Moroccan Carrot Salad

carrot-salad
Recipe courtesy of Barbara Bensoussan

Serves 6
1 pound fresh carrots, peeled, the ends cut off, cut in halves
1 ½ tablespoons oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, run through a press
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon hot paprika or cayenne (or to taste)
½ teaspoon tomato paste (optional)
Salt
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Cook the carrots in a pot of boiling water until tender but not mushy, about fifteen minutes. While carrots are boiling, mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl (or plastic container with a lid if you’re planning to store them). When carrots are cooked, drain and cover with cold water to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut into coins and toss with the dressing. If you like you can cut them with one of those wavy knives that create a corrugated texture.

Moroccan Sfeng (Donuts)

sfeng-donuts
Recipe courtesy of Barbara Bensoussan

Serves 10

2 packages dry yeast (about 4 ½ teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
7 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying

Dissolve yeast and sugar in the water in a large bowl. When yeast begins to foam, add the salt and flour and knead gently to form a very light, soft dough. (If dough is too wet, add more flour; if too dry, add a little more water.) Cover and let rise for two hours.

Heat two inches of oil in a large frying pan (to about 375 degrees–you can use a candy thermometer to check). Without punching down the dough, pull off small balls of dough, make a generous hole in the center (the surrounding dough will rise and fill in fast during frying). Let rise another 15 minutes and fry in the hot oil (turn doughnuts over when bottom becomes golden). Drain on paper towels; dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with assorted jams and honey.

Chicken With Olives

chicken-olives
Recipe courtesy of Barbara Bensoussan

Serves 6
2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
1 onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
3-4 pounds chicken pieces (bottoms work well, but you can use the whole chicken)
Salt, pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon za’atar (optional)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can green olives
½ lemon, cut into about six pieces
¼ cup fresh parsley or cilantro

Saute onion in the oil for a few minutes over medium high heat, until transparent; add garlic. Add the turmeric and blend until the oil is uniformly yellow. Raise the heat slightly and add the chicken pieces, browning them on each side (2-3 minutes a side). As you brown the pieces, sprinkle them with the salt, pepper, cumin, thyme and za’atar.
Now add two cups of water, the tomato paste, the drained olives, and the lemon pieces. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for one hour, until the chicken is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated (add more water if it evaporates too fast and begins to burn). Sprinkle with parley or cilantro and serve over rice or couscous.

Note: If you want to be really authentic, you can use preserved lemon pieces instead of fresh ones.

Fried Eggplant Salad

eggplantsalad
Recipe courtesy of Barbara Bensoussan

Serves 6
1 large eggplant (long and thin is better than short and fat for this recipe)
Salt
Cooking oil
1 red pepper, charred on all sides on the stove, cooled, peeled, and cut into dice
1 clove garlic
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish
Salt, pepper to taste

Cut the eggplant (unpeeled) into thin slices and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for twenty minutes, then dry any excess moisture with paper towels. Heat oil in a saucepan until piping hot, then fry slices golden brown on both sides, adding more oil as necessary. Mix in remaining ingredients gently and serve.
Variation: Cut eggplant into chunks instead of slices and fry in a deeper pot.

Guest Blog by My Friend Barbara Bensoussan, author of The Well-Spiced Life

an authentic food memoir that combines the best of pleasure reading with excellent recipes

Hello to all you Gourmet Kosher Cooks! A Moroccan Chanuka Menu For You…

Let me introduce myself: My name is Barbara Bensoussan, and I began my adult life as a mild-mannered Nice Jewish Girl from Philadelphia, working on a doctorate in psychology and minding my own business. But then, contrary to everyone’s expectations—mine included—my life took a 180-degree turn when I became Shabbos-observant and met and married a Nice Jewish Boy from…Casablanca.

Oy vey! We settled in Brooklyn, that crossroads of culture, and my cooking became a hodge-podge of cuisines from Morocco, Syria, Persia and yes, Eastern Europe. I spent the next twenty years absorbing new styles of cooking (quite literally—I have the pounds to prove it!) while raising a family. I’ve recounted the details of my often-bumbling foray into the world of Sephardic food and culture in a new book, The Well-Spiced Life (Israel Bookshop), sharing both experiences and recipes.

Below are a few samples from the Moroccan recipes, enough to make an entire menu if you add perhaps a little matbucha with the salads and some couscous with the chicken. With the fried eggplant and fried donuts, it’s perfect for Chanukah, the Festival of Oil!
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Fried Eggplant Salad
Chicken with Olives
Morrocan Sfeng (Donuts)

And if you enjoy the recipes, try the book! It makes a great Chanukah gift.

