Monthly Archives: April 2015

Bucatini with Crispy Breadcrumbs and Crispy Eggs

This dish is amazing.


The great bite of bucatini, the creaminess of the egg yolk running through the pasta and the crispiness of the breadcrumbs. I will say it again, this is amazing.

If you are not familiar with it, bucatini is a spaghetti-like pasta that has a hole running through the middle.  If you cannot find bucatini, spaghetti will work just fine.

Olive oil fried eggs have been my new favorite preparation since I first tried them in the fall.  Again, the mix of crispy and creamy is so pleasing.


This is comfort food at its best.  Thank you to Smitten Kitchen for the recipe this is adapted from.

Bucatini with Crispy Breadcrumbs and Crispy Eggs

adapted from spaghetti pangrattato with crispy eggs on Smitten Kitchen

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large or 4 small garlic cloves, minced (from the garden)
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
Few gratings lemon zest

Crispy Egg
1 glug of olive oil per egg
4 eggs (locally raised)
Salt and pepper

Pasta and Assembly
12 ounces bucatini
1 tablespoon olive oil
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano to taste


Make crispy breadcrumbs: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and let sizzle for barely a minute, just until it begins to turn a pale golden color. Add breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and lemon zest and reduce heat to low, cooking mixture slowly until all of the crumbs are an even golden color, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.


Cook pasta: Bring a large pot of well salted water to a generous boil and cook pasta until al dente about 1 to 2 minutes shy of package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water before draining pasta.

Meanwhile, make crispy eggs: Wipe out breadcrumbs skillet. Return to stove over high heat and add a generous glug of olive oil per egg. Once hot enough that the oil begins to smoke, add egg(s). They’re going to hiss and splatter so step back as soon as you do. Carefully spoon some of the cooking oil over the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. In 1 to 2 minutes, the egg(s) will be brown and very crisp underneath and around the edges. Slide a slotted or holed spatula underneath the eggs, one at a time, being careful not to break the yolk. Transfer cooked eggs to paper towels to drain.


Assemble: Once pasta is drained, return it to the empty pot with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the reserved cooking water. Over high heat, toss with parsley for 1 minute.


Divide among bowls or plates. Sprinkle with cheese, then breadcrumbs. Place an egg over each dish. Eat immediately. Enjoy!


Serves 4.






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

Add a little Za’atar

Za’atar  – my favorite explanation of Za’atar comes from Saad Fayed on, “Za’atar to Middle Eastern cooking is like what Essence is to Emeril. Za’atar is a spice blend that is so versatile! It can be used on meats, veggies, rice, and breads. And, yes, it has been known to make me yell “Bam!” every once in a while.”


What is in Za’atar varies based on country, region and family.  But, typically it contains oregano, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, marjoram and salt. And, as Saad said, it can make you say “Bam!”

I have shared posts using Za’atar previously…

Hummus with Za’atar


Israeli Salad with Za’atar


Salad with Spiced Chickpeas, Za’atar-Flavored Pita Croutons and Tahini Dressing


Now I have a “sprinkling” of uses to add some Middle Eastern flavor to everyday foods.

1. Bagel, Cream Cheese and Za’atar


2. Fried Egg with Za’atar


3. Scrambled Eggs with Za’atar









Categories: Kosher, Recipe | 3 Comments

The Challah Project: #1 Almond Honey Challah

I am not new to making challah, I have made and also posted quite a few, including some real treats such as Date Challah, Kulich, and Apple Cinnamon Challah. But now I am starting a project to try out different challah recipes, and create a few of my own, over the next year.  I want to work on my technique, learning to read the dough and perfect my braiding. I will likely not be able to make a challah a week, but whenever I am able, I will be making challah for our Friday night dinners.


So the first challah of my Challah Project is Almond Honey Challah.  Why did I start with this rather than a more traditional challah? Well, I had almond flour left over from Passover that I wanted to use and this challah is a mix of almond flour, whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour.


It was both beautiful and delicious, with a nutty flavor and texture.  Perfect with butter, but also great as a sandwich bread the next day.


So, it you have a challah recipe you really like, please share it!

Honey Almond Challah

By Miri Rotkovitz on

For the Challah Dough:

1 cup warm water (110 – 115° F)

1 packet active dry yeast

Pinch sugar

3 large eggs

1/3 cup neutral oil (such as grapeseed or canola), plus 1 tablespoon

1/2 c honey

2 teaspoons pure almond extract

4-1/2 – 5 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, or a mix of both, plus extra for kneading (I used half and half)

1 cup almond meal (aka almond flour)

2 teaspoons salt

For the Egg Wash:

1 large egg

1 tablespoon water

Pinch salt


Place the warm water in a large bowl. Add a pinch of sugar to the bowl and the yeast, and stir to combine. Set aside in a warm place for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the yeast bubbles and the surface of the water appears foamy. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 eggs, 1/3 cup oil, honey, almond extract, and salt.3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour(s), almond meal, and salt.

