homemade pastrami and a great white bean soup

Hi Folks-

Recipe Day! I have come up with a white bean soup I really like and the text of that is below. There are a couple of things that make the soup particularly tasty and they have to do with my new habit of throwing things in the freezer. Any time we finish the tasty part of the parmesan I throw the rinds in the freezer, the last time I had a pound of bacon, I cut it into 8, 2 oz packages and froze them separately, any time I open a can of tomato paste I freeze it in ice cube trays in servings of 1 TBL. Makes cooking a snap.

The other super cool thing I did this week was to make my own pastrami with out a smoker. It was recipe from the New York Times by Florence Fabricant and it was a winner. So good I’m making it again. You start with a basic piece of brisket (I used 4-5 pounds but I’m doubling next time), brine it for a week; fanciest ingredient was Prague powder, which I did buy and smoked salt which I made and you can too by adding liquid smoke to salt. So Brine for a week. Make an amazing crust out of toasted black mustard seed, toasted coriander seeds, smoke salt and copious amount of rough ground black pepper, Coat the brisket heavily, wrap in tin foil, poke a few holes in the bottom of the foil and put in the oven for 12 hours at 200 degrees. Delicious! Here’s the recipe No smoker pastrami

White Bean soup for 4 – 6

2 oz chopped bacon

3 ribs celery

1 large onion

4 medium carrots

salt and pepper

1 TBL olive oil

1 TBL dried thyme

4 cups chicken stock

3 cans white beans

1TBL tomato paste

2 Parmesan rinds

1 small bunch of fresh thyme tied together

4 cups of fresh spinach or 3 cups chopped kale

  1. Heat 1 TBL olive oil in minimum 4qt pan and add chopped bacon, saute until half way done.

  2. Add onion and saute for another two minutes

  3. Add chopped celery, carrot and garlic, saute for 2-3 more minutes, season heavily with salt, pepper and dried thyme, saute for an additional minute.

  4. Add chicken stock, TBL of tomato paste, Parmesan rinds and bunch of thyme and three cans of beans, rinsed well.

  5. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes or until carrots and celery are soft.

  6. Remove thyme bundle and any solid pieces of parm rind left. Let cool briefly

  7. With an immersion blender or your food processor puree as much of the soup as you like. I generally do almost all of it, just leaving a few chunky bits of veg and broth to stir in.

  8. Reheat and stir in spinach or kale, cooking until done (kale takes a few minutes more) and serve with a drizzle of good balsamic reduction or just the vinegar over each bowl

Fish tomorrow:

  • Dayboat Haddock

  • Icelandic Arctic Char

  • Swordfish

  • Alaskan Cod. Frozen at sea

  • Shetland Salmon

  • Yellow tail sole, dayboat

  • PEI Mussels

  • 10/20 Dry Scallops

  • 16/20 Wild Gulf Shrimp

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