Gourmet & Kosher

 

Make The Best Strata For Your Winter Brunch

 

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When winter sets in, we want heavy, soul-satisfying food. The days are shorter, and we may be feeling sluggish, so we don’t want to work too hard in the kitchen. That’s especially true of Sundays, when we don’t have to go anywhere and the day stretches before us unhurried and unpressured.

A strata is just the thing for a lazy winter brunch with friends. It’s gorgeous straight out of the oven, all golden and puffy, a real show-stopper. It’s basically a savory bread pudding. It’s called “strata” because the ingredients are layered like the stratosphere.


 

Wild Rice Recipes

 

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Wild Rice is actually the seed of a grass plant. The plant grows in shallow lakes and slow moving streams. Wild rice is native to America and China and is a staple of Ojibwa Native Americans.  Wild rice is endangered in many areas due to loss of habitat and it varies a lot in quality. The term wild does not accurately describe the growing environment and much of the rice we buy is cultivated and mechanically harvested.  True wild rice is river grown and hand harvested.

The perennial plants produce delicious and fragrant seeds each year. The seeds are very fragile and are susceptible to shattering which drives the price of the seeds up, that is why true wild rice is expensive, full flavored and elegant, but worth out.  Seek out a sustainable true wild rice that is hand harvested and you will be rewarded with a delicious and nutritious side dish. It is high in protein and dietary fiber so that is an added bonus.


 

Gluten Free and Celebrating With a Potato Bar

 

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It’s that time of year, at least for me, Graduation. My 21-year-old daughter is graduating from college this month and starting graduate school next month! Time flies. I remember when she was born with that full head of brown hair, her first day of preschool, her siddur party and so many wonderful milestones. I also remember the countless stomachaches, the visits to the pediatrician, the numerous phone calls from school, informing me that my daughter is once again not feeling well. It took years for my daughter to be diagnosed with gluten intolerance.

It happened by chance one morning at the gym. I was exercising and this famous actress was on tv explaining her newly diagnosed health issue. As I was listening I remember thinking, she is describing my daughter, stomach as hard as a rock, always looking 3-months pregnant, constant undiagnosed stomach pains, fatigue and more. She then went on to explain her gluten allergy. That evening when my daughter came home from high school, (yes, high school, it took us that long to recognize her condition) I told her about the show and we decided she needs to get off gluten (granted we never even heard of this before).


 

New Recipes Using Homemade Dried Falafel Mix

 

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It really doesn’t get any better than homemade falafel fresh out of the oil! But making falafel can be a bit of a pain and I find myself wanting to just go out and buy falafel or use that boxed mix to make them at home. Instead of using that sodium-filled falafel mix from a box, I’ve created my own easy recipe for homemade dried falafel mix using garbanzo bean flour. The falafel mix is filled with the flavors of cumin, parsley, paprika, garlic, coriander, turmeric, and chili powder and it tastes good on just about anything.

Falafel-Crusted Chicken with Tahini Sauce


 

5 Minute Party Food

 
 

It’s party time!!  Even though Hanukkah is almost over, there is still lots of time to party.  With these cold Wintery nights ahead, it is more fun to invite everyone in rather than go out.  That doesn’t mean you want to spend hours preparing.  Enjoy these recipes for 5 Minute Party Food.

When feeding a crowd it is always great to serve mouthwatering food with distinctive flavors that leave people wowed and make the food and party a memorable experience; good food really has that power. There are many exciting new kosher products available for the ever-growing palate of the kosher consumer. Jack’s Gourmet provides high-quality kosher charcuterie that is authentic and provides the kosher cook with flavors and textures that weren’t always available.  In addition to great flavor, the products are versatile, contain NO fillers, are gluten free, and contain no MSG. As the items are ready to serve in a matter of minutes, they make for a versatile and epicurean ingredient that can be prepared in many ways.


 

Pumpkin Hanukkah Recipes

 

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I love Pumpkin! It is one of the most versatile ingredients in my pantry and is a staple in my home. I use pumpkin in many recipes including: soups, risotto, breads, stews, ravioli filling, pie, and more.

One of the few canned foods I use is canned pumpkin puree. Canned pumpkin puree is a nutrient dense food. It is high in vitamins and antioxidants. To achieve the creaminess of canned pumpkin puree it would take hours and many pounds of pumpkin to result in several cups of puree. So now you know the secrets of this restaurant chef.


 

Why I Love Olives

 

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There are a handful of ingredients that not only strengthen the flavor of a dish, but also stand strong as an appetizer-like snack on their own.   My favorite one is small, it’s oily, it’s a fruit, and it’s harvested for its meat and oil.  It is the quintessential olive.

