Kosher Tips

 

Party Platters In 20 Minutes Or Less

 

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Last year I judged a food competition at the Nachum Segal Network. We had a blast and it was a fun, food-oriented competition among the talented staff at the network. The competition was close. The winner of the Chopped-style competition beat his competitors simply because of ONE unique item he produced: he made the most incredible pickled shallots. It was that one component on his plate that put him in the lead. This reflects a secret of many chefs and party planners. You don’t need to spend lengthy amounts of time making every component. Use fresh, store-bought ingredients and focus your energy on that ONE amazing component and you will have immediate success and awesome feedback from your guests.


 

A Shabbat Project Breakfast Idea

 

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Looking for inspiration for a Shabbos Breakfast? – look no further than these Israeli Breakfast ideas.

Rushed off our feet during the week sometimes makes it impossible to sit down as a family and eat a healthy breakfast together. Let’s really get into the spice and spirit of the promised land, leaving the macon and eggs behind, to enjoy the land of milk and honey in the form of an Israeli breakfast.


 

Caviar For Shabbat

 

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This article is dedicated to my father, who with out fail, reminds me every three day yom tov to do eruv tavshilin.  Eruv Tavshilin refers to the prepared food that is set aside with a prayer before a yom tov, that allows us to cook and prepare foods on a yom tov for Shabbat when Shabbat is the following day.  This is most often necessary when two days of holiday lead into Shabbat as we have been enjoying this year.  Get all the details of Ervu Tavshilin here and don’t worry if you have forgotten or didn’t know about it before, there are many that allow you to rely on the eruv of the Rabbi in the community who will have everyone in mind.

In my family as I am sure in many it is customary to use a hard boiled egg and challah or matzah for the Eruv.  It is easy to eat the bread at any meal, but no one in my family really likes to sit down to a hard boiled egg, that is how I started to serve Caviar on Shabbat.


 

Picking Apples In Season and Apple Honey Cake

 

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Fall is all about apples: from apple picking (straight off the tree) to using them in everything you make — salads, appetizers, main dishes and of course, dessert. Apples epitomize fall and are a significant symbol of the upcoming holiday. The humble apple is a really unique food, being full of nutrition, affordable and versatile all at once. What better way to celebrate the season so redolent of apples than with apples themselves!


 

9 Tips for How to Be Your Own Sous Chef *Giveaway*

 

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Getting ready for holidays doesn’t have to be stressful. Follow my 9 tips for preparing and planning ahead and you will be cool as a cucumber.

Starting with Rosh Hashanah and prepping for a months’ worth of holiday meals for the masses can be  mentally and emotionally overwhelming even before you step foot  into the kitchen.  I find the best way I can help myself is to be my own sous chef.


 

Holiday Prep Tip #7 – Label, Label, Label

 

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When you freeze label with detail: the dish, the date, and how many it serves. If I know I am having 15 for one meal and 25 for another meal I write “Fricassee for 25” or “Creamy Coconut Carrot Soup for 15”. This way I don’t get confused and pull out Creamy Coconut Carrot Soup for 8 when I am expecting double the number of people.

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Holiday Prep Tip #3 – Organize Your Shopping...

 

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Now that you know your menu, including intended repeats organize your list by shelf stable and fresh produce.  Have you ever noticed that stores start to run out of stuff as the end of the holiday draws to a close?  Of course this is most prevalent on Passover but it happens during the High Holiday season as well.  We usually do 1 BIG and by BIG I mean HUGE shop at the start and then fill in with perishables and last minute items throughout the month.  This way you have everything (or most things) you know you need at the ready.

When you organize your list though, be sure to include any perishables you need for bulk cooking within that first shop.


 

How To Avoid Lunchtime Letdown

 

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I think School lunches are the most difficult meals to prepare. Day in, day out, painstakingly making delicious, healthy and exciting lunch boxes to avoid, G-d Forbid, ‘Lunchtime Letdown’!

Of course, there’s always the mom who remembers to send a ‘you’re special’ note wrapped around a muffin and the mom that includes a chocolate bar everyday! And then, then there’s me! The the mother who stood making bagels, that could dislocate a jaw, it was so packed with meat, pickles and love, who learned only too late that her children were selling these bagels at school to buy ‘sloppy Joes’ at the tuckshop.


