Today I had plans for a brisket – all day in the crockpot, or smoking – plans for a slow cook. Alas, planning isn’t any good without the follow through. So here I had the brisket – small about a 1 1/2 lb brisket – targeted for dinner, but i was too late to go the slow way. Brisket cooked fast is chewy and tough, it needs time, unless you have a pressure cooker. I put that brisket under pressure, went for a walk with the dog and when we came back, it was ready to eat (the stove was attended, so no worries). The meat pulled apart easily, and the sauce ingredients had all melded together quite nicely for a good swish at the end with the pulled meat.
I’ve used the pressure cooker many times as a way to fix a meal quickly without losing the flavor or moistness. Since there is less evaporation due to the seal, you need a little less liquid but it’s still pretty juicy. The most difficult part for me is always when I have to wait for the little button to go …Diana
Serving Lamb for Easter has become a tradition in my home, and every year we knock it out of the park. One of my favorite pairings with lamb is dried fruit and wine. I ground up dates and added stonefruit vodka and rosemary to create a paste. After baking in the oven, the paste set up into a crust that was chewy and went well with the lamb rack chops. Really yummy! The photo is awful – I can’t go back and fix it – but you can probably see how the crust set up.
- 1 rack of lamb prepped for cooking
- Large handful of dates
- 1 cup stonefruit OYO vodka (or plum wine)
- 5 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 shallot diced
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 375.
In the magic bullet or another food processor – drop in the dates, garlic, shallot, and alcohol. Pulse until smooth. Add olive oil to thin out. We want a liquidy paste. Not too thick or thin. Easily spreadable, but not sliding off. Add half of the rosemary, salt and pepper, and pulse more.
Salt the outside of the lamb and sear in a hot …Diana
A rack of lamb makes an elegant display for a special meal. It’s not difficult to prepare, but you have to watch to make sure it’s not overcooked. The display of lollipop chops on top of polenta or even mashed potatoes is a great way to serve it individually as well. This is a savory presentation of a rack – and one of our favorite ways to eat it.
- 1 French Rack of Lamb Roast (about 8 or 9 chops)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbs of dried rosemary minced (or use fresh)
- 2 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Your butcher should trim the rack, so that it’s ready to cook. Sear the rack on all sides to seal the juices in. Place all of the other ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Then with a basting brush or your fingers, spread the herbs & spices all over all sides of the rack. Place in a roasting pan (ours was a glass pan). Wrap foil on the chop bones so that they don’t burn. I used one piece cover all the bones, but …Buff
This is one of my favorite meals and I get to cook it only once or twice a year – once on St. Patrick’s Day [March 17th for those not in the know] and again when either the mood strikes me or I have special guests. Well, the other day we had special guests in and not only did I make this special dinner, we actually sat at the Dining Room table!
My husband picked up a Dry Aged Beef Tenderloin from Bluescreek Farm Meats this week and I knew it was the beef we could use for a special dinner. I was looking forward to trying out the tenderloin – which I’ve never cooked before. I love an opportunity to try out something new, but it can be a little scary trying out something new when you know if you mess up. That’s it, we’re eating it anyway because we spent the money already. This one though, this was a big winner.
I researched the best cooking methods, and there was a consensus that high heat quickly was the way to go. I couldn’t use salt, because my husband is on a low sodium diet and meat carries its own sodium, so I wanted a way to keep it moist and flavorful but without added sodium. I decided to try out my dehydrated mushroom powder on the tenderloin. Last year I took mushrooms, dehydrated them, and then pulverized them to make it into a powder. I think mushrooms in gravy compliment steak. I …Diana
Flowers from my husband – he knows I enjoy the beautiful colors in the winter. It just brightens up the day. Plus a few handmade chocolates because I like them too.
Dinner Beef Tenderloin over Creamed Kale – oh my goodness it was good.
A couple of weeks ago at the farm market, there were figs. I love the way figs taste but I also love that they remind me of growing up in Queens. Our Italian neighbors across the back fence grew some pretty neat stuff, wine grapes was one, and fig trees were another. Every summer, they had figs on their trees they grew in pots on their patio and would hand over the fence a big bowl for us. We sat at the picnic table biting and chewing the figs. Then later in the fall they took big burlap rugs or cloth and wound it around each tree to try and keep it alive for another winter. They lasted a few years, but the NY winters were rough on the fig trees.
We found the last container of figs at Anderson Orchards. The farmer said he’d have more, but we didn’t have time to go back since we went on vacation. When I asked …Diana
My son came home and asked what we were having for dinner. It’s a fun game we play. One of us asks what we are having for dinner and the other responds -”I don’t know, what are you making?”. If he’s cooking, sometimes I’ll tell him what to make, and if it’s me – I’ll figure something out. Tonight, I didn’t want to slave over the stove, but I remembered something my husband said when he brought home the market bag. He said that we should cook up the green beans and corn fresh and fast while we have them and not wait because they’re always best when they’re fresh.
I have a metal strainer insert that I use when I want to steam or blanch. Then I can either keep the ingredients from getting waterlogged because it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot, or in the case of blanching, I can raise the strainer draining the water off without getting burned pouring it off. Tonight I filled the strainer with corn on the cob, green beans, potatoes, sausage (from an area farmer) …Diana
Penne is one of my favorite tubular pastas – the sauce seems to cling in and around the pasta better than some of the others while keeping the tube shape. I love to cover it in a meat sauce and layer it with ricotta. Since I was reviewing TJ Gallivan’s Pasta Sauces, I used La Matrice to make my Baked Ricotta Penne Pasta.
TJ Gallivan’s Sauces are great when you don’t have the time to make the sauce yourself. They are full of tomato flavor – that’s something my kids and I noticed right away, how the tomato stood out. The other big plus was how thick the sauce is and how well it clings to the pasta. I love a sauce that sticks.
The Tradizionale – is a sauce full of tomato, garlic, basil and oregano and is the mildest of the three sauces. My daughter liked this because she thought it was customizable. She could take the sauce plain, or …Diana
Borscht, a winter stew, has a long tradition in Russia and Ukraine. This recipe is from Cook Wild: Year-Round Cooking on an Open Fire by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi. I made this dish for dinner, and it was very delicious. It is vegetable dense, with lots of red beets turning everything a bright red, and very pretty. This stew has a lot of steps to it, so you will be close to the fire cooking for a good amount of time to prepare, but it’s worth the time you put into it. Though it serves 6 – 8, there are only 3 of us, so we had it for two meals, Yay for leftovers!
Borscht – Winter Stew Print Prep time 1 hour Cook time 2 hours 30 mins …