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Recipes that are great for lovers on Tu B’Av

Recipes that are great for lovers on Tu B’Av

Posted on 20 July 2018 by admin

Photo: Dave Carlin
Chicken Salad Veronique with Avocados

By Tina Wasserman

A good grape harvest in midsummer was cause for celebration in ancient Israel, promising an abundance of fruit to make wine, raisins and sweet syrup for the coming year, as well as the vine leaves to be brined and stuffed with meat, vegetables and rice.
Because the harvest began on the 15th of Av (the fifth month in the Jewish lunar calendar), the celebratory holiday was named Tu B’Av (Tu means 15). In time, the festival also came to celebrate love and its pursuit. The Talmud describes how unmarried girls, rich and poor alike, would dress in plain white clothing and sing and dance under the full moon in the vineyards surrounding Jerusalem (Ta’anit 30b–31a). Many betrothals ensued.
Today, the grape harvest is still celebrated in Israel, and many Israeli couples choose to get married on Tu B’Av for the “luck” it may bestow. Consider it the Jewish Valentine’s Day.
This Tu B’Av (July 26), I hope you spend the day with someone you love and enjoy these recipes that give thanks for the fruit of the vine, as well as pay homage to the No. 1 food of love: chocolate. I’ve thrown in some pretty pink for love, as well.
Chicken Salad Veronique
with Avocados
This cold salad, featuring Israel’s summer bounty, is perfect for a hot summer’s day. French recipes titled Veronique signify the inclusion of grapes. This one is a snap if you ask the deli person to cut the meat into half-inch thick slices (No. 35 on some slicers).

8 ounces cooked chicken or smoked turkey
1½ avocados, ripe but firm
Juice of 1 lime
2 cups seedless red grapes, sliced in half
1 cup mayonnaise, or as needed
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 good pinch of dried summer savory or thyme
1–2 tablespoons sweet vermouth or red wine
Toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

1. Cut the chicken into half-inch cubes and transfer to a medium sized bowl.
2. Slice the full avocado into half-inch cubes and place in a small bowl. Add about ¾ of the lime juice. Toss gently to coat the avocado cubes.
3. Mix in the halved grapes with the chicken.
4. Stir the mayonnaise in a small bowl to make it smooth. Add ketchup, savory and sweet vermouth. Mix well to form a smooth sauce.
5. Drain the avocado cubes. Using a rubber spatula, gently toss the avocados with the chicken and grapes.
6. Carefully blend in the mayonnaise mixture so that you don’t break up the avocado chunks.
7. Thinly slice the remaining avocado half, place in another bowl, and coat with the reserved lime juice or any extra residual juice from the drained avocado cubes. When ready to serve, arrange the slices over the top of the prepared salad and sprinkle with toasted almond slices.
Serves 3-4.

Tina’s Tidbits:
•Whenever you’re mixing ingredients that include soft fruits or vegetables, use a rubber spatula; it will prevent the food from being nicked or mashed.
•Although mayonnaise appears smooth from the jar, it is imperative to stir it first before adding any liquids to prevent the mixture from looking curdled.
Wine Jelly and Frosted Grapes
What better way is there to relax on a hot summer’s night than with a cheese board, wine jelly (a wonderfully sweet counterfoil to strong and earthy blue-veined or chevre cheeses) and a good bottle of wine (preferably from the wine country in northern Israel)?

2 cups of red wine (preferably Shiraz or Zinfandel)
4 whole allspice berries
1 3-inch stick of cinnamon
3 cups of sugar
1 3-ounce pouch of liquid fruit pectin

Frosted Grapes
1 lightly beaten egg white (foamy, not in peaks) or ¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
1. Combine the wine and spices in a 2-quart saucepan. Heat the wine over medium heat until it is warm but not simmering. Turn off the heat and allow the spiced wine to steep for 30 minutes.
2. Add the sugar and then heat to a rolling boil. Stir constantly for about a minute, until the sugar is totally dissolved.
3. Add the pectin. As soon as the mixture returns to a rolling boil, stir for exactly 1 minute to activate the pectin and then pour the jelly into a clean, 16-ounce glass mold or rectangular dish or two or three 6-ounce ramekins.
4. Cool at room temperature for about a half-hour or until close to room temperature and it begins to solidify.
5. Cover dish(es) loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.
6. Unmold the jelly onto a plate and decorate with frosted grapes by tossing the grapes in slightly beaten egg whites or wetting them under water and then rolling them in a small dish with the sugar and then dry them for about 15 minutes or until crusty.
Serves 15-20.

Tina’s Tidbits:
•Keep the sugar-coated grapes in the refrigerator once the sugar has hardened. The same process that keeps your refrigerator “frost-free” also keeps the interior as dry as possible, a necessity on hot, humid summer days.
Hungarian Cherry Soup (Meggy Leves)
Hungarians use sour cream in many recipes because it is readily available. If you would like to make this pareve, you could use soy or coconut creamer.

16-ounce bag frozen sweet cherries with juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1½ cups water
1/3 cup dry red wine (Zinfandel or shiraz would be good)
½ teaspoon almond extract

Habaras (Thickening Mixture)
¾ cup sour cream
3-4 tablespoons powdered sugar, according to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Combine the first seven ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes until cherries are tender and flavors have combined.
2. Remove 12 cherries and set aside.
3. Pass the cherries and liquid through a food mill to puree. Alternatively, blend the mixture in a blender or in a processor until mixture is fairly smooth. Return pureed cherries to the pan along with the reserved cherries. Re-heat as you make the Habaras.
4. In a 1-quart bowl, whisk the sour cream, sugar and flour together, combining well.
5. Whisk some of the soup into the sour cream to thin it, then add all of the mixture into the pot of soup.
6. Simmer soup for 5 minutes or until thickened. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Serves 4-6.
Tina’s Tidbits:
•Sour cherries (the traditional type for this recipe) are very hard to find. However, the frozen, sweet variety is not that sweet and will adapt in any recipe calling for tart cherries.
•Powdered sugar not only subtly sweetens this soup; it helps thicken it as well because it contains 3 percent cornstarch.
Molten Mocha Cinnamon Chocolate Cookies
How can you talk about love without chocolate? From the beginning of its consumption (when Montezuma was purported to drink 50 cups of chocolate flavored with chili a day to feed his libido) to boxes of chocolates given to lovers, the theobromide in chocolate has wooed many a person to thoughts of love.
These cookies are perfect for summer. Not only can you have them on hand to bake at a moment’s notice, but also transporting these cookies to a summer picnic will slightly warm them up to their original gooeyness.
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon instant espresso
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup semisweet chocolate, either chips or chopped ¼-inch pieces

