It has been a weekend full of cookery.

And basketball. And my Razorbacks, God bless ’em, made a valiant effort against North Carolina, but a couple of bad calls late turned it. Now, as long as Kentucky loses, I don’t care who wins.

Calls for a glass of wine.

I’ll save last night’s dinner, which was a fine, fine thing, for a separate post, but I’ll give you a couple of examples of the best of St. Patrick’s Day and the day after.

There was this:

Classic corned beef dinner. Except it was bottom round roast, and not brisket.

And then there was this:

Even better: corned beef hash the next morning.

Dear Sweet Baby Jesus, help me now. These were GOOD. REAL Good.

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Pastrami section, with rub, ready to go in. Corned beef in background.

Pastrami section, with rub, ready to go in. Corned beef in background.

Thursday, March 10:

We’re trying it one more time — corning our own beef. We would be self and me, who have managed to collectively screw up corned beef for the past few  years. This year, we are adhering slavishly to the brine recipe of Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, masters of charcuterie, and sous vide cooking directions from the eGullet food forum.

Today we went into the brine. In a big roasting pan, in the extra fridge out back. A 7.2 pound piece of brisket, which is a Big Damn Brisket, from my quarter-steer (which gives you an indication of how freakin’ big the steer was for him to have three more chunks this size).  It will get cut in half, as it is Way Too Much corned beef for one household, and served for St. Patrick’s Day next week, with some leftovers for sandwiches, and for corned beef hash, and more leftovers to be frozen. The other half will get coated with a pastrami rub and frozen, ready to be smoked at some future date.

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A belated Pi day

March 16, 2016

A salute to math geekery

A salute to math geekery

Every March 14, I feel like I have to bake a pie. Or, more particularly, a Pi.

And I’m not, as anyone with any familiarity with me can testify, any kind of a math whiz. It’s just my nod to geekdom, I guess.

Anyway, I didn’t want to bake a sweet pie, or Pi, as I had the remains of Sunday’s dessert in the fridge, and I’m not supposed to be eating sweets anyway. So I opted for a savory version.

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I hate it when this happens.

When everyone in the world raves about a recipe. And it’s a pretty simple recipe. And you make it, and it’s just OK, but you want it to be all that and a bag of chips because everyone else raves about it, so why don’t you love it as much as everyone else does?

To assuage my disappointment, I’m giving away stuff, in my first ever blog giveaway. To-wit, I’m giving away this:

Cute, colorful, sharp little things, they are!

Details later.

Anyway. Disappointment. I made mujaddara with spiced yogurt tonight. Now, bear in mind this won a contest on Food 52, and more than 100 comments from folks who made it and loved it, and it’s simple, simple stuff. And it didn’t wow me like it wowed everyone else. I mean, we are not talking Sweet Baby Jesus territory here; we ain’t even getting to angel or saint level.

You cook lentils. You slice and lightly caramelize onions. You cook jasmine rice, and you mix all those together (to let the f lavors marry, the recipe says). I did that. Then you spice your yogurt, a half-cup of same with a half-teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, Aleppo pepper and cinnamon, some mint, some lemon juice, and a little salt.

I did not have the requested fresh mint, of which it said use 3 tablespoons, so I used about one tablespoon of dry. And I did not have a fresh lemon, so I used what I approximated to be as much juice as there would be in a lemon. Apparently their lemons are less juicy than I thought they should be; the stuff was too lemony. And it would have benefitted from the onions being caramelized more.

I’ll try it again with less lemon before I write it off, but right now, it’s firmly in the “Meh” category.

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Corned beef.



They’re pretty. I’ll give ’em that. And the corned beef has a good flavor, albeit damn salty. I have not tried the pastrami, which just came off the grill, because, well, it had been there almost four hours, and coulda-shoulda-probably stayed longer, but it was about to be dark-thirty.
I’m just not real sure they’re worth the effort. Particularly not when your Sunday has consisted of breakfast, laundry, gym, pool, a six-pack of beer, and THEN, and only then, cooking.
Sigh. What I do for this effing blog. Well, that and the fact that I wanted that piece of my fridge back.

Saturday stuff

July 17, 2010

As usual, a rather disjointed Saturday. It started with a trip to the Farmers’ Market, concluded with burgers, and there was corned beef in between.

This will be corned beef when it grows up. Pastrami, too.

I have Taken The Plunge and started a six-pound beef brisket to brining. This was the self-same brisket that was procured last weekend and has been reposing in my fridge ever since, because I got called out of town unexpectedly last weekend and didn’t get it done.

Good thing I didn’t try, as today’s adventure involved a 20-mile or so round trip and stops at half-a-dozen unlikely places in search of saltpeter. Apparently, the level of sexual vitality these days is low enough that no one needs saltpeter any more.

I wouldn’t know. It’s been a long damn time. (Nunya bidness HOW long, thank you very much. Some things a gal doesn’t tell.)

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