Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos

This is probably the strangest use of cauliflower I have tried yet, but, it worked!

IMG_8227.JPG The cauliflower-lentil combo was surprisingly tasty. We all ended up making tortilla-less salad combos with it after eating a taco or two.

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It easily replaced beef and refried beans and was more flavorful and oh so healthy! In addition the leftovers made a really nice lunch the next day, heated and topped with some lettuce and feta.

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I was a little lazy.  The original recipe called for processing the cauliflower in a food processor; I didn’t feel like pulling it out so I used the blender that was on my counter and just did it in batches.  It worked fine, so you can actually do it either way. I like this picture, it kind of looks like abstract art…

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Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos

Adapted from Jason Andrew Wrobel on Cookingchannel.com.

  • 1 cup green or brown lentils
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and broken into florets (from Highland Orchards)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (from the garden)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (from the garden)
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1  teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 package hard or soft taco shells
  • 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce, for topping
  • Guacamole, using your favorite recipe

Directions

Rinse the lentils and drain well. Combine the lentils and 3 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain of excess water and set the lentils aside.

IMG_8225.JPGPulse the cauliflower in a food processor or blender until reduced to pieces the size of rice grains.IMG_8221.JPGHeat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapenos and cook until the onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.IMG_8222.JPGAdd the cauliflower, garlic, 2 teaspoons of the chili powder, 1 teaspoon of the cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of the coriander and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook until the cauliflower is tender, another 3 minutes.IMG_8223.JPG Add the cooked lentils to the cauliflower mixture. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon coriander. Stir in the salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes more to blend the flavors. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.IMG_8226.JPGScoop the taco filling into taco shells, top with some shredded romaine and a dollop of guacamole. Serve immediately and enjoy!IMG_8227.JPGServes 6 – 8.

 

Categories: Cauliflower, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Swiss Chard Cottage Cheese Puff

Ah, good ol’ swiss chard.  Yes, it has been growing in the garden all spring, summer, and now fall.  I got so tired of it by early summer, I pulled all but 2 of the plants and have been lopping them off every now and then.  But, there is no killing swiss chard (at least in my garden).  But now that all my other, more interesting, plants have wound down, it is nice to have it there to use again.

IMG_8202.JPGI am actually curious as to how long into the year the plants will keep coming back.  My garden is fairly sad looking right now.  I cleared out all the non-producing plants, so all that is left is:  Swiss chard, lima beans, jalapenos, some kale I am hoping to revive, 1 tomato plant, and the jerusalem artichokes, garlic and strawberries waiting for next spring. It is so ‘not pretty’ that I will not include any pictures of it.

But, back to the chard.  I decided to try something different…a swiss chard cottage cheese puff.IMG_8213.JPGWhat a great group of ingredients went into this…IMG_8203.JPGThe dish was surprisingly flavorful and filling. The 1 quart casserole easily fed the 4 of us.

Swiss Chard Cottage Cheese Puff

adapted from Rodale’s Basic Natural Foods Cookbook

2 tsp canola oil

1 clove garlic, minced (from the garden)

1/2 cup sliced scallions

1 stalk celery, sliced

4 cups chopped Swiss Chard leaves, stems removed (from the garden)

1 cup cottage cheese

3 Tbsp whole wheat flour

2 eggs (from Highland Orchards)

1/4 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

4 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic, scallions and celery and saute until very tender.IMG_8204.JPGAdd swiss chard and a few tablespoons of water.  Steam, tightly covered for 3 or 4 minutes, until chard is wilted and tender.IMG_8206.JPGRemove from heat and puree in a blender.IMG_8207.JPGCombine mixture with the cottage cheese, flour, eggs, and cheddar and beat until light and fluffy.IMG_8209.JPGPreheat oven to 350F.

Coat a 1-quart casserole with cooking spray.   Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp parmesan. Pour in mixture and sprinkle top with remaining 2 Tbsp parmesan.IMG_8210.JPGPlace casserole in a pan and pour hot water into the bottom of the pan until water reaches halfway up the sides of the casserole dish.IMG_8211.JPGBake for 1 hour or until puffed and golden brown. IMG_8212.JPGServe immediately.  Enjoy! IMG_8213.JPG Serves 4.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Swiss Chard, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Seeds

 

Ah, it is that time of year again.  Time for pumpkins IMG_7388and jack o’lanterns and…IMG_8267.JPGpumpkin seeds!IMG_8249.JPGI grew three nice pumpkins in my garden.  Each was destined for a different design to be carved; all selected by Cam, of course.  The first was carved by my oldest daughter – the headless horseman seen above.  She is a big fan of paprika potato chips (the kind we first found in Hungary on her 16th birthday trip); they are similar to BBQ chips, just much, much better.  So, with that in mind, I decided to make smoked paprika pumpkin seeds.

Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds from 1 medium – large pumpkin (from the garden)

2 tsp canola oil

2 tsp smoked paprika

pinch of cayenne

1/2 tsp kosher salt, adjust to taste

Directions

Clean the seeds, place in a colander, rinse and drain.

Heat the oven to 400F.

Spread the seeds on a rimmed baking sheet.  Place in the oven for 5 minutes.  Stir and return to the oven for another 4 minutes.  THe seeds should be nicely dried, not crisp. IMG_8246.JPGReduce oven to 350F.

Toss the seeds with canola oil.  Sprinkle with the spices and salt.IMG_8247.JPGBake for 15 minutes until crisp.

Remove from oven and cool on paper towels.  Enjoy!IMG_8248.JPG

 

 

 

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

White Pizza with Sweet Potato

Time to really shift gears into the fall harvest. It was a very good year for sweet potatoes.

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My first ode to the sweet potato – a white pizza with sweet potato as the topping.  Scrumptious! And I am not usually a fan of white pizza, but I loved this.

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White Pizza with Sweet Potato

adapted slightly from Sweet Potatoe & Fontina Pizza by Libby Walp in Taste of Home magazine

10 oz sweet potato (from the garden)

2 Tbsp water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tube refrigerated pizza crust

1 cup (4 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 cup (4 oz) shredded swiss cheese (or fontina)

2 tsp olive oil, divided

1 tsp minced fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed (from the garden)

1 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme (from the garden)

1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano

Directions

Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a 12-inch pizza pan.

Peel and cut the sweet potato into 1/4″ slices.  Cut each slice into 1/2″ wide strips.  IMG_8009.JPG

Place in a microwave safe dish, add water.  Microwave, covered, on high for 3 – 4 minutes or until potato is almost tender. Drain, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Unroll and press dough to fit the pizza pan. Sprinkle with mozzarella and swiss cheeses; drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil.

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Top with sweet potato; sprinkle with herbs. Drizzle with remaining 1 tsp olive oil.  Sprinkle with parmigiano reggiano.

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Bake on lowest oven rack for 12 – 15 minutes or until the crust is golden and cheese is melted.

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Serve and enjoy!

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Serves 4 – 6.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Parsley Walnut Pesto

What is still growing well in my garden?  Parsley!  The plants look beautiful and healthy.

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This pesto uses parsley and toasted walnuts in place of the basil and pine nuts.  Otherwise, it is basically the same recipe as basil pesto.

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The pesto has a stronger, sharper flavor; it was excellent.

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Parsley Walnut Pesto

2 cups parsley (from the garden)

1 clove garlic (from the garden)

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup Parmigiano reggiano, grated

Directions

Place the parsley, garlic, walnuts, salt and pepper in a food processor.

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Process until fine.

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With the processor running, add the olive oil.

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Add the cheese and pulse until well combined.

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Serve with pasta and enjoy!

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Makes 1 cup.

 

Categories: Kosher, Pesto, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Persian Eggplant and Okra Stew

The cool summer wreaked havoc on my tomatoes and okra; I had a harvest, but it was very small.  It totally destroyed my eggplants, I did not even get one.  I was so looking forward to trying this recipe, but kept waiting to see if I would get enough okra.  Finally, I decided to supplement both the okra and the eggplant with ones local farmers had better luck with than I did.

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Taste-wise, this is very similar to my Khoresh Bademjun – Eggplant Stew.  But the approach and texture is different.  This is more like the Khoresh Bademjun my sister-in-law makes.  I liked this, a lot.  I think I prefer mine, but when I want a change of pace, I will definitely come back to this approach.

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Persian Eggplant and Okra Stew

from Turmeric and Saffon

1 1/2 pound meat (lamb or beef), washed, trimmed and cubed
8 small size eggplants, peeled, leave whole or cut in half
1 pound okra, wash and trim the top
1-2 large tomatoes, skin removed and finely diced (from the garden)
2 large onions, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (from the garden)
2-3 freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of red pepper *optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil
Water

Directions

Place peeled eggplants in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let them drain for a couple of hours before cooking.

Heat 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the eggplants until golden brown. Remove and place fried eggplants on a paper towel.

