Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Sorbet - Simple and Refreshing






Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Fruit Base

1 pint fresh strawberries
1/2 cup orange juice or apple juice

Directions:

First, make the simple syrup. 
Combine water & sugar in a pan, stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil & boil gently for 5 minutes stirring only occasionally.
Cool completely.

Wash berries and remove the caps and any bruised spots.  Wash a few more times to ensure they are free of dirt or insects.

Purée fruit and orange or apple juice in a blender or food processor until almost smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine fruit with cooled syrup.

If you have an ice cream freezer, you can put the purée mixture into that & process using the directions with the machine.

If you do not have an ice cream machine, you can pour the mixture into an 8" baking dish and cover with plastic or foil.  Place this on a level surface in the freezer.  Stir the mixture with a sturdy fork every 30 minutes or so.  This way it will be easier to scoop.

Makes 6-8 servings. Absolutely delicious!

We tripled the recipe as we served it for Shabbat and we had extra for the next day.
If you prefer, other berries can be used.  I will try mango next as they are in season.  I would also like to attempt Lemon Sorbet soon.   

Monday, November 19, 2012

Apple Butter - Regular and Cinnamon Red Hots

This is an easy and delicious way to use up a bounty of fall apples from the orchard or your local fruit stand.  I am making some with the cinnamon candies and some without.  Enjoy!



Wash and quarter apples. Discard any that are infested.

In a large stock pot add the prepared apples along with enough water or apple cider or apple juice to keep from scorching and cook the apples until they are soft.  Stir frequently.

If you may get distracted or need to leave the house for the day, you can also cook the apples down using a crock pot or slow cooker.  I have personally never tried this method but I do know a few people that make applesauce this way.

Cool apples completely! 

Push cooled apples through a colander to make applesauce. Return to large stock pot.

To make apple butter:

For every 16 cups of applesauce add
8 cups sugar
3 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. allspice (if you have it - good but not necessary)
1/2 c. Red Hots™   candy - The Red Hots are optional, but they do give the apple butter a pretty colour and enhance the flavour.
If if the apples are very sweet add about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar  

SLOWLY Cook this mixture down, uncovered until thick enough to spread.
This could take 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours, depending on how much you are making. Stir frequently to prevent scorching.

Prepare pint,  half-pint or jelly sized canning jars according to manufactures instructions.  I usually wash them in hot, soapy water, rinse well and then heat, upside-down, in a large flat-bottomed pan.  I put the clean self-sealing lids in a pan of water and allow to simmer.  Watch that these don't boil dry. 
                             
Pour into 1/2 pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4" headspace, and seal. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Jalapeño Popper Dip - So Delicious!


My lovely daughter Michelle found a similar recipe and today she made this fantastic dip with her alterations.  This creative jalapeño popper dip recipe has the great spicy taste of fried jalapeño
poppers without all the extra work.  I actually think it tastes so much better than the fried
jalapeño poppers. 

What is written below would be a basic recipe that anyone would enjoy - even my near 3-year old granddaughter was seen eating it out of the bowl with a spoon!  We would both like more jalapeños in ours but extras can be served on the side.

This recipe can easily be halved. 



Makes 10 Portions of Jalapeño Popper Dip
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Dip:
2 (8 ounce) packages Neufchâtel cheese, room temp (lower fat cream cheese)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (half Jack, half cheddar cheese)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 (4 ounce) cans chopped mild green chillies (like Ortega brand) - do not drain
1 (4 ounce) can sliced jalapeños - double if you like more heat - We do!

Topping:
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 stick butter, melted

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C

Dip:  In a food processor, add the first 6 ingredients and process until smooth. You do not
need to drain either can of peppers. Spread the dip into a lightly-greased 2-quart casserole.

Topping:  In a bowl, mix breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and melted butter; mix well.
Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the dip and bake in preheated oven
for about 20 minutes. You want the top to get browned and the dip to be heated through
and bubble gently on the edges.

Do not over-cook this dish or the mayonnaise with separate and you will have a grease
puddle in your dip. If this does occur, simply absorb the extra oil with a bit of paper towel.

Serve with tortilla chips.  Raw veggies such as carrot and celery sticks would be nice as well.

K (D)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Salmon Quiche - perfect for a dairy Shabbat breakfast or lunch

In this quiche, I used a bit of spinach I had in the refrigerator.  It is not included in the recipe below as it is not necessary.


First, the crust. I use a 9"/23cm quiche pan.  I have been using frozen, parve short crust as it is readily available.  You can use any short crust pasty recipe that you enjoy or even perhaps the following:

Crust: 

1       cup all-purpose flour
1/2     teaspoon salt
1/3    cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, margarine or butter
2       to 3 tablespoons (60-90ml) cold water


Alternatively, you can use frozen shortcrust pastry - thawed


Mix flour with salt.  Cut shortening into flour mixture until the shortening is about the size of small peas.  Do not over-work this important part - you want flaky crust.  Add cold water and stir with a fork.  If the dough is too dry and does not stick together, then add a few more drops of water.  Wrap in plastic and chill while cleaning up or for about 15 minutes or so.

Roll out into a circle a few inches larger than your pie pan or removable-bottomed quiche pan.  Place into pan and crimp edges to make it pretty. Make little prick marks with a fork or add pie weights to keep the crust from puffing up at this point.  Pop this into the oven (350°F/175°C) for about 5-8 minutes - this helps to prevent the bottom crust from being soggy.  You do not want to completely bake it - just temper it a bit.

