3/20/19

One Hour Brisket In A Pressure Cooker


This past weekend I was walking through my grocery store and saw corned beef on sale. I decided to buy about a 4 pound hunk of meat. Corned beef and brisket are the same cut of meat, but corned beef is brined.

I wanted to make a quick version of a brisket in a pressure cooker instead of roasting it for about 3 hours in the oven and used this recipe from Dad Cooks Dinner.

I threw away the spice packet that came with my corned beef, but did not account for the brining: the meat came out a bit too salty. Still, this was not the recipe's fault. You will only need salt, pepper and cayenne. Season the meat, add some water and a bit of Worcestershire and pressure cook for an hour!

I added chopped onion and carrots with the meat and pulverized the vegetables with some of the broth to use as the sauce once everything was tender.

To serve, I combined home-salted cabbage and beets with a bit of Russian sunflower oil and sliced scallions.

IMPORTANT: make sure to cut off as much of the fat from the meat as possible before cooking. 

3/11/19

Meatless Monday: Saag Paneer From Scratch


I don't say this often, but I was so proud of myself yesterday after making Saag Paneer from scratch at home!

It all started after a coworker shared a recipe he made in his pressure cooker for saag (an Indian spinach side). I thought I will do the same, and also make paneer (Indian cheese).

Special thanks to my friend Sangeetha for providing dried fenugreek leaves: they add a great depth of flavor to saag.



I used My Heart Beets' Recipe for saag with a few changes:

1) I used 36 ounces of spinach because I could not find mustard greens
2) I did not have ghee, so used olive oil
WARNING: use less salt than what the recipe calls for. Don't freak out about how much spinach you have in the beginning: add it to the pressure cooker in batches and allow it to wilt before adding more.

For the paneer, I used Swasthi's recipe. I had to add more lemon juice, but the final result was pretty good, if not perfectly shaped as I had to run out to a museum outing with my friend. I used the leftover liquid from paneer to cook basmatti rice.



Leftovers for lunch will be awesome!

3/8/19

Weekend Inspiration: Macrame Wall Hanging


TGIF! Happy Friday and happy International Women's Day.

I wanted to share with you the latest arts & crafts project I made last weekend: Macrame Wall Hanging. Doing this simple wall hanging reminded me of all the macrame projects I did at a summer camp in Moscow. There's something magical about completing a project that is seen daily in your home.

Go create something!

3/6/19

Preserving Italy: Porchetta by Domenica Marchetti


Would you take advice on cooking pork from a Jewish girl (me)? Maybe not. How about advice from the author of multiple Italian cookbooks? 

Last weekend I recreated Domenica Marchetti's porchetta from her latest cookbook, Preserving Italy.

After attending Domenica's workshop in the summer, I had the porchetta salt and the cookbook and decided to try my hand at this relatively easy recipe of butterflied pork butt seasoned with salt, layered with sauteed fennel and garlic (a LOT of garlic), rolled, rested overnight in the refrigerator and roasted slow and low.


I had a lot of faith in this recipe because 1) Domenica made it for the workshop and it turned out awesome 2) all of the recipes I've made from Domenica's cookbooks have always turned out great


First, I'm obsessed with the photo of the salt. Second, I would suggest you actually grind the pepper instead of using whole peppercorns because I did not like biting into them while eating porchetta. The salt mix is made up of fennel seeds, coarse sea salt, grated lemon zest, rosemary, and peppercorns.

Third, my grocery store did not have fennel (!!), so I used 2 leeks. For the garlic, the recipe calls for 12 cloves: I highly recommend you use a mini food processor to chop the garlic and be ready for the aroma to invade every inch of your condo.


Fourth: I asked the butcher in my grocery store to butterfly or roll out the pork butt. He left way too much fat and connecting tissues. I removed some, but unfortunately not enough. 

Fifth, I used reusable silicone ties instead of kitchen twine to hold porchetta together.


The final results (scroll to the top), were delicious. Instead of making a sandwich, as Domenica suggests in the book, I ate my porchetta with a simple salad of mixed greens, thinly sliced radishes, snow peas and a combination of lemon juice and olive oil.

I had A LOT of leftovers, which per Domenica's suggestion I turned into a meat sauce by simmering porchetta in a mixture of sauteed carrots, onions, celery and tomato sauce.

Here's a similar recipe from Domenica's Rustic Italian cookbook.

3/4/19

Meatless Monday: Roasted Artichoke With Garlic & Parsley


Last week I received one of the largest artichokes I've ever seen in my life in my order from the Washington's Green Grocer. Luckily, they also linked to a recipe from Tasty that was incredibly easy to follow.

You cut off the top and the bottom of the artichoke, tear off some of the bottom petals, then drizzle the cut side of the artichoke with lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt, top with microplane'd garlic and chopped parsley. I left out the cheese because I did not have it.

