Watermelon Granita

4 cups, ½ inch cubed, seedless, watermelon
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice

Purée all ingredients in a blender. Pour into a 9- by 13-inch dish and place in the freezer. Scrape with a fork every 30 minutes until mixture forms ice flakes (up to 2 1/2 hours).

This can be made 3 days ahead of time but it must be scraped at the correct intervals. If you place it in the freezer and forget to do the scraping, it will form a strong block of ice and will be impossible to work with. Each time you take it out, scrape it until the entire tray is full of flaked ice. If you it is too tough, microwave it a bit, and start over with the freezing and scraping.

Lemon, Ginger, Raspberry Iced Tea with Raspberry Ice Cubes

I am on a personal mission to rid the beautiful Shabbos table of soda and soda bottles. Here is a tea to try that both adults and kids will enjoy.

1 cup raspberries or other berry of choice, rinsed
Water for ice cube trays, plus 8 cups water, divided
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped fresh ginger (you can leave the peel on)
6 tea bags, mixture of white tea and raspberry zinger (all raspberry if you prefer)
½ cup lemonade or fresh lemons, juiced
1 bottle seltzer
Mint sprigs, for garnish

Place about 2-4 berries in each compartment of an ice cube tray. Fill with water and freeze.

Place honey, 2 cups water and ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Let mixture steep for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour, then strain out tea bags and ginger.

In a pitcher combine strained liquid with 6 cups seltzer and lemonade. Chill in refrigerator.

Serve in a pitcher with raspberry ice cubes and fresh mint

Lemon and Honey Roast Chicken

Easy

This is my new favorite go-to chicken dish. It’s super easy and really full of flavor. The color is glossy and the roasted lemon is fabulous.
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 chickens, cut in 1/8’s
Kosher salt
5 large rosemary sprigs
9 garlic cloves, quartered
1-2 lemons, cut into 12 wedges

Preheat the oven to 450°. In a small bowl, combine the honey, lemon juice and soy sauce. Set the chickens on a large rimmed baking sheet and season with kosher salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh rosemary. Scatter the garlic and lemon all over the chicken and in between the chicken pieces. Brush two-thirds of the honey glaze over the chickens. Roast in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325°. Brush with the remaining glaze. Roast the chickens for about 45 minutes longer, until the juices run clear when the thighs are pierced; turn the pan halfway through roasting. Serve with the roasted garlic and lemons.

Strawberry Bread

A friend made this for a local charity event. It is moist and can be made a few days ahead of time. It is perfect cake to have around for sleepover guests to munch on all day.
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1-½ cups canola oil
2 pints strawberries, quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer, blend all ingredients except strawberries. Mix until smooth, about 1 minute. Add strawberries and mix until just incorporated. Spray a Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes.

Tropical Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
½ cup mandarin oranges, drained, reserve 2 tablespoon juice
1 cup diced pineapple
2 cups broccoli, blanched *see how to blanch broccoli, below
2 medium carrots, sliced into matchsticks
4 scallions (green onions), sliced
1 teaspoon orange zest
A handful of fresh cilantro and mint leaves, rough chopped
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

For the dressing:
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons mandarin orange juice
Fresh juice from 1-2 limes
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
1 inch ginger, grated
1 teaspoon sugar

Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package instructions.
When the quinoa is ready, scoop it into a large bowl and fluff it with a fork. Allow it to cool.

Dressing:
In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Taste test.

When the quinoa has cooled, pour in the dressing and toss lightly. Add the pineapple, broccoli, carrots, scallions, fresh cilantro and mint. Gently combine the ingredients. Add kosher salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover and chill to let the flavors blend

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Red Pepper

Easy
This is a great and easy side dish for mid-week or for Shabbos night. It is surprising how the high temperature roasting makes the broccoli so delicious and the little punch of pepper gives it just the perfect amount of spice.
1-¼ pounds broccoli heads, cut into florets (about 8 cups)
3 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
Large pinch of dried crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss broccoli and 3 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet. Roast 15 minutes. Stir remaining ½ tablespoon oil, garlic and red pepper in small bowl. Drizzle garlic mixture over broccoli and toss to coat. Roast until broccoli is beginning to brown, about 8 minutes more. Season with salt and serve.