1. Combine the 10 ounces of chocolate and the butter in a 1-quart glass bowl. Microwave this mixture on high for 1 minute. Stir. Place bowl back and microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove, stir until all chocolate is melted and set aside.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and lemon colored. Add the espresso, cinnamon and vanilla and beat to combine.
4. Add the chocolate mixture to the mixing bowl and beat until all egg mixture is incorporated.
5. Add the flour mixture and mix only until there is no flour visible. Stir in the chopped chocolate or chips. Remove beaters and scrape down sides of bowl. Refrigerate in bowl for 15 minutes.
6. Using a 1-tablespoon portion scoop or a rounded measuring spoon, place dough onto a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.
7. Freeze dough uncovered until very hard. When frozen, remove individual dough balls to a zip-lock freezer bag and freeze until ready to bake.
8. To bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place frozen mounds of dough onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are crisp but very soft to the touch. Cookies will harden a little as they cool.
9. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes if you want them to be hot and gooey; longer if you want them to hold their shape a little better.
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies

Tina’s Tidbits:
• Baked cookies may be refrigerated and then re-heated in a microwave for 20 seconds on high. However, cold, baked cookies are like a cross between a cookie and a truffle and quite delicious.
• Gluten-free flour can easily be substituted for the all-purpose flour in this recipe.


Frozen Limonana: The Israeli slushie your summer needs

Frozen Limonana: The Israeli slushie your summer needs

Posted on 05 July 2018 by admin

By Chaya Rappoport
(The Nosher via JTA)

Limonana is a classic Israeli drink that combines freshly squeezed lemon juice and mint leaves for a unique Israeli-style lemonade treat that’s beloved throughout the country.

Processed with VSCO with 4 preset

Limonana is a combination of the Hebrew and Arabic words limon and nana, which mean lemon and mint, respectively. While the drink may have originated elsewhere in the Middle East, it’s an Israeli advertising agency that provided the catchy portmanteau of a name in the 1990s. In an attempt to get public bus advertising off the ground in Israel, the agency advertised a new soft drink called Limonana in sprawling ads across the sides of buses and reported that local athletes and celebrities couldn’t get enough of it.

Although the drink was advertised on buses only, the ad campaign was a huge success. Customers begged for the drink and stores pleaded to carry it until the advertising agency was forced to admit the truth: no such drink existed.
Undeterred, soft drink companies began to manufacture the flavor — the drink that had existed only as a marketing ploy was now a reality. Restaurants and cafés quickly followed suit, reimagining the drink in iced, slushed and alcoholic variations. It’s been a nationwide hit ever since.
The ubiquitous drink is peddled by vendors on nearly every street in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but those of you across the ocean can make this simple, invigorating version at home. Creating a simple syrup with the sugar and water, which turns the sugar liquid, means it’s much easier to blend into a cold drink, and steeping mint in the simple syrup infuses the drink with an extra layer of flavor.
It’s delicious as is, but you can make it alcoholic for a fun, adult twist on the classic.
Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, use Arak, an anise-flavored spirit that’s popular in Israel, and see where it takes you.
With or without alcohol, you’re going to want to make these icy, cooling, sweet and tart slushies all summer long.

  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from around 3 lemons
  • ½ cup loosely packed mint
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  1. Combine water, sugar and half of the mint leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 1 minute.
  2. Remove from heat and let syrup steep, about 30 minutes. Discard the mint leaves and refrigerate the syrup to let it cool.
  3. Combine the mint simple syrup, the rest of the fresh mint leaves and the fresh lemon juice in a blender. Blend at high speed until well mixed.
  4. Add the ice and blend until the ice is thoroughly crushed. Pour into glasses and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Clegg’s new cookbook makes great Father’s Day gift

Clegg’s new cookbook makes great Father’s Day gift

Posted on 31 May 2018 by admin

Staff Report

Fort Worth native and now part-time Dallasite Holly Clegg has released a new installment in her Trim & Terrific cookbook series. Just in time for Father’s Day, A Guy’s Guide to Eating Well is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Holly will be signing copies of her book from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at the Barnes and Noble at Preston and Royal in Dallas and from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at the Barnes and Noble at Hulen Center (4801 Overton Ridge Blvd.) in Fort Worth. Since her first cookbook in 1993, Clegg, who is the daughter of Ruthie and the late Jerry Berkowitz of Fort Worth, has sold more than 1.5 million cookbooks. In the last few years, her cookbooks — which previously focused on easy to prepare, healthy recipes with KITCHEN 101 — have focused on wellness with Eating Well to Fight Arthritis and Eating Well Through Cancer. Holly and her husband Mike live in Baton Rouge. In recent years, they have been spending about half their time in Dallas to be closer to their children and grandchildren. “We live just seven minutes away from our daughter and son-in-law, Courtney and Chad Goldberg and our grandsons, Clegg, almost 6, and Kase, 4. We love to have the boys spend the night and can’t wait to meet our newest grandson due in July.”
Here is a sampling of recipes from A Guy’s Guide to Eating Well: A Man’s Cookbook for Health and Wellness, which Berkowitz dedicated to her father Jerry, who passed away on Sept. 20, 2017, after battling laryngeal cancer for 17 years.


Kale Chips

Move over bar food and munch on these simple, crunchy chips that melt in your mouth.

1 bunch of curly kale, washed, dried, torn into 2-inch pieces
Salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking pan with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Spread kale on prepared pan in single layer. Coat kale lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Season to taste.
3. Bake 8-10 minutes or until kale is crispy and edges brown.

Nutritional info per serving: Calories 128, Calories from Fat0%, Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 22 mg, Carbohydrates 5 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Total Sugars 0 g, Protein 2 g. Dietary Exchanges: 1 vegetable

Barbecued Salami

Highly requested simple, stand-up kind of appetizer everyone gravitates to. From the “Fix it Fast or Fix It Slow” chapter.
Makes 32 (1-ounce) servings

1 (2-pound) salami (all beef)
1 (16-ounce) jar chunky apricot preserves
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat baking pan with foil.
2. Remove wrappings from salami. Score diagonally with knife in both directions creating diamond cut and place salami on prepared pan.
3. In small bowl, mix together preserves and mustard. Spoon sauce over and inside salami cuts. Bake about 1 hour, spooning sauce on top salami halfway through cooking or until salami is crisp.

Nutritional info per serving: Calories 145, Calories from Fat 57%, Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 31mg, Sodium 521mg, Carbohydrates 10g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Total Sugars 9g, Protein 6g, Dietary Exchanges: ½ other carbohydrate, 1 lean meat, 1 fat.

Beef Fajitas in Slow Cooker

Fajitas have never been simpler! A quick fajita rub, combined with salsa, peppers and onions in slow cooker for fall-apart tender fajitas.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: About 5-8 hours
Makes 8 (about ½ cup meat) servings

1 (16-ounce) jar salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds flank steak, skirt steak or boneless chuck
1 large onion, sliced
3 assorted bell peppers, cored and sliced (any combination green, red, yellow)
1. In 3½- to 6-quart slow cooker, pour salsa on bottom.
2. In small bowl, mix chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and season to taste. Season meat with all seasonings. Add meat, remaining seasoning, onion and peppers.
3. Cook on LOW 8 hours, or HIGH 5-6 hours or until tender. Use slotted spoon to remove meat, onions and pepper.

Nutritional info per serving: Calories 211, Calories from Fat 41%, Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 48 mg, Sodium 288 mg, Carbohydrates 10 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Total Sugars 5 g, Protein 20 g, Dietary Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat
Serving Suggestion: Serve with your favorite condiments and tortillas. Use corn tortillas to keep gluten-free.

Roasted Lemon Broccoli

You’ll be surprised how simple ingredients like lemon and garlic turn broccoli into a delectable, delicious vegetable.
8 cups broccoli florets
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking pan with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Toss broccoli with garlic and olive oil. Spread on prepared pan. Season to taste.
3. Roast 18-24 minutes or until crisp tender and tips browned.
4. Remove from oven and toss with lemon zest and lemon juice.
Nutrition Nugget
Broccoli is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C and carotenoids.

Pistachio Ice Cream Pie

Yes, you can fix this dynamic dessert and appear “fancy!” Pick up at the store a chocolate crust, ice cream, pistachio pudding and chocolate topping, for a frozen creamy melt-in-your-mouth nutty dessert.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes 10 servings

1½ cups crushed chocolate graham crackers
3 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup chopped pistachios
1 quart fat-free vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, softened
1 (4-serving) instant pistachio flavored pudding and pie filling
½ cup chocolate fat-free fudge topping, warmed
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In 9-inch pie plate, stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter; press on bottom and up sides. Bake 8–10 minutes. Cool completely.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, quickly combine the pistachios, ice cream and pudding until well mixed. Transfer mixture into cooled crust. Freeze, covered, at least 4 hours or until firm. Serve with warmed chocolate fudge topping on each slice.
Terrific Tip:
Take a shortcut and use a prepared chocolate crust from the grocery.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 257, Protein 6 g, Carbohydrate 47 g, Calories from Fat 21%, Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Total Sugars 29 g , Cholesterol 9 mg, Sodium 341 mg, Dietary Exchanges: 3 other carbohydrate, 1 fat


A cornucopia of Memorial Day grilling ideas

Posted on 24 May 2018 by admin

By Tina Wasserman

Memorial Day. The unofficial start of summer, the last school holiday and the time to get out all the grilling recipes you wanted to try last year or did try and marked the recipe with “great.”
Grilling is no longer relegated to steak, hamburgers and hot dogs. If you look at a housewares catalog, you will find woks for the grill, vertical holders for roasting jalapeños, plates that have indentations to hold seafood or stands to insert a can of beer into a chicken cavity while it grills. And recently, while perusing goods in a store, I saw specialty sheets that go over the grill so no food falls through the cracks. I wonder if the food still has a smoky taste?
The following recipes will transform basic fare to fantastic, and you don’t need any special utensils other than a good spatula, tongs and some long skewers (preferably flattened, not round, and, if you can find them, nonstick). Enjoy and don’t forget the marshmallows.

Sate Manis

I have been making this recipe since I was a teenager when I fell in love with the taste of coriander. Unlike cilantro, which is the plant’s leaf, the seed has a warm, sweet flavor that adds a wonderful accent to a dish. Coupled with the caraway seed, this basic marinade takes on a greater dimension, which will impress. I promise.

4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons garlic powder or 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1½-2 pounds shoulder, chuck or rib-eye steak
1. Combine the first seven ingredients in a 2-quart glass bowl.
2. Cut the meat into 1½-inch cubes and place the cubes in the bowl with the marinade. Marinate at least 1 hour, or overnight.
3. Skewer the meat with any vegetables you desire (I recommend wedges of onion, green pepper, cherry tomatoes and mushroom caps).
4. Broil over hot coals for 10-15 minutes, or until meat is the desired color.
5. Serve with the accompanying sauce if you wish.


½ cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
Salt to taste

1. Combine water and lemon juice. Set aside.
2. Whisk peanut butter and slowly add the water mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, until you get a smooth sauce consistency. NOTE: You will not use all of the lemon water.
3. Stir in the red pepper flakes and salt. Serve with Sate Manis.

Tina’s Tidbits —————————
• When creating a marinade, always include an acidic ingredient such as citrus juice, vinegar, wine or soy sauce. The acid tenderizes the meat.
• Beef can withstand longer marinating and often needs it to tenderize tougher sections.
• Beef and lamb can be marinated, covered, at room temperature for half the time called for in the refrigerator. I.e., 4-6 hours can be 2-3 sitting in a cool part of your kitchen (not near a window on a summer’s day).

Grilled Tofu Thai-Styled

Tofu provides a neutral platform for building rich flavors. Marinating adds flavor, and I find lightly piercing the thickly sliced tofu before marinating allows the flavors to permeate the interior of the tofu, creating a richer taste.

