Posts filed under ‘cooking’

Me and Rachael Ray

rachael-rayI have 67 cookbooks.  67! Julia Child, James Beard, Jim Fobel, Patricia Wells, Barbara Kafka, The Silver Palate gals…to name a few.  And those are only the ones in active rotation.  There are other “collectible” cookbooks around the house too – my 1950’s Happy Housewife book, for instance. .   I also have countless back issues of Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and my new favorite, Fine Cooking. Not to mention the literally THOUSANDS of recipes I’ve cut out from newspapers and magazines over the years.  Those fill another four notebooks and a little index card file.  There are the recipes I keep in my online Epicurious folder,  the ones I’ve saved to my hard drive, and all those recipes that are just stuck in my head.  No paper necessary.

I’ve made my own pastry for Beef Wellington (an oldie, but a goodie).  I made most of my kids’ baby food from scratch.  I’ve cooked squid and duck and venison.  I’ve flambeed cognac, and made my own fish stock.  I even have a kick-ass (secret) recipe for Pear and Leek soup. Sounds weird, but man, is it good.

Why, then, do I find myself turning, more and more, to Rachael Ray?  (more…)


January 30, 2009 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

Best Brisket EVER

Like the most beautiful baby in the world, the greatest Brisket Recipe is something everyone thinks they have.  Only I really do.  Really.

This is Brisket that’ll have you speaking Yiddish even if you were raised my nuns.  This is Brisket that would give a vegetarian pause, would get Sarah Palin to give up Moose. This is Brisket that makes up for the fact that the entire world is celebrating Christmas with twinkly lights, and cute little elves, and a fat guy in a red suit (hey, maybe he ate too much Brisket!) and endless Christmas songs looping so long it makes you loopy – while all you get to do is light your lone menorah and spin a piece of plastic. (Really, when did you last see a dreidel made of clay?)

This is BRISKET with all capitals, not just the capital B.  No packets of onion soup here – this is the real deal, just like Grandma Ruchel used to make.

Whether you call it Brisket, Pot Roast, Flanken or Ashkenazy Beef Stew – this is the quintessential Hannukah food, and the kind of winter weather warm-up meal even a gentile could love!

Happy Hannukah.

Granna’s Brisket

Prep time: 45 Minutes

Cook Time 3-5 hours. Plus it’ll be better if you let it sit overnight.

Servings: 6

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (or 1 1/2 table salt)

1 teaspoon paprika

Ground pepper to taste

1 beef brisket (3-4 pounds), trimmed with some fat left on

1 pound onions, sliced

4 carrots, slice on the diagonal

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 bottle (about 8 oz) Heinz Chilli sauce

1 bottle dark beer

With the back of a wooden spoon, mash the garlic, salt, paprika, and a generous pinch of pepper into a paste.  Rub it all over the meat, and let the meat sit for at least one hour, or overnight.

Pre-heat the broiler.  Place meat in a roasting pan and brown under broiler until nicely charred, but not cooked.  Remove pan iwth meat and change over temp. to 350 F.

Remove meat from pan and set aside.  Place half of the sliced onions and half of the carrots in the botton of the same roasting pan (do not clean pan). Return the meat to the pan and cover with the remaining carrots and onions.  Pour the tomatoes and chilli sauce over the meat.  Cover with foil and place int he oven for 2 to 3 hours.

Remove meat from pan, let sit for a few minutes (so that it is easier to handle) and slice into 1/2-inch think slices, making sure to cut against the grain.  This is important: the meat will be tough if you cut it the wrong way.

Return meat to the pan and stir to coat it with the sauce.  Add beer to pan and return to the over for another hour or unitl the meat is fork tender. (Or, move on to the next step, freeze, then thaw and finish cooking the meat just before serving.)

There will be A LOT of fat.  Skim it off as best you can, or better yet, once the meat has cooled, put it, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.  Before reheating, remove the fat, now congealed on top and easy to seperate.  Then reheat to serve, adjusting seasonings as necessary.

If you make this and like it — let me know!  If you make it and don’t like it…well, keep it to yourself!!!!!

December 21, 2008 at 4:09 pm 2 comments

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