Tag Archives: kosher

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

 

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Chicken Piccante with Artichokes

4 Jun

Chicken Piccante With ArtichokesYou’ll be seeing a lot of recipes from me using boneless, skinless chicken breast this summer. There are three reasons for this. First of all, chicken breasts are the basis for many quick, easy summer meals. Many of them call for grilling or broiling the chicken breasts, which is a nice way to cook when it’s hot. (Today’s recipe uses poached chicken which is finished in the oven — but for only 15 minutes.)

Secondly, those who have been following my blog since the beginning know that a big reason I started it was to get my humongous collection of recipe clippings in order, and I’m discovering a lot of chicken breast recipes that I clipped but never made. I’ll be trying them out over the summer and sharing the results.

Finally, and I blush to admit this, every time I go to Costco I seem unable to leave without a package of Empire frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Consequently, I have three such packages in my freezer — and need to use them up!

This recipe came from a newspaper, and I’m guessing it was the Detroit Free Press because there’s a little heart next to the title and they used to print recipes from Henry Ford Hospital’s Heart Smart program. It has only 236 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving, so it’s a great  recipe for weight watchers as well as cholesterol watchers – yet it’s tasty and elegant enough to serve for company.

Ingredients:

2 cups chicken broth
6 skinless boneless chicken breasts (approx. 4 oz. each), washed and patted dry
1 whole lemon,  cut into 8 wedges and seeded
¼ cup scallions, chopped
30 baby mushroom caps, cleaned (if you have larger mushrooms, halve or quarter them)
6 canned artichoke hearts in water, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch white pepper
3 Tbs. cornstarch
½ cup dry white wine
3 cups rice or noodles, cooked

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large skillet. Add the chicken breasts, reduce heat to a simmer and cover; poach the chicken breasts for 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Squeeze the lemon juice into the broth and place the wedges in the broth. Add the scallions, mushrooms, artichokes, garlic and white pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix the cornstarch and the wine in a small bowl, stirring until it is smooth. Add to the broth a little at a time, stirring until thick and smooth. Remove lemon and discard. Pour the sauce and vegetable mixture over the chicken breasts and heat in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles.

Serves 6

Almond Cookies (OK for Passover!)

18 Mar

Almond CookiesHooray, I made a recipe last week that can be used on Passover! But you don’t have to be kosher-for-Passover or even Jewish to enjoy these delicious almond cookies.

We had a friend coming for lunch who is gluten intolerant, which limited our options for dessert. I decided to make this very easy recipe for Passover almond cookies, even though it wasn’t Passover yet, because they really are good enough to eat all year round. They contain no matzo flour, so they don’t “taste like Passover.”

This was the first time I made them with cardamom, because I don’t have kosher-for-Passover cardamom. It gave the cookies a very pleasant, distinctive flavor. I also make them without the almond flavoring for the same reason. I planned to add it this time, since it wasn’t Passover yet and I have lots of almond extract in my pantry — but I forgot! During Passover, I often add a bit of cinnamon to the mix.

If you use a food processor to grind the almonds yourself, pulse it in short bursts. You want the almonds to be very finely ground, but you don’t want them to turn into a paste! I usually splurge and buy packages of ground almonds, even though that’s a lot more expensive.

This is adapted from a recipe in The Jewish Holiday Cookbbook by Gloria Kaufer Greene.

Ingredients:

2 large egg whites
⅔ cup sugar
½ tsp. almond flavoring (optional – may be hard to find for Passover)
2 cups very finely ground almonds
1 Tbs. potato starch
¼ to ½ tsp. ground cardamom or cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Whip the egg whites until they turn white and start to increase in volume, but not until stiff. Stir in the sugar and mix well, then mix in the remaining ingredients. The “dough” will be a very thick paste. With moistened hands, form small balls and place them on ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. (You might want to put parchment paper on the baking sheets to make it easier to remove the cookies.) Flatten the cookies slightly with moistened fingers.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cookies are firm and very lightly browned. Use a metal spatula to remove the cookies from the baking sheets (I’ve found turning the spatula upside down is helpful here) and cool on wire racks.

Makes about 24 cookies.

