Saturday, February 1, 2014

Meat Loaf is a Perfect Game Day Treat! #SuperBowl14 #comfortfood

Meat Loaf has always been a favorite of mine-a real comfort food. This one is a little different in that the meat is mixed with minced vegetables and spices before baking. In this picture, I have placed the mini loaf on a bed of shredded raw Brussels Sprouts, sliced mushrooms, and heirloom tomatoes tossed with a little vinaigrette and a splash of pomegranate molasses-just because I had it in the fridge.

Mini Meat and Vegetable Loaves:  M Yield: 24 Mini Loaves
Individual servings make feeding a crowd much easier!
Prep time: 30 min.  Forming loaves: 20 min.    Baking loaves: 45-50 min.
2 large onions                       
3 stalks celery                       
4 large cloves garlic                   
4 large carrots                       
8 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup soy milk
1 cup catsup
6 eggs
1 ½ cups unflavored non dairy bread crumbs
4 pounds chopped steak-ground twice
Electric food processor
2 large skillets
2 jelly roll pans lined with parchment
  1. Preheat oven to: 350 F. Line jelly roll pans with parchment paper.
  2. Peel onions, carrots, and garlic. Mince vegetables together in food processor. Set aside.
  3. Heat four tablespoons vegetable oil over medium flame in each skillet. Put half the minced vegetables in each skillet and sauté until very soft. Cool slightly.
  4. Mix the pepper, cumin and nutmeg. Divide spices between both skillets and stir well with wooden spoon.
  5. Beat eggs lightly with catsup and soy milk. Pour some into each skillet and stir well. Add ¾ cup bread crumbs to each skillet and mix thoroughly.
  6. Break up chopped meat into small pieces and add two pounds to each skillet. Mix thoroughly.  Scrape both pans of meat veg-meat mixture into one large bowl. Mix again. I like to do this part with my hands.
  7. Gently form small loaves (with your hands) about four inches long and two inches wide and 1 ½ inches high. Don’t pack the meat too tightly or the loaves will be heavy. Arrange loaves on prepared jelly roll pans and bake them 45-50 minutes. Serve mini meat loaves hot with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. They are so moist, they don’t even need gravy.
Note: These mini loaves are very versatile. They also make a great lunch or picnic dish. For lunch: Allow the loaves to come to room temperature. Slice them and arrange slices attractively on a platter surrounding roasted vegetables or rice salad- or both. For a picnic: Put a couple of slices of meat loaf between two slices of fresh Italian bread with a thick slice of tomato and romaine lettuce. It’s wonderful.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Vegetarian Mushroom and Barley Soup (recipe, pareve) #meatlessmonday

This soup is brimming over with flavor oozing from loads of fresh vegetables and chopped dill.
Prep time: 30 min.  Simmering time: 60 min.
6 carrots                       
1 large leek
1 large onion
1 small celery root
1 pound white potatoes
1 pound mushrooms
½ cup barley
3 ounces vegetable oil
8 cups fresh/boxed vegetable broth
3 bay leaves
6 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
12 cup soup pot with cover
  1. Halve leek lengthwise and wash carefully. Slice white and pale green parts. Set aside.
  2. Peel onion, parsnips and celery root. Dice vegetables and add to leeks.
  3. Peel carrots. Halve large ones lengthwise. Cut all carrots into ¼ inch slices. Add to other vegetables.
  4. Wipe, trim stems and slice mushrooms. Add to vegetables.
  5. Peel and dice potatoes. Set aside.
  6. Pour vegetable oil in soup pot. Heat over medium flame. Add vegetables and sauté until onions are translucent.   Add potatoes, barley, stock, and bay leaves to the pot. Cover, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook one hour or until vegetables are very tender. Add dill. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot.
Note: As with other soups made with grains, it is best to strain the broth from the solids when you make the soup a day in advance of serving it. If you choose not to do this, know that the barley will absorb much of the liquid and the soup will thicken. In this case, you can add more pareve vegetable broth or water to thin the soup until it reaches the desired consistency.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lasagne with Veggie Bacon (recipe, D)

Yummy tomato sauce, gooey cheese and healthy spinach are all layered together to form this wonderful lasagna.
6-7 cups tomato sauce
8 ounce package “oven ready” lasagna
32 ounces ricotta cheese
16 ounces mozzarella
5 tablespoons grated parmesan
6 ounces baby spinach
Optional-  one package veggie bacon-browned and chopped coarsely
12 cup deep baking dish
Naturally, homemade tomato sauce and fresh cheese are the best; but the results will still be good if you save yourself some time and work and use bottled sauce and packaged shredded cheese. I’m giving you guidelines for amounts; but this is a recipe you can truly adjust to your own taste. You can use more or less sauce and cheese as you wish.
Veggie bacon can be scattered over any layers you like. I added mine over the spinach.

