Meatloaf Stuffed Potato Balls with Dragon Sauce

Recipes in this PostMeatloaf Stuffed Potato Balls with Dragon Sauce

Meatloaf Stuffed Potato Balls with Dragon Sauce

One of my favorite things is to go to Porto’s in Glendale and get Papas Rellenas (Cuban Potato Balls).  They are very tasty, and make for a quick bite.  One day, I had left over meatloaf, and left over mashed potatoes, so I decided to try my hand at making them.  It’s pretty simple, and a good way to use up your left overs.  You could use other stuffing, I just happen to really like my Three Pepper Spicy Meatloaf.

A few words about mashed potatoes

Please use real ones, not the ones in the box, or the ones that are already made. Take a little time to make mashed potatoes.  I usually use one medium sized potato per person, unless I want extra for something like this, and then I add an extra potato. For this recipe, you will need to peel the potatoes. Unpeeled potatoes are great, but the peels would get in the way when trying to keep the shaped correctly.  I cut my potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half into quarters.  I keep the cut, peeled potatoes in cold water until they have all been prepped, this keeps them from turning brown.  Rinse the potatoes and put them in clean, salted water. Always use a good amount of salt in the water, about a half a teaspoon per potato. Bring the water to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to medium. Check the potatoes at about 15 minutes.  They are done when you can easily stick a fork or tip of a knife in them.  Don’t let them get over cooked, or you will have a soggy mess. Drain them in a sturdy colander immediately so they will stop cooking.  I like to add butter at this point, and mash them with a masher so the butter really gets in there, then I add milk and depending on how fluffy I want them, I either whip them by hand, or use a hand mixer.

Meatloaf – It’s all up to you!

To make this you will need about 2 cups of left over mashed and a few slices of left over meatloaf.  You can use your favorite meatloaf recipe, you are not tied to mine. You can even use – gads! – store bought meatloaf if you like it.

The Dragon Sauce

You don’t have to have a dip for these, they’re good plain.  But, if you like a extra zip, please try this Dragon Sauce. If you don’t like spicy foods, then you could always use Ranch or onion dip if you wanted.  This is one of those recipes that’s really up to you.  Use what you enjoy!

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Bread Salad

Recipes in this PostBread Salad

Sometimes, you get a large load of rich, crusty bread but can only finish part of it before it starts to dry out. What can you do with it? Well, you can make croutons, or you can make a summer favorite, Bread Salad.

There is no real “recipe” for this, put in it what you like to put in regular salads, let your imagination flow! But, I will give you the recipe for the salad I made tonight.

One thing you do have to do is use the right bread. A good crusty French bread, or a good sour dough would be ideal. It should be a whole loaf, not sliced, because you will want to cut it up yourself. Don’t be scared, it’s really easy with a good sharp knife.

A flavorful dressing is also important. The Brown Derby Dressing would be ideal, or a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette would also be good. I used Girard’s Champagne Dressing on our salad tonight for a change.

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Turkey Tetrazzini

Recipes in this PostTurkey Tetrazzini

This is something that I really love, and when I don’t have left over turkey, I have been known to go to the store and get the frozen one – you know which one I mean. But, this dish is really best fresh, made from the left over turkey at your feast.

I have found other recipes that called for peas, no sherry, white wine, etc. Well, it’s just not the same thing! This is the Turkey Tetrazzini you have been looking for, that you remember, that you crave, the one with celery, mushrooms and sherry cream sauce. You can make a lot of this, put it into individual serving trays and freeze it for some night when you don’t want to cook, but you want something comforting.

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Jalapeno Stuffed Peppers

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Jalapeno Stuffed Pepper

Today it was clean out the refrigerator day. You know how it is, no matter how careful you are, there is always something that hides in the very back and becomes a science experiment. Yuk! You might want to check out my Organizing the Refrigerator tips on how to avoid finding science experiments.

