Sunday, February 27, 2011

baby’s first buffalo

Last week I made BUFFALO MEATLOAF! Buffaloaf :D

It was epically delicious. 10 out of 10 (I’ve realized I say everything is delicious and it is meaningless. So, a more sophisticated ranking system is born).

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So here’s how it happened: our farmer’s market has a buffalo guy, and I’ve been trying to muster up the courage to buy it for several weeks.

I am not afraid of cooking raw meat, but I am afraid of expensive meat. Why? Because if I cook it poorly and I do not enjoy eating it then I have essentially thrown money away.

Still, this was local. It was beautiful. I went for it.

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This was one where I wanted to do my research. Buffalo is naturally lean (score!) but as a result it is easy to overcook (boo!). I wanted a clear-cut recipe that took clear steps to infuse moisture.

I settled on this epicurious one for buffalo meatloaf because the first step was sauteeing scads of mushrooms and red onion for flava and juice-itude. Yes.

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I sort of ignored the roasted potatoes and spinach (I had other plans) but basically did the loaf as the recipe requested (except I subbed fire roasted tomatoes, squeezed up, for the tomato sauce; and had no fresh herbs, which I totally forgot about TIL I TYPED THIS but I guess I *didnt’* use dried the way I’d planned and it was still hella flavorful!).

Onto the pan it went (a freestanding loaf is *brilliant*, cause fat goes onto the baking sheet rather than traditional meatloaf where it’s just sitting in the pan being… fatty)

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Baked it 30 minutes. Glazed it. Baked another 10 minutes.

It was supposed to go for an additional 10, but it smelled… really good. My cousin the pastry chef never times anything and is of the opinion that food tells you when it is done. And you know what? I sometimes have to TRUST MY INSTINCTS.

Fortunately, this evening I did and I took it out 10 minutes early and it was PERFECT. PERFECT.

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Um…

I may only eat buffalo from now on.

SO MOIST. SO TENDER. SO FLAVORFUL.

Buffalo has such a wonderfully delicate taste on your palate- savory and satisfying in only the way red meat can be, yet didn’t leave me feeling weighed down at all. Gently biting into the delicate meatiness (sounds like a contradiction in terms, but with buffalo, it is both!), I was left feeling utter bliss.

Regular readers know that I am not a big slab of red meat girl, but hot damn. Give me buffalo any time.

Did round out the meal with veggie wholesomeness: spuds and green things.

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The only brussels sprouts I will ever really want:

Olive oil in medium pan, to coat. Sliced brussels (tiny ones whole, small/medium ones halfed, big ones thirded or fourthed) into the pan, cut side down. Brown. Flip around. Brown. Add 2 tsp. honey, 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. dried dill, 1 tsp. water, salt and pepper. Cook til tender.

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Next recipe is, hilariously, from a completely vegetarian cookbook. Am definitely continuing my love affair with Moosewood.

Why group them together? They are both easy (ish) weeknight friendly meals that involve local ingredients and honor this season: that means they are warm and comforting. Blessedly, they are also healthy.

I admired the beautiful artwork in the Moosewood recipe, as usual. I sort of missed out, not living in the 60s/70s. Everything was so cute and hippie. All those people who ate vegetarian and listened to folk and wore love beads vote Republican now… strange.

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As usual, I amended the recipe using what I had on hand, and found it utterly delicious. Thus, the following is a beautiful blending of Moosewood and Moi.

How I did it:

1. Vegetable things got browned in oil in a big Dutch oven.

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2. Two of my favorite pantry staples were utilized:

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3. Homemade veggie stock for depth of flava:

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4. Beautiful colorful somewhat eclectic spice selection (copied them on this one- who knew the same recipe would include turmeric, basil, and nutmeg?! My kitchen smelled so bangin’ after I added all this):

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5. Cooked for a bit. Get in my belly!

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Gypsy Soup, by Moosewood via Lele!

2 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 a butternut squash, chopped
3/4 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup canned fire roasted tomatoes with garlic
1 can chickpeas
3 1/2 cups homemade vegetable stock
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

Heat olive oil in medium Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, red pepper, and squash. Cook until golden. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, vegetable stock, and spices. Bring to a boil. Simmer gently, uncovered, until vegetables are tender.

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Delicious the first day, even better the second!

2 comments:

lesley lifting life said...

Your meatloaf sounds really good, we like buffalo now and then.

I'm the same way with expensive meats, though, I'm always nervous I won't cook up to its standard, ha.

Hope you have a great weekend :]

Jess@atasteofconfidence said...

looks great! im from buffalo, so i guess i would know ;)