Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grilled Ginger Beef with Pineapple-Mango Salsa

To me, this is summer on a plate. Grilled steak with a tropical salsa made with fruit that is at peak ripeness-yum! I used flank steak here but you can also use London broil- either way make sure not to overdo the steak and that it is still a nice juicy pink inside. The ginger gives great flavor to the the meat but it is definitely a strong flavor so if you are not such fan of ginger (whats wrong with you?) then use just a sprinkle of powdered ginger or leave it out altogether. The salsa is simple to make and features pineapple and mango that are super sweet and some jalapeno and red onion to balance the sweetness. It's a great combination and goes a long way. I have to admit that I'm not much of a steak eater nor do I like things that are grilled but I really loved this and I hope you do too.

2 flank steaks, or London broil
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 Tbl brown sugar
black pepper to taste

Score the steaks by making cuts in the meat against the grain. Put the marinade ingredients in a Ziplock bag and then put the steaks in. Let the meat marinate for at least an hour and up to 5 hours. Grill the meat over high heat to get a great crust on the outside about 4 minutes on each side till it is fully cooked but still pink in the middle.

For the salsa:
1/4 of a ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed
1 ripe mango, cubed
1 Tbl jalapeno pepper, chopped finely (or more if you prefer it to be spicier)
2 Tbl red onion, chopped finely
3 Tbl lime juice
2 Tbl chopped cilantro or parsley
1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over the meat.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Who wouldn't want this for breakfast?? Strawberry goodness oozing out of fried bread that is crusted with almonds- sign me up! I made this for Sunday breakfast from leftover challah as a treat for my in-laws who came to visit and it was a huge hit. True, I had to wake up at the crack of dawn to make it but it was well worth it. I happened to have strawberries in the fridge but feel free to substitute blueberries, bananas or any other fruit you have lying around or a combination of a few. Make this for your next special occasion brunch and you will have lots of happy company. Enjoy!

1 loaf leftover Challah thickly sliced into 6-8 pieces
1/2 cup (4 oz) cream cheese (room temperature)
1 Tbl butter (room temperature) + more for frying
1 1/2 cups strawberries
3 Tbl sugar
5 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups cornflake crumbs
Confectioner's Sugar (optional, for garnish)

Wash and cut the strawberries into pieces. Mix the cream cheese, butter and sugar together and mix in the strawberries. Whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and mix the sliced almonds and cornflake crumbs on a plate. Make a pocket in each slice of bread making sure not to cut all the way through. Stuff each pocket with about 1 Tbl or more of the cream cheese filling. Dunk each piece of stuffed challah into the egg mixture making sure each side gets well soaked then coat with the almond and cornflake mixture. Heat butter or oil in a frying pan and fry each piece until crisp.

Break me off a piece of that!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Spinach and Artichoke Dip- The Pareve Version

This is the pareve version of the cheesey spinach artichoke dip I posted months ago. It is meant to be super garlicky so don't go light on the garlic and it's delicious spread on crackers or bread. I love to make it as a dip to serve on Shabbat and it is always a big hit. You can also use it as a spread to enliven a tuna or cheese sandwich and its thick enough that it makes a great dip for crudite. Basically folks, go for it. It's simple, easy to make, has 10x less ingredients in it then my usual recipes and it will make your taste buds sing (and smell like garlic). Enjoy!

1 can artichoke hearts in water or one 10oz box frozen artichoke hearts
1 10 oz box chopped spinach
1 small onion, diced
3 Tbl oil
3-4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper

Saute the onion in the oil until soft. Add the onion with the oil, artichoke hearts, drained spinach, and garlic cloves to a food processor. Pulse until chopped but not pureed-you want some texture to the dip. Remove to a bowl and add the mayonnaise mixing to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Thanks Tats for the great picture!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grilled Vegetable Orzo Salad

Although I call it a salad, this dish is really a salad and side dish combo and that's what makes it great for me. A whole load of grilled vegetables make it salad-y and the orzo gives it carby bulk. Use whole wheat orzo and sprinkle on some cheese and you've got yourself a healthful meal. Make sure to grill the vegetables till they are cooked through but still have a little bite to it to give the salad good texture. The dressing seems strong but it gets absorbed into the orzo and really adds a nice mild background flavor. The key to it all though is the basil. The basil adds a burst of freshness that enlivens the whole dish. I served it on Shabbat but it got better as it sat in the refrigerator and it was a welcome addition at our Sunday BBQ. Enjoy!

3 Zucchini
3 Yellow Squash
1 Red onion
2 Orange Peppers
2 cups Orzo
6 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl Garlic wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 Tbl fresh Basil

Slice the zucchini and squash horizontally into long strips. Cut the onion into thick circles and the peppers you can leave whole. Toss all the veggies with a little oil, salt and pepper and grill. While they cool, cook the orzo according to package instructions until just al-dente-make sure the pasta is not overdone and mushy.Combine the grilled veggies with the orzo including the juice that comes off of the vegetables. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and garlic and pour over the orzo. Mix well to combine and let it sit at least half an hour so the flavors have time to meld. Before serving add the fresh basil.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kani Salad

Kani is simply immitation crab sticks, a delicious and unique ingredient that unfortunately has not yet been imported to Israel. They are made from real fish and are sweet with a slightly spongy texture that becomes addictive. You can find Kani Salad on every Japanese menu and it basically consists of shredded Kani dressed in some sort of mayonnaise based dressing. This is my version based on one I tasted by my mother-in law. The horseradish gives it great zing as does the mustard and the sesame oil adds great depth of flavor. The  toasted sesame seeds are not necessary but they look pretty and add great flavor as well- just beware of the price- I paid almost 8 dollars for a little jar of black sesame seeds! The salad is also great made in advance and my husband commented that it tasted better the next day. I served it as an appetizer for Shabbat lunch and it was a delicious and welcome change to Gefilte fish. Enjoy!

1 package Kani (imitation crab sticks), shredded
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1-2 tsp white horseradish (depending on how spicy you want it)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbl lemon juice
2 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper
toasted white and black sesame seeds for garnish and great taste

Mix the mayonnaise, horseradish, mustard, lemon juice and sesame oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the shredded Kani, mix well and garnish with the toasted sesame seeds.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Zucchini-Blueberry Bread

There is nothing better than a recipe that only requires one bowl-especially when it tastes this good. This bread (which is totally a misnomer because it is just a cake baked in a loaf pan) is super moist because of the zucchini (ok, and the oil) and beautiful because of the green flecks and burst blueberries throughout. It's great for just snacking, for breakfast or for dessert and you can even convince yourself its healthy because of its vegetable component. I wasn't planning on making this but my mother bought a zucchini that was literally the size of a baseball bat (a child's one, but still) and in an effort to use even a quarter of it before it went bad and with some blueberries left from the Pop-tarts a new star was born. Enjoy!

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
3 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Mix all the ingredients together except the zucchini and blueberries. Once it is well mixed fold in the zucchini and blueberries. Divide the batter into 3 greased loaf pans and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Blueberry Pop -Tarts

Am I the only one who used to watch the Pop- Tart commercials longingly as a child wishing they were kosher? Something about those toaster pastries with their shiny glaze and crisp exterior make me still check every once in a while to see if they are kosher. Well, after seeing Pop-Tarts latest PR genius on TV I could wait no longer so I decided to make my own- and what could be a more delicious filling then beautifully ripe and seasonal blueberries. Nothing. Crisp, flaky dough, fresh blueberry filling, and a sweet vanilla glaze- enough said. So how did they come out? A little more rustic looking than their Kellogg counterparts but they made a darn good breakfast with a steaming cup of coffee and popping them in the toaster made me feel like a child again. Enjoy!

For the dough:
2 cups of flour
1 Tbl sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup ( 2sticks) butter or margarine
1 egg mixed with 1 Tbl + 1 tsp of water
1/4 cup of ice water

Stir the flour, sugar and salt together. Cut in margarine with a pastry cutter or your hands until the mixture has small pea size lumps in it. Mix in the egg and water mixture with a spatula and drizzle in the ice water a tablespoon at a time. Depending on the weather you may only need a tablespoon or as much as 1/4 of a cup. You want just enough water that the dough comes together. Gather the dough together, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

For the filling:
2 1/2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice or for extra lemon flavor 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup water mixed with 2 tsp corn starch

Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook until the filling gets thick- about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Flour a surface and roll out the dough to make a big rectangle. Cut smaller rectangles from the dough, fill each  center with about 1 tbl filling, fold the dough over to make a smaller rectangle and seal by crimping the edges all around with a fork. They can be frozen at this point to be baked at a later time. Place the tarts into an oven preheated to 350 and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden. Cool and then drizzle with glaze.

For the glaze:
1/2 cup milk or rice milk
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Stir all together until smooth adding more sugar or milk until you reach the desired consistency.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Asparagus and Baby Bella Rigatoni with Boursin Cream Sauce

The title is a mouthful but this dish took only 20 minutes to make! If you haven't noticed, I've been on hiatus for a while, but now I am back in full swing and ready to go blog-happy. One ingredient I've been dying to cook with is asparagus. It has a small season in Israel and isn't that easy to find, not to mention quite expensive. When I mentioned to my mother that I wanted to cook with asparagus she brought me home beautiful bunches of green and white asparagus to experiment with. I have so many ideas for the asparagus that it was hard to figure out which one to try first but I settled on this. Although it sounds too heavy for the summer heat, this dish is surprisingly light and has great fresh taste from the ripe summer tomatoes and asparagus. I picked up some baby portabella mushrooms and Boursin cheese ( a creamy, flavored French cheese spread that is DELICIOUS) from TBSITW and put this all together. They sell Boursin in most stores in Israel, I see it in my local supermarket all the time, but if you can't find baby portabellas you can use either regular portabellas or plain old button mushrooms. Either way, this pasta is easy on the eyes and easier to scarf down. Enjoy!

1 lb. Rigatoni pasta
2 Tbl oil
1 1/2 pounds baby bella mushrooms, quartered
1/2 a bunch of green asparagus, stalk peeled and sliced into thirds
2 ripe roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup pasta water (reserved)
2 tsp no-msg chicken bouillon (optional)
1 pkg Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese spread
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Boil the pasta in salted water. 4-5 minutes before the pasta is cooked add the asparagus to the water and cook until the pasta is ready. Drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water. In a saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and saute the mushrooms over high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper until there is no liquid in the pan and the mushrooms are golden. Add the pasta water, bouillon, garlic powder and cheese and mix to make the sauce. Add the pasta and asparagus and toss to combine. Turn off the heat and toss in the tomatoes. Serve warm.