Tag Archives: baked

Recipe: Corned Beef with Honey-Mustard Glaze

16 Mar

St. Patrick’s Day at our house has always meant three things: 1) a visit from a  leprechaun who somehow always manages to turn all our milk green; 2) an evening meal consisting of corned beef with honey-mustard glaze, crispy roast potatoes, and cabbage sauteed in olive oil and butter ; and 3) a green dessert — usually a torte made with a zesty lime filling, courtesy of my daughter whose specialty that has become.

However, the corned beef is without doubt the pièce de résistance, despite the fact it requires only three ingredients. It is cooked twice: first simmered until fork tender, and then glazed and finished off in the oven. It is such a beloved dish that we only make it once a year, to retain its special status. But we always make sure to have plenty of leftovers to enjoy for a day or two afterward. Most recently, we made three corned beef briskets — enough for two full meals for four hungry people, with some snacking in between.

Corned Beef with Honey-Mustard Glaze
Servings: 4

1 pkg. flat-cut corned beef brisket  (3-4 lb.), with spice packet
whole grain Dijon mustard (roughly 2.5-3 oz.)
honey (roughly 1-2 tbsp., or to taste)

Preparation

1. Remove the brisket from the package; reserve the spice packet that is usually included. Note: if there is no spice packet, use 1 tbsp. pickling spice, or make your own with 1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds, 1 tsp. black peppercorns, 8 whole cloves, 8 whole juniper berries, 8 whole allspice berries, and 2 bay leaves; place the spice(s) in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Rinse the corned beef, then place in a large pot and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a medium simmer. After the first boil, use a large cooking spoon to remove the foam that rises to the surface (I ladle the foam into a large bowl and keep the bowl by the stove until no longer needed). Keep removing the foam every 15 minutes or so until very little is being generated.
3. Add the contents of the spice packet (or your own reserved spices) to the corned beef in the pot, reduce heat to a low simmer (you want to see some gentle movement in the water, but do not want it at a full boil), partially cover the pot, and let the beef simmer for about 3 hours, or until fork tender. Top up with additional water as needed.
4. Carefully lift the brisket out of the pot and place on a rimmed cookie sheet. When cool enough to handle, use the side of a fork (the outer edge of one of the tines) to gently scrape off any fat that is on the brisket. Make sure to remove all visible fat.
5. Spray a baking dish (or another cookie sheet) with cooking spray, and place the brisket on the dish/sheet. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
6. Put the mustard in a small bowl and mix in the honey; adjust quantities of each to suit your taste. (I usually make the glaze without measuring either ingredient; I taste test until there is just enough sweetness to the mustard.)
7. Spoon the glaze over the corned beef, then bake until the corned beef is warm and the glaze is beginning to turn golden.
8. When serving, slice across the grain.

Recipe: Baked Sweet Potato Fries

13 Mar

In the United States, grocery stores offer both sweet potatoes and yams, which are not botanically related. Except that here, they are one and the same.  The “yams” sold in the United States are orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Real yams are starchy and drier than sweet potatoes and have a rough and shaggy exterior. The problem is that white-fleshed sweet potatoes arrived on American shores first, so when the orange-fleshed versions put in an appearance, they were labeled as “yams” to avoid confusion. In the end, Americans have become more confused than ever.

On the plus side, the orange-fleshed sweet potato (AKA “yam” in the United States) is an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is responsible for the orange color. Beta carotene protects cells from pesky free radicals and is also converted into Vitamin A.

But all that aside, sweet potatoes are delicious — especially in the form of sweet potato fries, which make a regular appearance (and disappearance) at our house. These fries are crispy on the outside and soft, sweet, and rich on the inside. And since the olive oil they are tossed in enhances the absorption of the beta carotene, eating these super fries is a win-win situation all around.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Serves 4-6

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin strips
6 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. cornstarch/arrowroot powder/wheat flour/rice flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dried oregano

Preparation

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray two large baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. Place sweet potato strips in large bowl; toss with olive oil.
3. Add remaining ingredients; toss well to combine.
4. Place the sweet potato strips on the baking sheets, in one layer.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden.
6. Enjoy!