Friday, March 18, 2011

Corned Beef & Veggies

Corned Beef is super easy in the crock pot.

2 lbs of corned beef brisket  - I got mine from the Handy Mart in Burbank
1 lbs of small potatoes cut into wedges
2 large onions cut into wedges
4-6 carrots cut into fork size chunks
1 small head of cabbage cut into wedges
1 can beer of your choice

Spray your crock with non stick spray or rub down with a little veggie oil.  Place about 1/2 the potatoes and onions on the bottom.  Trim any excess fat off the brisket and then place it on top of the veggies.  Pack in the rest of the potatoes, onions and carrots around the sides of the brisket.  Pour the beer over the brisket.  Place the cabbage on top of the brisket.   Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

I do not season the veggies because the corned beef already has a lot salt in it.  The broth made from the fat of the brisket & beer will season the veggies fairly well.  I did add some fresh cracked pepper to the potatoes when serving.

Any left over brisket makes great hash the next day.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Banana Buttermilk Mini Bundt's with Chocolate Chips

Aren't these the cutest little bundt cakes ever?

2 ripe bananas
2 cups brown sugar
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup veggie oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon each: baking soda & baking powder
dash of ground allspice & nutmeg
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
pinch of salt
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 bag of chocolate chips

Cut up the banana into chunks and place in a large microwavable bowl.  Top with some plastic wrap and zap em for about 3 minutes.  (seriously, do this!).   After the bananas are cooked add in the stick of butter to the bowl.  Mash up the butter and bananas.  The butter will start to melt.  Keep mashing.  Add in the brown sugar and maple syrup.  Using an electric hand mix cream everything in the bowl together.  Add in the eggs one at a time.

In another bowl sift all the dry ingredients together.  Measure the buttermilk and oil in the same container for ease of pouring.

Slowly start adding about 1/3 of the flour to creamy goodness.  Mix.  Add in a 1/3 of th wet ingredients.  Then some more dry and then some more wet until everything is mix together except the chocolate chips.  Add those last.

Now you  want to bake this delicious mixture in a 350 degree oven.  I chose to use mini bundt pans.   You could use 1 regular bundt pan or 2 loaves or make some muffins.  Your make time will be about 20 minutes for mini bundts or muffins and closer to an hour for a loaf or full cake.

I plan on whipping up some cream to fill  the centers of my mini masterpieces.

Mushroom Barley Soup

For the Beef Stock:
7 cups of water
2 lbs of beef shank cut into pieces
3 3 ribs of celery cut into large chunks
1 whole bunch of parsley
6 cloves of garlic lightly crushed
1 large onion cut into quarters
4 large carrots cut into chunks
1 can of tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste

Sear the beef shank pieces in olive oil in the stock pan.  Then add in the water and the rest of the ingredients.  Simmer over low heat for about 4 hours.  Add more water as it reduces.

Strain the stock and discard the vegetables.

For the Soup:
2/3 Cup of pearl barley
1 lb of sliced mushrooms
1 cup of finely diced carrots
1 cup of finely diced onion
1 cup of finely diced celery
3 cloves of finely minced garlic (feel free to omit this)
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil
Spice Blend: 1 teaspoon each of garlic granules, onion granules and aleppo pepper

In a large soup pot heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add in the diced vegetables & mushrooms.  Cook until the onions are soft and translucent.  Sprinkle in your spice blend.   Ladle in the stock.  Add the pearl barley and the tomato paste.  Simmer on low until the barley is tender.  I let mine cook about an hour so all the flavors would come together.

I made my soup very brothy, but you can put in less stock if you like a thicker soup.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Middleswarth BBQ Potato Chips

Today I recieved a package from my lovely co-workers in PA that contained The Weekender Kitchen Fresh BBQ Potato Chips from Middleswarth.

They are delicious and tasty and highly recommended.