Month: March 2013

Two New Sausages: Mango-Poblano Pepper and Apple-Sage

Mango Poblano sausage and apple sage sausageI’ve been practicing my sausage making skills over the winter and last week I decided it was time to test myself.  Grilling season is approaching here in Chicago so it was time to use the basic skills I’ve acquired and invent something delicious.  I settled on two new flavors: a mango-poblano pepper sausage and an apple-sage sausage.  (more…)


St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef (Part 2 – the finished product)

Corned beef with red cabbage After 6 days in brine the brisket was ready for cooking and the photo above does not begin to do justice to this corned beef.  If you could only taste it!  The ready-to-cook corned beef you buy in the store has nothing on this version in terms of flavor.  There’s no way you get as intense a flavor from them.  The cloves, allspice, and bay leaves in the brine layer each with each bite with interesting flavor.  To be perfectly honest, I can’t wait to get a smoker this summer so I can take this same recipe and smoke the brisket instead for some pastrami or Montreal style smoked meat. (more…)

St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef (Part 1 – brining the beef)

beef brisket in brine - corned beef

Sorry, there’s just no way to make meat sitting in brine look like a supermodel. But it’s going to taste really good.

Corned beef.  A staple of St Patrick’s Day here in America, along with green beer and a green river, at least here in Chicago.  This year instead of buying the supermarket corned beef I decided to make my own.  Armed with a brine recipe from Ruhlman’s Charcuterie I picked up a 4 lb slab of beef brisket (flat cut) and set about getting started. (more…)

Homemade Gnocchi – It’s Taken a While but I Finally Did It

Homemade Gnocchi

Ah gnocchi.  When gnocchi is made right they are like light and airy pillows; when made wrong like heavy and dense globs of potato.  They are one of Cheryl’s favorite foods and always in the running if we’re at an Italian restaurant and gnocchi is on the menu.  Gnocchi are made with the simplest ingredients, potatoes and flour, but you have to get the ratio correct.  It’s a fine line between glob and pillow. (more…)