Candy Bar Blondies

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 (1 3/4 ounce) chocolate covered candy bars, chopped and divided (any kind of candy bar is fine, or m & m’s)

Beat margarine or butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs. Mix in flour, baking soda and salt.
Reserve 1/2 cup chopped candy for topping; stir remaining candy into flour mixture. Spread into 13 x 9-inch baking pan; sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup candy.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares.

Tootsie Roll Cheesecake

1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
32 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 eggs
1 cup dairy sour cream
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces Tootsie Rolls
1/3 cup whipping cream

Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of sugar and the butter; mix well. Lightly butter a 1O-inch round, 2-inch deep cake pan (do not use spring-form pan as the batter is too thin). Press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of pan.

Beat cream cheese with remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar until smooth, scraping sides of bowl often. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla extract, beating well until smooth.

Melt Tootsie Rolls in top of a double boiler; stir in cream, then add to cream cheese mixture, mixing well. Pour over crust. Place cake pan in another large, deep pan; pour water around cake pan to a depth of about 1 1/2 inches. Bake in a 300 degree F oven for about 2 hours or until center is set and a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool, then chill several hours or overnight.

To remove from pan, heat outside of pan slightly and cake will drop out. Re-invert onto serving platter.

Hershey Bar Banana Treat

1 banana
1/2 Hershey candy bar
2 large marshmallows
Aluminum foil

Cut bananas from one end to the other but not all the way through the bottom skin. Cut marshmallows in half and put into the cut banana. Put the half of candy bar in between the marshmallows. Wrap with aluminum foil and place in oven (or on hot coals in a barbecue for about 5 minutes).

Serve with a spoon and eat right out of the peel.

Potato Chip Baked Chicken

1 chicken, cut in 1/8’s
1/2 cup margarine
Garlic salt
Potato chips, crushed

Melt the margarine in a baking pan and add the garlic salt. Roll the chicken pieces in the margarine and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed potato chips (fully coating the chicken). Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Blog

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You asked and we responded (Isn’t that what all the magazines say?!). We are very excited to introduce GKC’s health and nutrition section. Dr. Simone Stromer will be writing about the health benefits of different food trends – this week we focus on red wine (I hope it will be chocolate next week!) – and soon all the heart-healthy or weight-watching recipes will be marked with an appropriate icon. If you have great healthy recipes to share, please send them in. And if you have other ideas on how we could improve our site, we welcome those also. So enjoy our new section but don’t worry – we will continue to have some great Shabbos (and weekday) indulgences!

What an experience! The Kosher Restaurant and Wine Experience

KRWE

Living in NY and running Gourmet Kosher Cooking (with my Bff Emuna) has many perks besides thinking about food and being in touch with all our terrific readers. Last Monday night at Chelsea Pier was a big one.

As readers of GKC know, the “Kosher Restaurant and Wine Experience” produced by GKC’s friends at Royal Wines, arrived in NY on Monday and by Tuesday Gotham needed to go on a diet! Seriously. Tevere’s baby artichokes greeted you at the door and by the time we made it to our first glass of wine, yours truly had eaten foods from three different continents and that was at just the first table. A very special thank you to Gary Landsman, our wine contributor at Royal Wines for inviting GKC to what was by all accounts a wonderful night for those of us who love delicious food and great wine.

Royal wines showcased all of the wines that they produce (what don’t they produce??) plus other labels that they distribute. It was amazing. We tasted wines from around the world, and with loving advice from GKC’s best friend at the Wine Spectator, Miriam Laufer, we were directed to the newest and best wines to try. From Spain we fell in love with the Capcanes Peraj Ha’abib, (I know, try and say that ten times fast) and from Napa the Covenant label has emerged with three new wines. Our favorites were the Chardonnay and the Red C Cabernet (this is what kosher wine is meant to be). Other wine favorites to keep in mind were the new Reserve from Alexander, the Herzog Clone #6 Edition and the Carmel Mediterranean, savory, rich and not too overwhelming. Most of these wines were bottled in limited quantities so they may be hard to find over time. GKC was also happy to see their friends from Flegman’s wines carrying on the tradition of their father who started making wines a century ago in Hungary. (You can buy any of these wines at a discount here, through www.onlinekosherwine.com (use coupon code DFXJQW).

