Citrusy Brisket with Spring Lettuces

From Melissa Clark of the NY Times. Very light and vibrant with citrus flavor.

1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) beef brisket
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 teaspoons finely grated garlic (from about 5 large cloves)
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 large white onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Juice from 2 lemons
Juice from 2 oranges
1 cup dry white wine
FOR THE SALAD:
1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
4 cups spring lettuces or baby spinach
2 cups sliced endive (from 2 to 3 endives)
1 small head radicchio, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 cup mixed soft herbs (leaves and tender stems), such as dill, basil or tarragon
Season the brisket all over with salt and pepper, then rub the meat with 2 teaspoons grated garlic, thyme and rosemary. Place brisket in a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
When you are ready to cook the brisket, heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 6 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high. Sear the brisket in the oil until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer meat to a plate.
Add remaining 4 tablespoons oil and onions to pot, and sauté until lightly browned on the edges and very tender, about 8 minutes. Return brisket and any juices to the pot with the onions.
Place lemon and orange zests in a small bowl and reserve. Measure out 2 tablespoons lemon juice and reserve for the salad dressing. Pour remaining lemon juice, orange juice and wine over the brisket, then add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the meat (about 1 cup). Bring liquid to a simmer over high heat.
Cover pot, transfer to the oven, and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the meat over in the pot and stir in remaining 2 teaspoons garlic. Cover pot and continue to cook until the meat shreds easily with a fork, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer.
Uncover pot, stir in the reserved lemon and orange zests, and continue to cook, uncovered, 15 minutes more.
Just before serving, prepare the salad: In a large bowl, whisk together reserved 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic and salt. Let it sit for 1 minute, then whisk in oil. Toss with greens, endive, radicchio and herbs. Taste and add more salt or olive oil, if needed.
Slice meat and serve, with pan juices spooned over and some of the salad piled on top. Serve the rest of the salad in a bowl on the side.

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Carrot Pecan Snacking Cake

  • From Food and Wine-another simple snacking cake that does not disappoint!

    2 cups almond flour (about 7 ounces)
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces) or gluten-free all-purpose flour (about 2 3/4 ounces)
    2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    2 large eggs1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/2 cup honey
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract1
    1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (about 2 large carrots)
    3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (about 2 ounces), divided
  • FROSTING
    4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper, allowing paper to overhang about 2 inches.

Whisk together flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center of mixture; crack in eggs, and whisk to beat. Add buttermilk, honey, and vanilla; whisk until well blended. Fold in carrots and 1/2 cup pecans. Spoon mixture into prepared baking pan.

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging, 25 to 27minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Remove cake from pan using parchment as handles, and let cool on rack to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Make the frosting: Combine cream cheese and butter in a large bowl; beat with a handheld mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and salt; beat just until combined. Add powdered sugar; beat on low speed until just combined; increase speed to medium, and beat until smooth. Spread frosting over cake. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Rancho Gordo Marcella Beans

I discovered Rancho Gordo beans in San Francisco at the Ferry Building and have loved them for years. I had not tried the Marcella bean (named after Marcella Hazen) as it was her favorite bean in Italy. They are now grown in Napa and could not be better. You can order them online at Rancho Gordo or sometimes I find them in Whole Foods.The variety of beans that they sell is amazing!

This is a non recipe-ad libbed with what I had on hand and it could not have been better.
Soak Marcella beans overnight after rinsing.
Sauté onion, carrot, celery in olive oil in pot until soft, add a beautiful ham hock and cook a few more minutes. Add beans and their soaking water and cover by two inches of liquid. Add a bay leaf or two. Slowly simmer until soft-they will practically melt in your mouth. I cooked mine for over an hour and kept them in the bean broth. Season with salt and pepper when soft. Serve with any greens, shaved parmesan and extra virgin olive oil.

Chocolate Snacking Cake with Tangerine Glaze

The third of three in the NY Times article on snacking cakes. I love the idea of a snacking cake, meant to be served in the afternoon, any afternoon, no special occasion necessary! Cake is festive! *I did add an extra tablespoon of juice to the glaze to make it thin enough to glaze the cake.

⅓ cup/80 milliliters neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola, plus more for pan
¾ cup/95 grams all-purpose flour
½ cup/50 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 ounces/60 grams chopped dark chocolate (about 1/3 cup)
½ cup/120 milliliters hot coffee
¾ cup/155 grams light brown sugar
⅓ cup/80 milliliters sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE GLAZE:
½ tablespoon finely grated tangerine zest
1 tablespoon tangerine juice *see above
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup/115 grams confectioners’ sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-9-inch pan and line with parchment paper, letting the two long edges hang over the sides by at least 2 inches.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a heatproof bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. Or you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water on the stove, stirring well. Whisk in hot coffee.
Whisk together flour mixture, coffee-chocolate mixture, brown sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs and vanilla. Scrape into baking pan and smooth the top. Bake until the top is springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely before glazing.
When cake is cool, make the glaze: Whisk together tangerine zest, tangerine juice and lemon juice, then whisk in confectioners’ sugar. Taste, and if it’s too sweet, add another drop or two of lemon juice. Pour glaze onto cooled cake, and spread to the edges. Let glaze set for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I realized I did not have a basic recipe for chocolate chip cookies on my blog so this is a good one from King Arthur Flour. I ground up the oats a little in my mini food processor. I also mixed up the chocolate-I used one cup each of semi sweet chips, milk chocolate chips and Heath toffee bits.

