There are days where making supper is just hard. I am crap at following recipes (before this). I am a reforming bad meal planner and never seemed to have the right combination of ingredients in the house to make the meal that I really wanted. I’d have to scour cookbooks and the internet in order to find something that I was in the mood for using the ingredients I had on hand. If you don’t already realize it, this is a very bad, time consuming way to go about meal prepping and planning. It can result in creative and tasty dishes, but ends up being very frustrating. It seems much easier to just do take out than have to go through that stress every night. It also doesn’t help when you ask the family what they want to eat and either no one has an idea or everyone has different ideas. Making these decisions after a long day of making other far more important decisions is hard. It’s a lot of pressure. Making the decision to go through all of these recipes and make them all has taken a lot of pressure off. I still don’t always have the right ingredients, but meal planning is significantly easier. Supper in a bread loaf. This recipe is the poor man’s version of Beef Wellington. It is because of this recipe that I had frozen bread dough in the house for the French Apple Coffee Cake. Had my house already been clean, my children all in school, etc, I might have taken extra bread dough and made beautiful decorations for this. I might’ve egg washed it, made gorgeous cuts to make this into a work of art, but instead, I just did the most basic version of this dish. Well, sort of. The directions say “season to taste.” For those of you that know me well, you know that my brain automatically shot in infinite directions. “Oh, this could be good seasoned with taco seasoning.” “Ooooohh, what about using my Krakow Nights seasoning?” “I have some fresh herbs in the garden, but I think those might be the wrong choice.” I settled on adding a bunch of Fox Point Seasoning. I thought it would add flavor, but keep it true to the original intention of the dish. I guess it worked. The kids inhaled the meal. John took leftovers to work and was asked about it. He said it was good reheated. In order for busy people to make this dish in time for supper, there is some pre-planning that needs to happen. The night before, get the bread dough out of the freezer and put it into the fridge. It will start the thawing process. When you get up in the morning, move the bread dough into a container on the counter and cover it with plastic wrap. (Speaking of plastic wrap, John told me that due to some environmental concerns, plastic wrap no longer has the coating on it that allows it to stick to anything, it now only sticks to itself.) Leave this on your counter until it’s time to actually make supper. For this purpose, an overly lengthy rising time is not going to affect your end product enough that you will notice. It may even allow some of the bread dough flavors to develop a little more.
If you cook extra ground beef, throw it in your freezer for something else. It’s much easier to do dinner in a hurry when at least part of it is already cooked. Substitute chicken, turkey, pork, or whatever for the meat. For a vegetarian version, use mushrooms, cooked lentils, or eggplant as your filling, add some sauteed greens.
This is one of those unapologetic dishes that is basic and filling. It’s open to all sorts of interpretation. Open up your fridge, your pantry, and your spice cabinet, get creative. If you have a great version of this dish, please feel free to let me know about it.