Now, for the quiche mixture:

Ingredients:
3-4 eggs, depending upon size
One can evaporated (not condensed!) soy milk or 12 oz milk, soy milk (or other liquid milk alternative)**
1 Tbsp freshly chopped tarragon/1tsp dried tarragon leaves
200gm/7oz smoked salmon (lox), chopped
1/2-3/4 cup cheese
2 Tbsp. Capers, optional but nice
Freshly cracked pepper
Salt to taste (may not be necessary as the salmon is usually salty enough)
Sliced Fresh Tomatoes - either full sized ones or nice cherry tomatoes

**Some people do not combine liquid milk and fish.  I don't mind in a cooked dish.  Therefore, I often use regular milk if I do not have evaporated milk, and simply add an extra egg. 

Method:
In a milchig bowl, beat three extra large eggs, checked (or four regular sized eggs) well.  Add one can of evaporated milk (375ml/12oz standard can) and beat together.  Snip up some fresh tarragon - about a Tablespoon - or use one teaspoon of dried tarragon leaves.  Mix again.

Check the pie crust if you have forgotten about it! ;)

Add to the milk/egg mixture the following:

200gm/7oz smoked salmon (lox), chopped up a bit.
  *I use 'cooking salmon' as it is made from off-cuts and you can find it quite reasonable on sale and freeze it for later.  Photo below.
1/2-3/4 cup cheese - I often use a mixture of what ever I have here - cheddar (white, rennet-less), mozzarella, etc. 
Capers - about 2 Tbsp, if you can find kosher ones.  Quite nice, actually.
Freshly cracked black or mixed pepper
Salt - careful with the salt as the salmon is quite salty.  You should not need much.

Mix the above all together and pour into 9"/23cm quiche pan.



Top with fresh sliced tomatoes. 

Bake in oven (350°F/175°C) for about 25 minutes - I have a fan forced/convection oven - your timing might be about 5 minutes longer.  When a knife comes out clean, remove quiche from oven and cool on a rack.

This delicious quiche can be eaten hot, after cooling for about 5 minutes, or can be cooled and then stored in the refrigerator overnight for a lovely dairy brunch entrée. 

This is the type of smoke salmon/lox that I use.  As it is off-cuts (not perfectly sliced lox) it is often available at a discount price and can be successfully frozen for later use.



Easy Metric to Imperial Kitchen guide  <-- this is a good link to use if you need to convert!  Enjoy.

Balsamic Vinaigrette - Easy, Delicious Salad Dressing

My dear sweet friend Elizabeth, from Nothing But An Apron On and her husband graced my Shabbat day table with a surprise visit.  I had prepared a salmon quiche and Elizabeth threw together a salad with the most amazing Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing that she had purchased from a roadside stand.  I could not get the taste of that salad, complete with an abundance of freshly picked multi-coloured cherry tomatoes, out of my mind.

I have come up with this dressing and it is as close as I can get to the taste.  When Elizabeth tries it out, any adjustments will be updated here.

Note:  Good quality Balsamic Vinegar is naturally sweet.  You should adjust the added brown sugar after tasting.  You may need less sugar so use half the suggested amount first, then add if you feel the dressing needs more.  I used "Balsamic Vinegar of Modena" as it is one of the few excellent quality Balsamic vinegars that are Kosher here in Australia.

Enjoy!


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar - use the best quality you can get
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional*
1 tablespoon garlic, pressed or smashed up
salt
freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 cup good quality olive oil

Shake or whisk the above all together. Taste and adjust salt/pepper.

Prepare for a taste sensation!

This salad dressing will keep for days - remove it from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before using as the olive oil will slightly solidify.  I have successfully halved this recipe.



Friday, August 17, 2012

Whole Wheat Bread with Walnuts and Raisins - savoury

  The recipe below can be made using milk or a milk substitute - I prefer to use soy or oat milk and oil instead of butter or margarine.  Excellent as sandwich bread or when used for toast.

If you use the 'dough only' cycle on a bread machine, divide the recipe in half  but use the same amount of yeast.  I have a heavy-duty mixer that does all the hard work for me but this recipe can also be made by hand.

1 Cup (240ml) warm water (110°F/43°C)
1 Cup (240ml) warm milk - soy, oat, rice, almond (or dairy if you wish)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp dry yeast (or one package active dry yeast)

Place the ingredients above in a bowl and allow this to sit for a few minutes until you see it begin to foam.

Add to the above mixture:
 

3 Tbsp oil, margarine (or butter if you wish)
2 Cups coarsely chopped walnuts - I just break them up a bit
1-1/2 Cups raisins or sultanas
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper - really - this gives the bread a deeper flavour
1/2 Cup cornmeal or polenta - I use polenta as there is no cornmeal here in Australia
1 egg (optional, but seems to keep the loaf fresh for a longer time)

Give this a good stir and then add:

2 Cups whole wheat flour
2-1/2 - 3 Cups bread flour - bread flour is superior as it is made from soft winter wheat

Knead this mixture for 3 minutes.  Let it rest, lightly covered for 5-10 minutes.  Begin to knead again until it is smooth and elastic.  You may need to add a bit more bread flour if it seems 'sticky'  The final kneading should take about 10 minutes.

Oil a large bowl.  Place the dough into the bowl, turning once so the entire surface is coated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double.  In winter when it is chilly, I mix bread dough up the night before I will be baking - if the house is cool it seems to take longer, especially with whole grain dough.

When the dough has risen, punch it down, removed from the bowl, divide in half and shape.  Two loaf pans may be used or the dough can be formed into free-formed loaves. 

