Monday, April 28, 2014

Chai, my way (cardamom, ginger, vanilla)

Inspired loosely by Afrah's talk of cardamom tea, I started thinking about chai and how I prefer it to taste. Of course, her tea is a different beast entirely (no milk, for one thing!) from what I was wishing for, but it did set off the train of thought in my head.
'Chai' in English refers to sweet spiced tea with milk, but of course there's a lot of room for variation there! I've made and disliked plenty of versions in the past, but just now have hit on a particular preparation that I like. It uses only a few spices, and sweetened condensed milk and higher-fat milk for a creamy, rich effect. It's sweet and mild, but it's what I like. Feel free to experiment with other spices (common ones include cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, black pepper, ginger, and cloves) and other components (different milks, flavorings, more or less black tea, etc) and find what you like. I highly suggest using whole spices - ground gives the final product an odd texture, and also generally has an inferior flavor. A pinch of a single spice on top can be nice, though

My blend has only cardamom, ginger, and vanilla. I get cardamom seeds at Holy Land (Central & Lowry in NE Minneapolis - hot food's just okay, but it's a fantastic grocery store - bakery, deli, from-bulk, etc, plus a halal meat counter) They're also available in pods, which you can shell easily (or, in tea, just crush) but I like the ease of the pre-shelled seeds. I also got some dried ginger root there, which is nice to have, but fresh ginger keeps for quite a while on the counter. The sweetened condensed milk adds body, as does adding as much volume in milk as water.

Simple Chai
 I found some decaffeinated black tea bags in my pantry and have been using them, since this is such a nice warming drink to have on a cold spring night. Adding the tea bags for the later part of the brew keeps the whole thing from getting too bitter and astringent. 

Serves 1. Scales up easily.

1 tsp cardamom seeds
1" piece of ginger root, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 black tea bag, or equivalent loose tea
1-4 tsp sweetened condensed milk (or sweetener of choice)
1/2 c milk, higher fat is better
Boiling water

Heat water on the stove or in microwave. Add cardamom, ginger pieces, and vanilla to a small mug. Fill halfway with hot water, and cover with a saucer. Steep for 5 minutes.  Add tea bag, re-cover, and steep for 3-5 more minutes, depending on how strong you want the tea flavor to be. While the tea is steeping, heat enough milk to fill the mug  you're going to drink out of in the microwave or on the stove. Remove tea bags, stir in sweetened condensed milk to taste. Strain mixture into second mug, and add milk. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Miang Kham (Thai leaf parcels with palm sugar sauce)

Generally I haven't written about things that have plenty of existing content here, because I don't see much of a point. Marcia Hazan's tomato sauce is amazing, but everyone posted about it years ago; pad thai is delicious, but I don't have my own recipe and there are a million; cream scones are the opposite of the Starbucks bakery case sawdust that put you off of them, but that's 1. pretty simple and 2. been written on by much better bakers than I am.

Erm. I never said recommendation was a bad thing. The point is, everyone else has done it (and much better than I would!) before. This, however, is something harder to find.

Alright you've buried the lede enough get on with it FINE. Here we go. This post is about Miang Kham, a traditional snack in Thailand and Laos. It's...a bit hard to describe succinctly, so while I sniggered at one of my sources calling it 'Leaf Wrapped Snack,' I was hard pressed to come up with a better English name. I believe the Thai name translated means something along the lines of 'mixed leaf parcel bite,' which is a bit better.
From Real Thai Recipes

Still don't care what is this alright. It's tiny pieces of intensely-flavored things, bound by a savory-sweet thick sauce, wrapped up in a mild edible leaf. It's addictive, tangy, fresh, crunchy, aromatic, and complex. You can assemble them in advance and put them on skewers, but I've always enjoyed it way more as a group appetizer. Everyone picks exactly how much of each item they want in each bite, and it's a tangle of arms over the tiny bowls in the best way possible.

The Thai philosophy of food calls for the balance of the four flavors - salty, sweet, sour, spicy. Instead of salt and pepper, a table should have a condiment caddy containing fish sauce (salty), sugar (sweet), white vinegar (sour) and dried chilis (spicy) for diners to use to customize the balance to their taste. In view of that, this seems like one of the most Thai dishes ever.

