Fresh Mixed Green Salad with Herbed Avocado Dressing


Serves 4

Herbed Avocado
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
2 large avocados, pitted
½ preserved lemon, seeds removed, finely chopped
¾ cup Tofutti sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (I use cilantro, parsley, tarragon
and/or mint but use what you like)

Lemon Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons light agave syrup (nectar)
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon olive oil

Salad And Assembly
3 heads of baby romaine, red leaf, or Little Gem lettuces, leave
2 cups arugula or radicchio
½ cup edible flowers (such as nasturtiums, bachelor’s buttons, and/or
½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
Flaky sea salt
½ cup finely chopped unsalted, roasted pistachios

Herbed Avocado
Combine shallot, vinegar, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and let sit 20 minutes to lightly pickle.
Using a spoon, scoop avocado flesh into a food processor; discard skins. Purée until smooth. Add preserved lemon, Tofutti sour cream, oil, and shallot along with pickling liquid; season with salt and pulse to combine.

Transfer avocado mixture to a medium bowl and stir in herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and/or more lemon juice, if needed.

Do Ahead: Herbed avocado can be made 1 day ahead. Cover, pressing plastic wrap directly onto surface, and chill.

Lemon Vinaigrette
Whisk lemon juice and agave in a medium bowl; season with salt. Whisk in oil, then olive oil. Taste vinaigrette and adjust seasoning with more salt if needed.
Do Ahead: Vinaigrette can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Salad And Assembly
Toss lettuces, arugula, and edible flowers in a large bowl to combine. Drizzle about half of lemon vinaigrette over and toss to coat. Season salad with salt.
Spoon 2 dollops of herbed avocado onto each plate and loosely mound salad over top. Scatter pistachios over and around salad and drizzle with remaining lemon vinaigrette.

Hanger Steaks with Shallot Red Wine Sauce

Serves 6

3 lbs. hanger steak, about ¾-inch thick (or other grilling type steak)
5 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
¾ cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

Season steaks with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the margarine. Add steaks and cook over high heat, turning once until medium rare, about 10 minutes total cooking time. Remove steaks from heat.

In the same saucepan, add 2 more tablespoons margarine and the olive oil. Add the shallots and coook over medium heat until shallots are softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add red wine, vinegar and sugar and simmer until reduced by ½, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining tablespoon margarine. Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper.

Slice steaks and serve with sauce

Kale Minestrone with Basil Drizzle

Serves 8

3 sprigs oregano
3 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pastrami, chopped (optional)
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces baby Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, cut into ½” pieces
½ bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 1”

Basil drizzle
2 garlic cloves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt

Make the soup:
Tie oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves together with kitchen twine.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add chopped pastrami, if using and cook, stirring often, until browned around the edges, about 5
minutes. Add onion, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, and red pepper
flakes; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is
translucent and carrots are tender, 10–12 minutes. Add tomato
paste and cook, stirring to coat, until slightly darkened, about 3

Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go, then herb
bundle, and 6 cups water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender and flavors have melded, 20–25 minutes. Add kale and beans; cook until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Discard herb bundle.

Do Ahead: Soup can be made 2 days ahead (or 2 months if frozen).
Let cool; transfer to airtight containers and chill.
Basil Drizzle And Assembly

Pulse garlic and basil in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in oil, and lemon zest; season with salt. Serve soup topped with basil drizzle.

Chicken with Roasted Figs

Food Stylist: Randy Mon

Food Stylist: Randy Mon

Serves 4, can be doubled

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon corn starch
¼ cup honey
1 chicken, cut in 1/8’s
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large shallots, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
10 figs, stems trimmed, halved

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, whisk ¼ cup water, vinegar, and cornstarch. Whisk in honey and set aside. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Brown chicken, skin side down for about 8 minutes. Turn over and brown on the other side for 3 more minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.

Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan and return it to moderate heat. Add shallots and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garli and cook 1 more minute. Add cornstarch mixture, oregano, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook until mixture bubbles, about 2 minutes and is slightly thickened. Return chicken to pan, skin side up and add figs to pan too. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until figs are soft and chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken with sauce, figs and a sprinkle of fresh oregano or parsley.

