A generous coworker of mine recently brought in a variety of herbs from her garden to share with whoever wanted a few. No longer having an herb garden of my own, I grabbed some basil, chives, lemon balm and oregano. Faced with a glut of CSA lettuce, I used them for dressing.
I think that real Green Goddess Dressing has anchovies in them, but I don’t care for them. And I subbed lime for lemon juice. But other than those changes (that account for 50% – 66% of the ingredients, depending on whether you’re counting the anchovies) it’s totally legitimate Green Goddess Dressing.
Hubs ate most of it as a dip for potato chips, but I did have a little as a sauce for this funny taco, made from a lettuce leaf and strip of bacon.
Green Goddess Dressing
- 1/2 cup herbs (use whatever you have)
- 3 T mayonnaise
- Juice of one lime
Throw everything in the food processor and pulse until herbs are chopped and all is well blended. If it’s too thick, splash a little olive oil in. Too thin, add more mayo. No exact science here.
This is one of my very favorite things that my grandma makes. It’s really pretty simple. I’m not sure why I don’t make it more often. I guess I just never think to get a corned beef at the grocery.
Warning – if you get a corned beef, it will have a lot of fat on it that you have to trim off, and then it will shrink after cooking. The first time I made one myself, I was cooking for hubs, my mom, and me. By the time I trimmed it and cooked it, it shrank a lot. Remember those old time cartoons where the family would sit down to dinner and just have one bean to slice up amongst them? That was pretty much what happened with that first corned beef. My mom and I pretended to not be hungry so hubs could have the lion’s share. So always get one that’s bigger than you think you will need!
You start off by boiling it up with the spice packet it comes with (looks weird at this stage, I know).
Then you bake it with a mustard glaze.
Then slice it up and serve it with some boiled cabbage, carrots, and potatoes.
Second warning – it tastes good at home, but never as good as when your mom or grandma makes it.
Corned beef, Grandma Lucy style
- 5-6 LB corned beef brisket with spice packet (if it doesn’t come with a spice packet, use 1 bay leaf and 6 whole peppercorns)
- 1/2 C or so Dijon mustard
- 1/2 C brown sugar
- 5 T paprika
Rinse meat and trim fat. Put in large kettle and cover with water. Add spice packet. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer until fork tender – about 3 to 4 hours. Remove from stock, and place in roasting pan. Meanwhile, mix brown sugar and paprika. Cover the top with dijon mustard, then sprinkle brown sugar mixture on top. Bake for 20 minutes at 400. Slice across the grain, and serve with boiled carrots, potatoes, and cabbage.
Lately, I’ve had this thing for old recipes. I love the way they look in yellowed cookbooks and on splattered, handwritten pages. I love seeing if they really taste as good as you recall, or if remembered flavors have been sweetened by pleasant memories.
I’ve been reading a copy of the Joy of Cooking from 1972, poring over dozens of Junior League, PTA, and church fund-raising recipe books, asking co-workers what their grammas used to make, and even searching Etsy for vintage cookbooks.
We visited my mom and dad last weekend, and when we got there, I found my mom making this:
That’s a copy of Famous Barr onion soup (hand-written by “Millie” circa 1975). Just exactly the type of thing I’ve been obsessing over. Famous Barr was a department store in St Louis, where my mom grew up. It’s now a part of Macy’s, and the only place I know to get the soup is my mom’s kitchen.
Ladeling soup into crocks:
French bread toasted in the oven with parmesan
Soups topped with toast, mozarella, and swiss
Browned in the oven
(yes, it did taste as good as I remember)
What are your favorite recipe classics?