Miang Kham
The amounts for all of the ingredients should be fairly equal, so feel free to just eyeball it and to scale up and down as you like. Add items to your heart's desire, just chop them finely first. Tiny dried shrimp, like in pad thai or green papaya salad, are easily found at any Asian grocery store, as is Chinese broccoli. Galengal, palm sugar, and fish sauce are even stocked at Cub (if you're local to Minnesota).
Also, the leaves are traditionally chaplu (possibly spelled shaploo etc) leaves, but the small Asian grocery store near my house didn't have them. Chinese broccoli leaves were fine as a substitute, as would lettuce or any mild leaf...although I've heard of peppery nasturtium leaves being tasty so it's really up to you.

1/4 c tiny dried shrimp
1/4 c dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
1 small thin-skinned lime, sliced very very thin, skin left on, the slices cut into 4ths or 8ths (I used a mandoline to slice)
1/4 c chopped shallots - tiny little ones from the Asian grocery store are best, but the big ones are fine too
1/2 c grated unsweetened coconut, toasted - yeah, go a little heavier on this one
1/4 c ginger, finely chopped. Use smaller, more tender roots rather than bigger woody ones

Sticky palm sugar sauce (recipe follows)

Also consider:
-Little Thai chilis
-Sour fruit, like green apple or unripe mango
-Green onions
-Crispy-fried shallots or onions instead - available jarred or google how to make your own
-Very ripe sweet fruit, like small bits of mango or peach
-Sub Meyer lemon slices for lime

Do all of your chopping/dicing/slicing, and put ingredients in separate small bowls. Make sauce. Wash leaves thoroughly, cutting off at the top of the stem, and pile on a plate or platter. Arrange bowls however you like, making sure to show off a bit with how awesome your presentation skills are. Put out spoons for the different components, though it seems to devolve into fingers eventually.
Option 1: Take a leaf, add a bit of everything, top with sauce. Roll up, devour.
Option 2: Do it in advance and stick them on bamboo skewers. Obviously better for a buffet situation, but a lot more work.

Palm Sauce
Sticky palm sugar caramel with aromatics. I let mine boil too long yesterday and it was hard and sugary after it cooled, but I'd imagine if you kept a better eye on it than I did it'd be fine. If you're nervous, a candy thermometer could help keep it around soft ball stage - that'd probably be about right. Also, if it annoys you as much as it did me to buy a knob of galengal and stalk of lemongrass only to use a tiny bit, consider using up the leftovers by making my favorite soup ever, Tom Kha Gai.

2 tsp finely chopped galangal
2 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 tsp very finely chopped inner tender lemongrass
1 c water
1 c palm sugar (just estimate with the disks, don't worry about being extremely exact)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 c grated toasted coconut

Throw everything but the coconut in a saucepan and boil it until it's dark and sticky and caramel-y, and the texture of caramel sauce...or to the upper end of the soft ball stage, about 240. Add coconut, stir to combine, let cool so it's not molten.

Drinks note: We had them with a Washington state riesling provided by Ferrol Pemberton (of Blondie's Plate, and if you happen to be in the Sequim WA area you really really should check them out), but I can't vouch for the pairing, since I was too busy cooking AND trying to eat AND laughing at David Pemberton to have more than a sip before we sat let me know if you think of something brilliant.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dr Frankenstein's Peaches: The Most Pretentious Name Ever For Fresh Peach Pie

Somehow I had several hours yesterday after offering to bring a dessert to our dinner group tonight and before going to my work meeting in which I completely forgot to even think about what to make. I love making desserts, but we're trying to cut way back and get into shape, so my opportunities for making them need to be cut back to when they can be made for at least some kind of occasion, and then shared so there aren't any leftovers around. 
With that in mind, plus the abundance of ripe and delicious stone fruit, I considered options that met the following criteria:
-Good several hours later
-Didn't require ice cream etc to be its best
-I actually like it (sorry, traditional peach pie. it's not you, it's me.)
-No regular pie crust (see previous, plus I hate making it, so.)

After some smartphone googling, I came up with a blank - and took matters into my own hands. 

