Archive for the 'Kosher cooking' Category



03
Feb
11

Yummy Grill


It may be small and unpretentious, but don’t let that fool you. This hidden jewel, Yummy Grill (543 Kings Highway – off East 4th; Brooklyn, NY; Tel: 718.375.7557), serves up delicious food featuring Cavcasian and Israeli cuisines.

A partial view...

Chef/Owner Eli Hizkiyahu graduated, as Chef, from Israel’s famed Tadmore Hotel School in Herzliya. He arrived on the American shores about 19 years ago and made a successful career using food as his canvass. From fashioning Tfillin out of watermelons, to birds about to take off in flight – out of fruits and vegetables, he’s done it all as he travelled the length and breadth of the US plying his trade of food decoration at numerous catered and private affairs. About 9 months ago, Chef Eli and his wife opened up their current venue.

My companion RN and I stopped by for lunch, recently. She started out with a Lamb Soup…

Lamb Soup

It was nicely presented, spicy and very savory; in fact, it could have served as a complete meal by itself. It contained a few lamb bones, slivers of lamb and rice. Excellent! She described it as perfect comfort food for a winter day.

I started with an Avocado Salad. I have never been a fan of avocado, but the taste of this one was exceptional. Colorful, nicely but subtly spiced, it contributed to change my mind about avocado.

We then shared a platter of Baby Lamb Chops

Baby Lamb Chops

They were tender, juicy and had a very attractive aroma; came with a side dish of mixed Grilled Vegetables, consisting mostly of mushrooms, onions and peppers grilled to perfection.

We followed with a plate of Baby Chicken Kebab…

Baby Chicken Kebab

Tender, juicy delicious, it also came with those superb Grilled Vegetables (we just couldn’t enough of them!). All was served us in whimsically shaped but practical china, a delight to the eye. I washed it down with an Israeli malt. RN finished her meal with a delightful Tea w/Nana (mint leaves), while I had a coffee.

Ample portions, superb flavors, and very reasonable prices… isn’t it time to visit Yummy Grill?

CS

31
Jan
11

Our Guest This Week Will Be…


Last week we presented Jay Buchsbaum the Executive VP of the Royal Wine Co., as our interviewee. You can hear Jay and his encyclopedic knowledge of all things wine, here

This coming Wednesday, at 8:00pm, our guest will be Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum, the regulars of this blog know how much we enjoy her cooking demos, how much we enjoy her recipes. Mrs. Kirschenbaum has written three cookbooks Lévana’s Table, In Short Order and Lévana Cooks Dairy-Free!. She’s now hard at work on her fourth cookbook on Superfoods, due out this coming summer.

Who is Lévana? What are her credentials? Most of you may remember her ground breaking restaurant Lévana’s, but there is far more as we are told on her website:

For nearly thirty years Lévana Kirschenbaum has owned and operated a catering business, a bakery and a successful Manhattan restaurant all while raising a family. She understands that even gourmet chefs don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. With this in mind, she keeps the recipes simple, insisting that using fresh, natural ingredients will yield fantastic results without a lot of fuss.

When Lévana opened her eponymous restaurant with her two brothers-in-law twenty five years ago, all Kirschenbaums were perfectly aware they were facing a hard sell: introduce fine kosher dining to the Kosher public, who until then was content either eating at home or grabbing a bite in the rare joints that served institutional old world treats. The general prediction was that the presumptuous idea would fall flat on its face.

Undaunted by being the trailblazers of the trend, they surrounded themselves with the best chefs, developed the most delicious dishes and waited patiently until the idea of gourmet kosher caught on. The rest, as we all know, is history: kosher food and wine has experienced a veritable explosion and has its place among the most prestigious competitions. Many luxury kosher restaurants have opened and thrived since Lévana’s pioneering days, bearing out the dictum that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

With over 25 years of experience in professional cooking, recipe development, catering and teaching, celebrity chef Lévana makes the preparation of nutritious and exotic gourmet cuisine easy. She gets countless devoted fans for her fearless, practical and nutritious approach to cooking and spreads the good word on simple, streamlined, elegant and wholesome dining in her classroom on the Upper West Side – where she gives weekly demos – and around the country.

What is her goal?

