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Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

It's that comfort food time of year

With all the feasting we've hopefully just enjoyed, starting with Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and ending with all sorts of New Year celebrations, many of us are more than ready for some comfy food.
One of those is a favorite of Robert Headrick's of Oso, as well as an always hurry-to-the-table hit, not just at my house, but I'll betcha yours as well. None other than that time-honored family suppertime standy, meatloaf.
"A while back (most recently a March 19, 2003, Forum column), he writes, "You printed a killer recipe for meatloaf, maybe quite a few years ago. I remember all of the ingredients, but don't remember the amounts (I lost the recipe), and I believe the recipe came from a restaurant.''
This particular meatloaf is, for sure, the Yankee Diner's old-fashioned meat loaf. An instant winner with everybody who tastes it, the leftover loaf (if you're lucky enough to have some) makes fab sandwiches.
And the recipe is coming up right up, but first, we have today's second recipe. Another priority in the comfy food category has to be fried chicken.
We'll have a slightly different take on this timeless classic, a genius, nicely seasoned skinny version from the recipe creators at McCormick. Another bonus -- beyond the reduced calorie count -- it cooks all by itself in the oven.
Take your pick of this pair:
Yankee Diner old-fashioned meatloaf
21/2 pounds ground beef
3 eggs
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup cracker meal
1 tablespoon pepper
11/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1/2 onion, cut in small dice
1/2 green bell pepper, cut in small dice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup evaporated milk

In a large bowl, combine beef, eggs, ketchup, cracker meal, pepper, garlic, seasoned salt, onion, green pepper, Worcestershire, cheese and evaporated milk. Mix together thoroughly, then turn into a large shallow pan and form into a loaf shape.
Bake at 350 degrees until meat is cooked through, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Oven-fried chicken
1/4 cup flour
11/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves (see note)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
11/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or thighs or chicken tenders
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 1-by-10-by-15-inch rimmed baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a shallow dish, mix together the flour, seasoned salt, oregano and pepper. Moisten chicken with milk. Coat evenly with the flour mixture. Place chicken in a single layer in prepared pan. Drizzle with the melted butter and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Makes 5 servings.
Note: For quicker, more uniform cooking, slice thick chicken breasts in half horizontally. For a flavor variation, use 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or crushed rosemary leaves in place of the oregano.
The next Forum will appear in Friday's comics pages.
Story tags » Cooking

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