Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

photo: mommyskitchen.net


This is a nice weeknight treat.

1 cup margarine, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups tofutti sour cream
2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon baking soda

Streusel:
¾ cup chopped toasted pecans
¾ cup miniature chocolate chips
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Greased a 13x 9-inch baking pan. Cream together margarine and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, add sour cream and vanilla and then dry ingredients. Pour half the batter into prepared pan. Combine streusel ingredients and sprinkle half over batter. Cover with remaining batter and then remaining streusel. Bake for about 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Serves 4-6
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Instructor John Scoff

“This recipe is from our Culinary Boot Camp Series, it’s perfect for practicing knife skills and perfecting seasoning with herbs and spices. It is one of the most flavorful and delicious Tuscan White Bean Soups I’ve ever had! ” …….. Jennifer Goren, Director of Culinary Arts

Prep time 20 minutes, cook time 45 minutes

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 head garlic, roasted
2 anchovy fillets (optional)
1 large fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
1-quart vegetarian chicken broth
2 (14-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 small head green cabbage, chopped thin
1-tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 turnips, peeled and diced
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large, heavy soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, anchovies and fennel, and cook until the fennel has softened, about 5 minutes more.
Stir in the tomatoes, broth, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, beans, herbs, cabbage, zucchini, turnips, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until all the vegetables and beans are tender, about 30 minutes more. Discard the bay leaf.

Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, and a little lemon juice, if needed. Serve the soup hot or at room temperature with a drizzle of peppery extra-virgin olive oil and a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef with Cabbage

This is a hearty meal to return to after a long day at an amusement park…

1 (4-pound) corned beef, rinsed off
1 onion, sliced
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/3’s
1 bay leaf
1 head cabbage, chopped (large pieces is fine)
1 (12-ounce) bottle of beer
4 cups chicken broth or enough to cover
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard
½ teaspoon pepper

Place all ingredients in crock pot in the morning. Stir. Cook on high heat for about 6 hours or low heat for 8 to 12 (depends on when you start it and when you plan to return). Serve alongside white rice or a crusty bread. Another alternative is to add 4 peeled and chopped potatoes to stew and serve those alongside the meat and cabbage.

Thai Chicken in a Minute

photo: cookingwithali's blog


This takes 15 to 20 minutes to prepare. You can have everything ready to go and just cook it right before serving.

1-1/2 cups coconut milk
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 scallions, chopped
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk, peanut butter, ginger and pepper; set aside or store in the refrigerator if saving for later. In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté chicken until no longer pink – about 10 minutes. Add scallions and sauté briefly. Stir in sauce and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Sprinkle on peanuts, if using, and serve. Also good with rice – white, jasmine or basmati. Try this ginger-cilantro rice if you are feeling motivated.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

photo: ifood.tv

If everyone still wants dessert (and you don’t have any leftover), try these delicious cookies, made from a mix.

1 Devil’s Food cake mix
¾ cup crunchy peanut butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons nondairy creamer
1 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. On low to medium speed, combine cake mix, peanut butter, eggs and nondairy creamer until no lumps of cake mix remain. On low speed, add peanut butter chips. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheets before removing to wire racks to finish cooling.

If you want to try another type of easy cookie, here is our all-time favorite: Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies – also from a mix!

Gourmet Stuffed Cabbage with Veal and Sausage

photo by Kate Mathis


Serves 6, can be doubled

I am very excited about this recipe because it is an updated version of a classic the Jewish dish, stuffed cabbage. This version is a little spicier because it has some Italian sausage in it and it is served in savory broth instead of a tomato based sauce. It looks gorgeous and tastes fabulous. Give it a shot.

1 pound ground veal
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, (available by Jack’s Gourmet and other supermarket kosher brands)
1-1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
4 medium shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
One 1 1/2-pound head of Savoy cabbage, cored
2 tablespoons unsalted margarine
1 large onion, finely diced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock

In a bowl, combine the veal, sausage, bread crumbs, shallots, garlic, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the nutmeg.

In a saucepan of boiling water, submerge the cabbage, cored side up. Simmer until the leaves are softened, about 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer the 16 largest intact leaves to paper towels and pat dry. Cut out the ribs; reserve the other leaves for another use.

