Monday, September 26, 2011

My Sweet and Pungent Pot Roast Makes a Fabulous Alternative to Brisket

For some reason, brisket has become the 'go to' cut of meat for festive holiday meals.  I have always made my pot roast with top of the rib, which is a leaner and much less expensive cut.  You have absolutely nothing to lose with this cheaper and equally flavorful option!

The aroma that emanates from this dish is intoxicating.
Prep time: 25 min.   Braising: 2-2 ½ hours   Vegetables: 20 min.    Finishing: 35 min.
INGREDIENTS                                                                          EQUIPMENT
2 Top of the Rib-trimmed of excess fat                                                large roasting pan with cover
6 tablespoons flour                                                                    large skillet
½ teaspoon black pepper                                                         oven to table serving dish
6 tablespoons corn oil
12 ounces white hot horseradish
2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce
2 sticks cinnamon
6 whole cloves
2 cups instant beef stock
1 pound frozen white pearl onions (defrosted)
2 pounds carrots
1.       Mix flour and pepper.
2.       Rinse meat and pat dry. Dredge meat in flour and pepper and set aside.
3.       Heat oil in skillet over high heat. Brown meat on both sides and place in roasting pan. Reserve drippings in skillet.
4.       Add all remaining ingredients except for carrots and onions to meat. Bring to a boil and simmer covered 2-2 ½ hours or until meat is somewhat tender.
5.       While meat is cooking, peel carrots and cut them into two inch logs. Brown onions and carrots in meat drippings. Add vegetables to meat after the first simmering. Simmer 25-35 minutes more or until meat is tender. Cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.
6.       The next morning, remove congealed fat, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Slice meat and transfer to oven to table serving dish. Arrange carrots and onions over top and around slices. Pour sauce over all. Cover loosely with foil and reheat in 350 oven for at least 30 minutes or until piping hot.  
Note: In addition to being delicious, this recipe is also versatile. Leftovers make terrific sandwiches; and also can be combined with cooked potatoes in a pre-baked pie shell to become a “pot pie”!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Primavera (recipe, pareve)

You will feel like you’re eating pasta but you’re not !
Prep time: squash- 45 minutes   other vegetables- 10 minutes
INGREDIENTS                        EQUIPMENT
two 4 pound spaghetti squash                2 large roasting pans
1 bunch asparagus                    large skillet
1 head broccoli
½ pound white mushrooms
3 multi-colored peppers
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic-minced
½ cup pignoli nuts-toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
freshly ground black pepper
6 cups tomato sauce
optional: grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Halve squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Place halves, cut side down, in roasting pans. Pour in 1 ½ inches of hot water. Cover each pan with foil. Bake about 30-45 minutes or until you can make an indentation on the back of the squash with your finger. Remove squash from oven. Turn squash halves over and allow to cool slightly. Scrape out squash strands with a large fork. Set aside. (If you prefer a microwave, follow instructions that come with your oven.)
  3. Cut off head of broccoli and separate into florets. (Discard stems.) Cut florets in half if they are very large. Rinse well. Set aside.
  4. Break off the woody stems of the asparagus. Cut asparagus into ½ inch pieces on the bias. Rinse well. Set aside.
  5. Rinse, core and seed peppers. Cut them into small dice.
  6. Rinse zucchini and yellow squash. Trim ends. Cut them into medium dice.
  7. Wipe, stem and quarter mushrooms.
  8. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic. Sauté for one minute. Add broccoli, asparagus and peppers. Sauté three-four minutes. Add diced zucchini and yellow squash. Sauté for one minute more. Add chopped basil and nuts. Toss well. Add spaghetti squash to the sautéed vegetables and heat through. At this point, you can add tomato sauce and mix it all up together before transferring to a serving dish or you can serve hot tomato sauce on the side.
Note: Grated Parmesan cheese is delicious with this recipe if you are having a dairy meal.

A Light, Vegetarian Lunch Menu for the Second Day of Rosh Hashana

This year, the second Rosh Hashana lunch precedes Shabbat dinner. I recommend a light vegetarian lunch that will allow you to still usher in Shabbat with a special meal and the ability to eat it.

Spaghetti Squash Primavera
Poppyseed  Cake with Orange Glaze

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lace Cookies: Light, Lovely, Crunchy and Perfect (recipe, pareve)

These taste like crispy caramel and look like lace.
Prep time: 20 min.  Baking- 8-10 min.
INGREDIENTS                    EQUIPMENT
½ cup non-dairy margarine                medium saucepan
½ cup light corn syrup                large cookie sheet
2/3 cup dark brown sugar-solidly packed        baking parchment
1 cup flour                        spatula
1 cup finely chopped pecans                cooling racks
  1. Preheat oven to: 325 F.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment.
  3. Put margarine, sugar and corn syrup in saucepan. Melt margarine slowly before bringing mixture to a boil. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in flour and nuts. Cool 10 minutes while batter thickens.
  4. Scrape small amounts of batter from a spoon on to cookie sheet. Leave three inches between cookies. Bake eight to ten minutes or until cookies are mahogany brown. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow cookies to cool one minute before gently removing them to cooling rack. The cookies will still be flexible. They will crisp on the rack. Store in an airtight container with waxed paper between them. Do not refrigerate or freeze these cookies because they will lose their crispness.
Don’t start this recipe if you’re in a rush.  Take the time necessary to bake just a few at a time and allow them to cool properly before removing them from the cookie sheet.  Your patience will pay off.

