Hard Lemonade


Serves 5
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
8 cups ice
4 ounces vanilla-infused vodka, recipe follows* or vanilla vodka
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, sliced into rings
Mint for garnish

In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a simmer. Cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large pitcher, fill with ice. Stir in sugar water (simple syrup), vodka, juice, and lemon slices. Garnish with mint.

Vanilla-infused Vodka:
1 liter vodka
2 vanilla beans

Split beans lengthwise and add to vodka bottle. Let infuse overnight in a cool dark place. Strain into another sterilized bottle.

Grilled Chicken with Zaatar and Lemon

photo: myrecipes.com

Easy
This is it. I posted on facebook that I was trying a new recipe for grilled chicken that had zesty zaatar spice and lemon. It was easy and super tasty. Chicken with zaatar is not the most common combination but it works really well on the barbeque.
Serves 8

1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons zaatar spice
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 pieces of chicken
2 lemons, cut into 4 wedges
2 large Vidalia onions, cut into thick slices

Whisk together oil, zaatar, lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate for at least 1 hour.

Heat grill to medium – 350 to 450 degrees. Grill chicken, skin side down, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes; watch for flare-ups and move chicken to a cooler spot if needed. Turn chicken and grill until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Grill lemon wedges and onion in last few minutes, turning once, until grill marks appear on the lemon and the onions are cooked through. Serve with chicken.

Enjoyed this recipe for grilled chicken? Try another kosher chicken recipes.

Dry Rubbed BBQ London Broil

Serves 6

Grilling is just so easy and so delicious that we must keep sharing the best kosher BBQ recipes with our faithful GKC readers. I served this for Shabbos lunch with a mustard dipping sauce. The dry rub gives the meat flavor and creates a terrific crust on the meat while it barbeques. Kosher barbeque is the simpliest to prepare and a success every time.

1 (2-3 pound) London broil (I ask the butcher to split it and devein it if it’s a thick cut)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ – 1 cup flavorful beer
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
15 grinds black pepper

Place London Broil in a pan and pour the beer over the meat. Let it rest and marinate in the beer for at least one hour and up to three hours. Pour off the beer and dry the meat.

Mix together the chili powder, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, kosher salt, and pepper. This is the dry rub.

Rub London broil with olive oil and then coat generously with the dry rub (spice mixture). Let stand for about 15 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat a grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Place meat on grill and grill for about 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing on the bias. Serve with steak sauce or grainy mustard.

Papaya and Avocado Salad

Serves 6 – 8

Summer salads are fresh, fruity, and full of vibrant color and flavor. This one is commonly made with mango (and is really good that way) but we tried it with papaya, another summer seasonal fruit, and loved the results! Papaya is refreshing and available this time of year. It’s a summer salad that is easy, colorful, and a winner in our house.

2 avocados, semi-ripe
2 papayas, not too soft (or 1 extra large one)
3 limes
1 small red onion, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 scallions, white part only, cut thin on the bias
¼ cup cilantro or basil leaves, sliced thin
Salt and pepper

Peel and pit the avocados and slice the flesh into 10 wedges. Peel and seed the papaya and slice the flesh into 12 wedges.

Juice the limes into a bowl. Add the red onion and ginger and mix. Set it aside for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the remaining ingredients and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Potatoes with Lemon and Basil


Serves 4

This recipe can be doubled but be careful with the amount of chicken stock and lemon juice. I use a little less of each when I double it. It is an easy side dish and works with any kosher chicken or meat recipe. Although better warm, it’s a still good at room temperature.

16 baby new potatoes, halved
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 2 teaspoons
3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Place the potatoes, chicken stock, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and place in a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Add the lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of the basil. Toss well and garnish with the remaining chopped basil.

Best Ever Carrot Zucchini Muffins

photo: healthfulchef.com

By: Shani Goldner MS RD CDN CFI

1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unprocessed bran
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Splenda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened/natural apple sauce
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin pan with a non stick spray.
2. In a large bowl mix the flour, bran, sugar, splenda, baking powder, baking soda, salt and walnuts. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until they are foamy. Then add apple sauce and vanilla extract.
3. Combine the two mixtures; add in the zucchini and carrots. Stir until it is just blended. Spoon batter into prepared non-stick muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Remove muffins from the rack and allow to cool completely before storing. Muffins are great fresh or they can be frozen for later.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Easy

These kosher chicken enchiladas (look ma, no cheese!) are from my daughter’s friend, Elisheva.
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 cup tofutti sour cream
About 8 corn tortillas
1 – 2 cups enchilada sauce (another great kosher Mexican product!)

