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The definitive latke recipe (and don’t use russets)

The definitive latke recipe (and don’t use russets)

Posted on 05 December 2018 by admin

Photo: Tina Wasserman
Latkes (Potato Pancakes)

By Tina Wasserman

Many years ago, I was making latkes in my daughter’s Sunday School classroom while others were doing the same in their child’s class. People started to come in to see my latkes because they heard that they weren’t gray/black, thin and watery. My recipe is below, with step-by-step instructions to prevent all of the above problems.
One “Tidbit” I can’t save for last is this: I never use russet potatoes. Russets have too much starch and thick skins. When you use white or Yukon Gold potatoes, there is no need to peel. If that doesn’t make you switch your potato choice, I don’t know what would.
Although latkes are a perfect accompaniment to beef or chicken, they can also be made into small rounds and topped with sour cream and caviar for an elegant appetizer.
Latkes (Potato Pancakes)
6-8 large thin-skinned potatoes, California long whites or Yukon Gold (about 3 pounds)
3 eggs, beaten well
1½ tablespoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 medium-large onions (¾-1 pound total), cut into 8 pieces
1 cup matzo meal or cracker meal
Oil for frying
Applesauce, sour cream or caviar for garnish (optional)
1. Grate the raw potatoes using the grating disk on a processor or the largest holes on a grater, if doing it by hand. Place grated potato in a strainer, rinse thoroughly with cold water and drain while you grate onion.
2. Combine eggs, salt and pepper in a 4-quart bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
3. Change to the cutting blade on your processor. Add onions to the work bowl. Pulse on and off five times. Add 1/3 of the grated potatoes to the onion, and pulse on and off to make a coarse paste. Add to the egg mixture along with the matzo meal and stir to combine.
4. Add the remaining drained potatoes to the bowl and mix thoroughly, using a large spoon or your hands.
5. Heat a large frying pan or large skillet for 20 seconds. Add enough oil to cover the pan to a depth of ¼ inch and heat for an additional 20 seconds. Drop mounds of potato mixture into the pan. Fry on both sides until golden. Drain fried latkes on a platter covered with crumpled paper towels. Serve with applesauce and sour cream if desired.

Tina’s Tidbits:
• Grated potatoes turn black when exposed to air. Rinsing the potatoes under running water washes away excess starch and the discoloring culprit.
• Always grate your potatoes separately from your onions; that way, you won’t lose any of the flavorful juice when you drain the potatoes.
• Use an ice cream scoop to get perfectly round latkes. A smaller scoop is perfect for appetizer-sized latkes.
• The best way to drain fried foods is on a plate covered with crumpled paper towels. Crumpling gives more surface area for absorption.
• Never refrigerate latkes.
• Either make earlier in the day and keep at room temperature before reheating in a 400-degree oven.
• Or fry, cool to room temperature, freeze on lined baking sheet and, when frozen, put into a freezer bag. Make sure you use a straw and suck out all the air in the bag so no ice crystals form on the latkes.
• When ready to cook, just place frozen latkes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and reheat in a 425-degree oven until crisp and bubbly around the edges.

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Everything you want to know about pumpkins

Posted on 25 October 2018 by admin

By Tina Wasserman

The first chill has been in the air, and Halloween and Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, so I decided that now is the perfect time to learn about pumpkins.
The pumpkin is a member of the squash family, whose origins can be traced back over 9,000 years to Mexico. They are also thought to be part of the gourd family grown in India, but this isn’t true. The round orange globes are actually related to cucumber and cantaloupe.
Growing on vines up to 12 feet wide, pumpkins are a fruit, not a vegetable. Pumpkin seeds were brought from the “new world” by Columbus to Spain and were initially grown only to feed swine. The widespread Mediterranean use of pumpkin for human food can be attributed to the Jews from Spain and Portugal in the late 15th century.
Initially the Jewish immigrants from Spain were the only people to eat the cheap and humble squash. The golden pumpkin was symbolic of prosperity and fertility, and often found its place on the ceremonial tables during Rosh Hashanah. Most pumpkin recipes that you find in Italian cookbooks owe their ancestry to the Jewish migration.
Human consumption of pumpkin has also been attributed to ancient times in Asia, and it is possible that the Arab armies brought the fruit to its conquered lands as well. It wasn’t until Columbus introduced pumpkin that it got its name and European recognition.
The name, pumpkin, is derived from the Greek Pepon, which means large melon. The French called it “Pompon” and, owing to the nasal pronunciation, the English adapted it to “Pumpion,” and colonists in America called it “Pumpkin.”
When the Native American Indians first introduced the Colonists to pumpkin, they were roasting strips of the fruit over fire as a food and weaving dried strips of pumpkin to make mats.
It was the Colonists who found a diverse use for the pumpkin. Hollowed pumpkins were turned upside down over a person’s head to provide a straight line to follow when cutting hair. That’s how they got the name pumpkin head.
The pumpkin pie finds its origin in the cooking technique of the Colonists, who cut the top off the pumpkin, removed the seeds, filled the inside with milk, honey and spices, then baked it until the meat of the pumpkin was soft and well flavored.
Speaking of cutting a pumpkin, I recently saw a suggestion for preserving the life of your jack-o’-lantern so it doesn’t rot before the end of October. If you cut a large hole in the bottom of the pumpkin and scrape out the insides well, you just need to place the carved decorative pumpkin over the candle on a plate.

