Monday, May 30, 2011

Exotic Memorial Day BBQ in Your Own Kitchen! Chicken, Pineapple and Snow Pea Kebobs

 Ever since I can remember, Memorial Day has become synonymous with barbecues.  These kebobs are the perfect solution for those of us city folk without a backyard grill because can be made on a stove top grill pan!  You can even make them and bring them to a friend's backyard bbq, or simply have a family barbecue in your own dining room.

Chicken, Pineapple and Snow Pea Kebobs M Yield: 30 Kebobs
Easy to make, impressive to behold and truly delicious to eat! The stove top grilling caramelizes the sugar in the pineapple and the marinade on the chicken. These kebobs can be eaten hot or room temp-the perfect lunch, dinner or picnic meal.
Prep time: 30 min. + overnight marinating   Cooking time: 16-18 min. (5-6 kebobs at a time) on grill plus 20-30 min. in oven
3 pounds white meat chicken-cubed
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sesame oil
1 cup teriyaki sauce
8 garlic cloves-smashed
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 inches fresh gingerroot-peeled and minced
1 pineapple-peeled,cored and cut into one inch pieces
2/3 pound snow peas-trimmed
Olive oil spray
30 eight inch bamboo skewers
Large mixing bowl
Plastic wrap
Stove top grilling pan
Pastry brush
Two oven to table serving casseroles or one large foil pan
  1. Rinse off chicken cubes. Make sure all fat and pieces of membrane have been removed. Separate cubes according to thickness so you can place cubes of like thickness on skewers.
  2. Mix sesame oil, vegetable oil, teriyaki sauce, smashed garlic, thyme and minced ginger in mixing bowl.  Mix well. Pour chicken cubes into marinade and stir until all the cubes are covered with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Soak bamboo skewers in water for one hour before you plan to use them.
  4. To form kebobs: Push one cube of chicken on to skewer, then pineapple, and then a snowpea. You can fit three chicken cubes on each skewer. Repeat this process until all the components have been skewered. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate if you are not cooking them immediately. Reserve marinade for basting and refrigerate as well.
  5. To grill: Spray grill pan with olive oil. Heat pan over medium high flame.
  6. Preheat oven to: 400 F.
  7. Brush five or six kebobs (depending on the size of your pan) with marinade. Carefully, place kebobs on grill pan. Grill about eight or nine minutes  before turning kebobs over , basting them again and grilling an additional eight or nine minutes. You should see significant grill marks on the chicken and the whole kebob should look shiny and caramelized.  I find the constant turning of the kebobs to ensure that the chicken is completely cooked on a stove top grill very time consuming and tiring. It’s easier to place grilled kebobs into oven to table casseroles  as you finish them and set them aside until all the kebobs have been grilled. Cover  them with foil and place them in oven for 20-30 minutes. Check one of the thicker kebobs to make sure the chicken is cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Getting Ready for Shavuot: Mushroom Manicotti--Can Be Made Pareve!

