Friday, July 29, 2005

Authentic Café Mini Meatloafs with Carmelized Onions
A delicious recipe from Roger Hayot's Authentic Cafe in Los Angeles, from the "Dinner at the Authentic Cafe" cookbook

Caramelized Onions:
1/4 c. olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 or 5 sweet onions, such as Vidalia

1.5 lbs ground chuck
2 large eggs
1 large carrot
1 small onion
1 celery rib
¼ cup evaporated milk
¼ cup unseasoned bread crumbs
¼ cup ketchup
4 cloves garlic
4 sage leaves
1 tbsp. thyme leaves
¼ tsp ground pepper
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp olive
1 large shallot
2 cups beef stock
2 tsp. thyme leaves
2 leaves sage
½ tsp. ground pepper
4 tbsp unsalted butter

Mixed vegetables, cooked (frozen peas+carrots, etc.)

Prepare caramelized onions: heat oil & butter over low heat, cook onions for 30 minutes until limp and deep brown in color.

Preheat oven to 350. Knead meatloaf mixture for 2 minutes, no more. Divide into 5 equal portions, and shape into mini loaves. Brush loaves with oil. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then increase temperature to 400 and bake 10 minutes more.

While baking, prepare the sauce: heat oil in small saucepan, add shallot and cook about 1 minute. Raise heat to medium. Add stock and bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until reduced in half, about 15 minutes. Just before serving, reheat sauce to very hot. Off heat, whisk in fresh herbs, and add salt & pepper to taste. Quickly whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once butter has been added, serve sauce immediately.

To serve, mound onions on large plates. Spoon mixed vegetables around onions. Place meatloaf on mound of onions. Ladle sauce over meatloaves. Serve immediately, and pass extra sauce.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

monday nite meals

I'm not a big fan of Mondays. So it's nice to site down with a nice meal with your loved ones to unwind.

4th of July is an excellent time to buy beef, and I got an amazing deal last week on NY Strip Steaks ($3.99/pound on sale). So I bought a "Value Pack" of 3, froze them. Today coming back from work, I decided to BBQ.

Fired up the charcoal grill. Made au gratin potatoes from the box (kicked up with a few smashed cloves of raw garlic thrown in before cooking), some frozen mixed vegetables (kicked up with SmartBalance, raw garlic, fresh thyme, salt & pepper). What a delicious meal. I think it helped my girlfriend, who was a bit hungover from the night before.

Meals don't have to be complicated to be satisfying. In many cases for me the company and the setting (at a table, with no TV on) is as important as the taste of the food. Needless to say, NY Strip Steak is very flavorful, and it completely reminded me of eating T-Bone steaks at my Grandma's house on Friday afternoons when my brother and I would get out of school early.