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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

 

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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

Browned butter and honey salmon

15 Dec

Salmon browned butter

This dish popped up on my Facebook feed earlier in the week, but it was just a video showing how to make it, not an actual recipe. Thanks to Google, I found a recipe on a site called Cafedelites, where it was attributed to “Karina.” It’s very tasty and easy to make. (Since there are only two of us at home most nights, I halved all the ingredients.)

Ingredients:

4 Tbs. butter
4 Tbs. honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of half a lemon (1-2 Tbs.)
4 salmon fillets, about  6-8 oz. each
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges (to serve)

Directions:

Arrange an oven shelf about 8 inches from the heating element and preheat the broiler.

Place butter in a cast-iron frying pan or other oven-proof skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring and swirling the pan occasionally, for about 3 minutes until the foam settles; the butter will change in color to golden brown and have a nutty fragrance. (Be careful not to turn the butter!)

Add the honey and stir to dissolve it in the butter. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the lemon juice and stir well.

Add the salmon fillets to the pan, skin-side down if they have skin. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, basting frequently with the pan juices, until golden. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the lemon wedges around the salmon. Transfer the pan to the oven and broil for 5 to 6 minutes until the top is nicely browned.

Serve drizzled with the sauce.

Serves 4

 

Incredibly Delicious Bread Pudding

29 Nov

bread pudding with croissants

If you’re looking for a good dessert recipe for a holiday potluck, you’ve hit the jackpot.

This is an incredibly delicious bread pudding. I don’t make it often because it’s so rich; it’s in my recipe book as “Incredibly Rich Bread Pudding.” In fact, I think Thanksgiving weekend was the first time I made it because there would be a big crowd at the table and there wouldn’t be any leftovers.

I first experienced this dish at a potluck, where I ate much more of it than I should have. The recipe was originally from the a Barefoot Contessa cookbook by Ina Garten, where it is called Croissant Bread Pudding; I got the recipe from the guest who brought it, but every time I considered making it for a home meal, even with company, I’d look at the ingredients and say, “Nah, I just can’t do it!” because it’s that rich and fattening.

I tried making it with less calorific ingredients, like 2% milk instead of half & half, and regular bread instead of croissants, but it just wasn’t the same.

I’m giving you the recipe as I received it. I did make a couple of minor adjustments when I made it. I had large, not extra-large, eggs, so I used nine yolks instead of eight (but kept the original three whole eggs). I bought a quart of half & half, something I rarely use, so for the fifth cup I used lowfat milk.

I used an electric mixer to whiz the eggs, sugar, vanilla and half & half.

When you put the croissants in the pan (I used minis), you will probably have a few that don’t fit as halves. This is fine; break them up and stuff the pieces into bare spaces between the halves.

The recipe calls for a 10 x 15-inch pan. Mine was 9 x 13 and it worked fine. (I needed my larger baking pan for the water bath!)

It took closer to an hour to bake, possibly because I used a slightly smaller pan than the recipe called for.

This was a big hit at the Saturday-after-Thanksgiving dinner — and there wasn’t a crumb left over!

Ingredients:

3 extra large whole eggs
8 extra large egg yolks
5 cups half & half (you can use some milk if you don’t have that much cream)
1½  cups sugar
1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
6 large croissants or 12 minis (preferrably day old)
1 cup dark raisins or dried cherries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the eggs and yolks, sugar, half and half, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Set this custard mixture aside.

Slice croissants in half horizontally. In a 10 x 15-inch baking dish, distribute the bottoms of the croissants, then add the raisins, then the tops of the croissants.  Be sure the raisins are down inside, as they will burn if they surface while baking. Pour the custard over the croissants and allow it to soak in. Press the croissants many times to insure that they soak up the mixture. Do this for 10 minutes.

Place the casserole into an even larger dish (or a disposable aluminum pan) that you will fill with a few inches of hot water to create a bath.

Place an aluminum foil sheet in a tent-like shape over the entire top of both pans; this allows the pudding to steam. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow some steam to escape.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set, not jiggly.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

 Serves 8-10 

 

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

26 Sep

IMG_3143

Here’s another breakfast recipe that was a big hit during our summer as hosts at the Everett Jewish Life Center at Chautauqua Institution. It would be a great break-the-fast dish after Yom Kippur!

You can mix it up the night before and leave it covered in the fridge. Take it out at least 20 minutes before you want to bake it.

