Saturday, December 19, 2009

~ A Christmas Story Dinner ~

I've been fixing this dinner for a long time; my now teenage boys have come to expect the month of December. It's the meal the Parker's are seen eating just prior to the 'old man' getting his major award and after Ralphie's fight. The only thing I changed, is the purple cabbage - we don't care for it, so I use green cabbage - actually, I buy the shredded cabbage or cole slaw mix in the bag because it has carrots in it, and I like the sweetness (and convenience.) I also serve a platter of cornbread with mine. Remember, I cook for a family of six, five of them men so this meal could be a bigger one than you need; either reduce the quantities by half or this could be a 'cook once eat twice' meal.

I hope everyone enjoys this as much as my family - and of course, it's best served while watching 'A Christmas Story.'

Meatloaf Smeatloaf

3 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (if making fresh breadcrumbs, that's 5 slices of bread)
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/4 grated onion
1 small clove minced garlic
1 tsp Kitchen Bouquet
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp sloppy joe sauce (can reserved for topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix eggs, onion, garlic, Kitchen Bouquet, salt, black pepper, and sloppy joe sauce. Give it a quick mix; add ground beef and breadcrumbs, mix gently until everything is incorporated - be careful not to over mix, or your meatloaf will not have a moist texture. (It's very fra-gee-lay...) In the meantime, mix 2 tbsp brown sugar into the rest of the sloppy joe sauce, reserve for topping.

Form mixture into 2 even loaves, place in oven proof roasting dish. Top each loaf with a few tablespoons of sauce, and put in the oven for 45 minutes, remove from oven and add a little more sauce if desired. Bake until internal temperature is 165, or about 1 hour and 15 minutes. (every oven is different, so check periodically for best results.) Heat the sauce on the stove for about 5 minutes, until hot. Serve on the side.

Mashed Potatoes

10 peeled potatoes, cut into chunks (I use russet potatoes)
10 cups cold water
1 1/2 sticks of butter or margarine
2/3 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan over high heat, bring potatoes & water to a rolling boil; after 15 minutes, check for tenderness, a knife should go right through without them being mushy. If not, you may need to add 5 more minutes to cooking time. When potatoes are tender, strain and return to dry pan. In the meantime, heat milk and butter until butter is melted. Add milk and butter to potatoes, part at a time, whip with mixer or potato masher, whatever is best for you. Don't beat them too long, you don't want them to be like glue (save the glue to repair your major award...)

Sauteed Cabbage

1 lb bag cole slaw mix or 1/2 large head cabbage, shredded
2 tsp butter
1 tsp kosher salt
Pepper to taste

In a hot skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat - add the cabbage and using tongs or a spoon and a fork saute the cabbage until covered in melted butter and hot but still crisp, this happens quickly - usually just about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm until the rest of the meal is done.

This dinner is best served with a plate of white bread, a plate of dill pickles and tall glasses of ice cold milk.

From my family to yours, I wish you all the happiness in the world, and may all your wishes - like Ralphie's - come true.


Chanti said...

In a 'better late than never' attempt we are having friends over tonight to watch 'A Christmas Story' and I'm making your meatloaf smeatloaf, mashed potatoes and cabbage - it sounds yummy - I'm hoping it's a hit and possibly a yearly tradition. Thanks for sharing!

Catt said...

Oh I am so glad! Please come back and let me know how you liked it. I know it's one of the mainstays in our home, our children will certainly remember it for years to come and after all, that's the most important. Thank you for your comment, sometimes I wonder if people are listening to me....LOL

Chanti said...

Everything turned out great - one of our guests caught me after the movie and said he normally doesn't like meatloaf, but that this was great! I think they all loved that we were eating the meal from the movie as well. I'm going to count this as a success! Thanks again for posting the recipes.

Catt said...

Oh I am SO glad you enjoyed it! Recipes will make memories, that's so important. And the best thing, you will forever be a part of their memory because you cooked it!