Kosher Chefs Light Up Your Celebration With Chanukah Recipes

In the interest of full disclosure I have to confess to not unlocking my inner gourmet cook at Chanukah time. I personally prefer the pure and basic potato latke, so that is what we eat. And yet, if I were the kosher chef at an elegant dining spot or if I had a kosher chef on call to come cater events in my home (any takers?), then I might be tempted to expand my Hanukkah food palate. GKC readers need not be dismayed by my personal limits. We have enlisted the help of some of your favorite kosher chefs to broaden your Chanukah recipes repertoire. From cheese to potato latkes, and from apple to apricot sufganiyot, these chefs will forever change the way you view food for Hanukkah. Have a Chag Sameach and may the light of Chanukah burn brightly in all of our homes.

Cheese Latkes


Wild Mushroom Potato Latkes


Apple Fritters


Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon
Apricot and Sesame Glazed Beignets

Cheese Latkes

In keeping with the tradition of eating dairy food for Hanukkah, Chumie Vann shared this treat with us.
Makes about 15 medium-sized latkes.

1 pound farmer’s cheese
1 cup flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
1 pinch salt
Mix all ingredients together and fry in 2/3 cup of hot oil until golden brown. Do not over-fry or they will be too dry.

Optional Additions:
A handful of fresh chopped dill – gives it pretty color and a touch of gourmet flavor
A handful of raisins
A handful of chopped walnuts

Optional Topping:
Smoked salmon with chive garnish

Wild Mushroom Potato Latkes

From our friends at Le Marais comes this delicious pareve potato latkes recipe, topped with wild mushrooms.

1-1/2 cups of wild mushrooms
1 clove garlic
Olive oil for sautéing
3 cups of grated potato, squeezed dry
4 tablespoons grated yellow onion
Ground nutmeg to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 eggs, scrambled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

In a hot pan, sauté the mushrooms in olive oil and garlic until the mushrooms are fully cooked and take on some color. Cool and then cut them into a dice.

In a large bowl, add the dry potato, grated onion, nutmeg, eggs, salt and pepper, and the tarragon. Mix well. Squeeze the mushrooms of the excess liquid and then add to the bowl.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a pan with about one quarter inch of oil. Form the latke mix into the size of a small hockey puck.

Fry the latkes until a golden brown on each side. Place the latkes on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and then finish them in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Top the finished latkes with the wild mushrooms or any traditional topping of your choice.

Apple Fritters

Jeff Nathan, Chef and Owner of Abigael’s adds a twist to the Chanukah recipes tradition of sufganiyot with this recipe for Apple Fritters.
(Pareve)

Makes 6 servings
Batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
4 crisp apples, such as Jonathan or Golden Delicious
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1. To make the batter, whisk the flour, sugar, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, and allspice together in a large bowl. Add 2 3/4 cups water and whisk until the batter is barely smooth. Set the batter aside to rest while heating the oil.

2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of crumpled paper towels.

3. Pour enough oil into a large, heavy saucepan to come 2 inches up the sides. Heat over high heat until the oil reaches 365°F on a deep-frying thermometer.

4. While the oil is heating, peel, core and cut each apple into 6 wedges. If cut too soon, the apples will darken.

5. Spread the confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl. In batches without crowding, coat the apple wedges in confectioner’s sugar, and then the batter, letting the excess batter drip back into the bowl. Add to the oil and deep-fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a mesh deep-frying “spider” or a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to the paper towels and keep warm in the oven while frying the rest.

6. Sprinkle the apples with confectioner’s sugar and serve hot.

Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon


Prime Grill
shares yet another potato latke recipe with us as well as their version of sufganiyot, New Orleans-style: beignets. Looks like you can get great ideas for Hanukkah food from just about anywhere!

Ingredients
1 pound potatoes
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon to ¾ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1-1/2 tablespoons sliced black truffles
1 tablespoon of flour
Pareve sour cream
Smoked salmon

Preparation
In a large bowl, combine egg and flower and mix until there are no lumps; add potatoes, chives and truffles and salt and pepper – mix thoroughly and put into a strainer to remove excess moisture.