You then wrap up the artichoke in aluminum foil and roast it for about an hour depending on the size at 425F. I served mine (to myself) topped with freshly chopped parsley and a side of Ranch dressing. I then cut up the artichoke heart and made a salad with it with potatoes, cucumbers and leftover Ranch.


How do YOU usually prepare an artichoke?

2/28/19

Dark Chocolate Puffed Pastry Braid With Hazelnuts


If you are looking to impress your guests with a dessert that takes less than 10 minutes to make, I give you Dark Chocolate Puffed Pastry Braid With Hazelnuts.

Last weekend I went to brunch at a friend's house and promised to bring dessert. I google'd braided dessert and found this beauty from Living Locurto

You start with store-bought puffed pastry. Mine came from the refrigerated section, so there was no need to defrost it.

You then buy 2 bars of chocolate. Of course I went for the dark variety. You'll have at least 1/2 of one of the bars leftover, so buy the chocolate you'll want to eat. 

Go check out the braiding directions on Amy's blog

Once the oven is preheated to 425, use a beaten egg to lightly glaze the braided puffed pastry with the chocolate inside and bake on top of a parchment lined cookie sheet for about 15 minutes.

Remove the braid from the oven and top with chopped hazelnuts and bake for 5-10 more minutes until the puffed pastry is golden brown. Do not burn your nuts ;)

Allow the braid to cool down slightly and top with powdered sugar.

Ooh! Aah! This is such a beauty and tastes just as good if not better. You can experiment with different nuts and types of chocolate. Maybe even try peanut butter and jelly as the filling?

2/26/19

Chickpea & Rotisserie Turkey Turmeric Soup Recipe Inspired by Alison Roman


Have you heard of Alison Roman's Spiced Chickpea Stew With Coconut and Turmeric that went viral a while back? What's not to like? A combination of chickpeas and coconut milk is perfect for cold winter months, plus greens to make you feel even better about eating this rich stew.

Speaking of rich, 2 cans of full fat coconut milk sounded like a lot! Instead of making Alison's recipe, I decided to use only one can, increase the amount of chicken broth to make the stew into a soup, and add rotisserie turkey breast for extra protein. I also added chopped red pepper at the end for crunch and color, and used parsley instead of mint.



Chickpea & Rotisserie Turkey Turmeric Soup Recipe Inspired by Alison Roman

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil 
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 teaspoons turmeric 
a few pinches red pepper flakes
4 cups cooked chickpeas (I made mine in a pressure cooker)
15 ounces can full fat coconut milk
4 cups chicken stock
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
2 cups shredded rotisserie turkey breast (or you can use chicken)
1 red pepper, diced
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh lime juice

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and saute for about 5 minutes.
2. Add salt, pepper, turmeric and red pepper flakes with chickpeas. Mix to combine. Saute for about 10 minutes.
3. Remove 1 cup of the chickpea mixture and set aside. Using a wooden spoon, gently smash some of the remaining chickpeas.
4. Add coconut milk and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for 25 minutes.
5. Add Swiss chard and turkey and simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the chard to wilt and the turkey to heat through.
6. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.
7. Serve in bowls topped with reserved chickpeas, chopped red pepper, parsley, and fresh lime juice.



Just look at that color! I'm having this soup for lunch today (I had it yesterday too and will also eat it tomorrow and Thursday: perfect #mealprep). You can serve the soup as is or on top of rice or with a side of toast.

2/19/19

Roasted Beet Salad With Chipotle Vinaigrette


Roasted Beet Salad With Chipotle Vinaigrette looks beautiful plated, and tastes even better once you mix all the ingredients together.

I was inspired to create this salad after seeing a picture of beets on my friend Laura's insta story and asking her what she was going to make with them. Laura sent me a link to her recipe for Roasted Chipotle Beets With Goat Cheese & Egg Tostadas. I took some of the same ingredients, added a few extras, and turned it into a salad!

Roasted Beet Salad With Chipotle Vinaigrette
Ingredients
beets, scrubbed
olive oil
avocado, sliced
red pepper, sliced
blue cheese, crumbled
6 minute egg (put eggs in cold water, cover, bring to a boil, shut off the heat, wait 6 minutes, cool in an ice bath, peel, slice)
cilantro
for the dressing
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chiles in adobo 
1 tablespoons lime juice plus extra lime wedges
salt to taste

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425. Put beets on an aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap, and roast for about 1 hour, depending on the size. Cool slightly, peel, dice.
2. Arrange the beets, avocado, red pepper, blue cheese crumbles, sliced egg, and cilantro on a plate.
3. Whisk the dressing ingredients together.

For the purposes of the photo, I poured the dressing into a little bowl. You shall pour it onto the other ingredients.

The dressing was awesome! It could also act a a marinade for chicken if you want.

