Does anybody remember way back when I posted a copycat recipe for Panera’s Steak & White Cheddar Panini? I mentioned I already had a “go-to” sandwich, but I followed my friend’s lead and ordered the steak one. My “go-to” was Panera’s Turkey Artichoke Panini. When I was out with my friend I didn’t realize it was no longer on the menu, which is a good thing because I swear I had to grieve alone when I found out.
Goodness knows I’m not a huge sports fan. I just don’t have the attention span to sit and follow most things on TV. Unless maybe it’s food related, lol! But yanno what I can get behind on game day? The food! There’s just something about the fun party food that shows up around every football party, and these Chicken Cordon Bleu Sliders are the perfect example of fun food.
I’ve made a few versions of smashed chickpea avocado sandwiches. It’s been a try this with the recipe, try that with the recipe, using whatever’s at hand. I haven’t come up with an actual “recipe” that I wanted to share, though, until I hit upon a combination of Southwestern flavors. So here’s my Southwestern Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich.
Yanno, I made pot roast the other day. That Old Lipton Onion Soup Pot Roast from the ’60’s. And I saved a bit for my Bourbon Barbecue Pot Roast Sandwich. It wasn’t easy, and it took a heroic effort to squirrel a little away for this sandwich, but when a sandwich so epic can be made from a few leftovers? So worth it.
I wish we all had time to stand in front of the barbecue and have parties on the deck (or by the pool if you’re so lucky) but man, sometimes we’re just busy and need to eat! That’s when this big batch of Honey Barbecue Pulled Chicken is a lifesaver.
If you’ve never had a Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich, you’ve been missing out. Really, Italian Beef Sandwiches are a bucket list recipe; everyone should experience them at least once in their lifetime.
In an unexpected twist, I fell in love with the Steak & White Cheddar Panini at Panera Bread. See, I have another “go-to” sandwich but when I was out with a friend, I followed her lead. Yeah, I’m a rule breaker these days! A rebel! It was so good, I’m glad I got out of my “rut” and I recreated it here, for you.
I grew up in the Midwest in the 60’s eating various and assorted “loose-meat” sandwiches, mainly Maid-Rite Sandwiches or as they are sometimes called Tavern Burgers. I never heard the word Sloppy Joe until I was an adult and moved away, and then no-one seemed to know what a Maid-Rite was!
It might have been the name that drew me in. The Original Cheese Zombie Sandwiches. It was the wholehearted endorsement of those who had grown up on The Original Cheese Zombie Sandwiches that hooked me. A Cheese Zombie is a sheet tray of home-made bread layered with an oozy, gooey American cheese and Cheese Zombies are sooo much better than they sound.
I love quaint, old expressions and this year with all the our hot, hot days I kept thinking about “Dog days of summer.” Now, being a dog lover, I always thought that meant the hot August days where it was all a dog could do but find a bit of shade and pant and try to stay cool.
Yanno, I’m always trying new recipes and this Chicken Sandwich from Bon Appetit’s March issue caught my eye. See, I was just down in Georgia and had an opportunity to eat at Chick Fil A for the second time, ever. I think it’s the best fast food – and I don’t usually quite lower myself to eat fast food! I know, I know, I’m a snob about some things…life is just too short for mediocre food.
I seem to be getting nostalgic in my “dotage” and have been leafing through my recipe box; hello, old familiar friends! I had to dust off this Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf, long a family favorite – and the best part of all is the sauce. Oh, that sauce! Double it, triple it, bathe in it, I don’t care, just make the sauce.
About Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf:
Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf is my “go to” recipe for meatloaf and I’ve been making it for years. It’s always moist and flavorful and cuts like a dream. My son goes nuts over this every time I make it! After all, what’s better than an old-fashioned Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and your favorite vegetable?
The original recipe had a lot of thyme. We really didn’t care for the way it hijacked the flavor or for the bacon on this, either. The bacon itself was ok, but the way the flavor seeped into the loaf was bizarre. It’s one of those “sounds better than it is” ideas. The instructions are in my recipe, below, if you want to go for it.
The original recipe calls for meatloaf mix – I actually like this best made with a mixture of ground beef and ground pork instead of the hard to find meatloaf mix (that’s traditionally a third each of ground beef, pork & veal) or all ground beef. The pork adds a lot and keeps it nice and moist.