Line a small bowl or coffee cup or muffin tray with a 8-by-10-inch piece of plastic wrap. Overlap 2 cabbage leaves in the bowl. Spoon 1/2 cup of the stuffing in the center of the leaves and fold the leaves over to enclose the stuffing. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and twist to form a compact, round cake. Unwrap the cake. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and stuffing. This makes perfect, round cabbage packages.

Preheat the oven to 350°. In an casserole dish or other large and wide oven-safe pan, melt the margarine. Add the onion and carrot and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Add the cabbage cakes, seam sides down. Cover and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, until the filling is cooked through. Transfer the cakes to shallow bowls and ladle in the broth. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley and serve.

White and Dark Chocolate Brownies

A special dessert for a special occasion. For extra fun, cut brownies into shapes – leaves for Succos, hearts for love, circles for…

1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1-1/4 cups flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Frosting:
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup margarine, softened
2 to 3 tablespoons nondairy creamer
½ cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Greased a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Melt margarine in microwave. Stir in sugars, vanilla and eggs until well-blended. Stir in flour and cocoa. Add chocolate chips, mix well and pour into pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until set. Cool completely.

For frosting, beat together powdered sugar, cocoa, margarine and nondairy creamer. Add more creamer if mixture is too thick to spread. Spread over brownies. Melt white chocolate and oil in microwave. Stir until smooth and drizzle over frosting.

Chinese Green Beans

photo: celebrations.com

An unusual and popular way to serve green beans.

2 pounds green beans, trimmed
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoon soy sauce
4 teaspoons Thai chili-garlic sauce
6 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 scallions chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Place beans in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with water. Steam for about 5 minutes on high speed; drain well. In a large wok, place hoisin sauce, soy sauce and chili-garlic sauce. Stir together water and cornstarch until cornstarch dissolves and stir into mixture in wok. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and stir in beans. Cook until thoroughly coated – about 4 minutes. Toss in scallions and cook briefly. Remove from heat and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Jamaican Coconut Bread

photo: onefrugalfoodie.com

1-1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup canned cream of coconut
½ cup tofutti sour cream
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) margarine, softened
2 eggs
½ cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a small bowl, whisk together cream of coconut and tofutti sour cream. With an electric mixer, cream together sugar and margarine until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in shredded coconut. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes in pan before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Sweetbreads Braised in Wild Mushroom Broth

Serves 8 as a first course

Admittedly, I have only made sweetbreads once before reworking this very old recipe I found from the NY Times. Sweetbreads are a delicacy that to me, pairs well with this wild mushroom broth.

1-cup flour
¼ teaspoon ground clove
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1-pound sweetbreads
¼ teaspoon vegetable oil
1/8 pound shitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1-teaspoon soy sauce
2 cups wild mushroom broth (see recipe below)
1-tablespoon thyme leaves
¼ cup minced scallions
¼ cup minced tomato

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine the flour, clove, salt and pepper and dredge the sweetbreads in the mixture. Warm a pan over high heat, coat with vegetable oil and quickly sear the sweetbreads.

Place each sweetbread ice in a small ovenproof soup bowl and w top with sliced mushrooms. Add the soy sauce to the mushroom broth and divide evenly amongst the bowls. Sprinkle with thyme, scallions, and minced tomato. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wild Mushroom Broth
1 ounce dried porcini or other wild mushroom
2 pounds white mushrooms, wiped clean
½ pound fresh shitake mushrooms, wiped clean
1 sprig fresh thyme
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
3 quarts cold water

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot over medium-low heat and simmer for 2 hours. Strain and discard the mushrooms.

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

photo: foodnetwork.co.uk

Muffins:

2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup oil
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Stir in cranberries. Pour into 2 dozen paper-lined muffin cups. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.

Wild Mushroom Barley

As we head into Fall and approach Sukkot, it’s a great time to try some new delicious hearty soups that can easily satisfy your crew on a cool holiday night. Try this fantastic option brought to us by Culinary Arts @ The JCC in Manhattan’s chef KIM PISTONE in her class GOURMET SOUP SUPPERS:

Ingredients
1 package dry porcini or assorted mushrooms
1-½ cups uncooked pearled barley
3 carrots, 1/2 inch diced
1 cup celery root, 1/2 inch diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 leeks, sliced in half moons
6 shallots, diced
6 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 pounds assorted wild mushrooms (shitake,cremini, enoki, oyster, chanterelle or maitake), sliced
1 cup sherry or white wine
1 quart vegetable stock
1/4 cup olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
1/2 bunch parsley , chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Put mushrooms in a pot of cold water, about 2 quarts, bring to a boil, turn off, let stand. Strain broth, chop dry mushrooms, reserve and set aside.

