Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cornbread - Easy and Delicious!

1 cup Yellow Corn Meal - I use polenta here in AU as There Is NO Cornmeal!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. salt

1 cup milk or milk substitute (unflavoured soy, rice or oat milk) + 1 tsp vinegar
1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Grease 8-inch-square or round baking pan.  I prefer a cast iron skillet.

COMBINE corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt in medium bowl.
COMBINE milk + vinegar OR buttermilk (or milk substitute), oil and egg in small bowl; mix well.

Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended.

Pour into prepared pan. BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into centre comes out clean.

K (D) or (P) if using milk substitute

Friday, May 20, 2011

Apple Crisp - Quick, Delicious, Easy!

This is a quick and easy dessert - Sure to become a family favourite.  This recipe can be doubled and baked in a rectangular baking pan (13x9x2")

Dairy if you use butter/Pareve if you use margarine.

Pre-heat oven to 190C or 375F

Apple Mixture:

6-8 medium, tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
1/4 cup sugar (at most) or honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine above ingredients and place in a large pie pan.


3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened (or slightly melted)

Combine all dry topping ingredients in a bowl.  Mix well with a fork.  Add butter or margarine and stir well to combine. (I usually double this part as I like it best!)

Press well onto apple slices, covering them.

Bake in pre-heated oven 190C or 375F for about 30 minutes or until you see apple juices coming through the topping and the apples seem fairly tender when poked with a sharp knife.

Cool and eat!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baklawa (or Baklava)

This baklawa can be made either dairy or pareve.  If you do not have a dairy oven, simply substitute good-quality kosher margarine for the butter.  Any suggestions or comments on my posted recipes are genuinely appreciated!


Pastry layers:
1 pkg (325 gm or about 12 oz) Filo pastry.  You will find this in the freezer or cold section of your kosher market or in many good supermarkets.  (It is pareve)
2 cups ground walnuts or a mixture of 1-1/2 cups walnuts and 1/2 cup pistachios
250 gm (1/2 cup) butter (or margarine) melted in a small pan.  Have a brush handy.
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom.  Many use cinnamon but the Mizrahi recipe my Nana made had cardamom.

1-1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
5 cardamom pods (just break them a bit and toss them in)
1 cinnamon stick if you have one
1 Tbsp lemon juice (I use 1 tsp. lemon essence/extract)


Thaw out pastry while still in package.  This won't take too long.
Grind whole walnuts/pistachios with sugar and cardamom.  Set aside.
Slowly unroll pasty and place on a slightly damp tea towel and then cover the top with another slightly damp tea towel.  This is important as the pastry is as thin as parchment and will dry out and tear.  If a few sheets tear, don't worry.  Just glue them down with butter/margarine whilst layering.

Melt butter/margarine as directed above.

Pre-heat oven to 180C or 350F degrees.

Lightly grease a rectangular, high sided baking sheet or
use a 13x9x2" (rectangular) baking pan - I use a pyrex pan of this dimension as I like to see that the bottom of the pastry is browning nicely.

Place a layer of pastry in the pan.  Use the butter/margarine to sort of 'glue' it to the sides of the pan. Don't worry if it hangs over the sides a bit - you trim it at the end of this part.
Brush butter on this layer.  It is important to brush the butter/margarine on well, but use a light hand so you don't pack the pastry down.

Take two to three sheets of pastry and lay this on top of the first layer and brush with butter/margarine.  Repeat this process until about half of your pastry is used.  Brush this last layer of pastry with a bit of butter and sprinkle 2/3 of the nut/spice/sugar mixture on top.  Then begin again layering the pastry for a few more layers.  Sprinkle most of the nut/spice/sugar mixture on this layer (keep a tiny bit for sprinkling on top at the end) and then repeat with the pastry remaining pastry layers, buttering every few until you are out of pastry.

Use a pizza cutter or a very sharp knife and cut through on the diagonal ALL THE WAY to the bottom of the pan making triangles (well, I got a B in geometry but mine still look pretty nice!)  Make sure that the pizza cutter gets all the way to the bottom or it is more difficult to divide up neatly when the baklawa is done.

If you have any butter/margarine left, brush it on as the pastry will absorb it quickly.  Sprinkle any remaining nut/spice/sugar mixture on top.

Now, to keep it looking neat, using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut off all pastry that is sticking way above the pan.  Then roll the pastry that is slightly above to make it look pretty.  Use a bit of butter/margarine as 'glue' if necessary.

Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour or if your oven has a force fan, until it looks brown and crispy.  It will appear just a bit puffed up.

Cool completely.  This is where most bakers get rushed and if you put the hot syrup on when the pastry is still hot it WILL get soggy.  If you have ever eaten Baklava from a coffee shop you will know if they have rushed through this point as the Baklava will taste a bit 'raw'


In a heavy bottomed sauce pan combine
1-1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
5 cardamom pods (just break them a bit and toss them in)
1 cinnamon stick if you have one

Save the lemon for last as it will lose its flavour when you boil the syrup.

