Friday Recipe Exchange: Corned Beef and Cabbage, Reprise

Corned beef is really one of the perfect foods to do in a pressure cooker. You get a nice, tender beef and instead of mushy, colorless vegetables, you get perfectly cooked vegetables infused with that great corned beef broth flavor.

Tonight’s featured recipe uses a bit of dill pickle juice in place of some of the water and a touch of spicy brown mustard. But I saw recipes that used chicken broth, sherry or beer in place of some of the water. I think you should experiment and use what sounds good to you. I really  like dill pickle juice. And I have become a big fan of Napa cabbage with my corned beef.

A lot of recipes call for 3-4 lbs of corned beef. I picked up two, since both the pressure cooker and slow-cooker recipes are easy, you don’t need to save corned beef and cabbage for a special occasion. Just freeze the other one for another day.

I know I’ve been very busy and haven’t posted a lot of new recipes, but I have been doing a lot of cooking and just bought some new cookware (here). I’ll try and do better…I’ve got a great new technique for very, very crispy oven chicken and I’ll try and get that posted.

Are you a corned beef fan? Reuben’s anyone? What’s on your plate this weekend?

Now for the recipes:

JeffreyW tackles corned beef  leftovers – see his gallery of Corned Beef Sandwiches here. (lots of yummy pictures at those links)

My family weighs in on their favorite ways to fix corned beef, including grilling. (click here)

Now tonight’s featured recipes:

Pressure Cooker Corned Beef Dinner:

  • 3 to 4 lbs corned beef, trim the fat to about 1/4 inch
  • Water
  • Spices included with corned beef or the following: 1 tbsp black peppercorns, 1 tbsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp fennel seeds,
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed – opt
  • 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 – 6  medium to large potatoes, cut into four to eight pieces, peeling optional
  • 4-6 carrots, sliced in half and cut into 2” lengths
  • Cabbage, cut into 4 to 6 pieces – for a change of pace, I’ve used Napa cabbage to great success.

pressure cooker and cooking rack

Remove the corned beef from the brine (discarding the brine), rinse thoroughly and place in the bottom of the pressure cooker, fatty side up. [You don’t want to brown this beef, because it’s been brined.] Sprinkle spices over the top of the beef. Add enough liquid (water or water and a combination of ONE of the following: pickle juice, chicken broth, beer or wine) to come to the top of beef, about 3-4 cups usually.  Cover and bring to pressure and let cook for 1 hour. I use the cold water method to depressurize (that is when you run cold water over the pan in the sink, otherwise you can remove it from the heat and let slowly depressurize).

The key to getting the perfect corned beef and vegetables with the pressure cooker is to cook them separately. Prep the vegetables during the last 15 or so minutes of beef cooking time. Once the beef is done, put it on a cutting board, cover loosely in foil and put a towel over the whole deal.

Remove all but enough liquid to come to the bottom of the cooking rack when placed in the pressure cooker. Place potatoes first on the tray, then carrots and then cabbage, cover and bring to pressure. Cook for about 12 minutes. The vegetables will be fork tender, not mushy and the beef will be fully rested. Slice, plate and serve.

For the slow-cooker:

Place rinsed beef in the bottom of the slow-cooker, sprinkle spices, add liquid to come to the top of the beef,  and cover. Cook on low for 4 hours. At the 4 hour mark, add potatoes and then carrots. Cook additional 4 hours, adding the cabbage during the last 30 minutes. With the exception of adding the vegetables, try to resist the temptation to open the lid. You need it to stay covered to properly cook. Let the meat rest, covered with foil for about 15 minutes before carving.

There you go, some easy ways to put together a nice corned beef dinner.

Enjoy your weekend and watch out for leprechauns… – TaMara

ETA: There will be a special writer thread tomorrow by request. Stop by and give Mnemosyne some advice.