A “Chappy Chanukah” to all,

Barbara Bensoussan

What Kind of Wine to Serve for Thanksgiving or Bring to a Turkey Dinner?

turkeywine

A lot of people have been asking us, what kind of wine should I serve on Thanksgiving? It’s a complicated question, because the holiday can give way to a wide range of dishes and personalities alike.

“Thanksgiving is when a great diversity of humanity comes to your table,” says Jay Buchsbaum, Wine Educator. “You have the uninitiated wine taster, the serious business man, your cousin, the attorney.”

And, like the people at your table, the kinds of food you’re serving can be vastly different from each other. For Jay, one Thanksgiving wine isn’t enough. The good news? He has plenty of suggestions.

“A diversity of wines will not only satisfy a large group of people, but will be sure to go with each one of your dishes.”

So what kind of wines go well with the typical Thanksgiving fare?

In terms of taste, the typical Thanksgiving dish is the perfect marriage between savory and sweet, and needs a wine with that same measured flavor.

“For a dish that’s off-dry, like turkey and cranberry sauce, or yams, you need a wine that’s just a bit sweet, with good balance of acidity and fruit.” SUGGESTED WINE: Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc

If you’re looking for a real rarity, try an off-dry red, served chilled. This kind of red can stand up to flavor like mushrooms and shallots, yet still retain enough sweetness to match the food. SUGGESTED WINE: Jeunesse Cabernet. 100% Cabernet based, this wine uses amelioration (adding grape juice) to give it enough sugar while still maintaining character and depth.

Thanksgiving food is also known for being hearty. Let’s just say this meal isn’t for the weak of stomach. Try reaching for a robust Chardonnay. “I’m looking at chardonnays that have a rich sense of vanilla, oak, and body. The foods you have on Thanksgiving are full of texture and flavor, and a rich chardonnay will complement that.”
SUGGESTED WINES: Shiloh Chardonnay, Herzog Russian River Chardonnay

And, because, “It’s a celebration, after all!” you’re going to need something sparkling.
SUGGESTED WINES: For those with a sweet tooth at your table, pour Bartenura Spumante. Those looking for something more dry can taste Drappier Champagne.

Last, but certainly not least (just ask your grandmother), is dessert. A berry based or dark double chocolate dessert is typically great with a
port, while a lighter dessert, like ice cream or apple pie, goes well with a nice white wine.
SUGGESTED WINES: For port, try Psagot Prat. While technically not a port wine (it’s made in Israel, not Portugal) the darkly sweet, rich taste is still there. For the white wine, try lusciously sweet Piada Sauternes.

Whether you’re hosting a table of wine snobs or sipping novices, a colorful array of wines will be sure to please everybody at some point. Getting your whole family happy at the same time? Well, a person can dream.

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

SOUL_SOUP
I was born in Redbank, New Jersey, then we moved to Pennsylvania, and then to Rochester, New York. Although I was young and do not remember that much about any of those places, my parents made some wonderful friends there (especially in Rochester), whom they are still in touch with today. Her dear friends, Judy and Richard Columbus now own a home in California and they spend their winters together. Judy recently made it into the local newspaper with her delicious Butternut Squash and Pear Soup recipe. Not only does Judy look great, but her soup is both Thanksgiving-worthy and weeknight worthy too. I added a sprinkle of cinnamon and pumpkin seeds to the top for a sweet and crunchy garnish.

DESERT SUN RECEIPE

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
By Judy Columbus
Serves 6

2 Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup diced Vidalia or Spanish onions
3 cups or 24 ounces butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1½ tablespoons minced fresh garlic or 1 frozen garlic cube,
½ cup dry white wine
2 (14.5-ounce) cans vegetable or chicken broth
Few sprigs of fresh thyme, discard after cooking
½ teaspoon salt

Place pears and apples in a 2 quart bowl with lemon juice. Cover with water; set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium high heat, add oil. Add onions, sauté until translucent. Add squash, carrots and garlic. Drain liquid from 2 quart bowl and add pears and apples to the squash mixture. Add wine, broth, thyme and salt. Bring soup to a boil, turn down heat and simmer, covered, until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Transfer soup in batches to a blender; puree until smooth. Serve hot on a chilly winter’s eve or cold on a hot summer’s day.
Tips: Soup may be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen. Serve in soup bowls or mugs. Pour into tall cordial glasses, as a cold shooter. Garnish with a small sprig of savory or thyme.

