January 29, 2011 by staff 

Meatloaf, Meatloaf? Got it. Pasta? Got it. Pancakes? Got it. Dinner as the most popular in the state? The Four Seasons Dinner got.
In a “Jersey Diner’s Choice Awards” competition sponsored by the Palisades auto insurance company, Four Seasons Dinner on Fischer Boulevard beat out about 100 other guests to be named the most popular dinner in New Jersey.

Of thousands of voters, the Four Seasons has been voted the best cakes and pies, the best fries, salads and the best.

To celebrate this success, the Palisades organized a dinner and afternoon during last Friday with Chief Duff Goldman of Food Network show “Ace of Cakes,” and voters were randomly selected to participate in a contest cake decorating.

“It’s a great compliment,” said Joe Palmisano, 37, of Toms River, who co-owns the dining room with Bob Russo for two years. “It’s difficult (to have dinner in the economy), but if you give quality food at a good price with good portions, people come back. ”

Palmisano, a graduate of the Culinary Institute Jersey City and owned a grocery store in Bayonne for nine years, said he saw the corner where the dinner is now and “fell in love with her.”

On Monday, he launched a new menu with several items such as salads, specialty burgers, veal and French. He said some current favorite items that are “eating dinner with typical flair,” are the cream stuffed French toast with strawberries and coconut chicken salad.

For the contest, a dinner was defined as a small restaurant usually inexpensive with a long counter and booths, a local non-chain diner that has the name, and was to be located in the state.

Eating a breakfast buffet before the cake decorating contest, Katie and Kim Krill Curmi Butler, and Lannie and Hana Ohayon Union have been discussing strategies for decoration.

“We worked at first,” said Hana Ohayon. “(Chef Duff Goldman) is a character, he is so animated.”

2 tablespoons tsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
½ c. teaspoon dried thyme
1-teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ c. teaspoon Tabasco sauce or other hot pepper sauce
½ cup whole milk or plain yogurt
2 pounds meatloaf mix (50 percent ground Chuck, 25 percent ground pork, ground veal and 25 per cent)
2 / 3 cup crushed crackers (about 16) or 1 1 / 3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 / 3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
Tangy homemade tomato sauce (see recipe)
6-8 slices bacon, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool while preparing remaining ingredients.

In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, thyme, salt, black pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and milk or yogurt. Add egg mixture to meat in large bowl with crackers, parsley and cooked onion and garlic, mix with very clean hands or a fork until the dough is mixed and the mixture meat does not stick to bowl. (If mixture sticks of meat, add milk or yogurt, a few tablespoons at a time, until it no longer sticks.) Do not overwork the mixture or the bread will be too tight.

Pour meat mixture on a work surface. With wet hands, pat the mixture into a loaf shape about 9 x 5 inches (do not compact). Place on foil lined (for easy cleanup) rimmed baking sheet. Brush with 4-5 tablespoons of homemade tomato sauce. Arrange bacon slices on the bread, tucking the ends under the loaf with a spatula.

Bake the bread until the bacon is crisp and the internal temperature of bread reaches 160 F when tested with an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour. Cool for 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with extra tomato sauce passed separately.

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