Christmas Eve Dinner Menu: Spinach Lasagna

Our first Christmas Tree casualty. Bailey, Dane of Destruction. Homemade gift I’ve had since just out of high school. Goofy dog.

Tossing around ideas for my Christmas Eve party and settled on lasagna this year. It will once again be gluten-free using specialty noodles. Excited to have our traditional party in the new house.

On the board:

  1. Spinach Lasagna
  2. Tossed Salad
  3. Garlic Bread*

This recipe takes about an hour to prepare and another hour to cook. It easily serves 6 – 8. I will make it a day ahead and refrigerate. It will need additional cooking time to bring center up to temperature.

Spinach Lasagna


  • 3-15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2-6 oz cans tomato paste
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp oregano, crushed
  • 2 tsp basil, crushed
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled & finely grated
  • pinch of sugar (reduces acidity of the tomatoes)
  • Optional: ½ lb ground beef and ½ spicy Italian sausage, browned


Add all ingredients to saucepan on medium-high, stirring constantly until it begins to boil lightly. Turn to low and let simmer while you prepare the remaining ingredients.


  • 1 pkg lasagna noodles (16 oz), cooked and placed in cool water until layering
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz package frozen spinach, thawed or 8 oz fresh, washed and dried
  • 1 egg
  • 12 oz sliced mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

13×9 baking dish (I prefer glass), lightly oiled

To prepare: Mix ricotta, spinach and egg until well blended. Ladle a layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Cover in a single layer of noodles. Ladle sauce over noodles. Spoon ½ of the ricotta mixture evenly (if you place large dollops evenly like putting cookie dough on a baking sheet, fairly close together, it will spread as it cooks, no need to smooth it). Layer 1/3 of the mozzarella over the ricotta. Repeat: noodles, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, noodles. On top of the last layer of noodles, add remaining sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, uncovered – I like to place the baking dish on a baking sheet to catch any spills as it bubbles. Place knife through the center, if it comes out heated through, remove and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. If it needs more cooking time, you can cover with foil to keep the cheese from burning and cook 10 more minutes. Let stand uncovered before serving.

Garlic Bread

*I’m going to purchase a gluten free loaf  (we have a great local bakery for that) and I’m also going to make this Slow Rise recipe.  Making the garlic bread is easy. I slice the loaves in half lengthwise, melt butter, add a healthy amount of crushed garlic and brush liberally on each loaf half. Then I top with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan.  Broil until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Slice and serve.

Tossed Salad

I try to change it up each year, and I don’t know how I’m going to do this time. Maybe spinach/raspberry or a veggie toss with romaine.

Next up: Dessert Menu

Thanksgiving Dinner

So the frills on the frilly apron have drooped in all the heat from the oven and the tiara is tarnished with all the sweat, but Thanksgiving Dinner came out perfect!

First up the pictures.

One spatchcocked turkey preparing to rest for 30 minutes:


40 minutes later – 30 for the resting and ten for the slicing – and we are ready!


The meat was tender, flavorful, and juicy and the skin was crisp!

And now for some sides. Cornbread stuffing and roasted root vegetables – red and purple heritage potatoes, celery, and carrots.


And for desert: double chocolate pie:



Here’s the recipes for those that want.


1 14 to 15 lbs turkey

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Rubbed sage to taste

Poultry seasoning to taste


Remove the turkey from the wrapping, remove the neck and giblets and set them aside, and pat dry. Then spatchcock the turkey/remove the backbone and set the backbone aside. turn the turkey breast side up and place firm pressure on each turkey breast to break the breast bone. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Mix the salt, black pepper, rubbed sage, and poultry seasoning together to make a dry rub (dry brine). Place the turkey inside up on the baking sheet and coat the inside with 1/2 the dry rub. Turn the turkey over and coat the outside (breast side up) with the remaining dry rub. Place the dry rubbed turkey in the refrigerator for two to four days.


