Chilled Strawberry Sour Cream Soup

This is a recipe from my great Aunt Thelma. All of her recipes were quick and easy but people loved them and this one got passed down to me through my grandmother’s old recipe file.

Serves 5

4 cups (1 quart) strawberries, cleaned and hulled
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
4 cups cold water
½ cup Rose Wine

In a blender or food processor, whirl all the ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate overnight. Garnish with mint and extra whole or cut strawberries.

Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Gratin

photo by Thomas J. Story

photo by Thomas J. Story

Serves 8-10

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey
1 small garlic clove, minced
8 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/8 inch thick
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 275° and brush a large baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, honey and garlic and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the goat cheese and season generously with salt and pepper.

Line the bottom of the baking dish with a slightly overlapping layer of sweet potatoes. Top with 1/4 cup of the goat cheese cream and spread evenly. Repeat the layering with the remaining sweet potatoes and cream, pouring any excess cream on top; you should have about 5 layers.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter and scatter over the sweet potatoes. Cover the casserole with a sheet of buttered foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for 1 hour longer, until the sweet potatoes are tender and the top is golden. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Poblano Peppers Stuffed with Imitation Mexican Crab Salad

mexican-crab-salad

Serves 6

1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained
1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
6 medium poblano chiles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed with a pan
1 pound imitation crab meat, chopped in ½ inch to 1 inch pieces
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1/2 cup crumbled Mexican-style crumbled cheese or any basil or herb crumbled cheese or goat cheese
1 cup cilantro sprigs

Preheat oven to 350°. Whirl red peppers, tomatoes, and 1/2 tsp. salt together in a food processor until puréed. Pour into a wide 4-qt. shallow baking dish or 6 shallow 1-cup baking dishes. Set aside.

Set poblanos over flames on a gas range (or set on a baking sheet and broil). Cook, turning often, until starting to turn black in spots, 8 minutes total. Let cool.

Slit poblanos and remove seeds.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño, and coriander. Cook until softened, 4 minutes. Add imitation crab and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Cook until it starts to turn pink, 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Stir cream and jack cheeses into crab mixture. Spoon into poblanos, dividing evenly. Set chiles in dish with sauce. Bake until filling is oozing and hot, 40 minutes. Top with crumbled Mexican cheese and cilantro.

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

roasted-cauliflower

Serves 4

1 head cauliflower
1 onion, sliced
4 thyme sprigs, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut cauliflower into florets and toss with onions and place them on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with thyme, garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Roast, tossing occasionally, until almost tender, 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan, toss to combine, and roast until cauliflower is tender, 10-12 minutes longer.

Three Cheese Unbaked Cheesecake

unbaked-cheesecake

Serves 10

This is a light and airy cheesecake. The ricotta adds lightness, the cream cheese and mascarpone are super rich and the crunchy crust with amaretti cookies is delicious with it.

Amaretti Crust
3 ounces amaretti cookies (about 20) (or any crunchy cookie)
2 ounces honey graham crackers (about 4 whole crackers), coarsely crushed
Pinch of kosher salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake
1 teaspoon kosher unflavored powdered gelatin
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese or sour cream
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Caramel sauce, blueberries or whipped cream to top it

MAKE THE CRUST
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor, pulse the amaretti with the graham crackers and salt until finely ground. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and stir in the butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and halfway up the side of an 8-inch springform pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the crust is set. Cool on a rack.

MAKE THE CHEESECAKE
In a microwave-safe dish, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cold water; let stand until the gelatin is softened, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form; refrigerate.

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar and salt with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the mascarpone and lemon juice.

Microwave the gelatin until melted, 5 seconds; scrape into the cream cheese mixture and beat until incorporated. Fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and smooth the surface. Refrigerate the cake until firm and set, 3 hours.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

creamytomato

Makes 8 cups

2 stalks celery
1 small onion
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 cup butter, cubed and divided
2 (28 ounces) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounces) can pareve chicken broth
1/2 cup – fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 (8 ounces) package low-fat cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons Agave Nectar or 4 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, add celery, onion and garlic, pulse on high 10 to 15 seconds until puréed. Pour purée into large saucepan. Set aside, but do not rinse food processor. 

