Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

How To Make Egg Salad

print recipe card posted in Appetizers and Snacks, Lunch, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
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There are a lot of ways to cut up a hard boiled egg. You can just use a knife to chop the cooked egg. Or you can also mash the cooked egg with a fork. An egg slicer which is shown in the photo below, makes perfect slices for sandwiches or for a garnish. You can also use the slicer to slice the egg in both directions and end up with chopped eggs for salad and dip.

If you are going to make egg salad sandwiches, three eggs will be enough for two sandwiches.

Celery and/or green olives are traditional “add-in”s to egg salad.

Be sure to mince the celery (cut it into really small bits) when you are adding it to a salad. Cut the celery length wise into thin strips, and then cut the strips into very small pieces.

Also be sure to slice the olives.

Crispy chopped bacon can add an extra zing to the taste and texture. A dash of curry powder is fantastic when you serve the salad as a dip with crackers and cut up vegetables.

Add a dash of Salt and Pepper

Add about 2 T. of mayonnaise, and give it a stir.

That’s it! The egg salad is all made, now just pick your favorite bread and you’ve got yourself a great sandwich!

Enjoy!

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Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Sauce

print recipe card posted in Soups, Salads, Sides and Sauces by Kathy Maister
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Leslie Arthur is today’s guest blogger. Her recipe for Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Mayo can be served as an easy and healthy appetizer or finger-friendly side dish.

Thanks, Leslie, for a great recipe!
*****

Asparagus (which is high in folic acid, potassium, fiber and vitamin B6) has only 4 calories per spear! With all that going for this delicious vegetable, its no wonder asparagus has landed itself on menus everywhere.

Start by rinsing off a pound of asparagus in a colander.

After a thorough washing, pat the spears dry with paper towels to get off any excess moisture. Now, break one stalk where it is naturally the weakest. This will separate the tender top part of the asparagus from its tough and fibrous stem. You will end up discarding about one third of the stalk. (Kathy shows how to peel asparagus here )

You can now use the new shorter “broken” asparagus as a guide to cut the rest of the bunch.

Spread the spears evenly on a baking sheet. For easy clean up, you can cover the sheet with a layer of tin foil before baking.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the asparagus. Top with a few turns of freshly cracked pepper, and one half teaspoon of coarse salt.

Bake in a 425-degree preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

While the asparagus are roasting, take a moment to make this simple and delicious dipping sauce. Just two ingredients are needed to make this sauce – garlic and mayonnaise. (The lemon is for garnishing the roasted asparagus.)

Start by peeling and grating one small clove of garlic.

Then add the garlic to 1/3 cup of your favorite mayonnaise. I used low-calorie mayo and didn’t miss a thing!

Stir until well blended and transfer to a decorative serving dish.

After 10 minutes in the oven, check the asparagus to see if it’s done. Look for slightly browned and caramelized stems, and a fresh bright-green color. Don’t overcook the spears, or they will become an unattractive, dull shade of pea-green.

Next, transfer the asparagus to a serving platter and sprinkle it with about a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Garnish the sauce with a bit of lemon zest (optional). You can serve Roasted Asparagus as an easy and healthy appetizer or finger-friendly side dish.

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How to Cook Corned Beef Brisket

print recipe card posted in Main Dishes by Kathy Maister
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Brisket is the name of a particular “cut” of beef, which tells you what part of the cow it came from. Corned Beef is is a cut of meat (brisket) that has been cured (or pickled) in a seasoned brine. For this recipe you will need to purchase a corned beef brisket.

Cow Drawing Source: Wikipedia

Buying and cooking big pieces of meat like a roast or even a whole chicken can seem daunting if you have never done it before.

You may also be thinking: “That’s way too much meat for me to cook at once.” But cooking large pieces of meat or a whole chicken can, in the long run, be a huge time saver. Leftovers can be used for tomorrow’s dinner, or you can freeze them for future use.

Flat Cut Brisket

Corned beef brisket, (also known as salt beef if you live in the UK) is great when served with potatoes and your favorite vegetable. (Some people cook everything in the same pot. The beef cooking water gets really fatty and I think it’s better to cook the potatoes and vegetables separtely.) Be sure to buy some rye bread as well, because the leftovers make GREAT sandwiches.

This recipe is REALLY simple. All you need to do to cook a corned beef brisket are three things:

  1. Put the corned beef brisket in a large pot
  2. Cover it with water
  3. Bring it to a boil then simmer for 3-5 hours

When buying a brisket you can choose between a point cut and a flat (or plank) cut.

The point cut is a rounder, thicker cut with more fat on it then the flat cut.

This photo of the leaner flat cut shows off the grain of the meat beautifully. This is really important when it comes time to cut the brisket. It MUST be cut across the grain or it will be just about impossible to chew!

Briskets come shrink-wrapped. It’s best to cut open the shrink wrap packaging in your (CLEAN!) sink. Although this flat cut brisket had very little juice in it, the point cut package was filled with brine which you don’t want all over your counter tops! Rinse the meat off with cool running water.

The point cut I bought came with its own packet of spices. (It didn’t say what spices, but they did smell really good!)

Since the flat cut didn’t come with its own spices, I decided to add about 10 peppercorns and about 1/8 teaspoon of cloves to the flat cut.

Each of these briskets weighs about 3 pounds. That should be enough to feed about 4-6 people.

When cooking large pieces of meat you have to make sure you are choosing the correct cooking method that is appropriate to the cut of meat.

Corn beef brisket requires long, slow, moist cooking, either on the stove top or in the oven. (How to Cook Like Your Grandmother has an excellent photo-tutorial on cooking corned beef in the oven.) I’ll show you the stove-top version.

Set the brisket in a large heavy pot with a lid.

Cover the brisket with water.

Cover the pot and bring it to a boil.

Then reduce the heat to simmer and let simmer about 4 hours.

By then it should be really tender. The meat will have also shrunk by about a third!

Point Cut – Cooked

Plank/Flat Cut – Cooked

Again, remember that when you are slicing the brisket, be sure to slice the meat across the grain!

If you cook your brisket the day before you are planning on eating it, it will be much easier to cut perfect slices. After slicing your corned beef brisket it will then reheat beautifully in the microwave.

Cutting Point Cut

Cutting Flat Cut

At the grocery store, while buying my corned beef brisket, I met a college student planning to cook a St Patrick’s Day feast for 15 of his friends.

Sean Carr, a 20 year old civil engineering student at Northeastern University, cooks his corn beef brisket in a covered roasting pan with 2 inches of water at 325 degrees for 5-5.5 hours.

If you are cooking several briskets for a party, this is actually a very clever way to do it. I would add that you should lay the meat in the pan with the fattiest side up. Set the pan on middle rack in the oven. Carefully pour boiling water around the briskets and seal the pan with a tin foil cover.

Sean said his briskets “came out tender, juicy and delicious!”! He also said, “Most college students survive on Mac and Cheese and Ramen (noodles), but I do my best to break away from that mold”. Good for you, Sean! Maybe between you and startcooking.com your roommates will learn to cook by the time you all graduate!

Cheers!

P.S.: Looking for more meat recipes? My beef stew is a great stew for beginner cooks to make!

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