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Brisket of Beef

Filed under: — Brian @ 6:14 pm

5-6 pound beef brisket
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 onions, large, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 5 cups total)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine
1 pound baby carrots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a dutch oven or heavy baking pan large enough to hold the brisket, heat one tbsp of oil in oven for 10 minutes. Pat brisket dry and season with salt and pepper. Do NOT remove any fat! Roast brisket in pan, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

While brisket is roasting, in a large heavy skillet cook onions in remaining 2 tbsp. oil over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened and beginning to turn golden brown. Reduce heat and cook onions, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if necessary, until deep golden brown. This can take 20 minutes or more. Stir in garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper, and cook 1 minute. Stir in beef broth and red wine and bring to a boil.

Spoon onion mixture over brisket and bake, covered, with cover 1/2 inch ajar, for 2 hours. After 2 hours add carrots to brisket mixture, recover, and cook for an additional 1.5 hours, or until brisket is tender and cooked all the way through. Check pan about every hour and add more water if necessary. Remove brisket from oven and let cool in onion mixture for 1 hour (covered).

Remove brisket from pan, scraping onion mixture back into pan, wrap in foil, and chill over night. Spoon onion mixture into a container and chill overnight as well. You’ll find that a lot of fat rises to the top of the onion mixture container.

On the day you will serve the brisket, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Discard layer of fat from onion mixture and add enough water to the mixture to measure 3 cups total. Remove baby carrots and set aside for the moment. Blend mixture in a food processor or blender until it is smooth. Slice brisket against the grain and trim off excess fat. In a large pan, heat gravy in oven until hot, add brisket and baby carrots, and heat in oven for 30 minutes or so.

This is Melissa’s mom’s recipe, and serves 8-10 people. You’ll have to set aside about 5 hours to make this on the day that you actually cook the brisket, and maybe 45 minutes to an hour the day you serve it. Note that the brisket should be made at least one day ahead so the flavors can mix!


Filed under: — Brian @ 6:00 pm

This is Melissa’s Kugel recipe. Very easy, and delicious!

8 oz. egg noodles, medium width
8 oz. cottage cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup raisins
small amount of milk
butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8×8 inch baking pan or casserole dish. Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Pour into prepared pan. Dot with butter. Bake in oven for 45-60 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes and then serve!


Skirt steak with Moroccan Spice Rub and Yogurt Sauce

Filed under: — Brian @ 5:11 pm

This is a recipe I found in a cooking magazine. Melissa and I really like it. It’s kind of spicy and really easy to make (takes about 1/2 hour to prep, maybe 10 minutes to cook on the grill).

Spice rub:

1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1.5 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Skirt steak:
1.25 lbs skirt steak, cut into 6″ strips
3 tbsp plus 1.5 tsp moroccan spice rub (from above)
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 tbsp jalapeno
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

To make spice rub, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Rub steaks w/3 tbsp spice rub and let stand 5 minutes.

In medium bowl, combine yogurt, scallions, garlic, jalapenos and remaining spice rub. Stir in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Brush steaks lightly with olive oil and grill over high heat until desired doneness.

Serve over pita bread and lettuce.


Pink vodka sauce

Filed under: — Brian @ 2:23 pm

This is one of my favorite pasta sauce recipes.


Vodka (around a cup)
cloves of garlic (1-2 clumps, about 1.5 handfuls), thinly sliced or finely diced
1-1.5 cups half-and-half
1.5 cans of chicken broth (~16 ounce size)
2 cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese (or more)
rous (oil+flour)
small can of tomato sauce


In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt some butter in a roughly equal amount of olive oil. Put in garlic for 1 1/2 minutes or so (whisking the entire time), until the garlic has been lightly sauteed. Toss in 2-3 shots of vodka. Keep stirring until the vodka boils off. As soon as the mixture starts smelling sweet, take it off the heat and put in a sauce pan. Put salt, pepper, oregano and basil in the mix (coating the pan with oregano and basil). Put the sauce pan on medium-high heat and add the cans of chicken broth. As the mixture heats up, gradually add 1-1.5 cups of half-and-half. Heat the mixture to a slight boil and add one more shot of vodka. When it’s boiling again, toss in the parmesan cheese. Add the rous and stir until it thickens. Then, add a small can of tomato sauce and add another shot of vodka if necessary. Serve over angel hair pasta.

Make sure to get good parmesan cheese, not the stuff in a plastic jar. I find that the sauce is actually awesome if you make it the day before and reheat it, as the flavors will have time to mix.

How to make a rous:
In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, mix a few tablespoons of flour with olive oil (think elmer’s glue consistency). Stir rapidly until the mixture turns brown and starts to smell sweet, but not to the point where it’s burned. This is a thickening agent, so after you mix it in it might take a few minutes.

