Thursday, April 21, 2011

Brisket Tacos with Red Cabbage

This recipe is from the Food Network Magazine and it's by Alex Guarnaschelli. I've never made any of her recipes before, but this was a great way to start. Even though it takes a bit of time...It. Is. Amazing.

If you bring these tacos to a cinco de Mayo party you'll be a hit, I promise. Oh and the red cabbage slaw is a must. The caggabe is cold, tangy, and crunchy and pairs perfectly with the warm and tender meat. YUM.

2 heads garlic, unpeeled and halved crosswise, plus 6 cloves garlic
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
4 to 4 1/2 pounds brisket
Freshly ground pepper
1 T. smoked paprika
1 T. chili powder
3 T. canola oil
3 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 c. dry red wine
2 c. beef stock
2 bay leaves
16-20 small flour tortillas
Red cabbage slaw, for topping

Full Recipe

Serves 8-10

It takes about 50 minutes of prep and cooking before you place the brisket in the oven to finish cooking and then about another 25 minutes once you take it out of the oven in order to reduce the sauce and rest the meat prior to slicing it. This is not that difficult it just takes a bit of planning ahead.

Also, make the cabbage slaw (please! It's so good!) right after you put the brisket in the oven so it has time to soak up all those yummy, tangy flavors.

If you make this (or any of my recipes) please comment on it. I know I love this recipe, but I would like to know what everyone thinks!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chicken-Ramen Soup

Who doesn't love a good chicken noodle soup? This is a twist on the original and tastes just as good! Oh, and it's from my handy dandy Pillsbury Annual Recipes 2007 edition cookbook.

1 T. olive oil
1 cup ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup sliced (1/4-inch) celery (2 medium stalks)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cut-up deli rotisserie chicken (from 2- to 2 1/2 lb. chicken)
6 cups water
1 package (3 oz.) chicken-flavor ramen noodle soup mix
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.

Stir in chicken, water, contents of seasoning packet from soup mix, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer uncovered 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in noodles from soup mix; simmer uncovered 3 minutes longer or until noodles are tender

Serves: 6 (1 cup each)

I didn't actually use baby carrots because I had regular carrots already. And since you have to slice them anyway, just use whatever you want or what you have in your fridge.

I think I used 3 or 4 cloves of garlic because I like garlic and thought this wasn't enough. My soup was by no means garlicky.

I've made this with the rotisserie chicken (which I liked quite a bit) and with plain cooked, shredded chicken. Both are good so don't stress about using a rotisserie chicken if you don't want to, though I do think I liked it just a bit more with the rotisserie chicken.

Also, I use about 3 cups water and 3 cups chicken broth/stock to give the soup more flavor. Even though you add the flavoring packet to the soup there's no way it will add enough flavor to 6 cups of boring old water. OR you could add chicken bullion cube(s)/crystals to the water to get more flavor.

I think this soup tastes more complicated than it is to make, which is always nice :) Enjoy!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spice-Rubbed Pork

This recipe is also from Food Network Magazine. The spice rub is delicious. The cumin adds a nice smokey flavor and there is some definite kick from the red pepper flakes. I really liked it paired with pork but I'm sure it'd be good with some other type of meat if you want to experiment.

Sorry I don't have a better picture. I forgot to take one so I had to use the pic from
2 t. smoked paprika -I just used regular ol' paprika. I've had a hard time finding smoked paprika and I thought it worked just fine.
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
2 t. ground cumin
Kosher salt
2 pork tenderloins (1 3/4 pounds total), halved crosswise
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper
Jarred salsa verde for serving (optional)

Full Recipe

Serves: 4

Honestly, I didn't like the quinoa. At least I didn't like the way this recipe has you prepare it. It was just too boring for me. And I even tried cooking it in chicken stock to add flavor. I understand that you should have a more mild side to go along with this rather spicy meat, but this was just blah to me. But, because it's part of the recipe I put it up anyway. Maybe you'll like it more than I did. I like the idea of using quinoa because it's so good for you, but next time I'll use a different recipe.

The entire reason I put this recipe up was because I liked the spice rub so much. It's just great. The flavor has a lot of depth even though there is only three spices that make up the rub.

Give it a try, I hope you'll like it!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Garlic Shrimp and Chickpeas

This is from Food Network Magazine. It's reminiscent of shrimp scampi, in my opinion. I served it as a main course but I feel like it might make a better side or appetizer. It's filling so just don't eat too much if you opt to serve it as a side. :)

This is what it looks like in the dish. Great presentation, huh?

2  15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6  T extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. finely grated lemon zest
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges, for serving

Full Recipe

Serves: 4

This recipe is really quite easy and quick. I would buy shrimp that is already deveined (because who wants to do that?) and I suggest leaving the tails intact. I don't usually do this because it's easier to either buy shrimp already peeled or quickly peel the entire shell off yourself, but for this recipe I really felt like it just wouldn't look as good.

Also, I omitted the last tablespoon of olive oil you drizzle over at the end. I thought there was plenty of oil already in the dish without adding this last bit. And I'm pretty sure the dish did not suffer at all.