Monthly Archives: March 2013

Super Fluffy Apple Banana Matzo Muffins

Every year during Passover, abstaining from baked goods isn’t difficult… until the second day. And then the third day… These days, there are lots of store bought options as well as fantastic ideas online available to those that observe the holiday.  

Fluffy Apple Banana Matzo Muffins

These muffins are so yummy that you will want to make them with all of the extra matzo cake meal that you have left over from the holiday! Go ahead and do it… no one will know that these were intended to be Passover-friendly!

Always trying to get a better shot… Apple Banana Matzo Muffins

Super Fluffy Apple Banana Matzo Muffins

Makes approximately 20 muffins (depending on the size of your muffin pan and how full you fill each pocket)

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups all purpose matzo cake meal
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 cup apple sauce
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
1 Gala apple, coarsly grated
2 tablespoons creme fraiche (or sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Canola oil for muffin tin (spread with a small napkin) or Non stick cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Line muffin tin with liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray or wipe each pocket with a napkin and canola oil.

1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon (optional) and salt.

2. Beat sugar, eggs and egg whites with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. 

3. Add apple sauce, mashed bananas, grated apple, creme fraiche, and vanilla. 

4. Fold in dry ingredients.

5. Fill each muffin pocket about 2/3 full.

6. Bake 22 to 25 minutes, until toothpick in center comes out clean.

Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!

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Curried Tofu/Chicken

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m not a big fan of Indian flavors. I’m sorry. I dislike spicy food and am super sensitive to smells. I don’t know why I can handle pungent aged cheese but not curry. I’m doing my very best to get over this and that has to count for something, right?

Curried Tofu

Curried Tofu

I don’t mind being the naive American who asks for her dishes “not spicy”. And I also don’t mind being the naive American who learns to cook Indian dishes in a way that she appreciates both their level of spiciness as well as their mild seasonings. The recipe that I share with you here is very mild both in spiciness and seasoning (feel free to increase them, if you’d like)… but it’s Indian influence is clear.

Enjoy!

Curried Tofu

Curried Tofu

Curried Tofu/Chicken

Makes 10 large entree portions

Ingredients

2 onions, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 pounds of boneless/skinless chicken thighs, cubed (or firm tofu, cubed)
4 cans coconut milk
3 tablespoons curry powder**
2 teaspoons ground cumin**
2 teaspoons ground cardamom**
1 teaspoon ground tumeric**
1 teaspoon ground ginger**
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped cilantro to garnish
**Instead of the individual spices, you can use 5 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Curry Powder Mix.

Directions

Preheat broiler.
1. Heat butter and oil in a large heavy bottom pot/dutch oven, over medium heat.
2. Add onions and carrots and saute until softened.
3. Add garlic and enough water to cover vegetables (about 1 1/2 cups). Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, until the onions break down and water evaporates.
4. Meanwhile, season the chicken/tofu with salt and pepper. Working in batches, broil for about 6 minutes, just until a slight crust has formed. Repeat with remaining chicken/tofu.
5. Add coconut milk and curry powder to the pot. Mix and taste. Add salt/pepper to your taste.
6. Bring back to a simmer.
7a. If using chicken: Add broiled chicken to pot. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
7b. If using tofu: Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add broiled tofu to pot. Turn off heat.
8. Optional: Serve over basmati or jasmine rice.

Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!

Chorizo, Kale & Orecchiette


Last year we celebrated Christmas Eve… with other Jewish families. As stereotype would have it, there wasn’t a single Chinese food container in sight! Our hosts were amazing and presented a beautiful dinner. One of the dishes was so delicious that while I was eating it, I was already thinking about making it for my family the following week!

Kale, Chorizo & OrecchietteKale, Chorizo & Orecchiette

Our host combined three main ingredients together in a way that I’ve never experienced before and the result was outstanding! The surprise binding ingredient that really brought all of the flavors together was a small splash of truffle oil.  

