February 14, 2011
Dooley down a peg, but good eatin' anyway!
Dooley spent the whole past weekend in bed, sick. It brought back memories of the bad old days when he spent 24 hours a day in bed. I told him that I understand that he'll get sick from time to time, but that he's on notice. He's not allowed to sink back into that bad old reclusive behavior.
So I cooked on my own this weekend. On Saturday I made Butternut Squash Risotto from The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook. I had had a 2-1/2 lb butternut squash sitting on my kitchen counter for the past month or more, but didn't want to make another batch of soup from it. So with Dooley out of commission, I decided to make something he wouldn't want. I was short on the dry white cooking wine called for in the recipe, so I made up the difference with red cooking wine. It tinted the rice pink, but added a complexity of flavor that was surprising. With the sweet squash and the tang of the wine, the risotto was too good. I found it hard to stop eating it. It's also VERY filling.
On Sunday, I baked some more multi-grain bread from the Test Kitchen cookbook. I had run out of all-purpose flour and honey, so I substituted White Whole Wheat flour and Barley Malt Syrup, both of which I had in my cupboard. The bread didn't rise as much as normal, so it's a little dense, but still so flavorful and tender! I don't think I'll ever buy another loaf of multi-grain bread. This is just too much fun!
Sunday evening, I levered Dooley out of bed to make meatloaf together. This recipe calls for "meat loaf mix", which, to my surprise, was available at Kroger. It's a mixture of ground beef, pork, and lamb. A couple things went a little wrong--first, the juices bubbled up over the side of the loaf pan and onto the burner on the bottom of the oven. That filled our condo with smoke. But it was a mild day outside, so we opened some windows and put a fan up to exhaust the smoke outdoors. And then it took 40 minutes longer than the cookbook said it would for the meat to get up to 160 degrees internal temperature. But the topping/sauce was fantastic, and the meat filled with flavor and great texture.
After the meatloaf came out of the oven, I popped in the onion rings that I had prepped while the meat roasted. When I turned the oven up to 450 all the drippings on the bottom of the oven made billows of smoke all over again. We had to open the windows and use the big box fan to exhaust the smoke. But these baked up quick, and by the time the meatloaf had rested the 20 minutes recommended, the onion rings were hot and ready to eat. I don't think I'll be doing the onion rings again, though. Way too much fussy prep work. Maybe if someone want to help with it....
Posted by jdooley at February 14, 2011 05:26 PM
The meatloaf sounds good, except for the lamb. Next time you might try hamburger with less fat in it to bubble out. I've also made free-standing meatloaf that you shape & just sit on a cookie sheet - less likely for the fat to bubble over onto the bottom of the oven.
Posted by: stevegil at February 15, 2011 11:50 PMLogin to leave a comment. Create a new account.