Sticky Sweet and Spicy Pomegranate Chicken

sticky-pome-chicken

Serves 4
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Sriracha or hot sauce
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
8 chicken pieces (about 2 lb.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium scallion, thinly sliced

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
In a 12-inch skillet, combine the pomegranate juice, mustard, vinegar, Sriracha, and garlic. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, and cook until the liquid reduces to a thick glaze, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic.

While the sauce is cooking, pat chicken dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and pepper. Arrange on a rack set over a large, foil-lined rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 10 minutes. Brush the glaze all over the chicken and flip. Roast until cooked through (170°F), about 10 – 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and turn the broiler on high. Brush the chicken with half of the remaining glaze and broil to crisp the skin, about 1minute. Flip, brush with the rest of the glaze, and broil until the other side is crisp, about 1minute more. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with the scallion before serving.

Tomato Barley Salad

tomato-barley

Serves 6

BARLEY
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups pearled barley (8 ounces)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 cup apple juice
2 1/2 cups water
Kosher salt

TOMATOES
1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons apple juice
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
8 ounces heirloom or yellow tomatoes, coarsely chopped

DRESSING
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon, plus leaves for garnish
Kosher salt

COOK THE BARLEY In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the shallots and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the barley, garlic and bay leaves. Add the apple juice and water and season with salt. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook over low heat until the water is absorbed and the barley is tender, 45 minutes. Let barley cool and dry. Discard the bay leaves.

PREPARE THE TOMATOES Preheat the oven to 425°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cherry tomatoes with the oil, honey and garlic. Season with salt. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring, until soft and caramelized. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack.

In a large bowl, whisk the maple syrup with the apple juice and vinegar. Season with salt. Add the green tomatoes, toss to coat and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally

MAKE THE DRESSING In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, apple juice, honey, lemon zest and chopped tarragon. Add the barley and toss. Season with salt. Spoon into shallow bowls and top with the roasted cherry tomatoes and marinated heirloom tomatoes. Garnish with tarragon leaves and serve.

Honey Sweetened Blackened Carrots

carrots-grill
Serves 6

2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste (cayenne is spicy)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted
1 1/4 pounds medium carrots, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt
Pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk the paprika with the oregano, cayenne and garlic powder. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 2 minutes, until the spices are fragrant. Alternatively, skip this step but it adds depth of flavor to the spices.
Put the margarine in a shallow bowl. Dip the cut side of each carrot in the margarine and then coat in the spice mixture, pressing to help the spices adhere; transfer to a plate.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Working in batches if necessary, add the carrots cut side down in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat until blackened on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until the carrots are just tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and honey. Whisk in the olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the honey vinaigrette.

Fall Green Salad with Apples, Nuts and Fall Spices

fall-salad-with-apples

Serves 6
2 cups 1/2-in. cubes rustic multigrain loaf with crusts removed
4 tablespoons walnut oil or hazelnut oil, divided
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
6 cups mixed greens, like mesclun, arugula, frisee, radicchio
1 tart-sweet apple, thinly sliced
3/4 cup walnut halves, hazelnuts, or other nut, toasted and chopped

In a pie pan, toss bread with 1 tbsp. oil. Bake bread, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the zest, orange juice, spices, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss gently with lettuce, apple, nuts, and croutons. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you like.

Balsamic and Honey Sweetened Beets and Onion Salad with Mixed Greens and Apples

fall-salad-with-apples
Serves 6
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 medium-size sweet Vidalia onion, cut into thin strips
1 pound red or yellow beets, cooked and sliced into half moons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard or whole grain mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
¾ cup pastrami cubes or smoked turkey cubes, optional
1 Gala apple (about 8 oz.), thinly sliced
3 cups firmly packed baby arugula
3 cups loosely packed mixed green
1/4 cup toasted chopped nuts or seeds, optional
(and deli meat, optional)

Stir together balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, honey and salt and add next 3 2 tablespoons water; pour into a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Add beets and onion. Seal and chill 4 hours.

Drain beets and onion, reserving 1/3 cup pickling liquid. Discard remaining liquid. Whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and reserved 1/3 cup pickling liquid until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, toss greens, deli meat, nuts/seeds, apples, beets and onions. Add dressing, toss and serve.

