Stock your Freezer for Passover

Stock Your Freezer with Elizabeth Kurtz

Email me to reserve your day! I cook in your kitchen.

These recipes freeze well. Serving and defrosting instructions provided.

Sweet and Savory Butternut Squash Soup
Rich Roasted Pepper Soup
Mexican Meatball Soup – chicken meatballs
Potato Leek Soup with Marsala Mushrooms
Cauliflower Mushroom Soup
Cabbage and Flanken Soup
Zucchini Soup with Fresh Dill
Carrot Ginger Soup

Traditional Stuffed Cabbage – takes time but makes 2 large 9 x 13 trays, enough for two meals
Italian Veal Stew
Savory Traditional Brisket
Moroccan Lamb Stew
Coffee Braised Brisket
Pulled Beef with Barbeque Sauce
Balsamic and Tomato Seasoned Minute Roasts – thin cut sliced meat

Chicken Francese – lemon chicken breasts
Chicken Marsala – white or dark meat boneless
Balsamic Chicken with Onions and Mushrooms – white or dark meat boneless
Roasted Garlic and Herb Marinated Chicken – either marinated and freshly prepared after defrosted or finished and frozen
Sheet Pan Chicken with Garlic, Mushrooms and Parsley Chimichurri – dark meat, boneless

Salad Dressings
Sweet and Creamy Dressing – nice for spinach salad, coleslaw, iceberg lettuce
Balsamic Vinaigrette – traditional,great with romaine, arugula, Italian salad blend
Lemon Vinaigrette – great on kale
Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette – great on everything
Sweet Orange Vinaigrette – great on citrus and avocado salad
Basil Vinaigrette – great on romaine, arugula, olives, cucumbers, tomato salad
Red wine Vinaigrette – great on kale, spinach, or romaine

Olive dip
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato
Roasted Mixed Vegetable Dip
Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Pizza 101

Homemade vs. purchased, what’s a girl to do? It’s really a crazy question because a homemade version is just so much better, however, nothing beats picking up a pie in a pinch. If you want to make pizza night a fun, interactive meal though, you can blend the homemade and take-away versions with a snap. My kids love building their own varietals, a nice alternative to taco night. Of course, you need some fun cheeses, and veggie toppings but keep these more unique ingredients in mind too.

Ricotta cheese
Vegetarian meats
BBQ sauce
Assorted vegetables
Sunny-side up egg
Fresh basil

Pizza tips and recipes…
1) You don’t need to make homemade dough. Yes, its yummy but many commercial varieties are available in your local market or at Trader Joe’s. Many pizzerias are willing to sell the dough too. Let it come to room temperature before topping though.
2) You do need a pizza stone though. A sheet pan will not be big enough for a decent circular pizza and more importantly will not produce the crispy bottom surface that a stone will. Get something simple, no need for a fancy one, any brand made from stone is great.
3) Use a homemade sauce, recipes below. Starting with great sauce adds depth of flavor. Recipes: My Favorite Super Simple Pizza Red Sauce, My Favorite White Sauce.
4) Don’t use too much cheese, use other flavor enhancers like pesto, crushed red pepper, oregano, garlic, etc.
5) Drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt before baking.

For super combinations and other recipes including homemade pizza dough, BBQ pizza, pizza puffs, pizza dip and more, click here
Or try my most favorite pizza, Caramelized Onion and Boursin Cheese Pizza

My Favorite Super Simple Pizza Red Sauce

Makes 3 ½ cups

1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, San Marzano if you can find that type of tomato in can
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt, a large pinch
Pinch of ground black pepper

With an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree sauce until smooth. Warm to blend flavors. Use on pizza or pasta

My Favorite White Sauce

Makes 2 cups
Awesome with Marsala braised mushrooms

2 cups heavy cream
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced finely
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper

With an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree until thick and creamy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Warm to blend flavors. Use on pizza or atop pasta.

Asian Glazed Corned Beef

Recipe by Miriam Pascal as printed in Real Life Kosher Cooking


Yield 8 servings

Talk about a crowd pleaser! I served this corned beef at a large family gathering, and I was surprised — and definitely pleased — to see that everyone, even the pickiest kids, were enjoying this meat — and for good reason! The sweet Asian flavors in the glaze are a fantastic pairing for the tangy pickled flavors of the beef, making a dish that had everyone reaching for seconds.

1 (3-4 pound) pickled brisket, preferably seccond cut
¾ cup teriyaki sauce
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons
rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
¼ cup brown sugar
½ inch fresh ginger, minced, OR 2 cubes frozen ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place meat in its bag of pickling liquid into a 9×13-inch (or larger, if needed) pan. Add water to the pan until the meat is covered. Cover pan tightly with foil; bake for 3 hours, until meat is tender. Drain water from the pan and set meat aside until cool enough to handle.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: Add glaze ingredients to a small bowl; whisk to combine.
4.Remove meat from bag; drain all liquid. Return to pan; pour half the glaze over meat. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; pour remaining glaze over meat. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
5. To serve, slice meat and spoon glaze/sauce over it.
6. Variation The method of baking the corned beef in its liquid was taught to me by Mr. David Asovski, a master butcher and meat expert, as a way of preserving the pickled flavor of the meat. If you prefer a less-pickled flavor, remove meat from the pickling liquid; place meat into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook for about three hours, until tender, then continue with Step 3.
Plan Ahead Meat can be frozen in an airtight container. Reheat, covered, until heated through. For best results, freeze after Step 2. Defrost, glaze, and bake fresh.

Chocolate Funnel Cakes

Recipe by Miriam Pascal as printed in Real Life Kosher Cooking
Dairy or Pareve

Yield 20 small funnel cakes

Funnel cakes are traditionally carnival or amusement park food, but with some pretty garnishes, you can elevate these tasty treats into a party-worthy dish. They get their name from the authentic way of making them: dropping the batter into hot oil using a funnel. This chocolate variety is somewhere between chocolate cake and funnel cake, with each little strand giving you an incredible crunch.

2-1⁄2 cups flour
1⁄2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1⁄ cup brown sugar
pinch kosher salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk OR soy milk
oil, for frying
powdered sugar, for dusting
Optional Garnishes
ice cream
Mixed Berry Sauce (page 297)
fresh fruit
melted chocolate or chocolate shavings

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, sugars, and salt until
2. Add eggs, vanilla, and milk. Stir until combined and smooth. Place batter into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.
3. Heat about 1⁄2-inch oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Test if oil is hot enough by squeezing in a small amount of batter. When oil hot enough, the batter should rise right to the top.
4. Squeeze the batter into the hot oil, squeezing back and forth, making a freeform web-like pattern (see photo). Fry for about 1⁄2-1 minute, until bubbles form on the top. Flip; fry for an additional 30 seconds, then remove to paper towel to drain.
5. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the funnel cakes, then top with desired garnishes, optional. Serve hot.
Plan Ahead Funnel cakes can be fried a day or two ahead of time. Reheat in a single layer in oven. Top with
powdered sugar just before serving.

Beef Crostini with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Serves 10
I love this as an appetizer for any party because it’s delicious made ahead of time and served warm or at room temperature. It’s festive, pretty and delicious.

2 pounds London broil or Roast Beef, trimmed and tied
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 baguettes, cut into twenty 1/2-inch-thick slices total
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Horseradish Sauce:

1 cup Tofutti sour cream
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons horseradish
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the beef: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Place the beef roast on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Rub the oil and seasoning evenly over the meat.
Roast until an internal thermometer reads 125 to 135 degrees F for rare to medium rare, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, tent with aluminum foil and let rest until it reaches room temperature, at least 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and thinly slice trying to remove grizzle and any extra veiny pieces.

For the crostini: Turn down the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
Put the baguette slices on a baking sheet in 1 layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and toasted, about 5 minutes.

For the horseradish sauce: Add the Tofutti sour cream, applesauce, horseradish, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, chives and dill to a medium bowl and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble: Spread a dollop of horseradish sauce onto each toasted baguette piece, add a slice of beef and then top with another dollop of horseradish sauce

Giveaway: Real Life Kosher Cooking Cookbook

My friend Miriam Pascal is back in bookstores, with her second book, titled Real Life Kosher Cooking, filled with easy to follow recipes in every category and lots of striking pictures that her fans from have come to love and expect.

I’ve already tried quite a few recipes that were simple and thoroughly enjoyed by my Shabbos guests and family for mid-week family meals. I was excited to try the soups first, as I make a soup every night during the winter months. Split Pea Meatball was an easy full meal in a bowl, that got better each day as the flavors melded together. Broccoli Zucchini soup is healthy and not a drop left in my house. On to Asian Corned Beef….I loved the glaze, thick and glossy but thought the cooking time was a bit too long. I’d definitely make it again with that in mind. And then….Miriam’s famous desserts, I’m always drawn to her cookies and delicious pies. The Golden Crunch Pudding cookies were a bit hit, and I even mixed in some
chocolate wafer cookies too which gave a mix of color to these treats. Admittedly, I’m always reluctant to use a store-bought crust but in these desserts a home-made crust is just unnecessary. The cinnamon bun pie….yum! And the fluffernutter brownie pie were both beautiful and rich and chocolaty.

Congratulations on your new release that fans will love. These crowd-pleasing recipes can be yours as a Hanukah present, YES!!! GIVEAWAY TIME!

Submit to enter, through December 10 at 12 am.
Submit to win this cookbook
1. Comment here
2. Double entry for new follows on instagram Gourmet Kosher, or tag friends on the instagram post
3. Like it on facebook

2017 Thanksgiving Recipes

2 New Thanksgiving Recipes to add to your Turkey Day or anyday repertoire
Fall Spice Cake
Sweet Potato and Cranberry Casserole

Full Thanksgiving Index, Turkeys, Sides, Breads, Soups, Pies, Stuffing, Cranberry sauce, it’s all here!

Wines? Serving or Gifting? Lots of ideas here.

Roast like a pro, Thanksgiving and Turkey prep tips, here
Why a kosher bird? Everyone should eat the juiciest and best bird, here’s why….

Sweet Potato and Cranberry Casserole

Serves 8 – 10

4 tablespoons unsalted margarine/butter, melted, plus more for buttering the baking dish
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (3 to 4 large potatoes; about 1 3/4 pounds)
½ cup soymilk, non-dairy creamer or milk
⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups fresh cranberries (frozen are okay, but defrost)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons unsalted margarine/butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 2-quart baking dish.
Whisk together the margarine/butter, mashed sweet potatoes, soymilk, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and the eggs in a large bowl. Fold in the cranberries. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

For the topping: Combine the flour, brown sugar, margarine/butter and salt in a medium bowl until moist and the mixture clumps together. Stir in the pecans and spread over the top of the sweet potatoes in an even layer. Bake until mostly set in the center and golden on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Fall Spice Cake

Serves 10 – 12

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted margarine or butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup Tofutti sour cream or dairy sour cream

Maple-Cinnamon Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Pinch cinnamon

For the spice cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan.

Cream the margarine/butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

Add the eggs to the creamed margarine, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the Tofutti sour cream, alternating with the flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour and beating until no flour is visible, but be careful not to overbeat the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan; tap the pan on the counter to remove any air pockets. Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool slightly in the pan, 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack while still warm.

For the maple glaze: In a medium bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. Cover with a damp towel until you are ready to use. Drizzle the glaze decoratively over the cake. Serve the cake warm or room temperature.

