Zucchini Latkes

photo: delicioushouse.com

4 cups zucchini, grated
1 medium white potato, grated
1 medium onion, chopped
3 eggs
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
Pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Mix together the zucchini, potato and onion. Whisk the eggs together and add to the vegetable/potato mixture. Mix together the flour, breadcrumbs, pepper, garlic powder and salt and combine with the egg/vegetable mixture. Heat large nonstick frying pan with 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. Drop batter by spoonfuls into hot oil and fry until crisp, turning to fry on the other side. Add small amounts of oil as needed when frying. Turn out on towel paper to drain. Serve quickly, best while hot.

Hot Coffee with Something Extra

photo: life123.com

With the days and nights getting cooler, the appeal of an after-dinner hot drink is heightened. And if that coffee (decaf of course) is laced with a little liqueur or something stronger…sounds good to me. It will help you relax with your spouse, with friends, before bed – and it tastes good too. For those who don’t like coffee, we’ve provided a hot chocolate version as well. Bottoms up! Each recipe serves 2 because no one likes to drink alone!

Polynesian Coffee
This evokes tropical breezes and lazy days and nights.
2 ounces rum
1 ounce amaretto
2 cups hot black coffee
Whipped Cream (pareve or dairy, depending on your situation)

Pour the rum and amaretto into a heat-proof coffee glass. Fill with hot coffee. Top with whipped cream. Enjoy!

photo: myrecipes.com

Mocha Coffee
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
2 cups hot coffee
Whipped cream (pareve or dairy)

Melt chocolate and stir until smooth. Stir in liqueur and coffee and pour into cups. Top with whipped cream. Save some for me!

Reggae Coffee
2 ounces coffee liqueur
2 ounces rum
2 cups strong hot coffee
Whipped cream (pareve or dairy)
Dash nutmeg

Mix the liqueur and rum and pour into heat-proof coffee glasses. Fill with coffee and stir. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

photo: breakfastonthect.com

Russian Hot chocolate
2 ounces coffee liqueur
1 ounce vodka
2 cups hot chocolate (instant or homemade)

Whipped cream and marshmallows

Pour liqueur and vodka into mug and fill with hot chocolate. Stir. Garnish with whipped cream and/or marshmallows, if desired.

Get Prepped for Thanksgiving

For those of you who enjoy Thanksgiving or for anyone who enjoys a turkey now and then, GKC has our “Best Turkey” tips of 2011.

1. Accurate Temperature: Make sure you have a calibrated oven, meaning the oven thermostat is reading correctly and a good meat thermometer. Turkeys take about 20 minutes per pound (for a 8 – 12 lb bird) and about 15 minutes per pound for a 12 – 16 lb turkey. Another more accurate way to test doneness is to use a meat thermometer. The turkey should be cooked until an internal temperature of 165 degrees. I also like those pop-up disposable turkey plastic thermometers that are available this time of year. When the turkey reaches 165 degrees it pops up indicating that the turkey is cooked through.

2. Let the turkey rest. Let the turkey rest after it is cooked so that the juices remain in the meat and not all over the cutting board. To keep the turkey warm, as a whole or after slicing, cover the tray or cooking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil and then with a bath towel. This forms a nice steam bath and keeps everything inside warm and moist.

3. To stuff or not to stuff? That is a popular question we get. Personally, I love the way the stuffing tastes when made in the turkey, BUT my general vote is to make stuffing muffins, or a separate stuffing, because the turkey, even big ones, just do not make enough stuffing to please a crowd. This way you can make plenty of stuffing, and still have room in the oven for other items.

4. Use chicken stock! Chicken stock is an amazing moisture enhancer. I drizzle some over the sliced turkey to keep it moist. Even the most perfectly roasted turkeys get dry very fast so keeping a little stock warmed on the side is a great way to keep everything moist.

5. Carve it right.
• Let the meat rest.
• Set up a large cutting board so that it will not move while cutting. Sharpen a large knife.
• Cut the turkey along the breastbone with a sharp knife, pulling the meat away from the bone as you cut so you can see where you’re going. This is a crosswise cut against the grain.
• Cut down and around on an angle, separating the entire breast from the bird.
• Carve the breast on an angle, then place pieces on a serving platter.
• Pull the leg away from the carcass and find the joint between the leg and thighbone and separate them with the knife. If you like, cut the meat off the leg.