Brown in a sauté pan on both sides for 2 minutes on each side.

Garnish with pareve sour cream and a couple slices of smoked salmon.

Apricot and Sesame-Glazed Beignets

Ingredients
2-¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1-½ cups warm water (110 degrees F)
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup Coffee Rich non-dairy creamer
7 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup margarine
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
Apricot preserves
Sesame seeds

Preparation
In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, coffee rich, and blend well. Mix in 4 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the margarine and then the remaining 3 cups of flour. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 ½ inch squares. Fry in 360 degree F hot oil. If beignets do not pop up oil is not hot enough. Drain onto paper towels.

Dip in apricot preserves, then into sesame seeds.

Eight Days, Eight Healthy Foods, & Eight Perfect Wines: Eight Chanukah Recipes!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And certainly the oiliest. That’s right – Chanukah is here, and you know what that means: oily potato latkes, oily jelly doughnuts, and calories it will take more than a miracle to exercise away. Ever since I can remember, my family has hosted a Chanukah party, complete with all the expected Chanukah recipes. We never had a care in the world as to what those potato latkes were doing to our cholesterol, or what those sufganiyot meant for our physiques. Of course, today’s kosher consumer is much more health-conscious. I’m here to tell you that, yes, you can cook Chanukah foods that are delicious and healthy, delightful and wholesome, delectable and nourishing. If you’re planning on hosting a party, or even just cooking up some special dinners for your own family, these recipes will surely help keep your loved ones happy, healthy, and satisfied. Many of us enjoy a glass of wine with our festive meals so you’ll find that each of these recipes has been expertly paired with the perfect wine by Gary Landsman of the Royal Wine Corporation. Some of these wines are brand new releases for Chanukah, so keep an eye out for tasting notes on these newcomers to the kosher wine scene. From appetizer to main course to dessert, we have you covered for the whole festival of lights. And just how many healthy/delicious Chanukah recipes will you need for this enlightened holiday? I’ll give you eight guesses…

First up, we’ll start with an appetizer that will keep those cold December nights warm and bright: Moroccan Carrot Soup. You might not consider this a Chanukah food at first, but something about the sweetness of the carrots and the warm inviting orange color reminiscent of the candles burning nearby has always made this a Chanukah favorite. This soup will go perfectly with a Herzog Brut Rosé wine. If you make enough on the first night, it just might last you all eight!

Moroccan Carrot Soup

Next up, recipe number two: an update on the traditional Greek Salad. It’s pareve, so you can serve it with any main course. The wine to serve with it is the brand new Baron Herzog Pinot Grigio. According to the Royal Wine Corporation, this is a “straw colored wine with perfume on the nose, followed by ripe pear, apple and tropical fruit notes. Light in body with a clean and elegant finish.”

New Greek Salad (And it’s Pareve) with Garlic Croutons

Enough appetizers; it’s time to get to the heart of the meal itself. Of course, the main course will depend on whether you are going for dairy Chanukah foods or meat. We’ll start with dairy, since that way you can still have your low-fat sour cream with your potato latkes later on. For recipe number three, here’s delicious Bechamel Lasagna, which pairs well with the Capcanes Peraj Petita wine. Bechamel sauce is otherwise known as white sauce, and it’s an ancient European recipe – about 300 years old! Most commonly used with pastas and vegetables, it’s a great base for many recipes and is always a family favorite – especially with the kids. Make this a staple Chanukah food in your home, and you won’t hear any complaints.

Artichoke and Mushroom Lasagna with Béchamel Sauce

Of course, what’s a Jewish holiday without a meat meal to sink your teeth into? Chanukah recipes numbers four and five are meat entrees that have a bit of a sweet holiday twist to them: Soy Braised Short Ribs (to be paired with Barkan Altitude 720 Cabernet Sauvignon,) and Cranberry Apple Brisket (to be paired with Jeunesse Reserve Napa Cabernet Sauvignon – another new wine, described as having “youthful aromas of fresh berries, cherries and a floral bouquet, finishing with a soft texture and a hint of sweetness”).