In addition, to fantastic wine there were a few restaurants that stole the show. I am so excited to introduce Chef Moses Wendel who is opening a new restaurant in Crown Heights in three weeks called Basil. His food was beautiful to look at and tasted divine. He served a Tuna Tartare with Saffron, Smoked Paprika, and Green Olive Puree and Chocolate Truffles with Cocoa Nib and Rum, Skewered with Coconut Anglaise Pipette. Fumio, a restaurant in Livingston, NJ served some delicious short ribs. The meat just fell off the bone and was layered in subtle flavors of tomato, garlic and soy. People waited on lines for the warm Pastrami by Pomegranate Market. Their homemade hummus is worth traveling to Brooklyn for. A special treat turned out to be a new surprise called My Brother Bobby’s Salsa from the Hudson Valley. If you want it fresher than Bobby’s you’re going to have to pick the ingredients yourself. The cantaloupe salsa was delish! It was great to see one of the legends of the kosher dining world Chef Jeff Nathan, serving some of my favorites from Abigael’s. And finishing the gastronomic extravaganza with a flavored coffee and light biscotti by NoiDue made for a perfect evening. Don’t miss the event next year. GKC will be sure to give you plenty of warning… You’re going to want to be there!!

Jewelry – for You and Friends

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It’s that time of year when we get the blahs. It’s the middle of winter, Chanukah is long gone and Purim isn’t quite in sight. We all need a little pick-me-up. And I can think of nothing better than jewelry to do the trick!! Ester Shahaf has earrings for all ages – some are good Bas Mitzvah gifts, some suit your older teens and some you may like yourself. She also has some beautiful and fun necklaces. Check out our SHOP necklaces; you can help Israeli artists and yourself at the same time. Her bright colors will certainly help chase the blues away!

More Great Deals

More Great Deals from GKC. Just for GKC readers, 10% off wine at Onlinekosherwine.com

online kosher wine

Perfect for Purim, Passover or for any dinner at home, Onlinekosherwine.com has an extensive selection of the finest kosher wines available. They offer extremely good value for quality wines of every type, from many regions of the world. Take advantage of their expertise (we include wine pairings with our recipes now) to enjoy fine wine at excellent prices today by using the exclusive GKC coupon for 10% off wine purchases of $100 or more. Just click SHOP and use the coupon code DFXJQW at checkout and you are ready for a wonderful evening.

Big News! GKC partners with Kosher.com and all our readers receive a 15% discount


Big news this week at gourmetkoshercooking! We have partnered with Kosher.com to make your grocery shopping so much easier. You don’t even have to leave home. And all those cuts of meat you wanted? Or those hard-to-find products? Here’s your one-stop (one-click!) shopping experience. To get you started we have a special introductory 15% off coupon for GKC readers. Just go to SHOP, click on the kosher.com coupon and off you go. Now you can make our yummy brick roast or indulge in some Zomick’s Chocolate Meltaway, wherever you live. (Just don’t blame us for the calories!)

Meet Chef Shaya Klechevsky and the recipes he shared with us!

chefShaya

I spoke last with Chef Shaya, the Kosher Chef who appeared on the national television show “Chopped”. He is engaging, upbeat, and discusses food with passion and artistry.

What was it like competing on the show “Chopped”?
Exciting and surreal. It was an incredible opportunity and a great chance to meet other chefs from different backgrounds.

How was it different competing as a kosher Chef?
That was amazing. The judges responded well and were looking for the connection of food and culture from all the contestants. I loved the idea of adding my ethnicity to the dishes.

What was the particular challenge when you were on the show? We had to make a first course item using all the mystery ingredients in the basket. Mine were duck, polenta, and persimmon. I immediately went to their pantry and grabbed other ingredients like cardamom, limes, and other herbs. I was too busy to be nervous and just wanted to create a great dish in 20 minutes. I seared the polenta and the duck with cardamom and then cooked the persimmon in duck fat. I added lime juice and salt and pepper to the finished first course. Numerous obstacles came up in the challenge, one was that the polenta was not a homemade version but a precooked log that is not all that flavorful. I tried to sear it to add texture and flavor. The second was that the duck was tough and not cooking through in the time I needed. Lastly, I cut myself, which added a little drama to the whole experience.

What is your favorite food to eat and to cook?

