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I love Food. Cooking it. Eating it. Experiencing it. As a result, that's what this blog has evolved into: A journal of my gastronomical journeys abroad, as well as my culinary creativity at home. I hope you enjoy what I have to say, and I'd love to hear your comments... Cheers!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rich's Recipes: Family & Friends Edition

I don't want these recipe blogs to look and feel too much like a cut-and-paste cookbook (unless a cookbook publisher happens upon my blog, then YES! -- this would be perfect for a cookbook!), so without further ado (is that a drum roll I hear, or crickets chirping...?) this section has to go first, in my mind. A couple from some dear friends whose talent in the kitchen I greatly admire, but mostly, it includes age-old recipes passed down from generations (mostly on my mom's side), and having mostly to do with Jewish holidays (which I now realize ingrained me with a love of eating, if not cooking, at a young age)...

Kudos to my mom and my sister on this one. This recipe has probably been in my family for more than 4 generations, but I think they'd agree, it gets better with age. I made it for the first time myself this past Passover, and BAM! -- it transported me back to when I was a child, which is some of the highest praise I can think of for any food creation...
  1. Trim fat off brisket (get at least 6-8 lbs. -- I made the rookie mistake of only buying 4 lbs. -- think leftovers!)
  2. Rub brisket with spice mixture of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, onion
  3. Saute 3 onions in a pan... transfer to an 8-qt. stock pot
  4. In same pan, sear both sides of brisket... transfer to same stock pot
  5. Add 3 cans tomato soup, 1 bottle chili sauce, a bunch of chopped carrots
  6. Cover and slow cook for 4 hours or until brisket is fork tender
  7. Take out and slice brisket after letting it sit for 30 minutes
  8. Put sliced brisket in tupperware and cover with sauce
  9. Store leftover sauce (believe me, it tastes good with everything!)
  10. Re-heat covered with tin foil in a baking dish at 350 degrees until hot

My take: This is better the 2nd night than the first night, and the first night is outrageous! Make it at least a day in advance to let all the juice and sauce coagulate...

SPINACH-MATZO PUDDING Shout out to my Aunt Doris, who I believe gets the lion's share of credit for this recipe... Make this with egg noodles when it's not Passover and it tastes amazing...but on this night (a little Hebrew humor. Sorry if you don't get it!)...

  1. Saute 2 onions in butter
  2. rinse and drain 4 packages, frozen chopped spinach
  3. rinse and drain 1 container matzo farfel
  4. 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  5. 1 large sour cream
  6. 1 stick margarine, melted
  7. plenty of salt and pepper
  8. Combine all ingredients
  9. Bake @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until browned throughout

PASSOVER ROLLS Tastes so good you won't even know it's for Passover!

  1. Boil 1 cup water
  2. Add 1/2 cup vegetable oil; lower heat
  3. Mix in 1 2/3 cups matzo meal, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt
  4. Remove from heat; beat in 4 eggs, one at a time
  5. Form into about a dozen balls; place on greased cookie sheet
  6. form an "x" on top of each ball
  7. Bake @ 375 degrees for 1 hour or until brown

CHICKEN BROTH/SOUP Credit to Michelle Miller for this delicious, basic stock recipe. I added my matzo balls to this... YUM! I like to use rotisserie chicken to give it a bit of extra flavor...

  1. In an 8-qt. crock pot place leftover chicken scraps (bones, skin, etc.) and fill with water until chicken is covered
  2. rough cut 2 onions, bunch of celery, & carrots
  3. Add salt & pepper
  4. Bring to a boil, then keep adding water as it cooks down

GRANDMA STELLA'S BISCUITS Lucky me: I was born to love food, but I also married into a Southern family, whose matriarch is a war bride who came to Georgia from Mother England 60 some-odd years ago. The only way you get better biscuits than the ones made in the South is if the recipe comes from a Southerner who was born in the UK! Of course, these taste even better with a spot of tea in the morning or at nighttime...

  1. Mix 4 tbsp. shortening with 2 cups self-rising flour, and crumble with fork
  2. Put 1/2 cup buttermilk in and stir a bit
  3. Add another 1/2 cup buttermilk to make a soft dough (*handle as little as possible)
  4. Bake @ 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

If you want to enjoy them the Southern way, drizzle them with honey, or smother them with butter and jelly!

(Also, if you don't have self-rising flour, use plain flour and add 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, & 1/2 tsp. baking soda)

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