Cumin-Scented Eggplant

photo by: Misha Gravenor

Great combination of flavors for Rosh Hashannah. Super sweet and savory for a sweet New Year.
5 cups water
2-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 pounds eggplant (about 2 medium), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon (or more) olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced

Pomegranate molasses (for drizzling, alternatively use 1 tablespoon molasses mixed with 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice), optional (it’s delicious without the drizzle too)
2/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Stir 5 cups water and 2-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt in large bowl to dissolve salt. Add eggplant slices. Place plate on eggplant to submerge; let soak 1 hour. Drain eggplant; pat dry.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sauté eggplant until brown in spots and softened, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant, adding more oil by tablespoonfuls as needed. Arrange eggplant in single layer on baking sheet.
Mix cumin and cayenne. Sprinkle eggplant with cumin mixture. Roast until golden and cooked through, 30 minutes.
Remove eggplant from oven and sprinkle with garlic. Arrange eggplant on platter and drizzle with pomegranate molasses. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and cilantro over. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Creamy Mushrooms

1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
4 (8-ounce) packages sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon lemon juice
8 scallions, sliced
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup tofutti sour cream
2 cups (fine or medium) Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt ¾ cup margarine. Add mushrooms, lemon juice, scallions and garlic and sauté until tender – about 10 minutes. Whisk in flour until there are no lumps. Remove from heat and stir in tofutti sour cream. Transfer mixture to lightly greased 2-quart casserole. Melt remaining margarine and mix with the Panko and spread over mushroom mixture. Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes.

Sweet Corn Chowder

Photograph by: Todd Coleman

Serves 6-8

Creamy corn chowder is decadent and creamy. The corn adds richness and creaminess. September is still a good time to make anything with corn because many markets are still selling it fresh. Try this Corn Souffle also. It’s great all year round but special in small ramekins in the Succah.

5 cloves garlic
Kosher salt, to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups pumpernickel bread, cut into
3/4″ cubes
Freshly ground black pepper and paprika, to taste
8 tablespoons unsalted margarine
4 ribs celery, minced
1 medium yellow onion, minced
8 cups fresh corn kernels
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock or pareve chicken stock
1 cup pareve whipping cream
1 cup soy milk

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Put 1 clove garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with salt. Using a knife, mince and scrape garlic against cutting board to form a paste. Transfer garlic paste to a large bowl and whisk in oil. Add pumpernickel cubes, season with salt, pepper, and paprika, and toss to coat; transfer to a baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, until toasted, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl (Alternatively, buy a great flavored crouton).

Heat margarine in a 6-quart pot over medium heat. Mince remaining garlic and add to pot along with celery and onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook, partially covered and stirring often, until vegetables are soft but not browned, 16–18 minutes. Add corn and curry powder and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is soft and fragrant, 18–20 minutes. Vigorously stir in flour, then add chicken stock, pareve whipping cream, and soy milk; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, about 10 minutes. To serve, divide soup between serving bowls and top with croutons.

Braised Chicken with Dates and Moroccan Spices

Photograph by: Kiyoshi Togashi

3-1/2 pounds chicken pieces
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds shallots (about 11 large), peeled
3 cinnamon sticks
1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
12 dates, pitted, halved
1/4 cup almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and flour. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken pieces to pot and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to baking sheet or platter; repeat with remaining chicken. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot and discard. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallots to pot; sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add broth and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until shallots begin to soften, about 18 minutes. Place chicken pieces atop shallots in pot. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until juices run clear when thickest part of drumstick is pierced with knife, about 25 minutes.

Transfer chicken and shallots to platter; tent with foil. Boil juices in pot until slightly thickened. Stir in dates and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer gently until dates are heated through, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce and dates over chicken. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro, and serve.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

Photo: Todd Coleman


Simply perfect for the fall! Anything with pumpkin is a winner in our home. I love to serve this pumpkin dish for guests, Pumpkin Coconut Bisque.

