Kulich – a Russian Purim Challah

They tried to kill us…we survived…let’s eat! Ah, the story of many a Jewish holiday.  And Purim is no exception. The most familiar food is hamantaschen, or Haman’s hats.

20140308-164818.jpg

Russian Jews also make a sweet Challah braided to symbolize the rope Haman was going to use to hang Mordechai, but was instead used to hang Haman.  I decided to bake a kulich this year –  a 6-strand braid.

IMG_9411

 

So…let’s eat!

Kulich

½ cups warm water

1 T dry yeast

½ cup sugar

3 eggs

½ t salt

½ cup vegetable oil

3-4 cups flour

Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Directions

Pour water into mixing bowl, and sprinkle with yeast and sugar. Wait ten minutes until bubbly.

Add 2 eggs, salt, oil and half the flour. Mix (by hand or with an electric mixer with bread hook attachment) until combined. Add more flour, a little at a time, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise one hour. Briefly knead dough, then let rise, covered, for another hour.

Divide dough into six parts,

IMG_9406

and roll each into long strands.

IMG_9407

Pinch together at one end, then braid the strands. (Alternate crossing the right strand over the three to its left, then the left strand over the three to its right.)

IMG_9408

Pinch together at the bottom when done.

IMG_9409

Place on a cookie sheet, cover, and let rise one more hour. Beat remaining egg, and brush it over the loaf to glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

IMG_9410

Preheat oven to 350 F, and bake approx. 45 minutes, until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Enjoy!

IMG_9411

Makes one large loaf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Bread, Kosher, Purim, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Hamantaschen

With Purim coming on Thursday, Sunday was Hamantaschen baking day. I decided to make 2 different types this year, date-filled and Chocolate & Peanut Butter.  The CPB’s came out surprisingly well.  The texture is great, it is like eating a cookie version of a reese’s cup.

IMG_9403

The dough itself was delicious, just the perfect amount of chocolate and not too sweet.   The sweetness if left to the peanut butter filling.  That was so good I could not bring myself to discard the extra.  Not sure yet what I will do with it, but it will be something.

IMG_9400

I can’t wait to share these with friends….otherwise I will eat them all!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Hamantaschen

by Amy Spiro, in The Jewish Week

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2/3 cup milk

1/3 cup confectioners sugar

Directions

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix until completely  combined.

IMG_9388

Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.

For the filling, beat together the peanut butter, milk (or soy milk) and icing sugar and smooth. (If you’re having trouble getting it smooth microwave the mixture for about 10 seconds.)

IMG_9390

Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper until about ¼“ thick. Use a round cookie cutter or glass to cut out as many shapes as possible.

IMG_9396

Place a scant teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle, and

IMG_9397

fold up the three sides to form the triangle shape. Make sure to pinch each corner closed so it seals.

IMG_9398

Bake on 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute then remove to a wire rack and cool complete

IMG_9401

Share and Enjoy!

IMG_9403

Makes about 3 dozen.

Categories: Dessert, Kosher, Purim, Recipe, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Mediterranean-style Tuna Sandwich

I have returned from the land of Northern Lights but am having a difficult time getting back into the swing of cooking.  So, I will share a simple sandwich recipe with you that I greatly enjoy; and, it continues the fish theme I have had to my eating for the past week or so.  I was greatly inspired by many of the dishes we ate and will hopefully be able to create some dishes that will be worthy of sharing (even if it is just a recreation of the delicious chive butter we had with dinner one night).  Below is a picture of a simple, yet sumptuous sauce we had with smoked cod – leek and egg sauce.

IMG_9264

While I work on getting back in the mood to be cooking rather than cross country skiing, I will share one of our Northern Lights pictures – I miss them already.  But for now, check out this tuna sandwich, it really is good!

IMG_9372-0

Every time I eat canned tuna I remember that I love canned tuna.  So, why do I eat it so seldom?  Why is it one of the last things I think of when I am figuring out what I want for lunch? What about tuna casseroles?  Even taking the tuna eating guidelines of no more than 3 servings per month for children my son’s age, we don’t come close, it is more like 3 servings per year. If you want more information on this, you can check out the Environmental Defense Fund EDF Seafood Selector.  There are other sites with more information, but I find this site pretty straightforward and easy to use.

