Spinach, Apple Pan Dowdy, Meatloaf

DEAR SOS: Tuttobene prepares the most wonderful spinach I have tasted anywhere. I hope the chef will share his recipe. --R.S.

DEAR R.S.: Silvio di Mori, owner of Tuttobene, sent us this recipe. The dish is so simple you'll want to make it a standby side dish for grilled or roast meats, fish or poultry.

TUTTOBENE SPINACH 1 1/2 pounds spinach 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon butter 1 cup half and half 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese Salt, pepper

Clean and coarsely chop spinach. Leave small leaves intact. Discard stems. In skillet heat oil and add onion and garlic. Saute until golden brown. Add spinach and stir, then cook few minutes until most of liquid is absorbed.

Add butter, stir in half and half, then cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat 10 minutes until spinach is tender. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Each serving contains about: 224 calories; 318 mg sodium; 32 mg cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 11 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams protein; 1.64 grams fiber.

DEAR SOS: There used to be a restaurant that specialized in apple pan dowdy. But the restaurant is out of business, and I cannot find a recipe using a biscuit-like crust. Can you help? --EILEEN

DEAR EILEEN: Pan dowdys are usually made in a skillet with biscuit crust dropped onto the fruit by spoonfuls to cook like dumplings. Here's a recipe that uses biscuit mix for convenience.

APPLE PAN DOWDY 2 pounds tart green cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 cup sugar 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces 2/3 cup biscuit mix 1/8 teaspoon ginger 1/4 cup milk Ice cream or whipped cream, optional

Toss apples in bowl with lemon juice. Put in large skillet with sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg and heat until bubbly. Stir in butter until melted.

Combine biscuit mix, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger and milk in separate bowl. Mix well with fork.

Drop batter by spoonfuls onto boiling apple mixture. Cook over low heat 10 minutes, uncovered, then cover and cook 10 minutes longer. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about: 360 calories; 491 mg sodium; 42 mg cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 50 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.46 gram fiber.

DEAR SOS: Help. I've lost the recipe for the best meatloaf I ever ate. It contained crushed crackers, red pepper, celery seeds and cheese that melted as it baked. Ring a bell? --J.J.

DEAR J.J.: Bingo.

SAVORY MEATLOAF 1 egg 1/4 cup ketchup 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 clove garlic, finely minced 6 crackers, crushed 1/4 cup chopped sweet red or green pepper 1/4 cup chopped celery or 1 teaspoon celery seeds 1/4 cup chopped green onions 1 pound ground beef 1/4 pound Cheddar cheese, cut into cubes

Beat egg lightly in mixing bowl. Add ketchup, salt, black pepper, garlic and crackers. Mix well. Add red pepper, celery, green onions and beef. Mix well. Mix in cheese cubes.

Turn into 9-inch loaf pan. Place in another pan on oven rack and fill second pan with water halfway up side. Bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes to 1 hour or until meatloaf is cooked through. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about: 579 calories; 1,238 mg sodium; 98 mg cholesterol; 27 grams fat; 66 grams carbohydrates; 23 grams protein; 1.04 grams fiber.

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