To prepare the pan(s) - line pan with baking paper.  Using a brush, oil the baking paper and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp cornmeal or polenta per loaf - this gives the bottom of the loaves a nice crunch and prevents sticking.

Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea-towel.  Allow to rise until double in size - about one hour (longer if your kitchen is cool)

Heat oven to 350
°F/175°C.


Nearly Ready to Bake

Bake until the bread is well-browned and sounds hollow when you give it a tap - this should take about 35-45 minutes.

Turn out onto a wire rack and remove baking paper if it is still attached.  Allow to cool on the rack before slicing.

K (P) or (D) if you use dairy products. 

This Challah is Baked!


Handy Metric to Imperial cooking conversion chart




Thursday, July 26, 2012

Homemade English Muffins



Ingredients:
1 T. dry active yeast dissolved in 1/2 C. tepid water
2 T. instant mashed potatoes softened in 1/2 C. boiling water
1 C. cold milk/milk substitute, plus driblets of water, if needed
2 1/2 C. flour baking flour 3-quart mixing bowl

*To be added after first rise:
1 1/2 t. salt dissolved in 3 T. tepid water

2 to 3 T. butter/margarine/oil, (softened if using butter or margarine)

Method:
Into the instant potatoes, beat the cold milk/milk substitute and stir it along with the dissolved yeast into the flour.
Beat vigorously for a minute or so with a wooden spoon to make a smooth, loose thick batter, heavier than the usual pancake batter, but not at all like conventional bread dough. (Beat in driblets of water if batter is stiff rather than loose)

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise, preferably at room temperature until batter has risen and large bubbles appear in the surface (usually about 1 1/2 hours, depending upon the temperature of the room).

Stir the batter down, then beat in the salt and water, beating vigorously for a minute. Cover and let rise until bubbles again appear in the surface-- about 1 hour (or overnight!) at room temperature.

Brush insides of English muffin rings (or tuna cans about 3" in diameter with tops and bottoms removed) generously with butter/oil.

Butter/oil surface of griddle or frying pan lightly and set over moderate heat. When drops of water placed on the pan surface begin to dance, the heat is about right.

Spoon or scoop batter into the ring--batter should be about 3/8" thick. Cook the muffins slowly on one side until bubbles pierce through the top surface and until almost the entire top changes from a wet ivory white to a dryish gray colour; this will take 6 to 8 minutes or more, depending on the heat (regulate heat so that the bottoms of the muffins do not colour more than a medium or pale brown).

Turn the muffin rings over on the griddle and lift the ring away from the muffin. Continue cooking the second side until lightly browned and dry (probably less than 1 minute).

Cool the muffins on a rack. Once cool, split in half horizontally with a table fork.

Toast under your broiler as these fresh ones are moister than the ones from the supermarket or bakery.

The batter can be mixed up the evening before use and the muffins can then be baked in the morning.
K (D) or (P)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Homemade Ricotta Cheese! Fresh, Easy and Fun!



Ingredients:
    1 quart whole milk (950ml)
    1/2 cup heavy cream (120ml)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Method:

Line a large sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth and place the sieve over a large bowl.  Set this aside for later.

Slowly heat milk, cream, and salt in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring often to prevent scorching. 
If you have a milk thermometer - the temperature should reach 190F/88C. 

Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly but gently, until the mixture curdles. 
This should take about 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour for a firmer cheese.  For a softer ricotta, check it after about 1/2 an hour. 



After discarding the liquid that has drained into the bowl, pack the ricotta in a well covered container. 
 Ensure it stays covered as it will pick up a slight taste of onion or any other strong-flavoured foods that may be in your refrigerator.

Fresh ricotta should keep for about 2 days.

Yield:  Approximately 1 cup of ricotta cheese.  This recipe can be doubled.

K (D)

I like to make small toasts from leftover french bread or challah - brush each piece with garlic infused olive oil and toast in the oven until fairly dry.   Allow guests to spread them with choices of fresh ricotta, basil pesto and a few sun-dried tomatoes.  Easy and delicious appetiser!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Matbucha - Morrocan Bell Pepper and Tomato Dip




Ingredients:

    2 lbs tomatoes **
    1 lb red bell pepper
    3 garlic cloves, quartered
    3 dried chillies (optional)  A jalapeño or two will also work!
    1 1/2 teaspoons hot paprika
    1/3 cup olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt

Method:
Place bell peppers on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 350°F until the skins have browned.

Cut out cores of tomatoes. Submerge tomatoes in boiling hot water for 2 minutes.  The skins will easily peel off.

Cut peeled tomatoes in chunks.

Peel the skin from the bell peppers and remove the seeds and stem.  Cut into chunks.

Add all ingredients to a heavy bottomed pan and pour oil over top. Bring contents to a boil, then turn down to a medium-low heat.  (On my stove, I need to use a lower heat)

Cook in a heavy-bottomed pan, covered for 2 hours.  Give it a stir now and then to make sure it is not burning.

Remove cover and finish cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Stir often to keep it from sticking or scorching.

Refrigerate and serve cold.  Makes about 1 pint (2-cups)

** If you cannot find affordable, good-quality tomatoes, substitute a few cans of whole or chopped canned tomatoes. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Traditional Pumpkin Pie - Especially for Anna - Also can be used to make Sweet Potato Pie



Ingredients:

    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    2 large eggs (or equal amount of egg substitute)
    15 oz (450 ml) canned pumpkin or 2 cups mashed/pureed sweet potato
    1 can (12 oz/375ml) Evaporated Milk (NOT condensed milk) or use a Milk Substitute (Soy, Oat, etc.)
    1 unbaked 9-inch (23cm/4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell **
    Whipped cream or non-dairy whipped topping (optional)

 Method:
Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and   sugar-spice mixture.  Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
Pour into pie shell.
Bake in preheated 425° F/ 220° C oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F/ 175° C.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near centre comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.
Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream/Non-Dairy whipped topping before serving.