Cinnamon Swirl Vanilla Ice Cream Bars

cinnamon-swirl-icecreambar

With some GKC modifications, this recipe was one of my favorite Bon Appetit summer chilled desserts.
SERVINGS: MAKES ABOUT 24
¼ cup pareve cream
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
1½ cups natural almond or other nut butter, divided
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar, divided
2 pints pareve vanilla ice cream
1 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
⅔ cup chopped pretzel sticks
Flaky sea salt
Line an 8×8″ baking pan, preferably metal, with plastic wrap, leaving generous overhang on all sides and let chill in freezer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend pareve cream, cinnamon, a pinch of kosher salt, ½ cup almond butter, and ½ cup brown sugar in a blender, adding 1–2 Tbsp. water if mixture is too thick or looks broken, until smooth and thick but pourable.

Remove ice cream from containers and allow to melt until mixable.
Let sit until slightly softened, about 5 minutes, then stir with a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula until the consistency of thick cake batter. Scrape almond-butter mixture into bowl with ice cream and fold several times with a rubber spatula to create a marbled effect (do not overmix; you want defined ribbons running through). Scrape into prepared baking pan and spread out into an even layer. Smooth top, then bring plastic up and over ice cream. Freeze until hard, about 12 hours.

Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and place in freezer. (Freeze at least 15 minutes before using to ensure they are properly chilled.) Remove baking pan with ice cream from freezer. Use edges of plastic to unmold ice cream and place on a cutting board; peel off plastic. Use a dry hot knife (run under hot water and wipe dry between slices) to cut ice cream into a 6×4 grid to make 24 bars (if ice cream starts to soften, freeze again until firm before proceeding). Place bars on chilled baking sheet, spacing evenly; freeze until firm, 40–45 minutes.

Whisk coconut oil, a pinch of kosher salt, remaining 1 cup almond butter, and remaining ½ cup brown sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Working one at a time and using a fork, dip ice cream bars into coconut-oil mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl, then place on remaining chilled baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with pretzels and sea salt. Return ice cream to freezer from time to time while you work if it becomes too soft.

Freeze bars until ice cream and nut-butter shells are hard, at least 1 hour, before serving.

Do Ahead: Bars can be made 1 week ahead. Once frozen solid, wrap in plastic; keep frozen.

Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake

blueberrylemon-icebox-cake

SERVINGS: 8
8 ounces Tofutti cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
2½ cups chilled pareve whipping cream
1 cup homemade or store-bought lemon curd, divided (FYI homemade lemon curd is in CELEBRATE)
16 graham crackers, divided
½ cups blueberry jam
⅓ cup fresh blueberries
Line a 9×5″ loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving overhang on all sides. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat Tofutti cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest in a large bowl until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low; gradually add cream. Increase speed to medium as mixture thickens; beat until medium peaks form. Transfer two-thirds of cream mixture to another large bowl and fold in ½ cup lemon curd. Cover remaining cream mixture; chill until ready to unmold and cover cake.

Place a single layer of graham crackers over bottom of prepared pan, breaking as needed to fit. Using a small offset spatula, evenly spread a quarter of lemon cream over graham crackers. Dollop ½ cup jam over top, then gently spread evenly over lemon cream. Drizzle ¼ cup lemon curd over. Spoon a third of remaining lemon cream over curd and top with another layer of graham crackers. Repeat layering process with half of remaining lemon cream, ½ cup jam, and remaining lemon curd. Finish with a final layer of lemon cream, then graham crackers. Cover with plastic wrap; freeze at least 6 hours. Cover and chill remaining jam until ready to serve cake.

Uncover cake and invert pan onto a platter. Using the plastic overhang to help you, unmold cake; peel off plastic. Spread top and sides of cake with reserved cream mixture (if mixture looks a little loose, whisk until soft peaks form before using). Chill in freezer at least 15 minutes.

Just before serving, mix blueberries into reserved jam and spoon over cake.

Do Ahead: Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep frozen.

