Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Soy Browned Pareve Butter

serves 6

2 pounds asparagus spears, trimmed

cooking spray

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoon margarine

2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
¼ sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 400F. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 minutes or until tender.

Melt margarine in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce and vinegar. Drizzle over asparagus, tossing well to coat.

Garnish with toasted almonds.

Mocha Silk Pie

Serves 10


1 cup pecans, finely chopped
½ cups packed brown sugar
2 ounces, semi sweet chocolate, grated
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
Dash of salt

3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
2 sticks margarine (salted)
1-½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
3 ounces weight semi-sweet (or bittersweet) chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 whole large eggs
Garnish: pareve whipped cream and grated chocolate

Preparation Instructions

To make the crust, combine chopped pecans, brown sugar, grated chocolate, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine, and then drizzle in Kahlua, stirring until combined. Press mixture into a pie pan, bringing it up the sides a bit. *Do not bake* Set aside or refrigerate until needed.

In small microwave safe bowl, melt 3 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate until smooth (about 45 seconds on high). Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat margarine, sugar, 2 teaspoons instant coffee, and 1 teaspoon Kahlua until fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. When melted chocolate is cooled, drizzle it into the butter/sugar mixture as it beats on medium speed; use a rubber spatula to get it all out. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat the mixture thoroughly until combined, scraping the sides if necessary.

On medium speed, add the four eggs, one at a time, over a period of 20 minutes; leave about 5 minutes between each egg addition. Scrape sides of bowl halfway through this process. Pour filling into the piecrust. You might have a little filling leftover…yum extra.

Smooth out the pie filling and place pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours (preferably longer).

Grate the semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate. Serve the pie with pareve whipped cream and top with the grated chocolate.

Cranberry-Pistachio Paté


This can be a very elegant appetizer.

1 egg
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped pistachios
1/3 cup red wine
¼ cup nondairy creamer
¼ cup panko or other fine bread crumbs
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground turkey
Mustard(s) of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except mustard until well combined. Press mixture into greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1-1/2 hours. Cool slightly and pour off drippings. Cover paté loosely with foil. Place several heavy cans of food inside another loaf pan and place this pan on top of the covered paté. Chill for at least 12 and up to 24 hours. Invert paté onto serving dish. Serve thinly sliced with a variety of mustards.

Individual Chicken Packets

This is also a nice elegant dish although I would probably only make it if I was having a smallish crowd.
8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (on the smaller side)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
8 teaspoons basil
½ teaspoon pepper
2 (8 ounce) packages sliced mushrooms
4 carrots, cut into thin strips
2 zucchini, cut into thin strips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Fold 8 pieces of foil in half to make 8 14 x 12-inch rectangles (approximately). Place 1 chicken breast on each piece of foil and fold up edges a little. Stir together the oil, lemon juice, basil and pepper and pour over each piece of chicken. Top with mushrooms, carrots and zucchini. Seal with double fold, leaving small space for steam to escape. Bake for 45 minutes. Gently slide out of foil onto individual plates and serve.

Pine Nut Cookies

3 (8 ounce) cans almond paste, broken into small pieces
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
4 egg whites
1 cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together almond paste, sugar, powdered sugar and egg whites until well combined. Stir in pine nuts (dough will be sticky; don’t worry). Drop dough by rounded teaspoons on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes. Slide parchment paper onto wire rack for cooling. Remove cookies from parchment when completely cool.

Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Lemon Drizzle

photo: flickr

1 cup margarine
1 (8 ounce) package tofutti cream cheese
2-1/2 cups sugar
¼ cup poppy seeds
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Lemon Drizzle:
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream together margarine and cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in sugar, poppy seeds and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. On low speed, beat in flour and baking powder. Pour batter into greased 10-inch tube pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes; then remove from pan to wire rack to finish cooling. To make drizzle, vigorously whisk together all ingredients until no lumps remain. Pour over cooled cake.

Lamb Shank Braised in Stout Gravy

By Chef Tyler Florence

Serves 8
2 tablespoons coriander seeds or 1 tablespoon ground
2 tablespoons fennel seeds or 1 tablespoon ground
1 tablespoon black peppercorns or 1 tablespoon ground
4 large lamb shanks (1 to 1-1/2 pounds each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch lengths
2 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1 small leek, halved, sliced crosswise, and washed well
6 garlic cloves, peeled
3 bay leaves, preferably fresh
1 (16-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes, with their juices or other canned whole tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
3 cups dry red wine
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
4 (12-ounce) bottles Guinness stout
1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme leaves
5 fresh marjoram sprigs
1 bunch baby carrots

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a small, heavy skillet. Toast over medium-high heat until the seeds are aromatic and slightly darker, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle to grind to a fine powder. Alternatively, just mix the ground spices together. Rub each shank with a generous teaspoon of the spice blend and sprinkle with salt.
Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, wide, heavy pot over high heat. Add the shanks and brown on all sides, turning often, about 15 minutes. Remove the shanks from the pan. Add another 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pot, then add the onions, celery, carrots, leeks, garlic, and bay leaves. Saute over high heat until the vegetables start to soften and take on some color, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, (crushing them by hand), tomato paste, and red wine. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 10 minutes over high heat. Add the beef broth and Guinness, then return the seared lamb shanks to the pot, nestling them into the liquid. Bring the braising liquid to a simmer, then cover the pot and slide it into the oven.
Braise the shanks for 2 1/2 hours total, adding the thyme and marjoram to the pot after 2 hours. The lamb should be tender and falling away from the bone.
While the shanks braise, place the carrots on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until nearly tender.
Transfer the shanks to a plate, then strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh sieve (optional) . Return the sauce and shanks to the pot to combine. Serve with the gravy and the carrots.

Easy Ratatouille


Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large eggplant (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into small dice (about 3 cups)
1 medium onion, cut into small dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves minced garlic (about 2 teaspoons)
2 medium zucchini (1 pound total), trimmed, cut into small dice (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/4 teaspoon each dried rosemary and dried marjoram)
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring, until eggplant has softened but not completely lost its shape, about 5 minutes. Remove the eggplant from skillet. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and zucchini to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is soft, about 6 to 7 minutes. Return eggplant to pan and add tomatoes, herbs de Provence, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer approximately 10 minutes. Season with additional salt, to taste. Stir in basil and remove from heat.

Amaretto Cake


Serves 12

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix (do not prepare)
¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup vodka
¼ cup amaretto

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Slowly add eggs, orange juice, vodka, oil, and amaretto. Spray a Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour in batter and bake for 55 minutes.

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon vodka
1 tablespoon amaretto

Combine ingredients with a fork and mix until there are no lumps. Thin with water if necessary. Drizzle on cake.

Mesclun Salad with Apples and Esrog Vinaigrette

Still have your estrog? Try this.

6 cups Mesclun Lettuce
1 apple, sliced thin
¼ cup toasted almonds or pine nuts
¼ cup golden raisins (optional)
Estrog rind

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons or more Estrog juice (or lemon juice)
kosher salt
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ – 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix dressing ingredients together. Toss into salad and serve.

London Broil with Caramelized Shallots and Walnuts

Serves 8
4 tablespoons olive oil

3 pounds London Broil or skirt steak

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 cup teriyaki sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced
Soak the London Broil in cold water to clean and to remove excess salt that is soaked in the meat. Soak it for 15 minutes, pat dry.
 Spread garlic and Dijon mustard on the meat and then add the teriyaki sauce. Marinate for 6 hours. Either broil the meat for 8 minutes each side, checking often to make sure it is not too overcooked or grill the meat until medium rare on a prepared barbeque or grill pan. Serve with Caramelized Shallots and Walnuts

Caramelized Shallots and Walnuts
¼ cup margarine
2 pounds shallots, peeled
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup walnut halves
1 cup vin santo or other Italian or dessert wine such as port
5 thyme sprigs

Melt margarine in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallots and sprinkle with salt. Cook shallots until well browned all over, about 20 minutes.
Add walnuts, vin santo, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered until shallots are tender about 5 minutes.

Uncover, increase heat to medium-high and cook until liquid is almost completely evaporated. Serve warm.

Pareve Chocolate Nutella Cookies

Makes 5 dozen
1-1/2 sticks of unsalted margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 cup of pareve Nutella spread (chocolate hazelnut cream spread)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts (optional)

1 Preheat oven to 350F. Cream margarine in an electric mixer for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and pareve Nutella and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
2 Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each. Add the vanilla and mix for 10 seconds.
3 Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda (do not skip this step as sifting eliminates clumps of cocoa). Mix into the margarine mixture on low speed until fully incorporated, scraping down the bottom and sides at least once to ensure even mixing. Fold in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and refrigerate the dough for ten minutes.
4 Spoon tablespoon-sized drops of dough onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on the sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Gingered Pumpkin Pear Soup

2 sweet onions, chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons margarine
5 pears, sliced
1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin
3 cups pareve chicken broth
2 cups nondairy creamer
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium stockpot, sauté onion and ginger in margarine until soft. Stir in pears and sauté for 2 minutes. Add pumpkin and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Purée mixture with hand immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fall Stew

This stew has everything in it so you need very little in the way of side dishes.

1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 (29 ounce) can whole tomatoes
½ cup red wine
¼ cup soy sauce
6 large parsnips, chopped
2 leeks, sliced
4 carrots, chopped
2 turnips, chopped
2 (8 ounce) packages sliced mushrooms
4 potatoes, chopped

In a large Dutch oven, sauté onion, garlic and beef in the olive oil until browned. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 2 hours – the longer the better.

Mixed Nuts Tart

1-1/4 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup cold margarine, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons water
1 cup dried pears, chopped
1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/3 cup pear nectar
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup margarine
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup cashews
2 tablespoons pareve whip

In a food processor, combine flour and sugar and mix. Add the margarine and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Add water until soft dough forms. Shape into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for ½ hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rough dough into an 11-inch circle and transfer to 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom (can make in pie pan if stuck). Press into bottom and up sides of pan. Line pastry with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine pears, dates, nectar and ¼ cup brown sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and purée with hand immersion blender until thick paste forms. Set side.

In a small sauce pan, combine the margarine, ¼ cup brown sugar and corn syrup. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. Stir in nuts and pareve whip.

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Spread fruit filling over bottom of crust. Pour nut topping evenly over filling. Place tart pan on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Extra delicious served with pareve whipped cream or pareve vanilla ice cream.

Easy London Broil


1 (4 to 5 pound) London broil
½ cup Italian salad dressing

Place meat and dressing in a strong Ziploc bag and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat broiler. Broil until outside is seared and inside is still pink – about 10 minutes per side. Slice and serve heated or at room temperature.

Roasted Beets


This is my new favorite side dish. The only problem is making sure I don’t eat them all before getting it to the table.

4 large beets, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss beets with olive oil and salt. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Remove cover, stir and cook an additional ½ hour. Remove from oven and immediately stir in Balsamic vinegar. Serve at room temperature.

Almond Biscotti

1 (8 ounce) container almond paste
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold margarine
1-3/4 cup flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup slivered almonds
4 egg whites
½ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate almond paste and margarine in a food processor.

Add flour, sugar and baking powder and mix. Add slivered almonds, egg whites and vanilla and process until dough forms. Roll into log and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. Cut into slices and return to oven for 10 minutes more.

Schick Challah

I confess that I have not made this recipe (although I thank the Schicks anyway!) but my daughter who is a very careful cook, promises it’s delicious. Read the instructions carefully; one whole hour of rising time is skipped!

6 packages of yeast (3 ounces of fresh yeast)
Dissolve yeast in 4 cups of warm water and 2 cups of sugar – let proof.
Whisk in: 6 eggs
1½ cups of oil (maybe a drop less)
2 tablespoons salt
Knead until elastic: 5 pounds of flour.
Place in oiled bowl and cover with damp cloth.

Let rise for 2 hours, punch down, and then braid. Cook it for 15 minutes at 250 and for 45 minutes at 400.

Chicken Breasts in Wine

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup red wine (can be something old or inexpensive that you have lying around)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup oil
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon oregano

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix together all the ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional half hour.