Six Steps to Making Great Stuffing

  1. Start with Stale Bread: Use any type of bread, as long as it can get stale overnight. Drying it out overnight is key to flavor absorption and a good texture (soggy is not good). Torn bread instead of sliced promises extra toasty texture.
  2. Use some fat: You don’t have to add meat, but it does result in a nice savory stuffing. Brown the sausage or ground meat then use the drippings to cook the vegetables. This adds a nice kick and saltiness to the base.
  3. Use flavor-building ingredients: Sage, celery, and onion, leek, or shallots are nonnegotiable. These are the flavors of Thanksgiving. Cook until onions are golden brown.
  4. Deglaze away: Use a little wine or vinegar into the skillet, scraping and stirring to dissolve any crusted-on bits. Next, melt some margarine (this adds richness) into the mixture. This pairs well with the acidity from the wine.
  5. Stock is a must: Dry stuffing is awful and gummy stuffing equally as bad. Stock is a must, especially homemade if you have it. The bread should be moist with no dry spots but not sitting in liquid.
  6. Kick it up with add-ins: Now use your flair and palate. Look for balance when choosing add-ins. If you start with sweet cornbread, use tart dried cherries, or other dried fruit. Need crunch? Toss in nuts, pumpkin seeds, or chopped apples. I always finish it with some fresh herbs, like parsley, sage, basil or rosemary. And make sure you finish it with salt and pepper.

Need stuffing recipes? Try these stuffing recipes.

Kosherfest 2014

Kosherfest 2014 was fun, full of flavor and very fattening. From Jack’s Gourmet Sausage (you gotta try their new beef merguez, a show favorite by all), to gourmet choco- taschen ( pure caramel and chocolate shaped like a hamentaschen), they covered every food and flavor category. I skipped over a few granola, flatbread, and dairy-free, vegan baked goods because, it’s like candles at the gift show, just how many varieties are there? And instead saved my appetite for some new kosher products coming to your markets soon…and if you don’t see them, ask for them.

Here are some highlights and favorites this year…

Rugelach
Rugelach by Marzipan, what’s new here? Really rugelach? YES, really, these rugelach taste and look like “Israel shuk rugelach”,…you know the ones that come out of the oven oozing with chocolate or cinnamon. They are packaged tightly on a tray, warmed in the oven, and voila, Israel in your own home. Seriously, delicious.

teapops_frozen_treats_packaging_hero
Teapops, by Deebeesorganics.com, organic super fruits and teas, without refined sugar, then made into frozen delicious flavored ice pops. I loved the mango and coconut flavors. I’m definitely stocking these next summer in my freezer.

lovefruit
Move over Matt’s Munchies, hello, You Love Fruit. Better tasting dried pure fruit snacks, shaped in heart-sized bites in tons of flavors. Everything you expect like mango coconut, peach, Pomberry Acai, and more too, like key lime, passion fruit and carrot ginger. Coming soon.

moradwinery
Morad Winery not only brings us Pomegranate and Passion fruit wine but now also lychee and limoncello flavors. Gorgeous and delicious, and the friendliest owners ever.   GKC readers loved the wine for Rosh Hashannah, try some new flavors this winter too.

photo-blends
My gluten-free favorite item was easily, BLENDS, by Orly. She ingeniously created and packaged gluten free flour blends specific to the type of baking you are doing. She has a blend for breads, one for cookies, another for cakes, brownies and another for pizza doughs. Each is a special blend depending on the density and final consistency needed for your baking. Use as a one-to-one substitute to gluten based flour in all your recipes. I can’t wait to try it this week!

Tri-State party makers…try Toss It, Gourmet Salad Bar. Suri Engelberg, creator and chef for this company has created over 30 take-out salads in 2 different sizes for parties, Shabbos, weekday or anytime. Green salads, pasta salads, cabbage salads, grain salads and fruit salads are available, and the menu looks great. I tasted a few and really enjoyed the dressing and unique ingredients. Deliveries in some areas too. Check out her menu and pricing, it’s a great alternative to catering. Suri Engelberg 347 401 1920, no website yet.

A few other items, I’m looking forward to are the black truffle pate by La Rustichella , and the red curry paste by Thai Treat. I love Thai and Indian food so red and yellow curry pastes open up a world of flavors and recipes.