Remove the turkey from the refrigerator one hour prior to roasting. Preheat oven to 425. When oven reaches 425 place the turkey on an oiled/cooking sprayed wire rack set over a roasting pan (to catch the juices) and place in the oven. Roast at 425 for 30 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350. Continue to roast until a probe thermometer inserted into the deepest portion of the breast reads 155 degrees. Then remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before slicing.

Cornbread Stuffing


Enough cornbread from scratch to fill a 9X11 baking pan

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Crushed sage to taste

One large, sweet onion – chopped fine

Four large stalks of celery – chopped fine

2 Teaspoons of olive oil.

The giblets from a turkey or a large chicken – sauteed and minced fine

Chicken or turkey stock to moisten the stuffing


Bake the cornbread. In a sauté pan sweat off the onions in the olive oil. Add the giblets, sauté them, then remove from heat and mince the giblets. Crumble the cornbread in a big mixing bowl and add the sweated off onions, the finely chopped celery, and the finely minced giblets. Add the kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and sage to taste. Mix thoroughly. Add just enough chicken stock to moisten the stuffing and hold it together. Once everything is combined and seasoned to your taste, stuff the turkey. Or, as in this case because the turkey is spatchcocked, place it in a roasting dish and cook it separately. 

To finish the stuffing: place the roasting dish full of stuffing on the upper rack of the oven above the turkey when you turn the heat down to 350 from 425 degrees.

Roasted Root Vegetables


1 small bag of red heirloom potatoes

1 small bag of purple heirloom potatoes

1 lbs of carrots

4-6 celery stalks (depending on size)

Wash all the vegetables. Cut the potatoes in half and cut the carrots and celery into 1 inch pieces. Toss them in olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place them in a roasting dish and place the roasting dish on the upper rack of the oven above the turkey and next to the stuffing when you turn the heat down to 350 from 425 degrees.

Turkey Gravy

1 Turkey backbone bisected half way up

1 Turkey neck

3/4 lbs of carrots

4-6 celery stalks (depending on size)

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste


Place the turkey backbone and neck in a stock pot and add the salt and black pepper. Chop the carrots and celery into 1 inch pieces and add to the stock pot. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, and let it continue to boil for 2 to 3 hours. Skim off the scum, cool, and transfer to the refrigerator.

An hour before serving remove the stock from the refrigerator, place in a sauce pot over medium heat. Once hot transfer the stock, including veggies, to the blender. High pulse the stock and veggies until everything is incorporated. Transfer back to the pot over medium heat, taste, and re-season as necessary. Once the turkey finishes resting, any pan drippings can be added to the gravy. Because of the carrots and celery you will not need to add any thickening agents (roux, corn starch, potato starch) to the gravy.

Double Chocolate Pie

First off, I’m pretty sure this is actually an Emeril Lagasse recipe. I’ve been making it for a while, and have tweaked a few things, but I’m almost certain I first saw the recipe on an episode of Essence of Emeril in the mid 90s. Now that disclosure is full, away we go.

Double Chocolate Pie is a dark chocolate mousse pie with crushed Double Stuff Oreos folded into the mousse on a crushed Double Stuff Oreo base.

Crust Ingredients:

1/2 a family size package of Double Stuff Oreos

1/2 a cup of melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or baking spray the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan. Crush the Oreos and then mix them with the butter. Place the crushed, buttered Oreos into the bottom of the pie pan or springform pan and make sure you’ve covered the entire bottom. Bake for 10 minutes then remove to the refrigerator to chill and set the crust the rest of the way.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Step 1: Whipped Cream


8 Ounces of Heavy Whipping Cream

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract


Add 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract to 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream. Whip until you’ve got stiff peaks. Refrigerate while making the ganache.

Step 2: Dark Chocolate Ganache


8 Ounces of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Chips (or your preferred dark chocolate)

8 Ounces of Heavy Whipping Cream

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract


Place the 8 ounces of dark chocolate into a mixing bowl and set aside. Place the 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and pour the scalded cream over the dark chocolate. Let sit for five minutes. After five minutes whisk the cream and melted chocolate to combine.

