Saturday, September 24, 2016

"Smoked" Crock Pot Brisket






So, I currently live in an apartment, and we have many restrictions on BBQ units and outdoor grills. Sometimes, ohhhhh how I miss the undeniable flavor of meats done in a smoker!

Well, after doing a little research, I found you can "smoke" meats in both the oven and slow cooker! With the crock pot method, however, there is no actual "smoke," (which means you don't need a lot of effort to ventilate your home).  But, it does impart a little extra flavor to your meat!  I used a very mild wood chip (hickory) but I would suggest a more robust variety like apple wood to maybe get a more intense flavor.  Here's what I did.... :)


Ingredients
4-6 lb beef brisket
3 cups of wood chips of your choice (mesquite, applewood, hickory)

Injector Juice (Optional)
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp of teriyaki sauce (optional for a little sweetness)

Brisket Rub:
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tsp lemon pepper
2 tsp smoked or sweet paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Other equipment: 
Parchment Paper
Flavor Injector



Instructions
OPTIONAL STEP:  Combine Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce in a small bowl and use food injector syringe to pierce down into the meat at least an inch to impart extra flavor. Do this in multiple places around the meat.











Combine all of the spices above and mix well in a small bowl.

Rub spice mixture on ALL sides of the brisket.


Wrap the brisket in about 4 layers of plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably over night.


When ready to start your crock pot, soak your wood chips in water for 30 minutes.
Remove your chips from the water, strain in a colander and make a packet for them with your parchment paper.


Using a knife or scissors make a few tiny holes throughout the parchment paper to allow smoky steam to escape into the meat while cooking.  Place this packet at the very bottom of your crock pot.




Unwrap your brisket from the plastic wrap and place directly on top of the parchment paper packet in the slow cooker.


Add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of your crock pot. You can also use other liquids - such wine, chicken/vegetable stock, juice etc. - in place of the water.



Cover and cook on low for 5 - 10 hours (depending on how big your brisket is) - until a fork EASILY slips out from piercing the meat. For a small brisket, I start fork-checking at 4 hours.   If your meat "moves" when pulling out a fork, it's NOT READY.  Leave it in!  LOL  You want to get this to the point where it "almost" falls apart but still stays together when cut with a knife.


Let rest for at least 20 minutes.  Slice and enjoy!  :-)

Now, because I wanted a little "crust" and more color, I took my cooked brisket and hit it in a hot skillet with a little olive oil.  This isn't necessary; just wanted to give that fat cap a little crispiness, so it reminded me more of cooking outdoors. LOL



For a PRINTABLE COPY, click here !

"Smoked" Crock Pot Brisket






So, I currently live in an apartment, and we have many restrictions on BBQ units and outdoor grills. Sometimes, ohhhhh how I miss the undeniable flavor of meats done in a smoker!

Well, after doing a little research, I found you can "smoke" meats in both the oven and slow cooker! With the crock pot method, however, there is no actual "smoke," (which means you don't need a lot of effort to ventilate your home).  But, it does impart a little extra flavor to your meat!  I used a very mild wood chip (hickory) but I would suggest a more robust variety like apple wood to maybe get a more intense flavor.  Here's what I did.... :)


Ingredients
4-6 lb beef brisket
3 cups of wood chips of your choice (mesquite, applewood, hickory)

Injector Juice (Optional)
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp of teriyaki sauce (optional for a little sweetness)

Brisket Rub:
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tsp lemon pepper
2 tsp smoked or sweet paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Other equipment: 
Parchment Paper
Flavor Injector



Instructions
OPTIONAL STEP:  Combine Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce in a small bowl and use food injector syringe to pierce down into the meat at least an inch to impart extra flavor. Do this in multiple places around the meat.











Combine all of the spices above and mix well in a small bowl.

Rub spice mixture on ALL sides of the brisket.


Wrap the brisket in about 4 layers of plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably over night.


When ready to start your crock pot, soak your wood chips in water for 30 minutes.
Remove your chips from the water, strain in a colander and make a packet for them with your parchment paper.


Using a knife or scissors make a few tiny holes throughout the parchment paper to allow smoky steam to escape into the meat while cooking.  Place this packet at the very bottom of your crock pot.




