Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rolled Turkey Breast Stuffed with Spinach (recipe, meat)

Not only is this an easy to prepare recipe, but, it can be made for Passover as well!

Rolled Turkey Breast Stuffed with Spinach M Serves: 12

This delicious, moist, healthy and easy to prepare recipe makes a great dinner any night of the week.
Prep time: 30 minutes Roasting time: about 90 minutes
1 whole turkey breast- skinned
About 22 ounces baby spinach
1 large + 1 small onion = 2 cups chopped onions
3 large garlic cloves
2 teaspoons minced orange peel
4 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg to taste
12 ounces shitake, cremini, or portobello mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup dry sherry
  1. Rinse turkey breast. Remove loose pieces of turkey from under the breast. Set them aside. Cover breast with plastic wrap and pound it with a mallet until it resembles a rectangle and is somewhat thinner. The pounding also tenderizes the meat and makes it more juicy. Cut off any pieces of turkey that protrude too far beyond the rectangle and them to the other loose turkey pieces. (These pieces can be marinated and prepared like chicken nuggets, poached for turkey salad or turkey pot pie.) Place pounded turkey breast on a large piece of foil.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Sauté onions and garlic until onions are translucent but not browned. Add orange peel and sauté two minutes more.
  3. Rinse and dry spinach. Add spinach to onions in two separate batches. Using a long handled tongs, keep turning the spinach over and over with the onions until it is all mixed together. As the first batch of spinach wilts, you can add the second batch and continue turning it over and over with the tongs. When all the spinach has wilted, turn up the flame and stir constantly until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with pepper and nutmeg to taste. Cool slightly.*
  4. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  5. Spread stuffing over turkey breast leaving a ½ inch border all around. Starting at the short side, roll up turkey breast pushing in the spinach stuffing as you go. You will probably only be able to roll it one or two times unless you have pounded it very thin. Wrap turkey roll in foil making sure it is completely enclosed on all ends. Roast turkey about 90 minutes before inserting meat thermometer. The turkey breast is done at 165 F. If it is not done, leave it in the oven another 10 minutes before testing it again. When it is finished, take it out of the oven and leave it wrapped another 30 minutes.
  6. Make the gravy while turkey is resting.
  7. Wipe off mushrooms and remove stems. Cut mushrooms into ¼ inch slices. If you are using portobellos, cut the slices in half.
  8. Heat oil over medium heat and sauté mushrooms about five minutes or until they are somewhat browned. Add herbs and garlic and sauté another minute. Raise the heat and add sherry. Reduce sherry by half. Stir well. (So far this gravy is vegetarian. Do not do the next step if you want to share this gravy with vegetarians who could pour it over tofu with separate spinach stuffing.)
  9. Unwrap turkey breast and carefully pour turkey juices into gravy. Stir well. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  10. Slice turkey roll into ¼-1/3 inch slices and arrange attractively on a serving platter. Take some of the mushrooms and decorate the slices down the center. Serve the remainder of the gravy on the side. Serve with brown rice.
The turkey breast can be prepared and refrigerated one day in advance as can the stuffing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meatless Monday: Baked Poached Salmon (recipe, pareve)

Oven poaching is so much easier than fighting with the stainless steel poacher on top of the stove and the results are just as moist and delicious. Here’s how!
Prep time: 10 minutes   Cooking time: 45 minutes  Chilling time: 12 hours  
Decorating: 20 minutes
6 ½ pound whole salmon*           
optional: head and tail left on           
1 large onion-peeled and sliced
1 small bunch parsley
1 large celery stalk-scrubbed and sliced
1 large bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups dry white wine/water
2 tablespoons olive oil
large baking sheet
heavy duty tin foil
  1. Preheat oven to: 375 F.
  2. Tear three sheets of foil long enough to encase salmon and form handles at either end. Place on baking sheet. Brush olive oil over top piece of foil.
  3. Rinse salmon and place it on foil.
  4. Scatter onions, celery and herbs around salmon. Lift up the edges of the foil and pour liquid over the salmon. Seal foil over the salmon and roll up the ends into handles at either side.
  5. Bake salmon 45 minutes to one hour. You should only be able to smell the herbs and wine while fish is oven poaching. If it begins to smell fishy, lower the temperature of the oven. The salmon should be opaque when tested with a knife. When done, open foil and let cool thoroughly. Reseal foil and chill overnight.
  6. TO SERVE: 1. Remove vegetables and parsley from around salmon. Peel skin off salmon with a sharp knife. Carefully, lift salmon and place on serving platter. Cover salmon with a layer of very thinly sliced cucumbers to resemble fish scales. Weave sprigs of dill through the cucumbers. Surround salmon with lemon wedges. Serve green sauce on the side. 2. Cut salmon into portions and arrange on a serving platter with green sauce in the middle. Decorate each portion separately.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Passover Roasted Duck in Fruit Sauce (recipe, meat)

