Main Dishes

Honey Mustard Gooey Baked Chicken

gooey-honey-mustard-chicken

There is something about gooey chicken that just feels satisfying, especially on these harsh cold wintry days.  The best part of this recipe is that it is a one pot meal.  The chicken, potatoes and zucchini cook all together and impart delicious flavors.  The end result is a very flavorful meal of chicken and vegetables that is falling off the bone and deliciously crispy and gooey, all at the same time.

This recipe is actually another version of Simply Reliable One Pan Roast Chicken Dinner that I frequently prepare for Friday night Shabbos dinner.  I like to prepare this recipe in  a Pyrex baking dish just big enough that I can lay out the chicken parts in a single layer over the potatoes.  That way, the maximum surface area of the chicken is exposed to the sauce, yielding a well-coated gooey chicken.  I most often use chicken cut into tenths: 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 drumsticks and each chicken breast cut in half. This allows the chicken parts to cook more evenly and to be coated with the sauce so that every piece has delicious flavor and texture.

I added sriracha as an optional ingredient, since not everyone tolerates and enjoys the spiciness of hot sauce.  This recipe is delicious either way: with or without the sriracha.  The heat is up to you!

 

INGREDIENTS

chicken cut into tenths

2-3 large potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large wedges

2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup sriracha (optional)
scant drizzle of soy sauce

generous drizzle of honey or agave syrup

1-2 zucchini, cut into large chunks
3-4 cloves garlic or garlic powder

DIRECTIONS

Scrub and cut potatoes into wedges.  Place in bottom of baking pan.  Place chicken on top of potatoes.  Carefully pour juice over chicken and potatoes.  Tuck  zucchini chunks among the chicken and potatoes.  Drizzle mustard, honey, and optionally sriracha over the chicken.  To spread evenly, you can use a brush to coat every part of the chicken.  Sprinkle garlic on top of chicken and vegetables.

Tightly cover with heavy duty foil.

Bake in preheated 400 degrees F oven for two hours.

VARIATIONS 

Add carrots to the vegetable medley for additional flavor and color.

Add fresh or powdered ginger to this recipe for an unexpected zesty flavor.

To add extra crispiness, uncover and bake for 30 minutes more.

Onion Mac and Cheese with Crumb Topping

Mac and Cheese is real comfort food and is always welcome in our home.  Last Motzei Shabbos (Saturday night, lit. Shabbos exit), I prepared this delicious macaroni and cheese dish for ourselves and our favorite Shabbos guest, James.

On Saturday nights, we enjoy a Melave Malka meal as we escort the regal Shabbos out of our homes.    Motzei Shabbas is a time when we transition from the holiness of Shabbos into the more mundane everyday spirit of the week.  The Melave Malka (lit: escorting the queen) meal helps us bid farewell to the Shabbos queen and lets us hold on to the last  bit of Shabbos as we welcome the new week. 

The Melave Malka is typically a dairy meal after the heavier meat meals that we enjoy during the Shabbos.  Davida and Aaron have been our Melave Malka cooks. Aaron would prepare delicious homemade pizza and pastas.  Davida’s Simple Cheesy Zucchini Logs, Baked Spaghetti Squash with Sauce and Cheese and Davida’s Easy and Delicious Calzones have become legendary Melave Malka dishes.   Both Davida and Aaron are studying in Israel this year, so we now have to fend for ourselves on Saturday nights.

Recently, Don has been suffering from heartburn after eating tomato-based pasta sauces. Therefore, I have been on the lookout for new delicious pasta dishes that are hearty but without tomato sauce.  This is one of those wonderfully creamy mac and cheese dishes that has no heartburn after-effect.  It can be baked in a large baking dish or in individual ramekins.

It has that oh, so creamy texture on the inside with the crunchiness of the breadcrumbs on the outside.

We hope that this recipe becomes one of your favorites, too!

mac-n-cheese-in-ramekin

INGREDIENTS

1 pound pasta
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic or garlic powder
1-2 bunches scallions
drizzle of olive oil
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese (I used muenster)
panko or breadcrumbs

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare al dente pasta according to package directions. Drain.

mac-n-cheese-pots

While pasta is cooking, saute onion, garlic and scallions in olive oil.

mac-n-cheese-onions-and-scallions

Add flour and salt, mixing with a wooden spoon. Add milk, stirring well until thick. Add cheese and stir until mixture is thick and creamy.

mac-n-cheese-sauce

Add pasta and stir until well-combined.