I’m looking forward to your feedback and what you liked at the event too. It’s a great food blogger meet and greet too. I loved sharing the day with Naomi Nachman, the Aussie Gourmet, Paula Shoyer, bestselling author of The Holiday Kosher Gourmet, my new friend Malkie Gordon from Kiss the Kosher Cook, Estee Kaffra from Kosher Scoop, Sara Lasry, best selling author of The Dairy Gourmet, Miriam Pascal from the Overtime Cook, Shifra Klein from Joy of Kosher magazine, and Leah Schapiro from CookKosher, and author of the The Made Easy Series, of Artscroll published cookbooks. Thanks fellow foodies and friends!

Thanksgiving Recipes, Tips and Wines

I’m a Thanksgiving lover as I’ve mentioned in previous years. I love the low-key happy nature of the holiday, the playing in the leaves, the football games, the delicious tastes and smells of the meal, and the leftovers too! Some years we get together with family and friends and some years I make the Shabbos meal Thanksgiving themed. Whatever your take on it is, no one can deny that the fall colors and ingredients in Thanksgiving cuisine are beloved by all. Check out all the Thanksgiving ideas and recipes from GKC.

And if you are new to GKC or just need a reminder, I’ve got lots of Thanksgiving and Turkey roasting tips and hints. Check out these past favorites.

Get Prepped for Thanksgiving, Perfect Turkey Roasting Tips and Tricks
Is a Kosher Turkey Really More Tasty?Thanksgiving Wines, What are you serving?3 Thanksgiving Wines we recommend
Win a Chefalarm, and check out all the best Thermometers from Thermoworks.

In addition to the new recipes for Thanksgiving, make sure you check out the
Turkey recipes
Stuffing recipes
Cranberry Sauce recipes
Mashed Potato recipes
Squash recipes
Green Bean recipes
Pie recipes

Or some leftover turkey ideas too:
Quick Chili with Leftover Turkey
Minestrone Soup with Leftover Turkey
Turkey Salad
Turkey Pie with Cranberry Thyme Crust

Pumpkin Tiramisu

Pumpkin Tiramisu Beauty A140728 FW Mastering My Mistakes Nov 2014
Serves 12

One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups Tofutti cream cheese
2 1/2 cups pareve whipping cream
2 cups brewed coffee, cooled
Two 7-ounce packages dry ladyfingers
Chocolate shavings and candied ginger, for garnish, optional

In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree with the brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar. Add the tofutti cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups of the pareve whipping cream. Using an electric mixer, beat the pumpkin mixture at medium speed until soft peaks form; do not overbeat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the brewed coffee with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar until it’s dissolved. Dip both sides of 6 ladyfingers in the coffee and arrange them in a single layer in a 4-quart trifle dish. Spread 1 cup of the pumpkin mousse on top. Repeat the layering 5 more times, ending with a layer of the pumpkin mousse. Cover and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup of whipping cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until soft peaks form. Dollop the whipped cream over the tiramisu, garnish with shaved chocolate and candied ginger and serve.

Savory Carrot and Apple Soup

savory-carrotapplesoup

Serves 12
4 tablespoons margarine or oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 medium fennel bulb, cored and chopped
Kosher salt
Pepper
2 pounds carrots, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds
2 parsnips , peeled and cut in rounds
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
7 gingersnap cookies or 4 full graham crackers, plus ½ teaspoon dried ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 thyme sprigs
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup Tofutti sour cream
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

In a large saucepan, melt the margarine. Add the onion, leek, fennel and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, 9 minutes. Add the carrots, parsnip, apple, gingersnaps, curry powder, garlic, ginger and thyme and cook, stirring, until the carrots and celery root soften slightly, 10 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are very tender, 25 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs.
With an immersion blender, puree the soup in a blender with the Tofutti sour cream and vinegar until smooth. Reheat the soup if necessary and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve.