Fine dining that is also contemporary, nutritious and easy to prepare is a way of life that Lévana instills in her classes. Lévana’s unfussy, straightforward approach utilizes fresh, all natural ingredients to create international flavors from her native Morocco and other wide-ranging culinary influences.

I’ve known Lévana for a while now and I can assure you that the show will be truly informative and entertaining. Just listen in, gentle reader, at 8:00pm on Wednesday, February 2nd, on Jewish Radio Network. Enter the site and click on the red “here” under the white “Radio,” then wait about 30 to 90 seconds for the application to start streaming.

CS

16
Jan
11

Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts


On a recent visit to Irene Saiger’s Bamitbach blog, I came across an easy to make but delicious sounding recipe. While she did not list exact quantities, here’s the version I made:

Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts

(adapted)

Directions
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts cut in half and weighing about 6 ounces each.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/ tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 12 shitake mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbs parsley
  • 3-4 tbs olive Oil
Directions
  1. Slice shiitake mushrooms and sauté in olive oil along with minced garlic and chopped parsley.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook till mushrooms are tender.
  3. Remove from heat.  Fill each flattened chicken breast with some of the mixture and roll up.
  4. Dip in beaten egg and then seasoned bread crumbs.
  5. Return to hot frying pan to which you have added some extra olive oil. Fry till golden on both sides.
  6. Place frying pan in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes till chicken is cooked through.
  7. Slice on the diagonal and serve..

I made it last evening, motzey Shabbos, since I had some friends over; we all thought it was very good. Thank you Irene for this delectable recipe!!!

For side dishes I made some mashed potato with margarine, minced garlic, basil (for a great aroma), and a dash of tarragon; the second side dish was a simple honey-dijon salad. We paired it with a Benyamina 2007 Chardonnay, a very nice combination. Thank you Irene, for this delectable recipe!!!

You’ll find more photos on Irene’s blog, giving quite a detailed visual description.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

03
Jan
11

This Week’s Upcoming Internet Radio Show


Elizabeth Bland, photo from her website (cheesemistress.com/)

Last Wednesday we had a very interesting discussion on cheese and kosher cheese in particular with Elizabeth Bland (we will soon post, on these very pages, a supermarket trip with Mrs. Bland where we will look at various kosher cheeses. Meanwhile you can hear an .mp3 file of our radio show here.

This coming Wednesday – January 5, 2011 – our guest will be Gill Marks. Gill recently published the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. What are Gill Marks credentials? What qualifies him to talk or write about food? As his website states:

Gill Marks, at The James Beard Foundation. Photo from gilmarks.com

An author, rabbi, historian, chef, and social worker, Gil Marks is a leading authority on culinary subjects in general and Jewish cuisine in particular. Among his published books are Encyclopedia of Jewish Food (Wiley: 2010), James Beard Award-winning Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World (Wiley 2004), and James Beard Award finalist The World of Jewish Cooking (Simon & Schuster, 1996). Marks was included in the Jewish Forward’s annual “Forward 50,” a list of the fifty most influential Jewish-Americans in the year 2010. http://www.forward.com/forward-50/

A self-taught chef, Marks entertained at his New York City home, earning a reputation as a gourmet cook. He began moonlighting for several caterers before branching out on his own. Some of his early jobs involved baking 150 apple pies for a cooking spray promotion, an all-dessert bat mitzvah, and a health food wedding. In 1986, Marks combined his interests in food, history, Judaism, and writing to become founding editor of Kosher Gourmet magazine, a position he held for six years. After leaving Kosher Gourmet, Marks turned his attention to writing fiction and biblical research as well as continuing his work on culinary subjects. His efforts include two plays, Therapist, and, in collaboration with Stanley Allan Sherman, The Golem of Gavah. His other books are The World of Jewish Desserts (Simon & Schuster, September 2000) and The World of Jewish Entertaining (Simon & Schuster, 1998) and he was also among the international team of contributors to the prestigious Meals in Science and Practice: Interdisciplinary Research and Business Applications (Woodhead Publishing, 2009).