When the yeast mixture is foamy, add 2 cups of the flour mixture and the egg mixture, and whisk vigorously until well mixed and fairly smooth. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time, stirring with a sturdy wooden spoon after each addition, until a shaggy dough forms and begins to pull into a ball. (Depending on the ambient humidity and the sort of flour you choose, you may not need all of the flour. If the dough is very wet or sticky, add it by the quarter cup, stirring after each addition. If not, just use it to dust your work surface.)

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. With clean, floured hands, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, and no traces of flour remain on the surface, about 5 to 10 minutes. Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes while you clean and dry the large mixing bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the bowl. Place the challah dough in the bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the dough has risen to at least double its bulk, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Punch the dough down. Lightly grease one or two baking sheets, or line with parchment paper. Shape or braid the dough as desired. (The recipe will make 1 large challah, 2 medium challot, 1 medium challah plus 6 challah rolls, or 12 rolls.)

Place the shaped challot and/or rolls on the baking sheet(s) and cover with clean, dry tea towels. Allow to rise until at least doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. While the oven is heating, make the egg wash: whisk together the egg, water and salt. Brush over the challah with a pastry brush. Bake the challah until the crust is a deep golden brown, and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 to 35 minutes for a large challah, 20 to 25 minutes for a medium challah, and 15 to 20 minutes for rolls. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!




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

Wheat Berry and Broccolini Salad with Eggs

Farmer Kim eggs are back! Receiving the “do you want eggs” text made my day! To celebrate, a dinner that is topped with beautiful fried fresh eggs!


I have come to really like wheat berries, their taste, their bite. They are a nice alternative to rice or pasta.


The other alternative vegetable we used tonight was broccolini.  I do not often find broccolini that looks good, but this was a very nice bunch. If you can’t find it, you can also use regular broccoli, just cut up the stem into small pieces.IMG_9752

The wheat berry broccolini salad is served at room temperature with a red wine vinegar dressing. It would make a very nice side dish on its own.  But topped with a Farmer Kim egg – yum!

Wheat Berry and Broccolini Salad with Eggs

adapted from’s Farro Salad with Broccoli Raab and Poached Egg

3/4 cup wheat berried

Kosher salt

1 bunch, about 3/4 lb, broccolini

1/4 cup plus 3 Tbs, extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (from the garden)

1-1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 to 4 very fresh eggs (from Farmer Kim)

Lemon pepper, for sprinkling


Cook the wheat berries according to package directions.  Lay out on a parchment-line baking sheet to come to room temperature.


Trim the ends of the stems of the broccolini; cut the remaining stems crosswise into 1⁄2-inch segments. Wash and drain the broccolini, leaving the water clinging the pieces.

Warm a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbs. olive oil, swirl to coat the pan, and add the broccolini. When it starts it wilr, season it with salt, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. The residual water from washing should be enough to cook the broccolini, but if the pan dries out before it is cooked, add a splash more water as necessary. Cook about 6 – 8 minutes, until tender.


When the broccolini is done, push it to the side to clear a space in the center of the pan, add 1 Tbs. of the oil and the garlic, and sauté just until you smell the garlic, about 1 minute. Stir the broccolini into the garlic and remove from the heat.


Put the wheat berries and broccolini in a large bowl.

Put 1-1⁄2 Tbs. of the vinegar in a small bowl and season with salt. Whisk in the remaining 1⁄4 cup olive oil.


Drizzle the vinaigrette on the wheat berries and broccolini, and stir gently to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt or vinegar if necessary. Set aside at room temperature.


Wipe out the saute pan and heat over medium high heat.  Add 1 – 2 Tbsp of oil.  Fry the eggs until the white is crisped and the yolk heated through. Cook according to the directions in Olive Oil Fried Eggs.

Stir the wheat berry salad once more and spoon into shallow serving bowls. Top with 1 or 2 eggs. Season with salt and lemon pepper. Serve immediately and Enjoy.


Serves 2 as a main dish.







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

Baked Farro and Butternut Squash

I picked up a beautiful butternut squash at Highland Orchards, big enough for 2 meals.  For the first, I made Ina Garten’s Baked Farro & Butternut Squash.  Of course, I was out of farro, so it was really red wheat berries and butternut squash, but that didn’t matter, it was delicious!


The taste, the texture, it was perfect.  It is a definite keeper!