12 ounces extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Thai red or green curry paste
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 or more tablespoons canned coconut milk

1. Remove the tofu from its package and rinse. Wrap in paper towel and place a large bowl or teapot over it for 20-40 minutes to press out excess moisture. Paper towels can be replaced if excessively wet.
2. While the tofu is being pressed, combine the next four ingredients in a 9-inch glass pie plate or other non-metal dish with sides. Set aside.
3. Slice the tofu lengthwise into ½-inch slices and pierce the surface with a toothpick. Place in the dish with the marinade and marinate for at least 30 minutes or longer.
4. Combine the peanut butter with enough coconut milk to make a smooth paste. Remove tofu to a plate and add any remaining marinade to the peanut mixture. Set aside.
5. Grill the tofu over medium high heat until golden brown on both sides, brushing each side with some of the peanut sauce. Do not let the tofu burn.
6. Serve as steaks or cubed over a salad or rice with any remaining sauce.
Serves 2-4 for an entrée or salad.

Tina’s Tidbits —————————
• Because tofu is a plant protein, it is safe to add the used marinade to the peanut sauce for basting and dressing later. Never reuse a marinade from chicken or fish without boiling it first or you could get sick.
• Grilled tofu can be refrigerated and then added to a salad or even a sandwich for a high-protein, low-fat alternative to steak or chicken.

Grilled Chicken with Spices

Sometimes you want your chicken to be flavorful but not smothered in a sauce. This recipe is the perfect answer to your wish, and it is fast to prepare and fast to cook.

1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon coriander seed, crushed
1 tablespoon black peppercorn, crushed
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1-1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1. Combine all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
2. Remove the fillets (if present) from the breast. If the white membrane is present in the fillet, remove it using the technique listed below. Rinse the chicken breasts and pat dry. If necessary, lightly pound the breast to make the thickness of the meat uniform.
3. Rub the chicken breasts with some of the spice rub to coat well. Cover and keep at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to marinate. If marinating for several hours, keep food in the refrigerator but bring to room temperature before grilling.
4. Grill the chicken breasts for 3 minutes per side, or until firm but springy to the touch.

Tina’s Tidbits —————————
• If a chicken breast looks very thick at the wide end, the fillet or chicken tender is probably attached. Look for a white satiny strand through the meat. Gently pull the fillet out of its membrane sac. Hold on to the tip of the white membrane while you slide a knife’s edge on a 45-degree angle along the membrane beneath the meat and gently tug the membrane free. This prevents the fillet from curling up when grilled.
• Rule of thumb is to estimate 10 minutes per inch thickness for grilling chicken, fish and beef. Since boneless chicken breasts are generally ¾ of an inch, you can estimate 6-7 minutes total time for cooking. The same is true when you are pan-frying.
• Chicken may be cut into cubes before marinating and then skewered with vegetables.

Grilled Swordfish with Papaya-Pineapple Salsa

Many years ago, swordfish was declared kosher by the Masorti rabbinate because the fish had scales in its embryonic stage. If you don’t want to use this fish, tuna, salmon or any thick fish fillet will do just fine. Just be careful if you grill tuna. It can go from moist to “Chicken of the Sea” in a nanosecond.

1½ pounds swordfish steaks, cut ¾-inch thick
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon minced fresh Mexican Mint Marigold (or tarragon)
1 ripe papaya, peeled and de-seeded
½ medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into irregular chunks
1 tablespoon minced fresh Mexican Mint Marigold
Lime juice to taste
1. Marinate the swordfish in the oil, lime juice, coriander and mint marigold for 15-30 minutes.
2. Prepare the salsa by placing the papaya meat in a processor work bowl with the pineapple. Pulse on and off 10 times or until mixture looks slightly coarse. Don’t over-process, or you will have soup. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Mince the Mint Marigold so that the herb is small but of uniform size. Stir into the papaya mixture. Add a little lime juice to taste and refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Heat a grill and cook the swordfish for 3-4 minutes on each side until tender but not overdone.
5. Serve the fish with some of the salsa draped over the fish and pass the rest.

Tina’s Tidbits —————————
• Never marinate fish for more than 30 minutes, or you will wind up “cooking” the fish in the acidic marinade.


Something different: High Tea for Mother’s Day

Something different: High Tea for Mother’s Day

Posted on 03 May 2018 by admin

By Tina Wasserman

The act of celebrating Mother’s Day has become a timeworn cliché. Although there is no mother who doesn’t enjoy her children jumping on the bed to present her with breakfast while she feigns sleep, it is the ceremony, not the food, that is memorable. Being treated as a special person and presented with a flower in a crowded restaurant does not discount that the food will be good, but it does create a non-personal atmosphere.
Why not do something difference for your mothers and aunts and grandmothers this year and have a tea party? Take advantage of the warm, breezy weather of May and have a leisurely light, albeit rich, meal in your peaceful surroundings. Many, if not all, can be made in advance with little last-minute preparation.
Enjoy, and a Happy Mother’s Day to all.
Tea Sandwich Spreads
You can make tea sandwiches as simple or elaborate as your imagination allows. We all remember those little rectangular “fingers” filled with pimento cheese or egg salad and the delicate flower shapes cut out of buttery, firm white bread, which were then spread with a subtly flavored butter and topped with thin slices of radish or cucumber.
Here are two basic spreads that allow you to explore the infinite possibilities of toppings from the aforementioned vegetables to smoked trout caviar, or tuna fish. Prepare a variety of flavors and shapes, and your tea plate will look stunning.

Garlic Herb Spread
8 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon sour cream or cream
½ teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced basil
3 tablespoons minced scallions
¼ teaspoon salt
4 drops Tabasco sauce

1. Whip the cream cheese with the sour cream in a food processor until smooth. Add the herbs and pulse the machine on and off 5-10 times until herbs are incorporated.
2. Use this spread with thin slices of plum tomato on assorted bread rounds.

Tina’s Tidbits:
• If mixing by hand, have cream cheese at room temperature to avoid any lumps.
• Over-processing a mixture containing green herbs brings out more of the chlorophyll in the herb and makes the mixture bitter.

Lemon Dill Butter
1 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1. Whip the butter until smooth in a processor workbowl or with an electric mixer. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
2. Use this spread on white rounds with thinly sliced cucumber or on pumpernickel rounds with a slice of smoked salmon garnished with a sprig of dill.