FRESH Herbs, How to Keep Them That Way

After you’ve gone through the trouble of washing and checking a batch of fresh herbs, or paying the extra expense for the checked herbs, proper storage is a must. I store my greens between layers of dry and damp paper towels, which will keep them fresh longer.

– Arrange a layer of dry paper towels in the bottom of a lidded container. This prevents moisture from pooling and causing spoilage.

– Trim, wash, check, and THOROUGHLY dry herbs. Pick through them to remove any discolored or wilted leaves (they leach onto the fresh ones).
– Place them in the container, making sure to give them a little breathing room (btw, this is my issue with the prepared, checked fresh herbs…they are smashed into an airtight container with no room to breathe, and thus become spoiled quickly)
– Wet a sheet of paper towel and wring it out completely, then drape it over the herbs. Close the lid to seal and refrigerate.

Asian Mustard Vinaigrette Tuna Tartare

Poke bowls, ceviche, tartare are all on my favs list lately. It’s light and fresh and super healthy. I serve each of these as Shabbos appetizers too. A quick serving and prepping tip….keep the sushi grade tuna frozen until ready to use. Thaw for about 15 minutes, then slice into the perfect sized cubes, no shredding and as the fish defrosts it absorbs all the great flavors of the other ingredients. This week I’ve savoring this new tartare recipe.

Asian Mustard Vinaigrette
2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons prepared Korean mustard or Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tuna Tartare
8 ounces sashimi-quality tuna, diced
Heaping 1/3 cup finely diced seedless cucumber
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions or chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, plus for serving
2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds, plus for serving
Pinch kosher salt or sea salt

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, mustard, sugar and some salt and pepper. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the vinaigrette is emulsified. Cover and store in the refrigerator if not using immediately. (Makes about 5 tablespoons)

For the tartare: In a medium bowl, gently toss together the tuna, cucumbers, scallions, shallots, sesame oil, black sesame seeds, roasted sesame seeds and 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Season with salt.

Divide the tartare between two bowls or plates and sprinkle with additional roasted and black sesame seeds and the julienned perilla leaf.

Serve immediately.

Food is Medicine Too

By Beth Ricanati, MD

October brings a lot of Jewish holidays, changing of the seasons, and national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most of us know someone with breast cancer, or who had the disease, or maybe who even beat the disease. It’s relentless…and seemingly everywhere. With breast cancer rates at roughly 1 in 8 by the time we’re 80, that’s a lot of breast cancer.

And as overwhelming as that may seem, I am still encouraged. Yes, encouraged: after all, scientific research has demonstrated that about one-third of the expected cancer deaths this year will be lifestyle related, meaning that they are related to a lack of physical activity, obesity and poor nutrition.

Bingo. Sometimes it’s as simple as opting for a different choice and you can perhaps affect the outcome of this devastating diagnosis. What is it about food and breast cancer? Certain foods actually can turn on or off different genes in our body, genes that may either increase our cancer risk or genes that can fight cancer. What you eat can affect your genes. This field of research is called epigenetics.

So whether you steam it (so easy, currently a favorite at our house) or roast it (especially good with a little olive oil and sea salt), or puree it for soup (use broth if you want a vegan option, or try with yogurt), try to add broccoli into your diet once a week…you might just be decreasing your risk of cancer while you eat something delicious! In addition, be sure to include a variety of foods that reduce inflammation to further reduce your risk. In addition to broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (i.e. brussel sprouts and cauliflower), include antioxidant, gene-changing and cancer-fighting foods such as oranges and other citrus fruits high in vitamin C, omega-rich foods such as salmon, antioxidant-rich berries and herbs and spices such as curry, ginger and garlic.

For more information on healthy living and support before, during and after a breast cancer diagnosis, I want to introduce you to Sharsheret, the national Jewish breast and ovarian cancer organization. Check out their website for great information and to order a free survivorship kit that includes an amazing healthy living cookbook and other resources.

