Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's Time to Plan for the New Year! :Gloria's Rosh Hashana Menus

My Rosh Hashana menus stay basically the same from year to year. Each recipe has become tradition. When I’ve tried to make a real change; my children revolt! You’ll notice that I don’t serve soup. Honestly, I find that serving soup to a large crowd, including children, is a challenge. In addition, soup is very filling and I want everyone to have room to eat the rest of the meal. Cranshaw melons are usually fabulous around Rosh Hashana time and the sliced melon looks pretty on the plate.

Rosh Hashana Menus: First Night

Breast of chicken with White wine, Mushrooms & Grapes/ Tofu done the same way
Stuffed Cabbage/Veggie Stuffed Cabbage
Individual Potato Kugels
Orange Shells Stuffed with Strawberry Sorbet

Second Night
Roasted Rock Cornish Hens
Rice with Sauteed Veg & Currants
Carrot Pudding
Stuffed Cabbage/Veggie Stuffed Cabbage
Poached Pears in Red Wine & Cinnamon
Lace Cookies

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tri-colored Penne with Arugula and Truffle Oil (recipe, dairy)

Tri-colored Penne with Arugula and Truffle Oil D Serves: 4-6
This is a great one course family meal.
Prep time: 20 min.  Baking time: 30-45 min.
1 pound tri-colored penne                                  
1 stick unsalted butter                                        
1/3 cup flour                                                       
2 teaspoons dried mustard                                  
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 cups whole milk
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
3-4 drops truffle oil- to taste
2 handfuls (about 2-3 ounces) baby arugula-washed and dried
1 cup panko
baking spray
6 quart pot and colander
Large skillet
Wooden spoon
13x19x2 baking pan
1.      Parboil penne according to package directions. Drain in colander. Rinse well with warm water and set aside.
2.      Preheat oven to: 375 F.
Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Mix flour with mustard and pepper and stir briskly into melted butter. Cook for two minutes. Slowly, pour milk into skillet and stir well until a white sauce has formed. Remove from heat and add grated cheese. Stir cheese into sauce until it has completely melted.
3.      Add truffle oil drop by drop. Taste after three drops. Add more if desired.
4.      Stir in arugula.
5.      Spray baking pan. Spoon penne mixture into pan. Sprinkle with crumbs. Bake 30-45 minutes until top has browned and cheese is bubbling over. Serve hot.
*Whole milk will make a creamier dish but 1% milk is delicious as well.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gingersnaps, Grandma Jeannie and the High Holidays (recipe, pareve)

The High Holidays are fast approaching- early or late- depending on your point of view. What it means to me, as the Mother, Grandmother, Wife, Daughter, who prepares all the meals is that I better get cracking!
My menus are basically the same every year. Occasionally my desserts are different; but basically, everyone knows what to expect and they happily anticipate the familiar flavors. Where did these recipes come from?  They came from recipes handed down through my Mother’s Mother- my Grandma Jeannie. I imagine my Great Grandma Sara made them first-but those are not my memories.
One of my strong recollections before I was six years old was one of eating “Zuzus” in my Grandparent’s kitchen. We all lived in the same building; and so it was easy for me to visit my Grandmother every day in the afternoon. What I didn’t know at the time was that she was very sick and had been for about five years. She died when I was six years old. What I do remember was eating those yummy “Zuzus”. I don’t know if that was a brand name or was just a name Grandma Jeannie used for them but they were yummy. We now call them Gingersnaps. They are significant in my life because of this memory; but also because they are an important component in my Grandma Jeannie’s Stuffed Cabbage recipe. They get ground up and added to the sauce which makes it a spicy sweet and sour holiday treat. At some point, Grandma must have made the Stuffed Cabbage herself because she taught her housekeeper, Margaret, and my Mother’s housekeeper, Anna Mae, how to prepare it. In those days, they used packaged Gingersnaps which made the job a little easier.
Anna Mae worked for my family for 60 years! She taught me how to prepare all the family recipes that were taught to her by Grandma Jeannie and I still make them today. In my case, I even make the non-dairy gingersnaps myself.  As I crunch down on the first “Zuzus” that come out of the oven, I remember being a little girl and sitting in my Grandma Jeannie’s kitchen having a snack. And, as I smell the Stuffed Cabbage, more memories come flooding back. I have added a vegetarian version of the Stuffed Cabbage recipe for my daughter.  I hope these recipes never get lost. They tie the generations together. Here I am, so many decades later, getting ready to make those “Zuzus” and begin my Stuffed Cabbage. I hope the wonderful smells that fill the kitchen waft up to heaven and remind Grandma that I am still remembering her with love and making her part of our Rosh Hashana meals.
Here is my recipe for Gingersnaps aka “Zuzus”. The recipes for Grandma Jeannie’s Stuffed Cabbage and my Veggie version are on the Tuesday, August 24, 2010 post:  Happy Holiday Cooking!

This recipe is easy, spicy and delicious on its own or used in my stuffed cabbage recipe.
Prep time: Dough- 10 min.  Chilling time- 60 min.  Forming cookies- 20 min.  Baking- 10 min.
12 tablespoons non-dairy margarine-softened
1 cup dark brown sugar-firmly packed
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 large cookie sheets
baking parchment
cooling racks
electric mixer
1.      Cream margarine and sugar in bowl of mixer. Beat in egg and molasses.
2.      Mix remaining ingredients into batter on low speed. Wrap dough in waxed paper. Chill one hour.
3.      Preheat oven to: 375 F.
4.      Line cookies sheets with parchment.
5.      Remove dough from refrigerator. Pinch off pieces of dough large enough to form one inch balls. Flatten balls with hands and place them three inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until browned on bottom. Cool on racks before serving as snacks or pulverizing for my Stuffed Cabbage recipe.

Gloria Kobrin's Radio Interview with Chaim Szmidt from Kosher Scene

In case you didn't get a chance to tune into my live interview with Chaim Szmidt, the wonderful host of Kosher Scene on Blog Talk Radio, you can now listen to it at your leisure.
I talk about my favorite recipes, share some family memories and discuss some of the things that I do when I'm not up to my elbows in kitchen experiments.
Let me know what you think!

Listen to internet radio with KosherScene on Blog Talk Radio