That is a hard question. It’s like asking me which finger do you like the most. Lately, I am most intrigued by traditional Japanese and Chinese foods. I love the philosophy, symbolism, and aesthetic connected to each food in their culture. I appreciate how their everyday meals are very balanced, retain the flavors of their natural ingredients and fit the philosophy of their way of life.

What do you always have in your freezer or pantry?
Duck fat, chicken feet, sweet breads, and liver. My pantry…every version and variation of spice like ground chipotle, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. I love to blend my own spices.

What are busy with now?
I am a personal chef and write my own food blog, www.atyourpalate.com. I teach classes at the JCC in NYC, Brooklyn and all over the tri-state area.

Chef Shaya shared some terrific recipes with GKC. Try them and let us know what you think.

Mediterranian Flank Steak Rub
The New American Burger
Champignon en Croûte

For more great recipes from Shaya visit http://www.atyourpalate.com/blog/recipes/

Shaya Klechevsky grew up in a home rich in diverse cultures; his mother, an Egyptian native, and his father, a Polish native, brought an interesting mix of food and flavor to every meal. After attending Brooklyn College, where he achieved a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Health & Nutrition Sciences, Shaya found his way to the French Culinary Institute at the International Center for Culinary Arts in New York City’s vibrant SoHo.
There he learned the secrets of French cooking and fused his classic training with his background in Middle Eastern and Eastern European cuisine, resulting in flavorful combinations of ingredients. Shaya uses his passion for good food and a healthy lifestyle to bring healthy, kosher, gourmet cuisine to his clients. Find out how you can have Chef Shaya teach you how to cook (or just cook for you) at www.atyourpalate.com.

To Diet or Not to Diet?

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Woman’s Day exhorts us to “Drop those pounds”. O magazine promises “weight loss that sticks”. Family Circle suggests it’s the key to happiness in its “Lose weight. Feel great” and Woman’s World is advertising a breakthrough belly fat cure!

Everywhere we look someone or something is pressuring me to lose those extra pounds. Do they think I don’t have a mirror? Don’t they know I’m conscious of it every second of the day? Do they have to rub it in?!!

And don’t they know that most of us have tried every new weight loss plan (diet is a bad word these days, we can only say ‘weight loss’) under the sun. The problem with most diets (oops!) however, is that they’re not realistic. They’re not suited to eating out or entertaining. They’re frequently not geared to those of us who have to feed a large hungry horde at dinner every night of who are tempted to eat that whole loaf of challah every Friday!

But I believe there are a few secrets to successful dieting – or healthier living, which is my euphemism.

One, based on the wisdom of the famous physician and philosopher, Maimonides, is “everything in moderation”. If we feel too restricted, we’ll rebel. (And it won’t be pretty!)

Two, in accordance with this philosophy, an important tip, especially for Americans, is to reduce portion size. When I was expecting my first child, my husband said that “I ate like a truck driver!” That may have worked under those particular circumstances but it’s not a wise lifestyle choice. Take smaller portions – and avoid seconds.

Three; all smart dieters and chefs know that we’ll be satisfied with less if the flavor stands out, if each bite has real vibrancy and zing. If we focus on making creative, flavorful meals, we’ll be able to savor each bite – slowly – and not gobble our way to the finish.

Maybe we should get rid of that word “diet”. It smacks of a very limited regimen of very bland foods. If you open yourself up to new tastes and menus – try our latest offerings – the sky is the limit. You’ll be too busy cooking to eat…

Cold Winter Sledding Goes with Warm Winter Soup

My family and lots of friends spent the first snow day sledding and building snowmen outside. Everyone came in ready for hot chocolate and something warm, fast, and filling. I was always curious about Mulligatawny (an Indian vegetable soup) so I decided to try it. It was such a big hit that I am adding it to my soup repertoire.

mulligatawny31

Mulligatawny

2 tablespoons corn oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 white turnip, peeled and sliced, optional
6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, or basil
½ cup coconut milk (optional)
1 pound chicken breast cut in chunks

Heat oil in a saucepan oven medium heat. Add garlic, cumin and turmeric and cook about 30 seconds. Add onions, carrots, celery and turnips (add chicken now if using), and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and let the soup cool a bit. If you prefer a smooth soup, puree with an immersion blender. Otherwise, season with salt and pepper and add the coconut milk (if using). Add the cilantro or basil and serve.

