Date Cake with Caramel Sauce

datecake
Serves 8-10

CAKE
12 ounces pitted plump dates
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons brewed espresso
3/4 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted margarine, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs

CARAMEL
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pareve whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, cover the dates with the rum, espresso and water and heat at high power for 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let stand until the dates are softened. Puree until smooth.

In a bowl, whisk both flours with the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the margarine and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs until incorporated, then beat in the date puree. Add the dry ingredients all at once and beat at low speed until incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a rack to cool completely.

In a medium saucepan, simmer the sugar and water over moderate heat until a deep-amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pareve cream. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the hardened caramel is dissolved. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the caramel sauce.

Frozen Caramelized Pear Torte

Serves 12

Almond Meringue
6 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ cup ground toasted almonds, optional
½ cup flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar

White Chocolate – Pear Mousse
5 ounce pareve white melting chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate)
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
¼ cup dark rum
2 cups pareve whipping cream
2 pears, peeled and diced

Chocolate Ganache
12 ounces chocolate
1 cup pareve whip cream

To prepare the meringue, draw two 10-inch circles on two parchment paper-lined baking sheets, then flip over the parchment so the ink is on the other side. Place the egg whites in a bowl of a mixer and whip on high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time, along with the almond extract, and whip until still peaks form and the whites are shiny. Place the ground almonds, flour, and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and mix together. Gently fold the mixture into the egg whites. Divide the batter between the two circles and spread evenly to fill the circles. Place in a 300 degree oven and bake for about 2 hours, or until firm.

To prepare the mousse, melt the white chocolate (or chocolate) in the top of a double boiler over gently simmering heat. Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Place the egg yolks, ¾ cup of the sugar, and the rum in a metal bowl and whisk together. Place over gently simmering water, and whop the egg mixture until it is thick and resembles softly whipped cream. Remove from the heat and set aside. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the egg mixture, then fold in the melted white chocolate. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Place the remaining ¼ cup of sugar in a sauté pan and cook, without stirring, until the sugar turns golden brown. Add the pears and sauté until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

To assemble the torte, place one of the cooled meringues in a 10-inch spring form pan. (You may have to trim the meringue fit it in the pan.) Place the pears on top of the first meringue layer, then cover with the mousse. Place the second layer of meringue on top of the mousse and place in the freezer.

To prepare the ganache, place the chocolate pieces in the food processor and process until finely ground. Heat the cream until boiling and pour over the chocolate through the feed tube while the processor is running. Continue to process until the mixture is smooth. Remove the torte from the freezer and pour the ganache over the torte. Return the torte to the freezer and freeze for about 2 hours. (If frozen overnight, let the torte come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.) To serve, release the sides of the pan and slide the torte off the bottom of the pan onto a serving platter. Slice into wedges and serve.

Glazed Beets with Chives

glazed-bits

Serves 4

1 pounds trimmed and peeled beets, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, halved or quartered if large
1-1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted margarine
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons walnut pieces or coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Put the beets in an 8-inch-wide, 3- to 4-quart saucepan and arrange snugly. Add the margarine, sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and enough water to just cover the beets (about 2 cups). Bring to a boil over high heat.

Cook over high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy glaze and the beets are tender, about 10 minutes. (If the glaze is done before the beets, add about 1/2 cup water and continue to cook. If the beets are done first, remove them and continue to boil the liquid until syrupy.)

(Meanwhile, spread the walnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and a few shades darker, about 8 minutes.)

Lower the heat under the beets to medium low, add the warm walnuts, and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and serve sprinkled with the chives. (The glazed beets and walnuts, without the chives, can be kept warm, covered, for about 20 minutes.)

Open Faced Plum Tart

open-faced-plumtart

Serves 8

1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold margarine, cut into 1-tbsp. chunks
About 2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1-1/2 pounds firm-ripe plums or apricots, pitted and sliced 1/2-inch wide pieces
2 teaspoons coarse sugar to sprinkle

Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut margarine with a pastry blender until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon ice water over mixture; gently stir and toss with a fork. Repeat to add 4 to 6 more tablespoon ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is evenly moistened and a pinch of it holds together. Gather into a disk, wrap airtight, and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough into a 13-in. circle, Cut around edge of dough with a pastry wheel or knife to neaten. Lift dough to a baking sheet and chill about 15 minutes.

