Thursday, March 21, 2019

Scrambled Eggs & Mushrooms - Video Recipe

It's the Golden Age of cheap fungi and I'm taking advantage of it especially in the morning, with my earthy and pungent Scrambled Eggs and Mushrooms.


All kinds of small packages of fresh mushrooms have been showing up in my local 99c only Stores. Everything from shitake to portabella, and oyster to regular white or brown button.

Baby Bella Crimini & White Button

Champignon

Oyster & Portabella Mushrooms

I mainly like to cook them one way, sauteed for a few minutes in butter. So tender and woodsy in flavor with a slightly salty/sweet rich buttery taste. I will inhale sauteed mushrooms in butter on their own, like scooping peanut butter from a jar.



I like Cheese and Mushroom Omelets like this, but for ease and quickness I'll saute mushrooms in butter and go right to adding a couple eggs for a scramble. It's a no fuss, no muss way to start the day.

And use your favorite scrambled eggs recipe. Do you whip the eggs first or just crack them right into an oiled pan? Do you like a splash of milk in your whipped eggs, too? Hey, go for any way you like it.


You can use any packaged mushrooms on sale, or if none are available discounted, then buy 2 or 3 loose button mushrooms per scramble - that's all you'll need for my cheap$kate recipe.

Click on any photo to see larger.

I've been picking up 8-packs of medium size eggs at my local Dollar Tree lately. For this recipe I use 3 eggs per Mushroom Scramble. Of course it's okay to make a quickie one or two egg scramble.

My Scrambled Eggs and Mushrooms recipe is simply delicious and I know you will return to this recipe often....once you give it a go.

Scrambled Eggs & Mushrooms - VIDEO

Play it here, video runs 1 minute 47 seconds

 My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.


Ingredients (1 serving)
2-3 eggs - I used 3 medium sized eggs for this recipe, but okay to use as little or as many as you like.
2-4 button mushrooms - sliced. Amount of mushroom is up to you. Okay to use any type of favorite mushroom.
Butter or cooking oil - about a tablespoon total. Just enough to saute mushroom and scramble eggs.
Salt and pepper to taste - If I use salted butter, then all I add is a little black pepper.

Directions
Brush off dirt on mushrooms, if needed. Slice or break apart mushrooms into bite-sizes so they will cook faster and evenly.



Add mushrooms to a heated pan with butter or oil. Saute until mushrooms are soft, about 3-5 minutes.

Add a little more butter or oil if necessary, before you mix in eggs.


Make an egg scramble any way you like. You can blend raw eggs in a bowl, or just crack eggs right into sauteed mushrooms.


Scramble eggs to desired doneness. Depending on heat of pan, it takes a couple of minutes, or so.


DIG IN!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Corned Beef and Cabbage - Video Recipe

You don't need the luck of the Irish or a 4 leaf clover for finding good food deals this week of St. Patrick's Day. Just check your mailbox for grocery store flyers or visit your local market for discounted Corned Beef, heads of cabbage, carrots and potatoes. And I have an easy dish to celebrate St. Patty's Day: Corned Beef and Cabbage.


If you are as cheap as me, you will have stocked up on the Irish holiday Corned Beef sales. Not the biggest BBQ day of the year, the 4th of July has such a good deal on beef  (even hamburger was at least $2.89 per pound, if I remember last year's prices right).


Corned Beef is normally in the 5 dollars per pound range, but this week it drops to around 2 bucks, or less, per pound! You can get a whole cabbage for about a buck as well. And carrots and potatoes are always cheap.

My Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe couldn't be simpler to do. When you buy Corned Beef from the market it is ready to cook. Cover the Corned Beef with water and add the packet of herbs contents that come with it, then boil the beef for about 4 hours.


When the Corned Beef is nearly fall-apart tender remove it from the cooking broth. Now a typical Corned Beef is super salty and the broth will be too, give it a taste to make sure.  I usually pour out half the broth and add fresh water to replace. This will lighten the salty brine flavor. When you add water give the broth a quick taste to see if you can handle it.

All you need to do is add the chopped veggies to the broth, including cabbage, red potatoes, and a whole chopped carrot. You cook the veggies until tender - this only takes about 20 minutes. If you like crunchy cabbage, cook the potatoes and carrot for 15 minutes then add the chopped cabbage and cook until desired tenderness, about 10 to 15 minutes.


