Monday, January 31, 2011

Meatloaf Sliders


* Cooking spray
* 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 1/2 cup ketchup
* 1/4 cup grated onion
* 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
* 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
* Mayonnaise, for serving
* 24 slider-size hamburger buns, split


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a cooling rack on top. Mist the rack lightly with cooking spray.

Combine the beef, egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, the onion, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and the garlic powder in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix everything together.

Shape tablespoonfuls of the meat into small, thin patties, about 2 inches in diameter. Place on the prepared rack on the baking sheet. Brush the patties with the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup and bake about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread mayonnaise on one side of each bun. Serve each meatloaf slider on a prepared bun.

From Food Network

Pork Chops with Beer and Bacon Gravy


* 4 bone-in pork chops, just over 1-inch thick
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle
* 2 thick slices smoky bacon from deli counter, diced 1/4-inch
* 1 medium onion, diced 1/4-inch
* 1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 bottle amber to dark German beer
* 1/2 cup stock
* Chopped parsley, for garnish


Season the chops liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil smokes, add the chops and cook, turning once, until caramelized and the meat is just turning firm, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to a platter and cover with foil, reserve.

Add a drizzle more oil to the pan, add bacon and brown for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the onions and saute over medium heat with the bacon until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle in flour, stir for 1 minute, then add the beer. Cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes more, then whisk in the stock. Remove from the heat and season with pepper. Pour the gravy over the chops, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

From Food Network

Homemade Pop Tarts

Homemade Pop Tarts
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk

1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)

Cinnamon Filling (enough for 9 tarts)
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg, to brush on pastry before filling

Jam Filling
3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Alternate fillings: 9 tablespoons chocolate chips, 9 tablespoons Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut paste or 9 tablespoons of a delight of your choice, such as salted caramel or a nut paste

To make cinnamon filling: Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.

To make jam filling: Mix the jam with the cornstarch/water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool. Use to fill the pastry tarts.

Make the dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.

Divide the dough in half (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately (see Warm Kitchen note below) or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Assemble the tarts: If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. [You can use a 9" x 13" pan, laid on top, as guidance.] Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.

Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.

Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.

Charming tip from King Arthur: Sprinkle the dough trimmings with cinnamon-sugar; these have nothing to do with your toaster pastries, but it’s a shame to discard them, and they make a wonderful snack. While the tarts are chilling, bake these trimmings for 13 to 15 minutes, till they’re golden brown.

Bake the tarts: Remove the tarts form the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.

Whole Wheat Variation: I was itching to swap out 1/2 cup of the flour with whole wheat flour. I am sure it would make it more deliciously breakfast.

Pop Tart Minis: The biggest struggle I had with these was the size. I actually like my baked goods on the tiny size, thus I think this could make an adorable batch of 16 2 1/4″ x 3″ rectangles.

Savory Pop Tarts: Nix the sugar in the dough and halve the salt. Fill with pesto, cheese, ground nuts or olives, or any combination thereof. Brush the tops with additional egg wash and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Please invite me over.

Do ahead: The sweet versions should keep at room temperature in an airtight container for a week. If you’d like to make them further in advance, I vote for freezing them unbaked between layers of waxed paper, and baking them as you need.

From Smitten Kitchen

Notes from a Friend to Knit With:

I rolled them super thin. Seriously. Almost paper like. 3" x 4". Then, we put a B I G spoonful of the filling (Triple the recipe for the filling. You won't be sorry.) along one side and fold the piece in half. And then, after they cooled, drizzled brown sugar icing on top. Now THAT was the perfect little pop tart. Small, cinnamony and delicious.
{For the icing we melted 2 TBLS of butter and added 4 TBLS of milk and 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Mix well. Add 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Mix until smooth.}

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oven-Baked Bacon √

Sonya's Note: PERFECT way to prepare bacon! I'll be doing it this way from now on!

Time Required: 20 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil. This will make cleanup easier later.
  2. Arrange bacon slices on the foil and place the baking sheet on the center rack of a cold oven. Close oven door. Turn oven on to 400°F. Walk away.
  3. Come back 17 to 20 minutes later. As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it's done. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to another sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb the fat. You can pour the liquid fat into a heat-resistant container to save for other uses.


  1. Don't pre-heat the oven! Make sure the oven is cold when you put the bacon in.
  2. Keep your eye on the bacon during the final few minutes of cooking to make sure that it doesn't burn. Also, remove the cooked bacon from the hot pan right away. The heat from the pan and the hot bacon fat will continue cooking the bacon.
  3. You can slightly undercook the bacon, then cool it and freeze it in a zipper bag. Then, to reheat, cook two slices in the microwave on medium power for 30 seconds or so.
  4. Variation: Dredge bacon in flour or corn meal before baking.
  5. Variation: Sprinkle bacon with brown sugar or freshly ground black pepper before baking.

What You Need:

  • 1 lb package of bacon
  • Oven
  • Shallow baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil and paper towels
  • Heat-resistant container for collecting drippings