Simple Sunday Supper

Today has been a simple day. Church, lunch and an afternoon with family watching movies and reading books. It has been a nice day just the three of us.

It seemed only right for us to have a simple, traditional meal. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and broccoli.

Ingredients

2 lbs. of ground beef (chuck or round)

1 medium onion, diced

2-3 tbs parsley, chopped (Italian parsley, don’t mess with the curled stuff—it’s bitter)

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 to 1 ½ cups oats

1 bell pepper, diced (optional)

1 egg

1 small can tomato sauce

Salt and pepper

Oats ... that's what I use instead of bread.

Dump all the ingredients in and give it a stir.

Tomato sauce and a stir.

Then add the tomato sauce and egg.

One fresh egg.

I always put my meatloaf in a cast iron skillet. You can use a loaf pan or Pyrex dish.

Everyone should have a well-seasoned iron skillet.

Cast iron is an awesome conductor of heat.

Press the meat into the pan. Next make the topper (this is optional).

A sweet ketchup-based sauce does the trick.

Topping

½ c. ketchup

1 tbs mustard

¼ c. brown sugar

2 tbs. whole grain mustard

Salt and pepper

Top with the sauce.

Pour on top, spread out to the edges. Then place the pan in a 375 degree oven. Bake for 45 min or until done all the way through.

Baked to perfection.

Yummy! Sunday supper.

Never Fail Pie Crust

Literally a page from my grandmother's cookbook.

In 1975 my grandmother published a cookbook titled Food for Body and Soul. In it are some wonderful recipes that are passed down for generations. (more about my grandmother’s cookbook in another post).

The Never Fail Pie Crust is one of those great recipes. This crust is easy to handle and doesn’t require a lot of precision, like most baking does. It’s always soft, yet flaky. Because this recipe uses shortening instead of butter, it comes together very easily. It’s Never Fail, because anyone can pull this off, regardless if you’ve developed a “feel” for the dough.

Pretty standard pantry ingredients for a pie crust.

Ingredients:

3 C. All-purpose flour

1 tsp salt (use table salt)

1 ¼ C. shortening

1 egg, well beaten

1 tbs vinegar

5 tbs water

All in.

Put them all into the food processor, and let it rip.

[If you don’t have a food processor, cut in the flour and shortening. Then add the wet ingredients.]

When it comes together in clumps, it’s ready.

Pretty much flour and lard.

Pull the dough out and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make your pie filling. This dough doesn’t need to be chilled necessarily, but it is easier to work with when it’s cold/cool.

Hanging out in the fridge, waiting its turn.

When you are ready for it, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. This recipe makes enough for a double-crust, deep-dish pie or two single-crust pies. This can be rerolled without toughing and it keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

A beautiful pie crust.

Happy Pies, Y’all.

 

(buttermilk pie recipe coming next.)

Trav’s Corner: Southwestern Chicken Liver Pate

I have been trying to get more liver into my diet lately, as it is the richest source of vitamin A out there. The vitamin A found in liver is much more readily absorbed and complete than the beta carotene found in plant sources and is one of the best antioxidants around. That being said, liver can challenging to make appetizing, especially when you don’t want to fry it (for carb avoidance reasons in my case). This recipe is not only appetizing, but simple and inexpensive to boot.

1 bucket of chicken livers (about 1 1/3 pounds)

½ an onion, chopped coarse

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 bay leaf

2 t dried thyme leaves

2 t dried basil

1 jalapeño, sliced

4 Anaheim or New Mexico chiles, roasted, peeled, and seeded

1 t bourbon

1 stick of butter, room temp

Put everything except the last three items in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Using a slotted spoon, move everything to a food processor. Add the chiles and the bourbon. Pulse a few times to combine, season with salt and pepper (I recommend kosher salt and freshly finely ground pepper), and while the processor is running, add the butter a pat at a time until fully incorporated. Continue processing until silky smooth. Scrape into ramekins or small bowls and chill for at least three hours before serving. If you want to keep it longer, put some melted butter on top and cover in the fridge for a week or the freezer for 2 months. Serve with crackers, toast, or tortilla chips, or even with veggies.

Variations: If you like it spicier, throw in a Serrano pepper with the boil. For a smoky flavor, take out the jalapeño and use a chipotle with the chiles. For a more Mexican flavor, substitute Poblanos for the chiles and throw in some chopped cilantro with the butter.