Happy Holidays everyone! How’s your waistline doing this Christmas? Rapidly expanding or staying in the safe zone? I’ve been having a feast with my eyes seeing so many delicious pics posted on Facebook, Twitter and Blogs, and getting a serious case of food envy for the past few days. It’s great to be surrounded by people who love food as much as I do. Richard Gere in “Autumn in New York” said, “Food is the only beautiful thing that truly nourishes”, and I can’t agree more!
This year, I’ve foregone the Turkey because I had only planned for a small family dinner. Partly because Frank wasn’t all that keen on Turkey in the first place. My mother and brother have moved to KL few months ago for my brother’s education. So it only makes sense to have them over. And here’s what we had last night.
This was very quickly put together. I had a rehearsal in the afternoon in preparing for tonight’s gig at Tom, Dick, and Harry’s Pavilion (come along if you are free!), so I only started cooking after 5.30pm. Fortunately, I didn’t keep everyone hungry for too long, for dinner was ready before 7.30pm. Without breaking a sweat, even.
Meatloaf is a great option for a festive meal if you don’t want to splurge on a Turkey (RM22 a kilo is the going rate) or locate a leg of ham (where did everyone get theirs? I couldn’t even see any in my local Village Grocer). It requires minimal work, but nonetheless impressive. Especially if you wrap the whole thing in bacon. And that bright red sweet and savoury glaze.This recipe was adapted from Pioneer Women’s with quite a few of my own touches.
3/4 cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Milk
500g Ground Beef
1 Brown Onion, finely chopped
1 Carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 Parmesan Cheese (I mixed some Cheddar and Mozarella too)
1/2 teaspoon Moroccan Seasoning (any seasoned salt would do)
1/2 teaspoons Salt
3 tablespoons HP sauce*
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
2 whole Eggs, Beaten
Around 10 slices Thin/regular Bacon strips
1/2 cup Ketchup
2 tablespoons HP sauce*
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon English Mustard Powder
Generous sprinkles of Tabasco To Taste
*You could swap the HP sauce for Worcestershire Sauce, I can’t use it because it contains Anchovies.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Place the ground beef, milk, bread, Parmesan, HP sauce, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.
With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, then form the mixture into a loaf shape on it.
Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.
Make the sauce: add ketchup, HP sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.
Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/2 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.
Serve while hot!
The result is moist, well-seasoned meatloaf with lovely textural contrast between the meat and the vegetables. I couldn’t stop eating bits of bacon for that amazing glaze. I’m just glad there is a little leftover for my lunch today!
Fortunately, the Brussels Sprouts this year looked nice and plump, perfect for this recipe by Martha Stewart.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Raisins and Carrots:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Around 25 Brussels Sprouts, stems trimmed, sliced in halves
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth (Martha uses Chicken broth but I’d like to keep this vegetarian)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts and carrots; saute until sprouts start to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Add raisins and vegetable broth; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 12 minutes. If the skillet becomes too dry before sprouts are tender, add up to 3 tablespoons water, and continue cooking. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Do consume immediately as the Brussels sprouts do turn yellow pretty quickly!
Of course, I had to make something red and green and this simple Roast Capsicum and Rocket Salad dressed simply with Olive oil and Lemon juice was just lovely.
I always make a mash for Christmas. For the past few years it has been the Irish version for obvious reason. The sinfully buttery and creamy mash with slightly caramelized onion and sautéed cabbage was the bomb! It was finished in no time.
1kg Desiree Potatoes (Pink skin, or you can use Russet), cut into several pieces*
125g Butter (this is a less sinful version, I’ve been known to put a whole block in)
One small cabbage, shredded
One small brown onion, roughly chopped
Salt, to taste
In some recipes, scallions are added in place of onions. Take your pick, or add both! I personally like the sweet onions.
*Note that I don’t peel the potatoes beforehand because they comes off naturally when I press them through the potato masher. If you are mashing by hand, to peel the skins first.
Bring a pot of salty water to boil, then add all the potatoes to cook until a fork could pierce through the flesh easily. Drain all the water, return the pot to heat for a minute to properly cook out all the water. Water-logged potatoes are not nice.
In a skillet, heat olive oil or butter and saute Onion with Cabbage until slightly browned.
Press the potatoes through a potato masher, discarding the skins as needed. Whisk in cream, milk and butter. Taste (it should be already a little salty from the water), and add salt if needed. Dump the onion and cabbage in and give it a good mix. And you are ready to serve!
So how was your Christmas? Did you cook up a storm? Or were you lucky enough to be fed instead?
I’m submitting the Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Raisins and Carrots recipe to Cook like a Star (Martha Stewart), Zoe, Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo from Eat your heart out and Riceball from Riceball Eats.