Marks has also written articles for numerous magazines; served as a guest lecturer at the Culinary Institute of America,HazonKosherfest, and Drisha Institute; acted as consultant for various companies and organizations; and given presentations throughout the world, including the 92nd Street Y, Macy’s DeGustibus Cooking SchoolThe Learning Annex, the Kislak Adult Center, and the Fresh Start Program at New York’s Rikers Island. Marks continues to write, research, lecture, and perform cooking demonstrations for groups across the country and make appearances on various television and radio programs.

When I first contacted Mr. Marks to arrange the radio interview I thought it would be a short call, instead I was totally fascinated listening to his stories and the call was rather a long one. He is a captivating repository of anecdotes and history, this upcoming show promises to be a very interesting one!

Please, listen in on Wednesday at 8:00pm on Jewish Radio Network. Click on the red “here” under the white “Radio,” then wait about 90 to 180 seconds for the application to start streaming.

CS

02
Jan
11

The Greater Joy of Cooking and the Perfect Sesame Chicken


The pace, pressures and responsibilities of our daily lives often make us feel like life is running us instead of the other way. Thursday night was a fortunate slice of moments lived well. I got some precious time with my teenage son who had returned from Yeshiva for the weekend. He was hungry and was in the mood for something different. Hunting through cookbooks and the net, he opted for sesame chicken.

We followed an easy recipe he found on allrecipes.com. As we prepared, mixed and measured, we schmoozed and caught up on our week. We waxed philosophical, we laughed, retuned and and cooked a wonderful meal that was gone in record time.

Perfect Sesame Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 dash sesame oil
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cubed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chile paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 quart olive oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Sift flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder into a bowl. Pour in low-sodium soy sauce, sherry, 2 tablespoons water, vegetable oil, and a dash of sesame oil; stir until smooth. Stir in chicken until coated with the batter, then cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring chicken broth, sugar, vinegar, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, chile paste, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Dissolve 1/4 cup cornstarch into 1/2 cup of water, and stir into boiling sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens and turns clear, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and keep sauce warm.
  3. Heat olive oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to a temperature of 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Drop in the battered chicken pieces, a few at a time, and fry until they turn golden brown and float to the top of the oil, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. To serve, place fried chicken pieces onto a serving platter, and pour the hot sauce overtop. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds to garnish.

Serve with rice – Yields 6 servings.

We had some sauce left over and a chicken was on the counter destined for the Shabbos table. Instead of spicing it my usual way, I used the leftover sesame chicken sauce to baste and baked it at 375 F. till golden – about 90 minutes. It tasted moist,  sweetly delicious, with a balanced chili powder kick. Everyone loved it! Bypassing the fatty fried part of this classic sesame chicken recipe while retaining the essence of it’s  flavor was a cool guilt-free variation. Im a big believer in Ms Frizzle’s (The Magic Schoolbus) famous mantra “take chances, makes mistakes. Get messy!

Susie Fischbein certainly had the right idea about spending time with your kids in the kitchen, we’ve been doing it for years and it’s a chilled way to catch up, bond, create new memories spiced with the joy of being together.

Enjoy!

SYR

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21
Dec
10

Soups as Comfort Food – Part 3


There are myriad types of soups, while I never intended an exhaustive listing when we started this series, while I realize there are far more types than I’m ever likely to try, this series only deals with some of my favorites from among those I’ve tasted. In this, the final installment of the series we will again feature two soups.

We chose all these recipes both because of their taste and the ease of preparation.

Last evening, at a cooking demo by Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum, I tasted her incredibly flavorful and very simple to prepare…

Aduki Bean Burdock Soup

Ingredients

  • 12 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground bay leaf
  • 2 cups aduki beans
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 celery root, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 large zucchini, cut in large chunks
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1 large piece burdock, peeled and cut in large chunks

Directions

  1. Bring all ingredients to boil in a wide heavy pot.
  2. Reduce to medium and cook covered for 1 hour.
  3. Cream the soup with an immersion blender.
  4. Adjust texture and seasonings.