Easy and Awesome Hummus

Filed under: — Brian @ 1:59 pm

This is a super-easy hummus recipe. Some suggestions are at the end.


31 oz. (2 cans) chick peas (also called garbanzo beans)
1/4 can chick pea juice
6 tablespoons tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 large cloves of garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions: Dump all of the ingredients in the food processor. Puree until desired consistency. Serve with a garnish of olive, paprika, and/or chopped parsley, and dip with pita bread and chopped veggies.

Notes: I generally put in only about half of the chick pea juice at first, and then add liquid to get to the desired consistency. Tahini is pureed sesame seeds, and can be found in the “ethnic foods” aisle at your local supermarket. For whatever reason the store by me keeps tahini with the kosher foods.

Alternate recipes: Roast an entire head of garlic (or two), and then substitute the roasted garlic for the 3 cloves of raw garlic. I also made it with roasted red peppers once – use less garlic, and put in roasted red peppers. You can roast them yourselves or get them in the veggie aisle.


Ribeye steak w/Roasted red peppers and balsamic vinegar

Filed under: — Brian @ 8:34 pm

This recipe is courtesy of Melissa’s mom.


1/2 cup olive oil
2.5 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
3 tsp garlic, minced (about 6 cloves)
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp black pepper, ground or well-crushed
4 3/4 inch thick steaks
1 jar roasted red peppers (7 ounce), drained, cut into strips (or do it yourself)

Whisk oil, 1 tbsp vinegar, 2 tsp garlic, rosemary, and black pepper in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add steaks; turn to coat.

Heat heavy large skillet over high heat. Remove steaks from marinade and sprinkle with salt. Place steaks in skillit and saute to desired doneness (about 4 mins/side for medium rare). Transfer steaks to plates. Add red peppers, 1.5 tbsp vinegar and 1 tsp garlic to skillet. Stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Spoon peppers and pan juices over steaks. Makes 4 servings.


Roast Pork Loin with mushroom and dried cherry relish

Filed under: — Brian @ 12:23 am

1 boneless, rolled pork loin roast, about 3 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground pepper (to taste)
3/4 cup apple cider
3 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms or 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
2 leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) dried cherries or raisins (note: Melissa and I think you should use twice as much, so at least 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the roast in a shallow baking dish. Rub with 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of thyme leaves, 2 tsp of salt and ground pepper to taste. Pour apple cider over the roast. Cook, basting occasionally, until a meat thermometer registers 150 degrees for medium (about one hour). Remove from oven and let the roast sit for 15 minutes before cutting.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and leeks. Cook until golden and tender (3-4 minutes). Stir in vinegar and cherries; increase heat to medium high. Cook, stirring constantly, until vinegar evaporates, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the vegetables and stir to melt sugar and coat veggies. Stir in remaining 2 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp of salt, and ground pepper to taste. Slice roast; serve with relish.

Prep time: about 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Standing time: 15 minutes

To save some cash you can use button mushrooms in place of shiitake, and raisins in place of dried cherries. Personally I think that it would be good to double the amount of cherries in the recipe – we thought there weren’t enough.


Carrot Cake Soup

Filed under: — Brian @ 10:33 pm


Carrot Cake (refrigerated)
Milk (2% or whole)


Cut carrot cake into approx. 1″ cubes. Put a double handful of cubes into a bowl (one bowl per person for the sake of hygiene). Fill bowl with milk. Eat with soup or serving spoon. Enjoy!

This recipe inspired by a Penny Arcade Comic. Thanks Tycho and Gabe!

Carrot Soup

Filed under: — Brian @ 10:27 pm

Carrot Soup


2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsb. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground mace
10 carrots, medium sized, peeled and sliced
8 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp. grated orange peel (jar spice is ok)
2 cups orange juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted (about 15 minutes). Springle with ginger and mace; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

Add the carrots, broth, and orange peel. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered for about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

Puree soup in pot with hand blender, or in container of food processor. Return to pot; stir in orange juice, salt, and pepper. Heat over low heat until hot. Serve.

This should make 8 servings. Recipe courtesy of Linda Wurtzel (Brian’s mother-in-law).


Crock Pot Turkey Breast

Filed under: — Brian @ 1:05 pm

This Recipe is courtesy of my mom. I’ve made it several times – it’s terribly convenient for lunches and stuff. Also, since frozen turkey breasts are $0.99/lb, it’s not a bad deal at all!


Crock Pot Italian Beef

Filed under: — Brian @ 12:49 pm

This one is from Melissa Hays – Italian Beef, crockpot style. Preparation time: 2 minutes (+ 9 hours or so in the crock pot)

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