If you love beets, definitely make this salad. 

2/13/19

Vietnamese Lamb Meatballs Rice Noodle Bowl


Vietnamese Lamb Meatballs Rice Noodle Bowl is a recipe that comes together quickly, is absolutely gorgeous, and is packed with flavors, colors and textures.

Last week, my friends from American Lamb sent me a pound of ground lamb!! I typically make lamb meatballs with garlic, salt & pepper and maybe feta, but was intrigued by the Vietnamese flavors American Lamb suggested. Sometimes it is actually fun to follow a recipe and go grocery shopping with a list of ingredients in mind. Luckily, the recipe worked perfectly. You can find it here

I made my meatballs into smaller balls than the recipe called for and froze some for future use.

The meatballs are flavored with lemongrass, shallot, garlic, and fresh ginger and don't require an egg, milk, or bread crumbs. Using a little scoop really helps to make sure they are uniform.


I highly recommend you double the Nuoc Cham dressing: it's so good! Don't be afraid of fish sauce.

To build your bowl you'll need rice noodles (I cooled mine before serving), red cabbage, red peppers, cucumbers, peanuts, cilantro, basil, and lime wedges. Of course you can also use carrots, zucchini, avocado, or whatever vegetables you like. 


Thanks for my lamb American Lamb! This post is not sponsored. I received no compensation for it: I just ♥ lamb and am happy to share fun meal ideas with you all!

2/5/19

Tater Tot Tuesday: Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole With Italian Sausage & Peppers



Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole With Italian Sausage & Peppers is a great one skillet brunch or breakfast dish to make to share with friends, or can be an easy dinner with leftovers for lunch the next day.

You know about Taco Tuesday, but what about Tater Tot Tuesday? Let's start this new movement ;)

This past Sunday, a few friends came for brunch at my place, and I decided to make up my own version of a tater tot breakfast casserole after seeing quite a few versions on line.

First, I knew I wanted to make the entire casserole in one dish instead of browning the meat in a skillet and then transferring to a baking dish.

Second, I did not understand why some recipes put the tater tots on the bottom: who wants soggy tater tots?

Finally, instead of prepping all the ingredients first, I chopped peppers and onions while the Italian sausage was cooking, and shredded the cheese while the peppers and onions were sauteing: this saved me so much time!

Tater Tot Tuesday: Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole With Italian Sausage & Peppers
Serves 6

Ingredients
16 ounces Italian mild sausage
2 orange peppers
1 onion
salt & pepper
8 ounce block cheese (I used a combination of Mozzarella and Cheddar)
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
28 ounce bag frozen tater tots
parsley, chopped

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a large oven-proof skillet, brown Italian sausage.
3. Meanwhile, dice the peppers and the onion.
4. Remove the sausage into a bowl, and use the skillet to saute the peppers and onion seasoned with salt and pepper until tender, about 10 minutes. Depending on the fat content of the sausage, you may need to add a bit of olive oil to the skillet. 
5. Meanwhile, shred the cheese.
6. Add the browned sausage back into the skillet.
7. In the bowl that held the sausage, whisk the eggs with the milk, season with salt and pepper, and add all but 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
8. Pour the egg mixture over the pepper/onion/sausage mixture.
9. Layer tater tots in concentric circles.
10. Bake the casserole for 45 minutes.
11. Remove the casserole from the oven and evenly top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 5 more minutes.
12. Top with parsley.

before

My Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole was a huge success! You can vary the recipe by adding mushrooms or broccoli and changing the types of cheese you use. The leftovers reheat quite well.

This is my table setting: flowers are a must!


2/4/19

Meatless Monday: Vegan, Raw, Kosher & Fancy Fruit Salad


Got winter blues? My Vegan, Raw, Kosher & Fancy Fruit Salad will surely erase those. You will not find a single banana or an unripe melon in my salad. Instead, I combined seasonal citrus and apples with a tropical mango and a few berries. 

Meatless Monday: Vegan, Raw, Kosher & Fancy Fruit Salad

Ingredients
2 oranges
1 grapefruit
1 bunch grapes
2 apples
2 cups raspberries
2 cups blackberries
1 mango

Directions
1. Segment oranges and grapefruit
2. Slice grapes in half
3. Core and dice apples
4. Peel and dice mango
5. Combine all fruit and berries and serve

1/28/19

Upcycle: Pallet Coffee Table on Pin Legs


Remember when 6ish years ago I made a pallet coffee table that ended up being featured on ApartmentTherapy and then some dude tried to sell it on Etsy? Well, I took the coasters off and added pin legs!!! Love the updated look. 

Below is my original creation! Also an old lamp, painting, table, chairs, and blah walls. 



And now the new table! It was so easy: I took off the red wheels (what should I do with them?) and attached pin legs I bought on Amazon!


