Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beef and Sausage Meat Loaf with Mozzarella

This is an excellent meat loaf recipe that comes from Mario Batali's father.  It is definitely the most "Italian" meat loaf I have ever made or eaten.  Here is a quote from Armandino Batali that was posted on the Bon Appetit website:  Armandino Batali of Salumi in Seattle, writes:  “My son, Mario Batali, may be the most recognizable foodie in the family, but the Batalis’ interest in Italian cooking and culture goes back generations.  My grandfather opened Seattle’s first Italian-food import store in 1903.  It was located just a few steps from where my restaurant, Salumi, is now, and it’s one of the things that inspired me to get into the business."

“The idea behind Salumi was to create a restaurant, deli, and meat factory in one place, just like the salumerias in Italy.  We’re known for homemade sausages and salami, but we also attract a large lunchtime crowd.  Some of the specials, like the meat loaf and frittata, have been in our family for years.  They’re also easy to make at home.”

This Italian-inspired version is filled with sausage, mozzarella cheese, and basil.  This recipe is a winner.  It is makes a LOT of meat loaf.  Thank you to Mario Batali's dad for this recipe!

Beef and Sausage Meat Loaf with Mozzarella
Bon Appetit  ~ September 2004
By Armandino Batali
Salumi, Seattle, WA

Yield:  8 Servings

2 pounds lean ground beef (15 % fat)
1 pound coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese
1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed, meat crumbled
2 cups chopped fresh basil
2 cups fresh bread crumbs made from crustless French bread
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup tomato sauce, divided
3 large eggs, beaten to blend
½ cup dry red wine


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine first 11 ingredients in large bowl.  Gently mix in ½ cup tomato sauce, eggs, and wine.  Place meat mixture on large rimmed baking sheet and shape into 16 x 4-inch loaf (I used two 8 x 5 inch loaf pans).  Brush with remaining ½ cup tomato sauce.  Bake meat loaf until cooked through and thermometer inserted into center registers between 160 degrees and 170 degrees F, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

The Wet Ingredients

The Flour

The Dry Ingredients

Mixing the Wet Ingredients into the Dry

The Blood Orange Segments

The Greased Pan

Adding the Orange Segments into the Batter

The Cake Batter in the Pan before Baking

A Blood Orange with Top and Bottom Removed

Badly Supremed Orange

Honey-Blood Orange Compote

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
just after it came out of the oven
A slice of cake with compote
and whipped cream
This recipe came to me from The New York Times, Good Appetite column.  The recipe itself was created by cookbook author, Melissa Clark. She has co-written many cookbooks and has recently authored a cookbook under her own name called "Cook This Now."  After making the cake, I saw this same recipe on my favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen.   It was posted on that blog last year.  I guess I'm a bit behind the times.

I did not know what supreming an orange meant before I made this cake.  I saw no need to learn about it until I read the recipe.  You might say I taught myself how to "supreme" an orange by watching this video on  The video helped me understand what I was supposed to do.  Too bad I didn't watch the video before I started the process.  This cake is not difficult to make except for "supreming" the orange.  Once you learn how to do that though, it is easy.  I'm here to tell you that I made a few mistakes with this cake.  Here goes:  I left out the 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, I put the wet ingredients into the dry instead of the other way around and I left the membrane on the blood orange segments I put into the cake. I was surprised that the cake still rose nicely even without the baking powder.  I don't know if I'll try making this cake again but at least I learned how to "supreme" an orange! The oranges that I did a fair job supreming are the ones I used for the Honey-Blood Orange Compote.  The honey I used for the compote is orange blossom honey from a local family-owned business called The Bee Folks.

Even with my mistakes, this cake tastes yummy.  

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
Time:  1 hr. 20 mins. Plus cooling


Butter for greasing pan
3 blood oranges
1 cup sugar
Buttermilk or plain yogurt
3 large eggs
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Honey-blood orange compote, for serving (optional) (see note)
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


1.        Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9-by-5 –inch loaf pan.  Grate zest from 2 oranges and place in a bowl with sugar.  Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until orange zest is evenly distributed in sugar.
2.       Supreme an orange:  cut off bottom and top so fruit is exposed and orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away peel and pith, following curve of fruit with your knife.  Cut orange segments out of their connective membrane and let them fall into a bowl.  Repeat with another orange.  Break up segments with your fingers to about 1/4 –inch pieces.
3.       Halve remaining orange and squeeze juice into a measuring cup.  You will have about ¼ cup or so.  Add buttermilk or yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether.  Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well.  Whisk in eggs.
4.       In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet ones.  Switch to a spatula and fold in oil a little at a time.  Fold in pieces of orange segments.  Scrape batter into pan and smooth top.
5.       Bake cake for about 55 minute, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.  Serve with whipped cream and honey-blood orange compote, if desired.

Yield:  8 to 10 servings.

Note:  To make honey-blood orange compote, supreme 3 more blood oranges according to directions in Step 2.  Drizzle in 1 to 2 teaspoons honey.  Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir gently.


The Creative Cook