Turkey Meatloaf, Fresh Corn on the Cob and Macaroni and Cheese…delicious!

I made dinner for Paula and myself on Friday. We had leftover Turkey Meatloaf from earlier in the week so I heated that up. It was just as tasty – with the ketchup-brown sugar glaze – as it was when I first made it on Monday. I also bought some corn on the cob since it is in season at the moment. Finally, I made my new simple take on Macaroni and Cheese since Paula requested. We enjoyed the meal with a bottle of malbec. Paula deserved the wine, her favorite grape, and we relaxed by watching Bull Durham. It had been a long time since we had seen the film and it was just as funny that night as it was when we last saw it. This movie is truly one of the best movies about baseball that has ever been made!

Bahamian Rice with a salad

Paula and I went out to dinner with friends on Monday and Tuesday so I did not do any cooking. It was fun enjoying an evening with friends and family but it also felt a little strange to be going out to dinner on consecutive nights. Anyway, we ate at home last night although we will be eating out once again this evening when we got to see the Durham Bulls play. Oh. Well. I will cook something for the two of us tomorrow.

Last weekend I made a dish called Bahamian Rice for some friends who had suffered a loss. The recipe made so much that we had a little bit leftover after filling up the containers. Since Paula was working late this week as her floor prepares to move to a new location, I heated up the leftovers tonight and made a simple salad to go with it. That way I could have the food ready for Paula when she got home around 7:30 PM. If you want to try this dish, here is the recipe. It is easy to make if you need to make some casserole for a large group.

Bahamian Rice

Ingredients:

  • 3 bacon strips, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black-eyed peas, drained (or frozen)
  • 1-2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs (or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 5-1/2 cups water
  • 1 can (13.66 ounces) coconut milk
  • 3 cups uncooked rice

Directions:

In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard the drippings while reserving 1 tablespoon.

Add the onion, celery and green pepper to the drippings. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Stir in the black-eyed peas, ham, tomato paste, thyme, salt and pepper.

Add the water, coconut milk and cooked bacon. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove thyme sprigs if necessary.

Turkey Meatloaf with Tomato, Peach and Corn Salad…Delicious!!

I tried out a few recipes for Paula and I last night.  I made a turkey meatloaf recipe that I read about in the July/August issue of Cooks Illustrated. It had a tasty glaze on top. Paula and I ended up enjoying this lighter version of meatloaf. If you want to have a meatloaf in the summer, this is your recipe. The original recipe called for making a large meatloaf to serve 4-6 people. The ingredient list below is to make a smaller one that was just enough for Paula and I.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 1/4 onion, chopped fine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon of corn starch
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound of 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 ounce (1/4 cup) of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley

Ingredients for the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 1 ounce of brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of hot sauce

Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over low heat. Add the baking soda and stir into the melted butter. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened and begins to brown. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute until it is fragrant. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and continue to cook until it is slightly reduced. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Combine the oats, cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a second bowl.

After the onion mixture is cooled, stir egg yolks and mustard into the mixture and combine well. Add the turkey, Parmesan cheese, parsley and oat mixture. Mix well with your hands until combined thoroughly.

Line a wire rack with aluminum foil and set in a rimmed baking sheet that has also been lined with aluminum. Transfer the turkey mixture to the middle of the wire rack. Using your hands, shape in to a loaf that is approximately 9 x 5 inches.

Make the glaze by whisking all the ingredients in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced slightly. Using a pastry brush, spread half the glaze over the meatloaf.

Bake the meatloaf for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. After 40 minutes, remove from the oven and brush with the remaining glaze. Bake for another 40 minutes. Let the meatloaf sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

I also made a tomato, peach and corn salad. This was easy and used ingredients that are in season at the moment. I cut 1 large beefsteak tomato into wedges. Then I combined it with 1 diced peach and the kernels from 1 head of corn. I mixed everything in a medium bowl and sprinkled with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Next I made a simple vinaigrette. I mixed 3 ounces of olive oil, 3 ounces of white balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons of finely chopped green onion, 3 ounces of honey, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl. Then I poured the vinaigrette over the salad and mixed together. Finally I sprinkled some goat cheese over the salad. (Note: the original recipe called for feta cheese but Paula doesn’t like feta so I made this substitution.)