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In the same skillet fry okra in 2-3 tablespoons of oil on medium heat until lightly brown. Set aside.

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In a large stew pot saute the chopped onions on medium-high heat until golden brown. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Stir well, add the minced garlic and saute for another few minutes.

Add the meat, salt, pepper and brown the meat on all sides.

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Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and add enough water to cover the meat by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for an hour on medium-low heat or until the meat is tender.

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Add the lime juice to the stew, stir and gently place the fried eggplants and okra in the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice. Add a little more water if necessary. Cover and simmer for another 30-40 minutes on low heat.

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To serve, gently spoon the stew in a large serving bowl. Serve hot with rice. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6

 

 

 

 

Categories: Eggplant, Kosher, Main Dish, Okra, Persian, Recipe, Tomatoes | 1 Comment

Pumpkin Challah

What better way to celebrate autumn and Shabbat during Sukkot than with a pumpkin challah?
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It gets its beautiful yellow-orange color from this pretty combination that gets mixed into the dough.IMG_8028.JPG
It was great, just enough pumpkin pie flavor to make it interesting, but not so much that it distracted from dinner. But…we can’t wait to use it in French toast. THAT will be amazing!

Pumpkin Challah

by Leah Koenig on MyJewishLearning.com

1 package yeast (7g)

2/3 cup warm water

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

3 3/4 cups unbleached flour

1/3 cups sugar

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg (+1 egg for glaze)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Sprinkle yeast into a small bowl and pour the warm water on it. Let stand for 10 minutes, then stir to dissolve.

Mix flour, cinnamon, and cardamom in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in yeast/water mixture.IMG_8025.JPGUsing a wooden spoon, incorporate some of the flour into the water–just enough to form a soft paste. (Don’t try to completely incorporate–there should be quite a bit of dry flour left at this point.)
IMG_8026.JPGCover bowl with a towel and leave until frothy and risen, about 20 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, oil, egg, and salt.
IMG_8027.JPGAdd to the risen flour mixture and combine thoroughly. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is pliable. (If it’s too wet, keep adding flour in small amounts.)
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Let dough rest 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly oil the bowl, put the dough in it and re-cover with the towel. Let dough rise in a warm place until it has tripled in size, 2-3 hours.
IMG_8177.JPGPunch down dough, knead it a bit more, and cut it into two equal pieces. Cut each of the two pieces into three equal pieces (You should have 6 total pieces at this point).
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Roll each piece into a straight rope.
IMG_8179.JPGBraid three ropes together and repeat so that you end up with two braided loaves.
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Sprinkle baking sheets with a little cornmeal, or line them with parchment paper. Place loaves on the sheets, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. Glaze loaves with extra beaten egg. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.IMG_8183.JPG

Makes 2 loaves.

Categories: Bread, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Recipe | Tags: | Leave a comment

Albaloo Polo (Persian Rice with Sour Cherries)

For a couple of weeks in June, sour cherries were available at the farmers market and some of the local farm markets.  When I saw them, I bought a bunch, pitted them and, since I was not going to use them right away, put them in the freezer.

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Then, I took them out…

[If you cannot get fresh sour cherries, you can find jarred sour cherries in middle eastern markets, or I even saw them at Trader Joes.  They tend to be packed in a syrup, so you need to pull back on any added sweetness in the recipe.]

Back to my frozen cherries…I took them out the night before to thaw, and then was ready to make some Albaloo Polo, aka sour cherry rice.  I had never had it before, but was quite eager to try some. I looked at several recipes, but decided upon Luisa Shafia’s Rice with Sour Cherries and Almonds from her book The New Persian Kitchen.

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It was very good.  Having never tasted it before, I made it with a couple of different salads – my Carrot Salad and a Persian cucumber-tomato-onion salad with mint and lime juice.  After tasting it, I think it would make a perfect side dish with roast chicken.  I will consider making it with my Honey Orange Roasted Chicken for Rosh Hashanah next year. I think that would make a very special dinner.

As a note – here is a close-up of the salad – the only dressing is crushed dried mint, lime juice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Delicious!

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Albaloo Polo (Persian Rice with Sour Cherries) 

very slightly adapted from The New Persian Kitchen by Luisa Shafia (Rice with Sour Cherries and Almonds)

2 cups white basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 1 hour

3 cups water

Sea salt

2 Tbsp butter at room temperature

1 pound fresh sour cherries, pitted (from Highland Orchards)

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted

1/2 tsp prepared saffron (ground and steeped in 1 Tbsp hot water)

Directions

Drain the rice and rinse it with cold water until the water runs clear.  You want to remove the excess starch.

