Friday, April 30, 2010

What to serve with Roast Beef? An April Shabbat Dinner Menu from Kosher Cookbook

Mango, jicama & corn salad
Roast beef with herb crust
Roasted vegetables
Potato kugel
Apricot sorbet
butterscotch brownies

*All recipes available on the Kosher Cookbook App for iPhone*

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kosher Cookbook Goes Mediteranean! Chicken with Currants, Pine nuts and Olives

Chicken with Currants, Pine nuts and Olives M Serves: 10

This chicken is full of flavor and absolutely delicious.

Prepared vegetarian cutlets work very well in this sauce if you need a vegetarian option!

Prep time: 60-75 minutes


3 small chickens- cut in joints and skinned

2 large red onions

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup pitted kalamata olives

1 cup pine nuts- toasted

1 cup currants

2 cup dry white wine

1 bunch fresh sage

2-3 large branches fresh rosemary

freshly ground black pepper


Large roasting pan/2 large skillets


  1. Clean chicken carefully and dry well. Set aside.
  2. Peel and chop onion finely.
  3. Heat olive oil in roasting pan or divide it between 2 large skillets. Add onion and sauté it about 15 minutes or until very soft and translucent. Add chicken to pan and sauté it about 8 minutes on each side. Sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Pour wine over chicken. Cover roaster/skillets and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove cover and add pine nuts, currants and olives. Stir well, recover roaster and simmer an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Chop sage and rosemary finely while chicken is finishing. Remove cover from roaster and scatter herbs over chicken. Stir gently just to insure that herbs touch all parts of the chicken. Spoon chicken into a serving dish (oven to table if you want to reheat it ) and serve hot with rice or roasted potatoes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Kitchen Experiment: Parchment Wrapped White Asparagus

I have always looked forward to Wednesday mornings because it is the day that I wake up to the NY Times Dining Section--which often brings new culinary inspirations. Last week, I used Melissa Clark's idea for cooking asparagus in parchment paper. Though she used green, I have been craving the white asparagus that I enjoyed at a birthday luncheon a few weeks ago, so I substituted white stalks for the green. I wrapped them in parchment paper packets, as described in the article and seasoned them lightly with olive oil, salt & pepper and rosemary. The results were a mixed bag--some spears were tender and delicious and others were tough and fibrous.
The jury's out on whether the results were the fault of the recipe or of the cook.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Spring Dinner Menu from Kosher Cookbook

Tri-Color Salad
Rack of Lamb with Mustard
Stuffed Peppers with Rice and Currants
Green Beans
Chocolate Mousse with Minced Orange Peel
Fruit Salad

*All recipes available on the Kosher Cookbook App for iPhone*

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Braised Baby Artichokes--A Lovely Side for Spring


Prep time: 30 minutes Braising time: 30 minutes

These artichokes are a delectable side dish. Toss them with roasted potatoes and roasted squash and you have a great vegetarian meal.


