Chocolate Pound Cake


The best pound cakes are made with butter. Since you aren’t eating meat anyway, this is your chance to make a special, simple yet rich, weeknight dessert.

3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1-3/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in flour, cocoa and baking powder. Pour into greased 12-cup Bundt pan. Bake for about 1-1/2 hours. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. You can serve alone, dusted with powdered sugar, with a dollop of (real!) whipped cream or with some fresh berries.

If you’re in the mood for more chocolate, this cake is worth trying even though it isn’t dairy!

Mushroom Onion and Tomato Quiche


I love to make quiches – It’s a great meal to have for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner! – A slice of this quiche paired with a delicious green salad makes for the perfect light summer meal. It is a great addition to add to your 9 days menu – and as long as you keep the egg custard the same, you can substitute any vegetable for the inside.

By Sarah Lasry

For the Quiche Crust:
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
Large pinch of kosher salt
1 stick of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), sliced into pieces (make sure butter is very cold)
5-6 tablespoons ice cold water

For the Quiche Au Fromage (Cheese Quiche)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
Kosher salt and black black pepper to taste
2 cups sliced baby portabella mushrooms
6 large eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
8 ounces Guyere cheese (or any mozarella, swiss or white cheddar cheese), cut into peices
2 farm tomatoes, sliced round
1/4 cup fresh sweet basil, diced roughly
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the flour and the salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the chunks of butter into the flour. Pulse it, until the butter is incorporated into the flour and the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. With the food processor running, add the water and process briefly, using pulses, just until the pastry begins to hold together in large clumps.

Turn the pastry out onto a floured work surface and gather it into a ball.

Roll out the pastry to fit a 10-1/2-inch inch pie or quiche plate. Crimp the edges, poke the bottom with a fork and place the quiche shell into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

While the quiche is freezing, sautee your onion in the olive oil on med-high heat. Add the spices and mix well. Let the onions cook down all the way – until fully wilted and have turned a nice light brown (about 10-12 minutes). Remove the onions and in the same pan add the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms cook for about 6 minutes, with minimal stirring. Once mushrooms have cooked, add the onions back into the pan, mix together, remove from heat and set aside to reserve for later.

In a large mixing bowl start putting together your quiche custard, add the eggs, whisk well and then add the cream, and milk and whisk everything together until blended well. Then add the cheese, season a little with salt and pepper and whisk everything together to incorporate. – Set bowl aside in fridge till ready to fill your quiche.

After 30 minutes – Line the pastry with foil and pastry weights and bake in the middle of your oven until the pastry is golden around the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the foil and pastry weights. Return the pastry back into the oven and bake until the bottom is golden, an additional 5 minutes.

Remove Pastry from oven and spread an even layer of your mushroom and onions on the bottom of the crust. Then add a layer of sliced tomatoes on top. Then using a ladel, spoon the custard on top of all the vegetables. Fill the quiche till the top of the shell. Add a layer of sweet chopped basil and finally sprinkle the top with some nutmeg. Carefully place quiche back into oven.

Bake in the center of the oven until the filling is golden and puffed and completely baked through – about 30 minutes. To test for doneness, shake the quiche – if it is solid with out a pool of uncooked filling in the center – it is done. Remove quiche from oven and serve.

For the last 8 years Sarah Lasry has been the heart and soul of the successful and celebrated Tastebuds Gourmet Café & Flower Shop in Howell, NJ. Sarah opened and ran Tastebuds to much critical appraise for her unique approach to delicious, kosher gourmet cooking as well as her legendary parties, original style and artistic culinary flair. In 2006 Sarah wrote the acclaimed bestselling cookbook “THE DAIRY GOURMET” which revealed all the secret recipes of Tastebuds Café. With much anticipation from her many fans and fellow foodies, Sarah’s brand new cookbook “THE AT HOME GOURMET” just hit the stores with high praise and reviews. Sarah currently resides in Lakewood, NJ where she has recently left the restaurant business to concentrate on her passion for writing cookbooks and is hard at work as the Food and Home contributing editor for Binah Magazine and www.Kosherstreet.com.

Tarragon-Cheese Bread Pudding

photo: womensunitedonline.com

1 challah, cut into cubes
4 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
6 eggs
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Grease a 2-1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Spread bread cubes evenly in dish. Whisk together milk, cream, cheese, eggs, tarragon, salt and pepper. Pour over bread cubes. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours or even overnight. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
For another savory dairy bread pudding try this mushroom and feta one.

Butterscotch Cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together margarine and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. On low speed, add flour and baking soda. Stir in nuts and butterscotch chips. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on greased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly. Bake for about 12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

If you’re still in the mood for cookies, try your hand at these Double Ginger Cookies.

