Grilled Burgers with Lemon Margarine

6 tablespoons (¾ stick margarine), room temperature
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1½ pounds ground beef (15% fat)
Vegetable oil (for brushing)
4 sesame seed hamburger buns
1 large tomato, thinly sliced crosswise
1 bunch arugula

Mix margarine, all herbs, lemon peel, and lemon juice in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Measure 1/3 cup herb margarine; transfer to sheet of plastic wrap (reserve remaining margarine in bowl for spreading on buns). Using plastic wrap as aid, form margarine into 3-inch long log; wrap plastic around to seal. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut crosswise into 4 rounds. Flatten rounds into 2-inch diameter disks.

Divide meat into 4 equal pieces. Using damp hands, form each piece into a bowl. Using thumb, make deep wide indentation in center of each ball. Press 1 lemon-margarine round flatly into indentation, then press meat securely over butter to enclose.

Flatten each burger into 3½-inch diameter patty, leaving margarine rounds horizontally in center of each burger.

Do ahead: Herb margarine and burgers can be made 6 hours ahead. Place burgers on baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill. Cover and chill herb butter in bowl; bring to room temperature before continuing.

Brush barbecue rack with oil. Prepare barbecue (high heat). Sprinkle both sides of burgers with salt and pepper. Spread remaining margarine over cut sides of buns. Grill burgers until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Grill buns until slightly charred, about 1 minute per side.

Place burgers on bun bottoms. Top with tomato slices and arugula leaves. Cover with bun tops and serve.

Pacific Northwest Grilled Cedar Planked Salmon

pacific-planked-salmon
From the chef at Eden Tours

1- ⅜” X 7″ x 15″ cedar plank
2 – 4 pound salmon filet
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup brown sugar
¼ to ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Brush plank with olive oil. Melt the butter and add lemon juice garlic and pepper. Put salmon filet on plank brush with butter lemon juice mixture. Put cedar plank on hot grill on low heat or adjust for smoke, sprinkle with brown sugar. Baste every 5 to 10 minutes with lemon juice mixure and brown sugar. Cook about 20 minutes or until fish flakes.

Semolina Bread

semolina-bread
Adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook, this is the perfect bread to serve alongside a large salad or a minestrone soup.

2 teaspoons yeast
2 cups warm water
3 cups semolina flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 to 3 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 tablespoons cornmeal
1 egg

Pour water over yeast in a bowl and allow yeast to proof. Add semolina flour and salt and stir well. Add 2 cups of bread flour and stir. Continue adding and kneading flour until dough is smooth and elastic. Pour olive oil over dough and turn to coat. Cover with towel and set aside until dough has tripled in bulk – about 2 hours.
Punch down dough, knead briefly and cover and let rise again until double.
Punch down the dough again, cut it into thirds, and shape each third into a thin loaf about 24 inches long. Sprinkle a baking sheet with 3 to 4 tablespoons cornmeal and arrange the loaves on the sheet leaving as much room between the loaves as possible. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush on the loaves. Slash loaves decoratively on top with a sharp knife, making diagonal cuts.
Slide the baking sheet onto the middle rack of the oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until loaves are brown and sound hollow when thumped. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

The Best Minestrone Soup

vegetarian-minestrone-soup
This is the best minestrone soup I ever made!! I’m not bragging, I’m just telling you so you can enjoy it too. And not only is it the best, it’s really easy. You just throw everything into the pot. You can throw in other things you may have in your kitchen like zucchini, celery, spinach, cabbage…it’s a great way to use up leftover vegetables. And it goes perfectly with the semolina bread. We love this to break the fast.

You don’t have to follow my directions exactly but this is what I threw in:
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
2 fennel bulbs, halved and sliced
½ pound green beans
1 (15 ounce) can chick peas, drained
1 (8 ounce) can corn, drained
4 carrots, chopped
2 (29 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno, sliced
4 cups water
3 (32 ounce) boxes tomato soup
½ teaspoon pepper
1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti, broken in half
Grated parmesan cheese, if desired

Throw (or gently pour) everything into a large soup pot, except the pasta and the cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft – from ½ to 1 hour. Add pasta and cook until al dente – about 8 to 10 minutes. Pass the cheese.

Barbecued Chicken

bbqchicken
Easy
This is a delicious (and embarrassingly easy) return to eating meat. I made it for Shabbos and when one of my guests asked for the recipe, I had to reveal its simplicity.

