Simple comfort food….The brisket simmered in Guinness with cloves and finished in the oven with a mustard, honey brown sugar glaze. Probably will make hash in the morning with the left overs for breakfast, and Reuben Sandwiches on Russian Rye for lunch.
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A traditional chicken dish from the Casamance region of Senegal, Poulet Yassa (Yassa Chicken ), is one of the most famous African recipes and is found in Senegalese restaurants the world over. For best results let the chicken marinate overnight; in Africa, this is essential to tenderize the sometimes tougher African fowl. It is also very good when made with fish, see: Poisson Yassa. For the simplest yassa, make the marinade from just oil, lemon juice, onions, and a little mustard.
Serves 4 to 6
1/2 cup peanut oil (or any cooking oil)
one chicken, cut into serving-sized pieces
4 to 6 onions, sliced
8 Tablespoons lemon juice
8 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
4 cloves minced garlic
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons Arome Maggi® sauce or soy sauce
1 chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
1 small cabbage, cut into chunks
2 carrots, cut into chunks
Directions: One day before: Cut the onions into thin slices. To make the marinade, combine onions, mustard, lemon juice, chile pepper, salt, and pepper in a large non-metallic bowl. Place the pieces of chicken into the marinade, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate over night for the best results.
The next day, remove the chicken from the marinade. Reserve the marinade to make the sauce.
Cook the chicken using on the following methods:
Cooking method 1: Grill chicken over a charcoal fire (or bake
it in a hot oven preheated to 375 F) until chicken is lightly browned but not done.
Cooking method 2: Sauté chicken for a few minutes on each side in hot oil in a cast iron skillet.
While chicken is browning, remove onions from marinade and sauté them in a large Dutch oven until translucent. Add the reserved marinade and the vegetables and bring to a slow boil and cook at a boil for ten minutes. Next, add the chicken to the sauce, cover and simmer over medium heat until chicken is tender, about 30-40 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
To serve, spoon the vegetables into a soup platter and top with the chicken and ladle the sauce over the chicken.
Pupusas, a hallmark of traditional Salvadoran cuisine, are thick, handmade corn tortillas stuffed with beans, cheeses and other savory ingredients. Popular in El Salvador for centuries, pupusas made their way to the United States around the 1980s, and here they have been enjoyed ever since. These pupusas are made with authentic queso Oaxaca and beans seasoned with onion, cilantro and a blend of authentic spices.
Queso Oaxaca is a delicious, stringy, semi-hard cheese from the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Made using many of the same cutting and stretching techniques as for Italian mozzarella, queso Oaxaca is delicately rich and durable, yet melty when heated. It contains cow’s milk, as opposed to water buffalo’s milk. It’s terrific in tortilla dishes, like quesadillas and the local tlayuda (similar to a quesadilla, but cooked open-faced).
Ingredients: 1 cup Instant Masa Harina
1½ cups Black Beans
8 Ounces Green Cabbage
2 Ounces Radishes
1 Red Onion
1 Large Bunch Cilantro
2 Ounces Queso Oaxaca
2 Tablespoons Sugar
Pupusa Spice Blend, to taste
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Drain and rinse the beans; transfer to a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Remove and discard the cabbage core; thinly slice the leaves. Cut the radishes into matchsticks. Quarter the lime. Peel and halve the onion; thinly slice one half and small dice the other. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; mince the stems and keep the leaves whole. Grate the Oaxaca cheese.
In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the diced onion, cilantro stems and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the mashed beans and ¼ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until thickened. Set aside to cool.
To make the the radish curtido:
While the beans cook, blanch the cabbage, onion, and radish before dressing it.Turn off the heat under the boiling water as soon as the vegetables are added, then after one minute, drain the vegetables in a colander and quickly rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, radishes, sugar, as much of the sliced onion as you’d like and the juice of all 4 lime wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
To make the pupusas:
In a large bowl, combine the masa harina and ¾ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. (The dough should be slightly damp and easy to shape. If it seems too dry, add up to an additional ¼ cup of water.) Using wet hands, divide the mixture into 4 equal-sized balls; carefully flatten into rounds, each about 5 inches in diameter. Divide the cooked beans between the centers of 2 of the rounds; spread into an even layer, leaving a small border around the edge of each (you may have extra beans). Top with the Oaxaca cheese and remaining dough rounds. Using your hands, carefully press down to seal the edges of the pupusas around the filling.
To Cook the pupusas:
In a large cast iron skillet, heat a thin layer of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Carefully add the pupusas. Cook, gently pressing down to ensure even browning, 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a clean, dry work surface.
To serve,carefully slice the pupusas in half. Divide the sliced pupusas and radish curtido between 2 dishes. Garnish with the cilantro leaves. Serve with any remaining cooked beans on the side.
If queso Oaxaca cannot be found in your local area, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella or White Cheddar will work as a great substitute for the cheese.
Just as Spring is right around the corner, many people are wearing green and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with parades and food on this day, March 17, 2015. And speaking of food, there is nothing better than traditional Irish food to comfort your soul on a celebratory day.
My paternal Grandmother was half Irish and a pretty good cook. And her elder brother was born of St. Paddy’s Day, to boot. There are childhood memories of the warm smell of Irish soda bread floating through her house. And mixed in with the smell of baking bread was the smell of corned beef coming from the stove. The colcannon and the steamed cabbage was ready to be served.
Based on my Grandmother’s recipes, here is my version of traditional Irish food served on St. Patrick’s Day, shared among family and friends.
You can find the recipes in my new cookbook , “The Celebration of Spring“ available now as an e-book at www. blurb.com. Just follow the link: