Tuesday, January 1, 2019

MM's Meat Loaf

From the Myers Family Cookbook

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine these ingredients in a large bowl:
2 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 ½ cups quick-cooking oats
1 small onion, finely chopped OR 1 tablespoon minced onion

Add these seasonings and mix thoroughly:
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon thyme

Sauce (set aside to put on top of loaves after they are formed):
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

From into loaves in two ungreased baking pans (can be bread pans, with loaves touching the sides or can be pie pans, with loaves in a circle just away from the sides). Spread the tomato sauce thinly over both loaves.

Bake uncovered for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours. To check doneness, watch out for over-browning on the outside and/or run a knife through the center to check that there is no pinkness inside. If meat loaf was mixed ahead and is going from refrigerator to oven, allow an additional 15 minutes for cooking.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Super Simple Family Style Goulash

From the Myers Family Cookbook

 I say "super simple", not "super easy". I mean, you do have to brown the beef and cook the macaroni. But you only need three ingredients. To me, that's super simple!

You can use lean ground beef or you may sometimes want to use ground turkey, which is both lean and usually more economical. 

Makes about eight servings (or you can cut amounts in half - for less):

2 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
2 pounds dry elbow macaroni (or about 8 cups dry elbows)
1 24 oz jar spaghetti sauce

Brown and stir ground beef (or ground turkey) in a large frying pan over medium heat.

Fill a Dutch oven with water and bring to a boil. Carefully add the macaroni and cook until tender. Drain in a colander and leave it there for now.

Put the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the pan in which you cooked the macaroni. Add the beef. Then add the macaroni from the colander. Stir gently but thoroughly.

Heat the goulash on low to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through.

Serve with a salad or vegetable.

Turkey Gravy

From The Myers Family Cookbook:

Cook turkey according to the instructions on the package, following all safety precautions for cleanliness and temperature. 

To make the gravy, I like to have on hand: a gravy separator; a 2-cup liquid measuring cup; a wire whisk; a clean jar with a lid; and some jars of store-bought gravy, in case I run out of the tastier, homemade kind. I also assign or set aside other tasks, so I can focus on making the gravy without interruption. Better yet, I tech and assign someone else to make the gravy.

After cooking the turkey, remove it from the roaster pan to a platter. Pour drippings from roaster pan into a gravy separator. Let settle for a minute or two, and then slowly pour into a liquid measuring cup, leaving most of the fat in the bottom of the separator. It's okay if you include a little bit of fat in the measuring cup for your gravy; actually, a little fat is almost essential to good gravy.

Now look at how much drippings you have in your liquid measuring cup. For our example, we will assume that you have one cup of drippings. If you have 1 ½ cups or ½ cup, you can adjust the following directions accordingly. After noting how much you have, pour your drippings into a large open saucepan. 

Assuming you have 1 cup of drippings, pour 1 cup water into a clean jar for which you have a lid. Add ½ cup flour to the water in the jar (depending on how wide the mouth of your jar is, you may have to spoon the flour in from the measuring cup). Cover tightly with a lid, and shake water and flour vigorously. Pour water and flour mixture into the drippings and stir. (continued on next page)

Heat the drippings, with the water and flour mixed in, over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the gravy begins to thicken. If it becomes too thick, add hot water, a very little bit at a time. Having a microwave makes this easy, but before we had a microwave I used to keep a tea kettle of hot water on the stove while making gravy. If lumps begin to form, it may be because the heat is too high or because you stopped stirring for a moment. So, if this happens, you will want to quickly turn the heat down, and then try to work out the lumps with the wire whisk. If you need to, you can turn the heat off instead of just down, as you can always turn on the heat again, once it becomes smooth again. Then continue to simmer and stir until gravy is the thickness that you like.

Salt the gravy sparingly, according to taste, and keep warm over the lowest possible heat until ready to serve, stirring occasionally. Again, you may need to add a bit of hot water if it thickens.