Combine 2/3 cup granulated sugar, the cornstarch, and spices in a medium bowl. If plums are quite tart, add a few more tablespoons sugar to spice mixture. Stir in fruit until cornstarch is moistened, then spoon fruit onto pastry right away, leaving a 1 1/2 in. rim uncovered. Fold and pleat rim over fruit. Brush rim with water and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake until filling bubbles and crust is browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool on pan on a rack at least 1 hour.

Apple Custard Tart

Delicious and perfect for the holidays. I love the apple and pareve cream cheese filling. The dough is flaky and tasty because of the shortening. I use the earthbalance sticks which are pressed canola oil but feel free to substitute the shortening with margarine. Mine will just taste better.

Serves 12

Tart Dough:
2-1/3 cups flour
¼ cup shortening (it’s Yom Tov, go ahead and use it just this time)
¼ cup unsalted margarine
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold water

Filling:
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and very thinly sliced
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups pareve whipping cream
4 ounces pareve cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To prepare the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use margarine to grease the 10-inch flan or tart pan with a removable bottom and set aside. Put the flour, shortening, margarine, and salt in a medium bowl. Using your fingertips, mix the shortening and margarine with the flour to form coarse meal. Add the cold water and mix the dough with a large fork just until it holds together. You may need to add more water if the dough is dry and crumbly. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.

Put the dough on a well-floured work surface and roll out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a prepared pan and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To prepare the filling, put the sliced apples in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and toss well. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the apples in the pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool.

Place the spiced apples in the crust in concentric circles, covering the bottom of the crust completely. Put 1 cup of the pareve cream, the pareve cream cheese, and sugar in the bowl of a mixer or food processor and blend or pulse until smooth. Add the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla, mix well, and pour over the apples. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the apples are just tender and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Whip the remaining cup of cream to soft peaks. Cut the tart into slices, top with a dallop of pareve whipped cream, and serve.

Easy Apple Spice Cake

apple-spice-cake

Serves 10- 12
1-2/3 cups crushed cinnamon graham crackers (about 9 whole crackers)
10 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted margarine, melted and divided
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (scant) salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 6-ounce Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/3 inch cubes
1-1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, or other nut,( nuts are optional)
3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Mix graham crackers, 6 tablespoons margarine, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar in medium bowl. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared dish. Bake crust until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and allspice in medium bowl; blend well. Using electric mixer, beat 4 tablespoons melted margarine, 1 cup brown sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla in large bowl until mixture is blended and thick, about 4 minutes. Beat in flour mixture. Fold in apples and walnuts. Spoon batter over crust. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Bake cake until golden brown and firm to touch in center, about 38 minutes. Cool cake completely in dish. Cut into squares and serve.

Apricot Oatmeal Cookies

apricot-oatmeal-cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup chopped dried apricots
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut
¾ cup toasted slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl, cream margarine and sugars until fluffy. On low speed, beat in eggs, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and almond extract. Stir in oats, apricots, cranberries, coconut and almonds.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased silpat-lined cookie sheets. Bake until golden – 14 to 15 minutes. Let rest for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to finish cooling.

Spicy Moroccan Salmon

Adapted from Bon Appetit – and simplified!

Serves 6 to 8

8 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons flour
4 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon fillets (skin and bones removed)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 heaping tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 serrano chili, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is better but not absolutely necessary)
2 teaspoons sugar

Garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Season fish with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. Shake off excess. Add to skillet and cook for about 4 minutes per side – or until golden. Remove to a plate covered with paper towels.

In a food processor, purée garlic, chilies, paprika, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons oil.

Heat remaining 4 tablespoons oil in skillet over low heat. Add garlic-chili mixture. Cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Gently pour in tomato paste and water. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 30 more seconds. Stir in lemon juice and sugar.

Return salmon to pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer until is cooked through – about 12 minutes (I like my fish to be really cooked!). Remove from heat.

Serve warm or a room temperature, topped with the sauce and sprinkled with some fresh cilantro, if desired.

Pumpkin Gingerbread

3 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
3-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 to 10-cup Bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar oil and eggs until smooth. Add water, pumpkin, ginger, allspice, cinnamon and cloves. Beat on low speed until combined.

Add dry ingredients until just mixed. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes – or until tester inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.

If desired, frost with tofutti cream cheese icing.

White Gazpacho

Serves 6

This is a flavorful cold soup that is a great alternative to the traditional red gazpacho. Green grapes and apples give it sweetness while the stale bread; vinegar and almonds add thickness and richness. I serve it for Succos on a warm day or as an appetizer for Rosh Hashanah.

1 cup stale, ½-inch cubes of challah or country white bread
1 cup white grape juice
1 ¼ cups blanched sliced almonds
1 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3/4 cup soymilk or pareve milk
¼ cup tofutti sour cream
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the grape juice for 5 minutes, pressing to soften.

Spread almonds in a pie plate and toast for 6 minutes. Cool. Transfer 1 cup of the almonds to a blender. Add the bread, cucumber, apple, grapes, garlic vinegar and olive oil. Puree until smooth. Strain the soup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on the solids. Whisk in the white vinegar, pareve milk, and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

Garnish with remaining almonds and a drizzle of olive oil.

Sweet Corn Salsa

This makes about 6 cups and keeps in the refrigerator for at least 4 weeks. It is more of a relish than a side but it brightens up the plate and adds flavor to everything it touches.

6 cups fresh corn kernels (usually requires 8 to 10 ears corn)
1 small head cabbage, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
½ small onion, minced
2 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seed
½ teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Optional: chopped fresh cilantro

In a medium Dutch oven, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are soft – about 20 minutes. Cool and pour into airtight containers. Store in refrigerator. Best served at room temperature. I like to stir in a little fresh cilantro right before serving – depends on your menu and your guests.

Glazed Apple Cake

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar, divided
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup margarine, softened, divided
3 ounces tofutti cream cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup nondairy creamer mixed with 1 teaspoon vinegar
¼ cup apricot preserves
2 teaspoons apple juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch springform pan.
In a medium bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon.
In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
In a mixing bowl, beat remaining ¾ sugar, 6 tablespoons margarine and tofutti cream cheese and light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add flour mixture alternately with nondairy creamer mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Pour into prepared pan. Arrange apples over batter. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons margarine and brush over apples. Bake for about 50 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs.

Combine preserves and juice and microwave on high until melted – about 30 seconds. Brush over apples. Cool.

Sweet Potatoes with Meringue

Serves 8
This is pretty easy but it makes a grand entrance.
3 pounds sweet potatoes
¼ cup brown sugar
3 egg whites, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake potatoes for 1 hour. Cool, peel and dice. Toss with brown sugar and spread over bottom of 2-quart baking dish. Cover and bake for 25 minutes.

In the meantime, beat egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat, until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in cinnamon.

Heat broil to high. Carefully spoon meringue over potatoes and toast under broiler, watching carefully to prevent burning. This will take a few minutes tops!

Pomegranate-Flavored Lamb Shanks

Serves 6 to 8

8 lamb shanks
½ cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 cinnamon stick
5 cups pomegranate juice
3 cups water
1 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
4 pears, halved

Preheat broiler.

Spread shanks in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Broil until browned on all sides, turning as necessary – about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Reduce oven to 350 degrees.

In a large roasting pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots and garlic. Sauté until lightly browned – about 10 minutes. Add cinnamon stick, pomegranate juice and water and stir to combine. Add ¾ cup pistachios, pears and the reserved lamb.

Cover pan tightly and cook for 3 hours. Sprinkle with remaining chopped pistachios before serving. Good over couscous.

Green Beans with Tomatoes and Nicoise Olives

Serves 6

You can use kalamata olives or other black olives in place of Nicoise olives if they are hard to find.

1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 cup pitted, chopped Niçoise olives
A pinch of dried thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the green beans until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; drain and cool under cold running water. In a large bowl, combine the beans with the cherry tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, and shallots. Stir in the olives, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the vegetables with the vinaigrette, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Cola London Broil

Serves 10

This is an easy meat dish for Shabbos or Yom Tov day. It is marinated overnight and then grilled and sliced. The cola tenderizes the meat so it stays moist even when sliced and served at room temperature.

1 cup cola
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/2 small white onion, grated
1-1/2 tablespoons garlic, chopped (from 3 garlic cloves)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for grill
1 London broil (5 to 6 pounds; 2 1/2 inches thick)

Combine cola, vinegar, onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon pepper, and the oil in a bowl. Place steak in a large resealable plastic bag, and pour marinade over steak. Refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.

Remove steak from marinade, and discard marinade. Season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Preheat grill to medium-high, and brush grates with oil. Grill steak until internal temperature reaches 115 degrees for medium-rare 10 to 11 minutes per side. Transfer steak to a cutting board, and let rest, tented with foil, at least 15 minutes. Very thinly slice steak against the grain, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Chicken stuffed with Pareve Herbed Cheese and Olives

Serves 4 but doubles easily

This chicken is great warm or at room temperature. It works so well with the new Tofutti Pareve Ricotta Cheese. It is great accompanied by garlicky spinach or green beans.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 lb. total)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces pareve tofutti ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon), divided
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup flour
6 tablespoons margarine, cut into 6 pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chicken broth

With a boning knife, cut a wide pocket into the thickest part of each chicken breast half, taking care not to cut all the way through. Season the chicken evenly on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

In a small bowl, mix the tofutti ricotta cheese, olives, and 1 teaspoon each lemon zest and rosemary. Stuff the pockets with the ricotta mixture and pin each shut with two toothpicks. Spread the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the margarine and the oil in a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat until the foam from the butter subsides. Add the chicken and cook, flipping once and adding another 1 tablespoon margarine halfway through cooking, until golden-brown and cooked through (reduce the heat to medium if necessary), 14 to 16 minutes total. Transfer to plates and remove the toothpicks.

While the chicken cooks, melt 1 tablespoon margarine in an 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and boil until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and boil for 1 minute more. Off the heat, whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine, remaining 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary. Serve the chicken drizzled with the sauce.

Curried Salmon Mousse

photo by Annabelle Breakey


Serves 8 – 10

This is a great alternative for a Kiddush or a perfect first course. I also serve it for Shalosh Seudas. They literally scrape it from the dish. Serve with crackers or sliced vegetables.

1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 pound rinsed salmon fillet
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon curry
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or Sriracha sauce
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup tofutti cream cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup lime juice
Fresh chives, chopped

Boil 2 cups water, wine, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium frying pan. Simmer fish just until opaque. Drain, cool, skin, and flake. Set aside.

Pour oil into another pan and heat over medium heat. Cook shallots, garlic, ginger and curry until softened. Stir in chili garlic or Sriracha sauce; cook 1 minute.

Whirl shallot mixture in a food processor. Add coconut milk, tofutti cream cheese, sugar, and salt until smooth. Pulse in salmon, then lime juice. Serve chilled, topped with chives.

Beet and Apple Soup


The bright red color of this soup makes it particularly festive and appealing.

8 medium beets, peeled and chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
2 tablespoons sherry
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: Tofutti sour cream, Roasted beets, diced

In a large Dutch oven, combine beets, broth, onion, potato and apple.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.  Cool slightly.

 

Using a hand immersion blender, purée mixture.  Stir in sherry and salt and pepper.  Gently reheat.

 

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a few roasted beets, if desired.

 

Baked Apple Crisps

This is a delicious dessert that’s a little lighter than cake but still has a lot of sweetness.