Soy-Braised Short Ribs
Apple Cranberry Brisket

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re already up to recipe number six, and still no mention of potato latkes! Have no fear: this recipe for Potato Latkes With Spicy Mayo and Smoked Salmon will have your family and friends begging for more. They’re not your traditional potato latkes for sure, and this recipe will taste great with a Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc by its side. Be careful to stay conservative on the oil: there are about 120 calories per tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (for more health information on the different types of olive oils, see Simone Stromer, MD’s article, “Are All Olive Oils Heart-Healthy?” ).

Potato Latkes with Spicy Mayonnaise and Smoked Salmon

Here we are at last: dessert! Now, like I said, Chanukah foods don’t have to be unhealthy. But if there’s ever a time to indulge a bit, it’s dessert. Just keep those portions under control, and you’ll be alright. For a bit of a variation on the traditional jelly doughnuts, recipe number seven is Cake Doughnut Bread Pudding, to be paired with a Herzog Reserve Russian River Chardonnay.

Cake Doughnut Bread Pudding

Recipe number eight is as traditional a dessert as you can get: good old Baklava. Baklava is the perfect Hanukkah food: it’s Greek, it’s sweet, it’s sticky, and it’s delicious! Pair this with a Herzog Reserve Late Harvest White Riesling, and you’ll be on such a sugar-high you won’t even notice the holiday is almost over.

Simple Baklava

Well, there you have it. Eight Chanukah recipes and eight paired wines for the (mostly) health-conscious kosher cook. When it comes to eating right, moderation is always key. Holidays are certainly times for celebration and indulgence, but there’s no reason why you have to go a full week without giving your body nutritious fare. This Chanukah, may your homes always be filled with light, joy, and the aromas of a delicious gourmet meal. Happy Chanukah!

Kosher Stuffing – There are No Limits!

It doesn’t get any stranger than this – Marilyn Monroe’s stuffing for a “Jewish Thanksgiving”?? We removed the cheese and simplified it slightly. Now this kosher stuffing recipe, originally featured in the New York Times, can work for any home.

But almost any stuffing can be made into a kosher stuffing – particularly all those sausage stuffing recipes; there is such a great variety of kosher sausages available today that it seems a shame not to take full advantage of them. In Los Angeles, we are particularly spoiled by the presence of Jeff’s Gourmet (www.jeffsgourmet.com) – unfortunately he doesn’t ship across country – where we can purchase a large variety of freshly made sausages including Smoked Chicken Apple, Chicken Cilantro, Mergez, Turkey Italian, Veal Bratwurst and Polish, to name a few! But for those of you who are in colder climates and less privileged, there is now a large variety available in your local freezer section. Check out Neshama Sausages (http://www.neshama.us/). They also have many different flavors of sausage, including Breakfast Delight, Mild Italian, Smoked Andouille, Southwest Style, and Mergez – and they can be ordered online. Now your kosher stuffing possibilities are endless. Try this recipe but don’t limit yourself; play around online and try adapting a non-kosher one on your own. Send us the results; we’d love to try it.

Marilyn’s Stuffing

Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Marilyn’s Stuffing

Adapted from “Fragments” by Marilyn Monroe (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $30)
Time: 2 hours

No garlic (I guess this is meant to be funny!)
A 10-ounce loaf sourdough bread
1/2 pound chicken livers
1/2 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chopped curly parsley
2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped
1-1/2 cups raisins
1-1/4 cups chopped walnuts, pine nuts or roasted chestnuts, or a combination
2 teaspoons dried crushed rosemary
2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
2 teaspoons dried crushed thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt-free, garlic-free poultry seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon pepper

Directions:
1. Split the bread loaf in half and soak it in a large bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Wring out excess water over a colander and shred into pieces.

2. Boil the livers for 8 minutes in salted water, then chop until no piece is larger than a coffee bean.

3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in the oil, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, so no piece is larger than a pistachio.

