We had a great time while away and I sampled my way through St Paul, Minnesota and ate a lot of what I would call middle-American food. Just your standard, average home American fare - nothing fancy, but wholesome and good.
The Boy's mother is a fantastic cook and she cooked up some lovely meals while we were there. I had intended to cook while over there, but there are challenges working in someone else's kitchen and she was rather sparing in her use of utensils and appliances (no cutting board! only used a paring knife for everything she cut up! Gasp!!). I loved her cooking and even said to The Boy that his mother was a much better cook than he made her out to be.
One of the meals that is very popular in the US is meatloaf. We don't eat it much here but I've made it once for a dinner party and we had it a few times while in the US.
When I made the meatloaf, the response I got from The Boy was "it's different from the way my mother makes it" to which I smacked him across the head.
Here's the RECIPE for the meatloaf dish that I made. I'm sorry, but I don't have any pictures of my dish.
- 1 pound ground beef (leaner is better)
- 1 4 ounce / 120gm can mushrooms (reserve juice)
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 center cut bacon strips
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 8 ounce / 250 gm can tomato sauce
- Preheat oven to 375F / 190C degrees. Add water to mushroom juice to make 1 cup. Fry bacon until crispy, drain and crumble. Set aside.
- Combine beef, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, egg, mushroom juice, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. On wax paper, form meat mixture into a 8x12 inch rectangle.
- Sprinkle meat with parsley, oregano, basil, thyme and 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs. Spread bacon, onion, mushrooms and cheese evenly over meat.
- Roll meat into an 8 inch wide loaf. Place meatloaf into an 8 inch glass bread pan or glass baking dish.
- Bake for 60 minutes. Pour tomato sauce over meatloaf, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Let meatloaf sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
I did this because it was different from just serving up a chunk of mince beef. I liked that it had mushrooms and bacon through the centre, which made it very tasty.
Believe it or not, I didn't really do anything different to the recipe, though one thing to note, it was a little difficult to roll up into a loaf. That said, it did turn out well and very tasty, thanks to the bacon and the tomato sauce.
More to come on my eating adventures while in the mid-west of the US of A once I get over the jetlag.
Have you done any traveling recently? Been away for a short while or a long time? How did you feel when you arrived home?
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