Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

Sometimes ya just gotta have meat and potatoes.  I grew up on a farm, after all…

I also had some roasted garlic to use up.

Normally I throw all kinds of seasonings into my meatloaf — it’s one of the most versatile dishes on the planet — but this time, I wanted basic.  Salt, pepper and… ah yes, roasted garlic.  And a few green onions for color.  (Had some of those left, too!)

Gratuitous mashed potato shot -- I liked the light.

Paired with a mound of fluffy mashed potatoes and a vegetable of your choice, it makes for a nice meal.

Mind you, this isn’t a saucy, bacon-draped, barbecued affair — just good ol’ meatloaf.  And some mighty fine sandwiches the next day.  (Feel free to top it with whatever you like, if you’re so inclined.)

Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck

1/2 c. beef broth or milk (I used milk — I grew up on a farm, yada yada…)

2 eggs

1/2 c. toasted bread crumbs

1/2 -1 whole head of garlic, roasted (see here for tips)

A liberal dose of Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

4 green onions, sliced (including tops)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and broth (or milk.)  Add bread crumbs, roasted garlic, and salt & pepper.  Let this sit for a bit until the crumbs soak up the liquid.

Add ground beef and green onions.  Mix together lightly with your hands.  (The phone always rings during this step, just so ya know.)

Shape mixture into a loaf and place in a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.  Bake 40 to 60 minutes.

Not exactly rocket science, but sometimes simple is good.

Enjoying back to the basics,

~ Kim

What’s your favorite “basic” meal?

Pizza Pie, Oh My! (and other Glorious Galettes)

(First, please pardon the blinding glare in the subsequent photos…)  Now then, let’s strike an impertinent little pose, shall we?  One that beckons hither and yon and says, “Come ‘n get me!” — in a nice way, of course.

Or, in Okie terms… pull up a chair and dig in!

Quick aside… My original plan was to make a traditional Galette des Rois with almond paste filling, but the farthest I got was blanching the almonds.  Have you ever tried to peel a blanched almond?

I enlisted The Man Of Few Words to help (ain’t he sweet?) and we sat on opposite sides of the counter with a pile between us.  It soon became a game of Tiddlywinks.  (Remember those?)  One or the other of us would accidentally “shoot” an almond airborne and I’ve never giggled so much over a mundane task.  Laughter truly is the best medicine!

But, I finally abandoned my galette-making plan for another day — I also went with a savory version.  (At that point in my “cold recovery,” I needed flavor, and lots of it.)  For a marvelous “how-to” on the traditional galette, click here.  (Thank you, Becoming Madame!)  And, for a lovely fruit and cheese variation with pears, pecans, and Gorgonzola, click here.  (Thank you, basilmomma!)

Okay, here’s my take…

Pizza Pie, Oh My!

Preheat oven to 400° F.

For the crust:

1 prepared pie crust (everybody has their favorite — use whatever works for you)

Extra virgin olive oil

For the sauce:

1/2 to 1 whole head of garlic, roasted*

1 tsp. Kosher salt

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. olive oil (or butter… or both)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

* Obviously, it’s easier to roast a whole head of garlic than a half…  Cut off the top, drizzle a little olive oil over it, wrap it in foil, and roast it in a 400° oven for 15 to 20 minutes until it’s soft; set aside to cool.  Use as much as your tastebuds can handle.  (Reserve the rest for later and leave your oven on.)

For the filling:

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed

1 med. sweet onion, chopped

1 roasted red pepper, chopped (I used the “jarred” kind — yes, I resort to convenience now and then…)

4 to 6 oz. Italian blend shredded cheese (yes, fresh is better, but see above)

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (this, I will not budge on)

To prepare crust:  Roll as thinly as possible and place on a pizza pan or stone.  Brush lightly with olive oil to approximately 2″ from edges; set aside.

To prepare sauce:  Squeeze desired amount of roasted garlic onto a cutting board.  Sprinkle with salt.  Mash together with a fork to form a paste.  In a small saucepan, combine tomato paste, water, olive oil (or butter… or both) and garlic paste.  Season to taste with pepper.  (This is a very basic sauce, so as not to compete with the toppings.)  Cook over low heat until warmed; set aside.

To prepare filling:  Brown the sausage in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Break it into fairly good-sized chunks as it cooks.  Remove sausage to a paper-towel-lined plate.  Do not drain skillet.

Add onion to drippings; saute until translucent.  Add roasted red pepper; saute briefly.  Remove with a slotted spoon to aforementioned paper-towel-lined plate.  (It’s okay if it gets cozy with the sausage; it will eventually anyway.)

Meanwhile, spread a thin layer of sauce over the crust to within 2″ of edges.  (Is there more than one edge when it’s a circle?  Never mind.)  Sprinkle grated Parmesan over the sauce, followed by half the Italian blend cheese.

Next, scatter the sausage, onions, and peppers about at random.  (Preferrably over the sauce and crust…)  Top with remaining shredded cheese.

Now then:  Carefully (and artfully) fold crust edges over filling, leaving the middle exposed.  (The pizza, not yours…)  Crimp loosely to form a “galette.”  If desired, (which I did, but forgot), lightly sprinkle the crust with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  (Hint:  Start with the middle rack in your oven.  If needed, move pan to a higher rack to sufficiently the brown the “top” crust without fricaseeing the bottom.)

Before serving, grate additional Parmesan cheese over the top.  Pizza Pie?  Oh My!

Enjoying galette gloriousness,

~ Kim