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comfort food

KNR, p. 231 “Meatloaf…Comfort Food”

 

Damp, chilly days require stick-to-your-ribs, tasty comfort food. Sheila and I like to combine weekend shopping trips with lunch at the local all-comfort-food diner, but sometimes the winter weather keeps us home. During a couple of rough weeks with sleet, snow, and ice pounding the area, we needed a LOT of comfort food, but the roads were dicey and we elected to stay indoors. What did we do? We came up with our own version of the meatloaf we had enjoyed so often downtown. The owner wouldn’t share his secret recipe and laughed when we asked, but we did a bunch of taste-testing and we think we came pretty close. There were no bodies lying on the floor after we ate, so we must have gotten it right. Try it and see for yourself.  🙂

 

"Meatloaf...Comfort Food"
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • Meatloaf
  • 2 pounds ground beef, 90% or 93% lean preferred
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon condensed tomato soup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup Progresso plain bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon A-1 sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Gulden’s spicy brown mustard
  • Sauce
  • 1 cup condensed tomato soup
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons A-1 sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Gulden’s spicy brown mustard
  • *1/2 teaspoon Canola oil for pan, not for meatloaf mixture
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Lightly coat sides and bottom of a 9x5 loaf pan with Canola oil to reduce cleanup time.
  3. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix all meatloaf ingredients together.
  4. Press meatloaf mixture evenly in loaf pan, slightly mounded in the center, lengthwise
  5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Increase oven temperature to 425, uncover and bake for 30 minutes more.
  7. While meatloaf is baking, mix sauce ingredients together in small bowl and set aside.
  8. Meatloaf will shrink away from the edge of the pan when almost done.
  9. Remove from oven, spread 1/2 cup of the sauce on the top of the meatloaf and return to oven for 5 minutes more.
  10. Remove from oven and let stand for ten minutes.
  11. Heat the remaining sauce.
  12. Slice the meatloaf in half-inch slices and serve with sauce, greens beans, and mashed potatoes.
You can thank us later.  🙂

 

 

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KNR, p. 202 “The Kerrians’ Famous Mac & Cheese”

 

The temperatures are cooling off and comfort food takes center stage at our house. We fend off the chill with body warming soup and hearty sandwiches during the Fall and Winter, but every once in a while, we like mac & cheese. It works for lunch or dinner.

 

I like to taste test the new versions with different goodies added to the mix, but there is a basic recipe that Sheila uses (and even I can make) that is fail-safe. We sometimes prepare it ahead and serve it as a side dish if we’re expecting a crowd.

 

A couple of thoughts: It looks like a lot of instructions, but you’re boiling noodles, grating cheese, making a sauce, and putting it together in layers – like lasagna. No bodies were found while making the latest batch. Promise.  🙂

Here’s our famous Mac & Cheese recipe:


Ingredients for noodles

1    8 oz box small elbow noodles

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon butter or margarine for boiling water, to keep noodles from clumping

1 teaspoon butter for tossing noodles

 

Ingredients for white sauce

4 Tablespoons butter

5 Tablespoons flour

4 cups milk

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

pinch ground black pepper

 

Additional ingredients

12 oz. Sharp Cheddar, grated

2 cups Croutons, seasoned  (we use the garlic & herb variety)

Optional –  1 cup Bacon, crisp, crumbled

Optional –  Whole tomato

 

Preparation

 

  • Bring 1 and 1/2 quarts water to boil in a 3 quart pot, add 2 tsp. sea salt and stir.
  • Add dry noodles and 1 teaspoon margarine to boiling salted water and stir.
  • Boil noodles until fork tender, stirring frequently (about 20 mins).
  • Thoroughly drain the noodles, toss with 1 teaspoon butter, and set aside.

 

Preheat oven to 375.

 

While noodles are boiling, prepare the white sauce

  • In one quart pot, melt 4 Tablespoons butter on medium heat, being careful not to burn it.
  • Add 1 Tablespoon flour, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and stir until well blended.
  • Add 4 more Tablespoons flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring each until well-blended and the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pot.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add 1 cup milk (1/4  cup at a time) stirring until smooth, without clumps.
  • Return to heat and gradually add 3 more cups milk, while stirring.

As the sauce thickens, stir to keep it from sticking to the pot and/or clumping.

It is ready when it is the consistency of creamy gravy.

Add pinch of black pepper.

Remove from heat and set aside. It will thicken a bit more while sitting.

 

Grate all of the cheese and set aside.

Use a 2-quart baking dish. You will be assembling the mac & cheese in layers (like lasagna).

 

Spread 1/4 cup of sauce on bottom of baking dish.

Spread 1/3 of the noodles in the bottom.

Spread 1/3 of the remaining white sauce on the noodles.

Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese on top of the sauce.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the croutons on top of the cheese.

 

Repeat the layers twice more, but with the top layer, crumble the remaining croutons and spread evenly on top.

 

Bake at 375 until heated through and cheese is bubbly, about 20 minutes, no lid.

 

Serve with salad.

 

Options: 

Create a well in the center of a whole tomato and serve mac & cheese in it.

Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top of mac & cheese as a garnish.

 

 

Prep time: 1 hour

Cooking time:  20 minutes

 

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KNR, p. 201 “Black Bean Lentil Soup”

 

This year our football and baseball playoff parties may be at home, but it’s still time for great food, easy to make for a group of ten.

 

We both like black beans in several dishes, so we decided to make black bean soup, but added diced tomatoes and lentils for texture and color. This soup is so thick that it can be used as a topping for rice or pasta.

 

I ate it like chili, in a bowl, and there was very little soupy liquid. Don’t want it that thick? Just add water.

 

"Black Bean Lentil Soup"
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups water (add another cup for a thinner consistency)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Vegi-soup Mix – dry (or 1 cup uncooked lentils)
  • 6 15 oz. cans black beans (not soy)
  • 1 15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
Instructions
  1. Spray large soup pot with canola pan spray (for easier clean up).
  2. Add water, sea salt, and dry vegi-soup mix.
  3. Cover pot and bring to boil. Boil for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add black beans, diced tomatoes, chilies, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and stir until well mixed, then return to heat.
  6. Cover pot and cook on medium for about an hour, until lentils are tender.
  7. Stir frequently to keep beans from sticking.
 

We made so much while testing the recipe, that I gave some to the neighbors to try. They lived. Promise!  🙂

 

This one bubbles and pops, so keep the lid on.

 

Optional garnish: sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

 

Options:
Add meat and/or serve over rice/pasta for a delicious, filling, main dish.
A scoop on top of a baked potato would be delish!

 

Watch the game, and enjoy!  🙂

 

 

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