Five Spice Chicken Thighs with Apples and Sweet Potatoes

five-spice-chicken

Serves 6

1 small fennel bulb with feathery stalks
3/4 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-in. slices
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 medium red onion, cut lengthwise into 1/3-in.-wide slices
2 large firm-tart apples, such as Ida Red, Sierra Beauty, or Granny Smith, unpeeled, sliced into 1/4-in. wedges
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (2 3/4 lbs. total)
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice
.Preheat oven to 425°. Cut off fennel stalks and reserve feathery leaves. Trim base of bulb and any tough outer layers. Halve bulb lengthwise, cut out core in a V, and cut bulb lengthwise into slim wedges.
Oil a large rimmed baking sheet and arrange sweet potatoes and fennel in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Arrange onion and apples over potatoes and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Set chicken on top. In a small bowl, combine margarine, honey, five-spice, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Brush onto chicken.
Roast 15 minutes, then tip pan and baste ingredients with juices. Continue to roast until chicken is nicely browned, 15 to 20 minutes more. Baste everything again and scatter reserved fennel leaves on top before serving.

Mustard Rosemary Glazed Salmon

custard-rosemary-glazed-chicken
Serves 4
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 ½ tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon toasted whole fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle, optional
4 6-oz. salmon fillets, skin on (or Arctic char)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine
3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
In a small bowl, combine the mustard, honey, rosemary, and 1/2 tsp. of the fennel seeds. Place the fish skin side down on the prepared baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and spread with the mustard mixture. Roast until the fish is just opaque in the center (check by poking into one piece with a paring knife), about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter/margarine over medium heat. Add the remaining 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, leeks, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, adding 2 to 3 Tbs. of water if the pan becomes dry, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. remove the pan from the heat, fold in remaining 1 tablespoon butter/margarine, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the fish over the leeks.

Sweet and Tangy Spare Ribs

sweet-tangy-ribs
Recipe from OUR TABLE: TIME-TESTED RECIPES, MEMORABLE MEALS
By Renee Muller ▪ Artscroll/October 2016

Meat || Freezer Friendly || 4 entrée servings; 6 appetizer servings

A friend once called me, asking for a meat recipe. “It has to be amazingly good and incredibly easy,” she said. “I’m kidding,” she then added, but I knew she really wasn’t. And I had just the thing. Whenever I meet her husband, he makes sure to thank me, AGAIN, for “those awesome ribs.” Where does it say that great dishes have to be long, hard, and complicated?

about 8 (1-inch-thick) spare ribs, nicely marbled
2½ cups duck sauce
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons teriyaki sauce
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
2 Tablespoons dried onion flakes
1 Tablespoon salt
black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a baking pan, arrange ribs in one layer. In a medium bowl, combine duck sauce, water, teriyaki sauce, garlic, paprika, onion flakes, salt, and pepper. Pour over ribs. Cover tightly with foil; bake for 3 hours.

2. Let ribs cool; then refrigerate overnight.

3. Preheat oven to 375°F (use the “roast” setting, if available). Remove congealed fat layer from the ribs. Roast, uncovered, spooning sauce over the ribs once or twice, until ribs are braised and glistening, about 20 minutes.

note
I like to cool the ribs in the middle of the cooking process so I can remove the fat layer, but it’s not a necessity. You can raise oven temperature, uncover meat, and proceed with the braising part immediately after the 3-hour slow roasting.

Apple and Honey Rosh Hashanah Muffins

apple-honey-muffins

Recipe from OUR TABLE: TIME-TESTED RECIPES, MEMORABLE MEALS
By Renee Muller ▪ Artscroll/October 2016

Dairy/Pareve || Freezer Friendly || about 48 muffins

At our house, Rosh Hashanah cannot happen without honey muffins. At least, that’s the way my kids see it. It’s a family project, and by now, a family tradition, too. This recipe was given to me by a relative in Israel who bakes them all the time and claims that no matter how many batches she bakes, there are never enough. She’s absolutely right. We once baked a quadruple batch of these (sans the apples) for a bake sale on our block and we were left without a crumb!

