Gourmet & Kosher

 

Fresh Seasonal Food For The New Year

 

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With the holidays quickly approaching, we find ourselves yet again in the kitchen preparing daily feasts for our families and friends. Whether we are cooking traditional foods or new recipes, we sometimes get lost in the idea that the more complicated the recipe, the tastier and more impressive it is. In my own cooking, I find that it’s usually the simpler recipes using fresh and in season produce are the most delicious and healthier to boot.  Let’s put the healthy back into the new year and cook fresh, seasonal foods!

Here is a favorite recipe of mine, Moroccan Mint Beet Salad. Pairs beautifully with any fish appetizer from gefilte to sea bass and everything in between.


 

It’s Okay To Hide The Veggies Sometimes

 

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Here’s a question for you: do you hide vegetables in your kids’ food?

As a Registered Dietitian parents often ask ‘is it OK for me to hide vegetables?’ or ‘my kids won’t eat anything green so I wind up hiding it where I can.’ While I am not going to offer parenting tips here [I’m just here talking about food!], I think this is a personal choice for a lot of families. And many parents hide fruits and vegetables until they feel their children are ready for them straight up. With that being said, I do feel compelled to stress the importance of a well balanced diet – and this includes getting a variety of healthy fats, whole grains, lean meats and of course, fruits and vegetables.


 

Out Of The Dessert Box Grilling

 

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Grilled desserts are real showstoppers. The high heat oF the grill greatly amplifies the sweetness of summer fruits. In this recipe, grilled plums make a unique dessert salsa. If the jalapenos are too adventurous for you, use only one, or leave them out entirely– I find that it really punches up the flavor of the salsa. Any stone fruit can be substituted for the plums (apricots, peaches, nectarines).

This recipe uses the grill for 2 components: the plums for the salsa, and the pound cake. A medium-high grill is needed both times. If you make the salsa a day or two in advance, the flavor will only intensify.  To assemble the dessert:


 

3 Recipes For The Perfect Burger

 

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There is nothing like a juicy burger, all siz- zling and crackling right off the grill to get the appetite going. I love grilling season and will arm wrestle my husband to see who gets to do the honors.

The Perfect Burger


 

A Gourmet Break Fast Worth Starving For

 

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Summer is a great time to lighten up your food and to take advantage of gorgeous produce. Take pleasure and savor summer. Cooking meals during the 9 days or at any point in the summer should be a reflection of what is going on outdoors.

Summer dishes should taste like sunshine and a meadow. I want my family to fresh flavors and to enjoy them slowly and fully.


 

Pick Your Own Blueberries and Make A Salad

 

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Summer is a time for playing outside, riding bikes, jumping in the pool, and of course fresh berry and vegetable picking.

As a child I never actually went to a farm to pick berries. There was a wooded area in our neighborhood that had wild berries. My siblings and I used to take strolls through our neighborhood to pick the unruly red berries right off the bushes. No washing was necessary. How we knew they weren’t poisonous, I don’t know! (That was the 70’s.) It wasn’t until I was an adult and had children of my own that I found out about picking berries and vegetables on farms.


 

A Quick and Easy Summer Meal

 

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It’s Summertime and the cooking is easy. There aren’t many days that I feel the urge to cook ad infintum over a fryer and multiple pots of boiling water. I tend to lean on the easy, which isn’t true the rest of the year – or of course for a holiday. I’m busy researching for a book so with time at a premium, I thought about a 15 minute soup.


 

Cooking with Flowers

 

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It is fascinating to eat a plant in every stage, from a micro plant, to a blossom and then finally to a fruit. Each step of the way, the plant is giving its all, and we can enjoy it, every bite of it!

I remember as a kid, my father told me that the huge Tiger Lilies growing by the side of my childhood home were edible. I was fascinated
as we stood together watering the huge garden of the showy, bright blossoms. I was spellbound as I watched my dad pluck a petal off one flower and pop it into his mouth. Immediately I was hooked.


 

The Independence Day and Molasses Connection

 

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It’s almost July 4th and every American is thinking fireworks and parades or lemonade and fried chicken but my mind turns to molasses.

