bread on both sides. Place on serving plates, cover & keep warm.
Bring some water to a boil then poach the eggs for about 2 minutes. Drain.
Top grilled savory bread with avocado roses, poached eggs & roasted cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt & pepper.
- This dough is very soft so it is a bit tricky to work with. I would imagine if you prefer it to be firmer you could you less yeast.
- When working with it , I used a buttered spatula.
Easter is synonymous with spring, it represents a time of renewal. The winter months are now in our rear view mirrors and we can look forward to those wonderful summer days. Fresh new buds are on the trees, just waiting to burst out as the season unfolds. Everything speaks of new life and fresh hope. Spring is so unique (even if we still have snow on the ground in our part of the country).
Though ham is traditional in many homes, there are just as many people who would prefer something different for dinner on Easter Sunday. Holiday cooking is all about making a meal that feels more special than what you would cook on a regular basis.
Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite meats due to its tenderness and versatility. This meal started out with an idea to stuff a tenderloin and developed into so much more. I must say, I was even more pleased with the final results when we both enjoyed it.
Braided Pork Tenderloin w/ Pineapple Stuffing
Drain pineapple; reserving 1/3 cup juice. In a large saucepan, melt margarine. Add walnuts, celery & sage; cook stirring until celery is tender-crisp. Stir in green onions, pineapple & reserved juice. Remove from heat; toss in cornbread stuffing mix & set aside.
Using a sharp knife starting 3-inches from end, slice tenderloin lengthwise twice; making 3 equal strips. Carefully take the knife & cut pockets lengthwise every 3-inches in the center of each of the tenderloin strips. Spread the combined rub ingredients over meat & allow to stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before continuing with preparation.
When meat is marinated, stuff each pocket with pineapple stuffing. Place a strip of bacon along each tenderloin strip. Braid the stuffed tenderloin/bacon by crossing the right section over the middle section then the left section over the new middle section. Continue until you run out of tenderloin.
Insert a wooden or metal skewer into the end of braided tenderloin to keep it together. Tuck in the remaining stuffing mixture in the folds of the braid.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 F. Remove from oven & loosely cover with foil. Allow to rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing. Serve with pineapple salsa.
In a large skillet, combine pineapple, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, red onion, cumin, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil & cook over medium-high heat until thickened, 7-10 minutes. If there is still a lot of liquid left, use a slotted spoon to transfer the pineapple to a bowl & continue to cook the liquid over high heat for 5 minutes more, then pour the liquid over the pineapple. Mix in the onions & cilantro. Season with salt to taste.