There are dozens of olive varieties encompassing both size and flavor.  Similar to the different nuances in grapes and the wines that grapes become, olives grown in different regions will pick up the fine distinctions of those areas.  The leading growers of olives are the Mediterranean countries ~ Spain, Greece, Italy and Israel where there are groves with some fruit bearing trees dating back thousands of years.  The United States can also claim rights to this delicacy with much younger groves in the Southwestern states.


 

Cooking Israeli Food In America

 

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I just came back from New York City where I gave a few Israeli cooking classes. I always find that no matter where in the world I am, cooking with people is fun, creative and delicious, and passion for cooking crosses cultures and places. As a cook I like to learn and teach new recipes, cooking techniques and tips.

Two cooking classes were hosted by two of my dearest clients and friends Ada-Beth and Laurie, who took my cooking tour in Israel a while ago. The third one took place at Manhattan JCC. I so much appreciate the warm welcome and the opening of the kitchens for me.


 

An Updated Israeli Cabbage Salad

 

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A classic Israeli table is covered with about a dozen colorful salads from all over the Middle East. Once you’ve eaten in a typical Israeli restaurant, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Everything from hummus to babaganush gets served on endless small plates so that you can barely see the table. The collection of salads is a sign of the Israel bountifulness, and general generosity found all over the country.

One of Israel’s most famous salads, found in every falafel stand, is the red cabbage salad.


 

In Season Persimmon Recipes

 

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Persimmons are tropical-tasting fruit that come in various shades and textures; the most common being the Fuyu persimmon (firm, round and light orange) and the Hachiya persimmon (soft texture, oval and dark orange). The firm, pale orange persimmons are the most versatile and can be eaten both raw and cooked. The deep orange varieties are extremely soft and are best used in soups, purees or jams. Fuyu persimmons ripen after they are picked, while Hachiya do not. Make sure not to eat unripe (firm) Hachiya persimmons as they can leave an uncomfortable, dry feeling in your mouth.

Persimmon tart

Persimmon Tart


 

Versatile Kale Recipes

 

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Every once in a while my daughters, now grown up and married with children will ask, “how come we never ate [fill in the blank] when we were kids?”

The answers vary, of course, depending on the particular food.


 

Rethink Your Salad with These Creative Fall Salad...

 

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Salads refer to a whole category of dishes that include raw vegetables but can also include: cold, cooked vegetables, including grains and pasta; ones which add cold meat or seafood; sweet dishes made of cut-up fruit; and even warm dishes. Though the prototypical salad is light, a dinner salad can constitute a complete meal. These dishes are served dressed with vinaigrette.

Vinaigrettes are an emulsion of oils and vinegar sometimes flavored with herbs, spices and commonly used as a salad dressing or cold sauce. Salads are complex and vexing for most chefs who write menus. In America, the salad starts the meal and as a chef, I want my first impression to be a good one. In Europe, a salad ends the meal and the last impression should also be a good one. A salad can be exciting and palate stimulating. I urge all home cooks to rethink their salads. This can be a make-or break course and can become the course that everyone looks forward to.


 

Infused Honey

 

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One of my favorite experiences growing up in Seattle was driving to the Puyallup Fair every September. We admired the enormous prize-winning animals, rode the roller coasters, and walked through the booths of “As Seen on TV” products. What I looked forward to the most was the Snoqualmie Valley Honey, and every year we stocked up on a variety of flavors for Rosh Hashanah. My whole family and I stood at the honey booth, taste-testing each one, from Washington Wild Blackberry (my favorite) to Clover and Peppermint, while my mom loaded up on honey bears and honey sticks for us to enjoy year-round. Since I no longer live in Seattle and always miss going to the fair, I love to make my own infused honey to use for the holidays. Every drizzle is a trip down memory lane and there is nothing more gratifying than making your own artisan honey.

The directions are the same for any flavored honey you choose, and the options are endless!


 

New Chicken and Quince Recipe For Rosh Hashanah

 

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We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to do a guest post for Joy of Kosher. So much so, that we immediately started thinking of different dishes we could create. We wanted something unique,  something that would represent our cooking and also that would appeal to the Joy of Kosher readers. At the same time, we wanted to step out of “our” box a little bit. As some of you may know, most of the recipes you’ll find in our blog are vegan and vegetarian. And that is mainly how we cook at home… but the Holidays are always a bit more special. So we wanted to incorporate some meat this time and get creative with it.

That’s when the idea of chicken and quince came to mind.


 

Budget Mediterranean Family Dinners

 

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What to make in between the hectic days of Yom Tov & Back to School Madness?

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to cook great tasting, exotic meals that can be prepared in minutes.