Leftover Brisket Hash

Sometimes the thought of what you’re going to do with leftovers can stop even the most creative cook in their tracks. Other times, like with brisket, the subsequent meals just fall into place.

brisket

Leftover Brisket Hash

8-10 fingerling potatoes
1 cup cooked beef brisket, roughly chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, diced
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Keep them there for about 10 minutes. Remove them to a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp and golden brown. For the last few minutes of roasting time, place the leftover brisket on the pan to warm up.

In a skillet, sauté the onion with a drizzle of olive oil or bacon fat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the bell peppers and soften slightly. Remove from the pan.

Fry the eggs in the skillet with a little bit of bacon fat or butter. You want the eggs to be a little runny.

To plate, mix together the onions, bell pepper, potatoes and brisket. Set the fried eggs on top of the hash.

Now, to wait for lunch where I’m going to make Brisket Grilled Cheese – surely I have some Gruyere tucked in the back of the fridge…

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BBQ Beef Brisket with Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce

The saying you don’t need teeth to eat good barbecued meat can be best said about perfectly cooked beef brisket. While I usually stick with bbq’ing pork, the Memorial Day sale at the grocery store was too tempting to pass up.

I don’t really have a recipe for beef brisket and I follow more of a set of guidelines. If you want even more details, check out this guide to Award_Winning_Competition_Brisket. Trust me, though, unless you’re at a KCBS event, you don’t need such big hunks of meat. A 4-6 pound flat works quite well for the home cook.

Start by looking for a piece of meat that is a uniform thickness and has at least ¼ inch of fat on the top. Do not use a piece of meat that is graded less than choice. If the label doesn’t say, it is probably standard and you don’t want that as it might turn into shoe leather instead of melt in your mouth slices of heaven.

Rinse off the meat and pat dry with paper towels. Add together 3 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub mixed with 1 tablespoon of packed brown sugar and mix with your fingers. The addition of sugar will help form the bark on the finished brisket. Cover the meat on all sides with the rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator over night.

When ready to grill, remove the brisket from the fridge and plastic and build your fire. Put a layer of unlit coals along one side of the grill. Light a chimney starter full of coals and pour over the unlit when the briquettes are white and ashy. Place an aluminum pan in the other side of the grill and fill with water. Add a couple of hickory chips to the coals and put the top grill in place. Open the top and bottom vents halfway.

Grill the brisket, fat side up for 2 hours without opening the lid. Add more coals if necessary to keep the grill around 250 degrees F. When the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F, wrap the meat in two pieces of aluminum foil and crimp well to make a tight seal. There is typically a stall where the temperature doesn’t rise for a while – wrapping the meat in foil keeps it moist and tender. This point is where I move it inside and finish cooking in a 225 degree F oven.

Remove from the heat when the temperature hits 190 degrees F. Let rest 30 minutes in the foil packet. The entire cooking process can take anywhere from 5 to 12 hours, depending on weight, thickness and how even you were able to keep the cooking temperature.

Frankly, it always seems to take longer than expected to cook one of these things. Therefore, I recommend you get an early start. Better the meat should wait than your guests, am I right? If the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees before you’re ready to start the party, line a cooler with towels and set the brisket inside for up to 3 hours.

Your finished brisket should be tender enough to cut with the side of a fork and quite juicy. I like mine with white bread.

brisket 2

The is the one time I make sure I have a good BBQ sauce on hand – you can salvage any mistakes with a good sauce and it goes really well on sliced brisket sandwiches the next day. The recipe below is a complex and deeply flavored sauce that is good on more than beef.

Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce

1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 cup Coca-Cola
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon hot sauce – I used Sriracha for added depth

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium to low heat.

Allow to boil for about 10 minutes until reduced and thickened. 

Remove from heat. For added flavor, stir in about 1/4 cup of the defatted pan juices from your brisket. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator for several months or use immediately.

bbq coca cola sauce

Pork and Potatoes des Allemands

I was craving schnitzel, so I invited a couple of people over to enjoy a German fest. Served with the schnitzel was hot potato salad that was tangy and delicious.

schnitzel

4 boneless pork loin chops
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper
3 eggs
A drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup cracker meal
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Pound pork loin chops out to 1/4-inch thick. Set up 3 pie tins and a baking sheet. Place flour in 1 tin and season with salt and pepper. In the second tin, beat eggs with a drizzle of oil and season with salt. In the third tin, combine bread crumbs with the cracker meal.

Coat the chops in flour. Dredge the chops on both sides through the eggs. Gently press into bread crumbs and cracker meal and place coated chops on a baking sheet with a wire rack. Rest uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Heat a large skillet over moderately high heat. Add oil and butter to the skillet.

When butter foams, add 2 chops and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown all over. Remove to a warm plate. Repeat with remaining chops. Serve with lemon wedges.

Hot German Potato Salad

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, sliced thin (about ¼ cup)
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon parsley
Dash salt & pepper
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons crumbled, cooked bacon
2 cups cooked, peeled, sliced potatoes

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions to oil and cook until tender. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Stir in sugar, parsley, salt and pepper. Gradually add water and vinegar. Cook and stir over medium low heat until thick and bubbly. Stir in potatoes and heat through. Sprinkle with bacon.

Carne Enchilada Casserole

I like enchiladas but I really don’t like making them. Instead of going through the process of making the filling and rolling, I decided to look for a casserole version. There are quite a few recipes out there that I browsed before I decided to make up one. For the meat, I used some of the BBQ pork shoulder I had grilled and frozen but you can use cooked, shredded chicken just as easily.

