Red, White & Pink; Kosher Wines for the New Year

Part one of a three part series

The color PINK conjures up many things – cotton candy, newborn baby girls and bubblegum, just to name a few. In the wine world, the color pink has come to garner a bad association – that of cheap, sweet and unsophisticated rose΄ wine. Though it was more salmon in color, I have memories of the sweet, easy drinking, soda-like White Zinfandel.

Today however more and more wine lovers are discovering rose΄. Rose΄ is an incredibly versatile wine that breaks all the rules. Many will argue that rose΄ is not a wine for serious wine drinkers, but on a warm summer day, at the beach, in the backyard, or even for a Shabbat afternoon meal, who needs serious or sophisticated? Give me a wine that will be refreshing, tasty and will enhance my meal and I’m a happy guy. Rose΄ can go with salad, fish (goes great with salmon) and is a crowd pleaser at BBQ’s, pairing wonderfully with burgers.

A new rose΄ that has recently hit the US market from France is the 2008 Domaine LaFond Tavel. This deeply colored rose΄ has a hint of sweetness but just the right amount of acidity to balance it out. Rose pedals, violets and watermelon are some of the aromas and flavors you may find in this wine. Try it with a strawberry salad.

From the Bordeaux region of France and part of the Rothschild wines is the 2008 Rose΄ De Clarke. This light salmon-colored wine is bone dry, with lip smacking acidity and floral aromas. Serve this one with a fish and/or salad appetizer at your next Shabbat/Yom Tov meal.

From California, the 2009 “Pink by W” is part of the “W” collection of wines. Given their easy drinking and affordable price point, the “W” wines have become quite popular since their release a few years ago. This rose΄ has a touch of sweetness and adds strawberry and cherry aromas and flavors. Having a BBQ and not sure what wine to serve? Pink by W will go great with a burger…while the “White by W” & “Red by W” can round out your BBQ wine offerings.

Finally, from Israel and the popular “Yogev” series comes a new rose΄ blend, made from somewhat unusual grapes; Carignan & Malbec. This 2009 Yogev Malbec/Carignan is another deep colored rose΄ offering a bouquet of aromas and flavors including strawberries, violets and bubblegum! Though you can enjoy this wine with fish, meat, pasta or salad, I think I’m going to go throw a bottle on ice and simply enjoy it on its own.

Apples, Cranberries and Almonds Salad

This is the perfect ingredients and colors of the Yom Tov season.
4 Granny Smith apples, cut into cubes
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup toasted chopped almonds
½ cup pomegranate seeds (optional but good)
1 head romaine, chopped

Dressing:
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon nondairy creamer

Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss with salad. Serve.

Braised Moroccan Spiced Lamb Shank with Celeriac Puree from Le Marais Restaurant

by Chef Jose Meirelles, Le Marais

Serves 8
8 lamb shanks, cleaned and tied
Vegetable oil as needed
2 onions, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
½ cup of tomato paste
1 cup of potato starch
1 bottle of dry red wine
1 cheesecloth bag with the following spices: 1 kaffir lime leaf, ½ teaspoon cumin seed, 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds, ½ of a cinnamon stick, ¼ teaspoon whole all spice, 3 whole cloves
1 cup of dried apricots
1 cup of dried figs, halved lengthwise
2 large pieces of celery root (celeriac)
1 lemon, halved
¼ pound of margarine
½ cup of clean flat leaf parsley leaves

To start the lamb shanks, season the shanks with salt and pepper. Heat a large braising pan with a medium high flame and coat the bottom of the pan with vegetable oil.

Start browning the lamb shanks in the oil, turning each after attaining a rich brown color on each side of the shank. Once this is accomplished, remove the shank and put them aside.

In same pan with the leftover fat, add the onions, carrot and celery. Sauté the vegetables until softened and browned. Add the tomato paste to the vegetables and cook for about 3-4 minutes. This will remove the raw tomato paste flavor, and also increase its thickening power in the sauce.

At this point, you will then sprinkle the potato starch over the vegetable mixture. Let this cook into the mixture for another 2 minutes. Add the wine and mix in. The mixture should begin thicken immediately. Add the lamb shanks to the mix and then cover with water. Bring the entire vessel to a boil and then lower to a simmer.

You can then leave it on the stove top, covered, on a very low flame for about 3 hours. Or, you can put the entire pot into a 325 degree oven for 3 hours. Either way, it is done when the meat is very tender and can easily be pulled off the bone with a fork.

After they are cooked, remove the shanks and then reduce the sauce to your desired consistency. Strain the sauce, add the shanks back to the sauce. At this point, either serve or cool in the refrigerator for later use. Once properly cooled, they will last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Place the figs and apricots into a dish and then cover them with boiling water. This will rehydrate them and will be our garnish on the lamb.

For the celery root, have a pot of salted water at the ready. Using a large knife, peel the celery root of all of the rough skin. Place the clean vegetable into cold water while cleaning the rest.

Cut the celery root into large cubes and then toss into the boiling water with the lemon. Cook until the celery root is soft, about 15 minutes. Remove the celery root from the boiling water. Purée in a food processor with the margarine, salt and white pepper until very smooth and silky.

Mango and Cranberry Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

From the Bite Me Cookbook by Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat
Sugared Pecans
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
4 cups pecan halves
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ kosher salt

Honey Mustard Dressing
¼ cup honey
¼ cup whole grain mustard
¼ cup honey mustard
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

10 cups romaine lettuce torn into bite sized pieces
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
¼ cup dried cranberries

For the pecans, preheat oven to 250°F. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white and water until bubbles form. In a medium bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add pecans to egg whites, mixing to coat. Add sugar mixture, tossing pecans until they are coated. Spread pecans on prepared baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

For the dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk honey, seed mustard, honey mustard, vinegar, oil, orange juice and salt. In a large bowl, place lettuce, diced mango and cranberries. Add ½ cup sugared pecans and salad dressing, tossing well to combine.

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.

Chilled Melon and Tomato Salad

Made for President Obama by White House Chef Keith Fuller

Salad:
½ cantaloupe
½ cucumber
1-2 shallots
3 to 4 cups cherry tomatoes
3-4 teaspoons fresh Thai basil leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste

Dressing:
3-4 teaspoons honey
3-4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:
Cut the cantaloupe into small chunks. Peel the cucumber, remove the seeds, and dice it. Peel and thinly slice the shallots. Cut each cherry tomato in half. Cut the Thai basil into thin strips (this is called a chiffonade).

In a large bowl, gently toss together the cantaloupe, cucumber, tomatoes, basil and shallots.

For the dressing:
Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl.

Pour over the fruit and vegetable mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let it sit for a few minutes to blend the flavors before serving.

Apple Coleslaw

From the Bite Me Cookbook by Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat

Spiced Pecans
1 ½ cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon melted margarine
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Dressing
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
1 medium mango, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes

Preheat oven to 350°.

For the pecans, in a large bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar, margarine, Worcestershire, salt, and garlic powder. Mix well. Spread mixture on a baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Set aside and cool completely.

For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk rice vinegar, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, and salt. Gradually whisk in olive oil.

In a large bowl, toss sliced apples with lemon juice. Add the cabbage, mango and dried fruit to the apples. Mix with the dressing and chill for 30 minutes before serving to blend flavors. Add pecans just before serving.

Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Soup from Le Marais

by Chef Jose Meirelles, Le Marais

Serves 8
2-½ lbs of Jerusalem Artichokes (also called Sunchokes)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces of smoked beef or smoked veal, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, sliced
2 celery stalks, rough chop
1 cup button mushrooms
1 bottle of dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1 bunch of thyme
6 black peppercorns
4 quarts of chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
Salt and white pepper

Wash the sunchokes in cold water to remove all excess dirt. Place them on a sheet pan, coat with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then place into a 375 degree oven.

Remove the sunchokes when they are very tender and begin to caramelize. The caramelizing is important to the flavor of the soup. This should take about 25-30 minutes.

In your soup pot, add the diced smoked meat and the 2 T of olive oil. Render out the meat until it is crispy. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and drain on to a paper towel. Reserve the meat for garnishing later. Save all of the fat in the pot.

Add into the fat the leeks, celery and mushrooms. Sauté over medium high heat until the vegetables soften, yet, don’t have any color.

Add the bottle of wine, increase the heat to high, and reduce the wine by ¾.

Place the thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf into cheesecloth and tie with butchers twine. Toss the bag into the pot.

Add the roasted sunchokes to the pot and cover with the stock or water. Bring to a boil and then let cook for about 45 minutes. This will allow for the stock to reduce some and for all of the flavors to develop. Season with salt and white pepper. Remove the herb sachet before puréeing.

In small batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth and creamy. Adjust the consistency with the stock or water as needed. If the soup is to thin, put it back into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to your desired consistency.

When serving, garnish the soup with the crispy smoked beef and some chiffonade of parsley.

Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze

1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons margarine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
1 whole salmon fillet, skin on (2 ½ pounds, ¾ to 1 inch thick)

Preheat grill to medium heat
Melt brown sugar, honey and margarine in saucepan. Whisk in mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and ginger. Allow to cool.
Place salmon skin side down on aluminum foil. Leave a foil border of ¼ to ½ inch. Coat salmon with mixture.
Grill salmon indirectly over medium heat until edges begin to brown and inside is opaque, 15 to 25 minutes – depending on thickness of fish and desired degree of doneness. Cut salmon crosswise into 6 to 8 pieces. Do not cut through skin.
Slide a spatula between skin and flesh to remove pieces to serve.

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.

Indian Inspired Pineapple Coconut Milk Kugel

One 20-ounce can of pineapple rings in natural, unsweetened juices
3 tablespoons maple sugar or brown sugar
Neutral oil for greasing the pan
Salt
½ cup orzo
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
½ teaspoon curry powder
1 vanilla bean, split
3 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
Boiling or scalding hot tap water, for hot water bath

Preheat the broiler. Drain the pineapple and arrange in a single layer on a foil-lined broiler pan. Sprinkle evenly with the maple or brown sugar. Broil the pineapple on one side only until it is a rich, golden brown and the sugar has melted, 5-8 minutes.

Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish with the oil. Spread the pineapple pieces (with any sugar drippings), sugared side down, in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. (If there is an extra ring or two, cut it in quarters and use it to fill the spaces between the rings.) Set aside. Turn the oven temperature down to 350°F.

Bring 2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a rapid boil. Add the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Drain well, rinse a few seconds under cool water, and drain again.

While the orzo is cooking, combine the coconut milk, cinnamon, curry, and ginger in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the pan. Turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes to infuse the milk with the fragrance of the spices. Don’t allow the mixture to boil. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt until thick and light. Add the coconut milk mixture, pouring it through a strainer into the bowl. Discard the spices. Add the cooked, drained orzo and combine well.

Distribute the mixture evenly over the pineapple in the prepared pan. Place the pan in a larger baking pan and add enough boiling or scalding-hot tap water to the larger pan to come halfway up the sides of the kugel pan.

Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The kugel must cool to set. You can serve it right from the pan, or invert it when cool: run a knife along the edges of the pan, turn the pan upside down on a serving plate, and unmold.

Serve the kugel chilled, but not icy cold. Or for a more exotic finale, try it slightly warm (reheat gently).

Apple and Cocoa Tarte Tatin

Dough
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 stick cold unsalted margarine, cut into small cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons ice water

Filling
¾ stick unsalted margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
4 to 5 golden delicious apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and tossed with fresh lemon juice

Topping
½ cup pareve heavy cream
1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon amaretto liqueur
½ cup pareve tofutti sour cream

Crushed walnuts, for sprinkling

Make the crust. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt together. Mix in the granulated sugar. Add the cold margarine cubes and, using your thumb and forefinger or two knives, “cut” the margarine into the flour mixture until you achieve a sandy texture.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the egg into the well and incorporate the surrounding flour, adding ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until you achieve a smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Make the filling. Melt the margarine in a 12-inch oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add the granulated sugar and let caramelize until golden brown. Add the apples in a single layer, cored side up, and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Roll the dough into a 12-inch round about ¾ inch thick. Lay the dough over the softened apples, covering the fruit. Place the pan, apples, dough, and all in the oven and bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350°F and bake 15 minutes longer. Let cool about 5 minutes, then carefully invert over a serving platter.

Make the topping. Whip the pareve cream, confectioners’ sugar, and amaretto liqueur into firm peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the tofutti sour cream. Serve the tarte tatin immediately with generous dollops of the topping and sprinkles of crushed walnuts.

Sweet Potato and Corn Chowder from Abigael’s

By Chef Jeff Nathan
Abigael’s On Broadway

Pareve
6 – 8 servings

3 large sweet potatoes
1 rome apple
1½ quarts vegetable stock
1 cup oat or soymilk
1 15 ounce can pareve creamed corn
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup fresh corn kernels, off the cob or frozen
½ red bell pepper, diced small
½ green bell pepper, diced small
½ red onion, diced small
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon chili spice

Place the sweet potatoes and apples on an oiled sheet pan and bake in a 325˚ F. oven approximately 75 minutes, until soft and overcooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and puree in a food processor.

Meanwhile, in a 6-quart soup pot, heat the vegetable stock and simmer. Add the puree in batches to the stock. Whisk until all the puree is incorporated. Add the oat or soymilk, creamed corn, spices and honey. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat.

In a separate sauté pan heat the oil. Add the corn kernels, bell peppers and onion. Heat until onions are golden. Add in the cilantro and chili spice. Mix well.

Serve hot soup with a garnish of the seasoned corn at time of service.

Apple Spice Muffins

2 cups flour
1 cup granola
⅔ cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
⅔ cup apple juice
¼ cup oil
1½ cups grated apples

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, granola, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, apple juice and oil. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Do not overmix. Gently stir in apples. Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin tins. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling. Best served warm.

Rum-Glazed Tzimmes

3 pounds sweet potatoes, pierced 3 to 4 times with a fork
3 golden delicious apples, peeled and cut into eighths
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons margarine
1 cup peach halves or vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons dark rum
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 400°.

Bake sweet potatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender. Let them cool then peel and cut diagonally into 1/4 –inch slices.

Peel apples and cut them lengthwise into eights. Toss apples with lemon juice.

Layer the apples with the sweet potato slices in greased 14-inch gratin dish. Sprinkle nuts over top.

In stainless steel or enamel saucepan, cook the remaining ingredients over medium heat, stirring often until sugar is dissolved. Spoon mixture over the potatoes and apples and bake covered in middle of oven, basting occasionally- about 30 minutes.

Bake uncovered for 40 additional minutes, basting occasionally,

Optional: after baking, broil tzimmes until edges brown.

Cinnamon Honey Chicken

cinnamon honey chicken
Marinade:
1-½ cups dry sherry
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup honey
⅓ cup lime juice
Zest of one lime
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 ( 3 pounds ) chickens, cut into ⅛th’s

To prepare the marinade, mix together sherry, cinnamon, honey, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, salt and pepper.
Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer in a shallow, nonaluminuim, ovenproof pan. Pour marinade over the chicken, turning pieces to coat well. Refrigerate overnight, longer if desired, turning pieces occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drain marinade and reserve. Bake chicken uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes, depending on size of pieces, basting with marinade and turning once or twice. If you like crispy skin, bake a little less and then broil until done.

Apple Crunch Galette

Crust:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons margarine at room temperature, cut into 7 pieces
8 tablespoon pure vegetable shortening, cut into 7 pieces
4 ½ tablespoons ice water

Crunch:
¾ cups flour
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup old-fashioned oats
6 tablespoons margarine, melted

Apple Filling:
3 McIntosh apples
Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

In a mixer or food processor mix flour, salt and sugar. Cut margarine and shortening into flour and mix until it resembles course meal. Sprinkle water over dough, 1 tablespoon at a time and blend with mixer or fork. Repeat until dough is moist enough to come together. Knead into a ball, flatten and shape into a disc. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes in refrigerator.

Prepare crunch topping. In bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats and melted margarine. Stir to combine and set aside.

Prepare the apple filling. Peel, halve and seed the apples. In bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add apple slices and toss to coat.

Preheat oven to 375°. Remove dough from refrigerator. On slightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll the dough into 14-15 inch circle. Leaving a 3-4 inch border, brush apricot preserves over center of dough. Place 3/4ths of crunch over apricot preserves. Starting at outer edge of apricot, and working your way towards the center, lay the apple slices in concentric circles, going around and adding layers until all apples are used up. Using the parchment paper to help, fold the dough border over apples. The dough will cover 2-3 inches of the filling. Carefully slide the parchment paper with galette on to a rimless baking sheet. Brush the exposed dough with beaten egg yolk.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully cover dough with foil to prevent burning. Return to oven and bake 30 more minutes.

Curried Beef and Apple Stew with Dumplings

This is from my friend Jyl and is a great meal for those cool Succos nights.

4 pounds beef stew
½ cup flour
Salt and pepper
3 onions, sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1-1/2 cups apple juice
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 large red apples, cut into chunks
3 teaspoons curry
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup ketchup

Dumplings:

1 cup applesauce
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Dredge meat in flour, salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, layer meat, onions and apples. On top of this pour garlic, apple juice, vinegar and curry. Top with brown sugar and ketchup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer. This gets better the longer it cooks – it can simmer anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. Mix together ingredients for dumpling batter. Turn heat up high and add by the tablespoonful to the top of the stew. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes, until the batter plumps up. (This could be made in a crock pot for chol hamoed)

Apple Maple Cobbler

Apple-Maple Cobbler
Filling:
6 apples, chopped
2/3 cup maple syrup (pure, not the stuff you use for pancakes)
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons margarine

Topping:
1-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons margarine, cut into pieces
½ cup nondairy creamer
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine apples, maple syrup, flour, vanilla and nutmeg and pour into 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Dot with margarine and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 375 degrees. Cut margarine into flour, baking powder and nutmeg mixture until it resembles fine meal (you can use a food processor for this step if you like). Whisk together nondairy creamer, maple syrup and vanilla and add to dry ingredients. Stir until just combined and drop in 1-tablespoon mounds atop hot filling. Brush with melted margarine and sprinkle with sugar. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Best served warm.

Sweet Tzimmes

2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
2 apples, peeled, and chopped in ¼ inch pieces
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, and chopped in ¼ inch pieces
1 cup water
½ cup orange marmalade
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup margarine
1 orange, zest and juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt

Place all in a large stock pot. Bring it to a boil, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

Black-Eyed Peas with Smoked Turkey

2 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained
½ pound smoked turkey, cut into small chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 bay leaf
2-½ cups water
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dash of hot pepper sauce

In a medium-sized Dutch oven, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours until flavors have melded.

Caribbean Spiced Rubbed Rib Eye with Pineapple Salsa from Rare Steakhouse

By Chef Aryeh Goldenson
Rare Steakhouse, Miami

Serves 6

Spice Rubbed Steak:
6 – 12 ounces rib eye steaks
2 ounces cumin
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 ounces ginger
1 ounces paprika
1 ounce salt
1 ounce black pepper
2 ounces garlic powder

Pineapple Salsa:
1 large pineapple, diced
½ large red onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 seeded jalapeno, minced
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped scallions
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup white sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all spices in a bowl and sprinkle liberally over the steaks on both sides. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 2-4 hours to let the spices infuse the meat. Then grill over a hot fire to desired temperature 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Plate and then top with pineapple salsa.

For Salsa: Combine all the ingredients and let rest in the fridge for the flavors to meld for at least 2 hours until service.

Apricot Nectar Cake

Apricot Nectar Cake
2 ½ cups flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups sugar
¾ cup oil
6 eggs
1 package lemon jello
¾ cup apricot nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325° and grease Bundt pan

In large mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In small bowl mix together sugar and oil. With electric mixer on low, blend both mixtures. Add eggs one at a time, then jello, nectar and vanilla extract, blending until combined. Bake in greased pan for 1 hour at 325°.

For glaze, mix together:

½ cup orange juice
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 grated rind of an orange
Juice and grated rind of a lemon

Run knife around edges and pour over the hot cake. Cool thoroughly in pan before removing.