Red Pepper, Corn and Black Bean Chowder

Serves 4, can be doubled

This is a cross-between a tortilla soup, black bean soup and a corn chowder. It’s smoky and warm and very comforting.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 roasted red peppers, or 1 cup jarred roasted red pepper
2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
½ teaspoon chile in adobe sauce*
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernals
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Garnish, tofutti sour cream, lime, and cilantro, optional

In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add roasted pepper, chicken stock and chile in adobe sauce. Turn off heat. With an immersion blender, puree until smooth.

Return to heat and add black beans and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in corn and kosher salt. Serve with a dollop of Tofutti sour cream, some lime juice and a piece of lime and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

*Chile in adobe sauce is available in a can, made by Roland with an OU. If you cannot find it in your local supermarket, substitute it with ½ teaspoon S’riracha sauce and ½ teaspoon chili powder.

Salted Caramel Filled Fudge Brownies


These are rich and super delicious with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream or pareve ice cream. I make the brownies both pareve and dairy and although I love dairy caramel sauce, the pareve version is delicious. Be patient when making caramel, it’s a bit tricky or buy a store-bought caramel sauce and cheat a little.

Makes 1 dozen
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons water
3/4 cup heavy cream or pareve whipping cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter or margarine, plus more for greasing
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, chilled
1 cup all-purpose flour

MAKE THE CARAMEL In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar with the water over moderate heat, swirling the pan frequently, until a dark amber caramel forms. Slowly drizzle in the cream, then whisk in the butter/margarine and sea salt. Transfer the caramel to a small bowl 
and refrigerate until thickened, about 2 hours.

MAKE THE BROWNIES Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan. Melt the 2 sticks of butter/margarine in a heatproof medium bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Add the chopped chocolate, the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt and stir until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the eggs. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake the brownies for about 40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely.
Invert the brownies onto a cutting board and cut in half to form 2 rectangles. Spread the chilled caramel over 1 rectangle, then top with the other rectangle. Cut into 12 bars and serve immediately.

The caramel can be refrigerated for 2 weeks. The brownies can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Macadamia Nuts


This salad is beautiful and crunchy. I like the zucchini and squash to sit in the dressing to soften a little and later add the greens but it can be combined all at once as described below. The macadamia nuts are decadent and a bit expensive so feel free to use another nut as a substitute but try something different like a hazelnut or pistachio.

Serves 6
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1½ pounds mixed zucchini and summer squash, thinly sliced (with a mandeloine)
2 cups baby arugula or micro-greens
3 tablespoons unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
⅓ cup unsalted, roasted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
Whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, mustard, honey, and soy sauce
in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add zucchini and
squash, arugula or microgreens, and pumpkin seeds and toss to combine.
Serve salad topped with macadamia nuts.

Classic Almond Biscotti

Classic, crunchy, dunkable, and delicious. A must-have recipe in your repertoire.

Makes about 3 dozen

Vegetable oil, for the baking sheet
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (4 oz.) whole, skin-on almonds, toasted
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon. pure almond extract

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet.
Put the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the almonds and mix to combine and break the nuts into pieces about 1/3 to 1/4 their original size, 1 to 2 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Add the remaining eggs and both extracts to the mixer. Mix on medium-low speed until a soft, sticky dough forms, about 2 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and pat it into a 5-inch disk; halve the disk. Lightly moisten your hands with oil or water, then squeeze and pat one piece of dough into a log. Lay the log lengthwise on one side of the prepared baking sheet. Stretch and pat the dough into a flat loaf that’s about 12 inches long and 2 to 2-1/2 inches wide. Repeat with the remaining dough on the opposite side of the sheet; leave at least 2 inches of space between the loaves.
Mix the reserved beaten egg with 2 teaspoon water. Lightly brush the loaves with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake until pale golden around the edges and just set, 20 to 25 minutes. (There will be cracks on the surface, which is OK.) Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
Set the baking sheet on a cooling rack. Gently slide an offset spatula under each loaf to loosen it. Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack and let cool for 20 to 30 minutes longer.
Transfer the loaves to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the loaves on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices, cut side up, on the baking sheet; it’s fine if they fit snugly. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake until golden, about 10 minutes more. Transfer the biscotti to the rack and cool completely; they will become firm and crunchy as they cool.
Make Ahead Tips
The biscotti can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Two-Bite Biscotti: Shaping smaller loaves yields smaller—dare I say adorable?— biscotti. You’ll get about 4 dozen. Make the biscotti dough as directed, but quarter it (instead of halving it). Shape each piece into a loaf that’s about 9 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide. Bake and slice the loaves as directed, but bake the second time for 8 to 10 minutes on each side.

Add craisins, dried fruit, coconut, mini chips of any kind, additional nuts or orange zest in place of lemon zest.

Spiced Honey Cake


Serves 10 -12
Gluten-free too! Thank you bonappetit magazine that I adapted. The extra spices give average honey cake a great lift.

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
⅔ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup honey
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup soymilk or non-dairy creamer
1 tablespoons white vinegar
Frosting And Assembly
3 ounces Tofutti cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted margarine, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch of kosher salt
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, cream separated from milk, room temperature or 1 cup non-dairy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9" cake pan with nonstick spray and line bottom with a parchment paper round. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large bowl to combine.

Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, honey, egg, and egg yolk in another large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; discard pod (or use vanilla extract). Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat mixture until pale and thickened, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually pour in orange juice, soymilk and vinegar. Beat until frothy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; beat just until smooth and combined (it will be thin, like pancake batter).

Pour into prepared pan and bake until cake is golden brown and center springs back when gently pressed (a cake tester will not come out clean), 45–55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in pan, 20 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert onto rack; let cool completely.

Do Ahead: Cake can be baked 3 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Frosting And Assembly
Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat Tofutti cream cheese and margarine in a medium bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar, lemon zest, and salt and scrape in seeds from vanilla bean (or vanilla extract); discard pod. Beat on low speed until mixture is very light and thickened, about 2 minutes; scrape down sides of bowl. With motor running, add coconut cream by the tablespoonful and beat until very soft peaks form (save coconut milk for another use).

Pile frosting on top of cake and spread to edges (it’s okay if it cascades over the sides). Decorate with fresh flowers, and berry pods.

Pomegranate, Hearts of Palm and Jicama Salad

Serves 8

Thank you Aviva, for sharing this delicious recipe with me so many years ago. I still make it every Rosh Hashanah.

1-2 pomegranates seeded, about 1 cup
2 cans hearts of palm, sliced, about 3 cups total
1 small jicama, cubed
3 heads romaine lettuce shredded

1/2 onion
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons white vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

For the salad: Toss ingredients in a large bowl.

For the dressing: Puree onion, mustard, sugar, vinegar, and salt until blended and smooth. In a steady stream, pour in olive oil, blending as you pour, to emulsify dressing. Stir in poppy seeds.

Pour desired amount of dressing over salad. Toss and serve immediately.

DIY Pomegranate Molasses


This ingredient is key to Middle Eastern cooking and unlike it’s name suggests is quite tart. It’s available around Rosh Hashanah in some markets but easy to make with pomegranate juice if you cannot find it.

Use it in
Pomegranate Marinated Lamb with Spices and Couscous
Cumin Scented Eggplant
Rosh Hashanah Sweet and Zesty Chicken

Pomegranate Molasses

4 cups pomegranate juice
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Combine juice, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then continue simmering until syrupy, about 50 minutes. Cool completely then store in a glass jar. If it thickens too much while cooling, just add a little water. It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Rosh Hashanah Sweet and Zesty Chicken

Serves 6 - 8

2 chickens cut in 1/8’s

Spice Rub
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon cayenne 

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

3/4 tablespoon kosher salt


1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup pomegranate molasses 

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pureed and strained mango (or sweet fruit baby food)

1 tablespoon margarine

In a small bowl, mix ingredients for spice mixture. Place chicken in 2, 9"x13" roasting pans and rub each piece down with the spice mixture. Marinate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Bake for 35 minutes, flipping once during the cooking process. Roast an additional 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F or chicken is cooked through. While chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce.

