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Monday, December 6, 2010

CrockPot Meatloaf - doesn't get any easier than this!

Mondays should be easy. Period.  And what better why to make life easy than to have dinner waiting for you as you walk in the door?  This was one of those meals!  And this is a great basic recipe for Crock Pot Meatloaf.  I only used 1 lb of hamburger meat, adding 1/2 cup of oatmeal as my traditional recipes for meatloaf call for it.  Also a way to cheat and make meat stretch a bit in the budget.  I didn't have tomato soup on hand and since I don't run to the store for just one item, I used a bit of ketchup instead.  Simply mix egg, hamburger, onion soup mix, (oatmeal in mine) all together - go ahead, get those hands messy!  Place mixture in the crockpot.  Pour cream of mushroom soup, then tomato soup (mine was ketchup).  Cook on low 8 hours - I did high for 4 hours  It was good - a little different, but made me realize how easy meatloaf in the crock will be in the future.  I would probably skip the cream of mushroom soup and use some sort of gravy.
This size meatloaf worked out perfectly for our family as the Big Guy shucked about 25 oysters this evening. My wonderful Brother in Law and his fabulous wife kayaked into the waters around Hatteras, harvesting fresh oysters before Thanksgiving.  They have been housed in our downstairs fridge for a few days.  The Big Guy loves Oysters!  Just loves them - if he had his choice, our Thanksgiving meal would be oysters.  But he doesn't have complete say so it isn't.  Anyway, he had requested fried oysters this evening.  I had never fried oysters but thanks to the handy internet, I was soon skilled enough to tackle the request.  The Big Guy also decided he wanted some of those oysters in his childhood oysters stew.  So we worked together in the kitchen, he making oyster stew, me frying oysters.  One of the reasons I love this man!  Here is the Big Guy's recipe for oyster stew:
Simple fresh oyster stew

shucked oysters with juice
equal parts cream (we used skim milk) and melted butter

Heat oysters and liquid in one pot - low heat.  Melt butter in another pot, adding milk or cream slowly.  Stir on low heat to prevent curdling.  Slowly add the two pots together.  That easy!  And so delicious!

Fried oysters

shucked oysters
Milk to cover them
equal parts flour and breadcrumbs
cast iron skillet with the bottom covered with oil

Cover oysters in a dish with milk.  Let them soak in the milk for 10 min.  Heat oil - the key is the oil needs to be HOT for frying.  To test, sprinkle a dash of dry bread crumbs in the oil.  If it bubbles as though it is cooking immediately, you are good to go! Dredge oysters in breading mixture, coat all of the oyster.  Go ahead and play with your food and use your fingers to do this step.  It helps.  Place oysters in oil.  Cook 2 - 3 min on each side till golden brown.  Delicious!  The three year old tasted and asked for MORE - twice!

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