Rye Bread

photo: maryjanesfarm.org

Now that we can eat chometz again, I am in the mood to bake more than just my usual challahs. Here’s a nice light rye bread that will be a big hit.
¼ cup honey
¼ cup molasses
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 cup boiling water
2 rounded teaspoons yeast
¾ cup warm water
2 cups rye flour
2-1/2 to 3 cups whole wheat flour

Combine honey, molasses, salt, margarine, caraway seeds and boiling water in a small bowl. Stir until smooth and honey is dissolved. Cool to lukewarm

In a larger bowl, combine yeast and warm water. Allow to proof (bubble up!) – about 5 to 10 minutes – and stir in honey mixture and rye flour. Add whole wheat flour gradually, stirring until combined. When dough is no longer sticky, knead until smooth and elastic. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until doubled – about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a round loaf and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise again – about 1 hour this time.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes – until crust in browned all over and loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely on wire racks.

Peanut Chicken Stir Fry

photo: flickr

Don’t let the list of ingredients intimidate you; this is an easy weeknight dinner.

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup snow peas
1 cup broccoli (you can use the frozen)
1 (4 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 (4 ounce) can bamboo shoots, drained
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon ginger
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
1 cup roasted peanuts (if you have allergies, throw in cashews instead or omit the nuts altogether!)

In a wok, heat peanut or grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until most of pink is gone. Add garlic and vegetables and continue to stir-fry. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, corn starch, ginger, broth, soy sauce and peanut butter (this can also be done with a hand immersion blender). Pour over chicken mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Throw in peanuts and serve over long-grain or basmati rice.

Curried Apple Soup

photo: veggiesyarnsandtails

A break from the heavy soups of winter.

4 tablespoons margarine
1 onion, chopped
4 Granny Smith apples, chopped
2 teaspoons curry
1 teaspoon sugar
8 cups chicken stock or 2 (32 ounce) boxes pareve chicken broth
½ cup uncooked rice
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup nondairy creamer or soy milk
¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)

In a large stockpot, melt the margarine over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the apples, curry and sugar and continue to sauté – about 5 minutes. Pour in chicken stock and rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Using hand immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. Stir in pepper and nondairy creamer or soy milk. Reheat and serve. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Tofutti-Cream Cheese Frosting

photo: blogspot

I have probably already let the cat out of the bag that I like ginger and gingerbread in almost all its forms – and these cupcakes are no exception!

½ cup sugar
½ cup margarine, softened
½ cup molasses
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
¾ cup water

Icing:
1 (8 ounce) package tofutti cream cheese
¼ cup margarine, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons nondairy creamer or soy milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat together sugar, margarine, molasses and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients and pour into 18 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool briefly in pans; then remove to wire racks to finish cooling. When completely cool, make icing.

Beat together tofutti cream cheese, margarine, cinnamon and vanilla. On low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar and the nondairy creamer. Pipe onto cupcakes or just spread with a spoon. Store in the refrigerator.

Not Your Mother’s Potato Salad

4 pounds ( 6 to 8 ) red or white potatoes, peeled, cubed, cooked and cooled)
4 hot house tomatoes, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 papaya, cut into cubes
½ red onion, minced

Dressing:
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup vinegar
1/4 cup mango chutney
1 jalapeno, minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate container, combine all dressing ingredients and shake well. Pour over salad and toss to make sure it is all covered. Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Purim Seudah

Here are some menu ideas to make your Purim extra festive!
Asian Lamb Chops

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Indian Cauliflower and Potatoes

Vegetable Samosas – New Hamatashen from Shalom Bombay
Yellow Cake Mix Hamantashen
More Hamantashen Recipes from our readers
Beer and Barbeque Minute Steak

Tequila-Lime Chicken

Penne Vodka with Herbed Chicken

Grasshopper Pie

Smoked Trout Dip
Cilantro-Garlic Dip
Sticks of Fresh Vegetables – Carrots, Celery, Jicama, Radish, Baby Corn
Assortment of Crackers
Smoked Salmon on Wontons
Spicy Chili
White Rice
Spinach with Coconut
Sweet Potato with Granola
Peanut Butter Pretzel Tart with Chocolate Drizzle

Asian Lamb Chops




15 (3 ounce) lamb chops


2 teaspoons minced garlic


2 tablespoons sugar


2 tablespoons lime juice


2 tablespoonsoy sauce


¼ cup olive oil


1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Place the lamb chops in a roasting pan and season with garlic and sugar. Whisk together lime juice, soy sauce and olive oil and drizzle over chops. Cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes. (I do 30 minutes because I like meat, especially lamb, well done). Garnish with cilantro.

