Wednesday, March 26, 2008

M-M-Mercado Melts

This is my favorite sandwich, ever. My mom and aunt made it at a deli they used to run and it was the star of the shop. It is so full of melty, spicy goodness that I just salivate all over myself thinking about it. Seriously, I remembered that I was having it for dinner at about 3:00 in the afternoon and literally drooled a little on my keypad. It was kinda gross. Actually, a lot of disturbing situations accompany this loss of sleep if you cook it overnight and burned eyeballs, to name a few (yeah, you can't touch your eyes while eating this).
Experience your own torments for this heavenly experience here:
1 bloody slab of beef brisket ( I get the cheapest I can find which was about 13 bucks this time)
A few shakes of the ol' Lawry's seasoning salt
8 hours in the crockpot on high
Shred the brisket with a fork or two and separate the chunks of fat and throw them away... ditch the juice, too.
Get 2 cans of "whole jalepenos" from the market ( the kind that are next to the nacho jalepenos and have carrots in them) and pour ONLY THE JALEPENO JUICE over the shredded glory.
Soak 8 hours in the fridge. Perfection.
I serve these by heating a portion at a time in the microwave with shredded jack on top and slide it on a mayonaised, warm white bollio, or sub roll, whatever. You're in for a treat. I love you, too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thai it, You'll Like it!- Thai Salmon and Coconut Jasmine Rice

This is Aubrey's favorite meal of all time. I like to ration it out to him on special occasions but I was feeling giving today (okay, the salmon was on sale). Usually, I serve this with *gasp* Rice-a-Roni but decided to make some coconut jasmine rice that I learned how to make recently from Rachel Ray's "Everyday" magazine. It is so choice.
Thai Salmon ( I had some prepared like this and took a stab at the recipe...I'm awesome).
1-1 1/2 lbs fresh salmon ( I take off the skin stuff)
2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 Tbsp. ground ginger or 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger (both ways are good)
Pinch of salt
Few shakes of black pepper
Brown sugar ( add until the mixture is a smooth paste)
Fresh cilantro ( about a palmful of it, snipped)
Mix all ingredients together. Marinate salmon in the good stuff for about 20-30 minutes. Grill ( I do about 6 minutes on each side).

Coconut Jasmine Rice
1 1/2 cups Jasmine Rice
1/2 coconut milk
1 cup cold water
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup thawed frozed peas
Segments of one pineapple slice ( or, more if you like more)
Combine rice, coconut milk, water, and butter in sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then put heat on low. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Add thawed peas. Fluff. Add pineapple.
I serve everything together with grilled orange slices ( just put some on with the fish).
This rice is easier to make than Rice-a-Roni so I'll use this from now on and feel all cool like that. What? Anyway, I have to's Aubrey's favorite meal....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Horseradish-Mashed Potato Shepherd's Pie

Aubrey and I have drastically reduced the amount of red meat in our diet with the exception this little beauty from Rachel Ray "Everyday." It was almost a little devious throwing this into the weekly rotation. We got away with it, though, despite some obstacles.

5 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped ( couldn't find these so I just used more carrots)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 lbs. ground beef sirloin ( expensive! I went with ground chuck)
3 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2-3 tbsp. chopped, fresh chives ( also pricy if you haven't grown them but so worth it)

1. Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water, boil. Salt the water, lower heat, and simmer until fork tender ( about 15 min.). Drain, mash with milk until smooth. Add horseradish, egg, and season with salt and pepper.

2. In the meantime, in a deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add parsnips ( if you have them), carrots, onion, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, cook until crisp-tender( cousin of sweet-sour)

3. Crumble beef into pan and brown, stirring often. Sprinkle flour on top and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth and cook until thickened. Add worcestershire sauce and plenty of salt and pepper. Remove bay leave.

4. Preheat oven to 450. Grease a medium casserole dish that looks like it will hold all this stuff you have created. Add meat mixture and top with horseradish potatoes. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove, sprinkle with chives....devour.

OKAY! Sounds smooth as pudding, right?

Things I would do differently next time:

Notice there is no talk of draining the 2 lbs of beef? Well, next time I will either fork over the extra dough for ground sirloin ( not sure if this will make a difference) or drain it before adding in the flour and broth. I wish I could buy grease credits for my body.... I guess that damage is a little closer to home so you don't quite get the blind bliss of carbon credits.

I've also decided that next time I will put a cookie sheet under the casserole dish so as to avoid grease fires. Aubrey had to have been crestfallen when he noticed the inferno in our oven but somehow he managed to calmy analyze the situation and draw my attention to the flames. Fortunately, I saved the day by saving the pie and it was TASTY...and a little greasy. Do yourself a favor and get rid of it. Oh and get parsnips if you can find them. I bet they're good.