Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Last week, before Christmas madness hit, Mom's Turkey Meatloaf (pg 216 of The Food You Crave) called to me as a potential way to get Charlie to eat meat. You know, same old story I always have. This loaf uses ground turkey, and the meat is flavored with bell pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup. Much to my surprise, this loaf didn't dry out. Giada de Laurentiis has a turkey meatloaf that I love, but she adds a whole butt-load of olive oil to prevent it from drying. I thought the oil was essential, but I guess it's not. I'm guessing that the first step of Ellie's recipe, where oats are soaked in milk, holds the key to the moisture retention. I may try Giada's recipe with this trick and see how it comes out.
The meatloaf was decent, but Giada's tastes better. Matt kept saying it could use feta and sundried tomatoes, which are the awesomest bits of Giada's recipe.

Conclusion: This was okay, and Charlie ate a decent portion. It was a little bland, but that could be why Charlie liked it.

We have loads of leftovers in the house, so it'll be a few days before I cook an Ellie dinner. I'm going to attempt to turn the goose remains into something like a shepherd's pie tomorrow. It's the best we can think of to do with it. Wish me luck.

I also have a million pears in the house. My brother-in-law very kindly sent us two cases of pears from Harry and David for Christmas. They're delicious and juicy, and all 14 are ripe at the same time. We finished one box, and I'm scouring my books for ways to bake and then freeze pear desserts, because I'd hate to waste any of them.

Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears (pg 293) was an obvious choice for dessert tonight. I don't know how pears are normally poached, but it seems it would be a lot easier to dump enough wine in the pot to submerge the pears, instead of attempting to turn them every five minutes. Pears--especially cooked pears--are fragile little buggers. Mine looked pretty jacked up by the end of it. My biggest problem was that I over-reduced the wine sauce. It just about turned into jelly. It seemed okay when I took it off the heat, but by the time I gave Charlie his bottle and put him to bed, it had turned solid. It's a shame, because the sauce was necessary. Without it, the pears didn't seem to have a whole lot of flavor.

Conclusion: Liked it. The flavor of the sauce was good, and the pears poached to a perfect consistency, I just bungled the execution. I'd make it again.

I love me a toasted nut, and Spiced Mixed Nuts (pg 61) are no exception. The spices in question here are curry powder, cayenne, rosemary, and salt, with a bit of maple syrup to bind it all together.

Conclusion: Liked it. Still love Lebovitz's mix best of all, but this gets props for using less butter and sugar.


  1. Yikes,leftovers from a dish you disliked the first time! I do wish you luck on that! Maybe if you heat the goose meat very gently in some chicken and carrot/onion broth you can improve it, and if not, at least get a good stock out of it. I fear if you try to bake it again, esp without getting it "plump" moistened and steeped in a gravy beforehand, it could become more inedible!

  2. Good luck with the leftovers & finding ways to use up all those pears. (I do love those big fat Harry & David pears. I am not sure where they find them, but they are sooo good.).

  3. Yep, that's the plan. Matt made stock from the carcass, so i'll use that.

  4. interesting:

  5. I'm intrigued by the soaked oats step in the meatloaves. Great idea!

  6. A trick I have recently discovered for keeping lean ground turkey moist is grated zucchini. I've never had goose before but goose pie sounds great. Add Bacon. It makes everything better!

  7. Grated zucchini? Weird! That's a cool trick. I'll have to try it. I'm willing to introduce veg into the round up any way I can.