If you do not have, if you cannot find burdock, you can substitute almost anything else. In spite of her recipe calling for burdock, Lévana – just to demonstrate the versatility of her recipe – used kale stalk instead

If you are like me you probably never heard of burdock before…What is burdock? For its culinary and medicinal properties look it up in the Wikipedia. Meanwhile, as the article says:

the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy wrote in his journal, in 1896, about a tiny shoot of burdock he saw in a ploughed field, “black from dust but still alive and red in the center … It makes me want to write. It asserts life to the end, and alone in the midst of the whole field, somehow or other had asserted it.”

For another of Chef Lévana’s superb soup recipes check out Quick Black Bean Chocolate Soup

To end this series I chose to adapt an Emeril Lagasse variation of the classic French Onion Soup on the Food Network :

Gratinee Lyonnaise (Lyon-style Onion Soup)

[adapted to conform with kashrus]

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup cognac
  • 8 cupspareve soup stock
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, tied into a bundle with kitchen string
  • 1/2 loaf French bread, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 pound Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2 egg yolks (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Port wine (optional)
  • Finely chopped parsley, garnish

Directions

In a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the cognac. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the alcohol has evaporated. Be careful as the cognac may ignite.

Add the soup stock and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the soup for 45 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, toast the bread slices until light golden brown. Remove from the oven.

Preheat the broiler.

When the soup is ready, divide 1/2 of the toasted bread slices between 6 individual ovenproof serving bowls or crocks and top with 1/2 of the grated cheese. Ladle some of the soup among the bowls and top with the remaining toasts. Ladle the remaining soup among the bowls and top with the remaining cheese. Place the bowls on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted, golden brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Optional topping:

In a small bowl combine the egg yolks and Port and whisk to thoroughly combine. Pour some of the mixture evenly among the soup bowls, stirring in around the edges so that it is incorporated into the soup. (The heat of the soup will cook the egg yolk and this will thicken and enrich the soup.)

Garnish the top with chopped parsley and serve hot.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

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19
Dec
10

Matbukha and Shakshuka


[When it comes to Moroccan dishes, there is hardly anyone who can come up to the level of Lévana Kirschenbaum. If you get the impression that The Kosher Scene looks up to her, well... having attended so many of her Monday night cooking demos, we truly do! Last Friday we posted 3 recipes for Shakshouka, frankly, that series could not possibly be complete without Lévana's take on the subject. CS]

Cooked tomato salad: Matbukha

Gluten Free, Pareve

This is one of our Moroccan favorite dishes, a sort of comfort food for ex-pats and honorary Sephardis alike: See how they mop that sauce with their bread! Shakshuka is nothing more than Matbukha with eggs scrambled into it and served as a main course, and gets its funny name from the Arabic word for “scramble.” Sometimes tomatoes get too expensive; in this case, it would be OK to use canned diced tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 2 red bell peppers, washed, cored, and seeded
  • 2–3 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, or 8 plum tomatoes, diced small (settle for 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, liquid and all)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Slice about ¼ inch off the pointed end of the head of garlic, leaving the cloves exposed.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil onto the garlic and the peppers, place them on a cookie sheet, and roast for 30 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and the peppers are charred (the peppers might be ready a few minutes before the garlic).
  4. Press the cloves out of their skins while still warm and mash with a fork.
  5. Peel the peppers and cut them into thin strips.
  6. In a heavy wide-bottom pot, bring the tomatoes, oil, and paprika to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium, add the roasted garlic and peppers, and cook covered for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. All of the water should evaporate, and the oil will resurface (if you neglect this step, you will not get the desired look and texture but a glorified tomato sauce).
  8. Add the freshly minced garlic and the salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Let cool and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Use a slotted spoon to serve so the oil stays behind. This will keep for up to two weeks.

Variation: Shakshuka

Gluten Free, Pareve

Stir 8 eggs into the Matbukha, mixing thoroughly with a wooden spoon, and cook just a few more minutes until the eggs are barely set. If you would rather end up with a more pristine look, leave the eggs whole, break them one by one, and set them over the mixture, close but not touching, and cook covered on a low flame until they look barely set.

Serve hot, alone, or with a good whole-grain bread, or on a bed of cooked (canned OK) white beans (except on Passover!).

Makes 8 servings.

CS

17
Dec
10

Shakshuka


When I lived in Israel, I discovered the Sephardic cuisine. Growing up in Uruguay, I had occasional eaten over by some of my Sefaradi friends but never encountered most of the delicacies I found in the Holy Land. One of this discoveries was Shakshouka, therefore I felt compelled to scour the web in search of easy recipes for it.