4. In your largest mixing bowl, combine the sourdough, livers, ground beef, celery, onion, parsley, eggs, raisins and nuts, tossing gently with your hands to combine. Whisk the rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper together in a bowl, scatter over the stuffing and toss again with your hands. Taste and adjust for salt. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use as a stuffing or to bake separately as dressing. (We recommend baking separately for all stuffings – in a 350 degree oven, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour)

Yield: 20 cups, enough for one large turkey, 2 to 3 geese(!) or 8 chickens.

Sausage and Apple Kosher Stuffing

1 pound white bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
¾ pound Italian sausage (a combination of sweet and hot is nice)
¼ cup margarine
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
¾ cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the bread cubes in a large baking pan and bake for about 12 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a large bowl. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, brown the sausage and then add to bowl with bread. Add the margarine to the pan and sauté the onions and celery for a few minutes. Add apples and sauté briefly. Add onions, celery and apples to bowl. Add the broth to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add this to bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and mix in the eggs. Place in a greased 9 x 13-inch dish. Reduce oven to 325 degrees. Bake, covered, for ½ hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Kosher Turkey for Thanksgiving

More On Kosher Turkeys!…What’s the difference anyway? Free-Range? Organic? Kosher? What’s best for a Great Thanksgiving? Especially a great Jewish Thanksgiving?

It’s an amazing phenomenon to me… This time of year, markets around the country, even markets with no notable Jewish demography, get requests for kosher turkeys. So is it really true that kosher birds taste better? How about organic kosher turkeys and kosher Free-range turkeys, do they taste as good? We asked the experts, both kosher and non-kosher chefs and butchers and here is the summary.

According to rabbinic tradition, kashering a turkey demands not only a specific method of slaughter, but also the salting of the turkey before cooking. In other words, all kosher meat is brined before preparation.

So what’s brining? The process by which the meat is soaked in salted water, and yes, this creates a more flavorful and juicy product at the end of cooking. It’s healthier than basting with oil or other fats, and actually far more effective at obtaining the desired juicy flavor.

Another big difference is “non-kosher” birds, are soaked in hot water prior to plucking (it makes them easier to pluck because the hot water loosens the skin), Kosher birds must be cold-soaked to avoid the prohibition of cooking before the aforementioned salting/soaking/brining process which has to happen after the birds are plucked. Also, the hot water process is drying and can be a health risk as it can generate additional bacteria that must be cooked out of the bird. So for a healthier, easier Jewish Thanksgiving, use a kosher turkey! Or, just consider this a bit of insider information on some of the lesser-known benefits of eating kosher.

Now that you have a sense of some of the differences between kosher turkey’s and non-kosher ones, let’s clarify the difference between the other types of birds.

Organic Turkey: Turkeys must be fed organic feed and given access to the outdoors. They are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.

Free-range Turkey: Turkey producers must demonstrate to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service that the turkey has been allowed access to the outside. 


FYI and good news: All turkeys are both hormone and steroid free. No hormones have been approved for use in turkeys. Genetic improvements, better feed formulation and modern management practices are responsible for the larger turkeys produced today.

Amongst the renowned experts we consulted for this blog, Tyler Florence, Emeril Lagasse from the Food Network, as well as chefs from Solo and La Marais in NY, and my mother-in-law, they all agree that a kosher turkey is the tastiest choice. They also agreed that using organic and free-range birds do not improve the taste but may appeal to your conscience. Either way, Roasted Turkey is delicious and healthy for Thanksgiving dinner or as a Shabbos meal any week, so enjoy!

Perfect Roast Turkey

Ingredients
1 (12 pound) fresh turkey
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 Spanish onion, quartered
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Paprika

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, lemon, onion, quartered, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and a little paprika. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

Roast the turkey for 2 1/2 hours, basting from time to time with pan juices, until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with foil; let it rest for 20 minutes. Slice the turkey and serve hot.