In a bag or separate bowl, toss breadcrumbs or panko with olive oil until moist and crumbly.

Ladle pasta mixture into a casserole or individual ramekins. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until mac and cheese is golden brown.

mac-n-cheese-all-done

Simply Spicy Firecracker Salmon

 

Most of my salmon recipes use a teriyaki-type glaze and cook at a high temperature.

This one is quite different.

It starts with a spicy marinade and is cooked at 375 degrees F to get that perfectly soft flakiness and to set the spicy glaze.

I prepared this new recipe for dinner while my son-in-law, Scotty, was visiting and studying nearby.  He couldn’t help but comment on how delicious the salmon smelled as it was cooking.  The taste didn’t disappoint, either.

This recipe is appropriately named for the fiery color and flavor of this salmon.

Enjoy!

 

INGREDIENTS

salmon fillet
1-2 chopped green onions or chives

fiery marinade

firecracker-salmon

a small piece of minced fresh ginger or ginger powder
3 cloves garlic, minced or garlic powder
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey,  agave or maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons sriracha or hot sauce
1-2 tablespoons lemon or orange juice
1-2 tablespoons mustard
red pepper flakes to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Whisk or shake marinade ingredients in a small container or jar.  Carefully pour or brush onto salmon. Sprinkle with onions or chives.

firecracker-salmon-before-cooking

Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes, until fish flakes easily with fork.

firecracker-salmon-all-ready

 

Weeknight Oven Roasted London Broil

Want a simple and no-fuss weeknight roast?  This one is for you.  It takes 3-4 hours of low-heat-cooking, so make sure to start it early.  It is one of my simple favorites and will become one of your favorites, too.

Our local kosher butchers all sell London broil.  It is an inexpensive and rather lean roast, though, technically, London Broil is not a cut of meat but rather refers to a cooking technique.  Kosher London Broil is typically cut from the shoulder or neck area and various butchers use different types of flank and shoulder steaks for their London Broils.

The tenderness of the meat very often depends on the source and cut of the London Broil. In general, I try to choose a London Broil that has some fat surrounding the meat and no gristle running down the center.  The fat protects the meat during cooking and either melts during cooking or can be trimmed afterward.  The thicker gristle often runs down the center of the steak and is difficult to remove.  Therefore, I try to find cuts that do not contain gristle running through.

Although London Broil is synonymous with fast cooking  over high heat, this recipe employs a quick marinade and spice rub and then slow low-temperature cooking.

INGREDIENTS

1 small (2 pound) London Broil
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 cup cranberry juice or other fruit juice

barbecue sauce

Coffee Spice Rub or your favorite rub

DIRECTIONS

Line baking dish with foil, leaving enough foil on sides so that foil can be folded over London Broil as a packet.  Place sliced onion at bottom of foil-lined pan.  Place London Broil on top of  onions, fattier side up.

Mix 1/2 cup juice with 1/4 cup barbecue sauce.  Pour liquid over London Broil , coating both sides. Pat with coffee rub.

Close foil packet around marinated London Broil , leaving room between London Broil and top of foil packet, but tightly closing foil.

Bake at 275 for 2-3 hours in foil packet.  London Broil should be fork tender at this point. Open foil, add some more barbecue sauce and bake uncovered for 1 hour more .

For cleaner slicing, allow meat to reach room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Onion-Battered Baked Tilapia

My mother loves tilapia.  She has a difficult time finding kosher fresh tilapia in Cleveland, so it is something that she looks forward to enjoying when she visits.

Whenever she comes to visit, I try to prepare this favorite dish for her, battering it in breadcrumbs and frying it in a pan (Savta’s Favorite Breaded Tilapia).  It is one of those simply delicious main dishes that is flaky, satisfying and never disappoints.

My mother will be coming to visit next week as she prepares for hip revision surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery during Chanukah.

And, my mother’s visit makes me think of tilapia.

I love dishes that can be prepared and then placed in the oven, preferably on a timer.   This allows me to do other things while the food is being cooked.

Fry-pan breaded tilapia does not meet those qualifications. And, baked fish just doesn’t have the crunchy outside and soft inside of fried fish that would satisfy my mother.  So, I put my thinking cap on.

And, this is what I came up with….simple, satisfying and a delicious wow!

onion-crusted-tilapia-in-oven

INGREDIENTS

1 cup French Fried Onions

1/2 cup creamy dressing.  I used Simple, Creamy and Perfect Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

4-6 tilapia fillets

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet or pie plate with parchment paper.

