White Bean, Sausage and Spinach Soup

Perfect on a cool night with a loaf of crusty bread – try the white or the semolina.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package (about 8 to 10) spicy Italian sausages
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 (32 ounce) boxes Imagine chicken broth (pareve or meat)
2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
2 (8 ounce) bags fresh spinach
1 teaspoon pepper

In a medium stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add beans, spinach and pepper and cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes. If desired, purée the beans slightly with a hand blender to give more body to the soup.

Spring Salad with Portobello Mushrooms

It’s not always worth it to reinvent the wheel. My daughter told me she makes this recipe every Shabbos and it is a big hit. So I decided to try it; and she’s right. It’s from What’s Cooking? A Unique Collection of Kosher Recipes ( to purchase go to: http://www.eichlers.com/Product/Books/CookBooks/Bestsellers/What’s-Cooking—A-Unique-Collection-of-Kosher-Recipes-_PK01.html) The rest of the recipes in the cookbook sound pretty good also!

3 Portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons oil
Salt, pepper and paprika
1 package spring salad mix or mesclun
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 cup honey-glazed almonds (I used candied pecans and I don’t crush them as the recipe says)

1/3 cup oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 clove crushed garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dry mustard (optional)

Sauté mushrooms in oil with salt, pepper and paprika. Combine with salad greens, cherry tomatoes and almonds. Mix dressing ingredients. Pour on top of salad before serving.

Mango-Chile Chicken

photo: weheartfood.com

You have to like spicy to like this dish. Serve over plain white rice. A nice variation for a week night dinner.

½ cup mango chutney
2 teaspoons hot chili-garlic sauce
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons oil
2 small dried hot chili peppers
1-1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
Mango strips for garnish (optional)

Combine chutney, chili-garlic sauce, ginger and garlic in a small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add chile peppers and then chicken. Cook until no longer pink. Add red pepper and cook for 1 – 2 minutes longer. Stir in sauce and heat through. Pour over rice and garnish with mango strips, if desired.

Coconut Graham Bars

photo: nozama.typepad.com

This is a decadent dairy dessert involving sweetened condensed milk. Or an after-school treat after a particularly rough day. For more rich recipes, involving sweetened condensed milk, check out this site http://www.eaglebrand.com/recipes/ and don’t forget to try our Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted
2 cups coconut
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream or pareve whip
¼ cup butter, cubed
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press into thebottom of a greased 13 x 9-inch pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Combine the coconut and condensed milk and pour over warm crust. Bake for 13 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cream or whip, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Spread over coconut layer. Cool before cutting.

Fennel-Potato Soup

My two favorite flavors combined in 1 soup! This thick soup doesn’t really need anything else to accompany it although a nice green salad is always good. Try this Green Salad with Sweet Tomato Dressing.

2 medium fennel bulbs, chopped
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 cups pareve or regular chicken broth (from a box or homemade)
1/3 cup margarine
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon caraway seed (optional)
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups soy milk

In a stockpot, combine the fennel, potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Cool slightly and purée with a hand blender. In a small saucepan, melt margarine and whisk in flour, caraway seed (if using) and pepper. Gradually add soy milk, whisking as you go. Stir this mixture into the soup. Reheat but do not boil.

Thai Meatballs

¾ cup bread crumbs
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
3 scallions, minced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Mix together all ingredients. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Shape meatballs and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes until completely cooked. Drain off fat. Serve with rice and some cold beer.

For some extra flavor, serve alongside spicy satay sauce adapted from Ina Garten https://gourmetkoshercooking.com/2010/06/roasted-chicken-with-satay-sauce/

Quick Thai Pumpkin Soup

By Levana Kirschenbaum, http://www.levanacooks.com/

Serves 6

10 cups (2-1/2 quarts) water
1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2-3 tablespoons curry powder
1/3 cup brown sugar or sucanat or honey
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cans pumpkin puree (28 ounces each)
1/2 cup peanut butter
4 scallions, sliced very thin
4 sprigs cilantro, tough ends removed, minced

Bring first 8 ingredients in a large stockpot and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the pumpkin and peanut butter, and cook 5 more minutes. Turn off the flame, and stir in the scallions and cilantro. Adjust the texture and

Roasted Turkey Roulade with Sausage Stuffing

Serves 7

3/4 cup large-diced dried figs, stems removed or dried apricots, chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup brandy or liqueour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted margarine
1-1/2 cups diced onions (2 onions)
1 cup celery (3 stalks), diced into 1/2 inch pieces(1/2-inch-diced) celery
3/4 pound sausage, casings removed (sweet and hot mixed)
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix or seasoned croutons
1-1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied (5 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil

Place the dried figs and cranberries in a small saucepan and pour in the brandy and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the margarine in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until cooked and browned. Add the figs and cranberries with the liquid, the chopped rosemary, and pine nuts, and cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir well. (The stuffing may be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan.