Cooking with Pumpkins

All pumpkins may be eaten but it is the smaller, more rounded sugar pie pumpkins or “pie” pumpkins that will yield a dense, drier cooked flesh similar to canned pumpkin. Larger pumpkins will be stringy and more like acorn or spaghetti squash. Always buy a pumpkin whose stems are attached and those that feel heavy for their size.
Pumpkin can be cooked like you would any squash: Peel, seed, cut into chunks and simmer in a small amount of salted water for 20-40 minutes; or peel, cube and season before lightly tossing with olive oil and roast in a 350-degree oven until soft and golden.
To roast pumpkin seeds, rinse them thoroughly to remove any strings, then soak for 15 minutes in salted water. Drain and then roast in a 250-degree oven until golden. Season with a little oil and salt and pepper if you like after you roast or for the last 5 minutes.
If you are displaying pumpkins outside in the sun, bring them in at night, if you can, to prevent rotting. Pumpkins can be ripened off the vine if they are exposed to sunlight.
I love pumpkin pie, but unless the crust is super-delicious and sweet, I feel guilty eating all that fat-saturated dough. Here’s a recipe that is light, less caloric (believe it or not) and can be made in advance without getting soggy, flat or losing its flavor.

Pumpkin Mousse

2 teaspoons unflavored kosher gelatin
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
½ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of allspice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the rum in a small Pyrex custard cup and let it soften for a few minutes.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients except the heavy cream in a medium bowl.
3. Place the Pyrex dish with the rum and gelatin in a skillet that contains ½ inch of simmering water. Stir the mixture until the gelatin is dissolved.
4. Whisk the hot gelatin mixture into the pumpkin until thoroughly combined.
5. Whip the cream in a small bowl until it forms soft peaks, then fold it carefully into the pumpkin mixture.
6. Spoon into six 4-ounce ramekins and refrigerate until set, about 3 to 4 hours.

Tina’s Tidbits:
• Gelatin tends to clump when initially hydrated. That is fine, but don’t let the mixture sit for more than a minute, or it will be very hard to successfully dissolve it.
• If alcohol is present in a recipe, it often serves to “cook” the raw egg to prevent it from growing bacteria.

Pumpkin Bread

The following recipe is a variation of the pumpkin bread that Joanne Orlando brought to my classroom when I was her junior high home economics teacher. I threatened to flunk her if she didn’t give me the recipe.
I still have her hand-written index card for a memento, and Joanne, who is now probably 60, did get an A in the class, but not because of the recipe.
This is still the all-time favorite in my house or at any pre-school snack time when I made them into mini-muffins. It is such a good way to get some great nutrients into your family.
This recipe may be doubled and the baked breads freeze beautifully.
1½ cups sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts, optional
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted, or ½ cup coconut oil for a dairy-free version
1/3 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1. Grease 2 coffee cans, or 1 loaf pan, or 2 mini-loaf pans and some muffin tins or a combination of each.
2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Into a large 3-quart mixing bowl, add the first nine ingredients (eight if omitting nuts). Stir to combine. Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a 1-quart bowl and add to the dry ingredients. Stir until with a rubber spatula until well blended.
4. Pour into the prepared pans and bake as follows:
Mini muffins: 12-15 minutes
Cupcakes: 20-25 minutes
Mini loaf pans: 35-40 minutes
Loaf pans: 45-60 minutes
Coffee cans: 60-75 minutes
Ginger Orange Spread
8 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, chopped
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a processor work bowl and process until smooth.