Add half the butter to vegetables. Sauté over medium heat, about 10 minutes, until fragrant. Add tomatoes, broth and half the chopped basil; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover pot; reduce heat to medium/low; allow to simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Cut cream cheese into 1/2” cubes and place in food processor along with 1 cup of the hot soup. Process on high until cream cheese is dissolved, about 1 minute. Add cream cheese mixture, Agave Nectar and remaining basil and butter to hot soup; stir until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Shredded Caesar Salad on Toasts

Spiced Nuts A120914 Food & Wine Bronson Van Wyck Dec 2012

I saw this recipe in a magazine and thought it was a great twist on Caesar salad and makes a terrific presentation.

Serves 8
1 medium oval country loafor baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 garlic cloves—1 minced and 1 halved
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 2 anchovies mashed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon capers—rinsed, drained and minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 romaine hearts (1-1/2 pounds), finely chopped
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Preheat the broiler. Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the slices 6 inches from the heat for about 3 minutes, turning once, until crisp and golden on the outside but still slightly soft in the center. Rub one side of each slice with the halved garlic.
In a medium bowl, whisk the minced garlic with the lemon juice, anchovy paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and capers. Gradually whisk in the 3/4 cup of olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the romaine with the Parmesan and the dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Mound the salad on the toasts, garnished with shaved cheese.

Roasted Tomatoes with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan

6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Non-stick cooking spray
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup parmesan cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the tomato halves in a lightly greased baking dish, cut-side up. In a small dish, mix olive oil and garlic. Spoon garlic oil on top of tomatoes. Drizzle honey, and sprinkle with panko bread crumbs and paprika. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan (if using). Roast for 20 minutes. 

Remove the tomatoes from the oven and sprinkle with parsley. Drizzle with olive oil.

Notes: This is a terrific side dish anytime of year because good tomatoes are always available. You can omit the cheese if you do not eat dairy. I like to serve them aside a grilled steak or topping my spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce. Readers told me they used them in omelettes and as a pizza topping too. These roasted tomatoes with bread crumbs are good to have around all the time.
roasted-tomatoes-parmesan-s

Roasted Asparagus and Arugula Salad with Shallots and Parmesan

Serves 6

1/3 cup minced shallots (about 2 large)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound slender asparagus, tough ends trimmed
6 cups (lightly packed) arugula (about 5 ounces)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)

Whisk first 5 in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place asparagus spears on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 1/4 cup vinaigrette over and turn to coat, then spread in single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast asparagus until just crisp-tender, about 12 minutes.

Combine arugula, chives, and asparagus in large bowl. Add remaining vinaigrette and toss to coat. Transfer salad to platter; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Magic Bars with Dulce De Leche, Coconut, and Chocolate Chips

201011-r-magic-bars

Makes 18 bars

1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (6 1/2 ounces)
12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup salted roasted almonds, chopped
One 16-ounce jar dulce de leche
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, leaving up to 1 inch of overhang. Spray the paper with vegetable oil spray.

In a medium saucepan, cook the butter over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and browned, about 4 minutes. Scrape the butter into a large bowl and freeze just until solid, about 15 minutes.

Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the sugar, vanilla seeds and egg yolk into the butter at medium speed until blended. Add the flour and salt and beat until moistened crumbs form. Press the crumbs into the prepared baking pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the crust is set and lightly browned.

In the bowl, toss the coconut with the chocolate chips, and almonds.

In another bowl, whisk the dulce de leche with the condensed milk; pour two-thirds of it in the crust. Lightly press the coconut mixture over the dulce de leche. Drizzle the remaining dulce de leche mixture on top.

Bake the bars for 35 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the bars cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Carefully remove the bars from the pan and peel off the paper. Cut into bars and serve.

Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup

creamybroccoli

This soup can be made pareve by using tofutti cream cheese in place of the cream cheese. You can also substitute the butter with margarine. I like it both ways but its fun to make it dairy for Shavuos and its extra creamy because of the real cream cheese.

Serves 6

5 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 pounds broccoli—cut into 1-inch florets, stems reserved for another use
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 ounces cream cheese
3 cups low-sodium pareve chicken broth
Croutons, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°. Wrap the garlic in a foil packet and roast for 50 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile, in a small roasting pan, toss the broccoli with the olive oil and butter and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender.

Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins into a blender. Add the roasted broccoli, cream cheese and broth and puree until smooth. Transfer the soup to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and serve with croutons.

Caramel and Pear Cheesecake Trifle

caramel-cheesecake

Serves 10-12
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 large slightly underripe Bartlett pears—peeled, cored and diced
1 cup store-bought caramel sauce (or salty caramel sauce)
1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups cold heavy cream
8 ounces crunchy cookies (like gingersnaps or sandwich cookies), plus crushed cookies for garnish

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the diced pears. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 8 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pears are tender, 5 minutes. Scrape the pears onto a plate and refrigerate until cool.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Microwave at high power for 5 seconds, just until the gelatin is melted. Transfer the gelatin mixture to a bowl and add the cream cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup of caramel sauce. Using an electric mixer, beat at medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.

