Won Ton Cups with Smoked Salmon and Avocado


24 square won ton wrappers
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
4 ounces smoked salmon, flaked into small pieces
½ cup green onions, finely sliced including tops
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 small avocado, finely diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay 12 wonton wrappers flat and using about half the margarine, brush both sides. Press into mini muffin cups, pleating each to form a small cup. Sprinkle wrapper with half the sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown (watch carefully), 7 – 9 minutes. Loosen from cups with a small spatula and put on a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining 12 wonton wrappers, margarine and sesame seeds.

In a small bowl, combine salmon, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, ginger and salt. Mix well. Add avocado and toss very gently until combined. Put a generous spoonful in each won ton cup. Serve immediately. Won Ton cups can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.

Spiced Steak

This is great day or warm at night and makes great sandwiches if leftover.

¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 ½ lbs. mush steak, flank steak, skirt steak or equivalent type of thin boneless steak

In a glass dish large enough to hold the meat, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, curry powder, turmeric, black pepper, and salt. Turn the steak in the mixture and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.

Prepare a grill or a grill pan. Pour the marinade in a small saucepan. Add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until a little thicker, about 5 minutes. Grill the steak until desired doneness, about 5 minutes each side. Cool steak. Slice steak and pour the reduced sauce over it. Serve room temperature or warm.

Wine suggestion:
Barkan Reserve Tempranillo or Rothberg Cellars Shiraz
available at OnlineKosherWine.com.

Sweet Potato Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil ( such as Asian)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
1½ teaspoons golden brown sugar
2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into ½-inch cubes
1½ cups sugar snap peas, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

Whisk first 9 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Add enough water to large saucepan to cover sweet potatoes by about 1/2 inch. Remove sweet potatoes. Bring water to a boil, add sweet potatoes and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, cool.

Mix sweet potatoes, dressing, sugar peas, and green onion in large bowl. Season salad with salt and pepper. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate). Sprinkle salad with peanuts and serve.

Salted Chocolate Tart


Makes 16 servings

Chocolate crust:

6 tablespoons unsalted margarine, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
5 large egg yolks

Chocolate filling:
8 ounces extra-bittersweet top-quality chocolate, such as Callebaut or Valrhona, chopped
3/4 cup unsalted margarine
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup brewed coffee
4 large eggs

Chocolate glaze:
4 ounces extra-bittersweet top-quality chocolate, such as Callebaut or Valrhona, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup pareve whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted margarine
Fleur de Sel for sprinkling

1. For the crust:
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat margarine and sugar on medium speed until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder, then add to margarine mixture and mix until combined. Add yolks and mix on low speed just until dough comes together. If small pieces remain, knead dough to blend them in. Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

2. Unwrap dough and set on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a 12-in circle. Transfer dough to a 9-1/2 in tart pan and, using your thumb, press into sides and bottom corner. Trim dough flush with top edge. Line shell with parchment paper, completely fill with dried beans o’pie weights, and chill at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°.

3. Bake dough 10 minutes, then remove parchment and beans and return to oven until dough looks dry, about 5 minutes. Set on a rack to cool slightly.

4. For the filling:
Put chocolate in a medium-size heatproof bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine margarine, sugar, and coffee and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour hot liquid over chocolate and let sit 3 to 4 minutes, then gently stir until smooth. Break eggs into a large bowl and slowly pour in warm chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until incorporated.

5. Pour warm filling into still-warm tart shell. Bake until filling has risen slightly, and appears dry on surface, and seems firm when shaken slightly, about 10 minutes. Set on a rack and let cool completely.

6. For the glaze:
Put chocolate and corn syrup in a medium bowl. In a microwave-safe container, heat pareve cream to boiling; pour over chocolate. Add margarine and stir slowly until smooth,working in one direction to prevent air bubbles from forming (if margarine does not melt completely, microwave in 5-second intervals to warm slightly).

7. Pour glaze onto center of tart and use a small spatula to push glaze to edges. let sit at least 15 minutes to set up before slicing. Serve with the Fluer de Sel for sprinkling.

Asian Chicken and Corn Soup


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
½ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 (32 ounce) boxes chicken broth (both Manischewitz and Imagine make a nice one) or of course you can use homemade if you have
4 cups fresh corn kernels (you can use canned if you’re stuck but fresh is so much better)
2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1/3 cup minced cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

Heat oil in large stock pot and add oil, chili pepper flakes, garlic and ginger. Sauté for about 5 minutes over low to medium heat. Add broth, corn and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to simmer and add chicken. Cook for about 20 minutes, then stir in cilantro and lime juice.

