Roasted Vegetable Salad with Honey Dressing

Serves 4

1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges
1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 pound small red thin-skinned potatoes, cut in half
1 medium fennel bulb, ends trimmed and cut into 8 wedges
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons honey
5 cups loosely packed mixed salad greens

Preheat oven to 425°. Toss onion, sweet and red potatoes, fennel, and bell pepper in a large bowl with 3 tbsp. oil and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Transfer vegetables to a rimmed baking sheet.

Roast vegetables until tender and golden, about 40 minutes, turning over halfway through baking time. About 10 minutes before they’re done, sprinkle walnuts on baking sheet with vegetables and toast until golden.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp. oil, the vinegar, honey, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper.

Toss greens in a large bowl with one-quarter of dressing; divide among plates. Let vegetables cool about 5 minutes, then transfer to the large bowl. Toss with walnuts and about two-thirds of remaining dressing; spoon over greens. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.

Banana Blueberry Cake

Serves 8

1 cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) margarine
2 eggs
¼ cup coffee rich or soymilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed well
1 ¼ – 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Frosting (optional):
2 sticks margarine, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons coffee rich or soy milk, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 13 pan and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and margarine. Add eggs, coffee rich, vinegar and vanilla and blend until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the batter and mix well. Stir in the mashed bananas. Fold in the blueberries. Pour into the pan and bake for about 35 minutes. Cool. Spread frosting on cake, sprinkle with some blueberries and serve.

For the frosting: Cream the margarine and vanilla extract together on medium speed with an electric mixer. Alternate adding powdered sugar and milk, mixing well on low speed after each addition.

Eggs Poached in Olive Oil

Serves 1

This technique creates super flavorful poached eggs. You can easily make more eggs with the same amount of oil. Just use a small pan so that the olive oil can coat the whites of the eggs.

1 fresh egg
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 ounces fresh arugula
1 piece of toasted bread, I like ciabatta or challah

Place a teaspoon of olive oil in a small saucepan. Saute garlic in the olive oil, and spread evenly around the saucepan.

Add 1/2 cup of olive to the saucepan and bring to a medium heat. Don’t overheat the olive oil.

Add bay leaf to the olive oil.

(The trick to poaching an egg in olive oil is to use a small saucepan so you can bring the level of the olive oil over the whites of the egg, but just below the yolk, without having to use too much olive oil.)

Carefully place a fresh egg cracked gently into the heated olive oil. As the egg cooks, sprinkle kosher salt and pepper over the egg.

Continue cooking the egg until the egg whites are congealed. But don’t overcook the egg, you want the yolk to remain soft and liquid.

Place toast on a serving plate and arrange a bed of fresh arugula over the crisp bread. Carefully remove the poached egg from the saucepan and place over the bed of arugula.

Olive Oil Poached Salmon

Serves 4
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, peel removed in wide strips with a veggie peeler
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 bay leaves
1 quart extra-virgin olive oil
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Kosher salt
Lemon juice
Special Equipment: cheesecloth, butcher’s twine

Place the garlic, thyme, lemon zest, coriander, and bay leaves-in cheesecloth. Tie into a sachet. Add the oil to a large straight-sided saute pan and toss in the sachet. Bring the pan to a medium heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Let the salmon come to room temperature and season generously with salt. Add the salmon fillets to the pan with the olive oil. Let the fish cook in the oil for 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the oil with a spatula to a plate before serving.

Serve with rice and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Joyce’s Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Makes about 16 pancakes.

My mom’s good friend Jeryl Abelman, wrote a cute book called “Quickly’s Magical Pancake Adventure”. It’s a great story about a magic spatula and is fun for kids who love pancakes. GKC is not the only one to think its a great book, it has won some prestigious awards (Winner of the London Book Festival Children’s Book Award and also 2nd Place in the Cookbook Category in London. Most recently, a winner at The New York Book Festival).

The book is also filled with some delicious pancake recipes from famous chefs. This recipe is from the book. Joyce’s Chocolate Chip Pancakes is from Chef Justin Fields, Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Denver

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1 ¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
6 ounces chocolate chips
Butter for cooking

In a small saucepan, combine butter and milk. Place over low heat just until warm and the butter is melted. Let it cool
In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs with a fork. Whisk in milk mixture. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until blended.
Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat.
Add 1 teaspoon butter and melt until bubbly.
Ladle 3 tablespoons batter for each pancake onto the hot surface and cook until bubbles begin to form on the edges.
Add chocolate chips to the top of the pancakes.
Cook for ten seconds and then turn and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 30 seconds more. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Cinnamon Mascarpone Pancakes

This is a recipe by Bobby Flay. Everything he makes is good, including these. I omitted the cherry flambé and just put strawberries on top. Super delicious!

