|Meat, Cheese/Cheese, Meat! - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
We'll go with the good news first: meatlof is a simple way to incorporate a lot of leftover goods sitting around the fridge. Because we're getting ready for a vacation, I tend to clean out the refrigerator and cook up whatever perishables are sitting around. A chunk of cheddar from the Au Revoir, Gourmet gougères post was shredded down and incorporated into a basic mix of ground beef and turkey. The cheese adds plenty of fat, along with a raw egg, so I opted for the other-other white meat instead of the usual addition of ground pork. A few splashes of worchestire sauce, salt and pepper kept the seasonings simple, and the loaf of meatiness was formed on some parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put into the oven for baking.
So far so good. A béchamel sauce was whipped up for the squash gratin -- butter, flour, milk, some salt and pepper. No problem. Enter the scary serial killer music that lurks at the base of a movie score's orchestration, slowly starting build as I pull out the new mandoline slicer from the drawer. I envisioned it as the perfect tool to render bright golden table squash from the local farmer's market into wafer-thin slices. The plan was to spread the discs of squash evenly, sprinkle chopped prosciutto in between each layer, topping each level with the white sauce before a final layer of sprinkled cheese.
The house of cards came tumbling down when a slip of the plastic guard with the odd-shaped squash caused my thumb to run across the blade and a flip-top lid was born. Crap. Thumb was pressure bandaged, and the awkward ballet of trying to make food with one's unfavored hand began. Unfortunately, the ballet was interrupted by several intermissions of "There's blood on the floor. Crap, it's my blood," and multiple wound dressings. A lumpy, but gore-free left-handed squash gratin baked in the oven and finished along with the meatloaf. Despite The Incident, the meal was delicious, so that should be a tribute to the comforting power of meatloaf and cheese. The meatloaf had the satisfying familiar flavor of a cheeseburger, sans bun, and the gratin was creamy, savory, and the squash roasted down nicely in the oven. Was it worth the mutilation of an integral member of the Right Hand Family? Don't be ridiculous, of course it is. I've got eight more perfectly good fingers and one more thumb to go through before calling it quits.
|Left-handed squash gratin and accomplices in The Incident - Photos by Wasabi Prime|