I made it several times. Once I used a package of Morningstar Farms Chipotle Black Bean Crumbles instead of the veggie sausage, and that was also good.  It was even easier because I didn’t have to thaw and crumble the sausage, just dump in the contents of the package.

Ingredients:

4 cups shredded sweet potatoes
4 oz. butter, melted
8 eggs
8 oz. vegetarian sausages (links or patties), thawed and crumbled
12 oz. shredded cheese (Cheddar, Mexican blend, Italian blend are all good)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely sliced fresh spinach (or 1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry)
2 cups small curd cottage cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Mix the sweet potatoes and butter together and press into the pan, covering the bottom.

In a large bowl, blend the eggs well and mix in the sausage crumbles, cheese, onion, spinach and cottage cheese. Spoon over the sweet potato layer.

Bake about an hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 8 to 12

 

Natty’s Glazed Honey Chiffon Cake

12 Sep

Honey glazed chiffon cake

Last year at this time I came across a wonderful website from Australia called the Monday Morning Cooking Club. They have a lot of great recipes on their website and have also published a cookbook, The Feast Goes On, available through Amazon.

One of their signature recipes is this delicious Glazed Honey Chiffon Cake. It’s lighter than the usual Rosh Hashanah honey cake because it uses tea instead of coffee as the liquid and calls for whipping the egg whites.

The club ladies gave me permission to use the recipe (I adapted it slightly to meet American standards and terms) and this photo of Natanya, one of their members.

Ingredients:

CAKE
6  eggs, separated
175 g (⅔ cup) superfine sugar
275 (¾ cup) honey
¾ cup light olive or grapeseed oil
¼ cup strong black tea
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. salt
2¼ tsp. baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

GLAZE

80 g (½ cup) confectioners’ sugar
½ lemon, juiced (or 2 Tbs. lemon juice)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You will need an angel cake (tube) pan that is not non-stick and has a removable base. Do not grease it.

Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add half the sugar and continue whisking until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.

In a separate bowl, beat the yolks and the remaining sugar until light and pale. Add the oil and keep beating for a couple of minutes until well combined.

Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix the honey into the hot tea. Add these to the egg yolks, alternating wet and dry, beating gently until fully combined.

Gently fold the egg whites into the flour mixture with a metal spoon, until just mixed through.

Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake for 50 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 320 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

After removing the cake from the oven, immediately invert it to cool by balancing the middle funnel onto a bottle neck. The cake will be dangling upside down. (If your tube pan has feet, or if the funnel is higher than the sides of the pan, you don’t have to use a bottle.)

When completely cool, run a knife around the outside of the cake and the funnel. Lift the base out of the pan, then use the knife to ease the cake off the base.

To make the glaze, add the lemon juice (a few drops at a time) to the confectioners’ sugar until you have a thick, smooth paste. Pour over the cooled cake.

Serves about 12

Asparagus/Mushroom Strata

30 Aug

 

asparagus mushroom strataDid you miss me? I was away the entire summer! My husband and I were the “host couple” at a guest house at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, a magical place I can’t do justice to in a recipe blog.

Our duties as hosts at the Everett Jewish Life Center included making breakfast for the residents of the five guest rooms. Unlike many B&Bs, Everett has a tradition (which predated our tenure) to serve breakfast over an hour-and-a-half period. People wander in and out, which precludes serving omelets, pancakes or anything similar that would have to be ready at the same time for everyone. So I had to look for casserole-type hot dishes to serve buffet-style. I looked for recipes that I could mix up in the evening and leave in the fridge overnight, so all I had to do in the morning was pop it in the oven.

This one was a real hit. It combines asparagus and mushrooms, of course, but also eggs, milk and cheese, held together with a base layer of toasted English muffins. Try it the next time you need a brunch dish!

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. butter
1¾ cups sliced mushrooms
½ onion, finely chopped
½ cup chopped red or orange pepper
5 English muffins, split and toasted
2 cups shredded cheese
1 lb. fresh asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cheese (Cheddar, Colby, Monterrey Jack)

Directions:

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the mushrooms for five minutes. Add the onion and pepper and cook another 3 to 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

Arrange 8 muffin halves in the baking dish, and stuff the spaces between the halves with pieces of the remaining muffin. Spread 1 cup of the cheese over the muffins, and distribute the asparagus pieces and the mushroom mixture over the cheese.

Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, mustard and black pepper together and pour over the muffins and vegetables. Spread the remaining cup of cheese over the vegetables. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.

Take the dish out of the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the cover and bake the casserole for about 45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Serves 8 to 10