Asparagus with Sesame Citrus Sauce

1 bunch asparagus
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus a splash
3 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Prepare the asparagus. Snap off bases of spears and discard. Bring a small amount of salted water to boil in a saucepan, add a splash of lemon; add asparagus and cook until tender. Remove asparagus and shock in an ice bath to stop the cooking and to keep its bright green color.
Melt the 3 tablespoons of margarine in saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and cook, stirring 2 to 3 minutes over moderate heat, until lightly browned. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons orange juice, drizzle with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Whisk to make sure it’s fully emulsified. Add salt, to taste. Add asparagus to sauce, and toss until coated. Serve hot and garnish with extra sesame seeds, if desired.

Crunchy Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

3 large Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed clean, cut in 1/2
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice the potatoes and put on a baking sheet. Roughly tear the rosemary and scatter it over the potatoes; season them with garlic, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the potatoes well to mix all the flavors and put them in the oven. Remove them after 30 minutes and toss them again. Continue to roast them until they are browned and cooked through. Serve immediately.

Grilled Blueberry Almond Cobbler

For the fruit:
6 cups blueberries (about 2 pounds)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted margarine

For the biscuits:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted margarine, frozen
5 tablespoons pareve whipping cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Heat a well cleaned grill to 350 degrees F.
For the fruit: Combine all ingredients except margarine in a nonreactive bowl and toss to coat. Turn into an 8 by 8-inch disposable aluminum cake pan and dot with margarine; set aside.

For the biscuits:
Combine flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix until evenly combined. Grate the margarine into the bowl and toss to coat in flour mixture.
Add 1/4 cup of the pareve cream and almond extract and mix to moisten thoroughly. Knead until dough just comes together and is smooth. Divide into 8 pieces and place on top of fruit. Brush biscuits with remaining 1 tablespoon of the pareve whipping cream, sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon of the sugar on top, and scatter with almonds. Place on the grill, close cover, and grill until fruit is bubbling and biscuits are toasted and puffy and golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Chilled Cucumber Soup

4 cups sliced cucumbers
2 cups water
2 cups yogurt or sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
mint leaves
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ – 2 tablespoons salt
¼ teaspoon dill weed
Chopped scallions or chives for garnish

Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor and chill overnight. To serve, ladle into bowls, serve chilled and garnish with scallions or chives.

Grilled Fish with Grilled Fruit Salsa

Fruit Salsa:
1 to 2 pieces watermelon (1 if large. 2 if small, sliced 1 1/2-inches thick, leave rind intact
2 pieces honeydew melon, sliced 1 1/2-inches thick, leave rind intact
1 thick lengthwise slice pineapple, peeled and cored
2 kiwi fruit, peeled, cut in 1/2
1 ripe mango, peeled, sliced into 1-inch thick pieces
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded if you do not like it spicy, minced
1 red pepper
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 lime, zested
1/8 cup lime juice (about 2)
1/8 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 pounds firm white fish (halibut, sea bass, or other hearty firm white fish)
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Rub each piece lightly with canola oil.
Rub grates of the grill with a canola oiled paper towel. Place red pepper on grill and grill until blackened. Remove from grill and place in a paper or resealable plastic bag to rest. When pepper is cool enough to handle, peel off blackened skin. Remove the stem and scoop out the seeds. Chop and place in a large bowl.
Arrange fruit on grill and let cook 2 to 3 minutes, turn over, and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from grill to a cutting board and let cool. When fruit is cool, chop into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the bowl with chopped red pepper.
In a medium bowl, combine the minced jalapeno pepper, cilantro, lime zest and juice, sugar, lemon juice, cayenne, cinnamon and salt. Mix well and pour over the grilled fruit. Gently stir to combine, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve on top of fish.
Fish: Preheat grill to medium-high. Rub the grill with a canola oiled paper towel. Salt and pepper both sides of fish. Gently place fish on grill, cook for 3 minutes, carefully turn over and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat to a cutting board, cover and let rest for 2 minutes. Cut into serving size pieces, if desired, and serve immediately with fruit salsa.

Mesclun Salad Maple Vinaigrette

5 cups mesclun lettuce leaves
2 cups frisee leaves
½ cup craisins
¼ toasted pine nuts
½ cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup imitation bacon bits (optional)
½ cup cubed smoked turkey

Mix together. Add vinaigrette and serve.

