Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Great Post Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich

I always get somewhat annoyed at all of the recipes that are all over the media touting uses for Thanksgiving leftover BEFORE the holiday has even started! Sometimes, however, you just end up with so much leftovers that you really do need to figure out how to re-use them without getting bored. This sandwich is one of my favorites and is a great way to use up any sliced turkey that you have left.

The Great Post Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich

Buy a delicious loaf of Ciabatta bread. Cut bread into ½ inch slices and grill it with a little olive oil on a grill pan. Slather bread with Pareve Pesto*. Layer several slices of white meat turkey (all fat and skin removed)on each side of grilled Ciabatta. Add grilled Portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers*, chopped romaine lettuce and sliced Beefsteak tomatoes. Serve as an open sandwich with cranberry sauce* or coleslaw* on the side.

You don’t have to wait until after Thanksgiving to create this sandwich. You can roast (or buy) a rolled turkey breast and have it any time you want.

*Recipes are on app!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

12 Tips for a Successful Thanksgiving

1. Don't bother with an elaborate first course. It will only fill your guests up and leave them with less room for the mail event!

2. Cook your stuffing outside the turkey. This will not only give you deliciously crispy stuffing but will help you avoid spoilage. If you cook your stuffing in the turkey then you MUST remove it from the turkey cavity before refrigerating leftovers because stuffing left in the turkey can spoil.

3. If you are serving a lot of different dishes to a lot of people, create a menu that can be served room temperature.
The children at the table will thank you (as will the adults who won't spend their entire meal blowing on their children's food!)

To clear up space in your oven: All mashed casseroles that contain brown sugar and margarine can be heated up in advance and left on top of the stove for at least 30 minutes because they will retain their heat.

Get oven recipes that take longer done first so that then you can prepare recipes that require the stove top at the last possible minute.

If you are planning to make 2 Turkeys: Make 1 turkey on Wednesday and 1 on Thursday morning to leave oven space for other cooking (If you have a single oven, you may want to start Tuesday night or very early on Wednesday morning!)

7. If you make your turkey in advance, leave it whole (unsliced) and wrapped in the refrigerator to help it retain moisture and remove from fridge as early as possible before your meal and allow it to come to room temp.

8. Make sure that you know in advance if you have any nut-allergic guests (ditto with other allergies such as wheat and soy) and the severity of their allergy. You may want to leave the nuts off of some of your recipes such as Pear Pie, Sweet Potato Casserole or Brussels Sprouts--they will be different, but just as delicious!

9. Begin your meal at the traditionally early time (somewhere between 4:30 and 5). Any children or older adult guests will start to misbehave or nod off if you start much later.

10. Many pies, cookies and even cranberry sauce can be made in advance and frozen.

11. Pie doough can be prepared and put in the fridge 2-3 days in advance.

12.Try to relax and enjoy your family and friends- in the end that’s all that matters!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quick Vegetarian Gravy (Great for Thanksgiving!)

Need something for the vegetarians at your table to pour over their stuffing? Try this recipe--great for Thanksgiving or anytime (and rich enough to please your meat eaters)!

Quickie veggie gravy:

Saute 1 large chopped shallot + 3 chopped portobello mushrms in 3 T of parve marg and 1 T olive oil. Stir in 2-3 T of flour quickly & add about 2 C boxed parve veg broth + chopped leaves of of 1 lg branch rosemary. Add a couple of turns of pepper mill + 1/2 tsp salt. Taste. Adjust seasoning. Cool completely and refrigerate til Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Sneak Preview of My Thanksgiving Menu: My guests better come hungry!

With a tweak here or there, the bulk of my Thanksgiving menu stays the same year after year...

For holidays like Thanksgiving, once your friends and family grow attached to certain dishes and if they don't get to experience the tastes that they remember, it just doesn't seem like the holiday. To keep everyone happy, each year I find myself adding new dishes without subtracting the tried and true...making for an inordinate amount of food!

