White Chocolate Peach Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

This recipe is from the TAG cookbook created by Rebecca Naumberg and Sori Klein. The cookbook is a fundraiser for Torah Acadamy For Girls and all proceeds go directly to TAG. To purchase one visit www.getyourdash.com or call TAG 718 471 8444. Mention that you saw the recipe on GKC and receive FREE shipping when ordering. Enter GKC in your order.

These cupcakes are a bite of summer. and with the innovative use of a cake mix, you will be in and out of the kitchen in time to enjoy the day.

6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) margarine, cut
into pieces
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white or golden yellow cake mix
1 cup soy milk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh peaches, peeled and
chopped (2 large peaches)
½ cup lemon buttercream frosting

2 peaches, sliced into thin slivers
½ cup peach jam

lemon buttercream frosting
8 tablespoons (1 stick) margarine,
at room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons soy milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated

Prep Cake: place oven rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350˚. line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. place white chocolate and margarine in a small saucepan over low heat. cook, stirring, until both have melted, about 3-4 minutes. let cool slightly.

Mix: place cake mix, soy milk, eggs, vanilla and white chocolate mixture in a large mixing bowl. blend with mixer on low speed for 1 minute. stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. increase the mixer speed to medium and blend for 2 more minutes, scraping down the sides again if needed. batter should be well combined. fold in peaches. spoon batter into the lined muffin cups, filling each 2⁄3 of the way full. place the muffin tins in oven.

Bake cupcakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. remove the muffin tins from oven and place on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cupcake liners. Lift cupcakes up from the bottom of the tins using the end of the knife and carefully take them out of the cups with your fingertips. place them on wire racks to cool for 15 minutes before frosting. Garnish with a peach slice.

Prep Frosting:
Place margarine and 1 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl. blend with mixer on low speed to incorporate, about 30 seconds. Add remaining sugar with 2 tablespoons soy milk and lemon juice. blending with the mixer on low, stir in lemon zest.
Add remaining tablespoon soy milk if frosting seems too stiff. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 more minute.

Frost Cakes:
With a spatula, spread a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake until smooth. Top with a tablespoon of peach jam and garnish with fresh peaches.

**** To make this recipe dairy, substitute butter for margarine, whole milk for soymilk and use dairy white chocolate

Strawberry Feta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

photo by Annabelle Breakley

Serves 6, can be doubled

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons grated sweet onion, such as Vidalia
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
10 ounce mixed lettuce greens
2 cups quartered strawberries
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Whisk oil, vinegar, salt, mustard, onion, sugar, and poppy seeds in a medium bowl until blended.

In a large salad bowl, toss lettuce, strawberries, and almonds. Add dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with feta and gently toss until everything is incorporated.

Lasagna Wonton Stacks with Tomato Basil Sauce

This recipe is from the TAG cookbook created by Rebecca Naumberg and Sori Klein. The cookbook is a fundraiser for Torah Acadamy For Girls and all proceeds go directly to TAG. To purchase one visit www.getyourdash.com or call TAG 718 471 8444. Mention that you saw the recipe on GKC and receive FREE shipping when ordering. Enter GKC in your order.

Lasagna is a popular dish with children and adults alike. Try this version for a clean individual presentation and shorter prep time.

1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped, divided
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, or to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 egg
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
12 eggroll skins, (from a package of refrigerated wonton skins, or eggroll wrappers, such as NaSoya brand)
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

Fresh basil leaves

Tomato sauce: Preheat oven to 400°. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, cook garlic in butter, stirring for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with liquid and 2 tablespoons basil. Simmer uncovered over medium heat, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in orange juice, salt and pepper.

Prep: In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, remaining basil, oregano, salt and pepper. In a 6-quart pot, boil salted water. Separate eggroll skins and add to boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer to a shallow dish filled with cold water.

Layer lasagna: Spread ½ cup tomato sauce evenly on bottom of a buttered 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange 4 eggroll skins, drained briefly on a kitchen towel, in one layer on top of sauce. Divide half of ricotta mixture evenly among the squares in the pan and top with 4 more skins, drained briefly. Spoon remaining ricotta mixture evenly on these skins and top
with remaining 4 skins, drained. Spoon several tablespoons sauce over each stack and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, in middle of oven until bubbling and heated through, about 10 minutes.

