Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Scary Movies & Comfort Food

This is my favorite time of year...I love fall, especially a leaves changing, brisky East Coast kind of fall. Here in Los Angeles, we had 90-100 degrees yesterday, and 70 mph winds tonight, but at least the temperature is lower. And, a few days until Halloween and all that brings. I've got "The Haunting" on in the background, which is truly my favorite scary movie. I love the scares that happen in your head, like "The Innocents," although "The Shining" combines that with some serious bloody creepiness. And, "Session 9," another one high on my playlist. When I worked on "The Cider House Rules," some of our major sets were built in the Northampton State Mental Hospital, which is also where "Session 9" was filmed. "Session 9" was made on a very low budget, but packs a wallop of fright. How could a movie set in an old mental hospital where the clean up crew finds old session tapes of doctors and their patients??? Please check it out.

I know I've been remiss in posting, but hopefully, this will make up for it. Tonight's cooking was my adaption of the Barefoot Contessa's Turkey Meatloaf (recipe linked to blog title). I've made some adjustments over the years, which include using 1 lb. each of ground turkey breast and dark meat, with 2 pounds of hot or sweet turkey Italian sausage. I use sundried tomato paste in a tube instead of the canned tomato paste, as I hate using a half of a can and nothing to do with the leftover paste. This monster bakes at a low temp for a long time, but is soooo worth it and makes the best sandwiches the day after. Thanks, Ina, and I want to be you when I grow up.

My Roasted Brussel Sprouts can be done at the same time as the meatloaf, too. I bless Trader Joe's quite a bit, bit I really said hallelujah when I found pre-cleaned bags of sprouts there on Sunday. Tossed two bags of brussel sprouts with 1 bag of sliced cremini mushrooms, 1 or 2 thinly sliced shallots, and thinly sliced garlic (to taste). Stir in olive oil, salt and pepper (I had some jalapeno salt, which I used sparingly) and through all into a roasting pan. Your options are to put on the bottom rack of your oven, with the meatloaf on the middle rack, and bake for an hour together. Or, if you're just going with the sprouts, roast at 425 or 450 degrees, and keep an eye on 'em. This method should only take about 15-25 minutes, depending on how you like them. Once the pan is out of the oven, sprinkle with a little red wine vinegar and eat up. Oh my goodness, oh my goodness...