Archive for April, 2008

Sometimes curry dishes can overpower – this one is quite mild. Really just a hint of curry flavor. This is another easy after-work dish that works great with leftover chicken. It comes together in the time it takes to cook your rice. The recipe easily doubles for a larger crowd, and is always a pleaser. Enjoy!

Mildly curried rice with chicken

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (either white or brown – you choose)

3 cups frozen green peas (not thawed)

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced

4 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon thyme

freshly ground pepper, to taste

a couple pinches of red pepper flakes

1/3 cup chopped nuts (eg – pecans, walnuts, pine nuts)

In a large saucepan, prepare your rice (note – on average, white rice prepares in about 15 – 20 minutes, brown rice in about 45 minutes).

Place the frozen peas in a large bowl, and add the scallions, chicken and raisins. Mix in the hot rice, and toss the ingredients and combine well.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, curry powder, parsley, thyme, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Pour this over the rice mixture, and toss well until everything is nicely mingled. May be served warm, room temperature, or after chilled for an hour. Sprinkle on the nuts just before serving. Serves 4 to 6

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Here is your answer for what to do with all that matzah.

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Gefilte fish, those boiled fish balls that are traditionally served with horseradish at the Passover table, are not only a time-consuming and expensive proposition to make, recent studies have shown that the very fish we use for this dish may be coming from contaminated waters.

Not that all fish these days isn’t contaminated in some way, shape, or form, but I was moved this year to try an alternative gefilte fish, and a recipe that fit more into my lifestyle, time constraints, and pocketbook. Here is a version of gefilte fish with a “better” twist – it’s made from skinned and boned salmon fillets, and no more labor-intensiveness – just drop all the ingredients into the food processor, then place into your loaf pan, insert into oven, and away you go! These came out delicious, and were healthy, too. Enjoy!

Salmon gefilte fish terrine (adapted from Jane Brody’s gefilte fish loaf)

2 large carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise

2 pounds of skinned and boned salmon fillets

1 cup chopped onion

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

1/4 cup matzo meal

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoons salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3 eggs

Steam the carrot halves for 7 minutes or until they are partially softened. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In your food processor, coarsely grind the fish; transfer to a bowl. Add the onion to the food processor and mince; transfer to the bowl with the fish. Stir in the grated carrot, matzo meal, oil, sugar, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and eggs. Mix ingredients thoroughly.

Transfer 1/3 of the mixture to a nonstick 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Place 2 of the carrot halves lengthwise on the fish. Add another 1/3 of the fish mixture, and place the remaining 2 carrot halves on top of that. Top with the remaining fish mixture.

Place the pan in the hot oven, and bake for 1 hour. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool on a rack. When the loaf is cool, loosen the sides with a knife and carefully turn out onto a platter. Cover the loaf, and chill it until serving time.

Slice, and serve it with horseradish. Serves 8 – 10. (I made two loaves)

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This Passover I tried my hand at Marcy Goldman‘s chocolate-covered toffee matzo that is presently the rage on some of my favorite food blogs. This recipe is not only easy to make; it really takes Passover desserts up to the next level. The outstanding level. Make some today, but be warned – try and eat just one piece. Cannot.Be.Done. I have made this dairy-free, but the recipe can be made with either butter or margarine. Caloric-wise, this treat is not for the faint of heart, but hey, it’s Passover – aren’t you tired of all those boring snacks and desserts? Treat yourself to something really special!

Chocolate-covered toffee matzo crunch

4 to 6 sheets unsalted matzos

1 cup margarine, cut into chunks

1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

sprinkle of flaky sea salt

Line a rimmed baking sheet completely with foil, and cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the bottom of the sheet with matzo, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.

 In a 4 quart heavy saucepan, melt the margarine and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring until the margarine is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil.

Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and pour over matzo, spreading with a heatproof spatula.

Put the pan in the oven, reduce the heat to 350 degrees F., and bake for 15 minutes. It will begin to bubble in the oven, but make sure it’s not burning. If it is, remove the pan from the oven, reduce the heat to 325 degrees F., and then replace the pan.

Remove the pan from the oven after 15 minutes, and immediately cover with the chocolate chips. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

Then spread the chips into the toffee and cover everything. Use an offset spatula.