Step 3: Making the Mousse


Freshly Whipped Cream

Fresh Dark Chocolate Ganache

1 family size package of Double Stuff Oreos Crushed


Crush the Oreos and set aside. Remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator and fold it into the dark chocolate ganache a little at a time. Once all of the whipped cream is folded into the ganache, fold in 2/3 of the crushed Oreos. Remove pie crust from the refrigerator. Scoop 1/2 the mousse into the springform pan. Smooth the top and then cover with the remaining 1/3 of the crushed Oreos. Then scoop the remaining mousse into the springform pan, smooth the top, and return the pie to the refrigerator to set up for at least three to four hours.

Optional finish (as seen in the pictures above)

After three to four hours make a second batch of ganache. Remove the pie from the refrigerator and remove the springform ring from the pie and base pan. Pour the dark chocolate ganache over the top of the pie, turning the ganache from the center to the edge and then around the sides to form a smooth, dark chocolate ganache glaze/shell for the pie. Return to the refrigerator until ready to serve (at least one hour).

You all are on your own for antacids and stomach pumping!



Friday Recipe Exchange: Thanksgiving Files

_DSC5565 [1024x768]

Is this thing on? I know it’s been forever – the house, work and puppies have taken most of my time. Cooking lately is mostly just for sustanance, nothing terribly creative. But Thanksgiving is almost here! Time to get cookin’. From the cooking blog:

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, next to 4th of July. Food, family, friends…and leftovers. I’m going to have a house full this year and I’m excited to host. Although I wasn’t expecting to have a puppy thrown in the mix, but that just makes it more interesting. I have compiled some of my most requested holiday recipes for tonight’s exchange.

JefferyW makes Cornbread Stuffing, (pictured above) part 1 here and part 2 here.

Roasted Butternut Apple Soup makes a great starter, recipe here.

Hearty Garlic Mashed Potatoes, click here – my family loves these, though the first time I made them they mocked me until they were served because the cooking method is so unusual. I cook them early and keep them warm in a slow-cooker while everything else cooks and stove top space is at a premium.

Two Brussels Sprout dishes: Pan Roasted with Pancetta and Onions (recipe here) and JeffreyW’s Brussels Sprout and Potato Au Gratin (click here)

Yum. What do you mean I have to take a bunch of pictures before I can even try it?

There will be a variety of pies this year, but instead of the traditional Pumpkin Pie, I’m making Pumpkin Cream Pie (above), the recipe is here, plus there are additional pumpkin dessert ideas at the link.

For the main course, we’ve made turkeys a bunch of ways here, including a Spatchcock Turkey, recipe here. For something more traditional, here are some ideas from people smarter than I am: turkey four different ways, good stuff here.

What’s on the menu for your Thanksgiving this year? Do you have a must-have recipe for your holiday dinner?

I’m not a fan of traditional candied sweet potatoes, so tonight’s featured recipes are some non-traditional styles for sweet potatoes.

Cajun Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter,  melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ tsp cumin (opt)

Covered casserole dish, well-greased

Steamer and saucepan

In saucepan, add water, steamer and sweet potatoes. Steam until you can easily stick a fork in them. They don’t need to be completely soft. About 10-15 minutes. Add sweet potatoes to casserole dish. Combine oil, butter and spices. Pour evenly over potatoes. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are soft. You can adjust cooking time if you prefer your firmer or softer potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes w/Apples

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 apples, cored & sliced
  • 8 oz can sliced pineapple (including liquid)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt

2 qt casserole dish, greased

Add ingredients to casserole dish. Stir gently and bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes, uncovered, until apples and potatoes are very soft. Cover if it begins to brown too much

That’s it for this week. I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.   – TaMara