Baked Farro and Butternut Squash

Ina Garten

6 slices smoked beef bacon (she used applewood smoked bacon)

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups pearled farro (or red wheat berries)

3 cups good chicken stock

3 cups (3/4-to-1-inch-diced) peeled butternut squash (from Highland Orchards)

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the bacon on a baking rack set on a sheet pan and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned. Cut the bacon in very large dice.


Meanwhile, in a 9-inch Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until tender and starting to brown. Add the thyme, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook for 1 minute.


Add the farro and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Place the squash on top of the farro mixture, cover, and bake in the same oven with the bacon for 30 minutes, until the squash and farro are tender. Check once during cooking and add a little chicken stock if it’s dry. Sprinkle the bacon and parmesan on the squash and farro.


Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates, the farro and butternut squash are tender, and the cheese has melted.


Serve hot directly from the pot. Enjoy!


Serves 4 as a main dish.

Categories: Butternut Squash, Main Dish, Recipe | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Quick Braised Asparagus, Green Beans, Edamame and Spinach

Spring has finally arrived in Delaware! And with it, the ability to get my garden tilled and ready for the main spring planing. My husband spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine while the tiller shook his arm so much that his fitbit thought he did 27,000 steps!


While he was busy in my garden (ok, our garden), I accompanied Cam to his first official race, a 1/4 mile race for kindergarteners and 1st graders.  Part of the Healthy Kids Running Series – what a great event this was.  He absolutely loved it. And announced that he would practice running in our neighborhood so he can get faster.


Spring also means that my local farm market is now open, so I now had green beans and asparagus from Fifer Orchards.  I decided to combine them with some edamame I had in the freezer and baby spinach as a side dish to have with our dinner.


Quick Braised Asparagus, Green Beans, Edamame and Spinach

Adapted from Curtis Stone’s Quick-Braised Spring Vegetables

4 scallions, trimmed and sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (from my garden)

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth

8 ounces asparagus, woody ends trimmed, stalks cut into 1 1⁄2-inch pieces

1 cup green beans trimmed and halved crosswise (from Fifer Orchards)

1 cup shelled frozen edamame

4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground citrus pepper (or black pepper)

Kosher salt


In a large heavy skillet, combine the scallions, garlic, oil, and broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook for about
2 minutes, or until the scallion softens.

Add the asparagus, green beans, and edamame, cover for one minute, then uncover and sauté for about
2 minutes, or until the beans and peas are heated through.


Add the spinach and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until the spinach wilts and the asparagus is crisp-tender.


Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serves 3 – 6.

Categories: Asparagus, Edamame, Green Beans, Kosher, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Microwave Potato Chips

While Cam and I were home on our spring “staycation”, I decided to try making a treat I had recently seen – microwave potato chips.  No matter how many times I heard that they tasted just like chips out of the bag, I was skeptical.  And my first few batches confirmed my skepticism – they were just not crisping up right.  I tried a variety of different recipes, then decided to follow my own instincts, and…wow! It was snacking time!


Is that a perfect chip or not?! They were crispy and full of flavor.  In fact, Cam took the bowl and basically threatened me if I ate any of “his” chips.  The best part – these are healthy (another plus – Kosher for Passover).

Microwave Potato Chips

1 russet potato (or as many as you want to make, a medium russet makes about 60 chips)

Bowl of cold water

Olive oil mister (if you do not have one use an olive oil cooking spray)

Kosher salt


Scrub the potato and slice very thin using a mandoline (I did about 1/16th inch thick). It works easiest if you cut the potato in half and slice one-half, place them in a bowl of cold water, then do the same with the other half.


Rinse the potatoes until the water runs clear, typically 3 water changes in the bowl.  Dry the potatoes using a salad spinner (or in a single layer between 2 clean dish towels).


Line a microwave dinner plate with paper towels.  Lay the potatoes out in 1 layer, not touching each other.  Spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. One potato will take about 4 batches to make.


Microwave for 4 minutes. Flip and microwave for another 3 minutes – checking after 2 minutes to remove any chips that have crisped up and browned. Lay out on another plate to cool.




Categories: Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Cabbage Leek Latkes topped with Asparagus and Eggs

It is always fun when leftovers turn into a tasty new meal.  I had planned on a Passover meatloaf for dinner, but the meat was not yet defrosted, so I checked my vegetable bin – half a cabbage and 1 leek unclaimed for any other meal. Add an egg and some matzoh meal, and I’d have cabbage leek latkes.


We had also stopped at Fifer Orchards for some fresh asparagus (one of my favorite foods they grow) and added local eggs for a tasty dinner stack.