Garnish with a fresh basil leaf on each stack and serve.

Nutella Ribbon Bars

Recipe by gourmetkoshercooking.com

¾ cup chopped pecans
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line an 8-inch squared baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil with at least 1 inch overhanging the top of the pan and sides.

In a food processor, grind the pecans coarsely. Add flour, baking powder, brown sugar and salt and pulse once or twice to combine. Add melted butter and vanilla and pulse until all ingredients are moistened. Add oats and pulse once or twice to combine.

Sprinkle half of the mixture across the bottom of baking pan and press it with your fingertips into an even layer. Place the other half of the mixture in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Spread the Nutella in an even layer on top of the crust. Scatter remaining crumb mixture over the Nutella, squeezing it into crumbs across the top. Bake until top is golden, 25 – 30 minutes.

Cut into 16 squares.

Warm Mushroom Salad with Salmon

This recipe is from the TAG cookbook created by Rebecca Naumberg and Sori Klein. The cookbook is a fundraiser for Torah Acadamy For Girls and all proceeds go directly to TAG. To purchase one visit www.getyourdash.com or call TAG 718 471 8444. Mention that you saw the recipe on GKC and receive FREE shipping when ordering. Enter GKC in your order.

Contributed by Mom’s Pastries of Cedarhursts, New York

Mom’s Pastries has provided us with the recipe to their outstanding warm mushroom salad so you can recreate their delicious salad at home any time!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
Balsamic Glaze (recipe below)
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
15 roasted almonds
1 (8-ouunce) salmon fillet, cut into chunks
6 cups romaine pieces

In a medium skillet, warm 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms until soft and add balsamic glaze, tomatoes and almonds. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, until slightly reduced.

In a separate medium skillet, warm remaining olive oil over medium heat. Place salmon pieces in the pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side, until crispy.

In a large bowl, combine tomato/almond mixture and romaine. Add in salmon and toss to combine.

Serving Option
This salad makes beautiful appetizer. Plate the salad components on individual plates and arrange salmon pieces on top. Drizzle any leftover glaze over salmon. This recipe server 4 as an appetizer.

Balsamic Glaze
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard
2 teaspoons honey

Basic Vinaigrette Salad

Everyone needs a basic salad recipe. This one is good any day or any Shabbos.

¾ cup canola or olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder

6 cups romaine lettuce
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced cucumbers

In a glass jar or salad dressing container, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients. Cover and shake vigorously until all is combined. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Shake before using.

Toss salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Serve immediately.

Indian Spiced Salmon with Peach Chutney

Serves 6 appetizer portions

This is best served right out of the pan. I make the batter and chutney days in advance and then fry them up right before the guests arrive. It can be doubled or tripled.

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons garam masala (this is an Indian spice blend found in all national markets and many kosher markets too)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup water
2 (8-ounce) salmon fillet, cut into 2-inch pieces, 12 pieces total
½ cup canola oil

Peach Chutney
1 (14-ounce) can of peaches, drained and 2 tablespoons syrup reserved
1 jalapeno, minced
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons peach syrup

Put the flour, garam masala, maple syrup, paprika, salt, and pepper into a bowl and whisk it to combine. Add the yogurt and water and mix well to make a smooth batter, the consistency of pancake batter (this can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator, covered until ready to use). 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, begin to dip the fish (cut in pieces) into the batter and then carefully place them in the hot oil. Fry the salmon pieces until they are golden on all sides and the fish is cooked through, about 3 minutes, turning frequently. Serve the salmon with the Peach Chutney. 

To make the chutney: 
Put the peaches, jalapeno, red onion, chives, cumin, lemon juice, salt, and peach syrup into a blender and mix until the peaches are finely chopped. The chutney will keep in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Yield: approx. 1 cup

Cous Cous With Pine Nuts

This is an Ina Garten recipe that GKC adapted a bit. It is great on a Shabbos night or even a weeknight. Its simple and a nice side dish at room temperature too.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine
3/4 cup chopped shallots (3 to 4 shallots)
3 cups chicken stock or pareve chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups couscous
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup golden raisins, or currents
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, optional

Melt the margarine in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and cook them over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Stir in the couscous, cover the pan, and set aside for 10 minutes. Add the pine nuts, raisins, and parsley (if using) and fluff with a fork to combine. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Marsala Fig Marmalade and Goat Cheese Pizza with Arugula

Adapted from Bon Appetit for GKC

2-1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 cups dried figs, stemmed, quartered
1 cup Marsala
1-1/2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
2 store bought pizza dough
4 – 6 ounces fresh goat cheese (depending on your taste)
2 cups arugula
1 pear, cored, thinly sliced

Heat 2-1/2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; stir until soft, about 5 minutes. Add figs, Marsala, and rosemary. Increase heat. Bring to a boil. Add 1 1/2 cups water. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring often and adding water by tablespoonfuls if too thick, until figs are soft and easily mashed and jam measures 1 1/4 cups, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400°. Roll out each dough piece on a floured surface to a very thin 10″ round. Cover with a kitchen towel.
Place 1 dough round on each of 2 baking sheets. Bake for 3–4 minutes to partially cook. Repeat with remaining dough.
Spread ¼ – ½ cup fig jam over each crust; scatter 2 – 3 oz. goat cheese over each. Bake in batches until crust is crisp, 4–5 minutes.

Toss arugula, pear, and remaining 1 tsp. oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Top pizzas with salad.

Coconut Chocolate Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
¼ cup butter, melted

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1-3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 egg yolks

3 cups shredded coconut
6 tablespoons sour cream
2 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup cream of coconut

To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap outside of 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty foil.
Mix together crumbs, coconut and melted butter. Press into bottom and partially up sides of pan. Bake for 10 minutes; cool.

To prepare filling: Melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Cool.
In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate, corn syrup and vanilla until blended. Add egg and egg yolks. Beat until completely incorporated.

Spoon batter into crusted. Bake until center is set, about 40 minutes. Cool briefly.

To prepare topping: In a large bowl, beat together all topping ingredients. Spoon over batter and spread gently to cover. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Ricotta Limoncella No Crust Cheesecake

This cheesecake is a little lighter because it has no crust and uses ricotta cheese. It is still sweet and delicious and super easy to put together.

8 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 pounds ricotta
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped until soft peaks form
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup limoncello
Topping (optional)
1 tablespoon confectioners
1 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan.
Beat eggs in large bowl with electric mixer until foamy and light yellow. Add sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add flour and beat until incorporated. Add ricotta and whipped cream and beat until smooth. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and liqueur to the ricotta and stir gently until incorporated. Pour mixture into pan, place on rimmed baking sheet and bake for 1 hour 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn off the over and leave to sit for 10 minutes. Remove from oven to cool completely. Dust the top of the cheesecake with confectioners sugar. Serve.

Spinach with Goat Cheese, Roasted Beets and Pears

This recipe is from the TAG cookbook created by Rebecca Naumberg and Sori Klein. The cookbook is a fundraiser for Torah Acadamy For Girls and all proceeds go directly to TAG. To purchase one visit www.getyourdash.com or call TAG 718 471 8444. Mention that you saw the recipe on GKC and receive FREE shipping when ordering. Enter GKC in your order.

When a local eatery suddenly closed its doors, we had unresolved cravings for their special signature salad. Here is our recreation of Bari’s goat cheese and beet salad, a neighborhood favorite.

1 bunch beets (3 medium-size beets), red or orange
Goat cheese log (6-7 ounces)
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
1-½ cups panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup arugula
½ cup walnut pieces, toasted
2 ripe pears such as Bartlett or D’Anjou,
peeled and sliced into 12 pieces each
Raspberry Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Prep: Preheat oven to 350˚. Remove and discard beet greens. Wash beets very well, leaving peel on. Wrap in heavy duty foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for 1½ hours. Remove and let cool. With your fingertips, rub the outside of beets to easily remove skin. Slice beets into rounds and then into matchstick-size strips. Set aside.

Goat cheese rounds (not featured in photo): Slice goat cheese log into 12 equal round slices. In a shallow plate, beat egg with teaspoon of water. Pour panko bread crumbs into a separate shallow plate. Dip cheese into egg and then dredge in panko bread crumbs, covering both sides. Repeat for all 12 slices.

Fry: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place 6 goat cheese rounds in oil. Fry about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Place on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with next 6 slices.

