Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Festive 4-Course Menu to Celebrate New Year's Eve 2011 and Shabbat!

Why shouldn't New Years Eve be just as festive when it falls on Shabbat? Take this opportunity to kick your usual Shabbat fare up a notch with an elegant 4 course menu.
To drink? A fabulous Kosher Champagne, of course!

Hors D’oeuvre:
Tapenade Ears
Armenian Meat Balls

Vegetarian Vegetable Soup

Duck with Orange Sauce
Wild Rice
Steamed Broccoli

Coconut Lemon Layer Cake
Florentines with Orange Peel

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Black Olive Tapenade--a Perfect New Years Eve Hors D’oeuvres

Black Olive Tapenade P Yield: 1 ½ cups

Quick, easy and multi purpose! Use it for hot/cold hors d’oeuvres or as a topping for any mild firm fleshed fish before cooking. Tapenade has a zesty bright flavor that will please any palate.
Prep time: 10 min.
8 ounces pitted Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers (rinsed)
1 clove garlic- smashed
1 medium shallot- peeled and minced (enough to equal 3 tablespoons)
¼ cup olive oil
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice- to taste
Electric food processor
  1. Place all ingredients in bowl of processor. Pulse on and off until desired smoothness is achieved. My preference is for it to look like you have finely minced all the ingredients as opposed to a paste- but it is up to you to decide.

To serve cold: Use tapenade as a dip for crackers, chips or crudités.

To serve hot: Spread 1- 1 ¼ cups tapenade on one sheet of defrosted pareve puff pastry leaving at least ½ inch around the edges. Roll each short end three times toward the middle so that both sides meet. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 ½ hours before slicing. Place thin slices (less than ¼”) on lined cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg and bake in preheated 350 F. oven for 20 minutes or until browned. Cool on rack for at least 10 minutes until tapenade ears become crisp and are easy to handle. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Cover any firm mild fish with a layer of tapenade. Bake until fish is done the way you like it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chinese Food on Christmas--A NYC Jewish Tradition!

Weren't expecting to see a Christmas post on the Kosher Cookbook blog?
Well, for those of us who live in New York City, it is impossible to escape the sights, the sounds and all that seem to envelop the city.
Though clearly there is no Christmas celebration going on in the houses of observant jews...Chinese food on Christmas is a fun ritual with deep roots in NY Jewish culture.
Why Chinese food? Simply put, before the days when almost anything could be gotten at any time and Kosher restaurants were hard to come by, Chinese restaurants were the only ones open on Christmas Eve :)
Not interested in the back story, or find it offensive? You can enjoy this great stir fry recipe on any other day of the year!

Stir-Fried Vegetables with Beef


  • 3 cups small cubes of cooked beef
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 2 large peppers (not green)
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • ½ pound sugarsnap peas
  • 10 ounces assorted mushrooms
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon pure toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Cut the heads off broccoli (discard stalks) and separate them into florets. Rinse florets well and drain in colander. Add carrots to broccoli.
  2. Rinse and trim snap peas. Set aside.
  3. Rinse, seed, and core peppers. Cut peppers into one inch pieces. Add to peas.
  4. Wipe off mushrooms and trim stems. Slice larger mushrooms and leave small ones whole. Set aside.
  5. Peel and mince garlic cloves.
  6. Heat oil in skillet over medium flame. Add garlic. Saute quickly taking care not to burn garlic. Add broccoli and carrots. Stir well until all vegetables are coated in oil. Cover skillet and cook about seven minutes or until vegetables are almost crisp-tender. Remove cover. Add peas, peppers and cooked beef. Stir briskly. Add mushrooms. Stir two or three minutes longer or just until mushrooms have wilted. Add sesame oil. Stir well. Taste. Season with salt and pepper. Remove vegetables and meat with a slotted spoon and arrange in a serving dish. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mac & Cheese with Steamed Spinach

This Shabbat, I was lucky enough to be invited to dear friends for Friday night dinner. When I know that I don't have to prepare both meals for Shabbat, I often prefer to make a lighter dairy meal for Saturday's lunch. This Macaroni and Cheese, along with some soup and a Salad fit the bill perfectly!

Mac & Cheese with Steamed Spinach


  • 1 pound macaroni noodles
  • 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
  • 16 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 cup Panko crumbs
  • baking spray


  1. Parboil macaroni according to package directions. Drain in colander. Rinse well with warm water and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to: 375 F.
  3. 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.
  4. Steam 1 pound of spinach. Drain well and stir into cheese sauce.
  5. Spray baking pan. Spoon macaroni and vegetables 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.