Obviously a pro food photographer here

Fresh Stone Fruit Cream Pie With Gingersnap Crust
The crust recipe is Martha Stewart's for a gingersnap crust with a bit of a tweak for what I had on hand. If you don't feel like turning on the oven, a store-bought graham cracker or shortbread crust would be good too.

1 3/4 c gingersnap crumbs (crush with rolling pin in a bag - I'm not sure how many cookies it was pre-crush, sorry.)
5 tbsp butter, melted
Salt: 1/2 tsp if your butter was unsalted, a sprinkle of sea salt on the top of the crust if it wasn't.
Drizzle of molassas
Cold water, a few drops

1/2 block (4 oz) cream cheese
1 c heavy whipping cream (half the pint carton)
2 tbsp sugar, or more if you'd like it sweeter
1 tsp vanilla or almond or whatever flavoring of your choice, or 1-2 tbsp brandy

Sliced peaches, plums, or whole berries, amount depending on how fruit-piled you want it to be. I think I used 6  peaces and 4 tiny plums.
Redcurrant or apricot jelly, for glazing, if desired - 1/2c melted with 1 tbsp water, strained if there are any fruit solids. Not necessary, but it does make it look pretty and keeps the fruit from looking dried out or aged if you're waiting a few hours to serve. 
Lemon juice, a slosh, for tossing with cut fruit that may brown

For the crust:  Preheat oven to 350. Mix crumbs,  molasses, butter, salt as using. If it'll press into a crust as is, leave it, if not, add a tiny bit of cold water until it will. Press into 9" pie plate, put in the freezer for a few minutes to firm, and then bake for about 10 minutes or until set. Cool before filling, or the cream will melt!

For the cream: Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until light and smooth. Add heavy cream, and whip until soft peaks form. Add flavorings as desired and whip to combine and until cream is fairly stiff and holds its shape. If crust is cool, pile it in and smooth it on. Arrange fruit however you like on top - I did concentric circles of slices facing the same direction, which is super easy and very pretty, but piling it on freehand could make for a more rustic look. If using, brush on jelly glaze.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Muffins = kryptonite, raisin redemption, etc

GUYS I MADE GOOD MUFFINS. This is a big moment for me, okay? For whatever reason, I've never successfully made a batch of muffins I actually enjoyed. There was always something wrong, and every batch was either rubbery or dry, and generally very bland...or just became cake. I love a buttery, sweet blueberry muffin as much as the next person, but c'mon - that's just single-serving coffee cake. Delicious, but what I was looking for was something that at least seemed healthy and make you feel a little virtuous.

Enter bran muffins. It took no less than a tag-team of David Lebovitz and the recipe test team at King Arthur Flour to get me over my hump, but believe it or not, we had hot, tender, treacle-y muffins this morning for breakfast and I MADE THEM.

A note, first, about raisins: I don't like them. It's nothing specific, but in almost every application I'd prefer a substitution...and for the most part, that's fine. Oatmeal cookies are better with chocolate chips, granola is better with dried cranberries, etc. This is not one of those times. This recipe needs the dark, musky, molassas-y, almost caramelized fruity sweetness. This recipe makes raisins awesome.

I set out to make Lebovitz's recipe, but when I stopped by the grocery store on my way home last night and couldn't find actual wheat bran, so I needed to find a recipe that used bran cereal instead. Enter King Arthur Flour...except their recipe didn't feature the soak-and-puree of the raisins, which is what intrigued me. I decided to go for a combination, keeping in mind the varied sweetness and moisture levels. This was the result.

Overnight Bran Muffins
Oh, also: This sits in the fridge for at least a few hours, and up to two weeks. I made the batter last night, and we had hot muffins for breakfast this morning. Also, most of the sweetness comes from the raisins puree...if you wanted to cut out refined sugar entirely, puree all of the raisins and leave out the brown sugar, and tell me how it turns out.