I use red potatoes, but you can use any potatoes you find on sale. I chop them in quarters (4 pieces) so they will cook faster. I like big chunky carrot slices, too. The cabbage can be chopped roughly into large chunks.


It does take a bit of patience to cook my budget Corned Beef and Cabbage but it's well worth the wait. My budget one-pot meal is really easy to make, that's why so many families have embraced this classic Irish meal. Sometimes this Blarney Chef is full of it, but not this time, my cheap$kate holiday dish is one I make every year, and you should too!
Corned Beef and Cabbage - Video
Play it here. video runs 2 minutes, 22 seconds.

Ingredients
  • 1 corned beef - I use cheap point-cut corned beef on sale. They usually weigh 3 to 5 pounds. You can follow package directions for cooking corned beef. 
  • 1 whole cabbage - chopped. They have a tough root stem you can remove, but it will tenderize. I only remove if it's discolored brown and extra tough. 
  • 1 carrot chopped - You can add another carrot or two, depending on the size. Sometimes I like more veggies.
  • 2 red potatoes chopped - You can boil red potatoes whole, but they will take an extra half hour to cook. Okay to use white or russet potatoes. Also, add more potato if you like.
  • Water to cover corned beef - When corned beef is cooked, taste broth for saltiness, if too much then replace half the broth with fresh water and taste again - repeat if necessary.

Directions
Corned Beef is a thick and tough piece of meat, so you need to low boil it for about 3 to 4 hours until tender. Time will vary depending on the size of whole Corned Beef brisket. Mine was about 4 pounds. Cheaper cuts of Corned Beef can be fatty, so it's okay to trim off some of the fat.


You can follow Corned Beef package cooking directions. Usually, you cover Corned Beef with water, about 5 cups worth. Most times you have a small packet of spices and herb included, so open and empty the contents into the water. Sometimes I leave out the packet, as the corned meat is seasoned enough for me.


In a large pot, bring the Corned Beef in water to a boil, lower to a low simmer or low boil and cover the pot. Cook about 3 to 4 hours. Check on the pot every hour or so to make sure liquid does not cook out, and add more water if needed. It's okay if the liquid cooks out by half, this will make an intense broth for the veggies.


After about 3 hours you can chop the cabbage, carrot and potatoes.


When the Corned Beef is done, remove it and set aside. Taste the broth to see how salty it is. More than likely it's too salty, so pour out half the broth and add an equal amount of fresh water. Now taste to see if the broth is milder. Repeat this step if necessary to reach your desired flavor.


Once the broth meets your tastes, then add the chopped veggies. Bring to a low simmer, cover the pot and cook veggies about 20 minutes.


If you like crunchy cabbage, first cook carrot and potato about 15 minutes, then add chopped cabbage. Cook until cabbage reaches desired crunchiness, usually 10 minutes or so.

Finally, return the cooked Corned Beef to the pot with veggies and let it reheat for about 5 minutes.


This is a one-pot meal, so just slice off hunks of Corned Beef and serve with the cooked veggies.


Sliced Corned Beef is great in a sandwich too, just click here to see how I make mine, with Homemade Coleslaw!


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Best St. Patrick's Day Recipes

St. Patrick's Day is the time to dress in green and put on your yarmulke? That's if you're combining the cuisines of the Emerald Isle and the Promised Land. And you'll feel like you've found that leprechaun pot o' gold at the end of the Western Wall when you try my luscious Jewish recipes using Irish Corned Beef, that's now on sale this week, like the loaded deli classic Corned Beef Sandwich pictured below.


I like traditional Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage and it's easy enough to make, but for the money, I like my Corned Beef between 2 slices of rye and topped with a cabbage Coleslaw, Jewish deli-style. So just keep on reading to see my tasty recipes below for Deli Corned Beef and Homemade Pastrami.

If you didn't notice, this week is the time of cheap hunks of Corned Beef -- starting at $1.99 per pound! I usually clear out my freezer for this St. Patrick's Day beef celebration and stock up on a few Corned Beef briskets. They freeze well and I like to smoke them during my patio summer cookouts.


Traditional Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage is easy to make. Boil the whole Corned Beef brisket for about 3 to 4 hours until the meat is tender. Next, remove the corned beef and cook chopped cabbage, carrot and potatoes in the salty broth. I like to dump half the brine/broth as it's very salty and replace with regular water. When the veggies are tender, return the corned beef to the pot to reheat. That's it, just pile on your plate a thick slice of Corned Beef with tender veggies. Check out my video below.