Tina’s Tidbits:
When buying canned pumpkin, make sure you are not buying pumpkin pie substitute.
• When a recipe calls for combining all of the ingredients into a bowl, always add the dry ingredients first so you don’t activate the baking soda or powder with the wet ingredients until the last.
• Gluten-free flour may be substituted, but xanthan gum does not need to also be added since the pumpkin puree adds fiber and structure to the recipe.

Jamaican Pumpkin Pancakes

These pancakes have always been a hit with my students as well as my family. Not very sweet, but loaded with good taste and lots of good vitamin A. Add a little maple syrup, and you can pretend you’re a Pilgrim, too.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1½ cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons cold water
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
1. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, salt and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a whisk until foamy. Beat in the buttermilk, cold water and pumpkin puree. Refrigerate until needed or proceed with Step 3.
3. Add the melted butter to the pumpkin mixture, then fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until the batter is smooth.
4. Lightly grease a large skillet with additional butter and allow the pan to get fairly hot. Drop the batter by scant ¼ cups onto the griddle and cook until the pancake is golden on the bottom and air pockets appear on the dry top. Flip the pancakes over and cook one more minute until underside is golden.
5. Serve hot with butter and syrup.

Tina’s Tidbits:
• As long as no liquid comes in contact with baking powder or baking soda, your dry ingredients can be pre-measured the night before.
• If you don’t have buttermilk in the house, add a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to milk and set aside for 5 minutes before using in your recipe. Any type of milk may be used.
• Despite its name, buttermilk does not contain fat. It is more like skim milk in fat content.

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This French toast recipe doesn’t loaf around

This French toast recipe doesn’t loaf around

Posted on 26 September 2018 by admin

Photo: Kate Sears
Babka French Toast

By Kim Kushner

(The Nosher via JTA) – This is one of those recipes that sounds super complicated but is actually so simple. Using store-bought babka will make this Babka French Toast Loaf as easy as 1-2-3, but if you happen to bake your own babka, definitely use it.
Instead of serving the babka slices arranged on a serving platter, I transfer the slices into a loaf pan and line them up in a row, so they go back to forming the original “loaf shape.” When you serve the “loaf,” your guests will be pleasantly surprised to see that it is in fact already sliced into crispy, thick slices of toasty, chewy babka French toast.
Make-ahead tip: Babka French Toast Loaf may be prepared up to two days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. If preparing ahead of time, do not bake in the oven before refrigerating (skip the last step in the recipe).
Can I freeze it? Babka French Toast Loaf may be stored in the freezer for up to one month. If preparing ahead of time, do not bake in the oven before freezing (skip the last step in the recipe).
How to reheat: Babka French Toast Loaf may be reheated, uncovered, in a 400 F. oven for 10 minutes just before serving. The frozen loaf may be thawed in the fridge overnight and reheated as indicated in the recipe above.
Reprinted from I Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen, with permission from Weldon Owen Publishing.
Babka French Toast Loaf
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 babka loaf or cinnamon loaf, about 15 ounces
3 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Grease a loaf pan with butter and set aside. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Use a large chef’s knife to cut the babka into slices 1 inch thick. Lay out the slices on the prepared baking sheet and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Dip the babka slices, one slice at a time, in the egg mixture. Coat both sides for about 30 seconds or so, allowing the babka slice to absorb some of the egg mixture without getting too soggy or falling apart. Repeat with all of the slices, placing them back on the parchment-lined baking sheet while you finish.
4. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add two slices of babka and fry, turning once, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Be careful that the heat isn’t too high to avoid burning the babka slices. Transfer the browned slices to your prepared loaf pan, lining up the slices to re-create the original loaf shape. Continue heating 1 tablespoon of butter at a time in a pan and browning the babka slices in batches, two slices at a time, and transferring them to the loaf pan. Use all of the French toast slices to fill the loaf pan.
5. If serving right away, place the loaf pan in the oven, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes longer. This will heat up all the slices to the same temperature and make them nice and toasty. Serves 8-10.
Kim Kushner’s third book, “I ♥ Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen” (Weldon Owen), will be released in November. She has two previous best-selling books, “The New Kosher” (Weldon Owen) and “The Modern Menu,” (Gefen Publishing). She has appeared on “The Today Show” and been featured in The New York Times, Saveur, The Huffington Post and the Chicago Tribune, among others.
The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.