Sauté leeks and shallots, when they begin to color add celery root, carrots and garlic, continue to sautee about 5 more min, add sherry, chopped dry mushrooms, tomatoes, broth, stock and barley. Simmer about 35 minutes or until barley is tender.

Sautée mushrooms in batches, until golden brown, season with salt and pepper. Set aside. When barley is cooked add mushrooms, thyme and parsley to soup.

The JCC in Manhattan’s Culinary Arts program offers hundreds of classes throughout the year in their strictly kosher state-of-the-art kitchen. For more delicious recipes and to learn useful kitchen techniques and other great new recipes that you can easily replicate yourself at home, check out their list of Fall/Winter classes – like the upcoming The Tuscan Table, where you’ll learn to make trattoria-style fare like homemade butternut squash and ricoota ravioli – at www.jccmanhattan.org/culinaryarts.

Roasted Pear Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Serves 8 – 10

Cake
4 large firm pears, like Barlett, peeled, halved, cored and cut across into ¼ inch slices
2 sticks unsalted margarine, softened
2-½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups flour
1-teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
Sauce
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup pareve whipping cream
2 tablespoons brandy (or other liqueur, optional)

Preheat the oven to 400. Grease a 10-inch tube pan.

Spread the sliced pears on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pears to a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350.

Cream together the margarine and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until very light. Batter may appear curdled at this point. Mix in the vanilla and pear puree. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top springs back when touched in the center, about 1 hour. Place on a rack to cool. Turn the cake out of the pan re-invert onto a cake plate.

Put the chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Whisk in the pareve cream and brandy. Slice the cake and serve with warm chocolate sauce drizzled on top. Sauce can be made ahead of time and re-warmed before using.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

photo: browneyedbaker.com

I made these for Rosh HaShanah and they were a big hit! Most people just shy away from walnuts and hazelnuts during the holidays; if your custom is not to eat any nuts at all, just leave them out! Or if you prefer pecans, just make the substitution. The recipe is flexible.
½ cup margarine
½ cup shortening
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large stand mixer, cream together margarine, shortening and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. On low speed, add flour and baking soda; then white chocolate chips and nuts (if using). Drop by the tablespoonful onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let sit on cookie sheets 1 minute before removing to wire rack to finish cooling. Makes about 2-1/2 dozen cookies.

Chicken Barley Soup

photo: http://thyme2.typepad.com


4 chicken breasts
4 chicken thighs
10 cups chicken broth
2 onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2/3 cup barley
¾ teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) can corn kernels
1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, undrained

Place chicken, stock, onions, celery and turnip in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 1 hour. Remove chicken from pot and set aside. Add carrots, barley and pepper and simmer an additional 30 minutes. In the meantime, remove skin and fat from chicken and cut into small pieces. Stir in corn, tomatoes and chicken and simmer, uncovered, for about 20minutes.

Crusty Rye Bread

photo: thefreshloaf.com

2 rounded teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup warm water
1 cup beer, room temperature
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup rye flour
3 – 4 cups bread flour
1 egg, beaten (optional)

Proof yeast and sugar in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let stand until foamy – 5 to 1 0 minutes. Whisk in beer, oil, salt and caraway seeds. Stir in rye flour; then start adding bread flour, one cup at a time until a stiff dough forms. Knead until smooth and elastic. Grease bowl and roll dough in it to coat. Cover with damp cloth and let rise until doubled – about 1 hour. Punch down dough and shape into loaf (an oblong shape like a bakery rye works well here). Place on greased baking sheet and cover again. Let rise for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slash top of loaf with knife in a few spots. Brush top with a beaten egg, if desired. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes – until crust is golden and bottom sounds hollow. Cool on wire rack.

Smoked Turkey-Wild Rice Soup

2 teaspoons oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
¼ teaspoon rosemary
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound smoked turkey, chopped
1 cup wild rice, uncooked
1/3 cup flour
3 cups nondairy creamer
2 tablespoons red wine or cooking sherry

In a large stock pot, sauté carrots, onion and garlic in oil over medium-high heat until soft – about 10 minutes. Stir in rosemary and pepper. Add broth, turkey and rice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 1-1/2 hours. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and nondairy creamer until smooth. Gradually add to pot, stirring constantly. Stir in wine. Reheat gently over low to medium heat.

