Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Boyfriend Meatloaf

I call this 'Boyfriend Meatloaf' because it's a meatloaf that quite a few boyfriends have enjoyed :)  It's based on Cooking Light's Pizza-Style Meatloaf, with just a few modifications.

2/3 cup tomato sauce, divided
1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground round
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
A pinch of  dried oregano, basil, and parsley
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon koser salt 
1 large egg
3 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1 diced red bell pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine 1/3 cup sauce, meat, and  ingredients (sauce through egg) in a bowl.

Shape meat mixture into an rectangle on wax paper. Sprinkle cheeses over meat mixture; sprinkle with red bell pepper, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll meat mixture up jelly-roll fashion starting at short side. Pinch ends to seal.

Place meat loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until meat loaf registers 160°. Brush 1/3 cup tomato sauce over meat loaf. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until done; let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Whole-Wheat Peanut Butter Waffles

These worked out great this morning!  It made 16 waffles-I ate 2, C ate 3, and now we have quite a few in the fridge to eat the rest of this week, and a bunch in the freezer to pull out and throw in the toaster.

I've never liked breakfast as a course-but I'm learning to LOVE it.

2 & 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup reduced-fat peanut butter
1 & 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 & 1/4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup applesauce
Cooking spray

In a bowl, combine first seven ingredients with an electric mixer.

Preheat a waffle iron; when it is hot, spray lightly with cooking spray. 

Use a ladle to pour batter from bowl to the waffle iron.  Cook until waffles are golden brown.

These were delicious, and so super-easy.  C couldn't believe it...he said 'You made these homemade?  You did that just as fast as if you used a mix.'

You can say that again :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lazy Crockpot Monday

I'm working the dayshift today, so I thought I'd use my crockpot this morning.  When I get home from work, I can go running and then just sit down to dinner.  Hopefully chicken parmesan tastes good with vodka sauce...I had a homemade jar of sauce from a co-worker in the cabinet, but I couldn't get it open and C was still sleeping.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Parm

3-4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Basil, thyme, salt & pepper
1 egg
Shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce-enough to cover

1)  Crack the egg into a small bowl, and scramble with a fork.

2)  In another small bowl, fill about halfway with breadcrumbs.  Add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and a pinch each of basil, thyme, salt, & pepper.  Mix with a fork.

3)  Spray the insert of your slow cooker with cooking spray.

4)  One by one, take each chicken breast, dip into the egg, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture and place in the bottom of your slow-cooker.  Take care not to pile them one on top of each other.

5)  When all chicken is in the slow-cooker, sprinkle with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese, or whatever amount satisfies your dietary needs.  I used 2% Trader Joe's Mozzarella.

6)  Dump the jar of pasta sauce over the entire thing, making sure everything is covered.

7)  Cook for 6 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blackfish Chowder

C and I caught 2 blackfish (tautog) while out fishing yesterday.  They are sneaky bastards!  Blackfish like to make lairs in/around rocks which can make them tricky to catch without snagging your line.  We used green crab as bait, but you could also use shrimp, clams, or mussels.  Be careful when pulling your hook out-they have powerful jaws with back teeth that look like molars.

They yielded 4 fillets (about 1 lb 9 oz).  C fillets them-I want nothing to do with that portion of it.  Too much work and too much patience required.

After asking my friend Zoe what she thought about recipes I had in mind, she recommended I try making a chower because of how well the fish holds together.  I googled away, and came up with a variation of a recipe that sounded really good.

Blackfish (Tautog) Chowder

10 oz - 1 lb blackfish (if you're trying to stretch out a little meat, like me, up the potatoes)
4 slices bacon
1 - 3 cups red potatoes, diced
1/2 cup white onion, roughly chopped
2 - 3 cups of water (when using more potato and less fish, you'll need more water)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup clam juice\
1 (12-13 oz) can evaporated milk
3 tablespoons butter
kosher salt & pepper to taste

1)  After brining the fish, rinse & pat dry.  Cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

2)  Cut the bacon slices in half (not length-wise).  Cook in a skillet until crisp, turning once.  Place cooked bacon on a plate lined with paper towels, to drain excess fat, then crumble.  Toss bacon drippings, saving 2 tablespoons.

3)  In the same skillet, saute the onions in the 2 tablespoons bacon fat until onions are tender, approx 8 minutes.

4)  Transfer onions into a large stockpot, adding the potatos & water.  Cover & bring to a gentle boil.

5)  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

6)  Add the fish and simmer for another 6-10 minutes, or until both fish or potatoes are done (fish will be white and flakey, potatoes soft but not falling apart).

7)  In a bowl, combine the flour & clam juice using a mini-whisk (or fork) until smooth.  Add to stockpot with onions/fish/potatoes.

8)  Stir in the evaporated milk & butter; salt & pepper to taste.  Don't be afraid of the salt-it really adds great flavor.  Heat over medium heat another 5 minutes, when chowder has thickened.

9)  Stir in crumbled bacon just prior to serving.

This is REALLY, really good.  This was my first time making any kind of chowder, as I am only a recent fan.