For the sauce: Combine all ingredients (except margarine) in a medium sauce pan over high heat, stirring occasionally. When the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add margarine and stir to combine. When chickens are removed from oven, remove them from the cooking juices and place on another baking sheet. Pour sauce over chicken, toss and serve.

Rosh Hashanah 2015

Rosh Hashanah 2015, or 5776, is upon us and GKC has new recipes and lots of recipes from past years to share with you to enhance your New Year. Check out these ....

Fennel and Carrot Soup
Sweet French Salad
Steak Salad with Horseradish Dressing
Apple, Beet and Walnut Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette
Five-Minute Marinated Skirt Steak
Sweet and Savory Oven Ribs
Mustard Chicken with Seasoned Crispy Crumbs
Leeks with Tomato Vinaigrette
Caponata with Pine Nuts
Chocolate- Cinnamon “Babkallah”
Honey Pecan Streusel Cake
Traditional Honey Cake or Muffins
And see dozens of other Rosh Hashanah ideas here

Traditional Honey Cake or Muffins

Serves 12-16

4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canola or safflower oil, at room temperature

1 cup strong black coffee, at room temperature (

½ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed and strained (about 2 large oranges) 

¼ cup whiskey 

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 ¼ cups superfine sugar 

½ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed 

3½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda 

½ teaspoon fine sea salt 

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

½ teaspoon ground ginger 

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 

1 cup honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F; set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Grease a 10-inch tube fan. Or 2 12-cup muffin pan.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, coffee, orange juice, whiskey and vanilla until lightly combined. Add the superfine sugar and brown sugar, and whisk until dissolved into the liquid mixture.

In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, mix the egg mixture and sugars, then add the sifted dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Add the honey. Turn mixer to high and mix for 1 minute. The batter will have the consistency of a thick soup. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and set it on the stacked baking sheets.
Bake for 45 minutes (or 22 – 26 minutes for muffins). For even baking, rotate the pan halfway around. Lower the temperature to 325 F and bake for an additional 25 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted between the tube and the sides comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Gently run a knife around the sides of pan before removing.
Invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Remove the bottom and center tube, and peel off the parchment. Re-invert the cake onto a serving plate or cake carrier.
Let the cake cool for 2 to 3 hours, or until cool.

Store airtight: room temperature, 3 days; refrigerated, 7 days; frozen, 2 months.

*Orange juice, coffee or water can be substituted for the whiskey or rye.

Honey Pecan Streusel Cake

From our friends at
Yields two loaves of cake

Cake Ingredients
1 1/2 cups honey
1 cup hot strong tea
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 small orange, with peel, cut in quarters and seeds removed
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Streusel Ingredients
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons margarine, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the honey and tea together and set aside to cool.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg, and set aside.
In a food processor, blend the entire orange. Add the sugar and eggs and process until well mixed. Transfer to an electric mixer, add oil and beat well. Alternately add the flour mixture and cooled honey-tea mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
Mix together all of the streusel ingredients until crumbly.
Pour the batter in to two well greased loaf pans lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle on the streusel and bake for 1 hour; a toothpick should come out of the cakes clean. Let cool for 30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate- Cinnamon “Babkallah”

Original recipe by, adapted by GKC
Serves 12

½ cup soymilk or non-dairy milk
1 ¼-oz. envelope active dry yeast
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted margarine, melted, cooled, plus more
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more

Filling And Assembly
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
⅓ cup (packed) light brown sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
All-purpose flour (for surface)
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted margarine, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
Granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
Heat soymilk in a small saucepan until warm. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in yeast; let sit until foamy, 5–10 minutes.
Whisk in egg yolks, vanilla, and ½ cup margarine. Add sugar, salt, and 3 cups flour; mix until a shaggy dough forms. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until supple, smooth, and no longer shiny, 5–10 minutes.
Transfer to a large greased bowl. Cover and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1½–2½ hours.

Filling And Assembly
Mix chocolate, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide into three portions. Shape each into a 12”-long rope. Roll out each rope to a 12x6” rectangle about ⅛” thick. Brush with butter and top with chocolate mixture, pressing gently. Roll up to form a log; pinch seam to seal.
Place logs, seam side down, side by side on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pinch logs together at one end; braid, then pinch ends together and tuck under. Cover loosely and let sit in a warm place until 1½ times larger, 1–2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°. Beat egg yolk with 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Brush dough with egg wash; sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until top is golden brown and “Babkallah” sounds hollow when bottom is tapped, 35–45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Caponata with Pine Nuts

As a dip, side dish, or topping for chicken, meat or fish, this is super flavorful and a great enhancement to any dish.
Serves 6

2 eggplants (about 2 pounds total), cut into ¾-inch pieces
2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more
1 small fennel bulb, cut into ¾-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 jalapeno chiles, seeds and membrane removed, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 cup crushed tomatoes
½ cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup sweetened dried cranberries

Combine eggplants, fennel, and vegetable oil in a large heavy pot set over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplants are golden brown and fennel is soft, 20–25 minutes. Transfer vegetables to paper towels to drain; let cool slightly.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook onion, chiles, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, 6–8 minutes. Stir in paprika and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add nuts, cranberries, and eggplant mixture. Toss until heated through and glazed; season with salt. Let cool; serve with bread, vegetables, as a dip, or side dish or atop chicken, meat or fish.

Leeks with Tomato Vinaigrette

Serves 4

4 medium leeks (1 1/4 pounds), white and light green parts only,
halved lengthwise
1 large tomato
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the leeks to the pan cut side down, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the leeks are tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 15 minutes. Transfer the leeks to a paper towel–lined plate to drain, then arrange cut side up on a platter.
Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a medium bowl with ice and water. Using a sharp paring knife, mark an X on the bottom of the tomato. Add it to the saucepan and blanch just until the skin starts to peel, about 30 seconds. Transfer the tomato to the ice bath to cool. Peel, halve and seed the tomato; cut it into 1/4-inch dice.

In a small bowl, toss the tomato with the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato dressing over the leeks and serve.

Mustard Chicken with Seasoned Crispy Crumbs

Serves 4

1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 lb. small boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 to 10), trimmed
2 tablespoons margarine
3/4 cup panko
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne; more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the mustard, wine, oil, and Worcestershire in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Add the chicken, turn to coat well, and set aside for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet, heat the margarine over medium-low heat. Add the panko and cook, stirring, until light golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the crumbs are golden brown, about 1 minute more. Season with the cayenne, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Set aside to cool.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Lay the thighs flat on the grill and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large platter and let rest for a few minutes. Sprinkle crumbs over the chicken, and serve.

Sweet and Savory Oven Ribs

Serves 6 to 8

5-pounds beef ribs
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons paprika (sweet, hot or smoked, whichever variety you prefer)

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 ¼ tablespoons kosher salt
Chipotle powder or ground red pepper (cayenne) to taste

