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IT IS AMAZING WHAT A LITTLE MOTIVATION WILL DO

October 17, 2019

IT IS AMAZING WHAT A LITTLE MOTIVATION WILL DO

I’m learning so much!

You have been wonderful testing the recipes and explaining what isn’t clear and how I can make the directions more understandable.

I don’t know about you but we are eating really well here. A little motivation will do wonders to get us out of our weekly food rut. It’s not that we don’t have a repertoire of great recipes to choose from; it’s that we go on automatic and keep repeating what’s tried and true. I’m not certain if it’s laziness or lack of inspiration. Either way food ruts make for uninspired dinners.

It is amazing how a little impetus, testing recipes in my case, has changed my attitude and our menus.

Sitting down to something different every night adds a little excitement to our daily ritual. Not all our meals have been delicious; I’ve nixed a few recipes because they need more work to be really good. They won’t be included in this cookbook but maybe the next one, Le Dinner Party.

I hope that when the current project, Le Kitchen Cookbook, is finished it will motivate you to try new recipes and to be creative and invent new ones.

After all, why shouldn’t we all participate and enjoy the wonders that a well-cooked meal has to offer?

The recipe that needs testing this week is a meatloaf. It is a little different than other meatloaves because it doesn’t have any beef in it. Instead, it contains equal portions of lamb, turkey, and turkey sausage and is surprisingly flavorful. 

 

Meatloaf

Makes 2 large loaves or 4 small ones.
2 loaves serve 8; 1 loaf serves 4; each small loaf will serve 2.
Meatloaves freeze very well so this is the perfect dish to freeze for when you don’t have time to cook.

Preheat oven at 375°
Prep time 15 minutes  
Total time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • One of the tricks to creating a juicy meatloaf is to keep the meat very cold. That keeps the fat cold and intact so when it is cooking and the fat melts, it creates a loaf that is moist and juicy.
  • There are two ways I do to that. First, I keep the meat refrigerated until I am ready to use it. Second, before I start mixing all the ingredients, I add four or five ice cubes to the bowl. It works really well without getting mixed into the meat mixture. When you are done the ice will be sitting on the bottom of the bowl.

Ingredients

3 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbs herb de Provence*; if you need a substitute see below.
3 minced garlic cloves
1 onion chopped very fine
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili hot sauce optional
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground turkey
1 package of Shady-Brook Farms Italian sausage (20 oz)
(I love these sausages; they come in either sweet or hot. Both are good. The hot isn’t spicy per se, just full of flavor.)
5 ice cubes
*If you don’t have herb de Provence, you can substitute the following:
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp oregano
For the Sauce
3/4 cup tomato ketchup
3 tbs mustard
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs white wine vinegar

 

Directions

  1. In a large bowl add the onion, garlic, herbs, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, chili hot sauce if using, and the eggs. Stir to combine.
  2. Remove the casing of the sausages (with the point of a knife slice the casing on each sausage and remove it).
  3. Add all the meat and the ice cubes.
  4. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until blended; do not over mix.
  5. Line a baking pan with either foil, parchment paper or a silicone baking matt.
  6. If you are making 2 large loaves, divide the meat in half and shape the loaves on the lined baking sheet being careful to not compress them.
  7. For 4 smaller loaves. divide the meat into 4 sections and shape them as above.
  8. For the sauce, combine the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar.
  9. Coat the loaves with 1/3 of the sauce.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours.
  11. The meat should reach 155° to 160° internal temperature.
  12. Remove from the oven, tent the loaves with tin foil, and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  13. Heat the remainder of the sauce and serve the meatloaf with the remainder of the sauce. 

Meatloaves are delicious served with mashed potatoes. If you prefer a lighter meal, serve it with a vegetable such as string beans.

Here is a little reminder if you are testing a recipe:

Can you tell me:

Was it understandable?
Did I omit something?
Was it easy to follow?
Did the recipe turn out?
Is there anything you’d change?
Did you like it?
Would you make it again?

Also, don’t let the length of the recipes intimidate you. They may seem long, but that is only to ensure that everything is explained.

Before you start cooking, there are two steps you should take. I highly recommend that you:

  1. Read the entire recipe before starting. Trust me, it makes cooking so much easier—I learned this the hard way.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten halfway through a recipe to read “let it marinate overnight.” What! I’m making this for tonight, not tomorrow! And I’m left improvising the rest of the recipe.

  1. Do what chef’s do before they start cooking. Get everything ready: all your utensils, tools, and ingredients measured, peeled, cut, and sliced. It is called mise en place, a French term meaning set in place. This step has actually made cooking easier.

Once all the ingredients are prepared and ready, I can start cooking without having to pause to prepare the next ingredients. And I don’t forget to include something because it is already waiting for me to include it.

If you’d like, here are other recipes you can try.

Egg, Bacon and Hash-brown Frittata—a one-pan breakfast

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

Cauliflower Fennel Parmesan Soup

Soupe aux Poireaux pomme de terre—Leek and potato soup 

Roast Pork Tenderloin with 3 Sauces

Chicken Stew

You can answer the questions either in the comments or if you prefer you can email me at adeline@french-secrets.com.


One more thing: if you know anyone who you think would like to test a recipe, please send this on to them. The more the merrier.

Merci!

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