Bran cereal: 3 c buds or twigs, or 5 1/2 c flakes - divided.
2 c raisins
2 c boiling  water, divided
1/2 vegetable oil
2 1/2 c flour - I used a mix of whole wheat and white
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 c brown sugar
2 cups buttermilk or thin yogurt

In a large bowl, pour 1 cup boiling water over 1/3rd of the bran cereal, and stir to combine. While it cools, combine raisins and remaining cup of boiling water in a small saucepan and simmer until the raisins are plump, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow raisins to sit and absorb remaining water. Stir oil into now-cool bran mixture and set aside. In a blender or food processor, puree between half and two thirds of the raisins, and stir in with the bran/oil mixture. Add eggs and buttermilk and whisk to combine well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and brown sugar. Add to wet ingredients, along with remaining bran cereal and raisins. Cover the bowl, and put it in the fridge overnight, or for at least two hours.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 375 F. Line or grease well and fill as many muffin cups as you want, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

P.S. In case you're now craving buttery, sugary cake muffins, make Vanilla Garlic's cranberry cake in lined muffin tins and thank me later. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Beer pizza...with fennel, leeks, pears, gouda, and arugula, because of course

Okay, so it's really just beer bread as the crust, but doesn't 'beer pizza' inspire a mix of curiosity and mild revulsion, much like kamikaze all-of-the-pop-flavors-plus-ketchup-and-black-pepper drinks that one kid always liked to concoct at Jr High functions? Alright, slightly less gross, but still. 
 Anyway, I realize that to really capitalize on the whole  idea I probably should've made it the most obvious pizza: red sauce, pre-shredded mozzarella, pepperoni. Let the beer shine, as it were. And that was the plan. Fortunately for our taste buds and unfortunately for the, uh, high concept pizza, I was at Trader Joe's and the cheese was calling to me. I saw fennel on the shelf, all pre-de-fronded, and I was done. An adaptation of this recipe for pear & gorgonzola flatbread soon followed. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to mention that while I really enjoyed the toppings, the beer-bread-as-crust idea was way better as a soundbite than as an actual dish. I suspected as much, but it was worth a shot anyway. This would be an awesome pizza made on your favorite crust recipe - I'm partial to the long-ferment no-knead in the recipe above, with Smitten Kitchen's version a close second. 

I forgot to take a picture until it was mostly eaten...oops.

Beer Bread
This is the recipe I found online in several places. I'm sure it would be tasty as an actual loaf of bread, and it used up the leftovers from racking my lager earlier, but I don't recommend it as pizza dough. Many recipes also add in a step of melting 1/4 - 1/2 C of butter, pouring some in the pan before the batter and then the rest on top. Herbs, cheese, and other mix-ins are also suggested.

3 c flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
12 oz beer, any kind, although the consensus seems to veer more towards malty than hoppy

Preheat oven to 375. Mix dry ingredients, add beer, mix until just combined. No kneading or rise necessary - pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. 

Gouda, Pear, and Fennel Pizza with Leeks and Arugula
This is the good part. And yes, the cheese does go on after it bakes. It melts a little into the toppings, but it keeps its actual taste and texture.
Also, it's not a pizza-making tutorial. There are many wonderful ones online already, like Smitten Kitchen's or Simply Recipes's.

2 small or one large leek, finely sliced and rinsed well
1 fennel bulb, likewise sliced and rinsed
1 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 large or 2 small pears
Aged gouda, or any strongish cheese you like, shaved into thick curls - less than the amount of mozzarella you'd use on a pizza, but more than the parmesan you'd sprinkle on pasta. Whatever you want, is what I'm saying. It'd probably also be good with dollups of chevre!
A few handfuls of fresh arugula, washed and dried
1 batch of your favorite pizza dough

Heat your oven as hot as it goes, and slice the pears, thinly - maybe an eighth of an inch or so. Saute the leeks and fennel in butter over medium-low heat until they start to caramelize and brown. Prepare your dough however you prefer, spread the leeks and fennel over the dough, and then layer the pears on top. Put it in the oven for 7-20 minutes - sorry for the extreme variation - depending on how hot you get the oven and how thin your crust is. When the pears have softened and started to brown, pull the pizza out and shower it with the cheese. Top with handfuls of arugula, slice, and serve. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Gap khao

Gap khao is literally translated as 'with rice,' and refers to, well, whatever you'd put on rice, but generally something with at least a little more substance than plain sauce. Meat or seafood or veggies, in whatever quantity, are generally added to sauces, herbs, chilis, and garlic in some combination. There are hundreds of dishes, but really, it can be anything. It means sort of what we mean when we say "eat an actual meal" - not a snack.
I worked the overnight at work last night and I'm craving something simple thrown on top of rice, something easily eaten, lazily, in front of Parks & Rec episodes on Netflix. Grapao muu saab - ground pork fried with holy basil - fits the bill perfectly, but I have no holy basil available right now, and also  I keep thinking about how delicious that stir-fried cabbage was. So this was the result - a fry-up of some of the cheapest vegetables and meats available, with a few aromatics, over rice. Hot, filling, and nutritionally a step up from buttered noodles...which, let's be honest, I probably would've had for dinner if this hadn't materialized.

