Archive for the 'Jeff Nathan's Family Suppers cookbooks' Category

07
Nov
11

Recipes We’ve Enjoyed During the Holy Days – Part 2


During the chagim I prepared quite a few dishes I had not made before, as well as some favorites. It was hard to choose which ones to feature here but these two were simple, delicious and the family absolutely loved them.

Photo from: The Big Book of One Pot

Spiced Bismatu Pilau

(From: The Big Book of One Pot – published by Parragon Books 2008)

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 6 oz broccoli trimmed
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 cardamon pods, split
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 5 cups boiling vegetable stock or water
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place the rice in the strainer and wash well under cold running water. Drain. Trim off the broccoli stalk, then quarter the stalk lengthwise and cut diagonally into 1/2″ pieces. Cut the remaining broccoli into small florets.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and broccoli stalks, cook over low heat stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, rice, garlic, and spices for 1 minute while stirring until rice is coated in oil.
  3. Add the boiling stock and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the broccoli florets and return the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and cook over low heat for 15 without uncovering the pan.
  4. Remove the pan from from the heat and let the pilau stand for 5 minutes without uncovering. Remove the whole spices, add the raisins and pistachios. Gently fork through to fluff up the grains. Serve the pilau hot.

We like rice dishes and this one certainly did not disappoint!

For dessert, I turned to Jeff Nathan’s Family Suppers, (Published by Clarkson Potter, 2005) I’ve made it before and everyone asked for it again:

Photo by: Alan Richardson from Jeff Nathan's Family Suppers

Poached Apricots with Lemon and Thyme

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 pound dried apricots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • a few gratings of fresh nutmeg
  • vanilla ice cream for serving

Directions

  1. Grate the lemon zest from 1 lemon. Juice this lemon and strain the juice. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the second lemon and cut the zest lengthwise into thin strips (julienne) Reserve the second lemon for another use.
  2. Mix 2 cups water, the orange juice, honey, sugar, grated lemon zest, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Add the apricots and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Partially cover the saucepan with the lid, and simmer until the apricots are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the thyme and nutmeg. Cool until warm (or cool, cover, and refrigerate until chilled). Serve spooned over ice cream and topped with julienned lemon zest.

Variation: Poached Apricots with Amaretto

In step 3, add 1/4 cup almond flavored liqueur, such as Amaretto di Saronno, to the poaching liquid with the thyme.

As Jeff Nathan says you can serve the apricots without the ice cream as a compote. With everyone having seconds this dessert was gone in no time!

SYR

 

03
Feb
10

Practical but Delicious!


Chef Jeff Nathan is a celebrity in his own right. Yet… like his first, this second cookbook is not only easy to follow, unpretentious in tone, but above all, the results are delicious!

Cooking for the family, even on a normal weekday, is fun again. Yes, the recipes are kosher but they have that international flair that only someone of Chef Jeff Nathan’s caliber, imagination, mastery of the mysteries of food preparation and understanding of the delicate flavor nuances of the various ingredients, could produce.

I’ve tried many of these book’s recipes and liked them, to pick one as an example here is not easy. I’ll find something that illustrates how well the New Jewish Cuisine has become a superb blend of the old traditions and the newest trends.

The recipes in this book have a relatively short cooking time, yet their tastes are not compromised. Everything we’ve tried was delicious!

So… what to choose to feature on this pages? I’ve tried the soup recipes like the Tuscan Vegetable Soup, the Chilled sweet Pepper and Pineapple Soup, the Sherried Cream of Mushroom Soup, any of these easily attests to the author’s passion for food.  But… I am basically a carnivore to the core, I will therefore give you one of the many mouthwatering meat recipes here.

Since hardly anything is more heimisch than a good brisket, I chose the following… heimisch yes, but with a twist. As I always liked cooking with wine or liqueur, this one’s is my newest favorite:

Brisket with Port Wine and Mushrooms Sauce

Makes 7 to 10 Servings

Tender melt-in-your-mouth brisket is one of my favorite dishes to serve to friends and family. Every time I make it home I make it differently. My latest version simmers the meat in rich port wine with lots of mushrooms, so much the better for a deep, dark sauce that is made for pouring over noodles. It’s a waste of time to make only a three pound brisket, so this recipe makes enough for precious leftovers. If you have the time, make the brisket the day ahead, which makes it easier to to slice thinly.

3 tablespoons canola oil
Two 3-pond first-cut beef briskets, trimmed
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons
8 garlic cloves, halved
13/4 cups tawny or ruby port
2 pounds assorted fresh mushrooms, sliced or quartered, depending on size
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat at 325° F

2. Heat the oil in a very large, deep Dutch oven over medium-high heat.One at a time, add the briskets and cook. turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a platter.

3. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the port, mushrooms, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in a pot with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 5 minutes. Return the briskets and any pieces on the platter to the pot. Add enough cold water to barely cover the briskets and bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and bake until the briskets are fork-tender, about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

4. Uncover and let the brisket cool in the pot. Cover and refrigerate until the next day.

5. Scrape off and discard any hardened fat on the on the surface of the cooking liquid’ Transfer the briskets to a carving board and slice thinly across the grain.

6. Meanwhile bring the cooking liquid to a boil over high heat. Taste, and if the flavor needs concentrating, boil for a few minutes to evaporate excess liquid.

7. Whisk the flower and water together in a medium bowl to dissolve the flour. Whisk in about 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Whisk this liquid into the pot.. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the the sauce thickens and has no raw flour taste, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return the sliced briskets to the sauce, and simmer until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot with the sauce.

Enjoy, we certainly did!

CS




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