Tina’s Tidbits:
• For the same reason listed above, if you are mixing the butter by hand, make sure the butter is soft so that the ingredients will blend in well and all will be smooth.
Lemon Curd Tarts
I love the sweet/tart flavor of lemon curd, but I hate when the overwhelming flavor is that of egg yolk. That totally ruins the enjoyment for me. However, this recipe, adapted from Maida Heatter, is an incredible exception to this problem. The essence of lemon lollipop comes through unmasked. This sunny yellow spread is great on toast and scones (see recipe) as well.
The following recipe can be made in advance and frozen. After thawing in the refrigerator and then brought to room temperature they taste as good as freshly baked. Topping each tartlet with a raspberry or candied lavender would be an elegant presentation for a Mother’s Day tea.

Pastry dough:
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, partially frozen
1 large egg

1. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a processor workbowl and pulse on and off twice to “sift.”
2. Cut the butter into eight pieces and add to the processor. Process until the mixture is crumbly.
3. Lightly beat the egg in a small glass dish. With the processor running, add the egg to the dough and process only just until a ball of dough begins to form. Divide the dough in half and cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
4. Using 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, press the dough evenly into individual fluted tartlet pans. Put a small square of foil over each tartlet and weigh down with a few pie weights or dried beans. Place on a baking sheet.
5. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Refreeze the dough in the tartlet pans until ready to bake.
6. Bake the shells for 13 minutes and then remove the foil and beans. Return the shells to the oven and continue baking for 5 minutes more or until the tartlets are golden on the inside and nicely browned but not burnt on the edges. Remove shells from their pans and cool completely.
7. When the shells are cool, fill with the lemon curd. Serve at room temperature, cold or even frozen.

Lemon Curd Filling
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick butter
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
6 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Place the eggs and the sugar in the top of a double boiler and beat lightly to combine.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir constantly until thick but still pourable. Strain the liquid into a large measuring cup and then carefully fill the tartlets.

Tina’s Tidbits:
• Overhandling dough, especially if it is too warm, can make it tough so gently and quickly press your dough into the tartlet pans.
• Your knuckle is cooler and more efficient to press dough into a mold. Use your fingertip to finish the task.
Rose Geranium Tea Biscuits
The addition of the rose geranium leaves gives a subtle flavor to these cookies. This plant looks like a typical geranium but instead of the leaf having a musty smell, the leaf has a lemony herb scent to it. If you cannot find a rose geranium then look for lemon thyme at the plant nursery. Basil also makes an interesting flavor enhancement but rose geranium knocks their socks off.

1½ cups hazelnuts or pecans
2 sticks unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup rose geranium leaves, finely chopped

1. Place the nuts in a food processor workbowl and pulse on and off until the nuts are ground very fine. Remove to a bowl.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together in the same processor work bowl (no need to wash), using the metal blade. Add the vanilla and process for 5 seconds.
3. Combine the flour and salt with the ground nuts.
4. Add the flour nut mixture to the workbowl and process 5 seconds.
5. Add the rose geranium leaves and process until the mixture is well combined and just begins to form a ball.
6. Place the dough in the leftover flour bowl and cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use parchment paper to line 2 cookie sheets.
8. Form cold dough into 1-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Cool for 10 minutes.
9. Completely cool before storing in an airtight container. They taste even better if allowed to sit for a day.

Tina’s Tidbits:
• Always pulse your machine when chopping nuts to prevent a fine nut butter from forming on the bottom of the bowl. Pulsing throws the nuts up and then down into the blades to efficiently chop.
• If you choose, you can roll cookies in powdered sugar before serving or if storing at room temperature for a day or two.
• Coating cookies with powdered sugar before freezing is a waste of time, as sugar will appear to disappear or look blotchy when defrosted.
Strawberries with Cracked Pepper
It doesn’t get any simpler or more elegant than this. The brandy combined with the pepper makes these simple berries burst with intriguing flavor. Think of pepper as a cousin to cloves and cinnamon instead of the fraternal twin of salt.

1 pint strawberries or mixture of strawberries and blackberries
Granulated sugar to taste
1 tablespoon brandy
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns, cracked

1. Cut the washed strawberries in half and place in a bowl with the sugar.
2. Add the brandy, orange liqueur and cracked peppercorns. Let sit for 15 minutes and serve plain or with a little crème fraiche.

Tina’s Tidbits:
• Cracking black peppercorns is different from using a pepper mill unless you can open the aperture wide enough to give you big pieces of pepper.
• An easy way to crack peppercorns is to place them in a small plastic bag and then pound them with the bottom of a heavy pan or the flat side of a meat mallet.
Orange juice, balsamic vinegar or a combination of the two can be substituted for the alcohol if needed.
Tea Scones
Scones used to be the pastry you ate when you went to London or when you got dressed up and went for High Tea at an elegant hotel or tea room. Nowadays, you can find scones at almost every coffee emporium, and the quality generally leans toward the heavy, pasty variety. This recipe does not need to be a substitute for a hockey puck. Light, flaky and yet dense, scones can be simple and buttery or orange scented with dried fruit buried in their crevices. They are easy to make and are superb served with clotted cream, crème fraiche or mascarpone cheese. Raspberry jelly is pretty fine, too.

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
1 egg, beaten
½-¾ cup milk
¼ cup currants

1. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the processor workbowl and pulse on and off to “sift.”
2. Cut the butter into 6 pieces and add to workbowl. Pulse on and off for 5 seconds or until a coarse meal is formed.
3. Combine the egg and ½ cup milk. Slowly pour this mixture into the processor while machine is running. When a fairly sticky mass forms, stop. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more milk.
4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and sprinkle the dough with the currants. Gently knead the currants into the dough, using only 15 or 20 strokes.
5. Roll or pat dough out to ½-inch thickness. Cut with a 2-inch cookie cutter.
6. Place dough on a greased or paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees. for 12 minutes or until golden. Serve with clotted cream and preserves.


