Week 14 – 2012

Week 14 and what a week it is. This week brings us another player tragedy. My condolences go out to the family of the Cowboy player Jerry Brown who was killed in a drunk driving accident Saturday morning. My posts are normally about fun things but stories like this are always awful to hear. Please remember to enjoy responsibly.

Today we find our Pats hanging till Monday night to host the first place, one loss Texans. Before I get to the Pats though, scanning today’s games I’m really curious to see if Luck continues winning – did you see that crazy ending in Detroit last week? I thought he was going to out run his receiver into the end zone. Staffords look said it all. Holy Sh……… How did that happen? I also want to see the Redskins win as RG3 seems to not realize he’s a rookie and is playing better each week. It helps that they got Garcon back but if they take it to the Ravens it’s only better for our Pats. While I’m wishing I’d like to see Mr. Brees get a handle on his interceptions and pick apart the Gints.

Coming back to our Pats, I’m hoping for a cold slightly snowy day as the Texans come to town. It is December and the cold is part of the hometown advantage. A shout out to my friend Derek as a season ticket holder. I have an Ol’Catty for you to enjoy pregame. I just want a picture of the bottle with the stadium sign in it. As I look at this game it has all the elements our team struggles with – a fierce defensive front and a balanced high powered offense. I’ll be doing a Monday edition for tomorrow’s food and I’ll have more thoughts on the game then.

So for today I’ll say Happy Hanukkah to our friends who have begun their eight crazy nights. Tonight’s football food and beer fun is inspired by food traditions from this Holiday.

Brisket
Brisket is a specific cut of beef, it is not pot roast. If the cut has a string tied around it, it’s not brisket. The butcher at your store can cut you one if it’s not already out. Brisket is a tough cut of meat and really benefits from a slow cooking approach. As meat goes, this one has many cultural traditions tied to it so do some research if you’re interested, it’s a fun food journey.

Brisket – I like around 2 pounds but more is good too. I don’t trim the fat on mine.
Dry rub – I blend chili powder, smoked paprika and a little dried crushed jalapeno. Rub thoroughly on both sides and place on a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap the meat.
Juice a half lemon or whole lime on top of the meat.

Wrap the foil around the meat to create a sealed container. Cook at 200 degrees for 6 hours. When done, remove from foil, slice into approx 1/4 inch strips and set aside. Take the drippings, add one 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes, four crushed garlic cloves and bring to a boil. The goal is a gravy consistency so if at 15-20 minutes if the sauce is too runny, add a teaspoon of flour at a time till you get a better consistency.

Put the meat in a serving container, slather with the sauce and serve. Beware, this is addictive. If you want more heat, add more jalepeno.

Latkes – or potato pancakes.
4 medium potatoes peeled
4 scallions
2 eggs

Using a food processor shred the potatoes and scallions. Beat the eggs till integrated and then blend into the potato and onion mix. For Hanukkah latkes I like a few tablespoons of matzoh meal included in the mix. If you don’t know what matzoh meal is don’t worry, the recipe works without it too.

Using a deep frying pan with about 1/8th or so inch of olive oil, place small two inch circles of mix in the batter. Using a slotted spatula, press down to thin out the pancake. Fry for about five minutes on medium heat and flip. They should be a golden brown on both sides. Use care when frying if you don’t do much frying. Cooking on too high a heat will result in a lot of grease splatter and smoke. Be sure to replenish the oil as you work through the mix. Set the cooked latkes on paper towels or brown paper bags to help absorb excess oil prior to serving.

Serve with a side of applesauce or sour cream and enjoy.

Green Beans
Meat and potatoes need some green for balance. I like fresh green beans with this dish to round out the dinner. I cook them so they have some crunch left. Soggy veggies aren’t my thing.

If you leave this dinner over full I understand. I’ll be enjoying my dinner with a Tavern ale.

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