Cornbread, Sausage, Cherry, and Pecan Stuffing

cornbread-cherry-and-pecan-stuffing
Serves 8

¾ cup (1½ sticks) margarine, cut into pieces, divided plus more
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup dried tart cherries
10 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread, dried out overnight
⅓ cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
¼ cup olive oil
1 pound kielbasa, Italian sausage or other sausage, optional
2 medium onions, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 large eggs
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth, divided
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a shallow 3-qt. baking dish and a sheet of foil. Bring vinegar and 2 tablespoons water to a boil in a small saucepan; remove from heat and add cherries. Let sit until cherries are plump, 15–20 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread out cornbread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden brown, 10–15 minutes. Let cool. Place in a very large bowl.
Drain cherries, reserving soaking liquid, and add cherries to bowl with cornbread (do not mix).
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook kielbasa/sausage, stirring occasionally and breaking into small pieces with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with a slotted spoon.
Add onions and celery to skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until onions are golden brown and soft, 10–12 minutes. Add garlic and sage; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
Reduce heat to medium and cook reserved cherry soaking liquid in skillet, scraping up any browned bits, until almost all evaporated, about 1 minute. Add ½ cup margarine; cook, stirring, until melted. Drizzle over bread mixture.
Whisk eggs and 2 cups stock in a medium bowl; pour over cornbread mixture. Add parsley, season with salt and pepper, and gently toss, adding more stock ¼-cupful at a time as needed (you may not use it all), until combined and cornbread is hydrated. Mix carefully to avoid breaking cornbread into crumbs. Transfer to prepared dish and dot with remaining ¼ cup margarine.
Cover with greased foil; bake until a paring knife inserted into the center comes out hot, 30–35 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450°. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown and crisp, 20–25 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
DO AHEAD: Stuffing can be assembled 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Fruit and Spice Cranberry Sauce

fruit-spice-cranberry-sauce
Makes 3 cups

8 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried tart cherries or craisins
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cinnamon stick (about 3 in. long)
1 wide piece lemon peel (about 3 in. long)
1 wide piece orange peel (about 3 in. long)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Put all ingredients and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring often, until cranberries have popped, flavors are developed, and dried fruit has softened, about 30 minutes. Let cool, then spoon into a serving bowl and chill until ready to take to the party (remove citrus peels and cinnamon stick before serving). Can be made up to 2 -3 days ahead of serving.

Sweet Potato and Pecan Pie

sweet-potato-pecan-pie-1114-l
Serves 12

1/2 recipe Pie Crust, see recipe below or store-bought

FILLING
2-1/4 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, such as Garnet (sometimes called “yams”)
3 large eggs
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons pareve whipping cream
3 tablespoons melted margarine
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

PECAN TOPPING
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon melted margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Make pastry as directed in a regular 9-in. pie pan. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 375° and make filling: Bake sweet potatoes in a shallow pan until very tender when pierced, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours. Let cool. Scoop flesh into a food processor and purée until smooth. Measure 2 cups; save extra for soup or another use.

Reduce oven to 350°. With a mixer, beat eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Beat in remaining filling ingredients until blended. Pour into crust and spread level. Wrap pie rim with 4 strips of foil.

Bake pie 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together topping ingredients except pecans until smooth. Stir in pecans.

Remove foil from pie. Evenly drop small spoonfuls of pecan mixture in a border around edge of pie. Continue to bake until center jiggles only slightly when shaken gently, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 2 hours.
Make ahead: Through step 2 or the whole pie, up to 1 day.

Pie crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
10 tablespoon cold unsalted margarine, cut into 1/2-in. cubes

In a mixer, beat flour, sugar, and salt on low speed to blend. Add shortening in spoonfuls and beat on low speed until pieces are pea-size, about 1 minute. Add margarine and beat until pieces are pea-size, stopping once to scrape bowl, about 2 1/2 minutes. Gradually drizzle in 5 1/2 tbsp. ice water, beating just until dough comes together, 15 to 30 seconds.

Divide mixture in half and gently gather and press each into a 3/4-in.-thick disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Unwrap 1 pastry disk and lightly flour pastry, work surface, and rolling pin (save remaining disk for another use). Working from center with short strokes, roll pastry into an even 12-in. circle. As you work, lift pastry using a bench scraper or long metal spatula, and reflour board and pin as needed to keep it from sticking.

Fold pastry in half and open up into a regular 9-in. pie pan, easing it into place without stretching. Using scissors, trim overhang to 1 in.

Roll overhang under itself so it’s flush with and sitting on top of rim. Pinch pastry along lip to form an even ridge. Flute ridge. Wrap with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400° with a rack in lower third. Line pastry with foil, letting ends come straight up from pan but not over rim. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until crust is golden at edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove foil and weights. If needed, bake until center is dry, 2 to 5 more minutes.
Make ahead: For dough, up to 2 days, chilled or 1 month, frozen. For blind-baked crust, up to 1 day, airtight.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions

roasted-brussels-sprouts-recipe_xlg
Serves 6 -8

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups thinly sliced sweet onions (from 2 large)
1 medium clove garlic, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar; more as needed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1-1/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered if large

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 5-quart heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, reduce the heat to medium, and cook without stirring until the onions begin to brown on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and stir with a wooden spatula. Continue to cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot frequently and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the onions are very soft and evenly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, toss the sprouts with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, stirring once or twice, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Toss the Brussels sprouts with the onions. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and vinegar, and serve.

