Date Cake with Caramel Sauce

datecake
Serves 8-10

CAKE
12 ounces pitted plump dates
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons brewed espresso
3/4 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted margarine, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs

CARAMEL
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pareve whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, cover the dates with the rum, espresso and water and heat at high power for 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let stand until the dates are softened. Puree until smooth.

In a bowl, whisk both flours with the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the margarine and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs until incorporated, then beat in the date puree. Add the dry ingredients all at once and beat at low speed until incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a rack to cool completely.

In a medium saucepan, simmer the sugar and water over moderate heat until a deep-amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pareve cream. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the hardened caramel is dissolved. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the caramel sauce.

Tomato Chili Brisket

tomato-brisket

Serves 8 – 10

One 5- to 7 pound beef brisket
One 24-ounce bottle ketchup or chilli sauce
1 package dry onion soup mix
Several dashes hot sauce
1 cup water
½ cup beer

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Place the brisket in an oven-safe pan. Combine the ketchup (I use ½ ketchup and ½ chili sauce) and soup mix in a bowl, and stir to mix. Pour in 1 cup water and the beer and stir to combine. (You can add more water if needed!)

Pour the sauce all over the brisket. Make sure the brisket is coated on both sides. Cover the pan with foil and roast in the oven for 6 to 7 hours.

Remove the pan from the oven and test the brisket to make sure it’s fork-tender. The brisket should fall apart if you look at it! Slice the brisket into thin strips, then return the beef to the sauce and keep it warm until you’re ready to serve.

Frozen Caramelized Pear Torte

Serves 12

Almond Meringue
6 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ cup ground toasted almonds, optional
½ cup flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar

White Chocolate – Pear Mousse
5 ounce pareve white melting chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate)
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
¼ cup dark rum
2 cups pareve whipping cream
2 pears, peeled and diced

Chocolate Ganache
12 ounces chocolate
1 cup pareve whip cream

To prepare the meringue, draw two 10-inch circles on two parchment paper-lined baking sheets, then flip over the parchment so the ink is on the other side. Place the egg whites in a bowl of a mixer and whip on high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time, along with the almond extract, and whip until still peaks form and the whites are shiny. Place the ground almonds, flour, and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and mix together. Gently fold the mixture into the egg whites. Divide the batter between the two circles and spread evenly to fill the circles. Place in a 300 degree oven and bake for about 2 hours, or until firm.

To prepare the mousse, melt the white chocolate (or chocolate) in the top of a double boiler over gently simmering heat. Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Place the egg yolks, ¾ cup of the sugar, and the rum in a metal bowl and whisk together. Place over gently simmering water, and whop the egg mixture until it is thick and resembles softly whipped cream. Remove from the heat and set aside. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the egg mixture, then fold in the melted white chocolate. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Place the remaining ¼ cup of sugar in a sauté pan and cook, without stirring, until the sugar turns golden brown. Add the pears and sauté until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

To assemble the torte, place one of the cooled meringues in a 10-inch spring form pan. (You may have to trim the meringue fit it in the pan.) Place the pears on top of the first meringue layer, then cover with the mousse. Place the second layer of meringue on top of the mousse and place in the freezer.

To prepare the ganache, place the chocolate pieces in the food processor and process until finely ground. Heat the cream until boiling and pour over the chocolate through the feed tube while the processor is running. Continue to process until the mixture is smooth. Remove the torte from the freezer and pour the ganache over the torte. Return the torte to the freezer and freeze for about 2 hours. (If frozen overnight, let the torte come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.) To serve, release the sides of the pan and slide the torte off the bottom of the pan onto a serving platter. Slice into wedges and serve.

Glazed Beets with Chives

glazed-bits

Serves 4

1 pounds trimmed and peeled beets, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, halved or quartered if large
1-1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted margarine
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons walnut pieces or coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Put the beets in an 8-inch-wide, 3- to 4-quart saucepan and arrange snugly. Add the margarine, sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and enough water to just cover the beets (about 2 cups). Bring to a boil over high heat.

