Spring fever has really taken over my brain, and I'm really neglecting my cooking, but I have created two new recipes lately that were quite good: Rolled Italian Meatloaf and Chicken Black Bean Soup. Like most of my recipes, I use a lot of ingredients, but they're not difficult to make. First, the meatloaf:
Rolled Italian Meatloaf
(serves 20 +--perfect for the huge Mormon family Sunday dinners we regularly attend/cook for if you don't mind taking out a second mortgage on your home to pay for it)
2 lbs ground chuck
2 lbs sweet italian sausage
3 large eggs
1 med. onion, finely chopped
1 bunch italian parsley, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, grated
6 oz. grated parm. reggiano
1 can tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fine bread crumbs
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
6 oz. oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
large bunch of basil
s + p to taste
*In large bowl, mix together ground meats, parmesan cheese, eggs, tomato paste, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, and s + p until thoroughly combined.
*On two overlapping sheets of parchment paper the size of a jelly roll pan, press mixture into a large rectangle a little wider and a little shorter than the jelly roll pan.
*Sprinkle sliced mozzerella, basil leaves, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes over the rectangle, leaving a one inch margin around the sides of the rectangle.
*Using the edge of the parchment paper, begin rolling the meatloaf.
*When the roll is formed, press the edge into the meatloaf to seal.
*Bake on fresh parchment paper in a jelly roll pan at 350 degrees, or until your meat thermometer reads 170 degrees fahrenheit.
Cheaper, healthier, even more delicious, and still capable of feeding a large Mormon family, is
Chicken Black Bean Soup
1 3 lb whole chicken
2 large onions
9 cloves garlic
1 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 T. smoked paprika
2 T. whole dried oregano
2 14 oz. cans chopped mexican tomatoes
2 small cans chopped mild chiles
2 cans black beans
1 cup sweet corn
1 cup hominy (optional)
1/2 cup white wine or apple juice
s + p to taste
1 large bunch cilantro, washed and leaved
6 limes cut into quarters
1 cup finely grated swiss cheese
1 cup crema or sour cream thinned with milk
6 corn tortillas cut into thin slices
*Cook chicken in slow cooker with one quartered onion and three crushed garlic cloves on low for eight hours (or, if you don't have all day, simmer for an hour on the stove top in large stock pot.)
*At dinner time, chop remaining onion, peel and grate 6 cloves of garlic and begin softening over medium heat in 2 T olive oil. Add all dried spices and continue cooking for several minutes. Meanwhile,
*Strip meat from bones of chicken and tear into large, but manageable pieces. Skim fat from chicken stock, and, when onions are completely soft and spices slightly browned, pour stock into soup pot.
*Add chicken, rinsed beans, tomatoes and their juices, corn and hominy, s+p, and apple juice or wine. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
*While soup is simmering, prepare toppings: fry tortilla strips in vegetable oil over medium heat. Drain on paper towels.
*Fill small bowls with limes, cilantro, cheese and crema.
*I like 2-3 lime wedges per large bowl of soup.
*Of course, everything will be more delicious if you cook your own black beans, roast your own chiles, and slice your corn off the cob, but people in BMF's just don't have that kind of time.
12 hours ago