RESULTS: FANFOOD 3 IN/OUT week 7

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- Week 7 Results- 

 

6 Hits

1 Miss

Season to date: 26 – 15 – 1

 

It was a very good week for the FANFOOD picks. “Widdlebrooks” was the only player to be considered a missed pick as he helped your team with a couple of nice games in week 7. You could make the case that he would have been better on your bench,  but I try to make the case that you wouldn’t.

 

I have to give out hits and misses, so here is the criteria I will use to determine if the player had a good week:

Hitters:

  • Get around nine hits
  • Score more than a few runs
  • Reach second base on one swing a couple of times
  • Slug more than 1 homer
  • Plate and handful or more runs
  • Steal a base or two
  • Hit for a decent average

Pitchers:

  • Get a win (or two)
  • Strike out around a batter an inning
  • Throw for a decent ERA and Whip.

Here are the results from week 7, followed by a recipe for Homemade Corned Beef

 

Hits

 

Allen Craig has pulled his batting average up from .263 to .312 over the past 11 games (batting .400 for the week will do that). He was a good pick for your fantasy team, but  the power hasn’t been there so far, as he has only two homers in 33 games, neither of which came in week 7:

H/ABR2BHRRBISBAVG
10/2542031.400

 

Speaking of a lack of power, Rickie Weeks launched a solo homer in Wednesday’s loss to the Pirates, but it was his one and only for the week and for the entire month. Weeks has been worse in May (.480 OPS) than April (.615 OPS) and he’s seen a couple extra days off over the past week in attempts to get him right. The club doesn’t have any appealing alternatives, so Weeks is likely to keep his job. You on the other hand do, I hope you took my advice and had him on your bench:

H/ABR2BHRRBISBAVG
4/2110110.095

 

J.J. Hardy had his 13 game hit streak come to an end on Sunday. He was hitting .188 on May 2 and after the hit streak, It stands at .235.  Thats something, right? It was a good week to pick him to be on your team, but there are many better options out there:

H/ABR2BHRRBISBAVG
6/1931230.316

 

Erick Aybar went 0-for-4 in Friday’s loss and is just 12-for-58 this month. He finished the week “strong” with a three-run double on Sunday and his first walk since April 30. To add insult to injury he as attempted to steal just once in the entire month, and was thrown out. Not good for your leadoff hitter. Aybar is only back in the leadoff spot because Peter Bourjos is hurt. He’ll probably be dropped to seventh or lower once Bourjos is activated. You should have taken my advice and dropped him all the way to your bench:

H/ABR2BHRRBISBAVG
4/2401040.167

 

Kelly Johnson homered and drove home four runs, helping to power the Rays to a 12-10 victory over the Orioles on Friday. He finished the night 3-for-4 with a single, homer, double, two runs scored and four RBI as he fell just a triple shy of the cycle. His three-run blast off Jason Hammel in the third inning put the Rays on top for good. He’s had a nice career resurrection in Tampa Bay this season, hitting .274/.353/.483 with seven homers and 24 RBI. Keep him in your starting roster if you are hurting at second base or in left:

H/ABR2BHRRBISBAVG
6/2231250.273

 

Travis Wood turned in a solid performance but did not factor into the decision Sunday afternoon against the Mets. Wood, who made his ninth start of the season, pitched five scoreless innings before surrendering a run-scoring single to David Wright in the sixth and a two-run home run to Juan Lagares in the seventh. He was charged with three runs and five hits over seven innings of work. He struck out three, walked two and also helped his cause with a two-run home run in the fifth inning. Travis has not allowed more than three runs in a start this season and that was true against the Rockies on Monday night. He worked seven scoreless innings, giving up just two hits while striking out two in a 9-1 win. The left-hander gave up a single in the second and another one to his counterpart — Juan Nicasio — the following frame. He faced just two over the minimum over his final four frames, walking three, and throwing 58 of his 98 pitches for strikes. He didn’t strikeout a lot of batters in week 7, but helped your pitching staff in other areas. It was a good week to stream the two-start pitcher:

IPWLSVHRKERA
14100151.93

 

 

Miss

 

The only “miss” I can give the FANFOOD Picks for week 7 is Will Middlebrooks. That’s because he drove in 5, hit a couple of dingers and doubles. He teetered on the mendoza line until he “exploded” with those amazing stats. I guess he didn’t hurt your team last week, and you probably didn’t get much better production from any replacement that I recommended you try, so I will call it a missed pick and move on:

H/ABR2BHRRBISBAVG
6/2422250.250

 

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Homemade Corned Beef

 

“A corn of salt” was as common an expression as a “grain of salt” is today. So corned beef is really just another name for salted beef. I may have put the cart before the horse when I posted my Homemade Pastrami recipe, because you can’t make it without it.
 