2 chickens, cut in 1/8th’s
2 cups barbecue sauce (I use Char-B-Que but you can use whatever you like or have)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour barbecue sauce over chicken and bake, uncovered, for about 2 hours, basting every 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and bake a little longer is you like the sauce to be really absorbed and the chicken to be falling over the bone…

Pasta with Eggplant, and Bell Pepper

bakedpastawitheggplant
1 1/4-pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups olive oil
4 large shallots, peeled, quartered
1 large red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped pitted brine-cured black olives (such as Kalamata)
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 ounces rigatoni or other tubular pasta

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss eggplant with 2 teaspoons salt in large bowl. Turn eggplant out onto paper towels and let drain 30 minutes. Pat eggplant dry.
Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add eggplant to oil; cook until golden, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer to clean paper towels. Reserve 5 tablespoons eggplant frying oil. Toss shallots and whole bell pepper with 3 tablespoons reserved oil on large baking sheet. Roast until shallots are tender, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes. Place shallots and eggplant in large bowl. Continue roasting bell pepper until skin blackens, about 10 minutes. Wrap in plastic bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, core and seed pepper. Cut into thin strips lengthwise, then cut strips crosswise in half. Add bell pepper strips, olives and garlic to eggplant and shallots.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return pasta to pot. Add all vegetables and remaining 2 tablespoons reserved eggplant frying oil and toss over medium heat until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta among plates and serve.

Pecan Coated Fish with Tartar Sauce

pecan-coated-fish
Tartar Sauce:
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/3 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
1/4 cup capers, with juice1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 snapper fillets, cut about 1-inch thick, 4 to 6 ounces each
1 stick butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon whole butter
1 cup pecans, ground into crumbs in a food processor
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
4 lemon wedges, for garnish
Directions
To prepare sauce, place the parsley, green onions, capers, and garlic in a blender or food processor and combine. Add the mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice and mustard. Blend well. Chill until ready to serve with fish. This keeps in a covered container in the refrigerator for several weeks. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the fish, pat dry and season. Dredge the fish in the melted butter. Spread the ground pecans on a plate and press the fish into the crumbs to coat. Turn the fillets and coat the other side. In a cast iron or other heavy, ovenproof skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of whole butter with the oil. When it begins to sizzle, sear the fish about 3 minutes per side. Place the skillet in the oven for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets and your preference for degree of doneness. Serve immediately with Tartar Sauce on the side and a lemon wedge.

Tequila Grilled Salmon

tequilla-salmon
Ingredients
1 pound salmon fillet, cut into 6 pieces
1/4 cup each silver or white tequila
Fresh lime juice from about three limes
Fresh orange juice from one orange
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

Baking Directions
In a medium nonreactive bowl, stir together the salmon, tequila, lime juice, orange juice and season with salt and ground pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes.
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Lightly oil the hot grill.
Grill salmon until opaque throughout, which takes about 8 – 12 minutes, flipping once.
Transfer to a platter and top with minced jalapeño or chives. Serve salmon with lime wedges.

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Adapted from original recipe by Ina Garten

1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
Kosher salt
Olive oil
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced (I like to use the Cappelli or other mozzarella that is sold in a fresh ball)
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:
5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
2 garlic clove, diced
1 teaspoon capers, drained
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Directions
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.
Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil, and toss well.

Cream of Spinach Soup

cream-spinach
3 tablespoons margarine
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups nondairy creamer
1 (32 ounce) bag frozen chopped spinach
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a medium-sized stockpot, sauté onion in margarine over low heat. Add flour and salt and whisk together. Slowly add non dairy creamer, continually whisking until it begins to thicken. Add spinach, nutmeg and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Southwestern Rib Roast

Rib_Roasts
This is for a very special weeknight occasion.

1 (8 to 10 pound) rib roast
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chili powder, cumin and cayenne. Set aside 2 teaspoons and rub the rest over the roast. Cook, uncovered for ½ hour. Cover with heavy duty foil and cook for an additional 2-1/2 hours. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before carving.
Combine remaining 2 teaspoons of spices with the beans, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro. Serve alongside the roast.

Hermit Bars

hermit-bars-for-blog
These are very filling – and very good.

¾ cup margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup strong coffee
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped almonds
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together margarine, sugar and molasses until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Combine flours, spices and baking soda. Add to batter alternately with coffee. Stir in nuts and raisins. Pour into greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool

Teriyaki Chicken or Marinade

teriyaki-chicken-marinade
Another good one from Stacy Moses and so easy too!

