Brisket Stroganoff

Part of the beauty of smoking a brisket is the amount of leftovers available to use in following meals– and I’m not just talking about leftovers for a few chopped brisket sandwiches. There is a world of recipes to make from this one smoked cut of beef and they’re all tantalizing. Off the top of my head these meals come to mind:

Chopped Brisket Omelets, Brisket Arugula Salad with BBQ drizzle, Brisket Tacos, Brisket Enchiladas,

Brisket Mac and Cheese, Brisket Nachos,

Open Faced Brisket Sandwich with a Runny Egg, Brisket Migas, Burnt End Cheese Fries

Better than a sandwich, am I right? The list seems endless. Recently, however, there is one brisket recipe I find myself making every time Randy, A Pleasant Little Kitchen’s master griller, fires up the smoker.

Brisket Stroganoff.

It is play off the traditional Russian comfort food, beef stroganoff and, in my mind, is a perfect way to use leftovers. It utilizes about 2 1/2 cups of smoked brisket and the remaining ingredients are always stocked in my pantry.Did I mention it’s a quick fix? Onions and garlic sautéed in butter. Tomato paste browned and then deglazed with chianti and organic chicken stock. Sour cream and chopped brisket. Stir and serve over egg noodles (or your favorite pasta).

Four steps and about 30 minutes later a delicious flavor packed meal is ready to be devoured… and loved. It’s perfect for a weeknight meal following a fun-filled weekend of grilling.

To make brisket stroganoff, smoked brisket (click here for a smoked brisket recipe) is needed. While it’s easy to pop into your favorite smoke house and  pick up some chopped smoked brisket, wouldn’t it be more fun to make it at home?If this makes you hesitate, let me reassure you. Smoking meat is doable. Abandon the fear of backyard smoking. Embrace slow cooking over low flames and approach this Memorial Day weekend with smoking confidence. Here’s a breakdown of getting prepped and educated in smoking:

If you prefer more crust on brisket, use your favorite grill rub to coat the brisket before smoking.

A meat thermometer will help guarantee the brisket does not get over cooked.Remember, quality meat makes a difference in the outcome of a smoked brisket.

Once the brisket reaches 195 degrees, use a wooden skewer to check for doneness. The skewer should slide in and out of the meat with ease.

I prefer to use oak as the smoking wood.It is good to periodically check the smoker to make sure it maintains heat properly. There are fancy gadgets that will allow you to monitor the meat temperature via smart phone.

When you remove the brisket from the heat, you can wrap it in foil and store in a cooler for up to 3 hours before serving.Blow up the kiddie pool this weekend, grab some chilled beverages and pick up a brisket. In the days following you will be reminded of the perfect outdoor grilling weekend with all leftovers available to use. Get creative, but start with brisket stroganoff to get the leftover smoked brisket ball rolling.

Brisket Stroganoff

Author note: Before cooking, set out the sour cream to bring to room temperature. This helps to keep the sour cream from curdling once it hits the warm sauce.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 cups Chianti

2 1/2 cups chopped smoked brisket, click here for recipe

3/4 cup sour cream (room temperature)

cooked egg noodles (or your favorite pasta)

fresh parsley, chopped (for topping)

  1. In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat, until softened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and brown (about 2-3 minutes). Stir frequently.
  4. Add Chianti and worcestershire sauce to the pan and deglaze. Scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.
  5. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 8 minutes.
  6. Add the brisket and sour cream to the sauce. Stir to combine. Continue to cook on low for heat for five minutes.
  7. Pour the sauce over cooked egg noodles and top with chopped parsley. Serve warm.

Cherry Tarts

Cherry Tarts

Author note: This recipe uses to favorite recipes of mine: cherry jam (click here for recipe) and whipped vanilla cream (click here for recipe).

for the filling

3 pounds fresh cherries, pitted

pinch of kosher salt

3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cinnamon stick

  1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Stir and cover. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. Remove the lid, stir the mixture and increase the heat to medium or medium-high. Cook for 35-45 minutes (the cherries should maintain a steady boil). Stir frequently to prevent burning. When the mixture is reduced, thickened and coats the back of a spoon it is finished cooking.
  3. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Store in the fridge.

for the whipped cream

cup cream

1/2 cup crème fraiche

3 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Place a mixing bowl (stainless steel preferred) in the fridge and let chill for 15 minutes.
  2. Once the bowl is chilled, remove it from the fridge and place all ingredients into the bowl.
  3. With an electric mixer whip the cream mixture on medium until peaks form.
  4. Place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

for the tarts

pastry shells

cherry filling

whipped vanilla cream

  1. Follow the pastry shells baking instructions. Let cool.
  2. Add the cherry filling to the baked shells. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve chilled.