** I normally pre-bake the crust for about 10 minutes, then cool on a rack, before adding pumpkin mixture.  This ensures that the crust will not be soggy.
K (D) or pareve if milk substitute is used

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Parmesean-Crusted Barramundi with Lemon Butter Sauce

This recipe is a quick and delicious way to enjoy Barramundi or other mild fish fillets**



4 - 175 gm Barramundi fillets, lightly floured
2 eggs whisked with 1 Tbsp milk (or water) to make an egg wash.
1 Cup bread crumbs
1/2 Cup Parmesean cheese, grated
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt and cracked pepper - to taste
Oil for frying

Lemon Butter Sauce - see link below
Capers - optional

In a flat bottomed bowl, combine bread crumbs, grated Parmesean cheese, chopped parsley, salt and pepper

In another bowl, whisk egg and milk together

Heat a pan of oil - about 1/2 inch deep - on medium-high

Dredge washed Barramundi fillets in flour, then dip into egg mixture and then coat evenly in bread crumb/parmesean mixture.

Carefully slide fillets into hot oil and cook until the bottom side is turning brown - timing depends on how thick your fillets are.  Carefully turn with a spatula and cook on the other side until golden brown.

When plating up - drizzle Lemon-Butter sauce over fish and scatter capers over, if desired.
Serve with rice and a green vegetable.

This recipe will serve 3-4 people.

In the photo the fish is served with Mizrahi Rice.  Jasmine or Basmati rice would be nice as well.

Lemon Butter Sauce recipe here


** Kosher Fish List

Notes:  I rinsed off the fish and put all the ingredients into each bowl.  I then got the rice going and the first part of the lemon butter sauce ready while the oil in the pan was heating.  By the time the oil was hot and the fish was halfway cooked, the rice and vegetable was ready and I only needed to finish the sauce.  This entire meal took me between 30 and 45 minutes from start to finish.

If someone in your household has an allergy to gluten, potato flour would work as a nice substitute for the bread crumbs.  Use cornstarch/cornflour instead of wheat flour in first step.

I have not tried to make this recipe under the broiler/grill in my oven.  If you try this method instead of frying I would enjoy your feedback.  Thanks!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rissoles with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Rissoles with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy - Makes 8 Rissoles -


Quick and easy - Kids LOVE these!

Rissoles:

1 lb (~1/2 kilo) ground beef - I use the cheaper meat as it has more flavour
1 onion, finely chopped
1 egg
salt
pepper
flour for dusting

Method:

Put ground beef in a bowl.  Add chopped onion.  Whisk one egg in a bowl and add to beef mixture.  Add salt and pepper.

Mix with your hands or a fork.  Do not 'over-work' as you do not want the rissoles to be too dense.

To form the rissoles, I use an ice cream scoop that measures 1/3 cup.  I like to make sure that they are all about the same size.  You can also make them by hand - you should end up with 8, total.

Put a bit of oil (I use olive oil but any will do)  in a non-stick pan and heat to medium high.

Put about 1/2 cup of flour on a flat plate. Flatten the rissoles with your hands and place each one on the plate of flour and then flip them, making sure both sides are well dusted with the flour. 

Add the rissoles to the pan and allow to cook until brown on one side - just tip one up to check.  Only flip over once and cook the other side until brown as well.  Remove the cooked rissoles to a paper-towel lined plate and keep warm in the oven while you make the gravy.

Gravy for Rissoles:

2 cups water
3 Tbsp  cornstarch/cornflour
2 beef stock cubes
1 or 2 Tbsp soy sauce (optional)
A bit of red wine, if you have some on hand (optional)

In a 2 cup measuring cup or bowl add about 1/2 cup of COLD water and 3 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour).  Stir to combine.  Add two beef stock cubes (I use the non-meat kind) and add water until you have 2 cups.  Keep a bit of water handy in case your gravy is too thick.  Taste the gravy and adjust seasoning.  An extra stock cube might be necessary.

After removing the rissoles from the pan, pour in the above mixture and stir constantly.  This gravy will thicken rather quickly.  If you feel, after 3 minutes that it  is too thick, add a bit more water.  Keep stirring until the gravy is thickened and clear.  Taste and add a bit more salt, pepper or soy sauce if necessary. (I often use a bit of leftover red wine - IF I have some)

Mashed Potatoes:

One medium potato for each person being served, plus one extra
Water
Salt
Non-dairy Margarine
Non-dairy milk (if you keep Kosher!) - I use soy or rice milk
salt and pepper

Peel potatoes (if desired) and cut into chunks
Add to a pan filled with water and one tsp salt
Boil on medium until you can easily put a fork through one of the potato pieces.

Turn off heat and drain potatoes of all the water. Put pan back on stove and add margarine and some 'milk' and begin to mash with a potato masher or whip with a hand mixer.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve Rissoles with the mashed potatoes, a nice salad, and a vegetable that your family enjoys.  I normally serve with corn or green beans.

Enjoy

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Strawberry Crepes!

 Easy and delicious, any fruit can be used to make fancy-looking crepes!