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 plus 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch fine sea salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for griddle
2 cups canned sour cherries, with their juice (optional)
2 tablespoons cherry brandy, such as Kirsch (optional)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Stir the confectioners’ sugar into the 1/2 cup mascarpone and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. 

Whisk together the sugar and eggs until pale. Add the buttermilk, 1/3 cup mascarpone, vanilla and orange zest and mix until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add the butter and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Let the batter sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. 

For the cherry topping (if making)
Put the cherries and their liquid into a saute pan and warm over medium heat. Add the cherry brandy off the heat, and then return to the heat and flambe (cook off the alcohol). Once the flames die down and the alcohol is cooked out, remove from the heat and stir in the honey. Transfer to a bowl. 

Heat a griddle over medium heat and brush with some melted butter. Add about 1/4 cup of the batter to the pan and cook until the bottom is lightly golden brown and bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancake over and continue cooking until the bottom is golden brown. Serve 3 pancakes per person, top with cherries, a dollop of the sweetened mascarpone and some chopped hazelnuts.

Homemade Twinkies

This one is made with corn meal so it has a yellow color just like the original.

8 ounces (two sticks) unsalted butter (melted) or margarine
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
¼ corn meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ¼ cups buttermilk (or 1 cup and 1 tablespoon non-dairy creamer PLUS 3 tablespoons white vinegar for pareve equivalent)

Whisk together butter, sugar, eggs and buttermilk. Fold in dry ingredients. Spoon into prepared moulds and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Once cool, trim the tops and inject filling.

If you made in muffin cups, either in just filling or scoop out some of the center of the muffin and fill with filling.

16 ounces cream cheese or tofutti cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup whipping cream, whipped
1 vanilla bean scraped and pod discarded (optional, but tasty)

In a mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar and mix on low speed so that it does not fly all over the kitchen. Fold in whipping cream and vanilla bean.

Super Easy Cake Mix Twinkie Recipe

Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken with S’riachi

Serves 4

1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled, minced
Kosher salt
4 chicken breasts, bone-line, skin-on
2 lemons, 1 large lemon, thinly sliced the other reserved for juicing
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons S’riachi sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mash together thyme, garlic and a pinch of kosher salt (make it into a paste).
Squeeze some of the lemon over the chicken. Pull the skin away from the breast meat and rub the garlic, thyme mixture on top of the breast meat. Keep the skin intact. Drizzle the skin with oil and brush with a little S’riachi sauce on each breast (it’s spicy so just use a little). Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.

In a large roasting pan, line the bottom with the lemon slices. Place the chicken, skin side up on top of the lemon slices. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees and continue roasting until the skin is crisp and browned.

Serve with the lemon slices.

Super Easy Cake Mix Twinkie Recipe

4 eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 cup water
1 (5.1 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, room temperature
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, or tofutti cream cheese room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup (8 ounce) whipping cream or non-dairy whipping cream,
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 10×15 inch jelly roll pans.

Beat the eggs until combined; stir in the melted margarine or butter. Add the water, pudding mix, and yellow cake mix, stirring well to combine. The batter will be very thick. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading it evenly.

Bake until the cakes spring back when pressed lightly with a finger or a tester comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.

To make the filling, combine margarine or butter, cream cheese, and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until smooth. Stir in the whipped cream and vanilla extract.

When the cakes are cool, spread the filling mixture on top of one cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the first, and place in the freezer for 15 minutes (this will make the filling a little stiffer so they will stay intact while cutting). Take them out and cut into bars. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in the freezer until ready to serve. Thaw for thirty minutes before serving.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 6 -8

This is a great side dish anytime of year not just Thanksgiving.

