Pecan Pie Bars

pecanpiebar

Serves 12
Crust:
2-1/2 sticks cold unsalted margarine or butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour sifted with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the margarine with the sugars at medium speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer at low speed, beat in the sifted flour-and-salt mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on the 2 long sides. Transfer the dough to the pan and press it over the bottom and 1 1/4 inches up the side all around. Refrigerate until firm.

Bake the crust for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown; halfway through baking, use the back of a spoon to smooth the sides and corners of the crust. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the crust cool before filling.

4 tablespoons unsalted margarine
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup dark brown sugar
5 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, melt the unsalted margarine over moderate heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the light corn syrup and dark brown sugar, then whisk in the eggs until thoroughly blended. Whisk in the vanilla extract and salt and stir in the pecans halves until combined.

Pour the pecan filling into the prebaked pie bar crust and bake for about 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely. Cut into bars and serve.

The pecan pie bars can be refrigerated overnight. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Lemon Bars with Cranberries

lemonbar
Serves 12
Crust:
2-1/2 sticks cold unsalted margarine or butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour sifted with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the margarine with the sugars at medium speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer at low speed, beat in the sifted flour-and-salt mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on the 2 long sides. Transfer the dough to the pan and press it over the bottom and 1 1/4 inches up the side all around. Refrigerate until firm.

Bake the crust for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown; halfway through baking, use the back of a spoon to smooth the sides and corners of the crust. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the crust cool before filling.

1 cup cranberries
2-3/4 cups granulated sugar
Pinch of ground cloves
1/4 cup water
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a saucepan, simmer the cranberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar, the cloves and water over moderately low heat until the berries pop and the liquid thickens, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain and press the puree through a fine sieve set over a bowl and let cool completely.
In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 2 1/2 cups of sugar with the eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour.
Mix 1 cup of the lemon filling into the cranberry puree; pour the rest of the lemon filling into the crust. Swirl in the cranberry-lemon mixture. Bake for 35 minutes, or until set. Transfer the pan to a rack; let cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

I make these a day or two ahead of time. The bars can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Olive Oil Cake

olive_oil_cake_600_600
Olive oil cake is not only perfect for Hanukkah but also a big food trend. Its rich and flavorful. I like to serve it with caramel sauce and some roasted or poached fruit and all its juices. You can make some baked apples or poached pears and serve them along side the cake for the ultimate Thanksgivvukah finale.

Serves 10
2 large eggs
1-2/3 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 cup olive oil (use a mild extra virgin)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375°. Butter a 10-in. round and 2-in.-deep cake pan. Set a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit, inside, then grease parchment and dust pan with flour. Set aside.

Beat eggs in a large bowl with a mixer, using the whisk attachment, until frothy. Gradually add sugar and beat on high speed until mixture is pale and leaves a ribbon when you lift whisk, 6 to 8 minutes; scrape bowl halfway through.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk non-dairy milk, oil, and lemon zest and juice together in a large measuring cup.

Add one-third of dry ingredients, then half of wet ingredients to egg mixture, beating after each addition until smooth; continue until all are added and stop a couple of times to scrape inside of bowl.

Pour batter into prepared pan and set in oven. Immediately turn down heat to 350°. Bake until cake pulls away from pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.

Cool on a rack 15 minutes, then loosen cake from pan with a knife. Turn out onto a plate, remove parchment, and carefully flip cake back onto rack. Let cool completely. Serve with caramel sauce or some fruit compote.

Make ahead: Up to 2 days, wrapped airtight.

Sweet Potato Latkes

SONY DSC

Traditional latkes are great too. Potatoes work for both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. I figure everyone has a good traditional recipe so I tasted and tested (this has been a yummy week) and decided on this great Thanksgivvukah combo, sweet potato and latke mashup.

Makes 48 latkes
2-1/4 pounds (3 large) red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled

3 large eggs

6 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for frying


Prep: Finely grate potatoes in a food processor. Press to remove all liquid and place in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, except oil, and mix well.

Fry: Coat bottom of a large skillet with oil and heat over medium heat. Drop batter, by tablespoonful, into the skillet. Press with a spatula to 1½-inch rounds. Fry until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel-lined plates. Continue until batter is finished, draining off liquid that accumulates in batter and adding oil to the skillet as needed. Serve hot.
Optional: serve with Cranberry Apple Sauce

Cranberry Apple Sauce

Cranberries and apples are amazing together. The perfect sweet and tart combination. This one is great for both latkes and turkey and therefore is part of our Thanksgivvukah menu.