Pulse french fried onions in the food processor using the S-blade or crush by rolling a rolling pin or pounding a mallet over zipper bag of french fried onions.

In a shallow dish or pie plate, coat each fillet with creamy dressing.   Dip each fillet into the crushed onions, making sure that the fillets are well coated.
Spread coated tilapia fillets on baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes.  Tilapia should be golden brown on outside and soft and flaky on the inside.
Enjoy!
onion-crusted-tilapia

Lazy Weeknight Pulled Beef

I really am lazy about cooking during the week.  Just ask my family.

I have learned to take just about every shortcut to the dinner table and love to prepare weeknight dinners that require very few ingredients, very little time and a minimum of effort.

To justify my weekday laziness, I make sure that weeknight dinners are not fussy or complicated.  I still try to use fresh ingredients, but I really downgrade the effort.

I have a repertoire of tried and true simple and delicious weeknight dinner recipes.  All require very little prep time.  Some cook or roast quickly.  Others cook all day.

This one is prepared in the morning, just before I start my day.  It is made in the crockpot and once the ingredients are placed, it requires virtually no attention.  It cooks all day, so that it greets you at the end of the day with the wonderful aroma and taste of slow cooked pulled beef.

The pulled beef is best pulled or shredded an hour or two before eating and then returned to the sauce in the crockpot.  It can also be pulled or shredded and eaten right before serving, but will yield a slightly drier product.  It is up to your schedule and taste.

It can be served on a roll or over a bed of pasta or rice.  I like it best served alongside a shredded or spiralized salad.  Here I have served it with a side of rutabaga and edamame salad.

pulled-beef-in-crockpot-plated

This recipe has the elements of a lazy dinner, but the taste of a most delicious and decadent weeknight dinner.

It is simple…and it truly infuses the lazy with wow.

pulled-beef-in-crockpot-on-plate

pulled-beef-in-crockpot-ingredients

INGREDIENTS

small boneless roast to fit your crockpot (I use a london broil or small brisket)
2-3 onions and/or shallots, peeled and cut into wedges
4-5 cloves garlic (optional)
3-4 stalks celery, cut into 1-2 inch sections (optional)
1/2 cup water or broth
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
2-3 tablespoons brandy (optional)

your favorite seasoning or rub (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Cut onions, shallots, celery and garlic and place on bottom of crockpot.  Place roast on top of vegetables.  If roast is larger than crockpot, just cut to fit and place in two layers, one on top of the other.  Dilute barbecue sauce with water or both.  Pour diluted barbecue sauce and brandy over roast.

pulled-beef-in-crockpot

Set crockpot to high or auto (see notes below) and cook for 6-8 hours.

pulled-beef-in-crockpot-before-shredding

About an hour before serving, remove beef from crockpot.  Place two forks in the center of the roasts, tines against tines and pull toward edges of roast.  Keep pulling until the roast is shredded.  Return roast to crockpot, ladle some sauce over the shredded beef and set to low or auto until ready to serve.

pulled-beef-in-crockpot-cooked

NOTES

Know your crockpot and which settings to use.  I cook this recipe on the high setting of my six quart crockpot for 6-8 hours and only turn it down to low or auto once the beef has been pulled and the pulled beef has been returned to the sauce.  Your crockpot may need to be set to auto for the duration of the cooking. If you are not sure, start this recipe at high. Check on the recipe after 4 hours.  If it tastes ready, then turn it down to auto or low until serving. If not, cook for longer, checking every hour.

Baked French Fried Onion Fish

Last night, as I was preparing dinner, I thought: If everyone likes french fried onion chicken, why not use the same technique for baked fried fish?  It is such a simple and delicious way to prepare a main dish.

I had bought some fresh haddock and was in the mood of experimenting with a new recipe.  I brushed the fish with a light coating of mayonnaise and then french fried onions.

I baked it in a 375 degree F oven to 25 minutes.

It was a winner!

4 thin white fresh fish fillets (try flounder, tilapia, haddock or cod)

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup French Fried Onions

mayonnaise

4-6 white fish fillets

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush each fish fillet with a light coating of mayonnaise.
onion crusted cod with mayo.jpg
Dip each mayo-coated fish fillet into french fried onion crumbs.
onion-crusted-cod-before-cooking
Place onion-coated fillets onto parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.  Press extra onions on top.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until fish is fully cooked.
onion-crusted-cod

Enjoy!

NOTES

I did not crush the onions and they produced a more sparsely battered fish fillet.  If you like a thickly battered fish fillet, I would suggest crushing the onions in a ziploc bag first.