 

Burgers 101

 

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For such a simple, classic sandwich, there are a surprising number of competing theories on how to make the perfect burger. Chef Mike Gershkovich insists that a true hamburger is made from 100% ground beef. But over at Pomegranate, Brooklyn’s most prestigious supermarket, “meatologist” Ari Heinemann disagrees. At Pomegranate, the most popular ground beef blend is the so-called Perfect Burger, a closely guarded secret recipe involving salt, onion powder, soy sauce and minced onions. And at Wolf & Lamb, Chef Daniel favors a simple mix of salt, pepper, garlic and onion— “seasonings that enhance the natural flavor of the meat, and don’t compete with it,” as Wuensch explained. Both Heinemann and Gershkovich recommend using ground chuck, an affordable and reliable choice.

At Wolf & Lamb, the chefs put aside scraps as they trim top-notch meat cuts like rib-eye and ribs, and then grind those scraps into their famous rib-eye burgers— Wuensch recommends home cooks try the same trick for an affordable way to have burgers made of top-quality meat.


 

A Better Burger – Talking With Chefs

 

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Picture yourself at a barbecue on a lazy summer afternoon. With one hand, you hold a frosty beer; with the other, you bite into a thick, juicy hamburger. Soft bun meets juicy tomato, crunchy pickle and savory, beefy burger in that one perfect bite — THE TASTE OF SUMMER…

That is, at least in theory. Far too often, the burgers I find at backyard barbecues are little more than crusty, blackened pucks of meat drowning in ketchup and mustard. Meanwhile, the humble hamburger is enjoying a haute-cuisine revival at kosher restaurants in New York and across the country.


 

DIY Cake Decorating

 

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I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination. Yes you can call me creative, however I am creative in a theoretical sense. But when it comes to hands-on artistry I cannot be relied on to do much more than color in the lines. I never took a course (or even a class) in cake decorating nor do I own my own set of pastry bags and tips. I always borrow from my kind and patient neighbor Robin. She is patient because sometimes it takes me days to return her cake decorating equipment and she is kind because she never says anything about it.

When it comes to my kids’ birthday cakes, I feel so much pressure. People can’t wait to see what I turn out. They expect cakes of grandeur and beauty, cakes that are whimsical and delicious and most of all professional looking. But I wasn’t trained for this. Suddenly you become a mom and you’re expected to be able to do something fun with frosting. But because I am creative in the theoretical sense, I’ve figured out a way to make my kids and myself look good. Now with no skill or fancy equipment (other than an offset spatula) you can too!


 

Hidden Vegetables – What You Don’t...

 

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My husband Ed likes to tell the story about when he was a boy and ate dinner at his grandma’s house on Tuesdays. One time she gave him spaghetti – a favorite – and when he had almost finished he found a slice of meatloaf that had been hidden underneath the pile of pasta.

Ed hates meatloaf.


 

Summer Barbecue 101: Planning a Healthy Cookout

 

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Summertime is the time when many of our spouses love to don their chef’s apron and light up the barbecue grill to cook outdoors.  Personally, I love it!  I do prepare the foods in the house, the marinades, salads etc.   I set up everything in individual Tupperware containers with seals, so they stay bug-free outdoors, than I let “hubbie” take over!  I am free to enjoy my guests without worrying about the cooking. All the men also love to congregate around the barbecue grill sharing their opinions.

Grilling is a favorite summer cooking technique that enhances the flavor of many dishes, including lean meat, skinless chicken breasts, fish, veggies, and even fruits. Whether you’re already a grill master — or aspiring to become one — you’ll still benefit from using the right grilling utensils. If you are a“newbie”, make sure you have the following equipment on hand before you get started. (clicking on the links will take you to our Amazon store page)


 

10 Sweet and Savory Honey Recipes

 

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This post and giveaway is sponsored by The National Honey Board.

Honey does more than sweeten tea and suppress a cough. Honey has many versatile benefits in the kitchen, from replacing other granulated sweeteners in baked goods and other desserts to balancing the acidity and salt of salad dressings with a natural sweetness and mouth-filling texture. For many home cooks who think about honey during breakfast, they may be surprised to learn that many savory dishes will also benefit from adding honey.


 

4 Fish Recipes And How To Pick Fresh Fish

 

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It suddenly became clear to me after a year of living in new york city. I was distractedly looking at the menu proposal for yet another fundraising dinner at the non-profit where I worked, and all of a sudden realized that all the fish options were salmon, salmon, and salmon. Baked salmon, poached salmon, smoked salmon, in a hodgepodge of flavors and textures. Had all the hype about its health benefits made us forget about all other types of fish? Or was it fear of the unknown?

Growing up in Venice, my experience had been different: my mom and her friends always cooked many types of seasonal fish — very simply, with just a handful of fresh ingredients and no sauces that would hide its flavor. This minimalistic sophistication was meant at highlighting ingredients of the highest quality, and finding a good fish was considered at least as important as knowing how to cook it.