Mushroom Manicotti D Yield: 14 Manicotti
The richness of the mushrooms is almost decadent.  The sauce is pure essence of mushrooms thickened with flour and milk-You can’t beat it. Should you need to or want to make it pareve, use vegetable broth for the milk and leave out the cheese. It’s still delicious; but not as decadent.
Prep time: 30 min.  Baking time: 30 min.
1 box manicotti (14 manicotti)
2 pounds mushrooms-sliced
1 bunch scallions
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup whole milk
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
Olive oil spray/ 1 tablespoon olive oil for greasing casserole
Optional: 4 ounces assorted gourmet mushrooms sautéed in 1 tablespoon olive oil
Large pot
Large skillet
Mixing bowl large enough to hold colander
Oven to table casserole large enough to hold manicotti in a single layer
  1. Boil manicotti according to package directions. Using a slotted spoon, lift each manicotti out of the pot separately and let it rest on a piece of waxed /parchment paper so that it won’t stick. Do not rinse manicotti. Set them aside.
  2. Wash scallions. Discard root ends. Slice green and white parts thinly.
  3. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium flame. Add sliced mushrooms and scallions. Sauté until mushrooms have given up their juices and have browned slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Taste. Adjust seasoning. Remove from heat.
  4. Place colander into a large bowl and allow mushrooms to drain completely. Return liquid to skillet.
  5. Heat mushroom liquid over low flame. Add flour and stir vigorously until mixture is smooth. Slowly pour in milk until a sauce has formed. Set aside.
  6. To stuff manicotti: Forget using utensils. They just complicate the job. Hold each manicotti shell with one hand and stuff it with the mushroom mixture with the other. Nothing should come out of either side. Add any extra mushrooms to the sauce.
  7. Preheat oven to: 350 F.
  8. Spray casserole with olive oil.
  9. Arrange stuffed manicotti in a single layer in casserole. Pour mushroom sauce on top; and then sprinkle the top with parmesan. Sprinkle with chopped parsley right before serving.
  10. Optional: If you can’t get enough mushrooms and you want to bring this dish up a notch: sauté gourmet mushrooms and scatter over the top of the cooked casserole right before sprinkling the parsley before serving.

Getting Ready for Shavuot: Spinach and Cheese Manicotti

Spinach and Cheese Manicotti D Yield: 14 Manicotti
The oozing together of spinach and mozzarella wrapped in a manicotti shell covered in tomato sauce and parmesan is perfect.
Prep time: 30 min.  Baking time: 30 min.
1 box manicotti (14 shells)
20 ounces frozen spinach-defrosted and squeezed dry
1 bunch scallions
2 large cloves garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound whole milk mozzarella-diced
2-3 cups tomato sauce (homemade/bottled)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Olive oil spray /1 tablespoon olive oil for greasing casserole
Large pot
Slotted spoon
Oven to table casserole-large enough to hold manicotti in a single layer
Medium skillet
  1. Boil manicotti according to package directions. Using a slotted spoon, lift each manicotti out of the pot separately and let it rest on a piece of waxed /parchment paper so that it won’t stick. Do not rinse manicotti. Set them aside.
  2. Wash scallions. Discard root ends. Cut white and pale green parts thinly. Set aside.
  3. Peel and mince garlic.
  4. Heat oil in skillet over medium flame. Add scallions and garlic and sauté until soft. Add spinach and mix well. Stir over medium heat until any remaining moisture has evaporated from spinach. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Taste. Adjust seasoning. Remove from heat. Add diced mozzarella to skillet and stir until mixed thoroughly. The cheese will melt slightly. Cool mixture until you can touch it with your hands.
  5. Spray olive oil (or brush with olive oil) on the bottom of casserole. Pour in one cup of tomato sauce.
  6. Preheat oven to: 350 F.
  7. Resist the temptation to fill the manicotti with a small utensil of any kind. I’ve tried them all. The most efficient way to do it is with your hands.  Holding the manicotti gently with one hand, stuff the spinach mixture into it with the other hand until the manicotti is filled and nothing is emerging from either side. Don’t worry if some of the manicotti are partially broken. They can still be stuffed. Just put broken side facing the inside of the casserole so it won’t burn. Place each stuffed manicotti in casserole in a single layer. If you have to layer them, make sure to put some tomato sauce in between manicotti so that they don’t stick together.
  8. Pour remaining cup (or more if you prefer) of tomato sauce over manicotti. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and cheese has browned. Sprinkle with chopped parsley right before serving.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Great Cold Soup Starter:Tomato-Orange Soup

This pareve soup is not only easy to make, but also uses ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry. It make a wonderful first course for a meat or dairy meal!  

