Ingredient Spotlight

 

Kosher Shrimp Cocktail Recipes

 

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Whether you keep kosher of have any other kind of dietary restrictions, chances are, at some point in your life, you’ve heard comments like: “What? You’ve never had bacon??” or “You can’t eat lobster? You have no idea what you’re missing!”. And it’s true, I don’t.

Because missing something you’ve never had, is pretty much impossible. It would be sort of like missing a person you’ve never met, right?
In fact, I think not being able to eat certain foods is a good thing. It means I can be perfectly happy eating the “fake” stuff, like soy bacon, or veggie burgers, or imitation crab or shrimp. Recreating traditional flavors can be fairly easy, really. Especially when you have a good selection of seasonings and condiments to choose from. After all, those are the ingredients that will mostly infuse the food with flavor!


 

A New Look at Rye

 

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Some foods leave an indelible imprint on your taste buds, no matter how old you are when you taste them. The flavors that grab you as a child not only remain, they often, later in life propel food quests. One of my searches is for great rye. If you grew up eating Wall Bakery’s breads from Woodmere, like I did, you know why. True, the bread from other bakeries—Cedarhurst Bake Shop, or Zomick in Far Rockaway was also very good, excellent really, but Wall’s bread stood alone. It has a crust both crunchy and pliable while the inside is plush, heavy and always moist. It’s what I think of when I hear the phrase “the staff of life”–bread so sustaining I believed I could live on bread alone.

There was a second type of rye at those bakeries called corn bread. Now, this is not my mother’s corn bread. She grew up south of the Mason Dixon line and hers was a quick bread, basically corn muffins in a pan. Old world corn was rye with light rye flour and cornmeal and the one thing both rye’s have in common is simple. No matter how many culinary degrees I get, no matter how many bakers I ask, no matter how many pizza stones I use, sourdough starters I nurture, or the amount water I schpritz while it cooks, darn it, I cannot replicate either of these breads at home.


 

20 Unique Hamantashen Recipes

 

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During a leap year, when there are two Adars, it is said to be a time of increased simcha.  This extra month is a blessing and is giving me time to increase my simcha before Purim.  It also has given me more time to think about Hamantashen, those amazing litte hat-shaped cookies and all of the flavors I can fill them with.

 


 

Comfort Food With No Compromises

 

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Create the ultimate comfort foods to satisfy all palates using Tofutti’s variety of dairy-free products.

kosher chicken parm

Kosher Chicken Parmesan


 

5 Mushroom Recipes

 

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Filling, meat-heavy meals are the foundation for most meals during the winter months.  For those looking for a break from meat, mushrooms can provide the same level of heartiness without the weighed-down feeling that meat can cause.  Below are 5 quick and delicious mushroom recipes to incorporate into your weekday meals.

 


 

Mustard Greens Recipes

 

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Mustard greens are part of the healthy “dark leafy green” vegetable family.  They are similar in texture to kale and collard greens, but with a bit more body.  And, like the name implies, mustard greens have a tangy, peppery bite reminiscent of mustard.   Mustard greens are wildly nutritious: low in calories, a good source of fiber and high in Vitamins K, A and C.  Additionally, mustard greens store very well in the refrigerator for at least one week.   I love them as a main course any time of day when they are sauteed with garlic and topped with a poached egg.  Try my recipe for Sauteed Garlic Mustard Greens with Sweet Potato and Poached Egg.

shaved mustard greens

Shaved Mustard Green Salad


 

Cooking With Fresh Mozzarella *Giveaway*

 

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Before I traveled to Rome for the first time a few years ago, I fantasized about all the amazingly delicious Italian food we were going to have. The fresh pasta, the authentic pizzas, the sweet gelatos, it was all going to be perfectly delicious. On our first night in the historic city, we strode into a bistro just outside the Jewish ghetto. There, I had the only thing still available from the menu, the most tasteless spaghetti in marinara.  It was quite disappointing. I should have known better when I heard the chef and waiter speaking to each other in Russian.   Thankfully, the rest of the trip was beautiful, but I didn’t leave with such fond memories of the food, save for a few exceptional restaurants in the Jewish Ghetto where ironically I ate Middle Eastern food.


 

What To Do With Blood Oranges

 

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Winter is the season for citrus.  If you haven’t noticed yet, there are all sorts of new oranges out in the market now, not sure if it is the Dietitian in me or the foodie me, but I get really excited for new seasonal produce.   I also grew up in Florida, so a love of citrus is in my “blood” (pun intended).


