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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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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