Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Egg and Spinach Stuffed Meatloaf

Awesome recipe and easy to make; my best meatloaf yet. Picture credit to Saveur.com (Todd Coleman) magazine and the recipe, too. Of course I improvised because I don't like to waste (used the crust-minus one slice), no mortadella available, lazy so I chopped the onions not minced, didn't have garlic, no nutmeg either, and used chicken broth instead of beef. The chardonnay was pretty yummy for the white wine. Ober loves meatloaf, I love eggs and spinach. Perfect mix.

Serves 4

3 slices crustless white bread
Kosher salt, to taste
16 oz. spinach leaves, stemmed
12 oz. ground beef chuck
12 oz. ground pork
4 oz. thinly sliced mortadella, minced
1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
1⁄4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten, plus 3 hard-boiled eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
Freshly ground black pepper, 
to taste
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup beef broth
1⁄2 cup white wine

1. Tear bread into small pieces and transfer to bowl of food processor. Process until finely ground; set aside. Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, 15–30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer spinach to a bowl of ice water. Drain spinach and squeeze it with your hands to remove excess water. Set spinach aside.

2. Heat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the beef, pork, mortadella, cheese, rosemary, nutmeg, beaten eggs, garlic, and onions, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer half of the meat mixture to a 9" x 13" baking dish. Using your hands, form meat mixture into a 4" x 8" rectangle about 1" thick. Arrange half of the spinach on top of rectangle in a 2"-wide strip down the middle. Arrange the hard-boiled eggs end to end on top of the strip of spinach, and top eggs with remaining spinach. Using your hands, shape the remaining meat mixture on a sheet of parchment paper into a rectangle roughly 4" x 8" and lay it over the spinach, eggs, and meat. Press the meat gently around the eggs to form a uniform loaf, pinching top half of meat together with bottom half and smoothing any seams.

3. Brush meat loaf with oil and bake for 30 minutes. Pour in broth and wine and continue cooking meat loaf, basting every 10 minutes or so with liquid, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the loaf registers 155°, about 20 minutes more. Using a spatula, transfer meat loaf to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Strain cooking liquid; set aside. To serve, cut meat loaf into thick slices, transfer to a serving platter, and spoon some of the reserved cooking liquid over the top.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oak Park + Frank Lloyd Wright

Our last day in Chicago... Oak Park Neighborhood. All these houses are designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Taking a tour of the neighborhood and Frank's house are a must do when you are in town. He was a very fascinating man. Now I am off on another adventure to Paris and Belgium!!

House with the Fire Place that caught Fire.

Tree of life.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chicago Marathon 10-10-10

The Third Mile Leaders
Two chasers running on air
Bigger group of chasers

The masses... Just amazing to watch. I am glad I changed my mind about watching the Marathon - LIVE.
Hand cycles

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blogging on Chicago

So are you asking yourself, Is she now consistently blogging? Will she keep it up? I can tell you - hopefully, but not as good as this. I have a break from schoolwork, I have a lull at work (sort of) and I need to catch up on my travels as I am taking another vacation soon!!! I actually have a lot on my plate as I am helping organize a bicycle race for June 19th, on a board that has a nature camp for girls that begins June 20th, I begin a summer class on June 12th (ooo! gotta get my books) and and...

But back to Chicago. I want to go back to Chicago. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to eat my way around Chicago. But we barely scraped the surface of all the great places to eat, the museums, galleries, etc. After our amazingly tiring stroll along the riverwalk, we ready ourselves for dinner.

We had to satisfy the meat lovers on the trip so I picked Wildfire. Even though it is a chain restaurant (mainly in Illinois), it had the ambiance of the 1940s gangster environment. We went all out; appetizers, wine, beer, entrees, coffee and dessert! Just like a gangster. Everything was great. We almost ordered another entree of the Braised special to share because it was so good. Two of us ordered that meal, too, but we did not allow our senses to get out of control as we were all totally stuffed. The other entrees were prime rib and Diane rib steak.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Saturday in Chicago

Chicago Marathon October 10, 2010Honorary Jack Brickhouse Way
The couple just hopped off the minibus... She was all about smiling. Lovely!!
Like I said, the boat did not take us far so we now are on the other side of the river walking back to the hotel - Trump Plaza from another angle. I think this is the project the winner from the first season of The Apprentice managed building.
Marina Way. I would suck at parking my car in that parking lot.

View from our hotel room.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Chicago Pictures

Beautiful subway steps.
After Hot Chocolate, we walked along the Riverwalk down towards the Navy Pier but my little feet couldn't handle the walk so we made it as far as the Breakwater access/docking area.

Marina City

Trump Plaza
Peace Statues
Where my little feet couldn't go any more... And Brad was tired from walking, too. We sat on a bench with this view.

We then took a river boat as we were not prepared for all the walking. Even though we knew we would be walking and doing the transit, we cracked - I cracked. It was actually warmer than usual for October with temperatures in the 80s so I has comfortable Dansko sandals but they were not good for walking. I ended up going barefoot!! We must have been zapped from the heat as there wasn't time to be jet lagged. So we ended up on a boat ride that really only knocked off a few blocks from our walk.

Birthday Trip to Chi-town!

Last year my birthday gift was a long weekend to Chicago. The summer is racing season so we made the trip to Chi-town in October. We booked the trip the weekend of Columbus day which also happened to be the weekend of the Chicago Marathon.

I was excited to be eating and drinking for three days in Chicago. Karen and Bob joined us on the trip. For about a month, Karen and I checked out restaurants as we wanted to have some idea of where we wanted to eat since our time would be limited.

We left early Saturday morning out of Philadelphia and stopped at Hank's Place in Chadds Ford to begin our feasting.

When we arrived in Chicago, we took the L to our hotel (Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza [Riverview] which was on the marathon course after the 12th mile) and unloaded our bags. The weather was fabulous so taking the L then walking through Bucktown worked off a little of the jet lag.

Our favorite place was the first place we ate at - Hot Chocolate. At first Karen and I thought we love chocolate but we didn't need to head out of the city center to Bucktown to eat. But we kept coming back to this place when we were narrowing down are choices before the trip.

I had a ($14) chocolate martini, Bob had Housemade Brioche French Toast that was to die for, I ordered the special that day - Hash, Brad and Karen both had the English muffin with egg and sausage (Brad substituted the sausage with tuna). We had an incredible meal with a fabulous atmosphere. We then ordered some cookies to go. Chocolate chip and bacon - a little over the top so I am over bacon in my cookies. The other cookies were sandwich cookies with filling of lime and raspberry.

View right outside our hotel.

Hot Chocolate!