Lazy CrockPot Chicken with Dumplings

 

Now that the weather has started to get colder, my crockpot is busy most days.  I have been making soup, stews and all in one dinners in the crockpot.  Crockpot cooking is simple and requires very little attention during the cooking process. The only thing different about crockpot cooking is getting all the ingredients into the crock early in the day, so that they will have enough lazy time to cook and be ready in time for dinner.

This recipe for chicken with dumplings is one of those comfort dishes that never fails to impress.  It warms the soul on those cold, dark wintry evenings.  It is simple, but really packs a satisfying bite. The chicken can be cooked with the vegetables and served without the dumplings. The dumplings soak up much of the liquid and make this dish extra hearty.

 

INGREDIENTS

1-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, uncooked
2-3 cups chicken broth or water
1 onion
carrots
3-4 cloves garlic or garlic powder
4 stalks celery
mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Dumplings

1 eggs
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cups water
1 cup all-purpose flour

 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in the crockpot and gently stir to combine.  Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours.

chicken-and-dumplings

One to two hours before serving, prepare dumplings:
In a medium bowl, stir water, egg, oil, salt, and pepper. Gradually add flour, and stir until thick. Drop dumplings into the crockpot using a spoon or a fork. Do not stir until ready to serve. Gently ladle out portions.

chicken-and-dumplings-on-plate

NOTES
Know your crockpot and which settings to use. I cook my soup on the high setting of my six quart crockpot for about 6 hours and only turn it down to low or auto once the soup has been completed. Your crockpot may need to be set to auto for the duration of the cooking. If you are not sure, start your soup at high. Check on the soup after 3 hours. If it tastes ready, then turn it down to auto or low until serving. If not, cook the soup for longer, checking every hour.

This recipe can easily be made with bone-in chicken and can be adapted to incorporate your favorite vegetables.

TIPS

When I anticipate preparing something in the crockpot, but know that my morning will be hectic,  I prepare the ingredients (including seasonings and liquid) in the crock the night before.  I store the crock filled with ingredients in the refrigerator overnight.  To be safe, I usually keep the poultry ingredients separate until ready to cook.  Then, all I have to do is place the crock into the pot and plug in the next morning.  It eliminates the stressful morning rush and offers me a hearty cooked dinner several hours later. This recipe will require you to prepare the dumplings 1-2 hours before serving. The dumpling dough is very forgiving and can be prepared the night before and just added to the crock 1-2 hours before serving.

Baked Cranberry Salami Slinky

Baked salami is a real treat in our house.  It is one of those simple recipes that I prepare to serve in the afternoon before a festive meal.  It is a treat for Erev Shabbos (Friday afternoon)  and Erev Yom Tov (afternoon before a Jewish holiday).

I reasoned: why not dress the recipe up for Thanksgiving and serve it Erev Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving eve), too? (more…)

Simply Reliable One Pan Roast Chicken Dinner

Everyone has their go-to favorite roast chicken recipe.  It is that hearty meal that is simple, reliable and oh, so comforting.  This recipe is practically one of our favorite and certainly one of our most undemanding Shabbos guests.  Despite its simple preparation, it yields a delicious chicken dish with spicy flavored potato wedges on the side.

simply-reliable-chicken-on-platter

In our house, this is the roast chicken recipe that I prepare most every Erev Shabbos (Sabbath eve).  I prepare it in a  large oblong Pyrex baking dish using whole chicken or bone-in chicken parts.  It makes the house smell inviting and warm and lets everyone know that Shabbos is on its way.  I have prepared this chicken simply and reliably for nearly the past thirty years.  It is one of the few things in our home that needs no extra attention on Friday.

It is so reliable that I prepare it in the morning and place it in the oven on a two-hour automatic timer.  It is so forgiving that it does not require a preheated oven, but can be cooked in a preheated oven if it is following another recipe.  No matter what my Friday brings: heavy work, surprises or extra cleaning, it is ready and delicious just two hours later with no special attention.

Now, if only the rest of my Erev Shabbos was that simple and forgiving…

simply-reliable-chicken

INGREDIENTS (more…)

Low and Slow Oven Brisket: No Braising Necessary

low-and-slow-brisket-up-close

This week, I prepared the most delicious brisket.

I purchased a 3 pound top of the rib brisket that was extremely lean.  I did not have time to marinate or braise the meat and because of its lean composition, I was nervous that it would be tough.

