Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 19th, 2010

Green Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Corn on the Cob
Beef Brisket

First, a few words about brisket...
There are thousands of recipes on the internet for making brisket. They all basically consist of the same thing:
1. beef brisket (cooked for a very long time)
2. chili sauce/ketchup
3. onion soup mix
4. braising liquid
Some variation have everything homemade and some use all packaged ingredients. Some use beer or water as the braising liquid (I am liking the beer idea!) I combined several different recipes and some old jewish tips. Of course I didn't really measure, but it should be really close to what I list. This makes A LOT!!! It will feed at least 8-10 people.

Beef Brisket

8 - 10 pound beef brisket
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
2 cups beef stock
1 cup ketchup
1 cup chili sauce (I used Heinz)
2 cups brown sugar

In a heavy skillet heat olive oil and cook onions until caramelized. Add garlic and spices and cook until garlic begins to soften. In a large bowl stir together stock, ketchup, chili sauce, and brown sugar. Place brisket fat side up in a large slow cooker (you could do this in the oven in a roasting pan too, just cook it at a low temperature like 325˚.) Cover with onion mixture and pour sauce over top. Cook on low for at least ten hours. (It is very handy to do overnight!) At this point you should remove the fat from the brisket. It will peel off very easily. Place the meat back in the sauce and "rest" by chilling for at least several hours (this is the old jewish tip.) About an hour before serving skim the fat from the sauce and strain. Slice the meat in about 1" slices. Careful place in a large baking dish (I used my roasting pan) with sauce and bake at 300˚ until the sauce is bubbly and the beef is warm.

The leftovers make really good sandwiches!

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12th, 1010

Mixed Greens Salad with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart

1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), cored, cut into 1-inch florets
1 tablespoons olive oil

1 pie crust

1 large onion thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 cup white wine

1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
2 large eggs
1 (7- to 8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is deep golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine and cook until evaporated. Set aside to cool slightly.
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 425°F. Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl. Spread on large rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes; turn florets over. Continue roasting until tender, about 15 minutes longer. set aside to cool cauliflower slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Press pie crust onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Line pie crust with foil; fill with pie weights. Bake crust 20 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights; bake until crust is golden, about 5 minutes, pressing crust with back of fork if bubbles form. Set aside to cool crust slightly (about 5 - 10 minutes.) Maintain oven temperature.
Brush bottom and sides of crust with mustard. Spread onion in crust. Arrange cauliflower evenly over. Set tart on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk eggs and next 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Stir in Gruyère. Pour mixture over filling in tart pan; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until tart is golden and center is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool 15 minutes before serving.

This recipe is from Bon Appétit March 2007. I did make a few slight changes, making it a little easier. They have you cooling each ingredient in the process and slicing the cauliflower and I don't think it is really necessary. Plus, I added the white wine. They also use truffle oil. I also found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen's blog and she substituted truffle salt for the truffle oil. I like that idea. You can go to or to compare recipes.

Ellie said this was one of the best tarts I have ever made. Matt loved it. Sally and Missy stopped by tonight and each tried a little slice and said it was awesome. So there you have it.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11th, 2010

Pineapple Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
Spicy Noodles with Snow Peas
Grilled Chicken and Pineapple
Chocolate Chip Cookies

This salad is so beautiful and delicious. I did not measure my ingredients, but I'll do my best to guesstimate. This really complimented the marinade for the chicken.

Pineapple Salad with Lime Vineaigrette
Spring Salad Mix
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
6 green onions, sliced
juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/8 cup sugar*
generous pinch kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

In the bottom of your salad bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk in green onion. If making ahead you can refrigerate this. Toss lettuce, peppers and pineapple in dressing right before serving. Add any pineapple juice that has accumulated.

*If your pineapple is very ripe and sweet you will need less sugar. Mine was a little tart.

The marinade for the chicken was the juice of 3 limes, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 smashed garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 5 sprigs fresh cilantro and all the pineapple scraps.

The sauce I made for the noodle dish was 2 tablespoons of butter melted in the pot with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 minced clove garlic and 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes. Just toss with angel hair pasta and steamed snow peas.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6th, 2010

Cheesy Ham Tetrazzini

If you are wondering what to do with leftover Easter dinner here is a twist on my Chicken Tetrazzini (which is one of Matt's favorites.) This will make a huge dish and serve at least 8, or you can make 2 - 2 Quart dishes and freeze one. If you are freezing just let it cool and tightly cover with foil.

4 cups diced ham (or chicken)
1/2 cup flour
6 tablespoons butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup chicken stock
3 cups milk
1/2 cup white wine
1 pound linguine
1 - 10 ounce box frozen peas
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated Asiago cheese*

Preheat oven to 400°. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than instructions on package for al dente.
In a large saucepan on high heat melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add mushrooms and cook until brown and just tender. Remove from pan and set aside in a big bowl (big enough to toss pasta.) Add chopped onion to pan and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Add to mushrooms. In the same saucepan melt remaining butter and whisk in flour. Cook about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in chicken stock, milk, wine and thyme (I just put the whole sprigs in and let the leaves fall off then remove stalks later.) Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and fresh ground pepper. In the large bowl toss pasta with mushroom/onion mixture, ham, peas, 1 cup Parmesan, Asiago and sauce. Pour into baking dish(es) and top with remaining Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

If you are baking after freezing thaw in fridge overnight and then bake covered at 400° for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes until browned.

*I normally use Jarlsberg cheese in this recipe, but I had Asiago left from another recipe. You can really use any cheese that you like. You will have to adjust your salt according to how salty the cheese is.

I also make this with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. If you would like to make it vegetarian use veggie stock and sub out meat with some oven roasted veggies of your choice. Any squash would hold up well. Perhaps zuchini and tomatoes. Soooo good!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Dinner 2010

Roasted Lemon Broccoli
Southern Style Macaroni and Cheese
Orange, Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Ham
Mini Éclairs with Strawberries and Cream

I normally make the Martha Macaroni and Cheese 101 recipe. It is VERY good, but very expensive to make. I thought I'd change it up and make Southern Style Macaroni and Cheese. This is how my friends from Georgia taught me to make it, with a little twist from me. I think it is much easier, it is cheaper, and Matt said he likes it better. It is more like a casserole and is great for when you have to bring a dish 'cause it's still great at room temperature y'all. The recipe I am giving you has been halved and will still serve 6. If you want to make a big baking dish full, just double the ingredients and bake about ten minutes longer.

1 egg
1 - 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces grated jack cheese
1/2 box Barilla Elbows macaroni*
3 Tablespoons butter (plus more for baking dish)
2 slices white bread, torn into course crumbs
1/8 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 Tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375°.
Butter an oven safe baking dish (I use a 8"x8"x3" glass baking dish.)
Beat egg, evaporated milk, milk, and seasoning together. Set aside.
Mix grated cheese together and set aside.
Boil large pot of water and cook pasta with a pinch of salt for 7 minutes. Drain and place pasta back in pot and toss with 3 Tbls butter.
Layer 1/3 of cooked pasta, then 1/3 cheese and continue with layers until done.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Mix bread-crumbs with remaining tablespoon of butter and 1/8 teaspoon seasoning salt and top macaroni. Bake ten minutes more or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let set for 10-15 minutes.

*You don't have to use Barilla "Elbows," but as far as dried pasta goes, Barilla is the best. It holds up well texturally in this dish. Also the cooking directions given are specifically for Barilla Elbows, so you should just cook your macaroni until al dente.