Mix: In a large bowl, toss spinach leaves, arugula, walnuts and pears with raspberry vinaigrette. Add beets immediately prior to serving (beet juice will discolor and stain pears).

Serve: On 6 small plates, place a mound of salad blend and top with 2 goat cheese rounds. Serve immediately.

Raspberry Vinaigrette
½ cup raspberry vinegar
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place vinegar, sugar, mustard and oregano in the bowl of a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Slowly add oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Candy Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies

photo: stolenmoments.com

This recipe makes about 18 large cookies.

Our friend Shayna brought these delicious cookies to us as a gift for staying with us. They did not last long because they are thick, rich and decadent. The kids loved them and begged Shayna to come back again and again.

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 Cup choc chips
3 king size candy bars of your choice, like cookies and cream, reese’s, Hershey bars (these three work great), chopped in chunks, kept cool

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

2) Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3) In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and candy bar chunks by hand, using a mixing spoon. Drop cookie dough ¼ cup at a time onto the cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

4) Bake for 15-17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake

Recipe by Paula Dean

This recipe is great dairy or pareve. I make it dairy and serve it with real whipped cream and strawberries and I make it pareve and serve it as a breakfast cake or welcome snack to guests. I often make them in bread pans too. It makes about 3 loaves but the cooking time is much less, about 55 minutes.

8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened (or margarine for pareve cake)
8 ounces sour cream (use tofutti sour cream for pareve cake)
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup cocoa
Serve with whipped cream and strawberries, chocolate sauce, or dust with a generous amount of powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sour cream, and sugar. Add the eggs, 2 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and cocoa. Add 1/2 the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, beat well, add the remaining 1/2 flour mixture, and continue to beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes if necessary, but do not open the oven to check the cake for at least 1 hour. Cake is done when a tester inserted has loose crumbs.

Puréed Sweet Potato Soup

photo: simplyrecipes.com

1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons curry powder
6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 (32-ounce) box pareve chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon lemon grass

In a large Dutch oven, stir together all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft. Cool slightly.

Using a hand immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. Reheat over low flame.

Fennel, Red Pepper and Corn Salad

This is a great spring and summer dish when the vegetables are fresh and crisp.

2 ears corn
2 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
½ red onion, diced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove corn kernels from cob. Place in a large mixing bowl along with other ingredients. Mix well, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tomato and Bread Salad

photo: teriskitchen.com

Another taste of summer special.

2 cups bread cubes (from stale white bread)
4 large ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
6 scallions, minced
4 basil leaves, finely chopped

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place bread in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze out extra water.
In a large bowl, mix bread cubes with tomatoes, scallions and basil.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and mix well. Let rest for about 2 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Chunky Oatmeal Cookies

photo: nancy's recipes

Makes about 3-1/2 dozen

1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper and lightly grease.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together margarine and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. On low speed, add flour, baking soda, baking powder and oats. Stir in nuts, chocolate chips and coconut.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let rest on cookie sheet 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.

Chocolate Cheesecake

photo: oliciouslife.com

2 cups crushed ladyfingers
¼ cup margarine, melted

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover bottom and sides of 10-inch springform pan with heavy duty foil.
Mix together ladyfingers and melted margarine. Pat into bottom of prepared pan.
Beat eggs with sugar. Beat in cream cheese until fluffy.

Melt the chocolate and butter together over low flame and stir until smooth. Cool slightly and add to cream cheese mixture. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Pour on top of crust. Place pan inside a large pan filled halfway with water.

Bake for 2 hours. Cool, remove sides and chill.

Black Eyed Pea and Spinach Salad with Creamy Dressing

This seems like an odd combination but it is packed with flavor and protein. The dressing is creaming and softens the taste of the black-eyed peas.

2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup tofutti sour cream
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-1/2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard (Alternatively, use whole grain mustard or Dijon mustard)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce (like Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 red onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 cups baby spinach (about 2/3 of a 6-ounce bag), sliced into thick ribbons

For the dressing: Combine tofutti sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, hot sauce salt and pepper in a bowl, and whisk to incorporate. 