New twists on old favorites for Seder menu

New twists on old favorites for Seder menu

Posted on 22 March 2018 by admin

By Jamie Geller

My Passover menu always features a beautiful brisket (something hand-picked from my new book Brisket 101), perfectly presentable potato kugel cups (with almost 1 MILLION likes, views, shares and comments) and a fresh spring salad.
Braised Brisket
As seen on the Today Show — I wrote the book on brisket. Brisket 101 features 40 of the best brisket, side, slaw and leftover recipes around. Also learn my 3 Golden Rules For Perfect Brisket, All About Aromatics, How-To Build Your Braising Liquid and Deglaze, Marinating 101, How-To Make Your Own Spice Rub plus a Special Section on Slow Cooking. You’ll be empowered to invent your own recipes once you learn my easy (to make and easy to remember) techniques. The sky’s the limit when it comes to riffing on this holiday and comfort food classic that spans generations, cultures and seasons. Become a brisket master! BUY NOW!
Makes 10 servings
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup tomato paste
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (7-pound) whole brisket (or second cut)
3 whole heads garlic, cut in half to expose the cloves
3 cups beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
Bouquet garnish: several thyme sprigs, parsley stems, bay leaves tied to celery rib
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees or preheat slow cooker to low.
2. Heat a large sauté pan or Dutch oven, lightly coated with oil, over medium-high heat. Brown onions until dark and very soft. Stir tomato paste in and continue cooking for a few minutes to sear tomato paste. Transfer onions to slow cooker, or if using a Dutch oven, push onions to the side.
3. Season brisket with salt and pepper and brown on both sides in the same pan. You may need to cut brisket in half to fit into a slow cooker.
4. Nestle brisket into pan with onions. Add garlic, broth, wine, and bouquet garnish.
5. Cover and braise for 3½ to 4 hours in a 300-degree oven or for 8 hours in a slow cooker, until a fork, inserted, comes out with no resistance.
6. Cool brisket at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving or cool completely before slicing and storing with pan juices in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
7. To serve fresh, slice brisket against the grain. Squeeze garlic out of heads and add to pan juices. Serve with pan juices and onions.
8. To serve another day, remove sliced brisket from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before reheating in a 300-degree oven, covered, for 1 hour.
Personal Potato Cups
With almost 1 million views, comments, shares and likes, this is easily one of the No. 1 recipes on Let my family favorite become yours this Passover. (Secret Tip: For a half the fat, half the carbs, half the calories, hubby-approved version of this very same recipe, check out my How-To Healthier Potato Kugel recipes and video on
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 large Idaho potatoes
1 large onion, quartered
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Liberally oil six (4- to 6-ounce) glass dessert dishes or custard cups with 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil each. Place custard cups on a baking pan.
2. Fill a large bowl with cold water and, as you peel potatoes, place them in cold water to prevent browning.
3. Place the pan of cups in 425-degree oven to heat up the oil.
4. Beat eggs in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper, mix well, and set aside.
5. Pour ¾ cup of oil in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat.
6. Cut potatoes lengthwise into halves or quarters so they fit into food processor feed tube. Process potatoes and onions using the blade that creates thin, shoestring-like strips.
7. Transfer potatoes and onions to a large bowl, add egg mixture and heated oil from stovetop, mix very well. Remove any large pieces of potatoes or onions that weren’t processed properly.
8. Remove heated cups from the oven and spoon potato mixture evenly into hot, oiled cups.
9. Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour or until the tops look crunchy and sides look golden and browned. Let cool until the glass cups are safe to handle and loosen edges with a knife, unmold and serve on a platter.
TIPS: To make this as a potato kugel pie, bake at 425 degrees in an 8-inch square or 8- or 9-inch round glass baking dish for 1 hour.
Spring Ribbon Salad
Presentation, presentation, presentation — always remember, we eat with our eyes first. It doesn’t take much to create this beautiful spring salad. If you own a vegetable peeler you’re in business.
Makes 6 servings
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large cucumber
3 large carrots
1 pint multicolored grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups watercress, cut into 2-inch pieces
Suggested garnishes: pomegranate arils
1. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, oil, shallots, mayonnaise, honey, salt and pepper and whisk well until dressing comes together. Set aside.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel cucumber and carrots into long ribbons. Transfer to a large bowl and add tomatoes and watercress. Add dressing and toss lightly to coat well. Serve immediately or refrigerate undressed for up to 1 hour.
7 Layer Matzo Cake
Makes 8 servings
1½ pounds bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 cup sweet red wine or grape juice
7 sheets matzo
Garnish: fresh berries
1. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Keep chocolate warm by keeping melted chocolate in a bowl over a bowl of warm water.
2. Place wine in a pan large enough to accommodate a sheet of matzo without breaking it.
3. Soak one piece of matzo for about 30 seconds. Transfer to lined baking sheet and spread a thin layer of chocolate, being sure to cover the edges. Moisten another piece of matzo and this time stack it on top of the matzo with chocolate. Spread more chocolate on the matzo. Repeat until all matzos are moistened and covered in chocolate. Pour remaining chocolate over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides. Spread it with a spatula.
4. Refrigerate to allow chocolate to set up.
5. Transfer to serving platter and garnish with fresh berries.


