Vanessa's Recipes

Posts tagged ‘Potatoes’

Meatloaf

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One thing my daughter loves is my meatloaf.  I’m grateful for small favors.  🙂

 

2 envelopes (1 box) Lipton Onion/Mushroom dry Soup Mix
1-1½ pounds ground beef
1-1½ pounds ground chicken or turkey (I like chicken best)
2-3 eggs, 1 per pound of meat
milk to moisten
1½ cups bread crumbs (works out to about 6 slices if you make your own)
garlic powder (not garlic salt) to taste, just a couple of shakes of the jar

2-3 pounds of potatoes

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My friend Raga likes to put this topping on her meatloaf.  🙂

Topping:

Combine
3 Tablespoons catsup
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard

Spread on meatloaf before cooking.

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Okay, I a little weird about touching raw meat with my hands.  Especially ground beef.  So, I line my loaf pan with cling wrap first.  Then I spray my roasting pan with cooking spray.  This will help with clean up later.

Next, I cut the potatoes up into pieces and toss them into a big bowl and then pour a little oil on them, and maybe some salt, pepper, and parsley or dill weed, and set them aside.

Then I mix all my meatloaf ingredients into another big bowl.  I just use a big spatula, or you could use your mixer if you have one.  When it’s thoroughly mixed, I spread it into the lined loaf pan and press it well into the loaf pan.  Then, I flip it into the roasting pan.  Voilá!  Peel off the cling wrap and you have a perfectly formed loaf, and still a clean loaf pan that you won’t have to wash.  See?  There is a method to my madness.  😉

I pour the potatoes around the meatloaf, put the lid on the roasting pan, and bake it in the oven at 350° for about 2 hours.  I take the lid off then and let it brown up for another 10-15 min. 

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Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

This recipe is pretty much a staple in The Darc House.  I get inexpensive chicken (WalMart has a Purdue type called Tender & Tasty and runs about a dollar a pound and comes in 3-5lb packages) and a 10lb bag of potatoes and I can get several meals out of it.  Any time I refer to leftover chicken or leftover roasted potatoes in the future, this is the recipe that those leftovers will come from.  🙂

To begin, you’ll need a broiler pan.  (mine is roughly 12×15 and about 2-3” deep)  You’ll also need cooking spray like Pam, a large bowl, a long wooden spoon or spatula, and a decent knife.

The Potatoes

I start by washing off about 3lbs of potatoes – maybe 10 med sized.  Then I cut them in half lengthwise, take a half, cut it again lengthwise, then slice it in ½ to 1” pieces.  You should end up with something that sort of looks like a quarter circle.  I do all the potatoes this way and toss them into a large bowl.  I drizzle them with about 2-3 tblsp of peanut oil.  I like peanut oil the best – that’s often what they use to make potato chips, you know!  I add 3-4 large pinches of kosher salt, sprinkle on some pepper, and a good dose of parsley flakes.  (For the record, I almost never measure anything precisely.)  I take the long spatula and just stir them all together in the bowl until all the potatoes are pretty evenly coated, then dump them all into the well-sprayed bottom half of the broiler pan. 

The Chicken

Put the top half of the broiler pan on top of the potatoes and spray it with cooking spray.  Don’t worry if the potatoes make it stick up over the bottom pan a little – they’ll cook down.

Next, I rinse off the chicken. 

Plop the chicken breast side up onto the top of the pan and wash your hands – don’t want to spread those salmonella germs all over the place.  (I had to put that in there just to cover my butt, I know you’re smart enough to remember that one.)

Drizzle the chicken with more peanut oil, and then sprinkle it also with kosher salt, pepper, and parsley.

Place the whole shebang in the oven and cook it at about 350° for a couple of hours, until the chicken is nice and golden brown. 

Once it’s done cooking, what I do is take it out of the oven and run a long knife under the broiler pan top to loosen any potatoes that might be sticking and set the top with the chicken on it aside.  For me, it rests perfectly across the top of my sink.  :)  You may have to make other accommodations.  I give the potatoes a quick stir and put them back in the oven for about 10 min while the chicken is resting. 

Once that’s done, take the potatoes out of the oven, carve your chicken and serve.  For my family of 4, we don’t go through even half.  I store the leftovers and can do lots of other things with them, but those are for other posts. 

So that’s one of my staples.  Cheap and easy.  All together it takes maybe 20 min to prepare, and costs probably less than $10.  Not bad, since I can get 2-3 meals out of it.  The neat thing is that it’s really versatile.  I can use different herbs and spices – one time I mixed some cream and shredded leftover cheese with the potatoes to make sort of an au gratin thing.  It turned out good but was a pain to clean up, even with the cooking spray. 

Cooking the chicken on the broiler pan lets the juices drip down, and the potatoes in the bottom collect the drippings so they don’t smoke and burn, and adds great flavor to the potatoes. 

If you try it, let me know what you think!

~Ness

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