Friday, December 26, 2008

Report from the Twit Army Mess Hall - Corned Beef with Horseradish, Mustard Glaze


3 - 4 lb piece of corned beef brisket (try to get the leanest piece possible)
1.5 tbl Pickling spices, depending on the brand of corned beef you buy this may be included with the beef.
1 medium onion cut 1/2 way through in to quarters
6 cloves of garlic, whole
1 bay leaf

1/2 c. dark corn syrup
1.5 tbl. white horseradish (hot or regular, your choice)
1.5 tbl dark mustard, smooth (i.e. not with whole mustard seeds)

Rinse the beef thoroughly to remove as much salt as possible. Place in a heavy kettle large enough to hold the beef and all the spices completely covered with water but don't put the spices in just yet. Cover the beef with cold water and bring to a boil skimming off all the scum as it forms. After the scum stop forming, remove the beef from the pot, again rinse it carefully and then dump the water in the pot and refill it with fresh cold water. Return the beef to the pot along with the spices, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the beef is fork tender, about 3 - 4 hours. Remove the beef from the pot and, while it is still hot, remove as much surface fat as possible by scraping across the surface with a flat wooden paddle or the back side of a knife (don't use the sharp side or you'll shred the meat, you must do this while the meat is hot since the fat is soft at this point and will come off easily). Place the meat in a foil serving tray or wrap in foil and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours but overnight is better (DO NOT omit this step, if you do, the beef will still be very soft and the glazing won't work properly).

Mix the horseradish and mustard into the corn syrup and heat until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool (don't put this into the refrigerator or it will turn into horseradish candy).

Put the beef on a cookie sheet or similar oven safe tray lined with foil (this makes the clean up easier, I use the foil I wrapped the beef in while it was chilling). Heat the broiler. Brush the glaze onto the top and sides of the beef and place under the broiler until it begins to brown. Depending on the distance from the heat this will take somewhere between 5 to 10 minutes. Watch it carefully since the glaze will go from browned to burned very rapidly.

This can be served immediately or saved for later.

Notes: You can easily increase this recipe, I will normally make 4 beefs at a time using a canning kettle. You only need to increase the glaze by about 1/2 for each extra beef since the recipe makes plenty and you can't make less than 1/2 cup. So for 2 beefs use 3/4 c. of syrup, 3 beefs use 1 c of syrup, etc. Take my word for it you'll have more than enough. It's just a shame the glaze won't keep.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Recipe from the Twit Army Mess Hall - Baked Cabbage with Bacon


3/4 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips, use the good stuff here I use jowl bacon when I can find it & make sure it's thick sliced.
1 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound cabbage, quartered, thinly sliced
1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced, wash it well to get out all the sand
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups panko


Preheat oven to 375°F. Place bacon in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Cook until fat begins to render and bacon begins to brown, about 12 minutes you want it browned but not too crisy. Add cabbage and leek. Sauté until cabbage wilts, about 10 minutes. Add water; bring to boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium and simmer until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover, increase heat and boil until all liquid evaporates, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Mix in parsley and green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to 9-inch deep dish pie dish.

At this point you can put the dish in the refrigerator for a few hours & just before serving add the crispy topping.

Melt butter, I just use the microwave. Add panko & stir to make sure it's all coated. Sprinkle panko over cabbage mixture. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Report from the Twit Army Mess Hall - White Clam Sauce


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup bottled clam juice
1 lb linguine
2 lb small cockles (up to 1 inch across; 5 to 6 dozen), scrubbed well
if you can't find them you can use bottled italian clams, use the liquid in the bottle instead of the bottled clam juice then.
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Heat oil in the large sauce pan until hot but not smoking. Cook the onions until browned, add garlic, oregano & red pepper and cook for about another 2 minutes. Add clam juice and wine and boil until reduced by about 1/3 (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add cockles & boil for 5 to 6 minutes, discard any which do not open. If using the bottled clams add them at this point.

Remove from heat stir in the buttler & parsley and serve over linguini.

Serves 4

Monday, December 22, 2008

Recipe from the Twit Army Mess hall - Cioppino

  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine, I use chianti
  • 1 (28- to 32-ounces) can whole plum tomatoes, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (1-pound) king crab leg, thawed if frozen and cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces, **
  • 18 small (2-inch) hard-shelled clams (1 1/2 pound) such as littlenecks, scrubbed
  • 1 pound skinless red snapper or halibut fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound large shrimp (16 to 20), shelled (tails and bottom segment of shells left intact) and deveined**
  • 3/4 pound sea scallops, tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil


Cook garlic, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes with salt and pepper in oil in an 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until reduced by about half (it will start to look a little syrupy), this should take 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, clam juice, and broth and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  At this point you can cool the broth & store it in the refrigerator until the next day.  One hour before serving take out of the refrigerator and warm slowly over medium heat until just about boiling (so that the seafood will cook properly)

Add crab pieces or crab meat and clams to stew and simmer, covered, until clams just open, 5 to 10 minutes, checking every minute after 5 minutes and transferring opened clams to a bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon. (Discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes.) Lightly season fish fillets, shrimp, and scallops with salt and add to stew, then simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf, then return clams to pot and gently stir in parsley and basil.

Serve cioppino immediately in large soup bowls.

Serves 6 to 8

This recipe can be easily doubled if you have a large enough pot but not made smaller, you need to have that much broth for the seafood to cook properly.

** if king crab is not available you can substitute frozen crab meat (just not surimi it's too sweet) but then leave the shells on the shrimp.  You'll have to clean the shrimp but you need to have the shells in the broth for the flavor.