Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cole Slaw, Sweet & Creamy

1 head green cabbage
2-4 carrots, grated
1 cup mayonnaise
2 T vinegar
2 T sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Variations: red cabbage, julienned red peppers, celery seed (1/2 teaspoon), red wine vinegar, minced or grated yellow onion (1/4 cup), crushed pineapple (1/4 cup), freshly squeeze lemon juice (1/2 tablespoon), diced apple, slivered almonds

Shred cabbage and carrots into a bowl.

Mix mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar in a separate bowl; blending well.

Pour over shredded vegetables and stir to coat. Chill.

Note: Always use equal amounts of vinegar and sugar, but you can adjust the amounts of the other ingredients.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rice Pudding with Cooked Rice

3/4 cup uncooked short grain rice (short grain rice makes creamier pudding)
2 cups whole milk, divided (if you use skim or low-fat, increase the cooking time)
1/3 cup granulated sugar, or more, to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup raisins, golden or Thompson's, soaked in cognac or rum, for a minimum of 15 minutes
1 T butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
ground cinnamon, to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice, pinch of salt and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

In another saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, 15-20 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk, and beaten egg, tempering to combine. Cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in butter, vanilla extract and raisins. Sprinkle ground cinnamon over the top. Serve warm.

Note: Never add the sugar to rice until the rice is thoroughly cooked or else the rice will remain hard.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Grilled Asparagus

1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed

Ingredients for marinade:
2 T olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T balsamic vinegar
freshly ground pepper
pinch of kosher salt


Soak bamboo skewers in water for about an hour before grilling.

Combine all of the ingredients and marinate asparagus spears for about 2 hours.

Prepare the asparagus spears for the grill by lining them up side-by-side and skewering them together along their sides (one bamboo skewer just below the tips, and a second near the bottom).

Depending on the size of the asparagus spears, grill until tender but still green (2-3 minutes for thin spears; medium to large spears can take up to 5 or 6 minutes).

Serves 4


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Roasted Herbed Vegetables

You can add any vegetables you prefer to this mix, but make sure they're uniformly cut to the same size.

2 red potatoes, chopped into wedges
2 carrots, chopped into wedges
1/4 of a red onion, chopped into wedges
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3 teaspoons flour, enough to coat vegetables
2 T olive oil, plus more to drizzle

Preparing the vegetables:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all the ingredients except olive oil and mix well. Oil the bottom of a baking pan, spread vegetables out on pan and drizzle with olive oil.

Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned.


Grilled Veal Chops

Veal is a very lean meat -- You don't want to cook it for long or it will be dry, like shoe leather.

This dish is best using thick cut (1 3/4-inch) chops and grilled over high heat quickly to get a good sear. For medium-rare, remove to a plate about 30 seconds before you think it would get there had you left it on the grill. Cover with aluminum foil (shiny side down or toward the chops) to 'finish cooking' and rest -- About 5 minutes.

2 veal chops

Ingredients for the marinade:
6 T fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons fig vinegar, or white vinegar with a fig mashed into it and strained
6 T fresh rosemary, roughly chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried), plus sprigs left intact for the grill (soaked in water for 1 hour)

Preparing the marinade:
Combine all of the ingredients and marinate the veal for at least an hour in the refrigerator, or overnight. Bring veal to room temperature before cooking.

Note: The veal chops can be cooked in a pan on a stove. Heat a pan, add 2 teaspoons olive oil, add a bit of chopped garlic, infuse in the oil for about 15 to 30 seconds (don't brown or burn). Add the veal chops, 2 minutes on each side (medium rare).

Remove the veal chops to a plate and cover with aluminum foil (shiny side down) for 5 minutes.

Serves 2



6 cups water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking polenta

Preparing the polenta:
Bring 6 cups water, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until polenta thickens, about 5 minutes.


Veal Chops with Roasted Shallots, Arugula, & Polenta

4 1 3/4-inch-thick veal rib chops (each about 12 ounces), frenched
marinade (see recipe below)

18 small shallots, peeled, halved
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 12-ounce package grape tomatoes
1/3 cup drained capers plus 1 T caper brine reserved from jar


4 cups arugula

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ingredients for marinade:
1 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1 T kosher salt
1 T freshly ground black pepper

Preparing the marinade:
Whisk 3/4 cup oil and lemon juice in small bowl to blend. Mix thyme, salt, and pepper in another small bowl. Rub thyme mixture all over veal chops; place in glass baking dish. Pour oil-lemon marinade over; let stand 15 minutes.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Preparing the shallots:
Combine shallots, vinegar, and remaining 1/4 cup oil in medium roasting pan; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until shallots are browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes to shallots and roast until tomatoes are soft and browned, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes longer. Remove pan from oven. Add capers and 1 tablespoon reserved brine and stir to blend.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Preparing the veal chops:
Heat large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Drain veal chops and transfer marinade to heavy small saucepan. Add veal to skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and roast veal to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium.

Bring reserved oil-lemon marinade to boil; boil 2 minutes. Place 1 veal chop on each of 4 plates. Divide shallot-tomato mixture among plates. Spoon polenta alongside. Drizzle with oil-lemon marinade. Garnish with arugula.

Serves 4


Monday, August 3, 2009

A Rubbed Barbecued Brisket with Coffee & Beer Mop Sauce


1 (5 to 6-pound) center-cut piece of brisket

6 slices bacon

4 to 6 cups hickory or apple or oak wood chips, soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, drained

Ingredients for rub:
1/4 cup kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons pure chili powder
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Ingredients for mop sauce:
1 cup beer
1 cup apple cider
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup coffee
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 T hot sauce, (recommended: Tabasco sauce)
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for barbecue sauce:
2 cups your favorite barbecue sauce, (recommended: KC Masterpiece or Bull's Eye)
1 to 2 cups your favorite mild or hot salsa
1/4 cup cider vinegar, or more to taste
kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preparing the rub:
Make the rub by placing the salt, brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, pepper, onion powder, and oregano in a small bowl and stir to mix.

Preparing the brisket:
If your brisket has a thick layer of fat, trim it to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Place the brisket in a roasting pan and generously sprinkle both sides with the rub, using about 3 tablespoons per side and patting it into the meat with your fingertips. The leftover rub can be stored for several months in a jar. You can cook the brisket right away, but it will taste better if you let it cure in the refrigerator covered for at least 4 to 24 hours.

Preparing the grill:
Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-low. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke then reduce the heat to medium-low. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to medium-low, then toss 1 cup of the wood chips on the coals.

When ready to cook, place the brisket in the center of the hot grate, fat side up, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Drape the bacon slices over the top of the meat, and then cover the grill. Cook the brisket until very tender, 5 to 6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches about 190 degrees F. Generously mop or baste the meat on both sides with the mop sauce. Wrap the brisket in aluminum foil, and continue cooking until done. If using a charcoal grill, every hour you'll need to add 12 fresh coals and 1/2 cup wood chips to each side.

Transfer the grilled brisket to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, using an electric knife or sharp carving knife. Transfer the sliced meat to a platter. Spoon the barbecue sauce over the meat or, better yet, serve it on the side.

Preparing the mop sauce:
Place all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and whisk to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, if necessary.

Preparing the barbecue sauce:
Combine the barbecue sauce, salsa, and vinegar in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and let cook until thick and flavorful, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. The sauce can be served hot or at room temperature and may be refrigerated, covered, for up to 48 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.


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