March 31, 2010

{recipe} Meatloaf and Creamed Spinach

Test Recipes Week 13!

Comfort Food!!  I've always been a fan of meatloaf, even though beef isn't my first choice when it comes to meat (have you noticed the favored chicken recipes on here?).  I always have a preference for my Mom's recipe, but decided to give a new one a try.

MEAT LOAF (Simple&Delicious Jan/Feb '10)

1 egg, slightly beaten
1 can (5 1/2 oz) V8 juice
1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs (I just made my own by toasting and smashing a few pieces of bread)
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/3 c. ketchup

In a large bowl, combine the egg, V8 juice, bread crumbs, soup mix, cheese, and garlic powder.  Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.  Pat into an ungreased 9"x5" loaf pan.  Bake, uncovered, at 350* for 30 minutes.  Spread ketchup over top; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until no pink remains and a meat thermometer reads 160*.  8 servings.

Overall, GOOD.  But not as good as Mom's!  Want to know a secret?  When I eat meat loaf, I always always always cover it in ketchup and then mash/stir it thoroughly until it becomes more of a Meat Mush.  I can't help it.  Meat Mush just seems more appetizing to me than putting a chunk of beef in my mouth.  I'm weird like that.....In other comfort food news: Creamed Spinach.  I've only had creamed spinach one other time in my life at a Sunday brunch buffet, but have never had a desire to make it until I came across this recipe.  I guess just seeing a picture of it was enough to make it.  That's another THING of mine - I only test recipes that include pictures of the finished product.  I like to see what I'm getting myself into.

CREAMED SPINACH (SmittenKitchen)
**I made a half recipe (using the proportions listed below, although I didn't change the amount of garlic).  See SK website for original proportions - or just multiply by 2!)

1 pound baby spinach or 1 1/4 pounds fresh spinach, tough stems discarded
7/8 cups heavy cream or whole milk
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of nutmeg

Wash your spinach well. Place wet spinach in a large pot over high heat. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 to 4 minutes.  Press or squeeze out the excess liquid.  Coarsely chop the wrung-out spinach.  Heat milk or cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until warm. Keep warm. Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic (if using) in butter in large pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking until thickened. Add warm milk or cream in a slow stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and simmer, whisking, until thickened. Stir in nutmeg, spinach, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through.

I rated this recipe EXCELLENT, although I had to add more salt/pepper/nutmeg than I originally thought.  And it was much easier to make than I imagined it would be :)

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