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Turkey Meatloaf Cups

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Meatloaf: the ugly workhorse of the comfort food family. It certainly doesn’t look beautiful, but it gets the job done.

Meatloaf freezes fairly well, but if you freeze all the slices together, it’s not very convenient to remove a single serving later. I adapted my regular meatloaf recipe slightly to make individual servings in meatloaf cups, which I can then reheat as many as I want at a time. Use ground turkey or beef that’s higher in fat content, or it can get really dry.

They’re not going to look beautiful coming out of the oven, but I promise, you’ll like them.

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Turkey Meatloaf Cups

Serves 6

1/2 medium yellow onion,  diced
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef stock (or more)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 pounds ground turkey (80-85% lean) (or substitute ground beef)
2/3 cup dry breadcrumbs (or more)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray 12 muffin cups.

In a small saute pan, cook onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme over medium-low heat until translucent, about 12-15 minutes. Add Worcestershire, stock, and tomato paste. Mix well. Let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine meat, bread crumbs, eggs and onion. Mix well. Add more broth or breadcrumbs as needed. Divide into 12 portions and place in muffin tins. Top with ketchup (1-2 teaspoons per meatloaf cup, or as desired).

Place muffin tin on a large baking sheet and put in the center of the oven. Bake until internal temperature reads 160 degrees, about 40 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from tins. Serve with additional ketchup, if desired.

Trying, and failing, at biscotti

After a couple of years without real winter in DC, it’s back with a vengeance this year. During the latest round of winter weather I tried to quell my boredom by playing in the kitchen. Problem was, the storm hit the morning after I returned from a business trip and there wasn’t a whole lot going on in my kitchen.

I did have all the ingredients to make what looked like a delicious pistachio and dried cherry biscotti recipe. While I’d never tried it myself, it seemed simple enough.

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The dough was fragrant and a beautiful yellow hue, and I liked the flavor combination of pistachio, sour cherry, almond and orange. But, the recipe itself just didn’t work for me. It wasn’t an outright failure, but it just didn’t meet my expectations.  There was not nearly enough dough to follow the directions and make two logs of dough, each 16″ long, 2″ wide. The cookies are very difficult to slice. Chopping up the cherries before folding into the dough might help the slicing go more smoothly, as well as reduce the likelihood the cherries taste burnt.

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Anyone else have a favorite biscotti recipe to share? What tips would you provide to a biscotti newbie?

Pork Tenderloin with Date-Cilantro Relish

Pork tenderloin is a go-to for weeknight dinners — quick, lean, and versatile, and not a lot of leftovers (important when you’re cooking for 1 or 2 and get  bored easily).

Dates are something new for me, and after a few bites adjusting to the texture, this recipe won me over. My grocery store carries dates in bulk, allowing me to buy just the quantity I needed.

Serve the pork with green vegetables, and if you want a starch, try rice, potatoes, or polenta (sweet potatoes or winter squash will be overwhelmingly sweet).

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Pork Tenderloin with Date-Cilantro Relish

From Bon Appetit

Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pork tenderloin (about 1½ lb.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup Medjool dates (about 4 oz.), cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro plus leaves for serving

Preheat oven to 425°. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, 6–8 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and cook pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 140°, 10–15 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing; set aside pan drippings.

Toss dates, orange juice, reserved pan drippings, 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Spoon relish over pork and top with cilantro leaves.