Garlicky Green Beans

green-beans-recipe_xlg
Serves 8

Kosher salt
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds
5 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook, stirring once, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over low heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, until golden, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 10 seconds; transfer to a plate.
Add the margarine and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown, 3 minutes. Add the beans and toss to coat. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 4 minutes. Add the lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the beans topped with the almonds.

Sauteed Spinach with Shallots

sauteed-spinach
Serves 6

5 tablespoons unsalted margarine or olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/4 pound spinach (two 10-oz. bags), stemmed and thoroughly washed but not dried
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste

Heat the margarine in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, coriander, and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot begins to soften but does not brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high, and begin adding the spinach, a large handful at a time, tossing with tongs, until all the spinach is in the skillet. Cook, tossing frequently, until the spinach is wilted and bright green, about 2 minutes. If a lot of water remains, cook on high heat, until the leaves are coated with margarine but not soupy, another 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Thanksgiving Recipes 2014

thanksgiving-turkey

Appetizers
Savory Carrot and Apple Soup
Spinach Salad with Persimmons
Sweet Potato Latke
Curried Leftover Turkey Salad
Quick Thai Pumpkin Soup

Main Dish

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
Roast Turkey with Chestnut-Apple Stuffing
Classic Roast Turkey
Apple Brined Turkey
Roasted Turkey with Smoked Paprika
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pareve Ricotta Cheese and Olives with Balsamic Glaze
Fall Stew
Perfect Roast Turkey

Side Dish

Cornbread, Sausage, Cherry, and Pecan Stuffing
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions
Sautéed Spinach with Shallots
Garlicky Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes with Sauteed Leeks
Mashed Potatoes with Wasabi
Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Ginger
Spinach Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Green Bean Almondine
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Cranberry Pear Relish
Pumpkin Pilaf
Sweet Potato Coconut Crumble
Special Spice Cranberry Relish
Butternut Squash Stuffin Muffins
Baby Winter Squash with Spiced Orange-Currant Stuffing
Roast Turkey with Chestnut-Apple Stuffing
Roasted Turkey Roulade with Sausage Stuffing
Roasted Turkey with Smoked Paprika
Sausage and Apple Kosher Stuffing
Stuffed Chicken with Turkey and Apple-Cranberry Sausage Stuffing
Stuffing
Turkey Pie with Cranberry Thyme Crust
Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Ginger
Citrus Cranberry Sauce
Orange Maple Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Chutney
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Marilyn’s Stuffing
Provencal Potato Gratin
Smashed Potatoes with Pareve Sour Cream and Chives
Spanish Rice
Wild Rice with Roasted Grapes, Pecans and Sage
Lots of Stuffing Recipes here, Lots of Cranberry Sauces here, Potatoes everyway you can think of here

Desserts
Pumpkin Tiramisu
Fruit and Spice Cranberry Sauce
Sweet Potato and Pecan Pie
Recipe by Paula Shoyer, author of The Holiday Kosher Baker
Pumpkin Doughnuts and Almond and Olive Oil Cake
Bourbon Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Bread Stuffed with Cream Cheese
Easiest Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Bread
Cranberry Apple Sauce
Doughnut Bread Pudding
Olive Oil Cake
Lemon Bars with Cranberries
Pecan Pie Bars
Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes
Pumpkin Mousse Pie with Pecan Streusel
Apple Blueberry Pie
Apple Pie with Cranberries
Best Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Apples
Lemon Bars with Cranberries
Olive Oil Cake
Roasted Cranberry Pear Relish
Sweet Potato Coconut Crumble
Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes
Cranberry Macadamia Nut Stuffing
Cranberry-Pistachio Paté
Pumpkin Doughnuts
Pumpkin Mousse Pie with Pecan Streusel
Spicy Pumpkin Cake with Maple Glaze

Submit to Win a Red Chefalarm

Just in time for Thanksgiving or Hanukkah, CHEFALARM by Thermoworks is the must-have kitchen thermometer/timer/probe all-in-one.

gv-chefalarm

This is a professional oven thermometer that has been Rated #1 by a leading Cook’s Magazine. ChefAlarm delivers features not found in “houseware” cooking alarms. Some of these great features include; the main temperature digits are big and easy-to-see from a distance, backlight button to read the display in the dark and dual use, fold flat and use the magnetic back on a metal surface or tilt the display up and use it on a counter. It comes with one Pro-Series High Temp Cooking Probe which ensures your dishes reach the right temperature. Available online for $59 at thermoworks.com

To enter to win a red Chefalarm either:
1. Subscribe.
2. If you are already a subscriber, send us a comment. We love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
3. Follow us on Twitter or tweet about this post to your followers

My New Favs From Thermoworks

It’s no secret, I love the Thermapen and use it all year round for perfect meat and turkey roasting, and indoor and outdoor grilling. It’s on my ultimate kitchen essential equipment list and it will accompany me to all of my Thanksgiving cooking classes. But Thermoworks, the creators of the Thermapen, do not stop with this master thermometer.