What is Shakshouka, you ask? Wikipedia describes it as:

Photo from: Wikipedia

Shakshouka (Arabic: شكشوكة‎; Hebrew: שקשוקה‎) (also shakshukashaqshuqa) is a dish from Maghreb consisting of eggs cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and spices (often including cumin, turmeric, and chillies), and usually served with white bread.

[..] Shakshouka is now a staple of Tunisian, Algerian, Egyptian, Moroccan, Somali, and Yemeni cuisines, and is also popular in Israel, where it was introduced by Tunisian Jews.

And here is the Wikibooks recipe for Shakshouka:

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons of frying olive oil
  • One tablespoon of sweet paprika
  • 6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • One large sweet red pepper diced
  • One Chili pepper (red or green) diced
  • 6 ripe tomatoes diced
  • Ground fresh black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 eggs

Procedure

  1. On a high flame, heat the oil for about half a minute.
  2. Add the paprika and blend well.
  3. Add the garlic and peppers, and turn to low flame. Cook for about ten minutes – until the peppers have slightly softened.
  4. Add the tomatoes and spice it with salt and pepper and then blend it.
  5. Bring it to a boil, taste it and if necessary – add spices to get the taste refined.
  6. Makes six dents in the mixture. Into each dent put an egg yolk, and spread the egg whites around.
  7. Continue to cook on low until the egg whites have coagulated.
  8. Serve the Shakshouka with black bread and fresh parsley.

From the Spanish language blog: Absolut Marruecos, we bring you this authentic Morrocan recipe:

Photo by: Absolut Marruecos

shakshuka con huevos

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 grated onion
  • 7 ounces water
  • 36 ounces tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon green pepper, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 eggs

Directions

  1. Sauté onion in very hot oil until just golden.
  2. In a pot add the water, tomatoes, let it boil for 5 minutes.
  3. In a separate pot cook the rice.
  4. Add the parsley, salt, pepper and green pepper.
  5. Carefully break the eggs one at a time and drop on the tomato pot.
  6. Cook for about 40 minutes on medium flame.

When Mia Cooks, adds an interesting variation:

Shakshuka

Ingredients

  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped bell pepper
  • 4 to 5 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup veg broth
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • coriander/cilantro leaves
  • Vegetable oil

Actually, it’d be better if you boil the tomatoes and then peel and chop them. But I forgot….heck, ok, I was too lazy.

  1. In a pan, heat a tbsp of vegetable oil.
  2. Add the chopped onions and bell pepper and saute for a few minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and veg broth.
  4. Add the peas and corn as well. Season with salt and chilli powder.
  5. Simmer and allow to cook till the corn and peas are cooked and there’s some liquid left.
  6. Break the eggs into the base.
  7. Break the yolks with a spoon, cover and simmer. If you like your eggs runny, remove it well under a minute. I don’t, so i let it cook for 2 minutes till it firmed up. Add chopped cilantro and serve with bread.

Enjoy gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

16
Dec
10

Cooking Pasta: Debunking the Myth


Part of coming of age and the endless struggle for self is the establishment and ascendance of individual truth, honing mind and temperament, discriminating fact from fancy, empirical evidence from legend and myth.

I thought I had arrived in so many ways and then reality hit me like a flung wet noodle against the wall of my existence. We’ll save for another venue all the charming folktales of my youth soberly and maturedly dispensed with. But there I was, sitting pretty on the comfy wine colored couch, reaching for a bleached white conch shell that sits atop a wicker woven basket poised for reminiscence, aside other brilliant priceless colored stones, crystals, odd shaped rocks and shells randomly picked for their momentary significance and tangible recall. As I held the conch to my ear, I heard the voice of my nine year old neighbor and friend – Batya – herself clearly establishing her own unique truth sets, say:

- You know, that’s not the sound of the ocean you’re hearing, that’s just the echo of the air in the shell.

- What??? That can’t possibly be true, I know it’s the ocean, the waves of the very ocean that the shell came from.