24 baby artichokes

6 large shallots

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup vegetable broth

½ cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leafed parsley

Freshly ground black pepper


Large skillet with cover


  1. Remove enough dark green outer leaves from the artichokes to expose the light green leaves underneath. You will be removing 4-5 layers of leaves. Cut off the top third of the artichokes and half of the stems. Slice artichokes in half through the stems and let them soak in a bowl of water into which you’ve squeezed ½ lemon for a few minutes. Drain artichokes and pat dry.
  2. Peel shallots and halve them.
  3. Heat oil in skillet over moderately high heat. Carefully, add artichokes and shallots to hot oil. Sauté vegetables until they are golden brown- stirring occasionally to be sure nothing burns. This step should take about 10 minutes.
  4. When vegetables are brown, add vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and cover skillet. Simmer about 15 minutes or until artichokes are tender.
  5. Remove cover, and add wine. Boil uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Toss with chopped parsley before serving.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Experimenting with Earth's Balance--Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have always baked with margarine and not really thought too much about it--the trans fats just struck me as a necessary evil that went along with pareve baking.
Recently, Earth's Balance was suggested to me as a healthier alternative to use in my pareve baking. Earth's Balance is a line of products made of palm fruit oil--an oil which is high in fat, but considered to be quite healthy and is also OU and pareve.
When I opened my shortening sticks, I was struck by the waxy appearance of shortening. Texture-wise, it doesn't soften to the same extent as other margarine even when you beat it with sugar. It was only after the addition of eggs and vanilla, that the color and consistency began to resemble what I am used to seeing in my mixing bowl.
In terms of the finished product? The cookies smell the same as they bake, but don't get quite as brown. In a effort to get them a little bit browner, I may have baked them a minute or two too long resulting in a more brittle as opposed to crisp cookie--though I was pleased not to end up with any burnt cookies in spite of the extra baking time (even those on the edge of the baking sheet)!
All in all, the cookies taste good, though they do have a slightly different flavor from my regular ones. I will definitely continue to use Earth Balance in baking to see how it does with pie crusts and cake and other cookies as well and will report back on my experiments!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Lovely Spring Luncheon Menu from Kosher Cookbook

A perfect menu to show off those aparagus that you've just perfected!

Watercress Potato Soup
Chicken and Wild Rice
Steamed Asparagus
Fruit Salad
Burnt Sugar Cookies

* All recipes available on the Kosher Cookbook App for iPhone*

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gloria's Tips for Properly Steaming Asparagus

Asparagus are one of those vegetables that just scream Spring. Though I love them roasted (and love not having to peel them as carefully), steamed asparagus have a pure flavor and bright green color that is like nothing else.

In recent years, there has been some kosher controversy about the 'kosher-ness' of asparagus tops, causing many a kosher caterer to serve beheaded asparagus. In my house, we just clean them thoroughly. If you choose to be stricter, you can check out the OK Guide to Checking Vegetables . If you do choose to remove the tops of your asparagus before cooking, I recommend serving them in pieces as part of a salad instead of displaying them whole.

How to prepare your asparagus:
1. Feel for the natural break on the ends of all the asparagus and break them off. Trim the fresh ends with a sharp knife so that they are even.
2. Lay asparagus down on a flat surface and then take a vegetable peeler and gently peel the stalks from about one-half inch from the tip of the asparagus down to the end of the stalk. By doing so, you will be removing all the fibrous parts of the stalk and all the scales thus exposing the light green flesh of the vegetable. Rinse asparagus well.
To Steam:
Fill a large skillet with about two inches of water. Bring water to a boil. Add half the asparagus. Cover. Shake pan so that the asparagus settle in a single layer. Pencil asparagus take about one minute to cook. Thick asparagus can take eight to ten minutes to steam. They should be bright green and firm-tender when pierced with a knife. Carefully remove asparagus from pan and serve them immediately if you want them hot. If you plan to serve them cold or at room temperature, cover asparagus with ice cubes immediately following removing them from the pan. The ice will stop the cooking process and help maintain the bright green color of the vegetable. Drain asparagus when ice cubes have melted and cover them with a damp paper towel. The asparagus are now ready to be eaten plain, served with dressing or added to other vegetables in an antipasto.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A post-Passover Kosher Cookbook Shabbat menu

Steamed Artichokes *
Roasted Cornish Hens*
Braised Shoulder of Veal
Steamed Stringbeans and Broccoli*
Roasted Tri-color potatoes*
veggie chicken nuggets
Brown Rice
Chocolate Chip Brownies

*Recipes available on the Kosher Cookbook App for iPhone

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Passover Luncheon Menu from Kosher Cookbook

Avocado Salad with Jicama,Tomatoes and olives

London Broil

Potato Kugel

Cole Slaw

Fruit Salad

Fudgey Flourless Chocolate Cake

*All recipes available on the Kosher Cookbook App for iPhone