In a pot (6 qt is good) bring the 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add the rice and return to a boil.  Turn down the heat to the lowest level, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.  Dot with butter and fluff with a fork.

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While the rice is cooking, put the cherries in a skillet and bring to a boil over high heat.  Turn down the heat to low and add the honey, cinnamon, cardamom, and 1 tsp salt.  Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the cooking liquid is very thick.

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Spoon the rice into a large bowl.  Fold in the cherries and their cooking liquid.

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Fold in the almonds and saffron and season with salt.

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Serve and enjoy!

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Serves 6 – 8 as a side dish.

Categories: Kosher, Persian, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Tale of Two Kugels

Sweet or Savory? Which kugel should rule?

This holiday I made a savory kugel for Rosh Hashanah

IMG_7923.JPGand my mother’s sweet pareve kugel for Yom Kippur.IMG_7998.JPGThe reviews are in… The savory Salt and Pepper Kugel was a great side dish.  It stood up well to foods with bold flavors and sauces.  And the paprika on top was a nice touch. The sweet Mom’s Noodle Kugel was an equal hit, standing up well to brisket and beckoning the next day for lunch. so the winner was…both!

Salt and Pepper Noodle Kugel

from myjewishlearning.com

1 12 ounce package of wide or extra wide egg noodles

2 Tbsp minced garlic (from the garden)

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

6 eggs (from Powers Farm)

paprika

3-4 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. When oven is heated, add 3-4 heaping Tbsp of olive oil to baking dish and place pan in oven for the oil to heat. This step will make for a crispier kugel.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook noodles as directed on package, around 7-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While noodles are cooking, whisk together eggs, garlic, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

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Add cooked noodles to egg mixture and mix gently until completely coated.

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Remove baking dish with hot oil from the oven and add noodles to the dish. It will sizzle slightly – this is a good thing. Sprinkle top with paprika.

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Bake for 40 minutes uncovered or until noodles are desired crispiness.

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Serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!

IMG_7923.JPGServes 8 – 10.

 

Mom’s Noodle Kugel

1/2 -3/4 lb medium-wide egg noodles

3 eggs, separated

1 cup raisins

1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar

1 – 2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Boil noodles.

Beat egg whites until peaks form.IMG_7992.JPGIn a large bowl, beat egg yolks, add sugar, spices and raisins, mix well.IMG_7993-0.JPGDrain noodles, add to egg yolk mixture.IMG_7994.JPGFold in egg whites.  IMG_7995.JPGTransfer to baking dish.IMG_7996.JPGBake for 45 minutes.IMG_7997.JPGCut into squares and serve.  Enjoy!IMG_7998.JPGServes 8 – 10.

Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Recipe, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Chicken with Parsnips and Leeks

I have debated posting this dish, but in the end taste has won out over looks. This is an ugly, boring-looking dish. That almost makes the fact of how flavorful it is even more surprising and enjoyable. Each time I would take a taste while I was cooking it, I was always caught off guard by the richness of the flavors that hit my mouth. I called my daughter over, gave her a parsnip and she was equally as surprised.

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The parsnips, leeks and sage all came right out of my garden, freshly harvested. They were beautiful, even if my leeks were thin (so I used more, but left the recipe at the amount for ‘normal-sized’ leeks).

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I was unable to find skin-on, bone-in thighs, so I had to use boneless, skinless. That added to the drabness of the dish’s looks, but reduced the fat without any noticeable loss of flavor.

We enjoyed this as part of our holiday meal, but it is very simple and could be done any night. It definitely goes well with rice. So…don’t let the looks stop you, this is worth a try!

Chicken with Parsnips and Leeks

from Whole Living, December 2012

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 lb skinless bone-in chicken thighs

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 leeks, white and pale green parts thinly sliced (2 cups) (from the garden)

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (from the garden)

10 fresh sage leaves (from the garden)

1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

2 cups cooked rice, for serving

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Cook until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes, and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and cook leeks until tender, about 4 minutes.

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Add vinegar and scrape up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add parsnips, sage, stock, and seared chicken and its juices and bring to a boil.

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Cover and transfer to oven. Braise until chicken and parsnips are very tender, about 50 minutes. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

IMG_7918-0.JPGServes 4

 

Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Leeks, Main Dish, Parsnips, Recipe, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur | Leave a comment

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