I developed this simple and perfect low temperature recipe that cooked while I was out of the house.  When I returned, I was delighted to find the most delicious and succulent piece of meat. I refrigerated the meat for several hours before cutting, so that the meat would cut without shredding.

INGREDIENTS

3-4 pound brisket, top of the rib

1/3 cup olive oil, mayonnaise or Simple and Perfect Spicy Mayo

1/2 cup very thinly diced onions or french fried onions

2/3 cup wine

DIRECTIONS

Pierce the brisket with a fork all over on both sides.   Place in roasting pan and pour wine over brisket, turning over so that wine penetrates both sides.  Place fattier side of the brisket up so that fat keeps the meat tender during cooking.  Coat the top of the brisket with oil, mayo or spicy mayo, spreading evenly with small spatula or basting brush.

Place onions atop coating, pressing into brisket.  Cover tightly with foil.

Let brisket come to room temperature or place in oven on delayed cook mode.

Set oven to cook for 4 hours on 275 degrees F.  Let roast stay in oven until the oven cools down, at least one hour.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Refrigerate before slicing.

Colorado Salmon in an Omelet Maker

Don and I are in Colorado for a medical conference.  The Nine Days (nine sad days leading to Tisha B’av, day the Jewish Holy Temple was destroyed) have begun and it is customary not to eat meat products or drink wine during this period of national mourning.  Since we are not in close proximity to a major city, our food options are limited.

In the past, we have employed some very creative options to prepare our food while away from home.  On a ski vacation out West many years ago, Don heated up our last frozen portion of stuffed cabbage on the engine block of our rental car on the way from the ski resort back to the airport.  I still cannot believe that I ever allowed him to do that.  I still am not sure if we risked our lives with this crazy maneuver.  I recall that Don thought it was simply the best stuffed cabbage ever.  I am sure that I would NEVER recommend anyone preparing a frozen dinner that way, but it does make for a very memorable story.

For this vacation,  I brought along an inexpensive omelet maker.  An omelet maker is very similar to a sandwich maker but with smaller wells to contain the omelets.   I planned to use the omelet maker to prepare my morning breakfast and that we would just eat tuna and veggie burgers for dinner.

Aaron, who is traveling with us, insisted that we try to make fresh salmon in the omelet maker.  I was  a naysayer, but finally agreed to try it.  We purchased some small pieces of salmon.  We sprayed the omelet maker with cooking spray and placed a piece of salmon, sprinkled with a dry rub and some lime juice, in each well.  We cooked the salmon for about 10-15 minutes and enjoyed the most delicious fresh salmon.

salmon in omelet maker

They say that necessity is the mother of invention.  Thanks, Aaron, for planting the seed for this inventive recipe.  It was a winner.

INGREDIENTS

cooking spray

salmon fillets (see kosher notes)
seasoning or spice rub
fresh lemon or lime

DIRECTIONS

Spray wells of omelet maker, top and bottom.  Place a piece of salmon in each well.  Top with seasonings and a squeeze of citrus.  Close cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until salmon flakes easily.  Serve with a squeeze of lemon or lime.  Enjoy!

NOTES

I would assume that a sandwich maker would work well for this recipe, too.  It is similar to the omelet maker, but with larger wells.

KOSHER NOTES

Kosher laws require fish to have scales and fins in order to be kosher.  Some kashrut authorities allow the purchase of salmon even from a non-kosher purveyor because of its distinctive red flesh. This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using salmon in this way.

 

Savta’s Favorite Breaded Tilapia

Recently, my parents came to visit.  I prepared dinner for them upon their arrival. Deciding what to prepare was simple.  My mother loves fried tilapia and she cannot find kosher fresh tilapia in her hometown.  It is one of dishes that my mother looks forward to when she comes to visit.  For me, it is one of those simple dinners that takes almost no time to prepare and is always well-received.

 

breaded tilapia in pan

INGREDIENTS

4-6 Tilapia Fillets

Oil

flour

1-2 eggs, mixed well

your favorite seasoned bread crumbs

 


DIRECTIONS

Prepare three breading plates: one with flour, one with egg and one with bread crumbs.  I usually use Pyrex pie plates for this task.

 

Place each tilapia fillet in flour, then egg and then generously coat with bread crumbs.

Heat 1 inch of oil in a large nonstick pan until barely sizzling. Carefully add fish to hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan.  Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Using a spatula or tongs, carefully flip the  fish over and continue to cook about 3 more minutes.  Gently place on paper towels until cool.

