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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Corned Beef And Cabbage

2015-03-16 16.55.11

My recipe for Corned Beef And Cabbage is so easy. Once you look over how easy it is, I believe you won’t have to go out, instead, you’ll be able to enjoy this traditional holiday dish at home.

Making this dish for St. Patrick’s Day fills my house with the smells and memories of growing up and knowing Spring was just around the corner.

I start this dish with a flat-cut of brisket. Because it’s just Steve and me, I’m using a piece that’s around 2 1/4-pounds. Let’s get started!

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The mixture of chicken and beef broth together make for a perfect combination of flavors.

For the spices, I use what’s known as a pickling spice. This spice blend is readily available now in the “spice section” at your local grocery store.

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Around an hour into the corned beef cooking,  I start working on the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes.

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Yields: 2 to 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 6-quart stockpot, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
2 1/4-pound flat-cut brisket, room temperature
1 tablespoon of pickling spice
2 small heads of green cabbage, quartered
7 medium-size Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
5 medium-size carrots, peeled and slice 2-inches thick
1-quart of low sodium beef broth (for the brisket)
3-quarts of unsalted chicken broth (1 for the meat, 2 for the vegetables)
2 cups of hot water
3 tablespoons of Kosher salt (2 tablespoons for the potatoes)
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
Place the room temperature brisket in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Next, add the pickling spice and the mixture of unsalted chicken and beef broth. The meat should be totally submerged. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer.

Place the lid on the Dutch oven, continue to cook on medium heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. After 2 1/2 hours check the corned beef to see if it is ready. If not, continue cooking for another 1/2 hour. You want the meat to be tender but still hold its integrity so, when sliced, the corned beef doesn’t break up into tiny little shreds.

Around an hour into the cooking process of the corned beef, prep your vegetables. Peel and slice the carrots, 2-inches thick. Peel and quarter the potatoes.

Transfer the quartered potatoes to a large stockpot and cover with cold water. On medium-high heat bring the potatoes up to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of  Kosher salt. Continue to boil for 5 minutes before turning the heat off. Pour them to a colander to drain really well, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

In the meantime, cut the cabbage into quarters. Using the same large stock pot add the quartered pieces of cabbage. Pour 2-quarts of unsalted chicken broth into the pot. On medium-high heat bring the cabbage up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Still, on medium heat, add the parboiled potatoes to the pot. Add the Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and continue cooking the cabbage and potatoes together for another 20 minutes.

At this point, the liquid will have slightly evaporated. To ensure there is enough liquid left in the pot you’ll need to add 2 cups of very hot water before adding the sliced carrots.

Continue cooking the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes together for another 20 minutes, then turn the heat to off and place a lid on allowing the carrots to become fork tender.

Remove the corned beef from the pot (if any pickling spices are clinging to the meat just brush them off) transferring the corned beef to a plate. cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Note: Check to make sure the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes are still hot before plating. Reheat if needed.

Place a few slices of the corned beef and a good helping of the vegetables on a plate. Ladle the broth from the vegetables over the top of the Corned Beef And Cabbage. 

Have a side of yellow or spicy mustard on hand!

Serve hot.

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Lemon Ricotta Cream Filled Shortbread Cookies

2015-03-18 20.11.25

I love #shortbread cookies, but filled with a lemon Ricotta cream, that’s just taking them to the next level of awesome. One bite into these delicious cookies and you’ll #tastethelove.  This recipe is so easy that it’s no problem to whip them up whenever you want. I like to start out by making the filling. This way it’s really cold by the time the cookies have cooled and are ready to be filled.  All it takes is whole milk Ricotta, confectioner’s sugar, better known as powdered sugar, and lemon zest. Mix this all together in a bowl.  After it’s mixed really well. cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Now here’s how to make the dough for the shortbread.