Serves 8
6 pounds apples, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (try a combination of Gala, Granny Smith, or any local apples you can find)
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cinnamon sticks
6 -7 tablespoons sugar
1-1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a large saucepan, combine apples, cranberries, cinnamon stick, sugar, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. (If sauce begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add 2 to 4 tablespoons more water.) Stir in lemon juice.

Easy Lemon Baked Sole with Breadcrumb Topping

Baked-Lemon-Sole
Serves 4

This is so easy and fresh tasting. My entire family enjoys it. I usually serve it with mushroom pasta and a crisp salad. It’s a great weeknight meal that is also light.

For bread crumb mixture:
¾ cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons ground nuts (optional)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

For Sole or Flounder:
4 sole fillets, rinsed and patted dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons capers

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, lemon zest, nuts and cheese. Set aside.
Season fish with salt and pepper. Place 4 fillets in a single layer on a greased 9 by 13-inch oven-safe dish. In a small saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of butter and add the lemon juice and capers. Pour butter mixture over fish, and sprinkle tops with breadcrumb mixture. Spray the fish with non-stick cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.

Seriously Delicious Ribs

ribs

Serves 4 – 6

These are just seriously good and oh, so easy! They have smoky depth from the instant espresso and chipotle powder, plus sweetness from the Prosecco. The recipe works on roasts as well, just adjust the cooking time.

Dry Rub
½ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon chipotle powder or chili powder (optional, but I always use it)
3 – 3 ½ lbs. beef ribs

Glaze
1 cup sparkling white wine, like Prosecco or champagne
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (non-fish brand)
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Add all the dry rub ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Rub all over the ribs, coating all sides. Place in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets or in a roasting pan and let sit, covered in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Place the glaze ingredients in a small pot and cook over medium heat until just hot.

Remove ribs from the refrigerator. Pour the glaze over the ribs. Cover the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil and cook for 2 ½ hours, or until tender. Rotate the pans halfway through cooking if on two separate racks.

Remove from the oven. Pour the liquid into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and let it cook until the liquid reduces by half and is thick, about 20- 25 minutes.

Brush the glaze on to the ribs. Heat the broiler. Set the ribs under the broiler until the glaze caramelizes, 1-2 minutes. DO NOT burn them! Serve with remaining glaze. (I like the ribs with this crust on the top, but if you prefer, serve them with glaze and skip the broiling step).

Gooey Chocolate Cherry Cake

choc-cake
From the forthcoming book JOY OF KOSHER: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes by Jamie Geller. Copyright (c) 2013 by Jamie Geller. To be published on October 15, 2013 by William Morrow Cookbooks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.

Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 1 hour
Cool: 15 minutes
Tota: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 9 servings

For great moist chocolate cakes, the best of the best recipes call for buttermilk. If you go nondairy, you can use soy milk, but it just ain’t the same. yes you can make a homemade version of buttermilk with soy milk and some lemon juice, but I also love using soy sour cream for that really moist texture. I think it’s pretty ingenious.

The coffee really brings out the flavor of the chocolate, and the orange zest gives off little hints of fanciness. Oh, and the cherries – well, you gotta love cherries – and chocolate. I like how they sound together, and I looove how they taste together. This is going to become your favorite easy-as-cake chocolate cake recipe.

Ingredients:
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
One 12-ounce container soy sour cream
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
Grated zest of 1 small orange
One 3-1/2-ounce bar 72% cacao bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups frozen pitted cherries, thawed and drained well
Cooking spray

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly spray one 9×13-inch baking pan or two 8-inch square baking pans with cooking spray.
2. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, canola oil and soy sour cream and mix until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Gently fold in the coffee and orange zest. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake immediately.
3. After 20 minutes, remove the pans from the oven. Sprinkle the chocolate and arrange the cherries on top. Return to the oven and continue baking until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes or more.
4. Cool the cake for 15 minutes in the pan. Serve warm or allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Variation
For a classic moist, rich chocolate cake, omit the cherries.

