This week I had a lot of food simmering or in the oven to keep the apartment warm (high ceilings + brick walls = ineffective central heating). I made a loaf of meat as well as a loaf of bread then delved into the depths of Eastern European/Japanese fusion cuisine with my meatloaf soup.
I’ve also been working up an idea for a fun food blogging event which I’ll be announcing soon, so stay tuned:-) Have a great week!
Meatloaf with Tomato Onion Sauce – This is my artery clogging killer meatloaf which I make about once a year when the calorie burning cold weather can (almost) justify it. This go around, I skipped the brown sugar glaze in favor of a tomato onion sauce. To make, just thoroughly caramelize an onion, add one part chopped tomatoes (I like Pomi brand), one part beef stock, a spoonful of demi-glace, a spoonful of honey, some paprika, mustard seed, salt and pepper.
Meatloaf Soup – It’s hard to make a small meatloaf when you use 3 types of ground meat, so large quantities of leftovers are inevitable. Thankfully, meatloaf makes for great leftovers. For this soup, I fried some onions, added the rest of the box of chopped tomatoes, the rest of the beef stock, some caraway seeds, paprika, salt, pepper and some large hunks of meatloaf and potatoes. Twice cooked like this, the meatloaf becomes incredibly moist and tender (not that it wasn’t moist and tender to begin with). I also wanted to add something green and didn’t have any kale to add, so I added some Japanese pickled mustard greens (takana zuke). This might sound odd, but the briny, slightly tangy pickles infused a subtle mustard flavor that worked nicely.
Curry Udon – Here’s another leftover dish I make whenever I make a big batch of my homemade Japanese curry. The stock for the udon is just dashi, mirin, soy sauce and salt. Add some boiled udon noodles and top with some reheated curry and you have an entirely different meal.
White Bean and Rosemary Spread – This one comes courtesy of Cathy from The Noble Pig. She describes it as “perfect”, which it is, especially on a slice of toasted homemade brioche. I did make a slight change in that I added some Meyer Lemon juice for a little zing, but other than that I (uncharacteristically) followed her recipe to the letter.
Brioche – Perhaps it was arrogant of me to think I could come up with a better/easier way of making brioche, but I gave it a go and I failed. It looked and tasted fine, but some of the best brioche I’ve had has been crusty and almost flaky on the outside while moist, soft and slightly chewy in the center.
This one ended up a little too eggy with an almost cake-like tender crumb. I deviated from most recipes in than I only used 1/8 tsp of yeast in the first rise, let it rise for 16 hours then incorporated the butter before transferring to a pan for a second rise.
I think I made 2 critical errors to achieve the results I was after. First, I panicked at how sticky the dough was and added an extra 1/4 cup of flour. Secondly I thoroughly incorporated the butter, but to get a more flaky texture on the outside, I think I should have left small pockets of butter. Next time, I’ll try to refrigerate the dough after loosely incorporating the butter, then roll it out doing a few letter folds before putting it in the pan.