For the apples
2 Tablespoons butter OR margarine
4 Granny Smith apples, diced
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the muffins
2 cups prepared tea, lukewarm
2 cups sugar
2 cups oil
2 cups honey
12 eggs
6 cups flour
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 heaping Tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Prepare the apples: In a saucepan, melt butter over a medium-low flame. Add apples, sugar, and cinnamon; cook until apples are fragrant and soften a bit, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the muffins: In the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium speed, combine tea, sugar, oil, honey, and eggs. Mix until smooth. Reduce speed; gradually add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

Fill each muffin cup halfway with batter. (I like to use a cupcake pen for this; I find it very helpful.) Top with a teaspoon of prepared apples. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out almost dry with some moist crumbs attached.

note
The apples are optional; I find that some children prefer the muffins plain. We add the apple for Rosh Hashanah (very loudly singing, “Dip the apple in the hooooneeeyy” as we do so) but throughout the year, we bake them plain.

tip
I recently discovered an amazing gadget called “The Cupcake (or Muffin) Pen.” It really removes the whole messy aspect of filling cupcake pans with batter. Look for it in specialty equipment stores.

Super Fast Tandoori Weekday Chicken

tandoori
REQUIRES marinating time, but super simple and delicious!
Serves 4 – 6

1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fresh chopped ginger
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup Tofutti sour cream
1 chicken cut in 1/8’s or chicken pieces of your choice
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients except the chicken. Blend until smooth.

Slash each piece of chicken diagonally a few times, cutting through skin and a bit of the meat. Place chicken in re-sealable plastic bag and toss to coat marinade all over chicken. Marinate for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375F. Place chicken on large baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F or the chicken is fully cooked through. Serve warm over basmati rice.

Alternatively, this can be prepared on a grill.

Granola – Basic Recipe and Tips

granola

Ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats – use regular rolled oats, they have the perfect chewy texture
¾ cup nuts AND seeds – be generous, use raw
½ cup oil of your choice – neutral, olive oil or coconut oil
½ cup liquid sweetener like maple syrup, less agave, or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, cinnamon, and other spices you like plus extra treats like coconut any spicy flakes – it needs flavor!
Dash of kosher salt – it needs it

Directions:

Spread mixture on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake in a 350F oven until light brown and fragrant, 30 -35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool

ADD CHOPPED DRIED Fruit (or chocolate chips) AFTER baking – this way it won’t get hard and stick to your teeth.

Mesa Grill Spice-Rubbed Steak

mesagrill
Recipe by Mesa Grill, Las Vegas

This rub works on just about any cut (in fact, it’s served on filet mignon at the restaurant Mesa Grill), and the pan-to-oven method is foolproof.

SERVINGS: 4 – 6

2 tablespoons ancho chile powder (or chili powder)
2 tablespoons finely ground coffee beans
5 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1½ teaspoons ground coriander
1½ teaspoons mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon finely ground red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more
3 pounds Hangar steaks, minute steaks, kosher filet mignon, any grilling steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Mix ancho chile powder, ground coffee, brown sugar, paprika, dried oregano, pepper, coriander, mustard, crushed red pepper, ginger, and 1 tablespoon salt in a small bowl.

Season steaks with spice rub. Place on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and chill uncovered 3–6 hours. Bring steaks to room temperature before cooking.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook steaks 2 minutes or so on each side to create a nice crust. Transfer skillet to oven; cook steaks until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 120° for medium-rare, about 5 minutes. Transfer steaks to a cutting board; let rest 10 minutes. Slice ½” thick.

Alternatively, heat a grill. Grill for approximately 3 minutes each side or until meat is cooked through. Allow meat to rest and then slice and serve.

Dessert Sauces

Summertime should be warm and relaxing. Most readers take it a bit easier with lighter and easier cooking, lots of grilling (stay tuned for more on that!), and refreshing desserts. In our home, we make a lot of homemade sorbets of all flavors and yummy dessert sauces to serve over pareve ice cream. These sauces keep for weeks in the refrigerator and months in the freezer. I rewarm them before Shabbos and serve them over cold pareve ice cream for a quick, easy and super delicious and refreshing dessert. Jazz each one up for company with toppings like bananas and shaved chocolate, crumbled toffee, mixed berries and whipped cream, cinnamon baked apples and poundcake, or a decorative homemade cookie.
Strawberry Balsamic Sauce
Best Hot Fudge
Honey Caramel Sauce

