What’s for Dinner ?

I get a lot of cooking questions, especially now that I am fortunate enough to personally meet so many people at my demos. The questions range and of course fall into every category, but what is actually downloaded from my website (thank you loyal readers for 9 amazing blogging years!) is more narrow. Readers want meats, chickens and desserts. Yes, salads and soups are popular too (especially in my book 🙂 but that evil question, "WHAT'S FOR DINNER?" weighs heavy on every family. Don't worry I'll keep posting lots of different types of recipes and always bring you the latest in food trends, but this week, I'm helping with a few new dinner ideas. Simple skillet chicken dishes that are quick and full of flavor. The first, Chicken with Paprika, is a traditional Hungarian recipe, that I've updated with a bit more garlic, a little cayenne, and a pinch of sugar for contrast. It's a one skillet recipe and goes great with any terrific bread to dip in the sauce, baked potatoes or my favorite, basmati rice. The second is a Pan Roasted Chicken with Tropical Sweet and Spicy Glaze, flavored with cumin, pineapple, and chile. It's robust and complex flavors make it very satiating.

A few other weeknight tips. Keep side dishes simple, make sure they pair well with the main, i.e. simple rice, potatoes, roasted vegetables and make a fresh salad, one night spinach, another kale, another cabbage or romaine to keep it all interesting. Remember complex flavors mixed with whole grains and veggies keep people full and well nourished. I love soups this time of year too but I'll get to more of that when the weather gets colder.

Remember, send me recipes you would like to share, send me questions, or other types of recipes you want to see more of, at ekurtz@gourmetkoshercooking.com

Recipes:
Skillet Pan Chicken with Paprika
Pan Roasted Chicken with Tropical Sweet and Spicy Glaze

Kosherfest 2016

International food lovers this was your show. Matcha. Kimchi, baklava, spanikopita, tahini were all there for the tasting. Plus artisanal and farm-fresh products looking to introduce themselves to the kosher market. It’s a fun and fattening day filled with food and foodie friends (that is the best part – sharing it with others who obsess about food as much as I do).

A few standout products for me this year, that I must share…

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KoKo Kosher Korean – 2 faves here, kimchi and gochujang (a fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, rice syrup, soybeans, and salt – I’ve been looking for it with a hecksher for months and am very excited to post some recipes featuring this ingredient.) Korean food is a big food trend, kimchi has been on restaurant menus for a few years now, so its very exciting that this product is new to our market and coming soon to your market.

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Parvella – Italian chocolate spread available in 4 flavors, intense hazelnut, vanilla, coffee and orange. This is a delicious, NO palm oil, NO milk, NO peanuts, NO eggs and NO gluten and PAREVE chocolate spread. It’s rich, creamy and I’m excited to use it as a ganache, a frosting, in mousse, swirled in hot cocoa, the possibilities are endless and super scrumptious. I know the name of the product is not exactly inviting, but taste it, it’s divine.

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A bunch of smoked and dried meats – Amsellem, pure beef, dried sausage in a few flavors. Think kosher pepperoni, slightly smoky, flavorful, and softer than beef jerky. Jack’s Gourmet, launched their turkey sausages in both regular and Andouille, wonderful addition to their terrific line of products. And new from Pelleh Poultry, artisanal, hormone and antibiotic free, duck products. From Duck Fry (duck bacon), Duck cherry sausage, duck rillette, duck fat, and fresh duck parts, this makes duck accessible and easy to prepare for the home cook. Admittedly, I went back for seconds and will add these items to my refrigerator.

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Yoffi Israeli products – chocolate tahini, Zaatar tahini, date spread, honey, tasty and totally on-trend.

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Savannah Bee Honey – I’ve been buying from them for years and giving their honey as gifts, but now the entire kosher world is introduced to their wonderful products and packaging. I liked their new chocolate honey (it wasn’t available when I did my Rosh Hashanah order this year) and loved the whipped honey with lemon. Say goodbye to frosting, this is my new glaze on every muffin and cake!

