Friday, August 6, 2010

Cafe World Challenge Week 22

I planned the three dishes and made the three, one was a complete disaster and the other two were very successful. I finally got to free up some space in my fridge and cooked up the corned beef and I made the donuts (UGH!!!!!) and a healthy delicious fruit salad.

Corned Beef

This dish is broken down into two parts, the corning process and then the actual cooking of the corned beef. If you buy a corned beef, just skip to the cooking recipe.

I left my beef brisket in the salt and spice solution for three weeks, I did a bit of research before I started and I found that most people found that the longer recipes produced a spicier and better tasting corned beef. There were recipes that got the job done in 3 days, so it could be done, but I wanted more spice.

I also didn't use any preservative or pink curing salt. My research seemed to suggest that it could be omitted, but I'd be left with a brown corned beef instead of the pink colour you usually associate with it. I looked and couldn't find these ingredients so I skipped them, I was after taste more than colour.

I used this recipe for Homemade Corned Beef, except I left out the saltpeter and only made one beef brisket. I put everything in my crock pot with its lid, just remember not to use a metal container as the salt solution will be pretty corrosive.

I waited three weeks, with a stinky fridge....those garlic clove did their job.

Now on to the cooking. Remove the brisket from the brine and thoroughly rinse it with cold water. I researched the spice combinations used to cook corned beef and came up with my own mix using the spices I liked and I had in my collection, it turned out really well.

Corned Beef recipe

1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 small cinnamon stick broken up
3 bay leaves crumbled
1 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp salt
Corned beef

Place corned beef in a large pot and cover with water I used two litres. I'd reduce the salt if you use any less water. Add all the spices. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for about 3 hours. Replenish the water if it gets low during cooking. Remove from liquid and serve as desired.

Yesterday was really hot and after the heat of the cooking all day, I opted to make sandwiches with the beef. I used thick slices of dark rye and served it with pickles and horseradish sauce. I really wanted to make a bit of a east meets west fusion using wasabi paste, soy sauce and mayo instead of the horseradish, but unfortunately I went to the wrong store yesterday and they didn't carry wasabi....that teaches me to not stray from the best. (Have a mentioned I love Presidents Choice stores, they would always have my wasabi)

I have leftover corned beef, so I might just serve it up with some veggies tonight.

Super Chunk Fruit Salad

I gave my family strict instructions to leave me some fruit and I was able to put together an awesome fruit salad. Now my kids don't want just fruit, they want the fruit salad again. My eldest even suggested that he would not eat any fruit for a day and he'd help me get more so we could make it together. Sweet kid.

So there's nothing to it, I just chopped up some fruit and mixed it all together, no added sugar or syrups, just plain healthy fruit.

I used: Oranges, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit and apples

Jammin Jelly Donuts

Let me start by saying, "I DON'T DO DEEP FRIED." I've never liked it and don't have the right equipment for it and don't plan to get it either. So this was really the wrong recipe for me. My donuts came out too browned and weren't cooked through, I suppose I don't fault the recipe, just this cook isn't meant to make them. I'm also rather particular about donuts and don't usually eat them. When I was in elementary school, they'd have donuts days and would make awesome donuts. I hadn't eaten donuts in many years and then found them everywhere here in North America. I don't really like most donuts here, they are too sweet or sticky and leave a weird greasy/waxy taste in my mouth. So I pretty much avoid them.

Anyway, I crossed them off the list as I'm not going to attempt them again. You can see in the photo below that they don't look too great and were destined for the garbage.

Cafe World Cookbook Additions

Two more additions this week, in the vampire theme: Blood Sausage and in the Hippie theme: Pita and Dolmas

Next Up: I've been watching Martha Stewart show archives on her website and found a great Paella recipe.

Progress: 45/76

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