Tootsie Rolls

tootsie
As kosher consumers today, we are very spoiled. Almost anything we desire is kosher or eventually becomes so. M & M’s were willing to forgo their famous “melts in your mouth not in your hands” slogan (the formula being derived through the use of bugs) in order to woo the kosher market. And we can now purchase – and eat – them in multiple varieties – plain, peanut, almond, peanut butter, seasonal mint (I liked the coconut, what happened to those?) and the new premium flavors. When Oreos went kosher, it seemed Mashiach couldn’t be far behind. Then came Godiva chocolates. And now, finally, that famous childhood treat, Tootsie Rolls, has entered the kosher world. I don’t know if this is good for us for not – physically or spiritually. But it sure is fun. And it, once again, highlights the purchasing power of the kosher consumer. Let’s think together of ways to use this power productively. Send in your thoughts.

More Hanukkah Fun!

The real miracle of Hanukkah is that we keep our kids entertained all week on a low budget with no fighting. Well that would be a miracle wouldn’t it? But really, I think that both children and adults enjoy the holiday and welcome the opportunity to have 8 nights of spiritual uplift – and family fun. It can be a creative challenge but when it works, it’s great. For our family, the side benefits include no homework, lots of doughnuts and latkes, and skating at Rockefeller Center with hot chocolate and marshmallows to follow. The celebration continues in the kitchen and out with:

Oreo Stuffed Doughnuts (from my friend and personal chef Naomi Nachman)
Playing Dreidel – The official game

Download and enjoy Sam Glaser’s new Chanuka CD. It’s a fun parody album with songs for the whole family to enjoy. We love the song Eight Crazy Nights (to the tune of Twist and Shout).

Finally, as in all holidays, we focus on the unity of the Jewish people and try to get involved in some activity that involves giving to others. Our family delivers special Chanukah food packages for Tomchei Shabbos. Let us know what yours does.

Dreidel Game

Dreidels have four [Hebrew] letters on them, and they stand for the saying, “Nes Gadol Haya Sham,”meaning “a great miracle occurred there.” In Israel, instead of the fourth letter “shin,” there is a “peh,” which means the saying is “Nes Gadol Haya Po”–“a great miracle occurred here.”

Playing with the dreidel is a traditional Hanukkah game played in Jewish homes all over the world, and rules may vary. Here’s how to play the basic dreidel game:
1. Any number of people can take part in this great game.

2. Each player begins the game with an equal number of game pieces (about 10-15) such as pennies, nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, chocolate gelt etc.

3. At the beginning of each round, every participant puts one game piece into the center “pot.” In addition, every time the pot is empty or has only one game piece left, every player should put one in the pot.

4. Every time it’s your turn, spin the dreidel once. Depending on the outcome, you give or get game pieces from the pot:
a) Nun means “nisht”or “nothing” [in Yiddish]. The player does nothing.
b) Gimmel means “gantz”or “everything” [in Yiddish]. The player gets everything in the pot.
c) Hey means “halb”or “half” [in Yiddish]. The player gets half of the pot. (If there is an odd number of pieces in the pot, the player takes half of the total plus one).
d) Shin (outside of Israel) means “shtel” or “put in” [in Yiddish]. Peh (in Israel)means “pay.” The player adds a game piece to the pot.

5. If you find that you have no game pieces left, you are either “out” or may ask a fellow player for a “loan.”

6. When one person has won everything, that round of the game is over!

The Chanukah Kitchen – Cooking with Oil

I’ve been resisting it for years but when my daughter came home raving about the french fries she had at her friend’s house, I caved in to the peer pressure and bought a deep fryer, in fact the DeLonghi 3 Lb. Stainless Steel Deep Fryer (to purchase for your family, please go to SHOP) This is not your mother’s deep fryer. Not only does it have built-in safeguards to prevent accidental burning (nothing can guard against stupidity – keep it away from the counter’s edge and from small children!) but the food is actually lighter. It is not saturated with oil. It doesn’t have that deep-fried heaviness.

Besides the ever-popular fries (my husband now makes them almost every Motzei Shabbos and anything that involves my husband cooking is good by me!) this product is terrific for that all-time Chanukah favorite, Sufganiyot, and for our Italian variation, Zepolles.

Zepolles are made with pizza dough and are super easy, especially if you buy the dough from your local pizza shop. Otherwise make the dough from one of the recipes on the site. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Pinch off the dough in 2 tablespoons-size balls and drop into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown – 3 to 4 minutes. Roll immediately in powdered sugar. You can inject jelly into them but they are great as is!

