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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Walk Like An Egyptian

When I first wrote that title I summoned my inner Bangles and started singing the song, but then I spied something shiny and the next thing you know I was singing Steve Martin's "King Tut".  If I were in the first grade again I am pretty sure Mrs. Green would send a note home to my folks to have me tested for ADD.  Since I am old enough to have never been impacted by a diagnosis, I pretend I have no issues. ( but I am always fearful of being mid sentence and seeing a flash or shadow or glint, then having no idea  what I was saying)

Wednesday nights have evolved into a dinner with the parents night.  The Hub, Son3 and my dad play a par 3 golf course after The Hub get home from work.  When they finish playing we eat together at my house.  To be honest, I am a much better cook than my mom ever was, so everyone enjoys it a little better here.   Plus Son3 can eat and be sociable for a little while and then disappear to do whatever he wants.  It works for all of us and mostly for my folks who are dreading Son3's upcoming college move to NYC.  I will miss him when he leaves, but my mother doing advanced mourning and is already counting the days until Thanksgiving when he will come home.  ( It would probably be better to wait until he actually leaves to begin the "get back" countdown, but ... oh well!) 

 Tonight I made what is called an Egyptian Greek Meatloaf.  I happen to love meatloaf so when I saw this I decided I had to try it.  (well, a modified version)  I am not claiming it is Egyptian or Greek or has origins in any other country, just relaying basic information with personal opinions.

Egyptian  Greek Meat Loaf  

Meatloaf
2 lb ground beef
3 or 4 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 egg
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Topping
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried mint
dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest ( optional but really good!)


 For the meatloaf: Mix together in a bowl until all the ingredients are well combined.  Put the mixture in a loaf pan or shape in an oval and place it in a baking pan with sides at least 1 inch high.  Bake at 325 degrees, uncovered, for about 1 hour.  

For the topping:  Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside

After 1 hour remove the meatloaf from the oven and pour the topping over it.  Cover with foil and return to the oven for about 20 minutes.  Take it out and let it rest for about 10 minutes but baste it with the baking juices a couple of times.  Slice and serve.

I served this with brown rice, steamed carrots and broccoli with sliced tomatoes instead of a salad.   The verdict was an overwhelming thumbs up.   Looking at the picture you can tell we ate all evidence of the carrots and broccoli.  I know to take the picture before we eat, but we had company so it didn't happen.



 Unless your garlic cloves are jumbo sized I would opt for 4 cloves.   I used just 3 and would have liked  a more intense garlic flavor.  It is up to your personal preference though.  Although the salt seems like a lot you might want to use the recommended amount.  I cut it in half and everyone had to salt it at the table.  It was kind of surprising because we never use a salt shaker.  I had only about 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs and had no bread in the house to make more, so I substituted some quick oatmeal.  I probably should have put it in the blender to make it a tad finer.  Make sure you have bread crumbs so you don't have to punt.  I can't think of anything else I would do to improve it, but for serving it might be prettier to put several paper thin lemon slices on the top of the meat loaf during the last 20 minutes . This is good enough to serve to company even if you are not related to them.

It makes 6 large portions, 8 regular portions  or if you are doing WW it serves 16.  Now I know it is a small portion, but honestly, hadn't you rather have a small portion of deliciousness than a large serving of bland?  For those on WW I calculated the points at about 8 per serving.  Yes I know it is a lot of points but it was so worth it.  For reference, the picture was taken on a breakfast plate and the portion I based it on was just 1 of the pieces.  If you make it while counting points take smallish bites and savor it. When I make it again, I will leave off the rice and have a gigantic salad so I can have a little larger piece.  What am I talking about?  I have leftovers in the fridge!




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