Monday, January 24, 2011

Not your Grandma's Meatloaf

Don't get me wrong.  I'm dissing anyone's grandma.  I've got a pretty amazing Grandma myself.  My mom's one heck of a Grandma, too.  And while I'm at is my mother-in-law, and my Grandma-in-laws.  But...I'm thinking that they don't make meatloaf quite like this. (Disclaimer: I haven't tasted all of their meatloafs.  If I had, I'm sure they would be very good...but not quite like this.)

This meatloaf packs one heck of flavor punch.  Also included are a smack a fiber and a jab of veggies.

Had it with the stupid faux-boxing lingo?  Yeah, me too.

Here it is:

Prep work:
Grind the oatmeal in the blender to make a fine crumb.  Go ahead and throw in some flax seed. Mmmmmmm....fiber.  Much better than saltines.

Finely shred two carrots and chop up one bell peper and a half an onion.  Saute this in whatever you've got (I didn't want calories, so I used cooking spray.  Olive oil would probably taste better, though.  But, you gotta do what you gotta do.) for about 3 - 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Along with the veggies, add some minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

Dump everything into a bowl and mix thoroughly.  I like to use my hands for this.  But not my bare hands.  It's not that I find it too icky, it just gets too cold.  I wear rubber gloves.  The kind doctors wear.  They make me feel important.  Ok, not really...but they do make my hands less cold and it's much quicker than mixing with a spoon.

Shape into a loaf.  I like my meatloaf shaped into a loaf on an edged cookie sheet/jelly-roll pan.  My husband likes his in a loaf pan.  If I make the meatloaf in the loaf pan, he does the dishes.  I'm not stupid.

Bake at 375 for 45 mins to an hour, or until meat thermometer reads 150.  Let it rest for about 10 minutes.  If you use a loaf pan, it will still be a pain in the neck to get out of the pan.  This is why I prefer a loaf on a cookie sheet.  I haven't tried it before, but I've seen Paula Dean (not in person...through the TV, it's not like I'm BFFs with PD) put a couple slices of bread under her loaf to soak up the grease.  Maybe I'll try that next time.  Or, you try it and let me know how it goes.

This is FABULOUS with baked sweet potatoes and broccoli.  Bake the potatoes at the same temp for the same time as the meatloaf.  PLEASE put a foil covered cookie sheet under you potatoes so you don't have oooey-gooey potato juice flooding your oven.

1 C. oatmeal, ground into a fine crumb
1 T. ground flaxseed
2 carrots, finely shredded
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 bell pepper (any color/combination of colors), finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 lb lean ground beef
8 oz can tomato puree
1 egg
1 T. Worchestershire sauce
1 T. dried parsely

Preheat oven to 375.

Grind oatmeal and flaxseed in food processor or blender.

Saute carrots, onion, pepper, garlic until onions are translucent (about 3 - 5 minutes).

Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and combine well.

Form into loaf and bake 45 - 60 minutes; until 150 degrees.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gold Bars

Delightfully sinful.  That is truly the very best way to describe these bars.  Wait until you read the ingredient'll see...sinful.  But delightfully so.

The original recipe called these "Peanut Butter Cup Bars."  And that's a pretty good way to describe them.  A very good way, actually, because that's what they taste like.  However, they remind me of the "Gold Bars" served at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in the late '80s, so that is my name for them. 

I don't care what you call them.  Just eat them.  And then repent.

Gold Bars
Prep time: 10 mins      Chill time: at least 30 mins

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate...pick your flavor)

Before you get started...first, line an 8x8 square pan with foil, leaving enough foil to hang over the sides to act as "handles" when removing from the pan.  Butter the foil.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter over medium heat until just melted.  Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar and stir until smooth.  Then add the graham cracker crumbs* and peanut butter.  Stir until well-combined.  Spread into the pan.

Add the remaining 1/4 cup of butter to your now-empty saucepan and heat over medium heat until just melted.  Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips, stir until melted.  Spread over the peanut butter layer.

Chill in the refridgerator for at least 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cut into 16-24 squares, depending on the size of bar you prefer.  If you use semi-sweet chips (like I did) I recommend 24 bars as they're pretty rich.

*I used my the food processor attachment for my blender to make the crumbs - far easier than the plastic-bag-rolling-pin method.

Adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker