Dolmas (Grape Leaves) Salad

¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-½ cups long-grain white rice
2-½ cups pareve chicken broth
½ cup chopped preserved grape leaves (reserve brine)
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup raisins
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
1 lemon, rinsed and quartered

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté pine nuts and ¼ cup scallions in oil until softened – about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, broth, grape leaves, ¼ cup brine, lemon juice, raisins and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed – about 35 minutes. Fluff rice and cool. Stir in dill and remaining scallions. Garnish with lemon. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pink Lemonade Dessert

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup margarine, melted

1 (8 ounce) package tofutti cream cheese, softened
2 (4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding
1 (12 ounce) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs and margarine and press into bottom of 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake for 7 minutes and cool completely.
Beat cream cheese and pudding mix until light and fluffy. Add lemonade concentrate and beat until mixed well. Fold in 2 cups of the topping and spread over crust. Spread remaining topping across tilling. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Creamy (without the cream) Chicken Soup

By my friend Shira

It is the perfect comfort food and so flavorful
4 carrots, cut in chunks
4 celery ribs, cut in chunks
1 parsnip, quartered
1 large onion, quartered
1 turnip, cut in chunks
2 leeks, chopped in chunks
1 green pepper, cut large pieces, about 4
1 hand full of fresh parsley (about ½ cup)
1 hand full of fresh dill (about ½ cup)
1 chicken flavor bouillon cube
2 chicken breasts without skin
10 black pepper corns
4 tablespoons kosher salt
water to cover

Place all vegetable, herbs, pepper, and bouillon cube in a large stock pot. Place the chicken on top. Cover with water (approximately 7-8 cups). Bring the mix to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 4 hours. Cool. Remove the green pepper and discard. Remove the chicken. With an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy. Add the salt, taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. (I remove parsnip,turnip,onion,leeks,parsley,dill and green pepper before I puree)

Stuffed Flank Steak

1 flank steak, or minute steak, about 1-½ pounds
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 425°. Place a rack in a shallow baking pan. Coat with cooking spray.

Lay steak on work surface. Staring at a long side, slice steak in half without cutting through all the way. Open like a book and flatten to an even thickness (you may want your butcher to do this for you)

In a bowl, combine spinach, garlic, breadcrumbs, sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the oil and the beaten egg.

Season steak with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Press spinach mixture onto steak, leaving a 1-inch border. Beginning on a short end, roll up to enclose filling. Tie steak with cotton twine at 2-inch intervals.

Rub steak with remaining tablespoon oil and season with remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer steak to prepared rack.

Roast at 425° for 35 minutes or until internal temperature registers 135° on an instant-read thermometer. Remove meat from oven; let rest, covered, 10 minutes before slicing.

Green Rice – Ginger Cilantro Rice

1 cup long-grain white rice
1-inch-long pieces fresh ginger, peeled, each cut into 4 rounds, plus plus 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 2/3 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 1/3 cups chopped fresh cilantro
1 green onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon (or more) unseasoned rice vinegar

Combine rice and ginger rounds in large saucepan. Add broth; sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil, stirring often. Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer until rice is tender and broth is absorbed, about 18 minutes. Meanwhile, combine chopped cilantro, green onion, and minced ginger in mini processor. Add both oils and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Blend until almost smooth. Season cilantro oil to taste with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired.
Transfer rice to bowl. Remove ginger rounds. Mix in cilantro oil and serve.

Molten Chocolate Cakes

4 tablespoons unsalted margarine room temperature, plus more for muffin tin
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for muffin tin
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
Pareve Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°. Butter a 6-cup muffin tin. Dust with granulated sugar.

With an electric mixer, beat margarine and granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Reduce speed, and beat in flour and salt. Beat in chocolate. Divide batter among muffin cups.

Place tin on baking sheet; bake until cakes no longer jiggle when tin is shaken, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.

Turn out cakes onto serving plates, bottom sides up. Dust each with confectioner’s sugar, and serve with whipped cream if desired.

Berry Iced Tea

For the tea:
4 berry-hibiscus herbal tea bags (recommended: Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger)
4 cups water or seltzer
1/2 cup simple syrup or to taste
1/2 orange, cut into wedges
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
8 frozen raspberries or strawberries
For the simple syrup:
1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Put tea bags in a heatproof pitcher.
In a saucepan bring water just to a boil and pour over tea bags. Steep tea 5 minutes and remove tea bags. Cool tea and chill, covered, until cold, about 1 hour.
Stir in simple syrup, to taste. Squeeze orange and lime wedges into tea and add wedges. Serve tea in tall glasses. Garnish with frozen raspberries.
To prepare the simple syrup:
Add sugar and water to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute; stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Let syrup cool.

Romaine Salad with Turkey and Dried Cranberries

¼ cup whole berry cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 hearts of romaine chopped (6 cups)
1 cup 1 ½ inch thick sliced smoked turkey, diced
½ cup chopped toasted pecans
½ cup dried cranberries

In a small bowl, blend cranberry sauce, light mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Mix well.

In a serving bowl, combine romaine lettuce, turkey, pecans, and dried cranberries. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Roasted Chicken with Satay Sauce

Great for leftover chicken
Recipe by Ina Garten

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2/3 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 rotisserie chicken
Cook the olive oil, sesame oil, red onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a small, heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat until the onion is transparent, 10 to 15 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, peanut butter, ketchup, sherry, and lime juice; cook for 1 more minute. Cool.
Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the entire breast of the rotisserie chicken and slice it diagonally in 1/2-inch-thick slices. Skewer the chicken slices with wooden sticks and serve with the sauce. Reserve the remaining chicken.

Barley Gazpacho Salad

1 cup pearl barley
1 ½ cup lower-sodium vegetable broth
1 ½ cup water
6 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 crushed clove of garlic
1 small yellow or orange pepper finely chopped
½ seedless cucumber, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 avocado

In a 3-quart saucepan, combine barley, vegetable broth, and water. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 35 to 40 minutes or until barley is tender. Cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, pepper, cucumber, extra -virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, hot pepper sauce, salt, and paprika. Add cooled barley, stirring until well mixed.

Top with thinly sliced avocado.

Affogato Sundae with Almond Biscotti


4 servings

1 pint pareve whipping cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup coffee, make using 1 cup hot water and 2 teaspoons instant coffee (regular or flavored)
1 pint pareve vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 almond biscotti cookies (recipe follows)

With a whisk or hand-held mixer, whip the cream in a bowl until very thick but still liquid. Add the cinnamon and almond extract and whip until soft peaks form.

Put 1 large scoop of pareve ice cream into a serving dish. Pour ¼ cup coffee; over the ice cream. Sprinkle a tablespoon of the almonds over the ice cream and coffee mixture and top with a dollop of the flavored whipped cream. Place one or two biscotti cookies into the sundae on an angle. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve immediately.

Almond Biscotti
1 cup blanched almonds
2 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
2 whole eggs (lightly beaten)
2 tablespoons water (or lemon juice and zest)
3 ounces chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract
1 egg white

Preheat oven 375°. Toast almonds for 5-7 minutes. Grind 1/3 of almonds. Chop remaining almonds.

Add flour, baking powder and salt to a bowl then add nuts, and stir. Make well in center, add sugar, eggs and water to well. With fork stir together, add vanilla extract and form into a ball of dough. Combine well and then gently knead in the chocolate chips.

Divide dough into 2 pieces. Roll into two logs, ½ inches thick. Top with egg white. Bake for 20 minutes.

Reset oven to 275°. Cut the cookies into diagonal slices and place on their side. Return to cookie sheets and bake for 30 minutes. Flip cookies half way.

Roasted Garlic


I spent Shabbos with my friend Ruth recently. She serves this with the challah every Friday night. It is so easy and soooo good.

2 heads garlic, a thin piece of the top sliced off
1 teaspoon kosher salt
⅓ cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic in small pan and sprinkle with salt and olive oil. Cover and bake for 1 hour.

Meatballs in Spicy Peanut Sauce

2-½ pounds lean ground beef
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garam marsala
2 tablespoons oil
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup hot water
4 tablespoons chopped salted peanuts

Combine the beef, onion, oil, chili powder and garam marsala. Shape into balls. Set aside. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and add onion and chili powder. Cook until softened – about 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, peanut butter and hot water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and stir in peanuts. Add meatballs and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through.

Sautéed Pattypan Squash

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound green patty pan squash
1 pound yellow patty pan squash
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon red chili flakes

Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Briefly sauté garlic. Pour in squash and sprinkle with salt and chili flakes. Sauté for about 20 minutes until squash starts to brown and carmelize. Can be reheated, covered, in the oven – the flavors only deepen.

Sweet Potato Kugel with Streusel Topping

1 (29 ounce) can sweet potatoes, drained
4 eggs
¼ cup oil
¼ cup flour
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together, the sweet potatoes, eggs, oil, flour, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch pan. Combine topping ingredients and form crumbs. Sprinkle over top of sweet potato mixture. Bake for 1 hour.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Terrine

There is a very elegant and very rich dessert. Save it for those really special Shabbosim. It is adapted from CLASSIC STARS DESSERTS Family Recipes by Emily Luchetti.

11 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons margarine
6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
4 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
1-¾ cups pareve whip

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons margarine
2 teaspoons corn syrup

1 handful honey-roasted peanuts

For the terrine, spray an 8-½ x 4-½ x 2-¾- inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with plastic wrap, allowing a 1-½ inch overhang. Microwave chocolate, margarine and peanut butter. Stir until smooth. Beat together egg yolks and sugar. Stir in the slightly cooled chocolate mixture. Beat the pareve whip until stiff peaks form. Fold it into the chocolate-peanut butter mixture and spread in prepared pan. Cover with the plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
To prepare the glaze, combine chocolate, margarine and corn syrup and melt in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Fold back the plastic wrap covering the terrine and pull it down to unmold onto serving plate. Slowly pour glaze evenly over the top of the terrine, allowing it to stream down the sides. Spread to cover completely and return to refrigerator until set, at least ½ hour.
Garnish with honey-roasted peanuts. Serve very small slices.

Smoked Trout with Red Onion


2 fennel bulbs, chopped
2 red onions, chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 (4-½ ounce) packages skinless smoked trout, broken into chunks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place fennel and onion in a roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and olive oil. Roast, uncovered, for 1 hour. Cool. Mix with trout and serve on a bed of lettuce.

Grated Carrot Kugel

5 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate carrots in food processor and then combine with all other ingredients. Pour into a greased 10-inch springform pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. (You can also make these as muffins if you like)

Summertime Potato Salad

1 cup fresh corn kernels
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup diced zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1-½ tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place corn, potatoes and zucchini in a single layer in a large shallow pan. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Bake for 30 minutes. Whisk together dressing ingredients, adding olive oil last. Toss with vegetables. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold from the refrigerator.

Strawberry Tarts

4 packages (12 each) frozen tart shells
⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon margarine
¼ cup pareve whip
1 teaspoon corn syrup
4 cups strawberries
⅔ cup water
⅔ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Prepare and bake tart shells according to package directions. Cool on wire racks. In a small saucepan or the microwave, melt the chocolate chips, margarine, pareve whip and corn syrup. Stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature and brush along bottoms and up sides of tart shells.
Place 3 cups sliced strawberries in a saucepan with water, sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer and until strawberries are very soft. Cool and purée with handheld immersion blender.
Place 1 small raw strawberry in each tart and cover with cooked mixture. Cool and store in refrigerator.