The added bonus was that this dish fit into my requirement of flexibility. In the months that followed, I’ve made different versions of this dish once every two weeks. Here are some modifications (and they’ve all come out fantastic): substitute spinach for the kale; substituted turkey sausage, tofu sausage, polish kielbasa or chicken sausage for the chorizo; and I’ve swapped out the orecchiette for orzo or another small pasta. I’ve also played with proportions. If I made this as a side dish, I doubled the kale/spinach and halved the pasta and halved the sausage. It’s the combination of flavors that will always work well together!

Enjoy!

Chorizo, Kale, Orecchiette & Feta

Chorizo, Kale, Orecchiette & Feta

Cooked Orecchiette

Cooked Orecchiette

Prepare the kale... remove the fiberous center stem

Prepare the kale… remove the fiberous center stem

Finely dice an onion

Finely dice an onion

Saute the onion and then add the kale

Saute the onion and then add the kale

Four cloves of garlic

Four cloves of garlic

Add garlic to sauteed kale and sweat

Add garlic to sauteed kale and sweat

Slice chorizo into coins

Slice chorizo into coins

Brown chorizo

Brown chorizo

Add chorizo to large bowl that has the orecchiette and kale

Add chorizo to large bowl that has the orecchiette and kale

Add feta and dress

Add feta and dress

Kale, Chorizo & Orecchiette

Kale, Chorizo & Orecchiette

Kale, Chorizo & Orecchiette

Serves 6 as an entree

Ingredients

1 pound orecchiette (or GF pasta of your choice)
1 large onion, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces
approximately 1 cup of chicken broth or water
1 pound chorizo (or other sausage including tofu sausage), cut into coins
1/2 pound feta, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon truffle oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook orecchiette to al dente, as per package instructions (about 8 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water. Put into a large bowl and reserve.
2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium/high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
3. Add kale to the skillet.  The large bunch will wilt down significantly. Saute… You will need to periodically add chicken stock (or water) so that the kale doesn’t stick to the skillet. Add 1/4 cup at a time, as needed. You may also want to cover the skillet to let the kale steam a bit. Saute for about 10 minutes until kale has completely softened and wilted.
4. Remove kale mixture from skillet and add it to the reserved orecchiette. Loosely cover.
5. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same skillet and heat to medium/high.
6. Add chorizo to the skillet and saute until browned.
7. Add chorizo to bowl with reserved orecchiette and kale. If any oil remains in the skillet, add that also!
8. Add feta & truffle oil to the bowl.
9. Mix to combine. Taste and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to your taste.
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!

Garlicky Shrimp & Turkey Meatball Soup

I’ve been meaning to publish this blog for a few months now. Three times, I’ve opened the folder with the pictures and was so inspired by the memory of the flavors that within a few short minutes, I found myself making the dish rather than blogging about it. It’s that good. It’s that yummy. It’s that easy. It’s almost like shrimp scampi soup. It’s almost like a garlic party where shrimp and turkey are the honored guests. If you knew about this party, you’d want to be invited. Trust me.

Garlicky Shrimp & Turkey Meatball SoupGarlicky Shrimp & Turkey Meatball Soup

One of the reasons that I love this recipe is that the end result doesn’t require a lot of dish washing. One pot for the pasta, one pot for the soup, one bowl where all of the ingredients were mixed and a cutting board. Minimal mess is always a plus in my book.  The flavor is awesome and if you make enough for leftovers, it’s even better the next day!

Enjoy!

One pound of shrimp (if frozen, thaw)

One pound of shrimp (if frozen, thaw)

Cut each shrimp into small pieces (about 1/2")

Cut each shrimp into small pieces, about 1/2″ (or you can coarsely chop them in a food processor)

Add seasoned breadcrumbs

Add seasoned breadcrumbs

Add ground turkey and chili flakes

Add ground turkey and chili flakes

***See Instructions below for pre-baking the shrimp and turkey meatballs.***

Thinly slice garlic

Thinly slice garlic

What makes garlic better? Fry it in some butter!