Thanksgiving

worldphoto360.com


You can’t pick up a food magazine (and I love to pick up food magazines!) these days without seeing Thanksgiving recipes. Everywhere you look there are turkeys and stuffing and cranberry sauce. There are sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts and pumpkin pie. And that famous green bean casserole – which I hereby promise never to post on our site! Even though my family doesn’t actually celebrate Thanksgiving, I am not immune to the seduction of those dishes. So the Friday night following Thanksgiving, we have turkey with all the fixings. And we can’t wait. We pull out our cookbooks and search online for some updated offerings to incorporate into our repertoire. Some web surfers waste valuable time frantically searching for recipes for kosher turkey or kosher stuffing. We spare you the effort. We have already adapted your dream recipes for the kosher cook. (And we’ll adapt more – just send them to us!) Here are just some of our favorites. But stay tuned through the month. And don’t despair – you don’t have to choose from among so many fabulous recipes. Since we believe in thanking the Almighty for our blessings every single day, there is no reason to limit our turkey consumption to just once a year!

Turkey Basted with Coffee Liqueur

Cranberry, Apple and Pecan Salad
Pareve Pumpkin Cheesecake

Cranberry, Apple and Pecan Salad

Instead of cranberry sauce, try this refreshing salad.

1 cup candied pecan pieces
4 apples, sliced
½ cup dried cranberries
1 bunch spinach or butter lettuce

Dressing:
½ cup tofutti sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Whisk together dressing ingredients. Toss with apples and cranberries. Place on top of spinach or lettuce – either in a large bowl or plated for individual servings. Sprinkle with nuts and serve.

Pareve Pumpkin Cheesecake

credit:foodnetwork.com

This is a nice change from the typical pumpkin pie.

Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (it’s even better if you can use ginger snap crumbs)
5 tablespoons margarine, melted

Filling:
2 (8-ounce) packages tofutti cream cheese, softened
1 cup tofutti soup cream
1-¼ cups sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
One (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350° F. To make the crust, mix the ingredients and pat into a 9-inch spring form pan, forming the crust along the bottom and slightly up the sides. Set aside in refrigerator. To make the filling, in a mixer, beat the tofutti cream cheese, tofutti sour cream, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the pumpkin purée and the spices and blend. Add the eggs one at a time and blend again until mixed. Pour into the pan over the crust. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the center is almost set.
Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool. Refrigerate for several hours, until the cheesecake is completely cooled. To serve, run a knife or metal spatula around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake, and remove the pan.

Kosherfest

This week was Kosherfest! The largest kosher food show in America where thousands of people come to see what is going on in the kosher food world and of course GKC was there, meeting with dozens of kosher vendors, some old friends and some new and exciting ones – more on that later. There were cookbook authors, new products for the kosher consumer, and eating, lots and lots of eating – This week KosherFest, next week the gym!

First stop was visiting some of our favorite cookbook authors. And that means no better place to start than the amazing Susie Fishbein. Susie’s cookbooks have become a staple in most kosher kitchens, and why not, they’re so beautiful and imaginative. It’s remarkable what Susie has contributed to the elegant kosher kitchen. GKC found Susie demonstrating easy delicious desserts that she created for Kolatin (A company GKC told its readers about in past blogs!). Susie thanked me and told me how great the GKC readers have responded to her new book (check out all your great comments and enthusiasm in the GKC comments section) and why not? It’s a great and really fun cookbook!

Next, GKC good friend Jamie Geller was there in her classic Jamie high energy tons of fun way… Jaime is going to be joining us soon, for a personal Q & A about her new book, Meals in Minutes (submit your questions to Jamie here). I have to say it is so great to watch Jamie light the kosher world, on fire and to bring the joys of kosher cooking to so many women who might not otherwise be cooking with a smile. I have known Jaime for years and remember her as a powerhouse professional and guest at my Shabbos table, and now watching and enjoying her energy in the kosher world is just wonderful. After spending time with Jamie, GKC got a few minutes in with Estee Kafra from the new Kosher Inspired, the new kosher food magazine published by Mishpacha magazine. I saw the first one and it’s full of great articles, recipes, photos, and entertaining ideas – check it out, lots of fun.