This is a mouth watering recipe that is relatively simple to prepare save for cleaning the ducks.  Major TIME saving hint: Get pre-roasted unseasoned ducks and then braise them in the sauce!
Prep time: cleaning kosher duck-endless- ask butcher for help
Prep time: 5 min. Roasting: 1 ½- 2 hours   Sauce- 10-15 min.  
Braising & Glazing- 45 min.
2 ducklings       
2 lemons                           
12 ounce jar black currant preserves           
24 ounces cranberry juice                   
1 teaspoon allspice
1/3 cup potato starch dissolved in 1 cup water
24 ounces frozen mixed fruit (blueberries, strawberries, peaches)-defrosted
Optional-1 tablespoon Passover cherry liqueur
1 large roasting pan
1 non stick roasting rack
Medium saucepan
Long handled fork
  1. Preheat oven to: 375 F.
  2. Clean ducks thoroughly. Rinse inside and out with cold water. Cut one lemon in half and rub the skin of the ducks with the lemon halves. Place ducks, breast side up, on the roasting rack in the roasting pan. Place pan in the oven and roast 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, begin to prick the duck all over with a long handled fork. Be careful not to get spattered with fat. Remove some of the melted fat with a baster if it begins to crackle too much in the pan. Continue to prick ducks every 15 minutes until they are browned. Ducks need about 15 minutes per pound to properly cook. When the breasts have browned, I like to flip the ducks over so that their backs can brown as well. Prepare the sauce while the ducks are roasting.
  3. Put juice, preserves and allspice in the saucepan.
  4. Squeeze remaining lemon. Remove pits. Add lemon juice to saucepan.
  5. Stir ingredients over medium heat until preserves melt. Add potato starch mixed with water. Stir sauce until it has slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Add mixed fruit and liqueur. Set aside.
  6. When ducks are done, remove them from oven and allow to cool. Cut them into quarters with either a sharp knife or poultry shears. Arrange quarters in an oven to table serving dish. Pour sauce over duck. (You can either finish the recipe at this point or cover the pan and refrigerate duck until the next day.) Return duck to the oven for about 45 minutes or until skin has glazed. Baste every 15 minutes. Before serving, make sure each quarter is covered with sauce and berries. Serve hot with starch of your choice. (Thin sauce with cranberry juice if it becomes too thick.)
Optional: Garnish duck with fresh mixed berries.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meatless Monday: Baked Spaghetti (recipe, dairy)

Pasta, cheese and tomato sauce are baked together to form a delicious casserole.
Prep time: 20 min.  Baking time: 30-45 min.
INGREDIENTS                    EQUIPMENT
1 pound cappellini                large oven to table casserole   
½ pound sharp cheddar cheese-shredded
¼ pound sweet butter -softened
16 ounces bottled/homemade tomato sauce
½ cup cornflake crumbs/Panko
baking spray
  1. Parboil pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse well.
  2. Mix cappellini with cheese, softened butter and tomato sauce. Preheat oven to: 375 F.
  3. Spray casserole. Pour spaghetti mixture into casserole. Smooth out the mixture. Sprinkle cornflake crumbs/Panko over the top. Bake for 30-45 minutes until mixture is bubbling and browned. Serve hot. Add a beautiful salad and you have a wonderfully easy and delicious meal.

Friday, March 16, 2012


The combined flavors of orange, ginger and hoisin sauce are irresistible to the palate.
Prep time: 30 min.   Baking: 3 ½ hours   Chilling: overnight
Removing fat and reheating:-45 min.

