October 4, 2012

The Maine Ingredient: Cozy up to autumn

By Anne Mahle

All I can say about the shift in weather is can you say, "comfort food?!"

Cozy, rainy Sundays, ahhh. Sweaters and hand warmers, mmmm. Oven on, warming up the house so we don't have to turn the heat on, siiiigh. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and squash, lovely. These recipes are all a little bit of a twist on the traditional, as is my usual style. Hope you can spend some time at the table enjoying them and your family. Happy fall!

CARAMELIZED ONION, MUSHROOM AND TURKEY MEATLOAF

This is a swanked up version of my mom's beef meatloaf recipe. As a little girl, I loved the leftover meatloaf sandwiches more than the meal itself. I found that some of my loaf pans would accommodate this amount of ingredients, but for some, it was just a little too much, so instead, I shaped it as a free-form loaf, which gave the added benefit of having more crust around the exterior.

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 cups sliced onions; about 1 large onion

8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced, about 3 cups

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds ground turkey

1 cup oatmeal or breadcrumbs

1 cup tomato juice or 2/3 cup milk

1 large egg

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauté pan place the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are a golden brown color (you may need to turn the heat down so they don’t burn). This will take about 20-30 minutes, but the flavor makes it worth the time. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients with your hands until fully incorporated. On a baking sheet, place two cooling racks overlapped. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the racks and poke holes in it using a fork. Shape the loaf on the foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

Servings: 6 to 8

ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH WITH THYME

21/2 pounds delicata squash, about 2 squash

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Several sprigs of fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the delicata squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Slice each half into four long wedges. Place the wedges on a baking sheet and rub or drizzle with olive oil. Strip the thyme springs of the leaves. Sprinkle the squash with salt, pepper and thyme leaves.

Roast in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the squash is tender all the way through. If the edges begin to more than brown, place a layer of aluminum foil over the pan without crimping the edges while it continues to cook.

Servings: 4 to 6

BOURSIN MASHERS

When I tested this recipe, it was with baby russet potatoes that we got by the bag from our CSA this fall. The skins on baby potatoes aren't so developed that you need to peel them; a blessing, as peeling small potatoes is a bear. Should baby russets not be available to you, you must take the time to peel, as the skins are too tough to be pleasant.

Should you wish to make your own, you can find the Boursin recipe, which already ran in a previous column, on my blog at www.athomeatsea.com.

3 pounds baby russet potatoes, peeled or not according to your preference

1/2 cup whole milk

5.2 ounces Boursin or Boursin-like cheese, about 2/3 cup

3 tablespoon butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

If you choose to keep the skins on, scrub the potatoes well. Cover the potatoes with water in a medium-sized stock pot, and salt the water liberally. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when poked with a fork in the center. Drain and transfer back into the pot. Use a ricer or food mill to mash the potatoes back into the pot. Add the rest of the ingredients including the Boursin, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The amount of salt will vary, depending on the saltiness of the water initially and the potatoes themselves.

Servings: 6 to 8

Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of "At Home, At Sea." She can be reached at:

chefannie@mainewindjammer.com

 

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