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted margarine,
softened, plus more for pan
2 cups cake flour, plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/4 cup soymilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans lined with parchment paper cut to fit. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and mace and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1/2 cup margarine and brown sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, 1–2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until smooth. Add half the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add pumpkin and soy milk, and then add remaining dry ingredients; mix until smooth. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops with a rubber spatula; bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Unmold cakes and let cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat remaining margarine and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Increase speed to high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.

Place 1 cake on a cake stand and frost the top with 1/3 of the frosting; stack second cake on top and frost top and sides with remaining frosting. Refrigerate cake; let cake sit for 1 hour at room temperature before serving.

Korean Sizzling Beef

photo by Con Poulos


Korean food is often spicy but very flavorful. This dish has all the flavor and only a bit of spice. Reduce the crushed red pepper flakes if you do not like spicier food.

¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white wine
2 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (reduce to as little as ½ teaspoon for less spicy flavor)
One 2½- pound beef minute steak or skirt steak, cut across the grain into twenty ¼ inch-thick slices
16 scallions
Vegetable oil for rubbing
Salt

In a large, shallow dish, combine the soy sauce with the sugar, white wine, chopped garlic, toasted sesame oil and crushed red pepper, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the sliced steak and coat thoroughly in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate the steak for at least four hours or overnight.

Light a grill or heat a griddle. Rub the scallions all over with vegetable oil and grill them over high heat, turning once, until the scallions are just softened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Working in batches, grill the steak over high heat until the slices are richly browned and medium-rare, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer the steak to a serving platter and serve with the grilled scallions and steamed rice.

Like Asian inspired food? Try this Mongolian Beef

Apple Enchiladas

3 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
6 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/3 cup margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup water

Toss apples with cinnamon and spoon into center of each tortilla. Roll up and place, seam-side down, in a greased 2-quart or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bring margarine, sugar and brown sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Pour over the tortillas. Let stand for ½ hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes, uncovered. Serve warm with (pareve) vanilla ice cream or whip.

Red Leaf and Butter Lettuce Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Pecans

Citrus dressing
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon finely grated lime peel
1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
1/2 cup olive oil

salad
1 large head of red leaf lettuce, coarsely torn
1 head of butter lettuce, coarsely torn
1 Granny Smith apple, quartered, cored, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
2/3 cup pecans, toasted

Citrus dressing
Combine vinegar, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, lemon peel, lime peel and orange peel in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Salad
Mix all ingredients in very large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat.

Pumpkin Shortcakes with Fruit Filling

photo: weddinginmalibu.com

2-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons margarine
1 cup canned pumpkin
2/3 cup pareve whip
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

Filling:
2 tablespoons margarine
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
½ cup apple juice
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
½ cup cranberries

Topping:
1 cup pareve whip
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and nutmeg. Using a fork, cut the margarine into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together the pumpkin, whip and ginger. Sir into the flour mixture until just combined. Drop by ¼-cupfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes – until slightly browned and center springs back when pressed lightly.

Prepare the filling by melted the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Ad the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, stirring constantly. Add the apple juice, apples and cranberries and cook until the cranberries soften and mixture becomes syrupy – about 10 minutes. Cool. Prepare topping by beating together pareve whip and powder sugar until stiff peaks form.

To assemble, cut the tops off each shortcake. Top with a generous tablespoon of the filling and then the whipped cream. Replace top and serve. (Keep filing and whipped cream in fridge until ready to serve)

Spiced Carrot-Apple Soup with Fresh Mint

Photograph by: Patricia Heal

Serves 6

Sweet and savory. I love this soup in the Succah or for Rosh Hashannah. Its an easy fall soup recipe.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups chopped white onion
1-1/4 pounds carrots, peeled, diced, plus 1 carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise
3-3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
3/4 cup diced peeled Fuji apple plus 1/2 cup finely diced (for garnish)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
4-1/2 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Coarse kosher salt
Chopped fresh mint

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 2 minutes. Add all carrots, broth, 3/4 cup apple, and ginger and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove carrot halves and dice finely. Puree soup in batches in blender and return to pan. Mix in apple juice and spices. Season with coarse salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top with finely diced carrot, finely diced apple, and mint.