Optimize your time when making the Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf:
If you’re looking to speed along dinner, try baking your meatloaf in little free-form oblong football shapes on a foil-lined sheet or use a muffin pan. It cuts the baking time down considerably! I’d go about 30 to 40 minutes for a football shape & 20 to 25 for the meatloaf “muffins”.
If you really want to maximize your time long term, double the recipe for Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf and freeze one of the meatloaves before baking. Meatloaf freezes very well. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap (let it hang well over the sides), then pack in the meatloaf. When frozen, remove from the pan, use the overlapping plastic wrap to cover it well, then wrap a second time with the foil. To bake, remove the meatloaf from the freezer and thaw overnight. By dinner it should be thawed enough to remove the wrapping and bake. It will probably need a few more minutes in the oven.
Cost-saving tips for the Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf:
From a frugal standpoint, try to eke out two meals from this meatloaf. Meatloaf isn’t “cheap” to make and this one ran about eight bucks with sales priced ingredients. (Warning: it’s so good you might have to fight to set aside a bit.)
My fave way to bring meatloaf back to the table a second time is a meatloaf sandwich: A slice of cold meatloaf, yellow ballpark mustard, lettuce, onion and pickle, and a good slathering of the incredible sauce. It makes me happy just thinking about it. 🙂
You’ll want to make this meatloaf with sales priced ground beef, obs, but shave off a few bucks by using the ground beef/ground pork combo. Ground pork can be hard to find and pricey. Pick up pork loin (for a leaner option) or shoulder (for a moister option) up at a low (89 to 99 cents a pound) cube & pulse in your food processor. It’s the freshest and best tasting ground pork, ever.Print
Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf – A favorite!
Adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated/Pam Anderson recipe, this meatloaf is the pinnacle of Classic Meatloaf!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 10 servings
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or hot sauce
- 1/2 cup milk, buttermilk or low-fat plain yogurt (yogurt preferred)
- 3 pounds ground meat: use meatloaf mix (beef, veal, pork) or 50% beef & pork
- 2/3 cups crushed saltines (about 16) or 2/3rds cup oatmeal or 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (oatmeal preferred)
- 1/3 cup minced parsley, optional
- 1 pound bacon, optional (instructions at bottom of recipe)
Glaze has been doubled. Divide into two portions, 1/2 for glazing and 1/2 for serving.
- 1 1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce (chili sauce is best!)
- 4 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons cider or white vinegar
Mix all ingredients, set aside. May be warmed briefly in the microwave if your sugar has hardened and doesn’t mix in.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add onion and garlic, saute until softened, about 5 minutes; set aside to cool.
Mix eggs with salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco or hot sauce, and your choice of milk, buttermilk or yogurt.
Add egg mixture to meat in a large bowl, along with either crackers, oatmeal or bread crumbs, & the cooked onions and garlic; mix lightly with fingertips until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If mixture does stick, add additional dairy, a couple of tablespoons at a time, and continue mixing until mixture stops sticking.)
To make in a free-form loaf: Cover a portion of a wire rack with foil a little larger than the formed meatloaf will be (use a sheet of foil the length of the roll, and width of about 8 inches); prick foil in several places with a fork so excess grease can drip down. Place a rack on a shallow roasting pan lined with foil for easy cleanup. Turn meat mixture onto foil-lined rack and pat mixture into a loaf approximately 9 by 5 inches.
To make in a loaf pan: Place meatloaf mixture in loaf pan but pat into shape so it has a rather high dome and is flat for 1/2 inch around the edges. This will allow the glaze to cook nicely on top. When the second coating of glaze is ready to go on, you will probably want to pour off any accumulated fat into a can or container, (refrigerate to harden to make it easy to dispose of) which is a messy proposition but worth doing.
For both baking methods:
Brush loaf with 1/2 of the glaze set aside for glazing then bake for about 30 minutes. Remove carefully (I drain grease if using a loaf pan) then gently add the remainder of the glaze without disturbing the first coat.
Return to oven and bake until the loaf registers 160 degrees, about 30 to 40 minutes longer. (1 hour to an hour and ten minutes total.) Cool for at least 20 minutes – it really does make a better meatloaf. Slice and serve with reserved sauce, if you’ve doubled.
