Narrowing it down

I’m obsessed… I have food on the brain.  I even dreamed about food last night.  The more I thought about yesterday evening’s post, the more excited I’ve gotten about cooking this evening.  I’ve narrowed it down to three different dishes.  Hopefully you will help me decide which one to whip up.  All three recipes are from Southern Living and it’s all about comfort food… with a twist.  First up is…

Meatloaf and Mashed Potato sandwich

  • MEATLOAF
  • 1/2 (16-oz.) package hickory-smoked bacon slices, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), ground
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup grated red onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha Asian hot chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • TOMATO-BACON GRAVY
  • 5 hickory-smoked bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • MASHED POTATOES
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 cups freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • REMAINING INGREDIENTS
  • 24 hearty bread slices, grilled
  • Garnish: green onions
Preparation
  1. 1. Prepare Meatloaf: Preheat oven to 325°. Pulse chopped bacon 4 to 5 times in a food processor until finely chopped. Combine bacon, pork, and next 8 ingredients, using hands. Transfer pork mixture to a lightly greased 8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
  2. 2. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in center registers 160°.
  3. 3. Prepare Gravy: Cook bacon slices in a large cast-iron skillet 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Increase heat to medium-high. Add tomatoes, cut sides down, and onion slices. Cook 6 to 7 minutes on each side or until charred. Remove from heat. Pulse tomatoes, onions, vinegar, and next 2 ingredients in a food processor just until coarsely chopped and combined. Stir in bacon.
  4. 4. Prepare Potatoes: Preheat broiler with oven rack placed in middle position. Bring Yukon gold potatoes, 1 Tbsp. sea salt, and water to cover to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium, and cook 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Combine potatoes, panko, and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.
  5. 5. Place 12 meatloaf slices on a lightly greased rack in a broiler pan. Spoon potato mixture generously over meatloaf. Broil 4 to 5 minutes or until potatoes are golden and crisp. Serve between bread slices with gravy.

makes 12 servings.  Prep time is 1 hour 20 minutes, total time is 3 hours 30 minutes

Second up is…

Ratatouille

Ingredients
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 pound zucchini
  • 1/2 pound yellow squash
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 small eggplant (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Preparation
  1. 1. Cut first 5 ingredients into 1-inch pieces.
  2. 2. Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes or just until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes and next 2 ingredients, and sauté 8 to 10 minutes or just until eggplant begins to soften. Stir in bell peppers, zucchini, and squash; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and liquid is slightly reduced. Stir in basil. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, and sauté 3 minutes.

makes 4 to 6 servings.  Prep time is 45 minutes, total time is 45 minutes.

And the last choice…

King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese

Ingredients
  • 1/2 (16-oz.) package cellentani pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 (8-oz.) package pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
Preparation
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes and green chilies and prepared cheese product; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Stir in chicken, next 4 ingredients, and hot cooked pasta until blended. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 11- x 7-inch baking dish; sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese.
  3. 3. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.

makes 6 servings.  Prep time is 20 minutes, total time is 45 minutes

I’m leaning towards the King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese with the Meatloaf and Mashed Potato sandwich as a second choice.  My mouth is already watering!  Which one would you pick?  I’ll let you know tomorrow which one I went with and how delicious it turns out.

Too bad you aren’t here to have a taste!

Steffanie

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4 Responses to Narrowing it down

  1. Jennifer Dorsey Rogers says:

    I’m glad we are coming over to taste it 🙂 Yummy!!

  2. Kristi Sparks Umberger says:

    The King Ranch Mac & Cheese sounds yummy

  3. Chris Schafer says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I love reading your posts, they are so easy to read and I just like them! I would go with the Chicken Ranch, although the Ratatouille does sound very good also. I do read your stuff online, and you do a great job of relating to others. I wish you a Happy New Years Eve and a Happy New Year in 2012!

    Your Friend,
    Chris Schafer

  4. Pam Hollier Huffstatler says:

    King Ranch Mac and Cheese… Sounds pretty good.

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