Enjoy this broccoli recipe featured in Sharsheret’s survivorship kit from One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and Their Friends, by Rebecca Katz.

Szechwan Broccoli

While not as healthy as broccoli, Sharsheret’s annual Thanksgiving Pies for Prevention Bake Sale is looking for bakers! By baking and selling baked goods this Thanksgiving, you are joining volunteers nationwide raising critical ovarian cancer awareness and funds to support Sharsheret’s Ovarian Cancer Program. You can register to become a Pies for Prevention baker here.

Beth Ricanati, MD, has built her career bringing wellness into everyday life. She trained and worked at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.  She now resides in Santa Monica, California. Follow her on Instagram at @housecallsforwellness, and on her website at

Szechwan Broccoli

Recipe is from One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and Their Friends, by Rebecca Katz.

2 bunches broccoli
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon mirin
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 scallions, both green and white parts, minced

Remove the florets from the broccoli. Peel the broccoli stems with a vegetable peeler until smooth. Slice the stems into bite-size pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt. Add the broccoli and blanch for 30 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a cold water bath to stop the cooking and preserve the broccoli’s color. Drain the broccoli and set aside.

In a small bowl mix the vinegar, tamari, mirin, toasted sesame oil, and maple syrup.

Have all your ingredients ready for a quick finish. Heat a wok or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the sesame oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and scallions. Stir quickly for about 30 seconds, just until aromatic.

Add the sauce to the wok and simmer until thickened, about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and heat through, about 15 seconds. Serve immediately.

Israeli Couscous with Orange, Dried Cranberries and Toasted Nuts

Serves 6

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon coconut oil or canola oil
1 cup Israeli or pearl couscous
1 1/3 cups pareve chicken broth, chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/4 cup dried cranberries or craisins
1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
1/4 cup sliced scallions
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, juice, zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a good pinch of pepper.
Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring, until light golden, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until nearly tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, cover, and cook for 1 minute more.
Toss the couscous, almonds, scallions, and mint with the vinaigrette and serve.

Shaved Cucumber Salad

Serves 6

1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons seeded and minced jalapeno or red spicy pepper, like a Fresno chile or a red jalapeno
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 medium cucumbers, trimmed and peeled

In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, jalapeno, and sugar. With a vegetable peeler, shave the cucumbers into the bowl in long, wide strips. Toss and let sit briefly before serving.

Endive and Persimmon Salad with Toasted Nuts and Dijon Vinaigrette

Serves 6

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, chopped (or other toasted nut)
1 pound Belgian endives, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 pound radicchio or other mesclun, torn
1 pear—quartered, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 persimmon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (if not available or in
season, use mango)
2 cups baby arugula
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup walnut oil, avocado oil or hazelnut oil (or use canola oil and olive oil in equal parts, 2 tablespoons each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, toss the endives, radicchio, pear, persimmon and arugula.
In a small bowl, whisk the mustard, lemon juice and vinegar. Whisk in the olive, canola and nut oil and season with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad, toss well and garnish with the toasted hazelnuts.

Freezing Tips for Make-Ahead Recipes

Yes, some foods like vegetables, fish and select chicken dishes are best prepared fresh. But many holiday items can be prepared and stored in
the refrigerator for up to two weeks, like dips, salad dressings, and marinades. And roasts, soups, saucy chickens and veal, some desserts, cookies, and challahs can be prepared, fully cooled, wrapped properly in plastic or foil, but always air-tight and then frozen. The trick is to defrost them slowly so that no condensation is created (this is what gives frozen chicken that rubbery wet taste). In order to defrost items without condensation, think and plan ahead. Defrost frozen items in the refrigerator, which takes at least but about 24 hours, then bring them to
room temperature before reheating. Do not defrost on the countertop, the temperature drops too low from the freezer and lots of water molecules form and melt into the food, making it wet and just not quite the same.