Fillet of Sole

photo: thesouthinmymouth

This is worth breaking the budget for; it is delicious in its utter simplicity.

1 cup flour
8 (4-ounce) sole fillets
Salt
Pepper
4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

Sauce:
½ cup butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Mix flour with salt and pepper and place in shallow dish. Dredge fish in flour. Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add fish and cook until golden. Flip over and repeat with other side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Add butter for sauce to skillet (for very clear sauce, pour off drippings and wipe skillet clean) and cook until melted. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice. Spoon gently over fish. Eat slowly and savor.

For other delicious fish dishes, check out our index.

Apple and Ginger Salad

The addition of yogurt makes this a dairy salad, and therefore perfect for this time of year.

3 apples, chopped (can be a combination of Granny Smith and Fuji or Gala)
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
½ cup vanilla yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ cup chopped toasted pecans

In a large bowl, toss together apples, water chestnuts, celery, cranberries and crystallized ginger. Whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar and ginger. Pour over salad and mix well. Refrigerate until serving time. Sprinkle with pecans.

Fruit salads are just right in the summer time; for variety try this one also.

Mango Gazpacho

photo: myrecipes.com

If you like mango (I do; my husband doesn’t), then you will probably really enjoy this refreshing summer soup.

2 cups diced mango
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 seedless cucumber, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 small jalapeno, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Purée mango, orange juice and olive oil in a food processor. Mix with remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

If you have a husband like mine or if you are just looking for an alternative, try this Cantaloupe and Fruit soup.

Banana Betty in Individual Ramekins


(Makes about 8 – 10)

1½ cups coarsely ground gingersnap cookies or other cookie crumbs (about 6 ounces)
9 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted
2 cups pareve whipping cream
6 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional but don’t be scared to use it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas, peeled, and cut into ¼ thick inch rounds
Pareve whipping cream or pareve ice cream to go with them

Mix ground cookies, 3 tablespoons sugar and margarine in medium bowl to blend.

Bring pareve cream to simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk egg yolks and remaining 6 tablespoons sugar in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk hot pareve cream into yolks mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and stir over medium low heat until custard thickens slightly and leaves path on back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Do not boil! Remove from heat and mix in rum and vanilla.

Place 1 tablespoon cookie mixture in bottom of each of 8 ½ cup ramekins or custard cups. Fan 6 banana slices on top. Pour warm custard over bananas (about ¼ cup each). Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Top each with 2 more tablespoons cookie mixture. Place desserts in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of dishes. Bake until custard is just set in center, about 35 minutes. Serve warm with pareve ice cream or pareve whipping cream. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)

Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with Cold Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce from Le Marais Restaurant

from Le Marais Restaurant

Serves 8 servings
2 ½ lbs of Sushi Grade Yellowfin Tuna, cut into 1” steaks
Oil for grilling
Salt and black pepper
1 ½ cups of peanut butter
½ cup of coconut milk
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce or 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
3 cloves grated fresh garlic
1 ½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger
½ cup of rough chopped cilantro
2 packages of soba noodles
¼ cup of snow peas, julienned
¼ cup of peeled carrots, julienned
¼ cup of celery, julienned
¼ cup of scallions, chopped
½ cup of chopped cilantro or basil
½ cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half
White sesame seeds for garnishing

Not only can this be prepared in advance, I encourage it. Cook the noodles as per the manufacturer’s instructions. When they are cooked, drain them and then shock them with cold water. You need to stop the cooking process by removing all of the heat. Place the noodles in a bowl and put them on the side.
For the sauce, place into a large bowl the peanut butter, coconut milk, water, lime juice, soy sauce, hot sauce, garlic and ginger. Whisk together until the sauce forms and is smooth. Add the cilantro.
Into the noodles, add all of the cut vegetables and then enough sauce to generously coat them. Reserve any extra sauce to be used as a sauce for the tuna.
Place into the refrigerator and allow to chill while preparing the tuna.
Have your grill well seasoned and hot before placing the tuna on to the grill.
Lightly oil the fish on both sides and then season with the salt and pepper.
Place the fish on to your grill and let it sit for about 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Then rotate the fish 180 degrees and let it sit for another minute. This will create the desired diamond pattern. Flip over and repeat the process. The fish should be on the grill no longer than 5-6 minutes maximum. If you like your tuna well done, than turn around and leave my class now for I am not very happy with you and you shouldn’t be eating tuna anyway.
Put the tuna on to a cutting board and slice it. Serve the warn tuna with the chilled noodle salad. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the tuna.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup


2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 small red chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 bay leaf
1 (28 ounce) can pumpkin or a 2 pound fresh pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced
2 ½ cups vegetable stock

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the ginger, chile, cilantro, bay leaf, and pumpkin and cook for another 3 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, skim any foam from the surface. If using fresh pumpkin, reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. For canned pumpkin, just simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and take out the bay leaf, and let cool a little.

