Monthly Archives: January 2016

Chicken and Rice with Almonds & Craisins

Fresh chicken from Highland Orchards served as the protein for my Persian-inspired pilaf for Tu B’Shevat.

To really make it Persian I would have used barberries instead of cranberries, but I did not think of that until too late to soak them. If you don’t have advieh, you can use allspice and cinnamon unequal parts. It is a subtle difference, but I prefer advieh.


This looked and smelled wonderful. And it was quite easy to prepare, so, enjoy!


Chicken and Rice with Almonds & Craisins

Adapted from Chicken Pilaf with Nuts and Craisins by Gitta Bixenspanner

1/3 tsp Kosher salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 1/2 lb  chicken skinless, boneless chicken breasts (from Highland Orchards)

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup slivered almonds

¼ cup craisins or soaked barberries

3/4 cups basmati rice

1/2 tsp advieh

¼ tsp ground cumin

1 cup chicken stock

3/4 cup water


Sprinkle salt and pepper all over chicken.


In large nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat, brown chicken, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plate.


In same pot sauté onion and garlic for 10 minutes or until brown; adding some oil if needed.


Stir in almonds and craisins; cook, stirring, until nuts darken, about 3 minutes.


Add rice, advieh, cumin and remaining salt; cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat grains.


Add stock and water. Nestle chicken in rice mixture; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is tender and juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 30 minutes (check after 20 minutes, you may need to add water or push the rice down into the liquid). Remove from heat; let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with fork.



Serves 4.




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

Roasted Butternut Squash, Jerusalem Artichoke and Kale…with Eggs (of course!)

A “from my garden” post in the middle of winter!!! Tonight’s dinner was a combination of my newly harvested Jerusalem artichokes and the last of my butternut squash with Farmer Kim’s eggs.

I harvested an amazing crop of Jerusalem artichokes Big, beautiful tubers that you will be seeing much of over the next few weeks.

One of the best ways to cook them is a simple roasting with olive oil, salt and pepper. So I used that for all the vegetables. I am always amazed at how many roasted vegetables we will eat. It is hard to resist the sweet flavor and crisp-soft texture that roasting brings out.

Comfort food…another happy meal.

RoastedButternut Squash, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale and Eggs

½ Butternut squash (from the garden), peeled and chopped

½ – 3/4 lb Jerusalem artichokes (from the garden), scrubbed and chopped

1-2 Leeks, sliced ½” thick

2 1/2 Tbsp Olive oil, separated

Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1 bunch Kale, stems removed and leaves torn

4-6 eggs, from Farmer Kim


Preheat the oven to 400F.

Toss the butternut squash, leeks and Jerusalem artichokes with 1 Tbsp oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Roast for 45 minutes, stirring and turning the vegetables every 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the kale with 1/2 Tbsp of oil, a little salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a second rimmed baking sheet.

Add the the oven for the final 15 minutes of roasting the root vegetables.

Mix all the cooked vegetables together.

Heat the final Tbsp of oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Cook the eggs (in batches if necessary) either sunny-side up or over easy (until the yolks are just cooked, but still soft and runny).

To serve – place the vegetables on each plate and top with 1 or 2 eggs. Enjoy!

Serves 2 – 4.

Categories: Butternut Squash, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kosher, Leeks, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Pickle Grilled Cheese

The food I remember loving the most in the whole wide world since as far back as I can remember is pickles.  Dill pickles, half sour pickles…all I can remember is my father yelling at me for eating all the pickles.  The best part of passover was the buckets of pickles my Uncle Heshey would bring us from the Pickle Lady on NY’s Lower East Side. Ah, pickles.

So, imagine my interest when I saw Daphne Oz’s Cheesy Pickle Sandwiches.

I made a whole wheat sourdough sandwich bread in the morning…

which turned out to hve a great texture for the sandwiches.

Aside from my own bread, there is nothing particularly local about this, but because it is pickles, I just had to share it.