Vegetable Samosas (The “New” Hamantashen)


By Chef Vijay Jagtiani, Shalom Bombay, Glatt Kosher Indian Cuisine NYC and Teaneck

For 16 Samosas

For the filling:
6 potatoes with skin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 inches peeled fresh ginger
2 chopped green chilies
½ chopped onion
1 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
½ tablespoon turmeric powder
¼ tablespoon coriander powder
½ tablespoon salt
¼ tablespoon chili powder

Boil potatoes, remove skin, mash and set aside.

In a non-stick pan heat oil. Add cumin seeds, ginger, green chilies and onion and brown. Add peas. Cook 2-3 minutes and add mashed potatoes.

Mix cilantro, turmeric, coriander and chili powder together. Mix into the potato mixture and let cool for 15 minutes in fridge

For the dough:
¼ cup of white flour
¼ cup of vegetable oil
½ tablespoon of salt

Mix all of the ingredients together until they form a hard dough. Make lemon size balls of dough. Place the balls on a flat surface and press with a rolling pin to get an average thickness. Cut to make a half circle. Take one of the half circles. Dip your forefinger in water and line the edges of half circle with the wet finger. Then give it a shape of cone. Stuff it with about 1 tbsp of prepared filling and seal it firmly. Deep fry. Serve with sweet chutney and enjoy.

Sweet Chutney:
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups ketchup
1 pear, peeled
1 pound red seedless grapes
2 bananas
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
½ tablespoon chili powder
Pinch of orange/red food color powder

Grind vinegar, ketchup, pear, grapes and bananas together in food processer. Add salt according to taste; then cumin, chili and food color. Mix and enjoy.

Yellow Cake Mix Hamantashen

This recipe was submitted by GKC friend and fan, Yael Seruya.

Dough:
1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
1 cup flour
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water, approximately

Filling Suggestions: Favorite Jams, poppy seed or prune filling (from can), chocolate morsels, white chocolate chunks, colored sugars, chocolate and rainbow sprinkles, marshmallows, chopped candy bars, gummy bears, candy hearts, or any other fun treat you dare to try!

Coat two cookie sheets with shortening or vegetable spray. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, combine cake mix, flour, beaten eggs, and water until batter is well moistened, and holds together. If dough is dry and crumbly, add water a few drops at a time. (Hint: After starting with a fork, I used my hands to finish mixing and added one teaspoon more water.) On flour surface, roll out dough to one-eighth thickness. Cut circles with four inch round and/or two and one-half inch round cookie cutter or cup, to make both large and small hamantashen. Place circles on prepared cookies sheets and spoon fillings or candies in center of each. (Hint: the more you put in the center, the trickier it is to get folded corners to hold together during baking-but we do it anyway!)
Fold into triangles by pinching tops together first, then bottom. Make sure top corners of triangle lean inward over filling so they won’t come apart during baking. If dough is dry, moisten hands with a few drops of water while working or spray dough sparingly with water mister. After folding, sprinkle edges with more toppings or chocolates, as desired.
Bake for 5-7 minutes, until slightly golden. Do not over bake. Smaller hamantaschen take less time. Remove from tray to cool.
Servings: 10 four-inch, and 17 two-and-one-half inch from one batch.
Serving Suggestions: Eat and share all day on Purim!

Grasshopper Pie


This is an adult dessert as it contains alcohol. It is green and vibrant and perfect for Purim!

