Point is, I still have a few food quirks left—no doubt we all do. One of mine, a remnant from years as a vegetarian, is that I don’t like to physically handle red meat, although I will when necessary. I recognize the contradiction—we’ve all got those, too. So when we eat red meat, it tends to be a steak or a burger Mr. Right makes.
That’s a long way of explaining why I don’t very often post meat dishes. But this one, in my mother’s Good Housekeeping magazine, caught my eye. It’s a variation of our basic burger, which includes ground sirloin, seasoning, Panko, and Parmesan. This version substitutes zucchini for the cheese, a great way to sneak in vegetables; they keep the burgers moist and hold them together well.
The original recipe suggests ground beef or dark turkey; we prefer ground sirloin, which is a little more expensive, but is comparatively lean and doesn’t shrink much. It also calls for shaping the meat into 4 oblong meatloaves, but you can certainly make more, smaller burgers—just keep an eye on your baking time. And while it suggested Gala or Empire apples—firm and tart-sweet—I used two of the Red Delicious the bears kindly left on our tree this year and a Gala from a friend’s orchard. I think a mix of apples is always best; use anything firm enough to not turn to mush when baked. I thought the mustard might be too strong, but it mellows beautifully in the baking.
Baked Mini Meatloaves with Roasted Apples
(Adapted from Good Housekeeping, November 2016)
1-1/4 pounds ground beef or sirloin
1 small zucchini, grated
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 small to medium apples, cored and cut into wedges
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped, or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
dash of salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
fresh herbs for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the beef, zucchini, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.
Shape into four small meatloaves or six small burgers, and place on baking sheet. Brush tops with mustard.
Toss the cut apples with the rosemary, cayenne, salt, and olive oil. Arrange on baking sheet around the loaves or burgers, in a single layer.
Bake 30 minutes, or until done. Garnish the meat with fresh herbs, if you’d like.
At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…
Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun.
While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth.
But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.
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