That said, I made some nice tuna sandwiches for dinner. Tuna sandwich for dinner?  Yes, these are quite filling and satisfying.  They are rich with mediterranean flavors:  marinated artichokes, olives, pickled red pepper, and oregano.  20140716-193034-70234334.jpgThe key to these is to use a good french bread, and to press it with weight while it sits for about 1/2 hour. And, honestly, they are even better the next day (warp when up and put them in the fridge overnight.  Bring back to room temperature to eat).20140716-193035-70235341.jpgI served it with some baked parmesan squash (some day I will need to blog the squash recipe, it was yummy, I just need to perfect the technique a bit more).  It was a happy dinner.20140716-193035-70235803.jpgMediterranean-style Tuna Sandwiches

2 6-ounce cans tuna, drained well

1/3 cup chopped onion (red or white)

1/3 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

4 or 5 Kalamata olives, chopped

1/4 cup pickled red pepper, chopped (you can use roasted red pepper)

2 tsp dried parsley (from the garden)

3/4 tsp dried oregano (from the garden)

1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

I french bread loaf, sliced in half lengthwise

Directions

Combine the tuna, the veggies, herbs, oil and vinegar in a bowl. Mix well with a fork, breaking up the tuna, it necessary.20140716-193034-70234654.jpgTop the bottom half of the bread with the tuna mixture.20140716-193034-70234995.jpgCover with the top half and cut into 2 inch wide slices. Press, cover with weight (e.g, a plate with something heavy on top) and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.   20140716-193035-70235341.jpgServe and enjoy!20140716-193035-70235803.jpgServes 4.

 

 

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

Kale, Spinach & White Bean Soup with Fontina

As you read this, I am in Alta, Norway, above the Arctic Circle.  I am hoping to enjoy some interesting food experiences to share, and maybe some new ideas to try.  I will be back with more new posts at the end of the month.

alta

For now I will leave you with my riff on another Martha Stewart recipe from the magazine I bought for the date recipes: her Bruleed Winter Bean Soup.  My version has quite different proportions of the veggies and uses Fontina in place of Asiago:

IMG_9051

It feels like a cross between minestrone and French onion soup, but amped up with lots of spinach and kale.  It was so hearty and satisfying, I could eat this just about every day! Especially when I put it in the cute cat bowls I bought for my parents back when I was in college.

IMG_9052

Kale, Spinach & White Bean Soup with Fontina

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Bruleed Winter Bean Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

15-oz can diced tomatoes

2-inch piece Parmesan rind

15-oz can small white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

12 ounces baby kale & spinach mixed, (about 8 – 10 cups)

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

4 slices country bread, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Fontina

Directions

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.

IMG_9044

Stir in tomatoes with juices; cook 1 minute.

IMG_9045

Add 4 cups water and Parmesan rind. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.

IMG_9046

Stir in beans and kale; cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_9047

Heat broiler. Spread bread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Place under broiler and toast, tossing once, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

IMG_9048

Divide soup, croutons, and Fontina among 4 ovenproof bowls; drizzle each with oil.

IMG_9049

Broil until melted, about 1 minute; serve and enjoy!

IMG_9053-0     

Serves 4    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Carrot, Kale, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Soup, Spinach, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Refrigerator Oatmeals

I always have grand plans for what healthy dish I will make myself for breakfast; but when morning rolls around, I end up with toast and nut butter or an egg and toast. Easy, simple, fast (I always wake up hungry). But then I found recipes for refrigerator oatmeals on The Yummy Life blog. They are made the night before, put in the fridge, then are ready to be pulled out and enjoyed by my hungry self in the morning.

IMG_8928

Plus, I put them in my cute jelly jars, so the process of eating them makes me smile.

IMG_8996

Below are the recipes for some of my own refrigerator oatmeal combinations.

IMG_8985

Try these, or be creative with your own. The basic ingredients are ¼ cup oats, ¼ cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla), 1/3 – 1/2 cup liquid (milk, almond milk, etc), fruit, nuts or other filling, and honey or other sweetener. Put them all together in the jar and cover it, then shake the jar to combine.  Chill overnight. Enjoy!

 

Nutella Banana:

IMG_8997

¼ cup oats

¼ cup Greek yogurt

1/3 cup milk

1 Tbsp Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread

1/2 – 2/3 banana, chopped

Put all ingredients except banana together in the jar and cover it, then shake the jar vigorously to combine.  Add banana and stir. Chill overnight. Enjoy!

 

Fig & Walnut:

IMG_8985

¼ cup oats

¼ cup Greek yogurt

1/3 cup milk

1 Tbsp fig butter or jam

1 tsp honey

2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

1 dried fig, chopped

Put all ingredients together in the jar and cover it, then shake the jar to combine.  Chill overnight. Enjoy!

