Monday, March 30, 2015

Hungarian Meatloaf

Who doesn't like meatloaf?  If you are not a vegetarian or vegan, this is comfort food in many cultures.  This meatloaf is sort of  like scotch eggs.  The top gets a slightly crisp texture from the caramelized spices too. 

Everyone has their favorite meatloaf recipe.  I like this one because it's very taste and not overly salty.  There are multiple flavors in here. 

You can make this with meats you choose.  This time used pork  and turkey.  I added pork because it adds a nice flavor to turkey.

The quantity of spices are guides, I usually judge visually.

1 pound ground turkey
1 pound ground pork
¾ of a can of organic tomato paste
½ red onion
1.5 tsp Italian Seasoning (I use Glorioso's)
1/2 teaspoon authentic Hungarian paprika for the meatloaf mixture (will sprinkle more on top)
1.25 cups bread crumbs
2 uncooked eggs
1.5 tsp or so of Worcester sauce
½ tsp salt
½ tsp red pepper flakes (just sprinkle)
Generous sprinkling of garlic powder
3-4 boiled eggs
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbs finely chopped parsley
½ cup of chicken stock

Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

Sauté chopped onion, set aside

In a large bowl mix everything (but the boiled eggs) very thoroughly Spray very sparingly the meatloaf pan with cooking spray
Gently lay out half the meat loaf mixture and line up peeled boiled eggs (just short of each end)
Place the rest of the meat mixture on top and pat to make it into a loaf form

Sprinkle the top of the meatloaf (slightly generously) with:
Hungarian red paprika
Freshly ground pepper

Sprinkle with a small amount of Smoked Spanish paprika and roasted garlic powder (I get both from Penzey) also on the top

Bake on 375 for about 1 hour and 20 minutes (check with meat thermometer).

Slightly tip the meatloaf pan and hold the meatloaf in place with a spoon and tilt to drain any fat rendered.

Let it rest for at least 10 minutes - if you don't, it will fall apart.

Remove from pan (I do it by placing a plate on top of the pan and turning the meatloaf pan).

Enjoy with some traditional side dishes like mashed potatoes and gravy.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Asian Fusion Noodles with Smoked Tofu

Warm weather and more activity make me crave some healthier alternatives with a more refreshing flavor theme.  This dish has multiple influences: 

1.     Some new delicious spices I acquired at Penzeys Spices.  There is a Penzeys Spices 10 minutes from my house and I finally got a chance to stop there.  This store is heavenly.  Jars of fine spices to smell-a foodie’s aromatherapy.  Also, their cumin is not cross-contaminated with peanuts (some other brands are).  Penzeys Spices smell and taste delicious.  

2.     A local ramen restaurant called Tochi-they blend some great flavors.  Their Smoked Miso ramen is delicious (all their ramens are).  The tofu is smoked and the broth is a great blend of flavors.  My goal was not to replicate the flavor, but to produce a flavor that is in the same family.  Asian fusion is one way to describe this flavor.

3.     Vegan Black Metal Chef – his videos are truly inspiring.  He has some great and easy techniques to add flavor to tofu and sauces and other vegan dishes. The preparation and videos are motivating. His technique of dredging tofu in flour  and pan frying results in a great textured and flavorful tofu.  Valkyries and warriors feast on tasty and healthy food too.  After all, they need to be around for Ragnarok. Watch his YouTube videos for inspiration.


Note:  This looks like a lot of ingredients.  It is, but you can lay out all the spices on the counter and add as you stir fast.

Tofu (prefer Wildwood Sproutofu – super firm)
Sliced carrots (4-5)
1 large red onion cut in half then sliced
2 tbs. chopped garlic
2 tbs. chopped ginger
½ pack of oriental style noodle size S Erawan (cook 6 minutes and rinse with cold water to prevent from cooking further)
water chestnuts slivered
baby corn chopped in 1/3
Colgin Liquid Smoke
1 tsp. Smoked Spanish Paprika
¼ tsp Hungarian Paprika
¼ tsp. Orange peel (dried)
½ tsp. roasted garlic spice
¼ tsp. chilli powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp.  chili garlic sauce
2 tsp. black bean garlic sauce
2 tsp . hoisin sauce
¼ tsp sugar
2 cups organic chicken stock – vegetable stock if vegetarian (have to just visually watch)
2 tsp. corn starch with a little water – slurry
flour to dredge marinated tofu in
Canola oil or another oil with a high smoking point

Marinate chopped tofu for at least one hour in:
1 cup  Olive Oil
¼ cup liquid smoke
½ tsb garlic powder
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp corn starch
½ tsp Smoked Paprika Spanish Style
(mix ingredients in a bowl-put tofu in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over it and gently work it in).

You can cook the carrots separately to speed up the cooking

Dredge tofu in flour and pan fry. 
Toward the end of the frying process, sprinkle some smoked paprika on top.
You can also bake the tofu on 400, but pan-frying tastes the best

Add Oil to the wok and heat
Use a wok and fry onion for about 8 minutes
Add mostly cooked carrots, baby corn, dried orange peel, slivered water chestnuts and chopped ginger, fry for about 4 minutes
Add chopped garlic and stir for one minute
Add smoked Spanish paprika, Hungarian paprika, and Asian sauces
Stir, let it cook for a few minutes and add chicken stock, 1 tbs liquid smoke, 3 tbs of tofu marinade
Bring to a boil, and thicken with cornstarch slurry
Add roasted garlic
Add cooked rice noodle – gently mix (to not break the cooked rice noodles)
Add tofu and gently mix and serve and eat fast (rice noodles have a tendency to absorb liquid fast).

Marinate super firm tofu

dredge marinated tofu in flour

Pan fry in oil (you can also bake but this is the optimal flavor)

These spices are essential

another delicious spice I discovered

Pan fried tofu
Note the onion is almost caramelized-red onions are the best for this type of stir frying

after adding chicken stock - before thickening

Lots of spices and flavors - true fusion

The result (note: the onion are slightly caramelized)

don't let the number of these ingredients intimidate

the firmest tofu and more nutritious than most

This size seems to work well

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