Makes about 8 crepes - depending on size of pan used


Ingredients

Batter:
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup water
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons butter, melted
    extra butter for pan

Filling:
    1 container fresh strawberries – Sliced and a few mashed up - see below (or alternative fruit)
    1 cup Cream (or just use the whipped cream in the can)
    2 Tbsp sugar
    1 Tsp vanilla
    Powdered sugar, if desired.

Method

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and water. Gradually add in the flour , stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; whisk until smooth.  Batter will be thin.  I personally like to allow the batter to sit for a while at this point but it is not entirely necessary. 

Heat a small non-stick pan with a little butter (or margarine) on medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the centre of the pan, tilt the pan and turn so that the mixture evenly coats the entire bottom of the pan.

Cook until the top loses its gloss, which should only take a minute, then flip. The bottom should be golden.
Cook the other side for about 15 seconds and then slide out onto a plate.  This second side should not have much colour but should appear only slightly glossy. 

Place on a paper-towel lined plate while you cook the remaining crepes.
  
 Assemble crepes on individual plates in this way:
 Spoon one Tbsp mashed strawberries followed by sliced strawberries down centre of crepe.
 Top strawberries with whipped cream (with a bag or spoon)  Do not overfill as the crepe will tear.
 Roll each crepe, burrito-style, as in the photo above. 
 Sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar and a few strawberry pieces on the top as it looks really nice.


This recipe can easily be made non-dairy by substituting non-dairy cream and using margarine.  Sugar can also be omitted or a sugar alternative can be used. 
Other fruit can also be used.  Try apricot jam with sliced peaches and substitute the vanilla extract with almond extract - really nice.
Raspberries, blueberries, passion-fruit, or nearly any fruit you enjoy can be used.

K (d) unless substituting with non-dairy (p) ingredients

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Salmon Patties - Kosher for Pesach!



Ingredients:

1 can salmon 415g/tall can - pink is best - juice and all
1 egg
1 Tbsp potato starch (or matzo meal, flour or fine bread crumbs) or smashed/ground instant potato flakes
finely minced onion - about 2 Tbsp (optional)
finely minced parsley - about 1 Tbsp (optional)
oil for frying - doesn't take much



Method:
In a bowl, add the canned salmon, egg, onion, parsley and mix a bit with your hands or a fork.  Add the potato starch (or other binding agent)  Do not overwork this mixture.

Heat a fry pan on medium high with just a drizzle of oil to cover the bottom.

Make patties using a large tablespoon - you should get about 9 patties from this amount of salmon

Place patties into the hot pan and do not press down.  Allow them to cook for about 4 minutes or until brown on one side.  Flip over with a spatula (easiest when the patties are small as directed)  and cook until brown on the other side.

Serve with salad (and grits! if not during Pessah)

Enjoy.

I have found that children prefer the milder taste of pink salmon.  Thankfully, it is less expensive than the red canned salmon.


Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled according to the size of your family.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pavlova - Dreamy, Delicious. Perfect for Shavuot and Kosher for Passover!!!

 I like it with berries - The fruit in the recipe will make the one below.




Ingredients:
 If you are using this recipe for Passover, ensure all ingredients are labelled Kosher for Passover                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Meringue:
    6  eggs, checked and separated - You will be using the whites only for this recipe.
    1 1/4 cups (270g) caster/granulated sugar
    1 tsp white vinegar

Filling:
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    300ml/11-12 oz Pure whipping cream
    2 tbs icing sugar, sifted - ensure this is pure powdered sugar and is marked Kosher for Passover!

Fruit:
I prefer a combination of berries and peaches on my Pavlova.  However, tastes vary.  Use what is in season and looks pretty.

    Fine zest and juice of 2 limes
    2 Lady finger bananas, thinly sliced diagonally
    3 golden kiwifruit, peeled, thinly sliced
    2 starfruit, thinly sliced
    Pulp of 2-3 passionfruit

Method:

Preheat oven to 120°C/250°F. Line an oven tray with foil. Next, line it with baking paper.  Brush baking paper with melted butter or margarine. Mark a 24cm/9 inch-diameter circle on baking paper.

In order for the egg whites to whip, all equipment must be spotless and free of any grease.  Wash everything in hot soapy water, dry, and then proceed.  When separating the eggs, if any yolk gets into the white of the egg, use a clean eggshell to scoop it out.  This is an important trick for whipping meringue.

 Use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until meringue is thick and glossy and sugar dissolved. Rub a little meringue between fingers. If still "gritty" with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves. Add vinegar and vanilla and whisk until just combined.

Cone made from parchment paper


 Spoon meringue onto the foil, using the marked circle as a guide.  I find using  a rolled piece of baking paper, made into a cone works best for me.  That way the meringue goes on lightly and evenly - more control this way.
 
Smooth sides and top of pavlova meringue. Use a small spatula to forms little peaks around edge of pavlova. What you will have will appear to be a 24cm/9-inch dish made out of meringue.  If you are worried that your pavlova will cave in, then you *can* make it in a springform pan - as long as it is very clean and lined with a sleeve of parchment paper.  But really - this dessert is spectacular no matter how your base looks.

Bake in oven for 1-1/2 hours or until pavlova meringue is dry to the touch. Turn off oven. Leave pavlova in oven with the door ajar to cool completely. When completely cold, transfer to serving plate or store in an airtight container until required.

Use an electric mixer to beat the cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until firm peaks form.  Refrigerate until just before serving.