Kosherfest 2011

Kosherfest 2011 was a big success and by the looks of the crowds trying lots of kosher food, well attended. GKC was there, visiting some of our favorite vendors and making some new friends.

So what’s new in 2011 for kosher food? Here are some of our favorites….

GKC congratulates friends at Jack’s Gourmet who took the prize for Best New Meat with their zesty and savory new flavor, Jamaican Style Jerk Chicken Sausage. Jack’s Gourmet just gets better and better and remains a family favorite.

Osem came out with some fabulous new Bamba flavors including peanut cream filled bamba, butterscotch bamba, and strawberry bamba. All are kosher for Passover if you eat kitniyot. My favorite new Osem product is the Sandwich matzah strips available in both whole wheat and regular. Each box contains packages of matza strips that break into three perfect sized sandwhich strips (I tried it and it works!). No more wasting those odd shapes and sizes of boxed matza for chol hamoed trips!

Tishbi won us over again this year with their Strawberry Champagne preserves. The delicate and balanced taste is worthy of the Queen’s tea. Tishbi won for the Passion Fruit Champagne Preserves but the strawberry was my favorite.

Dorot continues to strengthen their product line. Now in addition to cubed, ready-to-use herbs that we have all come to depend on because they are just so good and so easy, they have cubed cooked onions (is that awesome or what?) and cubed sauces like, pesto, tomato and herb, alfredo, and garlic herb. This is fresh and flavorful dinner made easy. I also think the pesto works great as a meat stuffing or on top of leftover chicken and pasta.

GKC tried lots of great wines at the Royal Wine booth and loved seeing the huge line of wines they make and distribute. Many thanks to them for changing the wine industry for the kosher world. In addition to wine, they distribute lots of kosher products. One Kosherfest new product favorite in their line of distribution, and very exciting for parents, is Sugarfree Bazooka made by Elite. I loved it and can’t wait until it appears in kosher markets nationwide. Parents; there is hope for those children who consume 5 pieces of Bazooka each Shabbos.

Another new fun favorite is Rabbimints, a great kosher alternative to Altoid and a real mint, not a candy, created by personal friend Rabbi Mintz (get it? Rabbi Mintz – Rabbimints?) and two of his students with a good sense of humor and great entrepreneurial experience. The cool thing is that not only is the product good but they advertise that a portion of the product sales goes to charity.

One more that needs mention are the Rogue Confections. Absolutely gorgeous chocolate transfers, chocolate mini pops, cupcake toppers, personalized cookies and more.

Stay tuned, GKC favorite Pesach products from Kosherfest will be reserved for pre-Passover time and no one is ready for that now.

Gluten-Free GKC

GKC has received lots of requests for gluten free recipes and it seems we’re not the only ones. In the past few years gluten free eating has become more and more commonplace and when I typed a “gl” into Google to start reading up on the topic, gluten showed up, not before a slew of “Glee” related searches, but before “global warming”. So, what exactly is gluten and why are more and more children and adults banishing it from their diets? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. For most people it is harmless. However, people with Celiac disease have an immune response to it which damages the villa lining in their small intestine which are needed for absorption of nutrition. Celiac disease can develop at any point of a person’s life. A person with undiagnosed celiac disease can be malnourished no matter how much they eat because nutrients cannot be absorbed. There is currently no cure for this condition and the only way to manage it is through a gluten free diet. Today, gluten free packaged foods represent about 2.6 billion dollars in the US market, up from just 210 million in 2001. GKC found it very interesting though that many people who tout the gluten free label are not celiacs, but are gluten intolerant. Basically this means that they are sensitive to this protein and although it doesn’t damage their intestines, they experience symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, gas pains, and general digestive discomfort. This condition has not been well researched and there are no medical tests or diagnosis however there is significant clinical evidence to suggest that by eliminating gluten from their diets these people can to benefit and enjoy improved health. In response to the numerous requests from GKC readers, we have partnered with some popular gluten-free experts and are excited to periodically include their recipes in our recipe posts. We will always indicate that they are gluten-free and we hope that you also share the gluten-free recipes that you have mastered.

Gluten Free Fudgy Brownie
Asparagus with Maple Dressing

Many thanks to Esther Wilamowsky, GKC friend and reader, for her contributions on this post.

Gluten Free Fudgy Brownies

photo: elanaspantry.com

Makes 9 – 12 brownies

Adapted by GKC, original recipe by glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

I am not a gluten free specialist but tried these with both gluten free guests along with others who are not gluten sensitive. All raved about these.