For the salad: In a salad bowl, combine beans, red onion, and celery. Pour dressing over bean mixture and gently stir to incorporate, being careful not to break up too many of the beans. Add spinach and toss to coat. Season with additional salt, pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Chicken Mole

I love mole sauce but often find that the ingredient lists are very long and the process too complicated. GKC created a great and easy Chicken Mole that I think you will love.

2 chickens, cut in 1/8’s
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Mole Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle pepper with 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can (or more to taste), chopped (Roland makes this with an OU, and it can be found in most major supermarkets in the international food aisle)
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (or 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/4 cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish
Fresh cilantro, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large roasting pan, place chickens in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast until cooked through, about 1 hour.

Place olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring to soften for 5 minutes. Add the chipotle with adobo, and tomatoes, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the peanut butter, broth, chili powder, and cinnamon. Cook 5 minutes until thoroughly combined. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from heat. With an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. 

Pour the mole sauce over the chicken. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Serve warm with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro scattered over the top.

Mexican Red Rice

My friend Aviva gave me achiote powder and I love it. It’s a Latin American spice that is not always easy to find. I tried this recipe both ways, once with achiote and once with paprika. Both times I loved it so don’t hesitate to try it with the paprika or ancho chili powder.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups white rice
1 teaspoon achiote (annatto) powder or paprika or ancho chili powder
Pinch saffron
1 bay leaf
1-3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is soft, about 2 minutes. Add the rice, achiote powder (or paprika or ancho chili powder), saffron and bay leaf. Cook and stir until the rice is opaque, about 2 minutes, 

Add the tomatoes and broth, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the liquid evaporates to just below the level of the rice, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to the low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and serve with Chocolate Chicken Mole, if desired.

Chocolate Meltaway Cake

GKC friend and reader, Rachel, requested a recipe for chocolate meltaway cake like the one from the NY bakeries. We tried and tried to get their recipe but had no luck. But, while we were asking, we were also tasting and developing our own version that is remarkably close to theirs. Rachel tried it too, and said that it was not exact but so delicious that they definitely ate too much of it. She used wafer crumbs in place of the cookies crumbs.

1-1/2 cups cookie crumbs
1/4 – 1/2 cup melted margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix crust ingredients together and press into bottoms and up sides of a greased 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until lightly browned.

For meltaway center:
1-1/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup non-dairy creamer

Crumble topping:
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 – 2/3 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For meltaway center: In a small saucepan warm non-dairy creamer over low flame until hot but not boiling. Add chocolate, turn off heat and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pour 2/3 of chocolate into crust.

For crumble topping: In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, and oil until crumbly but leaving some large chunks. Sprinkle 1/3 over chocolate layer. Fold the second 1/3 into the reserved chocolate. Spoon over crumble layer. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 on top. Bake for 12 minutes. Chill until ready to serve. You may need a little more crumble, if so use 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 3/4 – 1 cup oil for additional crumble.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Seared Salmon with Coconut Tomato Sauce

Serves 4

I made this for dinner last night and it was a big hit. Sweet from the coconut but zesty and full of Indian flavors from the garam masala. I served it with rice and roasted vegetables.

4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon fresh chopped garlic
1 ½ teaspoons garam masala (if you do not have this use ½ teaspoon of fennel and ½ teaspoon cardamom)
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1 tablespoon ground coriander, plus 1/2 teaspoon to season salmon
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup coconut milk
Pinch salt and freshly ground pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

For the sauce: 
Put 2 tablespoons canola oil into a large skillet over low-med heat and add ginger and garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds and stir in garam masala, mustard and ground coriander; cook for 10 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes, stirring well. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for about 15 minutes, until sauce is thickened. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessary. 

For the salmon: 
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, season the salmon fillets with 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sear them on each side for 6 – 7 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Put the salmon on a plate and ladle some sauce over it. 

Spinach and Beet Salad with Balsamic Dressing

photo: mirileigh.com

2 (6 ounce) bags baby spinach
2 red beets, peeled and diced
2 yellow beets, peeled and diced
1 (14 ounce) can hearts of palm, sliced
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

To roast beets: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In separate pans, toss beets with about ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until caramelized – about 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Cool.

To prepare dressing: Mix together vinegar, garlic, mustard, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil.

To assemble: In a large bowl, combine spinach, beets, hearts of palm, cucumbers and almonds. Toss to coat with dressing. Serve immediately.