Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rosh Hashanah Menu 2013

I can't believe it is time to post my Rosh Hashanah menu again! The summer flew by and the fact that Rosh Hashanah falls out this year so close to August is just unsettling! Either way, I've thoroughly enjoyed making my menus for the holiday based on the simanim (symbols) so here is an example of one of my menus. I love getting inspiration from other people's menus so hopefully this one will inspire you. Chag Sameach and Shanah Tova!

Round Honey Raisin Challot
Homemade Apple Butter

Starter: Choice of Leek or Chicken Soup 

Appetizer: Simanim Salad- Roasted Butternut Squash, Pomegranate Seeds, Sauteed Leeks, Roasted Beets, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Mains: House Cured Corned Beef with a Dijon-Apricot Glaze
Chicken Marbella
Honey Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs

Sides: Tzimmis
Honey Ginger Rice
Cabbage Kugel

Salads: Black Eyed Pea Salad 
Red Cabbage Salad with Silan Tehini Dressing
Apple Slaw

Dessert:  Warm Honey Cake served  with Mango-Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Honey-Beer Chicken Skewers

I feel it in the air already, fall is almost here! Once August hits, here in the mountains of New York the mornings and nights are freezing, almost like natures way of easing us out of summer. Not to mention that every store I am shopping in has their fall clothing out, Halloween costumes on full display and some even have started bringing out the Christmas toys! But the more I grill the longer I feel I am prolonging summer and so for about a week straight I have eaten grilled food with a side of fresh golden corn. These chicken skewers are one of the gems from my week. Though I grilled mine, this marinade would be delicious on baked chicken or even London broil. The beer, besides adding flavor, helps to tenderize the chicken and made these boneless chicken thighs butter soft (a totally treif but appropriate analogy.) If you're going to skewer them, make sure to soak the skewers for at least an hour in water to prevent them from burning too quickly but you can also easily grill them as they are. Enjoy!

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 1/4 cup beer
3 Tbl oil
1/2 cup mustard ( I prefer Dijon but if that is too spicy for you, use regular)
1/2 cup honey
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup soy sauce

In a bowl or a large ziplock back whisk together the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken thighs and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Cut the chicken into cubes and skewer them onto skewers, reserving the marinade. Place the remaining marinade in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes until it reduces and thickens, making sure it does not burn. Heat your grill and grill the skewers for about 8 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the chicken. Baste the chicken with the marinade for the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie

It always feels strange the first couple of times I eat strawberries in the summer. In Israel, strawberries are a winter berry and while everyone in America are eating imported, pale strawberries in January, we are feasting on ripe, plump ruby red berries. It is one of the things I love about the produce in Israel, everything comes to you in season and so the taste of the fruit and vegetables are unparalleled. But, I do have to say, I miss having strawberries in the summer. So I spend a lot of time indulging in strawberries while I am here, mostly just eating them plain. There is nothing you can do to a strawberry to make it better than it is when it is fresh and at the peak of ripeness. So why did I make this pie? Because I found rhubarb in the farmer's market nearby and rhubarb and strawberries are just a beautiful thing together. This pie is simple to throw together especially if you are using a pre-made crust as I did but feel free to make your own as well. And while I was at it I splurged on some vanilla bean Haagen Daz and served it over some warm pie- good eats! Enjoy!

1 9 inch pie crust
2 pints of strawberries, washed and sliced
4 stalks of rhubarb, sliced
zest of one lemon
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
pinch of salt

For the crust:
1 stick butter room temperature
1 1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl mix the strawberries, rhubarb, lemon, sugar, flour and salt. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. In a small bowl mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Spread over the filling and bake until golden and the filling is bubbly.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Honey- Hoisin Chicken Wings

It is starting to hit me that summer is almost over! That means back to work, real life, and out of this glorious bubble that has been my vacation. In the meantime, I need to take advantage of the last couple of weeks and from a culinary perspective that means grilling as much as possible. I have never been much of a grilled food person and I honestly just cannot bring myself to like steak but in the last couple of years I've become quite enamored with grilled wings. Actually, I prefer only part of the wing, the drumette, those cute little mini drumsticks but these wings can be made with both parts. The trick to grilling with sauce is to not marinate the meat in the sauce because the sugar in the sauce will cause the outside to burn on the grill before the inside of the wing is cooked. Grilling the wings "unsauced" and then basting them for the last 5 or so minutes before they are ready will give you perfectly cooked and deliciously caramelized and flavorful wings. Enjoy!

