Charred Orange-Chile Broccoli

15 May

Broccoli, Orange-ChiliParve

Adapted from the May, 2018 issue of Cooking Light.

I found this recipe in Cooking Light magazine only about a month ago, and already I’ve made it twice, it’s that good.

Broccoli is so good for you! And did you know that by roasting it you not only improve the flavor, you shrink down the pieces so you can eat a lot more of it? When I boil or steam broccoli, we eat only about half a head at a time. When I roast it, we can easily eat a whole head between the two of us. So the recipe is right on when it tells you two heads will feed four people. (Of course if they are large heads of broccoli, you can probably stretch this to feed six.)

The sauce is very flavorful but not at all overwhelming, because you use only a little of it, and the ingredients meld very nicely together.

Ingredients:

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. orange juice
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. light brown sugar
2 tsp. Asian chile-garlic sauce
2 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the broccoli with the olive oil and place on a large baking sheet. Roast until tender, 25 to 30 minutes, turning once or twice during the roasting.

While the broccoli is roasting, combine the orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar and chile-garlic sauce in a small saucepan or measuring cup and boil on the stove or microwave for about two minutes until it is reduced and slightly thickened.

Stir in the sesame oil, and drizzle the sauce over the roasted broccoli. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Serves 4

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Easy Hollandaise sauce

1 May

Hollandaise

I wanted to make salmon a little differently. I wanted a smooth sauce that was buttery and lemony. I wanted Hollandaise! But I had never made it. One reason is because it always seemed intimidating. Another is that most recipes make a large quantity of sauce, and there were only two of us so I didn’t want to make a lot.

So I did a web search. Some of the recipes described as Hollandaise “for two” called for a whole stick of butter — no thank you! This recipe, which I found on a blog called The Spruce Eats, used only half that – which still seemed like a lot, but more reasonable. The title was “Hollandaise Sauce for Two,”but as you can see from the photo, where the salmon is just about swimming in the stuff, the recipe can easily serve four to six, because a little Hollandaise goes a long way!

It was easy enough to make. If you’re looking for a rich, butter/lemony sauce, give this one a try!

By the way, the black specks in the photo are the fresh-ground black pepper I put on the salmon before I cooked it.

Ingredients:

1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 tsp. lemon juice
Pinch salt
Pinch white pepper
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
1½  tsp. water

Directions:

Put an inch or so of water into the bottom of a double boiler or a saucepan large enough to hold a metal bowl without it touching the bottom of the pot. The water should not reach the bottom of the double boiler insert or the metal bowl.

Boil the water, then turn down the heat to maintain a low simmer.

In the double boiler insert or bowl, whisk the egg yok, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Set the bowl over the boiling water and whisk slowly but consistently until the mixture starts to thicken.

Add the butter, one piece at a time, whisking until each piece is incorporated before adding another piece. Repeat until all 8 pieces are incorporated. The sauce should be thick, smooth and glossy.

Whisk in 1½  tsp. water. Adjust the seasoning and add a bit more lemon juice if desired.

Remove the pan from the heat. The sauce will keep over the hot water for a half-hour or so as long as you whisk it occasionally.

Pour over vegetables, fish, or poached eggs on toast.

Serves 4 to 6

Pharaoh’s Wheel

17 Apr

Pharoah's wheelPharaoh’s Wheel: Tagliolini colla Crosta

Adapted from King Solomon’s Table by Joan Nathan

I wanted to make something new and impressive for my luncheon study group and found this recipe by Joan Nathan, whose recipes are almost invariably wonderful. I’m posting it below as she wrote it, but I’ll tell you about all the things I changed and/or screwed up first.

This is a very old Italian Jewish dish. It’s basically bolognese sauce mixed with pasta and baked. It’s typically eaten on Purim, when the Torah portion is about how Pharoah’s chariots were destroyed during the Exodus.

The idea is to bake the casserole and then invert it onto the serving plate, as Joan does in the video below. I lost my nerve on this part, because it was the first time I’d made it, so I served it in the casserole. I probably could have turned it out with no problem.

I didn’t have any cans of whole tomatoes but I had lots of cans of diced tomatoes, so I just used those.

My cans of tomato paste are 6 oz. (who ever heard of a 3-oz. can?) and I didn’t have any plans for the leftovers so I just used the whole can (but I didn’t scrape it out carefully as I usually do).

I wasn’t sure whether to use powdered cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.  I used the powder, and a scant half-teaspoon seemed to provide the right amount of heat.

And I couldn’t find tagliolini in Trader Joe’s. In the video Joan uses what looks like fairly wide pasta strips, so I bought pappardelle, which turned out to be wider than ideal. If I can’t find tagliolini when I make it again, I’ll probably use tagliatelle or fettuccine. (I Googled tagliolini, and it looks thinner than what Joan uses in the video.)

The important thing was that the study group raved about the dish. We had some leftover, and it was good reheated a couple of days later too.

Ingredients:

¼ cup olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½  cup chopped Italian parsley
2 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup dry red or white wine
14.5-oz. can peeled whole tomatoes
3-oz. can tomato paste
3 cups beef broth or water
Salt to taste
½ tsp. dried hot red pepper, like cayenne
1 tsp. oregano
1 lb. tagliolini pasta
½ cup dark seedless raisins
½ cup coarsely ground whole almonds
½ cup pine nuts
¼ lb. kosher pastrami, salami, or pickled tongue, chopped into small chunks

Directions:

Heat a large saucepan and add the oil. Toss in the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and most of the parsley and lightly brown for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the ground beef and brown thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Then, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano. Pour in the wine and raise the heat, allowing the wine to evaporate completely. Cook over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently and using a wooden spoon to break apart the tomatoes.

