Slow Cooker Chicken Marrakesh

We became very well acquainted with our slow cooker during my campaign. A love-hate relationship developed. When a dish worked, it was wonderful. But there were many days when I threw in a whole lot of string spices only to end up with flavorless meat. I was so confused and disturbed. But, we studied the dishes that went well and those that went awry and we learned a lot.

Key #1 (and the focus of why this dish worked well) – ratio of spices to liquid. More spice & herbs, less liquid.

This dish filled both our house with wonderful smells and our mouths with great flavors.

Slow Cooker Chicken Marrakesh

by KCOOPER78 on Allrecipes.com

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced 

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (from the garden)

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried parsley (from the garden)

1 teaspoon salt

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

Directions

Place the onion, garlic, carrots, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, and chicken breast pieces into a slow cooker.

In a bowl, mix the cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, parsley, and salt, and sprinkle over the chicken and vegetables.

Pour in the tomatoes, and stir to combine.

Cover the cooker, set to High, and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened, 4 to 5 hours. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Serves 6 – 8

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

Roasted Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

Local asparagus is in!!! To me, this is the real sign that spring is here. We will be obsessively eating asparagus for the next few weeks, it’s one of our traditions… “When they pick it, we will eat it”

We also still have some matzoh left over, so I decided to make the romesco sauce as I would have if it was during Passover. That means using matzoh in place of bread. This results in a sauce that is not quite smooth, it remains slightly chunky.

The roasted asparagus is great on its own, but it is even better with the romesco. A happy flavor combo in your mouth.

Roasted Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

Roasted asparagus from Ina Garten, Romesco Sauce from Joy of Kosher

Asparagus

2 lbs fresh asparagus (locally grown)

olive oil

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Romesco Sauce

1 cup whole or sliced almonds

1 sheet of matzoh or 1 slice bread

8 oz jar roasted red pepper

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 plum tomato, quartered

1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Asparagus

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they are thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer an sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Roast the asparagus for 25 minutes, until tender but still crisp.

Romesco Sauce

Toast the almonds in a medium skillet over medium heat until they are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. If using bread, toast it.

Rip the toast or break the matzoh into a few pieces and put in the bowl of a food processor. Add the toasted almonds, red peppers, garlic, red wine vinegar, tomato, salt and pepper.

Start processing; pour the olive oil in in a steady stream while the machine is running. Process until all the ingredients are ground and the mixture is pretty smooth (the bread will get smoother than the matzoh will).

Serve the sauce on the asparagus and enjoy!

Serves 8.

Categories: Asparagus, Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes and Eggs with Pomegranate Molasses

Can you believe I STILL have sweet potatoes from my garden?! Whether it really was a good harvest or just the fact that I took 8 weeks off from cooking during my campaign, I am not sure.  But here is what part of the harvest looked like.

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We got some nice brussels sprouts this week, so I decided to make a roasted veggie and egg dish inspired by Ree Drummand’s Beautiful Brussels Sprouts.

Roasted vegetables with olive oil fried eggs is probably the favorite comfort food in our house. Adding the pomegranate molasses and chili powder added some new and interesting flavors. I ended up liking it more and more with each bite. Don’t go too heavy on the pomegranate molasses, all it needs is a drizzling. And then….happiness in our mouths and bellies!

Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes and Eggs with Pomegranate Molasses 

inspired by Ree Drummand’s Beautiful Brussels Sprouts

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (from the garden)

2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved

4- 6 Tbsp olive oil, separated

Chili powder

pinch Kosher salt

pinch freshly ground black pepper

8 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

Pomegranate molasses

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Divide the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts between 2 baking sheets.

Drizzle 2 – 3 Tbsp olive oil on the vegetables, sprinkle with chili powder (heavier if you want more kick, lighter if you want just a touch of heat), salt and pepper. Toss to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Place in the oven a roast for 15 minutes.  Stir the vegetables and roast for another 15 – 20 minutes.

In the last few minutes that the vegetables are roasting, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet (I prefer cast iron) over medium-high heat.  Fry the eggs, spooning oil over the yolk for a few minutes til cooked to your preference. You will likely need to fry the eggs in batches.

Divide the vegetables among 4 plates and top each with 2 eggs. Drizzle the pomegranate molasses over the top. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Serves 4.

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

Southern Sweet Challah (Doris Koplin)

Practically perfect…that is the only way to describe this challah.

I can say that because this is not my recipe, it is actually a recipe from Doris Koplin of Atlanta that I got from Maggie Glazer’s book A Blessing of Bread. But truly, this was as amazing challah.  With the icing and raisins it was like a perfect breakfast cake (I used a thin coating of icing); without it is an eggy challah with a soft pillowing texture.

I made this the week before my son’s 8th birthday. When I told him I was making a challah with icing, he asked if it was for his birthday.  I told him that he could decide once he tasted it whether he wanted it to be his birthday weekend challah. All it took was one bite for him to decide it was definitely the challah for his birthday.

Southern Sweet Challah

Very slightly adapted from Maggie Glazer’s A Blessing of Bread

1 Tbsp plus 1/4 tsp instant yeast

About 3 3/4 cups bread flour

3/4 cup warm water

2 large eggs, plus 1 for glazing

1 large egg yolk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Poppy seeds or sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

Icing

1 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup water

1/2 cup raisins (mixed white and black)

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast and 3/4 cup of the flour, then whisk in the warm water until smooth. Let the slurry stand uncovered for 10 – 20 minutes, or until it begins to ferment and puff up slightly.

Whisk in the 2 eggs, egg yolk, oil, salt and sugar into the puffed yeast slurry until the eggs are incorporated and the salt and sugar have dissolved.

With a wooden spoon, mix in the remaining 3 cups of flour all at once. When the mixture is a shaggy ball, scrape it onto your work surface and knead it until it is smooth and soft, no more than 10 minutes. (Soak your mixing bowl in hot water to clean it and warm it for fermenting the dough)

Place the dough in the warm bowl and cover with plastic wrap (or a reusable bowl cover). Refrigerate the dough overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and let it rise until it has doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Divide the dough in have and braid or shape each loaf as you desire. Cover in plastic wrap.  Let it proof until tripled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

30 minutes before baking, arrange the oven rack in the top 1/3 of the oven and heat to 325F. Beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt for glazing the breads.

When the dough has tripled and remains indented when gently pressed with your finger, brush the bread with the egg glaze.  Sprinkle with the seeds if desired. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until well browned. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

If you want to ice the loaves, when they have cooled, in a large bowl, stir the confectioner’s sugar with 2 Tbsp water until a thick paste forms. Mix in the raisins and enough water to make the icing the consistency of thick cream. Spoon over the cooled challah, and allow it to set and dry for at least 30 minutes, preferable for 1 hour.

Enjoy!

Makes 2 one-pound loaves.

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

Escalivada (Catalan Roast Vegetables)

I am in love!

I want to put these vegetables on everything! And yes, we were continuing our Spanish theme from Passover.

It was so simple. Rub on some oil, sprinkle with salt, wrap in aluminum foil, then bake. Unwrap, peel, chop and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and sherry vinegar. And, ta da! A bowl full of deliciousness!

I had made a stuffed sourdough flatbread- what a perfect base for the vegetables, and a fabulous lunch (or breakfast).

Escalivada (Catalan Roast Vegetables)

from Food 52

2 bell peppers (preferably one red and one yellow)
1 medium eggplant
1 small onion
Olive oil (about 1/2 cup or so)
Salt
Sherry vinegar
Bread, for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Wash and dry the vegetables, rub them with olive oil, sprinkle them with a few pinches of salt, and wrap them in foil. Place on a baking sheet, and roast for 2 hours.

Remove from the oven and let cool.

Peel the skins off of the eggplant and the peppers. Slice the vegetables into 1/2- to 1-inch slices.

Add a pinch of salt, drizzle generously with oil, and add a splash of sherry vinegar — start with a teaspoon or two, taste, and adjust to your liking.

Serve with bread, cheese, meat, fish, eggs, or just eat them!

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer or part of a lunch.

Categories: Eggplant, Green Peppers, Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Quajado

Our Spanish Passover continues…

Lauren is home, so we needed a vegetarian dinner option and opted for a Quajado, an egg, cheese and vegetable dish. For tonight, we used zucchini, feta and cheddar. The combination was simply delicious. Salty, rich and slightly sweet.

To complete the dinner we added a Spanish spinach dish with pine nuts and raisins. The combination was served on my grandmother’s beautiful depression glass plates.

Quajado

from Chabad

1 medium onion, diced

1 Tbsp olive oil

6 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

6 cups zucchini, grated and left to drain in a colander

1 cup creamy feta cheese

1 cup grated cheddar

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft.

Squeeze any excess moisture out of the grated zucchini.

Combine zucchini, onions, eggs, parsley and cheeses. Add salt and pepper to taste. Feta cheese is extremely salty so it may not need any salt at all.

Spoon into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour, until set.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Serves 8.

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

Our Spanish Seder

I decided to make an all-Spanish food Seder this year.

It started with a Spanish Sephardic Charoset with hazelnuts, pistachios, marcona almonds, walnuts, dates, pears, figs and apples. This made a fabulous Hillel sandwich with my home-made maror (horseradish)

The serious eating started with saffron sofrito matzoh ball soup. This was so good, it will likely become my go-to matzo ball soup recipe from now on.

For the main course…Chicken Marbella with prunes and olives (yum!)

And Albondigas (aka Spanish meatballs). Don’t let this blah photo fool you, these were outstanding, I just forgot to take a picture of them until they were almost all eaten. How could you go wrong with pine-nuts and cumin in the meat and cinnamon & honey in the sauce?

And for dessert: an orange flavored Spanish spongecake, Almondrado (Almond-lemon macaroons), and almond cake.

It was a true feast to share with our friends. But as my mother would say, the food was great, but what I like best was the company!

Categories: Passover, Recipe | Leave a comment

Butternut Squash – Potato Bundles

Latkes are not just for Hanukkah!

I am not sure if these are really latkes since there is no egg in them. THey are really kind of a cross between , latkes, hash browns and shoestring french fries.

The combination of butternut squash and potato was fantastic.  Just a touch of sweetness.

It was also really easy to make – shred everything in the food processor, drain it, fry it.

We enjoyed ours in a breakfast for dinner. Yum!

 

 

Categories: Recipe | 1 Comment

Persian Sweet Potato Stew

It feels so good to be cooking again. Making dinners and baking breads really does serve to center me. Especially when I get to use foods I grew. Even though I am planning and preparing my garden for this season, I still have lots of sweet potatoes that I harvested in the fall.

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This stew was fabulous. It was very reminiscent of Qormeh Sabzi, yet different. And it was and easy. And best of all, unusual for Persian dishes, it is ready an hour after you start chopping the onion.

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It is a flexible dish; as we were eating it, we though of various other possible additions: green beans, kidney beans, other greens, etc. It is only limited by your creativity.IMG_5841

Persian Sweet Potato Stew

inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Iranian Vegetable Stew with Dried Lime

1 Tbsp grape seed oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried fenugreek
1 Tbsp dried dill
1 1/2 lbs waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks
1 1/2 lbs sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks (from the garden)
3 dried limes, pierced 2-3 times
1 whole anaheim chilli, slit on one side from stem to tip
Salt
5 medium tomatoes, quartered – or 6 canned tomatoes, crushed
5 oz spinach leaves

Directions

Heat the oven to 350F. Put a large dutch oven on medium heat and sauté the butter, onion, turmeric and cumin for 10 minutes.

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Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for two minutes.

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To the pot, add the fenugreek, dill, potatoes, squash, limes, chili, tomatoes, a teaspoon and a half of salt and 4 cups of water.

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Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are semi-cooked.

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Stir in the spinach, crushing the limes gently as you do so, to release some of the juices inside.

Transfer to a large roasting tray and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little and the vegetables are soft.

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Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes, remove the limes, serve with rice and enjoy!

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Serves 6 – 8

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Maple Peanut Butter Challah

Now THIS was a really different challah! It was rich in texture and loaded with peanut butter flavor! It really cried out to be toasted and topped with jelly or preserves. First a banana rum preserve,

then a simple strawberry.

And look at the beautiful color of the loaf!

Not a challah to have with a meal, but a challah to have AS a meal!  I really wanted to make french toast with it – that would have been superb – but it did not last long enough. I take that as a good sign.

Maple Peanut Butter Challah

adapted from Peanut Butter & Company

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup maple peanut butter
2 large eggs + 1 egg for the egg wash (from Farmer Kim)
2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 to 6 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, teaspoon of sugar, and cup of lukewarm water. Let sit for 5 minutes until it starts to foam.

Transfer to the base of your mixer with the dough hook attached and add the maple syrup, peanut butter, and 2 eggs. Whisk together until completely smooth, about 5 minutes.

Add the salt and the flour, one cup at a time, until it starts to come together and pull away from the sides. You may not need all the flour. Let the dough hook knead the dough for about 5 minutes or until smooth, elastic, and not too sticky to the touch.

Grease a large, clean bowl with the oil and place the ball of dough in it, turning once to coat on all sides.Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, remove from the refrigerator, bring to room temperature and punch down the dough gently. Cover again and let rise for 30-45 minutes.

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead into a smooth ball. Shape and braid as you like. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let rise a final time for 30 minutes.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375°F. Beat the last egg and use a pastry brush to lightly brush over the loaf. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is glossy and golden brown.

Let cool completely before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf.

 

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

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