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Beer Braised Brisket


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OK, let’s have a show of hands. How many of you have ever cooked a fantastic, expensive cut of meat to perfection, then watched helplessly as it overcooked when you reheated it? You splurged on a beauty – probably for Shabbos or Yom Tov – and now you have a leathery, unappetizing chunk.

I’ll be the first to admit it has happened to me, and more than once. And that’s why brisket is my favorite cut! You can’t mess up when you braise a brisket. A top of the rib roast is equally foolproof, just treat it like a brisket and the meat will become softer the longer you cook it.


Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Chips and...


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Just because I love pumpkins,
and because I love you, dear readers,
and because there can never be too many pumpkin recipes in this world,
and because I am in a sweet mood,
here’s another perfectly pumpkin treat:
Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

If I were Maria, my Sound of Music moment would go a little something like this:


Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Whipped Cream


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The trees don’t have to be all shades of orange, yellow, and red for me to crave pumpkin pie. After I graduated high school, my family moved to hot, humid Miami. I dreamed of returning north and consoled myself all summer by eating loads of pumpkin pies, like it was my job.

Yes, I freely admit my love of food. It seems that my standards of food categories and portion size are not exactly like everyone else’s; and that point was brought home to me by my agent who is working with me on a proposal for my next cookbook. I was considering including a pastrami-layered potato kugel, and I put it into the chapter on side dishes. She took one look at it and said, “Jamie, you misplaced this recipe. It should go into the chapter on mains.” It was an “aha!” moment. Hubby and I got a good kick out of it. “Oh, so that’s our problem? Eating ‘mains’ as ‘sides’!” And too many pies.


Sweet Potato Casserole


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I’ve been kvetching a lot about Hubby’s turkey day favorites. And yes, I dutifully plan to recreate all of his childhood memories, even serving up his beloved jellied cranberry sauce from a can. But at my house, the feast was quite different. I’m not saying superior. I’m just saying different.

Back home, my gourmet chef grandparents made the most exquisite Thanksgiving meal – with a strong focus on turkey stuffing and gravy. Everything in the stuffing was finely minced by hand and it was loaded with onions and mushrooms. Absolutely superb! (Um, guess who doesn’t like mushrooms.) Though we were gathered for a real American feast, there was no cornbread, and no sweet potato or green bean casseroles. They were dedicated citizens, but those were lines these immigrant cooks wouldn’t cross. And it would never occur to them to bake with marshmallows. It took my very American aunt –who had married into the family – to bring the pumpkin pie and whipped cream. Without her, we would have missed out on that quintessentially American dessert in favor of a Hungarian cake with an unpronounceable name.


Chive Biscuits


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Not sure if this happens only in my house, but Hubby really wants certain things exactly the way he grew up with them. His mother always served dinner rolls with Thanksgiving dinner. I want biscuits.

In marriage, compromise is everything. I will buy him his dinner rolls, since that’s what his mom did anyway, and I’ll bake my biscuits. This year, I’ll add chives to the biscuits. Hubby hates chives. But I can go wild: he’s not eating them anyway. Biscuits with chives for me, dinner rolls for Hubby and the kids. (Ever notice that baked goods with green things are more suited to the adult palate?) I know my mom-in-law will try them and she will love them because that’s how good a mom-in-law she is. As far as she’s concerned, everything I make is delicious, and it doesn’t matter that I’ve deviated from her tradition. Now if I could only get Hubby on board…


Cranberry Mustard Sauce


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OK – so I said I was going traditional this Thanksgiving. Here’s tradition with a hint of mustard. Cranberry Mustard Sauce is often served with the other white meat, a four-letter word that starts with P that shall not be referenced on a kosher site. But it’s also great with chicken and salmon, so I figured hey, how about with turkey?

I did a mix of cranberries and blueberries, and a mix of grainy and Dijon mustards, then added a nice helping of sugar to help the medicine go down. The sweetness of the blueberries, boosted by the sugar, cut the tartness in the cranberries. Voila – a full-flavored sauce with just a slight mustardy tang.


Southwestern Turkey Breast with Green Chile...


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I’m starting our grand Thanksgiving feast recipes with its star… the bird. Everyone and their Grandma will be doing a BIG bird and we have tons of recipes for BIG birdies here on our site. But I figured that since we all fight over the white meat (at least in my family), I devised a quick-prep, quick-cook, easy boneless, skinless, turkey breast recipe: Southwestern Turkey Breast with Green Chile Stuffing. Southwestern cuisine is a fusion of Spanish colonial, cowboy, Native American and Mexican style food – a “melting pot” concoction that is true Americana. It’s a cool flavor profile to introduce to your friends, family and T-day table.