Dinner for friends

We had two friends who suffered a loss this past week. I decided to cook a meal for them to help them out in this difficult time. I found a recipe in the Taste of Home cookbook that my mother gave me several years ago. The recipe is called Bahamian Peas and Rice. It was a filling and tasty dish and hopefully they will be able to enjoy it as they take time to recover from the loss of a loved one. It would be a good dish to cook for any group of people so here’s the recipe in case you want to try it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 bacon strips, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black-eyed peas, drained (or frozen)
  • 1-2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs (or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 5-1/2 cups water
  • 1 can (13.66 ounces) coconut milk
  • 3 cups uncooked rice

Directions:

In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard the drippings while reserving 1 tablespoon.

Add the onion, celery and green pepper to the drippings. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Stir in the black-eyed peas, ham, tomato paste, thyme, salt and pepper.

Add the water, coconut milk and cooked bacon. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove thyme sprigs if necessary.

Pizza tonight…

Paula and I are getting back into our routines after returning from holiday.  Paula worked last night, her first shift since we returned. As I drove her home this morning after leaving her car for a check-up, we talked about what to eat for dinner. Both of us wanted to have pizza. We did not have any on holiday…although that is fine since we really like our own. Homemade pizza is truly one of our comfort foods!

I made the dough this afternoon while she was sleeping. After Paula woke up, we drove back to town to get her car while the pizza stone got hot in the oven. When we returned,  we made pizza and enjoyed a movie. The film, Allied, had arrived when we were on holiday so we enjoyed it with our pizza.

Stuffed Shells from the freezer

Before Paula and I headed off on our holiday, I had made stuffed shells for our dinner group. It turned out that there were shells leftover. I placed them in a small baking dish and put them in the freezer. Since I was busy taking care of all the bills and other stuff that had accumulated when we were away, I decided that we would have the shells for dinner tonight. It would make for an easy meal, especially since Paula was going back to work this evening. We had bought the fixings for a green salad when we went grocery shopping yesterday so I made a simple salad to go with the shells. They were quite tasty again, even if they had sat in the freezer for a few weeks.

Veggie Tacos for dinner

Paula and I arrived home from our Canada trip in the early afternoon. After we unpacked everything and checked out the mail, we went grocery shopping. I had chosen a few recipes for us to enjoy before we left for holiday so we bought the ingredients for them along with the other groceries that we needed to get things going after our holiday. Tonight we had MOP tacos, a recipe that I found in the summer issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine. MOP stands for mushrooms, onions and peppers and they were quite tasty! It also was an easy meal to prepare, which was perfect since we were tired after getting up at 4 AM to catch our first flight home.

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  •  8-10 ounces of sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 poblano chiles (halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced)
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large jalapeño, thinly sliced (Note: I did not use the jalapeno since Paula doesn’t like too much heat in her food)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4-6 small (5- to 6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas
  • Optional toppings: chopped or shredded lettuce, crumbled mexican blend, queso asadero or queso fresco cheese, diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro and hot sauce

Heat a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add the oil to the pan. Cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until the are browned. This should take about 8 minutes. Add the poblanos, onion, garlic, jalapeño (if used), cumin and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing often, until the chiles are crisp-tender. This will take about 5 more minutes. Douse with the lime juice.

In a large, dry skillet over high heat or directly over the open flame on a gas stove, cook the tortillas, turning occasionally, until charred in spots, about 2 minutes.

Fill the tortillas with the mushroom-onion-poblano mixture. Top with the toppings of your choice and enjoy!

 

 

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