Sweet, Savory and a Little Spicy Fruit Chutney


Use on roasted turkey, lamb, chicken or even as a dip on your favorite chip. Divine!

3 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 shallot, chopped
1 pinch chili flake
1 Serrano pepper, chopped (or jalapeno pepper for a milder version)
3 pears, peeled and diced
4 apples, peeled and diced
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup white wine
2 bay leaves
1-3/4 cups Dijon mustard
Salt

In a large heavy bottomed pot, over high heat, add the sugar, water and juice of half a lemon and cook until a medium-dark caramel is achieved, about 8 minutes. Add shallots and the chilies to the caramel. Immediately add all of the fruit, wine, and bay leaf. Cook gently until the fruits are tender and remove from heat. Add the Dijon when the fruits have just been removed from the heat, taste for salt. Let cool to room temperature. Store refrigerated in a covered container or in individual canning jars.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls


½ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup plus1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon margarine, room temperature
1 cup crushed pretzels
2 cups chocolate chips

Stir together the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar. Add margarine and stir in the crushed pretzels. Form into 1 inch balls. Freeze for 30 minutes. Melt chocolate in pot or in a double boiler over a very low flame, stirring often or alternatively, in the microwave cook it in 30-second intervals and stir after each interval.

Dip the balls in the melted chocolate and refrigerate until set.

Ricotta Orange Pound Cake

Adapted from original recipe by Giada De Laurentis
1-1/2 cups cake flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature, plus more to grease the baking pan
1-1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
2 tablespoons Amaretto
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, orange zest, and Amaretto until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a mesh sieve, dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar.

Optional: Include a card that says Serving Suggestions

1. Eat in the morning, afternoon, evening or all of the above
2. Definitely enjoy with coffee or tea.
3. Extra delicious with strawberries. Instructions: Remove stems, wash and quarter 1 pint strawberries
Place the strawberries in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon sugar. Let sit until the juices have pooled around the strawberries.
To serve, slice the cake and serve with a spoonful of strawberries and their juices over the top of the cake.

Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Filling
4 tablespoons unsalted margarine or butter, softened
3/4 cup chopped pecans
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze
1 cup powdered (confectioners’) sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) pareve tofutti cream cheese or cream cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons pareve milk, soymilk, or regular milk
Melted margarine or butter, for brushing

Directions
After the dough comes together, on a well-floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 15 by 11-inch rectangle. In a mixing bowl add the pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Spread the softened unsalted margarine over the dough leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the dough. Starting with the long side, roll up the dough tightly ending with the seam-side down. Cut 10 slices each about 1/2-inch thick.

Place in 2 (9 by 13-inch) greased baking dishes and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow the rolls to rise in a warm environment for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Brush with melted margarine before baking

Bake at 400 degrees F until the tops are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush tops with melted margarine and cool on cooling rack. Drizzle with prepared pareve cream cheese glaze.

Pareve Cream Cheese Glaze: In a mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar, pareve cream cheese, margarine, pareve milk, and vanilla.

Rapid Rolls
3 (0.25-ounce) packets active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup melted margarine, plus more for brushing
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 large eggs, beaten
4 to 6 cups flour, plus more if needed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the instant yeast, and warm water. Let it activate for 5 minutes until bubbly. Stir in the honey.

On low speed, add 1/2 cup melted margarine, 2 teaspoons salt, and eggs. Slowly add the flour cup-by-cup until fully incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Add more flour if it is too sticky.

Portion the dough into 24 even servings. Form the rolls into desired shape and let rise approximately 20 minutes, or until doubled in size. Place the rolls in a cast iron skillet or on a baking sheet. Brush the rolls with melted margarine.

Bake for 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with more melted margarine, and sprinkle with a little salt.

Smoked Salmon and Wontons

This recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled depending on the size of your crowd!

¼ cup toasted sesame oil
1 egg white
8 wonton wrappers
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1-1/4 teaspoons wasabi
1 teaspoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
6 ounces sliced smoked salmon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together oil and egg white and brush on wonton wrappers. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut in half (into triangles) and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Cool completely. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Place a slice of salmon atop each wonton and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with minced scallions if desired.