Ground Pork with Cabbage and Green Beans

So I know this probably doesn't sound like the most exciting thing ever, and it wins absolutely no beauty contests, but it's surprisingly flavorful and extremely delicious, and very very economical. It's not authentically Thai, exactly, but then again, I don't live in Bangkok anymore, so this is what I have on hand...the very essence of a busy-night gap khao. I also fried up some ginger and garlic in oil to dribble over the finished product, which is tasty, but not necessary. 

1 lb ground pork
5 c cabbage, sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced thinly
2 c Green beans or long beans, cut into managable lengths
3 cloves garlic, minced - it'd be awesome with more, but garlic tends to make me feel sick, so I go with a small amount.
2 inches ginger root, peeled and minced
1 tbsp Fish sauce
3 tbsp Black soy sauce - this is thick and sweet. If you don't have it, use regular soy sauce and a bit of brown sugar or molassas.
1/4 tsp Sesame oil
2 tsp vinager - I had apple cider vinager on hand
Lemon juice
Chilis, fresh or powder
Eggs, optional
Rice, prepared as you prefer. Thai style demands a high ratio of rice to topping, but use however much you like.

Start your rice. Then, in a heavy pan or skillet, fry ground pork with ginger and garlic over high heat until it's broken up and started to brown, but still has some pink. Add fish sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and any chili you'd like to add.  Cook until completely browned, and taste. Add more of any of the seasonings to your taste, remembering that this is going to be distributed over quite a bit more after the vegetables are added.  When you're done adjusting seasoning, scrape into a large separate bowl and set aside. Add a splash of oil to your pan, and a handful of cabbage - I did mine in two batches, but I have a huge cast iron wok that distributes heat to the sides as well, so you might want to go in smaller batches. Add to pork, and fry the remaining cabbage in batches. Fry the green beans and onions together until seared and soft-ish.  Add pork and cabbage back to pan and toss over medium high heat until re-warmed and thoroughly combined.

A fried egg is a fairly common addition to dishes like this in Thailand, and it's tasty and an easy way to add more protein. To make a Thai style fried egg, heat a generous layer of oil in a pan. When it's hot, crack an egg into it. Fry until the white is set (and crispy) but the yolk is still runny...or, if you must, break the yolk and let it set. Flip this on to your bowl full of rice and gap khao. 

Optional nontraditional fancypants addition:

1/2 c vegetable oil
1 clove minced garlic
1" section of ginger root, minced
3 drops sesame oil

Put oil, garlic, and ginger in your smallest pan and turn the heat to low. Let it sizzle away until the edges of the  garlic and ginger are looking toasty. Turn off the heat, add sesame oil, and stir. Let it all cool down together. Drizzle over plain rice, or anything with rice, or soup, or dip bread... this goes with everything. 1 tsp of chopped fresh Thai chilies or a pinch of dried chilis would be delicious too, added with the sesame oil.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Corned Venison, also brown sugar mustard glaze and colcannon

Fun fact: Corned beef - as we know it - is hardly eaten in Ireland. It was a product of cultural exchange between the Irish and Jewish populations of New York City, mixing cheap salt beef with pastrami spices. So, really, it's the perfect thing to eat on St. Paddy's as an Irish-American, because it's actually related more to our specific heritage.

* Obligatory judge-y comments about green beer etc* 

Anyway. My parents generously filled our freezer with venison from the deer my dad and brother shot last fall. We've been slowly working our way through it since November, and have two small roasts and something labelled "stew" left over, and, while thinking about how delicious corned beef is, I thought...venison is very similar to beef, so why not corn it too? 

I googled methods and recipes, and came to two conclusions:
1. This is super easy
2. I need to buy sodium nitrite.