Maple Vinaigrette
¼ cup shallots
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
4 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan. Cook the shallots until soft. Stir in champagne vinegar, maple syrup, the rest of the olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Corn and Black Bean Salad with Basil-Lime Vinaigrette

2 ears fresh corn or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad: Preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Peel back the corn husks. Remove the silks and replace the husks. Soak the corn in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and place on the grill for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool completely and remove the husks. Using a sharp knife, remove the corn kernels. In a medium bowl (or steam corn and remove kernals), mix together the grilled corn, black beans, garbanzo beans, bell pepper, and mango.
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the lime zest, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, basil, and cumin. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss well. Refrigerate for 1 hour, and toss again, before serving.

Healthy Chocolate Mousse Pie (non-dairy, tasty with a surprise ingredient)

This dessert is a great way to give everyone a sweet treat without all the calories or fat of a traditional mousse pie.

2 cups chocolate chips,
1/3 cup coffee liqueur
1 block silken tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1 prepared chocolate wafer crust
Chocolate shavings or whipped topping for garnish
Place a small metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Melt the chocolate and coffee liqueur in the bowl. Stir in vanilla.
Combine the tofu, chocolate mixture, and honey in the blender jar. Liquefy until smooth (use a blender not a food processor to get a smooth consistency and gently move the bottom mixture to the top with a spatula to get it all blended well).
Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the filling is set. *** This can be made in individual cups without the crust and served with a whipped topping.

Hot and Sour Fish Soup

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-1/2 pounds halibut of other white flesh fish (like cod or flounder), chopped
3 cups pareve chicken broth
2-1/2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
½ cup shredded carrots
¼ cup minced scallions, green part only
¼ cup chopped cilantro
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
2 packages ramen noodles (do not use the seasoning packets), cooked and drained

Gently mix fish with soy sauce and set aside. Combine broth, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, pepper and ginger and bring to a low boil. Add carrot and stir. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add fish and cook an additional 10 minutes. Stir in scallions and cilantro. Add ramen noodles and sesame seeds.

Greek Stew

2 pounds beef stew meat
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup red wine
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup black olive rings

In a large Dutch oven, brown meat and onion in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 3 hours – until meat is soft and flavors have really blended.

Szechuan Carrots with Peanuts

10 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ cup salted peanuts

Heat oil in a wok. When hot, add carrots and stir quickly and constantly. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper and keep stirring and cooking until carrots are crisp-tender. Add peanuts and cook an additional two minutes.

The Best Chocolate Cake

For those of you who missed this recipe on theyeshivaworld, I just have to reprint it. My husband could not stop raving about this cake when I served it this past Shabbos. And yes, true confessions, it starts with a mix! And it stays moist all week (our waistlines can attest to that). The adults preferred it with the walnuts, the kids voted for no nuts. Use your own judgment.

1 Duncan Hines Devil’s Food cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding
½ cup water
½ cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup tofutti sour cream
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil, eggs and sour cream until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips, marshmallows and walnuts. Pour into a well greased Bundt pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Let cook in pan for 10 to 15 minutes before turning onto wire rack to finish cooling. Cool completely before drizzling with glaze
For glaze: Heat margarine with corn syrup and water in microwave until margarine is melted. Remove and add chocolate chips. Stir constantly until melted and smooth.

Broiled Salmon with Salsa

4 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 oranges, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped scallions
¾ cup chopped cilantro, divided
1 jalapeno, diced
½ cup margarine
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 (4 to 6 ounce) salmon fillets

Combine tomatoes, oranges, scallions, ½ cup cilantro and jalapeno in a bowl. Set aside. Blend margarine, remaining ¼ cup cilantro, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Broil salmon, brushing with cilantro spread, until no longer cooked – about 10 minutes per side. (When you turn it, brush again). Serve at room temperature with the salsa. (If you are not using it for Shabbos, you can serve the salmon hot from the oven)

Spanish Chicken Salad

My friend Jyl introduced me to this salad, perfect for a summer Shabbos lunch.

3 cups cooked chicken (from the soup is perfect), shredded
1 cup cubed salami
3 potatoes, peeled, chopped and boiled
1 red pepper, chopped
3 radishes, thinly sliced
¼ cup green olive rings
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
10 asparagus spears, steamed until crisp-tender and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
1 head Boston lettuce, broken into pieces
3 tablespoons sherry
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon ground pepper

Place the Boston lettuce across the bottom of a large salad roll and place all other ingredients on top. Whisk together dressing ingredients and shake well. Pour over salad and toss.

Ginger Noodles

1 (16 ounce) package vermicelli, cooked until al dente and drained
3 tablespoons peanut oil
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup pine nuts

Whisk together oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, ginger, crushed red pepper and garlic. Toss with noodles. Garnish with pine nuts. Store in refrigerator and serve at room temperature.

