All posts filed under: One Dish Dinners

The Sandwich Diaries ~ the Meatloaf Sandwich

There’s one important thing to have when making a great meatloaf sandwich Good meatloaf…. and white bread Okay, two things meatloaf, white bread… and mayo bollocks! … three things and pickle chips Dammit! Meatloaf, in a sense, has been around since the Romans. Although with ingredients like finely chopped lamb, pine nuts, rosemary and cream, you ended up with something more “pate-like” than what we call our beloved food of the masses. It wasn’t until WWII that meatloaf truly became part of the working class American diet. Looking to help families stretch their meat rations, numerous government agencies and appliance manufacturers started a campaign to show housewives how to extend meager protein rations to feed a large family. They championed adding stale bread, leftover biscuits, potatoes and rice into minced meat, adding a healthy dose of ketchup and seasonings, and baking it off “roast-style” to create a meat dish that would be fit to grace any Sunday Dinner table. It caught on. And while they were satisfying and filling, they did something much more important. They created leftovers. Leftovers that …

A New England (inspired) Clam Chowder

Every culture has a dish, or handful of dishes, that they claim the all-encompassing rights to. Here in the South, it’s grits… and fried chicken. Although.. truth be told, I grew up here and I still have no clear understanding exactly what Southern Fried Chicken is. If I go by my Great Grandmother, it’s heavily peppered, pan fried chicken, placed in a pan after cooking – covered and allowed to steam…. it isn’t crunchy. Jane’s is crunchy… but no pepper. Evelyn’s was buttermilk dipped, but not steamed. … and on and on it goes, throughout every single household here in the Deep South – slight differences in techniques, varying outcomes, different seasoning profiles… but all of them Southern Fried Chicken. It’s ours… we Own it. So, I get it when someone from New England foams at the corners of the mouth when some outlander makes a “traditional” Clam Chowder. It’s just one of those things that if you aren’t from here (well, there)… you can’t make. I’m sensitive to that. That’s why you never see me make a …

Kitchen Fodder – Meatballs Under Pressure

Curry No, I’m not talking about the little red & white can that sits in the pantry growing dust bunnies because you only pull it out once every 6 years to make those curried glazed carrots you’ve read so much about. No. That stuff is for Cretans and Malcontents.  Anywhere else in the world, curry is a dance – a give and take of spices and aromatics – that when blended properly, transforms a dish to such exotic heights, it is the culinary equivalent of Mount Everest…. (sought by many, obtained only by the very adventurous). So… Seeing the Curried Lamb Meatball recipe the the little CooksEssentials Microwave Pressure Cookery Bookerlette… I was intrigued… but very, very cautious. Like most things, I monkeyed around with their recipe. Not because I’m just a bad person, but like finding that curry nirvana, I have my own particular likes and dislikes that play into the picture when creating that perfect spice blend. Granted, if you’re not terribly particular, you could just open up that red/white container and hawk in 2 big spoonfuls …

Lasagna!

Okay, you all know me. I don’t usually endorse any product. Like most of you, I have my favorites – and barring some natural disaster that wipes out their factory… and their delivery trucks… and every single case of product distributed across the country, it’s not likely that I change my buying habits. And, most of you feel the same way – I get that. I particularly like Red Gold Tomatoes, and over this past year, Red Gold  has approached me several times to do a sponsored post including themed recipes for their products. Unfortunately, It’s always been something that just wouldn’t meld with the way I cook. Call me snobbish about my recipes, call me.. well, whatever…. it just didn’t work out. Until this month. I love lasagna… I mean, make a pan and eat the whole thing kind of love. However, My own recipe is long, drawn out, and involved. It takes forever to make so I never get around to making it very often. With this month’s promotion, they sent me a ridiculously …

Chicken Pot Pie

In the past, my experiences with Chicken Pot Pie have been nothing to sing about … they’ve been those frozen, gooey,  little individual things with the grainy crust, an over-abundance of English peas, and chicken – like substance.   I knew I could do better than those things. And, I did. Rich, thick, chicken-y sauce…   the perfect blend of seasonings….  a carefully balanced ratio of meat – to – veg – to – peas… … and a flaky crust to kill for…. really, “kill ’em done dead.” So, dig out you favorite big-ass casserole pan and let’s get at it.   Plate Fodder’s – Chicken Pot Chicken Pot Chicken Pot Pie! Serves 6 For the Crust: 2 Cups AP Flour 1 Teaspoon Salt 1/2 Cup Cold Butter 1/2 Cup Cold Lard 1/2 Cup Ice Water (more or less) The tools of the Trade: Food Processor Zipper Bag Freezer Flour for Rolling the dough Rolling Pin For the Filling: 3 (6 to 8 ounce) Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breasts 1/2 Cup Water 1/3 Cup EACH …