Thank you Kosherfest for the fun-filled day of food and new inspiration. And as I say, every year, now I need to go to the gym

Roast Your Turkey Like a Pro

Avoid Frozen Bird, if possible
Freezing creates ice crystals that expand and puncture the meat’s cells. Fresh turkey meat stays juicier when cooked.

If frozen, thaw it safely. A refrigerator set no higher than 40F is the safest place. This can take up to six hours per pound, so a 16-pound turkey can take up to four days to thaw.

Never brine a kosher turkey. The koshering process has already brined it. Its no wonder the kosher birds always win the juiciest, tastiest turkey contests.

Start to roast it upside down. Typically breast meat finishes cooking before leg meat. To solve this dilemma, start cooking the turkey upside on 450F for 30 - 45 minutes, to transfer maximum heat directly to the legs and thighs while protecting the breast. After 45 minutes lower the heat to 300F, and cook 20 minutes per pound. For the last hour, raise the temperature to 375 and cook for one hour to brown the skin (if you don’t want to start with this method, cook it right side up 17 minutes per pound in a 325F oven.).

Don’t cover the turkey. Covering the turkey will create moisture and ultimately steam or poach the meat, yuck. It actually will dry the bird out and not create a moist, crispy texture. If your turkey is browning too much, turn the temperature down and continue to cook until it reaches 165F.

Roast it on a rack. This encourages air circulation around the turkey and speeds up cooking. A rack also keeps the bottom skin crisper by raising it above the juice in the pan.

Baste it a bit. Basting just crisps up the skin; it does not make the meat juicier or help prevent drying out (that just happens from overcooking). For a darker skin, add a little brown sugar or agave to the basting juices. The combination of protein and sugar on the skin creates a dark, crispy texture.

Rest for juiciness and easier carving. Just like with BBQ, the turkey needs to rest for the juices to redistribute and not run off in the cutting process.

Degrease the pan drippings by cooling it off and skimming the fat.

Thicken gravy with starch. Use cornstarch, tapioca, or potato starch, mixed into warm gravy without too much thickener. Use just 1 teaspoon (instead of 1 tablespoon flour).

New Thanksgiving Recipes
Maple Roasted Carrot Salad
Sweet Potato Pound Cake
Salted Caramel Whipped Mousse
Cranberry Apple Sauce
Cranberry Sauce with Dried Apricots
Fall Greens with Apples, Pears and Toasted Nuts
Pumpkin Ice Cream and Graham Cracker Torte
Full Thanksgiving Index

Fasting and Pre Yom Kippur Seuda

Best tips on fasting and Pre Yom Kippur Seuda, plus a few other recipe ideas

I may add one of these recipes to my menu
Cavatappi with Eggplant and Pine Nuts
Grilled Chicken and Romaine Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing
Avocados Stuffed with Roasted Vegetable Salad
Cobb Salad with Sweet Roasted Onion Dressing
Apple Upside Down Cake
Stuffed Baked Apples

Index for Succot here, get cooking!
Lots of Rosh Hashanah recipes are perfect for Succot too, Rosh Hashanah recipes here
And of course, thousands of options in every section, General Index here

New 2016 Rosh Hashanah Recipes

Rosh Hashanah menus should of course include some wonderfully familiar flavors of the holiday like pomegranate, sweet honey, and apples. I like to combine these with other trendy and fall seasonal foods that together make a scrumptious memorable meal. Below, find some new favorites of mine that will definitely be appearing on my Yom Tov table. Chag Sameach!

