Archive | September, 2012

Brisket w. Tzimmes, Braised Kale, and Rutabaga Kraut

30 Sep

Have been on the hunt for a good Brisket recipe and finally found one that I’d be happy to make year after year. This recipe comes from Pierce’s mom. It is all about the Tzimmes- which is like this sweet potato and prune mixture. And while I LOVE the taste of the chili sauce/can of coke brisket- I do like knowing exactly what’s in this one. And while it’s not shy on the sugar- there is essentially a caramel sauce for peet’s sake- I still feel like it’s probably less than in the coke/chili. Had some friends over for dinner and I served it w. some red wine braised kale, a quick rutabaga kraut and some cornichons to much on w. wine. I have to say- very well fitting accompaniments. See further down for recipes. Finished w. a refreshing watermelon sorbet- post to come.

5 pounds brisket of beef [can scale up or down. keep in mind that brisket does shrink.]

*** Addendum: I just made with 7.5 pd brisket and I’m not sorry about it. Remarkably it did not effect the cooking time. I also liberally salted the brisket the night before (leave overnight loosely covered in fridge), which I highly recommend to increase tenderness and flavor. Before cooking, I patted dry. Since it was such a large piece of meat, I kept the 1 tablespoon of salt in the tomato juice mixture and it worked out perfectly.

1 pound carrots

1 large  onion (2 small)

3 sweet potatoes, pared

4 white potatoes, pared

½ pound dried prunes

1 cup water

2½ tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup fresh or canned tomato juice (i used the organic bottled juice kind)

½ cup brown sugar (used light brown) [can scale slightly back on this]

step 2:

3 tablespoons granulated white sugar

2 tablespoons water

1½ cups cold water

1. Trim most of the fat from the meat. Slice the carrots crosswise. Slice onions thinly. Cut potatoes into medium-sized chunks. [cut my carrots big- like size of my potato chunks).

2. Place meat in the bottom of the large pot, arrange layers of white potatoes, prunes, sweet, onion and carrots.

3. Mix water, honey, salt, tomato juice and brown sugar, pour over meat/veg; simmer for 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

5. Heat 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons water over high heat until the sugar caramelizes (wait until it turns that amber caramel color), then pour cold water over the caramelized sugar. Add liquid to the tzimmes.

6. Place tzimmes in the oven and bake for 2 hours at 325. Can even let it cool in the oven but not necessary. That might be overkill but you really just can’t over cook it. My butcher says he does his for like 7 or 8 hours. That’s right. I have a butcher. How stoked am I. Cook until the texture you want- mine ended up like the pull apart. Mrs. Weiner also told me that the stovetop cooking which is a bit strange for brisket- might also contribute to that pull apart effect]

As always brisket is good- some say best- the next day. I put the whole pot in fridge, left over night. Skimmed off some fat. and reheated in the oven at 300. Every time it just cooks more and gets better and better.



Mark Bittman’s Red Wine Braised Kale (Collards or other greens)

1 bunch regular curly kale. Can also use 1 ½ pounds other greens- like collards, washed and trimmed.

¼ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, mined

salt and pepper to taste

½ cup chicken stock (I subbed of the fat/stock of the brisket mixed w. water)

½ cup dry red wine

i also added a pinch of red chili flakes. I did towards the end- but if I thought of it sooner, would have added w. garlic

1.tear or chop greens into small pieces. Put oil in large skillet, heat on med-high. Add garlic, and when it colors (just barely and gets fragrant), the green. Toss frequently- cooking 3 or 4 minutes.

2. reduce heat to med, add stock, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 5 mins.

3. remove cover, add wine. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, about 5 mins, until almost all liquid has evaporated and greens tender.


Rutabaga Quick-Kraut

I got some Rutabaga from a CSA pick up- and this recipe was exactly what I was looking for. Something fresh and vinegary to cut the density of the brisket. Found through a long-winded google search. Eventually landed on this at

My rutabaga was a bit big so I tampered w. the measurements slightly

2 heaping cups of rutabaga (less than 1 whole big rutabaga)

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard [looks like a lot but actually not that strong tasting]

salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat honey, apple-cider vinegar and mustard in skillet to combine (on med heat).

2. Add grated rutabaga to pan.

3. Saute on med-high heat until rutabaga is tender and lightly browned [just a few minutes]

4. Add in small amounts of oil as needed to keep rutabaga from sticking to the pan. [I used grapeseed oil but I’m sure olive or whatever you have is fine. I think it is good for taste- not just sticking issue.]

Tastes great room temp.