Pickle Grilled Cheese

Very slightly adapted from Dahne Oz’s  Cheesy Pickle Sandwiches

For each sandwich:

2 slices substantial bread (sourdough, rye)

1 slice Muenster cheese

1 slice Sharp Cheddar Cheese

layer of bread & butter pickle chips

layer of dill pickle slices

1 Tbsp Thousand Island dressing

1 Tbsp butter


On one slice of bread, add 1 slice of Muenster cheese, 1 slice of cheddar cheese and 1 tablespoon of the Thousand Island dressing.

Top the other slice of bread with some bread and butter pickles and some dill pickles.

Place the first slice on top of the second slice of bread, dressing side down.

Place a large, nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and add butter. In the warm pan, add the sandwich and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown and the cheese is melting, about 2 more minutes.

Remove to a plate, cut in half and enjoy!  

Categories: Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Parsnip Frittata

Frittatas are a great way to use the bits and pieces of vegetables left over from making other dishes.  I had parsnips sitting in my fridge, perfect to pair with Farmer Kim’s eggs in Mario Batali’s frittata recipe for la light, healthy dinner.


These parsnips did not come from my garden.  My parsnips did not grow, they were overshadowed by the Jerusalem artichokes (just harvest those, so more recipes will be coming soon). These were some hive parships though.


I am really looking forward to the leftover frittata for breakfast!

Parsnip Frittata

Very slightly adapted from Mario Batali

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 medium parsnips (approximately 12 ounces), peeled and cut into matchstick julienne

8 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/4 cup Pecorino Romano

1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives or 1 scant Tbsp freeze dried chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

In a 12-inch ovenproof nonstick sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the parsnips and cook until they are very soft and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, mix the eggs, cheese, and chives in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper.


Pour the egg mixture into the sauté pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, pulling the sides in with a wooden spatula to distribute raw egg around the pan, until the center is curd-like but still wet.


Place the pan in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until just cooked through.


Invert the frittata onto a warmed serving platter, cut it into wedges, and serve.


Serves 4 as a main dish.


Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Parsnips, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 4 Comments

Cincinnati Chili with Spaghetti Squash

Cincinnati chili…ahhhh. For someone who does not each much beef, I sure love Cincinnati chili. I wouldn’t dare try to substitute ground turkey or soy granules.  For Cincinnati Chili, it needs to be beef.


But, it does not have to be spaghetti.  Never thought I’d hear myself say that. Spaghetti squash made a totally satisfying, and healthier alternative. I like my chili to be 5-way – chili, spaghetti (squash), beans, onions, and cheese (To keep it kosher, omit the cheese).


What a treat!!

Cincinnati Chili with Spaghetti Squash

Slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine

1 medium spaghetti squash, locally grown

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pound ground beef chuck, grass-fed if possible

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 28 -ounce can diced tomatoes

1 15 -ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Oyster crackers and shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Halve and seed the spaghetti squash, place cut-side down on a cookie sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, let cool slightly, then scrape into strands.

Meanwhile, put half of the onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water; set aside.


Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining onion and the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the beef, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, oregano, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is browned, about 7 minutes.


Add the tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups water to the beef mixture. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chili is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.


Drain the reserved onion; pat dry. Top each serving of chili with the spaghetti squash, kidney beans, onion, oyster crackers and cheese. Enjoy!


Serves 4.

Categories: Main Dish, Recipe, Spaghetti Squash | Leave a comment

Challah Project #16 – Rye Challah

I will be honest, I did not expect much from this challah.  I figured it would be ok, perhaps interesting, but I never expected it to be a wonderful challah with a great chewy yet light texture.  Nor that it would be an equally good rye bread!


Look at that texture!


It was really good for Shabbat dinner with barley mushroom soup, and even better the next day with turkey pastrami sandwiches!

Only drawback – not so great for french toast.  But, fantastic with sunny side up or fried eggs!