In another bowl, whip 1-1/2 cups of the cream until firm peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Spoon one-fourth of the mousse into a medium trifle bowl. Top with one-fourth of the cookies and one-fourth of the pears. Repeat the layering, ending with a layer of pears. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream until soft peaks form. Dollop the cream over the trifle and garnish with crushed gingersnaps.

Spinach Puffs

spinach-puffs

Makes 6 large or 12 mini

These are cute and really tasty.

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped dill
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounce package), thawed, rolled out to a 12-inch square, kept chilled

Using your hands, squeeze spinach until dry, forcing out as much water as possible (too much water will make for a soggy filling; you should have about 2/3 cup well-drained spinach). Mix spinach and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, beat 1 egg to blend; fold into spinach mixture.

Cut puff pastry into 3 equal strips. Reserve 1 strip for another use. Cut each remaining strip into 3 squares for a total of 6. Place a square in each muffin cup, pressing into bottom and up sides and leaving corners pointing up. Divide filling among cups. Fold pastry over filling, pressing corners together to meet in center. DO AHEAD Spinach puffs can be assembled 3 hours ahead. Cover puffs and chill.

Preheat oven to 400°. Beat remaining egg to blend in a small bowl. Brush pastry with egg wash (this will give the pastry a nice sheen). Bake until pastry is golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let puffs cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a sharp paring knife around pan edges to loosen; turn out puffs onto rack to cool slightly before serving.

Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

stuffed-mushroom

Makes 24

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
24 large white button mushrooms (about 2-1/2 inches wide; 2-1/2 lb. total), stemmed; stems finely chopped and caps wiped clean
Kosher salt
¾ cup shredded or grated Parmesan (3 ounces)
3/4 cup panko
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

Melt the butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Set aside 2 Tbs. of the melted butter in a small bowl. Add the mushroom stems and 1/4 tsp. salt to the skillet and cook, stirring often with a wooden spatula, until tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, add 2 Tbs. of the Parmesan and the panko to the reserved melted butter and mix thoroughly; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining Parmesan, the mayonnaise, parsley, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Add the mushroom stems and mix until well combined.

In a large bowl, toss the mushroom caps with the oil. Fill each mushroom cap with a rounded teaspoon of the filling and top each with about 1 tsp. of the panko mixture. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet with space in between. Bake until tender and the topping is golden-brown, about 25 minutes. Cool briefly before serving.

Limoncello Tiramisu

limoncello-tiramisu
Serves 8-10

I saw this recipe in the Wall Street Journal about a year ago. It inspired me to duplicate it in a kosher version for Shavuous. If you like lemon, this one is for you! It’s worth the effort.

5 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1½ cups limoncello

Juice of 6 Meyer lemons, plus zest of 3 Meyer lemons (if you cannot find Meyer lemons – most will not be able to find them, use regular lemons and extra zest)

1 cup water
2 cups mascarpone, at room temperature
40 ladyfingers

Make zabaglione: Set a metal bowl over a pot to create a double boiler. Add enough water to pot to reach just below bottom of bowl. Separate eggs, putting yolks in bowl of double boiler and setting whites aside. Beat yolks with ¼ cup sugar and ½ cup limoncello. Heat water in double boiler to a steady simmer. Whisk egg mixture until thick enough to form a ribbon when you lift whisk, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and let zabaglione cool.

Meanwhile, pour remaining limoncello, ¾ cup lemon juice, 1 cup water and ½ cup sugar into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens, 5 minutes. Let syrup cool.

In a large bowl, stir mascarpone to soften, then add zest and whisk until light and creamy. Using an electric mixer, whip reserved egg whites with remaining ¼ cup sugar until mixture holds moderately firm peaks, about 3 minutes.

When zabaglione is cool, use a rubber spatula to fold a third of it into mascarpone. Fold in remaining zabaglione in two or three additions, then fold in whipped egg whites in several additions. Stir gently until mixture is light and evenly blended.

Fill a shallow bowl with cooled syrup to ¼-inch deep. One at a time, roll ladyfingers in syrup and transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange moistened ladyfingers in tight rows to form a single layer of about 20 ladyfingers. Trim edges to fit.

Spread half mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers. Repeat to form second layers of ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.

Cover tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or up to 24.