Soups
Flavors of Fall Butternut Squash and Corn Soup
Tomato Cumin Soup

Fish
Mustard Rosemary Glazed Salmon

Chicken/Meat/Main
Honey Ginger Apple Chicken
Sticky Sweet and Spicy Pomegranate Chicken
Five Spice Chicken Thighs with Apples and Sweet Potatoes
Sweet and Tangy Spare Ribs, by Renee Muller, from “Our Table”

Salads/Sides
Rosh Hashanah Quinoa Salad
Tomato Barley Salad
Honey Sweetened Blackened Carrots
Farro Salad with Apples and Herbs
Balsamic and Honey Sweetened Beets and Onion Salad with Mixed Greens and Apples (and deli meat, optional)
Fall Green Salad with Apples, Nuts and Fall Spices
Gluten Free Apple Kugel , Recipe by Orly Gottesman of Blends by Orly

Desserts
Maple Apple Almond Torte
Cinnamon Swirl Vanilla Ice Cream Bars
Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake
Apple and Honey Rosh Hashanah Muffins, by Renee Muller, from “Our Table”

For more Rosh Hashanah recipes, check out our index.
Don’t forget to book your holiday cooking demo or personal chef time now ekurtz@gourmetkoshercooking.com.

Aryeh’s Kitchen

What a week! It started with an awesome event in Briarwood Queens with a fabulous group of women from Chabad who made me feel so welcome! And was followed by an incredible trip to Nashville. GKC secret….I’ve always wanted to go to Nashville and I’m obsessed with country music. At one point in my younger days I owned both green and pink Tony Lama cowboy boots, shhhh don’t tell anyone. I not only taught a class at the fantastic Chabad of Nashville, how cool is that?, but I also explored the history, music and eats in their “little bigtown”.
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Top eats?! Aryeh’s Kitchen, the chicest kosher food truck, located on the gorgeous campus of Vanderbilt University. First I met Yosefa, the only female mashgiach I’ve ever met who jumped off that truck to give me a great Southern hello and a big hug. Next came chef and server with their Southern accents and even better food. Check out this menu,

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Bubby’s brisket with Vidalia onion marmalade (Southern style of course with a little smokiness), Naked Ox burger, and Nashville Taco Chicken. I had an amazing lunch and loved watching the swarms of students, all types, waiting for their Aryeh’s Kitchen fix. Caf cards (yup those Vanderbilt cafeteria cards work – Aryeh thought of everything), credit cards and cash, its all good there and they are fast with this yummo food. Who has time in Nashville for sit down fancy food, grab a burger at Aryeh’s and go listen to some awesome music, which by the way, starts at about 11 am everywhere, outside the pharmacy, in the bars, restaurants and on every corner. Talented…super talented musicians sharing the love and hoping for a little tip.
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Go to Nashville, the music is incredible and now the eats are terrific too. Check out the website Aryehs.com for hours but usually all day and into the night while school is in session. 615 955 3344

Chabad of Nashville (Chabadnashville.com) has great guest accommodations and Shabbos meals for a very reasonable fee. Rates and availability are online or email them.

Back to School, Back to Snack Time and Super Easy Dinners

I’m back! Hi and thanks for those who wrote to me and said they missed their weekly GKC. I needed some R & R and spent more time than I’d like to admit, planning and preparing my son’s Bar Mitzvah (which was wonderful). I can’t believe school has started, my Rosh Hashanah testing is in full swing, and my classes are in full swing, where did the summer go? This week I’m in Briarwood, Queens, West Orange, NJ and then Nashville. Stay tuned for pics and feedback. Don’t forget to book your holiday classes or personal chef time asap, its getting very busy. Email me at ekurtz@gourmetkoshercooking.com for dates and rates.

In the meantime, here are a few must have recipes for back to school, back to snack time, and super easy dinners. This time of year its all about getting restarted, then thinking about the holidays…yes that’s coming soon!

Snack Time
Healthy Apple Sauce Muffins
Kale Chips
Lots of homemade Granola Bars, every variety

Easy Dinners
Super Fast Tandoori Weekday Chicken
Maple Dijon Chicken
Super Simple Lemony Roast Chicken
Easy Mirin Glazed Salmon
Easy Lemon Baked Sole with Breadcrumb Topping

2016 Nine Days Meals and Ideas

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The Nine Days are a difficult time for so many reasons. It seems so unimportant to fret over the lack of meat and chicken in our daily meals, but we all still worry about how to feed our families in a wholesome and delicious way when our easy go-to items are not options. Fret no further, help is here. Here’s what I’m thinking….