Dress it up
Red Wine Chocolate Cherry Cake

Replace the coffee with 1 cup dry red wine for a richer treat and stencil a bow, star, heart, or other shape or message of your choice on top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

Draw and cut out the desired shape on thick cardstock paper. Remove the cooled cake from the pan and place the stencil on top. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Carefully remove the stencil and you’ll be left with a beautiful decoration.

Garlic Honey Brisket

brisket
From the forthcoming book JOY OF KOSHER: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes by Jamie Geller. Copyright (c) 2013 by Jamie Geller. To be published on October 15, 2013 by William Morrow Cookbooks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.

Prep: 10 minutes
Marinate : 1 to 24 hours
Cook: 3 hours 5 minutes
Rest: 15 minutes
Total: 3 hours, 30 minutes, plus marinating time

Yield: 8 servings

I developed this for Rosh Hashanah, pouncing on the chance to add honey to brisket. It’s a tender, rich entree for the holiday, but not overly sweet. This is destined to be one of your favorite brisket recipes; turn to it like an old friend whenever you need a good showing.

Ingredients
1 cup honey
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 4-pound brisket
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour

1. Combine the honey, mustard, garlic, orange and lemon juices, red pepper flakes, thyme, salt and pepper in a medium bowl, whisking to blend well. Place the brisket in a resealable plastic bag. Add the marinade, seal, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the brisket from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.

3. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof Dutch oven over medium heat. Remove the brisket from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Add the brisket to the oil and sear it until nicely browned, about 5 minutes per side. Pour the reserved marinade over the brisket, cover, place it in the oven, and bake for 2 hours. Remove the lid and continue to cook until tender, 30 minutes to 1 hour more. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let rest at least 15 minutes before slicing against the grain.

4. Return the Dutch oven to the stovetop and bring the pan juices to a simmer. (Skim off some fat if there’s more than 1 to 2 tablespoons in the pan.) Whisk in the flour and simmer until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the gravy over the sliced brisket and serve.

Dress it Down
Honey Brisket Pita Pockets
Stuff slices of brisket in warmed pita bread with chopped crisp lettuce and drizzle with sauce.

Tomato Basil Tarte Tatin

tomato-basil-tarte-tatin

This week I had the great opportunity to present a cooking demo to the women’s organization at Mesitva Ateres Yaakov in the 5 Towns. Thank you for having me and it was a lot of fun for all. At the event, I spoke to a lot of women one on one and each person has their own set of unique food dilemmas in their homes from picky eaters – we all have them, weeknight boredom with dinner, struggling with healthy eating, to more shabbos recipes. I cannot tackle each of these topics in one week but certainly hope that each week I can present a recipe or two that deals with these issues. Many women asked me for some side dish ideas suggestions. So here goes. I love this tomato tarte tatin. It is beautiful in presentation and very delicious yet simple. Ive also been making Couscous with Pinenuts. Its light and delicious and a nice alternative to rice. Check out all the side dish choices and try something new!

Serves 10

50 vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Large pinch of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup bread crumbs
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 pound store-bought puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
Small bunch of fresh basil or mint leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat oil in an oven-proof skillet. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and honey. Arrange together as tightly as possible. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the bread crumbs – this will soak up some of the juice which come out of the tomatoes during cooking. Then add the fresh basil.

On a well-floured counter, roll out a circle of puff pastry the same size as the top of the skillet. Place the puff pastry over the tomatoes, tucking it around them so the tomatoes are snugly tucked in. 

Brush the pastry with the lightly beaten egg on the top only.

Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the puff pastry is well puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes, then tip away the excess liquid (if any) and put a large plate upside down on top of the skillet. Using oven gloves, press the plate down hard and then quickly flip the whole thing so the skillet is upside down and the plate is on the bottom. I do this over the sink because there is usually some leakage! 

Remove the skillet. Add the fresh basil leaves.

Cobb Salad with Sweet Roasted Onion Dressing

cobbsalad
So often people serve deli salad (as they call it), you know the one with sliced deli in it and a sweet dressing. It’s a good salad and lots of men love it but it got me started on creating a newer, better version, one kinda like a traditional cobb salad you find in restaurants but without all the treif ingredients. Here is my new deli salad and I love it. The dressing is awesome, sweet roasted onions and garlic, with naturally sweetened apple cider vinegar and some neutral oil. Make sure to season it with salt and pepper to get the flavors to really jump out. The salad is bright and fun and full of vegetables, meat (I love using Jack’s Gourmet, Facon, its the best imitation bacon on the market!), and crunch. The salad is a great appetizer or a light dinner.