Thermoworks has created some of my newest favorite kitchen electronics just in time for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. These are perfect gifts and gifts that give back. Thermometers make every cook better. From meat and turkey to yogurt and candy, kitchen thermometers help you cook with accuracy so foods are moist and delicious and never under or over cooked.

DOT
dot
The DOT is engineered to do one thing really well. Set your target temperature with the up or down buttons, insert the probe in your food, and DOT beeps when it gets there. Simple as that. Hit any button and the beeping stops. The display still flashes till your temperature drops below the setpoint. What’s really cool too is that has only two buttons to learn – Up and Down! No complicated programming, Just $39 at thermworks.com

THERMOPOP
thermopop
I promise I really promise that I love these products because they are more than cute! They work, they really work, accurately, quickly, and effortlessly. The Thermopop is the best pocket thermometer around, and it comes in 9 colors to match whatever you are wearing (no joke, I have a few depending on what I teach in J Now for the cool part, it’s the first rotating display pocket thermometer. A simple button press rotates the display in 90 degree increments. Hold the ThermoPop in either hand or read it when it’s upside down. Any angle is convenient! Available for $29 at thermoworks.com

THERMAPEN
thermoworks
Of course the THERMAPEN, continues to be a must-have item and I recommend it in all my classes. Currently, Thermoworks, is selling some outrageous special edition patterns. This one seems like a great gift!

CHEFALARM
And we cannot forget about the CHEFALARM (Hurry! I got one to giveaway, submit to win!)

thermapen
This is a professional oven thermometer that has been Rated #1 by a leading Cook’s Magazine. ChefAlarm delivers features not found in “houseware” cooking alarms. Some of these great features include; the main temperature digits are big and easy-to-see from a distance, backlight button to read the display in the dark and dual use, fold flat and use the magnetic back on a metal surface or tilt the display up and use it on a counter. It comes with one Pro-Series High Temp Cooking Probe which ensures your dishes reach the right temperature. Available online for $59 at thermoworks.com

SUBMIT TO WIN A RED CHEFALARM

Spanish Rice

spanish-rice
Serves 6

We love rice in my family so I had to start creating recipes that used rice in different and unexpected ways. I love the color and flavor in this dish. I often serve it along side a turkey breast so keep it on file for Thanksgiving, which is just around the corner!

2 tablespoons margarine or oil
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
Pinch salt
Pinch cayenne
Several dashes hot sauce or Srirachi sauce

Melt the margarine in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the rice, onion and green pepper, and saute until the rice is slightly browned and the vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, cayenne and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, then fluff with a fork. If the rice is tender but too soupy, cook uncovered for another 5 minutes. If the rice is dry but not yet tender, add 1/2 cup water, cover and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until the rice is done.

Banana Bread with Chocolate Sauce

BananBread-chocsauce

Banana cake is an easy and quick dessert to make. I always save my old bananas in the freezer so that when my kids feel like baking, they can take them out and whip up a quick batch. The chocolate sauce makes this extra special though. I like to put pieces of sliced bananas on top of the sliced banana bread and then drizzle the chocolate sauce on top. I sprinkle the whole thing with chocolate shavings and its special enough for Shabbos too.

Banana Bread with Chocolate Sauce
Serves 10

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) margarine
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup non-dairy creamer or soymilk, well shaken
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 cup chopped pecans
Chocolate Chip Sauce:
8 ounces chocolate chips
1 cup non-dairy creamer, pareve whipping cream or soymilk

For the banana bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

With an electric mixer, cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the bananas and vanilla. Sift the flour together with the baking soda and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk non-dairy and vinegar. Add the flour, non-dairy creamer/vinegar mixture to the banana mixture, working in stages, and beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in the pecans.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans and bake for 55 minutes. Cool slightly in the pan before turning the loaves out onto wire racks to cool completely.

For the chocolate chip sauce: Add the chocolate chips to a heat-proof bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until hot but not boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until chocolate is fully melted. Serve over slices of banana bread.

