Archive | December, 2014

Sephardic Zucchini and Chickpea Stew

31 Dec

Sephardic Zucchini & Chickpea StewThis recipe is adapted from one created by the wonderful Annabel Cohen, who made it for a cooking demonstration I attended. I halved her recipe, but it still makes a large amount. It can be your main dish or a nice side dish, especially if your table includes a vegetarian guest. It’s good served with rice or a similar starch that can soak up the juices.

The spices give it this dish an exotic, Middle Eastern flavor. The photo is by my friend Mandy Garver, who got the recipe from me and now makes it often, especially since two of her kids are vegetarians.

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
½ cup chopped celery
3 cups (2 cans) cooked chick peas, drained
2 cups zucchini, or summer squash, or a mixture, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup fresh chopped parsley or ⅓ cup dried parsley
1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
½ cup sliced or slivered almonds
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
Grated peel of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté onions, garlic and celery until the vegetables are soft. Place the cooked vegetables in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Toss well to combine. (Actually, to save time and reduce the number of dirty dishes, I usually mix everything in the casserole or baking pan I’m going to cook it in.) Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish or casserole. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. (Or cook in a slow cooker for 6 hours or more.)

Serves 6 to 10

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Brown Sugar, Pecan and Kahlua Biscotti

23 Dec

BiscottiThis is another great recipe I clipped from some newspaper long ago. We make it fairly often because it’s not difficult, there’s no fat, it’s very tasty, and the biscotti remain good to eat even when you keep them for a long time.  They’re great dunked into a cup of coffee.

My Jewish friends often mistakenly call these tidbits mandelbrot, which are similar but I think, on the whole, softer.

The key to making good biscotti is to bake them twice so they’re nice and hard. You’ll want to chop the nuts fairly fine so that you can cut clean slices after the first baking.

If you don’t use liqueur, you can substitute strong coffee or orange juice, and you can easily substitute walnuts for the pecans.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
3 eggs
3 Tbs. Kahlua or another liqueur  (Grand Marnier and Sabra are also good)
1½ cups chopped pecans
¼ cup white sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Combine eggs and liqueur in a large bowl and mix well with an electric mixer. Mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the pecans until just incorporated.

Use a large spatula to remove half the dough to the prepared baking sheet and shape into a large, flattened log. Do the same with the other half. You may have to wet your hands to do this easily. Leave at least 3 inches of space between the logs.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until the tops of the loaves are firm to the touch and they begin to crack slightly. Be careful not to over-bake.

Allow the loaves to cool for about 30 minutes, then cut them with a sharp, serrated knife into slices about ½-inch wide. Lay the slices flat on the baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with white sugar. Bake for about 8 minutes, then turn the slices over and sprinkle the other side with sugar. Bake another 8 minutes. They should be lightly browned; keep an eye on them so they don’t over-brown.

Cool completely on wire racks before storing in an airtight container.

Makes 2 to 3 dozen biscotti

Cinnamon-Apple Latkes

16 Dec

Cinnamon-Apple LatkesThis is great recipe for Chanukah and a nice change from potato latkes! You can serve them as a side dish or as a dessert. Whenever I’ve made this dish I’ve gotten rave reviews and requests for the recipe.

This makes quite a large amount, so if you’re serving just a few people you can halve the recipe. Use a food processor, if you have one, to chop the apples.

 Ingredients:

2 eggs
3 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
1/3 cup water
3 cups chopped, tart apples
¾ cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
Oil for frying
¼ cup sugar

Directions:

Beat eggs until light and foamy.

Mix in 3 Tbs. sugar, salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon and water and blend well. Stir in the chopped apple, four and lemon peel. Mix well.

Cover the bottom of a skillet with ¼-inch of oil and heat. Use about ¼-cup of the batter for each latke. Drop into the hot oil and flatten slightly. Fry until golden brown on both sides, and drain on paper towels or brown paper. Add oil to the skillet as needed.

Combine the ¼ cup sugar and remaining 1 tsp. cinnamon and sprinkle over the hot latkes.