In Moments Of Quiet I’m Strangely Drawn To You


I posted a link to this last night, but thought we could all use some cute today, so posting it here. Seriously, these guys help me cope. I’ve gotten us back into a morning walk routine. I have been so busy with work and house stuff, I hadn’t been walking Bixby with regularity for the last couple of months. Then Bailey arrived and I had to ease us into our group walks. They are doing great with it. If you’re doing the math, it’s 260 lbs of muscle…

I want to post a pre-holiday recipe thread on Friday, again trying to get back to routines. Anyone need something specific? I’m thinking it will be about side dishes. I can direct you to a bunch of good turkey recipes and desserts, too. Let me know in the comments.

Otherwise, open thread. I’m about to get into today’s work and wait for my door guy to come install my pretty door. What’s on your mid-day agenda?

Hail Seitan! (Cookbook Giveaway)

Happy Almost-Halloween, Juicers!

I present, in all his dark majesty, the Vegan Black Metal Chef:

I love this guy! And I love his cookbook because he explains exactly what to do AND what not to do AND why. It’s a great cookbook for anyone, but especially newbie cooks.


Like any good seitanist, the VBMC craves the harvest of innocent souls. And so he’s gifting a cookbook to one lucky Juicer. Simply leave a comment and I’ll use a random number generator to select the lucky sacrif—winner.

Only comment once or you’ll be disqualified. OT posters will be damned to ride the It’s a Small World boat for eternity. If you win, I’ll notify you at the email address attached to your comment name.

Edit: You can comment any time through till midnight tonight (Eastern time).

Friday Recipe Exchange: Soups On


Well it’s been a whirlwind of activity here and I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress with the house and garden. Lots of cooking going on for friends and family because I love working in my new kitchen. It hasn’t left a lot of time for blogging. But dinner is in the slow-cooker and I have a moment before it’s time to walk Bixby, so tonight there is a recipe exchange. From the food blog:


JeffreyW and I once again had a mind-meld moment and both made a batch of Beef and Barley Soup this week. His yummy photo is pictured above.  My recipe is here and JeffreyW’s recipe is here, accompanied by great photos.

Chuck roasts were on sale this week, so I stocked up. I love a good pot roast and have a few recipe variations. I have a recipe for a Tangy Pot Roast here.  For a more traditional take on a yummy Slow-Cooker Pot Roast  including a full menu and recipes, click here. My new favorite ingredient is a dash of good whisky to deepen the flavors.  One of the roasts will be cut up and frozen for soup or stew.

The garden is still producing an abundance of ripe tomatoes, so I made a batch of Tomato-Spinach Soup, recipe here. For a vegetarian version, just omit ground beef. I make it both ways depending on my mood. Serve with grilled cheese sandwich on Easy Slow Rise Crusty Bread, pictured below and recipe here.


Another batch of tomatoes, along with zucchini, green peppers and eggplant (all garden fresh) went into a fresh dinner for guests this week, Garden Fresh Pasta, recipe here.

What’s on the menu tonight? Any fun plans for this first weekend of October?

Turkey Bean Soup1

Tonight’s featured recipe is what we’re having as part of a get-together tomorrow night. It’s simple, hearty soup that we can put together earlier in the day for a quick dinner. Then we’ll be heading out to the local historical farm for Wildlife Night. There will be owls.

Cranberry beans are usually easy to find, but if not, substitute cannellini white kidney beans – you can use dry or canned.

Turkey Bean Soup

  • 1 lb smoked turkey sausage, diced (or ground turkey, browned)
  • 1 lb dried cranberry beans (soaked overnight, drained)cranberry-beans-close-up
  • 8 cups of water (or 6 cups water, 2 cups chicken broth)
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Add all ingredients to the slow-cooker and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. Serve with fresh hot bread and salad for a complete dinner.


That’s it for this week. I’m heading out to buy paint…starting on the living room this weekend. Have a great weekend – TaMara