Monday, March 27, 2017

Comfort Food Classic - Turkey Mushroom Meatloaf

Every once in a while, I get a craving for Meatloaf. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, I go out of my way to make it something special.  Most often, I'll go for our standard (but very awesome) Turkey Meatloaf recipe, complete its own yummy basting and serving sauce, but this particular night, I wanted something different - a slightly faster cooking Meatloaf packed with savory, tender Mushrooms that the whole family (toddlers and up!) will eat. 

Because this Meatloaf is also relatively small-batch (double the recipe and cook in two pans if you'd like to make more), it stays extra juicy and cooks in just about hour.  You don't have to love Mushrooms to love this recipe, but you will find that they add extra richness, texture and meatiness.  You almost feel like you're eating Beef instead of healthier Turkey Meat. Try this for your next family dinner. You won't regret it. 

Most Delicious Mushroom Meatloaf
Serves 4 
*(If you double the recipe, best to divide into two portions and bake it in two sheet or roasting pans, side by side)

3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, divided
1 large Carrot, minced
1 Leek, white and light green parts, minced (you can sub in 3 minced Scallions as well)
1 Medium Yellow Onion, finely diced
Cup and a half minced or diced mixed Mushrooms (we used Oyster and Cremini)
3 Tablespoons minced Chives

1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 LB Ground Organic Turkey
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmigiana Reggiano Cheese 


Turn oven to 350 with rack in the middle. 

Melt 2 Tablespoons of the Butter medium skillet over medium heat. Add minced Carrots and cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add Leek, and saute for about 2 minutes. Add Onion and saute another two minutes. Add minced Mushrooms and continue to cook another 3-4 minutes until they have softened but are still springy. Stir in Chives and Parsley and turn off the heat.

Add Panko to a large bowl. Stir in Chicken Broth and blend to moisten the Panko. Add the Mushroom Veggie Mix to the bowl as well as the Turkey, and 1 Egg. Blend. Melt the last Tablespoon of Butter and pour it in. Season with Salt and Pepper. Add Ketchup and Parmigiana Cheese. Blend.

Grease a high sided Baking Pan and mound the Meatloaf down the middle of it. It will seem rather wet and that is ok. It should be about six inches wide to nine inches long and about an inch and a half high. Bake about 1 hour until cooked through (170 in the middle with an instant read thermometer). Rest for 5-10 minutes and serve warm. 


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cocktail Break - St. Pat's Guinness Bloody Mary

Erin go bragh and happy St. Pats! Today, I'm going to give you a recipe tip you won't soon forget. 

A recipe tip about cocktails...

A genius idea given to me by the barkeep at venerable Irish bar on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the scene of more than a few good times with my best friend before life forced us to become "responsible adults." 

Something tells me we'll be back. And you know why? Because they make a great Bloody Mary, and the best Bloody Marys...

Guinness Bloody Mary, Photo: NK

have Guinness in them! 

YES. Who knew you could improve on a Bloody Mary? The bartender are George Keeley did, that's who. 

They say Guinness is Good, but Guinness Bloody Mary's are definitely better. As a matter of fact, lots of things benefit from a good dose of stout - like this easy Beef Pot Pie

Even if you favor green drinks on St. Pat's be sure to give this recipe a try some time this year. 

Guinness Bloody Mary's Our Way

Yields 1 Cocktail


1 short rocks glass
Toothpick or Cocktail Skewers


1.5 Ounces of Vodka
4 Ounces of Low Sodium Tomato Juice
1 teaspoon Horseradish 
2 Splashes Worcestershire
1 Lime Wedge for garnish and one for the mix
1 Lemon Round for garnish and lemon for the mix
3 Green Olives stuffed with Pimento
1 Celery Stalk
Seasoned Salt (Celery Salt or other flavored Salt Blend) 
4 Dashes of Tabasco 
1 Ounce of Guinness 
Salt and Pepper to taste 


Rim your glass with some Lemon and dip it into Seasoned Salt. 
Fill a short glass 2/3 of the way with Tomato Juice, then add Vodka, Horseradish, Tabasco, Worcestershire and a good squeeze of lemon. Stir.

Thread three Olives onto a cocktail skewer and finish with a small Lime Wedge. Set aside. 

Add Ice and Stir. Pour on the Guinness. Taste and add additional Tabasco, Horseradish and Seasoned Salt or Pepper as you wish. 

Garnish with a Celery Stalk and the Olive skewer. Enjoy!!