Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Clerk is a Crackpot in Kentucky - Pizza Pizza Meatloaf with Everything No Anchovies

Just once I would like to wake up without a headache, without a backache, without a buzz saw across my midsection, without a heart palpitation and without a panic attack.  This morning I've got brain fog and depression added to the list of Usual Suspects, so to conclude I was a mess would be a vast understatement.  I have a formidable list of things I have to get done, and have neither the strength nor the fortitude to start any one of them.

Yesterday was an okay sort of day.  I was able to do some food shopping at Walmart, despite the buzz saw, which got bad enough that I purchased a bottle of generic Zantac and swallowed two of them before I even left the store.  I planned out a couple of new recipes in my head and picked up the necessary ingredients.  I cleaned up after my pets, cheerfully and repeatedly.  In the evening, I took my walk to new places and I even climbed steps and peered into windows at the old courthouse and the Carson-Bryan House, both of which are blissfully just down the street. Gotta keep moving.

But ... continuing along on the roller coaster that is my life, I crashed by 8:30pm while watching Roger Mooking set fires all over the place on Cooking Channel.  We went upstairs a full hour early, and I guess I fell asleep, because I would have had to be asleep to wake up not less than four times during the night.  And then this morning - well, you already heard me bitch and moan.  Which brings us to now.

Didja hear the one about the clerk in Kentucky who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples? Actually, now she is refusing to issue licenses to anybody.  I guess she figures that makes the whole deal fair and balanced, and this way she won't accidentally be tricked by a gay couple with gender neutral names.  This four times married little chippy, who is an elected official, has essentially gone over the Supreme Court's head, straight to God. I'm okay with God as you all know, but last time I checked He does not sit on the United States Supreme Court or any other governmental agency above the Supreme Court.  He sure as hell isn't living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but that's another blog post. Perhaps this Kim person, who apparently inherited the clerk's position from her mother </sarcasm> has not heard of the First Amendment or the Constitution.  Does anyone know why she hasn't been fired, suspended, or put on unpaid leave?  WTF is going on in Kentucky? (I understand that she and her band of Merry Meatheads are due in court tomorrow for what sounds like what we call a show cause hearing - essentially, a contempt hearing. Can't wait.)

Another police officer shot and killed on Tuesday in Illinois while the President is up in Alaska changing the name of Mt. McKinley.  Priorities, Mr. President. You ain't got 'em.

I love pizza. Real New York pizza, not the deep dish pies they call pizza in Chicago which are delicious but not pizza. Seriously, who decided to call what is more like a quiche than a pizza, a pizza?  Anyway, the problem which really is a problem because I live practically next door to Al's Pizza which makes the best almost-New York pizza in Florida, is that pizza doesn't like me.  Our relationship came apart on June 2, 2003, the day my entire digestive system got rearranged.  Although I've apologized repeatedly, pizza continues to plague me in the most distressing ways.  Two bites and I'm finished.  I can't swallow pizza with any degree of comfort and if I become so bold as to try it shows me who the boss really is by coming right back up. Just to show pizza there are no hard feelings for causing me to throw up for a dozen years, I created this meatloaf to honor the flavors I love and miss so much.  I hope Rob and Cory enjoy it, because I can't eat meatloaf either.

Pizza Pizza Meatloaf  With Everything No Anchovies

1 pound ground beef
1 pound Jimmy Dean Italian pork sausage roll
a few shots of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup pepperoni slices, chopped

In an extra large mixing bowl, combine well and set aside.

3 slices bacon, diced
1/2 large white onion
1/2 green pepper
1 small hot pepper, minced (optional)
4 or more large cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup sliced black olives, drained
1-DR WT 4 oz. can Giorgio Chunky Style Portabella Mushrooms, drained

In a heavy skillet over medium high heat, cook the bacon until just about half-done. Add the onion and green pepper and cook a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften.  Add the hot pepper and garlic and cook about 5 minutes longer until the vegetables are tender, not brown; the bacon is cooked but not crisp; the garlic is fragrant.  Take off the heat and add the olives and mushrooms, then set aside to cool.

2 extra large eggs
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Combine in a small mixing bowl and whisk gently with a fork.  Set aside to allow the herbs and spices to 'bloom'.

Once the vegetables are cooled to room temperature add them to the meat in the mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon to combine.  Next, add the egg, cream and spice mixture, and stir to distribute.

2 cups Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs

Add the panko, and with a spoon and/or your hands, work everything so that it holds together.  Spray a baking pan with Pam.  Form a loaf about the length of the baking pan (9 inches). Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.  Spray the top and sides of the meatloaf with Pam. Place the meatloaf in the 475 degree oven for 15 minutes, until the exterior is sealed from the heat.  Remove the meatloaf from the oven and lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Carefully pour off any accumulated fat in the pan.

1-14 oz. jar Classico Traditional Pizza Sauce
1-11 oz. package sliced mozzarella

While the temperature adjusts, spoon about 2/3rds of the pizza sauce over the meatloaf; return to the 350 degree oven and bake another 45 to 55 minutes, until the interior temperature is 150 degrees.  Remove the meatloaf from the oven and increase the temperature to 400 degrees. Spoon the remaining pizza sauce on top of the meatloaf, slide into the oven for 5 to 10 minutes.  Place slices of mozzarella over the sauce and bake just until the cheese is nicely melted.

By the way. Somewhere in the Great Afterlife, my grandmother is screaming at me: "oy vay, who eats something like that?" Sort of how she used to scream at Pop when he liberally peppered the chicken soup she had slaved over all day.  And yes, I did get my love of excess black pepper from my Pop. Just like I got my love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cream cheese and jelly sandwiches from my grandmother, who prepared my school lunches every day until I started junior high.  What she could have never imagined is my preparing and eating a peanut butter, cream cheese and jelly sandwich for lunch.  That's strawberry preserves, by the way. Mom always used grape jelly, which I still love, but is too messy for my sixty-something sensibilities. Mom, I made it and I ate it and I'm glad. You were right about whipped cream and applesauce, but this is really really good.

(That last paragraph is what they call lagniappe down in the Big Easy - a little something extra. Have a good day everyone.)


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