Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Healthier Meatloaf

So meatloaf is typically a heavy loaf of meat covered in a thick layer of tomato sauce and glaze. Although we love a good meatloaf, tonight, I thought I would put a healthier twist on the classic. This recipe replaces the bread crumbs with oatmeal to increase the fiber content and removes the thick layer of glaze for a lighter topping.

Ingredients:                                          Preheat Oven Temperature: 375 degrees
1 pound 93% lean hamburger
1 egg
1 Tablespoon grated onion
1/4 teaspoon grated garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
2 Tablespoons ketchup + 1 Tablespoon ketchup for topping
2/3 cup Quick Oats
Combine all of the ingredients except for the quick oats.
Gently combine with your hands.
Once thoroughly combined, begin adding in oats.
Start by mixing in 1/3 cup of oats.
Mix in just enough to hold the loaf together, between 1/2 to 2/3 cups total. 
Transfer mixture to a loaf pan and form into shape.
Leave room around the edges to provide room for browning.

Add the remaining tablespoon of ketchup to the top of the loaf.

Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Remove loaf from oven and serve with your favorite sides!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oven Baked Wedges

Some weekends I will fix a really great, complex meal with a lot of ingredients and hours spent in the kitchen. However, this weekend, it was all about taking it easy! So today I am going to share one of the recipes my family uses for oven baked potato wedges.

Ingredients:                                                   Preheat Oven Temperature: 375 degrees
6 Large Baking Potatoes
1 stick of Butter
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder or Flaked Onion

Thoroughly wash 6 large baking potatoes. 
Place 1 stick of butter on a large baking tray and place in oven to melt.
While the butter is melting, prepare the wedges. 
Cut each potato into 8 wedges.
Immediately place in a large bowl of cold water to prevent
turning and assist in adhering of dry mixture.

In a resealable plastic bag, combine all of the dry ingredients. Shake to thoroughly combine.
Place half of the potatoes into the mixture and shake to coat. Remove coated wedges and place on the buttered pan. Repeat with remaining wedges.

Bake wedges in oven for 45-60 minutes. The cooking time will vary
depending on thickness of wedges and oven temperature.
If wedges begin to get too dark before completely done, cover with
aluminum foil and continue cooking.
*Note: This recipe can be kept warm in the oven on a setting of 200 degrees covered with foil for up to 2 hours.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dr. Jack's Barbecue Chicken

Barbecue chicken is a great dinner option. 
Tonight we used chicken legs to make the stick-to-your-fingers meal, but it works well for any type of chicken, you might just have to adjust the cooking time for larger pieces. The combination of Dr. Pepper in the sauce gives a nice sweetness to counter the vinegar.

Ingredients:                                                        Preheat Oven Temperature: 375 degrees
6 Fresh Chicken Legs
1 1/2 cup Dr. Pepper soda
1/4 cup Jack Daniel's No. 7 Sauce (or your favorite sauce)
2 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
1 teaspoon Crushed Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dried Minced Onion
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Combine all ingredients, except meat, into saucepan.
Simmer on Medium-Low temperature for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
While the sauce is cooking, prepare the chicken and begin the baking process. 

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Arrange chicken with plenty of room around each piece to allow for proper
cooking and avoid steaming of meat.
Place meat in preheated oven.

After 30 minutes of cooking, gently turn over each  piece of chicken.
Remove 1/2 cup of the sauce into a separate container to use for
basting for the remainder of cooking.
Begin basting each piece of chicken. Repeat basting every 5 minutes.
After 15 minutes, turn chicken and repeat the basting process for
an additional 15-20 minutes, depending on size of chicken.
Remove chicken from  oven.
Serve with vegetables or other desired sides and plenty of napkins!
Save the extra sauce in a container in the refrigerator for later use.
*Note: Cooking times will vary depending on type of chicken used as well as size of pieces. Always make sure to cook meat completely.*        

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Crescents

Cinnamon rolls are a traditionally covered in butter, sugar, and a heavy frosting and require the creation of a yeast dough that must proof several times before use. In my hectic life, making homemade yeast bread dough is not an option. In order to create a delicious, quick and lighter version of the classic sweet, I have taken a few shortcuts and removed the butter. Give theses a try; I think you will love them as much as we do!

Ingredients:                                                             Preheat Oven Temperature: 375 degrees
1 package of refrigerated crescent rolls (8 count)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Mix sugar, cinnamon, raisins and walnuts together in a bowl.

On a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, unroll the crescents.
Spread a small amount of the mixture over the triangles. Press the mixture
lightly to help bind the filling to the rolls.

Roll crescents starting and the large end into the traditional knot shape.
Bake the rolls in a preheated oven for 8-12 minutes until golden brown.

Serve alone as a breakfast pastry or with vanilla ice cream for an easy and delicious dessert.

Introduction to The Modern Southern Cook

As a true southern girl, cooking has always been a passion of mine. I believe that the best way to share moments, values, and create family is around a table. Part of my passion is to preserve family traditions and recipes through the current generation. However, I also like to make food lighter, brighter, and healthier than some of the best loved dishes. I mean, anyone who knows anything about Southern cooking knows that butter, sugar, cream, and frying almost anything are staples in the diet, so I like to mix it up, add in some new spices and flavors, but still maintain the good flavor we are all used to in food.
So welcome to The Modern Southern Cook site. I hope you enjoy following me on my journey of culinary exploration. I think it will be a tasty one!