Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Newlywed Meatloaf

Honey Love Layered Meatloaf

This layered dish ups the anti on meatloaf but just takes one extra step to turn traditional into fancy pants in a simple way. I was ready to kick up my cooking a notch because it felt like I had a rare opportunity to make a celebratory meal. Even though shabbat comes every week, and I managed the holidays with quite a bit of fanfare, this particular celebration was layered on top of Shabbat, so held more significance than a traditional meal around the table. I made this dish for a newlywed couple's first shabbat dinner after their wedding, this meal served as a night of their "Sheva Brachot." I wanted the ingredients to reflect some Jewish and general wedding customs, so I played around a bit there. Reviews say that the results were delicious. (Note the bold ingredients which will be explained below.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
For Meatloaf
1/3 of a cup honey
1/2 cup of teriyaki sauce
1lb ground beef
1lb ground turkey (not white meat)
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup corn flakes, crushed
Nutmeg (fresh ground)
3 tbs Grill seasoning (Jaime Gwen's Chicken & Turkey spice rub - rosemary, sage, thyme)
1tbs Emeril's Essence seasoning blend
2 tbs Garlic Powder
Chili Flakes (to taste)
White Pepper (a guest was allergic to black, use tricolor if you have it on hand)
(I don't add salt because it's kosher meat, which is already salted. Add to taste if the meat isn't kosher)

For Veggie filling/topping:
1/2 cup Tio Pepe Sherry (or dry white wine), + 1tbs sherry for egg mixture
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 sweet onion, large
3 large celery stalks (leafy parts too)
10 oz mushrooms (1/2 cup)
2 cups spinach

  • Add the honey, teriyaki sauce, and spices to a big bowl then folded both meats together with spices and honey, and let sit.
  • Chop the veggies really small and added them to a pot to cook along with the sherry, adding the spinach last. You may want to use a bit extra of the same seasoning when you saute the veggies, I only added the garlic. Feel free to use fresh garlic if you have it.
  • While the veggies saute, take a small bowl and crack two eggs, whisking them with a tbs of sherry.
  • Add crushed cornflakes into the egg mixture to soften.
  • When the veggies are done sauteing, create a well in the seasoned meat and added in the egg mixture, combining thoroughly.
  • The next steps depend on whether you're folding the veggies into the meatloaf (particularly great if you're hiding them from picky eaters) or layering them (if you want to give permission to your picky eaters to just avoid them). I filled the large meatloaf pan half way, added 3/4 of the veggies, and spread out, then added the second half, decorating the top with a design of the remaining vegetables.
  • Place in the 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until sides crisp.
  • Strain the excess gravy into a bowl and discard or save to serve later.
Enjoy! (this version had a little difficulty staying together - so if you have recommendations for how to improve that, feel free to share. Also, typically I *always* add mustard or mustard powder to my meatloaves, but somehow forgot this go around. Feel free to experiment.)

Other tips and tricks: More veggies will make the meatloaf go further if you're on a budget. Also, you can use more turkey which is less expensive. For nearly the same rich flavor you can go as far as a 2:1 ratio. Also, save the gravy if you're making noodles or rice and serve it on the side. Saute extra vegetables for the side too. (Using chicken or vegetable broth and sherry keeps the extra fat away from that step of the dish.)

Wondering how the ingredients I used relate to marriage?
Two kinds of meat, for the blending into one family.
Honey, traditional on shabbat throughout the first year of marriage to set up a future filled with sweetness.
Teriyaki for all the future Christmases that will be filled with Chinese food.
Eggs, as a symbol of fertility, the life cycle and wholeness.
Spices are, indeed, emblematic of the spice of life, and the flavorful life that the couple will have.
Also, I shaped the extra veggies into the shape of a heart a top the meatloaf.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Best Brisket

This recipe is inspired by my childhood best friend's mom. I've turned into my own special recipe, but her slow cooking technique is what I recommend!

Either Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lower to 300 after 2 hours for an additional hour
or 250 if you plan to slow cook for 6-8 hours.

2.5 lbs Brisket, 2nd cut
1/4 c. sugar (brown, turbinado or in the raw)
1/3 c. onion soup mix or if you need low sodium, onion powder
1/2 c. garlic powder
2/3 c. sherry (tio pepe makes a kosher blend every passover and it's usually available year round)
1/3 c. water or broth
Veggetables to add: Root vegetables, celery, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, mushrooms (whatever is on hand)
Optional dry ingredients: Paprika, zatar, mustard powder, rosemary or emeril's spice blend. Clove of garlic - place slices into little slits you cut in the meat

If using fresh garlic, insert first. Then mix dry ingredients and use as a dry rub on both sides of meat. Chop vegetables into big pieces, celery, parsnips and carrots on the bias. Toss into bottom of pan. Add meat and liquid. Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven. See above for temperature and cooking time options. Turn over half way through cooking. (If you want to nestle the meat directly into the liquid, you won't regret it.) You may want to add more liquid half way through, or take off the aluminum foil to let the gravy thicken depending on how your oven does and how much liquid the meat gives off.