With Love From
Darling's Kitchen

26. Informal Dinners
Family and Friends

Renny Darling

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Dear Friends,
Sorry I didn't send any emails these past 2 weeks. I must tell you about a terrible bout I had with a Curb on the street. What a Meanie! And I must tearfully confess, the Curb won. But I am better now and happy to be writing again.
All Good Things,
Renny Darling


The Recipes 
Country-Style Pot Roast 
 Simply Delicious Vermicelli


Dear Fans

Good friends and informal dinners go together like love and marriage.  What can smoothen a wrinkle in the spirit better than sitting around a table with some intimate friends, exchanging a few lively ideas and enjoying a country-style dinner with several hearty, robust dishes, a loaf of hot crusty French bread and a flask of a full-bodied wine.  Add a few fresh flowers, a candle or two and the pleasure will linger long after dinner is over.  Informal dinners are special because they literally mean dining with family or close friends.

My Country-Style Pot Roast is a grand dish for just such occasions and perfect for anytime of the year.  Brisket is often served at holiday celebrations, so this is a good recipe to remember.  The gravy is luscious and does not need to be thickened.  Serve it with a Deliciously Simple Vermicelli, an excellent accompaniment, and a nice change from potatoes or rice. 

Please keep in mind (I don't mind repeating it so often) but always keep the pan tightly coveremyself with foil. This will keep the succulent meat moist and tender.


Country-Style Pot Roast

3 to 4 pounds brisket of beef, first-cut, trimmed of bottom fat.
   salt, pepper and garlic powder

1  envelope Lipton's dry Onion Soup Mix
1 can beer, 12-ounces
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, cut with a fork in small 1-inch pieces.
1/4 cup brown sugar

Season brisket with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Place meat in a foil-lined 9x13-inch baking pan.  In order listed, place remaining ingredients over the brisket.  Cover pan tightly with foil and bake in a 350° oven until fork tender, about 2 1/2  hours.

 Remove from oven and allow to chill in the refrigerator.  When chilled, remove every trace of fat from the gravy.  *Slice meat and return to pan with gravy.  Cover and return to the refrigerator.  When ready to serve, heat in a 350° oven, covered tightly with foil, for about 45 minutes.  This can be prepared early in the day with excellent results.  Serves 6.

Note: - *If you own a 9z13-inch porcelain baker, it will be great to heat and serve the brisket.  At this point, you will place sliced meat and gravy into the porcelain baker, cover tightly with foil, and refrigerate until reheating at serving time.  You will just love how easy it is to just heat and serve in the same dish.


Deliciously Simple Vermicelli

8 ounces vermicelli coils, gently crushed in smaller pieces.  Don't worry,
just so they fit in the pot.
2 cups Campbell's beef broth or chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
  salt and pepper

Toast vermicelli ( also called fideos) in a 350° oven for about 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden.  Set aside. 

Combine butter, beef broth and seasonings and bring to a boil.  Add vermicelli, cover pan and reduce to low heat.  Simmer until vermicelli is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.  Serves 6.

Note-  To glamorize the Vermicelli, I know you will love this addition. Before serving toss in:   1/2 cup dried currants soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained and 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts.  You can use dried cranberries, but they have to be coarsely chopped in a food processor and then soaked


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The entire contents of this book are copyrighted and protected by
both United States copyright laws and international treaty provisions.
None of the contents, art or text, may ever be reproduced, in original or
modified form, -- including photocopying -- for any commercial or
other purposes, without express written permission from Renny Darling.