Serves 6

DRESSING
6 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 large Vidalia onions (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and quartered through the core
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

SALAD
10 lightly packed cups mixed lettuces (8 ounces)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup cooked fresh or canned corn kernels
1 cup sliced cucumber
1/2 cup crumbled cooked IMITATION bacon or sliced pastrami
1 Hass avocado, peeled and diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced lengthwise

For the dressing: Preheat the oven to 425°. Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the onions with oil and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, until the onions and garlic are lightly charred and soft. Let cool.

Peel the garlic and transfer the cloves to a blender. Add the onions, cider vinegar and lemon juice and puree until smooth. With the blender on, gradually add the 1 1/4 cups of vegetable oil until incorporated. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the lettuces with 1/2 cup of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Arrange the remaining ingredients on top and drizzle the dressing over the salad or pass the remaining dressing at the table.

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Barbeque Sauce Dressing

TRB_GrilledVeggieSalad_Still2

Serves 10

I make this salad whenever I have leftover grilled vegetables, steak or chicken or when I feel like barbeque flavors AND a really light meal. With weather this good, bbq season is not over yet. The dressing is creamy and tastes like a barbeque vinaigrette. The grilled vegetables and protein, make it hearty and full of color. Use any vegetables you like, but make sure they are grilled!

For the dressing:
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili powder or smoked paprika
2 tablespoons non-dairy sour cream or sour cream
1 tablespoon honey
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
For the grilled vegetables:
1 zucchini, sliced into ½ inch thick pieces
1 red onion, sliced in half and then in slices
1 red pepper, cut in large pieces
1 yellow pepper, cut in large pieces
3 tablespoons canola oil

For the salad:
1 bunch of arugula, leaves torn
5 cups romaine lettuce in bite size pieces
Croutons, optional

For the dressing:
In a large bowl, whisk the barbecue sauce with the olive oil, lemon juice, chili powder, sour cream (if you are dairy sensitive or do not eat dairy, use Tofutti non-dairy sour cream, it works perfectly as a substitute). Now add the honey and season it with salt and pepper.

For the vegetables:
You can check out my video on how to make grilled vegetables for extra tips and I’ll include a vegetable grilling chart so you can have an easy guide to cooking times for each vegetable.

But for this salad, all you need to do is, brush the vegetables with canola oil. Heat a grill to medium heat, approximately 375-450 degrees. Place the vegetables on the grill. Cook them for 2- 3 minutes, undisturbed with the cover on. Turn vegetables over and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. The onions may take a little longer. (You can alternatively roast the vegetables in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes each).

In a large salad bowl, mix together both types of lettuce, zucchini, onions, peppers, and steak, chicken or croutons, if you are using them. Pour dressing over salad and toss it gently. Serve it immediately.

Zucchini with Basil and Tomatoes

Serves 8

3 tablespoons olive oil
7 zucchini, peeled and chopped in ½ inch pieces
2 large fresh cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the zucchini and garlic and cook on medium high heat until softened and a little bit browned about 12-15 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix until it coats the zucchini. Mix in the basil, and kosher salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be made 2 days in advance of serving.

Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad

chickpea-salad

Healthy and fresh. I love to serve this at a day time meal. It keeps well for days.

Serves 6 to 8

1 large English cucumber
3 medium tomatoes
¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, more as needed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Halve the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. If the cucumber is very fat, cut it in half lengthwise again. Cut the cucumber crosswise into ½ inch wide half-moons and put in a large bowl.

Core the tomatoes, cut into ½ inch wedges, and add to the bowl along with the onion, chickpeas, herbs, vinegar, and olive oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Toss to combine thoroughly. Taste and add more salt or vinegar as needed.

Easy Chili Curry Roasted Chicken

Lolas Lechen Style Marinated Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce. A121002_FW_BillKim_4thJuly_July2013

Serves 10

CHICKEN
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup white vinegar
9 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup oregano leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons sweet paprika
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
Kosher salt
Three 3-1/2-pound chickens

PREPARE THE CHICKEN
In a bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, paprika, chile powder, curry and 2 tablespoons of salt. Arrange the chickens in a dish and pour the marinade over the chickens, rubbing it all over the birds. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Set a rack on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Remove the chickens from the marinade, scraping off any excess.