Bastilla (Moroccan Chicken Pie)


This recipe is a little more effort than others (although I have tried to simplify it) but it is just so good.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small strips
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
4 eggs
2 cups toasted almonds
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound filo dough, thawed
½ cup margarine, melted
Powdered sugar for top

Heat oil in a large skillet with high sides over medium heat. Sauté onions and spices until soft – about 10 minutes. Add chicken, mix with onion and spices and continue to sauté until chicken is no longer pink. Sprinkle flour over chicken and mix well. Add broth and bring to a boil: reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Mix with cilantro if using and cool. When cool, mix with eggs and set aside. In the meantime, combine the almonds, ½ cup powdered sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 14-inch round pan with some of the melted margarine. Start draping the filo dough across the bottom of the pan; place the sheets at right angles to each other so that there will be dough all around the outside as well. Brush with margarine every two sheets. Continue until filo is used up. Place a thin layer of the crushed almonds along the bottom of the dough, then a layer of half the chicken mixture, another layer of almonds, a layer of the remaining chicken mixture and a layer of the remaining almond mixture. Fold the excess dough over this mixture to cover. Brush with melted margarine and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake for 40 minutes – until top is golden. Sprinkle with more powdered sugar and some cinnamon if desired.

Wine suggestion: Baron Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon Juenesse from OnlineKosherWine.com

Saffron Rice


2 cups raw long-grain rice (can use jasmine or basmati for a little extra flavor but not absolutely necessary – you may need to adjust the amount of liquid accordingly)
¾ teaspoon crushed saffron threads
¼ cup margarine
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups boiling water, vegetable broth or chicken broth

Soak saffron in 2 tablespoons boiling water. Melt margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, cloves and cinnamon. Mix well and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in rice and sauté for another 5 minutes, mixing well. Pour in broth and saffron. Reduce heat to simmer, cover pot and cook until all liquid is absorbed – anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.

Caramel Apple Crisp

1-1/4 cups flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) margarine, cut into small pieces

½ cup sugar
¼ cup (1/2 stick) margarine
6 apples (I always prefer Granny Smith), sliced

Mix together all topping ingredients with your fingers or a fork or a pastry blender until you have coarse crumbs. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat margarine and sugar over medium heat. Stir until sauce is smooth and a deep brown color. Toss in apples and coat. Pour into 9 x 3-inch pan and spread across the bottom. Sprinkle topping evenly across the top. Bake for about 50 minutes. Best served warm with either pareve whipped cream or pareve vanilla ice cream.

Salmon Croquettes with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis


2 (14.75 ounce) cans pink salmon, drained
1 cup bread crumbs (use panko for a lighter touch – try the plain by Jeff Nathan Creations)
2 eggs
2 scallions, green part only, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 – 4 tablespoons oil

Mash salmon well (do not discard bones). Mix with all remaining ingredients except oil. Heat oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Form salmon mixture into patties and fry until brown – about 5 minutes per side. Serve warm or at room temperature. Although I am offering them with a red pepper coulis, they are also really good with that other vegetable – ketchup!

Wine suggestion Altoona Hills Chardonnay from OnlineKosherwine.com

Couscous and Green Bean Salad

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 cups cooked couscous
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup toasted pine nuts

Prepare couscous according to package directions so that you have two cups. Blanch green beans in boiling water until crisp tender – 5 minutes at the most. Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss with couscous and green beans. Top with toasted pine nuts.

Rainbow Cookies


¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
12 maraschino cherries, finely chopped
¼ cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together margarine and sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until well blended. On low speed, add flour and baking powder and mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds. Mix 1/3 dough with the maraschino cherries. Mix another third with the walnuts and the last third with the melted chocolate. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes. Divide each piece of dough in half and roll into 10 to 12-inch rope. Place all 3 colors of dough side by side and press together. Refrigerate another 10 minutes, then roll dough into a rectangle. Cut crosswise into cookies and place on parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet (to purchase silpat mats please go to our shop). Repeat with remaining dough and refrigerate for yet another 10 minutes. Bake for 13 minutes. Cook 5 minutes on cookie sheets; then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Harvest Vegetable Soup


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled, cut into eights
6 garlic cloves, peeled, coarsely chopped
½ cup chopped parsley
6 celery stalks, washed, cut into 1-inch pieces (including leaves)
1 leek, washed, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 bay leaves
1 cube vegetable or chicken bouillon
2 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock or broth (optional)
8 cups water (6 cups if you are using broth)
3 potatoes, scrubbed, cut into chunks
3 carrots, peeled, sliced into thick wheels
1 white turnip, scrubbed, cut into quarters
2 parsnip roots, scrubbed, sliced into chunks
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon oregano

Heat oil in a 4-quart stock pot. When oil is hot add onion, garlic, parsley, celery, leek, pepper and bay leaves. Lower heat and simmer until soft.

