Brisket salad by In my red Kitchen
Eating out is something we do regularly in Los Angeles, basically every weekend. During the week, I always cook at home, exept on some Tuesday because we go eat at the food trucks in Santa Monica often. But overall, I always cook from Monday to Friday. Ok, actually Monday to Thursday because Friday is also weekend to me.
There are so many good restaurants and eateries here in LA, the weekend is too short to try them all! It’s that I love cooking so much, otherwise we would easily eat out every night.
LA is a meeting point of different cultures, each of them bringing their own food to town. The city has several areas: Little Osaka, Koreatown, Little Armenia, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, etc. And of course you can get the most amazing authentic food there!
The big difference with the Netherlands is that foreign restaurants in LA actually cook for their own people, rather than for the Americans. In the Netherlands, the Chinese restaurants for example cook Western-Chinese food, and that is nothing like the food in China. What a shame! And at the time we left Amsterdam to live in LA you really couldn’t get authentic Japanese tonkotsu ramen soup (you still can’t), or Vietnamese pho.
I do not know if I would ever again be able to live in the Netherlands by the way, now that I’m used to the food in LA 😉 The cultural diversity is not the only thing I’m so attached to, to be honest. Fruit and vegetables also taste another much better here because it’s mostly all local. Everything taste so pure and full of flavor!
We also realized that even better when we went to the Netherland in May for vacation. Our common pizza place was a bit disappointing and the chicken satay at our favorite café was not quite what I had expected. Too bad that there’s much difference in taste. Or maybe I had made it better in my head than it actually is.
But the biggest difference between the restaurants and bars in the Netherlands and Los Angeles has to be the service. Wow! In LA, everyone is always very positive and kind, and no request is too crazy or too much. You might think that the waiters are not sincere, or that they are fake because they want to get a huge tip. But that’s far from the truth! Really, it feels so positive! And they notice you, at least, that’s also different. During our visit in Netherlands we were waiting time after time for the menu after we had found a table. It felt like the waiters had no interest in us, as if they just came to help them when it suited them. So once we sat at lunchtime on the terrace. It was a small terrace but it still took a bit too long before the waitress came to us. She asked if we wanted drinks, we gave her our order and asked immediately for the menu. She told us she would bring it. Well, not so… again it took a while for the drinks came and then we had to ask again for the menu. I mean… do you want to sell something to me or not?
I’m used now that you immediately get the menu when you are seated at a table and that the waiter comes to your table within three minutes. If it does take longer they’ll always apologize even though it doesn’t feel like a long wait. You never have to wait too long for your order, but it also feels really relaxed.
On the other hand, however, you pay 20% tip if you are satisfied and had a good experience.
I don’t have to tell you that I hardly gave any tip in Amsterdam, and certainly not to the waitress who acted continuously downright blunt and brutal, and who forget about my lunch.
I really had to get used to that lack of interest again! Maybe I had a lot of bad luck, or maybe I’m just turning into an old nag, but once you’ve spent a year in America then you’ll notice things like this.
When Simone asked me to write a guest post I knew what I wanted to make: that delicious salad with shredded beef on it I always order here at our local diner. During the summer I eat lots of salads anyway and I’m always looking for new exciting additions. At this nice and modern diner close to our house they serve a delicious Mexican-style salad with ’11-spices brisket’ on it, and what an amazing combination that is! Beef brisket is a piece of meat that is cut from the rib. It is laced with small strips of fat and it needs to be stewed or roasted for a long time. I love to do that! On the internet I found a delicious recipe for brisket cooked in tomato sauce, from The Pioneer Woman (link: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/03/passover-brisket-i-think). I gave my own twist and WOW! In one word: awesome! I’m going to make this one more often and I don’t need the diner anymore 😉
- 2 lbs brisket
- 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp dried onions
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp celery salt
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 heads of Romaine shredded
- 1 cup corn roasted
- 1 14 oz can black beans rinsed
- 5 oz cherry tomatoes sliced
- ½ serving [Avocado salad dressing|
- grated cheddar to taste
Place the brisket in a oven dish.
Mix the tomato sauce with the spices and dried herbs and spread it out over the brisket. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for 12 – 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C) and bake the brisket for 6 hours, covered with aluminum foil until the brisket is all soft and tender and delicious. You can carefully flip over the brisket after 3 hours of cooking time, but this isn’t necessary. You can test if the brisket is ready by pulling it apart with two forks. If it feels moist and tender and separates easily, it is ready. If you feel some resistant, place it back in the oven and bake for at least 45 minutes (and max 2 hours).
Place the meat on a cutting board when it’s ready. Slice it with a sharp knife, you will also see it falls apart easily. That’s what you want!
Make the salad by tossing the romaine with the corn, tomatoes, black beans and onion.
Add the avocado salad dressing and stir to combine.
Add grated cheddar to taste en serve the salad on deep plates or in wide bowls. Divide the shredded beef on top and serve.