September 8, 2007
Family Table: Recipes from our families to yours
(Page 2 - Previous Page)1 cup margarine
2 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 finger length of ginger, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery
1 teaspoon of cardamom
2 sticks of cinnamon, chopped into large chunks
1 cup grams of dried apricots, chopped into chunks
1/2 cup of pistachios, raw and unsalted
3 cups of rice, washed and drained
1 cup of cilantro, chopped
1 cup of pomegranate seeds
salt and pepper, to taste
Melt margarine in a large pot on medium heat. Add onions, garlic, ginger and celery; stir for several minutes. Add cardamom, cinnamon, apricots and pistachios; stir for another 2-3 minutes. Add rice, cilantro, pomegranate seeds, salt and pepper. Add 4 1/2 cups of hot water, stir for a few seconds. Place towel over pot, then cover towel with lid.
Cook on low heat for 25 minutes.
After 10 minutes, uncover rice and poke several holes in the rice, then re-cover.
Makes eight to 10 servings.
by Naomi Pfefferman, Arts & Entertainment Editor
It's 9 p.m. and I'm standing over the three last briskets at my local supermarket, wondering (and worrying) about whether "flat cut" means the same thing as "lean center cut" brisket. This is the third year I've been assigned to make the family's High Holy Days brisket, but since I rarely cook anything more complicated than broiled salmon, the task still feels daunting. I can't even remember exactly what cut of meat to buy. So I phone my mother, who asks whether the hunks of meat at the market are square or triangular. "Square," I say. Apparently I have hit brisket "bingo."
The urgency is that I need to cook a "test brisket" so that I can:
1) Write down my recipe for this story (previously I've improvised my own variation on the brisket theme).
2) Practice so I don't feed my relatives brisket swill.
Back in my kitchen, I try to recreate my recipe by remembering how I cooked my first brisket back in 2004.
At the time, I decided I did not want to make the usual Ashkenazi dish, which to me meant mildly flavored boiled meat in a thin broth. My taste buds prefer brash, over-the-top flavors, so I decided to "invent" my own fantasy brisket as a kind of beef tsimmis. I wanted the meat braised, not boiled -- preferably with booze involved. I rifled cookbooks for a recipe I could embellish upon, and finally settled on one called "Pot Roast Braised in Red Wine." I spiked the shiraz with Madeira, added twice the onions and garlic, plus prunes, currents, carrots, celery and leeks, which are so much nicer than onions. The resulting brisket turned out like a sweet-savory stew.
My relatives smacked their lips -- but being a Jewish family, there was at least one raised eyebrow. When I mentioned that the dish had taken me five hours to cook -- because of the constant readjustment of flavors, and my not-so-reliable Wedgwood stove -- I heard the refrain, "Huh? That should only have taken two hours!"
Please feel free to adjust flavors, veggie amounts, etc. to your own tastes.
3 pounds boneless brisket
2 cups of red wine, preferably a fruity shiraz cabernet
splashes of Madeira, a Portuguese dessert wine
2 cups sliced onions
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 can beef stock
1 cup of baby carrots, sliced lengthwise
1 cup prunes
1/4 cup currants
Place whole brisket in a bowl, add wine, Madeira, onions and garlic. Cover and refrigerate overnight for no more than 16 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove beef from marinade and pat dry. Sprinkle salt on all sides. Reserve marinade, including onions and garlic.
Pour enough oil to cover bottom of a frying pan. Add beef and cook over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Remove meat from pan. Place reserved onions in pan and cook over medium-low heat, until slightly browned. Chop up reserved garlic and stir it in with onions.
Add stock and reserved liquid marinade. Bring to a simmer, while scraping bottom of pan. Stir in salt to taste.
Line bottom of a deep casserole dish with tender green celery stalks, leeks, carrots, onions, prunes and currants. Arrange brisket in center. Pour cooked broth with onions and garlic over meat.
Cover and bake for about 1 hour, or until the meat is cooked halfway. Remove brisket from oven and slice thinly, against the grain. Return meat to dish and mix together so it resembles a stew. Adjust sauce to taste.
Cover and return to oven for an additional hour or until meat is tender.
Makes six servings.
Bubie Doris' Apricot Chicken
by Shoshana Lewin, Contributing Writer
It was always a treat when my Bubie Doris, my mother's mother, made her Apricot Chicken. Maybe it was because she would always make it with dark meat. Maybe it was because you could smell the seasoning as soon as you walked through the door.
She doesn't remember how long she's been making Apricot Chicken or even where she got the recipe. But she's been making it for more than 20 years. When I went away to college, I would return home to Chicago every year and spend the first day of Rosh Hashanah with my Bubie and Zayde. She would always make Apricot Chicken knowing it was my favorite (being the only grandchild does have its advantages).
1 3-pound fryer chicken, cut up
1 15-ounce jar apricot jelly