As it makes sort of an enchilada lasagna, I invited several guinea pigs, I mean friends over to taste test it for me. Thanks so much Conan, Julie and Kenny!

enchiladas casserole

Carne Enchilada Casserole

1 pound pulled pork (about two cups meat)
1 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes and peppers
 (your choice of heat level)
1 8 ounce container sour cream
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 6 inches corn tortillas
1 10 ounce can enchilada sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups Monterey jack cheese, grated

In a large mixing bowl, stir pinto beans and Rotel into pulled pork.

In a smaller mixing bowl, stir together sour cream, flour, garlic powder and cumin until combined.

Pour the can of enchilada sauce in a glass measuring cup. Place ¼ cup of the sauce in bottom of a 13×9 inch rectangular baking dish. Cover with tortillas. Top with half of the meat mixture, half of the sour cream mixture and half of the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle on one cup each of cheeses. Repeat, starting with another layer of tortillas.

Cover dish with plastic wrap; chill in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove plastic wrap; cover dish with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and raise the temp to broil. Cook 5 minutes more until the cheese is golden brown. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Apple Pie Spice Pork Chops

Apples go really well with pork. But what happens when you have pork chops and no apples? As I vowed that today would be No Pants Sunday (as I missed the official day on the first Friday in May – this year was May 6th, by the way), I wasn’t going to go to the store.

I needed a way to fool my brain and what better way than to hint apples with apple pie spice? I got the idea from Nigella Lawson and her Pork and Apple Hot Pot, which is just as delicious as it sounds.

I served the pork chops with mashed potatoes and gravy. The apple pie spice taste was faint but just enough to satisfy the part of me that needed applesauce with my dinner.

pork chops

Apple Pie Spice Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

3 medium sized russet potatoes
2 pork chops (I went for thick, center cut)
1/3 cup flour plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Scrub the potatoes and set in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until they are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the  1/3 cup flour and apple pie spice in a pie plate or other flat dish. Dredge the pork chops on all sides in the seasoned flour and set aside while you bring a large skillet (I prefer cast iron) to heat. Add the olive oil and once it is hot, brown the pork chops on both sides. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Put the browned pork chops on a baking sheet and set them in the preheated oven to finish cooking.

In the still warm skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Turn the heat to low. Sprinkle on the 2 tablespoons flour and whisk for 5 minutes to cook out any flour taste. Add in half cup of water and whisk thoroughly to remove any lumps. Slowly add the milk and the rest of the water, stirring constantly. Turn the heat up and, once the gravy bubbles, turn the heat to low. Stir occasionally. Once the gravy has thickened (about 10 to 15 minutes), add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the potatoes from the water and peel off their skin. Return to the pan they boiled in and mash to the desired level of lumpiness. Stir in the melted butter and milk. Sprinkle in salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve the pork chops with the mashed potatoes. Put gravy over everything!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m going to an event and need to bring a dish. One of the participants asked me to please bring something gluten free for dessert. I did a web search, talked to people at my local food co-op and ran into the problem that a lot of the recipes that are gluten free are also vegan or have other dietary restrictions (low fat, low sugar, allergy conscious).

Based on my research, though, I have put together a pretty good gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe using a combination of flours, including chickpea/garbanzo bean flour. Another plus side on the use of chickpea/garbanzo bean flour is that you’re increasing the amount of protein per cookie, so you can even eat enough to replace regular meals!

When using chickpea/garbanzo bean flour, you want to use about 75% of it and 25% of another flour (this recipe uses almond flour). Also, I recommend adding nuts (usually optional but here their presence explains the slight hint of nuttiness from the flours).

chocolate chip cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond flour
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups good quality semi-sweet morsels (I used Ghirardelli)
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Stir flours together with baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter with sugars on medium speed until creamy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low and blend in the dry ingredients. Once combined, mix in chocolate chips and pecans.

Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes, turning cookie sheets once around the middle of the cook time. Cookies will be a light golden brown and they will spread out, so reduce that by putting the mixer bowl in the fridge while one sheet cooks.

These won’t replace my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe but they are delicious with a glass of milk and quite good enough to take to a pot-luck when you want to be sensitive to the gluten free folks out there.

Crispy Chicken with Potatoes and Onions

A lot of the chicken recipes I post take a little time – there is brining, marinading and slow cooking that can add several hours or an overnight soak to the preparation period. Sometimes, however, I don’t really have nor want to spend that sort of time.

For tonight’s dinner, I took a recipe from Thomas Keller as my starting point. His recipe is basically four ingredients (chicken, salt, pepper, thyme) cooked on top of root vegetables. Not being a real vegetable fan, I’m sticking with just potatoes and Vidalia onions. Being a rosemary fan, I’m switching that for the thyme.

This is a recipe that really benefits from using a mandolin slicer to ensure uniform thickness on the potatoes and onions.

chicken onions potatoes

Crispy Chicken with Potatoes and Onions

4 tablespoons butter
 (1/2 stick), melted
4 or 5 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
1 large sweet onion like Vidalia, thinly sliced
One 3-5 lb whole chicken
2 tablespoons of rosemary salt
freshly ground black pepper

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you begin preparation.

Make rosemary salt by mixing 2 tablespoons of kosher salt with three tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary leaves. Store any remaining in an airtight container for later use.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Pour 1 tablespoon of butter in the bottom of a roasting pan and spread to coat the bottom and sides. Toss the potato rounds with the rest of the melted butter. Layer the potatoes all around the bottom of the pan. Scatter the onions over the potatoes. Set aside and prepare the chicken.

Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels. Cut out the backbone and wings and press down so it lays flat. Sprinkle the rosemary salt in the opened cavity.

Now, rain about 1 tablespoon of the rosemary salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin. Add pepper to taste.

Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and onions in the pan and put it in the oven. Walk away and just leave it alone. Don’t baste it or cover it. Doing so would create steam, which would keep the skin from getting crispy. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are golden brown, about an hour. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.

Slice and serve with the potatoes and onions.