Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's Like Dog Food

I am not and will never be a fan of meatloaf. In an attempt to rid me of this belief, my boyfriend, who for the purposes of anonymity I shall call "Mr. A," took me to Firehaus Bar & Grill for their Meatloaf Special. The special consisted of a decent helping of Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and freshly-steamed corn kernels. Mr. A ordered the special so I could try it while I ordered their Battalion Burger and Firehaus chips for safety; the Battalion Burger is excellent, by the way, and I highly recommend it.

While waiting for our food, Mr. A asked me why I have such an aversion to meatloaf. Meatloaf and I do not get along. It is not that any of the ingredients by themselves disagree with me. I am perfectly a fan of ketchup, bread, ground beef, eggs, salt, pepper, and other seasonings in their own right. But when these items are combined together, it has the texture of bad liver in my mouth and the same unpleasant aftertaste.

Oh, and the meatloaf I grew up with had raisins in it. According to Mr. A, this is a no-no in meatloaf.

So after this little talk, I waited with anticipation. The dishes came in good time. I abstained from tasting my burger and took a swig of water to cleanse my palate. I took a fork and cut a bite sized piece. I chewed the piece and let the flavors sit for a while before finally swallowing. But then it hit me. That taste. That undeniable aftertaste that I always experience when eating was still there. Even without raisins.

I put the fork down disappointed.

Then I began eating my burger and everything was right as rain. Mr. A scarfed down his meatloaf, loving every bite of it.

A part of me wants to like meatloaf, but there has yet to be a version that sits well with my personal tastes. If anyone has a good recipe they want me to try, let me know. I want to be proven wrong.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Menu: Saturday Dinner

We had a dinner this past Saturday with a group of friends. I am not a fan of setting a theme for these events, so the menu was as diverse as it was delicious.

- Sangria
- Bloody Marys

- Multi-grain Bread from the local grocery store
- Mushroom and Sauerkraut salad
- Mixed Baby Greens salad (with feta, cherry tomatoes, red onion slivers, and balsamic vinaigrette)
- Roasted Potatoes and Roasted Sausage Bites

- Beef Burgundy
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Whole Roasted Chicken with rosemary, thyme, carrots, and lemon wheels

- Pecan Torte

Looking back, I should have made the Sangria with a Shiraz and not a Cabernet. I think Shiraz is better suited to the citrus flavors in my particular Sangria recipe. The Cabernet rendered the drink more mellow, more dry, and less sweet than I am used to.

The mushroom and sauerkraut salad was predominately consumed by my Eastern European guests (surprise, surprise.) The mixed green salad was a familiar dish that everyone seemed to enjoy. Among the starters and sides, the definite winner were the roasted potatoes and roasted sausage bites (the sausage was filled with cheese!); this side was very addictive and could have been served on its own.

The main dishes were hits overall. The Beef Burgundy recipe (courtesy of Betty Crocker) came out beautifully; the beef was a well marbled chuck steak and the Burgundy was of low caliber drinking-wise, but suitable for cooking. As per the vegetarian request of one of the guests, the Eggplant Parmesan passed with flying colors. Nearly all of the Eggplant was consumed, leaving only one of the delectable fillets behind for packed-lunch consumption. The chicken was good, but as compared to the other dishes, it was very safe and reminiscent of store bought rotisserie chickens.

Finally, the dinner ended with a Pecan Torte-- a surprisingly light dessert to finish off an otherwise heavy meal.

I will be posting the Pecan Torte recipe in a bit. I am open to recipe requests for the other items listed above.