OPA! ~ The Moussaka Experiment

It’s a funny thing when you start researching a recipe. It begins with one simple recipe… then two; both asserting THEY are the traditional recipe. Then there’s recipes three through 15 with only 1/2 of the ingredients – also staking their claim to the birthright. Then there are the ones with potatoes for the base, and an equal number disallowing any knowledge of potatoes. Ones with eggplant stack up against the horde of Greek Mothers that adamantly state there are no eggplants in moussaka. Beef vs Lamb Phyllo Crust vs Bread Crumbs Traditional Greek Cheese vs Cheddar & Parmesan Crushed Tomatoes vs Puree Bechamel vs White Sauce and so it went for 62 separate and distinct recipes… each and every one claiming to be the one and only. In the end, I chose none of them as my recipe. Instead, I became a little like Dr. Frankenstein and created my Greek monster out of 12 different moussakas. So, why all the fuss? Here’s the thing.   Like a lot of people, I have my own ideas what good …

Egg Smash, and the Tater Tot Frittata

  Usually, I’m pretty conscientious when I go shopping… I bring my own bags, I load my cart with fragile things tucked under or in the little flippy basket, I arrange things on the conveyor checkout thingy so bruisy – easily damaged things don’t end up under the laundry detergent, and I don’t let them bag my crap in 10,000 flimsy plastic bags. I hate those things. Loading them into the trunk and hauling 60 bags into the house with 2 things in it just makes me crazy. But I was distracted. … and I forgot my bags … and before I could go all insane old man on them, they had bagged my entire haul into 22 little plastic bags. So I wheeled my cart full of windsocks out to the car and barreled home in a fury. I was still irritated when I got home, and I began snatching handfuls of lightly filled bags – not really paying attention to what I was doing… and slung the  bag with 2 lemons and a dozen …

One from Column “A” ~ Sweet and Sour Fish

I’ve seen it anywhere from something resembling savory fruit cocktail with chicken in it, to  what I’m absolutely sure was cherry pie filling with meat. Here’s the thing – by and large, “Sweet and Sour anything”  in almost every Asian food establishment is , well… dreadful. Either the: The sauce is gloppy… and red,  the vegetables are in much too large of chunks to be easily managed, the fried coating on the meat turns spongy when it hits the sauce,  or there’s pineapple (ergh) in it. Not that I dislike pineapple, I just don’t want something that’s already too sweet having yet another sweet / sharp component it the mix. So, what’s a fella to do? He  puts on his big boy apron and makes his very own. A couple of things you’ll notice about the recipe – The coating for the fried fish is a dry coat. I’ve found it works best when adding the cooked protein back to the sauce to keep the fish somewhat crispy. The sauce isn’t red, on purpose. I think …

The Unfinished Manuscript – Pasta al Tonno

Once again, we’re doing our part of The Unfinished Manuscript. Previously, we did a Focaccia, and this makes a fine accompaniment to it, or works well on it’s own as a one dish dinner, or a fish course for a much larger meal. As before, the author’s recipe just didn’t wow me. Not that there was something wrong with it, it was just rather pedestrian. So we’ve amped up the flavors a bit and gone head first into fishy pasta world. I think every culture has some sort of noodle-y, fishy comfort food dish, and this one is of Sicilian origin. Think of it as laborers food… dressed up a bit. It’s quick, easy, and thoroughly satisfying. This is my last recipe with THE BOOK, it’s going on the road this weekend. From here, it’s going to travel to Washington State and into the able hands of Sprung At Last. Pop on over there and give her some love, and a look. (Her posts about her dating disasters with Match.com are just too funny.) Pasta …

Shank’d Again – Braised Lamb Shanks

I’d love everyone to think I buy from only the best local suppliers, the most humane breeders, the zero-hormone purveyors. But that’s just not the way life is for most people that budget for their groceries. Buying an $18 natural feed, pasture-raised roasting hen is out right stupid when you have anywhere from 8 to 14 meals to prepare every week, 5 to 15 school bagged lunches to shove out the door, paper products, toothpaste, soap, new socks, Q-Tips… and the plethora of other unexciting additions that make it to the shopping list every week. I make no apologies for it – I bargain shop for meat. The twice-marked down chuck roast? … toss it in the cart Chicken coop accident and you have to cull down a 100 smothered chickens? … put me down for 12 You thought Dahlonega was hip & happening, and would lap up the 80 lbs of bison you brought in?  … sure, I’ll take it off your hands for 10 cents on the dolla’. you get the picture…  In …