Jo-Ann’s Chinese Chicken Salad

1 Mar

Jo-Ann's Chinese Chicken SALAD We recently ate for half a week from one Empire kosher Cornish roasting chicken! We roasted the chicken for Shabbat dinner, eating the wings, a bit of the breast, and the meat that clung to the carcass after we carved the pieces off.  (Of course we froze the carcass so we could make Cheater’s Chicken Soup later!) We used the leftover dark meat for Chicken Pilaf (recipe to come), which made enough for a dinner and a lunch. Then we used the leftover breast for this lovely chicken salad. We used half the amounts given in this recipe, and it made two huge portions.

This recipe comes from Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet, an excellent cookbook. Brody, in turn, says she got it from her friend, and founder of the Jane Brody Fan Club, Jo-Ann Friedman. The only change I made is to increase the dressing amounts a bit because I found that using the stated amount of dressing left the salad a little dry (and I don’t like a lot of dressing; if I change the amount given in a recipe it’s usually to decrease it!)

You can substitute some of the vegetables if you like; I have made this using bean sprouts instead of zucchini. You can use leftover chicken  breast or cook chicken breasts just for this salad.

Here is Jane Brody’s method for cooking the chicken breasts if you start with raw chicken. Place the chicken breasts in a medium-sized saucepan and add 1½ cups of water, 1 Tbs. vinegar, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes. Bring the liquid to a boil, remove the pan from the heat, cover the pan and let the chicken stand for 10 minutes. Remove from the liquid and cool before making the salad (and save the liquid to use for making chicken soup!)

Ingredients:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into strips about 1½ x ¼ inches
½ lb. snow peas or sugar snap peas, trimmed and steamed for 2 minutes
½ lb. broccoli flowerets, steamed for 5 minutes
1 small zucchini, unpeeled, julienned
½ sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
½ sweet yellow pepper or the rest of the rest pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
2 scallions, slivered diagonally
⅓ cup rice vinegar
1½ Tbs. Oriental sesame oil
1½ Tbs. soy sauce
1½ tsp. grated gingerroot
Cayenne pepper – several dashes to taste
1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
Lettuce or salad greens (optional)

Directions:

In a serving bowl, combine the chicken and vegetables.

In a small jar or bowl, shake or whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, gingerroot and cayenne pepper.

Just before serving, stir the dressing and pour it over the salad. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the salad and toss gently. Serve on a bed of lettuce or salad greens if you like.

Serves 4

Slow-Cooked Short Ribs

25 Feb

slow-cooked short ribsI had some boneless short ribs and wasn’t sure what to do with them. I had a couple of recipes that sounded good, but they all called for short ribs with bones, and I wasn’t sure how the quantities would translate. So I looked online and found this excellent recipe on www.grouprecipes.com; it’s been modified only slightly. There’s quite a bit of measuring of ingredients involved, but otherwise this recipe is very easy. It cooks all day in the slow cooker; start it in the morning, and it is deliciously tender and flavorful by dinnertime. It has a sweet and tangy taste.

This dish is good served over rice or with garlic mashed potatoes. You can easily make half as much by reducing all the ingredients appropriately.

Ingredients:

⅓ cup flour
1 tsp. salt (optional – since we use kosher meat, we don’t usually see a need for additional salt)
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
2½ lbs. boneless beef short ribs (flanken)
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup beef broth
¾ cup red wine vinegar
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup chili sauce
2 Tbs. catsup
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1 cup chopped onion
2 Tbs. minced garlic

Directions:

Put the flour, salt (if you use it) and pepper into a plastic bag. Add the ribs and shake until they are evenly coated. Shake off the excess flour.

Heat all but 1 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet, and brown the meat on both sides. Move the meat to a slow cooker.

Combine the beef broth, vinegar, brown sugar, chili sauce, catsup, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes, then add the other ingredients that you have mixed together. Bring to the boil while stirring, and pour over the ribs.

Cover and cook on the low setting for 9 hours.

Hamentaschen

17 Feb

HamentaschenThese fruit, nut or poppy-filled cookies are popular on the Jewish festival of Purim, which commemorates the events told in the Book of Esther. This year, Purim fall on February 24.

The cookie’s three-cornered shape is supposed to represent Haman’s hat, though the word means “Haman’s pockets” in Yiddish. My mother wasn’t much of a cook, but she baked these hamentaschen every year. She got the recipe from our neighbor in Northeast Philadelphia, Ida Silver.

