Tuesday, April 24, 2012

That darlin' Corned Beef....A Reuben to be proud of.

Hmmmm....one of my favorite lines from 'Lady and the Tramp'. Since Lent is always on at St. Patrick's Day I always miss the corned beef. I usually buy a nice one on clearance after the holiday and everyone else has had their fill. Last night I took it out of the deep freeze for a spin in the crock pot today.
Wow. So tender and delicious. I am cooking them this way always now.  I threw a pound of Brussels sprouts in the last hour just for good measure (like tiny cabbages). They were also tender and delicious but I had other plans. On the way home from work I stopped by the market for a bit of Swiss and sauerkraut and a loaf of marble rye. I, as I always do, forgot the dressing. A quick Internet search showed me how it is to make a bit of Thousand Island. So much better than letting the major portion of a bottle go to waste.
Sliced, tender corned beef
Grilling to perfection
So first the Dressing:

mix 1/2 cup of mayo
2-3 T ketchup (I used a Tbl of Trader Joe's seafood sauce too)
2 T chopped pickles ( I used Famous Dave's sweet hot pickles)
1 T shallot chopped

Then of course you assemble the sandwiches for the grill. I mixed the dressing and kraut together and lined each side of the bread with extra thin sliced Swiss before piling on a hefty portion of the corned beef. Grill till toasty brown in butter of course!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Eating Omaha...Nettie's, a local institution

All my years as an SOB (South Omaha Boy) and I have only been to Netties once or twice in my early youth. Always know as the landmark for Mexican cuisine, after last night it's very possible that no one can compare to this place. Not much to look at but always crowded we had to wait about 20 minutes to get in. It was a pleasant wait and nostalgic to say the least. I kept thinking there must be someone I know here and some of the faces looked familiar but let;s face it, it's been 40 years since I stomped these grounds.

We started with a bowl of guacamole and fried flour chips. Delicious albeit I could have used a bit more heat. We all ordered something different tonight. The portions are huge and we took half the meal home. I have a beef enchilada and "toad" combo platter. My lovely bride opted for a beef burrito and taco combo. Lori had an ala carte chicken enchilada and beans while Mat choose a chimichanga that looked suspiciously like a taco salad as the menu warned it would.

The enchilada was sublime. The tortilla coated and treated to dark red chili based sauce and filled with seasoned beef and stringy cheese. I know it won't be as good today as it was last night but I could only finish half and I really wanted more. The "toad" was a fried shell taco stuffed with beef and beans and all the fixings.

As far as atmosphere and ambiance its unbeatable depending on your standards and expectations. We will definitely keep Nettie's on our list for Mexican treats. It's just not that far away or hard to get to. Love it.

Afterwards we did some South O site seeing and stopped in front of my childhood home at 19th and N street as well as the pottery shop on 24th street. Drove by the old alma mater, South High School before catching the interstate and going home. Great night with great food and our besties.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Eating Omaha, date night and celebrations!

So...my lovely bride passed her ASPAN certification exam and we had to celebrate. No one but us as everyone else was busy so we hit the special at Blanc Burger in the Midtown Crossing section of town. Nick was close by so he joined us.

Not sure if this is a strictly Omaha phenom as they have locations south of us in Missouri but its a great little spot. White and Orange looks like a throw back to the 2001 A Space Odyssey days where early 20th century fantasizes about what the future looks like. Clean and fresh and the special was hard to beat: $35 for 2 burgers, and appetizer, a side and a bottle of wine. How bad can that be? (channeling my inner Ida)

I opted for the  Inside Out burger and Brenda had the Blue Jay burger (we split and shared anyway). We divide the Jisa's cheese curds which were a delight and ordered a side of Lucky Bucket onion rings. Finally we split a bottle of Cab. Nick had the Husker Burger. I must say it was a very tasty affair and kind of a fun thing to do on a Monday or Tuesday night. The area is great and not crowded on these days of the week so it makes the arduous drive from West "O" bearable.  I would definitely go there again but eat way less (way less).  Yum.

PS  sadly this fine establishment closed after ouor first visit! Gosh I hope it wasn't us. ;-) It just was not doing as well as it's other location in Kansas City. Too bad for us, nice place to dine.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!!

Ahh...finally awake after a night of Paschal Services and a prime rib dinner post festivities! Mat and Lori came to church with us and the family. They were real troopers sitting through a moderately long service and partial Matins.

I woke up today expecting company so that means cooking. We have not had meat in 40-45 days or so. There will meats a plenty as I usually cook what ever the kids crave but the standard of the house is Lamb. Since Pascha fell the week after Easter this year, there were some sales on bone-in legs and I bought one about 8 pounds. Its in the oven now getting to around 135 for medium. I marinaded the whole leg in yogurt and spices as usual. I also roasted a lamb breast for Ben (Lamb Bacon) as well as a small ham, some chicken and wings and a bit of bacon for the broccoli salad.  Not sure if our non Orthodox friends understand our annual meat fest but we always are open to all comers.  For us it's the end of a long discipline and celebration of the biggest holiday in the church. The church has a nice picnic that we rarely attend since we set the bar at home so long ago. We used to have a Big Greek Easter celebration but the festivities we lost on our "xeno" friends so we just have a quiet affair with a few close friends now. Pics and recipes later to come.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Great and Holy Pascha...our last supper

As we prepare for Pascha tonight at midnight, its time to make our "last supper" of fasting foods. Tonight we are having large grilling shrimps with a Thai inspired barbecue sauce. I am roasting the shrimps after marinating them for an hour in the sauce.

Thaw and rinse the shrimp. Mine came butterflied, if yours are not then do so.
I made a marinade from:

3 T lemon juice
1 T Dijon
2 t minced garlic
2 t Red curry paste
1 T soy sauce

Soak the shrimps in the marinade for about an hour. Since the weather is particularly nasty today in Omaha, I lined a baking sheet with foil and laid the shrimps out meat side down and tails in the air. I baked them at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 niutes till opaque throughout. Delicious! We served them with grilled eggplant and zucchini. Yum.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tabouleh...lenten treat

Having an abundance of cracked grain in the cupboard and the variety of fresh veggies at the market, the menu calls for Tabouleh. I used:

about 6-8 ounces of dried cracked wheat, soaked in water till soft, about 30 minutes
chopped cucumber
chopped mixed bell pepper
chopped green onion
cherry tomatoes halved
1 bunch of parsley chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper
mint (optional)
4 ounces of zesty Italian dressing (optional)

Combine all and allow to sit for a while. Stir occasionally, add more dressing if the wheat takes up too much.

Traditionally served on romaine leaves but we spoon it right up. Great taste, nice and fresh.


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