Biscuits and Italian Sausage Gravy are a favorite treat. Comfort food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Find out about my secret ingredient!
There is nothing like tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes in the summer. But, no worries, if you have an abundance of tomatoes the rest of the year, you can easily turn them into tomato sauce, too.
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 leftover meatloaf, and leftover mashed potatoes, so I decided to try my hand at making them. It’s pretty simple, and a good way to use up your leftovers. 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 them 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 overcooked, 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 stand 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 an 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!
Why would anyone want to write about Thousand Island Dressing? It’s yucky! It’s that reddish stuff that sits on the salad bar and congeals because no one wants it, and rightly so. It’s the “secret” sauce on the Big Mac and has become so common that you probably don’t even notice it on your sandwich anymore. That’s a pity because this is a grand dame of salad dressings with an interesting and honorable history.
Thousand Island Dressing is named for the archipelago of 1,864 islands that straddles the Canada-U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River. Some of the islands are very small indeed. The one pictured above supports a single tree and two bushes. The dressing was popularized by May Irwin, a Canadian vaudeville star in the 1890s. She had a home in Grindstone Island, one of the Thousand Islands. She said that the dressing reminded her of the Thousand Islands, and enjoyed the dressing so much that she requested the recipe from Sophia LaLonde, a fishing guide’s wife who frequently made the dressing for her husband. Miss Irwin then gave the recipe to George Boldt, the proprietor of the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, who instructed his the hotel’s maître d’hôtel, Oscar Tschirky, to put the dressing on the menu. In 1950 the dressing became a standard and started its decline into the gloppy mess we have today.
One of the things we do at The Good Plate is to reconstruct packaged foods, so they taste better, and don’t have the preservatives common in packaged foods. I knew that venerable Thousand Island Dressing deserved a better place, and making it from scratch would make it one of my favorites, especially for seafood salads.
I made a crab salad for the dressing, and some Balsamic Toasts to go with them. This was amid Spane and his friend making Play Dough on the stove. There are little bits of homemade Play Dough all over the place. Time to clean!
When I was a little girl, my mother had the entire collection of The Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cooking, and there was a recipe in for Hungarian Porkchops, which I have been making for many years. Today, I decided to change the recipe a bit and came up with Pork Chops Paprikash.
In Glendale, California, which has a large Armenian population, we have Red Pepper Sauce. It’s basically paprika peppers, and I use it quite often, in sauces, eggs, and other dishes. There are many brands and you can probably find it in ethnic European stores. I highly recommend it.
Paprikash dishes call for sour cream. I have probably talked about this before, and I will say it again. When you buy sour cream, please only get the kind that has cultured cream. The other stuff has gelatin and other ingredients as fillers, and they just are not real sour cream. The Alta Dena brand has a wonderful saying on the top of the tub, “Those cravings you feel are totally natural”. I love that because it’s true – there is nothing in that sour cream except cultured cream, the way sour cream should be.
Basil pine nut pesto is one of the most delicious and easy things to make. It’s even better in the summer when your basil plant is fat with big green leaves.
What great stories you can tell about how these hens got flat. Flattened “Highway” chicken cooks evenly on the grill. Put potatoes wedges “chips” on the grill at the same time, and have a BBQ feast!
Seafood stuffed avocado is a delight in the spring when perky asparagus comes into play. Here we marinated it to give it extra flavor. Enjoy!
Rosemary Garlic Chicken Purses make a great lunch or appetizer. The chicken is infused with rosemary and mixed with cream cheese, all wrapped in eggroll wrappers and deep-fried. Of course, to lower calories, they can also be baked.