Roast the chickens for about 1 hour, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh reaches 160, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Transfer the chickens to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Sweet and Smoky Ribs

sweet-smoky-ribs
Serves 4

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon (packed) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
4 (4-1/2 pounds) beef ribs, in racks,
Prepared barbecue sauce

Whisk garlic powder, salt, brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, pepper, cumin, onion powder, cinnamon, and coriander in a small bowl to blend. Preheat oven to 300°. Rub ribs all over with spice blend and wrap each rack individually in foil, crimping seams to seal tightly. Place both racks on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake ribs until fork-tender, about 3 hours. Preheat oven to 425°. Cut racks between bones into individual ribs. Divide ribs between 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets and bake until heated through and golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Layer ribs on plates in alternating directions, 3 ribs per layer. Serve ribs, with barbeque sauce.

Summer Corn and Tomato Salad

summer-corntomato-salad

A great and easy summer side dish!

Serves 6 to 8

Kosher salt
3 large ears corn
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, more as needed
1 large shallot, minced
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium bell pepper, finely diced
½ small red onion, finely diced
½ medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ inch chunks
¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cut the kernels from the corn, add the kernels to the pot and cook for 1 ½ minutes (they should be a little crunchy). Pour into a colander and run cool water over the corn to stop the cooking. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, shallot, honey, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and whisk to combine. Combine the corn, tomatoes, pepper, onion, cucumber, and cilantro in a medium bowl, drizzle with about half of the dressing, and toss gently with your hands. Add more dressing as needed to coat the vegetables lightly and toss again. Taste and add more salt or vinegar as needed.

Mango Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing

mango-crunch-salad
I’m feeling kinda crazy for mangos these days. They are just so reliably good this summer that I’m buying them by the case. My family may be getting tired of mango sorbet (how could they, its just so good) so I’m adding them to everything from Panzanella salad, salsa, and these two great recipes below. They add a sweetness to anything so don’t be shy to try them in anything you like.

Serves 4 – 6

3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
Salt
8 large radishes, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
6 cups mixed baby greens, washed and dried
1 large or 2 small mangoes, peeled, fruit cut off the seed and cubed
2 cups peeled and cubed jicama (cut into about 1/2-inch cubes)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

In a medium bowl, whisk the peanut butter and lime juice until smooth. Add the brown sugar, vegetable oil and some salt and whisk until combined. Add enough water to thin the sauce and give it a dressing-like consistency, about 2 to 3 tablespoons. 

Place the radishes, greens, mangoes, jicama and cilantro in a large bowl and toss together. 

Drizzle with the dressing, toss and serve.

Snow Peas Tossed with Ginger & Almonds

snowpeas-ginger-almond

1 pound snow peas
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon peeled, chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chile paste or chile sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil plus 4 whole sprigs
Soy sauce
½ cup almonds, toasted and chopped, optional

Pinch off the stem ends of the snow peas and remove any strings, if any. Heat the oil in a wok or high-sided large sauté pan over high heat until very hot. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté over high heat until fragrant.

Add the snow peas and toss, stir frying for about 2 minutes, add the chile paste, honey and the 2 teaspoons of basil and cook until the snow peas are crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with the soy sauce, add the almonds, and toss well.

To serve, transfer the snow peas to a serving platter. Garnish with the basil sprigs and serve immediately.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

peanutbutter-sandwichcookies
Makes about 3 dozen small sandwich cookies

Emuna sent me this recipe. She is always the first to try anything with peanut butter and chocolate. They are from Food and Wine magazine and we just did a little pareve revision. They are divine. Thanks!

For the cookies:
6 ounces (1-1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
2 ounces (2/3 cup) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces (12 tablespoons) unsalted margarine or butter, completely softened at room temperature
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

For the filling:
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted margarine or butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons pareve whipping cream
1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate, or mini semisweet chocolate chips

To make the cookies
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. In a medium bowl, sift together the two flours, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the margarine, peanut butter, and sugars with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg; continue creaming until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes with an electric mixer (longer by hand). Stir in the flour mixture by hand just until it’s incorporated; don’t overmix or the cookies will be tough. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter, spaced about 2 inches apart, onto the lined baking sheets. With floured fingers, flatten each dab of batter into a 2-inch round. Bake until the cookies are puffed and golden, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets if needed for even baking. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.