Potato Latkes, What a Hanukkah Treat! These freezing tips will keep them good all 8 days!

No one tires of delicious latkes on Hanukkah but some of us do tire of making them. These latkes are terrific fresh out of the pan and with the following freezing tips are perfect reheated (so make lots of them and enjoy them all week). Check out our Holiday section for other latke recipes and more Hanukkah food and craft ideas.

Classic Potato Latkes
potato-latkes
4 potatoes, peeled
1 large onion, grated
½ tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon seltzer
4 eggs
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Vegetable oil
Applesauce (see holiday section for recipe)
Sour Cream (optional or use Chobani plain yogurt as a healthy alternative)
Special Equipment: Splatter Screen available next week in our store
Food Processor available in our store

Grate the potatoes, using a processor or a fine shredder. Immediately transfer them to a large bowl and add the onion, lemon juice, eggs, flour, seltzer, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix well.

In a large heavy skillet, heat 1/8 inch of oil. With a tablespoon, spoon the batter into the hot oil and flatten the latkes with the back of the spoon. Cover the pan with the splatter screen to prevent the grease from splattering all over the counter tops and cook top. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes a side, turning only once, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and then serve immediately with applesauce, sour cream, or dipping sauce.

IF FREEZING FOLLOWS THESE HELPFUL HINTS:
- Cool completely before freezing in any container
- Line a box or loaf pan with wax paper
- Place latkes on their side, not flat, this will keep them from tasting greasy when reheated.
- Undercook your latkes just a bit. If you cook them too much they will burn when reheated.
- When reheating, place frozen latkes on a cookie sheet in a preheated 400 degrees F oven. Bake from 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.

Blog

Here at Gourmet Kosher Cooking we are very excited about our newest addition to the site – our shop where you can easily purchase some of the products we recommend either in our great products section or for use in our recipes. Just click on shop, grab your husband’s, I mean your, credit card and shop away. As a special bonus, anyone who makes a purchase during the month of November will get a gift certificate for $25 off any future purchases of $50 or more. You will discover great opportunities to stock up your kitchen with “have to have” gadgets and appliances. In addition, creative Judaica and tabletop items will be yours with one (or maybe two) clicks. Not to mention the gift-buying. Just click on “shop” and have fun!

Six Foods That Fight the Flu

Boost your immunity with these tips and recipes
By Megan O. Steintrager, Epicurious.com

Have you noticed that people who normally shun shots are scrambling to get flu vaccines this year? And that’s just the “regular” flu shot—vaccinations against H1N1, or “swine flu,” aren’t even widely available yet. I contacted John La Puma, M.D., the author of Chef MD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine, for advice about what to eat to boost immunity and fight the flu.
Quercetin Powerhouse Produce: Apples, Onions, Broccoli, and Tomatoes

Quercetin is one of many thousands of flavonoids—substances that are responsible for plants’ colors, as well as many of their health benefits. La Puma says that in research performed on mice, stressful exercise increased flu susceptibility but quercetin canceled out the negative effects. The same illness-fighting results were found in a study on cyclists, La Puma says, citing a study from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. Quercetin is also believed to aid in disease prevention thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. So load up on quercetin-packed produce, including apples, onions, broccoli, and tomatoes. Tip: When buying tomatoes, consider choosing organic, which La Puma says have higher levels of quercetin than conventionally grown ones (the same is true for lycopene in tomatoes).
recipe to try Frisée and Apple Salad with Dried Cherries and Walnuts
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Chicken Soup
Chicken soup really does have healing properties, according to La Puma. A steaming bowl of soup (unappetizing language alert) “reduces mucus and facilitates coughing it up.” And it seems that chicken soup is more effective at the job than hot water, according to research cited by La Puma. To get the anti-inflammatory and other health benefits of produce too, the doctor suggests making chicken soup with vegetables rather than using store-bought condensed soup or cooking with chicken alone. 
recipe to try:
 Chicken and White Bean Soup with Herb Swirl.