Crust:
28 chocolate creme filled sandwich cookies (recommended: Pareve Oreo)
2 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or 1/4 cup chips)
3 tablespoons soft unsalted margarine

Filling:
3 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup pareve milk
1/4 cup Crème de Menthe (kosher brand is Leroux)
1/4 cup Crème de Cacao Blanc (kosher brand is DeKuyper)
1-1/2 cups pareve whipping cream
Few spots or drops green food coloring, optional (I use it)
1 loose-bottomed 10-inch fluted tart pan, 2 inches deep

Set aside 1 cookie for later use. Process the remaining cookies and chocolate in a food processor until they form a crumb mixture. Add the margarine and process until the mixture starts to clump together.

Press the mixture into a high-sided fluted tart pan, making a smooth base and sides with your hands or the back of a spoon. Put it into the refrigerator to chill and harden.

Melt the marshmallows in a saucepan over low gentle heat along with the pareve milk. Once the pareve milk starts to foam (not boil), take off the heat and keep stirring until the marshmallows blend into the pareve milk to make a smooth mixture.

Pour the mixture out of the saucepan into a heatproof bowl, then whisk in the creme de menthe and creme de cacao. Leave until cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk the pareve cream until it starts to hold soft peaks then, still whisking, add the cooled marshmallow mixture. This filling should be thick but still soft, not stiff or dry, so that it will eventually drop easily out of the bowl into the chilled pie crust.

When the marshmallow mixture and pareve cream are combined, whisk in a few drops of food coloring, if desired.

Spread the filling into the chilled base, swirling it about with an icing spatula or silicone spatula to fill evenly. Put the pie in the refrigerator, covered, to chill overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours until firm.

Crush the remaining cookie and sprinkle it over the top of the pie before serving.

Make Ahead Note:

The pie can be made 1 to 2 days ahead. When chilled and firm, tent with aluminum foil (try not to touch surface with foil as it will leave marks) and store in the refrigerator. Decorate just before serving. The pie will keep 3 to 4 days total.

Freeze Note:

The pie can be frozen for up to 3 months. Open-freeze undecorated pie just until solid, then wrap the pie (still in its tart pan) in a double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. To thaw, unwrap the pie and tent with foil (try not to touch surface with foil as it will leave marks), then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Decorate before serving.

Penne Vodka with Herbed Chicken

1 pound penne pasta
2 cups homemade marinara sauce or 1 (23-1/2-ounce) container refrigerated marinara sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
½ head roasted garlic
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup vodka
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
3 pieces grilled chicken or 2 cups leftover roasted chicken, skinned, and cut into 1-inch cubes

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently. Drain. Return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat marinara sauce, tomatoes with juices, roasted garlic, basil, vodka and crushed red pepper in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Add cubed chicken and stir until heated through.

Add sauce to pasta and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl.

Tequila Lime Chicken


This recipe is an Ina Garten recipe and needs no adaptation. It’s perfect in the summer and fun as a Purim dish. Don’t be afraid to make this if you do not like tequila (it is not my favorite either); the tequila gives the chicken a little zesty flavor that is hard to identify as an ingredient. The chicken is moist and tender and very flavorful. You can make it with boneless breasts and it is good warm or at room temperature.

1/2 cup gold tequila
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 to 6 limes)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno pepper (1 pepper seeded)
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (3 cloves)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 boneless chicken breasts, skin-on

Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts. Refrigerate overnight.

Heat a grill or a grill pan and brush the rack with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, and grill them skin-side down for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from the grill to a plate. Cover tightly and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Smoked Salmon and Wontons

This recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled depending on the size of your crowd!

¼ cup toasted sesame oil
1 egg white
8 wonton wrappers
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1-1/4 teaspoons wasabi
1 teaspoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
6 ounces sliced smoked salmon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together oil and egg white and brush on wonton wrappers. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut in half (into triangles) and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Cool completely. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Place a slice of salmon atop each wonton and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with minced scallions if desired.

Spicy Chili

Don’t let the long list of ingredients intimidate you. This is easy, delicious and great for a crowd. Can also be doubled and made ahead.

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 pounds ground lamb
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons cocoa (powder form)
1-1/2 teaspoons allspice
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
4 cups beef broth
1/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven and sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add meat and cook until browned, stirring frequently and breaking into pieces as you go. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours to give the flavors a chance to blend.