 

Apple, Cinnamon, Raisin:

IMG_9004

¼ cup oats

¼ cup Greek yogurt

1/3 cup milk

1 Tbsp raisins

1/4 cup grated apple (locally grown)

1 tsp honey

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Put all ingredients together in the jar and stir well.  Cover and shake the jar to further combine.  Chill overnight. Enjoy!

 

Apricot & Almond: (This was probably my surprise favorite)

IMG_9043

¼ cup oats

¼ cup Greek yogurt

1/3 cup almond milk

1 1/2 Tbsp chopped almonds

2 Tbsp chopped dried apricots

1 tsp honey

Put all ingredients together in the jar and stir well.  Cover and shake the jar to further combine.  Chill overnight. Enjoy!

 

Date, Fig and Grapenuts

IMG_9141

Note:  this is a change-up from oatmeal.  I couldn’t resist making a date-fig ‘pudding’ by replacing the oatmeal with grapenuts. It was luscious!

¼ cup grapenuts

¼ cup Greek yogurt

1/3 cup milk

2 dates, chopped

1 fig, chopped

1/2 tsp vanilla

Put all ingredients together in the jar and stir well.  Cover and shake the jar to further combine.  Chill overnight. Enjoy!

 

 

Categories: Apples, Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Soy-Citrus Chicken

The vote on this was unanimous – the chicken was great, but use rice not rice noodles.IMG_8992

The original recipe called for rice noodles, thus that is what you will see in these pictures.  Ignore that, this is a perfect dish to have with rice.

It was so easy to make and so tasty! Light and refreshing, yet very satisfying. It was another of my attempts to add new greens to our meals, this time being watercress.  I found I did not like the watercress by itself, but it went very well with the flavors in the sauce.  So I will definitely keep it when I switch to rice.

IMG_8990

A side benefit from making this dish, I had enough orange slices and lemon left over to make a nice citrus water to enjoy throughout the day.

IMG_8988

Slow Cooker Soy-Citrus Chicken

Food Network Magazine

1 orange, halved and thinly sliced

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (5 to 6 thighs) (raised locally)

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup sweet chili sauce

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 1 -inch piece ginger, peeled and minced

3 cloves garlic, minced (from the garden)

1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped

Cooked Rice for serving

Directions

Lay the orange slices in a 6-quart slow cooker.IMG_8986

Toss the chicken with the flour, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl; add to the slow cooker in a single layer.

Combine the chili sauce, soy sauce, ginger and garlic in a bowl; pour over the chicken.IMG_8987

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low, 7 hours. Uncover and gently stir, breaking up the chicken into large pieces; let stand 10 minutes.

IMG_8989

To serve, toss rice with the watercress.

IMG_8991

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Serve over the rice. Enjoy!

IMG_8993

Serves 4.

 

 

 

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

Baby Spinach & Kale Omelet

Breakfast for dinner or breakfast for breakfast.  Omelets work for both.

IMG_8936

So simple, yet so tasty, omelets are often my fallback to use whatever I have around.  This time it was spinach and kale, local eggs, aged cheddar and pepper jack cheese. My husband opted for the cheddar, and me, the kick of the pepper jack. But the star of the show was the sauteed baby spinach and kale.

IMG_8930

This was a happy, happy dinner for us.

As I post this, I am in Florida having some serious garden envy. The restaurant at our hotel has it’s own organic garden with kale and eggplant plants so healthy. Mine are never this pretty.

2015/02/img_9119-0.jpg

2015/02/img_9120-0.jpg

But I was happy to see that their tomato plants get as crazy as mine.

2015/02/img_9075.jpg

Baby Spinach & Kale Omelet

For each omelet:

3 – 4 cups of baby spinach & kale

1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp butter (locally made)

2 or 3 eggs (locally raised)

2 ounces cheese, shredded (cheddar, pepper jack or other)

Directions

In a 10 inch non-stick skillet, heat the oil.  Saute the greens and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.IMG_8930

In a small bowl, gently beat the eggs. Season with a little salt.IMG_8931

Heat the same pan over medium to medium high heat.  Add the butter, once it is melted, brush it all over the pan with a pastry brush.  Add the eggs and cook, lifting the side and letting the egg fill in underneath, until just about set. Place the spinach down the center of the omelet and the cheese along either side of the spinach.

IMG_8932

Gently fold each side over the center, creating a “package”.

IMG_8933

Slide off the plate and serve. Enjoy!

IMG_8936

Categories: Breakfast, Kale, Kosher, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Citrus Chicken with Dates and Olives

Who would have imagined that Martha Stewart would have included some great recipes for Tu B’Shevat in her magazine that came out just before the holiday?  Yep, the highlight of the month was dates (which is why I bought the magazine).  So this is what we ate for our Tu B’Shevat dinner – an adaptation of Martha’s Roasted Chicken with Dates, Citrus and Olives.