Lemon Roasted Potatoes

photo by Hans Gissinger


Serves 12

The combination of lemon and garlic and fingerling potatoes make this potato recipe both fragrant and full of flavor. The dressing is light and the dill is a nice surprise.

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 pounds unpeeled fingerling potatoes in assorted colors (such as red, white, and purple), rinsed, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
24 garlic cloves, sliced

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Spray 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. Toss potatoes with 1/2 cup olive oil in large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread potatoes in single layer on baking sheets, dividing equally. Roast 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, dill, and lemon peel in small bowl to blend for dressing. Toss garlic and 2 tablespoons dressing in another small bowl. Divide garlic mixture between baking sheets with potatoes and toss; reverse baking sheets and continue to roast until potatoes are tender and brown around edges, about 15 minutes longer.

Toss roasted potatoes in large bowl with enough of remaining dressing to coat and serve.

Pomegranate Punch

Serves 12

This is a fun drink to serve on the Rosh Hashanah daytime meals. It’s refreshing and super flavorful.
1-½ cups sugar
1-½ cups water
8 slices fresh, peeled, ginger (about 1/8 inch thick)
2-¼ cups fresh mint
6 cups pomegranate juice
¾ cup apricot nectar
2-½ cups seltzer

Bring sugar, water and ginger to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add mint. And let stand for 30 minutes. Strain and cool.

Stir together mint syrup, pomegranate juice, and nectar in an ice-filled pitcher. Add seltzer. Garnish with more mint.

Wild Mushroom Salad

Serves 4

This salad is for mushroom lovers. I usually make it with chanterelle mushrooms but any combination of wild mushrooms will work as long as they are mostly the more delicate types like shitake. Baby bellas work but do not use portabellos, they are too meaty for this salad.

1 pound chanterelles, brushed clean and trimmed (halved or quartered if large)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsely
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 small garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh lemon juice

Place mushrooms in a steamer basket and set over a pot filled with 1″ gently simmering water (do not allow water to touch mushrooms). Cover and steam mushrooms until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a baking sheet and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk oil, parsley, vinegar, Dijon mustard, shallot, and garlic in a medium bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Add mushrooms; toss to coat evenly. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

Pot Roast with Wild Mushrooms and Fresh Thyme

Serves 6

This is a great meat recipe that can be made a few days ahead of time. You can use a pot roast or a brisket or even a beef chuck roast. The wine and the thyme give it depth and the orange zest gives it a very fresh flavor that is a little sweet.

1 pot roast, brisket, or beef chuck roast (3 1/2 to 4 lbs.)
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
About 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped celery
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped peeled carrots
4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1 bottle (750 ml.) Merlot or other dry red wine
3 fresh thyme sprigs plus 1 tbsp. chopped leaves
2 tablespoons margarine
3/4 cup chopped shallots
2 pounds mixed mushrooms such as chanterelle, trumpet, enoki, cremini, and/or button, rinsed briefly and cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon shredded orange zest

Preheat oven to 325°. Sprinkle roast lightly with salt and pepper; coat generously with flour. Pour oil into a large (at least 6-qt.), heavy ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, turning as needed, until browned all over, about 15 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Add chopped vegetables to pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add broth, wine, thyme sprigs, and beef. Cover and bring to a boil, then transfer pot to oven. Bake until beef is tender when pierced, 3 to 3 1/4 hours, turning roast over once.

Meanwhile, melt margarine in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms, increase heat to high, and cook, stirring often, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are beginning to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in thyme leaves and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer beef to a platter; cover with foil and keep warm in a 200° oven. Pour braising liquid through a strainer into a wide frying pan. Skim off fat. Boil over high heat until reduced by about half, about 20 minutes. Stir in orange zest and salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce into a bowl.

Cut beef into 1/2-in. slices and drizzle with a little sauce. Spoon mushrooms around meat and serve with remaining sauce on the side.

Apple Crostata


Serves 6

I cannot get enough recipes with apples this time of year. This one is best served with a little pareve ice cream or pareve whipped cream. This is a modified recipe from a restaurant called Sea Glass on Cape Cod.