Easy Homemade Corned Beef with Cabbage - VIDEO


You'll want a batch of Coleslaw to go along with my Homemade Deli-Style Corned Beef Sandwich. Especially when cabbage is selling for pennies a pound this week. Just click here to get a cheap$kate Deli Coleslaw recipe.

Our most famous deli in Los Angeles is Canter's Deli on Fairfax Boulevard. They are especially known for Pastrami and Corned Beef Sandwiches.


For their 60th Anniversary at this location, they served Corned Beef on Rye Sandwiches for 60 cents! If you don't believe me, then just watch the video below as proof positive.
Canter's 60c Corned Beef Sandwich- VIDEO


And if you have any meaty leftovers then add them to a caloric breakfast scramble of Eggs and Pastrami or Corned Beef (my recipe is a click away here.)


Now, if you really want the wildest use of leftover Pastrami then go no further than the next video, on the making of an Oki Dog.


It is basically a burrito with hot dogs, cheese, chili and pastrami. Yes, it's a cholesterolic artery clogging tortilla-wrapped depth charge that will literally take your breath away. Just watch the video below to see it being assembled (and click here to read it's Japanese origin story.)
Oki Dog with Pastrami - VIDEO


In my  Homemade Pastrami Recipe Video link here, I show you how to brine a beef brisket in the refrigerator for a week. But if you buy a package of corned beef, you can skip that stage and go right to cooking it like in the video below.

So keep scrolling down to see my Corned Beef and Pastrami recipes (you can also click here to see more Pastrami Recipe photos and text.)


Keep an eye out for that yarmulke-wearing leprechaun with a tzitzit under his green jacket. If you catch him make sure one of your 3 wishes is one of my delish dishes.

This St. Patty's Day post is all about the beef. So stock up on corned beef and get to cooking. You can be sure that the Blarney Chef is not full of it this time - these are some of my best and favorite recipes.

Easy Homemade Deli Pastrami - VIDEO

Play it here. Video runs 2 minutes 42 seconds.

Ingredients for Corned Beef and Cabbage
  • 1 corned beef - I use cheap point-cut corned beef on sale. They usually weigh 3 to 5 pounds. You can follow package directions for cooking corned beef. 
  • 1 whole cabbage - chopped. They have a tough root stem you can remove, but it will tenderize. I only remove if it's discolored brown and extra tough. 
  • 1 carrot chopped - You can add another carrot or two, depending on the size. Sometimes I like more veggies.
  • 2 red potatoes chopped - You can boil red potatoes whole, but they will take an extra half hour to cook. Okay to use white or russet potatoes. Also, add more potato if you like.
  • Water to cover corned beef - When corned beef is cooked, taste broth for saltiness, if too much then replace half the broth with fresh water and taste again.  

Directions for Corned Beef and Cabbage
Corned Beef is a thick and tough piece of meat, so you need to low boil it for about 3 to 4 hours until tender. Time will vary depending on the size of whole Corned Beef. Mine was about 4 pounds. Cheaper cuts of Corned Beef can be fatty, is so it's okay to trim off some of the fat.


You can follow Corned Beef package cooking directions. Usually, you cover Corned Beef with water, about 5 cups worth. Most times you have a small packet of spices and herb included, so open and empty the contents into the water.


In a large pot, bring the Corned Beef in water to a boil, lower to a low simmer or low boil and cover the pot. Cook about 3 to 4 hours. Check on the pot every hour or so to make sure liquid does not cook out, and add more water if needed. It's okay if the liquid cooks out by half, this will make an intense broth for the veggies.


After about 3 hours you can chop the cabbage, carrot and potatoes.


When the Corned Beef is done, remove it and set aside. Taste the broth to see how salty it is. More than likely it's too salty, so pour out half the broth and add an equal amount of fresh water. Now taste to see if the broth is milder. Repeat this step if necessary to reach your desired flavor.


Once the broth meets your tastes, then add the chopped veggies. Bring to a low simmer, cover the pot and cook veggies about 20 minutes.


If you like crunchy cabbage, then cook carrot and potato first, about 15 minutes, then add chopped cabbage. Cook until cabbage reaches desired crunchiness, usually 10 minutes or so.

Finally, return the cooked Corned Beef to the pot with veggies and let it reheat for about 5 minutes.


This is a one-pot meal, so just slice off hunks of Corned Beef and serve with the cooked veggies.


When slicing the corned beef for sandwiches make sure to cut across the grain of the meat. Of course, you'll want to try out a slice to see how yummy it is. Notice the lean meat and its rosy color inside.


