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Help Rename the Mayoral "Forum"

Monday, April 08, 2013

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Recipe: My Mother’s Brisket

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

From the essay, "Kosher. Or Not." by Barbara Rushkoff, included in The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage:

My Mother’s Brisket

My mom is one of those people who can look at a pot simmering and just know what to throw in. Sure, she does her taste-testing along the way, but usually she’s right on the money. Her brisket is the one dish that I can think about and almost taste. It is so good, so tender, so perfect, and the aroma of it when it is cooking is absolutely tantalizing. So, I’d like to share it with you.

The problem is that my mother cooks from intuition. With that, she mixes in stuff she’s gleaned from newspapers (one year she threw a can of Coca-Cola on the brisket—it was surprisingly delicious) and whatever her memory serves. When I approached her about a recipe for her brisket I was met with some very vague instructions, along with some asides that got thrown in for good measure.

First: Get thee to a kosher butcher. “Get a brisket, not too big, not too small.”

I wish I could tell you what not too big or not too small is, but you’ll have to figure it out for yourself. Get one that has no fat through the middle. Ask the kosher butcher; he will know.

Once you get the brisket home, rinse it in cold water and sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and garlic to taste. I can’t give you amounts. As my mother says, “You’ll know.”

Turn on your oven to 400˚F. When I asked my mother if she was sure, she asked me if I had a hot oven. I think so. Ovens are hot, right?

Get a large red onion, slice it, and put it on the bottom of the roasting pan with the meat on top (fat side down). My mother pours two cans of au jus gravy over the whole thing and then something she calls Gravy Master.

“What’s that?” I ask.

“It comes in a bottle,” she says, not really helping me.

“How much do I use?”

“A little bit.”

This is where I suggest nixing the Gravy Master and adding a packet of dry onion soup mix or a mixture of spices you like (example: paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper). As I said, my mother used a can of Coca-Cola one year.

Cover the meat with a tight lid and put the meat in the oven. My mother likes to “start high” (400˚F) and then turn it down after an hour of cooking to 375˚F. It all depends on your oven, she says. She has a hot one. Do you?

Overall cooking time is 3 to 3½ hours. How do you know it’s done? It’s just one of those things that you “know.”After 3 to 3½ hours it really does finish cooking, and it’s perfect. Really.

And then, magically, you open the oven and have a wonderful brisket. Let it cool, slice, remove fat from the gravy, and serve. Enjoy!

From The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage, © 2013 by Caroline M. Grant & Lisa Catherine Harper. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston, MA. www.roostbooks.com

 

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Recipe: Potato and Asparagus Salad

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

From the essay, "Recipe." by Phyllis Grant, included in The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage:

Potato and Asparagus Salad with Crème Fraîche and Poached Eggs

Serves 4 or so

  • Lots of kosher salt 
  • 12 Yukon gold or German butterball potatoes
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, bashed, Microplaned, or finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 4 pieces each, or 40 asparagus tips (save the stalks for asparagus stock or soup)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons any kind of white vinegar
  • ¾ cup crème fraîche
  • 3 spring onion stems (or chives), thinly sliced

Fill a large pot three-quarters of the way up with cold water. Add several tablespoons salt. Peel the potatoes and slide them into the water right away. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, turn down to a simmer. The potatoes are done when a paring knife slides in easily. If you’re not sure, just cut one open and taste. Drain the potatoes in a colander. If they’re falling apart a bit, remove them one at a time with a slotted spoon. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl, combine the shallots and garlic. Cover with the lemon juice and champagne vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. Whisk in the mustard, then slowly whisk in half the olive oil. Taste. This salad is best with a very tangy dressing. Add more olive oil if it’s too strong.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Turn down to a simmer and add the asparagus tips. Cook very briefly (1 to 2 minutes, depending on size). Taste one. Make sure there’s still some crunch left. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a kitchen towel. Save the broth for soup or lunch or sick kids.