Transfer the soup into a food processor or with an immersion blender, process until smooth. Return the mixture to the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat gently, stirring. Remove from the heat and pour into warmed soup bowls. Garnish each one with a swirl of pareve cream or pareve tofutti sour cream.

Garlic, Black Bean and Sausage Soup

This soup is easy to throw together when you just can’t face the kitchen a minute longer!
1 pound sweet or spicy Italian sausage, depending on your preference
1 onion, chopped
3 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon fennel seed, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
2 cups beef broth
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons oregano
Dash cayenne
Tofutti sour cream
Avocado
Cilantro

In a medium-large stock pot, sauté sausage, onion, garlic and fennel for about 10 minutes. Add a drop of oil if necessary to keep from sticking. Drain fat. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for about ½ hour. If desired garnish with a dollop of tofutti sour cream, some slices of avocado and a sprig of cilantro.

Oven-Fried Chicken


Easy
4 eggs, beaten
4 cups panko
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 chickens, cut in 1/8th’s
¾ to 1 cup canola oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place rimmed nonstick baking sheet on lower rack of oven. Place the eggs in one bowl, the panko in one bowl, and the flour mixed with garlic and cayenne in a third bowl. Dredge chicken in flour, then egg and then panko. Pour the oil onto the baking sheet and roll the chicken pieces in it. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Mixed Berry (or apple) Turnovers

2 sheets puff pastry

Filling:
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1-1/2 cups fresh strawberries
(3 cups diced apples may be substituted for all the berries)
3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons unsalted margarine
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Cinnamon whipped cream:
1 ½ cup pareve whipping cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To prepare the filling, put all the ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well.

Roll out the puff pastry dough on a large, well floured work surface into one 40-inch square or two 20-inch squares. Using a sharp knife cut out eight 4 or 5 inch squares. In a small bowl, make an egg wash by whisking together the egg and water.

To assemble: place about 1/3 cup of the filling in the middle of a square of dough. Fold one corner over to meet the other corner, forming a triangle. Brush the inside edge of the dough with the egg wash. Using your fingertips, crimp the edges well to seal. Brush the top of the turnover with egg wash and place ¼ inch apart on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough squares and filling. Place the turnovers in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Serve with cinnamon whipped cream.

Whipping cream:
Whip the cold pareve cream until soft peaks form. Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract and beat until the cream is firm and fluffy.

Sweet Apple Tea


6 cups water
6 sweet apple tea bags
1-1/3 cups vanilla simple syrup, recipe follows
1 small apple, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
Ice

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tea bags. Allow the liquid to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove the tea bags and discard. Add the Vanilla Simple Syrup and stir. Pour the mixture into a glass pitcher. Add the apple and lemon slices and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Pour the tea into ice-filled glasses and serve.

Vanilla Simple Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and seeds removed

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean, and vanilla bean seeds. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.

Yield: 1 1/3cups

Glazed Corn Beef


3 pounds corned beef
1 cup dark marmalade, like orange or raspberry
4 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons brown sugar

Placed corned beef in a large pot and cover with boiling water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover partially and simmer as slowly as possible for about 3 hours, or until very tender when tested with a fork.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix marmalade, mustard and sugar together in a small bowl.
When meat is done, remove from pot and drain. Place meat on an ovenproof serving dish and pour marmalade mixture over it, coating thoroughly.
Bake corned beef for 30 minutes, or until glaze is crisp and brown. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Duck with Rich Burgundy Wine

2 whole ducks
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder
Poultry seasoning
1 large onion, quartered
1 apple, quartered
1 orange, quartered
4 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red Burgundy wine

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Clean the ducks well and rub the body cavities lightly with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning. Stuff the cavities with pieces of onion, apple, orange and celery. Rub the ducks with the soy sauce and oil. Place in a baking pan and roast, uncovered, basting often with Burgundy wine, about every 10 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes baking time per pound of duck. Remove the stuffing before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

1 cup margarine, softened
1 (8 ounce) package tofutti cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup nondairy creamer
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together margarine, tofutti cream cheese and 1-1/4 cups sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda and add to the mixture alternately with the nondairy creamer. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into greased 9-inch springform pan. Combine the pecans, cinnamon and remaining sugar and sprinkle over batter. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. Remove sides of pan.