Cook over high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy glaze and the beets are tender, about 10 minutes. (If the glaze is done before the beets, add about 1/2 cup water and continue to cook. If the beets are done first, remove them and continue to boil the liquid until syrupy.)

(Meanwhile, spread the walnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and a few shades darker, about 8 minutes.)

Lower the heat under the beets to medium low, add the warm walnuts, and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and serve sprinkled with the chives. (The glazed beets and walnuts, without the chives, can be kept warm, covered, for about 20 minutes.)

Open Faced Plum Tart

open-faced-plumtart

Serves 8

1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold margarine, cut into 1-tbsp. chunks
About 2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1-1/2 pounds firm-ripe plums or apricots, pitted and sliced 1/2-inch wide pieces
2 teaspoons coarse sugar to sprinkle

Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut margarine with a pastry blender until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon ice water over mixture; gently stir and toss with a fork. Repeat to add 4 to 6 more tablespoon ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is evenly moistened and a pinch of it holds together. Gather into a disk, wrap airtight, and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough into a 13-in. circle, Cut around edge of dough with a pastry wheel or knife to neaten. Lift dough to a baking sheet and chill about 15 minutes.

Combine 2/3 cup granulated sugar, the cornstarch, and spices in a medium bowl. If plums are quite tart, add a few more tablespoons sugar to spice mixture. Stir in fruit until cornstarch is moistened, then spoon fruit onto pastry right away, leaving a 1 1/2 in. rim uncovered. Fold and pleat rim over fruit. Brush rim with water and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake until filling bubbles and crust is browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool on pan on a rack at least 1 hour.

Peanut Butter and Honey Cookies

peanutbutter-honeycookies

Makes 18 big cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup unsalted margarine, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (mine was slightly chilled)
1 tablespoon honey

Coating
2/3 cup finely chopped honey roasted peanuts or roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or coarse sugar or regular sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together peanut butter, margarine, brown sugar, granulated sugar and honey, until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour until well combined. Place dough in freezer for 15 minutes, stir, and freeze for an additional 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Sift confectioners’ sugar into a medium sized mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter and honey until well combined. Shape mixture into 18 small balls, and place on a plate. Place plate in refrigerator until ready for use.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a large sheet pan with cooking spray.

Make the coating by stirring together peanuts, turbinado sugar and cinnamon, in a small bowl, until well combined.

Remove bowl from freezer; shape dough into an 11 inch x 2 1/2 inch log. Wrap dough in plastic wrap to shape better. Slice dough into 18 equal pieces. Take each piece of dough, flatten with your hand, place a peanut butter ball in the center, and wrap dough around ball. Roll ball in your hands to shape better. Roll balls in peanut mixture, to coat completely; place on prepared sheet pan. Flatten cookies. Don’t flatten too much.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 13-15 minutes, or until edges of cookies are golden brown. Cool 4 minutes on sheet pan, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Apple Custard Tart

Delicious and perfect for the holidays. I love the apple and pareve cream cheese filling. The dough is flaky and tasty because of the shortening. I use the earthbalance sticks which are pressed canola oil but feel free to substitute the shortening with margarine. Mine will just taste better.

Serves 12

Tart Dough:
2-1/3 cups flour
¼ cup shortening (it’s Yom Tov, go ahead and use it just this time)
¼ cup unsalted margarine
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold water

Filling:
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and very thinly sliced
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups pareve whipping cream
4 ounces pareve cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To prepare the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use margarine to grease the 10-inch flan or tart pan with a removable bottom and set aside. Put the flour, shortening, margarine, and salt in a medium bowl. Using your fingertips, mix the shortening and margarine with the flour to form coarse meal. Add the cold water and mix the dough with a large fork just until it holds together. You may need to add more water if the dough is dry and crumbly. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.

Put the dough on a well-floured work surface and roll out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a prepared pan and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To prepare the filling, put the sliced apples in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and toss well. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the apples in the pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool.

Place the spiced apples in the crust in concentric circles, covering the bottom of the crust completely. Put 1 cup of the pareve cream, the pareve cream cheese, and sugar in the bowl of a mixer or food processor and blend or pulse until smooth. Add the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla, mix well, and pour over the apples. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the apples are just tender and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Whip the remaining cup of cream to soft peaks. Cut the tart into slices, top with a dallop of pareve whipped cream, and serve.

Easy Apple Spice Cake

apple-spice-cake

Serves 10- 12
1-2/3 cups crushed cinnamon graham crackers (about 9 whole crackers)
10 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted margarine, melted and divided
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (scant) salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 6-ounce Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/3 inch cubes
1-1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, or other nut,( nuts are optional)
3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Mix graham crackers, 6 tablespoons margarine, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar in medium bowl. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared dish. Bake crust until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and allspice in medium bowl; blend well. Using electric mixer, beat 4 tablespoons melted margarine, 1 cup brown sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla in large bowl until mixture is blended and thick, about 4 minutes. Beat in flour mixture. Fold in apples and walnuts. Spoon batter over crust. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Bake cake until golden brown and firm to touch in center, about 38 minutes. Cool cake completely in dish. Cut into squares and serve.

Apricot Oatmeal Cookies

apricot-oatmeal-cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup chopped dried apricots
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut
¾ cup toasted slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl, cream margarine and sugars until fluffy. On low speed, beat in eggs, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and almond extract. Stir in oats, apricots, cranberries, coconut and almonds.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased silpat-lined cookie sheets. Bake until golden – 14 to 15 minutes. Let rest for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to finish cooling.

Creamy Balsamic Dressing

SONY DSC

I’ve been to a lot of salad bars in my time and am always watching what people are choosing in their salads. And not surprising, everyone is different when it comes to salad ingredients. We all have different tastes and it is very clear when it comes to salad. But interestingly, most people order the same dressing. I’ve noticed this but I also asked at many salad bars and my suspicion was confirmed. Creamy balsamic vinegar dressing is the most popular choice. It’s also bottled and sold by a lot of places, for a lot of money by the way. So I can’t believe it’s taken me this many years to post, but here it is, a great (really great), homemade version of what you get at the salad bar. I think it’s a dressing that you should keep on hand all the time. It’s a great dip, chicken marinade, or baked potato topper. I like to serve it on a good vegetable chopped salad, a nicoise salad with tuna and hard-boiled eggs, or even a Jewish Cobb Salad, with smoked turkey, eggs, and Fake Bacon. I know you will be grateful to have this one in your repertoire.


(Makes 1 2/3 cups of dressing)


4 cloves garlic, grated

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt

¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the Creamy Balsamic Dressing:
Whisk together garlic, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper until well combined. Add the balsamic vinegar and whisk well. Slowly add in the olive oil (while whisking) to emulsify. Store in a container in the refrigerator until ready to use. This works best if you mix with an immersion blender.

Drunken Grilled Flank Steak

drunken-steak

Serves 4

Here is a great and easy steak recipe (you can really use the marinade on any cut). Use the grilling guide to help with cooking time and temperature. The vodka is the secret ingredient that tenderizes the meat.

1 cup vegetable juice
1/2 cup vodka
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (non-fish type)
3 coves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon prepared white horseradish
4 tablespoons olive oil
1-pound flank steak or other thin cut steak

Thoroughly mix all the ingredients except for the flank steak in a 1-gallon zip lock bag. Add the flank steak. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat the grill to high or heat a skillet over high heat. Remove the flank steak from the marinade and wipe the excess liquid off with paper towels. Grill or pan sear both sides, then lower heat to medium and cook to medium rare, about 5 minutes each side, check the grilling guide.

Let the steak rest, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Almond Pound cake

almond-pound-cake

Last week I went crazy testing pound cake recipes. I think great pound cake is a wonderful recipe to have in your collection because its a perfect snack when guests arrive, lovely to serve in the morning with coffee, great to grill this time of year, and is amazing with sweetened berries, mangos or peaches. And since these fruits are at their peak right now and a dessert laden with sweetened berries and topped with whipped cream is screaming to be served, I had to find the perfect recipe. I tried five recipes, each with a unique spin, one with almond paste, one with lots of swirls of jelly, one with blueberries, one classic and I can’t remember the other one… and after all the testing, I am sharing my new favorite, super moist and crazy delicious Almond Pound Cake (if you don’t like almond, leave out the extract and make a Classic Pound Cake with the same recipe).

Makes 3 loaf cakes, Serves 30

I tested 5 different pound cake recipes to come up with this version that is so moist and flavorful. I’ll keep one in my freezer all the time now. If you do not like almond flavoring, just add another ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and omit the almond extract.

4 cups cake flour
1 ¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon regular salt
4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
3 cups superfine sugar
8 eggs
¾ cup whole milk or non-dairy creamer
2 teaspoons almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 loaf pans with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy and then add the sugar on low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended and scraping the bowl throughout the process.

In a small bowl, mix the milk, almond extract, and vanilla together. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and alternately add the flour mixture wand the milk mixture to the creamed butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until blended; do not over mix.

Divide the batter equally among the prepared pans and bake until a tester is clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes. Take out of pans and cool completely.

Use this pound cake recipe plain, or serve it with lightly sweetened berries and whipped cream. Or use it in a trifle.

Great Grilling Marinade

steak

I am so glad to be back at the grill this week.  It’s easy, tasty, and for me, the smoky smell just makes me feel summertime happy.  My mom shared this recipe for a great grilling marinade.  She’s been making it for years and found the original on America’s Test Kitchen, which is amazing resource for recipes.  As their name states, they “test” and test recipes until they find the perfect combination of ingredients in whatever they are making.

I like to use it on tender, somewhat thin cuts of meat, like a Del Monico steak (this is what kosher butcher’s call sirloin), or a flank steak.  America’s Test Kitchen recommends tri-tip which is the triangle piece of the sirloin but you won’t find it in a kosher butcher because its very difficult to cut around the sciatic nerve to get to this tender cut of meat. Ask your butcher for a tender cut if you don’t see a Del Monico or flank steak and he can recommend something that works well on the grill. This marinade is terrific and comes together in minutes.  Thanks mom!

My Mom’s Steak Grilling Marinade

3 pounds Del Monico steak or flank steak
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 – 2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 – 2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Marinate for a minimum of 3 hours or up to overnight.

Heat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.  Let the grill reach an internal temperature of about 450 degrees (use your thermostat on the grill to check the temperature).  Turn down the burners to medium.  Place the steaks on the grill. Close the grill.  Do not disturb for 5 – 6 minutes.  Turn steaks over and grill until desired doneness, about 5 – 6 minutes more for rare (or 145 degrees internal temperature), 7 – 10 minutes for medium (150 to 155 degrees), and a few more for well-done meat but seriously, why bother spending money on steak for well-done meat, just make a burger. Just my two cents J

Serve with Southwestern coleslaw or Classic Coleslaw.

Beet, Avocado, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad

Beet::	   Avocado  and Arugula Salad

1-1/2 pounds medium beets
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
2 Hass avocados, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups lightly packed baby arugula
4 ounces (about 1 cup) goat cheese, crumbled or sliced

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a small baking dish, rub the beets all over with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until the beets are tender. Uncover the dish and let the beets cool slightly. Peel the beets and cut them into 1-inch wedges.

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the avocados and arugula with half of the dressing and season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to plates. In the same bowl, toss the beets with the remaining dressing. Spoon the beets over the salad, top with the toasted pine nuts and crumbled cheese and serve.

Greek Yogurt Gazpacho

Cucumber-Gazpacho

Serves 4 – 6

1-1/2 seedless cucumbers, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 green tomatoes or red if not available, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded
2 tablespoons parsley
1/4 cup fresh dill
Juice of 2 lemons
¼ cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup Greek-style plain yogurt

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process in batches in food processor until fairly smooth, chill and serve. Use a little water to thin if soup is too thick.

Watermelon Sorbet

watermelon-sorbet

Serves 4

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups watermelon
¾ cup mini chocolate chips

In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, cook the sugar, water and lemon juice together, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.Remove from heat and chill.

Cut up the watermelon and remove all seeds. Puree with a hand blender or a food processor. Add the chilled syrup and blend.

Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. At end of cycle add in mini chocolate chips, if using.

Pack into an airtight container and store in the freezer.

