Corned Beef

Curing

2-3 Kilos Beef
2 Liters Water
2 Cups Celery Puree
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Salt
1/2 Bulb Garlic (pealed and smashed)
Pickling Spices

Heat a small portion of the water and dissolve salt and sugar. Combine the rest of the spices and then add in the remaining cold water and celery puree to finish the brine. Put brine and beef into a large air tight zipper bag making sure to remove all the air. Let sit in fridge for at least 7 days to cure, and up to two weeks depending on the thickness of the beef chunk.

After curing, remove from fridge then rinse the beef in cold water. It will look a little funky and green because of the celery so rinse well. It will clean up even more on the first part of cooking.

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Note: Discard all the spice material. It’s been sitting with raw beef so yeah.

Cooking

Put beef in a large pot with hot water that more than completely covers the beef. Slowly bring to a simmer for 30 minutes. DO NOT BOIL or it will get tough. After 30 minutes discard the water then cover with fresh hot water and simmer again, except this time for about 3 hours or until very tender.

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Corned Beef and Cabbage

As above except add carrots, potatoes, and cabbage chunks about 30 minutes before done.

Reuben Sandwiches

Slice beef cross grained. Beef, Swiss Cheese, and sauerkraut on sliced Rye bread. Fry in butter like a grilled cheese or broil until bread is slightly crunchy. Add sauce of 1/2 mayonnaise, 1/4 mustard, 1/4 ketchup and a liberal amount of Tapatio. Fantastic.

Corned Beef Hash

Chopped beef, chopped potatoes, chopped onions fried in a pan with some butter. Top with a fried eggs, or drop raw eggs on top to cook just before done. Optional: garlic, mushrooms, celery, bell peppers, hot peppers.

Pastrami

Cover with ground pepper then smoke. I’ll be trying this as soon as possible.

Bacon!

Homemade Bacon (בייקון הביתית)!!

Bacon really is just about the perfect food. It’s not the most healthy thing you can eat but it sure is amazing. I personally know people that were long time vegetarians.. but bacon.. that’s what got em’. “I didn’t have a problem with other meats, even a nice steak, but I’d dream about bacon.” Wull yeah.. cuz its BACON!!

So I figure if bacon is good.. homemade bacon has to be amazing!

1-2 Kilos Pork
1 ½ Cups Ground Celery Stocks with Leaves
½ Cup Sea Salt
½ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Black Pepper

Variations:
1 Tbs Liquid Smoke. I used hickory.
1/2-1 Cup Maple Syrup instead of sugar for Maple Bacon.
Garlic To taste for bacon with a bite.
Savory Spices for savory bacon.

Grind celery in food processor until liquefied. Add in salt, sugar, spices, and liquid smoke. Wash pork and pat dry until tacky. Set pork and mixture in an air tight sealed bag in the fridge for at least 7 days.

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After cured for about 7 days, remove the now bacon from bag and wash it in cold water. Slice a piece off and fry it up to taste it. You’ll notice that a lot of water comes out which is why we’ll dry it. If its a bit salty for you soak the bacon in cold water in the fridge for an hour or so. You may need to repeat the slice, fry, soak thing a time or two depending on your tastes.

When the saltiness is about right for you it’s time to dry it. Here you could put a black pepper rub if you want pepper bacon. Dry it in the oven at 100 C° for 2-3 hours to remove the excess water. Bacon!!

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Btw: I was right.. homemade bacon is amazing!

Potato Pancakes

2 Large Grated Potatoes
1 Chopped Onion
2-3 Cloves of Minced Garlic
Few Sprigs of Fresh Finely Chopped Rosemary
Few Sprigs of Fresh Finely Chopped Thyme
2 Eggs
1/2 – 1 Cup Flour
Salt (to taste)

Combine potatoes, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme and eggs. Mix in flour until mixture is thickened. Heat a frying pan with hot oil. Spoon in mixture, flip when golden brown.

Buttermilk Pancakes

3 Cups Flour
3 Cups Buttermilk*
3 Eggs
2 Teaspoons baking powder
2 Teaspoons baking soda
1/3 Cup Melted Butter

Combine flour, baking powder & soda, then mix in buttermilk, eggs, and butter. Mix until smooth.

