December 11, 2009

Best Brisket Ever

O Hanukkah, the festival of meat. Tonight we celebrated in an exceptional way - all gathered around the Hanukkah tree eating brisket and latkes, fire roaring, children opening presents. It was like a Rockwellberg painting. My brisket came out exceptional and I was totally winging it. Here's what I did:

1 3-4 lb brisket
liberal amounts of salt and pepper
2 onions, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks
3 parsnips peeled and cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup of red wine
3 cups of chicken stock
1 small can of tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350. Salt and pepper both sides of the brisket big time. Meat loves salt. In a dutch oven or cast iron pot, heat a good amount of olive oil and brown the brisket starting fat side down. Brown both sides, for about 3-4 minutes per side to seal in the juicy juices. Transfer to a plate. Keep the fat going and saute the onions. When onions are cooked, deglaze the pan with the wine and cook for a minute, scraping the bottom of the pan for the yummy bits. Add chicken stock, garlic (whole cloves), thyme, tomato paste and cook for a minute or two until everything is combined. Add back in the brisket. The brisket should be almost submerged in liquid. If it's not, add more chicken stock. Plop the lid on the pot and put it in the oven for 1.5 hours at 350. Then, add the carrots and parsnips and cook for another 1.5 hours at 250. Total cooking time 3 hours. Let the brisket sit in the pot to rest for a while. When you are ready to eat, slice up and serve with lots of the gravy on top. Use potato latkes to sop up the juices. Plenty of red wine down the gullet too. Heaven. Mazel. Tov.

December 4, 2009

Salmon Nori Rolls with Nut "Rice" and Carrot Ginger Dipping Sauce

Ok, so Thanksgiving was amazingly fun. 25 relatives, 3 days of cooking, and 3567 lbs of butter later, I'm a fat ass again. So, this week I started a bit of a food cleanse. I'm following this crazy crackpot Dr. Junger's "Elmination Diet" which means I'm not eating wheat, dairy, sugar, coffee. Good times. Actually, I'm feeling fantastic but it takes a lot of planning to get something decent to eat. Here was today's yummy lunch!

1 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1 cup walnuts, soaked in pure water for 2 hours
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 packet of nori wraps
1/2 avocado, sliced thin
1 scallion sliced lengthwise
1 6 oz wild salmon fillet - pan seared
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 shallot peeled and chopped
2 T fresh grated ginger
1 T white miso
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 T sesame seed oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 T water

To make the nut "rice" for the nori rolls - put soaked nuts, onion, and garlic into a food processor and grind until the mixture is almost a nutty paste. Take your nori wraps and schmeer 1/4 of the nut "rice" on top. Layer on your seared salmon, sliced avocado, and sliced scallion. You can add anything you like really...finely chopped carrot, sprouts, whatevz. Roll up the nori wrap and cut into pieces. Using a sharp knife helps. On to the dipping sauce.....put the carrot, shallot, and ginger into the food processor and blend. Add the miso, vinegar, and sesame seed oil. Blend. Finally drizzle in the grapeseed oil and water. Take nori roll and dip into dressing. YUM.

PS: While the nut "rice" had a great consistency and was quite tasty, you can easily substitute brown rice which is easier to make and almost as healthy.