In 2007, I read a Hadassah magazine article by Judy Davis called “My Mother’s Hamentaschen” and I realized Judy Davis was the married name of Ida Silver’s oldest child, a few years older than me. But the recipe in the magazine was not my mother’s recipe!

I hadn’t seen Judy in at least 40 years but I tracked her down – she worked at the University of Massaschusetts – and emailed her. In her response she admitted it the recipe not her mother’s, which she either never had or lost. “I must have had a copy at some time, though I have no memory of it,” she wrote. “I love the idea of your mother having used her recipe (it means my mother must have shared some of them with her), and I love that it is being handed down to the next generation.”

Indeed it is! My children always enjoyed my hamentaschen – at some point, each of them served as my baking assistant. Now they are making the same recipe. And in all humility, I say that I know only one friend who has a recipe for hamentaschen as good as these. The cookie is tender, and the honey and lemon give it a nice flavor.

I usually double the recipe, though now that the children are out of the house and we are retired (with no office colleagues to share goodies with), I am going back to making a single batch. I don’t use a board to roll out the dough. I do what my mother did: cover the kitchen table with an old sheet and work some flour into it and use that as my workspace.

Use Solo brand pie filling or similar; regular pie filling is too runny and will make the hamentaschen soggy.

Ingredients:

2½ cups flour
2½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
⅓ cup vegetable shortening
¼ cup honey
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 eggs
1 can Solo fruit, nut or poppy pastry filling

Directions:

Hamentasch dough

The dough should be soft and pliable and form a ball.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cream the shortening and sugar. Add the honey and lemon juice. Add half of the flour mixture, then the eggs, then the rest of the flour.The dough should form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl; if it’s too sticky, add a little more flour. Take a third to a half of the dough ( less, if you make a double batch), pat it into a flattened disk, and roll it out on a floured board. Keep the rest covered with a damp cloth so it doesn’t dry out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pinching hamentaschen into a three-cornered shape

Pinch the hamentaschen into a three-cornered shape.

Roll the dough out evenly to a thickness of about ⅛  inch.Filled hamentaschen Cut into rounds with a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass that you’ve dipped into flour. Add the scraps of dough not cut out back into the bowl with the rest of the dough. Place a teaspoonful of filling on each round, then fold into

Pinch the hamentaschen into a three-cornered shape: bring two “sides” of the circle together into a point and pinch to hold them together, then fold up the rest of the circle and pinch it to the two sides formed by the first pinching.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 12 -15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

4 Feb

Hungarian Mushroom SoupI had a minor catastrophe in the kitchen the other day. I was reaching into the back of the fridge and I knocked over a plastic container with a loose lid, spilling soup all over the fridge.  As distressed as I was to have a real mess to clean up — the stuff seemed to get into every crevice of the refrigerator — I was almost equally upset to lose at least one serving of this wonderful soup!

I got the recipe from my friend Greta Zalman, who served it at our monthly Shabbat study group lunch to rave reviews. She adapted it from a recipe she found online at allrecipes.com. You can use regular button mushrooms, but I really recommend Baby Bellas, which you can buy in bulk at Costco (you need a lot of mushrooms). The photo doesn’t do this soup justice — trust me, it’s delicious!

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. olive or canola oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 ½ pounds fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
4½ tsp. fresh dill or 1½ tsp. dried dill
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup milk
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
½ ripe tomato, not chopped
½ Hungarian wax pepper (This is a long, light green mildly hot pepper. You can probably find it at fancy produce stores. If not, use another mildly hot pepper, like a cubanelle.)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste (I didn’t need any extra salt, thanks to the soy sauce)
½ cup sour cream

Directions:

Melt the butter/oil in large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the onions in the butter until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes more. Stir the dill, paprika, soy sauce and vegetable broth into the mushroom mixture. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.

Whisk the milk and flour together in a small bowl.  Stir the mixture into the soup. Add the tomato and the Hungarian wax pepper. Return cover to the pot and simmer another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the sour cream into the soup and continue cooking and stirring until the soup has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove the Hungarian wax pepper and tomato and discard before serving the soup.

Serves 6