Thursday, December 11, 2008
Italian Meatloaf and Skillet Collards with Sauce
I love collards. As I have stated many times, I am not a southerner. I can't stand okra, I like my dressing/stuffing/whatever with bread and not cornbread. I can't make flaky buttermilk biscuits to save my life. I am not a fan of fried foods (I tend to pick the breaded/fried parts off). However, I love collards. Maybe there is hope for the other things if I am a collards fan. Between Curtis and I tonight, we easily ate a pound of collard greens and fought over the last bites.
All tonight's meal was missing was some nice thick mashed potatoes. I didn't plan ahead early enough to have potatoes, so we stuck to the comfort foods of meatloaf and greens (without the mashed potatoes). Next time, I am definitely also making mashed potatoes.
In 1 T olive oil, saute 1 seeded and minced red bell pepper (I omitted this because I had no more bell peppers), 1 diced onion, and 3 minced garlic cloves until they are tender. Allow to cool briefly. In a separate bowl, combine 1 lb ground beef, 2 eggs, 3/4 c bread crumbs, 1 c grated Parmesan, 1 T Worcestershire sauce, 1 T balsamic vinegar, 2 T chopped fresh basil (2 t dried basil), 1 T chopped fresh parsley, 1 t salt, and 1/2 t black pepper along with the sauted veggies. Pack into an oiled loaf pan. In a small bowl, combine 1 T brown sugar, 1 t Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 c ketchup, and 3/4 T prepared mustard. Spread evenly on top of meatloaf. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 5 0 - 60 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160 in the middle of the meatloaf. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
The greens (recipe adapted from January's Bon Appetit magazine)
Dissolve 1/4 c sugar in 1 T water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Increase the heat; boil without stirring until amber, brushing sides with wet pastry brush occasionally (I am not sure what this does, but I did it), about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 c apple cider vinegar and 1 t dried crushed red pepper (optional, I omitted, but will use next time). Stir until caramel bits dissolve. Cool. In a skillet, saute 1 c chopped onions in olive oil until brown. Add 1 T bacon drippings (if you don't save the drippings--I have a can in my fridge that drippings go into--fry a few slices of bacons until you have enough drippings). Add half of collard greens (a total of 1 lbs of collard greens will be used. To prepare them, remove the stems and cut crosswise into 1/2" strips) and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and pepper. Toss until wilted. Add remaining greens, toss to wilt, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until greens are tender, adding water 1/4 cupfuls if dry. This will take between 20-45 minutes depending on how hot your pan is and how tender the greens start out. It took me closer to 20 minutes than 45. Season with salt and pepper. Rewarm apple cider sauce (technical term-gastrique). Transfer greens to a large shallow bowl. Drizzle some gastrique over top (I used around 1/2 or less of the gastrique and it was plenty sweet). We sprinkled some chipotle Tabasco sauce over top to make up for omitting the crushed red peppers.
The meatloaf was a hit with M and both Curtis and I. However, like I may have mentioned earlier, the collards stole the show for both of us. I can't wait to get collards again!