Salmon with Yogurt Zaatar Sauce

zaatar-yogurt-dip

It’s the nine days and we need to keep the meals fresh, flavorful and light! I love this zesty dip with simple baked salmon. Its amazing for lunch or dinner and the sauce makes a great dip for vegetables. It’s different, excites the palate and saves some calories for dessert later!

The zaatar sauce is a great addition to salmon. I love the combination of lemon and zaatar with fish. It is a great alternative to traditional tartar sauce. You can serve raw vegetables with the Zaatar sauce as an appetizer too.

Serves 5

Zaatar Sauce:
8 ounces Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons Zaatar spice (available in most national markets or in Persian markets, Pereg makes it)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh or dried dill

Salmon:
5 (5 ounce) pieces salmon filet or large piece of salmon
kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil

For the sauce:
Mix together yogurt, zaatar, lemon zest, juice, and dill (if its too thick add a little water). Chill at least 2 hours or overnight to develop flavors. Serve with fish.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season salmon with salt, lemon juice and olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Alternatively, you can grill the salmon or poach it. Serve with Zaatar sauce

Crispy Kani Slaw with Spicy Mayo

Serves 8 appetizer portions

This is a recipe from “CHIC MADE SIMPLE” by Esther Deutsch. I like it so much that I keep it in my refrigerator for lunch, along side an omelette, atop a green salad or with crackers. I serve it as an appetizer on Shabbos too.

2 English cucumbers
10 ounces kani, (imitation crab meat) shredded
Black and white sesame seeds, garnish

Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise (I use a little less)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon honey

Slice the cucumbers in half and scrape out the seeds. Slice them thin and mix with the kani.

For the dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Stir in the cucumber and kani. Top with sesame seeds if using.

Pan Roasted Maple Halibut with Herbed Pistou

orange-maple-sablefish

Serves 4

Fish:
4 (5 ounce) pieces Halibut or other meaty fish
1/4 cup maple syrup
Zest of 1 orange (about 1 1/2 tsp.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Fresh herb pistou:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium shallot
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Prepare fish:
Combine maple syrup and orange zest and pour into a shallow dish just large enough to hold fish. Arrange fish skin side up in glaze and let marinate 20 minutes at room temperature.

Place large cast-iron or other pan (don’t use nonstick) over medium-high heat on stovetop until very hot, 2 to 4 minutes. Add fish, glaze side down, and cook just until the glaze has browned and created a thin crust, 15 to 30 seconds. Immediately turn fish skin side down and sear until sizzling and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Put in oven to roast until opaque in the center, 3 to 4 minutes.

For the herb pistou:
Purée ingredients in a blender.

Serve fish warm or room temperature with herb pistou.

Mushroom and Spinach Frittata

mushroomspinach-frittata

Serves 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 (10-ounce bag) presliced mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach, rinsed
8 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or mozzarella
2 tablespoons low-fat milk

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy 10 or 12-inch nonstick skillet and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring or tossing often, until they begin to sweat and soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and the garlic, and stir together until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the spinach, a handful at a time and stir until wilted. Turn up the heat and let any excess liquid evaporate from the pan, then remove from the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in salt and pepper to taste, the milk, and the mushroom and spinach mixture. Add the Parmesan.

Heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat in the skillet until it feels hot. Pour in the egg mixture, scraping all of it in with a rubber spatula. Swirl the pan to distribute the eggs and filling evenly over the surface. Shake the pan gently, tilting it slightly with one hand while lifting up the edges of the frittata with the spatula in your other hand, to let the eggs run underneath during the first few minutes of cooking. Once a few layers of egg have cooked turn the heat down to low, cover (use a pizza pan if you don’t have a lid that will fit your skillet), and cook about 10 minutes, shaking the pan gently every once in a while, but making sure it cooks through.

Remove from the heat, and cool a bit.. Loosen the edges with a spatula. Carefully slide from the pan onto a large round platter. Cut into wedges. Serve hot, warm, room temperature, or cold.