 

10 Ways To Eat and Love Beets

 

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Growing up I never really liked beets.  I really had only ever seen them out of a jar usually in a salad bar.  Never had a I seen them raw or with green tops. Apparently, that is still the case for most people living in the U.S. where most beets consumed are from a can and even when sold raw they are often sold without their tops.  Only recently did I discover a love for beets and then a greater love for their green tops.

I have been reading a new book all about the history of vegetables and how to choose, store and cook the best ones for maximum nutrition.  The book, Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, is a wealth of information that I will share when I can.  So, while I already loved beets, I found even more reasons that you should love them too.  Beets are a rich source of boron, which is good for bones and apparently may be an aphrodisiac too.  And beets, even without their greens (but, please eat the greens they are so good) are one of the healthiest vegetables.  People who eat beets on a regular basis have a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.  Robinson also mentions that the nitrates in beets have been shown to enhance athletic performance, a glass of beet juice with Wheaties might be the true breakfast of champions.


 

How To Cook Turkey London Broil

 

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There are three things that intrigue me… first and foremost is food and the many ways it can be turned from nourishment into an edible work of art.  Next is words… the written, the spoken, the meanings.  And finally there is history.  The history of our people, my people, antique furniture and old photos.  Along with these very separate subjects is often a chance for them to come together, especially for us food writing chefs.

Old recipes and those with interesting names are also fun for me to work with.  Where did they come from, and what has made them endure the test of time and the counting of calories?  Who was the first one to create a dish, and who was the first one to put it in a cookbook?  A modern day favorite is the Caesar Salad, which does not hail from the Roman Emperor Caesar, but from the Grand Master Maitre d’ Hotel at the brand new Waldorf Astoria of the 1930′s.  Or was it the Italian Chef Caesar Cardini, living in Mexico in the 1920′s?


 

Healthy and Gourmet Popcorn Recipes

 

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Who was it that first discovered the magical potential hidden within every kernel of corn?

That healthy snack, light as air…  that burst of white, crunchy happiness?


 

The Best Chicken Liver Recipes

 

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Once upon a time…. and it wasn’t that long ago either, we had to grill and kosher liver at home. Today, thank goodness, we can order it form some butchers grilled and already koshered for us.

I remember my mother having to kosher her own meat. I can still see those koshering racks, chunks of salt and lumps of ‘something’ floating about in aluminum buckets under our kitchen table, but come dinnertime, thank goodness, it had miraculously evolved into a magnificent roast.


 

Eggplant 101 – Cooking and Freezing

 

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Over the summer, I had an opportunity to try different dishes at several new restaurants around the area. I was surprised at the many ways that eggplant can be prepared.  Once my children married, B”H, and left the nest, I am the only one in my family who will eat eggplant parmesan.  I didn’t want to bake it, then waste it since I couldn’t possible eat it all by myself in one meal!  I also didn’t want to eat it day after day.  So for all of you “empty nesters” who try not to overcook, here is my method for eating what you enjoy when you want to have it and not waste a morsel of it!

I bake it in 9 X 13 pan.  Afterwards, I divide it up into individual portions and flash freeze them in my Tupperware Freezermates container.  I layer it on parchment paper in the container for easier removal.  Anytime I would like to eat it for a Dairy meal, all I need to do is pop one portion out for myself, while making something else for my husband.  Both of us are happy and I do not waste any food.  These days, I use this method for many other recipes where I don’t miss out on favorites when there is no one else who will share it with me.


 

8 Different Ways to Cook Carrots

 

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Eh, What’s Up Doc?

Carrots are an under valued vegetable.   They are pretty much staples in most homes, everyone seems to have a bag of baby carrots in their fridge and they are an excellent, crunchy and healthy anytime snack.  They are high in Vitamin A and have a sweet taste most people enjoy.  Still, I never think of serving them as a side dish.  I use them in soup and I pack them in lunches, but I rarely serve them for dinner.


 

Using Up Leftover Turkey

 

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There are some people who can eat turkey for days and they look forward to Thanksgiving every year just so that they can eat turkey sandwiches the rest of the week.  Then there are some people who enjoy the fresh turkey on Thanksgiving, but would rather not see it again until next Thanksgiving.  The only problem is you can’t seem to get a small turkey anywhere and of course if you have a big crowd you want to make sure you have enough.  With all the sides, some people’s favorite part of the meal, there is inevitably turkey leftover.

If you are in the camp of people looking for new ways to serve up your turkey, here are a few suggestions.