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Using a mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the room temperature butter, vanilla extract, and sugar together. Sift the flour and corn starch together into a large bowl. With a whisk, whisk the flour and corn starch together until they are well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter. once the dough  comes together, turn the mixer off. If the dough seems too dry add in 1 more tablespoon of soften butter, but only if needed. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Flour your surface are and roll the dough out and cut into rounds. Place them on lined baking sheets using parchment paper, and bake. Due to the size of my oven, I bake them off in batches. I just refrigerate the other trays until they’re ready to go into the oven. Let completely cool before filling them with the lemon Ricotta cream.

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Yields: 32- cookies
Inactive Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes (for rolling out the dough and cutting out the cookies)
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
2 sticks of soften unsalted butter, (plus 1 tablespoon if needed)
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 scant cup of corn starch (scant= almost 1 cup)
1-15 ounce container of whole milk Ricotta cheese
8 ounces or 1/2 a pound of powdered sugar
zest of a lemon

Special equipment:  a sifter, and a 3 or 4 inch fluted cookie cutter
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper
Directions:
Make the lemon Ricotta filling.. While making the filling, cream the butter, vanilla extract, and sugar together. After the filling is well mixed refrigerate. Next add the sifted dry ingredients to the mixer slowly. Once the dough has come together, and it’s not too dry where you don’t need to add that extra butter, dump it out onto a floured surface. Form into a round disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes along with the filling. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface about 1/4 inch thick, using the fluted cookie cutter. Place them onto the lined baking sheets. After the cookies have baked for 25 minutes, and cooled completely, take a generous spoonful of the filling and place in on the underside of the cookie and place the other one capturing the filling in the middle. You want the tops side of the cookies to be on the top and bottom of the cookie sandwich.

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Easter Is Upon Us!

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I’m having my friends, Cheri and Scott Theodore and their children over for dinner. They are such dear friends and are moving soon. I thought it would be great to have them over for a nice dinner together with an Easter theme. They have two children, Story and Jake, so I wanted the atmosphere to be kid friendly too. I thought the table centerpiece should SCREAM” sweetness! Also, I believe there should always be a basket of colorful Easter eggs waiting in the wings. Most importantly, the outdoors should say, “Springtime is here”. The menu will feature #Spring vegetables and a very berry dessert, my Apricot And Blueberry Crumble.

 

Apricot And Blueberry Crumble

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Meatballs And Noodles

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Same dish but with two different broths. I like mine with to have a soupier broth, so I can dunk some crusty bread into it and sop all that goodness up. Were as, Steve likes his to have a thicker consistency.  I suppose it’s a personal preference. I’m going to tell you how to make this delicious recipe. I’ll also tell you how you can thicken the broth up to be like what you would get in a chicken and dumpling recipe.

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First, I always have my veggies prepped like you see here.I also have my walnut size meatballs baking off in the oven and I’ll tell you how I made those in a minute. In a large Dutch oven, I melt some unsalted butter along with some olive oil on med heat. I start with sauteing the onions for a couple of minutes, until they start to soften. Once that’s happened, I add in the celery, carrots, and minced garlic.  I sprinkle in some Kosher salt, and black pepper, stirring all the veggies around and letting them saute for another couple of minutes. I season the veggies now because, adding salt after the mushrooms have been added to the pot will cause the mushrooms to release extra water and they won’t brown nicely. Lastly, I toss in the mushrooms with some fresh thyme leaves. stirring them in with the other veggies. I give the mushrooms some time to cook so they will release some of their water and start to get a nice brown color to them.

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Now is the time I like to add my liquid for the #meatballs and noodles. I have turned up the stove from med to med high before adding in beef broth, water, and some Worcestershire sauce, for that savory flavor that I just love. I’ve also added in a little Kitchen Bouquet. Now this is a browning and seasoning sauce that’s used a lot in gravy and stews. It really just deepens the brown color of the beef broth without adding a salty flavor. You can see what a deep dark brown color the broth has in this picture. I bring this up to a bubble, then reduce it to a slow simmer. Now for those meatballs.