Thanksgiving Menu-2009

Hors d’oeuvres

*Guacamole + Hummous with Blue Corn chips and baby carrots, mixed pitted olives

*Mushroom ears


*Maple Glazed Sliced Turkey (I make 2 with extra bottom quarters to serve about 35-40 over Thanksgiving and Shabbat)

*Turkey Gravy +* vegetarian gravy

*Cranberry Sauce

*Cornbread Stuffing

Wild & White Rice Stuffing with Pearl Onions and Dried Fruit

*Sweet Potato Casserole

*Smashed Root Vegetables with Caramelized Onions

*Brussels Sprouts with Dill and Walnuts

Pumpkin-Yam Timbale

*Candied Parsnips

*Chestnuts, Pearl Onions and Celery

*Steamed Green Beans

*Roasted Squash


*Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

*Spiced Apple Pie

*Pear Pie with Hazelnut Topping

*Double Pecan Pie

*Sugar Cookies in the shape of Turkeys

Fruit platter/strawberries

To drink: Lots and lots of apple cider (sparkling & flat) and wine

Look for all recipes with an asterisk on the Kosher Cookbook App (the others will soon follow with the next upgrade!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Don't forget to order your Thanksgiving turkey!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because the whole event centers around food and family. Unlike all of the specifically Jewish holidays which I prepare for throughout the year, Thanksgiving has no set observance--it's all of the festivities of a yom tov without any of the Jewish requirements.
It looks like we will be serving 25 people on the day of Thanksgiving and another 15 or so on the Friday night after, so I have have my work cut out for me. Though side-dishes and desserts will abound (and you could basically make a whole meal out of just the 'fixings'), my guests all come expecting to feast on lots and lots of turkey--before I went on my trip, I ordered two birds (an 18 lb and a 20 lb) and a whole bunch of extra legs for all of the children.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tips from Tuscany

I was so lucky to have the opportunity to take a wonderful cooking class, Tastes of Tuscany while on my trip. Knowing that my kosher restrictions might post a problem, I spoke to the school beforehand, and they agree to put together a vegetarian cooking class for me.
I learned some interesting things--spinach ravioli in Italy is much heavier on the spinach and lighter on the cheese than what we serve here. We made so many wonderful dishes: gnocci with pesto, spinach-ricotta ravioli with sage butter, toasted bread with sauteed kale with parmesan on top, poached pears in red wine and cinnamon with vanilla creme and potato flan with parmesan and truffle butter. The food was so rich and delicious that nobody even missed the meat!

Tastes of Tuscany

While in Florence, I was lucky enough to take a one day Tastes of Tuscany cooking class. Knowing that I might run into some kashrut problems, I called ahead and made sure that a vegetarian class could be arranged. The people there were very accommodating and

Friday, November 13, 2009

Inspirations from Paris

Whereas my inspirations from Florence come in the form of a bounty of beautiful produce, in Paris I am drawn to anything made with flour or milk--breads, pastries and cheese! Though Parisians seems to be able to take small tastes of all of the wonderful treats that await at every patisserie, those of us on a visit seem to be constantly eating!
I look forward to recreating and sharing some of the fabulous delicacies that I saw in every bakery window!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Inspirations from Florence

It was impossible not to feel inspired by the bounty of fresh produce that I saw in the open air market in Florence, Italy. The old chestnut that everything tastes better abroad is still unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the side of the pond on which you live) true. Something about the air, the water, the soil or the environment as a whole in Florence seems to produce magically gorgeous.
As Thanksgiving approaches, these pictures will fuel the pictures of cornucopias dancing in my head...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Back from a trip, What to do about dinner....

If you've been following my Facebook page and Twitter feed, then you know that I have been away for the last 10 days enjoying myself and doing lots of food research in Florence and in Paris.
After a 10 hour flight, even the Kosher Cookbook needs a rest...

Every one should have a great go-to Kosher Butcher to order from! Upon arrival at home, I was able to put away my 3 already prepared fried chickens from my favorite longtime butcher Fischer Brothers & Leslie. I will be serving them with a frozen Moussaka that I had awaiting my return in my freezer.

I promise to share pictures of some of the wonderful food that I saw and tasted on my travels when I get over my jet lag.

Now, off to begin planning for Thanksgiving!