1 pound chicken breasts, bone in or boneless
1 cup Kikkoman’s teriyaki baste and glaze
½ cup barbeque sauce of choice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic

Mix all ingredients. Add chicken to marinade (if grilling, reserve about ½ cup marinade) and work the sauce all over the chicken breasts, coating all pieces and sides.
Allow to marinade for at least an hour and up to 6 hours.
Grill chicken or bake at 375 for 45 minutes. For grilling, drain off most of the marinade before putting chicken on the grill (just drip it off by shaking the chicken). This prevents burning. During the last few minutes of cooking, using a poultry brush and or spoon and brush the chicken on each side with reserved marinade. Continue grilling and serve warm.

Summer Berry Muffins

summer-berry-muffins
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Pinch ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 large eggs
¼ cup canola oil
1 lemon, zested
½ pint blueberries
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix together strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar. Let sit 15 minutes until strawberries give off juices.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, eggs, oil, 1 cup sugar, strawberries, and lemon zest.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in blueberries and walnuts.
Scoop batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out with a few crumbs but not wet, about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack to room temperature.

Asian Burgers with Cabbage Relish and Chili Mayonnaise

asian-burger
3 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
½ cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
4 teaspoons minced garlic
4 teaspoons fresh ginger, divided
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, divided
1½ teaspoons Asian chili garlic sauce, divided
¼ cup mayonnaise
1½ pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 hamburger buns, split

Heat grill to high – 450 to 550 degrees.

Mix cabbage, ¼ cup green onions, the vinegar, 1 teaspoon each garlic and ginger, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and ½ teaspoon chili sauce in a large bowl. Set relish aside, stirring occasionally. In another bowl, mix mayonnaise with remaining 1 teaspoon chili sauce.

Combine beef, soy sauce, and remaining ¼ cup green onions, 1 tablespoon each garlic and ginger, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Shape into 4 patties, each about ½-inch thick.

Oil cooking grate. Grill burgers, covered, turning once – 7 to 8 minutes total for medium. In the final minutes, toast buns.

Spread bun bottoms with chili mayonnaise. Set burgers on buns. With a slotted spoon, put some cabbage relish on each. Serve with remaining relish.

Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Salad

grilled-salmon-cucumber-salad
Sauce
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 tablespoon each chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
About ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper

Cucumber Salad
½ pound Persian or English cucumbers
2 teaspoons chives, chopped
2 teaspoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1½ teaspoon minced shallot
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper

Salmon and Serving
4 salmon fillets (each 5 to 6 oz., ½ to 1 inch thick) with skin
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper
Fresh sill sprigs

Make sauce: combine yogurt, dill, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Cover and chill until used.

Heat grill to medium-high (about 450°).

Make salad: cut cucumbers lengthwise into paper-thin strips, preferably with a mandoline. Put in a bowl with herbs and shallot; chill until used. In another bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; set dressing aside.

Prepare salmon: Rub all over with oil and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Fold a 12 by 20 inch sheet of heavy-duty foil in half crosswise. With a knife tip, poke dime size holes through foil about 2 inches apart. Oil one side of foil.

Set foil with oiled side up on cooking grate. Set fillets slightly separated, skin side down, on foil. Grill, covered, until fish is barely cooked through, 7 to 12 minutes. With a wide spatula, slide fish from skin to a platter and tent with foil.

Discard any liquid from cucumber mixture in bowl, then quickly toss mixture with dressing and mound on fish. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs. Serve immediately with yogurt sauce.

Baked Beef and Beans

Easy
This is an easy mid-week dinner

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1 (15 ounce) can baked beans, undrained
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
⅓ cup barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, sauté meat, onion and pepper in the oil until beef is no longer pink. Drain off fat. Combine with remaining ingredients and pour into 3-quart baking dish. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Tuna and White Bean Salad

tuna-whitebean-salad
This is the perfect summer lunch.

1 (15 ounce) can Northern or White Cannellini beans, drained
6-½ ounces solid white tuna in water, drained and broken into small flakes
1 teaspoon basil
½ cup minced scallions
1-½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ cup oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Place beans in a bowl and add tuna, basil and scallions. Mix well. Combine lemon juice, red wine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Shake well. Pour over salad (You will not need all of the dressing – save for tomorrow’s lunch!) and toss gently.

Baked Spaghetti Pie

baked-spaghetti-pie
8 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
1 (12 ounce) container cottage cheese
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup grated mozzarella or pizza cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix pasta with eggs, butter and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Pat down into greased 10-inch round pizza pan (or other baking pan). Spread sauce over pasta almost to edge of pan. Mix together spinach, cottage cheese and remaining Parmesan and spoon atop sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella over all. Bake for about 15 minutes – until cheese is melted and, if your family is like mine, browned. Let stand briefly before cutting into wedges.