What to Serve with Rock Cornish Hens? A Menu for the Second Night of Rosh Hashana

I grew up having our major Rosh Hashana meals for lunch. My Father didn't and doesn't go to shul at night. No one wanted to eat so late so everyone gathered for lunch. Dinner was a snack. On the other hand, my husband does go to shul at night and feels very strongly about having his major meals for dinner.I think he also feels that if I don't have to worry about company for lunch, I might get to shul earlier.Oh well. Anyway, I used to make Roast Veal for second night because I could cook it right before dinner.  Over the years, I've found that we and others are so full from the night before and lunch-no matter how light it is, that I've started serving poultry the second night as well. Once the hens have been cleaned and prepared, they can be easily roasted right before dinner. The carrot pudding can be made the day before or frozen. The pears only get better if they're made a day in advance-not frozen though. You can always opt to make your own sorbet or buy one or two of the delicious sorbets available in the market. Serve the sorbet with berries and cookies and everyone will be happy.

Mixed Green Salad
Roasted Rock Cornish Hens
Rice with Sauteed Veg & Currants
Carrot Pudding
Stuffed Cabbage
Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage
Poached Pears in Red Wine & Cinnamon
Lace Cookies

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sweet and Sour Meatballs--for Shabbat or any time! (recipe, meat)

Make these meatballs a day in advance and let the flavors intensify overnight.
Prep time: 30 min. cooking time: about 60 min.
INGREDIENTS                    EQUIPMENT
2 pounds chopped meat                large Dutch oven
1 cup bread crumbs                    large mixing bowl
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon ground allspice
2 eggs
2 28 ounce cans organic crushed tomatoes
1½ cups instant/boxed beef stock
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
¾ cup solidly packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
  1. Peel and mince garlic and onion separately. Set aside.
  2. Pour both cans of crushed tomatoes into Dutch oven. Add ½ cup minced onion, half minced garlic, sugar, beef stock and lemon juice to tomatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer slowly while you prepare meatballs
  3. Beat eggs in mixing bowl. Combine with chopped meat and other remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly but gently.  
  4. Shape meat into small balls taking care not to pack the meat too tightly. Carefully, drop meatballs into simmering sauce. Partially cover Dutch oven and simmer slowly until sauce has thickened and meatballs are cooked through. Test one meatball after about 1 hour. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Make the meatballs normal size and use them for dinner; make them very small and you have hors d’oeuvres.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Start your Rosh Hashana Lunch Off Bright: Green Pea Soup (Pareve Recipe)

This soup is bright green and really tastes like peas.
Prep time: 30-35 min.  Pureeing time: 15 min.  Chilling over ice: 15-20 min.

2 stalks celery                    8 quart stock pot                   
1 large onion                    large colander
2 tablespoons olive oil            electric food processor/blender
8 cups peas (fresh/frozen)            large mixing bowl
8 cups pareve instant chicken broth
2 tablespoons sugar
white pepper to taste
  1. Defrost and drain peas if you are using frozen ones. Rinse fresh peas. Set aside.
  2. Clean celery, peel onion and chop them both.
  3. Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add chopped vegetables and cook until soft. Stir often.
  4. When vegetables are soft, add pareve broth and bring to a boil.
Add peas. Allow broth to return to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook (uncovered) about 15 minutes or until peas are very tender.
  1. Drain peas and vegetables in a colander reserving liquid.
  2. Puree peas in small batches, adding broth a little at a time. Pour pureed soup into a mixing bowl and place in a larger mixing bowl filled with ice or ice cold water.* Stir soup until it has cooled.
  3. Taste soup. Add sugar and white pepper to taste. Refrigerate. Serve cold.
  4. * Note: Don’t skip this step. The ice helps the soup retain its right green color so that it looks beautiful on  the table.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

An elegant Rosh Hashana Lunch

This is an elegant lunch that can be prepared in advance and eaten at room temperature. 

Green Pea Soup
Baked Poached Salmon
Green Sauce
Potatoes, Peppers, Tomato & Endive Salad
Onion Tart (veg alternative)
Choc-Chip Brownie Pie
Fruit Salad

**Recipes Available on the Kosher Cookbook App for iphone**

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Making a List and Checking it Twice: Getting Ready for Rosh Hashana (Plus a menu for the first night)

It's hard to believe but Rosh Hashana is fast approaching. Despite the fact, we call it "late" this year, some advance planning makes the preparations easier. 

I like to start with a check list: 
1. invite guests 
2. make menu 
3. make separate lists for butcher, fish store, grocery store, green grocer, bakery (challah, desserts-if you don't make them yourself),  liquor store (you need a lot of kiddush wine for all the holidays-buying by the case usually saves you some money)
4. any  cleaning/wait staff you might need to help clean, cook, serve during the holiday season

I've got about 20 for Erev Rosh Hashana, 12 for second night of Rosh Hashana and 8-10 for each lunch. Shabbat might also be about 12 more people. Altogether, that's about 65 meals I have to organize and cook. As I've done this for 40 years, experience has taught me that whatever I can freeze in advance saves me at the end.
My Stuffed Cabbage is already in the freezer (and has been for a couple of weeks!) Chicken Soup is a traditional first course. When I have so many people, I often opt to serve a wedge of Cranshaw or Honeydew instead and save the soup for Shabbat dinner.  Breast of Chicken with White Wine, Grapes & Mushrooms freezes beautifully. I add the grapes after I defrost it. Kugels of any kind freeze well. I freeze the Chocolate Cake in layers and frost it on the day I'm serving it. So,on erev Rosh Hashana, I just have to set the table, prepare apples and honey, make vegetables and cut fruit unless I just serve berries.

Menu (with Vegetarian Equivalent in parentheses)                                                                                                          
Chicken Soup (Any vegetarian soup/melon)                                                                                                              
Breast of chicken with White wine, Mushrooms &; Grapes (Tofu with White Wine, Mushrooms &Grapes


Potato Kugel

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Icing

Fruit Salad

All recipes available on the app!