Need more ice cream dessert ideas?
Mocha Ice Cream Pops (Pareve or Dairy)
Ice Cream Bon Bons
Affogato Sundae with Almond Biscotti

Best Hot Fudge

hot-choc-fudge

Makes 2 cups
Adapted from Bon Appetit

1¼ cups heavy cream or pareve whipping cream
⅔ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
⅓ cup dark agave nectar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon kosher salt

Cook cream, brown sugar, agave, butter, and ¼ cup water in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Fit saucepan with thermometer and cook, swirling pan occasionally (do not stir), until thermometer registers 220°, 6–8 minutes.

Remove from heat and remove thermometer from saucepan. Add chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring and scraping down sides and bottom of saucepan with a heatproof rubber spatula to prevent scorching, until thickened and bubbling rapidly, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt until smooth.

Strain sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl—it will look oily and separated at this point, but don’t worry! Vigorously whisk 2 Tbsp. water into sauce to emulsify it; whisk until smooth and glossy. Whisk in more water a tablespoonful at a time until sauce is pourable but still thick.

Do Ahead: Hot fudge can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover and chill. Before serving, gently warm in microwave, stirring every 20 seconds, or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, adding water to thin if needed.

Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

strawberry-balsamic
Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups ripe strawberries, stemmed, hulled, and roughly diced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon lemon zest

Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until vinegar has thickened and reduced to 1/4 of its original volume, 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in strawberries, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until strawberries have released their juices and softened, about 5 minutes.

With an immersion blender, puree slightly, or until smooth with a few pieces. Continue to simmer until sauce has thickened and is syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature, then use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to a week.

Honey Caramel Sauce

honey-caramel
Makes 1 ½ cups, serves 6

¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
¾ cup pareve whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat sugar, honey and ¼ cup water. Melt sugar, stirring and bring to a boil. When sugar is melted, over medium heat, bring to a boil without stirring until golden and a candy thermometer reads 350F, about 10 minutes. Swirl the pan while cooking but do not stir.

When caramel is amber-colored, lower heat to simmer, add the cream, while whisking. Caramel will bubble and may harden, continue whisking until smooth. Simmer 3 minutes. Add vanilla and salt and remove from heat.

Sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 months.

The Brookie

brookie

You may ask, what is a brookie? A brookie or a brownie cookie is the newest trend in fun desserts. Watch out Baked By Melissa and every other cupcake store, Brookies are coming. I’m excited, one decision is not so tough anymore, a delicious classic chocolate chip cookie, or a rich and chocolaty brownie. Here is a classic Brookie recipe. Feel free to get creative, add a bit of mint extract to the brownie batter, or almond extract to the cookie batter. I sometimes add coconut and pecans or macadamia nuts to the cookie batter and raspberry jam to the brownie batter, or the berry jam to the chocolate, and some peanut butter to the cookie batter and make a PB&J Brookie. Some many options, email me your favorites!

Makes 18 standard size muffin cups
Ingredients
Cookie Layer: 


1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened 

1/2 cup light brown sugar 

1/4 cup white sugar 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 


1 egg

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 


1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 


1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 



Brownie Layer: 


1 cup white sugar 


1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted 


1 teaspoon vanilla extract 


2 eggs 


1/3 cup cocoa powder 


1/2 cup all-purpose flour 


1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease standard muffin cups (this will make about 18, so use 2 trays or 1 tray of 12 and 6 others).

Beat softened butter/margarine, light brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract together in a large bowl until creamy. Add 1 egg; beat until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Whisk 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking soda together in a bowl. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter/margarine mixture until dough is combined. Stir chocolate chips into dough. Pour 2 tablespoons of the cookie batter in muffin tins.

Stir 1 cup white sugar, melted butter/margarine, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract together in a bowl; add 2 eggs and beat well. Mix cocoa powder into butter mixture until well-combined. Stir 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt into cocoa mixture until batter is combined. Pour another 2 tablespoons of brownie batter over cookie dough and spread to cover completely.

Bake 16-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brookies come out with moist crumbs.

A few notes:
These can be made with the brownie on the bottom as pictured, but I like to make them with the cookie on the bottom to use the same pan for the batters so I always make the cookie on the bottom. Either way is fine and the recipe will work.