5 ounces high quality dark chocolate
1/2 cup margarine
2 eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 rounded cup almonds, processed into a fine meal, or 1/4 ground almonds
1/4 cup rice flour (original recipe calls for brown rice flour)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired
1/2 cup extra semi-sweet chocolate chips for the top (I recommend this)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil and lightly oil the bottom.

Using the microwave, melt the dark chocolate and margarine in a large (microwave safe) measuring cup. Stir together to combine. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs on medium high till frothy. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the melted chocolate mixture into the egg-sugar mixture a little at a time – incorporate it slowly- and beat well for a minute. The chocolate will look smooth and glossy.

In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: almond meal, rice flour, fine sea salt and baking soda; whisk together. Add the dry flour mix into the chocolate mixture and beat well for a minute. Add the vanilla, beat another half a minute or so. If adding nuts, stir in the nuts by hand and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan [this brownie batter is much thinner than any brownie batter, don’t worry]. Shake the pan a little bit to even out the batter.

Layer the semi-sweet chips all over the top of the batter and press them in slightly, if adding. Bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree F oven for 33 to 35 minutes, or until the brownies are set. Don’t overcook. (The Gluten free Goddess recommends to err on the side of gooey. Gluten-free brownies taste better slightly undercooked and soft in the middle than over-cooked and crumbly.)

Cool on a wire rack; and remove the brownies from the pan by gripping the foil edges. Chill before cutting. These brownies were outstanding slightly chilled.

Asparagus with Sesame Maple Dressing

photo: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

Recipe by the Gluten-Free Goddess

1 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus 1 teaspoon, divided
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper

Garnish: Italian parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Trim the bottom ends of the asparagus stalks, rinse, and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Place them in a low-sided pan. Cook for 7 minutes or until cooked through but still crisp.

Whisk the tahini, 1 tablespoon olive oil, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar. Add a little bit of hot water to thin. Whisk until smooth. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Place the asparagus on a platter. Drizzle the asparagus with the dressing. Top with fresh Italian parsley.

JCC of Manhattan

The Succah is put away; we successfully fed our families 19 holiday meals and took a well-needed break last week. GKC is back and ready for fall. Here in New York that means changing leaves, changing wardrobe, and eating seasonal foods. That’s trendy anyway, eating foods of the season especially those that are grown close to home.

We suggest you take a minute or two to explore a few activities that you enjoy. For us, that means more cooking and cooking classes. Recently we bonded with the JCC of Manhattan and were so impressed with the line-up of chefs and classes they offer. Unique at the JCC, The Patti Gelman Culinary Arts Center is the only fully equipped kosher kitchen to offer both dairy and meat cooking classes in Manhattan. The culinary studio remains bustling throughout the week with instructive cooking classes held daily for adults, teenagers and children. Their intimate, hands-on classes are an ideal place for beginners as well as experienced cooks to improve their cooking skills. I can’t wait!

The Chef-Instructors hail from a wide variety of culinary backgrounds, resulting in classes that are as diverse as they are delicious. They offer classes with well-respected chefs from successful restaurants, cookbook authors (we hope to be included when our book is out this summer!), caterers and private chefs, wine experts, food purveyors, and other culinary authorities. Here are a few upcoming classes that we are considering but for a complete listing go to their website JCCManhattan.org and sign up. Many thanks to the JCC for sharing this sneak peak recipe for Tuscan White Bean Soup from a recent class, just for GKC readers. It’s just a sample of the delicious recipes that are taught, shared and distributed with each class. Sunday night soup just got a little better.

I’m currently deciding which classes to take, anyone want to come?

11/2 (9 – 11 a.m.) Moms In The Kitchen (Delicious Nibbles for Busy Moms)

Active mom and professional chef Kim Pistone leads this series featuring wholesome meal plans for busy moms. Homemade granola, wraps, hummos and more.

11/8 (7 pm) The Tuscan Table
Join chef Sarah on a special journey through creating this traditional, simple, and rustic trattoria type fare. You’ll create escarole salad with walnut red wine vinaigrette, slightly mashed roasted sunchokes with goat cheese, homemade butternut squash and ricotta ravioli with sage brown butter, whole roasted branzino with lemon anchovy radicchio, classic tomato and garlic bruschetta, and for dessert, homemade tiramisu.

