Not Meat Free St. Patrick’s Day Monday

The beef is corned!

The great common denominator connecting Jewish and Irish tables is celebrated today. You can start days earlier, or you can buy your brisket with a seasoning pack and make life easy and delicious.

At just under two pounds this piece of deliciousness is also built for two – the max number of family members eating it tonight.

Add your fave veg (carrots, parsnips and onions here, with a use it up handful of shredded Brussel sprouts here instead of new cabbage). We're skipping potatoes for Jewish rye :).

Instructions:

Cover meat and seasonings with water, bring to boil, then simmer covered. Add veg after about an hour. Cook 2 1/2 to 3 for larger cuts. Cool completely before slicing.

Eat – B

 

Cookies…Yeah, That Kind of Cold

There's only one respite from the polar vortex, and I mean inside or out. I've got to be in front of a warm oven. That probably explains why I baked the whole batch of rugelach (like a Jewish croissant cookie) instead if saving half for later.

We also made these cookies in the cooking class I taught this week. The food processor dough is so easy, we made two Middle Eastern salads and the fixins for an Israeli inspired sandwich.

Sub mini chips for the walnuts. You'll thank me.

Click here for the recipe from Martha Stewart Living

Eat with tea – B

 

Not Take-Out Stir Fry

Use beef or sub chicken like I did, this dish is faster to make than waiting for a delivery. Start the rice first. Also on our All American, larger portion, teen enriched table, the recipe barely served four portions. Up the quantity, lower your intake, or add a super fiber rich side…broccoli and ginger anyone?

Click here for the full recipe from Martha Stewart

Eat – B

 

Meat free and Monday Pudding

I'm not advocating for weeknight dessert after reading the latest in the NYT's from noted food and health doctor Robert Lustig regarding sugar consumption. BUT as a treat, this “Best-Ever Vanilla Pudding” from Better Homes and Gardens works just fine. Hands down it eclipses powdered pudding!

A couple of notes, the first step can take a bit, at least 15 minutes by my watch. But don't rush milk that's thickening, or adding eggs to hot liquid. You'd regret it.

Also the only true way to have completely lump free pudding would be to strain it. I didn't and it was fine, but a table topic nonetheless (ingrates :).

I may try the recipe again with 1/4 cup less of sugar. It's a little sweet and I suspect it would come together anyway.

And think about a dash of cinnamon – couldn't hurt and supposedly great for cardiovascular health. So that's something.

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

3 cups half-and-half or whole milk

4 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 Tbsp. butter

2 tsp. vanilla or vanilla paste

1/4 teaspoon salt

In medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch. Add dairy and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually add 1 cup hot liquid to egg yolks while stirring, then whisk egg mixture into pot. Bring to gentle boil and reduce heat. Cook 2 more minutes. Take off heat, adding butter, vanilla and salt.

Pour into 6 bowls, let stand 45 minutes, serve or chill.

Whip cream and/or berries optional. Or think about mini chips in that bad boy!

Eat – B

 

Leftover…Pasta and Cabbage

 

My job is done, almost. I got my husband to eat chickpeas. I got my son to say he would eat cabbage – he balked at the sight of the legumes, but heck, I'm nearly home.

Just about every ingredient is flexible or replaceable…cabbage and kale could switch places. Shallots and onion of just about any color are interchangeable. Bacon isn't essential if you're meat free. Pancetta could sideline the bacon if you're a meat lover.

I channeled my inner NY Chef Michael White for this one – who else would mince a jalapeño for this pasta special?

Ingredients:

12 ounces pasta

4 slices bacon, 5 if you're snacking

2 shallots chopped

1/2 cabbage roughly matchsticked

2-3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1 jalapeño, chopped fine

1 cup chickpeas rinsed

1/2 cup Parmesan or similar Italian cheese

Olive oil (if not using bacon)

Salt & pepper

1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)

Cook pasta according to directions, saving 1 cup pasta water. Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove and chop. Leave fat (or add olive oil if you skipped bacon), adding shallots. Soften 2-3 minutes. Add cabbage and garlic if using. Cook 5-ish minutes. Add jalapeño, 1-2 minutes. Add chickpeas, cook through, then add pasta with enough pasta water to make “sauce” and get the good stuff from the bottom of the pan. It will be at least 1/2 cup. Add bacon & butter. Season with salt, pepper & Parmesan.

 

Party Trick Cake

It must be my Bon Appetit week. I committed to this confection for a last minute get together. I was so distracted by wine and company, I made a couple of “alterations”. I skipped the fresh ginger, using half the amount of dried which I added to the dry ingredients, not the wet. I also erred on the side of too few apples. I won't be making that mistake again. They shrink as the cook, so jam them in there.

Click here for the recipe

A little brown sugar sweetened creme fraiche (French for sour cream), vanilla ice cream or whipped cream wouldn't hurt.

Eat – B

 

Better Baked Beans

With back to back weekly snowstorms you can cook or clean. The former is more fun. Plus the latest 8-10 inches gave me a chance (an excuse?) to go through my recipe file.

The root beer in the recipe caught my eye first, THEN I remembered its author, and my friend, Rick Rodgers gave it to me personally. I'm sure it was intended for a summer shindig. But frankly, a hot bean dish in summer? I don't get it. (Click here for the recipe)

This is neither vegan nor vegetarian, but the snow went to my head and I made it on meat free Monday. Primarily pantry ingredients and a quick cook time make it a winner.

I halved the ingredients and added a pinch of cayenne. I wouldn't hesitate to big batch it for a party, or the freezer, although that will break down the beans further.

Eat – B