March 30th, 2008

Bon Appetit March cover: Corned beef sandwich

While the February cover recipe of whole wheat pancakes was a little too “wearing Birkenstocks w/ socks” healthy for me, at least it was quick and easy. This was not the case for the March cover, the sandwich involved corning your own beef, which is an 8 day brining process. It also involved getting a beautiful Prime grade brisket from Savenor's, 3 different spices that I don't have on hand (pickling spice, whole allspice and cardamom seeds) and 2 different kinds of beer (lager for the brine, Guinness for the cooking). After taking up critical real estate in my fridge for 8 days, I finally cooked it this weekend. The corned beef was definitely delicious. It was so tender and richly flavored. Although, to be honest, I don't know how much is from the brining, as opposed to the Prime grade of the meat. The veggies (Cabbage, potato, carrot) that were cooked with it were also great. Soft and tender, and seasoned throughout with the cooking liquid. I probably enjoyed the potatoes just as much as the meat; I couldn't stop eating them.

If that wasn't enough work, I still needed to make the sandwich. That required sweet onions, fontina cheese and Rye bread. Put it all together and grill it in a fry pan till the fontina is nice and melty. My sandwich looks nothing like the cover; I opted not to use the Insta Cure, which is a preservative to keep the meat bright red.

Was it a great sandwich? Yes, most definitely. Was it worth the trouble? I don't think I'll be doing it again any time soon. However I will definitely used the thinly sliced sweet onion and fontina on a sandwich again.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw April's cover: lemon raspberry cupcake. Those I can handle in my sleep.



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Dinner with R's family

We had R's parents and grandparents over for dinner last night. Grandma and grandpa are impressively old: 95 and 98, respectively, but they still enjoy a good meal. My constraints? The food had to be soft and tender (see how well you'll be able to chew at that age!).

I served the corned beef, which I already blogged about and then I panicked 3 hours before they were to arrive that there wasn't going to be enough food, or that they wouldn't like the corned beef and veggies. So I hopped in to my car and two quick stops later (Capone's and Whole foods) I also had the makings of a pasta dish: Parpadelle w/ sausage, broccoli rabe and garlic. Super easy and very tasty.

Some homemade rolls ( the “bread in 5 minutes a day” recipe is damn handy) and apple cake w/ Christina's ice cream (Grand Marnier, my new favorite flavor) rounded out the meal.

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