Know your Gluten!

Today with so many gluten allergies, celiac, and gluten sensitivities its good to know your gluten products. Here’s a handy guide to help.

Almond/Nut, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Oat, Quinoa, Rice, Sorghum, Tapioca/Cassava, Teff

Barley, Rye, Spelt

Gluten ingredients
Bran, Bulgur, Durum, Emmer, Farro, Freekeh, Graham, Kamut, Semolin, Triticale, Wheat

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

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….

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.

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

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.

Rosh Hashanah 2017

Holiday cooking is abuzz! My freezer is filling up with soups, roasts and challah varietals as I prep for the first set of the three day Yom Tov season 🙂
Make sure to search the full index for choices old and new! Hundreds of recipes in every catagory to make your Yom Tov delicious.
A few new recipes to try to spice up your already tried and true menus….more coming, check back weekly for more great ideas.

Rosh Hashanah Quinoa
Endive Salad with Apple Dressing and Roasted Nut Crumble
Asian Maple Glazed Turkey
Apple Pound Cake with Caramel Glaze
Carrot Ginger Soup With Creamy Apple Chutney (coming soon)
Spinach Salad With Roasted Beets, Persimmons, and Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing (coming soon)
Pomegranate Brisket with Three Onion Jam (coming soon)
Wine Baked Apples (coming soon)

Marinade or Dry Rub?

I am so glad to be back at the grill this week. It’s easy, tasty, and the smoky smell just makes me feel summertime happy. I teach a lot of grilling classes every summer and love learning new techniques too. Here’s a common question I’m asked.

Marinade or Dry Rub? Here’s the meat of it…

Marinades are liquids that are made of herbs, spices, and an acid—usually a citrus, vinegar, or alcohol. They not only add flavor to your meat, but also tenderize it. The acids breaks down connective tissues and make meat more tender. If you are cooking a protein that is already tender (fish, chicken breasts, or individual steaks), then you should marinate briefly for 2 hours or less. Tougher cuts of meat (briskets, roasts, London broil) should be marinated in the fridge anywhere from 4 hours to overnight. Don’t leave your meat marinating for longer than overnight. Room temperature meat can cause food poisoning, so do not leave your meat marinating at room temperature for longer than 40 minutes. Large sealable plastic bags or non-reactive dishes such as a glass or ceramic with plastic wrap over the top are perfect for marinating.

Use leftover marinade to baste the meat or chicken. DO NOT use it as a sauce, it is not food safe to eat uncooked. It can be used if you boil it for 3 – 5 minutes.

Rubs are mixes of spices and seasoning that add flavor but don’t tenderize. Dry rubs are, in fact, dry and powdery. Paste rubs are mixed with enough of a wet ingredient, like oil, soy sauce, or mustard, to form a paste. Both kinds of rubs should be patted onto the meat to form a coating or crust. Dry rubs are wonderful on individual steaks, and dark meat boneless chicken. I also use them on white meat chicken pieces.

Rubs can be applied just before cooking, but for more impact you can put a rub on a few hours before you plan to cook and store the meat in the fridge.

Here are a few great marinade and dry rub recipes below to enjoy.
My Go-To Grilling Marinade
Fresh Herb Marinade, Summertime Favorite
Pineapple Soy Marinade
Dried Herb Rub
Smoky Spiced Sugar Rub
Red Wine BBQ Chicken
Garlicky Lemon-Thyme-Marinated Lamb Chops

Recipe Ideas For The Nine Days

This time of year I get many requests for recipe ideas for the Nine Days. People seem tired of their teriyaki salmon. I’m excited about all the international food trends and using them as inspiration for my Nine Days menus. From fish to vegetarian options, these recipes are infused with wonderful herbs and spices that will make you feel like you’ve experienced international street food from all over the world.

Salmon Schwarma with Peppers, Onions, and a Tahini Sauce
Simple Za’atar Salmon
Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew
Tuna Poke Bowl
Fish Tacos with Mexican-Slaw
Mexican Cabbage Slaw

Salmon Schwarma with Peppers, Onions, and a Tahini Sauce

Serves 6

1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons grill seasoning, recommended brand Montreal OR sumac
Juice of 1 lemon
1 large cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 lbs. salmon, cut into pieces of your choice or a whole side
1 large onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Juice from ½ lemon
1/4 cup tahini
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
Parsley or dill, optional
olive oil, kosher salt and pepper
Toasted pita, optional

In a bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, chili powder, paprika and grill seasoning. And the lemon juice, the garlic and 4 tablespoons oil and stir until it is paste-like. Place salmon on a large baking sheet. Slather the mixture all over the salmon until it is well-coated. Set aside for 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake for 20 minutes.

In a large skillet heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes until soft and slightly browned. Add lemon zest, cumin and season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Make the sauce: In a bowl, combine the juice of the remaining half lemon, the tahini, yogurt, some salt and pepper and a small drizzle of olive oil. Add parsley, if using. Mix to combine.

To assemble, atop a toasted pita, place some of the salmon. Top with some of the pepper and onion mixture, and a good dollop of the yogurt-tahini sauce

“Cook with Confidence” FREE Online Event

Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us.
Life is so endlessly delicious.

– Ruth Reichl, food writer, editor “Gourmet Magazine”

I’m obsessed with cooking shows! My photo library and Instagram are filled with photos of exciting dishes that I’ve bookmarked to test and try? And I love learning from other chefs, readers, and experts in various fields. I’m so excited to share a project that will bring some of those experts right into your home.

Please join me for a FREE online event called “Cook with Confidence”. Tips, tricks and secrets from expert chefs, food bloggers, cooking teachers, and more to help you find inspiration, passion and success in the kitchen, created by my friend Lisa King. I’m the kosher expert, Click here to see the full array of experts.

My friend and colleague, Lisa King, has put together a delicious blend of chefs, food bloggers, bakers and nutritionists to share some of their best secrets. Armed with their tips, I guarantee you will quickly gain confidence in the kitchen!

I’m inviting you to participate as my guest in the entire Cook with Confidence event for FREE!
Register here

We will encourage you learn to love the process of cooking. Peeling, chopping, stirring, smelling, tasting and feeling – it’s an experience that is not only personally satisfying, but one that will fill your table with friends, family, light and love.

You will learn how to:

• Stock your pantry, depending on your eating style, for quick and easy meals;
• Make adjustments to a recipe when you don’t have all the ingredients
• Create healthy meal plans for your family to save time and money;
• Make amazing raw, vegan and paleo dishes
• Get inspired to create your own recipes

And so much more…

Click here to access “Cook with Confidence”

By the end of this event, you will have many of the tools you need to jump in, start dicing and chopping and Cook with confidence!

Send me feedback! Let me know your favorite shows and most of all, get inspired and feel the confidence that I know you possess!

Dips for BBQ Season

I’m getting started with summer entertaining. I always put out some chips, salsa, guacamole, and assorted dips for guests to enjoy. I have a plethora of choices and love getting feedback from my guests on which dips they like. My new favorite thing is to change up something old and make it tastier or healthier. The Roasted Carrot Hummus is a great example of that. Alter traditional hummus with roasted carrots and cumin. Edamame Dip is packed with soy protein and flavor. And Tomato Dip is just a family favorite! Happy Summer.

Edamame Dip
Tomato Dip
Roasted Carrot Hummos

Shavuos Cooking

Tons of recipes perfect for Shavuos! Shavuos index here
Cheesecakes – SOOOO many to choose from.

Salmon With Orange Pistachio Sauce and Apricot Glaze
Salmon with Pistachio Pesto
Tuna and Fruit Ceviche
Salmon Baked in the Oven
Poached Salmon
Green Goddess Dressing
Tzatziki Sauce

I’m booking events for summer and fall. Email me to book a cooking demo, a Chopped Party, personal chef time, or private cooking lessons.