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Some timeless recipes from the Maddox Kitchen
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When I was growing up, my Mom did all the cooking in the house, except once in a while in the Summer when Dad would make his Hubcap Steak for us. Once I got out on my own, I ate mostly frozen foods and restaurant dishes, even after I got married (Lucy wasn't too interested in cooking). After Lucy left, and Cindy started getting tired of having canned soup every night, I figured I'd better get an apron on and learn how to rustle up some chow on my own. I took a cooking course about ten years ago, every Tuesday night after work, but it turned out it was for preparing really complicated dishes which I had a lot of trouble duplicating at home, and which neither Cindy nor myself really liked that much, anyway. Plus it was real hard trying to find some of the ingredients.
I finally broke down and called my older sister, Karen, for help. She sent me a slew of recipes I've perfected over the years, plus also told me what books I should buy to learn how to peel vegetables properly, and season foods, and what goes with what. I also started watching the cooking shows on TV to pick up some pointers from them.
Since then, I've gotten pretty good, to the point where I've created some of my own dishes, which I'd like to share with you now (when I say "my own" dishes, I don't mean I completely created each of them from scratch, I just mean I put my own twist on some old favorites). Helen, our next door neighbor, has also given me a lot of tips, and even invited me over her house a couple of times to try some of her dishes (she likes French cooking, and specializes in foods that have other foods inside them. She is a wonderful cook and hostess and I'm very appreciative of all her help).
I hope you like my recipes. And remember, if you ever invite me and Cindy over for dinner, "There's no such thing as too many mashed potatoes!"
This turned out to be one of Cindy's favorites. She's a big fan of cooked carrots.
To make enough for a family of two, with leftovers, assemble the following ingredients:
1 pound of ground beef
Cut off the ends of the three carrots, then cook them whole in a pot full of boiling water for about ten or so minutes (they should be softened, but not so soft they fall apart).
Dice the onion and green bell pepper (discard the seeds and membrane from the green bell pepper-- they're not used in this recipe).
Cook the diced vegetables in the butter. Let cool.
Tear the four slices of bread into small pieces, each piece about the size of a fingertip. The pieces don't have to be exactly the same size.
Put the ground beef in a bowl, add the cooked diced vegetables and the raw egg, without its shell, and mix thoroughly. Add the torn up bits of bread, and mix again.
Put about a third of the mixture at the bottom of a meat loaf pan (a deep, rectangular pan sold in most supermarkets), then lay two of the carrots length-wise across the meat mixture, more or less equidistant from themselves and the sides of the pan. Add another third of the meatloaf mixture, then place the third carrot length-wise across the meat mixture, near the middle. Put the final third of meatloaf mixture on top.
Lay the three strips of bacon (uncooked) length-wise across the top of the meatloaf.
Cover the top of the meatloaf, and the bacon strips, with a good layer of ketchup (I use Heinz for this recipe, but other brands can be substituted).
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour.
When you slice it, each slice will have three slices of carrot in it, in a pretty design. If your carrots aren't long enough, place them so both ends of the meatloaf are carrot-free. These end slices are good for cold meatloaf sandwiches the next day (two slices of white bread, and mayonnaise. Cindy likes to add a slice of iceberg lettuce to hers). I find this recipe works best using a sharp knife to slice through the loaf, since the carrots might otherwise cause the loaf to break apart a little when you're slicing it (especially if the carrots are still kind of hard).
This is a great accompaniment to Bugs Bunny Meatloaf.
1 package frozen broccoli spears
You can use frozen broccoli flowerets instead of the whole spear if you want, but I like chewing on the spears.
Thaw and cook the broccoli according to the package. Drain well (this is very important).
In a small pan that can be put under the broiler, like a brownie pan, line the broccoli spears across the bottom. It's okay if they touch each other (they probably will).
Put the two cups of mayonnaise in a small bowl, and using a tablespoon, thoroughly stir up the mayonnaise until it's nice and smooth.
Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the mayonnaise (be careful of seeds!)
Chop the boiled eggs up into chunks. Carefully blend them into the mayonnaise and lemon mixture.
Spoon this mixture over the broccoli spears.
Place under the broiler for just a minute or two, until the top of the mayonnaise starts to get brown. Be very careful to keep an eye on it, because if you get distracted, this dish will burn very quickly and be ruined.
(I find it's important to thoroughly drain the broccoli before adding the sauce, because some juice is going to come off the broccoli while they broil anyway, and you want as little liquid in this dish as possible, since it'll water down the mayonnaise sauce).
When Cindy was little, she used to call this one "Toasted Eyeballs", which always sounded a little unappetizing to me, so I'm sticking with the original name I gave this dish.
To make one serving, you'll need:
Two slices of white bread
Break one of the eggs into a small bowl, mix it up, then coat both slices of bread with the mixture.