Instead of cross-hatching with a fork, use your fingers to press and decorate.
While the cookies cool, make the filling

In a small bowl, cream the confectioners’ sugar, margarine, and peanut butter until smooth. Add the pareve cream or heavy cream; continue creaming until smooth and fluffy. Stir in the chopped peanuts and chocolate.

To assemble
Transfer the cooled cookies to a work surface, flipping half of them over. With an offset spatula or a butter knife, spread a scant teaspoon of filling onto each turned-over cookie. Set another wafer on top of each filled cookie, pressing gently to spread the filling. Store sealed at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Ginger Crumb Topping

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I get tons of requests for strawberry rhubarb recipes. It’s rhubarb season so here you go!

Makes One 9-inch Pie

Crust
1 cup flour, more for rolling
7 tablespoons cold unsalted margarine, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons ice-cold water, more as needed
1 ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Filling
2 ½ cups (about 3 large stalks) rhubarb, sliced ¼ inch thick on the diagonal
2 ½ cups hulled and halved strawberries (quarter any very large ones)
2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Crumb Topping
2/3 cup flour
5 tablespoons cold unsalted margarine, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

To make the crust:
Put the flour, margarine, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and put in the freezer for 20 minutes. Remove the bowl from the freezer and put it on the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Combine the ice water and vinegar in a small measuring cup. With the mixer running, slowly add it to the flour mixture. Add just enough for the mixture to come together into shaggy clumps; if you use all the liquid and it is still not holding together, add cold water 1 teaspoon at a time until it does. Be careful not to overmix the dough, or it will become tough.

Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap, shape into a 5 inch disk, and wrap in the plastic. Chill for at least 30 minutes or up to a few days.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12 ½ inch circle about 1/8 inch thick.

Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish by either folding the dough into quarters and unfolding it in the dish or rolling the dough around a rolling pin and unrolling it into the dish. Tuck the excess dough under the edges to create a double thickness and a smooth edge. Then pinch the dough every 2 inches to form a decorative border. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling and crumb topping (at least 20 minutes).


To make the filling:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the filling ingredients and toss gently to combine.

To make the crumb topping:
In another medium bowl, combine the crumb topping ingredients. Using a pastry blender or two table knives, cut the mixture until the biggest pieces of butter are about the size of small peas. The mixture will still be very dry and floury looking.

To assemble and bake:
Spoon the rhubarb mixture into the piecrust, then top with the crumb mixture. Place the pie on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until the crust is dark golden brown, the filling is bubbling, and some juices are spilling over the edge, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

Tip: if the dough has been in the fridge overnight or longer, let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes prior to rolling. (It needs to have a bit of give). If it has been refrigerated for only a couple of hours, you can roll it out immediately.

Heirloom Carrot Ribbons with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins

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Gorgeous orange ribbons with nuts and sweet raisins. Lovely to look at and terrific to eat.

Serves 6 to 8

1/3 cup golden raisins
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar, more as needed
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
15 small carrots (about 1 ¼ pounds)
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Put the raisins in a small bowl and add about ½ cup very hot boiling water. Set aside to soften for about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, ½ teaspoon salt, and a few grinds pepper. Set aside.

With a vegetable peeler or mandoline, peel the carrots into thin ribbons and put in a large bowl along with the pine nuts and parsley. Drain the raisins, pat dry, and add them to the bowl as well.

Drizzle the dressing over the carrots and mix well with your hands. Taste and season with more salt or vinegar as needed. Serve right away.

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear and Pudding Cake

caramel-pear-pudding
Serves 6 – 8

I like this best made dairy. You can make the caramel sauce pareve and its still great.

2/3 cup good-quality caramel sauce, warmed
2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
3/4 cup cranberries
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup pareve milk
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted

Coat the cooking insert of a 5- to 6-qt. slow-cooker* all over with cooking-oil spray. Evenly spread caramel on bottom, then top with an even layer of pears. Sprinkle with cranberries.

Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, pareve milk, and butter in a medium bowl until mostly smooth with only tiny lumps remaining. Pour over fruit and spread with a spatula to cover evenly.