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I bought 2 pounds of lean ground sirloin. In a large bowl I add in some heavy cream, chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, Italian style bread crumbs, Kosher salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, fresh grated garlic, ketchup, grated Parmesan cheese, eggs, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. I mixed all these ingredients together before adding in the ground sirloin. I do it this way so not as to over mix the meat. This way it will ensure you will have tender meatballs. I mix the meat through gently with all the flavorings just enough to where everything is combined evenly. Next I make walnut size balls using a small ice cream scoop. Lay them all out onto parchment paper that’s been sprayed with a little non- stick cooking spray. I also spray the tops of the meatballs with the olive oil non stick cooking spray to help them brown evenly. I bake them off for around 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees or until they have browned nicely. Once they’ve browned I add them to the pot where they will continue cooking and absorb that scrumptious broth that’s been simmering. I turn the heat back up to a med to med high heat to get the temperature back up to a bubble before adding in the egg noodles. The noodles I’m using are found in the freezer section of the grocery store.

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Once the pot of meatballs are back up to a bubble I add in the frozen noodles. Following the instructions on the length of time for the noodles to cook, about 18-20 minutes. At this point the meatballs and noodles are done and ready to eat. Remember how I was saying that Steve likes his to have a thicker broth. Well, here’s what I do here. I take half of the meatballs and noodles out and transfer it to another pot. The first pot I put a lid on to keep it nice and hot. I take this second pot hat I have on med heat, I’m going to thicken the broth. I’m going to add in a slurry of corn starch and water. All that this is, is one heaping tablespoon of corn starch that I whisked into a 1/4 cup of water. Once the slurry is mixed well I add it to the second pot, stirring continually as it comes back up to a boil. Once at a boil the sauce will have thicken. Take the second pot off the heat and cover until you are ready to serve.

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You can see the difference in the consistency of the two here above. Once is more like a hearty soup, the other has style like a chicken a dumplings would have. Both are very delicious, it’s all just a personal preference.

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 30-40 minutes ( this includes meatball and veggie prep)

Ingredients For Meatballs:
2 pounds of ground sirloin
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of ketchup
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 cups of Italian style bread crumbs
1/4 cup of heavy cream
2 large eggs, beaten

Directions for meatballs;
Mix all the ingredients except for the ground sirloin in a large bowl. Next add in the meat. Gently mix the meat through until everything is just combined, but everything is evenly distributed through the meat. Have oven set to 375 degrees. Scoop out the meatballs onto baking sheets lined and with parchment paper that have been sprayed with olive oil non-stick cooking spray. Then spray the tops of the meatballs with the non-stick spray to coat them lightly. Bake off for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Ingredients For Soup:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1 diced onion
2 cups of diced carrots
1 pint of creminin mushrooms that have been quartered
1 cup of diced celery
3 cloves of garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup of Kitchen Bouquet
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
2 quarts of low sodium beef broth
4 cups of water
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
1 package of frozen egg noodles
(Ingredients for slurry):
1 heaping tablespoon of corn starch
1/4 cup of water

Directions For Soup:
While the meatballs are baking off in the oven, have a large Dutch oven, on med heat. Melt the butter and olive oil. Toss in the onions and let saute for a minute add all the other veggies except the mushrooms. Let saute for 3-5 minutes, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Once they have begun to soften, add in the mushrooms and fresh thyme. Again let them saute stirring them in with the other veggies. After mushroom have browned nicely, and in all the liquids, beef broth, water Worcestershire sauce and Kitchen Bouquet. Tun up to med high heat and bring all this up to a boil, .By this time the meatball should be ready to come out of the oven. Add them into the pot carefully. Next add in the egg noodles and stir them through. Turn the pot down to med, place the lid on, but slightly cracked let all this simmer, letting this cook for another 20 minutes. Keep your eye on the pot to make sure it doesn’t bubble over having the lid on. Remove the lid and at this point the noodle will then have had plumped up, and the meatballs and noodles are ready. If you want a thicker broth, you can add a slurry to the pot by adding in 1 tablespoon of corn starch to a 1/4 cup of water. Whisk those together and pour into the pot. Bring everything back up to a bubble and the sauce will have thickened slightly, Turn the heat off right away, place a lid on the pot and let it rest for a couple of minutes. You will see a thicker consistency in the sauce.



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