And here is how it looks in my living room with my "birch" wall, big plants, new'ish lamp and all the stuff ;)


1/14/19

Tuscanini Gigli Pasta With Fennel, Tomatoes & Peas


Tuscanini Gigli Pasta With Fennel, Tomatoes & Peas is a beautiful vegan dish that brings brightness, color, and at the same time comfort to a snowy cold winter day.

I received a sample of Tuscanini Gigli pasta and LOVED the fun shape which reminds me of a trumpet flower. It's apparently great served with sauce as the sauce sticks to the fluttered edges, but I decided to make it with a bunch of vegetables. In fact, there are more vegetables in this dish than pasta.

Of course you can use whichever pasta shape you love!

Tuscanini Gigli Pasta With Fennel, Tomatoes & Peas
Serves 3-4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced, then well washed and drained
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
salt & red pepper flakes to taste
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup defrosted peas
1 cup defrosted corn
2 cups dried pasta, cooked according to directions {NOTE: I always cook my pasta 1-2 minutes longer because I don't like it al dente pasta}
Meyer lemon zest and juice
dill, chopped
extra olive oil


Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add leeks and fennel and saute until softened, mixing every few minutes. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
2. Add cherry tomatoes, peas, and corn. Saute for a few extra minutes.
3. Add drained cooked pasta. Mix to combine. Saute for a few more minutes.
4. Off the heat, add Meyer lemon zest and juice. Taste and adjust for salt.
5. Serve topped with dill and a drizzle of olive oil.

PS Leftovers reheat well and are great with chopped olives!


Dislaimer: I received a sample of pasta free of charge, but this post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own.

1/11/19

Weekend Edition: Apartment Therapy's January Cure


DEHOARD. CLEAN. ORGANIZE. Those are just some of the things I've been doing for the last week or so thanks to Apartment Therapy's January Cure

Who knew I had so many random notebooks and notepads?

Who knew I did not actually lose those international electricity converters? They just fell behind my suitcase.

Who knew how much dust was hiding under my bed, in my closets, and behind my dressers?

Who knew I have at least 15 random glass jars from jams, pickles, etc?


I KNOW all that now!

The plan for this weekend is to go through all my kitchen cabinets.

Good thing my galley kitchen is pretty small. I've already found bowls and glass containers I'm giving to a friend because I have too many. I put post it notes on each cabinet and drawer for an easy visual of what needs to be done and for the sense of accomplishment of taking them off once that space has been cleaned.

I'm also going to clean the fridge: now is a good time because I don't have that much in it.

And those flowers? They were actually also an assignment: the easiest one because I buy flowers for myself all the time.

Share with me your cleaning and dehoarding tips. 

1/7/19

Vegan Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Kale Red Curry


Vegan Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Kale Red Curry
Serves 4-6
Inspired by Washington's Green Grocer

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil, more if needed
5 cups bite-sized diced butternut squash
1/2 diced onion
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
13.5 ounce can coconut milk (full fat!)
1 cup water
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 handfulls chopped kale
juice of 1 Meyer lemon
chopped parsley or cilantro
chopped smoked almonds (or any other nuts you like)

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add butternut squash and saute for 5 minutes.
2. Add onion, ginger and garlic and saute for 3 more minutes, adding a bit more oil if needed.
3. Mix in red curry paste, turmeric, salt, coconut milk, and water. Bring to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until the squash is tender but not mushy.
4. Mix in chickpeas and kale, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until kale has wilted.
5. Off the heat add Meyer lemon juice. Adjust for seasoning.
6. Serve topped with parsley and almonds. 

You can eat this as is or over rice. This curry reheats great for leftovers: you may need to add a bit of liquid to thin it out.

1/2/19

Richard Sax's Chocolate Cloud Cake



The second I saw a recipe for Richard Sax's Chocolate Cloud Cake on Food52, I knew I wanted to make it for NYE party at a friend's house. And I did! The hardest part was figuring out whether to wait for the actual party to try the cake...because how could I take photos so late at night!?

Instead, I made this gorgeous cake in the morning, and my friend and I dug into it after her two daughters napped...I could not nap because I was so excited!! Even the 3 and 5 year olds liked it, but only had a few bites because it was too chocolaty :) No problem: more for us!


I've made another recipe for flourless chocolate cake many times, but this recipe stood out because of a cloud of whipped heavy cream slightly sweetened with confectioners' sugar and a bit of vanilla extract. I used dark chocolate chips and a bar or dark chocolate for the decorative shavings. You can use semi sweet chocolate I suppose, but please don't use the milk variety.

This was a dream! Relatively easy to make (I just had to read directions 5 times because I basically have ADD), beautiful, not too sweet, not too heavy, AND it tasted great the next morning!


I left the leftovers at my friend's house because that's how generous I am ;)