Lay the butterflied turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board. Sprinkle the meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread the stuffing in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving a half-inch border on all sides. Don’t mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. (Place the leftover stuffing in a greased gratin dish and bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside the turkey.) Starting at 1 end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.

Place the stuffed turkey breast seam side down on the rack on the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 1-3/4 to 2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees F in the center. (I test in a few places.) Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Carve 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve warm with the extra stuffing.

Provencal Potato Gratin

4 large clove garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 red pepper, peeled, seeded and diced (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 pounds Yukon gold or other waxy potatoes (about 4 to 5), peeled
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 pound plum tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup Panko bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rub 1 of the garlic cloves all over the inside of a large 1 1/2 quart oval casserole dish. Smear some of the olive oil all over the inside of the dish. Mince the rest of the garlic.
Heat the rest of the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and pepper, season with the salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer to reduce by about half.
Using a mandoline or vegetable slicer, slice the potatoes about 1/8-inch thick and add them to the pan with the water, salt, pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the basil. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and shake the pan to distribute the potatoes evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the tomatoes about a 1/4-inch thick and arrange them in a shingled pattern on top of the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender about 1 1/2 hours. Sprinkle the panko over the top and bake until brown, about 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let casserole cool 10 minutes before serving. This can also be served at room temperature.

Apple Blueberry Pie

Serves 10

A few notes…the jam adds pectin and sweetness to this pie so it eliminates the need for cornstarch (yuck) and the glaze adds such a delicious sweetness to the crust that people will lick the crumbs off their plate. Not just for a Jewish Thanksgiving!

1 stick unsalted margarine, chilled and cubed, plus 1 tablespoon for pan
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup shortening, chilled and cubed
1/2 to 2/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons ice water

Special equipment: 1 (9-inch) pie tin

6 cups sliced granny smith apples, about 7
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 stick unsalted margarine, cut into small cubes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
1 lemon, zested and juiced
12 to 14 ounces good quality blueberry jam

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 orange, juiced
Coat the pie tin with 1 tablespoon of margarine. Clear and clean off a large, flat surface. Lightly flour the area.

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Pulse in the shortening and 1 stick of the margarine. Add some of the ice water and continue to mix until it looks like wet sand. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding more water and pulse again until it just comes together into a ball.

Put the dough on the floured surface and roll it into a ball. Cut in half. Reserve the second half. Using a rolling pin, roll out the first half, until it’s at least 4 to 5 inches wider than the 9-inch pie tin, about 1/4-inch thick. Gently roll the dough onto your floured rolling pin and lay the dough into the pie tin. Press it into the bottom and the sides of the tin. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Roll the second half of the dough larger than the pie tin for the top of the pie. Gingerly lay it on a baking sheet and refrigerate it until filling is ready.

In a large bowl, combine the apples, flour, margarine, sugar, salt, lemon zest and juice. Mix to blend. Stir in the jam and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the pie pan from the refrigerator and pour in the filling.
Remove the top crust from the refrigerator and fold it onto the rolling pin. Lay the dough over the top of the pie. Trim the overlapping edges to a 1 1/2-inch overhang. Tuck the edges of the top crust under the edges of the bottom crust, this eliminates the need for an egg wash. Pinch the top to make the edges fluted and sealed all around the pie. Use a pastry cutter or small knife to cut an opening in the center of the top crust.

Put the pie in the center of the oven and bake, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

While the pie is baking, combine the sugar, water and orange juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer gently to reduce by about half and coats the back of a spoon.

Open the oven door and slide the rack out slightly. Pour the mixture over the pie and into the opening in the top of the crust. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely before slicing. Serve alongside a scoop of pareve vanilla ice cream