Grilled Mustard Chicken with Fresh Corn Polenta

photo by Nigel Cox

Serves 6

This chicken recipe is made with mustard which is a natural fit for chicken. It adds flavor without too many calories. The polenta makes the dish extraordinary and more unusual.

Chicken
6 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, pressed
6 large chicken thighs with skin and bones (or other chicken pieces)
Olive oil

Polenta
5 cups water
1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 3 large ears)
1/2 cup tofutti cream cheese

Chicken
Whisk onions, mustard, lemon juice, and garlic in medium bowl to blend. Using fingertips and leaving 1 side still attached, loosen skin on each chicken thigh. Lift skin flap on each and fold back. Spoon half of mustard seasoning atop thighs, dividing equally; spread to cover meat. Fold skin flap over to enclose seasoning and secure skin with metal pin. Sprinkle thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. Turn thighs, skin side up, and spread remaining mustard seasoning over skin. Transfer to small baking sheet.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or a grill pan. Brush grill rack generously with olive oil. Grill chicken until golden brown and cooked through, turning chicken occasionally and moving to cooler spot on grill if browning too quickly, 40 to 50 minutes. Alternatively, bake the chicken in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Polenta
Bring 5 cups water to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Gradually whisk in polenta, then 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt and sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until polenta is tender, thick, and creamy, whisking often and adjusting heat to maintain gentle simmer, 25 to 30 minutes. Add corn kernels and cook, stirring constantly, until corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in tofutti cream cheese. Season polenta to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon polenta onto serving platter or on to individual plates. Place the chicken on top and serve.

Coffee- Braised Short Ribs with Ancho Chile Glaze

Photograph by Charles Schiller


Serves 6

Coffee is a fantastic meat tenderizer and flavor enhancer. This was a popular dish in my house last winter. It’s great as a part of a Succot meal.

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 pounds 1-inch-thick flanken-style short ribs
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons ancho-chili powder (available in the spice aisle of the in most national markets)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups strong freshly brewed coffee (not espresso or dark roast)
1 (14-1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle short ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add ribs to pot and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to platter.

Add onion, red bell pepper, and jalapeño to drippings in pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Stir in garlic and sauté uncovered 1 minute. Add brown sugar, ancho chile powder, oregano, and cumin; stir 15 seconds. Stir in coffee, tomatoes with juice, and tomato paste. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Return ribs and any juices to pot; bring to boil.

Cover and bake until meat is very tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Spoon fat from surface of sauce. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer ribs to platter. Spoon sauce over and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Thai Apple and Turkey Lettuce Wraps

1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 jalapenos, minced
½ red onion, minced
6 scallions, minced
2 tablespoons oil
2 pounds ground turkey or chicken (dark or light, depending on your preference)
½ cup chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Lettuce leaves (butter or iceberg, not romaine)

Toss apple with lemon juice; set aside. Sauté garlic, jalapenos, onion and scallions in oil over medium-high heat until soft. Add turkey or chicken and continue cooking, stirring constantly to break up pieces. When meat is browned, add peanut butter, salt and sugar and heat through. Drain liquid from apple and stir into mixture. Remove from heat and place atop lettuce leaves to serve.

Curried Lentil Soup

Photograph by Elinor Carucci

Serves 6-8, can be doubled

One of my favorite parts of Succot is serving warm food on cool nights (in NY we always hope the nights are not too cool). And I love serving different types of soup because most Friday evenings my kids want Traditional Chicken Soup. This one is different and very flavorful.

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
2 tablespoons (or more) curry powder
1 cup green lentils (French lentils*** if you can find them)
4-1/4 cups (or more) water, divided
1 (15- to 16-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) margarine
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Note: ***French green lentils are small, dark green, and speckled with black; they can be found at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores. Regular green lentils work well in this too.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add half of chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add 2 tablespoons curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lentils and 4 cups water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, purée chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in food processor.
Add chickpea purée and margarine to lentil soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions and serve with lemon wedges.

