We’ve had an eventful start to the new year—a few days after returning to work, our son Otto woke up with pink eye. To add to that, he had a persistent cold (that he happily shared with mom and dad) which developed into a mild ear infection. His temperament has been cheery, but he hates his antibiotic with a passion. If that didn’t seem to be enough, just a few days ago, Otto started to crawl. As amazing and exciting of a milestone as this is for him, we were not (and are still not) ready to be landlords of a mobile baby.
Despite these life events, we’ve been busier in the kitchen than ever. Part of this past weekend was conducting recipe testing for our friend Russ, in anticipation of his new cookbook (read more about that here), and we found ourselves left with a nice cut of top round roast. You know the story: our choices were either a 1.5 lb roast or a 5 lb roast when we only needed 3 lbs. What do we do with leftover meat? Make new recipes.
With that, we decided to dry-rub the roast in curry. If you’ve been with us for some time, you know we’re fans of curry (here are a few select examples). Fun fact: the concept of curry is a completely British/American invention, as there isn’t one “curry powder” in traditional cuisine. Indian and African dishes that require a blend of spices (what we call a curry), vary in ingredients and ratios, and were often ground for the meal being prepared. This is partly why store-bought curry powders often taste similar, but not exactly the same—there’s no master formula. We used the West African Curry blend from the Teeny Tiny Spice Company of Vermont for this recipe, but I think any curry powder will work.
Now that we’re experiencing colder weather, it seems that people are getting sick left and right. We weren’t immune to whichever bug was floating around last week. Otto and I caught our first colds of the season (and his first ever). We dutifully suctioned his passageways and tried to make him as comfortable as possible, while I found solace in menthol, tea, and plenty of rest.
To help clear the congestion, I wanted to make an easy, spicy soup that would help open me up. This soup did the trick. Plus, it’s a one-pot meal and was done within an hour. We know you’ll enjoy this soup in cold weather and hope you don’t need to break it out to fight a cold.
In college, pizza was a perfect breakfast food. I never tried breakfast tacos, but breakfast burritos were amazing when we had them at home. This week is my first attempt at taking care of Otto without the help of Heather (she’s away at a work conference), so we planned a recipe that would take some of the meal planning off my plate for the week.
This is kind of a deconstructed breakfast burrito, and the plantain chips gives it the crunch of a taco. If you include dairy in your diet, feel free to also serve this with high-quality cheese and/or sour cream. Sliced jalapeños are great, too!
Chimichurri is one of my favorite marinades for steak, especially cuts that typically are less tender. The combination of fresh herbs, garlic, vinegar, and oil provide a vibrant smell and satisfying taste. Having experimented with variations over the past few weeks, we’re excited to share this Asian-inspired version with you. Adding Thai basil and Thai chilies adds a great depth of flavor and spiciness we know you’ll love.
When cooking this pot roast slowly in a skillet, the bottom gets a hard sear, similar to burnt ends on smoked meats (without the dryness). That said, if you’d like to minimize that hard sear, I recommend adding 1 cup of beef or chicken stock to the skillet. This may accelerate the cooking time; so checking the temperature at 10 minute intervals will be important. However you choose to cook this meal, we hope you’ll enjoy it.
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.
We have had some pretty cold and dreary weather lately, and this kind of weather always causes me to crave soup. This weekend, Brent was eager to experiment with something new. Brent discovered Solyanka, a spicy and sour soup that originates from Russia but is also popular in Germany and former Eastern Block countries.
Solyanka is traditionally prepared in three different varieties: meat, fish, or mushroom. When Brent shared our recipe development with our friend Russ, who you might know as The Domestic Man, his first question was “Meat, fish, or mushroom?” As someone who specializes in recreating traditional recipes, it was no surprise to us that he was already familiar.