Last Tuesday was National Chocolate Day, Let’s Celebrate Chocolate!

chocolate-heart

Did you know that Tuesday October 28, was National Chocolate Day? Did you miss it or get a chance to indulge? I actually didn’t know we needed a National chocolate day to celebrate that luscious, divine ingredient. I’m personally okay with celebrating with a little chocolate on almost any day but okay, let’s refill our chocolate drawer at work, grab a box on the way home and make a killer chocolate dessert to enjoy before, or after, dinner. And since the official day was last week, let’s just keep it going, maybe National Chocolate Month?

Although I will help you find a few good chocolate recipes this week, and answer your pressing chocolate questions, I also must first tell you that all chocolate is not created equal. Though many chocolates are tasty, they are not exactly what connoisseurs refer to as quality chocolate. With an array of chocolates available at convenience stores, markets, specialty shops and chocolatiers, those with a chocolate craving are sure to come across plenty of disappointments on their quest for superior chocolates. Additionally the quality of the chocolate used in a recipe can often determine the end product. I use good quality chocolate for everything, eating, baking, shavings, and even in hot cocoa.

A few tips to buying good quality chocolate…

Let the price tag be an indicator of good chocolate. Good chocolate will cost more than commercial grade chocolate, as it should. If you are looking for top quality chocolate, expect to pay more for the quality.

Look at the ingredients. Good chocolate will have cocoa solids (the actual chocolate) and cocoa butter (the creaminess of the chocolate) as top ingredients. If you browse the list of ingredients and see a bunch of things you do not recognize and cannot pronounce, skip purchasing it.

Check the date the chocolate was made. Dark chocolate is recommended to be used before 1 year, milk chocolate within 6 months and white chocolate within 8 months. The date is located on the package.

Smell the chocolate. Chocolate should smell like…chocolate. No smell to the chocolate indicates old or poor quality chocolate. Chocolate that smells of anything else means it has not been stored well. Chocolate absorbs the odor and flavor of its environment, so pay attention to whatever is on display nearby.

Good chocolate has a glossy surface.
If you open the package and it has a foggy appearance than it is probably made with imitation chocolate ingredients. I would not use this in baking or eating but instead of it going to waste, melt it and add it to warm milk for hot chocolate.

AND I’m often asked these questions about chocolate:
In chocolate, what does bittersweet mean versus semisweet?

Typically, semisweet chocolate has lower cacao content and is sweeter than bittersweet chocolate. However, the only FDA requirement is that something called dark, bittersweet, or semisweet chocolate contain at least 35 percent cacao and less than 12 percent milk solids (more milk solids, and it’s required to say it’s milk chocolate).

Bittersweet chocolate contains sugar, but generally not as much as semisweet chocolate, although, by government standards, they could contain practically identical amounts of chocolate liquor and sugar and still retain their bittersweet and semisweet labels. What this means is that one brand’s bittersweet chocolate could be close in sweetness to another brand’s semisweet chocolate, and vice versa.
Because of this, bittersweet and semisweet chocolate could be used interchangeably in most recipes; unsweetened, obviously, could not because it contains no sugar.

What does % cacao mean on the package?
When you see “% cacao” printed on a label, it refers to the total percentage of ingredients by weight in that product that come from the cocoa bean, including the chocolate liquor and cocoa butter. The term is found most often on premium chocolates, especially dark chocolate.
It’s a guide to specific flavor intensity. The numbers point to milder or deeper chocolate flavor. Finding this number on the label can help you choose a chocolate that matches your taste preferences or your recipe’s needs.

What do the numbers indicate? Higher cacao percentages equal the following:
• Greater Flavor Intensity: In general, a higher “% cacao” lends a more intense chocolate flavor.

• Less Sweetness: A higher “% cacao” means less added sugar. For example, a 72 percent cacao dark chocolate has roughly 12 percent less sugar than a 60 percent cacao dark chocolate. Unsweetened baking chocolate is 100 percent cacao with no added sugar, and it is very bitter.

What type of chocolate should I use in baking?
For melting or baking use chocolate with more than a 32% cocoa butter (I prefer the brands with 52%) but less than 32% will not melt to a proper workable fluid state. When melted it will be thick and be completely unusable for most dipping and other types of uses. Personally, I like bittersweet chocolate in everything but buy and eat whatever you prefer.

And now, chocolate recipes to enjoy…
Brownie Chocolate Chip Pie
Chocolate Almond Ripple Cake
Chocolate Biscotti
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
Chocolate Meltaway Cake
Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes

And for a huge assortment of chocolate recipes to choose from check out the CHOCOLATE INDEX