then i blog the recipes, always naming my source, of course.
last night in my counterless small-space nyc kitchen? lemon-parsely beef brisket from marksdailyapple and creamy lemon-chive zucchini noodles from martha stewart. i really wanted matching flavor profiles for my main and side. and i don't know if i can express how well these flavors went together. the two were a little soupy on the plate and they just melded beautifully together in this wonderfully yummy happy accident. it could be the wine drunk during the 3 hour cooking time talking, but i was in heaven.
somehow without any butter in the dishes at all, there was this overall butteriness to my plate. it's like the acidity of the lemons reacted with the meat and the cream to break down their flavors and bring out their inner-butter.
plus. if you're in the dairy phase of your diet, the whole thing is totally paleo.
now, knowing what i know, i'd go more peppery. i think a zinfandel could really complement the lemon-buttery flavor i experienced. or, if there were such thing as a peppery white wine ... maybe a gruner veltliner?
the meal is really rich. you don't want a "meaty" wine to distract you from the flavors. and the absence of root vegetables make the beef taste differently from there other things you've shoved in the oven for hours on end.
it was a nice surprise.
did i do anything differently than the recipe called for? not really. i added pepper to both.
ok, enough preamble. let's do this.
a 3 lb brisket
6 cloves garlic
2-4 pinches sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
the zest of a lemon
the juice of 3 lemons
3 cups water
3 large leeks
a handful finely chopped parsley
an oven friendly pan with lid (or aluminum foil)
what you'll do:
bring your brisket to room temperature — yes, this step is important. and preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
i sprinkled the garlic with a large pinch of sea salt. (luckily, i was working on the section of my cutting board that i'd used to slice and zest my lemons. so the paste got all juicy and nice.) then you "crush" the garlic with the flat of your knife. really grind it down, using both hands. i chopped a little as i went. it really did end up as a paste. (please be careful.)
once you have your paste, mix it with the lemon zest, another large pinch of sea salt and some pepper. (i used a lot of pepper.) and rub about half of it all over your meat.
wash your hands and heat some olive oil, about 5 good splashes, in your oven safe pan over medium-high heat. how do you know if your pan is oven safe? i found a handy video.
add your lemon juice and water to the pot and bring it to a boil. if there's any meat or garlic-zest stuck to the bottom, unstick it.
rub the rest of your garlic zest on your meat and put it back in the pan and place the leeks around it — not on top, cover with aluminum foil and throw it in the oven.
i did 2 hours and 45 minutes, then threw my parsley in and cooked for 15 more minutes, uncovered.
it worked out really well if i DO say so myself. i added salt and pepper and hunkered down to eat.
this was amazing. but i hear it will be even better tonight. we shall see.
halfway through cooking, i was dying of hunger. so i have a plate of the cold zucchini. and that's what made me decide not to cook it, it was THAT good.
what you'll need:
the juice of one lemon
1 cup light cream
a handful minced chives
2 medium zucchini
a veggie peeler
a small jar or lidded container
what you'll do:
first, you make the dressing. i hate recipes that tell you you'll need 1/4 cup creamy-lemon-chive-dressing and then send you off to another place to find that. so, we're going to start there here.
in your lidded container, combine the lemon juice and a large pinch of sea salt. shake it like a polaroid picture, or until the salt is dissolved.
add the cream and chives and shake again. in fact, shake it every time you use it. season it with salt. it'll last in your fridge up to a week. (but you'll want to eat it all up before then, i guarantee you.)
martha's recipe called for a julienne blade on a mandoline. fuck you, martha. not all of us have the kitchen storage of a media mogul. she even called for fleur de sel. fuck you someplace fairly uncomfortable, martha. regular sea salt did me fine.
so i peeled the zucchini and cut off the ends. then i used the exact same peeler to peel off ribbons. stop when you hit seeds. do this all around the zucchini and then throw the seedy middle away. who wants a seedy middle?
you're supposed to put it in a colander over a mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt. letting it sit for 15 minutes. then you're supposed to gently squeeze the zucchini to extract excess water. damn wine, i forgot.
so i just threw some on a plate, dressed it and ate it. i didn't notice it being excessively watery. so, again, take that martha.
sassy detox water (found here)
a lemon, sliced
a peeled cucumber, sliced
a tsp grated fresh ginger
about 10 fresh mint leaves
a quart and a half of water
a 2 quart pitcher
what you'll do:
throw it all in the pitcher and let it sit overnight.
it's supposed to taste great, even as a substitute for soda or coffee. it's supposed to give you energy. it's supposed to make you feel great. it's supposed to jumpstart your metabolism. it's supposed to help you lose weight.
i had to MAKE myself drink it this morning. it was so gross. it's no soda or coffee, trust me. i don't have any more energy. i don't feel any better — or worse, to be fair. my metabolism seems to be metabolizing at a regular rate. and i haven't miraculously shed any pounds.
in fact, i kind of feel like a slugged down a laxative with a fiber-spiked cup of decaf coffee. in short, gross.
i guess that just proves that not all things you see on pinterest are worth pinning. which is exactly why you should follow my board.
what am i having tonight, you wonder? probably leftovers. i've been thinking about them all day. i might have to try a different wine, though. oh, and i have no microwave. so i'll have to get all old-skool on the reheat.
i'll let you know if the brisket is truly better the next day.
what do you want me to try next? i have a "things are getting paleo up in here" board and a "great, now i'm hungry" board to choose from. because i'm not paleo. i just date one. or, suggest a pin you've always wanted to try. i pretty much eat anything. except babies, so no lamb or veal.
*all shitty photos taken with my about to be replaced iphone 3GS.