  1. Preheat oven to: 375 F.
  2. Spread one cup of tomato sauce on bottom of baking dish. Lay three lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Cover noodles with 1- 1½ cups of ricotta cheese. Scatter about 2 ounces of spinach over the cheese. Sprinkle about 5 ounces of mozzarella and one tablespoon of grated parmesan over the spinach. Pour 1-1 ½  cups of tomato sauce over cheese. Press three more lasagna noodles into the sauce and repeat the process two more times. The top layer of noodles should be covered with tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan.
  3. Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15-20 minutes longer or until noodles are soft and cheese has melted and browned.

Kosher Whirlwind Roundup #kfbcon13 #kfeast13 #kosherfest13

Kosher Whirlwind Roundup
Our whirlwind started on Monday at the Kosher Food Bloggers Conference held at the NYU Chabad House. Melinda Strauss (@Kitchen Tested) and Special Event Producer for Joy of Kosher organized an amazing group of speakers : 1. Casey Benedict-“What Brands Won’t Tell You: Blogger Strengths and Insider Tips, 2. Dana Bonagura-Food Styling tip and Tricks, 3. Aron Schoenfeld- Networking and Branding, 4. Dan Rosenberg (Harvard Common Press) and Stacy Glick (Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency),  and 5. Mara Strom-Kosher On a Budget- How to Make Money from your Blog. The day was broken up with a beautifully presented lunch. As we left, we received a swag bag of assorted goodies! Off to Kosherfeast we went.
Kosherfeast was professionally chaired by Roberta Scher @Koshereye and Esti Berkowitz @Primetimeparent. What a crowd we were piling into JSoho. It was a very special evening not only because we were able to talk to so many people involved with kosher food; but some very special personalities were honored as Kosher Pioneers: Susie, Laura Frankel-@Chef Laurakosher, Norene Gilletz-@ Norenecooks,, David Herzog- Royalwine.com, Levana Kirschenbaum- @ LevanaCooks, Menachem Lubinsky, @Koshertoday, Gil Marks- @Jewishfoods,, and Joan Nathan- @ joan nathan, Joannathan.com These women and men have been at the forefront of Kosher food-ever pushing the envelope and making us all more informed for it. It was wonderful to see them honored. Each received an engraved soup ladle. I would love to be at any of their tables.
And then there was a surprise category of four honorees! I admit to being engrossed in conversation as I thought I heard my name-and I did! I was honored with the Kosher Cutting Edge award for my Kosher Cookbook App. Wow! Was I surprised as I stepped forward and was handed a Sora chef’s knife engraved with the words: Cutting Edge Kosher- KosherFeast-2013. This award was made even more special because my daughter was there and also because of the three other people also honored in this category: Jamie Geller-for creating the world of Joy of Kosher, Jesse Blonder-for starting the first Kosher Culinary Arts Program, and Alex Rapoport  for being the executive of  the Masbia  Kitchen Network which feeds the needy.
Much has been said, in fact, great grumbling has taken place, about the service and the food at JSoho. To be honest, neither was stellar. The staff seemed flustered and unable to handle the crowd; in particular the people who arrived late-due to traffic. Most people I spoke to were disappointed with the portions and the preparation of the food. I did speak to one gentleman who said his steak was moist and delicious-mine not. If you were fortunate to get a glass of delicious Merlot as I did, you were lucky. The pouring was helter skelter so you never really knew what you were getting. In past years, the spirit coming from the management  of the restaurants- Solo and Abigail’s- was very gracious. Different appetizers kept coming so that by the time you had your main course, it wouldn’t have mattered if it was small-and it wasn’t. That was not the case at JSoho. Maybe something happened in the kitchen that we don’t know about. Who knows? I can testify that the evening was a success. People enjoyed being together and there was a warm happy feeling in the room. I look forward to another Kosher Feast next year!

