04 November, 2007

Hansel and Gretel

Okay, hands up. All those who have the Flour, Sugar, Coffee, and Tea canister set with matching bread box? I'll take those who grew up with a set too. Me? My parents still have their stainless set sitting on the counter in the house where I grew up.

My flours and sugars are in glass canisters, coffee is stored in the freezer, and tea gets its own cupboard. No room in my current, awkward kitchen for the breadbox. The weekly loaf or two are simply left on the counter by the toaster. Not pretty, but handy.

Between the nanny, my late night peanut butter and honey sandwichs, and my Monster's love for bread and butter the loaf is usually gone in a few days. But this week we cut out bread from the Monster's diet due to yeast issues. I now know just how much bread she actually eats! There was a lot of stale bread come Friday.

In my mom's house there was always an old baking pan in the bread box filled with stale bread, drying for future use as bread crumbs. Rather than dry things out I prefer to blitz the days old bread in a food processer or mini chopper. I get crumbs that are then stored in the freezer for use in many yummy ways. Sure, I could blitz a fresh piece of bread, or even buy the fancy panko crumbs that so many professionals rave about. Let's be honest, though, the average home cook - a mother with kids - doesn't have the time or energy for that. Sure, for special occasions or the right piece of trout I will gladly break out the wallet and splurge on panko. But for homemade macaroni and cheese topped with crumbs and melted butter, or binding lamb meatballs, I will gladly use my frozen multigrain crumbs - as i did when making food for the freezer this weekend.

Tonight I made comfort food. It was a snowy day, filled with swimming lessons, groceries, and gate building. We needed something to fill our bellies and put a smile on our face as we watched This Old House. It required meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and buttered brussel sprouts - one of my favourite meals of all time. Unfortunately the Monster hasn't fully learned to appreciate brussel sprouts so she had some steamed peas. But the meatloaf was the star.

Okay, no photo of the dinner itself. Plating is NOT my forte. Here it is right out of the oven.

This is my basic recipe. I use bison instead of beef or pork. The meat is much leaner and has a good flavour. If you don't have access to bison beef will work well. I add the minced veggies to bulk it up. Originally I did this because bison was more expensive and 1 pound made a small meatloaf, but now we like it this way. I've also used mushrooms and peppers as part of the veggies.

Bison Meatloaf

1 medium carrot
1 medium onion
2 stalks celery
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 pound ground bison
1 beaten egg
1 tbsp ketchup
1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs
A couple of good dashes of worcestershire sauce
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp brown sugar
Dash of worcestershire sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celcius.
2. Peel the carrot and onion. Cut the carrot, onion, and celery into 2-3 cm chunks. Mince, along with the garlic, in a food processor or mini chopper.
3. Cook the carrot, onion, celery, and garlic in the olive oil for 5-10 minutes. Most of the water should be evaporated. Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes.
4. Once cool, add to remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands. A spoon just won't do, you need to mush it all together with you hands. You don't want to overmix, so stop once it is incorporated.
5. Shape into a mound in a meatloaf pan, or pat into a loaf shape on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet.
6. Mix glaze ingredients together and spread on top.
7. Bake for 45-50 minutes.


1 comment:

Samantha said...

My husband is the chef in our house- I need to show him this. Sounds delicious!