To use bacon:
To use bacon on this recipe: Use the foil on rack method of baking. Form loaf, then brush with 1/2 of the glaze. Top with the bacon (going over the short sides across the loaf) overlapping each slice slightly. Tuck any excess under the loaf.
No need to saute the onions: place oil and onions in a small, microwave-safe container and microwave for about 2 minutes, covered.
This is a fun little Chicken Salad recipe with a few Greek twists! Full of lean chicken, a lightened dressing and crunchy vegetables, this is a great recipe for early spring through summer. I like to serve these in a Pita, just for fun.
Way back in the late 70’s I fell in love and lived in the quaint little town in the Colorado Rockies, Georgetown. Young and single with a new adventure every day, I really did have the time of my life. Hiking, backpacking and biking all summer, skiing all winter, I could pretty much eat anything I wanted, and I often wanted these delicious sandwiches! Healthy, fresh, filling and best of all, cheap!
Hummus, here in the US, is often spelled as shown, but I suspect this is a phonetic rendering and in most areas of the world is spelled just like Elaine over at Foodbod does, Homous. See, Elaine and I got to talking about Hummus/Homous after Ginger from Ginger & Bread and I did dual posts about her Viennese Schnitzel compared to my Iowa Pork Tenderloin Sandwich.
My Iowa Pork Tenderloin Sandwich came about from a challenge. I recently came under some “friendly fire” from Ginger of Ginger&Bread. She threw the kitchen mitt down with a challenge, given innocently enough. It went something like, “Why don’t you make a recipe of German origin as it is made in the States, and I’ll make it as it is traditionally made in Germany?” “What great fun it would be!” I replied.
Sometimes I think I’m the Queen of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cheap and quick, they can be doctored to take you all over the world. Today, as reigning Queen, I’m going to take you deep into the Colorado Rocky Mountains. And I’m gonna declare you make these Southwestern Lime Chicken Breasts.
Chipotle’s chicken – my son is wild about it & orders the Chicken Burrito every time he goes, which is as often as he can. He isn’t the only one that likes Chipotle: there’s always a line, there are numerous Copycat recipes and a fan site. People are crazy about Chipotle. I thought it was high time I made a Chipotle Chicken Burrito Copycat Recipe at home.
Quick, easy and fresh, this grilled chicken is always a huge hit at my house – best of all, there’s really nothing to it. It’s the perfect thing to throw together on a weeknight for family and it’s impressive enough to throw together for friends or company.
Imho, the best reason for making Corned Beef is to have leftovers for a Classic Reuben Sandwich. Corned Beef, sauerkraut, a good Pumpernickel or Marble Rye, a simple dressing of home-made Thousand Island. I think maybe if I hadn’t grown up eating Reuben’s I’d think they were a little nuts.
I can’t remember the last time I had Falafel – college maybe? It seems there is always some wonderful place near a college in every city I’ve lived in…but who wants to take a drive just to have the experience? Surprisingly easy to make at home, you can customize them just the way you’d like.
Pasties – what can I say? They’re pretty famous throughout Northern Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin, especially in areas where Cornish and Welsh miners settled. They’re famous throughout Britain, too. Maybe its time they became famous everywhere…little pastry filled pockets of goodness, the list of simple ingredients belies the taste.
When my baby Sis posted she was making her Nebraska Runzas (Bierocks) I became inspired. She (and her family) fell in love with them during her years in the Cornhusker State and my Sis knows her Runza. If you’ve never had a Runza, you’re in for a treat. It’s a beautiful, light fluffy bun wrapped around a filling of ground beef, cabbage, and onion. They’re good old-fashioned cooking with the emphasis on good!
I’ve been meaning to make Arepas forever, and when I saw an old Diner’s Drive In and Dives Gone Global rerun featuring these from La Caraquena I took it as a sign…and I’m glad I did. The combination of the still warm, fragrant Arepa with the cool, creamy, slightly tangy Chicken and Avocado filling is indescribable.
I truly do think the leftovers are the best part of any Holiday dinner, and here’s one of my favorite ways to use them. While traditionally made with turkey, Hot Browns are great made with either turkey or ham. As a matter of fact, when I make Hot Browns, I can usually count on an extra teenager or two hanging around until dinner is served. That’s ok with me – I’d rather have them at my house!