Green Tea
Add fighting the flu to the long list of green tea’s health benefits, which also include fighting cancer and heart disease and possible links to “lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia,” according to WebMD. Green tea is high in “anti-viral activity against influenza,” says La Puma, citing studies involving green tea from the Dr. Rath Research Institute in Santa Clara, CA, and the Department of Biotechnology, College of Engineering, Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. While all kinds of tea are made from the same leaves, white and green teas contain higher levels of catechins—the flavonoids thought to be responsible for tea’s antiviral properties—than oolong and black teas. Although the studies La Puma cites involved green tea, it’s likely that white tea has similar flu-fighting powers. Black and oolong tea do have some catechins and are higher than green tea in other polyphenols, so while they might be the second choice for the flu, they are still good for overall health.


Vitamin D–Rich Foods: Salmon, Light Tuna, Sardines, Milk, and Cereal
Vitamin D has been a hot topic in the news recently, with stories about the sunshine vitamin’s many health benefits dovetailing with reports that suggest that many of us don’t get enough of it. La Puma says experiments in the 1940s showed that mice that received diets low in vitamin D were more susceptible to experimental swine flu infection than those that received adequate vitamin D. While the same has not yet been proven in humans, La Puma and many other experts believe that getting sufficient vitamin D can offer protection against swine flu—the vitamin is believed to cause the production of antimicrobial substances in the body. “In winter, too little vitamin D is made in your skin, because the angle of the sun is too low,” says La Puma. “And winter is when you get flu.” The good news is that food can pick up the slack. Milk (which is fortified with vitamin D in the U.S.), malted drink mixes, and fortified cereals such as Total Raisin Bran and Whole Grain Total all provide vitamin D, but La Puma says roasted sockeye salmon is the single best source, gram for gram. Roasting the fish allows it to maintain the most vitamin D. “Cooking fatty fish with oil allows the vitamin D to leak out,” says La Puma. “Cooking fatty fish in water does retain a little vitamin D, at least in theory, so poaching and steaming work better than frying, deep-frying, and sautéing.”

Other good fish sources of vitamin D are pink salmon, as well as light tuna and sardines packed in oil. “Packing (but not cooking) fish in oil allows retention of omega-3s and vitamin D,” says La Puma. But, he warns, “pouring off the oil from canned fish pours off the vitamin D too.”. If you are not a fan of the flavor or extra calories in oil-packed fish, don’t worry: Water-packed varieties do have some vitamin D, just not quite as much as oil-packed. Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna was the top pick for oil-packed varieties in Epicurious’s Canned Tuna Taste Test. 
recipes to try:
Baked Sockeye Salmon with Bell Peppers and Capers, 
Penne with Tuna, Basil, and Lemon.

Yogurt and Kefir with Live Active Cultures
A recent study suggests that probiotics—the friendly bacteria found in yogurt and some other foods, as well as in pill form—may reduce cold and flu symptoms. La Puma cites the same study and says that probiotics have been shown to reduce the incidence and duration of fever, cough, and runny nose by 73, 62, and 59 percent in kids ages 3 to 5, respectively. While the study was done with supplements, La Puma says we “foodistas” may prefer to get our probiotics from what we eat. When buying yogurt and kefir, be sure to look for the “Live and Active Cultures” label and choose one with as many different strains of cultures as possible. 
recipes to try:
 Moroccan-Style Vegetable Stew with Harissa Yogurt Sauce.

Chiles Such as Serranos, Jalapeños, and Poblanos
Spicy peppers don’t just help clear your sinuses, they’re also a great source of vitamin C, which “has been tested in influenza A and been shown to reduce the incidence of pneumonia that comes with flu,” says La Puma. The vitamin has antiviral properties and stimulates antibody production, explains La Puma. Not a chili-head? Sweet red bell peppers are also packed with vitamin C, as are guava, kiwi, oranges, green bell peppers, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, and papaya, according to the USDA.


Recipes to try:
Frisée and Apple Salad with Dried Cherries and Walnuts
Chicken and White Bean Soup with Herb Swirl
Baked Sockeye Salmon with Bell Peppers and Capers
Penne with Tuna, Basil, and Lemon
Moroccan-Style Vegetable Stew with Harissa Yogurt Sauce

All recipes courtesy of Epicurious.com

Frisée and Apple Salad with Dried Cherries and Walnuts

frisee
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup (generous) dried tart cherries (one 3-ounce package)
1 large head of frisée, torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups)
1 medium Gala apple, cored, thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts

Preparation
Whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in dried cherries. Toss frisée and apple slices in large bowl. Add cherry dressing and toss to coat. Divide among 4 plates; sprinkle with walnuts and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Chicken and White Bean Soup with Herb Swirl

chickenherb
Makes 4 to 6 servings

ingredients
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced
1/2 cup tomato puree
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 bay leaf

preparation
Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil and next 4 ingredients in small skillet over medium heat until herbs are aromatic, about 11/2 minutes. Pour herb oil into bowl; cool.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot over medium heat. Sauté chicken 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pot. Add onion, carrots, and celery; sauté until beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Mix in last 5 ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Add chicken; simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Gently swirl 1 teaspoon herb oil into center of each.

