Roasted vegetables are a time-honored classic, and green beans are a regular part of our side dish rotation. Over the Christmas season, we enjoyed our take on green bean casserole. While we’re often utilitarian eaters, having our green beans with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, we occasionally like to jazz things up.
Recently, we were gifted a jar of Tin Star Food’s Organic Grassfed Brown Butter Ghee from our friends at Real Everything, and we knew we needed to do something special with it. Brown butter sauces are rich, and complex, and brown butter ghee kicks that up another level. This was a side dish that became an entrée when we made it, and we think you’ll eat it up just as quickly. Check out Tin Star’s other products; we’re fans of quality, lactose-free dairy products.
This time of year, every year, corned beef brisket returns in force to the butchers section of your local grocery store. Corned beef is a guilty pleasure of mine, and we’ve gone through 10-15 lbs every March. The pink interior of the brisket you’ve known and loved is from using either pink salt with sodium nitrate or other added nitrates/nitrites. Skipping this will result in a grayer brisket, but still great flavor.
This year, we decided to take the plunge and figure out how to make our own corned beef. Fun fact: the “corned” in corned beef has to do with salt-curing, or brining, the brisket. We experimented with a quick corning, and while the flavor was good after 24 hours, the brisket was dry and less tender. Make sure to allow the brisket to brine for at least 5 days, if not 6-10 days. If you don’t have that kind of time, find an already corned brisket and throw it in your Instant Pot—you’ll be up and running for St. Patrick’s day in record time.
Over the past few months, we have been making arrangements for our first child as well as learning the ropes of pregnancy. One of the most common tropes we’ve heard is the random, off-putting, late-night food cravings; in most stories, the dutiful spouse rushes off to a store or restaurant to buy whatever will satisfy the craving. This hasn’t been our experience, however. It’s true that we may have more coconut- and cashew-based ice cream on hand than normal; but we also finished wiring the outlet for our chest freezer very recently. The extra space for frozen foods also meant buying 36 pounds of grass-fed lamb.
Even before the pregnancy, there were regular requests for curry dishes. Our local international market has a great red curry paste, that we’ve since found online, and we have a homemade green curry we love. This recipe was another excuse to make curry, and it does not disappoint. We ate it for days, and it was a hearty meal by itself or paired with cauliflower rice.
I can’t remember why, but a couple of weeks ago Brent and I thought it would be a good idea to buy one of those 10-lb bags of carrots at Costco. I had visions of carrot juice in the morning, carrot soufflés, and finding other creative ways to use the carrots. Admittedly, we have made neither juice nor soufflé of carrot.
Fortunately, Brent remembered that during our first trip to Germany, we enjoyed a carrot salad that was bright and tangy as we sat on a bench outside Nymphenburg Palace. In our research, we found quite a few varieties but we settled on keeping our version simple. We’re enjoying it now, and I think we’ll be making it more often once spring time arrives. It’s a perfect side dish for a picnic or cookout!
We may or may not have mentioned before that we enjoy cooking for others as much as we enjoy it for ourselves. We’ve made a habit of cooking food for new parents we know, either by taking over their kitchen for a meal or dropping off batches of food.
One of our neighbors recently had a baby, and they’re similarly focused on eating real food. We did what we do best and took them a batch of this soup after they came home from the hospital. The next day, while out walking our dog, their oldest son ran up to the fence and said, “I really liked your soup!” With eight nieces and nephews, I know how hard it can be to get kids to eat. So, unsolicited praise must mean we did something right!
Just this weekend we made another batch for ourselves, and froze more than half of it. As we look forward to our own baby’s birth in June, we are slowly planning ahead for the inevitable weeks of exhaustion that will follow bringing the baby home. Batch cooking now will save us time and money in the future. We hope you’ll like this soup as much as we and our neighbors do.