Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I made what?

As you know, I don't do anything simple.  Not even the currently popular "simple but elegant" type of things like pan-roasted steaks with a simple herb butter or fresh fruit with a Grand Marnier whipped cream.  Nope.  That's just not me.  I make chocolate eclairs for a BBQ and cognac-mustard sauce for a Tuesday dinner.  So what was I smoking when I decided to make MEATLOAF?!  That's right, I made meatloaf.  The classic ketchup-based variety.  I guess it was for the excitement in Trey's face when I told him I made meatloaf.  Its such a classic, simple, mid-week type of dish.  It actually turned out pretty good.  The ketchup and brown sugar topping I put on it was a little too sweet, but that's what you get when you don't measure anything for a dish you've never made.  In all, it turned out very well, if you like meatloaf (which I don't, so again, why did I make it?).

In a strange combination of dinners I made 2 similar menus, but both more classic and also more put-together than I usually do on a weekday.  On Tuesday night I had some friends and their kids over.  While the three girls (their 2 and mine) dismantled the living room my friend and I drank copious amounts of Sekt and I pulled random things out of my refridgerator and cooked them.  The menu actually turned out pretty nice:

Turkey in a White Wine Cream Sauce
Green Beans sauteed with lemon and garlic
Feldsalat with a white balsamic dressing
Bread (from a Pilsbury can....don't judge me, I made this all up as I went)
Meatloaf for the girls, and green beans without garlic and lemon for the girls too

The whole menu came as a "what in my fridge needs to be consumed before I leave town for a few days."  In all, I was pretty impressed.  Below are the recipes, or as much as I remember seeing as I was cooking with wine.  Well, cooking with Sekt actually.  I'll take Sekt any time I can get it :)

Turkey in White Wine Cream Sauce
1 Large Turkey Breast, cut into large pieces
1T Olive Oil
1 1/2C White Wine
1/4C Heavy Cream
1/2C Cream of Mushroom Soup (again I was making this up while I was drinking, don't judge me for using a can)

Pre-heat oven to whatever temperature you baked the bread at.  Brown the turkey pieces in a large skillet with the olive oil.  Remove turkey and place into greased baking dish.  Deglaze the pan with the wine, adding in 1/4C amounts, scraping browned bits off the bottom, and only consuming a little bit of the wine.  Or pour your self a glass and use the rest of the bottle for the pan.  That's actually easier.  When reduced to about 1/2C volume, stir in heavy cream and cream of mushroom soup.  Stir to combine and cook for about 2 min.  Pour over turkey and bake for 20-30min.  Serve immediately.

Green Beans with lemon and garlic
3 large handfuls of green beans, or as much as you want to eat (really? do I need to do all the math for you?)
1/2T butter for each handful of beans
1/2t Crushed Garlic for each handful of beans
1/2t Lemon Juice for each handful of beans

Boil beans in a large sauce pan for 4-5min.  Beans should be crisp-tender (no, that isn't an oxymoron, it means they are still crisp but not raw.  Seriously.  Don't debate me on this, just boil them for 4-5min and you'll figure it out).  Drain the beans.  Heat the butter in a large skillet.  Put beans in the hot butter and saute for about 2 min.  Add garlic and lemon to the pan.  Toss to coat.  Saute an additional 2-3min.  Remove from heat.  Serve immediately.

White Balsamic Dressing
2T Olive Oil
2T White Balsamic Vinegar (the White Balsamic Vinegar cream is even better)
1T Dijon Mustard
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper
Honey as needed

Mix all ingredients together with a whisk.  Add honey in 1/2t sections until desired sweetness is achieved.  Pour on greens.  Prepare for fawning....

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