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The Ultimate Stuffed Cabbage Hack

The Ultimate Stuffed Cabbage Hack

Posted on 26 September 2018 by admin

Photo: Chaya Rappoport
Stuffed Cabbage Noodles

By Chaya Rappoport

(The Nosher via JTA) – My mother’s stuffed cabbage is one of my favorite dishes. She makes it with ground beef and rice, and simmers the stuffed cabbage leaves in a rich, savory tomato sauce. I could eat trays of it.
My late grandmother used to make a vegetarian version that included rice, mushrooms and barley. The sauce was sweeter than my mother’s, leaning a little more to the Polish side of tradition, where sweet foods are more prevalent. I could also eat trays of her stuffed cabbage, and I savored the scent of her cooking it up on special days before Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
There are countless delicious ways to make stuffed cabbage, with influences ranging from Eastern Europe to Asia, but all of them are undoubtedly a patchke (a bit of work). The leaves need to be boiled or frozen to become pliable enough for stuffing and wrapping, and the process from start to finish can take a good couple of hours.
It wasn’t until Sukkot of last year when I helped one of my aunts make kraut lokshen, or cabbage noodles, an Ashkenazi cabbage dish made of sautéed cabbage and egg noodles, that I thought of making unstuffed cabbage. Inspired by my aunt’s simple but delicious dish, I realized that instead of stuffing each cabbage leaf separately, I could cook everything together in one big pot, eliminating most of the work but none of the taste.
These unstuffed cabbage noodles combine the best elements of each dish — the cabbage and egg noodles from kraut lokshen, the meat and tomato sauce from stuffed cabbage — for a dish that’s hearty, savory and delicious. Smoky, salty beef bacon adds a layer of savory flavor to the dish, a tablespoon of sugar perks up the tomato sauce and the flavorful sauce is simmered and thickened before being combined with the noodles.
These noodles could never replace stuffed cabbage; what could? But this dish is an easy, tasty twist on tradition for when you don’t have hours to spend stuffing little bundles. Serve them on a chilly fall night, in a cozy sukkah or simply when you need a comforting dinner.

Unstuffed Cabbage Noodles

8 ounces beef bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 medium cabbage, core removed and chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 dried bay leaves
12 ounces uncooked egg noodles
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dried or fresh parsley, for garnish
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the chopped “bacon” until crisp and browned. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
2. Add the onion, garlic and chopped cabbage to the same skillet with the bacon fat and cook for 7-10 minutes on medium heat, until the onion is lightly browned and softened and the cabbage is wilting. Transfer the mixture and set aside.
3. Turn heat up to high and add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon as you go, until browned.
4. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes and bay leaves to the skillet. Stir to combine with the beef, cabbage and onion.
5. Add the beef bacon back to the pan, bring to a simmer, then turn down to medium so it bubbles gently. Cook for 10 minutes uncovered, then simmer for another 10-15 minutes, covered. Remove the bay leaves.
6. Meanwhile, cook the egg noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Taste the beef and cabbage mixture, and season with salt and pepper as desired.
7. Combine the beef and cabbage sauce with the noodles. Garnish with parsley. Serves 6.
Chaya Rappoport is the blogger, baker and picture taker behind retrolillies.wordpress.com. Currently a pastry sous chef at a Brooklyn bakery, she’s been blogging since 2012 and her work has been featured on The Feed Feed, Delish.com, Food and Wine, and Conde Nast Traveler.
The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.

 

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One-Pot Paprika Chicken with Orzo and Olives

One-Pot Paprika Chicken with Orzo and Olives

Posted on 25 July 2018 by admin

Photo: Samantha Ferraro
One-Pot Paprika Chicken with Orzo and Olives

 

By Samantha Ferraro
This one-pot paprika chicken is a take on my mom’s memorable paprika chicken recipe. I have very fond memories of cleaning the whole bird and then rubbing it down with loads of paprika for weeknight dinners. The spice gives a deep rich color and imparts a delicious smoky flavor.
This is my updated and modernized variation of mom’s simple recipe made into an easy one-pan meal. Oh, and find yourself some Castelvetrano olives — they are buttery with a bit of brine and are so addictive.
Tip: If you can’t find the specified olives, substitute with the easier-to-find green manzanilla olives.
This recipe is excerpted with permission from Samantha Ferraro’s new cookbook, The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen.
Ingredients:
2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
Olive oil, as needed
1 shallot, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
8 ounces dried orzo
2 cups chicken stock
1 lemon, sliced
1 cup whole pitted Castelvetrano olives
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Directions:
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl, toss the chicken with the paprika and salt, making sure the spices evenly coat the chicken.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Don’t add too much oil because the chicken will give off its own fat, as well.
4. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken thighs skin-side down into the hot pan and cook until a deep golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes, and then flip the chicken over to the other side and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
5. Once both sides of the chicken are a deep golden brown, remove to a plate and set aside.
6. In the same hot skillet, add the shallot and sauté until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
7. Add the orzo and stir so it is coated in the oil and aromatics (this will give it great flavor). Use a spatula to even out the orzo. Add the chicken back into the pan, skin-side up, and pour in the stock.
8. Scatter the lemon slices and olives over the chicken and orzo and place in the oven, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking for an additional 12 to 15 minutes.
9. Once cooked, remove from the oven and garnish with parsley. Serves 2-4.
Samantha Ferraro is the food blogger and photographer for The Little Ferraro Kitchen. Follow Samantha at http://littleferrarokitchen.com.
The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.