8 pounds flanken (the kosher version of short ribs)
8 large oranges (or 4 large oranges & store bought oj)
1 ½ cups hoisin sauce
2/3 cup tomato paste
4 large garlic cloves- minced
4 inch piece fresh ginger
1 pound dried apricots
freshly ground black pepper
Optional: ½ cup chopped parsley
large roaster with cover
  1. Rinse flanken. Pat meat dry and arrange on bottom of roasting pan. Grind fresh pepper generously over meat.
  2. Preheat oven to: 300 F.
  3. Peel two oranges with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Remove as much white pith as possible from peel before cutting it into very thin strips. Set aside. Grate peel from two remaining oranges. Scrape all the peel from inside the grater and from between the grater’s teeth into mixing bowl.
  4. Squeeze juice from these 4 oranges plus remaining oranges until you have 2½ cups orange juice. (You can also use store bought orange juice to make up the rest of the juice.) Add juice, hoisin sauce, tomato paste and garlic to orange rind in mixing bowl. Mix well.
  5. Peel ginger and cut into very thin slices. Add ginger and orange strips to sauce and mix again.
  6. Pour sauce over flanken. Cover roaster and bake 2 ½ hours. Slice apricots into thirds while flanken is cooking and set aside.
  7. After 2 ½ hours, reduce heat to: 250 F. Remove cover carefully and stir sauce. Sprinkle apricots over meat. Replace cover and continue to cook about one hour longer or until meat is very tender. Remove roaster from oven and cool.
  8. Place meat, bones and apricots in one dish and the sauce in another one. Cover both with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  9. Final prep: Take meat and sauce out of refrigerator. Remove and discard all congealed fat. Arrange flanken and apricots in ovenproof serving dish and pour sauce over it. Heat flanken in 350 F. oven for 30 minutes or until meat and sauce are piping hot. For a touch of color sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Note: When prepared by this method, the meat is so tender and light, it literally falls off the bone. The real trick is to make sure you start cooking a day or two in advance so you have time to remove all the fat. The more time the meat stays in the sauce- the better.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meatless Monday: Grapes Leaves Stuffed with Herbed Rice (recipe, pareve)

This is a great recipe to help Ashkenazim use up the rice in their pantry before Passover, or a great Passover recipe for my Sephardic Friends.  Also a great side dish or appetizer for any other time in the year!

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Herbed Rice P Yield: 36-40 Stuffed Grape Leaves
The rice, flavored with cinnamon and allspice and then mixed with the Turkish trilogy of parsley, mint and dill is delicious on its own.  Rolled in grape leaves, each bite is a treat and a trip to exotic lands.
1 bottle preserved grape leaves
3 tablespoons + 2/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion- peeled and minced
3 large garlic cloves-peeled and minced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
3 teaspoons sugar
1 cup Basmati rice-rinsed
1 cup each:  finely chopped-parsley, dill, mint
Salt and pepper
1 cup water
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 Dutch ovens
Baking parchment
Baking pellets
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in Dutch oven over medium flame. Add minced onion and garlic and sauté until they are very soft. Stir in cinnamon, allspice and sugar. Mix well. Stir in rice. Pour in just enough water to cover the rice-about 2 cups. Bring to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 10-15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.  Taste. The rice should have a bite. Stir in all the herbs. Taste again. Season with salt and pepper. Let rice cool.
  2. While rice is cooling, drain grape leaves and place them in a mixing bowl. Cover with very hot water. Let them soak about 15 minutes before gently separating them with two forks. Drain leaves and then soak them in cold water for 3-4 minutes. Drain leaves completely. Cut off any stems.
  3. Spread grape leaves out on a flat surface. Take a scant tablespoon of rice stuffing and lightly shape it into a log. Place it toward the stem end. Fold the bottom of the leaf over the rice and then fold the sides in. Roll grape leaf tightly so that all the rice is enclosed. Place stuffed leaf in Dutch oven. Repeat process until all the leaves are stuffed. Make sure you pack them as tightly as possible in the pot.
  4. Mix 2/3 cup olive oil with one cup water, sugar and lemon juice. Pour over stuffed grape leaves. The liquid should come up to half of the top layer. Cover the top of grape leaves with a piece of baking parchment.  Cover Dutch oven and simmer 45 minutes. Let grape leaves cool in the pan before arranging them on a platter and serving them with sliced lemon.  You can also cool them completely and freeze them with waxed paper between the layers. Defrost completely before steaming them just to heat them through.