Fish Tacos
Grilled Tuna Skewers with Asian Sauce
Cedar Planked Salmon with Dill Sauce
Vegetarian Chili
Tuna Tartare

Of course…
Caramelized Onion and Boursin Cheese Pizza
Curstless Spinach and Mushroom Quiche
Pasta with Eggplant and Red Pepper
Add tuna or salmon to Greek Salad
Roasted Vegetables and Lentils with Aromatic Spices

Need more inspiration?

From fish, to pasta, to quiche, make this a week of new recipes, flavors, and adventure in the kitchen. Here are a few ideas and older posts that might help.
- Want to make pasta just right? Not sure what type or sauce works well together…try these pasta recipes and cooking tips
- Like Salmon? Try these salmon burgers, Poached Salmon, Teriyaki Salmon, or Dozens of other Salmon Recipes
- Tired of just salmon? Try Flounder with Lemon Caper Sauce, or Pretzel Crusted Fish,, Halibut in Puttanesca, Olive oil Poached Cod with Zucchini and Tomatoes or how about endless other fish recipes too
- A few personal favorites…Pan Seared Cod with Cilantro Vinaigrette and Creamed Corn, Sea Bass with Balsamic Reduction, Salmon with Apple Corn Curry Sauce
- Quiche?Try these quiches, or my preference, Mushroom and Spinach Frittata
- I don’t wait for the nine days to make the Caramelized Onion Boursin Cheese Pizza, and these pizza recipes are great ideas too.
- Nine Days wrap up from years past, recipes, tips, menus, and more

CORN Season!

A basket of sweet corn, three ears partially husked
Fresh local corn is super tasty, not starchy, subtly sweet, and in prime season. What’s great is that it’s available in almost every market and in every state.

Buy it
Buy it and eat it fresh, don’t store for more than two days if possible.
Leave it in the husks, resist pulling back the husk to check the kernals. Feel it and makes sure it feels firm all the way to the tip.
Store it in the refrigerator.
Choose ears that are heavy for their size and have pale golden silks.

Cook it – 3 options…
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Grill it: Heat a bbq to about 375°F. Remove silks, but keep husks in tact. Pull husks around corn. Place over medium to low heat for a nice smoky flavor. Cooking time will depend on the size of the ears. You can also grill it shucked over direct heat for great smoky char. It takes about 8 minutes total cooking time.

Cook it in a pot: Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the husked corn, cover and remove the pot from the heat. Let stand until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

In the microwave: Microwave shucked corn, no more than 4 at a time, on high, for 2 minutes each ear. You can microwave them in the husks and silks, by the way, and after they are through cooking, the silks literally slide right off the corn, it just requires a little more cooking time.

Flavor it
Schmear corn with lots of fix-ins, pre or post cooking. Like herbs and butter mixtures, lime zest and juice and chili powder, mayonnaise and spices, shredded cheese, or even wrap it in pastrami.

Quick Tip Cutting
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Easiest and cleanest way to cut kernels off the cob.

Eat it Plain and Simple
Or use it in these delicious recipes:
Summer Corn and Tomato Salad
Chickpea, Corn and Dill Salad
Romaine Salad and Corn Salad with Avocado Dressing
Sweet Corn Salsa
Pastrami Corn and Red Pepper Saute
Fennel Red Pepper and Corn Salad
Pan Seared Cod with Cilantro Vinaigrette and Creamed Corn
Corn Soup with Imitation Crab or Smoked Salmon

POPS!!

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Best dessert for hot summer days? POPSICLES! Ice pops are super refreshing and so easy! Think frozen smoothies, juices, milkshakes, teas, or sodas. To make them, you first prepare your liquid mixture. I like to blend my favorite fruits with water, orange juice or milk or soda, and iced teas, or try a spiked version! Pour your mixture (or liquid beverage) into ice pop molds (read below). Finally, FREEZE them, and voile, done!

