Monday, April 9, 2012

Sunday Dinner: Easter Meets Passover!

Click here to link to the article! 
Am I cheating if I repost recipes from the newspaper last week? Well, since I made them for this Sunday's dinner, I figured it's okay. We adjusted the menu from the one that was published--and actually my brother Peter, who's an amazing chef, made the Matzo Ball Soup (pictured below).  In addition to being so delicious, that has to be one of the most curative soups ever made!

But actually it's a good thing I made the recipes again: I discovered that the paprika was missing from the Chimichurri-Marinated Brisket, not that it's so crucial, but it does add a bit of flavor that complements the rest of 'em. (And, by the way, we'll be making the chimichurri and more in my next interactive cooking class at Don Coqui --click for the menu and to make reservations--on Thursday, April 26th.)

But back to today's recipes, I've always been a huge brisket fan; I love the flavors, but also love the way that the house smells when it's cooking (I even called my neighbor Susan over yesterday to share the aromas--and yes, she joined us for dinner!)  The Marmalade-Glazed Carrots also smell lovely while baking. The Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts off the perfect balance, but in terms of flavor and color, to the other dishes. Okay--so you can look up the spinach and raisin dishes in the article (link posted under "here" in the caption) but I am sharing the brisket recipe here. If you do make it, please do send me a picture!

(And oh--on Wednesday I'll be starting a series on tips for creating salads that can enhance your dinners--or stand alone as main meals.)

Serves 6 to 8

Chimichurri (adapted from Mambo Mixers, 2005, Arlen Gargagliano)
(Makes 1 1/2 cups)

3 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
Leaves from 6 sprigs thyme
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
Leaves from 1 sprig oregano
15 basil leaves
1 bunch fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor blender, and process until smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

One 5-pound brisket, trimmed of some of its fat
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 quart chicken stock
1 pound mini heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped ripe plum tomatoes, or one 14-ounce can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
3 medium red onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

Rub about 1/2 cup of chimichurri all over the brisket. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, and up to 24.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
Heat the oil in a Dutch Oven (or any heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, just large enough to hold the brisket snugly) over medium-high heat. Transfer the brisket to the pot and cook on both sides until browned, about 7 minutes per side. Then add the stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, onions and garlic. Cover the pot, and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Then uncover the pot and continue to braise for another hour.

Use a ladle to evenly distribute the juices. Check the meat for tenderness; pierce the center with the tip of a sharp knife (it will sled in easily when it’s completely cooked). Cover the pot and return it to the oven. Let it cook for up to 2 hours occasionally checking for doneness.
Once the meat has been cooked, transfer it to a cutting board and loosely cover it with foil. Slice the brisket across the grain, and transfer it to a warm serving platter. Top with the onion-tomato mixture.  (Remove the bay leaves just prior to serving.)

Peter's Amazing Matzo-Ball Soup
Sunday Dinner--Plated and ready to serve!

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