CRUST
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled margarine butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
¼ teaspoon butter extract (optional, this is pareve and made by McCormick)

FILLING
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of fine sea salt
2-1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples (about 5 large), peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/4″-thick slices (about 7 cups) or use another firm, fresh local apple
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
2 tablespoons raw sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Pareve vanilla ice cream or pareve whipped cream

CRUST
Place flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to blend. Add margarine and butter extract; pulse just until coarse meal forms. Add 1/4 cup ice water; pulse until dough forms clumps, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap dough in plastic and chill 1 hour.

DO AHEAD: Crust can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften slightly before rolling out.

FILLING
Preheat oven to 400°. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a work surface. Roll out dough disk on parchment paper to 15″ round (some of dough will extend over edges of paper).

Whisk sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Add apples and lemon juice to bowl with sugar mixture; toss to coat apples evenly.

Transfer apples to crust, mounding in center and leaving a 3″ plain border. (Scrape out any juices from bowl and drizzle over apples. Fold crust edges up over outer edges of filling, crimping dough and folding and pleating as needed to fit. Slide crostata and parchment onto a large rimless baking sheet. Crack egg into a small bowl. Using a fork, beat egg just to blend. Brush crust edges with beaten egg, then sprinkle crust with raw sugar.

Place crostata in oven and bake until juices in center are thick and bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool for 5 minutes. Run a long, thin knife or offset spatula around edges of crostata to loosen from paper and to prevent it from sticking to the paper. Transfer baking sheet with crostata to a wire rack. Brush apples generously with maple syrup. Let crostata cool.

Cut crostata into wedges. Place wedges on plates and serve with pareve ice cream or pareve whipped cream.

Roasted Dates with Pastrami, Almonds, and Spices

Serves 6

This date recipe is great as a side dish for the simanim. It’s really interesting combination of flavors. The roasting of the dates creates a sweeter taste and wonderful texture.

2 cups pitted dates
3 ounces pastrami, finely diced (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon unsalted margarine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1/4 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the dates on a small rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, cook the pastrami for 3 minutes until warm. Add the almonds and continue cooking until they brown, a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the red pepper flakes and stock and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the margarine, stirring continuously until the margarine is melted. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley.

Add the dates to the pan and swirl and toss them in the sauce. Divide the cooked dates among 4 to 6 plates and spoon the sauce over them.

Winter Squash with Caramelized Onions

By Chef Joan Nathan for GKC

Serves 8
2 pounds butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup slivered almonds
2 pounds onions, peeled and sliced thinly in rounds
Salt to taste
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons plus 1-tablespoon sugar
1-teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup raisins
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the squash, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Add ¼ cup water, cover with aluminum foil, and bake until the squash is very soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and once it’s cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp into a large bowl.

Heat the oil in a large skillet, toss in the almonds, and cook until golden. With a slotted spoon, remove to a plate, and set aside. Sauté the onions in the same pan over medium heat until translucent. Then add salt to taste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, 2 teaspoons of the sugar, the cinnamon, and the raisins, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for about 30 more minutes, or until the onions are caramelized.

Gently fold the onions into the squash. Season with pepper and more salt, if necessary, and sprinkle with the remaining parsley, the almonds, and if you wish, the extra tablespoon of sugar. Serve immediately, or make ahead and reheat.

Chocolate Pudding Cake


Serves 6

You can never have enough delicious chocolate recipes. This one is easy and delicious served warm. I like to serve it on a cold Succot night with some powdered sugar and whipped cream sprinkled on top.

Pudding Cake:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup non-dairy creamer
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/4 cups hot water

Other toppings:
Pareve Vanilla or Mint chocolate chip ice cream, for serving
Powdered Sugar
Pareve Whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the cake: Whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the non-dairy creamer, margarine and vanilla. Stir together until smooth with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Pour the batter into an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Use an offset spatula to level into pan.

For the topping: Whisk together the sugars and cocoa and sprinkle it evenly over the batter. Pour the hot water over the top, resist the temptation to stir it into the batter.

Bake about 30 minutes, you want the center to bubble and look almost set, almost like an undercooked brownie. Take out of the oven and let stand 15 minutes. Serve in dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over top. Serve with anilla or mint chocolate chip pareve ice cream, powdered sugar, or pareve whipping cream, if desired.