Bloody Brains Halloween Meatloaf

Bloody Brains Halloween Meatloaf - Candy Coated Culinista

Bloody Brains Halloween Meatloaf – Candy Coated Culinista

What a happy accident this meal turned into. I was having company over and said I haven’t made meatloaf in awhile and this amazing recipe just fit the bill.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: No Crumbs Left

Ingredients
Glaze

• 1 cup ketchup
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• ½ tsp hot sauce
Meatloaf
• 1 pound ground beef
• ½ pound ground veal
• ½ pound ground pork
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
• ¾ cup gluten-free white bread crumbs
• ¾ cup chopped fresh parsley
• ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
• 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
• 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• 8 slices of bacon

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Glaze
2. Using a small bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar and hot sauce.
Meatloaf
3. Using a large bowl mix ground meat, eggs, onions, bread crumbs, parsley, chives, basil, salt, black pepper until combined.
4. Form mixture into a brain shaped loaf on a baking pan.
5. Cover with bacon slices and tuck under bacon ends along the sides.
6. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove meatloaf from the oven, and brush half the glaze over top.
7. Bake for another 15 minutes or until meatloaf is cooked through and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Tips
• I served my meatloaf with chives and parsley roasted gem potatoes and sautéed rapini with garlic and shallots.
• I used a 50/50 mix of beef and pork and sage instead of basil and regular bread crumbs.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Since its October it’s skulls to the Nth degree at my place; more so than the usual. As soon as I plated this meatloaf on my skull platter, this looked like a bloody brain coming out of a skull. The glaze is sweet and tangy; my only change would be to use crushed tomatoes versus processed tomato ketchup as the sauce was probably a touch too sweet for myself. However; the combination of chives and parsley in the meatloaf was delightful; just ensure to finely dice evenly and the texture will be perfecto.

Dry-Fried Green Beans

Dry-Fried Green Beans

A Sichuanese recipe involving blistering beans in a shallow dry fry method is a quite new technique to me; but the result is quite outstanding.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Chinese Soul Food

Ingredients
• ¾ pound green beans (haricots or regular)
• 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 4 ounces unseasoned ground pork or ground beef
• 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
• 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
• 2 tbsp soy sauce, plus more as needed
• 1 tbsp water
• 1 ½ tsp sugar

Assembly
1. Trim green beans and cut them in half.
2. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towel and set aside.
3. Preheat wok over medium-high heat until smoke rises from the surface.
4. Add oil and heat for 30 seconds to a minute, or until it starts to shimmer.
5. Cooking in batches add beans in a single layer and quickly stir-fry until beans start to blister.
6. Once beans look wrinkled remove with a slotted spoon and place on baking tray.
7. Repeat until all green beans are cooked.
8. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and ground pork until cooked though

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I had never heard of the term dry-frying yet I think this is the way all green beans should taste and look. The slightly blistered green bean carries quite the punch. This makes a great carb-free dish or remove the ground meat and you have a vegetarian dish. A little salty a little savoury all umami.

Vietnamese Meatball

Vietnamese Meatball - Candy Coated Culinista

A carb free dinner that comes together in a snap.

Yield/Serving: 4
Start to Finish Time: 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Milk Street Tuesday Nights

Ingredients
• 3 tsp grapeseed or neutral oil, divided
• 1 pound ground pork
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs, to serve
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 6 scallions, white and light green parts minced, dark green parts thinly sliced
• 5 tbsp fish sauce, divided
• 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp white sugar, divided
• ½ cup lime juice
• 1 or 2 serrano chillies, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
• 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (1 cup)
• Lettuce leaves, to serve

Assembly
1. Coat a large plate will 1 tsp of oil and set aside.
2. Using a medium bowl combine, pork, 3 tbsp water, cilantro, pepper, minced scallions, 2 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tsp sugar.
3. Mix vigorously until combined and let the mixture become soft and sticky.
4. With lightly moistened hands, form 20 balls and place on oiled plate.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
6. In a small bowl stir lime juice, 3 tbsp fish sauce and the remaining 2 tbsp sugar.
7. Add the chilies until the sugar dissolves and set aside.
8. Line another plate with paper towels and add remaining oil to a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
9. Add meatballs and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes and then turn and cook the other side turning meatballs for 4 to 5 minutes.
10. Transfer to plate, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
11. In a small bowl, toss carrots with 2 tbsp of lime juice sauce.
12. Serve the meatballs with carrots, cilantro sprigs, sliced scallions and lettuce leaves for wrapping.
13. Spoon the remaining sauce onto the wraps.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my second time making Vietnamese meatballs and I remember why I enjoyed them so much. The flavours are bright, salty and exotic. Using lettuce wraps is a wonderful way to be carb-free and I have started enjoying one of two meals a week without carbs. These meatballs also freeze well for a later date.

Italian Stuffed Shells

Italian Stuffed Shells – Candy Coated Culinista

A striking Italian meal that is great for a dinner party or a Sunday dinner.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 36 Jumbo shells
• 1 lbs ground beef
• 1 tsp canola oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp season salt
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 1 cup pasta sauce
• 2 cups spinach, stems removed and chopped
• ¾ cups ricotta
• 1 egg
• ½ cup grana padano
• ¼ cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Assembly
1. Over high heat boil shells in batches and cook until al dente draining and setting aside. Ensure not to break or cook a few more just to be safe.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat add canola oil and onion and garlic and cook until softened.
3. Add in ground beef and spices and brown.
4. Add in ¾ cups pasta sauce in ground beef mixture and set aside.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
6. Set out two casserole dishes and pour a thin layer of pasta sauce into each casserole dish.
7. In a medium sized bowl add spinach, ricotta, egg, grana Padano, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and combine.
8. Start assembling the shells by adding ground beef first followed by ricotta mixture and place in casserole dishes.
9. Shred a little more grana padano and mozzarella cheese overtop and drizzle more pasta sauce overtop.
10. Bake for 45 minutes covered with aluminum foil and then serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was very time consuming more so than a lasagna; but if you make a few batches like I did it is well worth the while. I made two meat filled shells casserole dishes and one vegetarian casserole option and these tasted great all be it a touch messy to eat. The shells were the perfect amount of meat, cheese and veg and very eye catching. I would definitely make this again; just not in the next few months. Also this is not a weekday meal, unless you start as soon as you get home from work as this took me almost 2 hours from beginning to end.

Italian Stuffed Shells (Pre-Oven) – Candy Coated Culinista

Rafanata

Rafanata – Candy Coated Culinista

I had never heard of Rafanata before and it took Jamie Oliver to get me loving this simple little appetizer or lunch dish.

Yield/Serving: 8-12
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1 hour & 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Jamie Cooks Italy

Ingredients
• 1 ½ lbs potatoes
• 2 knobs unsalted butter
• 2% milk
• 1 ¾ oz pecorino or Parmesan cheese
• 2 inches fresh horseradish, plus extra to serve
• 3 large eggs
• 3 ½ oz piece of smoked pancetta
• ¾ cup coarse stale bread crumbs

Assembly
1. Peel potatoes, chop into big even chunks, then cook in a pot of boiling salted water for a5 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
2. Drain and leave to steam dry for 2 minutes and return to pan.
3. Add 1 knob of butter and a splash of milk, finely grate in cheese and peeled horseradish and crack in the eggs.
4. Mash ingredients, mix well, season, and put aside.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F.
6. Slice pancetta and place in cast-iron skillet. Over medium-high, heat let the pancetta sizzle and add bread crumbs.
7. Cook until crisp and golden and then mix into the mash.
8. Press mash into the frying pan, smoothing it out with a slight curve.
9. Fry on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, jiggling the pan to create a nice rounded edge.
10. Loose edges with a spatula and life slightly and place the last knob of butter into the pan underneath.
11. Once melted, put a plate on top of the pan, carefully flip over, and slip the rafanata back into the pan.
12. Bake in over for 30 minutes, or until golden and hot through.
13. Place a mixture of small greens and shredded cheese on top.
14. Serve with extra horseradish finely grated overtop, to taste.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a great little appetizer for dinner guests; just serve a slice with a dollop of creamy horseradish. This recipe did take a lot longer than I expected for the simplicity of it all. The rafanata with its crispy crust and mashed centre with horseradish and pancetta inside adds a flavorful combination I have never tasted before.

Lamb Kofta with Garlic Sauce and Pickled Onions

Lamb Kofta with Garlic Sauce and Pickled Onions – Candy Coated Culinista

A great middle eastern dish that is so scrumptious and satisfying you’ll have to hold yourself back from overeating.

Yield/Serving: 4-5
Difficulty level is: Easy, time consuming

From At My Table

Ingredients
Kofta

• 1 pound ground lamb
• 1 peeled and coarsely grated, to give ¾ cup loosely packed
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• ¼ tsp ground allspice
• ½ tsp ground white pepper
• 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• 3 tbsp finely grated parsley
• 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
• 2 tbsp olive oil
Garlic Sauce
• 1 2/3 cups Greek yoghurt
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 1 – 2 lemon zest of 1 lemon and 3 tbsp of juice
• 2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• 2 tsp dried mint
Toppings
• Tomatoes
• Iceberg lettuce
• Faltbreads
Quick Pickled Onions
• 1 small red onion, peeled & cut into half moons
• Juice from 2 -3 limes

Assembly
Kofta

1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil into a large bowl and roll into sausage shapes. Do not compact the lamb mixture once in the desired shape.
2. Slightly flatten sides and place on a baking sheet lines with cling wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Combine yoghurt, garlic, lemon zest, juice, salt and dried sauce together.
4. Slice red onion into half moons and let marinate in lime juice
5. Using a large frying pan heat frying pan and cook kofta on medium-high heat for 5 of so minutes each side until cooked all the way through.
6. Serve inside faltbreads along with toppings

Please Enjoy

My thoughts

It was great making koftas another way as last time I made them it was a bowl and I quite enjoyed them. I decided to serve mine with cucumber, pomegranates, and pickled onions to bulk up the meal a little. This was a lovely meal; but it was time consuming. It didn’t seem like it would take so long and since there is not times given I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The directions were a little off, so to achieve the kofta look I was accustomed to I sear all sides and cooked the remaining time in the oven. Almost 2 hours beginning to end. That’s a little long for me on a weekday after getting home for work; but then there is leftovers for the next couple of days. A trade off perhaps?

Lamb Kofta with Garlic Sauce and Pickled Onions – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Leftover Winter Ragu

Winter Ragu – Candy Coated Culinista

Have leftover Christmas meat and looking for a way to use it up. Make this winter ragu.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time:
Cook Time: 2 hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
• 1 red onion
• 1 clove of garlic
• 1 carrot
• 1 leek
• 1 stalk of celery
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
• Olive oil
• 1 fresh bay leaf
• ¾ cup + 5 tsp Chianti
• 2 x 14oz can of plum tomatoes
• 14oz leftover cooked meat
• Extra virgin olive oil

Assembly
1. Peel onion, garlic, carrot, wash and trim leek with celery and pick rosemary leaves and
2. Finely chop all adding to a large casserole dish over medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a bay leaf.
3. Cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally.
4. Now turn heat up to high and add in wine and let cook down for a few minutes and add tomatoes.
5. Fill each can half way up with water and swirl around and pour into pan.
6. Roughly chop or tear leftover meat, stir well and bring to a boil; breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
7. Reduce down to low heat and continue to simmer for 1 hour to 1 and a half hours, or until thick.
8. Taste and season with salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil to finish.
9. Serve with pasta, rice, polenta, potatoes or chunks of crusty bread for dipping.

Tips
• Use leftover meat of if Christmas was so good there were no leftovers, then use fresh ground beef.
• Serve with fried or creamy polenta, pasta or rice.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I swapped out the wine for de-alcholized wine and it tasted just as rich and bold and the hue was a treat. Season with salt and pepper at the end; giving the ragu time to marry completely first.

Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad

Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

It seems like once a year I get a craving or blue cheese. I love blue cheese; but I rarest ever pick it up. Well craving a wedge salad I thought it would be a nice change to make a blue cheese dressing instead of the usual Caesar dressing.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Wedge Salad

• 1 iceberg lettuce, washed and cut in half
• 12 grape tomatoes, halved
• 1/3 English cucumber, sliced
• 6 chives, finely diced
• 2 slices of bacon, crumbled
• Blue cheese, crumbled
Blue Cheese Dressing
• 3/4cup blue cheese
• 3 anchovies, finely diced
• ¼ cup sour cream
• ¼ cup buttermilk
• 2 tbsp mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
Wedge Salad

1. Wash lettuce and cut in half and drain cut side down on a paper towel.
2. Cut grape tomatoes, English cucumber, chives and set aside.
3. In a frying pan fry bacon and then crumbled and set aside with the crumbled blue cheese.
Blue Cheese Dressing
1. Using a bowl, break up the blue cheese and add in the anchovy and sour cream, until well incorporated.
2. Add in the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
3. Place lettuce cut side up in a plate and add tomatoes, cucumber, chives, bacon and blue cheese.
4. Drizzle dressing over and serve.

Tips
• Salad dressing can be kept for up until 1 week.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a rich, hearty and filling salad. This could work as an entrée depending on how big you lettuce head is. I enjoyed the combination of the creamy blue cheese into the dressing and the crunchy of the crispy bacon. I will be making this again as it is a wonderful starter for any guests.

Gluten-Free Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

You have guests coming over the weekend and you want to make something warm and comforting; but keeping yourself on a budget try this heart-warming soup.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min. to 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• ½ lbs, ground beef
• ½ lbs, ground pork
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp fried basil
• ½ tsp red chilli flakes
• 12 oz can of Crushed tomatoes
• 900 ml or vegetable broth
• 2 sprigs of basil leaves, chiffonade
• Handful of Italian parsley, torn
• 8 – 10 gluten-free lasagna noodles, broken
• ½ a link if pepperoni, sliced
• 1 cup fresh spinach
• 1 cup baby kale
• Mozzarella shredded, optional
• Parmesan cheese, optional
• Basil, to garnish

Assembly
1. Using a medium sized Dutch oven pour olive oil into pot and allow to heat up over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden.
3. Place ground beef and pork in and cook until brown adding in sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, red chilli flakes.
4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes followed by the vegetable broth and bring to a boil and then reducing to simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add in the pepperoni slices and lasagna noodles and let the mixture simmer for 25 minutes until cooked.
6. Add spinach and baby kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
7. Serve garnished with fresh basil and shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Tips
• Use canned whole tomatoes and blend quickly in a food processor if you are unable to find crushed tomatoes.
• When reheating add more vegetable broth.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I never thought of making a lasagna soup but I was craving lasagna and didn’t want to do all that work and well we are in the midst of an extreme cold weather warning. So this really hit the spot and everything came together very easily. My taste testers enjoyed and even left with some soup for home. This was surprisingly flavourful and such a great treat on a cold day. I actually made three recipes at once with the same ingredients more or less. I made my Italian Meatballs (a request for me to make), my skillet chicken pepperoni pizza and then the soup. I managed to make 3 recipes for under thirty-five dollars and had about thirteen servings; which was amazing. This was my first bigger meal prep as I don’t really like doing mass meals for the week and I had meals to carry me though some lunches and dinners; which freed up time for me to do things I enjoy like ice skating at night.

Christmas Dinner- Salad: Spinach & Bacon Salad

Christmas Dinner: Spinach & Bacon Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

A simple salad course to keep the Christmas dinner festivities running smoothly.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
• 6 thick cut slices of bacon
• Olive oil
• 2 heaping tablespoons pine nuts
• 12 x ½ ” thick slices of French baguette
• 6 medium pickled onions, and 2 tbsp liquor from the jar
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• Quality extra virgin olive oil
• 4 large handfuls of baby spinach
• 1 handful of seasonal salad leaves

Assembly
1. Slice bacon into lardons and put into a large frying pan over medium-high heat and fry.
2. Add pine nuts for a minute and scoop out with a slotted spoon leaving the bacon fat behind.
3. Toast the bread in the bacon fat until golden on both sides.
4. Finely slice pickled onions.
5. Using a large bowl mix the pickled onion liquor with the Dijon mustard, ¼ cup olive oil and a pinch of black pepper.
6. Wash and dry the spinach and add to bowl.
7. Add bacon, pine nuts and pickled onions and then toss.
8. Place the croutons (sliced baguette) in and serve.

Tips
• Add crumbled blue cheese or feta or matchstick apples or pears would work well.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Such a tasty simple salad and with preparing a full Christmas dinner this salad packs a punch without that much effort.

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