11/10 (7 pm) Savory and Satisfying Soups (I think they created this one for me!)

A hearty soup served with a piece of crusty bread, salad or sandwich makes for a wonderfully delicious and nutritious meal. You’ll make tomato fennel soup with a grown-up grilled cheese panini with pesto, fontina, and gruyere; pumpkin soup with lime cream, toasted pepitas and crispy tortilla matchsticks; mushroom barley soup with cremini, shiitake and oyster mushrooms; green minestrone with fresh pesto and grated parmesan; oatmeal honey wheat bread; and a winter green salad.

11/17 (7 – 9:30 pm) Thanksgiving Favorites
Simplify and enjoy your holiday cooking by learning tricks for preparing traditional holiday recipes ahead of time. The mouthwatering menu includes all the trimmings: turkey and gravy, cranberry and orange relish, mashed potatoes, apple stuffing, braised Brussels sprouts with hazelnuts, honey glazed carrots, and pecan pie–sure to please anyone who is coming to dinner!

12/1 (7-9:30 pm) Holiday Entertaining Made Easy

Learn time saving party planning tips and presentation ideas while you shake a festive cocktail and prepare a selection of delicious hors d’oeuvres. Create pomegranate margaritas and sparkling white sangria, crudités with roasted red pepper and walnut dip, bite–size goat cheese cheesecakes, plantains topped with mango, pomegranate and avocado salsa, honey roasted peppered pecans, truffled deviled eggs, parmesan wafers, smoked salmon, wasabi and pickled ginger tartines and perfect pissaladiere strips.

12/8 (7-9:30 pm) Delicious Dishes from Great NY Restaurants
Cheers to chef Irene who once again demystifies how to create signature restaurant dishes right in your own home! You’ll learn to prepare a mouthwatering tomato tatin from La Goulue, Telepan’s savory vegetable bread soup, Craft’s zesty beet salad with beet vinaigrette, NOBU’s famous black cod with miso, Bouley’s fabulous fingerling potato puree, The Red Cat’s sautéed zucchini with toasted almonds and pecorino, and WD50’s heavenly cherry clafouti.

At GKC, cooking is a hobby, a passion, a business, and something that we constantly try to improve. Now that the kids are back in school, and the schedules are more permitting, take a class with us at the JCC in NYC!

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Serves 4-6
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Instructor John Scoff

“This recipe is from our Culinary Boot Camp Series, it’s perfect for practicing knife skills and perfecting seasoning with herbs and spices. It is one of the most flavorful and delicious Tuscan White Bean Soups I’ve ever had! ” …….. Jennifer Goren, Director of Culinary Arts

Prep time 20 minutes, cook time 45 minutes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 head garlic, roasted
2 anchovy fillets (optional)
1 large fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
1-quart vegetarian chicken broth
2 (14-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 small head green cabbage, chopped thin
1-tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 turnips, peeled and diced
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large, heavy soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, anchovies and fennel, and cook until the fennel has softened, about 5 minutes more.
Stir in the tomatoes, broth, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, beans, herbs, cabbage, zucchini, turnips, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until all the vegetables and beans are tender, about 30 minutes more. Discard the bay leaf.

Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, and a little lemon juice, if needed. Serve the soup hot or at room temperature with a drizzle of peppery extra-virgin olive oil and a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Take a Break

image: zippydesignz.com

And we assume you’ve had it too! This is the week for leftovers – if you are lucky enough to have any, salad bar, omelets and easy, easy, easy (like this broiled salmon, for example). Come back next week for our regular weekly recipes, great products, wine recommendations and some new ideas for cooking with kids. In the meantime, take a break. You deserve it!

Special Chol Hamoed Recipes

Okay, it was a wonderful Yom Tov. And it’s not over yet!! But before you really immerse yourself in cooking for the last nights, let’s consider our chol hamoed options. You want time to be with your family. You want to go on trips. Let’s be honest here; you want to get out of the kitchen! But everyone still needs to eat. So you need easy options or the “make it in the morning and ignore it all day” kind. Here are some suggestions to make your chol hamoed special, enjoyable and as effortless as possible (other than take out!)

Slow Cooker Corned Beef with Cabbage
Thai Chicken in a Minute
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Slow Cooker Corned Beef with Cabbage

This is a hearty meal to return to after a long day at an amusement park…

1 (4-pound) corned beef, rinsed off
1 onion, sliced
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/3’s
1 bay leaf
1 head cabbage, chopped (large pieces is fine)
1 (12-ounce) bottle of beer
4 cups chicken broth or enough to cover
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard
½ teaspoon pepper

Place all ingredients in crock pot in the morning. Stir. Cook on high heat for about 6 hours or low heat for 8 to 12 (depends on when you start it and when you plan to return). Serve alongside white rice or a crusty bread. Another alternative is to add 4 peeled and chopped potatoes to stew and serve those alongside the meat and cabbage.

Thai Chicken in a Minute

photo: cookingwithali's blog

This takes 15 to 20 minutes to prepare. You can have everything ready to go and just cook it right before serving.

1-1/2 cups coconut milk
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 scallions, chopped
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk, peanut butter, ginger and pepper; set aside or store in the refrigerator if saving for later. In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté chicken until no longer pink – about 10 minutes. Add scallions and sauté briefly. Stir in sauce and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Sprinkle on peanuts, if using, and serve. Also good with rice – white, jasmine or basmati. Try this ginger-cilantro rice if you are feeling motivated.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

photo: ifood.tv

If everyone still wants dessert (and you don’t have any leftover), try these delicious cookies, made from a mix.

1 Devil’s Food cake mix
¾ cup crunchy peanut butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons nondairy creamer
1 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. On low to medium speed, combine cake mix, peanut butter, eggs and nondairy creamer until no lumps of cake mix remain. On low speed, add peanut butter chips. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheets before removing to wire racks to finish cooling.

If you want to try another type of easy cookie, here is our all-time favorite: Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies – also from a mix!


Succos is my favorite cooking holiday. For some reason, I feel the Succah is a perfect place to serve more ethnic menus and have a lot of fun with new foods. This year I tinkered with some old favorites and came up with some newer more gourmet versions for GKC readers. I think you will love the results and they will become your new “go-to” versions.

Mexican Meatball Soup
Gourmet Stuffed Cabbage with Veal and Sausage
Sweetbreads Braised in Wild Mushroom Broth
Wild Mushroom Barley
Roasted Pear Cake with Chocolate Sauce

What are you making? Tell us. Have a comment? Or a question? We love to hear from our readers.

Good Yom Tov
Elizabeth and Emuna

Gourmet Stuffed Cabbage with Veal and Sausage

photo by Kate Mathis

Serves 6, can be doubled

I am very excited about this recipe because it is an updated version of a classic the Jewish dish, stuffed cabbage. This version is a little spicier because it has some Italian sausage in it and it is served in savory broth instead of a tomato based sauce. It looks gorgeous and tastes fabulous. Give it a shot.

1 pound ground veal
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, (available by Jack’s Gourmet and other supermarket kosher brands)
1-1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
4 medium shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
One 1 1/2-pound head of Savoy cabbage, cored
2 tablespoons unsalted margarine
1 large onion, finely diced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock

In a bowl, combine the veal, sausage, bread crumbs, shallots, garlic, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the nutmeg.

In a saucepan of boiling water, submerge the cabbage, cored side up. Simmer until the leaves are softened, about 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer the 16 largest intact leaves to paper towels and pat dry. Cut out the ribs; reserve the other leaves for another use.

Line a small bowl or coffee cup or muffin tray with a 8-by-10-inch piece of plastic wrap. Overlap 2 cabbage leaves in the bowl. Spoon 1/2 cup of the stuffing in the center of the leaves and fold the leaves over to enclose the stuffing. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and twist to form a compact, round cake. Unwrap the cake. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and stuffing. This makes perfect, round cabbage packages.

Preheat the oven to 350°. In an casserole dish or other large and wide oven-safe pan, melt the margarine. Add the onion and carrot and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Add the cabbage cakes, seam sides down. Cover and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, until the filling is cooked through. Transfer the cakes to shallow bowls and ladle in the broth. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley and serve.

Sweetbreads Braised in Wild Mushroom Broth

Serves 8 as a first course

Admittedly, I have only made sweetbreads once before reworking this very old recipe I found from the NY Times. Sweetbreads are a delicacy that to me, pairs well with this wild mushroom broth.

1-cup flour
¼ teaspoon ground clove
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1-pound sweetbreads
¼ teaspoon vegetable oil
1/8 pound shitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1-teaspoon soy sauce
2 cups wild mushroom broth (see recipe below)
1-tablespoon thyme leaves
¼ cup minced scallions
¼ cup minced tomato

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine the flour, clove, salt and pepper and dredge the sweetbreads in the mixture. Warm a pan over high heat, coat with vegetable oil and quickly sear the sweetbreads.

Place each sweetbread ice in a small ovenproof soup bowl and w top with sliced mushrooms. Add the soy sauce to the mushroom broth and divide evenly amongst the bowls. Sprinkle with thyme, scallions, and minced tomato. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wild Mushroom Broth
1 ounce dried porcini or other wild mushroom
2 pounds white mushrooms, wiped clean
½ pound fresh shitake mushrooms, wiped clean
1 sprig fresh thyme
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
3 quarts cold water

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot over medium-low heat and simmer for 2 hours. Strain and discard the mushrooms.

Wild Mushroom Barley

As we head into Fall and approach Sukkot, it’s a great time to try some new delicious hearty soups that can easily satisfy your crew on a cool holiday night. Try this fantastic option brought to us by Culinary Arts @ The JCC in Manhattan’s chef KIM PISTONE in her class GOURMET SOUP SUPPERS:

1 package dry porcini or assorted mushrooms
1-½ cups uncooked pearled barley
3 carrots, 1/2 inch diced
1 cup celery root, 1/2 inch diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 leeks, sliced in half moons
6 shallots, diced
6 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 pounds assorted wild mushrooms (shitake,cremini, enoki, oyster, chanterelle or maitake), sliced
1 cup sherry or white wine
1 quart vegetable stock
1/4 cup olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
1/2 bunch parsley , chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Put mushrooms in a pot of cold water, about 2 quarts, bring to a boil, turn off, let stand. Strain broth, chop dry mushrooms, reserve and set aside.

Sauté leeks and shallots, when they begin to color add celery root, carrots and garlic, continue to sautee about 5 more min, add sherry, chopped dry mushrooms, tomatoes, broth, stock and barley. Simmer about 35 minutes or until barley is tender.

Sautée mushrooms in batches, until golden brown, season with salt and pepper. Set aside. When barley is cooked add mushrooms, thyme and parsley to soup.

The JCC in Manhattan’s Culinary Arts program offers hundreds of classes throughout the year in their strictly kosher state-of-the-art kitchen. For more delicious recipes and to learn useful kitchen techniques and other great new recipes that you can easily replicate yourself at home, check out their list of Fall/Winter classes – like the upcoming The Tuscan Table, where you’ll learn to make trattoria-style fare like homemade butternut squash and ricoota ravioli – at www.jccmanhattan.org/culinaryarts.

Roasted Pear Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Serves 8 – 10

4 large firm pears, like Barlett, peeled, halved, cored and cut across into ¼ inch slices
2 sticks unsalted margarine, softened
2-½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups flour
1-teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup pareve whipping cream
2 tablespoons brandy (or other liqueur, optional)

Preheat the oven to 400. Grease a 10-inch tube pan.

Spread the sliced pears on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pears to a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350.

Cream together the margarine and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until very light. Batter may appear curdled at this point. Mix in the vanilla and pear puree. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top springs back when touched in the center, about 1 hour. Place on a rack to cool. Turn the cake out of the pan re-invert onto a cake plate.

Put the chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Whisk in the pareve cream and brandy. Slice the cake and serve with warm chocolate sauce drizzled on top. Sauce can be made ahead of time and re-warmed before using.

Happy New Year

photo: inventorspot.com

There’s not a lot to say about food during the aseres yemei tshuva – at least there shouldn’t be! Our focus should be on loftier goals. But as Yom Kippur approaches, we do need to spend some time preparing the right kind of meal to eat both before and after the fast. There are different approaches. The before fast meal must have bread and meat as it is actually a celebratory occasion. The break fast can be either although we find that after a long, demanding fast, a nice rich meat soup is the perfect meal. And for dessert, watermelon is the best solution – refreshing but not too sweet (sugar makes you thirsty before a fast and may overwhelm you after –this advice comes from big fans of sweets!) Whatever your approach, GKC wishes you an easy and meaningful fast and a happy, healthy and productive new year. Here’s what we’re eating before and after.