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon regular table salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease with non-stick vegetable oil spray.
Beat together the butter and sugars until smooth.
Add the eggs, and vanilla one at a time, beating well after each.
Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and add to the butter mixture in the bowl.
Mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and mix briefly.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2″ to 2″ between cookies.
Bake the cookies for 12 to 17 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown, with slightly darker edges. Their middles may still look a tiny bit shiny; that’s OK, they’ll continue to bake as they cool on the pan.
Remove the cookies from the oven, and as soon as they’re set enough to handle, transfer them to racks to cool.

Banana Snacking Cake with Salted Caramel Glaze

Another winner from the NY Times!

½ cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus more for pan
1 ½ cups/185 grams all-purpose flour
¼ cup/50 grams granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine salt
1 cup/250 grams mashed banana (from 2 to 3 very ripe bananas)
¼ cup/60 milliliters sour cream
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE GLAZE:
4 tablespoons/65 grams unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into pieces
⅓ packed cup/70 grams dark brown sugar
¼ cup/60 milliliters heavy cream
Large pinch of fine sea salt
¼ cup/30 grams confectioners’ sugar
Flaky sea salt, for serving
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-9-inch pan, and then line with parchment paper, letting the two long ends hang over the edges by at least 2 inches.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking soda and salt. Whisk in bananas, melted butter, sour cream, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Scrape into baking pan and smooth the top. Bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed in the center, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.
When cake is cool, make the glaze: In a medium or large pot (not a small one because the mixture will bubble up), combine butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and salt. Bring to a full boil and continue to boil over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Whisk in confectioners’ sugar until smooth, then immediately pour over cooled cake. Spread evenly across cake and let set for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving.

Asian Meal

This is a fairly easy menu to put together as long as you have prepped your ingredients. The fried rice recipe and the spicy cabbage recipe both come from the NY Times.

The Asian roast pork tenderloin is from a previous blog of mine I think I would cut the pork tenderloin into larger pieces than in this picture-more like the ones on my original recipe.
Fried Rice
3 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste
1 cup peas (defrost if frozen)
1 tablespoon minced ginger, or to taste
3 to 4 cups cooked white rice, cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup Shaoxing wine, or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup minced cilantro or scallions

Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or a large skillet, and turn heat to high. When it begins to shimmer, add onion, pepper and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables to a bowl.
Drain peas if necessary, and add them to skillet; cook, shaking pan, for about a minute, or until hot. Remove them to the bowl.
Put remaining oil in the skillet, followed by garlic and ginger. When the mixture is fragrant, about 15 seconds later, add the rice, breaking up clumps with a spoon as you go along and tossing it with oil. When the rice is well coated, make a well in the center and break the eggs into it. Scramble these, then stir into the rice.
Return vegetables to the skillet and stir to integrate. Add wine or water and cook, stirring, for approximately 1 minute. Add soy sauce and sesame oil, then taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Turn off heat, stir in the cilantro and serve.

Spicy Cabbage
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 star anise, broken in half
2 teaspoons soy sauce (more to taste)
2 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1 small cabbage, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, quartered, cored and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch shreds
1 medium carrot, cut into julienne
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced chives, Chinese chives or cilantro

Combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and star anise in a small bowl. Combine the soy sauce and wine or sherry in another small bowl.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or a 12-inch skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and tilting it back and forth. Add the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and star anise. Stir-fry for a few seconds, just until fragrant, then add the cabbage and carrots. Stir-fry for one to two minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt, then add the salt and wine/soy sauce mixture. Cover and cook over high heat for one minute until just wilted. Uncover and stir-fry for another 30 seconds, then stir in the chives or cilantro and remove from the heat. The cabbage should be crisp-tender. Serve with rice or noodles.
Tip
Advance preparation: This is a last minute stir-fry, but you can have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go several hours ahead of cooking.

Lemon Snacking Cake with Coconut Glaze

Another fun cake from the NY Times article on snacking cakes! I used unsweetened coconut because the sweetened stuff is too sweet for me. I love that there is coconut milk in the cake and the icing. My cake sunk in the middle a little but it was still delicious!

½ cup/120 milliliters neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola, plus more for pan
3 lemons
½ cup/120 milliliters sour cream
¼ cup/60 milliliters coconut milk
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups/185 grams all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups/250 grams granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ packed cup/50 grams shredded sweetened coconut
FOR THE GLAZE:
3 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
Pinch of fine sea salt
⅔ cup/85 grams confectioners’ sugar
Finely grated lemon zest, for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-9-inch pan, and then line with parchment paper, letting the two long ends hang over the edge of the pan by at least 2 inches.
Grate 2 tablespoons of zest from the lemons. Juice the lemons so you have 1/4 cup/60 milliliters juice. Add juice and zest to a medium bowl, then whisk in oil, sour cream, coconut milk and eggs.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk wet mixture into dry mixture until smooth.
Scrape batter into baking pan and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with shredded sweetened coconut. Bake until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely.
When cake is cool, make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, oil and salt. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Pour over the cake, and grate some lemon zest over the top. Let the glaze set for at least 30 minutes before serving.