Using a knife, carefully cut out a hole in each slice of bread, about 2 inches in diameter (the idea is, you want there to be bread all around the hole). Or, you can cut out the hole first, then dip the bread in the egg mixture, but be careful if you do this, because the bread will tear more easily (I learned the hard way!)
Put two tablespoons of butter in a skillet, let it melt, then add one of the bread slices to the skillet.
Break one of the eggs and drop it into the hole in the bread. (Here's a tip: instead of breaking the egg directly into the hole, you may want to break it into a coffee cup, then drop it into the hole, just in case you get any broken egg shells).
Let the bread slice with the egg in its center cook in the skillet until the egg is set on the bottom, then using a spatula, carefully turn the slice over, with the egg still in its center.
Once that side of the egg is done, remove it to your plate and repeat with the second slice of bread/egg.
Once both slices are cooked, place them side by side on your plate, and sprinkle confectioner's sugar across them.
Note: The eggs should be cooked just until the yolks are runny. Don't hard-boil them.
This dish came about because Cindy and me always had so much turkey left over after Thanksgiving each year, and didn't know what to do with it all. It's one of her favorite dishes now (sometimes she'll have two servings). Gravy is a must!
2 good-sized slices of turkey from the breast, at least the size of an envelope
The slices should be at least a half inch thick, and of uniform thickness.
Place stuffing on a dinner plate or other flat surface and flatten it out, spreading it until it's about a half inch thick and slightly larger than the turkey slice you're working with. Place mashed potatoes on top of that, and flatten them out, spreading them a half inch thick so they're almost (but not quite) as wide as the stuffing layer beneath, but still slightly wider than the turkey slice.
Place the turkey slice on top of the mashed potato layer. Place some flattened-out mashed potatoes on top of the turkey, slightly wider than the turkey, so it matches the lower layer of potatoes. Place a layer of stuffing on top of the layer of potatoes, sealing the bottom and top edges of the stuffing together with your fingers.
Since this is kind of complicated, I'm going to describe what the dish should look like at this point.
It should look like a big, wide, flat mass of stuffing. The layers should be like this, starting at the bottom and going to the top:
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the bottom of a skillet large enough to hold the inside-out turkey.
Put one or two spatulas under the inside-out turkey, and carefully (I cannot emphasize this enough) carefully lift the inside-out turkey off the flat surface, and place it in the skillet.
Let the inside-out turkey fry on one side until the stuffing gets a nice golden brown crust, then carefully turn it over and do the other side.
Make the other inside-out turkey and cook the same way.
To serve, place each inside-out turkey on a separate dinner plate, cover with gravy, and garnish with cranberry sauce (optional; Cindy's not a big fan).
You may wind up having to use more butter than I called for.
An Italian, a Lithuanian and an Irishman were all adrift on the sea in a lifeboat. They only had two slices of bread for food. The Lithuanian said, "Let's all go to sleep and dream of what we would put between those two slices of bread, and the fella that comes up with the best sandwich filling will win the two slices." Well, both other parties agreed, and all three of them went to sleep. When they awoke, the Italian said, "I dreamed my Momma cooked up a delicious skillet of veal scalloppini, with lots of garlic, tomato sauce and melted parmesan cheese, and when it was just right, she slipped all that wonderful meat between my two slices of bread." The Lithuanian said, "I dreamed Poppa stayed up until dawn in his suspenders, slaving over a hot stove, preparing a wonderful stroganoff for me, simmering the slices of beef for hours in a sour cream sauce, then adding mushroom slices and egg noodles, pouring it between the two slices of bread for me, his son." The Irishman said, "I dreamed your Momma gave you that wonderful veal scalloppini, and your Pappa gave you that heavenly beef stroganoff, so since you both were full, I ate the two slices of bread."
An Italian, a Lithuanian and an Irishman were all adrift on the sea in a lifeboat.
They only had two slices of bread for food.
The Lithuanian said, "Let's all go to sleep and dream of what we would put between those two slices of bread, and the fella that comes up with the best sandwich filling will win the two slices."
Well, both other parties agreed, and all three of them went to sleep.
When they awoke, the Italian said, "I dreamed my Momma cooked up a delicious skillet of veal scalloppini, with lots of garlic, tomato sauce and melted parmesan cheese, and when it was just right, she slipped all that wonderful meat between my two slices of bread."
The Lithuanian said, "I dreamed Poppa stayed up until dawn in his suspenders, slaving over a hot stove, preparing a wonderful stroganoff for me, simmering the slices of beef for hours in a sour cream sauce, then adding mushroom slices and egg noodles, pouring it between the two slices of bread for me, his son."
The Irishman said, "I dreamed your Momma gave you that wonderful veal scalloppini, and your Pappa gave you that heavenly beef stroganoff, so since you both were full, I ate the two slices of bread."