Ginger Molasses cookies

26 Sep

so i received this email the other day from Anonymous (who i’m sure you’ve come to know through his/her comments on the blog):

dear tessa,

why don’t you love us? it’s fall, so you should love us the most this
time of year.


cinnamon and nutmeg


Dear cinnamon and nutmeg,

so lovely to hear from you! I am sorry i waited so long to bring you guys back out- but it hadn’t really felt like fall yet. but now, the weather has changed and i’m craving you. last week, i made you a home in a delicious apple crisp. And today, you really shined in these ginger molasses cookies. So thank you! Keep doing what you do

looking forward to seeing much more of you in the coming months,



See apple crisp recipe for new pic and peeling apple trick learned in Ireland!


This cookie recipe comes from Flour Bakery- my new favorite spot in Cambridge. It is such a great cookie- because as she describes, these spicy fall flavors have this great soft presence. I don’t need that overwhelming bang from 7 kinds of ginger- and i dont see why i should have to choose between a molasses cookie or a gingersnap. I have to say- these are fucking good.  you know like that first day of fall– you feel it in the air- and smell it too- right Danny T? that’s what these cookies are like. you should be sad summer is over- and you kind of are. but you remember, fall is a great season too.

Erring on the lower side of the baking time keeps them delightfully chewy. More time- more crunch.

Ginger Molasses cookies by Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery

12 tablespoons (6oz, 168g) unsalted butter

1 cup (220g) tightly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (85g) molasses  ** ah! i don’t know how i did this- but just fixed had accidentally written 1/2

1 egg

2 cups (288g) all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp clove

1/2 tsp salt

small bowl of sugar for tossing cookies (regular granular sugar or turbinado works fine)

Preheat oven to 350 and put rack in the center of the over.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and let cool for at least 30 min or until warm, not hot, to the touch. [i left mine about an hour- and it reached this unexpected semi-solid state– (jess P you know what im talking about). Anyway- looks weird- worked great.] Using a stand mixer w. paddle attachment, combine butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg and mix for about 20 seconds until well mixed. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon, clove and salt and fold this into butter/sugar mixture by hand until well mixed. I refrigerated my dough overnight because was not baking off until the following day.

Scoop out 1/4 cup balls (size of ice cream scoop) and place them one by one in a bowl of sugar and toss gently to coat on all sides. Place cookies on a sheet, 2 inches apart and bake for 16-18 mins (i did 16) until the cookies are crackly on top and barely firm to touch (if you like them chewy i’d kinda ignore the firm to touch- the ones that i let go that long turned out crunchier). Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for 20-30 mins (yes, i actually did that). slide cookies of sheet and cool rest of way on rack. Cookies can be stored up to 2 days in airtight container, dough can be stored up to week in the fridge in an airtight container.

Makes 16 cookies.

1/4 cup balls are very big but gorgeous cookies. I made my second batch a little smaller– but i dunno, go big or go home.

New Kitchen! New City! New Breakfast obsession

12 Sep


Apologies on the MUCH overdo post. It has been a busy month– moving out of brooklyn and into cambridge, starting school etc etc. And while tears have been shed that the park slope co-op is no longer just around the corner, I am making do with Cambridge’s numerous farmers markets. The biggest thing about the new apartment- is the kitchen. We might have upgrade the subtitle of this blog to Tessa’s Not so Tiny Kitchen. It is not that it is huge– but just to brag for a second– i have a dishwasher, garbage disposal and full size oven (new cookie sheets to buy!). And probably most importantly- a gigantic counter. So I mean, I feel like i’m moving up in the world. I have a just about a million recipes to post from my cooking class in Ireland. But this one seems the most pressing– as I can’t go a morning without it.

This recipe originates from Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills cookbook. However– I have changed the measurements for ease of American use.

2/3 cups rolled oats

2/3 cups water (i use boiling. i think hot tap would work fine too. and apparently some people use apple juice)

1 teaspoon honey (or more for taste)

1 pint raspberry (those small containers) can also use blackberries or really anything else. or just apples

1 small apple (grated) or half of a giant one. don’t let that deter you- it takes like 30 seconds to grate an apple

Take a big bowl. Add oats. Add water. Let stand for 10-15 minutes for oats to soften. can pour of excess water if there is any. grate in apple. add in raspberry– I like to crush w. clean hands as adding in. Add honey. Mix all. Tastes best when made the night before.

To serve. I HIGHLY recommend serving as Darina does- w. dark brown sugar and jersey cream. Instead of cream- as I don’t have cows on my fire escape- I eat w. yogurt, just a touch of brown sugar and bananas. I do think this touch of brown sugar tastes better than an overload of honey.

OK Try it. And get back to me.


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