It's kind of a grab bag on this week's Food for Thought.
Among other things, Nancy Leson and I chat about leek scapes. She loved the store-bought ones she grilled the other day. I (cough, cough) grow my own, but intend to follow her example very soon. We also discuss a time-saving tweak to that homemade pastrami recipe seen here a while back.
And we do some general grousing about how all the used-to-be cheap cuts of meat are now pricier than a slushy in hell.
The Scape Crusader
Nance says she grilled those leek scapes as she would asparagus, along with some real asparagus, "just in case they weren't so good." But they were. "They were so perfectly sweet They had an almost asparagus texture but the taste was more like a slow-cooked onion," she observed.
Houston Street, We Have a Problem
Katz's Deli on New York City's Houston Street cures their world famous pastrami in a brine for two to four weeks, then has it cold smoked for several days. Back in October, Nancy and I talked about Mandy Lee's recipe for homemade pastrami. I got it from her Blog, Lady and Pups. Lee's method takes a maximum of four days all in, almost all of it for the soak. Pack on a special spice crust; Bake in foil overnight at 220 and Bob's your onkl.
It occurred to me that since the result of that brining is a corned beef why not just start with one and slice four days off the process? True, that portion of the brisket is not as fatty as the navel cut traditionally used for pastrami but maybe that's not such a bad thing. Besides, it would be instant – okay, overnight – pastrami!
My plan worked perfectly. There was just one problem. A 3-1/2 lb corned beef cost $28! And that was for the supermarket house brand, not some fancy stuff made by artisan corned beef leprechauns in Brooklyn. I shelled out, anyway because it was like — for science, man!
Which got us talking about how all the used-to-be cheap cuts like brisket, oxtails, shanks and so on are now so expensive. My solution? Eat less meat.
"All food starting with P is comfort food: Pasta, potato chips, pretzels,peanut butter, pastrami,pizza, pastry. " – Sara Paretsky