Really.


 

Four Fantastic Summer Salads

 

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Delicious fresh salads using all your favorite vegetables and some new ingredients you will want to add to your pantry.


 

Cheesey Recipes For Shavuot

 

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This recipe for halibut comes from a fisherman we met many years ago in Alaska. We spent a wonderful day out on his boat halibut fishing, and we caught some huge fish. Since we knew we would be eating halibut from the freezer for months to come we asked the fisherman for his favorite halibut recipe. His answer surprised us. He told us to stuff it with cheese and roll it in bread crumbs.  It was a surprising answer. Up until that point I never would have thought to combine fish and cheese, but we figured that a halibut fisherman must know something about eating fish .  That night I made this cheesy fish in the cramped kitchen of our RV and it instantly became a favorite.  It isn’t an elegant dish, since the cheese oozes all over, but it is do delicious no one seems to mind.  I like to make the dish with halibut but any firm white fish will work just as well.


 

Healthy Gourmet Flavored Salt From The Dead Sea

 

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A startup founded by Israeli environmental activist Ari Fruchter, recognized that the unique mineral rich salt composition of the Dead Sea equals or surpasses other super premium table salts, like Fleur De Sel and Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. Inspired by a small Palestinian salt-field on the edge of the Dead Sea which had been successfully harvesting culinary salt for several decades, a business idea was born and a subsequent Kickstarter campaign for Naked Sea Salt reached its goal in less than 48 hours.


 

New Gourmet Flavored Cheeses *Giveaway*

 

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We will be giving away a cheese sampler every week during the month of May.  This post is sponsored by Sincerely Brigitte. I have written many articles about cheese and the evolution of kosher cheese, from a limited selection of slices that tasted like orange plastic to a world where kosher cheese has expanded from the kosher aisle to the gourmet aisle. The latest addition to our cheese board is on a plate of its own! Sincerely Brigitte has created a line of flavored cheeses that will complement almost any dairy meal or side dish. The six flavors include Jalapeno Cilantro and Chipotle, Parsley Chive and Garlic Basil, Tomato Olive and Blue Marble. They all have their unique taste, but they are made to complement, not overpower, with a mild Monterey Jack or Cheddar base.

Sincerely Brigitte cheeses are getting attention from cheese aficionados of every stripe, I have been using the cheeses over the past couple of months in all my Italian and Mexican dishes and my whole family loves it. The kids love choosing which cheese to sprinkle over their pasta or melt into their veggie taco. I love saving a step by using the flavor of these cheeses to transform an otherwise boring dish You better stock up, once I started with these flavored cheeses it makes it hard to go back to plain old cheddar. And stay tuned for more adventurous flavors to come, I am sworn to secrecy, but they sound amazing!


 

4 Spring Salads That Wow

 

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Throughout the year, a common Shabbat side dish in America might be butternut squash pies made with store-bought crusts laden with shortening. A dessert might be I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-cream-cheese cheesecake. Chicken might be smothered in duck sauce (what sauce? You mean sugar and cornstarch?) or barbeque sauce (a.k.a. molasses, vinegar and cornstarch)

Hearty Salad with Gorgeous Mustard Greens


 

DIY – Baked Root Vegetable Chips

 

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The first time I tried store bought vegetable chips I was smitten by the colorful, crispy vegetables that are the perfect balance between sweet and salty. They were hard to come by at the time but whenever I had a chance, I’d savor each bag (by myself!). Now that I figured out how to make them at home, I can enjoy these root chips any time, all year. They are very simple, really cheap and taste just as good, if not better. Also, I love dipping them in babaganoush for a healthy, fun snack on Passover or any time.

They key in this recipe is to use a mandoline slicer so the chips cook evenly and are uniform in size. The thinner they are sliced, the crispier and more delicate.  I baked them instead of frying them to keep them even healthier and if you leave the skin on the vegetables that is an extra nutrition boost too.  I used beets, turnips and yams, but you can use any root vegetables and make them this same way.