Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunday Funday Brisket Style! And other food highlights........

What an amazing food weekend I had! Friday night - went to dinner at the Madison in Hoboken. This dish may sound strange for the venue - but their miso glazed cod over vegetable fried rice is amazing. What I love about the Madison, and other restaurants like it, is that I can have amazingly prepared fish and my meat loving husband can have steak. We had a long overdue date with some friends of ours that are expecting a baby in a few months. So variety here was good. The food and company were perfect.

On Saturday my husband and I celebrated our engagement anniversary at Gramercy Tavern - please no eye rolls at the engagement anniversary celebration. Gramercy Tavern is such a special restaurant with service to match. The service is attentive without being overbearing. The wine list is outstanding and the food as you can imagine is always outstanding. We opted for the regular menu - with our food restrictions (allergies and otherwise) this was the safest bet. My absolute favorite part of the meal was the cheese course! Some opt for this for dessert - I chose to make this my pre-dessert course. The whole meal was perfect. Gramercy Tavern is by far in my top 5 of all time favorite restaurants.

Sunday was Mother's Day. My mom is in Milwaukee and Dwayne's mom was with his sister celebrating her completion of her dissertation. So - we were lucky enough to honor a mom that is very important to us. Our friend (and neighbor) Cindy Morgan's mom Bonnie!! Cindy and her husband Chuck Tumulty are dear friends and we've become very close with Cindy's parents too. So to honor the day and on some levels my mom - I cooked up a good old fashioned Jewish homestyle dinner! Chicken soup and brisket, broccoli kugel and roasted potatoes. All very simple - but I think I'm most proud of the brisket. The recipe follows and is a variation on this recipe from Gourmet magazine:

Here's my take on it.

· a 5- to 6-pound first-cut beef brisket

· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

· 3 large yellow onions, sliced

· 5 – 6 carrots peeled and sliced (large chunky slices)

· 4 or 5 large garlic cloves, or to taste, smashed

· 1 teaspoon paprika,

· 3/4 teaspoon salt

· 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

· 2-3 cups (or more) of vegetable stock or beef stock (I’m not a fan of beef stock)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Pour vegetable oil in bottom of heavy roasting pan and distribute sliced onions, carrots and smashed garlic cloves along the bottom of the pan. Season vegetables with salt, pepper and paprika.

Put brisket on top of prepared vegetables. Season brisket with salt, pepper and paprika. Add vegetable stock enough so that 1-2 inches of the pan are covered with stock.

Bake brisket covered with lid slightly ajar for 3 ½ hours (or until brisket is tender) Check pan regularly (roughly every 30 minutes – add more stock if necessary and baste brisket with liquid in pan)

Cover meat with foil on cutting board and put all vegetables and gravy in a sauce pan to keep hot/reheat. (keep hot over low heat on stovetop)

Once meat is cooled – slice against the grain.

When ready to serve put on serving tray (duh) and pour some of heated vegetable mixture over the sliced brisket.

I hope you try it! If you do - let me know how it turns out!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Business Trip and Reminder of What's Impt!

Just back from a business trip this afternoon. I spent two nights in a city I've never traveled to before - which after over 15 years of traveling for work - is pretty amazing. The city itself was pretty cool - lots of bbq and fun collaborative clients. I'm grateful for that. I'm not grateful that I've been up since 4:15 this morning! LONG day!

While I was gone I got word that a close friends mother (who had been ill) had taken a turn. When I spoke to her and heard my friends voice just break into tears, I just wanted to reach through the phone and help her. I did what I could do and what she needed really - which was remind her how loved she is, how strong she is and how proud her mother is of her. This friend is one of those friends that is the life of every party, knows how to laugh A LOT, and and of course a little inappropriate - that's a compliment. ;-) People are drawn to her like moths to a flame. All of those things are what draw people into her orbit and if you're lucky she'll let you stay there. I just hope she's feeling the love and support from her friends.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Belated birthday celebration

Almost a month ago I celebrated my birthday - on the calendar any way....since I was recuperating from back surgery at the time my husband and I decided to really celebrate this weekend. And holy celebration it was. I felt so lucky that so many of my friends came to toast me and that they all had a good time. It was so cool to see a friend I met at the office - laughing hysterically with a friend I've known for almost 10 years. I have a weird feeling they were laughing at my pink boa - but that is fine. :) It was the kind of night that I really needed to usher in this next decade and gave me some much needed perspective. It was AWESOME.