Enjoy!

breaded tilapia on paper towels

NOTES

 

Substitute any thin white fish fillet for tilapia

 

SERVING SUGGESTION

tilapia with arugula salad

Grilled Salami Slices: Netanel’s Simple and Humble Delicacy

A few weeks ago, my son, Aaron went fishing with his uncle, his cousins and two of his cousins’ friends.  Aaron loves to fish and wherever we go on vacation, Aaron usually schedules a fishing trip.  As a mother, I have learned that a fishing outing is so exhilarating when the fish are biting and so disappointing when the fishing crew comes home empty-handed.  More importantly, I have discovered that our fishermen love to catch fish, but are not as exuberant about preparing and eating the fish that were caught. Luckily, our fishermen did not come empty-handed and even more luckily, the fish that were caught were being saved for a future feast in Manhattan.

Now, I was under no obligation to prepare the fish and better yet, under no pressure to force them to eat the fish.  So, I offered to make an impromptu barbecue for the hungry fishermen.  I checked the refrigerator and I had some beef sliders, but no hot dogs.

I did have a couple rolls of salami.  My nephew’s friend, thirteen-year old Netanel, offered me his own recipe for grilled salami.  I was going to grill the salami whole, but Netanel insisted that we cut it into thick slices.

grilled salami sliced

I took Netanel’s lead and we slathered the salami slices with barbecue sauce.

The barbecued salami slices came off the grill caramelized and just perfect.  It was delicious served up with different types of mustard and dips.  It was such a hit that I told Netanel that I would now incorporate grilled salami as a part of our standard barbecue.

Tonight, I prepared this delicacy and dressed it up for its blog debut.  It did not disappoint.

grilled salami on grill

 

INGREDIENTS

grilled salami ingredients

Salami, cut into thick slices
Sauce: barbecue, pesto, spicy mayo, mustard and/or horseradish sauce
Sesame seeds or your favorite spices (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

Cut salami into thick slices.  Coat with your favorite sauce and your favorite toppings.

Heat on grill for a few minutes, flipping over when golden brown and carmelized.

Serve immediately with your favorite topping and/or condiment.

grilled salami on platter

 

 

 

 

Leah’s Simple Pasta Saute

Leah prepared the most heavenly pasta dish last night.  It is one of those dishes that can be made pareve or with additional melted cheese for a dairy dinner.  It uses simple ingredients and creates a heavenly combination of pasta, onions, garlic and vegetables.

Leah prefers whole wheat pasta, but it can be made with any shape or type of pasta-your choice.  This recipe is simple and delicious.

Enjoy!

leah's pasta saute

INGREDIENTS

1 pound of pasta

1 onion, thinly sliced or diced

2-3 garlic cloves or granulated garlic

1 pint of small grape tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half

salt and pepper to taste

fresh herbs (optional)

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the pasta according to package directions and drain.

Over medium heat, saute onion and garlic until soft.  Add tomatoes and seasonings, stirring gently to combine.  Cook for several minutes.  Add pasta and combine all flavors. Saute for 1-2 minutes more.

Shut heat and add mozzarella cheese.  Cover until cheese is melted.

Garnish with fresh herbs.

 

RECIPE COURTESY OF LEAH RESPLER

 

Simple Tips to the Perfect Kosher Skirt Steak

On Sunday, we hosted a barbecue for our immediate family. We grilled all the regulars: hot dogs, burgers and ribs. The star of the show, though, were the skirt steaks.

Skirt steaks are meaty, flavorful, tender, inexpensive and simple to prepare.  They are long and thin, versatile and take practically no time on the grill.  Because of their shape, they cook quickly and create a beautiful crust.  skirt steak-grilled perfectly

Here are five simple tips for preparing the perfect  kosher skirt steak: (more…)

Simple Cheesy Zucchini Logs: Gluten Free and Low-Carb

Davida and her friend, Chava, made delicious calzones for Melave Malke a few weeks ago: Davida’s Easy and Delicious Calzones for a Melave Malka Feast. Although the calzones looked and smelled heavenly, Don and I were  only able to enjoy them vicariously. Since we are still on low-carb diets, we needed to find an alternative cheesy dish.

We scrubbed zucchini, cut them is half logs and roasted them for 12-15 minutes .  Once roasted, we scooped out some of the pulp and then filled them with cheese.  We put them into the oven for 5-10 minutes more and voila!

