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Beef

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You can make these, which are shaped like calzone, with pie dough or pizza dough, and either bake or fry them. Filling vary from sweet to savory and depending what part of Latin America you are from, your notion of a quintessential empanada will differ from anyone else’s! I made these for tango class, which was filled with dancers from Chili, Peru, Brazil, Equator, and Argentina. No one agreed on the perfect empanadas; they only agreed the batch I made was perfection. Adobo seasoning is available in Latin food stores, or Penzey’s. You can also use a bit of onion powder, chili powder, and salt and pepper.

Things go better with a nice brisket almost any time of year. This cola braised, specially spiced brisket is a slow-roast, favorite secret recipe.

A cheap but authentic wok is best for this – a carbon steel one which heats up quick and is hot enough to properly sear food well (non-stick is an easy clean but never gets hot enough and produces more steam or humidity to the mixture resulting in more saucy stir fries vs. quick cooked, fresh and flavorful. A cast iron pan is also fine. But start with what you have. If you have a round wok bottom and a flat (regular, electric stove top) make sure you get the metal ring the wok sits in. I use both fresh garlic and ginger, as well as the added boost of some jarred stuff, which is always on hand. Plates from Chinatown (the blue and white patterned ones) are especially pretty for this dish. Serve with jasmine tea and dessert could be store-bought fortune cookies, restaurant almond cookies, and/or mango sherbet with mandarin oranges on top. 

Not to be confused with steak and green peppers, this classic French bistro is beef at its finest. It features a pan-saute rib eye steak (or any prime, thick cut, boneless steak you prefer) with a brandy and red wine sauce, garnered by deglazing the pan. It is absolutely mouth watering and as good, if not better, than any restaurant could do. Use the best peppercorns you can find (Spices Etc or Penzeys but do find great pepper -not supermarket peppercorns), a good pepper mill or better yet, use a mortar and pestle to crush the peppers coarsely or put the peppercorns in a small plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin to release the emphatic, pepper aroma and taste.  And don't skimp on the beef. Buy a great, tender, properly aged cut. I serve this with classic double fried French fries, asparagus or green beans and a tossed baby greens salad, with balsamic vinaigrette, fresh garlic croutons and slivers of chevre (goat cheese). Bake or provide a warm, sour dough bread on the side.  For a garlic version of this (untraditional but good), add a mashed clove or two of  garlic inn the pan just before making the sauce. For the beef bouillon, use unsalted or a better quality prepared beef bouillon. The best pan for this, by the way, is Viking Range Cookware - their 11 inch, non stick or stainless frypans. The pans are deep (no spattering), and wash up (even the stainless stell one) as if it was never used. Heavy-bottomed, it allows the steaks to cook through without burning them. The well designed handled makes getting the steaks in and out of the oven a breeze. The best cookware I've tested in about 5 years. www.VikingRange.Com


 

Get the smoker out...This brisket is appealingly sticky on the outside, pinkish on the inside, and suffused with deep barbecue and smoke flavor. It's delicious hot with additional barbecue sauce or thinly sliced and piled high on grilled garlic French rolls. Cold, this is a treat on soft Italian buns or crusty mini-baguettes, alongside a trough of coleslaw and an old-fashioned jug of real lemonade. Of course, there is also my famed Coca Cola Brisket and Red Wine Brisket and more......

Garlic works for chicken, why not brisket? This is a high flavored, deeply satisfying brisket that is also one of the easiest.

My version of a bowl of red`` - a zesty, piquant, deeply flavored chili to warm up a sports weekend fall, winter, or a chilly night in-between seasons.  Texans make a face if you mention tomatoes or beans when it comes to chili; Cincinnatians add cinnamon to theirs and it often appears atop spaghetti. Californians, well, Californians do what they like (add beans, tofu, chocolate and kiwi to taste...just kidding). Here's my version of a bowl of red``. It offers heat, spice, bold flavor and rib-sticking beefiness and a big smack of garlic. My brother makes a version of this but simmers it overnight in a Dutch oven from The Lodge.

What could be better than the deepest-flavored, heartiest of stews, with a buttery puff pastry ‘hat’ to tuck into? This is perfection from a Irish-spirit, if not wholly Irish, chef.

Macabean Approved! Reynolds or a comparable oven bag (the ones you cook turkey in), make sublime brisket. The bag keeps the meat self-basting and moist and you cook it once and slowly – no need to reslice and re-heat. Visit your supermarket or check out the bags online http://www.reynoldspkg.com/reynoldskitchens/en/product.asp?prod_id=1790
You can also prepare this the night before.
This is brisket with attitude.
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