Banana Cream Pie with a Chocolate Cookie Crust

photo: cookingchanneltv.com

Serves 8

For the Crust:
2 cups coarse chocolate cookie crumbs, plus 1/4 cup for topping (I used pareve oreo’s)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted

For the filling:
3 cups pareve milk (or a combination of pareve milk and soymilk)
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ripe bananas (about 1-1/2 pounds total), peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced 1/4-inch thick

For the topping:
1 cup pareve whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
2 tablespoons sugar
A few drops vanilla extract

Directions

Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt margarine and sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add cookie crumbs and stir to combine well. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake crust 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

For filling:
Heat the pareve milk over medium heat until warmed, but not boiling. Beat the yolks in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the warm pareve milk into the yolks and add the vanilla. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in heavy medium saucepan. Over medium heat, gradually whisk in the egg, pareve milk, and vanilla mixture to the dry ingredients until custard thickens and you can see the tracks from the whisk in the bottom of the pan, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer custard to large bowl and fold in bananas; cover bowl with plastic wrap and cool custard completely in refrigerator, about 1-1/2 hours.

When custard has chilled, in a separate bowl, whip the pareve whipped cream, slowly adding the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold in most of the remaining chocolate cookie crumbs, reserving a few for garnish.

Stir custard to loosen, if necessary. Spread over bottom of prepared crust. Top with whipped cream mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Scatter remaining chocolate crumbs over top just before serving.

Mocha Almond Bars

photo: landolakes.com


If you like almonds you’ll love these bars!

½ cup (1 stick) margarine, softened
¼ cup almond paste
1 egg
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1 tablespoon soy milk or nondairy creamer
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/3 cups flour
¼ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, process the margarine, almond paste and sugar until smooth. Pulse in egg until completely incorporated. Dissolve coffee in soy milk and add to mixture. Add flour and process until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and the nuts. Pour into a greased 9-inch square pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Drizzle with some melted chocolate if desired.

Salmon With Balsamic Sauce

Photo by Patrina Tinsley

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 thyme sprig
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Four 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the thyme sprig, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar and boil over high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream, then whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet, skinned side up. Cook over moderately high heat until the fillets are browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the salmon and cook over moderate heat until the fish is just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the salmon to plates, spoon the sauce over the fish and garnish with ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

At GKC we really like salmon and have many recipes posted. This is one of our oldies but goldies. My son even made it for a dinner party recently!

Seared Tuna Steaks with Citrus Sauce

photo by Con Poulos


1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin or rice vinegar
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
One 3-inch strip of lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Four 4-ounce tuna steaks, 1 inch thick

Salt and freshly ground pepper.

In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, mirin (or rice vinegar), shallot, jalapeño, orange juice, lemon zest and juice, sugar and coriander. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Strain the sauce.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the tuna with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat for 1 minute per side. Transfer the tuna to a platter and let rest for 1 minute; thickly slice and serve with the sauce.

If you are a fan of seared tuna (and we are!), you can try this recipe as well.

Grilled Halibut and Tapenade Bundles

photo: sunset.com

Original recipe by Sunset magazine, edited by GKC

12 very large romaine lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup green olive tapenade or homemade
1 pound halibut fillets (1 inch thick)
Olive oil
Lemon wedges

Heat grill to medium – about 375 degrees. Cook lettuce leaves 2 or 3 at a time in a pot of boiling water until ribs are flexible, 1-1/2 to 3 minutes and then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Lay leaves flat with smooth sides up on kitchen towels and pat dry.

Spread the 8 largest leaves with olive tapenade. Cut fish into 8 pieces, each about 2-1/2 inches wide. Place 1 piece at base of each leaf. Top each piece of fish with 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. If leaf isn’t big enough to enclose fish, overlap leaf with another. Roll up each bundle from base, folding in sides (gently crack lettuce ribs if needed). Brush bundles with oil. Discard any extra leaves.

Grill bundles, turning once, until fish is just opaque, 8 minutes. Serve with lemon.

Halibut is so expensive so we like to save it for very special recipes like this one.