Place chicken in a pot with water to cover. Add oregano and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from liquid. Cool and shred. In the meantime, sauté onion and green pepper in oil over medium-high heat until soft. Mix with shredded chicken. Add spices and tofutti sour cream. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a few tablespoons of mixture (as much as it can hold and still be folded) inside tortillas and roll them up. Pour sauce over, cover and bake for ½ hour to 45 minutes. Garnish with guacamole and serve with Spanish rice (either the Near East brand or homemade).

Spanish Rice

This works nicely alongside the Chicken Enchiladas.
4 tablespoons oil
2 cups uncooked rice
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3-3/4 cups water
2 (10 can) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles or stewed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili powder

In a medium-sized Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onions and bell pepper for about 5 minutes. Add rice and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add water, tomatoes and chili powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about ½ hour or until rice is soft and water is absorbed.

In the mood for another kosher Mexican dish? Try these short ribs or this fish dish.

Chocolate Coconut Wheels

One of my favorite combinations – chocolate and coconut – yum!
6 tablespoons margarine, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
3 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda

Filling:
1/3 cup tofutti cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coconut

Cream together margarine and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, chocolate and vanilla. On low speed, add the flour and baking soda. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. On low speed, beat in coconut. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Gently roll dough into an (approximately) 8 x 6-inch rectangle. Roll coconut mixture into an 8-inch log and place along one side of dough. Roll up dough to enclose filling and seal the seam. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 3 hours – until firm. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap log and cut into ¼-inch slices. Place on parchment or silpat-lined baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Still in the mood to bake, try these Amaretto Chunk Cookies. It’s always a treat to find a kosher liqueur.

Moroccan Roasted Cauliflower


We are big fans of cauliflower in our home and this is the perfect Shabbos side dish.

2 pounds cauliflower florets
3 cups pitted green olives
2 heads garlic, peel removed and cloves separated
2 (15 ounce) cans chick peas, drained
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a roasting pan, mixing well. Bake for about ½ hour, stirring midway through.
This is a nice accompaniment to Moroccan Lamb Stew and some couscous.

Easiest Father’s Day Burger

Makes 4 burgers
1 to 1-1/4 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons steak sauce (such as A.1.)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1 to 2 tablespoons finely minced onion

Lots of good toppings: mustard, barbeque sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and buns

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mixing thoroughly with your hands or a wooden spoon. Shape into 4 patties by hand, making the center of each just a little thinner than the edges. Refrigerate until ready to grill.

Have mom or dad do the grilling: Start your grill, and when it’s good and hot, grill the burgers to the desired doneness, flipping once. About 4 minutes each side.

Serve with all the sauces and burger fixings.

Pomegranate and Lemonade Spritzer

1-1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus lemon wheels for garnish
1/2 cup sugar
Alternatively you can use 1 cup prepared lemonade
Seltzer water, for mixing

Pour the pomegranate juice into an ice cube tray and freeze overnight. Put the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

To serve, fill a tall glass with 3 to 4 pomegranate ice cubes. Pour about 1/4 cup of the lemon syrup over the ice and top off with seltzer. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Stir gently; garnish each glass with a lemon wheel and serve.

This recipe is easily doubled or tripled for a crowd

*** If you would like to make this without the effort of the ice cube process. Mix ½ cup pomegranate juice with ¼ cup lemonade and add about ¼ – ½ cup seltzer per glass.

Grilled Corn, Avocado and Cilantro Salad


This is a recipe from Martha Stewart. I adjusted it slightly but really enjoyed it at our Memorial Day BBQ.

4 shucked ears of corn
1 sliced Hass avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon cumin (optional)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Heat grill to medium-high. Grill corn, rotating often, until lightly charred, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. Carefully cut kernels from cob. Mix the cilantro, lime juice, cumin, salt and olive oil together. Gently toss with avocado and corn. Add extra rice if you have some (increasing the liquid ingredients slightly) -or white beans or any grain of your choice.

Creamy Double-Stuffed Potatoes


These are a real crowd pleaser.