Lamb Chops with Pepper and Olive Caponata

Lamb chop

Serves 4
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
3 red or yellow bell peppers (about 1 1/4 pounds), thinly sliced
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Scant 1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons drained capers
¼ cup chopped kalamata olives
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar mixed with 3/4 cup of water
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
8 small lamb chops (5 to 6 ounces each)

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large, deep skillet, heat the 1/3 cup of olive oil until shimmering. Add the peppers, onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the raisins, capers, olives and sugar. Add the vinegar mixture and simmer over low heat until the peppers are very tender and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Heat a cast-iron grill pan until very hot. Brush the lamb chops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chops over high heat until they are lightly charred, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the grill pan to the oven and roast the chops for 3 minutes for medium meat. Serve the lamb chops with the caponata.

Foccacia with Roasted Salmon and Summer Vegetables

Recipe from DASH, Inspired Kosher Recipes for the Seasoned Palate
Contributed by Avi Pifko, grilling expert and aficionado.

prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 5 minutes plus topping cooking time
serves 6-8

1 ear of corn
½ pound salmon fillet
2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cleaned
Purchased regular or whole wheat pizza dough, thawed
¼ cup purchased hummus
One (8-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, cut into strips

Corn: Place corn in a small pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. When cool, hold corn vertically and slice down, removing kernels.

Salmon: Preheat oven to 400 degreesG. Place salmon on a piece of foil and drizzle with ½ teaspoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast in oven until cooked through, approximately 16 minutes. When cool, flake salmon into large pieces.

Asparagus: In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil. Place asparagus in water for 3 minutes or until they turn bright green. Remove and place in a bowl filled with ice water. Drain and set aside.

Pizza: Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Roll pizza dough to 1/8-Ginch thickness and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Quickly and firmly flip dough onto grill, oiled side down, making sure to lay dough flat on grill. Baste top of dough with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and grill for 1-2 minutes or until bubbles begin to form on top and dough does not stick when lifted. Flip dough, close grill lid and grill for another 1-2 minutes, checking for doneness after 1 minute.

Toppings: Remove pizza dough from grill and spread with hummus. Top with red peppers, corn, asparagus and salmon. Return pizza to grill on low heat for 1-2 minutes (or to preheated 300 degree Goven for 5 minutes). Remove pizza from grill or oven, slice and serve.

SIMPLIFY: Substitute frozen corn for fresh. Defrost and slice kernels off of cob.

COOK’S TIP: Try different vegetables as toppings. String beans add a nice crunch and can substitute the asparagus when not in season.

Coffee Cajun Rubbed NY Strip Steak

Recipe from DASH, Inspired Kosher Recipes for the Seasoned Palate
Contributed by Avi Pifko, grilling expert and aficionado

Coffee lends a beautiful deep flavor that brings out the boldness of the steak and perks up your meal!

prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 8-10 minutes
serves 2

4 tablespoons ground bold espresso beans
1¼ tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning or cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Olive oil, for brushing on steak
2 shell strip steaks, 1-inch thick (may also be called kosher NY strip steaks)

Prep: In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients until blended. Lightly brush steaks with olive oil and season steak liberally with dry rub.

Grill: Preheat grill to high and place steaks on the grill. Grill approximately 4 minutes per side, turning only once, for medium-rare; grill 6 minutes per side for medium doneness. Remove steaks from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

DO AHEAD: Dry rub can be prepared ahead and stored in a tightly closed container up to 2 months.

Cook’s Note: This recipe works beautifully on a boneless fillet steak and a rib eye steak.

Recipes of the Week

This week from the authors of DASH, Inspired Kosher Recipes for the Seasoned Palate (a publication by Torah Academy for Girls in Far Rockaway) shares two great recipes. Get the book at www.getyourdash.com for a special promotional price of $22 with a free BBQ menu. Or submit to win one in our giveaway section. The book has everything from traditional to bbq, to great dishes for all palates. Try these just to wet your appetite!
Coffee Cajun Rubbed NY Strip Steak
Foccacia with Roasted Salmon and Summer Vegetables

Chipotle Maple Sauce

Chipotle sauce

Makes 1 cup

2 chipotles in adobo, seeded
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, non-fish
2 tablespoons margarine, softened

In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and puree until smooth. Scrape into a small saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes, until glossy. Use on chicken, turkey and beef.