Spoon cream into and on the top of pavlova.  Add your choice of fruit to the top of the pavlova in a decorative way.  Or, use the fruit guide above in the manner below:

Pour lime juice into a ceramic or glass bowl. Add banana slices and toss to coat with juice. Drain. This will keep the bananas from turning brown.
Decorate pavlova with banana, kiwifruit, starfruit, passionfruit and lime zest.

Serves 6-8 for dessert
K (D) Kosher for Passover

If you know of a non-dairy whipped topping that is marked Kosher for Passover, this dessert can also be Parve/Pareve
            
                                    Pavlova below was made using a spring-form pan lined with parchment paper

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Homemade Stuffing - Tastes like Stovetop!

Here in Australia, we only have one brand of stuffing mix available - and it is not to my liking.  Therefore, I now have a recipe for stuffing that tastes a lot like stove-top, is less salty, and you can either make it on top of the stove and serve or you can mix it up, allow it to cool and stuff a chicken or turkey using it.  Enjoy.

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients:

3 cups dried bread cubes and crumbs*  I use leftover challah! 
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
dash celery seed
2 teaspoons dried onions
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon powdered pareve chicken bouillon or crumble up a pareve chicken bouillon cube

Instructions:

1. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes, or simply break apart and crumble into large crumbs.

2. Spread bread pieces on an un-greased baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue baking until bread is completely dry.  Watch it so it doesn't burn.  My oven is fan-forced so this part of the process goes quickly.

4. Remove dried bread from oven and place baking sheet on cooling rack until cool.

5. Add seasoning, stirring to mix. Store in a tightly sealed container or zipper freezer bag until needed.

To make the stuffing:
Note:  You can reduce the amount of stuffing you make by halving this part of the recipe

I love the crunch of some celery if I am stuffing a chicken or turkey.  I use about 1/2 cup diced celery for this complete recipe.  This is optional, of course.

In a saucepan, heat 1-3/4 - 2 cups of water to boiling. (Use less water if you are stuffing a chicken or like your stuffing a bit drier, use more if you like it moist.) Add diced celery (optional)  and 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine and stir until melted. Remove from heat, stir in 3 cups of stuffing mix (1 batch), cover, and let sit for 6-8 minutes. .  Fluff with a fork and serve, or use in a recipe.  It is important that you fluff with a fork - otherwise it will get all smashed down.

I often use mine as stuffing for chicken or turkey.

If you wish to lower the fat content, use only half of the margarine and add about 2 T more margarine.  It still tastes just as nice.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Yellow Rice - the Mizrahi Way!

This rice is aromatic, delicious and very easy to make.  If you follow the instructions exactly, you will be assured excellent results. 


Ingredients:


3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Onions, chopped thinly
4 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
3 tsp ground Cumin
1½ tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Black Pepper and  1-1/2 tsp Salt**
2 cups Long Grain Rice, (I suggest basmati rice)
4 cups unsalted chicken stock or
**4 cups water and 4 cubes of pareve chicken bouillon cubes (omit salt above if you use these)
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Method:

Heat oil and onion on medium heat until onion is a golden colour.
Stir in garlic and spices for 1 minute to coat the onion.
Add the uncooked rice and stir for 3 minutes until everything is coated.
Add the stock and bring to a boil.
Change heat to low and simmer covered for 18-20 minutes.
Turn off the heat, and Let Stand, covered for 10 minutes.  Remove lid and fluff rice lightly with a FORK.
Garnish with Cilantro. (Optional - but really nice)

K (F) if using stock - K (P) if using pareve boullion cubes

This recipe may easily be cut in half.  Cooking time will be the same.

Pita Bread (Mizrahi) - Not like what you buy in the shops!


Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 Tbsp dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar   
 ¾ teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp Olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
 2 cups warm water - NOT HOT as the heat will kill the yeast
 1 ½-2 ¼ cups flour (You may use 1 to 1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour)

Directions:
   
    Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl.
  
    Beat well with a mixer or by hand for about 1 minute.
 
    Then mix in the remaining flour, using just enough to make a soft, sticky dough.
  
    Turn out on floured board and continue to knead for 5 minutes.
 
    Divide into 12 balls.  Let rest for 10-20 minutes.
   
    Roll out each ball to about 1/4 inch thick and 6 inches in diameter.
  
Place as many as will fit on a baking sheet that has been lightly greased and lined with baking paper and      sprinkled with cornmeal.   Sometimes I use sesame seeds to sprinkle on the pan.

    Let rise for 25-35 minutes
  
 Bake at 450 for 4 minutes, and then turn over with your fingers, a fork or spatula and bake for 4 more minutes or until lightly browned.  Repeat with additional rounds.
   
    Wrap immediately in a clean dish towel for 3 or 4 minutes.

K (P)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Basil Pesto

Two recipes for pesto are given here.  One can be made with or without Parmesean cheese - to be served with meat, etc.  The second is dairy-free - so it can be served with anything.   I normally add a bit of cayenne to my pesto - also I enjoy the tang of the lemon.  Taste just after blending it up and add a bit of salt, pepper or lemon if wish. 

For a beautiful sauce for grilled salmon or Ocean trout, mix a ratio of 1 Tbsp. Mayonnaise with 1 tsp. pesto.  It is so delicious with fish! 







Leftover pesto can easily be kept, tightly covered in the refrigerator for 5 days.  It also freezes beautifully!


Basil Pesto - recipe #1

Ingredients: 

45g (1/4 cup) pine nuts- toasted
1 1/2 - 2 cups fresh basil leaves - wash three times and check for insects
2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped up a bit
60g (3/4 cup) shredded Parmesan cheese (Optional)
5 tbs olive oil

Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 325 degrees F. Watch them carefully as they will go from being just right to burning very quickly. I often do this step in a pareve pan on top of my stove - I find it easier to watch this way. Allow to cool.