Serves 8

1 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
8 large baking apples
2 cups cranberry-apple juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour and margarine. Mix well.

Cut a ½-inch slice from the top of each apple. Remove core and seeds (sometimes a melon baller helps if you don’t have the right tool). Place apples in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Spoon oat mixture into center and on top of each apple. Pour juice over apples. Bake until tender – about 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes. Best served warm. Better served with pareve vanilla ice cream.

Baked Fennel with Thyme

photo: noblepig.com

This dish is simple but delicious.

4 bulbs fennel, trimmed and split lengthwise
1 tablespoon margarine, softened
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish.

In a medium pot, cover fennel with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender –about 15 minutes. Place fennel, cut side down, on paper towels and drain.

Place fennel in prepared dish and brush with margarine. Season with salt and pepper and top with thyme. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.

Cod with Citrus Chili Glaze

photo by Annabelle Bleakley

Serves 4

I like serving Cod as an entre or as a main course. I am often looking for an alternative to salmon or sole. This recipe works with any hearty white fish like Mahi Mahi or Halibut too.

1/2 cup sake or rice wine
1/4 cup mirin (sweet sake)
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup Asian chili sauce ( I use a sweet one)
4 scallions, cut in long strips
4 (quarter-size) slices fresh ginger
4 pieces (4 ounces each) Cod
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs

Set a steamer in a pot with 2 inches water underneath. Bring water to a boil.

In a small saucepan bring sake and mirin to a boil and heat until reduced to half. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic, juices, and zests. Cook 3 minutes; add chili sauce and cook until thickened, 10 minutes.

Put scallion strips and ginger in steamer. Top with fish; cook, covered, until just opaque in center, 8 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of sauce and the cilantro.

Mushroom Wellington Cups

photo by Jonathan Lovekin


Serves 6

Leave it to Martha Stewart to come up with this cute appetizer or side dish (I served it as a side). They are very flavorful and attractive on the plate. They do not freeze or store well though. If it’s a Yom Tov day, you can prepare everything ahead of time and just bake them before serving.

4 tablespoons unsalted margarine, plus 4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted
1-1/4 pounds small cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pareve whipping cream
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
5 sheets (12 by 16 1/2 inches) frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 4 tablespoons margarine in a large skillet over high heat. Cook mushrooms for 6 minutes. Add garlic. Cook until mushrooms are golden brown, about 1 minute more. Add wine. Cook, stirring and scraping browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon, until wine evaporates, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to combine. Add pareve cream. Cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Lay 1 phyllo sheet on a work surface (keep remaining phyllo covered with a damp towel). Lightly brush sheet with melted margarine. Top with 1 sheet; brush with margarine. Repeat with remaining 3 sheets, leaving top without margarine..

Cut phyllo stack into six 5 1/2-by-6-inch pieces. Nestle each into a cup of a standard muffin tin. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons mushroom mixture into each. Bake until golden, 14 to 16 minutes.

Simple Roasted Pomegranate Chicken

Serves 8

This is super easy and really moist chicken. It has a nice color and pretty pomegranate seeds all around. Adults and kids request it over and over.

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 (3-1/2 to 4-pound) chickens, quartered
½ cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 2 lemons, about 4-5 tablespoons
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
2 – 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a cup, mix oil and garlic. Brush garlic oil over chicken.

Place chicken in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, basting several times with pan juices, until skin is browned and juices run clear when a thigh is pierced at thickest part with a fork.

In a small saucepan, mix pomegranate juice, wine, lemon juice, and cinnamon sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Roast Game Hens with Pineapple Glaze

8 (1-¾) pound Cornish game hens
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange hens, breast side up, in 2 9 x 13 baking pans. Drizzle hens with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, whisk pineapple, maple syrup, lemon juice, mustard and soy sauce. Baste hens with pineapple mixture and cook for an additional 45 minutes, basting every 20 minutes with more glaze.

Transfer hens to serving platter. Pour pan juices and any remaining pineapple glaze into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until pineapple sauce is reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 8 minutes.

Serve sauce with hens.