My Herbal First Aid Kit

Source: My Herbal First Aid Kit

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Brisket in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Brisket in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Mike called Lyn, got had a new job offer wanted some advice on the benefits. Later at home she and I discussed them and had some reservations. I can’t remember who called who but she started to explain to him our reservations of the offer. He quickly interrupted and said well that’s all settled now anyway. We took a deep breath and silently hope he had made the right decision. He had gone into his boss’s boss and explained he had a job offer yada yada yada. Oddly enough the last time this situation had come up it was with the same person because his current boss had just moved on. The guy said this is a little Déjà vu and laughed. Long story short he got a raise beating the offer, with a promise of the paperwork in progress of a promotion and a job title change. The title also comes with another raise and larger bonus possibilities. Lyn and I both breathed again and smiled he made the right choice. We knew he was appreciated there, there was even a saying at the company is it Mike Saver approved. HE mentioned that he might come over so on our trip to Wholefoods we took advantage of the online coupon saving $5 if you buy over $20 in grass fed beef. So one eye of the round and flat cut brisket later…. You call it first I call it flat whatever I think technically your right though.

Like most Brisket it is better the second day kind of like coleslaws.

Ingredients

  • 1 first-cut brisket, 6 to 7 pounds, rinsed and patted thoroughly dry
    • Mine was only 2 pound there are only 2 of us
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ½ cups Coca-Cola or ginger ale
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • My additions 1 slice of pineapple and about ½ cup pineapple juice, I’ll explain later.
  • I forgot to show the apple cider vinegar in picture.

How

Preheat the oven to 325

For the sauce combine off ingredients, beside the meat of course, in a food processor.

Blend until smooth.

Even though my meat weighed less I am believer that one always makes almost as much sauce no matter. Hey I like sauce what can I say. You never know if you like it what else you may put it on.

Place brisket in a pan just big enough to fit it and our on the marinade.

Cover tightly with a double layer of tin foil and bake for 2 hours, I cut this down by 20 minutes mostly because my timer only goes to 99 minutes and it was a smaller piece of meat. Turn and bake for another hour or until fork tender.

Place the meat on cutting board, I like to trim the fat cap off at this point but if you a fat lover go ahead leave it on. Transfer the sauce to a pot and simmer until it is reduced by half.

Serve or do what I did.

My mom used to make a candied brisket and treated it much like a glazed ham (kosher of course) she would place the brisket under broiler with pineapple slices and baste with the sauce to create a glaze I think she used red cherries but with the dye and all. So I did this since I had some pineapple slices left over from the Napa cabbage coleslaw. That brisket is a whole other recipe can’t remember if I posted to the site or not. If you browse you’ll see we love brisket.

 

OK to answer those who always ponder on this.

A braise is fork tender when you can insert a sharp utensil into the center of the cut and encounter very little or no resistance. Your fork or knife should be able to slip in like butter, and you should be able to easily tear a piece of the meat away from the rest of the braise.

 

Pineapple Cilantro Napa Cabbage Slaw

Pineapple Cilantro Napa Cabbage Slaw

We went to the mountains to find our Zen and get medical, metaphysical and general outlook on health enlightening, Canyon ranch highly recommended. The fist night we went to dinner the service was great the food excellent and the servings were perfect size, maybe small to some but  a good reminder of what it really should be. Concepts like changing back our  focus from what for dinner well lets see steak maybe chicken and some vegetables to lets make some roasted veggies and maybe steaks for the side. Did that for a long time can’t remember how we slipped away. Anyway I took a lot of hands on cooking classes and they always had a lunch and learn demo where you sit, listen learn make a few new friends as you eat some great food. I sharpened my knife skills, diced, minced and nibbled oh sorry chef’s treats, and thoroughly enjoyed my self. Maggie the Demo chef was great, open and warm after the week she got to know me and we compared notes mostly me stealing some of her ideas.

Anyway home and trying out a few things.

Grab

Ingredients

  • 1 small head Napa cabbage, about 1 pound shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced  ( if this is too string for you try scallions they are milder
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 cup diced pineapple – fresh is best, in a pinch like today canned
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 table spoons pineapple juice concentrate.

How

Combine all  vegetables and in large bowl and toss.

Combine mustard, honey, pineapple and pineapple juice concentrate. Pour over vegetables and mix well.

I believe this will be better later in day or tomorrow, my general rule, taught by Mom .

 

 

Cooking from the gut Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Cooking from the gut Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Got home and saw the pineapple that needed to be cored and sliced, did that.

Opened the frig and looked…… grabbed a boneless chicken breast, red pepper, coconut soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, a teaspoon of corn starch and  some fresh chives from the deck and peanuts love me my peanuts.

Mixed the soy sauce, vinegar and cornstarch to add when everything was done for a sauce was between 1/4 and 1/2 cup.

mixed some pepper to about a 1/4 cup of flour in a bag and added chicken shake to coat.

Shake off excess flour and put on plate until oil is heated in fry pan.

I used a fry pan is better with the electric stove than a wok get that evenly distributed heat.

Stir fried the chicken till almost done, added the pineapple, red pepper for a few minutes, peanuts, chives.

Stir sauce and add to pan, mix to thicken and cover.

If I had some asparagus that would have been nice.

Anyway came out pretty good.

Yes the chives were flowering added some nice color don’t you think.

Unofficial start of Summer, Butter Milk Brined Smoked BBQ Turkey Breast

Unofficial start of Summer, Butter Milk Brined Smoked BBQ Turkey Breast

My days of living on Cape Cod you always heard the phrase the unofficial start of  summer on memorial day weekend. Most think of the cape with hot lazy days on the beach or sailing across the bay for some ice cream in West Falmouth. Most forget that Memorial Day can be kind of cold and I always suggest sweatshirts. Well today is not disappointing here in Milford it is a raw 51 degree and they are forecasting rain. The Milford Facebook page for Milford community is a buzz with does anyone know it the parade is rain or shine? We moved into Yale Drive many moons ago and this was our welcome to Milford event even ran into the past owners of the house. Now I work down town and get a birds eye view of most Milford parades and fondly remember walking along side the band with water bottle in hand ready to rescue a thirsty member. Anyway before I get to nostalgic or totally drawn into the sound of the waves on the beach, back to my point. Lyn had a hankering for some turkey and we found a bone in breast at the store so I decided to BBQ it and welcome summer to our deck.

Grabbed the Apple wood chips my basic brown sugar, paprika rub, made up  a quick brine

We had a 9 pound bone in full turkey breast.

Brine – can be any mixture this is what I did

  • 1 cup kosher salt
    1/2 cup granulated sugar or brown sugar.
    Small handful of aromatics (2-3 garlic cloves, whole peppercorns, bay leaves, whole all spice)
  • 1 quart of water
  • Bring the water  salt and other spices to boil until salt is
  • 2 quarts of butter milk – I always have powdered on hand great for chicken marinade makes so moist.
  • Add 4 cups or so of ice cubes to bring to room temperature.
  • Mix the buttermilk and brine together

In mean time open bag and place in a larger stock pot – 1 jumbo zip lock bag

  • Place the turkey in bag – extra pair of hands works great
  • pour the buttermilk brine over turkey and squeeze out as much air as you can.
  • Place in refrigerator for 24 hours – HINT clear a space before so you don’t get surprised and start to use choice works while balancing a 15  pound pot. This is from past experience.

Rinse the turkey and dry with paper towel and let come to room temperature.

 

I always have a basic brown sugar paprika rub on hand  since I tend to make a bib batch. You can use your favorite home made or store bought.

I like to place a little butter under the skin.

Rub turkey with olive oil and then rub the whole turkey with your rub.

I have already started the grill first by taking a good couple of handfuls of the wood chips and putting in a loosely sealed  aluminium foil pouch. I did not turn the heat on the side with the wood chips until I placed the turkey in.

Right, the turkey has been put on a rack in pan with water at ready to put in once on grill.  Place the turkey on the non  heat side and put water in the pan. At this point I have turned the far side to high and the middle and right side to no flame. I also have place a meat thermometer in to watch the temp. I’m going to use indirect heat method.

Close the lid, watch the temp so it does not go to high, mine stayed around 250-300. I waited an hour by this time the chips were long smoked out and then turned  so the other side is facing the heat.

Cooked until 165 or there about. I usually don’t like to use those plastic pop up guides but it was there and what the heck. it popped before the temp said 165 but I grabbed my instant thermometer and it agreed to time for a new battery for the old one.

At one point Lyn said no more smoking it makes me too hungry

There are only 2 of us so take out the food saver and open the freezer door.

This is a turkey weekend so last night I made and old favorite of ours

Bahn Mi-Style Turkey Burger

 

OK GOOGLE stop the sounds of the ocean time to go to Wrentham Outlet Mall.