Sunday, March 20, 2011

Corned Beef, my way.

There is nothing quite so wonderful as the scent of a lovely corned beef or three wafting through the air, as they cook slowly in the crock pot, or on top of the stove or in the oven.

And I know it's a little late to be posting Corned Beef recipes, but maybe someone out there is like me, and buys corned beef, cooks it and freezes it for meals at a later date.   And if you're like that, then read on.

We like corned beef here, but I do it a little differently than most.   I really don't care for the traditional cabbage, potatoes and carrots cooked in the corned beef liquid, nor does anyone else in our family.   Over the years I've also tried a lot of different recipes, trying to get the taste just right.  A few years ago, I succeeded, and now I make my corned beef the same way all the time.    Well, most of the time, well, nearly all the time.  At any rate, I do buy the commercial corned beef, although I'm tempted to try my hand at corning my own brisket some time in the future. 
I've actually made a couple of corned beef's this year.   I made one for the monthly potluck we attend, and then we ate one chopped up with some potatoes and onions and eggs for breakfast, and a snack.   But, I wanted some to put in the freezer, as it does freeze well, and it falls into my idea of always having something in the freezer that can be put on the table with a minimum of fuss and bother.   And let's face it, sometimes you just get a craving for corned beef, and how cool is it, you can have it on the table in an hour or so.   

To begin with, you need a corned beef, make it whatever size you like, place it in the pot with a bottle or two of dark beer, then add water to cover, sprinkle it with the pickling spices, then simmer it until tender.  In the crock pot this usually takes about 5-6 hours on high, or on top of the stop, about 2-3 hours.   Check it periodically.
Ready for the beer.
A nice vintage, adds some lovely flavour
Beer and Pickling spices added.
 When it's fork tender (and it's perfectly admissible to cut a slice off and taste it, just to see, you just have to be careful you don't taste test them til they're gone).    You can then put it aside to cool down before freezing them.
Cooling down for the freezer

Or you can do this...
Glazed and ready for the oven
Slather them with a mixture of brown sugar and yellow mustard, and throw them back in the oven for an hour or so, and serve with some more of the brown sugar/yellow mustard mixture.    To make the sauce just mix equal amounts of brown sugar and yellow mustard together.    Simple and totally awesome on corned beef.
And just want to say this, you can slather this on a nice piece of ham and bake it and then use the sauce to dip the ham into.    Might as well make it multi purpose, whenever possible.  

And if you have any left over, you can always make a nice corned beef hash for breakfast or dinner or ...
Chop up the corned beef, add some leftover cooked potatoes and some onions to a pan, brown them well and throw them on a plate.    
Next step, add the eggs on top
Just throw a couple of fried eggs on top, and you're good to go.

Hope your St. Paddy's day was a good one, and if you're like me and cooked a couple extra, now you have an idea on serving them.

For more recipes please check out    Sid's Sea Palm Cooking

All about food. *giggle*

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Update: Appetizers, Starters, Tapa's, whatever you want to call them, it's OK

I love to have 'Appetizer Night' and have friends over.   Everyone brings a dish, I usually do two or three or more, and we all have fun.    And when you do it like this, everyone manages to get enough to eat, without having to make dinner.   Plus, I get to make new dishes, try new recipes, and generally have fun.

A little spread
It's been a long time since I've had people over for an Appetizer night so I decided we'd do it this coming weekend.  And I thought I'd let you in on a couple of ideas I had.     I'm going to try my hand at some Cheddar Pinwheels.   And maybe even some Artisan crackers.    I have a recipe I've been dying to try.   And I think it will go great with one of my favorite (and dead easy) topping ideas.    Basically, take a chunk of cream cheese, cut it half, place it on a shallow dish with a lip and pour some hot sauce or sweet hot sauce over it.   You can scoop it or spread it, or just spoon it up, which I've been known to do.  You can also soften the cream cheese a little, spread it out in a shallow plate, and pour some cocktail sauce over it, then add some shrimp.  Again, real easy, looks festive and tastes great.   

I will also have some salsa and chips, and am going to make some Chile Arbol sauce.   I made some a while back and it was so good.   I found out that it could freeze well, so guess what I'm keeping in my freezer from now on.

Stop on back here in a day or so and I'll share with you what other dishes I and my friends come up with.

UPDATE:    Here's the update.   There were big goings on in town the same day of the party, we went downtown and enjoyed the parade, visited with some friends, and I didn't get back in time to put together the artisan crackers like I'd planned.    So I went with the tried and true, and made a favorite of mine.   And this is dead simple as well.   Three ingredients, and easy.    Thinly sliced ham, cream cheese and spring onions.

Spread some cream cheese on a slice of ham, place a green onion on top, and roll it up.   Put them in the fridge, and serve them to your guests when they come.   This is a great appetizer that can be made earlier in the day and put them aside til you're ready to serve.
I did make the Chile de Arbol sauce, and served it.  I posted the recipe here.

I also tried a new recipe and decided that it needs tweaking.  Here are the pictures of it being put together, but when I pulled them out of the oven, they fell apart.   But the taste was ok. 

Baked Cheese Olives

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp. Softened butter
½ cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper
24 pimento-stuffed green olives

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine cheese, butter, flour and cayenne pepper. Blend well. Wrap a tablespoon of dough around each green olive. Arrange the wrapped olives on a baking sheet.
  2. Chill 1 hour before baking
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
I also made some Gougeres, but they totally failed and I didn't get any pictures of them at all.    Oh well, there's always next time.  

For more recipes please check out   

All about food. *giggle*