Sample the Stroll

Can't wait for the New London Main Street Spring Food Stroll on Wednesday, May 16? Have you already mapped out your path of delicious destruction for stroll night? Well, that means all you have left to do is wait for the annual local food celebration - or you can try and whip up these meatloaf cupcakes (above) in anticipation of the tastings at Gaspar's New American Cuisine, one of several local eateries taking part in the event, which runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Other participating restaurants include 2 Wives Brick Oven Pizza, Bangkok City Thai Restaurant/Little Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, Bulkeley House Saloon, Captain's Pizza, Chaplin's, Copperwood Grill, Daniel's Dairy Downtown, Dev's on Bank, East Coast Catering's Atrium Cafe, Little Sister's Bake Shop, Lyric Cafe, Sweeties Bakery & Cafe, Hanafin's Public House, High 5's, Hot Rod Cafe, Jasmine Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar, Mambo Bar & Restaurant, Muddy Waters, New London Fire Department, Subway on Bank St., The Commoner, The Pub, and Tony D's Restaurant

Several other downtown businesses will host specials and live entertainment - including The Rivergods at the Hygienic and dancers from Conn College at Parade Plaza.

Get your fill of local fare for $25 in advance or $30 on the day of the stroll; discounts available for students and military personnel.

For full event details, visit http://newlondonmainstreet.org or call (860) 444-2489.

-Marisa Nadolny

Meatloaf Cupcake with Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes and Chive

Recipe courtesy of Master Chef Gaspar Stantic of Gaspar's New American Cuisine.

For the cupcakes:

2 cups day-old, crustless white bread cut into

1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup chicken broth

4 slices bacon, minced

1 ½ cups scallion, thinly sliced

1 cup celery stalks, diced

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced

8 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound ground veal

3 large eggs, beaten to blend

2 teaspoons ground star anise

1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

3 teaspoons kosher salt

Ground black pepper

For the goat cheese topping:

Mashed potatoes (recipe of your choosing)

Goat cheese to taste

Finely chopped chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl soak bread in chicken broth.

Cook bacon in a skillet at medium heat until crisp. Add scallion, celery, ginger and garlic, stirring often. Pour into bowl with soaked bread.

Add the beef, pork, veal and all remaining ingredients. Work all ingredients together until very well incorporated. Pack mixture into cupcake pans.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Make your own mashed potatoes. Add goat cheese to taste. Mix until smooth.

Using a pastry bag with star tip, pipe mashed potato mixture onto meatloaf cupcakes. Sprinkle with chives and serve warm, as appetizer, or with salad of carrot, cucumber and radishes.

Makes approximately 12 to 18 cupcakes depending on size of cupcake pans.

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