These will make a perfect and simple low-carb recipe for Shavuos (Countdown to Shavuos: Floral Inspirations and Dairy Recipes).  Enjoy!

zucchini logs-up close

(more…)

Perfect Salmon with Roasted Vegetables

My childhood friend, Pam, hosted and enjoyed many guests for her son’s Aufruf  (literally meaning calling up”) Shabbos.  It was an exciting Shabbos for Pam, her husband Ron and her family, as her son, Ariel, is getting married this week.

It is customary for a Jewish groom to be called up to recite a brocha (blessing) on the Torah in synagogue on the Shabbos before his wedding.  Pam’s guests joined the family and Ariel in synagogue Shabbos morning for a beautiful davening and kiddush.

I prepared a delicious fillet of salmon that Pam served for Seuda Shlishis (third meal on Shabbos afternoon).  It is one of those stunningly colorful main dishes that can be prepared in one pan and served so easily as a showstopper buffet option. It was so simple to prepare and oh, so beautiful and delicious.

This dish can be served cold, warm or room temperature and can also be prepared in individual portions.

salmon with roasted vegetables on platter

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Simply the best cholent…with low-carb ingredients

Tzippy Respler


Don and I are still on a low-carb diet.  During the week, we try to eliminate carbs almost completely.  On Shabbos, we allow ourselves to enjoy a small amount of challah at each meal, but still try to adhere to the low-carb protocol as much as possible.  Cholent is a challenge, because it is generally prepared using high-carb ingredients like potatoes and barley.  Over the past few months, I have experimented with lots of different ingredients, until I finally have an option that tastes great and is mostly low-carb.

To satisfy the rest of the family, I often put in lentils, barley and some potatoes, but Don and I only choose the vegetables that conform to our diet.  When I do that, I try to leave most of the low-carb vegetables whole or in large chunks, so that Don and I can easily find them.

low-carb cholent

I like to cook a well-marbled roast right in the cholent.  The fat content is important, so that the meat stays moist and does not dry out during the long cooking process. I take the roast out right before serving and place it on a separate plate.  I use two forks to shred the beef, putting them facing each other at the center of the roast and pulling toward the edges.  I  serve the meat on a separate platter from the cholent.

INGREDIENTS

1 zucchini, scrubbed and cut into large slices
1 turnip or kohlrabi, cut into cubes
2 cups whole mushrooms
3 stalks of celery, scrubbed and cut into large slices
2-3 garlic garlic cloves, whole or minced
2 Potatoes, peeled or scrubbed and cut into large pieces (optional)
1-2 cups of cauliflower, riced in food processor (see kosher notes)
1 cup beans, soaked overnight or canned and drained (may omit for gluten-free)
2 small whole onions, peeled
1/2 cup barley (optional)
1/2 cup lentils (optional)

1 generous squirt ketchup  (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
paprika

kishke, wrapped in parchment paper
small brisket, deckel or brick roast

DIRECTIONS

Place vegetables in crockpot Friday morning.  Add rest of ingredients and combine gently.

 Fill crockpot with water until ingredients are completely covered plus 1 inch more of water.  Make sure to leave at least one inch of space between top of water level and top of pot.

Place small brisket on top of cholent, submerging only slightly in cholent liquid.
low-carb cholent with meat
Cover crockpot and turn crockpot on high until right before Shabbos begins (Friday at sundown).  Then, lower crockpot to your favorite Shabbos setting (see notes).  My crockpot stays on high, perhaps yours will need to be on auto or medium setting.
Enjoy this delicious cholent Shabbos morning for lunch.   I remove the meat from the top of the cholent,  placing it on a separate platter.  I take two karge forks and place them with the tines facing each other at the center of the roast.  I pull the meat toward the edges, creaing a shredded beef dish.  I them serve the rest of the cholent in a serving bowl, taking acre to keep the low-carb vegetables whole and esy to find.

VARIATIONS

To create a gluten-free version, replace the barley with brown sushi rice

Add onion powder, zatar, garlic powder, or your favorite spice for a zestier alternative

KOSHER NOTES

Kosher laws disallow the eating of  any whole insects and therefore cauliflower require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, grinding.  Kashrut authorities differ somewhat on the proper checking of cauliflower.  This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using cauliflower.

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Simple and Satisfying Tofu Salad

tofu saute

Tofu is a wonderful ingredient to add to a salad for a satisfying source of protein.  Tofu is like a sponge; it merely absorbs the flavor of your marinade.  I find that extra-firm tofu is a reliable ingredient for roasting, grilling and sauteing and I use it often.

To cut down on cleanup, I simply slit open the covering on the tofu container and peel back the top.  I then drain the tofu liquid, slice or dice the tofu  and then add my marinade ingredients right in the original plastic tofu container.