Rye Challah

adapted from Molly Yeh

2 1/4 teaspoons (or 1 packet) dry active yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup rye flour*
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
3 large eggs
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons honey


Pour warm water into a bowl with 1 teaspoon of sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit and proof for 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy.

While the yeast mixture is proofing, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, both flours, the salt, and the caraway seeds in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Give the mixture a quick stir so everything is combined.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together 2 of the eggs, the oil, and 2 tablespoons of honey.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients and the yeast mixture. Stir with paddle attachment until just combined and then let the mixture sit for 20 minutes on the counter, uncovered.

Switch to a dough hook and knead for 7-10 minutes. I like the dough to be a little sticky still, but you can add more flour if you want a smoother dough.


Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight or for up to 24 hours. The dough should at least double in size.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit out for a few minutes. Preheat oven to 375.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide into 3 equal logs, and braid them, tucking the ends under. Place the loaf on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and tablespoon of water. Brush it evenly over the loaf.


Bake for 30-35 minutes, until browned and cooked through. You can test if it’s done by thumping the bottom of the loaf and listening for a hollow sound. Let cool on a wire rack.  Enjoy!


Makes 1 loaf.


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

Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup

I am in a soup mood.  It has been a few years since I have been in a soup mood. What does it mean to be in a soup mood?  Soups, and lots of them. My family must brace for many dinners of soups and stews.


First up for the blog… Yotam Ottolenghi’s Red Lentil and Chard Soup. Served with a whole grain sourdough bread I made. This one was one of my favorites so far, and one that I put the most “me” into rather than simply following the recipe.


But back to the soup.  I really like this one.  I am usually not a big fan of red lentils, but they work very well with the chard, creating a nice contrast of textures.


Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup

very slightly adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Red Lentil and Chard Soup

1 lb split red lentils

2.75 quarts cold water

2 medium red onions

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 lb Swiss chard

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp coriander seeds

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Grated zest of ½ lemon

Sourdough bread

3 lemons, cut into wedges

Salt and black pepper


Wash the lentils in plenty of cold water. Place in a large saucepan with the water, bring to a boil and simmer for 35 minutes or until soft (mine was soft in 20 minutes). Skim off any foam that rises to the surface during cooking.  Using a slotted spoon, remove about half the lentils from the cooking liquid and set aside in a bowl.


Add a generous pinch of salt to the lentils and water in the pan and liquidise using a stick blender or in a food processor. Return the reserved lentils to the soup.
While the lentils are cooking, peel the red onions, halve and thinly slice them. Place a frying pan over a medium heat, add the olive oil and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4–5 minutes, until the onions soften and become translucent.


Meanwhile, remove and discard the large stems from the Swiss chard. Wash and rinse the leaves thoroughly, then chop them roughly.

Mix the cooked onions and chard leaves into the lentil soup and season with the cumin, cinnamon and some salt and pepper to taste. Reheat the soup and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

In a pestle and mortar, or using the heel of a large knife, crush the coriander seeds and garlic together.


Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan over a medium heat, add the garlic and coriander seeds and fry for 2 minutes, until the garlic starts to color slightly (I used the pan from frying the onions, it worked well). Stir this into the soup, remove the pot from the stove and cover with a lid. Leave the soup to infuse for 5 minutes before serving.


Serve garnished with lemon zest and pass round some sourdough bread and lemon wedges. Squeeze the lemon into their soup – it adds tremendous flavor. Enjoy!


Serves 6

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Soup, Swiss Chard, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Breaded Cauliflower with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

We had just a little bit more of the local cauliflower left, just enough for a taste treat. So I decided to try another version of roasted cauliflower, this time breaded.


And as a treat, a spicy dipping sauce to go with it.  It was a fun change from my typical roasted cauliflower; and fun to pick up and dip.


Now that the local cauliflower and broccoli have faded, it will be time to harvest my Jerusalem artichokes.  I can’t wait! But I am trying to be patient and give them time to grow larger. Sometime this month I will harvest. I have more new recipes to try!