* Although I’ve not tried it (yet), I’ve heard good things about curdling milk to make your own buttermilk! Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and let stand. I’m going to try this soon because for all the dairy that’s available here in Israel, I’ve not found buttermilk anywhere. Update: I tried this today and it works great! The lemon curdles and thickens the milk very nicely. The end result is slightly sour with a hint of lemon to the pancakes… !נפלא (wonderful)

Banana Pancakes

3 Mashed Bananas
3 Measures Flour
2-3 Measures Milk (going for a pourable consistency; which changes based on banana and egg size)
1/3 Measure Melted Butter
3 Eggs
3 Small Measures Baking Powder
1 1/2 Small Measures Baking Soda
2 Small Measures Vanilla

Mash the bananas, then add eggs, vanilla, melted butter. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder & soda, stir. Add milk to desired consistency. You want it to pour and spread in the pan, but still be thick enough to rise.

* This one is all about proportions to get the right consistency. Assume “Measure” is a Cup, and “Small Measure” is a Teaspoon. Course we’re in Israel so we don’t have those and I don’t really know the conversions. Honestly I don’t measure for this one anyway.

Crepes

Ingredients
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 pinch salt

Directions
In a blender combine eggs, milk, flour, salt and oil. Process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into pan, tilting to completely coat the surface of the pan. Cook until top is no longer runny. Roll with chopped fruit, cream cheese with cinnamon & sugar, jelly, etc.

Crepes filled with fresh strawberries topped with yogurt cream sauce and dark chocolate shavings

Crepes filled with fresh strawberries topped with yogurt cream sauce and dark chocolate shavings

Granola

This is one of my favorite foods to make. Very healthy while maintaining a tasty flavor. Great with milk, over fruit salad, or in a parfet.

Blend:
8 Cups oats
1 Cup raw shredded coconut
1 Cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 Cup raw wheat germ
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Cup raw chopped nuts

Blend:
1/3 Cup boiling water
1/2 Cup honey (3/4 Cup for sweeter)
3/4 Cup cold pressed virgin coconut oil

Thoroughly combine both mixtures, then DRY in the oven 1 1/2 – 2 hours @250 degrees. Set on several cookie sheets, turning mixture every 15-20 minutes. The goal is to dry the mixture, not bake and brown it.

Granola is especially to taste. Add or subtract anything you dont like. I add dried fruits (cranberries, blueberries, dates, banana chips, etc AFTER the baking and cooling. Adding before makes the fruits too dry and hard to chew.

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Biscuits and Gravy

This morning I decided to try my hand at homemade biscuits and gravy to give the asian folks I live with a real home cooked American breakfast. I cooked up some sausage gravy, biscuits, hand grated hash browns, fried eggs, and sausage links. A bit salty on the gravy, otherwise quite a success I must say. I cheated this time on the biscuits by using a boxed mix, but here is the full recipe I used for the gravy including notes.

: : : : : Biscuits and Gravy Recipe : : : : :

For the biscuits:
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 4 teaspoons baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon baking soda
• pinch of salt
• 3 oz. cold butter, diced
• 8 oz buttermilk

Combine and sift the dry ingredients. Gently knead in the butter.  Add the buttermilk and knead on a floured board just enough to bring the dough together.

It is vital that you knead gently and no more than is necessary or you will develop the gluten in the flour and make the biscuits tough. Good biscuits are as much a function of technique as ingredients.

Form a flat mass with the dough and cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter. Don’t make them too high or the outside could become over browned by the time the inside is cooked.

Place them on parchment paper on a sheet tray and then into a preheated 400-degree oven.

Start the gravy immediately. It should be done close to the same time as the biscuits, which is when they are golden in color.

For the gravy:
• ½ pound ground breakfast sausage.
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
• 3 cups cold milk
• Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the sausage until it is cooked and has released as much of its fat as possible.  Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and do NOT drain the grease. You’ll need it to make the roux.

You should have about 2 tablespoons of rendered pork fat.  Add the butter and melt it.  Then add the flour a little at a time over medium heat, constantly whisking.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Now start adding the cold milk a little at a time, whisking incessantly.  Toward the end of the milk add the sausage back in. When you reach the desired consistency add salt and pepper to taste.

Next time I think I may try adding in some diced onions and/or cayenne pepper.