Sodium nitrite is added when curing meat this way to protect against botulism, as well as give it that rosy pink color and distinctive flavor.  It's sold mixed with salt and dyed pink, most commonly under the brand name Insta-Cure #1. I wasn't able to track it down at Cub or Wal-Mart, and decided to buy it online instead of driving around to various stores to hunt it down. It's fairly inexpensive, but sold in much larger quantities than needed for this recipe - so if anyone in the area wants to give it a shot, let me know and I'll share! My packet of pink mixed sodiums came in the mail today, so I started out when I got home from work. This is the recipe I used:

Corned Venison
Note: I used only whole spices that I already had on hand. I buy them cheap from a local grocery story's in-house packaged bulk, and keep some around for various uses. Recipes vary, but I kept the most common elements (mustard, coriander, pepper, bay) from several and added extras from a few. 

1 1/2 cups salt - kosher or cheap sea salt is best, because it doesn't have that table salt-y flavor that can be off-putting in large amounts
1/2 c sugar
4 level tsp Insta-Cure #1
3 tbsp whole mustard seeds
3 tbsp whole coriander
1 cinnamon stick
5-10 cloves
3 whole bay leaves
2 tbsp whole black pepper
1 cardamom pod
1 star anise - I took this out after about 1 minute because it started to smell like Chinese 5 spice powder and I didn't want that, so proceed as you will. Star anise is supposed to have compounds that bring out the meatiness of meat. 
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped roughly - I just cut mine in half
1 gallon water
Venison, beef, any red meat, tougher and fattier cuts preferred, 2-5 lbs

Mix all ingredients except for beef with a few cups of the water in a sauce pan and bring to boil, and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Put the remaining water in whatever container you're brining in - I'm using a big ceramic baking dish - and then add the hot liquid. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, add meat, and cure in the refrigerator for 5-10 days.   

When it's ready, rinse it off, and prepare however you like.My favorite way is by boiling and then baking, with a sweet mustard glaze. It's got the falling-apart tenderness of the simmering method, without the boiled taste, and a caramelized, tangy crust. 

Oven-Finished Corned Beef With Mustard Brown Sugar Glaze

1 piece of corned red meat
4 tbsp sweet hot mustard
1 tsp mustard seeds, optional
3 tbsp brown sugar

Rinse meat and cover with water in a large pot. Bring to a simmer - not a boil! - and let it cook for about 40 minutes per pound. Drain water and put meat in deep, oven-safe dish, preferably one with a lid, although foil works fine. Slather with mustard, pat sugar on top, and put on lid or foil. Bake at 300 for 90 minutes, or until tender and soft. Take off the lid, and broil for 3-5 minutes to caramelize the sugar. Feast.

Finally: For the potatoes and veggies. I've never liked the common offering of boiled potatoes, carrots, and cabbage - I know it's generally accepted, but I find it bland and insipid. Instead, I like to make colcannon - mashed potatoes mixed with kale or cabbage and green onion. I had cabbage on hand the other day, and rather than just lightly sauteeing it or boiling it with the potatoes, I browned it in butter.I also threw in a handful of frozen spinach for color.  The result smelled a little like potstickers and tasted awesome.

Colcannon, not entirely traditional but I'm Irish-American so whatever

5 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters - I used red potatoes and did not peel them
1 head cabbage
5 stalks green onions, chopped, green and white parts separated
1/2 cup frozen or cooked-down spinach 
Butter, a lot
1ish cups milk, warmed
Salt, pepper

Throw potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water and boil until tender, 10-20 minutes depending on the size and type. Meanwhile, slice cabbage into 1/4in slices and then again into smaller segments. Fry with white parts of the green onions in butter - I think, all told, it was about 6 tbsp, since I worked in batches and wasn't going to add extra butter to the potatoes - until brown and toasty and it smells like gyoza heaven. Drain potatoes, and put back into the boiling pot. Mash to whatever level of smoothness you prefer. Add warm milk in small amounts until it's as thin or thick as you like your mashed potatoes. Stir in green onions and cabbage and and salt and pepper (and, okay, extra butter) to taste.

Corned Beef: How To Cure Your Own - This one's Michael Ruhlman's site, so pay attention
Corned Beef And Cabbage - This has the two recipes my preferred cooking method derives from