Glazed Root Vegetables:
(In this case either carrots or sweet potatoes—we need some color on that plate.) Root
vegetables are always available. This version uses a touch of brown sugar to add sweetness and a
scraping of fresh ginger to provide a kick in the pants. (That was truer than her readers would
ever know, she thought.)
1 lb of either sweet potatoes or carrots—peeled and cut into small moon shaped pieces.
2 TBL butter
About an inch of peeled fresh ginger, grated with a microplane grater.
1 cup of either orange juice or apple juice
1 cup of chicken stock
Bring the liquids to a boil in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Dump your veggies in. Cook
until tender with the lid on. When just fork tender—use a slotted spoon to remove the half
moons. Allow the liquid to boil down until it’s about 1/2 cup. Add butter, brown sugar and
ginger. Return vegetables to pot and stir to coat with glaze. It’s better if this isn’t done ahead of
time. The texture suffers. This dish is all about balance—sweet and spicy—familiar and unusual.
Absolutely worth the effort.
-I know, I know, your mother made meat loaf on Wednesdays and it was covered in gloppy
ketchup and you did not learn to cook so that you could go make loaves of meat. Got it.
However, the simple fact remains, as my grandfather used to say when I was in chef’s school and
throwing balsamic reduction and tarragon in everything, “Honey, a man likes a tune he can
whistle.” So true, Poppa. Therefore, I present to you a flavorful, juicy meat loaf. Magnificent
alongside scalloped potatoes. Even better in a sandwich. (Recipe in index)
I let it get to just warm before slicing thickly and serving atop white sandwich bread with
mustard and white cheddar. I can’t even whistle (I can’t—not a single note—so I gave up my
goal of being a Native American tracker early in life) and I know this is a lunch to sustain
anyone—whether they are roofing or getting ready for a parent-teacher conference. Make it
today. It’s delicious!
To be clear, I am not roofing. I tried to put the stickers in the right spots on my Barbie
townhouse when I was eleven and learned right then that construction was not for me. Unlike
me, Killian can do anything he decides to do. It’s one of the many irresistible things about him.
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
3//4 cup cracker crumbs from saltines—finely ground
1 large onion finely diced-sautéed for about ten minutes over very low heat—just until
softened. Add 4 cloves of minced garlic—cooked with the onion. Allow to cool a bit off of the
1TBL prepared horseradish (not the creamy mayo type stuff)
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1 TBL horseradish
1 TBL brown sugar
4 TBL ketchup- don’t need to measure- just squirt, stir, and eyeball.
Pour the milk over the cracker crumbs—once they are soaked through, combine all
remaining meat loaf ingredients. Spray a 10” Bundt pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl,
combine 1 TBL horseradish, 1 TBL brown sugar and 4 TBL ketchup. Spoon into the bottom of
your Bundt pan and lightly spread it around. Press the meat mixture into the pan and then place
the Bundt pan into a large roasting pan. While the oven preheats to 350 degrees, bring the kettle
to the boil. Pour boiling water around the Bundt pan and carefully hoist the whole shebang into
the oven. Forty minutes later, remove from its sauna and allow to cool in pan for at least ten
minutes. Using oven mitts that you have never liked anyway, lay a plate a top the meatloaf and
flip it over—gingerly loosen the pan and allow the glaze that you very cleverly put in the bottom
of the pan to ooze down over your crown of meatiness. Be careful with this—there might be
grease that oozes out of the upended Bundt pan and you don’t want to get burned.
Now, fresh is always best—and yet—pitting cherries is for the birds. Instead, we are
going to use several bags of frozen cherries. If you are a masochist, go ahead and use the fresh
ones. Who am I to judge how any of us gets our kicks? Do not for one minute, however, think
that it makes you a martyr for your art since in this case, it does not.
• 3 bags of frozen cherries 1 lb each
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• – A vanilla pod
• 3 cinnamon sticks broken in half
• 3 strips of orange peel-peel shallow- we don’t want the white stuff
• 3 cups rye whiskey don’t hesitate to use good stuff for this since it won’t be
wasted—After steeping our ruby gems it can then be drunk.
• 6 1/2 pint jars with lids—you can reuse the jars—but you must use fresh metal
lids and rings each time.
Dump the cherries into a colander set inside a non reactive pot (that means no cast iron
or copper) let them sit for several hours and when they seem thawed put a bowl on them to force
as much of the juice out as possible. If you’re so inclined feel free to do this in your fridge. I am
not so inclined. That would involve putting a plate or something under them and that just sounds
too much like work. After they have drained (save the juice), squeeze with your hands and then
arrange the cherries in your jars—you want them to be about 2/3 full. You might not need all six
jars. My powers of prognostication are not infallible. Add the honey, cinnamon and bourbon to
the juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Do not try to hurry this along. We don’t have
to have met for me to know that you look better with eyebrows. Whiskey is more than a wee bit
flammable. Once everything is dissolved and syrupy, remove from heat and stir in the scrapings
from the vanilla pod. Cut the pod into as many pieces as you have jars and distribute among
them. Use a skewer to push the orange peel down deep into the cherries and pour your boozy
syrup over all. Make sure each jar has a piece of cinnamon stick. Leave about 1/2 inch
headspace. Run a damp paper towel over the rim and quick as a wink apply the lids and screw
the rims on. The heat from the fruit will seal it all up. Between the sugar and the alcohol you
don’t really need to worry about botulism with these babies, but should you see anything that
looks like mold, don’t be a hero—toss it forthwith.
And now for the fisticuffs:
The only likelier way to pick a fistfight with another foodie would be to say “Real chili
has no beans or tomatoes.” Precisely the best way to enjoy an old fashioned is up for fierce
debate. I would skirt the entire issue by attaching a cute label that says “bourbon cherries—perfect on ice cream or in cocktails.” And that’s IT—they are on their own—no one has time for
that much conflict. Now, for myself, I prefer to fill a short glass with some ice—squeeze an
orange slice over the ice and then drop the slices into the glass. Add two fingers of rye and then
top up with another two fingers of our cherry bourbon (I have skinny fingers, your mileage may
vary). Garnish with at least one of our succulent Rubenesque cherries. Delicious. In fact, I think
one may be just what I need to finish this awful packing…
Make it delicious, Cass