Baked Sockeye Salmon with Bell Peppers and Capers

ingredients
2 red bell peppers and 1 yellow
2 pounds wild salmon, preferably cut as a long fillet, not steaks
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed in cold water if packed in vinegar OR if packed in salt, rinsed, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, then rinsed again; if their size is much larger than nonpareils, cut them up a little bit
4 whole peeled garlic cloves
Fine sea salt
Black pepper ground fresh from the mill

preparation

1. Char the peppers, skin them, split them, and remove their core and seeds. Cut them into strips less than an inch wide and 1 1/2 -inch long. You can prepare the peppers early the same day that you are making the fish for dinner.

2. Turn on the oven to 375°.

3. Wash the fish in cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.

4. Coat a baking dish with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Lay the salmon down in the pan, skin side facing down if you have long fillets. Distribute all around the salmon the peppers, capers, and the whole peeled garlic cloves. Sprinkle with a liberal quantity of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the remaining olive oil over the fish. Put the dish in the preheated oven and cook for 16 minutes. Let it settle for a few minutes before serving.

Penne with Tuna, Basil, and Lemon

Serves 2

This recipe can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.

ingredients
1/2 pound penne
1 garlic clove
1 lemon
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
a 6-ounce can tuna in olive oil (not drained)

preparation

Bring a 4-quart pasta pot three fourths full with salted water to a boil for penne. Mince garlic. Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 tablespoon and squeeze 1 teaspoon juice. Cut basil into thin strips. In a large bowl toss together garlic, zest, juice, basil, and tuna with oil from can.

Boil penne until al dente and drain in a colander. Add penne to bowl and toss with salt and pepper to taste.

Moroccan-Style Vegetable Stew with Harissa Yogurt Sauce

Makes 6 servings

Blanching the root vegetables shortens the stew’s cooking time and keeps the flavors bright. Plus, the blanching water makes a great quick stock.

ingredients

Yogurt sauce:
1 cup (8 ounces) Chobani Greek style yogurt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon harissa sauce** (or red chili paste)
1 garlic clove, minced
Coarse kosher salt

Vegetable stew:
Coarse kosher salt
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-to 3/4-inch pieces
1 3/4-pound turnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-to 3/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound spring onions or green onions, coarsely chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained, rinsed
1 5-ounce bag baby spinach
1 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

preparation

For yogurt sauce:

Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

For vegetable stew: 

Bring 8 cups water to boil in heavy large saucepan. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Add carrots; cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. Using skimmer or large slotted spoon, transfer carrots to large bowl of ice water. Return water to boil. Add turnip; cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Using skimmer, transfer turnip to bowl with carrots. Reserve cooking liquid.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add next 7 ingredients. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Cook until onions are soft, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add wine; simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour. Add carrots, turnip, beans, spinach, and 2 cups reserved cooking liquid. Bring to simmer; cook until vegetables are heated through, adding more cooking liquid for desired consistency. Season stew to taste with coarse salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Divide stew among bowls. Spoon dollop of yogurt sauce over and serve.

** A spicy North African red chile paste; available at some specialty foods stores and at Middle Eastern markets.

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Did you know that there are 11,500,000 kosher consumers in the United States? That is one of the fascinating facts that I learned last week at Kosherfest, held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ on October 27th and 28th. The dollar value of kosher produced goods in the US is $295,000,000,000 (Is that possible? Did they add some extra zeros?!!) And that’s only one piece of it. The dollar value of kosher ingredients is even higher. And it’s an industry with a 15% average annual growth. Ladies, we have a lot of power that we aren’t exercising. Ask your local market to carry your favorite kosher product. Ask a company that produces an interesting product to consider making it kosher. (They get better shelf space if they do!) And I’m sure there are more possibilities. There’s a lot of money at stake and we’re the ones spending it so let’s make our voices heard!