Seasonal Cooking

 

Latkes That Just Happen To be Vegan and Gluten...

 

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Every year I try and come up with a new kind of latke.   I know I am not alone in this task, it seems all us foodie bloggers are doing the same, we can’t seem to leave well enough alone and like to find new spins on old classics.  There is always new inspiration too. New trendy flavors, new products and sometimes just new thoughts.

Growing up my mom would always make potato, zucchini and mixed vegetable as her latkes of choice.  She isn’t the type to use a recipe and they always came out great.  When I started making latkes, I am going to be honest, it took me some time to figure out how to get them just right.  Sometimes they wouldn’t really cook through to the middle and I was left with a raw potato taste and sometimes they didn’t stick together.  My first successful latke that my family loves actually comes from Joan Nathan.  Her thin crispy latkes use grated potatoes and eggs only, so they are also gluten free.  I found making them thin was the trick and I love the long strands of potato.  The recipe is so good I actually won a latke making contest quite a few years back.


 

A Kosher KitchenSurfing Dinner To Remember

 

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Last month Joy of Kosher had the amazing opportunity to partner with KitchenSurfing to promote their new kosher section.  KitchenSurfing is an online service that pairs people with chefs.  Instead of going out to a fancy dinner you can bring the fancy dinner in and the chef can tailor the meal to your exact needs and wants.  The chef will shop, cook, serve and clean up and we got to experience it first hand last month with Chef David Egidio Donagrandi. We ran a contest and invited 5 winners plus guests to join the entire Joy of Kosher team for dinner in Brooklyn.


 

Kosher Sausage Recipe Challenge: Vote and Submit

 

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KOSHER SAUSAGE & JACK’S GOURMET

In recent years, kosher sausage options have expanded tremendously, due to the diligent work of Chef Jack Silberstein and Dr. Alan Broner, co-founders of Jack’s Gourmet. In 2010, Jack Silberstein, a highly successful chef, introduced a variety of ethnic-flavored sausages to the kosher market. These included Sweet Italian, Hot Italian, Mexican-style Chorizo, Bratwurst and Boerewors. Through the years, Jack’s Gourmet has continued to revolutionize the kosher palate with gourmet offerings such as Facon, Spicy Italian-Style Salami, old-world Corned Beef and Pastrami, and a variety of nitrite-free sausage patties and burgers. The general philosophy of Jack’s Gourmet is to use quality ingredients and avoid gluten, MSG, fillers, byproducts, and artificial ingre- dients, which explains the loyal customers and many accolades the company receives. In line with their mission to continually introduce new flavors to the kosher con- sumer’s palate, Jack’s Gourmet has recently released an all-new flavor which premiered this fall: Beef Merguez Sausage.


 

Vegetarian Monte Cristo Sandwich

 

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A Monte Cristo sandwcih is like a stuffed, savory french toast. Similar to a Croque Madame, these sandwiches are typically filled with ham and cheese and then dipped in an egg batter before being pan fried. To make a kosher version, you can just leave out the ham and make a glorified grilled cheese, but I wanted to take that a step further and add in apple slices.

Everyone knows apples work well with cheddar, in my recipe I actually used a Blue Marble cheese from Sincerely Brigitte, but a cheddar would work well too. The apple didn’t really get soft and I really enjoyed the crunch that it provided in this sandwich. While preparing this sandwich I learned that it is customary to serve a Monte Cristo sandwich with a sweet sauce, so I served mine with a Plum and Fennel Chutney I got from Kosher Artisanal. It went perfectly.


 

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.


 

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


 

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.


 

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.