If you get a chance, go to SpecialFork.com and read this week's missive on how to read a recipe. It's too long to include here, but is a great piece of advice on how to make sure the recipe you're using will become a success. I had to chuckle when I read this bit of advice from Sandy Wu, who is the co-founder. It is so true!
"Be wary of chefs' recipes. Since we think of chefs as superior cooks, we expect we will get superior results with their recipes. But the chef's skill is in cooking; not in communicating on paper.
Most chefs don't measure, so they may give an amount for an ingredient in a recipe and add extra later when they taste, that isn't accounted for in your recipe.
Or, they may gloss over a step, thinking it's self-evident.
Some chefs are good recipe writers and others have recipe editors to ensure the recipes work, so it's not an issue with every chef - I'm just saying, be cautious."
From that recipe website comes this very cool meatloaf recipe by Joanne Lamb Hayes, who also writes a blog on the site for busy families called The Family Table. Part of the appeal of this recipe, says Hayes, is that it cuts the cooking time almost in half.
Turkey Meatloaf 'Cupcakes'
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 large egg
3 tablespoons ketchup
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup coarsely grated carrots
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa, divided
1. Preheat oven to 425 degree. Generously oil six cupcake pan cups. In a medium bowl, combine turkey, oats, egg, ketchup, oregano and salt.
2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook, stirring, until the vegetables just begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Stir in 1 cup of the salsa and bring to a boil.
3. Add the hot mixture to the turkey mixture and stir until combined. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake pan cups, mounding well above the top of the cups.
4. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven. Place a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on the bottom oven rack below the pan to catch the drips. Bake until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees, about 25 to 30 minutes.
5. Loosen edge of each "cupcake" with a small spatula and remove to a serving platter. Serve with remaining salsa. Makes 6 servings.
These two recipe ideas are from Janet Keeler of the Tampa Bay Times:
Chicken Enchilada Cake
You'll only need four ingredients: 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas, 2 (10-ounce) cans of enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spritz a round cake pan with nonstick spray.
2. Make layers: Tortilla, sauce, chicken and cheese.
3. Bake about 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Oven-Baked Chicken and Asparagus Rolls
Delicious served with a side of rice pilaf and a salad. To begin, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. To make the chicken, first mix together a few tablespoons of mayo and Dijon mustard, plus some fresh lemon juice and set aside.
2. Simmer trimmed asparagus spears for a couple of minutes.
3. Flatten boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
4. Layer chicken with a slice of mozzarella and two well-drained asparagus spears. Roll and secure with toothpicks. Brush with mayo mixture and roll in bread crumbs. Bake for about 30 minutes.
Here's how to reach me: Phone, 239-2664; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org; or write, Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.