What can I say about Kosherfest? I should have studied the list of vendors before I went; but I didn’t-so I missed some I hope to contact in the future. I had the opportunity of seeing Norene Gilletz! I talked to so many amazing people that I will not name again because I posted pictures of them on my Kosher Cookbook page. We are an interesting community-we kosher food people. We represent all age groups and all levels of religious observance and we are all committed to making Kosher food as healthy, gourmet and beautifully presented as possible. Each of us has their own style and particular area of concentration; but we are all working together to bring kosher food to the highest level possible. I prefer to think of it as creating and preparing delicious food that just happens to be kosher.
The whirlwind is still whirling as we each document our experiences with pictures and prose. On a more personal note-my new is almost completed.  I hope you’ll all enjoy it and continue this journey with me.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Creamy with some texture! This delicious soup looks like a sunset in a bowl and brightens up any meal.
Prep time: 20 min.  Simmering time: 35-45 min.  Puréeing time: 15 min.
2 large onions (about 1½ pounds)           
2 large cloves garlic                   
2 teaspoons olive oil                   
2 pounds carrots
2 large white potatoes
10 cups pareve chicken/vegetable broth
½ cup sugar
3 inches fresh ginger-root
Optional: diced crystallized ginger, croutons
4 quart soup pot
Electric food processor
Grater, ginger grater
  1. Peel carrots and potatoes. Chop them coarsely by hand or in processor.
  2. Peel onions and garlic.  Quarter onions. Mince together by hand or in processor.  
  3. Peel ginger-root and grate.
  4. Heat oil in soup pot over low flame. Add garlic and onions and cook until soft-about five minutes.
  5. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; then reduce to a simmer. Cover pot. Simmer 35-45 minutes. While soup is simmering, rinse out processor bowl.
  6. After 35 minutes (or when vegetables are soft but firm when pressed with back of wooden spoon), remove from heat. Cool slightly. Ladle soup about two cups at a time into processor. Process eight cups of soup until they are completely puréed. Pour into a large bowl. Pulse the remaining soup so that there are some small lumps left. Add to bowl. Stir well. Check completed soup for seasoning. Add sugar, salt or pepper to taste. Return soup to stock pot and reheat before serving. Garnish each bowl with diced ginger and /or croutons if desired.
  7. To freeze: Let soup cool completely before freezing. Flavors intensify in the freezer so you may want to dilute soup with more broth after defrosting and reheating it.
NOTE: This is a great soup for Passover. Garnish with small matzah pieces instead of croutons.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin-Corn Fritters (recipe, pareve) #chanukah #thanksgiving #thanksgivukkah

Pumpkin-Corn Fritters P Yield: 25 Fritters
The goal for this recipe was to create a dish that would satisfy the menus for both Chanukah and Thanksgiving. Pumpkin and corn signify Thanksgiving.  Add a little cinnamon, allspice and ginger, turn it all into fritter batter, fry and you have the requisite oil for Chanukah.  Taste the pumpkin before you start to add the spices and honey. Adjust the measurements accordingly. The fritters are best when eaten right after they’ve been fried. They won’t last longer than that anyway!
2 cups puréed fresh pumpkin
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
15.5 oz. kernel corn-drained (about 2 cups)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup flour
1 egg-beaten
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (more if needed)
Medium mixing bowl
Medium/large skillet
Flat surface lined with paper towels for draining
  1. Mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium flame. Using the wooden spoon, drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil. Flatten slightly with the back of spoon.  Fry until brown on one side; then turn fritters over and brown again. Drain on towels and serve hot.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Zucchini Soup (recipe, pareve)

Zucchini Soup P Yield: 9 cups soup
What a perfect way to use up some of that zucchini in your garden! Choose the narrow ones which are more flavorful and not waterlogged. Adding a potato to the soup turns it into a zucchini flavored vichyssoise. Preparing the soup without the potato gives you more of a zucchini broth. Both are delicious and both can be eaten hot or cold. Garnish with home made croutons or fried zucchini.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion-peeled and chopped
1 ½ pounds zucchini- about 3 medium ones- trimmed, peeled and diced
Zest of small lemon
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Optional-1 large russet potato-peeled and diced
6 cups water (for a meat meal you can use low salt chicken broth)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
4 quart saucepan
Electric food processor
  1. Heat oil in pot over medium flame. Add chopped onion and cook until onion is translucent.
  2. Add zucchini, lemon zest, salt and pepper and optional potato. Stir until zucchini starts to wilt. Add liquid. Simmer mixture until potatoes can be mashed against the back of a wooden spoon- about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. Purée soup- no more than two cups at a time in processor. Pour back into skillet and stir in dill. Taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve hot or chill several hours and serve cold.
  4. Optional garnish: fried zucchini flowers, fried shredded zucchini, homemade croutons