For a Deli-style Corned Beef Sandwich just add mustard to rye bread. Layer on your favorite cheese, corned beef and coleslaw. From a 2.67 pound of corned beef brisket, I made 3 sandwiches. I served them to my wife, mother-in-law and our neighbor Deb -- they all raved how delicious it was. I hope you will like it too!



Directions for Cooking Easy Pastrami Recipe
Remove corned beef from the package and follow the cooking directions.

Typically you add corned beef to a large pot with a cover and fill it with water to just above the meat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, cover and simmer for at least 3 hours. Check on it from time to time to make sure the water doesn't cook out (the water can cookout by a third, that's okay, as the meat will continue to steam.)


When finished boiling, remove the meat and set it to drain. Make a dry rub to coat the meat for smoking. Mix the pepper and coriander and coat all sides of the brisket.

Dry Rub Ingredients for Smoking
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander - they are the tan brown seeds in the herb package that normally comes with corned beef. You can sometimes find ground coriander in grocery spice racks, too.
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper - okay to use less. Sometimes black pepper can overpower everything, but I like my pastrami that way.
  • Wood chips for smoking the pastrami in a BBQ grill -- about 4 cups.


Now time to smoke it. You mainly need an outdoor grill with a cover. I have a 2-burner gas grill. The object is to smoke the meat with indirect heat. That is, place the meat as far away from the flame as possible. The meat is already cooked, so you just want to smoke it at this stage. If you have a simple outdoor charcoal bbq grill then build a fire way off to one side.


The flame is under a pan of wood chips. You could even loosely wrap a large handful of chips in aluminum foil and place over hot coals or a gas flame.

Depending how large and hot the flame source is, the wood chips should start smoking in a couple of minutes. When the smoke starts, place the boiled brisket as far away from the flame as possible and cover the grill tightly.

Check every 10 minutes or so and replace the wood chips with fresh ones as they cook away, if needed. I smoked my pastrami for an hour. Even a half hour of smoking will give the Corned Beef great flavor and create a crunchy crusted Pastrami.


In the hour of smoking I had to replace the blackened wood chips a couple of times. The meat will still heat up and brown, even away from the heat.

If you are using a coal burning grill your smoking time may be shorter, as they often burn hotter than a more controllable gas grill (about half an hour of smoking?) The length of time it takes for the wood chips to stop smoking is all the time you really need.

After the pastrami is smoked, place it on a cutting board, slice across the grain, and make a big fat Pastrami Sandwich - your way!


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Fresh Frozen Black-Eyed Peas - Deal of the Day Review

My latest Deal of the Day healthy to the Nth degree. Fresh frozen Black-Eyed Peas by Stahl Bush Farms and purchased from my local 99c only Store.


They are about as fresh as you can get and they are ready to eat when they are heated through or reach room temperature. Just click here to read all about them. They also grow and package fresh frozen berries, veggies and more legumes.


And the Black-Eyed Peas are firm but still tender,  not mushy like canned peas. You are tasting the clean flavor of Black-Eyed Peas. There was no seasoning that I could detect.

 You can also feel good about this product as Stahl Bush Farms, located in Oregan, is certified sustainable. Even the package is biodegradable. It's a win-win side dish.


Click on any photo to see larger.

What I like about these fresh frozen veggies or beans is the natural flavor is not drowned in salty water like canned. I eat canned tomatoes and tomato sauce the most, follow by canned corn and pinto beans, but not as much as I used to because of the high salt content.

These peas are a bit dry when microwaved, so add a tablespoon of water per serving.


Since they are cooked through, the peas heat up quickly on the stovetop or microwave. Mix Black-Eyed Peas into a favorite stir fry, or plain  steamed white or brown  rice, for your New Year Hopin' John celebration. I like them best mixed with sauteed mushrooms.

Sprinkle a few tablespoons over your favorite salad or add some to a pasta salad, too.

While tasty I find these Black-Eyed Peas a bit bland, but there is always Cajun Seasonings or hot sauce to make them more interesting. Oh, heck with it, go ahead and add some crisped bacon or pieces of ham. At least you control the seasonings amounts to suit your taste.



So, on my Cheapskate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best, I give Black-Eyed Peas by Stahl Bush Farms, straight out of the bag (with a little water and heating through,) a strong 7! But if you flavor them with spices, or add to a salad, then they are a perfect 9!

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