Cranberry Sauce with Crystallized Ginger

2 (12 ounce) bags cranberries
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup minced crystallized ginger

Combine all ingredients except crystallized ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until cranberries have burst – about 20 minutes. Cool and stir in crystallized ginger. Store in refrigerator.

Herbed Sea Bass with Orange-Rosemary Margarine

Four 6 ounce sea bass fillets, skinned
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons each chopped fresh rosemary, parsley, thyme, and basil or 4 tablespoons each parsley and basil
6 tablespoons Orange-Rosemary margarine (recipe follows) cut into 4 pats

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Brush the fish on both sides with the oil. Season with the salt and pepper. Spread the herbs on a plate. Dip the flesh side of each fillet in the herbs to coat.

Heat a large, ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish, herbed sides down, and cook until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Turn the fish. Place in the oven and bake just until the fish looks opaque when flaked in the center with the tip of a sharp knife, about 2 minutes. Just as the fish comes out of the oven, place a pat of the butter on each fillet.

Using the slotted spatula, transfer each fillet to a dinner plate, Serve immediately.

Orange-Rosemary Margarine
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted margarine (if pareve) or butter, softened
Zest of 2 oranges
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the margarine/butter in a medium bowl until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the orange zest and juice, rosemary, salt, and pepper and mix well.

Place an 18-inch square of plastic wrap on your work surface. Scrape the margarine/butter out onto the wrap, about 2 inches from the bottom edge, shaping the butter into a rough strip about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Fold the bottom edge of the plastic wrap over to cook the margarine/butter. Roll up the plastic wrap to shape the margarine/butter into a cylinder. Pick up the cylinder by the two ends of the plastic wrap. Twist the ends of the wrap in opposite directions, and it will tighten to shape the margarine/butter into a compact log. Refrigerate the margarine/butter until it is firm, at least 2 hours. (the margarine/butter can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. To freeze the margarine/butter, wrap the log, still in the plastic wrap, in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.)

Dry Rubbed Double Cut Veal Chop for Two from The Prime Grill


from: The Prime Grill

Dry Rub
½ tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt
5 tablespoons porcini pepper (dried porcini ground in spice/coffee grinder)

Mix all of the Above

Veal Chop
1 double cut veal chop
1 tablespoon canola oil

Sprinkle the dry rub generously on the veal chop before searing.
In a hot sauté pan, using the oil, sear the veal chop on all sides. Put onto an oven-ready tray. Roast in a 350 degrees oven for approximately 10-15 minutes. Medium is my preferred temperature.

Red Pepper Jam
2 red bell peppers—seeded, ribs out, julienned
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup rice vinegar (white vinegar can be substituted)

Combine all ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a simmer. Slowly cook down until a jam like consistency (almost dry).

Sweet Potato Soufflé
3 cups sweet potato purée
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 eggs
1 vanilla bean
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup flour

Combine the first 6 ingredients. Fold in the flour. Pour into a greased pyrex baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 40-45 minutes.

Brisket Braised in Pomegranate Juice with Onion Confit

brisket with onion confit and pomegranate glaze
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 (5 to 6 pound) brisket
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 leeks, washed well and coarsely chopped (include both white and pale green parts)
6 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk with leaves, coarsely chopped
2 cups pomegranate juice
2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade, or good quality low-sodium canned
3 fresh thyme sprigs or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 fresh rosemary branches
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Confit

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large onions (about 2 ½ pounds), very thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup chicken broth
½ cup dry red wine
½ cup pomegranate seeds

Prepare the brisket. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed roasting pan, using two burners, if necessary, or in a wide 6-quart Dutch oven or flameproof casserole. Add the brisket and brown well on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a platter and set aside. (Alternatively, you might find it easier to sear the meat under the broiler. Just cover the broiler pan well with foil to minimize cleanup. Preheat the broiler. Place the brisket under the broiler, far side up, and broil for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned. Move the meat around as necessary, so it sears evenly on the back and front portions. Transfer the brisket to a platter and set aside.) Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat remaining in the pan and add the onions and leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat, until the vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, and celery and continue cooking until the onions are golden, 7-10 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan to prevent scorching or sticking.

Add 1 cup pomegranate juice and bring the mixture to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the liquid is reduced by about half. Add the remaining 1-cup juice, he broth, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves and bring the mixture to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lightly salt and pepper the brisket on both sides, and add it to the pan, fat side up, spooning the vegetable mixture all over the meat. Cover the pan tightly, and braise the brisket in the oven, basting every half hour, until the meat is very tender, 2 ½ – 3 ½ hours. (Turn the oven down to 300°F if the braising liquid begins to bubble rapidly.)