GKC shared lots of fun web ideas with Lois and Roberta from koshereye.com and let me tell you, those ladies give new meaning to southern hospitality and charm! I want to go to Atlanta for Shabbos just so I can spend more time with them. Afterwards while I could still stand, GKC met with our good friend Jodi Samuels from metroimma.com Jodi is spending her time doing what she does best, helping Jews stay in touch with each other!

Throughout the day, GKC received the best VIP treatment (meaning extra snacks and samples!) from all of our great partners from Royal Wines, Osem, Streits, Mehadrin, Zelda’s, and more. We loved meeting with the mashgiach from the White House, Rabbi Segal, who was so kind to give GKC great recipes from the White House kitchen!

Now, lets talk food. What was good you ask? Here are a few of our favs.

* Matzel Toff. We mentioned this one last Pesach and it made the show this year. Really scrumptious chocolate covered matzah with caramel and sea salt. It’s hard to image that matzah is really in this product. I’d eat it year round!
* Jack’s Gourmet Sausage. Don’t fall down. My friends know that I am no sausage eater but WOW! I was impressed. Incredibly flavorful without that overly salty, hyper-smoked taste. These are rich, smooth, and upscale. I would definitely have a fleish eggs, onions and sausage breakfast if these were included.
* Zelda’s caramel popcorn. I just love it. Covered in sweet caramel, crispy and crunchy. The extra snack bags didn’t make it home, I snacked on it all the way.
* Belgian Crepes. How fun is that idea? Prepared soft, thin crepes, in a vacuumed packed bag, ready to eat. I love the idea of instant crepes Suzette, or a crepe with strawberries in it for breakfast, or Nutella for dessert.
* Dr. Praeger’s buffalo nuggets. This is no kiddy chicken nugget and it certainly does not taste pareve. Healthy, quick and full of flavor. Try them.
* Tishbi Fig Cabernet Preserve. I loved it before I even tasted it. How cool is that name and the packaging is so wine snob… black, elegant, refined. And the taste, yum, sophisticated, slightly sweet with wine overtones. Perfect with Brie and crackers, or a scone.
* Lily Bloom’s Kitchen Gourmet Macaroons. These are no ordinary macaroon. New to the show and new on the market, I loved the white chocolate raspberry and the chocolate. Super rich but small so they leave you wanting more. Boxed like fine chocolates they make great gifts except your guests will finish them before you arrive for the meal.

Stay tuned for more from Kosherfest over the next few months. We can’t wait to bring you information about all.

Kosher by Design TEENS and 20-SOMETHINGS

My family got really lucky this week. In anticipation of reviewing Susie Fishbein’s new cookbook, I had to test out some of the recipes. I tried the New Tuna-Noodle Casserole. Although “gourmet chefs” usually turn down their noses at tuna casseroles, this one was particularly delicious. (Important disclaimer: I don’t consider myself a gourmet chef and can be peacefully content with chocolate chip cookies made from the most basic of recipes!) Everyone in the family enjoyed the tuna dish; the proof being that there was none left when I tried to have some for lunch the next day! I also made Ellie’s Onion-Crusted Chicken which was really, really good. I couldn’t find any horseradish sauce so I just mixed some white horseradish with mayonnaise and it worked out perfectly. I also tried the Big Dogs in Blankets. I was less successful with this. I couldn’t quite get the beans and sauerkraut inside the slit in the hot dogs so we ended up with just having big “pigs in blankets” with beans and sauerkraut as the sides. No one complained. I was looking forward to trying out some more but I was knocked out by a virulent form of bronchitis and retreated from contact with the kitchen and food prep! I’m sure we would have enjoyed the rest of the recipes- I plan to make the Layered Mushroom Ziti when I return from my quarantine. I definitely believe that you can never have too many kosher cookbooks and certainly not too many of those created by Susie Fishbein.

As a special thank you to gourmetkoshercooking.com, readers receive a 10% discount on Teens and 20-Somethings and free shipping (in Cont. U.S.) on their entire ArtScroll order when they enter the coupon code KBDBLOG at checkout. Please use the link http://www.artscroll.com/linker/kbdblog/link/kosherbydesign/ to help find the right page. For most recipes and updates, visit their blog (http://www.kosherbydesignblog.com/) or follow them on twitter (http://twitter.com/kosherbydesign).