Add the beef broth or water and cook, covered, over very low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be nice and thick. If it is too thin, cook a few minutes longer until it loses its excess liquid. Add raisins, almonds, pine nuts, and pastrami, salami, or tongue. Add salt to taste and the hot red pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a round, 12- to 16-cup-capacity oven-proof baking dish.

Fill a large pot with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add the tagliolini, bring the pot back to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes. Drain and put the pasta into a large bowl with the meat sauce. Toss everything together to thoroughly distribute.

Put the pasta mixture into the baking dish and bake for 1 to 1/2 hours, or until a nice crust has formed. Invert onto a platter and serve warm with the remaining chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

Serves 8 to 12

 

Joy’s Pineapple Kugel for Passover

27 Mar

Passover pineapple kugel

This is a very easy Passover recipe from my machatenista Joy Gardin. If you are not Jewish, you may not know that very useful Yiddish term for the mother-in-law of your child. A child’s father-in-law is a mechutan and together they are the machatunim. 

Anyway, this makes a nice change at Passover because it doesn’t contain any matzo meal, farfel or anything else to give it a distinctive Passover taste. It would be a good recipe for gluten-free people as well. Serve it as a side dish or even for dessert, because it’s sweet enough.

Ingredients:

4 eggs
½ cup oil
½ cup sugar
4 Tbs. potato starch
1 Tbs. vanilla sugar (optional)
1 tsp. baking powder (optional)
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients except pineapple and stir well. Add drained pineapple and mix. Bake in a 9-inch round pan for about 40 minutes or until firm and lightly browned.

Serves 6 to 8

 

Egg-Lemon Soup for Passover

19 Mar

Passover Greek Egg Lemon Farfel SoupTime to start sharing some Passover recipes!

Here is a nice soup if you’re tired of the usual matzoh ball variety. Though who could ever tire of matzoh ball soup?

I usually make this one for the Shabbat dinner during Passover. It’s easy and a nice change.

The soup tastes like traditional Greek egg-lemon-rice soup, but because rice traditionally wasn’t used at Passover, at least not by Ashkenazi Jews, the recipe substitutes matzoh farfel.

Greek Egg-Lemon-Matzoh Soup

Ingredients:

2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups matzoh farfel
4 Tbs. chopped flatleaf parsley
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Bring the broth to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add the matzoh farfel and parsley and simmer until the farfel is soft, at least 2 minutes. Add the salt and pepper to taste; the broth should be highly seasoned. Remove the pan from the heat.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a fork and strain them into a heatproof, medium-sized bowl. Beat in the lemon juice. Beat a half cup of the hot soup into the egg mixture, little by little. Very gradually, stir this mixture back into the remaining soup.

(Be careful not to add the hot soup to the eggs, or the mixture to the soup pot, too quickly because the eggs can curdle.)

Return the soup to medium heat and cook until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Do not let the soup boil or even simmer because that could curdle t eggs.

Add salt to taste and serve immediately.

Serves 8

 

Sweet Mustard Green Beans

31 Jan

green beans sweet mustard.JPG

I had some green beans to cook for dinner but I didn’t want to make plain old boiled or steamed beans, or even plain old roasted green beans, so I pulled out this recipe, which really adds some pizzazz to a fairly boring vegetable. And it’s easy enough to make!

Ingredients:

1½  lb. fresh green beans, stem ends trimmed
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
dash dried tarragon
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine all ingredients except pepper in a large bowl (add the green beans last) and toss well – the beans will be sugar-coated, but the sugar will melt during cooking.

Transfer the beans to a large baking dish and roast for 10-15 minutes, until beans start to brown.

Toss the beans with the sauce that accumulates at the bottom of the pan and adjust the salt if necessary. Season to taste with black pepper.

Serves 6

Banana Flaxseed Muffins

10 Jan

banana flaxseed muffins

I got the recipe for these easy and delicious muffins from my friend Jan Wanetick. The notable thing about the recipe — besides the ease of making it and the great taste of the muffins — is that it’s vegan! The flaxseed takes the place of egg in binding the other ingredients and adds a little extra nuttiness. If you don’t care about being vegan, you can use dairy butter and milk, as I did. White flour works fine too, if you don’t have whole wheat. And I bet you can sub pumpkin or sunflower seeds for the nuts, if you need to take them into a “nut-free” environment.

You can buy flaxseed meal in many supermarkets. I got mine at Trader Joe.

By the way, I discovered a great new trick for chopping nuts! I had always used a nut chopper. In fact I have two, one with a rotary blade that you operate with a crank handle, and another with a blade on a plunger that you pump up and down. They’re both a pain to clean up. At Chautauqua over the summer, we didn’t have a nut chopper, so I put the measured amount of nuts in a sandwich bag and rolled over them with a glass jar; doesn’t matter if the jar is empty or full. After just a few passes, the nuts were nicely chopped and there was nothing to clean up!

Ingredients:

1½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup flaxseed meal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup soy butter
1 cup sugar
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
¾ cup soy or almond milk
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Grease muffin tins or use cupcake papers. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full.

Bake for 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 1 dozen muffins