Tomato-Orange Soup P Serves: 12
The orange zest and juice make this soup sparkle in your mouth. It is a wonderful cold soup that you prepare with boxed tomatoes so you are not dependant on the season’s produce.
Prep time: 20 min.  Cooking time: 45 min.
2 large carrots
2 large onions
2 large stalks celery
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 boxes chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 large orange (you will need zest and juice)
4 cups pareve vegetable both
1 teaspoon sugar
8 cup soup pot with cover
electric food processor
  1. Peel and chop onions, celery and carrots. This is most easily done in a processor using the steel blade but you can do it by hand if you prefer.
  2. Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium flame. Add chopped vegetables and sauté until soft. Pour in chopped tomatoes and vegetable broth.
  3. Grate orange directly into the pot. Squeeze orange into a liquid measuring cup. You need ½ cup juice. Add juice to pot along with bay leaves. Stir well.  Bring ingredients to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer 45 minutes. Remove cover and add sugar. Stir well. Cool soup at least 15 minutes before pureeing it.
  4. To puree: Remove 2 cups soup and set aside. Puree soup, two cups at a time and pour into container. Stir in reserved soup. Chill thoroughly-several hours or overnight. Taste. Adjust seasoning by adding more sugar and a little salt if desired. Serve soup very cold with homemade croutons.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Vegetarian Entree from Kosher Cookbook: Fried Tofu with Spicy Sweet Glaze

Thought you didn't like tofu? I dare you to try this succulent dish without becoming a convert!

Fried Tofu with Spicy Sweet Glaze P Yield: 8 slices
The pressed tofu soaks up all the wonderful flavors  from the ginger, molasses,  pineapple, sesame oil and pepper. When it’s fried, you get to enjoy the meatier texture of the tofu together with the sweet and spicy sauce with a slight crunch from the toasted sesame seeds.
Prep time: 60 min.  Marinate: several hours or overnight Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 container extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons tamari
1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon molasses
1 cinnamon stick
1 poblano pepper-washed, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 inch fresh gingerroot-peeled and sliced
1 large clove garlic-minced
1 small onion-peeled and sliced thinly
Flour for dusting tofu slices
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Mixing bowl
Medium skillet
Oven to table serving dish
  1. Drain tofu and put it on a plate. Cover tofu with waxed paper and weight it down with a large heavy can. Check tofu after an hour or so and pour off liquid. Continue to weight it down until tofu has shrunk in size and given up most of its liquid. Starting from the smaller end, slice it into eight pieces and arrange them in a single layer in a dish that can hold the marinade.
  2. Pour tamari, crushed pineapple, two teaspoons sesame oil and molasses into mixing bowl. Stir well.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except for sesame seeds. Stir marinade and pour over tofu slices. Marinate for two or three hours before turning slices over and marinating again. This can be done overnight.
  4. Spread about ½  cup flour on a flat surface. Gently remove tofu slices from marinade and dredge them in flour shaking off any excess.
  5. Pour just enough vegetable oil in skillet to cover bottom of pan. Add remaining teaspoon sesame oil. Heat over medium flame. Brown tofu slices on each side until they are golden brown. Arrange in a single or overlapping layer in serving dish. Set aside.
  6. Remove cinnamon stick and add marinade ingredients to skillet. Sauté until onions and peppers are soft. Add a little more vegetable oil if necessary. Pour sautéed vegetables over tofu slices. Add sesame seeds to same pan and stir quickly until they toast. Sprinkle seeds over tofu. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gloria Kobrin and the Kosher Cookbook App featured on!

Have you heard of If you haven't, you should be sure to check it out.
Founded by foodies Lois Held and Roberta Scher, the site brings to the forefront kosher products, kosher recipes, kosher short, everything the kosher cook might find interesting.

Thankfully, the Kosher Cookbook App has made it onto their radar!

Check out their review of the App and Lois Held's interview with Gloria Kobrin.
The site has also featured a few of Gloria's recipes: Short Ribs with Orange-Hoisin Sauce , Moussaka , Apricot Raspberry Tart , Apple Tart and Sugar Pie Crust .