Unwrap your brisket from the plastic wrap and place directly on top of the parchment paper packet in the slow cooker.


Add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of your crock pot. You can also use other liquids - such wine, chicken/vegetable stock, juice etc. - in place of the water.



Cover and cook on low for 5 - 10 hours (depending on how big your brisket is) - until a fork EASILY slips out from piercing the meat. For a small brisket, I start fork-checking at 4 hours.   If your meat "moves" when pulling out a fork, it's NOT READY.  Leave it in!  LOL  You want to get this to the point where it "almost" falls apart but still stays together when cut with a knife.


Let rest for at least 20 minutes.  Slice and enjoy!  :-)

Now, because I wanted a little "crust" and more color, I took my cooked brisket and hit it in a hot skillet with a little oil.  This isn't necessary; just thought wanted to give that fat cap a little crispiness, so it reminded me more of cooking outdoors.



For a PRINTABLE COPY, click here !

Sunday, July 17, 2016

M.'s Strawberry Shortcake Soup

So, in the test kitchen, I was toying around with this idea of a dessert "soup."  Fresh blended fruit and juice eaten from a bowl on a hot summer day.  No turning on a hot oven required - need I tempt you more?  LOL Come Join Me on Instagram:  marronmelange




Ingredients

1.5 lbs. Organic Strawberries
1/2 c. Fruit Juice of your choice (I used cranberry)
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 c. Granulated Sugar
2 T. Lemon Juice
1 pkg. of shortcake cups
2 T. Butter



PLEASE NOTE:  It's VERY important to use ORGANIC STRAWBERRIES for this recipe, because you will be using and eating the the leaves. Strawberry leaves ARE edible, but if not buying organic, do not consume the leaves, because they may contain pesticides!



Wash and prepare strawberries by cutting the tops off and slicing into quarters.


Dice the leaves from the tops, cover and refrigerate.





Using a blender, purée approximately 16 ounces of the cut strawberries with the fruit juice, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice.





Add the remaining 8 oz. of cut strawberries to the puree (not shown lol), cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.


Cut the shortcake cups into 1/4 - 1/2 inch cubes.


Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a non-stick pan until foamy.  Add the cubes and fry until golden brown over low heat.


Serve strawberry soup chilled and top with the organic leaves and shortcake "croutons!"  Enjoy!




For a printable copy of this recipe, CLICK HERE!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Radish Parsley Soup


This soup is great for spring and summer!  Enjoy! 



You will need:
1 Bunch of Radishes
1 Medium Onion
1 Bunch of Parsely
2.5 cups Vegetable Stock or Prepared Vegetable bouillon
5/8 cup Whipping Cream (roughly 5 fluid oz.)
3 Tbsp. Mashed Potato Flakes
Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg


PREP:
Thoroughly wash one bunch of radishes (including the leaves) and cut into thin slices. I suggest using a mandoline slicer, if you have one.  This will make the slices thinner and more uniform.
Mince the inner leaves of the radishes (but not stems).
Mince the onion.
Pull off the leaves of one bunch of parsley and mince.
Add 2 tbsp. of the parsley with the chopped radish leaves into a blender or food processor and puree.

Cut off both ends of radishes and slice thinly.  Reserve the leaves.


Use a mandoline to slice the radishes, if you have one!

Separate radish leaves from the stem.
Chop radish leaves finely/mince.
Puree parsley and radish leaves.

All prepped and ready to assemble!


COOKING:
In a skillet, combine the onion and 2/3 of the sliced radishes and fry lightly in one 1 tbsp of butter (medium low heat for about 4-5 minutes).

Add the vegetable stock to a saucepan, add the sauteed radishes and onion.  Bring to a boil.  Then cover and cook for 5 minutes over low heat.




Add the parsley-radish leaves puree to the saucepan.


Add whipping cream and bring to a boil again.


Add 3 tablespoons mashed potato flakes and simmer for one minute.


Season the soup generously with salt and pepper.
Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and the rest of the sliced radishes and parsley (I used fresh chives).


For a printable copy of this recipe, CLICK HERE!