In a blender, food processor or magic bullet, place basil leaves, garlic, parmesean (if you want this for a dairy recipe) and olive oil and begin to blend. Pulse a few times and then stop and make sure all ingredients are mixing well. Add a bit more oil if necessary. Blend until you have a thick puree. Taste and add salt and pepper if you think it needs 'something' I add a dash of cayenne to mine!

K (D) if Parmesean cheese is used K (P) if you omit the Parmesean cheese.

Dairy-Free Basil Pesto - recipe #2

Ingredients:

2 cups Fresh Basil Leaves, washed three times, checked for insects
1/3 cup toasted Pine Nuts (see toasting instructions in recipe above)  or Walnuts (or perhaps raw sunflower seeds for those who are tree nut-free?)
3 medium Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 and 1/2 tsp. fresh squeezed Lemon Juice (more or less, to taste)
1/2 tsp. Salt
In a food processor or blender, combine the basil leaves with the nuts (or seeds), lemon juice and sea salt.  Pulse a few times until mixture is reduced in volume and the mixture is well incorporated.

Add the garlic and pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the blender or food processor is running, stop to scrap down the sides with a rubber spatula. Taste.  Add more lemon juice and/or salt if needed. Serve with pasta, chicken, fish, grilled vegetables or even on bruschetta!

K (P)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's Hamantaschen Time!

Makes about 36 Hamantaschen

Ingredients:

Dough:

2/3 cup pareve margarine or butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2-3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt




1. Cream the shortening with sugar. Add egg and continue creaming until smooth.

2. Add the vanilla. Stir in the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt until a ball of dough is formed
(a food processor is excellent for this).

3. Chill for 2-3 hours, or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

5. Taking 1/4 of the dough, roll out on a lightly floured board to a thickness of 1/8 inch.

Cut circles of dough with a drinking glass or round cookie-cutter.

With your finger put water around the rim of the circle.

Fill with 1 teaspoon poppy-seed or nut filling and fold into three-cornered cookies. **
(Press two sides together, and then fold the third side over and press the ends together.)

6. Bake on a well-greased cookie sheet 10-16 minutes, until the tops are golden.

These freeze very well to help avoid that last minute holiday rush!

Poppyseed Filling:
1 c. poppy seed
1/2 c. water or milk
1/4 c. honey
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 lg. egg, slightly beaten
 
Combine first 5 ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over moderate heat until thick, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice. Add a little of the hot mixture to the beaten egg and then stir into the remaining poppy seed mixture. Cool thoroughly before using.  This filling can be frozen for later use.


** Alternative fillings - One can fill these delicious pastries with any good fruit preserves - apricot, raspberry, and strawberry are yummy, although not traditional. My own family uses a mixture of ground dates, walnuts, sugar and freshly ground cardamom. My cousin's grandmother used ground cooked fig and walnuts or simply ground walnuts, sugar and freshly ground cardamom. I have not seen these used in households other than my family's or those of my childhood shul, however Turkish/Iraqi Jewish cooking has its own variations, as do most localities, depending upon the fruits or other ingredients in season.

A friend of mine from Norway always uses 1/2 almond flavouring and 1/2 vanilla extract in the dough and for the filling she used only nuts, sugar and ground cardamom and dusted each with powdered sugar using a flour sifter. Very pretty.

(K)P or (K)D if Butter is used

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Old Fashioned Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

 Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

When I was a girl, I used to make this recipe for our big family - it was delicious.  It came from my mother's Betty Crocker Cookbook, circa 1950's.  As you can see, it has no egg in it and also, very little butter or milk.  I remember being told this was a recipe that was created during WWII when the above items were rationed.
Double the recipe for a large family -  The recipe below is for a 9" square pan and should serve 8-9 people.  I normally double the recipe and bake in a 13 x 9 x 2 pan.  Enjoy!

Cake:
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    ¾ cup granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ½ cup non-dairy milk substitute - soy, almond, light coconut milk, etc.  (or dairy milk)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons margarine (or butter), melted

 Topping:
    1 cup light brown sugar
    ¼ cup Dutch processed cocoa
    ¼ teaspoon salt

This water mixture will make the topping turn into the hot fudge pudding:
    1¾ cup nearly boiling water
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350ºF.

Measure flour, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, the baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt into a mixing bowl. Stir in non-dairy milk substitute (or dairy milk), 1 teaspoon vanilla and melted margarine (or butter). Spread batter in an un-greased 9-inch square pan.

Stir together brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ cup cocoa; sprinkle over batter. (some like to sprinkle chopped walnuts on top, at this stage.  I have never used them)

Stir 2 teaspoons vanilla into hot water and pour gently over all. DO NOT STIR!

During baking, the 'cake' portion will rise to the top and the hot fudge pudding will settle to the bottom.

Bake 45 minutes. Serve warm.  Top with non-dairy whipped topping, non-dairy ice-cream or if you are having a dairy meal, - go for it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Note:  If preparing for Shabbat, bake before candle lighting and simply cool on a rack on your blech.

Can be made (K) parve or (dairy)


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Smoked Trout Pate - can be made "Kosher for Passover"

 I have eaten smoked trout pate from the store and although it has been nice, this recipe is delicious, less expensive and much nicer to serve. 
It might sound sophisticated but this smoked trout pate is quick and easy to prepare.  Other smoked varieties of fish are equally nice.  Can easily be served as kosher for passover - check labels on all ingredients.