Spicy Chili

Don’t let the long list of ingredients intimidate you. This is easy, delicious and great for a crowd. Can also be doubled and made ahead.

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 pounds ground lamb
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons cocoa (powder form)
1-1/2 teaspoons allspice
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
4 cups beef broth
1/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven and sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add meat and cook until browned, stirring frequently and breaking into pieces as you go. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours to give the flavors a chance to blend.

Sweet Potato with Granola

5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup granola
2 tablespoons margarine, cut into about 6 pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sweet potatoes, salt and olive oil in a roasting pan and toss to coat. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are soft, stirring a few times. Remove from oven and immediately add marshmallows, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well and then mash together. Sprinkle granola on top and dot with margarine pieces. Bake for about 45 minutes.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Tart with Chocolate Drizzle

2 cups crushed pretzels
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) margarine, melted
1 cup pareve whip
½ cup tofutti cream cheese
½ cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
About ¼ cup chocolate syrup, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together pretzel crumbs, brown sugar and melted margarine. Press across the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool. Beat whip until stiff peaks form. Beat in tofutti cream cheese, peanut butter and vanilla. Keep beating until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Spread across bottom of tart shell and refrigerate. When set, lift out from ban (sides will fall away but it will remain sitting on the bottom piece) and drizzle with chocolate, if desired.

Mocha Truffles

2 (12 ounce) packages semisweet chocolate chips
1 (8 ounce) package tofutti cream cheese
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons water

Melt chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Stir in tofutti cream cheese, coffee and water until completely blended. Shape into 1-inch balls and place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill for about 1 hour. Dip in chocolate coating; then roll in topping of your choice if desired.

Chocolate Coating:
2 cups (1 12-ounce package) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening

Melt in microwave and stir until smooth.

All-Bran Muffins

Yet another version; I’m always trying different ones. This one is a winner.

1 cup Bran Flakes
½ cup shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2-1/2 cups flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups All-Bran

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1 cup boil water over Bran Flakes. Cool. Cream together shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs. Add flour, baking soda and buttermilk; mix well. Stir in All-Bran. Fill greased muffin tins about 2/3 full (makes about 2-1/2 – 3 dozen). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from pans to finish cooling.

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash

This is adapted from a recent Bon Appetit recipe; the squash is a great addition.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (29 ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes (you can use regular whole tomatoes if you’re stuck)
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
2 chipotle chiles from canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced (make sure to mince; these are VERY spicy)
1 (2 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 –inch cubes

Possible Garnish:
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream
Chopped Cilantro
Pickled Jalapeno Rings

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add chili powder, tomatoes, beans and chiles and cook for about ½ hour to blend flavors. Stir in butternut squash and cook an additional 30 minutes. Serve over rice. I like it without any garnish but it’s nice to give everyone options.

Peanut Butter Truffles

1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons vanilla
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups graham cracker crumbs

Cream together margarine, peanut butter and vanilla. Mix in remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Shape into balls and place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets. Chill for 1 hour before dipping in chocolate coating and rolling in other toppings (chopped peanuts works nicely here)

Double Ginger Cookies


As you may have noticed from last week’s recipes, I am a big ginger fan. I also like to use crystallized ginger in cookies. This is a heartier cookie than your typical Ginger Crinkle.

1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup chopped crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ginger
1 cup sugar
½ cup applesauce
¼ cup oil
½ teaspoon vanilla

Combine all dry ingredients. Make a well in center. Whisk together sugar, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Let set for 1 to 2 minutes on pan; them remove to wire racks to finish cooling.

Plain Chocolate Truffles


There is actually nothing plain about this taste.

2 cups (1 12-ounce package) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup pareve whip
1/3 cup margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat chocolate chips and pareve whip in microwave. Stir until smooth. Stir in margarine and vanilla. Cool, cover and refrigerate for a few hours. Shape into balls and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate for an additional hour before dipping in chocolate coating and rolling in toppings.

