Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"A lot of food for a lot of people" means food for myself and my husband for only two days

Seriously, if a recipe says "serves 4," chances are we will have no leftovers. I'm thinking that people who decide how many servings there are belive that this is a complete breakfast:

That's my husband's first breakfast, mind you.

You'd think we'd be fat, from the huge amounts of food that we eat. Where does it go? I think I may have the same kind of hole in my stomach as my dryer. Stuff goes in and VANISHES without a trace!

Anyway, I'm constantly on the look out for good recipes so we don't get stuck eating the same stuff again and again. I also try to be seasonal, because trying to buy food out of season here is bad. Bad for the environment (trucks driving produce thousands of miles), bad for your health (in order to get them to last that long, they are often frankenfruit and chemical-veg), and bad for the wallet (so 'spensive!). By now, late winter pre-spring, the veg section is pretty poor pickins and I'm so desperate for fresh something that I'm buying bell peppers and I don't care where they're from!! I may be carroted out, you see, because I've been eating carrots for months.

But during this time of year I have one advantage over the Danes. I can mash potatoes. The concept of mashed potatoes seems to be lacking, at least among my in-laws. They boil or they bake them. And by bake them I do not mean in the sensible normal way, in their jacket, but by peeling and then finely slicing them most of the way through and then baking them until they are hard little hockey pucks. I HATE that way of making potatoes. Why do you do that?!? Now, to be fair, my step-mother-in-law must have made mashed potatoes at least once because she taught my husband how to mash them with a beater with some olive oil. Coming from the land of meat and potatoes, this makes me cry. Look, Denmark, just back away from the potatoes okay? Great googely moogely.

Mashed potatoes are GREAT late in the season, when your potatoes are say, not looking their best. Peel, boil, mash with butter, sour cream, hot milk, and/or cream. Brilliant!

So I had some left over sour cream from when I made tarts. (This is how I figure out what we'll have for dinner, I see something in the fridge and say, oh I should use that up! I then design a whole dinner around that one item.) And when I saw this recipe on-line, I HAD to try it. Potato and Corn Mash is quite possibly the yummiest mashed potatoes EVAH! You should probably have a lot of salt and pepper on hand and do lots of tasting, it took quite a lot to bring it up to my salt needs, but then there is a lot of mashed potatoes in this recipe. I had to use the beater, which means NONE of my corn mashed... I will get a potato masher... this is ridiculous. A beater is fast and easy on the arm, but ridiculous all the same. And I chucked in a knob of butter and all the rest of my sour cream and beat it into a soft and fluffy pile. I am not sure how much sour cream it was. More than half of the small tub of Thise Creme Fraise or whatever it's called.

What was amusing was that Kay (the author of the recipe) thought that this was enough potatoes for "a lot of people." She must have served this with eight other dishes, because my husband and I polished off most of the bowl... either that or the two of us is just a lot of people.

We didn't just have the potatoes! I'm weird and sometimes very lazy, but not THAT lazy or THAT weird, thank you very much. I also whipped out Cajun Meatloaf which I'm not sure if it is particularly cajun... or maybe it is? How would I know? The only time I've been below the Mason-Dixon line was for a conference in Atlanta. I've also been to San Antonio, but that doesn't seem Southern or Cajun, but rather Crazy Western. But Pastor Ryan (recipe author) says it is and who am I to argue with a tattooed priest?

So nevermind the correctness or incorrectness of the title, this is DAMN fine meatloaf. I've never had such good meatloaf before in my life. Moist, flavorful (and not in a ketchup kind of way), and completely unlike "fake rabbit" which is what they call meatloaf in Denmark. The recipe I linked to, however, DOES make a HUGE meatloaf. At least in a Danish oven, which is abnormally small. It was more of a meatslab and the amount of fat that dripped out of it (well, I'm poor, I'm not buying the best ground beef at this point, especially if I'm still trying to get organic, free-range cow, I can't afford to also get low fat) means that when I make it again (and OH YOU BET I WILL!) I am going to put it in/on the deep cooking tray.

Hint to people living in Denmark - use "rasp" for the bread crumbs. "Rasp" means "bread crumbs" and as long as you don't get the sweetened ones, you'll be alright. Some of you will already know this, but I only just learned after trying to cook here for FIVE FREAKIN' YEARS. I've been all makin' my own bread crumbs . My mom used to do this for our meatloaf (I love the woman, but our family recipe for meatloaf is just awful) and we'd end up with soggy chunks of bread in the middle of the loaf. *Shudder* No wonder I didn't try this recipe right away.

It's also kinda labor intensive. I need a bigger mixing bowl, for starters. And I had piles of chopped veg in different areas of my kitchen awating cooking. Note to self: do not add oil and heat pan until you see how much freakin' veg you have! Then you don't have to grab a pot and pour hot oil from a hot pan to a cold pot!!

But my god, what a good meal! My dear Dane was ecstatic. And although the meatslab wasn't entirely cooked in the time it said (probably because it was fatter than it should have been in order to fit on my cooking tray) we cut the ends off and worked our way towards the middle, which stayed in the oven, cooking. By the time dinner was over and we were full, the bit of loaf left was perfectly cooked and ready for leftovers.

How much leftovers did we have? I mean, the meatloaf is 3 lbs of meat, not to mention all the vegetables that go into it and I mashed 3 lbs of potatoes with more veg added - that's a lot of food right?

Well, it's a good thing I made 8 servings of soup on Monday, because we'll need the extra (probably only a bowlful for each of us) to fill out tonight's leftover dinner. We ate 2/3 of the loaf and 2/3 of the potatoes. I also have two leftover tarts that I can reheat and a box of ice cream. Really, it isn't any wonder that we never have any money. We're eating it all!

I'm very glad these were tasty recipes, because I tried some money-saving recipes from the FoodNetwork and they were SO BLAND and horrible. Danish Boy tried to be nice about it. But I told him I was never making them again. UGH! So far I haven't had a single good recipe from them. Sigh. But I've always had a successful meal from The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

That sounds like a shameless plug, doesn't it? But dude - free recipes on-line!! And they're good!! I just want to spread the joy.

6 comments:

  1. Never will I buy a non-organic cucumber again. At Netto, I caved and bought a Spanish one *shudder*. You could taste the synthetic fertilizer.

    Shameless plug - I write a food column every third week, in The Copenhagen Post...

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  2. I know what you mean about mashed potatoes! I made them for Christmas for my Danish family and it ended up being a big joke! To me, its absolutely divine to have with sauce, cream, butter, creme fraiche- Im mad about mashed potatoes. In a country full of potatoes, the Danes havent caught on to this delectable delight!

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  3. Mashed potatoes are a staple of the British diet! You can get good mashed pots here in Sweden too...

    My kids love mashed potatoes and we make them with olive oil and black pepper and sometimes carrots in the mash too... Yum!

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  4. ok, I MUST HEAR MORE about this Cajun meatloaf!!!!!

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  5. We ignore everything a package says about how many it feeds - all packages lie! :)

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  6. I am visiting from PiNG's blog, and I will definitely be back to read more!

    I agree....I never go buy the serving size for packaged food. I always double the recipe.

    I am married to a Dane...I met him when I lived in Denmark...so I completely LOL'd about the potatoes. Before I introduced him to mashed potatoes, all he ate were boiled and baked. But mostly boiled.

    And the Pioneer Woman rocks!

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