Homemade Snack

School has finally started and most of us are back to a routine in our homes – work, lunches, snacks, dinner, homework, errands, activities and more. GKC is back too and focused on your feedback and the features that you have requested. Many readers have asked for homemade snack recipes. It is often challenging to include tasty, nutritious, and easy snacks that kids will be excited about. It’s hard to compete with those ketchup chips!! Even the Obamas are working on this issue. Try some of these suggestions or submit what you make at home. We would love to share them with our readers!

White House Fruit and Oat Bars from the White House chef Bill Yosses
Easy Healthier Brownies
Crunchy Cereal Trail Mix
Perfect Homemade Cheese Popcorn

Fruit Kebabs: Way more fun than just mixed fruit

Crunchy Cereal Trail Mix

1-½ cups puffed rice
1-½ cups puffed wheat
1-½ cups Wheat Chex cereal
1 cup puffed millet or muesli
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the puffed rice, puffed wheat, chex, puffed millet, oats and coconut on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the honey, cinnamon and salt. Pour the mixture over the cereal mixture and gently stir with a rubber spatula. Return to the oven and bake until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Perfect Cheese Popcorn

Easy

Serves:
3 1/2 to 4 quarts

Ingredients
3 tablespoons peanut oil
3 ounces popcorn kernels, approximately 1/2 cup
1/2 teaspoon popcorn salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions
Place the oil, popcorn and salt in a large, 6-quart, metal mixing bowl. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and poke 10 slits in the top with a knife.

Place the bowl over medium heat and shake constantly using a pair of tongs to hold the bowl. Continue shaking until the popcorn finishes popping, approximately 3 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the heat and carefully remove the foil. Stir in any salt that is on the side of the bowl.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Slowly drizzle over the popcorn, while spinning the bowl. Serve immediately.

Try adding some flavors like grated parmesan cheese or smoked paprika to make cheese or smoky popcorn.

White House Fruit and Oat Bars

Adapted from Bill Yosses, White House pastry chef

Time: About 50 minutes, plus time for cooling

6 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil, plus extra for brushing pan
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower and sesame
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups mixed dried fruit, such as raisins, cherries, apricots, papaya, pineapple and cranberries (at least 3 kinds, cut into small pieces if large)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, letting a few inches hang over side of pan. Brush with oil.

2. Spread oats and seeds on another baking pan and toast in oven just until golden and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes, shaking pan once.

3. In a saucepan, combine oil, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup and salt. Stir over medium heat until smooth and hot. In a mixing bowl, toss together toasted oats and seeds, dried fruit and cardamom. Pour hot sugar mixture over and stir until well combined.

4. While mixture is warm, transfer to prepared pan, pressing into pan evenly with an offset spatula.

5. Bake until brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack and let cool completely. Using the overhanging foil or paper, lift out of pan and place on a work surface. Cut into bars, about 1-1/2 inches by 3 inches.

Yield: 2 dozen bars.

Easy Recipes

GKC is excited to announce its new section: Easy Recipes. Isn’t that what you’ve been waiting for? Especially after all the cooking for the holidays?! Along with our regular weekly and Shabbos offerings we will now present the Easy Recipe of the Week. In addition, all easy recipes on the site will soon be marked with the easy recipe icon so that you can find them…easily!! Here are some quick recipes, new and old, to get you started. Enjoy


Easy Recipes


Tomato Salad
Chocolate Mousse
Chicken with Duck Sauce
Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispie Brownies
Spicy Black Bean Soup

Tomato Salad

Easy

4 garden-grown or hot house tomatoes, chopped (you need very fresh, flavorful tomatoes since they are the main ingredient and not cooked)
1 small red onion, diced
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vinegar
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, depending on the size of the tomatoes

Mix all ingredients together and let stand at room temperature for ½ hour to allow flavors to blend.