Then there are the little containers of pickled jalapeño peppers that come with a pizza. I think they jump in the hot pack all by themselves, because I know I never order them. That isn’t to say that I don’t like them, but I do, but I don’t like them on pizza. Still, unbidden, they find their way into my kitchen. They make their way to the refrigerator, to be included in something or eaten out of hand later, and like all small things, seem to happily find their way to the back of the fridge, right next to that awful science experiment. Since they are in brine, they don’t go bad and can stay in the refrigerator indefinitely.

So, when I was cleaning out the refrigerator today, I found day old plain cooked rice, 2 nice red bell peppers, and the small container of jalapeños. Jalapeño Stuffed Peppers it is!

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Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Fudge for Valentines

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Finished Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Fudge

Sometimes you get lucky and someone gives you a whole bunch of boxes of Christmas Peppermint Candy Canes. I was lucky, my friend gave me six boxes of candy someone had given her. She was surprised when I said I wanted it, and she wanted to know what I was going to do with it. I said, “Make Peppermint Fudge, of course!”

Span was excited to help me because he got the job of breaking up the candy canes into more manageable pieces. First he did this with his hands, came and showed them to me and I said, “You know, breaking them goes quicker when you use a hammer.” So, he got a hammer, and he started banging away at them. I was washing dishes and didn’t realize he had started, or where he was going this. I now have little bits of candy cane on the floor in the living room. No big deal, I will vacuum them up. The point is he had a good time, and really felt he was helping.

We made the fudge last night and put it in the refrigerator to firm up. I was thinking of dipping the pieces in chocolate, but I only had unsweetened chocolate. If that happens to you, it’s not a show stopper.

How to Make Dipping Chocolate with Unsweetened Chocolate

Double BoilerI like to melt my chocolate in a double boiler. I also prefer to make my own double boiler by placing a metal bowl above pan half filled with water. The bowl’s circumference is much larger than the pan, so a) there is no chance of the chocolate falling into the water, and most importantly, b) because of the large circumference, there is little chance of steam getting to the chocolate and making it seize. Once chocolate has seized, about the only thing it’s good for is breaking up for chocolate chip cookies, or beating the heck out of it to make chocolate ganache.

Making Dipping Chocolate with Unsweetned ChocolateI found myself in a quandary as I did not have enough semi-sweet chocolate to dip all the fudge, and I didn’t want to waste time going to the store to buy more. It’s actually not a problem, you can add sugar to melted chocolate, and it will be just fine. As a matter of fact, just as in using salted butter gives you little control over saltiness in dishes, using semi-sweet chocolate also gives you limited control over the sweetness of the chocolate. The important thing to remember is that you must use the finest grain pure cane sugar you can get to avoid grittiness. Add the sugar to the melted chocolate, slowly, stirring all the while. Whatever you do, don’t let the sugar liquefy or you’ll just have a mess of seized chocolate. The ratio is about 1/4 cup of sugar to every ounce of unsweetened chocolate. You will have to test it for taste, though, depending on how sweet you want the final product.

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The Day After Thanksgiving Sandwich

Recipes in this PostDay After Thanksgiving Sandwich

I look forward to this day every year. I only get to have this sandwich once a year, because I only have the ingredients once a year. Yes, I could go out and purchase them at other times, and I could make the whole thing so I could have the leftovers at other times of the year, but it wouldn’t be the same. No, it just wouldn’t be the same.

I remember a few years ago, I went to dinner at someone’s house whose husband was allergic to turkey. Can you believe that? Allergic to turkey? A capon was served instead, it was good, but there were no leftovers. So, the day after Thanksgiving, I went to the supermarket, and tried to find some turkey. There was no fresh turkey, no even ground turkey. The deli was completely out of turkey, and even the deli section with the packaged luncheon meat was out. I promised myself then that I would NEVER be without turkey the day after Thanksgiving again – and I haven’t.

This year, since it was only the two of us, I got two turkey thighs, and made Stuffed Turkey Thighs. They were large enough so we could split one last night, and have the other one today, for The Sandwich. I also made Cranberry Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Salad Ring, and I used stuffing I had left over the in freezer (Yes, you can save left over dressing in the freezer).

Warning! This sandwich is messy, and best eaten over the kitchen sink!

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