While the brisket is cooking, make the confit. In a 10 to 12-inch heavy skillet, warm the oil. Add the onions, season lightly with salt and pepper, and toss to coat with the oil. Cook, tightly covered, over the lowest heat, stirring occasionally so the mixture does not burn, for 1 hour, or until the onions are very soft and pale gold in color. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, the broth, and wine. Raise the heat and boil the mixture, uncovered, stirring, until all the liquid is evaporated and the onions turn golden. Taste and adjust the seasoning (it may take quite a bit of salt), then turn off the heat. Cover the mixture and keep it warm. Stir in the pomegranate seeds just before serving.

Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil. Prepare the gravy. Strain the braising mixture, reserving the vegetables. Skim and discard as much fat as possible from the liquid. Puree the reserved vegetables and 1 cup of the defatted braising liquid in a food processor or a blender. Transfer the pureed mixture and the remaining braising liquid to a skillet and reduce the gravy over high heat to the desired consistency. Taste for seasoning.

Cut the brisket into thin slices across the grain at a slight diagonal. Spread the onion confit over a serving platter and arrange the sliced brisket on top. Ladle the hot gravy over the meat and serve immediately.

Brisket with Sweet White Wine

Sweet wine Brisket
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 pounds beef brisket or boneless beef chuck in one piece
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 large or 4 medium onions, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 or 3 medium carrots, cut into chunks
1 cup sweet white wine

Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet or flameproof casserole with a lid and place over medium-high heat. Wait a minute or so and when oil is hot, add the beef and brown it well on both sides, about 10 minutes, adjusting the heat so the meat browns but does not burn. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper as it browns.

Transfer the meat to a plate and reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining oil and the vegetables to the pan; stir once, then cover. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the onions are browned, dry and almost sticking to the pan. Uncover, then add the wine and stir. Add the meat and cover again. Adjust the heat so the mixture simmers steadily but not violently and cook until the meat is tender (this may be as short as 90 minutes or as long as 3 hours).

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Taste and adjust the sauce seasoning; you should be able to taste the pepper. If the mixture is very thin (unlikely), boil it down for a few minutes as necessary. Carve the meat and serve it with the sauce spooned over it or cool and refrigerate the meat (uncarved) and sauce for up to a day before reheating gently.

Apple Date Ring

2 teaspoons yeast
½ cup warm water
¾ cup nondairy creamer
½ cup sugar
½ cup margarine
1 egg
5 cups flour
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 cups finely chopped apple
1 (10 ounce) package, chopped dates
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons nondairy creamer
¼ teaspoon vanilla

Proof yeast in water – about 10 minutes. Combine nondairy creamer, sugar and margarine in microwave until margarine is melted. When still slightly warm but not hot, add to yeast mixture. Add eggs and whisk all liquid ingredients together. Start adding flour. Stir and then knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a oiled bowl, cover and chill for 8 hours (it’s a good idea to make the dough before bed and finish the ring in the morning) Punch dough down and divide in half; roll each half into an approximately 14 x 9-inch rectangle and brush with the melted margarine. Combine apple, dates, sugar and cinnamon and spoon over the dough. Roll up dough, jellyroll fashion, starting at the long side. Place each roll, seam side down in a greased 12-inch round pan and shape into a ring, pinch ends to seal.
Make cuts in dough at 1-inch intervals around rings, two-thirds of the way through rolls. Gently turn each piece of dough on its side, slightly overlapping slices. Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
For glaze, combine powdered sugar, nondairy creamer and vanilla. Mix well and drizzle over rings.

Chicken & Fruit Fricassee from Abigael’s

By Chef Jeff Nathan
Abigael’s On Broadway

Meat
Yield: 4 – 6
¾ cup dry figs
¾ cup dry apricots, diced
¾ cup golden raisins
2 cups water, warm
¼ cup brandy
Pinch saffron
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup olive oil
Flour
2 – 3 pound chickens, cut into eighths
2 onions, diced medium
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
128 ounces can crushed tomatoes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl combine the dry fruits with the water. Set aside and allow to plump at least 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the fruit water.

In a separate small bowl, combine the brandy with the saffron & cinnamon. Allow to steep 20-30 minutes. Stir well.

Dredge the chicken pieces in flour. In a large sauté pan of hot olive oil, brown the chicken on both sides. Transfer chicken to an ovenproof casserole. Pour off most of the remaining oil. Add the onions and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook until translucent. Add the dried fruits, tomato, brandy mix and reserved fruit water. Using a whisk, scrape the bottom of the pan for the pan drippings. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Bake, uncovered at 350˚ F for approximately 1 hour; or until the chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened slightly.

Serve with couscous, or rice pilaf.