½ teaspoon ground black
To finish: 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Heat oven to 200°F. In a medium bowl, combine all of the spices and seasonings. On a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil large enough to wrap around your ribs, place rack of ribs, meatier side up. Sprinkle half of spice rub over rack, patting it on generously, including the sides. Carefully — it can help have a second person hold the foil down while you lift the rack — flip the rack of ribs back onto the foil so that they’re now meatier side down. Pat on remaining rub. Tightly fold the foil to seal packets.
Set a metal rack (a cookie cooling sheet works well here) over a baking sheet and place foil-wrapped ribs on top. Bake for 4 hours, then reduce temperature to 175°F for 2 more hours, or until a fork easily penetrates the meat.
Open packet of ribs very carefully and pour accumulated juices into a saucepan. I find this easiest with one person lifting/tilting ribs packet and the other one snipping a corner and making sure the juices only go where you want them to. Bring the saucepan to a full boil and reduce the mixture until it becomes thicker, syrupy and will coat a spoon — usually by at least half. Stir in vinegar. This is the “barbecue sauce” for those that like it on their ribs; it will be fairly salty and I always warn people to use it judiciously.
Meanwhile, cut the ribs apart and spread them on a serving tray. For extra caramelization, you can spread them back on their baking sheet (sans rack) and run them under the broiler for a couple minutes.
Serve ribs with sauce on the side.

Five-Minute Marinated Skirt Steak

Serves 4

1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1-1/2 lb. skirt steak, trimmed of excess surface fat, soaked and rinsed in cold water for at least 20 minutes
Ground black pepper

Combine the sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, garlic, and rosemary in a baking dish or zip-top bag large enough to hold the steak. Add the steak and turn to coat. Let sit at room temperature for at least 5 minutes and up to an hour.
Prepare a high (500°F to 600°F) charcoal or gas grill fire. Take the steak out of the marinade and season both sides with pepper. Cut into smaller pieces to make grilling more manageable, if you like.
Grill, flipping once, until grill marks form on both sides and cooked to your liking, about 3 minutes per side for medium rare (135°F). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve.

Apple, Beet and Walnut Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette

Original recipe by food and wine magazine, adapted by GKC
Serves 6 to 8

For the vinaigrette
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon garlic, mashed to a paste
2 tablespoons white miso
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon Asian hot sauce, such as Sriracha (optional)

For the salad
1 lb. trimmed medium beets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. arugula or mixed baby greens (8 packed cups)
2 crisp apples, such as Gala, Crispin, or Granny Smith, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Make the dressing
In a small bowl, whisk the rice vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, and garlic; let sit for 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the miso, and then slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Stir in the hot sauce, if using.
Make the salad
In a 2- to 3-quart pot, simmer the beets in water to cover until crisp-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle, and then peel. Halve and thinly slice. Arrange on a platter or salad plates and lightly season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the arugula and apples, and season with salt and pepper. Toss with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette.
Mound the greens and apples on top of the beets, sprinkle with the walnuts and dill, and serve.
Make Ahead Tips
The dressing will keep for 1 week, refrigerated.

Steak Salad with Horseradish Dressing

Serves 6

Horseradish Dressing
½ cup Tofutti sour cream
3 tablespoon prepared white or red horseradish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steak Salad
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 1-lb. grilling steak, hangar steak, or skirt steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces fingerling potatoes, thinly sliced
½ English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced
6 radishes, cut into thin wedges
2 cups greens (such as arugula or torn Bibb lettuce leaves)

For the dressing: Whisk Tofutti sour cream, horseradish, chives, honey, and vinegar in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

For the steak: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet, oer medium high heat .Season steak with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 – 8 minutes or until desired doneness. Let steak rest 10 minutes. While steak rests, wipe out skillet and heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, season with salt, and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, 8–10 minutes.
Slice steak and serve with horseradish dressing, potatoes, cucumber, radishes, and lettuce.

Sweet French Salad

Serves 4-6

4 ounces cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
Kosher salt

4 slices of pastrami (4 ounces ), cut into 1-inch dice or strips or imitation bacon
6 cups romaine lettuce leaves
½ cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup sliced red onion

For the dressing: Preheat the oven to 450°. In a small ovenproof skillet or baking dish, toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roast for 30 minutes, until the tomatoes have popped and are browned in spots. Transfer to a blender. Add the remaining ingredients; puree until smooth.

For the salad: In a small skillet, cook the pastrami or imitation bacon over moderate heat until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Place lettuce, pastrami, cherry tomatoes and onion in a salad bowl. Toss with dressing and serve immediately.

MAKE AHEAD The dressing can be refrigerated for 3 days.