Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Loose Meat (Maid-Rite) Sandwiches

So, this is DEFINITELY not Cajun cooking.  Loose meat sandwiches, as made famous by the Maid-Rite chain and Roseanne,  are definitely a Midwest thing.  Pretty simple stuff:  seasoned ground beef, mustard, pickles, bun. Boom.  Tasty stuff.  Not a Sloppy Joe, since those have a tomato base sauce.

Earlier in the year we were considering making a loose meat sandwich as a monthly special at The Scoop.  We tested out a few different recipes but could never quite find one that wouldn’t reduce down too much over the course of the day & change the flavor or dry out.  However, we did REALLY like this recipe fresh from the pot.  The steak sauce and the brown sugar make a nice sauce that helps to bind the meat a little bit so it’s not super-loose, and there’s a good balance of spicy, sweet & acid.

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INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4 servings)

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced (or 1 Tbsp dried onions)
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp steak sauce
  • 1 Tbsp spicy mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • For Serving:  hamburger buns, mustard, dill pickles

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the meat and onion in the bottom of a large pot; cook over medium heat until browned.  Add the remaining ingredients & heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid has evaporated.  Typically takes about 30 minutes.

Warm the buns in the oven (or a toaster oven), then spoon on the meat, and add  the mustard & pickles.

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NutriFacts (per sandwich):

Calories 463.9

  Total Fat 26.1 g

  Saturated Fat 9.9 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 10.3 g

  Cholesterol 85.1 mg

  Sodium 1,040 mg

  Potassium 424.7 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 29.8 g

  Dietary Fiber 0.4 g

  Sugars 7.6 g

  Protein 25.1 g

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

Yes, yes, I’m alive.  I know, you were worried.  It’s been a hectic summer around these parts.  The Scoop is crazy-busy:

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… and we’ve been getting to hang out outside a bit…

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Oh, and I discovered geocaching

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I may be a little obsessed (username “feauxcajun”).

But, I HAVE also been cooking. I just haven’t taken the time to blog about it.  As the Scoop season winds down, I have a little more free time again.  So, I’d like to share a recipe I swiped from my cousin Manda Starr.  Well…technically from her hubs, who made it for us for Turkey Day breakfast last year.

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SUPER yummy stuff. 

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The nice thing about this is that you can compose 90% of this dish the night before, and then just add the tater tots in the morning before you bake it. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb ground beef or pork sausage

4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 cup chives

salt & pepper to taste

1-2 tsp turmeric (we’re on a turmeric kick lately…it’s great for you and very mild so you can add it to anything…but it IS responsible for the super-yellow color of the dish.)

2-3 cups shredded cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar, but as you can tell from the pics, we had mozzarella on-hand.)

4 eggs

2 lbs frozen tater tots

 

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the meat & onions in a large skillet, then drain off the excess fat.  Transfer into the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Then add the cheese & bacon.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, chives, turmeric, salt & pepper, then pour over the meat & cheese.  (If you prep it the night before, here’s where you refrigerate it.)

When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 350F, and add the tater tots.  If you’re a free spirit, you can just toss them on top and spread ‘em around so you have good coverage.  But…if you’re a little more “A type” personality…

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(I know it seems a little anal, but it actually makes portioning really easy later on.)

Press the tots down into the mixture a little bit to get a good “crust”. Then bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the eggs are completely done.

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Makes about 8 servings.

NutriFacts:

Calories 371

  Total Fat 17.4 g

  Saturated Fat 4.2 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 2.2 g

  Cholesterol 187.0 mg

  Sodium 642.5 mg

  Potassium 433.6 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 24.2 g

  Dietary Fiber 2.0 g

  Sugars 3.5 g

  Protein 26.6 g