3 lbs Chicken drumettes or wings, cut in half
1/3 cup Hoisin
1/3 cup Teriyaki Sauce
3 Tbl Honey
3 Tbl brown sugar
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger

In a bowl mix together the Hoisin sauce, Teriyaki, honey, brown sugar, garlic and ginger. Mix well to incorporate the honey. Heat your grill and start to grill the wings. Grill for about 7 minutes on each side. Using a brush, brush the marinade on the wings. Each time you apply the marinade let the wings cook to start to caramelize. Brush each side at least twice for optimal flavor.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Maple- Chili Sweet Potato Fries

Is there anyone out there that does not like French fries? What is there to dislike about a deep fried potato- crispy, salty, oily, and delicious-no objection here! Except that come summer I naturally  navigate away from very oily foods and try to keep things lean and healthy. These sweet potato fries are the perfect way to get your fry on without all the oil. And let me tell you, they are addictive! Sweet, spicy, and crunchy, easy to throw together and you get the added bonus of some great nutritional content. Now, I used regular old chili powder in these because that is all I had but I was just dreaming of some ancho chili or chipotle chili powder which I think would have added a great flavor profile to these so if you are lucky enough to have any interesting chili powders around, use them here! If your chili powder is super spicy you can leave out the cayenne but I think the maple helps to offset the heat on your tongue. Pile these on a plate next to your grilled steak and enjoy!

4 large sweet potatoes
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbl granulated garlic powder
3 Tbl chili powder 
1/2 Tbl cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/3 cup good quality maple syrup + 2 Tbl
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch wide sticks. Place on the baking sheet and drizzle on oil, sprinkle with garlic powder, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper and drizzle the 1/3 cup maple syrup all over. Mix well making sure to distribute all the spices. Arrange in one layer on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 1/2 hour or until they are fork tender. Raise the oven to 450 and drizzle the remaining 2 Tbl over the fries and bake for another 15-20 minutes until they are brown around the edges.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas

I have gotten numerous requests to post healthy, nutritious and preferably vegetarian dishes for weeknight dining.  These enchiladas are my response. I grew up eating very American and Eastern European food so let's just say the extent of my background in Mexican cuisine was limited to guacamole and salsa. But as I get older I find myself becoming more and more of an adventurous foodie willing to try all sorts of new things. I mean, I'm not exactly Andrew Zimmern (google him, he's awesome!) but for me, it's a start. Not that these enchiladas are funky in any way, they are just not something I would have ever been drawn to 10 years ago and I regret that. Because they are so so so good. And healthy. And filling. And pretty easy to whip up on a weeknight. Hallelujah! 
The filling is brown rice, black beans, veggies and cheese, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and topped with homemade enchilada sauce (you can use store bought in a pinch) and topped with more cheese. It's like a Mexican cannaloni and you're gone LOVE it. Serve them hot topped with some sour cream and you got yourself a taste of Mexican food heaven. Feliz Comiendo!

For the sauce:
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbl flour
3 Tbl chili powder (you can use mild or spicy depending on your preference)
1  cup tomato sauce or puree
1 cup of water
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp granulated garlic powder
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a sauce pan and add the flour and chili powder mixing constantly over medium heat for two minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, water and seasonings and continue stirring for about 10 minutes until thickened.

For the Enchiladas:
10 whole wheat tortillas
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (one cup uncooked brown rice will yield approximately this amount)
1 can black beans
1/2 cup prepared salsa (mild or hot depending on your preference)
1 large zucchini, shredded
1 1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese  
(or you can use any Mexican cheese blend. Alternatively if you cannot find Monterey Jack cheese you can substitute Mozzarella)
1/2 cup enchilada sauce (recipe above)

Preheat your oven to 350. In a bowl mix together the rice, beans, salsa, zucchini, one cup of each of the cheeses and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce. Place  some filling down one side of each tortilla and roll it up. Place the filled tortillas in a 9x13 pan ( I was able to squish 10 in one pan), top with the rest of the enchilada sauce and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake covered for half an hour, then uncover and bake another 10 minutes until the cheese is melted nicely.