Mo's Brisket recipe

DESCRIPTION: Oven-cooked brisket. Key is "low and slow" - low heat,
long cooking. Breaks down collagen, making meat tender.

MEAT: Buy from Jetro, the 'Select' (cheaper of the two grades they
carry) version, will probably be about a 15 pound brisket. Should be
whole, and untrimmed (i.e. one side has layer of fat).

MATERIALS: 2 large aluminum trays; aluminum foil

- 6 tbsp salt (coarse/kosher/sea salt is best but Morton's will do otherwise)
- dried herbs (I like to use 2 tbsp rosemary, 2 tbsp basil; can also
use parsley, chives, etc. based on personal preference)
- 2 tbsp chipotle powder or korean chili powder (kochu-garu)
- 1 tsp pepper
- soy sauce
- worcestershire sauce (optional but helps flavor a lot)
- balsamic vinegar (optional but helps flavor a lot)
- 1/2 an onion
- garlic (minced, whole, doesn't matter)

1. Set oven to 235 degrees, let pre-heat.
2. Cut the 1/2 onion into 'moons', 1/4" slices
3. Mince garlic (if whole). Set aside with onion, in a bowl.
4. Set out all the herbs and sauces, with lids loosened.
5. Scrub inside of sink.
6. Get sharp, small-to-medium sized knife (you don't want to use a
chef's knife).
7. Place brisket vacu-pak in sink, cut plastic and remove.
8. Laying fat side up, cut away fat except for about a 1/4"-1/2"
thickness of fat over the whole brisket. Throw away excess fat.
9. Stab top (fat side) of brisket with knife about 15 times, deep but
not all the way through.
10. Rub bottom of brisket with half of salt.
11. Lay brisket in one aluminum tray, fat side up.
12. Douse brisket with soy sauce. Massage in on all sides, and into
the stab holes. Then douse with worchestershire sauce and balsamic
vinegar. Massage.
13. Rub in rest of salt on top and sides of brisket.
14. Sprinkle green herbs and pepper over the top of brisket.
15. Spread onion and garlic over top of brisket.
16. Almost done - need to prepare the foil covering now. Cut two
pieces of foil longer than length of aluminum tray. Lay them on
counter, overlapping by about 3 inches on their long sides. Do a
double-fold at overlapping area, so that they are interlocked. Then do
another double-fold the short way, so that it's one contiguous piece.
17. Cover tray with brisket with this piece of foil, and crimp under
the edges well.
18. Set tray with brisket, in the other tray, which will help the
edges sit tight due to weight of brisket. Want it to be nearly
19. Set brisket in oven - and wait 10 hours!
20. After 10 hours, take brisket out of oven and let sit for at least
30 minutes, uncovered. Lets the juices soak back into the meat as it
21. Scoop several ladelfuls of the juice into a gallon-size ziploc,
and while holding over another bowl or container, cut off a small
piece of a corner with scissors, and let the au jus sauce drain into
the container. Stop before reaching the layer of fat at the top.
22. To carve brisket, lay on cutting board and cut into quarters (one
cut down middle lengthwise, then the other direction). Each quarter
piece will have a natural lateral division; the upper section is the
"moist'" part of the brisket, and the bottom section is the "leaner"
section. Cut apart the sections (should be very easy), and cutting
across the grain, slice off 1/4" slices of brisket.

Sweet Corn with Milk

For Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other dinner where I want to serve corn (like corn on the cob with ribs!) I use this recipe. It's my friend's family recipe that's been passed down. Most of the time when I heat corn with salt and butter I get hard, shriveled corn swimming in liquid. This recipe makes the sweetest corn I ever had and keeps it moist too.

Here's the mixture:
1 cup water
1 cup milk (you can use lactose free milk if necessary)
1/3 cup sugar
up to 1/3 cup butter (optional)

Make as much of this as needed to submerge the corn or corn on the cob in the pot. Heat on medium heat until hot or tender/cooked. Drain and serve.

Turkey 2.0

From Tim So, Gracepoint Berkeley


I pretty much completely disown what I previously said about cooking turkey: this is after several years of cooking probably hundreds of pounds of poultry.  If you listen to me, then listen to the whole instructions: if not, then just do whatever you want.

You need:

-diamond crystal kosher salt (use of other salt will void warranty)
-sugar (as long as its not confectioners, doesn't matter what kind)
-A very large ziploc bag that can fit the turkey (a.k.a. brining bag)

1. Defrost turkey, remove truss if it's metal (plastic is fine to leave on), remove the giblets if they are present.  If turkey is not completely defrosted, the next step will actually accelerate the defrosting process, so not to worry.