1⁄2 cup raisins

1⁄3 cup sweet sherry

3 medium sweet potatoes

2⁄3 cup brown sugar

4 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted 

1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice

1 teaspoon finely chopped orange zest

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (or 2⁄3 tsp. ground cinnamon, 
 1⁄4 tsp. ground ginger, pinch ground nutmeg, 
 and pinch ground allspice)

1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 cup drained pineapple cubes, coarsely chopped

1-1⁄2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375°. Soak raisins in sherry until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain raisins and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, place sweet potatoes in a roasting pan and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Allow potatoes to cool, then peel, purée, and add to raisins. Add brown sugar, margarine/butter, orange juice, orange zest, and pumpkin spice and mix well. Fold in pecans and pineapple and transfer to an 8” square baking dish.

Bake casserole for 20 minutes, then cover with marshmallows and bake until marshmallows are golden, about 5 minutes more. Serve warm.

Quinoa, Beet and Feta Salad

Serves 4 – 6

If you want to make this pareve just leave out the feta cheese.

1 large beet
¼ walnut oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons honey
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Pinch kosher salt
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons cranberries
¼ pound feta, crumbled
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped mint

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beet tightly in foil and place on roasting pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool, peel and dice.

To make dressing: Whisk together walnut oil and canola oil, lemon juice and honey.

In small pot, combine quinoa, water and salt. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover, reduce to gentle simmer and cook until tender, 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to large mixing bowl. Fluff with fork. Stir in dressing to coat.

Add beets and remaining ingredients. Mix very gently. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Red Lentil Salad

Serves 6

This room temperature salad is packed with protein and flavor. I serve it for Shabbos lunch and enjoy the leftovers all week long.

1/2 cup whole almonds
1 cup dried red lentils
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon coriander
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated radish
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
A pinch salt and pepper
8 Boston lettuce leaves

Toast the almonds in a heavy skillet over medium heat until they are golden and very aromatic, 5 to 6 minutes. Roughly chop them and set aside. 

Put the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and cook until they are just barely tender and still quite red, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to halt the cooking process. Shake out all excess water, and then put the lentils into a large bowl. 

Pour the oil into a skillet and, when it is hot, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the garam masala, cumin, mustard, coriander and cook for 1 minute. Add the lime juice, and then pour over the lentils. Then add the carrots, radishes, red peppers, cilantro and mint. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to combine. 

Line a serving platter with overlapping lettuce leaves. Mound the lentil salad over them. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve.

Salmon with Corn Coconut Curry Sauce

Serves 8

Adapted from Bobby Flay. Full of amazing flavor and super gorgeous presentation.

Corn-Coconut Curry Sauce:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small Spanish onion, finely diced
1/2 small Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
3 heaping tablespoons Curry Powder, recipe follows
3 cups vegetable stock
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups corn kernels, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large skinless whole side of salmon fillet, preferably center cut (about 2 pounds)
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
Handful fresh mint leaves, for serving
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spread corn on one sheet and cherry tomatoes on the other. Spray both with non-stick cooking spray. Roast tomatoes for 10 minutes and remove from oven and set aside. Roast corn for 5 minutes, remove from oven and set aside.

For the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saute pan over high heat. Add the onions, apples and Curry Powder and cook until the onions and apples soften, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and 2 cups corn kernels. Simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, another 25 to 30 minutes. Strain the finished sauce into a large bowl, add the remaining corn and taste for seasoning.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place salmon on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes.

Transfer the cooked fish to a large serving platter. Ladle over some of the corn-coconut curry sauce. Scatter the herbs over the sauce, and then top with some Grilled Cherry Tomatoes and reserved corn.

Curry Powder:
3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground fennel
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all the spices in a small bowl.

Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread

Serves 12

I saw this recipe in a magazine and adapted it a bit and it came out ooey and gooey and delicious. It’s definitely fun food. I used pareve caramel sauce (it works but not as good as the real deal!) and pizza dough and it came out great.

1 (12 ounces) bottle caramel sauce, I used the no sugar pareve version and it worked
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter or margarine, melted
3 (7.5 ounces) packages refrigerated biscuit dough or pizza dough

Preheat oven to 350°F. Thoroughly grease a 10-inch tube pan.

Spread 1/3 cup caramel in pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup pecans. In a shallow dish, mix sugar and nutmeg. Pour butter or margarine into another shallow dish.