Pasta with Tomato and Eggplant Sauce

photo by Todd Coleman

Serves 4 -6

2 medium eggplants, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained and crushed by hand
16 fresh basil leaves, torn by hand
1 pound twist pasta or spaghetti
4 ounces good quality mozzarella cheese, grated

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Put eggplant into a bowl and drizzle with 4 tablespoons oil. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. Transfer eggplant to 2 baking sheets and bake, turning occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add chile flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic softens, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and half the basil, season with salt, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just al dente – about 9 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to tomato sauce. Stir in reserved eggplant and toss to combine. Stir in remaining basil and season with salt. To serve, transfer pasta to a platter and garnish with mozzarella cheese and a little drizzle of olive oil.

The pasta possibilities are endless. You might enjoy this light and easy spinach and feta version.

Imitation Lobster and Potato Chip Rolls

photo by John Kernick


Lobster rolls are a fun food item available at many beach food stands and restaurants. I have always been intrigued by their popularity and when the imitation lobster came out in kosher markets, I had to try out a version. I think the results are both fun and delicious.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons Tabasco
2 tablespoons snipped chives, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt
1 pound imitation lobster meat, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
6 hot dog buns
One 4-ounce bag potato chips

In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, celery, garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco and the 2 tablespoons of chives; season with salt. Refrigerate until chilled.
Cut the imitation lobster into chunks. Mix into dressing and chill for one hour.

Melt the butter on a large griddle or in a large skillet. Add the closed buns and toast the outsides over high heat, turning frequently, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the buns to a platter, split the tops and fill with the lobster salad. Tuck the potato chips into the rolls, garnish with chives and serve.

And while we’re talking imitation fish, try these terrific imitation crab cakes.

Crispy Fish with Pickle Remoulade

Pickle Remoulade
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced celery
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons spicy mustard
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons chopped drained capers
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Crispy Fish

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs), crushed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 large eggs
Eight 5-ounce skinless flounder fillets
Vegetable oil, for frying

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the pickle remoulade. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a pie plate, whisk the cornmeal, panko, 1/2 cup of flour, the salt, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, sage, ginger and cumin. In another pie plate, beat the eggs. Dust the flounder with flour, then dip in the beaten egg; coat in the panko mixture, pressing the crumbs to help them adhere. Transfer the fish to a baking sheet.
In a skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Fry the fish in 2 batches over moderately high heat, turning once, until the crust is golden and crisp and the fish is cooked through, 4 minutes. Drain the fish on paper towels.

Serve the fish with toasted bread and pickle remoulade.

What is fried fish without French fries? You might as well go all out!

Salmon with Stone Fruit Slaw

Stone fruit slaw recipe adapted from bon appétit

Make sure you use firm fruit for this recipe. You want the fruits to hold a good julienne slice to give the appearance of a slaw and not a salsa. It is very flavorful and works well with grilled chicken too.

6 salmon fillets, skin on
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (to taste, or optional)
1-½ pounds assorted firm stone fruit (about 5, such as plums, nectarines, peaches, all julienned)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt

For the slaw:
Whisk the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add fruit and scallions, toss gently to coast. Season to taste with salt.

For the salmon:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and kosher salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes or until fish is opaque but cooked through. Serve warm or room temperature with stone fruit slaw.

Ravioli and Spinach Lasagna with White Sauce

photo: foodnetwork.com

2 (1 pound) boxes cheese ravioli, defrosted
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons margarine
2 cups Imagine pareve chicken broth
½ cup half-and-half
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 (8 ounce) packages shredded mozzarella or pizza cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Slowly pour in pareve chicken stock, whisking constantly so that mixture thickens.  Next slowly add in the half-and-half, whisking constantly so that the mixtures thickens.  Stir in the cheese, nutmeg and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes until cheese is thoroughly incorporated. In a 9 x 13-inch pan place small layer of sauce. Next add a layer of ravioli. Sprinkle cheese over ravioli and cover with sauce. If your family likes spinach, add a layer here. Add another layer of ravioli, more sauce and cover the whole top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

If you feel like potchke-ing, try these delicious lasagna rolls.

Chickpea and Feta Salad

photo: marylandmeals.com


Easy

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
1 tomato, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss together salad ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk together all dressing ingredients except olive oil. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Pour over salad and mix well. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until ready to serve.

If you’re a fan of chick peas, try this great side dish.