It’s a given that between writing this column and hosting “Lick the Plate Radio” on KPRi, I eat out a lot. And while I love every minute of it, I really try to take at least one day per week to cook a meal at home.
I’ve been on a bit of a beef brisket kick lately as it’s such a versatile cut of meat. My friend Chef Michael Zonfrilli prepared a pomegranate chili BBQ brisket with jalapeño slaw on Kings Hawaiian rolls recently at a KPRi Lick the Plate Live event. This dish went over so well I had to have him share the recipe.
Take a brisket and rub it with a mixture of equal parts salt, New Mexican chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika. If you have a day to spare, let the meat sit in the fridge with this rub. Next sear the brisket in a large, smoking hot, roasting pan and cook it in a 350 degree oven to about medium rare, 125 degrees.
In the same roasting pan, caramelize some aromatic vegetables including leek, onion, celery, and carrot, then deglaze the hot pan with couple cups of stock. To this add a quart of a pomegranate and ancho chili BBQ sauce. Simply take your favorite BBQ sauce and stir in some pomegranate molasses, available at any Middle Eastern market, including Just Peachy in Leucadia.
Nestle the brisket in this bath, covered with foil and allowed to braise in the oven at 220 degrees for at least four hours, basting occasionally, until very tender. Braising in a crock pot is an option as well. This can all be done a day ahead, if desired, slicing the cooled meat, thinly, against the grain, and gently warming it back up in the sauce.
The brisket should turn out succulent and satisfyingly fatty, but it needs something crisp, fresh and bright. A slaw of finely shredded red and green cabbage, thinly sliced red and green jalapeños, and lots of roughly chopped cilantro. Dress the slaw with mayonnaise and add some ground cumin honey and vinegar to taste. Load the brisket and slaw onto soft, buttery Kings Hawaiian rolls and serve next to a small pile of your favorite chips. It seems like quite a bit of work for a sandwich, but worth it, especially if you are feeding a lot of hungry plate lickers.
One of the easiest and most versatile dishes around is quiche. And thanks to the folks on NPR’s “A Way with Words,” I now know that the plural of quiche is quiche. Anyway, it’s quite easy to make your own crust, but a frozen deep dish pie crust will do the trick just fine. There are a couple ways to go with the filling, the light and airy approach with minimal fillings and the hearty, load it up method that I tend to prefer.
While writing my column on the Pannikin, I found they put cream cheese in their quiche and have added that to mine as it gives it a nice richness. With that, here is my go-to recipe for hearty quiche. This will fill two pie crusts. I start by frying up apple wood smoked bacon and onion. While that is cooking, I crack a dozen eggs and add a heaping spoonful of room temperature cream cheese. Whisk that together with a touch of cumin and set aside.
As the bacon and onion begin to crisp, I add an entire bag of mixed power greens from Trader Joe’s, though a bag of spinach or kale will suffice. The greens cook down significantly, so that entire bag ends up being the perfect quantity. Your filling is now ready to fill the two pie crusts. After that, pour the egg and cream cheese mix over the filling in each until it’s just below the top of the crust.
Slice tomatoes and place on top of the egg and filling mix to cover the entire top of the quiche. Then grate your favorite cheese on top of that, I like a dry Italian parmesan or pecorino but have enjoyed cheddar or smoked Gouda as well.
Bake in a pre-heated 400-degree oven until the top of the quiche is golden brown. The top may poof up a bit, but it will settle down. Let the quiche sit for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. I like a little chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce on mine. Enjoy this meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and it reheats nicely.
Lick the Plate can now be heard on KPRi, 102.1 FM Monday-Friday during the 7pm hour.
David Boylan is founder of Artichoke Creative and Artichoke Apparel, an Encinitas based marketing firm and clothing line. Reach him at email@example.com or (858) 395-6905.