September 17, 2009

Comfort Food is Good for the Soul

I’m still getting into the swing of things here (yes, I realize it’s Thursday).  Going back to work after over a week of vacation is hard!  Plus Sam has decided to row in the Head of the Charles in October, so we’re kicking it into overdrive here at Hotplate Confidential.  If you ever wonder how we cook dinner after work so often, it’s really because we never eat dinner before 9pm.  There’s just not enough time in the day!

This week, with leftover supplies, some pantry diving, and a very minimal grocery store run, we were able to make three pretty great, if simple, meals.  Quick and tasty.  I even cooked for three one night (not just for two with 3 helpings…)

The first makes enough for 4 (or lunch for a few days), the simple pasta sauce is my go to on nights when I don’t feel like cooking (they’re rare), and the third dinner we managed to cook even with some electricity outages!  That’s difficult to do with an all electric “kitchen”…

Here are some highlights:

Turkey Meatloaf with Feta (adapted from Giada De Laurentis)

½ c. plain breadcrumbs
1/3 c. chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
2 tbsp. whole milk (I’m sure skim is fine)
½ c. feta, cubed
¼ c. tomato paste
1 lb. ground turkey
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 375° F.
In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, tomato paste, garlic, eggs, milk, feta, salt & pepper.  Add the turkey and gently stir to combine – don’t overwork the meat.
Pack the mixture into a loaf pan (mine is 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 and it was at half full) and bake in the (toaster) oven for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165°F.

Simple Pasta Sauce

28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tbsp. tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
½ tsp. sugar

Heat oil in a sauté pan.  When hot, add the onions and stir for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir until the onions are translucent and tender.  Add the whole peeled tomatoes and cut them in half in the pan.  Add the sauce, tomato paste, sugar, and salt & pepper and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  This sauce is best when given a little time, but in a pinch, can be ready in 45 minutes.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

5 medium red potatoes, washed, skin on, cut in quarters
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. butter
½ c. milk
salt & pepper

Boil the potatoes with the cloves of garlic.  Once tender (about 20 minutes) drain the potatoes and garlic and put back in the same pot.  Add butter, milk, salt & pepper and “mash” using an immersion blender until smooth.

Now I just love my immersion blender so I tried it out on this for the first time tonight.  It worked wonders!  But, you can also use a ricer, just rice the potatoes and garlic before adding the other ingredients.

I promise posts to come will be more exciting!  I’m planning on going to the farmer’s market on Saturday and can’t wait to see what’s new!  Oh, and maybe I’ll be able to cook without losing electricity this time….

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