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter)
1 (8-ounce) package tofutti cream cheese, softened
1 cup tofutti sour cream
1/2 cup Baco’s, divided (optional)
2 teaspoons roasted mashed garlic (How to roast garlic)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons chopped green onion, plus more for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large Dutch oven, place the potatoes and enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Boil until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and let cool. Cut the potatoes in half crosswise. Cut a thin slice off the round end of each potato half to stand upright. Using a melon baler, scoop out the centers of the potatoes, leaving a 1/4-inch thick shell. Reserve the potato pulp.

In a medium bowl, combine the potato pulp, tofutti cream cheese, tofutti sour cream, 1/4 cup Bacos, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher until well combined. Stir in the green onions.

Sprinkle the insides of the potato shells with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spoon the potato mixture evenly into the potato shells and top with the remaining 1/4 cup Baco’s. Place the stuffed potatoes on the prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Garnish with green onions and freshly ground pepper, if desired.

Rum and Coke-Simmered Ribs

Serves 4

2 racks large ribs
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 onion, peeled and quartered
6 cloves garlic, crushed
8 cups (2 liters) coke

Sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup dark rum
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco sauce

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Season both sides with salt and pepper and place meat-side down in large baking dish. Arrange onion and garlic evenly around ribs. Pour enough cola to cover ribs completely. Bake for 3 hours. Remove from oven and allow ribs to come to room temperature in cooking liquid, about 1½ hours.

To make sauce, heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, cumin and chili powder and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tomato sauce, rum, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.

Preheat barbeque to low.

Place ribs meat side down on grill and close lid. Cook, turning occasionally, until meat is browned and caramelized, about 30-45 minutes, or until tender and bones are exposed at ends. With 10 minutes remaining, brush ribs with barbeque sauce. Cut into 3 rib pieces and serve.

Mixed Green Salad with Orange Ale Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette:
3 ounces pale ale or beer
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Salad:
6 cups mixed greens
½ cup toasted pecans or candied nut
1 cup orange segments

Whisk together the pale ale, shallot, orange zest, honey, and mustard. While whisking gradually add in the olive oil to emulsify the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mix together salad ingredients. Toss with dressing and serve.

Watermelon Granita

4 cups, ½ inch cubed, seedless, watermelon
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice

Purée all ingredients in a blender. Pour into a 9- by 13-inch dish and place in the freezer. Scrape with a fork every 30 minutes until mixture forms ice flakes (up to 2 1/2 hours).

This can be made 3 days ahead of time but it must be scraped at the correct intervals. If you place it in the freezer and forget to do the scraping, it will form a strong block of ice and will be impossible to work with. Each time you take it out, scrape it until the entire tray is full of flaked ice. If you it is too tough, microwave it a bit, and start over with the freezing and scraping.

Easy Quesadillas

photo: wordpress.com

Easy quesadillas recipes are everywhere. But the best easy quesadillas recipe is always the one you already know by heart! This recipe is so easy, you’ll know it after trying it one time, and your kids will love it so much, you may never stop making it.

1 (8 to 9-ounce) can chopped green chiles
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin

Garnish:
1 cup sour cream
½ cup salsa (I like it to be medium or hot but depends on your taste)
½ cup chopped cilantro

Spoon 2 tablespoons green chiles over ½ of each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese, onion and cumin. Fold remaining half over to cover. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray or 1 tablespoon oil. Adding 2 quesadillas at a time, cook for 3 minutes per side. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream, salsa and cilantro.

Enjoyed this easy quesadillas recipe? Try another of our Shavuot recipes for sides.

Creamy Corn Chowder

Creamy corn chowder is a great dairy soup for your Shavuot meal. Everyone loves creamy corn chowder – from kids to adults.

1 onion, chopped
¼ cup butter
1 stalk celery, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
3 new potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups pareve chicken broth
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 4-6 ears)
1-1/2 cups light cream or half-and-half (you can use soy milk or nondairy creamer if you are stuck)
½ cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Imitation bacon bits (optional)

In a medium to large Dutch oven, sauté onion over medium heat until soft. Add celery, peppers and potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and keep cooking. Add broth, cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Stir in corn, cream and milk and heat through but do NOT boil. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with imitation bacon bits, if desired.

Enjoyed this creamy corn chowder recipe? Try another of our Shavuot recipes for soup.

Israel’s Best Cheesecake

(using Israeli cheese products)

Submitted by GKC friend and reader Elana Bacon
Have a recipe to share? Submit it here.