What makes garlic better? Fry it in some butter!

Add chicken broth

Add chicken broth

Garlicky Shrimp & Turkey Meatball Soup

Garlicky Shrimp & Turkey Meatball Soup

Garlicky Shrimp & Turkey Meatball Soup

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 6 large bowls of soup

Ingredients

3/4 pound spaghetti (or gf pasta)
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, roughly chopped
3/4 cup seasoned dried breadcrumbs (or GF breadcrumbs)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, divided
1/2 pound ground turkey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/4 cup finely chopped chives (optional)
6 lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook spaghetti, as per package instructions.
2. Coarsely chop shrimp (by hand or in a food processor).
3. In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes, salt, milk, egg, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, shrimp and turkey.  Mix well to combine.
3a. Optional: You can pre-bake the shrimp and turkey meatballs and then make the broth later. Place the formed balls on a silicone lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Enjoy immediately or with the soup!
4. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.
5. Add garlic slivers and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and water and bring to a rapid simmer.
6. Using a small ice cream scoop, tightly pack shrimp and turkey mixture into balls. Drop the balls into the simmering broth one at a time. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes.
7. Divide pasta among six bowls and top with broth and meatballs.
8. Combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest with chives (if using) and sprinkle over soup.
9. Squeeze lemon wedges over soup and serve.
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Four Ingredient Miso Glazed Cod

Fish is a so easy to make as a last minute dinner. Whether its for your family or a dinner party. A short amount of prep work yields tremendous flavor, with very little hands-on time. While fried fish (ok, fried ANYTHING) is super yummy, baked fish is incredibly moist and flavorful, without the guilt. The key is to never overcook your fish. If it’s undercooked, you can always put it back into the oven for a few more minutes, but once it’s overcooked and dried out, there’s nothing you can do to bring it back to life.

Four Ingredient Miso Glazed CodFour Ingredient Miso Glazed Cod

These cod fillets cook in less than 15 minutes. Bake them in the bottom of the oven for 8 minutes and then broil them for 4-6 minutes. Four ingredients and 12 minutes for a delicious fish entree… C’mon, you can do it!

Enjoy!

Cod (poorly butchered by the inexperienced fishmonger... but shame on me for not watching him cut it)

Cod (poorly butchered by the inexperienced fishmonger… but shame on me for not watching him cut it)

All you need: sugar, mirin & white miso (the fish is hanging out in the upper right corner)

All you need: sugar, mirin & white miso (the fish is hanging out in the upper right corner)

Glaze ingredients into a bowl (soooo easy!)

Glaze ingredients into a bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds to allow sugar to dissolve (soooo easy!)

Liberally cover all parts of the fish with miso mixture

Liberally cover all parts of the fish with miso mixture

Broil for 4-6 minutes each side

Bake for 6 minutes and then broil for 4-6 minutes.

Four Ingredient Miso Glazed Cod

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Serves 6 as a side

Ingredients

6 skinless cod fillets, 6-8 ounces each
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white miso
 

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with the rack placed on the lowest position in the oven.
1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine mirin, white miso and sugar. Stir to combine.
2. Heat for 30 seconds. Stir and allow sugar to dissolve. If needed, heat mizture for another 30 seconds.
3. Pat dry cod fillets and place on a large, rimmed baking sheet.
4. Coat both sides of the fish liberally with the miso mixture.
5. Bake for 8 minutes.
6. Remove from oven. Turn on Broiler.
7. Broil for 4-6 minutes (depending on the strength of your broiler and the thickness of your fish) until the fillets are golden brown on top and opaque in the center.
(If the fish browns and it’s not opaque, remove from broiler and bake for another 2-3 minutes in the oven.)
9. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Also tastes great reheated!
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!