Breaded Cauliflower with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

from, very slightly adapted

1 medium head cauliflower, broken into small florets (locally grown)

1 – 2 cups seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

Sriracha Dipping Sauce:

2 tsp honey (locally produced)

2 tsp Sriracha

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp Dijon mustard, optional, but adds extra heat


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Prepare two small bowls: In one bowl combine eggs and spices and whisk together until combined.


In the second bowl, place the bread crumbs.

Dip each cauliflower floret into the egg mixture, making sure that it’s completely coated, then dip it into the bread crumb mixture and transfer to the baking sheet.


When all the cauliflower is breaded, spray it with cooking spray for a moist and crunchy exterior. Bake 30 minutes until golden.


In a small bowl, combine all sriracha sauce ingredients. Whisk together until smooth.


Dip cooled breaded cauliflower in and enjoy.


Serves 4 – 6.



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

Roasted Vegetable Tart and Quiche

Two versions tonight – why?  I roasted a lot of vegetables and my pastry crust was not big enough, so I also pulled out a pre-made pie crust and made a quiche.


Each was worth making individually, so I have included both.


Some in the family preferred the quiche…


Others the tart…


Roasted Vegetable Filling
Enough for 2 tarts, quiches or 1 of each

1 Tbsp Olive oil

2 cups 1/2-inch-diced butternut squash (from the garden)

1 cup 1/2-inch-thick sliced carrots

1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved

1 large leek, white and light green parts only, sliced1/2-inch-thick

1 yellow, red or orange bell pepper, diced into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cauliflower (locally grown)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed (from the garden)


2 pie crusts or dough, recipe of your pick

1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 cups each for the pie or tart)

Quiche Custard

3 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1 cup milk (we use 2% organic)



Heat the oven to 425F.

Toss the vegetables with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.  Lay on rimmed baking sheets in a single layer.  Cook for 15 minutes, stir with lemon zest and thyme and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.


Remove and let cool.


For the tart, on a piece of parchment paper, roll the dough out into a, 1/8 inch rough circle.  Transfer the paper onto a cookie sheet.


Sprinkle cheese in the center of the tart or the bottom of the pie crust.


Assemble & Bake


Reduce heat to 400F.

Spoon the vegetable mixture on top of the cheese, mounding it slightly in the center.


Fold the edge of the dough over the edge of the filling creating pleats.


Bake until the crust, including the pleats, is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before serving.





Reduce heat to 400F.

Spoon the vegetable mixture on top of the cheese.


Beat the eggs with the milk.  Pour over the vegetables.


Bake for 35 – 45 minutes until the center is just set.  Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.





Categories: Butternut Squash, Carrot, Cauliflower, Kosher, Leeks, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Cabbage, Onion & Millet Kugel

Two of our daughters may need to go gluten free, so I have been trying out some alternative dishes. Tonight it was a kugel based on millet.


I love cabbage (as I know I write every time I cook it). This dish did not disappoint.  The creaminess of the cottage cheese combined with the richness of the sautéed cabbage belied how healthy a dish it actually was.  The only problem, we wanted to go back for seconds and thirds!


Cabbage, Onion & Millet Kugel

Martha Rose Shulman

½ medium head cabbage, cored and cut in thin strips

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill)

Freshly ground pepper

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

2 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

2 cups cooked millet


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart baking dish. Toss the cabbage with salt to taste and let it sit for 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes, then add a generous pinch of salt and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage, turn the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until the cabbage is quite tender and fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes.


Stir in the dill, taste and adjust salt, and add pepper to taste. Transfer to a large bowl.


In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, purée the cottage cheese until smooth.


Add the eggs and process until the mixture is smooth. Add salt (I suggest about 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper and mix together.


Scrape into the bowl with the cabbage. Add the millet and stir everything together.


Scrape into the oiled baking dish. Drizzle the remaining oil over the top and place in the oven.


Bake for about 40 minutes, until the sides are nicely browned and the top is beginning to color.


Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into squares or wedges.  Enjoy!


Serves 4 – 6.



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

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