Main Dish

Shiitake Mushroom Meatloaf, with Delicious Mushroom Gravy

Growing up vegetarian, we often ate "lentil loaf" for dinner; it had a good flavor, as lentil loaves go, but a crumbly texture. When I started eating meat six years ago, I wondered about meatloaf - but my attempts up until now yielded dense, greasy loaves, swimming in their own juices. I recently adapted a recipe from "Cook's Country" magazine, and turned out this amazingly delicious, perfect-textured loaf, with a lovely deep brown Crust, no greasiness to speak of, and fantastic flavor. Plus, the pan drippings turn into a delicious mushroom gravy! And the leftovers make awesome sandwiches.

Keema (Really Tasty Curried Ground Meat)

Many thanks to Sue for both a delicious dinner after Ivy was born, and this recipe, which is infinitely variable and a great way to make ground meat taste really special. Lamb or goat would be awesome, but ground beef is good, too. It's delicious served with basmati rice, peas, and raita (yogurt with grated cucumber, dill, coriender, and salt).

2 lbs. ground meat
1 T. ghee or other fat
2-3 tsp. each: cumin, coriander, and turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
hot chile to taste (or omit for a mild curry)
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into eighths
2 large cloves garlic, peeled

Chicken Cacciatore

My mom found this simple recipe, and it is really, really delicious. The sauce uses wine, tomatoes, and mushrooms - need I say more?

Makes enough for about 7 people, if served over rice or similar starch.

4 lbs. bone-in chicken parts (legs and thighs are good)
2 T. fat
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
24 oz. jar "strained" tomatoes (Bionaturae packages theirs in glass)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 cup white wine OR 3/4 cup vermouth
2 c. fresh mushrooms, quartered (8 oz)
Salt and pepper, to taste (definitely make sure to add enough salt!)

Gluten-Free Potato Latkes, Totally Delicious

I was surprisingly unsatisfied with the latke recipes I turned up by google-searching this year...so I adapted this one from the Food Network. They turned out deliciously, tiny and lacy and crisp and just-right salted. Perfect with apple sauce...

This makes a large number of latkes, almost enough for two hungry adults and three hungry children.

(2016 Latke Party Notes: 21 lbs. of potatoes (7x recipe) generously fed 17 eaters; we also ate a 2/3 full 8-quart pot of applesauce (about 7 jars worth), and had a pot of chicken soup on the side.)

Shittake Mushroom and Red Lentil Soup with Red Wine

Right around when my second son was born, the Sierra Club magazine ran a recipe that sounded delicious: red lentils cooked with "fire-roasted" tomatoes, wild rice, a bunch of shittake mushrooms, and red wine, cooked until creamy and full of flavor: http://www.food.com/recipe/shiitake-lentil-pressure-cooker-soup-276160 .

The problems with the original recipe were small but numerous, including how it made way more than indicated, and overflowed my cooker!

But the taste was fantastic, so I just re-jiggered things and generally don't use a pressure cooker when I make it.

Herbed/Marinated Chicken Legs

These are really delicious, and are good left over, too. The sauce becomes a thick, sweet-sour glaze as it cools, so I like to toss the fully-cooked chicken around a bit once it comes out of the oven. This way, the glaze attaches to the meat instead of the pan.

15 drumsticks
Loose cup of fresh herbs - a mixture of thyme, sage, oregano, and savory is nice
Salt and pepper to taste (1-1.5 tsp. salt)
3/4 c. cider vinegar (balsamic is awesome, too)

Rub herbs and salt and lots of pepper on chicken, and allow to sit overnight in the fridge if you have time (but it's fine if you don't).

Wonderful Thai Chicken Curry

Cooks Illustrated has more and more recipes that can be adapted to fit "special diets." This one, for simplified Massaman Curry, was absolutely superb. The curry paste was a huge pain in the rear, but I made 4x the recipe and froze leftovers for later. That turned subsequent dinners into (nearly) Fast Food.

Curry Paste:
6 dried New Mexico chiles
4 shallots, unpeeled
7 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 c. chopped fresh ginger
1/4 c. water
4.5 tsp. lime juice
4.5 tsp. coconut oil
1 T. fish sauce (no sugar added)
1 tsp. five-spice powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. pepper

Curry:

Fantastic, Delicious, Gluten-Free Sourdough Pizza!

In May/June 2014, Cooks Illustrated presented an in-depth article on "Gluten Free Pizza Worth Eating." I was very intrigued...but didn't want to use commercial baking yeast, and wanted to eliminate a couple of other questionable ingredients. Therefore, I created a prototype for a 24-hour-fermented, kefir-risen pizza crust. It was nearly unbelievable - you wouldn't even know it was gluten free unless someone told you, the texture was crispy-on-the-bottom and chewy, you could eat a slice with one hand (just like real pizza!) and I'm gonna keep experimenting...

Let me know what you think!

Saag Paneer

I love love love saag paneer. And when our friend brought over two pounds of fresh paneer, I just had to find a good recipe. Here it is:

2 T. butter or ghee
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1 T. minced fresh garlic
3 small dried chiles
2 T. curry powder
Salt, to taste
1.5 lbs. spinach, washed well, cut into 1-inch pieces, water still clinging to the leaves
3/4 lb. fresh paneer cheese cubes
1/2 c. yogurt
1.5 c. light or heavy cream, preferably cultured (yogurt cream)
squeeze of lemon

Really Delicious Liver Pate (Really! And I didn't think it was possible)

Okay, so Maya and Kristen got me to try eating liver. Again. And finally, I can honestly say: I Like Liver. I LOVE liver! At least when it's prepared like this (based on [this recipe](http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2012/02/chopped-liver-pate/)).

1 lb. lamb liver, in 1/4" slices, soaked in milk for an hour and then rinsed with cool water and drained
1/2 cup refined coconut oil
2 large onions, peeled and diced
1/2 cup good butter
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 hardboiled eggs, peeled
salt and pepper to taste

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