Mexican Black Bean Lasagna


A variation on the traditional.
9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained and rinsed with cold water to prevent sticking
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
1 (14-1/2 ounce) can whole tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or pizza cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Stir in water, cilantro, beans, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, breaking up tomatoes as they soften. Remove from heat and mix with ricotta cheese and eggs. Place a thin layer of sauce along the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan. Top with 1/3 of the noodles, the sauce, then 1/3 of the cheese. Next should be another layer of noodles and sauce. Lastly, place remaining 1/3 noodles and remaining 2/3 cheese. Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Sautéed Shallots

5 pounds sweet potatoes
½ cup (1 stick) margarine, softened
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oil
¾ pound shallots, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake sweet potatoes for about 45 minutes – or until soft. Let cool slightly and scoop out flesh. Add margarine and cinnamon and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add salt and pepper to taste. In the meantime, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté shallots until crisp. Drain on paper towels and scatter atop sweet potatoes.

Coconut Cake

I have been searching for a really good coconut cake. And I think I have finally found it.

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup shredded coconut

Icing:
2 cups tofutti cream cheese
1 cup margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
¾ cup shredded coconut for sprinkling all over cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together margarine and sugar. Beat in eggs, then add vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder and add to the batter, alternately with the soy milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Fold in the coconut. Pour into two greased 9-inch round cake pans and bake for about 45 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for ½ hour; then remove from pan to finish cooling.

When cakes are completely cool, prepare icing. Cream together all ingredients until smooth. Place 1 layer on a serving plate and spread icing over. Cover with top layer and then frost top and sides. Sprinkle coconut on top and lightly press onto sides. Store in refrigerator. Remove 15 minutes before serving.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup yellow onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups pareve chicken stock
1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed and separated
1/2 cup heavy cream, milk or soymilk
1-1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar (I like the Cabot White Cheddar)
Croutons for garnish (for Passover use toasted matza as a garnish)

Directions

In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the pareve chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)

Add the cream and bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.

Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.

Crisp Orange-Chicken Spring Rolls

Makes 12 spring rolls

Original recipe is from Martha Stewart, adapted by GKC
2 jalapeno peppers, minced (center and seeds removed if you do not like it spicy)
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoon white cooking wine
6 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 pound skinless chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and cut into thin strips
4 green onions, green part only, cut into short, thin slivers
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
12 8-inch round dried rice-paper wrappers
1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves separated and washed

For Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce:
Combine jalapeno pepper, garlic, ginger, wine, orange juice, and soy sauce in a medium bowl. Set aside. Take 2 tablespoons of sauce and toss with the chicken. Reserve the rest of sauce for dipping. Cover and marinate the chicken for 15 minutes. Drain excess liquid.

For Spring Rolls:
In a small pan, heat canola oil and sauté chicken until light brown outside and no longer pink inside, about 2 minutes. Combine apple, green onions, bell pepper, rice vinegar, and sesame oil in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Mix in cooked chicken.

Fill a medium bowl with warm water. Dip one of the wrappers in the water for 15 seconds, or until softened. Carefully transfer it to a dry work surface.

Arrange 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling in an even horizontal mound just below the center of the wrapper. Roll up the rice paper to form a tight cylinder, folding in the sides about halfway. Assemble the remaining spring rolls the same way.

Coat the large baking sheet with cooking oil. Arrange spring rolls in a single layer, leaving a little space between them. Brush rolls with oil. Cook the rolls until lightly browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes, checking frequently to avoid burning. Use a spatula to turn the rolls over and continue to broil another 8 to 10 minutes. Serve each roll wrapped in lettuce leaf, with Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce.

Black Bean Caesar Salad

Easy

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
¼ cup red onion, diced
½ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup corn niblets
1 jalapeno pepper (optional), diced, seeds and membrane removed
4 tablespoons pareve Caesar dressing (such as Mauzone or homemade)

In a large bowl toss together all the ingredients and serve.

Zucchini Kugel

5 zucchinis, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 (16 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tablespoons matza meal
3 eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon onion soup mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place zucchini in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Sauté onions and mushrooms in oil until soft. Mix all ingredients together and pour into 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake for about 45 minutes.