Corned beef

April 24, 2010 § 1 Comment

Corned beef is a dish I associate with Saint Patrick’s Day, because that’s when my mother cooks it. However, I did not get around to making my own this year until, well, the end of March. Then of course it took me a while to get it written up and posted here.

But nevermind all that – let’s focus on how corned beef is so easy to make and why it is so very delicious. I like it with lots of cabbage and potatoes, so this is the very basic recipe that captures the essence of corned-beef-goodness with lots of peppercorns and a shameless excuse to slather on lots of mustard.

Corned beef is also handy as it can serve as the basis for many different dishes for later in the week, or even longer, if the leftover meat is frozen. Corned beef sandwiches are one option, or you can stuff some of the meat into non-traditional pasties, or you could make some corned beef hash – all are great ways to stretch out this cut of meat. This recipe is for serving four people, with extra meat leftover for different meals.

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Non-traditional tzatziki

April 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Tzatziki is an easy condiment/side salad that goes great with all sorts of food, such as lamb, pita, and anything spicy. This version is by no means traditional, but I think it captures the spirit of the original. I whipped it up because I had a  craving for tzatziki, but I ran out of the pre-made Whole Foods kind. I decided to add in the atypical scallions to finish them up, and I like the slight hint of onion instead of all garlic.

Basically, for this dish, all you need is a cucumber, one or two garlic cloves, some scallions, Greek yogurt (or regular unsweetened), a bit of lemon juice, salt, and pepper. That’s it! If you want to serve it more as a dip, I recommend cubing the cucumbers instead of slicing. « Read the rest of this entry »

Quinoa pilaf-salad with acorn squash, onions, cherries, and almonds

April 7, 2010 § 2 Comments

This is a hybrid dish and definitely reflects that I have a terrible time naming dishes. Indecisiveness really is a disadvantage when it comes to naming things, especially food, because ideally you want a name that suits the food by both describing it and making it sound appetizing. So here it is, the spicy quinoa pilaf-salad with acorn squash, sautéed onions, dried (local!) cherries, and toasted almonds. Only you can see above that I shortened the title by a fair amount.

Whatever you decide to call it, this dish was good warm, but I loved it cold as a salad. The taste-tester and official dishwasher preferred it warm and more pilaf-y, though I don’t think it made the top ten favorites list. Then again he did accompany me to Whole Foods and after all the enthusiastic squealing about this carbohydrate I think perhaps his expectations were a bit too high. I chose to buy red quinoa because it’s a beautiful color, as you can see here, but the regular tan quinoa is just as tasty and nutritious, and beautiful in its own way too.

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