Cover and cook until a toothpick inserted in cake portion comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes on high or 2 1/4 hours on low.

Remove basin from slow-cooker and let pudding cake cool 5 minutes. Spoon onto plates, pear side up, and dollop with crème fraîche.

*You can use a 4-qt. slow-cooker, but may need to increase the cooking time.

Fennel, Orange, and Avocado Salad

Super refreshing for the summer. I love the combination of fennel and orange. The avocado just mellows it all out.

Serves 4

4 medium oranges, segmented into pieces
1 large or 2 small heads fennel, with fronds
1 small shallot, minced
Juice from ½ medium lemon
1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium avocados

Arrange orange slices on 4 salad plates, leaving room in the center of each for the fennel salad. Set aside.

Trim off all but about ½ inch of the fennel stalks, reserving the bulb and fronds. Remove the first outer layer of fennel and discard. Rinse the remaining bulb and set aside.

Chop 1 tablespoon fennel fronds and put them in a small bowl along with the shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Whisk to blend, then drizzle in the olive oil as you continue to whisk. Taste for salt.

Halve the fennel bulb, cutting lengthwise through the narrow side of the bulb (this will make it easier to shave thinly.) using a sharp knife (or mandoline or food processor), slice the fennel crosswise as thinly as you can- about 1/16 inch is ideal. (Too thick and it will dominate the salad; too thin and it will wilt and loose its texture.) Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with half the dressing. Toss, taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Divide the fennel among the 4 plates, mounding in the center of the orange slices.

Halve the avocado lengthwise, remove the pit, and cut 1/4-inch slices into the flesh. Using a large spoon, scoop the slices out and nestle them on and around the mounds of fennel. Sprinkle a little salt over the avocado then drizzle the remaining vinaigrette all over the salad. Finish with a bit of pepper.

Grilled Chicken with Peach and Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

by Lois Held

Southerners love their barbecue sauce on the sweet side. This version also has a slight “kick”.

Ingredients:
Sauce:
2 medium peaches (about 1 pound total), peeled and diced*
1 1/2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 – 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup catsup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons peach preserves
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper, depending on taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1 (3-1/2 – 4 pound) chicken, cut into eights, washed and dried **
Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Directions:
Make the sauce: Peel (see below) and dice the peaches and set aside.

In a sauce pan (4-qt), heat the oil. Over medium heat, cook the onion about 3 minutes; stirring so they do not brown. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Add the remaining sauce ingredients, bring to a boil, stir and reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the peaches are very soft. When adding the cayenne pepper, start with a little and increase according to the amount of heat you like. Stir occasionally so the sauce does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.

When the peaches are soft, remove from heat and puree using an immersion blender. The sauce does not have to be totally smooth. Can also use a blender but be careful when blending hot liquids. Set aside.

While the sauce is cooking, preheat the grill. I usually preheat my gas grill for 20 – 30 minutes. When the grill is ready, carefully oil the grids. Place the chicken pieces on the grill, skin side down, and close the grill lid. Lower the heat so that the outside of the chicken does not cook faster than the inside. Depending on your grill, cook for about 10 minutes or until the skin is brown. Watch for flair-ups from the drippings. Turn the chicken; now it is skin side up. Continue cooking for about 10 – 12 minutes.

After about 5 – 6 minutes, baste the top of the chicken with the Peach Sauce. Continue grilling with the lid closed. After a few minutes, baste again. When the chicken is almost done, give it a final basting and turn over, skin side down. Baste the top of the chicken. Watch it carefully as the sauce burns because of the sugar. Turn the chicken over again and baste. Continue turning and basting for a few minutes or until the chicken is nicely browned and done. Do not allow it to burn. Internal temperature of cooked chicken is 180 degrees.

Remove to platter. Give it a final basting with the sauce. Heat the remaining sauce so that it is hot and serve with the chicken.

This makes about 2 cups of barbecue sauce. The sauce can be made in advance; cool, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.

*To peel fresh peaches: make an “X” on the bottom of the peach, bringing the “X” up part of the sides. Place peaches into a pot of boiling water for about 20 – 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove from boiling water and place on a plate. Using a small knife, pull the skins away from the peach.

**Wash and dry the chicken with paper towels. Place pieces on a cookie sheet and season both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I leave the skin on as it adds flavor to the chicken. Allow chicken to come to room temperature before grilling.