Unroll one package biscuit dough. Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces ( alternatively, break off golf ball size pieces of pizza dough and continue) Roll each piece in melted butter and then in sugar mixture. Drop each into pan, covering bottom. Drizzle with 1/3 cup caramel and sprinkle with 1/3 cup pecans. Repeat, layering remaining dough, caramel and nuts, ending with 1/3 cup caramel.

Bake until top is golden brown and a bit crisp, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately turn out onto a large serving plate. There won’t be a piece left!

No Boil Mac and Cheese

Serves 6-8

This time skip a step and add uncooked macaroni to this thin white sauce for a quick, delicious homemade mac and cheese. In just 30 minutes, you have a cheesy big hit.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
3 cups water
1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400°. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, whisking often, until a very thin, glossy sauce forms, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Remove sauce from heat.

Toss pasta and 1-1/2 cups cheese in a 13x9x2-inch or other shallow 3-quart baking dish. Pour sauce over (pasta should be submerged; do not stir) and cover with foil. Bake until pasta is almost tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, panko, and parsley and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove foil from dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, then panko mixture. Bake until pasta is tender, edges are bubbling, and top is golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

Makes 1 quart

1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped sweet onion (about 1/2 large onion)
1 cup coarsely chopped peeled carrots (3–4 small carrots)
2 large garlic cloves
1 cup coarsely chopped celery (1–2 stalks)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup beef broth
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 basil leaves, sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Any pasta of your choice, cooked and drained

Pulse onion, carrots, garlic, and celery in a food processor until finely chopped; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook, stirring often, until brown and cooked through, 4–5 minutes. Scrape into a medium bowl and set aside.

Wipe skillet clean and add remaining 3 Tbsp. oil; heat over medium heat. Add reserved onion mixture and cook, stirring often and lowering heat if starting to brown, until softened, about 20 minutes. Add broth and 1 cup water. Stir in reserved meat, tomatoes, basil, and oregano. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld and sauce thickens 1–1 1/2 hours.

Season sauce to taste with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar, if desired.

Serve sauce over prepared pasta. Toss and enjoy!

Chocolate Whiskey Cake

Serves 10

This recipe appeared in the NYTimes dining section last week. It was part of a terrific article about family recipes. About 200 were submitted to the Times and this one made the final cut of Top 3. The ingredients are all familiar but the amounts are a bit different, a large dose of coffee, cloves, and whiskey make an awesome chocolate cake that is super easy to prepare.

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used margarine), cut into 1-inch pieces, more for pan
85 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (about 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1-1/2 cups brewed strong coffee
1/2 cup whiskey
200 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)
156 grams light brown sugar (about 1 cup)
240 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
8 grams baking soda (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 grams fine sea salt (about 3/4 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Powdered sugar, for serving (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 10-inch springform pan. Dust with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm coffee, whiskey, 12 tablespoons butter/margarine and remaining cocoa powder, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted. Whisk in sugars until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Slowly whisk egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Add dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Transfer to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, then remove sides of pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if you like.

Chicken in Pineapple Sauce

photo by Con Poulos

Serves 4

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
One 3-pound chicken, cut into eight pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 bay leaf
Steamed white rice, for serving

Put the flour in a shallow bowl. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and sprinkle with the paprika. Dredge the chicken in the flour, tapping off the excess.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning once or twice, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the skillet.

Add the onion, green pepper and garlic to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, 5 minutes. Add the stock, pineapple juice, lime juice and bay leaf and bring to a boil.

Nestle the chicken in the skillet and add any accumulated juices. Cover and cook over very low heat, turning the chicken once, until cooked through, about 25 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat until the sauce is thickened and glossy, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and serve the chicken with rice, spooning the sauce on top.

Roasted Broccoli with Seasoned Crumbs

photo by Chris Court

Serves 6

These zesty crumbs top the roasted broccoli and create an amazing side dish. I love the combination of broccoli, chili powder, Dijon mustard and garlic.

1 teaspoon chili powder
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 cup panko
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds broccoli, trimmed and cut into long spears
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a mini food processor, pulse the chili powder with the garlic until finely chopped. Add the panko and pulse just to combine.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the crumb mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Scrape onto a plate and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the broccoli with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt. Spread the broccoli on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes, turning once, until tender and browned in spots. Spread the mustard on one side of the broccoli and press the broccoli into the crumbs. Transfer the broccoli to a platter, sprinkle with any remaining crumbs and serve.

Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies

This is a great cookie for all our lovers of peanut butter and chocolate chunks. I love the chunky peanut butter and peanuts that add more crunchiness to these cookies.

½ cup margarine, softened
½ cup shortening
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup salted peanuts
2 cups chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together margarine, shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs, one at a time. On low speed, add flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chunks.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.

Baked Tomatoes with Garlic and Breadcrumbs


Serves 6

This is a terrific side dish anytime of year because good tomatoes are always available. You can omit the cheese if you do not eat dairy. I like to serve them aside a grilled steak or topping my spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce.

6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Non-stick cooking spray
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the tomato halves in a lightly greased baking dish, cut-side up. In a small dish, mix olive oil and garlic. Spoon garlic oil on top of tomatoes. Drizzle honey, and sprinkle with panko bread crumbs and paprika. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan (if using). Roast for 20 minutes. 

Remove the tomatoes from the oven and sprinkle with parsley. Drizzle with olive oil.

Roast Duck with Cherry Wine Sauce

Serves 6

I don’t make duck often because I find the cooking process often makes the kitchen too smoky and smelly. I recently tried this method of cooking it at a lower temperature for a longer period of time and the results and experience were terrific. The duck is juicy with a crispy skin and the cherry sauce is a perfect accompaniment.

One 5-pound duck
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup frozen cherries halved and pitted
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons red wine
2 tablespoons cherry jam or preserves
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted margarine

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Rinse the duck inside and out and pat dry. Mix 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl, and sprinkle the duck inside and out. Using a paring knife, make dozens of slits through the skin and fat (taking care not to pierce the meat) all over both sides and all parts of the duck.

Put the duck breast-side up on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour. Take it out of the oven, transfer to a platter and carefully drain the fat from the pan into a measuring cup (you’ll end up getting 2 to 3 cups). Return the duck to the pan, prick with the knife again, turn it breast-side down and roast another hour. Repeat each hour, roasting the duck for a total of 4-1/2 hours.

While the duck cooks, make the sauce: In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon duck fat over medium heat and cook the shallots until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the cherries, stock, red wine, preserves, honey and rosemary, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, swirl in the margarine and taste for salt and pepper. Set aside until the duck is finished.

After 4-1/2 hours of roasting, turn the oven temperature up to 350 degrees F, prick the duck skin one last time, salt the skin again and return it to the oven, breast-side up. Roast for 30 minutes until the skin is nicely browned.

Remove from the oven, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Gently reheat the sauce over low heat. Carve the duck, put the pieces on a serving platter and serve with sauce.

Mixed Greens with Radishes, Mango, Jicama and Peanut Dressing

Serves 5

This dressing is fantastic in many salads but especially perfect with mangos and crunchy radish and jicama.

3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
8 large radishes, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
6 cups mixed greens
1 large mango, peeled, fruit cut off the seed and cubed
2 cups peeled and cubed jicama (cut into about 1/2-inch cubes)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

In a medium bowl, whisk the peanut butter and lime juice until smooth. Add the brown sugar, vegetable oil and some salt and whisk until combined. Add enough water to thin the sauce and give it a dressing-like consistency, about 2 to 3 tablespoons. 

Place the radishes, greens, mangoes, jicama and cilantro in a large bowl and toss together. 

Drizzle with the dressing, toss using tongs to coat and serve.

Leek, Parmesan, and Red Wine Soup

Serves 4

Four 1-inch-thick slices of peasant bread (4 ounces), crusts removed
3-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 garlic clove
Pinch of saffron threads
3 medium leeks, thinly sliced crosswise (3 cups)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon dry red wine
3 cups pareve chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet; brush with the oil. Bake until crisp, 10 minutes. Rub with the garlic and tear into 1-inch pieces.

In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add the saffron and all but 1/2 cup of the leeks. Cook over moderate heat until tender, 4 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of red wine; reduce over high heat to 2 tablespoons. Add the stock; simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the toasts and simmer 3 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the saucepan. Stir in the cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon of red wine, season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

In a nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add the reserved leeks and cook over moderate heat until softened, 3 minutes. Using a heatproof spatula, form the leeks into four 2-inch rounds. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cheese over each round. Cook over moderate heat until melted, about 3 minutes. Transfer the rounds to a plate and let cool until crisp.

Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the leek crisps and serve.