To make corned beef we are going to pickle it. These are ancient processes invented for preserving meat by packing it in salt or soaking it in a concentrated brine, long before refrigerators. In recent years, curing is also done by injecting meat with salt.
 
Corned beef was a World War II staple among civilians in Great Britain and among the troops in Europe because fresh meats were hard to come by. It came in a can. Sliced corned beef is especially popular in Jewish delicatessens where it is a sandwich staple.
 
A vital part of the process is your selection of the meat. Corned beef is simply a slab of beef, usually a section of the brisket or navel, soaked for about a week in a flavored brine. The navel is usually cheapier, and has more fat so it is more tender. But it is hard to find and you may have to special order it.
 
A whole “packer” brisket is a large hunk of meat made of two muscles and can weight up to 18 pounds. It can be bought whole, but is usually cut near the middle and sold as flat or point sides. Brisket is a pair of thick muscles from the steer’s chest, plate is just behind it, and navel just behind the plate.
This is a two step process. One step is to cure or corn the beef, and the next step is to cook it. You can make traditional corned beef and cabbage boiled dinner, you can make corned beef hash, you can make Reuben sandwiches. But I recommend you can add two extra steps, smoke it and steam it to turn it into incredible pastrami.

 

INGREDIENTS

About 8 pounds of beef brisket or navel
1 gallon water
1 cup brown sugar, preferably dark
8 ounces salt, by weight
4 teaspoons pink curing salt
5 tablespoons pickling spices
4 cloves garlic, smashed or pressed

PREPARATION

Find a container large enough to handle 1 gallon of brine and the meat (you can cut it into pieces as small as 2 pounds). It must be non-reactive (stainless steel, glass, porcelain, Corningware, or food safe plastic). It cannot be made of aluminum, copper, or cast iron, all of which can react with the salt. Do not use garbage bags or a garbage can or a bucket from Home Depot. They are not food grade. Do not use a styrofoam cooler. It might give the meat an off flavor and you’ll never get the cooler clean when you’re done. Food grade zipper bags or Reynolds Easy Brining Bag for Turkeys work fine. A reader, Reid Garner, says he lines a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a Large Reynolds Oven Bag. It fits perfectly and the bucket makes it easy to move the brine in and out.

Mix the brine in 1 quart very hot water. Add 3 quarts very cold water.

Take the meat and remove as much fat as possible from the exterior unless you plan to use some of it for pastrami. Then leave a 1/8″ layer on one side. Because corned beef is cooked in simmering water, the fat just gets gummy and unappetizing. But if you plan to then make pastrami from it, you will be smoking the meat and in that case the fat gets succulent and lubricates the sandwich. I like to buy a full packer brisket and separate the point from the flat, and cut the flat in half when making corned beef or pastrami. That gives me 3 manageable hunks of 2 to 4 pounds each. If you leave the point attached to the flat beneath, it will be very thick and take longer to cure.

Add the meat to the brine. It will float, so put a plate or bowl or another non-metallic weight on top of the meat until it submerges. The meat will drink up brine so make sure there is enough to cover it by at least 1″ or else you’ll find the meat high and dry after a few days. Refrigerate. Let it swim for at least 5 days, longer if you wish, especially if the meat is more than 2″ thick. You will not likely need more than 7 days, but once it is well cured, it can stay in the brine for several weeks. I don’t know the limit, but I’ve left it in there for a month. Move the meat around so touching parts get exposed to brine for the first week, and then you can ignore it. When you are done, the exterior of the meat will be pale tan and if you cut into it, it should not look too different than normal raw meat, just a little pinker.

Now you can smoke it and make pastrami.

 

 

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