This tofu salad combines the soft texture of the tofu and mushrooms, spicy marinated onions and the crunchy texture of romaine lettuce to achieve a delicious and layered salad experience. (more…)

Davida’s Easy and Delicious Calzones for a Melave Malka Feast

Melave Malka (Saturday night meal) is the name given to the meal that we eat at the Shabbos has departed.  The literal meaning of the words Melave Malka is “accompaniment of the queen”, referring to our escorting of the Shabbos Queen out of our homes after the spiritually uplifting Shabbos.  The Shabbos is often metaphorically described as a Queen and the purpose of the Melave Malka meal is to figuratively escort the Shabbos away with singing and eating,  much as one would escort a royal guest who is about to leave.

According to Kaballah,  the luz bone at the base of the skull is nourished by the Melave Malkah meal.  The Neshoma Ye’sara (additional soul)  that accompanies a person through the Shabbos does not leave until after the Melave Malka has been enjoyed.  

Aaron used to be our resident Saturday night cook and we always looked forward to his delicious dairy Melave Malka dishes.  He had quite a repertoire of Melave Malka selections like pasta, pizza and all types of popcorn.  Now that Aaron is studying in yeshiva in Israel, Davida has cheerfully taken over this role.  She has become an excellent Saturday night cook and has brought  Melave Malka to a whole new level.

This Motzei Shabbos (Saturday Night), Davida and her friend, Chava, made the most delicious cheese calzones.  She prepared the ingredients and before we knew it, we had delicious warm calzones to enjoy for  our Melave Malka.   I asked her to share the recipe and now I am happy to share it with all of you.

calzones (more…)

Simple Onion Baked Chicken Cutlets

This recipe is a simple go-to recipe when time is short and I need to crank out a delicious and hearty meal with very little lead time and a minimum of effort.  It requires very little hands-on time and can be baked in the oven in about 20 minutes. It is crispy and crunchy, delicious and very kid-friendly.  It is one of my family favorites.  I usually serve it with a simple fresh salad  to compensate for the canned french fried onions.

onion crusted chicken with baby bok choy salad on wooden plank (more…)

Simple Low-Carb One-Pan Shwarma Chicken with Rainbow Roasted Vegetables

This shwarma chicken recipe transports me to those amazing shwarma places all over Israel. Although the shwarma flavor of this dish is reminiscent of Israeli Shwarma often served in pita or lafa, this recipe is low-carb since the shwarma is surrounded by gorgeous roasted vegetables instead of a bread pocket.

This recipe combines the magical flavor of shwarma chicken with the fresh and colorful flavors and textures of rainbow roasted vegetables. This low-carb main dish is simple and quick to prepare and tastes just heavenly. Best of all, cleanup is a cinch because everything is roasted in one pan.shwarma chicken with roasted vegetables 2 (more…)

Pizza Potatoes

One of the simplest and most satisfying Erev Pesach (Pesach eve)  and Chol Hamoed (middle days of Passover) meals for the kids has been pizza potatoes.  It is gluten-free and it is not one of those menu items that we prepare often during the year when we have pasta and pizza available to us.  But it is a simple and filling dairy dish, perfect for Pesach (Passover).  The kids look forward to Pesach pizza potatoes throughout the year.

 

INGREDIENTS

whole potatoes
your favorite pizza sauce
shredded cheese

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Bake potatoes in oven for 40-60 minutes. Slice potato in half lengthwise and spread sauce and cheese on each half.

pizza potatoes uncooked

Bake for 15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

pizza potatoes

VARIATIONS

Try using different types of potatoes and even sweet potatoes.

Add your favorite pizza toppings like peppers, onions, mushrooms, scallions, chives, fresh mozzarella and basil.

Enjoy!

 

Atkins Baked Meatballs with Cauliflower

For Pesach (Passover) this year, I am trying to tailor my original recipes to meet the criteria of my low-carb diet.  For the holidays, I usually prepare baked meatballs.  I find that they are simple to prepare, delicious and kid-friendly.

I love the baked method because it allows me to remove all the fat that drips off during the baking process and to season the meatballs later any way I choose.  After baking, I simply freeze the meatballs in small batches in  plastic zipper bags.  Before each meal, I just place them in a tightly-covered baking pan coated with my favorite sauce.  I reheat them at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes and they are perfect.

To accommodate our low-carb diet, I simply replaced my crumb filler with cauliflower couscous.  It is simple.  It is delicious.

baked meatballs

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