The Return of Yes!Chef! and his Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes
I don’t think I mentioned that Yes!Chef! got called to the East Coast to help out some of the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Not with his cooking skill, but doing his day job as an insurance adjuster. He was gone three weeks and we were sad to miss him on Thanksgiving…especially his cooking.
Luckily, he was still at home for his birthday, so the kids and I decided to make him dinner. (It is so sad that it took at least 5 of us to do what he does with just one of him.) Oldest son’s girlfriend made a lovely German Chocolate cake, which is Yes!Chef!’s favorite.
So, my children pitched in for Thanksgiving and we made ourselves a feast. We had duck instead of turkey and mac & cheese and mashed potatoes, and crashed yams and homemade green bean casserole and homemade cranberry sauce and green salad and an caramel apple cheesecake for dessert.
It was tasty, but we missed the chef.
As an aside, it seems to me that a photographer’s family would have better posing skills. I live with a bunch of wise guys.
At any rate, Y!C! finally got home last Saturday night and he’s still trying to catch up with the time change.
Then Sunday a friend contacted us and advised that he had business in Sacramento and he would like to stop by to visit. We were delighted and Yes!Chef! began preparing his menu: Meatloaf, Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes. Simple, homey and tasty, which are Hallmarks of his cooking.
He has a recipe that he likes to work off by Ina Garten of Food Network. It’s called “1770 House Meatloaf”. It calls for ground veal along with the beef and pork. He looked all over Placerville for it, but it was not to be found…part of the fun of living in the country. So, he substituted more ground beef. I’m sure the veal would add another depth to the flavor, so if you can find it, use it. But, more beef or pork could be substituted and the loaf will still be quite tasty.
Meanwhile, our friend showed up with wine, which was so nice. It was great wine and went nicely with the dinner.
We hadn’t seen our friend in a while and he regaled us with his most recent adventures before, during and after dinner.
It was great to see him again and he was very appreciative of Yes!Chef!’s tasty dinner.
You can find the recipe here:
Please make the Garlic Sauce. It’s made with roasted garlic which takes the bite out of garlic but leaves a mild garlic flavor.
This recipe is one of the best meatloaves ever. It is juicy, flavorful and relatively easy. And! No ketchup! I got the ketchup out just in case and Y!C! looked quite shocked. But, I know some people won’t eat meatloaf without ketchup. In fact, if truth be known, I also got out some barbecue sauce…as a good hostess. I’m sorry to have done that because this recipe does not benefit, nor does it need, ketchup or barbecue sauce or any other add on. If properly seasoned as in the recipe, you won’t even need salt or pepper. I would like to publicly apologize to my dear Yes!Chef! for this faux pas. I will not make that mistake again.
Then there are the Mashed Potatoes. Our guests have dreams of Y!C!’s mashed potatoes. Here’s his recipe:
- 1 pound potatoes (Y!C! likes Yukon Gold)
- 1/2 cup half and half or cream
- 3 tbs. butter
- salt to taste
Peel the potatoes and cut into uniform pieces so that they cook evenly. Cover them with cold water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer. Cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain off the water. Put the potatoes back on the burner in the pan. Use lowest heat to remove excess moisture from the potatoes. At this point you don’t want them to cook, you just want to steam off the moisture. Then add the butter and cream/half and half. Stir and mash until desired consistency. Add the salt to taste. Put lid back on, remove the potatoes from the heat and they should stay warm until the rest of your dinner is ready.
Yes!Chef! likes to leave his mashers a little lumpy because he likes the texture. We like them that way, too.
Although this meal is quite homey and humble, the flavor elevates it to the point that it could easily be served to your most discerning guests. They will love it. They will ask for more. They will request it the next time they come to visit. It’s that kind of recipe.
So what are you waiting for…Christmas? It’s on it’s way.