IMG_9041

It was really, really tasty, especially when I mixed everything together, including the orange pulp.

So here are the tree fruits in this dish – preparing it was pleasing to both my eyes and my nose.

IMG_9035

Citrus Chicken with Dates & Olives

Adapted from Martha Stewart.com Roasted Chicken with Dates, Citrus, and Olives

1 1/2 – 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 lemon, quartered

1 orange, quartered, plus 1/4 cup fresh juice 

1/8 cup dry white wine

5 large soft dates, such as medjool or khadrawi, halved and pitted

1 tsp dried thyme (from the garden)

2 cup large green olives, halved and pitted

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a roasting pan or oven-safe dish, season chicken with salt and pepper; drizzle with oil. Squeeze lemon and orange over chicken, then add fruit to pan.

IMG_9036

Add wine, orange juice, half of dates, and thyme. Roast 25  minutes.

IMG_9037

 

Remove pan from oven; rotate chicken pieces if browning unevenly. Add olives and remaining dates.

IMG_9038

Roast until thoroughly cooked, about 30-40 minutes more.Transfer chicken and citrus to a platter.

IMG_9039

 

Mash some of dates with the back of a wooden spoon, until sauce is thickened. Pour over chicken; serve.

IMG_9040

Serves 4.

IMG_9041

 

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

Tu B’Shevat Couscous Salad

Tu B’Shevat, the new year for the trees is here. It is traditional to eat tree fruits and also the seven species listed in the Torah: Dates, Figs, Barley, Wheat, Grapes, Pomegranates and Olives.  This makes me very happy since, as you probably have realized by now, I LOVE dates and figs.

IMG_9026

Grapes, pomegranates and olives are not too far behind, so this is heaven…

IMG_9028

I found this salad, on the Joy of Kosher website – Shivat HaMinim Salad.  It was great.  Even down to the Grape Nuts to add a much-needed crunch.

IMG_9031

My husband, who usually does not like fruit in his dinner, really enjoyed this salad – that says a lot. Surprisingly, it was not sweet, it tasted “rich.”

IMG_9032

So, enjoy all seven species in one salad and have a joyous kick-off to the new year for the trees.

Tu B’Shevat Couscous Salad

Shivat HaMinim Salad by Jamie Geller on Joy of Cooking

3 cups cooked Israeli couscous, referrably whole wheat

1/4 cup dried figs, chopped 

1/4 cup pitted dates, sliced in rings or chopped

1/4 cup seedless grapes, halved

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon country Dijon mustard

1/4 cup wheat and barley nuggets cereal (such as Grape-Nuts)

2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped

Directions

Combine barley, figs, dates, grapes and pomegranate seeds in a large bowl.

IMG_9029

Place oil, honey, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over barley salad and toss to coat well.

IMG_9030

Just before serving add cereal and toss to evenly distribute. Garnish with parsely leaves and enjoy!

IMG_9032

Serves 4 – 6

IMG_9033

 

Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Braised Escarole with Tomatoes

 

 

 

I have been trying to add more greens to our meals.  Surprisingly, they are usually something Cam will easily eat. He loves spinach and kale, so I figured I would try escarole.  He didn’t care for it, but my husband and I loved it, so I decided to share it with you.

2015/01/img_8951.jpgI don’t know what I ever did before I had a seemingly endless supply of home-grown garlic. This was Transylvanian garlic, I have been very happy with the flavor.

2015/01/img_8948.jpgWe had this the other night to add some color and another texture to our cornmeal-crusted tilapia. It really was a nice, tasty dinner.

IMG_8962

 

Braised Escarole with Tomatoes

Slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine

3 garlic cloves, sliced (from the garden)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 large head escarole, chopped

Kosher salt

Red pepper flakes

14 oz can diced tomatoes

1/2 tsp dried oregano (from the garden)

Grated parmesan (optional)

Directions
Cook the garlic cloves in olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until golden. Add chopped escarole in batches, season with salt and red pepper flakes and cook until just wilted, 3 minutes.

2015/01/img_8949.jpg

Add the diced tomatoes and dried oregano and cook until the liquid is reduced, 7 minutes. Season with salt. Drizzle with olive oil and top with grated parmesan if you want.

2015/01/img_8950.jpg

Serve and enjoy!

2015/01/img_8951.jpg

Serves 4.

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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 436 other followers

%d bloggers like this: