KFWE 2014

I didn’t think this event could be bigger or better or include more wines, drinks, and food, but KFWE 2014, did all of those. Thousands of people, winemakers sharing their visions, successes, and love for wine, and restaurants and food trends being tasted. KFWE 2014 was a huge success and Royal Wines did an amazing job. One of the best parts of the event is meeting up with readers to get to know you in person, sharing wine favorites with other writers and friends, and catching up with fellow bloggers and chefs. So thank you to all of you and I enjoyed my time with you.

KFWE Friends

KFWE Friends

KFWE friends

KFWE friends

Now on to wine! I felt the entire evening was filled with fragrance. Yes, the food smelled great, but I really mean that the wines have become so aromatic; you can almost taste their depth and flavor just by smelling them. My senses were so profoundly pleased. Second, I am thrilled that some of my favorite Israeli wines, Psagot, Tulip, and Flam (and Napa winery Covenant) have introduced mevushal wines. Although not always popular, I’m excited about it because it’s much easier to serve them at simchas, and bring them as gifts.

Jonathan Hadju from Covenant Wines

Jonathan Hadju from Covenant Wines


Here are some of my favorites from the evening. Covenant Winery poured their 2011 Chardonnay, called Lavan. It’s perfectly balanced, easily savored and enjoyable. All their wines are on my best pick list and winemaker Jonathan Hadju is always fun to chat with. They released a mevushal wine with nice fruit overtones and a terrific smell. I’m sure it will be a big hit. I loved the Capcanes Rose, which is new for them and a big popular trend in wine. The Peraj Habib Cabernet is a wonderful accompaniment to a meat meal and pairs nicely with ribs or hearty Shabbos chicken.

Jacob from Psagot Winery

Jacob from Psagot Winery


My favorite Israeli wines included Psagot (welcoming 2 mevushal bottles, both are terrific). It’s always wonderful to catch up with wine maker, Jacob. Last year we visited the Psagot winery in Israel and had a fantastic time. In addition to their mevushal wines, try their Cabernet Franc and Edom wines, well balanced, super flavorful and silky and smooth. I love the Tulip winery (I tried their new wine called Black Tulip, yum, divine) for many reasons. First they make great wine (also try their Just Tulip wines, they are priced well and very enjoyable), also, they grow and process their wines in the Valley of Hope in Israel and hire disabled adults to work at the winery. Chesed and winemaking, now that’s a combination I’m excited about.

A few others you must check out, Flam, Yatir, and Bazelet. I enjoyed Flam’s Rose, it’s dry and not too sweet and their Classico, is superb. Yatir’s Forest is worth the splurge any day and their Syrah is silky and smooth and pairs with anything from fish and chicken to pasta. I met winemaker Yoav Levi from Bazelet in the Golan. This is a new winery for me and I was totally impressed. Not only were the wines delicious, but also zesty, dry, and well balanced. And what’s interesting about the wines is that they have a naturally high alcohol content, just above 15%. Now, that’s a Kiddush wine. Both the merlot reserve and cabernet reserve are great wines to try.

I’ve been reading about Shiloh’s chardonnay (they didn’t have it L but I loved the Barbera. Also, new for me were the 1848 wines. My favorites were the 2009 Reserve (fabulous!), Cabernet Franc and the Merlot. Although I buy it often, I enjoyed the Goose Bay Pinot Noir. This wine has nice hints of cherry and oak and a little spiciness too.

Herzog Cellars new Cabernet Basin

Herzog Cellars new Cabernet Basin


And of course, the Herzog Wine Cellars shared some wonderful wines. Just released Herzog Cabernet called Basin, where the grapes are grown in a region in Northern Napa called the Basin. It’s a rich and warm wine that’s full of flavor. Both the Clone 6 and the Alexander Valley Cabernets are always enjoyable and a favorite gift to bring to others. Be sure to check out the Chenin Blanc too, its very well priced and is good for many palates.

Ari White slicing brisket and showing us veal pancetta

Ari White slicing brisket and showing us veal pancetta

Ari White slicing brisket

Ari White slicing brisket

Silver leaf caterers kale salad

Silver leaf caterers kale salad


Were you wondering if I tried any food? It’s me, so of course I did! Ari White, the pit boss from Texas Roadside Smokehouse won rave reviews from all, serving 18 hr. Oak and Apple Smoked Brisket (the bbq sauce was a perfect combination of sweet and smoky and the brisket was soft enough to cut with a fork) and in conjunction with superstar caterers Gemstar catering, veal pancetta and lamb bacon (I’m not kidding!). Both melt in your mouth awesome and memorable. Silverleaf caterers served a crisp and on trend Kale Salad with Roasted Squash and Pomegranate seeds (I definitely trying to recreate this one at home!). Etc. Steakhouse in Teaneck shared a wonderful Pink Peppercorn Crusted Rib-eye. I loved the spicy pepper, with the sweet taste of pomegranate and the hints of citrus. It was a nice surprise from a restaurant I have not yet tried (I’m definitely making a trip to Teaneck to try it out though). Jose Mareilles, the owner and chef from Le Marais is always delightful and a pleasure to see. He sure knows how to make a great hanger steak.

What will they think of and bring for us next year? I love the opportunity to taste and experience wines from around the world all in one place. I love to see the latest and best food trends incorporated into kosher restaurants and chef’s repertoire. KFWE 2014 was wonderful. Please join me next year!

Giveaway: Cook In Israel Cookbook

gv-cookinisrael
Cook In Israel, by the esteemed cooking teacher in Israel, Orly Ziv, is a new and fantastic book featuring Israel’s best foods. I love the use of tahini, eggplant, tomatoes, fish and the beautiful images. The recipes are easy to follow, quick to complete and delicious. The images that accompany every recipe are real, right from Orly’s table and full of bright colors. Want to know more? Read about it here and also check out the sneak peak recipes to get a view of her style and flavor combinations.

Submit to win
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Chocolate and Halva Babka

Babka-94
This week from Orly Ziv, author of Cook In Israel, shares a terrific a recipe for a twist on chocolate babka, Chocolate and Halva Babka. I love the surprise of halva crumbs throughout the babka and the texture and flavor it brings to an already delicious dish. This is the creativity of Orly Ziv. See the more details about Cook In Israel in the blog and get other sneak peak recipes.

Chocolate and Halva Babka

This braided yeast cake with chocolate and halva is a favorite in the Jewish repertoire. I add halva crumbs, a popular Middle Eastern sweet, to give it a little added texture and flavor.

Dough
560 gram (18 oz) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dry yeast
100 gram (3-1/3 oz) sugar
100 gram (3-1/3 oz) butter, softened
2 eggs
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling
Chocolate spread
Halva crumbs

Coating
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Put all the dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a smooth and flexible dough forms. Make sure the salt doesn’t touch the yeast directly.
2. Cover loosely with a dish towel and allow to rise until doubled in volume.
3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle about ½-inch thick.
4. Cover the dough with the chocolate spread and sprinkle generously with halva crumbs.
5. Roll up lengthwise into a tight log and press down slightly to seal. Cut the log in half.
6. Slice one of the log halves in half lengthwise down the middle and loosely twist together to form a braid. Repeat with the remaining dough log.
7. Transfer each braid to a parchment-lined loaf pan and brush with egg. Set aside and allow to rise for another 15 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F.
9. Bake the babka for about 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

TIPs:
1. Leave the dough in the refrigerator overnight to rise.
2. For a richer flavor, make a syrup of ¾ cup sugar, 3/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Pour over the babka and serve.

Makes 2 loaves

Eggplant Baladi

1Eggplant-Baladi
I learned this recipe in a cooking class and it turned out to be a very successful dish with a surprising flavor combination. It is a wonderful use for date honey (called silan in Hebrew), which is very popular in the Israeli kitchen.

2 medium eggplants
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
Sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
3 tablespoons tahini
3 teaspoons silan
Chopped parsley leaves
Pine nuts, toasted
Pomegranate seeds (in season)

1. Grill the eggplants over a flame, turning with tongs until soft and evenly charred. Alternately, roast the eggplants under a broiler.
2. Cut a slit at the bottom of the eggplants and place in a sieve. Leave to drain.
3. Remove peel, stem and dark seeds from eggplants and place on a plate or small serving platter.
4. Sprinkle the chopped garlic and sea salt over the eggplants then drizzle with lemon juice, tahini and silan.
5. Garnish with parsley, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds and serve.

TIP: Remove the sprout in the center of each clove of garlic (called the “germ”) to make it easier to digest.

Serves 4 to 6

Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini and Silan

Cauliflower-Tahini-Silan

I’ve made a similar recipe with eggplant for a long time, but someone at one of my cooking classes didn’t like eggplant . So I came up with this variation instead to highlight the flavor combination and show people unexpected ways to use silan (date honey).

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
¼ cup olive oil
Sea salt
Lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons tahini
2-3 teaspoons silan (date honey)
Chopped parsley
Pomegranate seeds (in season) or dried cranberries
Toasted pine nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

2. Put the cauliflower florets in a baking dish (preferably one that you can serve with). Don’t worry if the cauliflower is piled high or the dish looks too small since the cauliflower shrinks a lot as it cooks. Toss with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

3. Roast until the cauliflower is tender (when your fingernail can easily enter) and the edges have browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

4. Arrange the cauliflower on a serving plate. Drizzle with lemon juice, tahini and silan, in that order.

5. Garnish with chopped parsley, pomegranate seeds or cranberries and pine nuts and serve.

Serves 4 to 6

Cook In Israel, A New Book by Orly Ziv

cookinisrael

Yotam Ottolenghi, Israeli chef and author of Jerusalem and Plenty (neither are kosher), has helped bring Israeli cooking and food to the forefront of food trends. Luckily author Orly Ziv, brings us Cook In Israel, a new kosher cookbook with the bright and flavorful ingredients of Mediteranean cooking. Drawing on her Jewish-Greek heritage, Orly has been teaching cooking classes and leading culinary tours of Israel for years (check out her tours through the markets and Tel Aviv, ending in a culinary class at CookinIsrael.com). The recipes and incredible knowledge she shares on these delightful trips, are now available in her debut book, Cook In Israel.

The book is filled with over 100 delicious recipes that allow the everyday cook to bring the flavors of Israel to their kitchen. It’s easy to follow, includes cooking tips (I love the onion trick, keep the root on, then cut it with root intact until the end, no more tears!), and nutritional information. Orly has a background in nutrition so her recipes are not only gorgeous and delicious but also nutritious. She invites her readers to try new dishes and flavor combination. I love recipes for the familiar flavors of Israel like eggplant, tahini, tomato, and chickpeas and also the flavors that are newer, like silan (Sweet date honey – its incredible), and the color of pomegranate seeds tossed throughout many recipes. I’m excited about the Tahini and Almond cookies, the Roasted Cauliflower with Silan, and the Sephardic Style Baked Fish with Vegetables. Easy and delicious weeknight cooking at its best!

GKC has a few special sneak peak recipes and a giveaway! Submit to win!
Check out these recipes to get a look at what Cook In Israel is all about. And buy a copy today on Amazon.com for $35

Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini and Silan
Eggplant Biladi
Chocolate and Halva Babka

Chicken Curry

Curry chicken is a signature dish in Indian cooking, but happily it’s crossed over to American cuisine. We love all the fragrant flavors in this dish like ginger, curry, cumin, coconut milk and garlic. I serve it with basmati or coconut rice. It’s a great meal and you’ll always be happy to have a little leftover.

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry
1 tablespoon garam masala (this is an Indian spice blend and its commonly found in the spice aisle of any market)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into cubes
1/4 cup non-dairy sour cream or yogurt
1/2 cup water
Serve with chopped cilantro (optional)
Serve with coconut rice.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the oil. When it starts to get hot, add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook it for 4 minutes, or until the onion is golden brown. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, cumin, curry, garam masala, red chile flakes, turmeric, and salt and cook for 2 minutes. This should smell amazing. Add the chicken cubes and stir well to coat. I like to cook this a minute or two to get a the chicken a little brown. Now, add the sour-cream (this gives it creaminess without the blander taste of cream). Also add the water and cook, stirring it until the chicken is done. This takes about 8 minutes.

chicken-curry

Italian Veal Stew with Bread Crumb Gremolata

veal
Serves 6

2 pounds cubed veal
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 celery rib, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons chopped thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups jarred tomato sauce or marinara sauce
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup panko
1 cup lightly packed parsley, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste, it adds spice)
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Season the veal with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven, heat the oil until shimmering. Add veal and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over, 12 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate.

Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the dish. Add the onion, carrot, celery and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer until the wine is reduced by half, 4 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Return the meat to the pot, cover and simmer for 1 hour and half hours, until the meat is very tender. Let stand covered for 10 minutes.

For the bread crumb gremolata: In a small pan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add panko and mix until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the parsley, red pepper, and lemon zest. Add kosher salt to taste.

Transfer the veal stew to a platter. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and spoon it over the veal. Sprinkle some gremolata over the veal.

Homemade Bread Crumbs

Homemade-Breadcrumbs1

6 pieces stale bread, remove the crust (or not if you don’t mind a little more crunch): use different types of bread if you like, whole wheat, challah, spelt, or mix them together
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ – 1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
(add some flavors you like too, like oregano, Parmesan cheese, or crushed red pepper)

Place the bread in a food processor. Pulse until the bread is chopped into crumbs.

In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs and garlic (turn down the heat to medium) and cook until garlic is soft and bread is toasty. Add lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper and parsley and cook an additional minute so that all the juice is absorbed and the flavors are incorporated.

Store in airtight container for 2 weeks in the pantry or for extended periods of time in the freezer.

Homemade Breadcrumbs

Homemade-Breadcrumbs1
Yes, breadcrumbs are available in the ready-made package and some companies like, Pereg, even make them with additional flavors. But, the terrific toasty smell and amazing crunch of breadcrumbs, is only possible with the homemade version. Additionally, if you are gluten-sensitive, or prefer whole grains, like whole wheat, the ready-made version just does not offer you any options. I make a big batch, (you’ll see how easy it is below) and store them for tons of great uses, like:

- Top them on broccoli or cauliflower and roast at a high temperature for toasty and crunchy broccoli
- Toss them in a salad in place of croutons. It adds crunch and depth and great texture
- Toss them in a pasta dish made from olive oil, garlic, pasta water and a bit of Parmesan cheese. Add the breadcrumbs, and you have a hearty and delicious pasta dish
- Roast green beans or asparagus. Top with the breadcrumbs. Looks gorgeous on the serving platter too.
- Top any stew, veal stew, or short ribs. Adds a great finishing touch
- Of course, use them on schnitzel, veal chops or lamb chops

Here is how I make them. Let me know how you use them too. Btw, get creative, make a dairy version by adding Parmesan cheese, or add S’riachi sauce or crushed red pepper to make them a little spicy, or add another herb of your choice, I think oregano, or basil is great or dried Herbs d’Provence.

Homemade Bread Crumbs

Baked Fish a’la Dudu by Dudu Fischer

dudu-bakedfish
Recipe from One Egg Is A Fortune Cookbook by Judy Kempler and Pnina Jacobson.

Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1kg freshwater fish fillets, such as carp, barramundi or perch
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 large red or yellow capsicums, thinly sliced
3 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup bottled Napoletana pasta sauce
3/4 cup red wine
chives, finely chopped, for garnish
caperberries, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Heat olive oil in a non-stick fry pan and saute onions until golden. Place onions in an oiled baking dish and top with fish fillets. Season with salt and pepper. Cover fish with capsicums and tomatoes.
Combine pasta sauce and red wine and pour over fish. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40minutes until fish and capsicums are cooked.
Serve, garnished with chives and caperberries

Note: This recipe also works well in a covered BBQ

Fish Quenelles with Two Sauces

fish-quenelles
Recipe from One Egg Is A Fortune Cookbook by Judy Kempler and Pnina Jacobson

Quenelle mixture
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
3 white onions, finely sliced
2kg white fish fillets, minced (fishmonger will do this for you)
4 tablespoons fine matzo meal or breadcrumbs
3 eggs
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup iced water

Poaching broth
3 white onions
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
12 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Dill sauce
3 cups whole egg mayonnaise
3 cups fresh dill, very finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
white pepper and salt, to taste

Red pepper sauce
3 cups whole egg mayonnaise
10 strips pickled red peppers/capsicums
1 teaspoon prepared white horseradish

Make quenelles:
Heat oil and margarine and fry onions until just soft. Gently combine remaining fish quenelle ingredients in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly. Add more iced wter if the mixture is too stiff. Using slightly moistened hands, shape into 3-4cm round or oval-shaped quenelles and refrigerate until firm.

Make poaching broth:
Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Bring poaching broth back to boil, drop in the quenelles and reduce heat. Simmer covered for 1 hour, gently stirring occassionally to ensure quenelles do not stick to the bottom. Remove pot from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature. Remove quenelles with a slotted spoon and place them in a dish. Strain the broth through a fine sleeve, pour over the quenelles and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make dill sauce:
Blend all ingredients.

Make red pepper sauce:
Blend all ingredients.

Place two quenelles onto individual serving plates. Pour dill sauce over one and red pepper sauce over the other, so that they are both well coated.

Serves 12

One Egg Is A Fortune

one-egg
I love sharing new cookbooks with GKC readers and especially appreciate the great feedback and support you show the authors. Today, I have a totally different cookbook for you, a book that is more than a cookbook, yes, tons of great recipes, but also pop culture, history and a chance to hear from some great Jewish personalities.

“One Egg Is A Fortune” is the award-winning new cookbook by Judy Kempler and Pnina Jacobson! This unique cookbook gives you the chance to get to know fifty well-known Jewish figures from around the world. And while each person tells a different story, their anecdotes reveal that the enjoyment of food is the common thread that binds us together and showcases the diversity of Jewish life. You will meet personalities such as Dennis Ross, Marlee Matlin, Alan Dershowitz, Neshama Carlebach, Dudu Fisher and so many others. You can pore over the stunning food and lifestyle photography and then savor over 100 mouth-watering recipes with clear, easy-to-follow instructions.

Check out these sneak peak recipes:
Baked Fish a’la Dudu by Dudu Fischer
Fish Quenelles with Two Sauces
Sweet Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies by Marlee Matlin

Great in the kitchen or on the coffee table and the best gift. “One Egg Is A Fortune” available on GKC today.

Get 1 book for $18, 3 for $50 or 10 for $140 and give one to all your family and friends! Order here now!

Order now


Winner of SIX international awards!

• Best in the World 2012 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards-Australia-Pacific Fundraising, Charity and Community
• Silver Award for cookbooks 2012 IPPY -World’s Largest Book Awards Contest (U.S.A.)
• Winner – 2012 The National Indie Excellence Awards – Cookbooks- General (U.S.A.)
• Certificate of Merit Cookbooks -1010 Printing International Limited – 2012 The Premier Print Awards
• Silver Award Cookbooks – 1010 Printing International Limited – 2012 Gold Ink Awards
• Winner – The 2012 USA Best Book Awards – Cookbooks: International

Scrumptious Garlic Bread

Garlic-Bread-1
Serves 4

This is a classic recipe that must be a part of your repertoire. It smells divine and has the perfect combination of moist, crunch, garlic, and spice. Dunk it in any of the winter soups or along side some spaghetti.

1 large baguette (about 12 oz.), sliced lengthwise
6 tablespoons unsalted margarine or butter, softened
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes (this is a bit spicy so use less if you do not like a lot of heat)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, smashed into a paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
⅓ cup grated parmesan (OMIT if making it pareve)
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Heat oven broiler. Place baguette cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Stir margarine/butter, oil, chile flakes, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl; spread evenly over cut sides of baguette and sprinkle with parmesan (if using). Bake until golden and slightly crisp, 2–3 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and parsley; cut into 2″ pieces.

Winter Soups

soup-splitpea
Unreasonably cold temperatures throughout the world lend to comfort foods and soup with every meal. And although I make all sorts of soups from Thai Chicken to Indian Vegetable, I find the classic recipes are so important to warm the body and soul. These classics are a big hit every time. My kids love to come home from school and start their meal with a warm bowl of any of these soups. Sometimes, they are lucky enough to have a bit left over to bring for lunch the next day.

Classic Split Pea Soup
Classic Potato Leek Soup
Chicken Udon Soup

Chicken Udon Soup

soup-udon
This soup is like a meal in a bowl. It’s nutritious and filling and super delicious. For me, it has become a classic and a keeper.

1 (3 1/2-ounce) package fresh shiitake mushrooms

4 cups chicken stock

6 (1/4-inch) slices peeled fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 green onion, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 star anise, optional (I usually skip this)

6 ounces dried udon noodles (thick Japanese wheat noodles)

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup sake or dry white wine

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)

1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup diagonally cut green onions
Remove stems from mushrooms; reserve stems. Thinly slice mushroom caps; set aside. Combine mushroom stems, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, green onion and star anise in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain stock through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids.
Cook udon noodles according to package directions and rinse with cold water;
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add reserved sliced mushroom caps to pan, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add minced ginger and minced garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add sake, and cook for 4 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add stock to pan. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Add chicken, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and salt; simmer for 2 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated. Divide noodles evenly among 4 bowls. Add 1 1/2 cups soup to each bowl. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon green onions.

Classic Potato Leek Soup

soup-potatoleek
Makes this one pareve or dairy. If you make it dairy use butter in place of the margarine and use dairy sour cream. It can be made a few days ahead of time. Keep it chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Serves 8 – 10

4 tablespoons unsalted margarine or butter
3 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
Kosher salt
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
8 cups water
1/2 cup Tofutti sour cream or sour cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Freshly ground pepper

Melt the margarine/butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks, onions and 2 teaspoons of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the brandy and white wine and boil until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the potatoes are very tender, about 35 minutes.

With an immersion blender puree the soup (you can use a blender too) until very smooth. Return the soup to the pan. Add the Tofutti sour cream and bring to just a simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Season with salt. Ladle the soup into heatproof glasses or bowls. Garnish with the chives and pepper and serve.

Classic Split Pea Soup

soup-splitpea
This is a recipe by Ina Garten. I added red wine and like to top it with some chopped cooked pastrami. Its great pareve too. Just substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock or pareve chicken stock.
Serve 8 – 10

1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
1 cup medium-diced small red potatoes, unpeeled (3 small)
1 pound dried split green peas
8 cups chicken stock or beef stock
¼ cup red wine

In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of split peas, and chicken stock. Add the wine. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Roasted Salmon Greek Salad

roastedsalmon-greeksalad

Serves 4

This is a seriously healthy dinner or lunch that is also so easy to make. I’ve been serving it on Thursday night when my little kids enjoy their pizza. In our family, the
big kids and the adults prefer a salmon dinner to pizza (okay we are nuts!) or prefer to eat the salmon salad and then some pizza. The yogurt sauce is a great addition.

Roasted Salmon:
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for sprinkling
2/3 pound salmon fillets, skinned (1-inch thick at thickest part, preferably center cut)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Greek Salad:
1/2 cup mixed olives
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 cucumber, peeled, sliced into half moons
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta

For the salmon: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cooking sheet with foil and lightly oil.
Sprinkle the salmon with the 2 teaspoons oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Cook the salmon until just cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Let the salmon cool slightly, then flake with a fork.

For the yogurt sauce: Whisk the yogurt, 1 tablespoon water, lemon zest, juice, mint, salt and pepper in a bowl until combined.

For the Greek salad: Toss the olives, tomatoes, lettuce, scallion and cucumber in a medium bowl. Whisk the vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl. Gradually add the oil, whisking until emulsified. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Sprinkle the feta on top.

Serve the flaked roasted salmon on top of the Greek salad and drizzle with the yogurt sauce.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Plate-of-cookies

Makes 2 ½ dozen, depending on how much batter you eat

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup pretzels, coarsely broken in pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, peanut butter and vanilla. Add flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in chocolate chips and pretzels.
Place about 1-1/2 teaspoonfuls of rounded dough on ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly because they do not flatten much while cooking. Bake for 11- 14 minutes.

Cheddar Cheese Soup with Pretzel Croutons

Serves 6

Some of the deliciousness from this recipe comes from the roasted vegetables. To roast them, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place vegetables in an even layer on a low-sided baking sheet or cookie sheet. Spray them lightly with cooking spray. Roast in the oven until shriveled and somewhat blackened, about 20 – 30 minutes. * To roast the garlic, slice the top of the head of garlic with a knife. Place it on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle the top with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 50 minutes. After it is cool, squeeze the garlic out of the skin.

2 Poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped (or green peppers)
2 red peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, roasted and chopped
2 cloves garlic, roasted, peeled and smashed
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups vegetable stock
1-1/2 cups whole or lowfat milk
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
4 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
3 cups coarsely chopped pretzels, preferably the thick twisted ones

Garnish: extra olive oil to drizzle, cheddar cheese, and chopped green onion
Peel chiles under running water, remove seeds and chop. Chop the cooled onion and smash the roasted garlic. Set aside.
Place butter in a medium saucepan and melt. Add flour and stir for 2 – 3 minutes making a light roux (a thickener). Add the chiles, onion and garlic to the pot and stir. Slowly whisk in the vegetable stock, milk and heavy cream. Bring soup to a low boil, then turn the heat down so that the soup barely simmers for 20 minutes. Begin adding cheddar cheese by a half cup increments stirring after each addition. Add the cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Soup should be thick and flavorful. Ladle soup into bowls and top with pretzel croutons, grated cheddar cheese, and sliced green onions.

Pretzel Crusted Tilapia

Pretzel-Crusted-Fish-4_thumb

Serves 4

4 tilapia fillets, or other similar white fish (about 6 ounces each)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
⅓ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons milk
½ cup flour
3 cups pretzels, crushed
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Pat fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
In shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, mayonnaise, and milk. Place flour in another shallow bowl.
In a separate shallow bowl, combine pretzels, sugar, and garlic powder. Coat fillets in flour, then dip in egg mixture. Coat with pretzel mixture. Place fish on a baking pan and spray fish lightly with cooking spray.
Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.