Dissolve bouillon in 1 cup hot water and slowly add to oil. Increase heat and slowly add stock and/or water to mixture. Just before it begins boiling, add potatoes, carrots, parsnip and turnip. Bring to boil briefly, then lower heat and simmer covered about 30 minutes.

Add salt, pepper and oregano. Optional: The photo is a variation on this recipe. It has the addition of 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1 (15 ounce) can of stewed chopped tomatoes. If using, add the tomato paste after the onion, garlic etc. are blended in the first step. Add the stewed tomatoes with the broth and water.

Roasted Potatoes with Pesto


30 small red potatoes, washed and cut in half
¼ cup pesto sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss potatoes with the pesto sauce. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until crispy but soft in the center.

Pesto Sauce:
1 – 2 cup fresh basil leaves
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Gefen olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Use ¼ cup for potatoes. Freeze the rest for future use.

Green Beans and Walnuts with Lemon Vinaigrette


1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup walnut oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1½ pounds green beans, trimmed
²/3 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped

Remove peel from lemon with vegetable peeler and cut into very fine strips. Cut lemon in half. Squeeze enough juice to measure 2 tablespoons, transfer to small bowl. Whisk in mustard, than oil and shallot. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook green beans in pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain, pat dry.

Combine beans, walnuts, and lemon peel strands in large bowl. Add dressing : toss to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Serve warm on room temperature.

Grilled Tuna Skewers with Asian Dipping Sauce


4 tuna steaks, 8 ounces each, cut in 1-inch pieces
16 -20 mini wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
1 cup Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing (Ken’s) or other brand (other Asian salad dressing is an appropriate substitute)
½ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup black sesame seeds

Marinate tuna in salad dressing for 30 minutes. Mix sesame seeds together. Coat fish in sesame seeds on all sides. . Place two pieces of tuna on each skewer. Heat grill pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Grill tuna for about 2 minutes each side or until seared on the outside and still rare on the inside. Serve with Asian Dipping Sauce.

Asian Dipping Sauce:
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
¼ teaspoon hot chili garlic sauce
2 scallions, chopped

Mix all ingredients together. Top with chopped scallions.

Wine suggestion: Carmel Vineyard Emerald Riesling/Chenin Blanc from OnlineKosherWine.com

Easy Soft Pastrami


2 pounds Pastrami in a whole piece from the deli counter (a chunk of cooked pastrami)
Assorted mustards, whole grain, honey mustard, Dijon
Aluminum Foil

Wrap pastrami in aluminum foil. Prepare a blech for Shabbos or a warming tray. Fill a stockpot or a 3-quart pot with about 10 cups of water (about as much as you would fill a pot if you were making pasta). Bring the water to a boil. Add the pastrami and turn off the heat. Cover the pot and place it on the warming tray or on the blech. Leave the pot covered and undisturbed until ready to serve. Remove the pot and carefully take out the pastrami. Dispose of the aluminum foil. Slice and serve with an assortment of mustards for dipping.

Wine suggestion: Altoona Hills Shiraz from OnlineKosherWine.com

Black Bean Corn Salsa Salad


1 can (15 ounce) black beans, drained
1 can corn kernels, or two fresh pieces of corn, cooked, and cut off the cob
2 small cucumbers (Persian), chopped
¼ cup chopped red onion
¼ – ½ cup chopped cilantro
½ chopped red pepper
1 avocado chopped
½ chopped jicama (optional)
4 tablespoons prepared salsa (mild to medium)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons Gefen olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Adjust seasonings to taste. Chill and serve 3 hours later. This salad should be prepared and served the same day as it gets a little soggy the next day.

Apple Pear Crumble


7 apples (granny smith), peeled and sliced
7 pears, peeled and sliced
12 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup chopped walnuts
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted margarine, melted

Pareve whipped cream or ice cream

Preheat oven to 350. Toss apples and pears with 6 tablespoons sugar. Add 2 tablespoons flour. Pour fruit mixture into extra large and deep pie plate or 13 x 9 in baking dish.

Mix 1 cup flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, 6 tablespoons white sugar, cinnamon, nuts and salt in a bowl. Gradually add cooled melted margarine, mixing with fork until small clumps form. Sprinkle streusel over fruit.

Bake until top is crisp and golden and filling bubbles, about 45 minutes. Put something under while baking; sometimes it drips and will make a mess without something to catch the liquid. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Wine suggestion: Barkan Muscat Caneli from OnlineKosherWine.com