My favorite and the hands down best, ice pop mold is the Zoku Classic Pop Molds from William Sonoma, for $15. Classic or available in kid friendly shapes and colors, but all of these molds allow the pops to slip out of the silicone mold so easily, and without a hassle.

Try these popsicle recipes,

Clean That Grill

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Two Grill Cleaning Tips

1. Place your grate over the heat for a few minutes, then brush it briskly with a wire brush. Anything that was stuck on from the last cookout will now scrape right off. Magic! I’m a big fan of the Grill Daddy, the steam from the water in the brush, combined with the heat of the grill cleans the grates and sanitizes them.

2. Using the longest pair of tongs you have, lightly dip a kitchen towel in vegetable oil and carefully coat the grates. The oil will smoke for about 30 seconds as it burns off, but afterwards you’ll have a practically nonstick grill.

Dessert Sauces

Summertime should be warm and relaxing. Most readers take it a bit easier with lighter and easier cooking, lots of grilling (stay tuned for more on that!), and refreshing desserts. In our home, we make a lot of homemade sorbets of all flavors and yummy dessert sauces to serve over pareve ice cream. These sauces keep for weeks in the refrigerator and months in the freezer. I rewarm them before Shabbos and serve them over cold pareve ice cream for a quick, easy and super delicious and refreshing dessert. Jazz each one up for company with toppings like bananas and shaved chocolate, crumbled toffee, mixed berries and whipped cream, cinnamon baked apples and poundcake, or a decorative homemade cookie.
Strawberry Balsamic Sauce
Best Hot Fudge
Honey Caramel Sauce

Need more ice cream dessert ideas?
Mocha Ice Cream Pops (Pareve or Dairy)
Ice Cream Bon Bons
Affogato Sundae with Almond Biscotti

Check Out the Shavuot Index

Here’s a new salmon fave of mine just in time for Shavuos.
Salmon with Scallions and Sesame

And more new Shavuos recipes:
Red Snapper with Tahini Sauce and Nut Gremolata
Grilled Asparagus and Onions with Lemon Dressing
Scrumptious Basic Blondies

Check out the Shavuot index! Over 30 different cheesecake varieties, 50 other dairy dessert ideas, dairy main course suggestions, soups, salads, and meat choices too!

Looking for salmon recipes? We have you covered! Great salmon recipes here.

Thank you Queens

Thank you Queens, especially Batsheva Haber and the JWRP for inviting me to Queens. We made some terrific dishes for Passover and had a great time. Thank you Ruchi for opening your beautiful home for the event!

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Passover Planning

Passover planning is in full swing. That’s it Purim over, candy is sorted, containers recycled, and pantry ingredients beginning to be used up (don’t worry lots of those ideas are forthcoming).

A few important notes from GKC…
First:
The main site is always open and free of charge. Look on the top bar on the upper left, it says Main GKC site, and that link remains open for anyone who needs the main site throughout the Passover season
Second:
Did you know? CELEBRATE, food, family, Shabbos, includes 100 RECIPES FOR PASSOVER in the book. Each recipe has a side bar, not indicating if the recipe is perfect for Passover as-is or if it needs some minor adjustment or substitution. AND P. 344 gives a complete list of all the Passover recipes in the book. It’s a must-have book and gift this holiday season. Get it from Emunah.org or at Amazon.com
Lastly:
There is a nominal charge for GKC for Passover of $4.99 (that’s less than a latte in NY) and the site includes over 2000 recipes, menus, products, and great info for the holiday. I spend months testing and creating new recipes for this site and hope you enjoy the fruits of the labor ☺

Thank you Detroit

Thank you Detroit! Two great events hosted by Aish Hatorah in Detroit. Thank you Estie, Marci, Amy, and Rachel for the terrific planning and prepping and being so welcoming! I might have to bring you all home with me 🙂

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