Ham and Blueberry Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ham and Blueberry Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Author note: At our house this recipe is known as Katherine’s Grilled Cheese.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 slices of your favorite bread

blueberry cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

3 slices of deli ham

Heat cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.

  1. Meanwhile, butter one side of each slice of bread.
  2. Place one slice of bread in the skillet, buttered side facing down. Add a layer of cheese and top with the ham. Add a few more pieces of sliced cheese on top of the ham.
  3. Place the remaining piece of bread on top, buttered side facing up.
  4. Heat until the bottom piece of the bread is golden and the cheese is melted. Flip and continue to heat the sandwich until golden and the cheese is melted.

Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam

Author note: This recipe is easily halved. If cherries are not in season, frozen cherries also work, but require a bit more simmering time. Serve on your favorite biscuits, vanilla ice cream or PB&J sandwich.

3 pounds fresh cherries, pitted

pinch of kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cups sugar

1 cinnamon stick

  1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Stir and cover. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. Remove the lid, stir the mixture and increase the heat to medium or medium-high. Cook for 35-45 minutes (the cherries should maintain a steady boil). Stir frequently to prevent burning. When the mixture is reduced, thickened and coats the back of a spoon it is finished cooking.
  3. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Store in the fridge.

A Pleasant Little Memory | Sirloin, Sweet Potato, Garlic Kebabs

There’s never a season when we are not grilling.

Maybe because Dallas is home and the weather is most always tolerable…or because Randy and I absolutely love the results of cooking over open flame?The smell of charcoal being lit, the sight of billowing smoke rising from the grill, and the taste of grilled food are intoxicating. It’s addictive.

Cooking outdoors is part of our family routine.

When I think of grilling, my mind immediately goes to steak. A beef filet cooked to medium (and sometimes medium rare) by reverse searing is food heaven.After dreaming of beef tenderloin, my mind wanders to smoked brisket and pork shoulder. Hours of low heat yields tender, fall-apart flavor packed bites (plus bookoos of leftovers, hooray!)

I can’t forget vegetables either: asparagus, onions, bell peppers, cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes. If it can be grown, it can be grilled.

Don’t be fooled, I am not the grill master of A Pleasant Little Kitchen. All grilling and smoking is due to Randy and his mad outdoor cooking skills.He or I will come up with a recipe idea and he makes it happens. Together, we make a perfect team.

Two summers ago in the heat of July we got the weekly urge to grill. This time, I wanted to combine steak and veg.

“Randy, let’s kebab!”

I’m always on the lookout to utilize what I already have stocked in my pantry. After doing a brief scan of the goods I decided on sirloin, sweet potato and garlic kabobs. Yet I had one question about the recipe concept.“Randy, can we grill sweet potatoes?”

His response— why shouldn’t we grill sweet potatoes?

Perfect. All that was needed was sirloin, everything else was already waiting in the kitchen. We opted for sirloin because it’s a rather inexpensive cut that still yields a flavorful tender outcome.Together we peeled the garlic, chopped the onion, sliced the sweet potato and cut the sirloin.

While prepping I realized a kebab isn’t a kebab without some sort of dipping sauce, so back into the pantry I went to rummage. All the ingredients were waiting for me. Easy peasy: garlic red pepper yogurt sauce. Done.The kebab sticks were soaked in water and then we arranged the ingredients on them. Katherine watched and was mesmerized by the pattern we were creating.

That summer day a favorite family recipe was born: sirloin, sweet potato and garlic kebabs with garlic red pepper yogurt sauce. I was even given a chance to highlight the recipe in The Dallas Morning News.

This recipe had made it. It was packed full of healthy, delicious ingredients and was pretty to look at. Food bliss.Being in the recipe development world, I sometimes forget about some of my favorite recipes. Unfortunately this kebab, while a tasty treasure, slowly vanished from my mind. Until recently.

Market Street is now providing a new exclusive line of Texas beef called Rancher’s Reserve ® that is 100% USDA Choice and 100% Angus. What’s even better is that all the cuts are done in-store by the butchers. Talk about made to order.