Also, these can be made in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Grease the dish. Spread the batters, again cookie or brownie on bottom and the other on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 18 – 25 minutes.

For minis, use 1-2 teaspoons of each batter and cook for 12 – 14 minutes.

Fruit Juice/Mint Infused Ice Cubes

fruitmint-icecubes
If you love fruit, summer is the time to take advantage.

Instructions:
For Fruit- Freeze your juice of choice and add a slice of your favorite fruit-then add the cubes to a glass of seltzer, water or a fruity cocktail.
For Mint- Add one or more mint leaf (depending on how minty you like it) and fill the rest of the cube with water, seltzer or any beverage you want to add a minty flavor.

Thank You to the food network for the inspiration on these ice cube recipes.

Coffee Ice Cubes

coffee-icecubes
If you’ve ever taken more than 20 minutes to finish your iced coffee, you understand the struggle of melted ice and watered down coffee. Behold, the coffee ice cube: an ingenious way to keep your coffee cool and strong till the very last sip.

Instructions:
Just pour some leftover coffee into an ice tray, pop it in the freezer, and let it chill for 3-4 hours.

Salmon with Scallions and Sesame

broiled-salmon
Sweet and spicy and super quick. Omit the jalapeno for no heat at all.

Serves 4

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for serving
4 6-ounce skin-on center-cut salmon fillets
Kosher salt
1 bunch scallions
1 jalapeno chile, thinly sliced

Whisk garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, 1 Tbsp. oil, and ½ tsp. sesame seeds in a small bowl. Season salmon fillets with salt and place in a resealable plastic bag; add half of marinade. Seal bag, pressing out air, and let salmon sit 30 minutes. Reserve remaining marinade.

Preheat broiler. Toss scallions with remaining 2 teaspoons oil in an oven-safe dish or cast iron pan; broil until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Remove salmon from marinade and set on top of scallions. Spoon some reserved marinade over and broil until salmon is charred around edges, about 6 minutes (watch closely to keep from burning). Spoon more marinade over; top with jalapeno. Broil until salmon is charred and medium-rare at thickest part, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds.

Red Snapper with Tahini Sauce and Nut Gremolata

char-tahini-sauce-nuts-herbs
Serves 6

For the tahini sauce
6 tablespoons tahini
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt

For the nut gremolata
1/4 cup toasted, finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup toasted, finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespons finely chopped fresh mint
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the fish
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 6-oz. red snapper fillets (you can also use flounder, sole, tilapia, are another light white fish)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses, silan or honey

Make the tahini sauce
Process the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 5 tablespoons water in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute.

Make the nut-herb topping
In a medium bowl, gently toss the almonds, walnuts, cilantro, onion, olive oil, parsley, mint, and pepper flakes with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until well combined. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

Cook the fish

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Lightly season the fish with salt and pepper. Put the fish in the skillet and cook, undisturbed, until golden, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until barely opaque in the center (use a paring knife to check), about 1 minute more.
Transfer the fish to a serving plate. Spread the tahini sauce over the top of the fillets, then sprinkle with the nut-herb topping and the pomegranate seeds. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of the pomegranate molasses over each, and serve.

Grilled Asparagus and Onions with Lemon Dressing

grilled-asparagus-and-spring-onions
Serves 6

Meyer lemons are in season and available. I picked up a big bag at Costco this week and I can’t wait to use them on everything from roasted chicken, this asparagus dish and for Shavuos when I make limoncello tiramisu.

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
¼ cup olive oil, plus more
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 large bunches thick asparagus, trimmed
2 bunches scallions or leeks, halved if large

Prepare grill for medium-high. Whisk lemon zest, Meyer lemon zest, lemon juice, Meyer lemon juice, mustard, and ¼ cup oil in a medium bowl to combine; season dressing with salt and pepper (if you don’t have Meyer lemons, use regular lemons in their place)..

Place asparagus and spring onions on a rimmed baking sheet and lightly drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Grill, turning once, until lightly charred and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Serve drizzled with dressing.

Alternatively, do this in a 425°F oven until roasted, about 11 minutes