Your Own Loaf of Meat

So, continuing this ‘comfort food’ series, today I will reveal the secret to a really good meatloaf… venison! Yup, from right here on Long Island. Fresh deer meat mixed with ground beef to make a lean loaf that’s good for your health.

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1 lb ground venison
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 rashers of bacon diced
  • 1 medium onion coarsely grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 cups of fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 3 juniper berries crushed
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the bacon bits, then drain on a paper towel and toss into a large mixing bowl.

Add the venison, beef, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, thyme, juniper, vinegar, egg and mix this all together with your hands. Yup, have to do it with your own two un-gloved hands. Make that connection with your creation.

Now, just because I use thyme and juniper, doesn’t mean that you have to. The thing that makes meatloaf a real comfort food is that it is made from whatever makes YOU feel good. If you want to use oregano, mushrooms, and A1 sauce, go right ahead. Meatloaf is as personalized as fingerprints (another good reason for making your fingers a part of the process).

Spoon the mixture on to a foil covered baking sheet and shape it into a loaf shape. Bake in the oven about an hour and fifteen, then take it out and left it rest about five minutes before cutting and serving and challenging your guests to guess what ingredients YOU used… trust me, this last part makes for interesting conversation if you are an unconventional cook.

Smack-n-cheese

I went to a New Year’s Eve party and brought a dish. I wanted to bring something that would really sum up the outgoing 2011. I thought and thought of what I would create. I’ve got a little bit of a rep to maintain so I couldn’t just bring any-old-thing. Then, while watching one of those year-in-review shows it hit me! I’ll make some Smack-n-cheese!

What exactly is ‘Smack-n-cheese’ you might ask? Well I’ll tell you… its Charlie Sheen’s Mac-and-cheese, and this is the story of how I created it. First of, there is two versions of this dish. On the one hand you have a mild version which I labeled ‘the Goddess’ version which contains the secret ‘tigers-blood’; and then there is the ‘Violent Torpedo of Truth” version which contains an extra helping of the secret ‘Tigers-blood’ and the added ‘Adonis DNA’.

So let’s concoct these vessels of cheesy ambrosia… you will need:

• 1 lbs elbow macaroni
• 1 16oz package Sargento 4 cheese Mexican blend
• 1 stick of butter
• A couple of table spoons of flour
• 1 teaspoon of smoky paprika
• 2 Cups of milk
• 3 links of chorizo sausage, diced fine
• Half a dozen jalapeno peppers, diced fine
• 1 medium poblano pepper, diced fine
• Louisiana hot sauce (a.k.a. Tigers Blood)
• Chili powder (a.k.a. Adonis DNA)

Cook the macaroni as usual. Then, over a medium flame, in a large pot, sweat the chorizo and peppers till soft and fragrant. Remove these from the pot and toss in the butter, reduce the heat to a simmer. Melt the butter, the slowly add the flour to make your rux. Add milk to this slowly to make a white sauce. Now, fold in the cheese to make the cheese sauce.

Add the chorizo and peppers to the cheese sauce and blend well. Then add one table spoon of the hot sauce. Then, toss I the macaroni and mix this all together so the macaroni is well coated. Put half of this into one bowl and set it aside. This is the Goddess version.

Now, add another two tablespoons of hot sauce and one tea spoon of chili power to the remainder and mix this well. Put this into a separate bowl. This is the Violent Torpedo of Truth version.

Top both of these with a little shredded pepper-jack cheese and bring to your party. Have the host warm it a bit before serving and tell all the folks that only rock stars from mars are allowed to eat it!