The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

Nifty and Thrifty! February 20, 2011

You guys aren’t going to believe this! I’M UPDATING MY BLOG! A post! With recipes! Why, yes, it has been exactly a month and a half since I’ve bothered to post anything, and, for that, I am sorry. Once again, like the glorious days of Dexter, I am going to blame this on a television series. I’m not going to go too deep into it, but I’m at the tail end of a Mad Men obsession (formerly The Tudors). So, in light of that, here are some kitschy, cozy, plaid-wallpaper-type recipes for you. Betty Draper style. Sans bitch. Very economical, too. I hope you like…   …ground beef?  Hurr hurr hurr.
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Bobbacoo Meatloaf
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You know what this is. With the addition of MUSTARD SEED SPRINKLES!
I promised kitsch and I will deliver!
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Be thankful you will probably never have to look at as many pictures of meatloaf as I did in this blog-posting journey. Hghghgh. I love meatloaf as much as the next person, but holy mother of…
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Ingredients
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2 lbs ground beef (or a combination thereof of pork/beef, or maybe some veal, if you’re feeling maniacal)
2 Tbsp prepared mustard (cheap old yellow will do)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1/4 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 small onion, minced finely
1 clove garlic
2 pieces bread, torn into small pieces
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bacon fat (for pan-greasin’)
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Sawwwce Stuff:
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3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp prepared mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch salt
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Method
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with bacon fat (you know what size I mean, standard Pyrex blah blah blah), or as I did, two smaller 1lb-y loaf pans. In a medium-large mixing bowl, put all ingredients (not the bacon grease/sauce ingredients, gun-jumper, sheesh) in and mix until it’s sticky and combined. Don’t over-mix though, or you’ll have pelletloaf, not meatloaf. Nothing about that sounds appetizing, even less so than “meatloaf.” So, heed my warning! Put into the loaf pan, smooth the top out a bit if you would like. Bake for an hour or until it reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. While it’s in the oven, mix up the sauce ingredients. Just before meatloaf is done (10 minutes or so), spoon/brush sauce over the top (if you have whole mustard seeds and you’re feeling festive, sprinkle a few on top too!), return to oven and let it go in there for the remaining time/temperature. Voila. You have meatloaf. Now touch up your lipstick, take the rollers out of your hair and enjoy it.
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Chili for Arrogant Bastards
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With cornbread!
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Now, I would like to note that at this point, I have nothing to do with any chili cook-off, so please refrain from contacting me about it. I’m no longer a part of any of that, too much stuff on my plate (hah!), planning a wedding and all of that. So, I am sorry for all that business. One day, okay? Here’s a daaaaaaaamnnnn fine recipe anyhow, particularly if you like being a dick and/or chili-snob in front of all of your friends. Or just for self-satisfaction that cannot be quenched by a new Canon Rebel camera with which you will take Myspace-y bathroom shots of yourself with! This has coffee in it. Do not eat late at night. Unless you’re partying hard? Either way, ground beef has never been this badass.
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Ingredients
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1 large onion, small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Anaheim chili pepper (or another fairly spicy peppa)
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped into a smallish dice (you don’t have to skin them but tomato skin-curls make me want to curl up and die)
1 lb ground beef
3 cups brewed coffee (don’t make it horribly strong or this will kill your chili)
3 cups beef broth (or water with bouillon, lazybastardstyle)
2 cans tomato paste (156mL each)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder (YEP)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
4 heaping (HEAPING!) Tbsp chili powder – seriously, tons of chili powder is important
1 tsp cumin
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more, if you want!
3-4 Tbsp Louisiana hot sauce (or whatever you like best)
1 big ol’ bay leaf (hopefully not too old though)
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1.5 tsp coarse sea salt (it’s coarse, keep in mind, so not that much if using table salt. Adjust accordingly!)
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Cooked beans – dry measurements: 1/3 cup Navy, 1/3 cup black eyed peas, 1/2 cup pinto, 3/4 cup kidney. Or whatever blend you want, and if you want, go ahead and use canned, maybe a small can of each, and 2 of the kidney? This is a much higher bean:meat ratio, so, yeah. Beans are up to you. Let’s leave it at that.
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Method
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In a large, heavy pot (cast iron comes to mind), over medium, medium-highish sautée onion and Anaheim chili pepper in a couple of Tbsp of oil or… you know where this is going. BFF. Bacon Fat Forever. When they soften, add tomatoes and cook for a minute or so, then add garlic and cook till it becomes fragrant. Stir in a little bit of the beef broth, enough to easily add tomato paste without sloshing liquid all over the goddamn place. Add remaining broth and coffee once the tomato paste is in there and more or less homogeneously mixed. Add the ground beef (I do not like to brown it in the pan, because I like little pieces of meat, not huge chunks, but you can do what you want), and break it up with a spatula until it’s bitsy little pieces! Add all remaining ingredients, and when it comes to a simmer, turn heat to low (not quite all-the-way low, but less so than medium-low), cover with the lid ajar, and let cook for an hour or so (at least!), make sure to stir though. Or else face the wrath of Chili Lump from the depths of the bottom of the pot. Closely related to Burn-y Del Chilijuarez. You know what I mean. Okay, chili’s done. Eat it. Top it with lots of things if you want. Eat it with cornbread, eat it with toast, do whatever the hell you want. There is a special kind of smugness in every spoonful! Revel in it.
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Also – if you want to know about that cornbread:
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Mix 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, a pinch of salt in a medium sized bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, 1 beaten egg, 2 Tbsp honey, 1/4 cup oil. Add wet to dry, mix until JUST combined and flour mix is moistened, let it sit for five minutes or so. While it’s sitting, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and put 2 Tbsp bacon fat (okay, you can use butter or lard if you want) in a cast iron skillet (or some kind of baking/cake/casserole dish) and let it heat up till it’s screaming hot. Once everything is melted/up to temperature, put the batter in the skillet/pan, smooth out the top, put a little splash of coffee/table cream on top, and throw it in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crackly. Like the picture. CORNBREAD. Magic! Magic, non-dry and crumbly, piping hot cornpone!
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That’s what I’ve got. HOOO-AHHHH.  I’ll try to not be so lazy/busy in the future and get some more posts up at a steady rate. Okay?
megohm over and out.

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