Passover recipes for the children to prepare

Passover recipes for the children to prepare

Posted on 22 March 2018 by admin

By Tina Wasserman

Here are some easy recipes for Passover that children love to make:
A practical dilemma during Passover is taking one’s lunch to work or school without finding a brown bag filled with egg salad adhering to matzo pieces in the bottom. Here’s my answer: bagels! Made like the classic pate choux dough for cream puffs, these rolls turn out crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Children love to stick an oiled finger in the center and create the hole.
Passover Bagels
2 cups matzo meal
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1. Combine the matzo meal, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Bring the oil and water to a boil and add to the matzoh meal mixture all at once. Stir well to combine.
2. Using a wooden spoon or stiff spatula, beat in eggs thoroughly one at a time until each is incorporated into the dough. Let stand for 15 minutes.
3. With oiled hands, scoop up about 2 heaping tablespoons of dough, shape into rolls and place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. Grease your forefinger. Insert your finger into the middle of the roll and twirl the roll around on the baking sheet until a hole is formed in the center.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes.
YIELD: 12 bagels
Married to a man who works every day to reverse food allergies in children, I have learned how stigmatizing and isolating food allergies can be, especially to a child. I have strived to create a recipe that combines the fruits and flavors from much of the diaspora and crunch that we find in a classic nut-filled recipe but without the fear.
Fruit-filled Nut-free Haroset
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
4 large dried Calimyrna figs (about 1/3 cup)
6 pitted medjool dates
1 Honeycrisp or other sweet apple
1 medium-large ripe avocado
1/3 cup dark raisins
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sweet wine or grape juice
1. Combine all of the spices in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Tear the figs and dates into pieces and place in a processor work bowl.
3. Core the apple, but don’t peel, and cut it into 16 pieces. Add these to the figs and dates.
4. Cut avocado in half, remove pit, and scoop out pulp into processor work bowl with the fruit.
5. Add the raisins and sunflower seeds and pulse the mixture until it is coarse. Scrape down sides of work bowl and pulse again until a coarse/smooth mixture is formed.
6. Add 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture and the 2 tablespoons of wine or juice to the mixture and process until a fairly smooth consistency.
7. More liquid may be added if mixture appears too dry.
8. Allow mixture to sit for a few hours to totally absorb the spices. More spice mixture may be added in small amounts if you desire. Mixture can be made days in advance and kept refrigerated.
Yield: 2 cups
If there is a run on matzo farfel in your supermarket, my recipe is probably the reason. This recipe should be a staple in your Passover repertoire. Delicious with milk for breakfast, a healthy snack for school or work and a great treat anytime if you make the delicious chocolate candy recipe below. They are much less expensive than store-bought candies and kids love to make them.
Passover Granola
3 cups matzo farfel
2/3 cup slivered almonds (substitute sunflower seeds or more farfel for nut-free)
½ cup sweetened or unsweetened coconut
2/3 cup pecans, broken into large pieces
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or parve margarine
1/3 cup wildflower or clover honey
1½ cups chopped dried mixed fruit of your choice including raisins, or 7-ounce bag of dried fruit pieces
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine the farfel, almonds, coconut, pecans, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a 3-quart mixing bowl.
3. Melt the butter and honey in a small glass bowl in a microwave for 1 minute until butter is melted and honey is more fluid.
4. Stir the butter mixture into the farfel mixture until all farfel is lightly coated with the butter.
5. Spread mixture over a large jellyroll pan with 1-inch sides and bake for 15 minutes. Half way through baking stir to brown evenly.
6. Remove from oven. Cool slightly and then toss with the dried fruit.
7. When totally cooled, store in a zip lock bag or airtight storage container for all eight days of Passover. If it lasts that long.
Chocolate Granola Treats
1. Melt 8 ounces of Passover chocolate chips and mix them with 1½ or 2 cups prepared granola. Stir to coat well.
2. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper and allow the mounds to firm up before you devour them.


Modify your favorite cuisine for Passover

Posted on 22 March 2018 by admin

By Annabel Cohen

Bring on Passover. It’s next weekend and we are busy not just thinking about the menu, but bubbling up “shissels” of soup and forming ground whitefish and onions into the gefilte fish that starts our meal.
However, some people are already bored by the prospect of serving flavorless brisket, steamed vegetables or another nut cake or flourless concoction they hope will taste, heaven forbid, non-Pesadik.
I, on the other, like the challenge of creating delicious, savory and sweet dishes to accompany my favorite Passover brisket and chicken. But there’s something to be said about traditional foods our families crave and expect for the Passover festive meal.
So along with the tried-and-true, we yearn for complex textures and modern flavors we’ve come to love, whenever possible. There’s no reason most any food cannot be adapted, if needed, to comply with Passover customs.
We’re pretty lucky that we have so many choices. If you’re Sephardic, as I am, your choices are even greater — we eat rice and beans with our Passover meals. In the old days, while some matzo-based dishes were created especially for the holiday, most people prepared the same foods they ate every Shabbat, with just a few Pesadik modifications.
Here we offer some old and some new ideas for Passover, and some inspiration to get you thinking about the possibilities to how you can adapt your favorite cuisine for the holiday. After all, there are eight days of eating, and gefilte fish and potato kugel on a daily basis can get boring very fast.
Chicken with Tomatoes,
Olives and Capers
6 small boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 cup matzo meal
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped red or Bermuda onion
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
5 cups diced plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons drained capers
½ cup pitted olives, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup fresh chopped parsley

Remove visible fat from chicken breasts and flatten them lightly with a meat mallet to uniform thickness. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in the matzo meal. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and sauté over medium-high heat, turning the pieces often until lightly browned, about 5 minutes (you may need to do this in batches). Add the remaining ingredients except parsley to the skillet (if your skillet is not large enough, place the sautéed breasts in a larger pot and add the remaining ingredients). Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered. Add half the parsley and cook for 5 minutes more or until the sauce has thickened. Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over, alone, or over hot Pesach noodles. Makes 6 servings.
Roast Chicken Pieces with
Ginger Orange Maple Glaze
2 3½-pound chickens, cut into 6 or 8 pieces, breast backbones removed, excess fat trimmed (alternatively, you may purchase individual parts such as breasts, thighs, and drumsticks — figure one breast or thigh or two drumsticks per person)
¼ cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
½ cup minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
2 cups orange juice
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
Grated zest of 1 orange or lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Rub chicken pieces with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Arrange the chicken, skin side down, in a large disposable aluminum pan or in one or two large roasting pans (it’s OK to crowd the chicken).
Roast the chicken for 15 minutes (if you have two ovens, put one pan in each oven if using more than one pan; if you have one oven, place pans — if using more than one — on separate shelves and switch positions during the second cooking). Use tongs (not a fork) to turn the chicken over and cook for 15 minutes more. NOTE: You may prepare the chicken up to this point a day ahead and finish cooking the day you plan to serve it.
While the chicken is cooking, make the glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients except salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes.
Remove chicken from the pan and strain pan juices. Add 1 cup of strained juices to the pan and cook for 10 minutes more. Discard remaining juices or keep for another use. Place the chicken back in the pan, skin side up, and drizzle the glaze over. Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes more. Makes 12 servings.
Spaghetti Squash Kugel
5-6 pound spaghetti squash
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
6 large eggs
½ cup potato starch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish or tube pan (Bundt) with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Use a sharp knife to split the squash in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds and strings (If you’d like to cut the squash into 4 pieces, that’s OK, too). Place the halves, cut-side down, in a microwave-safe dish large enough to hold them (you may need to cook the squash in batches if your microwave oven is small). Add ½ cup water to the dish, cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave on high for seven to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven to check doneness. Using a fork, pull at the squash flesh. It should separate easily into strands if it’s done. If not, return to microwave, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes more and check again. When tender, allow to cool.
Combine sugar, oil, eggs, starch, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and whisk well.
Scrape squash onto a cutting board or bowl. Measure about 8-9 cups of squash and add it to the bowl. I find it’s easiest to toss all this together with your hands to mix (or use a spoon).
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake for 45 minutes (the tube pan will take longer, so bake for 1 hour). If the kugel is set, remove from the oven, otherwise cook until the mixture is set and golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving (allow the Bundt to cool a bit longer). Can be made a day ahead and reheated at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 15-18 servings.
Scalloped Potatoes
¼ cup (½ stick) butter or margarine
¼ cup matzo cake meal
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth or nondairy “milk”
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
8 cups russet potatoes, unpeeled and sliced
Spray a 9×13-inch or equivalent ceramic or glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or brush with melted butter or margarine (should be attractive because you will serve the potatoes in the baking dish).
Make the sauce: Melt the margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cake meal and stir for one minute. Add the liquid (broth or milk) and bring to a low boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium and whisk until the liquid thickens to a pancake batter consistency. Add the parsley and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste (the mixture should be a bit salty to balance the blandness of the potatoes).
Layer the potatoes in the prepared dish, standing the slices up in the baking dish to allow the sauce to penetrate the potatoes. Ladle the sauce over potatoes (use all the sauce).
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake one hour more.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8-12 servings.
ABC Salad (Annabel’s Broccoli Crunch Salad)