I was not going to let this cute but clearly misinformed enfant terrible wreck my personal objects de time machine recall. Of course, we did what sensible people  do in such circumstances, we checked Wikipedia online.

I shouldn’t have, I know it now….. there are certain life mysteries that are best left alone… but there it was, the total deflation of spirit and romance and everything that’s right with the world….”What you are actually hearing is the sound around you vibrating as an echo in the air within the shell.” Who the heck needed to hear that, to know that? Great! Take the technicolor out of my universe… Hey, absolute reality is not all it’s cracked up to be. I know a butterfly flitting it’s wings impacts the climate at  the opposite end of the globe, and I know with the ten percent of my brain operational part of my brain that yawning is contagious, chicken soup cures a cold and that the five second rule applies. So maybe being primordial isn’t such a bad thing… No such thing as fairy dust?!?!?!? P’shaaaaaawww! What a world, What a world!!!

So talking about cooking pasta. Here I was thinking I had reached maximum maturity when I learned that al dente is très chic, that the “if it sticks” rule really does work and that salt in boiling water is a good thing along with a few drops of oil, so that the pasta doesn’t stick. When I really pay attention, I even cover the pot after its come to a boil and let it stay on low simmer.

Anyway, here are a few things I’ve learned since. Feel free to write in and further debunk my myths.

  1. Use a one to four ratio of water to pasta – four parts water to one part of pasta. Pasta needs room to cook.
  2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of salt for each gallon of water.
  3. Bring it to mighty bubbling boil, and then let it simmer for a minute or two till done.
  4. Don’t add oil… get this: oil makes the pasta slick and then all the wonderful sauces can’t adhere to it.
  5. Furthermore, after you drain the pasta, don’t rinse it. The starchiness too is a binder for whatever you will be adding to your pasta dish. The only exception is when you are making a cold pasta salad, then it is preferable to rinse the pasta first.

See? Some things are worth knowing after all. By the way, that gum I swallowed approaching the shiva house… seven years until it dissolves. Well what you can’t see can’t hurt you, right? Right?

Stir Fry Beef on Penne Pasta (adpated from 6ix Passions)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into strips
  • 1 lb beef, cubed
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 8 broccoli florettes
  • Mango Salsa
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the penne pasta al dente (cooked through, tender, but still offering some resistance to the bite).
  2. Stir fry beef with Spanish red onion, mushrooms, red peppers and broccoli
  3. Toss on the pasta with mango salsa.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh parsley

Enjoy!

SYR

Stir-Fry Beef on Penne Past

13
Dec
10

Cornish Hen Recipe


I always liked Cornish hens, since their small size usually provides about one portion of meat per hen, it’s easy to figure out how many to use for a family, or if you are entertaining. It usually weighs 2 pounds or less AND is almost all white meat because of its enlarged breast. I also find every excuse I can to cook with wine so today I’ll share my Cornish Hen recipe (my kids’ favorite, when they still lived at home at the time I’d use 7, instead of 2, hens).

Cornish hen, a miniature hen. Photo from: Wikipedia.com

CS’ Wine, Orange and Herb Cornish Hens

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Cornish hens

Marinade

  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Elephant garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup of dry wine
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 large orange

Herbs

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh marjoram leaves
  • 1/4 stick margarine
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar or Natrazyle Xylitol
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Quarter the hens and place the pieces in a 9″ x 13″ baking tin
  2. In a blender combine all the marinade ingredients until thoroughly blended.
  3. Pour in over the hens, cover with plastic and marinade in fridge for 24 to 48 hours.
  4. After chicken has been marinated, combine the herb ingredients in a blender (or prepare ahead and store in a Ziploc bag) until thoroughly mixed.
  5. When done add salt to taste.
  6. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  7. Take marinated hens out and keep out of refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Put hen pieces in a single layer (with the skin on top) in a roasting pan.
  9. Sprinkle herb mixture over the pieces
  10. Roast for 10 minutes
  11. Reduce heat to 350 F, and continue roasting for 15-20 minutes or until the juices run clear. Don’t forget to baste thoroughly at least a couple of times.
  12. Remove from oven, you may want to garnish pieces with fresh parsley leaves and serve.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

Wine, Orange and Herbs Cornish Hens (Kosher)




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