Upon hearing about Rancher’s Reserve ® there was one recipe that popped into my mind: sirloin kebabs (Did I mention there’s a garlic red pepper dipping sauce to go along with it? So good).I had an urge to make these memorable, tasty kebabs with Rancher’s Reserve ® sirloin, and I think you should too. Especially since starting today, May 3rd until Tuesday, May 9th all fresh beef in the meat market at Market Street is 25% off.

This weekend plan to cook over open flames with quality USDA Choice and Angus sirloin. It’s the perfect flame charred meal to welcome summer grilling season.

Sirloin, Sweet Potato, Garlic Kebabs with Garlic Red Pepper Yogurt Sauce

Author note: Depending on how many garlic cloves you want on the skewers, you may need to peel 1 to 2 heads of garlic.

1 1/2 pounds Rancher’s Reserve ® sirloin steak, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices (also halve them if the sweet potato is large)

1 onion, cut into 1 x 1 1/2 inch pieces

garlic cloves, peeled

1 teaspoon kosher salt

extra-virgin olive oil



yogurt sauce, for dipping (see recipe below)

  1. 1 hour before grilling, soak the skewers in water (if using wooden skewers).
  2. Heat the grill to 350-400 degrees.
  3. On a skewer, alternate the pieces of meat, sweet potato, onions and garlic. Up to 3 pieces of meat per skewer. Be sure to leave a little room between each ingredient to help them cook evenly.
  4. Coat each skewer with 1/2 teaspoon of oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Grill 6-7 minutes per side.
  6. Serve warm with garlic red pepper yogurt sauce.

For the garlic red pepper yogurt sauce:

1 cup plain yogurt

2 garlic cloves, rough chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

  1. Combine all ingredients into a small bowl and stir to combine. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Market Street. All opinions are my own and I appreciate your support of the brands and companies I love.

Orange Zest Sour Cream

Orange Zest Sour Cream

Author note: Adding chopped fresh herbs like chives, parsley or cilantro would also make this condiment delicious.

1 cup sour cream

zest of 1 orange

  1. Place both ingredients into a small bowl. Mix well. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Breakfast Quesadillas

We are a quesadilla family, hopefully you are too.

Didn’t finish all the steak last night? Roasted cauliflower still not eaten? Leftover chicken? Only cheese and tortillas in the fridge?

Not a problem. Make quesadillas.Grab some flour tortillas, add some shredded cheese (Mexican blend is my favorite) and if there’s a bit of time, sauté a sweet onion or two.

What about eggs?

Glad you asked.Eggs are a perfect addition to the quesadilla formula. Combine scrambled goodness with crispy bacon, cheese and maybe some green chiles or avocado slices. Serve warm topped with cilantro and sides of sour cream and salsa.Breakfast quesadillas have become a regular in A Pleasant Little Kitchen because they are a tasty, satisfying meal that no one complains about. Plus, quesadilla fillings and toppings can be individualized to each eater’s taste, which helps us out. My family tends to be very opinionated about their food… who would have thought?A few other reasons I love breakfast quesadillas:

  • It works for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.
  • The whole family can get involved with the cooking process (like cracking and scrambling the eggs, and building the quesadillas).
  • Scrambled eggs and bacon can be cooked ahead of time for a quick dinner prep.
  • Leftover quesadillas make great packed lunches for littles the next day.

Breakfast Quesadillas

Author note: This is a basic recipe without measurements to allow you to make as many or few quesadillas as needed. I typically account 2 eggs and 2 slices of bacon per person for this recipe. If you want to get fancy with the quesadilla filling, consider adding slices of avocado or sautéed bell peppers and onions. For homemade salsa check out Hatch Green Chile and Tomatillo Salsa or Tomato and Cilantro Salsa.

scrambled eggs

cooked bacon, rough chopped

flour tortillas

Mexican style shredded cheese

salsa, optional topping

sour cream, optional topping

  1. Heat a medium sized skilled over medium heat.
  2. Place one tortilla into the skillet. Add a layer of cheese, then a layer of scrambled eggs, then a layer of chopped bacon. Top with a final layer of shredded cheese.
  3. Place a second tortilla on top of the egg and cheese layers. Cook until the bottom layer tortilla is golden brown. With a spatula, carefully flip the quesadilla. Cook the remaining side until golden brown.
  4. Put the quesadilla onto a cutting board and let cool for 3-4 minutes, then quarter. Serve warm with a side of salsa and sour cream.

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