Elana claims that Israeli cheeses make the best Shavuot cheesecake. Try it and let us know if this is the best cheesecake recipe you’ve tried – but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was right.

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST:
18 tea biscuits
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup (113 grams) melted butter
Or buy a graham cracker crust

CHEESECAKE:
2-1/2 cups Gvina Levana (any percentage you want but I use 5%) (White cheese in Israel) This is cream cheese for those of us who live in the U.S. See Elana’s notes and tips at the end of the recipe)
1 cup Shamenet (sour cream)
1/2 cup dairy whipping cream (NOT whipped)(aka Katzefet)
2 teaspoons vanilla
Juice of 1 lemon (you can also use about 2-3 tablespoon bottled lemon juice depending on taste)
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/8 cup sugar
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg white

TOPPING (OPTIONAL):
1 cup Shamenet
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sugar
Cookie crumbs for crumbling on top (optional)

Topping:
Mix in a medium bowl until well combined.

FOR CRUST:
Mix all ingredients for the crust together and press into a spring form pan or in 3 long skinny rectangular aluminum pans.

FOR CHEESECAKE:
Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (or 350 F).
Mix all together in a big bowl until everything is mixed well.
Pour into greased pan/pans. At this point you can swirl in some blueberry pie filling, add chocolate chips or whatever your cravings desire.
Place into a bigger roasting pan (or 9×13 pan) to cook in a water bath.
Place on oven rack and slowly pour boiling water into the outer pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the center is only slightly loose but most of the cake is set.
Take it out and pour on the optional topping and bake another 10 minutes.
Cool completely then place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

ENJOY!

Other Tips/Notes:
Growing up in NY I know good cheesecake and coming to Israel to find out that the cream cheese here isn’t quite the American cream cheese, it was so hard to find a good old New York style cheesecake…until I found this recipe!!! I know this recipe may not help all those living in the states (since they don’t really need the help in the first place) but to all those readers in Israel, here is a good cheesecake recipe that is as close to a New York style cheesecake that I have found. Feel free to add any additions of pie fillings/chocolate/caramel or to add any topping. I personally like it best good and plain!!!

Notes on Gvina Levana, Israel’s version of cream cheese:
In Israel Gvina Levana is the Israeli version of cream cheese. It’s basically the same texture as thick yogurt instead of the harder brick like Americans are used to. It comes in the same type of container as the cottage cheese. Literally translated its white cheese. It comes in a variety of fat percentages too- there’s 0.5%, 3%, 5% or 9%. There may be more as well but those are the ones I’m familiar with. I generally use the 5% but to each their own…

Enjoy.
P.S. As a side note if anyone wants American style cream cheese here in Israel for their bagels or matzo or whatever all they have to do is take a container of Shamenet (sour cream) mix about 1 tsp of salt in and place it in a cloth/cheese cloth/dishtowel hanging over a container to drain overnight in the refrigerator (I do this by taking the extra material and rubber banding it over the side of a cylinder container) in the morning (or about 8-10 hours later) take the cream cheese out of the cloth and place in a smaller container and discard the liquid. At this point any additions can be added- chives, lox bits, garlic etc.

For all those who don’t eat Chalav Yisrael in Israel- they do sell Philadelphia cream cheese at a bunch of stores throughout Jerusalem.

Enjoyed this Shavuot cheesecake? Try another of our delicious cheesecake recipes.

White Chocolate Fruit Tart

This white chocolate fruit tart recipe is sweet and tangy.

Crust:
¾ cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups flour

Filling:
2 cups white chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
¼ cup pareve whip
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (20-ounce) can pineapple tidbits
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
2 kiwi, peeled and sliced

Glaze:
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup pineapple juice

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream together butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. On low speed, beat in flour until well combined. Press into bottom and up sides of an ungreased 11-inch tart pan. Place pan on baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes – until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.

For filling, beat together the melted white chocolate chips and the pareve whip. Add cream cheese and continue beating until smooth. Spread over cooled crust. Refrigerate for ½ hour. Drain the pineapple, reserving ½ cup juice for glaze. Arrange pineapple, strawberries, mandarin oranges and kiwis decoratively over filling.

For glaze, combine sugar and cornstarch in a small sauce pan. Stir in lemon juice and reserve pineapple juice until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Cool and brush over fruit. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Enjoyed this white chocolate fruit tart recipe? Try another of our delicious Shavuot recipes for dessert.