**NOTE if high heat roasting, you will have to detruss the legs and cut off any excess skin around the neck area to ensure there is air flow through the main cavity of the bird.  If not high heat roasting, ignore this note.

2. Make the brine.  Combine 2 cups of the diamond crystal kosher salt, 2 cups of the sugar, and 6 quarts of water (1.5 gallons).  BY THE WAY, NOT MEASURING THIS OUT OR USING A DIFFERENT KIND OF SALT COUNTS AS NOT LISTENING TO THE WHOLE INSTRUCTIONS.  Rub the crystals of salt and sugar with your fingers until they dissolve and you there are no solutes in your brine.

3. Put the turkey in the bag.  Pour the brine into the bag.  Force out as much air as possible.  Completely submerge the bird.  If you need to add liquid, measure out how much water you are adding and then add a proportional amount of salt and sugar.  Make sure you do not have any crystals of sugar and/or salt when doing this.  If you're short on time, you can stuff the cavity of the bird with potatoes or onions or something cheap, waterproof, and non reactive as the concentration of the brine is all that counts, not the amount.

4. Wait at least 8 hours, preferably 24 or more.

5. Cook the turkey.  YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT FOR THIS!  I've roasted at 325, roasted at 425, hot smoked it with tea and cinnamon, stuffed it, fried it etc.  YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT FOR THIS PART!  If you stuff aromatics in the turkey's cavity like celery and onion, this generally does nothing other than wasting some celery and onion and ruining your high heat roast if you're attempting that method without reading the note that says you cannot put anything in the cavity when doing that, but it's a free country and you can do whatever you want.

6. Do not attempt to use the pop up thermo that came with your turkey.  Do not ask how long you should cook the turkey.  Use an instant read thermometer.  Do not attempt to use the pop up thermo that came with your turkey.  Do not ask how long you should cook the turkey.  Use an instant read thermometer.

7. The turkey is done when the coldest part of the breast reads 150F.  Do not use the pop up thermo or attempt to time the turkey.


Quick Look_______________

I'm sure the folks at Gracepoint Austin may have a good recipe for some Texas style chili con carne. Hopefully Pastor Manny and Sunny can bring some good old Texas cuisine to the UCLA bruins at Gracepoint Los Angeles. While chili from the can is much easier, this is a recipe for the more adventurous. You can get better flavor and can control the spice with this one.

  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy/Medium
  • Labor Intensity: 2-3 people would help


  • 3 cups diced celery (2 bunches)
  • 2 cups diced onions (2-3 onions)
  • 5lbs ground beef
  • ¼ cup chili powder 
  • ¼ cup oregano 
  • 2 TB cumin 
  • 3 TB kosher salt
  • 2 [#10] can red kidney or pinto beans (drained) (or 200 oz total weight)
  • 2 [#10] cans diced or crushed tomatoes (200 oz total weight)
  •  ½ cup pureed Chipotle peppers
  • 20qt stock pot


 Cook ground beef and put in a stock pot. Keep all the liquid, don't drain it. 
Open cans of tomatoes and add to beef in stock pot. Keep on medium heat. Stir occasionally
Fry the onions and add the salt, cumin, chili powder, oregano. Add enough oil to coat the onions. Keep on medium heat. Stir around so the seasonings mix with the oil. Careful not to burn it
Add to tomato/beef mix in stock pot
Saute celery and add to stock pot
Add 1/2 the beans [1 can] and blend the other 1/2 [1 can]. 
Add to stock pot. Continue to stir occasionally.
Add some oil to a blender and blend/puree a 7oz can of chipotle peppers. 
Pour 1/2 the can into the stock pot and add more to taste.
Let it cook on medium heat for 30 more minutes, stir occasionally
NOTE: This is a 20qt pot (80 cups). It's about 40-50 servings

Tom's Tips/tricks_______________

Add some cooked macaroni to make chili mac

Cake Waffles


Quick Look_______________

This summer is going by so fast! We just sent off the UCLA team to start Gracepoint Los Angeles, there was Gracepoint Summer Rally where all of our churches (Berkeley, San Francisco, Davis, Hsinchu, Austin, San Diego, Riverside, Minnesota) came together for a time of fellowship, and we celebrated the 50th birthday of Kelly Kang (Pastor Ed Kang's wife. Together they lead Gracepoint Berkeley). For Kelly's birthday we made lots of cupcakes and various cakes of all kinds. It was then I noticed a current fad: Cake pops.
It essentially looks like a waffle maker and that's when the epiphany happened. What if you put cake batter into a normal waffle maker? It would make a waffle cake in minutes. You can make different variations and it would be a fun small group event to make creative cake waffles using everyday appliances. Next up is a brownie waffle recipe. I think I need to modify the batter before cooking.
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 2-3 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy.
  • Labor Intensity: You can do on your own very easily!