You can then sprinkle toasted chopped nuts over the top, or flaky sea salt, as I did. Let it all cool completely, then break into pieces and store in an airtight container. Keeps for about a week.

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Macaroons are a staple at every Passover seder – a chewy or crisp cookie made with no flour at all. The ones shown here are made from ground almonds, and only have 4 ingredients! Easy to make with a food processor, these macaroons bake up in a flash, and are crisp on the outside with a slight chewiness on the inside. Enjoy!

Almondy macaroons

1 cup almonds

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Place the almonds and sugar in your food processor, and process until smooth. Add the egg whites and pulse until blended. Add the vanilla and pulse an additional 3 or 4 times. This will be a sticky and thick batter.

Shape into 1″ balls and place on the pans covered with parchment paper. You may need to wet your hands periodically with water while shaping the balls, to prevent sticking. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove the pans from the oven and cool completely before storing. Keeps fresh, tightly covered, for a week. Makes 2 dozen.

Here’s what the macaroons look like before they are baked:

And after: 

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It’s up and running at Once Upon A Feast – the 59th edition! Delectable as always, please stop by Ruth’s place and enjoy the beautiful shots of great food. You will leave hungry, I guarantee it! I am always proud to see my recipe included along with such good company, too.

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Lisa’s Kitchen is having a mushroom roundup! Some amazing mushroom recipes can be found there, submitted by some of the most imaginative cooks around. All brought together at the No Croutons Required cooking extravaganza. Don’t miss it – it’s like a free mushroom cookbook. Thanks for my inclusion, Lisa!

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With the Passover festivities in full swing, it seemed only fitting that a cheesecake be served for one of our  desserts. This one uses my patented soy cheesecake recipe, but with a twist on the crust and the topping. I made a flour-free crust (recipe to follow), and then I purchased those delicious-looking strawberries that you can find at all the markets right now during the spring season, decoratively placed them over the top of the cake, and then glazed them by gently brushing them with a Passover jelly melted down in a small pot over the stove. The results were both beautiful to look at and even better to eat. Everyone considered the cheesecake to be made from authentic dairy products, but we all knew better. Always a hit. Enjoy!

Kudos to Norene Gilletz for her easy-peasy Passover pie crust recipe – it was a snap. I modified it slightly.

Passover pie crust

1 cup matzo cakemeal (her recipe calls for matzo meal)

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup canola oil (or tub margarine)

2 tablespoons orange juice

Combine ingredients in the food processor and mix until blended, about 20 seconds (you may need to scrape the sides of your processor once or twice in between processing). Press into the bottom and up the sides of a lightly sprayed 10″ springform pan. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 15 minutes, until golden.

May be frozen.


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I’ve been quite busy in the kitchen lately, making some yummy dishes for our upcoming Passover seder this Saturday. I was searching for a good recipe for a compote, and I think I found it in Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet. It may be the citrus, I’m not sure, but this compote absolutely perfumed the house while it was cooking, and it tastes divine. Thank you, Jane. I modified this recipe just a pinch. Enjoy!

Fabulous fruit compote

1 pound dried apricots

1 pound pitted prunes

1 large seedless orange, unpeeled, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced crosswise

1 large lemon, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise, seeded

4 cups white grape juice

2 cups apple juice

5 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Red Delicious apples, peeled, cored, quartered, thinly sliced crosswise

In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the apples. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover the pan, and simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Immediately stir in the apples.

Cool the compote, cover, and chill it until 1 hour before serving time. Serve the compote at room temperature.

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Yesterday, I tried another really great recipe from Norene Gilletz’ Healthy Helpings that I wanted to share. This really was a cinch to make. While it was marinating for 30 minutes, I roasted some brussel sprout on the side, and we all enjoyed a very South-Beach friendly dinner. Which is good, as I have begun preparations now for our big seder on Saturday night, the first night of Passover. All dieting bets are off until after the holiday! Enjoy!

Salmon balsamico

4 salmon fillets (about 1 1/2 pounds)

salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 Italian tomatoes, chopped

1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried (that’s what I used)

Arrange the fish in a single layer in a sprayed baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Combine the vinegar with the brown sugar, garlic, tomatoes, and basil; pour over the fish. Marinate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Bake uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes. Serves 4.

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