Cabbage Leek Latkes topped with Asparagus and Eggs

3 cups of finely shredded cabbage

1 leek, white and light green parts, cut into matchsticks

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs, locally raised

1/4 cup matzoh meal

Canola oil

1 lb asparagus (from Fifer Orchards)

6 – 8 eggs


Place the cabbage and leek in a bowl. Mix in matzoh meal and eggs and season with salt and pepper.  The mixing is really best done with your hands.


Heat 1 – 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

For each latke, pile about 1/3 cup of the mixture onto the skillet.  Press down to form patties.


Cook until browned, about 4 minutes.  Turn and cook until the other side is browned – between 2 – 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel and keep warm in the oven.


Meanwhile, steam the asparagus for about 4 minutes.  Then pan sear in the same skillet used to cook the latkes.  Remove from skillet and add to the tray with the latkes to keep warm in the oven.

Cook the eggs to your liking, I did fried eggs, but poached, sunny-side up, or over easy all would work well.  Season to taste.

To serve, place a latke on the plate, top with asparagus and then the egg or eggs.  Enjoy!IMG_9669

Serves 4.



Categories: Asparagus, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Leeks, Main Dish, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 2 Comments

Joan Nathan’s Almond Cake with Figs, Orange and Honey for Passover

Passover desserts have never been one of my strengths, but since I was heading to upstate New York for the holiday, I needed something easy to transport.  So, a cake it would be. And I would trust the ultimate Jewish cookbook writer to guide me…Joan Nathan.

There would be no wheat flour in this cake, only almond flour and a little matzoh meal. But there would be lots of nuts…in addition to the almonds, there are hazelnuts, pistachios and pine nuts.


I was really worried when I brought the cake to the Seder, I had no idea how it would taste, whether it cooked correctly, etc. But my worries were unfounded, it was delicious and a big hit.

The cake is  supposed to be served with fig jam; it is hard to go wrong with fig jam. But honestly, it did not need it, it was so luscious and moist and flavorful on its own.

Now, that wasn’t the only cake I made.  My daughter’s birthday is during Passover this year and she loves carrot cake.  So, I used the carrot cake recipe from She was skeptical about a passover birthday cake, but this was a winner; it was delicious. (the colors on top are remnants from the birthday greeting)



Joan Nathan’s Almond Cake with Figs, Orange and Honey for Passover

7 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons matzo meal

2 cups almond flour

1 cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

6 large eggs, whites and yolks separated

2 tablespoons orange juice and zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt plus a pinch

½ cup honey

3 tablespoons Manischewitz wine

¼ cup roasted pistachios

¼ cup roasted hazelnuts

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup sugar

zest of 1 orange

¼ cup roasted pine nuts

2 cups fig jam


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and brush the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and dust the inside with 1 tablespoon of the matzo meal.

Whisk the remaining matzo meal, the almond flour, ¼ cup of the white sugar, and the brown sugar in a mixing bowl.


Put the egg yolks and ¼ cup more sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until thick and fluffy, approximately 6 minutes.  Then drizzle in the remaining 6 tablespoons of the olive oil, the orange juice with its zest and the lemon juice.


Fold the dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture.


In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until the whisks form soft peaks.  Slowly add ¼ cup sugar and keep beating until stiff peaks form.


Then fold the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. It should be a thick batter.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan ½ way up the sides and bake for 30 minutes.


While the cake is baking, mix the honey, wine and a pinch of each salt and pepper in a small saucepan and heat until the honey begins to bubble up. Remove this honey syrup from the heat and set aside to cool.

Put the pistachios, hazelnuts, cinnamon, zest of another orange and the remaining ¼ cup of sugar in a food processor equipped with a steel blade and pulse several times until the nuts are coarsely chopped.  Add the pine nuts and pulse once or twice so they get mixed in but are not pulverized.


Remove the cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack. While it is still hot, brush the cake with honey syrup and then sprinkle with the nut mixture all over the top. Enjoy!!




Categories: Dessert, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Passover, Recipe | 4 Comments

Passover Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


Cam has been in the mood for chocolate chip cookies, so why should he have to skip them on Passover.  It was tough to find Kosher for Passover chocolate chips in Delaware, so I ordered some online. Once I had the chips, these were so simple, just 5 ingredients:  almond butter, chips, brown sugar, eggs and salt.


About 20 minutes later…chewy cookies!


Best of all, they met Cam’s approval!


Passover Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

from Five Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup almond butter (kosher for passover)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (kosher for passover)

1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar

2 large eggs (locally raised)

1/2 tsp Kosher salt


Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, stir together all the ingredients.


Place dough in 1-Tbsp mounds 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.


Bake until puffed and tops are set, about 10-12 minutes.


Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.




Store in an airtight container up to 3 days (or, if you made them ahead like I did, freeze them until ready to eat).



Categories: Dessert, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Passover, Recipe | 1 Comment

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