Pot Sticker Meatloaf


A while back I had a hankering for some down home meatloaf. Meatloaf: The dish people say they hate but love to eat. Stop the hate! Eat the loaf! I didn’t have any ground moo but had a pound of ground oink in the freezer. The pork got me to thinking about making pot stickers. While good they’re also a pain in the ass to make. Takes forever and they disappear too quickly. I love the taste and texture of the filling in those li’l funbags and figured I’d make an eastern style loaf of goodness to put in my tummy. I searched out a recipe for the filling and found that they all called for napa cabbage, which I didn’t have, poo! Not a problem, I left it out. Over the course of a few loaves I tweaked the ingredients until I figured out the perfect combination.

Pot Sticker Meatloaf

For the loaf:
1 pound Ground Pork
2 Eggs
1 cup Breadcrumbs (I used Japanese panko breadcrumbs)
4 to 6 Green Onions sliced thin
8 cloves Garlic, minced OR 4 tbsp minced garlic from a jar
2 tsp Ginger, minced
1/2 can Water chestnuts, chopped finely
1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
4 tsp Rice Vinegar
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
½ tsp Salt
1 tbsp Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

For the sauce:
2 cups Chicken broth
3 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Ginger, minced
4 tsp Lime juice
2 tbsp Corn starch mixed in 2 tbsp of water
A dash or two of Tabasco sauce (optional)

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Thinly slice the green onions and mince the ginger and garlic.

In a big bowl mix up the eggs, soy sauce, sesame seeds and oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, water chestnuts, and salt.

Add the ground pork to the bowl and break it up a bit.

Dump the breadcrumbs atop the whole mess and knead it all together until mixed pretty thoroughly. You don’t want to end up with a homogenous pink slime. Just mash it pretty good. Otherwise you’ll end up with a really dense loaf and give ammo to the meatloaf haters.

Throw it in a bread loaf pan. Mine is non-stick so I don’t bother greasing it. With the amount of grease that cooks out from the pork, sticking shouldn’t be a problem in anything. If you dont have a bread pan just use whatever you have on hand or shape it into a loaf and cook it on a foil covered baking sheet.

It’s shovin’ in the oven time! Immolate for 45 to 50 minutes or until it’s nice and brown on top.

While it’s baking grab a glass of wine and make the sauce.

Put the broth, ginger, sugar, lime juice, and soy sauce in a saucepan.

Heat it up until it bubbles a bit and the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat down and stir in the cornstarch water. Continue heating and stirring for a minute or so. You’ll end up with a slightly thickened awesomesauce.

Put some rice on to cook. I have a little rice cooker that I scored for 10 bucks at a discount store. I haven’t cooked rice on the stove for 15 years… This loaf goes really well with jasmine rice but use what you have. Plain white enriched rice is tasty too!

When the loaf is baked to perfection yank it from the oven and set it aside to firm up for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into slabs as thick as you like ’em, set atop some rice, and drench it all with the awesomesauce.

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Cooking with Foxfur: Cucumber Hummus Wraps


We had a blast of summer weather recently and it put me in the mood to fix up some seasonal vittles. I learned this one from my wino-twin Anne. Sweetpea will buy a bottle of wine now and then and send me over to spend the night at her place. Kill a couple bottles, grill up some T-bone steaks, watch some movies. I lucked out to catch me a wife who’ll let me do that.

I nearly fell off my horse when Anne told me about this sammich. It has no meat! While this is unusual for me, it is completely outrageous coming from her. About as fucked up as a football bat as my old sarge would have said. Anne and I are always cracking jokes about vegetarians & vegans. I carried a ziplock full of bacon to an Occupy rally and magnificently offended their sensibilities although a few self identified vegans did partake…

Here’s whatcha came for:

Cucumber Hummus Wraps

  • Whole wheat or spinach tortillas, any size
  • 1 Cucumber
  • Hummus
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Sunflower or sesame seeds

Peel the cuke and slice it in half lengthwise. If you like, and I like, scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Now slice the half in half lengthwise then slice the quarter in half length lengthwise. You can do it again if you want a l’il challenge or want to add fingertips to your wrap…

Slap a tortilla on top of the bag. Spread a tablespoon or three of hummus on the first third of it. I use roasted garlic or pine nut hummus with a teaspoon of Tabasco sauce mixed into the original container.

Now sprinkle some sunflower seeds or sesame seeds on the hummus. Pine nuts, almonds, and crushed pistachios are dandy too.

Take 3 or 4 cucumber spears and press ’em into the hummus. Add a dash of salt and pepper if’n you so desire.

Now top with alfalfalfalfa sprouts (love that word!).

Roll it up, cut it in half, and throw it on a plate. Order up!

That right there is some fine summer vittles! Sometimes I’ll add roast beef and honey mustard or a couple slices of crispy bacon.

Serve with lemonade, limeaid, wine, etc.

Wheee!

Cooking with Foxfur: Junk Fried Rice


Fried rice, the garbage disposal dish. Got leftovers? Make fried rice. You can put anything in it and it will be a damn fine dish. Got a half chicken gathering flies? How about that pork chop you’re thinking of trashing? Your hubby and the rugrats didn’t finish their ham at breakfast? So much the better if they didn’t finish their scrambled eggs. Did the folks sitting next to you at the restaurant not finish their plates? Go scrape their plates! Their loss is your gain. Been there, done that more than once when I was a bachelor… I really like to make mine from scratch but when I have bits of vittles like left over stir-fry, that half can of Spam hiding in the corner of the fridge, or diced up whatever that I forgot to use for another recipe, I’ll dump it in the wok and recycle it into a new dish.

The biggest hurdle you might face is the rice. You pretty much have to use cold, not necessarily refrigerated, rice. 4 to 6 cups of cooked rice will do just fine. I toss 2 cups of rice and 3 cups of water in the rice cooker and let ‘er go. When done I’ll unplug it and let it sit for an hour or three. If you’re in a hurry, dump it on a cookie sheet and spread it out to cool. Don’t worry about the type either. Long grain is what I like but I’ve used short grain, medium grain, sushi, jasmine, and brown rice. Hell, try wild rice, black rice, or Rice Crispies. Hmm, fried Rice Crispies… Some R&D is called for…

Remember: Cooking with Foxfur is primarily aimed at people who think they can’t cook. The other demographic is folks who worry too much about measurements. I’ll put an ingredient list below, BUT, please don’t follow it! Make additions, substitutions, deletions, and excuses as needed. You’re making dinner not rocket fuel. Just like tossing hand grenades, close is good enough.

So here’s what I started with:

A bewildering array epicurean detritus...

Foxfur’s Junk Fried Rice

  • A pound or so of meat
  • 4 – 6 Cups of cold rice
  • A can of corn, drained
  • A can of peas, drained
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 Green onion thinly sliced
  • Other tasty scraps

If you’re using fresh uncooked meat, why not marinate it? I used dark soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil. You don’t have to drown the meat. Use a tablespoon of soy sauce, whatever type you like, a tablespoon of mirin (sweetened rice wine) although sake, wine, beer, or fruit juice will do just as well, and a splash of sesame oil. Use whatever oil you have. Cut the meat up into fine pieces. I go with 1/4 inch cubes, but do what you want. This is where you get to stick it to the restaurant and get even for all the unsatisfying fried rice you’ve ever had. Were their meaty bits too teensy? Use gobbing hunks in yours. Too little meat? Add three pounds to yours. Whatever you want is what you should have. Throw the meat in a bowl with the marinade. Do this before doing anything else. I like my meat to soak for half an hour before I start playing with it.

Git yer veggies. Put a good teaspoon or two of oil in the pan and heat it up pretty hot. Throw the veggies in and stir ’em around real good like. You want them all to get a bit of oil on them. Cook ’em until they’re a bit past what most folks would consider done. Not burned but not too moist. That’s how I like mine, anyway. Peas are a good indicator vegetable. They should be a bit shriveled but not all pruney. Don’t worry if you get some burned or black spots on them, it’s all part of the goodness. The picture below shows how mine look when they’re where I like ’em.

Stop when they look like this.

When you cook a little longer you’ll concentrate the flavors. The corn will be a bit denser, the peas a bit firmer, and the flavor a bit better. Toss the veggies aside. I usually use the bowl I’m going to serve with or the container I’ll put the leftover product in the refrigerator with.

Now grab yer meat. Heat up the pan with another teaspoon or two of oil. Throw in a bunch of ginger, either minced or cut into matchsticks. Drop a few cloves of garlic in as well. I like using the chopped stuff in a jar. I’d rather be outside in the yard setting stuff on fire than inside peeling and chopping garlic. Stir ’em around for 20 – 30 seconds and dump the meat in. If it clucked or snorted, cook the piss out of it. There ain’t no such thing as a medium rare chicken breast or a bloody rare pork steak that’s going to be good for you. Even if it’s beef, I’ll cook it til it’s well glazed and just a bit dry. Again, the flavor is concentrated and I love the firm texture.

Cook the pork (or other raw meat) with the marinade if using one.

Cook the meat until glazed with marinade.

Stuff your meat into the same container that your veggies went into.

The scrambled eggs are optional. I feel they’re mandatory. While I say to use two, I use three. There’s never enough eggs in the fried rice in any restaurant! It’s enough to make you want to bring a pocket full of eggs and sneak a handful in your bowl. When you beat your eggs, be sure to add salt, pepper, onion powder, milk, sugar, and whatever else you’d put in them for normal scrambled eggs. Drizzle a bit of oil in the pan, heat it up real good, and scramble the hell out of the eggs. It doesn’t matter if they’re not completely done as they’ll finish up when you mix them into the rice a bit later.

Now comes the part that stumps lots of people. An oft heard question is “How do I know when the rice is fried enough?” When you like it is my standard answer. It depends if you like your fried rice clumpy or grainy. I like mine with separated grains. I use 4 to 5 tablespoons of peanut oil for 4 to 6 cups of rice. Heat up the oil and add the rice. Stir and toss it around to get the oil worked through it. Break up clumps with your spatula or spoon. If it is clumping pretty bad or keeps reclumping, add more oil! Add a teaspoon or so, stir, bust up the rice clods and add more as needed. Keep stirring and flipping the rice for 5 to 10 minutes. I like mine pretty well done so I go for about 8 minutes. You don’t want the rice to be crispy or hard. Keep it between the lines…

Add 583,000 grains of rice.

Grab your bottle of soy sauce and shake some over it after 5 minutes or so. You might like a lighter soy flavor, I like a heartier, saltier flavor. Add a bit and taste it. Remember to keep tasting your food as you cook. Nothing makes me crazier than to see people cooking and not tasting! It’s like painting with your eyes closed. It’s the number one way to ruin your food as well as your reputation as a cook.

The perfect shade of brown.

You’ll notice above that not every grain of rice is brown. This isn’t a commercial or test kitchen. This isn’t a cookbook. This is Real Life! If I was going for a polished look the first thing I’d do is upgrade my shitty little point and shoot digital camera to something that actually renders colors appropriately. I’d rather spend my money on wine, ammunition, and fireworks.

If you really must have absolute uniformity, spread the rice out on a cookie sheet, fill up a Windex bottle with soy sauce, and mist the rice until all is right with the world. Be aware that it’s anally retentive people like you that make the rest of us look bad.

It’s time to bring it all together now. Grab your meatbucket and rain the meaty goodness down upon the rice. The veggies too! Be sure to add the scrambled eggs and green onions. Mix it all up good and thoroughly.

Add leftover fried rice to the next batch of fried rice.

There you have it, junk fried rice. For an even heartier flavor, add 1/4 teaspoon of MSG. Don’t listen to the pussies that would have you believe the stuff will kill you or it’s manufactured in Satan’s pants. The stuff is seriously good and no matter what the elitist foodies say, it’s a great way to boost the flavor of foods. It is no more cheating than adding salt or water to food. As a matter of fact, it’s much healthier than salt as the sodium content of MSG is far lower than table salt. Soy sauce, bullion, gravy, bacon, roasted meats, blue and parmesan cheese all have naturally occurring amounts of glutamate. It’s the reason savory foods taste the way they do. For you smart ones, you know the fifth taste: Umami, “pleasant savory taste”.

Whether you use it or not, fried rice made by your own hands will meet, and more likely than not, beat that which you find in a restaurant. Maybe not the first time but hey, you sucked pretty bad the first time you rode a bike, no?