From My Mother’s Kitchen

Brisket with Slow-Cooked Onions

Posted by on Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012

My mom’s brisket is remarkably minimalist: just meat, onions, salt, pepper, and the longest slowest braise you ever witnessed.

Until recently, I thought it was Daughter Bias that allowed me to make the following statement: my mom makes the best brisket.

But then I tried other people’s brisket, and I read The Brisket Book, which Alex’s parents got me for Christmas, and I now feel more qualified to explain why this brisket is one you should add to your repertoire.

First, it’s extraordinarily simple. As we know from the Beer Beef Stew in In the Small Kitchen, beef, onions, and liquid create remarkable flavor. And that flavor doesn’t really come from the onions or the liquid. It’s from the beef, which has lots of fat on it and becomes tender as you cook it.

Braided Biscuits

Posted by on Wednesday Nov 16th, 2011

STARCHY THANKSGIVING SIDES: Walnut-Raisin No-Knead Bread; New Potatoes with Butter and Chives; Root Vegetable Gratin; Garlic BreadQuinoa Stuffing with Squash and Leek; Barb’s Corn Pudding

These biscuits have been a long time coming!

I make them every year, and I’ve mentioned them at least twice on BGSK, in my 2011 and 2010 Thanksgiving posts. I think I glazed over them in my write-up of the house dessert spread. But somehow they never quite got a post devoted to them, because the timing is bad. I make them on Thanksgiving, and you should …

Lemony Kale Salad

Posted by on Wednesday Oct 19th, 2011

Earlier this summer, my mom introduced raw kale salad into her rotation of quick veggies to go alongside the requisite salmon with green sauce. The recipe was courtesy of my parents’ friend Monina who made it for a dinner party she hosted on Martha’s Vineyard, and was responsible for my dad actually requesting kale for dinner on the following night. My mom has made it in the double digits since.

It’s rare to find a green salad that can be dressed in advance and won’t get soggy (we usually turn to grains for this type of portability). But the …

Apple Pancakes

Posted by on Wednesday Oct 5th, 2011

Cara’s Family Favorites: Rich Chocolate Celebration Cake; Potato Latkes; Hot Raisin Bread; Chicken Parmesan; Roasted Eggplant; Mom’s Apple Pie

Not everything that we ate growing up was a recipe that came straight from my mom’s head. While Rich Chocolate Cake, Mac and Cheese, and Fried Noodles, clearly came from Mom’s memory and homemade pizza from Dad’s, others, like Hot Raisin Bread or Banana Bread were made straight from tattered, oil-stained copies of our favorite cookbooks. I like to think that some of the recipes we did make were still from a mother’s kitchen–just …

Check out our other Mother’s Day favorites here.

The first meal my mother ever made my father was a frittata. I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, and I tell the story behind their first cooking encounter in our book. So why am I mentioning it again? Because it’s proof that my mom makes a damn good frittata.

Mom’s Matzoh Balls

Posted by on Wednesday Apr 20th, 2011

For a full Passover feast, check out Baby’s First Seder Menu.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that my family does not reserve the eating of matzoh balls for Passover. They are on the menu at Thanksgiving and pretty much any other time we need a pick-me-up, some comfort food, or “penicillin.”

And, for even fuller disclosure: these matzoh balls are not from my mom’s recipe, even though my mom is the resident matzoh ball maker and the person I asked when I was looking for a recipe for the site. Nope, these matzoh balls …

One of the perks of being a food writer is that you get a lot of unsolicited inspiration. This is especially lucrative when you come from a family of fabulous cooks, who do not write about the food they make (though they should!).

A few months ago, I received an email from my Uncle Denny with subject line: recipe. Attached was a document containing instructions for John McPhee’s chicken, which apparently an old girl friend of his managed to glean from a book by the author.

The summer I lived in Los Angeles, my Uncle Denny and Aunt …