Ballpark Cookies, or Pretzel and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pretzelcookies

Makes 2 ½ dozen

I call these ball park cookies because they include white or chocolate chips, salty pretzels, and peanuts, all flavors that remind me of the ballpark. The shortening (use the canola oil shortening sticks made by EarthBalance or use canola oil as a substitute) adds a crunchiness to the cookie. I love the pretzels and the nuts in them. It’s an awesome contrast in flavor, salty pretzels and nuts to sweet batter with chocolate chips.

½ cup margarine, softened
½ cup shortening (or use canola oil)
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup white chocolate chips or chocolate chips
½ cup peanuts or pecans
3/4 cup chopped pretzels (the original recipe has ½ cup pretzels but I thought it needed more)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together margarine, shortening and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. On low speed add flour and baking soda, white chocolate chips, peanuts and pretzels.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool on cookie sheet 1 to 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.

Citrus Rice Salad

citrus-rice-salad

Serves 6

I saw this recipe in one of Giada’s cookbooks and thought it looked amazing and that the flavors would be vibrant and well-blended. It was great and I loved that I made it the day before and served it room temperature for Shabbos lunch.

Rice Salad:
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups white or brown basmati rice, rinsed
3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 medium orange, zested
1 lemon, zested
1 cup thinly sliced green onions

Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
For the Rice Salad:
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, salt and oil to a boil over medium-high heat Stir in the rice. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 18-40 minutes (depending on the type of rice you are using). Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the rice and place in a large serving bowl. Add the parsley, orange zest, half of the lemon zest, green onions, and 1/4 cup of the almonds. Toss well.

For the Vinaigrette:
In a blender, combine the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, and cumin. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the vinaigrette over the rice mixture and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with the remaining lemon zest and almonds.

Veal Stew with Bread Crumb Gremolata

Serves 6

2 lamb shanks
2 pounds cubed veal
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 celery rib, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons chopped thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups jarred tomato sauce or marinara sauce
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup panko
1 cup lightly packed parsley, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste, it adds spice)
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 375°. Season the lamb and veal with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the lamb and veal and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over, 12 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate.

Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the dish. Add the onion, carrot, celery and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer until the wine is reduced by half, 4 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Return the meat to the pot, cover and simmer for 1 hour and half hours, until the meat is very tender. Let stand covered for 10 minutes.

For the bread crumb gremolata: In a small pan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add panko and mix until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the parsley, red pepper, and lemon zest. Add kosher salt to taste.

Transfer the veal stew to a platter. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and spoon it over the veal. Sprinkle some gremolata over the veal.

Apple Cobblers in a Cup

Serves 6

Little apple cobbler cakes in ramekins. So cute and so moist. I love the ginger, brandy and vanilla bean that all add additional flavor to this recipe.

Filling
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted margarine
4-5 medium apples (such as Honeycrisp or Granny Smith; about 2 1/3 pound), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/4 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup brandy
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Topping
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup cake flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted margarine, melted
Pareve Vanilla ice cream
Six 5-6-ounces ramekins or custard cups

To make the filling:
Melt margarine in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add apples, brown sugar, and ginger. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean (reserve bean for another use). Cook, stirring often, until apples are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add jam, brandy, and lemon juice. Stir until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Divide filling among ramekins.

To make the Topping
Pulse almonds, flour, and powdered sugar in a food processor until almonds are finely ground. Whisk sugar and ginger in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, add egg whites one at a time to sugar mixture, beating to blend between additions. With mixer running, gradually beat in hot melted margarine. Fold in almond mixture (topping will be thin).
Preheat oven to 350°. Pour topping over filling in ramekins, dividing equally. Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until topping is puffed and tops of cakes are golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm, topped with a small scoop of pareve ice cream.

Coffee Rubbed Steaks

Serves 4

Super flavorful with pepper, smoked paprika, and coffee grounds which bring out richness in steaks.

Spice Rub
2 tablespoons finely ground coffee beans
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1- 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Steak
2 (2-inch -2 1/4-inch-thick) bone-in steak(about 2-2 1/2 pounds)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted margarine
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
4 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
kosher salt

To make the Spice Rub
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Transfer to an airtight container.

To prepare the steak
Preheat oven to 400°. Set a wire rack inside a large rimmed baking sheet. Season steak with kosher salt and 2 tablespoons spice rub, pressing onto all sides of meat and adding more spice rub by the teaspoonful if needed to coat entire surface.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, place steak in skillet (be sure to have fan on high; the rub creates some smoke). Sear steak for 1 minute (any longer and the rub will start to burn). Transfer steak to a plate and carefully drain fat from skillet.

Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in skillet and sear other side of steak for 1 minute. Add margarine, garlic, and herbs to skillet; cook until foamy. Carefully tip skillet and, using a large spoon, baste steak repeatedly with liquid for 1 minute. Turn steak and baste other side for 1 minute.

Pile herbs on top of steak, transfer skillet to oven, and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center of meat registers 125° for medium, 15-17 minutes.

Transfer steak to prepared rack; let rest for 20 minutes. Cut steak from bone, slice, and sprinkle with sea salt.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Dip

Serves 8-10

This is a great homemade gift or a tangy appetizer. I love the combination of salty olives and sweet sun-dried tomatoes.

4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed), about 1 1/2 cups
4 ounces pitted kalamata olives
1 tablespoon drained capers
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 slice of white sandwich bread, torn
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, soak the tomatoes in hot water until softened, about 20 minutes; drain.

In a food processor, combined the softened tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, bread, red pepper, balsamic and red wine vinegars and the oregano and puree to a chunky paste. With the machine on, add the oil and process to a fine paste. Add 1/4 cup of warm water and process until slightly creamy. Scrape into a bowl and serve with the crudités.

Homemade Citrus Salt


I saw this about a year ago in Sunset magazine. What a great idea! Give people homemade seasoned salt to use in everything from cooking to baths. I love it on chicken and fish and it looks stunning.

1 cup flake salt, such as Maldon, or coarse salt
3 tablespoons citrus zest (any kind), lemon, lime, grapefruit, or orange

Mix salt and zest in a bowl; work zest into salt with your fingers to release oils and flavor. Spread on a baking tray. Air-dry until dried completely, 8 hours to overnight.

Note: Zest’s color will fade over time, but this won’t affect taste.
Make ahead: 2 months, kept airtight at room temperature.
Bottle it: 4-oz. jam glass jar, $0.57; specialtybottle.com; BambooImportsMN 3.5-in. oval bamboo spice/salt spoons, $9.8 8/10; amazon.com

Soft Apple Caramels

Makes 150 Caramels
You can make these two weeks in advance. These are an adorable homemade gift that taste amazing.

2 quarts apple cider
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
Canola oil, for brushing

In a large saucepan, simmer the apple cider over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup, about 1 hour. Pour the reduced cider into a bowl.

Line a 9-by-13-inch rimmed pan with foil and coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream and condensed milk and bring to a simmer over moderate heat; keep the mixture warm over low heat.

In another large saucepan, combine the sugar with the reduced apple cider, corn syrup, water and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Carefully whisk in the butter until melted. Gradually whisk in the warm cream mixture until incorporated. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until a golden caramel forms and the temperature reaches 245° on a candy thermometer, about 45 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, allspice and cloves and scrape the caramel into the prepared pan. Let cool completely, then refrigerate the caramel overnight.

Lightly brush a sheet of parchment paper with oil. Invert the caramel onto the parchment and peel off the foil. Using a sharp knife, cut the caramel into 1-inch-wide strips, then cut the block crosswise into 1/2-inch rectangles. Wrap each caramel in a square of parchment paper or a candy wrapper and twist the ends to seal. Serve or pack the caramels into boxes.

Storage info: The wrapped caramels can be stored in a cool spot or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. The uncut caramel can be tightly wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks; cut just before serving.

Pecan Pie Brittle

Serves 5
2 cups sugar
2½ cups broken pecans
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, cubed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat sugar in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; cook, swirling pan often, until golden amber and completely liquefied. Add pecans and butter and cook, stirring, until caramel is liquid again and butter is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Combine vanilla extract and baking soda in a bowl and then add to pan along with salt; stir to combine. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with foil or a silicone baking mat and spread into an even layer with a small rubber spatula; let cool completely. Break into bite-size pieces and store in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper.

Lo Mein Noodles with Mushrooms and Snow Peas


Serves 4

My kids love this Chinese food knock off. I throw in leftover chicken or steak to make it full of protein.

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese oyster sauce or hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce, plus more for serving
12 ounces fresh linguine or spaghetti
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
6 ounces snow peas, trimmed
3 scallions, julienned

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth with the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and the 1 teaspoon of chile sauce. Add the linguine to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse the linguine briefly.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the linguine and snow peas and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until the snow peas are barely cooked, about 2 minutes. Stir the sauce and add it to the skillet along with the scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is absorbed and the noodles are browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Serve right away, passing more chile sauce on the side.