Tuesday, April 16, 2013

English Peas, Braised Red Cabbage with Meat Loaf and Baked Russet Potatoes

I had all day to think about dinner. I knew I was going to cook the red cabbage, but I needed an onion. Usually I buy a bag of onions and they seem to last forever, but the thing is, with SLO Veg delivering a box of vegetables to my doorstep every week, I don't hang out in the grocery stores as much anymore. When I did make a run on Sunday, it was just for beer and cat litter.

Also this morning, I took out some chicken legs and defrosted them, then put them in a green chili marinade (the same one I made the other day for our company dinner, the Tex-Thai one). Then I spent part of the afternoon (it's my day off) browsing recipes and blogs and such. There are soooo many recipes I want to try. I need to plan my week of dinner menus. Thursday is easy, it's fish night. But what else? A fennel and grapefruit salad, hmmm. English peas with bacon--wait! English Peas? I still have some of those, too.
Look at those beautiful green pearls!
They have to be shucked, so I sat down and did it while I was browsing the internet and watching cooking shows. What I got was big, beautiful green peas! Oh, my! I tasted one raw. It was sweet, just a little too green tasting. I will boil them and slather them in butter and some tarragon or something, I thought...and lemon zest!

Okay, scrap the chicken for tonight. I can pan-fry it tomorrow, or bake it...might take an hour, but it will be easy after I work a 12 hour day. Tonight we will have meat loaf, baked potatoes and peas, and braised cabbage. That's a better plan, so we can have leftover meat loaf in our lunches. So I defrosted a chunk of ground beef and then ran down to the corner market for an onion and some baking-sized potatoes. I didn't feel like going into a huge grocery store for a couple of items, so I stopped in at the Mexican Market. It wasn't crowded and I could park right in front of the entrance.

Their produce was clear in the back, past the meat counter. Their variety of meats looked appealing. I will have to remember that. I came to the corner with all the fresh produce: cilantro, peppers, Mexican onions, tomatillos. Oh, there was a box on large white onions, and a box of yellow ones. I think I will get a couple of yellow onions. Another box had some nice Russet potatoes, so I selected four largish ones for baking. No prices were listed anywhere near the produce. When I sent to the check out counter, I was surprised it cost under $2. The onion was .71 and four potatoes cost just 1.21...wow! The farmers can't be making anything on those potatoes!

Green peas, meatloaf, braised red cabbage and russet potatoes.

I got home and scrubbed up the potatoes, then dried them and rubbed softened butter all over. A little dab o olive oil went on top of that, and I coated the top in coarse salt and ground pepper. Those went into a 375 degree oven and would need at least an hour to bake. The meat loaf mixing came next: 1/4 cup each of chopped onion and chopped celery (shhh! don't tell the boys--they hate celery), minced mint and basil leaves, five or six shakes of Worchestershire sauce, a sprinkling of garlic salt, lemon pepper and dried oregano, an egg, a half cup of bread crumbs, and a squeeze of ketchup. That's it, and I didn't measure a thing. I put it into the oven just 5 minutes after the potatoes went in and it was just now 5:35 pm. I figured an hour and it would all be done.

I sauteed some sliced rings of the onion in olive oil and then added the chopped cabbage on top. I let it cook down for a few minutes, stirring to coat the cabbage with oil, then added a cup of chicken broth and a quarter cup of red wine vinegar. The lid went on and that was that. Just toward the end of the cooking time, I added one sliced apple and seasoned it with salt. The peas went into a saucepan and were covered with water. I brought the water to a boil and turn the heat to low and let them simmer for 10 minutes. Then I drained off the water, added a sliced of butter and some lemon zest for good measure.

The menfolk came home and dinner was just coming out of the oven. The meat loaf was browned and the potatoes were perfectly flakey inside their crisp skins. We dressed the potatoes with sour cream and SLO Veg green onions. How perfect is that?

No comments:

Post a Comment