Monday, May 21, 2012

RAINBOW VEGETABLE RING (recipe, pareve) #meatlessmonday #shavuot

Just thinking of a vegetable rainbow makes me smile.
Prep time: about 90 min.  Baking time: 30 min.
1 pound mushrooms
1 medium cauliflower
20 ounces frozen chopped spinach-defrosted and squeezed dry
8 large carrots
4 scallions
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 egg yolks (save whites for meringues)
Salt, pepper, sugar
Non-dairy olive oil spray
Electric food processor
4 small saucepans or 1 that you
keep rinsing out
Small skillet
6 cup ring mold* plus baking dish large enough
to hold it
  1. Break cauliflower into florets. Rinse well and steam in about one inch of boiling water for about 8 minutes until just tender. Drain florets and set aside.
  2. Peel carrots and slice them into ½ inch rounds. Steam carrots in boiling water about 10 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Wipe off mushrooms and mince them. Wash scallions and mince the white part only. Add to mushrooms. Spoon two tablespoons vegetable oil into skillet over low heat.  Raise heat to medium and sauté mushrooms and scallions together quickly so that very little liquid is released. Set aside.
  4. Purée each vegetable separately. Be sure to rinse out bowl of processor after each vegetable so that the colors don’t blend.
  5. To thicken vegetables: one at a time, place each vegetable in saucepan with one tablespoon of vegetable oil and one lightly beaten egg yolk. Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture thickens and moisture disappears. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add sugar to the carrots if they need it.
  6. Preheat oven to: 375 F. Spray ring mold.
  7. Spread cauliflower in an even layer on the bottom of ring mold. Cover cauliflower with spinach, then with carrots and finally with mushrooms. Place ring mold in baking pan and fill it carefully with 1 ½ inches of boiling water. Place in oven and bake about 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow mold to cool for five minutes, and then run a spatula around the outside and inside of the circumference of the mold. Place an oven to table serving dish over the top of the mold and quickly invert it. The vegetable ring will fall right out. Serve hot, room temperature or cold.
  8. Note: If you’re really ambitious, you can make individual molds by layering the vegetables in greased custard cups and inverting one on each person’s plate.

Friday, May 18, 2012

STRIPED BASS EN CROUTE (recipe, dairy)

 What a wonderful Shavuot lunch or dinner. As you can see, this recipe makes a spectacular presentation. Your guests will first feast with their eyes, then with their nose and finally with their mouth. Despite the many steps involved, this is not a difficult recipe to prepare as is if you leave yourself some time. If making and rolling dough isn't in the cards, use packaged dough. You can find it dairy and pareve. If cleaning leeks isn't your thing, chop up onions instead, Don't use the frozen chopped onions because they are too watery. Serve this fish with a beautiful salad and steamed asparagus and you will have a feast.

The cream cheese crust melts in your mouth and enhances the flavors of the bass, sautéed mushrooms and leeks.
Prep time: Dough: 10 min.  Chilling time: 120 min.  Fish: 15-20 min.
Leeks: 20-25 min.  Assembly: 20 min.  Baking time: 30-45 min.
        8 ounces cream cheese- softened
        ½ pound sweet butter- softened
        2 cups flour
        ½ teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
Fish & Filling
4 pounds striped bass/red snapper-
skinned and filleted
1 large shallot
¼ pound mushrooms
1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley
1 cup vegetable broth
¼ cup vinegar
salt & pepper
2 small bunches leeks/1 large bunch-should yield 5-6                   cups sliced leeks
3 tablespoons sweet butter
¼ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
Egg Glaze: 1 egg yolk beaten with 1-2 tablespoons water
rolling pin
baking pan large enough to hold fish
cookie sheet
baking parchment
saucepan with cover
tin foil
baking spray
  1. Dough: You can mix this up in an electric food processor or by hand. Using a large fork, mix cream cheese and butter. Add flour and salt and mix well. Stir in yolks. When mixture is well blended, divide it into two balls- one slightly larger than the other. Dust each ball with flour, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
  2. Cut leeks down the center and wash very well. Chop the white part coarsely. Save the green parts for decoration. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add chopped leeks, stir well and cover. Cook leeks until they are soft and translucent- about 20 minutes. Stir often to make sure they don’t burn. Allow leeks to cool. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat oven to: 350 F. Spray baking pan.
  4. Peel shallot and mince. You should have about ¼ cup. Scatter on bottom of baking pan.
  5. Wipe off mushrooms and mince.
  6. Wash parsley and mince enough to yield one half cup.
  7. Sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper. Lay fillets side by side over shallots in baking pan. Cover the fish with mushrooms and parsley. Pour vinegar and broth over all. Add just enough water to cover it.
  8. Spray a large piece of foil and cover the baking pan with it. Poach fish in oven for about 10 minutes. DO NOT ALLOW LIQUID TO COME TO A BOIL. You should barely smell the fish as it is cooking. After 10 minutes, take pan out of the oven. Take the chopped mushrooms and parsley off  the fillets with a slotted spoon. Set aside. Carefully, lift fillets out of the cooking liquid and set aside to cool. Discard cooking liquid or save it for future fish stock.
  9. Raise oven heat to: 400 F. Line cookie sheet with parchment
  10. Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll out smaller ball of dough in an oblong fish shape directly on to the baking parchment. It should be large enough to hold the fillets. Sprinkle dough with bread crumbs. Carefully, lay one fillet on top of crumbs. Cover it with mushrooms, shallots, parsley and leeks. Lay the remaining fillet on top of vegetables.
  11. Brush the edges of the bottom pastry with egg glaze.
  12. Roll out the larger ball of dough to match the fish shape on a floured surface. Gently, lift dough and cover fish with it. Press the edges together all the way around. Trim off any excess dough and use for decorations. You can pinch off small pieces and attach them to the top piece of dough with a little egg glaze to create fish scales. Brush the entire fish en croute with egg glaze. Any designs you want to make with a sharp knife will show up through the egg glaze. Bake 30-45 minutes or until pastry has turn golden brown. Your kitchen will smell heavenly. Serve with a beautiful salad and colorful vegetable.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Onion Soup P Serves:  10
Onion Soup is one of my favorites. Traditionally, it is made with beef broth and a crouton covered with melted cheese. I am not a fan of the crouton ; and because I’m kosher, I can’t add cheese to a soup made with beef broth.  This recipe is vegetarian and if you’re having a dairy meal-spoon on the cheese.
3 pounds onions (about 12 cups sliced)
4 ounce stick Earth Balance margarine
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart low salt vegetable broth
3 quarts water
Bunch of thyme-tied
Large soup pot with cover
Electric food processor
  1. Peel and halve onions. Insert narrow slicer into processor and slice all the onions.
  2. Heat margarine in soup pot over medium flame. Add onions and stir well so that all the onions are covered with melted margarine. Sprinkle with sugar and salt. Stir again. Cook onions until they have turned golden brown-stirring occasionally. This process will take 45-60 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle flour over onions and stir well.
  4. Add wine, broth and water. Stir well. Drop in bunch of thyme. Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Place cover on top so that it is partially askew. Simmer 45 minutes longer. Remove thyme bunch. Serve Onion Soup hot with grated parmesan.