  • 1 box of your favorite cake mix (1 box makes 5 waffles - depending on your waffle size)
  • Eggs, water, oil (as stated on box)
  • Whatever toppings you want to add


Make cake batter according to directions on box
Spray waffle maker with non-stick spray. Pour into waffle maker and take out when done. You can mix different flavors. I made a neapolitan cake waffle
You can swirl around different flavors

Tom's Tips/tricks_______________

Note: If you cook it longer, it will be crunchier, taste less sweet, and will taste more like a waffle. If you cook it shorter, it'll be soft, moist, and fluffy like a cake; however, it will be a bit harder to take out since it's so soft. Play with it a little and see how "done" you like it.

Yellow cake doesn't have much flavor and tastes like a sweet waffle, especially if you cook it too long. Strawberry cake tastes like strawberry cake. Chocolate cake goes well as a waffle cake. I like how the flavor comes out through the toasted edges. You can also add chocolate chips in the batter and then pour hot chocolate fudge sauce (found in the ice cream section) over it.

Here are some other ideas I found online:
Ice cream sandwich with cake waffles
Red velvet waffle cake with frosting
Chocolate waffle cake with ice cream and fudge
Sprinkles + whipped cream
Birthday waffle cake

Beach Bonfires

MISC Tips and Tricks

We often do beach bonfires** during our trips and we often try to cook using chicken wire suspended by rebars. While this is a time tested technique, it can't support that much weight before it bends and caves in. If you have some more serious cooking and wish you had a stovetop, try a cinder block! I bought one for $1.50 at home depot! Place it above the fire, make sure its level and secure, place pan (I like my iron skillet) on the block. The fire goes up through the hole and cooks the food. Careful, the block will get extremely hot and may cause your gloves to smoke. We threw our hot block into the ocean and it cracked as it cooled. After 10 minutes it was ready to take back home and into the garbage.

With our upcoming Gracepoint Los Angeles church plant, there are plenty of beaches near UCLA that might lead to some fun outings this fall.

**please check local laws before starting a bonfire. Not all beaches allow bonfires and the last thing you want is police to kick you off. Fellowship killer.

Pork Roast (dry rubbed)

Quick Look_______________

It's been a while since I last posted anything. I been using a variation of this recipe for a couple years and usually suggest it when asked for advice. My secret ingredient is fresh coffee grounds. The coffee flavor isn't strong but very subtle. It adds a bold, roasted flavor and makes the outside look like it's been on a BBQ. BTW, it has as much caffeine as a can or two of soda per serving. It probably won't keep you up [don't worry...if you eat a lot, the food coma will negate the caffeine :) ].  I own a coffee grinder so I use fresh ground beans but any decent ground coffee will do. My rule is if you wouldn't drink it, don't use it for the roast.
  • Prep time: 10-15 minutes
  • Cook time: 6-7 hrs
  • Difficulty: easy.
  • Labor Intensity: You can do on your own very easily!
  • 30 servings, adjust by 1.5x if your group tends to eat multiple servings.


  • 20 pounds pork shoulder. (safeway on sale or Costco is a good place)
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt (1 tsp /lb)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup ground coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons paprika (1/3 tsp/lb)
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder (1/3 tsp/lb) 
  • 2 Tablespoons oregano or other herb (1/3 tsp/lb)
 Optional: I like Costco's Mesquite seasoning and use it sometimes:
  • 20 pounds pork shoulder. (safeway on sale or Costco is a good place)
  • 2 Tb kosher salt (1 tsp /lb)
  • 2 TB cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup mesquite seasoning
  • 1/3 cup ground coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons paprika (1/3 tsp/lb)
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder (1/3 tsp/lb) 
  • 2 Tablespoons oregano or other herb (1/3 tsp/lb)


Rub everything evenly on meat on all sides, top/bottom

Put in oven at 250 for 6-7 hours uncovered. Let it sit for 30 mins or more to cool

Slice and let it sit for 5 mins in the tray of juice. Toss to coat with juice. Put on platter and serve