¾ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup vinegar, red wine or cider preferred
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
6 cups finely chopped broccoli florets and stems (about 2 medium broccoli crowns)
½ cup finely diced celery
½ cup finely diced carrot
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
¹/₃ cup finely diced red onion
1 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins
¼ cup toasted sunflower seed kernels
Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk well.
Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour the dressing over, and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, stirring once or twice. Makes 8-12 side dish servings.
Roasted Dilled Root
Vegetables with Garlic
Sometimes I’ll add 8 ounces of Brussels sprouts (though not a root vegetable), halved, to this dish for color and texture.
2 cups peeled, diagonally sliced carrots (thin ovals or rounds)
2 cups peeled, diagonally sliced parsnips (thin ovals or rounds)
8 ounces fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise in halves
1 medium onion, trimmed, peeled and halved, each half cut into quarters
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
10 garlic cloves, peeled
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh chopped dill
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
Put all the vegetables (except the dill) in a large bowl. Season well with salt, black pepper and about 3 tablespoons olive oil, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly.
Arrange the vegetables on the prepared baking sheet and cook until they are beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Test for doneness. They should be tender but not mushy (they will continue to cook as they cool). Toss with the fresh dill and serve warm or at room temperature (drizzle with balsamic vinegar, if desired). Makes 8 servings.


Exotic Passover recipes

Exotic Passover recipes

Posted on 22 March 2018 by admin

By Tina Wasserman

Persian Kuku is like a frittata that, when cut into little squares and served at room temperature, makes a perfect nosh during the Seder after you dip the Karpas in salt water and before you get to the meal. Hint: It keeps young and old participants from wanting to race through the Haggadah. There might even be time for Rabbi Tarfon.
Persian Cauliflower
and Raisin Kuku

20-ounce bag frozen cauliflower (½ head of large cauliflower)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
2 medium onions, cut in half and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped or put through garlic press
5 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper, about 15 turns of a pepper mill
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons dark raisins

1. If cauliflower is fresh, then chop into small pieces; if frozen, then defrost and drain in a strainer.
2. Heat a large skillet on high for 15 seconds. Add 3 tablespoons oil and heat for 10 seconds more. Lower heat to medium. Add cauliflower, onions and salt to pan, stir to combine, cover pan, and then cook for 3 minutes.
3. Uncover pan and sauté until cauliflower is soft and onions are light golden brown. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Do not burn garlic.
3. Transfer cauliflower/onion mixture to a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher until cauliflower becomes a coarse puree. Set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11×7 baking dish or 10-inch Pyrex pie plate with the additional 2 tablespoons oil.
5. Using a fork, combine the eggs, pepper, turmeric, cumin and raisins in a 1-quart bowl. Add to the cauliflower and mix to thoroughly combine.
6. Pour egg mixture into oiled dish and bake on the center shelf of the oven for 30 minutes or until top is golden and eggs are cooked in the center. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
NOTE: Cut the cooled kuku into 1-inch squares and place on a plate with toothpicks for bite-sized snacks or appetizers.
Serves 4-6 for a meal or 12+ as an appetizer.

This is my signature Passover dessert. Debby Stahl’s German mother-in-law gave the two of us this recipe over 35 years ago. Many students have told me that their families love this so much, they make it year-round.
Spanish Jews were the first to use ground nuts in place of some or all of the flour to make their tortes, especially for Pesach when flour was prohibited.
Passover Linzer Torte

½ cup cake meal
½ cup potato starch
1 cup unsalted parve kosher for Passover margarine or butter
½ cup sugar
1 cup unpeeled finely ground hazelnuts, almonds or a combination
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, separated
½ cup kosher for Passover strawberry jam
1. Combine the cake meal and the potato starch in a processor work bowl. Using the cutting blade, add the margarine and pulse on and off until the mixture is well combined.
2. Add the sugar, hazelnuts or nut mixture, cinnamon and egg yolks and mix until smooth and well blended.
3. Take 2/3 of the dough and press over the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Leave a 1-inch-wide rim of dough around the top.
4. Spread with ½ cup or more of strawberry jam.
5. Gently squeeze egg-sized balls of remaining dough between your fingertips over the top of the jam to simulate weaving ropes for the lattice top. This dough cannot easily be handled, but don’t worry; the ropes don’t have to be perfect because they become smooth during baking.
6. Fasten the dough rope to the rim of dough and smooth it out with your fingertip, pressing lightly.
7. Beat egg whites slightly and brush over the top of the lattice. As you brush, the ropes will get smoother and more uniform.
8. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet that has very low sides and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
9. Partly cool before removing the rim of the pan. Do not attempt to remove the base of the pan. Serve the cake from the base.


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