Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Breath of Fresh Air

There's nothing like a good cookbook to get you out of a cooking rut.  Thanks to my sister-in-law, I recently discovered The New Best Recipe from the editor's of Cook's Illustrated and I have to say I'm smitten.  With over 1000 recipes that have been tested 40-50 times a piece, TNBP delivers an unbelievable home-cooked meal that works the first time and every time.  It even offers illustrations, special tips, and step-by-step instructions on how to do anything from choosing the right cut of meat, to carving a Thanksgiving turkey or even frying an egg. 
On Monday night I tried their Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze and I have to say it's the best I've ever had. 
It was so good that last night I served the leftovers on mini brioche buns for our cousins as appetizers.  They were equally impressed.

The New Best Recipe:

1/2 cup ketchup or chili sauce (I used ketchup)
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons of cider or distilled white vinegar (I used 2 tsp of white wine vinegar)

Meat Loaf:
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used low fat)
2 lbs of meat loaf mix (or ground beef-what I used)
2/3 cup crushed saltines OR 1 1/3 cups (fresh) bread crumbs (I used Kellogg's Corn flakes bread crumbs)
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

For the Glaze:
1) Mix all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan; set aside.

For the Meat Loaf:
2) Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet.  Add the onion and the garlic; saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.

3) Mix the eggs, thyme, salt, black pepper, mustard, worcestershire sauce, hot pepper, and milk in a medium bowl.  Add the egg mixture to the meat in a large bowl along wtih the bread crumbs, parsley, and cooked onion and garlic; mix with a fork until evenly blended and the meat mixture does not stick to the bowl (If it does stick, add more yogurt, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until the mixture no longer sticks). 
4) Turn the meat mixture onto a work surface.  With wet hands, pat the mixture into a loaf shape approximately 9 by 5 inches.  Place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Brush with half the glaze. 

5) Bake until the loaf registers at 160 degrees (about 1 hour).  Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.  Simmer the remaining glaze over medium heat until thickened slightly.  Slice and serve with remaining glaze.

This meal goes well with mashed potatoes, mac n' cheese, and a veggie, like burnt broccoli.

PC: Amazon, The Food Network,

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