Brisket Ragu with Rigatoni

I often make enough of a particular dish with the explicit intentions of having leftovers. This week, it was brisket. I originally made it for a big Sunday dinner with extended family. On Monday night we had brisket leftovers… and the kids complained. “Brisket again?!” Definitely a third world problem.

Brisket Ragu with RigatoniBrisket Ragu with Rigatoni

I knew that the brisket would need to be revamped. Tuesday night I reinvisioned the brisket into pizza: Brisket, Scallion & Smoked Gouda Pizza. It was a HUGE hit! With the last bit of leftover brisket (about 1 pound), for Wednesday night, I went Italian: Brisket Ragu with Rigatoni. The brisket shredded beautifully and added a a heartiness to the sauce that it needed.

My only disappointment was that I didn’t have my camera to take pictures of the process, only of the final product. You’ll forgive me, yes?

Enjoy!

Leftovers Re-imagined... into pasta sauce!

Leftovers Re-imagined… into pasta sauce!

Good things come in three's... Brisket Ragu with Rigatoni

Good things come in three’s… Brisket Ragu with Rigatoni

 

Brisket Ragu with Rigatoni

Makes 6 entree sized portions

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
1 tablespoon TJ’s crushed garlic (or 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced)
1 pound brisket, cubed into 1/2″ pieces
Any remaining sauce from brisket (optional)
1 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes (Pomi or Tuttarosa)
Small handful of basil
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
1 pound rigatoni (I used Barilla Rigatoni), cooked as per package instructions, until al dente, about 8 minutes
Pecorino Romano cheese to sprinkle (optional)

Directions

1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium/high heat.
2. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper.
3. Add garlic and saute just a few moments until fragrant.
4. Add brisket. Break up the brisket with a wooden spoon while it’s heating up.
5. Add crushed tomatoes, brisket juice (if using) and basil. Bring to a boil.
6. Turn down heat to low. Let simmer 10-15 minutes.
7. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
8. Add pasta to the sauce. Toss and serve.
9. Top with Pecorino Romano (if using).
 
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!

Rosemary Wild Rice with Red Grapes

I love versatility. Have you noticed from previous posts? 🙂 I love grains that are flexible. I’ve been making different versions of this salad that I saw in a Martha Stewart publication for the past 5 years or so. Heck, I’ve loved Martha for almost as long as I’ve loved grains!

Rosemary Wild Rice with Red GrapesRosemary Wild Rice with Red Grapes

This recipe does really well as written below, but it also holds up very well to modifications. Don’t have grapes but have dates, raisins or dried figs in the pantry? Perfect! Swap them out. Don’t like rosemary but love thyme or tarragon? Great, make the change.

This is a great dinner side, a fantastic lunch meal and a great option for potlucks. You’re going to love it!

Enjoy!

Sprig of Rosemary & Spanish Onion

Sprig of Rosemary & Spanish Onion

Saute onion in butter and olive oil

Saute onion in butter and olive oil

Add finely chopped rosemary and wild rice

Add finely chopped rosemary and wild rice

Add water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat down to medium/low and simmer until water has absorbed.

Add water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat down to medium/low and simmer until water has absorbed.

Garnish with chopped parsley... Rosemary Wild Rice with Red Grapes

Garnish with chopped parsley… Rosemary Wild Rice with Red Grapes

Rosemary Wild Rice with Red Grapes

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Serves 8 as a side

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
Kosher Salt
2 cups Lundberg Wild Rice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves, chopped very fine; about 1 teaspoon chopped
3 cups water (or 2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup water)
1 to 2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
small handful of parsley, chopped

Directions

1. In a heavy bottomed pot, melt butter and heat olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper.
3. Add rice and fresh rosemary. Stir so that the rice kernels become coated with the onion/butter/oil mixture.
4. Add water and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium/low and cover the pot.
6. Let simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 35-40 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let cool a bit.
8. Add grapes and parsley. Toss to combine.
9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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