Thursday, January 31, 2013

Warm up with Mushroom and Barley Soup (recipe, pareve)

This soup is brimming over with flavor oozing from carrots, parsnips, turnips, onions and yes, mushrooms.
Prep time: 30 min.  Simmering time: 60 min.
6 carrots                       
1 each large: leek, onion, parsnip, turnip
1 pound white potatoes
1 pound mushrooms
½ cup barley
½ cup 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, parsnip and turnip. Dice vegetables and add to leeks.
  3. Peel carrots and cut them 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 saute 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.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Prize Winning Pumpkin-Chocolate Creme Brulee (recipe, dairy)

My daughter, Jessica Kobrin Bernstein, entered me in this Stonyfield contest. They sent me Stonyfield Organic Heavy Cream and a whisk and told me to come up with a new recipe using their cream. I happened to have some pureed roasted pumpkin in my freezer and so my Pumpkin Chocolate Creme Brulee was born! I was so excited to win my week and even more excited to get a huge stack of coupons for FREE Stonyfield Organic milk.
Thank you Stonyfield!

Pumpkin-Chocolate Crème Brulee D Yield: 6 four ounce servings
This dessert is creamy, smooth as silk and leaves a hint of pumpkin and cocoa on your tongue.
4 ounces puréed  fresh –not canned-pumpkin *
1 tablespoon white sugar
½ teaspoon pure Vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsweetened pure cocoa
2 cups Stonyfield Organic Heavy Whipping Cream
¼ cup dark brown sugar
Medium mixing bowl
Medium saucepan
Liquid measuring cup
6 ramekins: 5 x 1 inch or 3 x 1 ½ inch
2 large roasting pans
Cooling rack
Small cookie sheet
I recommend using fresh pureed pumpkin for several reasons: 1. It is fresh-no preservatives. 2. The color of fresh pumpkin is a beautiful orange. Although the finished product is not orange, I prefer starting out with a fresh orange product instead of a canned brown one.  3. The taste and texture of pureed fresh pumpkin is far superior to that of the canned version. All this being said, the recipe will work with canned pumpkin.
  1. Mix puréed pumpkin, white sugar, Vanilla, and cinnamon, in mixing bowl. Stir well. Taste. Add a bit more sugar if you like it sweeter. Add egg yolks and mix again.
  2. Preheat oven to: 325 F.
  3. Stir cocoa into ¼ cup of heavy cream until smooth.
  4. Pour remaining heavy cream into saucepan and add cocoa mixture to it. Place saucepan over medium flame. Stir briskly with a whisk until cocoa mixture is thoroughly blended into cream. Heat until cream almost boils. Remove from heat and whisk slowly into pumpkin mixture.
  5. Divide ramekins between roasting pans. Pour pumpkin mixture into liquid measuring cup and pour four ounces into each ramekin.
  6. Pour enough boiling water into each roasting pan so that it comes at least half way up the sides of the ramekins. Place roasting pans on the bottom racks of your oven. Bake 5x1 ramekins for 40 minutes. The 3x1 ½ ramekins will take 50 minutes. When you insert a cake tester, it should come out clean with the filling set.  I use a wide spatula to remove ramekins from the hot water  and place them on a cooling rack. Then I carefully remove the pan of water and discard the water. Place ramekins in the fridge for at least three hours after they have cooled.
  7. Turn oven on to broil. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon brown sugar over the top of each ramekin. Place them on a small cookie sheet and then place that on the top level of the broiler.  Watch carefully. They only take a few minutes to melt and crisp. Remove from broiler and return to refrigerator to chill until you are ready to serve them.  This dessert is best eaten the day it is made. It will taste good the next day but the topping will not be crisp.

  • Note: To roast pumpkin- Cut off top of pumpkin and then cut it in half. Remove seeds and pulp.  Cut each half in half again. Roast in 400 F. oven for 30-45 minutes or until pumpkin is soft. Remove any scorched pieces. Scrape soft pumpkin from shell and puree it in an electric food processor. Measure as much as you need for various recipes and freeze in labeled plastic bags.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Grandma Jeannie’s Split Pea Soup (recipe, meat)

Grandma Jeannie’s Split Pea Soup M Serves: 10
From the moment I put the spoon in my mouth, I was catapulted back to my childhood. This was truly the Split Pea Soup that I ate on many a Friday night over the course of my childhood. I still remember my Mother fully enjoying the bones and my brother and I chomping on the sliced hot dogs that were floating on top. I altered my Grandmother’s recipe a little and added meat to the soup as it was cooking; and then left out the hot dogs.  This is a very hearty, stick to your ribs soup that is perfect for a cold Winter’s night. Next time, I may add the hot dogs as well!
7-8 beef bones
1 pound chuck meat-cut into pieces about 1/3 inch thick and 1 inch long
1 pound dried split peas
2 medium onions-peeled and diced
3 leeks-white part only-quartered , rinsed well and sliced
2 parsnips-peeled, halved and sliced
4 long stalks celery-trimmed, washed, halved and sliced
2 large carrots-peeled, halved and sliced
1 small celery root- peeled and diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
1 small bunch dill
Optional: 2-3 boiled hot dogs-cut into slices
Large soup pot with cover
  1. Rinse bones. Place them in bottom of soup pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Remove bones and discard water. Return bones to pot. Add meat and split peas. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Skim the scum that rises to the top. Add all the remaining ingredients. Add more water to almost cover vegetables. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer about 3 hours or more until meat is falling apart. Serve hot.
To serve: Place a bone in the bottom of the soup bowl and ladle the soup over it. Scatter sliced hot dogs over the top if desired.
Note: The soup thickens over night. You might have to add one cup of water to it to bring it to the right consistency. Don’t thin it too much- this is a thick soup!