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Harissa Salmon Nicoise Salad: a spicy treat

Harissa Salmon Nicoise Salad: a spicy treat

Posted on 25 July 2018 by admin

Processed with VSCO with 4 preset

 

By Chaya Rappoport
(The Nosher via JTA) — Harissa is a spicy, rich-flavored North African chili paste and it is one of my favorite condiments to use in the kitchen. It is traditionally made with roasted red pepper, chiles, garlic and a mixture of spices, depending on the family and exact origin. You can easily find several varieties in the supermarket (usually in the ethnic foods aisle), but I prefer making my own, in part so I can control the level of spice.
A traditional Nicoise salad features baby potatoes, haricots verts, European-style tuna, olives and hard-boiled egg. In this amped-up version, many of the traditional elements remain, but the tuna is swapped for a harissa-smothered salmon and preserved lemon is added for some North African authenticity, which makes it brighter and punchier.
Nicoise purists might balk at this recipe, but I promise: This spiced salmon salad is delicious, filling and perfect to enjoy all summer.
Notes:
* You can simplify this recipe by buying harissa already made.
* Don’t stress about making your own dressing — you can also dress it simply with olive oil and lemon juice or white wine vinegar.
* You can prepare the salmon, potatoes, haricots verts and hard-boiled eggs ahead of time, and when ready to serve, simply assemble. It makes it a great dish for entertaining or Shabbat lunch.
Ingredients:
For the salad:
4 ounces small red and purple potatoes
Kosher salt
4 ounces haricots verts (string beans), trimmed
4 ounces heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise
1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved crosswise
4 cups lettuce and/or mixed greens, washed, dried and chopped
¼ cup black or Nicoise olives, pitted
Flaky salt and fresh black pepper, for serving

For the salmon:
6 ounces fresh salmon, skin removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Prepared harissa (around ½ cup to 1 cup depending on size of salmon and your preference)

For the harissa:
1 large red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 dried red chiles
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ras el hanout
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika

For the dressing:
4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely minced
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped preserved lemon peel
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions:
1. To make the harissa: Broil the red pepper on high for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally, until blackened on the outside. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. This is called sweating, and it allows you to easily peel the skin off the pepper. Peel the pepper and discard its skin and seeds.
2. Rehydrate the chiles by placing them in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes.
3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and fry the onion, garlic and rehydrated chiles for 10 to 12 minutes, until dark and smoky. Now use a blender or a food processor to combine all the harissa ingredients until smooth, adding a little more oil if needed.
4. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon on a baking paper-lined baking dish and rub with olive oil. Spread harissa thickly on top, reserving the rest for something else. Bake for 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and add cold water to cover by 1 inch.
6. Bring to a boil, season with kosher salt and cook until fork-tender, 15−20 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a plate with a slotted spoon.
7. Return water to a boil and cook haricots verts in same saucepan until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.
8. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Chill until cold, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and pat dry.
9. To make the dressing: Mash the anchovies and mustard in a small bowl to form a coarse paste. Add the minced shallot, garlic and preserved lemon to the bowl; whisk in the white wine vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper as needed.
10. Using a fork, flake the harissa salmon into large pieces; halve reserved potatoes crosswise.
11. Arrange lettuce on a platter; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with half of dressing.
Top with separate piles of potatoes, haricots verts, tomatoes, the hard-boiled eggs, olives and salmon.
12. Drizzle salad with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with flaky salt and pepper.
Chaya Rappoport is the blogger, baker and picture taker behind retrolillies.wordpress.com. Currently a pastry sous chef at a Brooklyn bakery, she’s been blogging since 2012 and her work has been featured on The Feed, Delish.com, Food and Wine, and Conde Nast Traveler.
The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Ingredients:
  • 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
Directions:
  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.

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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

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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.

SAUCE SATE KATJANG

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.

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