Blueberry Apple Kugel

This is a slight variation on the strawberry apple kugel in kosher by design. We have tried the kugel with strawberry pie filling, blueberry pie filling and raspberry pie filling. Our family favorite is the raspberry pie filling but I am having a hard time find one that is pareve and not d.e. – please let me know if you have one. The next favorite is the blueberry one (reproduced below) and the strawberry came in last. But taste is subjective so try them all.

3 cups flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 Granny smith apples, cut into small cubes (I’m lazy and I never peel the apples I’m cooking with)
Dash cinnamon
1 (21 ounce) can blueberry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, vanilla, oil, egg and baking powder. Mix with the tips of your fingers until it forms crumbs. Sprinkle 1/3 of the crumbs in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan and press down. Top with the apples and sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with another 1/3 of the crumbs. Pour the pie filling over the crumbs and top with the rest. Pat down lightly. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Giant Brownies

2 cups margarine
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 eggs
2-1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 tablespoons brewed espresso
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the margarine and chocolate in a microwave and stir until smooth. Beat the eggs and sugar together. Add the vanilla and espresso and continue beating. Add the flour and baking powder and then beat in the melted chocolate mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts, if suing. Pour into greased 9 x 13-inch pan and bake for about 1 hour. Let cool completely on wire rack. Cut into 12 large rectangles (or just serve as regular brownies and cut into smaller pieces!)

Tri-Colored Salad

2 spears endive, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
1 small head radicchio, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
About ⅓ pound baby arugula, washed, dried, and thinly chopped
2 cups baby spinach lettuce
1 cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
Homemade croutons or garlic crackers

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all lettuces and tomatoes in large bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss with the nuts. Whisk the mustard, vinegar, and oil together in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Top with croutons or garlic crackers.

Rosemary Chicken with Potatoes

Serves 4; may be doubled

¾ pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved
Kosher salt
2 sprigs fresh rosemary plus 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Juice of 2 lemons (reserve squeezed lemons)
4 skin-on, bone-in pieces of chicken
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. Transfer the paste to a bow. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken skin side down, cover and cook until the skin browns, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken; add the mushrooms and potatoes to the skillet and drizzle with the juice of the remaining lemon. Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves to the saucepan. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast uncovered until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 20 – 25 minutes.

Saffron Rice

2 tablespoons margarine
¾ cup diced onion
1 cup long-grain, white rice
3 cups chicken stock
Pinch saffron threads
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan or pot, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add the onions while stirring in the rice to coat with the margarine. Pour in the chicken stock, saffron, salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork before serving.

Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms

2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 cup pareve whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup panko or white bread crumbs
24 large button or cremini mushrooms, stems removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon pepper

In a small saucepan over low heat, slowly cook garlic and pareve cream until garlic is soft enough to mash with a spoon, about 45 minutes (cream will be reduced and thick). Remove from heat and mash garlic into cream with a fork, making a rough puree. Stir in salt and panko and mix thoroughly.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay mushroom caps, topside down on an oiled baking sheet. Brush edges with oil and fill center with garlic cream. Bake until starting to brown about 15 minutes. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes. Lift mushrooms from any released liquid and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

1 large angel food cake or large pound cake

For the custard:
1 (8-ounce) package pareve tofutti cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounces) can cream of coconut (not coconut milk)
1 container of pareve whipping cream, whipped

For the glaze:
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons strawberry kosher gelatin
1 cup water
2 cups fresh strawberries, cut in ½ (if berries are extra large, they can be cut into quarters)
Whole fresh strawberries and mint leaves, for garnish

Slice cake, using a serrated knife, horizontally into 3 equal layers.

For the custard:
Mix together tofutti cream cheese, cream of coconut, and pareve whipped cream in a bowl; set aside.
For the glaze:
In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, and kosher gelatin; add water. Cook stirring over medium heat until thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Fold in strawberries.

For assembly:
Place 1 layer of cake in a large clear bowl. Top with a layer of glaze, followed by a layer of custard mixture. Repeat layering in this order for remaining cake, glaze and custard. Top cake with 3 whole fresh strawberries and fresh mint leaves.

White Grape Gazpacho with Toasted Almonds

½ cup lightly toasted almonds
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 ½ cups white grapes
1 cup white grape juice
½ cup water
2 slices country white bread or challah, crusts removed and cubed
1 cup pareve whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
2 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons walnut oil
Chopped chives, for garnish
Toasted slivered almonds, for garnish, optional
Champagne grapes, optional

Place almonds, pine nuts, garlic, grapes, grape juice, water, and bread in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the mixture into a bowl. Chill the soup for at least 30 minutes.
Remove soup from refrigerator and fold the whipped pareve cream into the soup. Finish with a few tablespoons each of the white wine vinegar and walnut oil. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish each with chives, almonds and grapes, if desired.