Daily Archives: 04.01.2011

Friday Food Round-Up!

It’s April Fools’ Day, right?  So I thought I’d try to pull a Sandra Lee on you and tell y’all about the semi-homemade extravaganza I threw this weekend.

Except y’all know that’s just not how I do.  This week, all of the recipes (except for the potatoes!) were new.  Semi-homemade or (obviously) not, they were a blend of fast, easy and comfortable.

Saturday – Exquisite Yeastless Focaccia

I’m extremely comfortable saying that in this case, The Universe was directing us to act, because on Sunday, Megan actioned a focaccia with rosemary as well.

When the Universe tells us to put carbs first, we do and then think.  It is The Only Way.

This mixes up really quickly and bakes in 20 minutes.  If I were having surprise guests, I’d action one of these again in a heartbeat because it was just so easy.  Because it’s yeastless, it definitely evokes a rustic, focaccia-type bread without being deeply faithful to what a yeasted creation would actually yield.

Our modifications: I didn’t follow any of the toppings to a “T.”  The point of focaccia is that it’s meant to be made to suit your tastes and whims.  I also made it using half white flour and half wheat, adding an extra half-cup to the total in order to make the dough “workable.”

I made one loaf  with rosemary (in the dough), topped with salt, pepper and garlic salt.  The other was a plain dough that was topped with green onions, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Next time?  I’d put the rosemary in the dough and top it with the cheese-onion combination.  The best of both worlds.

The only key to this, is that it’s really the type of bread that you should eat hot out of the oven.  It didn’t keep poorly, but it definitely suffered from a case of This Was So Much Better Yesterday.

Sunday – Paula Deen’s Aunt Peggy’s Meat Loaf and Dijon Potatoes

Once upon a time, I made Marcus Buffalo Chicken Mini-Meatloaves, which I totally recommend.

But I realized last week that I’ve never actually made him a meatloaf.

In a way, I still really haven’t because this one didn’t hold its shape.  AT ALL.  But it was still totally delicious.  And it would make an excellent stuffing for a bell pepper, a cabbage roll, sandwich topping, anything really.

These potatoes are a fallback favorite for us – we eat them all the time in the summer, because it’s one of the easiest things to action with the potatoes from Gregor Farm.  Roasted in the oven, kebab-ed on the grill, this recipe NEVER fails us.

Tuesday – Curried Mushrooms and Peas from 5 spices, 50 dishes

I don’t know that before Tuesday night I had ever eaten a curried mushroom.  But the dish sounded interesting, and like another valid vegetarian option for our arsenal, so I flagged this recipe as the first “to try” from the book.  It was helped by the fact that the 5th spice the book relies on is mustard seed/powder and we have neither of those in our spice arsenal.

Our modifications: On paper, the dish didn’t sound particularly sauce-y, so I doubled the spices and doubled the liquid by using a can of chopped tomatoes instead of one diced tomato (next time I would only increase the liquid by half).  We tossed in a jalapeno.  Lacking a clear vision for the remaining bell peppers in our crisper, I chopped those into bite-sized pieces and added those into the mix as well.  This was probably the most inspired move of the evening, because otherwise, I don’t know that there would have been enough “bulk” to this dish to serve it as anything other than a side dish.

This one will be filed away in the Slightly More Foolproof Than Aloo Gobi-pile.

Have you ever attempted a meat loaf?  What’s your go-to recipe?

Do you prefer to make bread for company or to buy it?

I’ll be honest, we’re compulsive baguette buyers when we’re at Trader Joe’s.  When we get them home, we slice them into smaller chunks and freeze them for bruschetta, french bread pizzas, and croutons.  Otherwise, I’m extremely partial to the garlic bread that they sell in the bakery section at Lunds.