Of course, if you want to make the biggest bird on the block, you can still use this southwestern spice rub; you just need to convert the measurements. For a 10-pound whole turkey, use 2 teaspoons each of chili powder, mustard powder, kosher salt, dried oregano, and ground coriander; and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste). The cayenne is optional, depending on how much heat you can handle. For every additional 2 pounds of turkey, increase the spices by a ½ teaspoon and the cayenne by a ¼ teaspoon (or to taste). Bake whole turkeys according to this how to roast a perfect kosher turkey chart.


7 Tips for Prep Ahead Shabbat Meals/Recipes


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Dear Jamie,

I was hoping that you might want to focus on Shabbat meals – specifically, those that can be prepared in advance and rapidly warmed for Shabbat. I plan for Shabbat from the beginning of the week, and don’t have time to prep on Fridays. (PS – I love the cookbooks.)


One-Skillet Recipe: Vegetarian Quinoa Dish


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The Big Q – What is Quinoa?

Everyone wants to know: Is it a grain? How do you use it? How do you pronounce it? Is it good for you? Is it kosher for Passover?


One-Skillet Recipe: Chicken


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The all-purpose (extra-large if you need it) stovetop to oven skillet is a kitchen essential. Mine works overtime and never lets me down. My skillet and a pair of tongs (which I would take with me if I was stranded on a dessert island – assuming that dessert island had a cooktop) turn out delicious dinners for my family. In the upcoming Chanukah issue of Joy of Kosher Magazine I have a week’s worth of 1-Skillet Meals in Minutes and this week at JoK.com I am sharing 3 special skillet suppers with you all.

Today we have Chicken Thighs with Roasted Winter Fruit. The wonderful thing about skillet chicken is the crisp golden brown skin you get when searing for about 8-10 minutes on each side and then finishing off in the oven. Searing also lock in those juices so you have nice, moist, flavorful, did I say moist! chicken.


Let Them Eat Cake – Contest Winner!!


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Anybody out there who doesn’t love cake?

I don’t believe you. Well, if it’s true, I guess you’re lucky ‘cuz you’ll never hear a cake calling you into the kitchen in the middle of the night. I think I can speak for the other 99% of humanity when I say that if there’s a really good cake, I can eat the whole thing myself. Even a not so good cake. I don’t need anyone else at my one-woman party – I actually prefer it that way. I can cut a slice, and another and one more sliver, without eyebrows going up all around me.


Quick Dinners for Any Day of the Week


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Quick dinners, quick dinners, we desperately need quick dinners.  The best way for me to develop something for you is to think of what I need. We’re all in the same boat.

So I can’t get enough recipes for quick weeknight dinners. Of course, I could just make the same four or five dishes, rotating them on a weekly basis – but that’s so boring!  I love serving something new; an easy meal I can fix with my kids’ help, or just let them mill around me as they settle in from school. One minute we’re just chatting and throwing a few things together and then – abracadabra – something hot and fresh hits the table and we all dig in!  It’s not really magic, just a good, quick and easy recipe.


4 Simanim Inspired Quick & Kosher Holiday...


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So this is where it all comes together.  All the thought. All the planning. The testing. The tasting, the tasting, and the tasting. (That’s the best part).  A simanim-inspired menu brings added challenges, but also adds a level of meaning to your Rosh Hashanah meal.  I have been doing this for the past few years, using the opportunity as a Rosh Hashanah conversation starter with my kids during our cooking and prep time together. My guests, my kids, my guests’ kids – everybody loves identifying which simanim are on the table openly or “hidden” as an ingredient. Our discussion takes on a special Yuntif energy that only comes with Rosh Hashanah.

I hope you enjoy preparing and eating these simanim-inspired dishes and menus as much as I did creating them.


A Roast Chicken with Date Glaze Recipe


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Dates are super-duper uber sweet. Kinda over the top.  So when we walk through our simanim seder on Rosh Hashanah, everyone in my family takes about as much date as they do fish head. Nobody can manage more than a nibble, except for my Momma.

But let’s not sell dates short. They’re one of the Seven Species of Israel and a powerful siman. Besides, they’re good for you, with lots of potassium and, um, iron, and stuff. If you know how to use dates, they can be delish on chicken too. Take a look at this special Rosh Hashanah Date Glazed Roast Chicken I developed and tested for you today.


Rosh Hashanah Gefilte Fish Recipe


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Some things in life just inspire me – like fish. No really.  There are so many species of fish with different flavors, textures and colors: I look at ’em the way an artist views the paints on his palette. That piece of fish lying there is a raw material (literally!) just waiting to be turned into something fantastique.

So Rosh Hashanah is coming up and I start getting serious about the stuff in my life that matters: my family, my friends, my aspirations – my holiday menu. Okay, so maybe your Yuntif menu is not at the top of your prayer list. It’s not at the top of mine either, but it’s there alright.  I think of the food that I serve as a way of honoring these special days, and of giving my family and guests the good-in-your-gut feeling that helps them appreciate all the fab things G-d has given them.