Fill a large wide pot of water for the eggs and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat so low that there are no bubbles on the surface of the water. Add the white vinegar and a pinch of salt. Stir. Crack 1 egg into a bowl. Slide the egg into the water. Repeat with remaining eggs. I like the yolks very runny, but I hate it when the white is still raw on top. The only way I know to test for doneness is to use a slotted spoon to pull an egg out of the water and touch the top to make sure it’s completely cooked. Slide an egg onto a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Remove all the eggs the same way. It’s OK for them to sit for a few minutes. If you want, you can reheat the eggs in the hot water right before serving.

Slice the potatoes and spread them out in a single layer on a big plate or platter. Salt each slice. Spoon on the shallot dressing. Scatter the asparagus tips all over the potatoes. Carefully (or not) blop crème fraîche all over the potatoes and asparagus. Add more salad dressing. Place the eggs on top. Add a few sloshes of olive oil and sprinkle the spring onion slices all over. Serve (and eat) right away.

From The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage, © 2013 by Caroline M. Grant & Lisa Catherine Harper. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston, MA. www.roostbooks.com

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Brian Talks Stop and Frisk and Kimani Gray Shooting on Tell Me More

Monday, March 18, 2013

On Monday, Brian joined NPR's Tell Me More to discuss the Kimani Gray shooting and the larger context of policing and "stop and frisk" policies in New York. Shanduke McPhatter, the other guest, was on the Brian Lehrer Show last week as part of an East Flatbush community leader's forum.

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Listen to Our Favorite Bronx Songs

Monday, March 18, 2013

On today's show, we took calls from people who recently moved to the Bronx to mark the milestone that the borough saw its first net migration gain in decades. As we were selecting music for the segment, we came across some great songs about the Bronx. Here are some of our favorites -- suggest your own in the comments below!

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Tensions In Brooklyn Over Teen Shot By Police

Monday, March 18, 2013

The fatal police shooting of teenager Kimani Gray in East Flatbush, Brooklyn led to days of protests and some violence; it also heightened tensions in a community already distrustful of the police. Host Michel Martin discusses the shooting, and its aftermath, with WNYC talk show host Brian Lehrer and community activist Shanduke McPhatter.
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February Jobs Report Reaction

Friday, March 08, 2013

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2013 Race for Mayor: Low-Income New Yorkers

Friday, March 01, 2013

Brian Lehrer hosted a forum with seven mayoral hopefuls "2013 Race for Mayor: What's in it for Low-Income New Yorkers?" sponsored by The Community Service Society (CSS) sponsored the event in partnership with Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, the Center for Popular Democracy, and United New York. Full audio above.

Hear Excerpts and Analysis of the Forum

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David Dinkins on His Friend, Arthur Ashe

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Twenty years ago last month, tennis great Arthur Ashe called the show to comment on the competing, and possibly converging, visions of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.  This week, former NYC mayor  David Dinkins, now professor in the practice of public affairs at Columbia University, spoke with Brian about his friend Arthur Ashe.

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They Might Be Giants Play the Brian Lehrer Theme Live!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The band They Might Be Giants visited the studio, and played our theme live - a Brian Lehrer Show first! Listen to the full interview with TMBG here. (By the way, here's the original version of the theme from Marden Hill)

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You Predict the Oscars: Who WILL Win, and Who SHOULD Win?

Friday, February 22, 2013

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Oscar Bonus: Interviews with Documentary Directors

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Each year, The Brian Lehrer Show interviews the filmmakers behind the Oscar-nominated documentary features. Here we've compiled all five interviews into one podcast.

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Valentine's Day Picks: Our Favorite Recent Segments About Love

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Below, some of the Brian Lehrer Show's favorite recent segments about love and relationships, from advice on finding a date to some surprising research on why we fall in love.

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Full Text and Briefing Book: Barack Obama's 2013 State of the Union

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

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Chat Transcript: State of the Union and GOP Response

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

President Barack Obama delivered the first State of the Union speech tonight of his 2nd term tonight. Brian Lehrer special guests Emily Bazelon and David Plotz of Slate's "Politics Gabfest" live-chatted during the address.

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