Oh. Em. Gee. What a whirlwind yesterday. My first day was, unlike every other first day on-the-job I’ve had, totally enjoyable.
I met a TON of people and my staff have got to be some of the warmest souls I’ve ever crossed paths with. They welcomed me with open arms, literally, and it was truly the best feeling to feel like I am walking into a great group of people. I’m not going to lie, my personality is much more “keep’em happy” in regards to all life things, and management and making the tough calls is something, up til now, I’ve avoided at all costs.
It should be a huge learning experience, but having met my team I feel confident that this is going to be a great experience for me. Hopefully for them, too.
Of my whole department, I live the farthest away. At a very manageable 30 minute ride up, I found that to be interesting. If I weren’t in love with our home and location, I may be thinking we should’ve looked 10-15 minutes further north, but nah. I’m in this house to stay. I already told Mr. Prevention that it will have to be one DARN GOOD reason to ever take me from this home. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt at home outside of my childhood home. We knew Italy, Tulsa, and Ohio were all temporary moves so this one just feels so different…like my forever home and community. This new role I hope to build into a career, not just a job.
Anyways. During our long 2-3 week move, we were without most all things kitchen-related. You may recall I was suffering some mild anxiety over this fact. Okay, maybe not mild…how will I blog?!
Our friend Liz sent me an email with great advice to keep my crock pot close by during the transition period. Wise woman, that Liz! I used my crock pot several times during our transition but the best recipe, by far, were these Brisket & Brie Tacos with Mango Barbecue Sauce.
Since I’m on a roll with the “odd combinations” how about brie + Dr. Pepper + mango + ketchup.
Don’t you dare turn up a lip in distaste. These were KILLER.
I had trouble finding the mango chutney the original recipe called for, so I shelved that idea completely and went with fresh mango. The mangoes have been great lately, so this was an easy swap. I also allowed the salsa to simmer a bit longer and opted to keep it chunky versus blending it to a smooth consistency.
I cut back on the Dr. Pepper just because the meat lets off some juice natural juices during the slow cooking process, I felt guilty enough buying soda to begin with, and I feared the meat being too sweet. While only the first reason makes some sense, I have no regrets with this decision.
Mr. Prevention did a serious double-take after seeing these tacos (um, pretty tacos!) and felt the flavors matched their beauty! I’m just glad he didn’t ask what was in the tacos until after eating them
Brisket & Brie Tacos with Mango Barbecue Sauce adapted from The Pastry Queen, 2004 and Confections of a Foodie Bride
3 lb brisket, trimmed of visible fat (about 2 1/2 lb meat) salt, to taste ground black pepper, to taste 1 Tbsp chili powder 3 cloves garlic, minced 8 oz Dr. Pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1/2 cup ketchup 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 1/2 tsp spicy brown mustard black pepper, to taste 1 mango, finely diced
16 flour tortillas 8 oz brie, thinly sliced 1 cup cilantro, for garnish (optional)
To make the brisket: Rub the meat with salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic. Place brisket in the crockpot and pour the Dr. Pepper over the top.
Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove from the crockpot and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice against the grain (1/8-1/4 inch thick).
To make the barbecue sauce, heat olive oil in a 2-qt sauce pan and saute onions for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
To assemble the tacos, layer 2 1/2 ounces of meat, 1/2 ounce brie, and about 2 tablespoons of mango barbecue sauce over each tortilla.
Yield: 8 servings (2 tacos each).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 519 calories; 19.4 g. fat; 89 mg. cholesterol; 944 mg. sodium; 44.4 g. carbohydrate; 5.3 g. fiber; 40.8 g. protein
Result: Expect the unexpected! This unique flavor combination will wake up your taste buds…in a good way, 100%! These were simple to make and I love that you really can’t cook the meat too long…it will continue to get more and more tender. Brie on tacos was a first, but certainly not a last. Delicious! And the mango barbecue sauce was so fun – just look at that color! Great flavors that work great together. Enjoy!
Best perk of my job so far: free lunch! Yesterday was the daily special: a spinach salad with blueberries, walnuts, mandarin oranges, grilled chicken, and a fresh blueberry vinaigrette. Um, two cheers for THIS hospital food!
Off for day #2!