Makes 2 - 3 cups
Ingredients:
    400g (14-16 oz) smoked trout fillet (carefully check for bones!)
    280g (9 oz.) margarine (or unsalted butter), softened
    2 Tbsp. horseradish
    Pinch of cayenne pepper
    100ml (5 tbs) creme fraiche or sour cream (or use non-dairy alternative)
    40ml (2 Tbsp.) lemon juice, plus extra to serve
    2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

Method:

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until combined, then season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill and lemon wedges.

To Serve:

For Pesach:  Spread on matzah or use as a dip for raw veggies.
During the rest of the year:  crackers or dry toasted bread (like Melba toast) is nice

If you have non-dairy sour cream available, this pate can be made 'parve' - which makes this a more versatile recipe.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Leftover Challah? Make Croutons!

I bake challah every week.  Sometimes I have many guests and most of it gets eaten.  Often, I will use it for toast or make french toast for breakfast on Sunday morning.  Sometimes it is just me so I have a lot of challa left over.

This week I had extra challah left over and I figured I would make some croutons for salads.  Prepared croutons are so expensive in the store - this is a good way to use up any leftover bread.  After the croutons have cooled, put them in an air-tight container or a zip plastic bag.

I keep a quart jar filled with olive oil and smashed garlic in my refrigerator at all time.  It gets semi-solid so it is very easy to spread.  It will soon become liquid when room temperature.  I use this oil for my croutons and also to make garlic bread.  I have written an alternative in the recipe below in case you do not store garlic infused oil in your own refrigerator.

As my oven is parve, I can use these croutons on any salad and with any meal.


                                  
 Croutons before toasting

 Croutons after toasting


How to make Homemade Croutons:

Use whatever leftover, stale bread you have on hand.  Cut it into cubes.  If you get some crumbs, dry them out and store them to use as bread crumbs in a recipe

Line a baking sheet with parchment or baking paper.  Drizzle olive oil over the parchment paper.  Use either powdered garlic, garlic salt (if you like it) or something else to sprinkle on top of the oil.  Scatter bread cubes over the oiled surface.  Toss with your hands or a parve spatula.  If necessary, drizzle a bit more olive oil over the bread cubes.  I often will put more garlic on and sometimes a bit of salt.  This is optional, of course.

Bake in a 250°F/120°C  until the bread cubes are light brown and completely dry. Taste one to check.  If not completely toasted through, then bake a bit longer but watch them carefully at this point so they do not burn! Croutons must be completely toasted through or they will not keep well.

Cool on baking sheet.  Once croutons are completely cool, store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!
K (p)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Moroccan Fish Cakes in Lemon Sauce


Adapted from Levana Kirshchenbaum


Ingredients:


For the fish cakes:
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless fish fillets, such as cod, hoki, scrod, flounder, sole, tilapia or salmon, cut into big chunks (children usually prefer a mild fish such as cod, hoki or sole)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, stems removed - sometimes I use corriander/cilantro - yum!
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of cayenne
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
 Method:

1. Combine the fish, onion, parsley or coriander/cilantro, egg, oil, lemon zest, nutmeg salt and pepper to taste in a food processor, and process until perfectly smooth. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, add the bread crumbs, and GENTLY mix thoroughly. With wet hands, shape the fish mixture into 6 oval patties.
2. Combine the water, saffron, turmeric, oil, lemon juice, and capers and bring to a boil in a heavy saucepan over high heat.
3. Add the fish patties to the pot and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the patties to a platter. Reduce the liquid in the pot until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the mustard and stir until smooth. Pour the sauce over the patties. Serve warm or at room temperature.

YIELD: About 6-8 fish course servings

K (p)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nectarine Coconut Tart (can also be made with ripe pears or peaches)


I saw this recipe in an in-store recipe handout.  I tried it and it IS delicious!  I made it parve - using kosher margarine.

If you have a favourite tart or pie crust recipe, it can be used.  Otherwise, use frozen (parve) shortcrust or try the following pastry recipe:


 Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups Plain Flour
  • pinch salt 
  • 1/4 cup (125g Cold Margarine, Shortening or Butter, chopped 
  •  Water - see instructions in 'method'
 Filling
  • 2  Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence/Extract
  • 1/2 cup Self-raising Flour
  • 1 cup Shredded/Desiccated Coconut
  • 2 Nectarines (or use ripe pears if Nectarines are not in season)
  • 1/2 cup Apricot Jam
  •  
 Method: 


Crust
  1. Place flour in a large bowl. Add shortening/margarine or butter and use your fingertips to rub it in until mixture resembles coarse crumbs - Do Not overwork this part - that way you will have a flaky crust. Add 2-3 tbsp water and mix with a knife or fork until mixture starts to cling together.
  2. Gather dough into a ball and turn out onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Roll out to fit a 22cm (base measurement) round loose-bottom flan/tart pan. Chill for 20 mins.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan (350ºF). Line pastry in tart pan with a sheet of non-stick baking paper and fill with dried rice or beans. Bake for 15 mins, then remove baking paper and dried rice or beans, and cook for a further 15 mins, or until dry and lightly golden. Cool. 
Filling:
  1. To make filling, whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla essence/extract until combined. Fold in flour and coconut. Spread in the tart shell. Cut nectarines (or pears) into thick wedges and press into the filling. Bake for 30 mins, or until set and golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Warm apricot jam and press through a sieve. Brush over surface of the tart and slice to serve.


    K (P) unless you use butter in the pastry

    Enjoy!