Artichokes Stuffed with Ground Beef

I have been wanting to make this recipe for a long time. I distinctly remember my mother stuffing artichokes with breadcrumbs, parsley, and parmasean cheese as a child. However, she stuffed it between the leaves and left it whole. As amazing as that was I really think cutting them in half first really is the better way to go. You can trim the pointy leaves as you don’t need that area for stuffing – I can’t be the only who has been left bloodied by an artichoke right?  You can also trim the hair off the artichoke heart (or artichoke “butt” according to my Chilean friend) before you stuff it so you aren’t de-fuzzing the artichoke mid-meal which is annoying and messy.

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Tamarind Meatballs

This Syrian dish is easy to make with only a few ingredients. The first time I made it for family my grandmother was sorely disappointed I didn’t make spaghetti with it. Despite my insistence that these were not Italian meatballs in a marinara sauce she was adamant that meatballs are always to be served with spaghetti or otherwise you clearly did not know how to throw a dinner party.  As you can see from the final photo here I once again went against “tradition” and served it with rice.

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Grilled Rack of Lamb with Duck Fat-Garlic Braised Potatoes

Evidently Americans eat less than 1 lb a year. I think I can eat 1 lb in a sitting so either these stats are off or people for some CRAZY reason do not like lamb??? Maybe because it is expensive. At a restaurant it can get pricey but if you make it yourself its not bad at all. My husband and I bought a 1.5 lb rack of lamb chops for $17 and we ate so much we had to decompress on the couch for 2 hours – and still had leftovers! So, morale of the story is eat more lamb and make it yourself.  This was also really easy. Took about 15 mins in prep work and very little clean up.

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Multi-Colored Quinoa Granola with Dates and Seeds

After I made home made granola a few months ago I was in the mood to try it again, this time with quinoa. Why quinoa? Because like my fashion sense – I am 5 years behind on trends that is why. Plus I had some quinoa hanging around the pantry. Here I used dates, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds; but you can use whatever dried fruit, seeds, or nuts you like.

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Preserved Lemon and Green Olive Chicken Tajine

When I get bored I like to make weird condiments that will last in the fridge. I will make pickled garlic, pickled mango, rendered chicken fat, candied orange peels, harrisa, schug, etc.  One of my favorite things to make is preserved lemons because it is super easy and lasts forever in the fridge. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures when I was making the lemons but you can find a lot of recipes online or just buy them pre-made from middle-eastern grocers, fancy supermarkets, the internet

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Beef Brisket

Evidently most people know brisket as some sort of smoked BBQ thing. I didn’t know about this until I was googling for recipe variations and kept finding smoking instructions. Isn’t smoking what they do to whitefish and salmon? Perhaps the occasional gouda. Evidently smoking meats is like a thing in the south and I had the definition of BBQ totally confused but that is a discussion for another day. The way I have always eaten (and cooked) brisket was slow cooked in the oven with vegetables and plenty of liquids. You need to google “Jewish Brisket” for this variation.

On the bright side my version is much easier and involves a lot less equipment than the smoked version. Brisket is usually a holiday dish but the other day my husband came home with a huge hunk of meat and promised he would help me cook it. Turned out his help was keeping the children contained while I chopped, seared, cooked, and cleaned up. Better than nothing.

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