Challah: try the delicious challah recipe or the very rich one
Chicken Barley Soup
Crusty Rye Bread
Smoked Turkey-Wild Rice Soup

Chicken Barley Soup

photo: http://thyme2.typepad.com

4 chicken breasts
4 chicken thighs
10 cups chicken broth
2 onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2/3 cup barley
¾ teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) can corn kernels
1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, undrained

Place chicken, stock, onions, celery and turnip in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 1 hour. Remove chicken from pot and set aside. Add carrots, barley and pepper and simmer an additional 30 minutes. In the meantime, remove skin and fat from chicken and cut into small pieces. Stir in corn, tomatoes and chicken and simmer, uncovered, for about 20minutes.

Crusty Rye Bread

photo: thefreshloaf.com

2 rounded teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup warm water
1 cup beer, room temperature
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup rye flour
3 – 4 cups bread flour
1 egg, beaten (optional)

Proof yeast and sugar in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let stand until foamy – 5 to 1 0 minutes. Whisk in beer, oil, salt and caraway seeds. Stir in rye flour; then start adding bread flour, one cup at a time until a stiff dough forms. Knead until smooth and elastic. Grease bowl and roll dough in it to coat. Cover with damp cloth and let rise until doubled – about 1 hour. Punch down dough and shape into loaf (an oblong shape like a bakery rye works well here). Place on greased baking sheet and cover again. Let rise for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slash top of loaf with knife in a few spots. Brush top with a beaten egg, if desired. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes – until crust is golden and bottom sounds hollow. Cool on wire rack.

Smoked Turkey-Wild Rice Soup

2 teaspoons oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
¼ teaspoon rosemary
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound smoked turkey, chopped
1 cup wild rice, uncooked
1/3 cup flour
3 cups nondairy creamer
2 tablespoons red wine or cooking sherry

In a large stock pot, sauté carrots, onion and garlic in oil over medium-high heat until soft – about 10 minutes. Stir in rosemary and pepper. Add broth, turkey and rice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 1-1/2 hours. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and nondairy creamer until smooth. Gradually add to pot, stirring constantly. Stir in wine. Reheat gently over low to medium heat.

Rosh Hashanah Menu

It’s really time to start cooking and preparing for Rosh Hashanah. A three day Yom Tov makes it even more essential to have a plan in place and groceries in the house. This year I feel that I am starting so late, but none the less its time to menu plan, cook, and freeze a few things for later in the week. I thought I would share some menus that I may be making, that include old and new recipes and restaurant recipes too. Please let us know what you are making, share the recipes, and comment on the recipes you try.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Chicken in Rosemary Apricot Sauce
Mashed Potatotes with Horseradish
Sautéed Green Beans
Apple Coleslaw
Pareve Pomegranate Cheesecake
Sweet Corn Chowder
Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash
Chicken with Shallots and Morels
Yellow Rice
Rainbow Chopped Salad
Apple Cake with Caramelized Glaze
Arugula Salad with Oranges and Fennel
Salmon Sashimi with Soy and Hot Sesame Oil
Caesar Salad
Caramelized-Onion Pizza with Mushrooms
Asparagus with Whipped Dijon
Chocolate Raspberry Cakes
Lamb Marseilles
Spinach and Apple Salad
Winter Squash with Caramelized Onions
Apple Cranberry Strudel
Spiced Apple and Carrot Soup
Rosh Hashanah Chicken with Cinnamon and Apples
Roasted Dates with Pastrami, Almonds and Spices
Wine Braised Beets
Chocolate Pudding Cake

Have a great Yom Tov and a Good Year!
Warm Wishes and Delicious Dishes,

Elizabeth and Emuna

Apple Cake

Almost as ubiquitous as honey cake is the Jewish apple cake. It is hard to imagine a Rosh Hashanah table without one luscious apple cake nestled among the other delicious desserts. Since we dip apples in honey for a sweet new year, we feel compelled to discover variations on the theme – and of course sample every possible apple-filled treat! I personally love the traditional apple cake (you know the one I mean with the crunch on top, the kind the some people bake in a sheet pan and call a kugel in order to justify eating it on Shabbos!), especially when presented in a tube pan with a golden ring of apples around the top. Yum!!! But everyone has there own preferences. So here is my favorite recipe (thank you Debby Segura!) as well as a few other possibilities. Send us yours – we’d love to post it!

Traditional Apple Cake
Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze
Apple Upside Down Cake
Applesauce Spice Cake

For other apple desserts, check out this Apple Crunch Galette or Chef Jeffrey Nathan’s Fabulous Apple Cobbler.