Saturday, January 14, 2017

Greek Meat Pie

Greek Meat Pie
Although I almost never use veal, the combination of ground veal, beef, and pork softens the texture of this no-pastry meat pie, rather than presenting the “knobbly” texture of most meat loaves or pies. Preparing the ingredients before you start seems to make it all move along faster. It’s fun inventing recipes; I don’t do it often enough. This one’s my own creation.

Greek Meat Pie:

1 (15 mL) tbsp. canola oil
3 tbsp. (45 mL) red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Equal thirds ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal, together  totaling 1-1/2 lb. (680 g)
1 egg
1/3 c. (80 mL) fine, dry bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) dried thyme
1/8 tsp. (0.5 mL) salt
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) fine pepper 
1/3 c. (80 mL) drained, rinsed, crumbled feta
3 tbsp. (45 mL) drained, pitted, coarsely chopped black olives
3 tbsp. (45 mL) diced green pepper
1/4 c. (60 mL) plus 2 tbsp. (30 mL) grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 c. (125 mL)  tomato sauce
2 tbsp. (30 mL) commercial, shake-on Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Assemble and prepare all ingredients before starting. Heat oil over medium setting, adding onion and garlic until softened. Set aside to cool.

Combine beef, pork, and veal with softened onion and garlic, kneading with clean fingers until all are evenly distributed. Add egg to meat mixture, combining well. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs with seasonings, kneading evenly into meat mixture. Divide meat mixture into two equal portions, pressing half into 8x8 in. (20-x20 cm) baking dish. Sprinkle with feta, olives, green pepper, and 1/4 c. (60 mL) mozzarella. Lightly flatten and press remaining meat over feta mixture. 

Spoon with tomato sauce, using spatula or back of spoon to spread evenly over meat. Sprinkle with Parmesan and/or remaining 2 tbsp. (30 mL) mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, 25-to-30 min.

Note: Should you make this meat loaf in a standard loaf pan, you’ll need to bake it, uncovered, 55-to-60 min. Remove from baking dish with slotted spoon or spatula, leaving the fat in the casserole dish rather than on your plate.

About 1/2 lb. (226 g) each of pork, veal, and beef.

Combine meats thoroughly.

Onion, garlic, and thyme, ready to be sautéed and mixed with meats.

Whisk egg into meats.

Press half meat into casserole; use
a pie pan, if you prefer.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Glazed Banana-and-Eggnog Loaf

I have been a very naughty blogger. Bad, Nicole! Bad! Bad!

But I have been cooking. Now and then. Whenever the mood hits. Which it hasn’t, too often. Ron has now adopted the role of chief chef. But this is my blog - not Ron’s. And that’s your bad luck.

If, by chance, you still have some commercial eggnog languishing in the fridge or the freezer (as I did, until I prepared this recipe), this superb Glazed Banana-and-Eggnog Loaf is so tasty that I doubled the recipe. Because doubling it was such a smart idea and a time-saver, I’ve given you that version. 

As Ron sliced the loaves very thinly, I separated each piece with a strip of wax paper, tucking everything into an airtight box destined for the freezer. These easy-to-separate slices thaw in a flash. The glaze makes these extra-special. Don’t omit it!

Glazed Banana-and-Eggnog Loaf:

1 c. (250 mL) butter or margarine, softened
3 c. (750 mL) granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
4 medium (about 2 c. or 500 mL) mashed, ripe bananas (see Note
1/2 c. (125 mL) commercial eggnog
2 tsp. (10 mL) vanilla extract
3-1/2 c. (875 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp. (10 mL) baking powder
1 tsp. (5 mL) nutmeg
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Spray-grease the insides of two standard 9 x 5” loaf pans, laying a piece of parchment cut to fit on bottom. Set aside. 

To a large bowl, add butter or margarine and granulated sugar, beating with an electric mixer until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, eating after each addition. Beat in bananas, eggnog, and vanilla. Set aside.

To a second large bowl, add flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda in one-third portions to liquid ingredients, combining well and beating after each addition. Pour equal divisions of batter into baking pans. Bake 50-to-60 min. or until toothpick inserted at center of each loaf emerges clean and dry. 

Cool in pans 10 min. before turning out on wire racks. Glaze loaves while still warm.

Eggnog Glaze:

1-1/2 c. (375 mL) sifted icing sugar (powdered or confectioners sugar)
3-4 tbsp. (45-to-60 mL) commercial eggnog

Stir eggnog into sifted sugar one tablespoon at a time, hand-mixing between additions and adding more sugar and more eggnog until desired consistency. Spread glaze over entire top and sides of loaf rather than drizzling it over. Allow glaze to set until loaves are fully cool. Slice loaves into 3/8-in. (9.5 mm) pieces. Serve at once or freeze for future use, as described in recipe’s introduction.

Note: Use over-ripe bananas immediately or frozen directly in their skins for this and other purposes. Never waste over-ripe bananas!

This large, deep bowl is perfect for big mixing jobs!

Slice thinly after glaze sets.

I cannot praise this excellent loaf highly enough!

Kristin Stone of Little Elm, TX, came up with this recipe, 
which I’ve modified slightly. The glaze recipe is mine.