Don't Have to Make Dinner? A Perfect Dairy Shabbat Lunch Menu

Mushroom and Barley Soup*
Frittata with Leeks, Zucchini, Peppers & Parmesean
Mac & Cheese with Steamed Spinach*
Green Salad
Ice Cream
Burnt Sugar Cookies*

*Recipes available on the Kosher Cookbook App for iPhone,iPod Touch and iPad

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Still haven't had enough Latkes? A Post-Chanukah Shabbat Menu

Had enough of fried food but still have potatoes to use up post-Chanukah?
Potato Kugel can easily be substituted for the Latkes...your decision whether or not to include the applesauce!

French String Bean Salad
Pot Roast with Beer, Carrots & Onions
Potato Latkes
Strawberry/Raspberry Sorbet
No Bake Bourbon Balls

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Manischewitz's Reduced Sodium Broth-- Contest Extended!

For some reason, people don't seem to be interested in winning boxes of this lovely free broth. While I don't particularly love their regular broth, the Reduced Sodium broths and Vegetable broth are really quite good.
To give you a chance to enter, I've extended this contest a little bit. Please leave your comments by Monday December 6 to be entered to win. To enter,all you have to do is leave a comment by December 6th telling me which Reduced-Sodium Broth you'd like to try. There are some additional ways to get extra entries, but they are completely optional.
To make your lives easier, I've included the original post below:

Let's face it--packaged broth is a necessary evil. While clearly homemade broth is a wonderful thing, I know very few people who have the time to cook up a vat of broth every time they need to use a cup or two in a recipe.
My main complaint with most kosher brands of broth has always been the overabundance of salt. Manischewitz has addressed this problem with it's new(ish) Reduced Sodium broths. While not exactly appropriate for those who need to be on a low sodium diet for health reasons, at 420 mg of sodium per cup (for chicken broth) it is 40% less than Manichewitz regular chicken broth. The broth is flavorful, but with a light enough taste to enrich your recipes without overpowering them.

If you haven't been working on your recipe entry for the Man-O-Manichewitz cook off, you'd better get cracking! Entries are due on December 31st!
To help you out, Manichewitz is being generous enough to provide one Reduced-Sodium Broth and one All-Natural Vegetable Broth to a lucky reader.
To enter, just leave a comment by Sunday November 28th telling me which Reduced-Sodium Broth you'd like to try.
For additional entries (leave an additional comment for each):

1.Follow this blog

2.Follow me on twitter @koshercookbook (leave an additional comment with your twitter name) and Retweet on twitter @koshercookbook.

3. Add me to your networked blogs.

4. Subscribe via RSS feed.

5. 'Like' Kosher Cookbook on Facebook

6. 'Like' peek a blog (peek a baby)--My daughter's parenting blog on Facebook

A winner will be chosen via

Disclosure: I received a sample of Manichewitz broth to facilitate this review

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Plain, Simple, Perfect Potato Latkes

Potato Latkes

Crispy on the outside edges with a small soft center is the ultimate latke.


  • 3 eggs
  • 3 pounds all-purpose potatoes
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons flour/matzah meal
  • vegetable oil


  • food processor
  • large mixing bowl
  • large skillet


  1. Beat eggs briskly in mixing bowl.. Mix minced onion, salt and pepper into eggs. Set aside.
  2. Peel potatoes. (Place peeled potatoes in a bowl of cold water if you are not going to use them right away.)
  3. Attach shredder to food processor. Shred potatoes and add them to egg mixture. Sprinkle with flour and stir well.
  4. Pour about ½ inch oil in 1 or 2 large skillets. Heat oil til very hot. Carefully drop small amounts of potato mixture from a wooden spoon into the hot oil. Flatten with the top of spoon. Fry latkes until the edges turn brown; then flip them carefully with a spatula and fry a few minutes longer. I slightly undercook the latkes if I plan to reheat them in the oven.
  5. Remove cooked latkes from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve latkes hot with fresh applesauce.
Note: Shred one large zucchini, 2 large carrots, and or a large sweet potato to all or a portion of the white potato mixture for a dash of color. The sweet potato makes a sweeter latke; while the other vegetables do not really change the flavor at all.