Bring to a boil and then cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.  Stir from time to time, watching that it does not get too thick. 

Once the pastry is completely cooled, add the lemon juice or lemon essence/extract to the hot syrup, give it a quick stir and pour through a strainer into a glass measuring cup with pouring lip.  This gets the spices out.

Now pour the syrup over the cooled pastry as evenly as you can.

Let this set all day or overnight and the pastry will soak up the syrup.

Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea.

Using a thin spatula, remove a corner piece of the baklawa.  This will give you access to the rest and then you can arrange them nicely on a plate or serving dish.  Eat the piece you took out first with your coffee or tea.  Pat yourself on the back as you have just made something that is especially delicious and not as difficult as it seems to be.

Any leftovers can be frozen - freeze them in separate pieces and then pack in a container or zip-lock bag so you can take out a few pieces as you need them.

K (D) or K (P) if margarine is used.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Portuguese-Style Piri-Piri Chicken

The flavours of this recipe are so delicious it will become a family favourite. Serve the chicken hot on rice or couscous, or cold with salad in pita bread, wraps or on sliced challah. If you don't have a slow cooker, or if you want to serve it for the evening meal, you can marinate the chicken in a casserole for a few hours, then cook (covered) in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C (350 F) for 40 minutes or until done.

20 ml olive oil (1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp.)
juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano or one tsp of fresh oregano, chopped
3 teaspoons Nando's peri-peri sauce (kosher in AU!) or 1 teaspoon chili powder or use
the homemade peri-peri sauce below
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
30 ml tomato paste (2 Tbsp.)
160 ml fruit chutney (heaping 2/3 cup) (I use mango chutney)
8 chicken thighs and legs, skin and fat removed

Preparation method:
1. Quickly brown the chicken pieces in a bit of olive oil - do not cook too long if using slow cooker
2.  Use some of the olive oil to grease the slow cooker (or casserole)
3.  Place the rest of the oil and all other ingredients except the chicken in the slow cooker or casserole and stir to mix.
4.  Remove any excess fat from the chicken pieces and place in the slow cooker or casserole dish.
5.  Stir to coat well with the marinade.
6.  Cover and cook on LOW overnight or place casserole on your blech over low heat.
7.  Serve hot on Basmati rice, with salad and bread.

This delicious recipe can easily be doubled.  You can also cook it more quickly for the evening meal by cooking in a conventional oven as directed at top of recipe.
This does make a great winter Hamin or Cholent, though.

Homemade Piri-Piri Sauce:

10 – 12 birdseye chillies, chopped finely (medium size, medium heat)
Pinch salt
Juice of ½ lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp garlic powder or 2 fresh garlic cloves, pressed)
1/4 tsp corriander powder or 1 tsp chopped fresh corriander/cilantro

Place above ingredients into a blender or magic bullet and puree it all together.  Be careful to wash your hands or wear gloves when handling the chilis!

Delicious served warm or cold!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Grilled Fish Tacos with Rubio's Sauce - Yum!!!

Rubios, THE place for fish tacos in California, both breads and deep-fries the fish for their tacos.  I prefer this grilled version as it is lighter and the flavour of the delicious fresh fish is more prominent.

1 1/2 - 2 pounds (1 kilo) of firm fleshed white fish (mahi mahi, striped bass, hoki, halibut, tilapia)

Fish Marinade:
1 cup seeded and chopped tomatoes (I have used 400gm tinned tomatoes in a pinch)
3 scallions/shallots, thinly sliced
2 fresh or pickled jalapeño chilies seeded and minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh corriander/cilantro, chopped

Rubios Sauce:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

15-20 small corn tortillas

1 1/2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced - I use napa cabbage
2 avocados, sliced or 1 cup of your favorite guacamole
1 cup of fresh tomatoes, chopped or your favorite salsa
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese or extra tasty cheese
1/2 cup corriander/cilantro, chopped
Extra limes to squeeze on the tacos

In a bowl combine the ingredients for the marinade. Add the fish. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.

Make the Rubios sauce by whisking the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Can be made two days ahead.

Wrap groups of 5 corn tortillas in aluminum foil.

Place an oiled hinged fish grate onto a large plate. Transfer the fish from the marinade and place into the grate. (The plate underneath prevents the marinade from dripping). Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill the fish until the center is just opaque, about 5 minutes per side. While fish is cooking, place the foil-wrapped tortillas on the grill to warm.

Set up a buffet with all of the fixings, the tortillas and the fish.  I also serve these fish tacos with homemade rice and beans.  Yum!

K (D)

 Kosher Fish List

Serve with homemade mexican rice and refried or black beans.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Grilled Lamb Chops with Roast Tomato, Green Beans, New Potatoes and Herb Salad

This is so delicious. The secret is the fresh herbs and vegetables

Jamie Zlotky and I made this together tonight and as cooks, even we were amazed at how wonderful it was.

For the Herb Salad:
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
Juice of one lemon
Extra Virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the Roasted Tomato, Green Beans and Potatoes:
4 medium new potatoes - we used tiny new potatoes.  Fingerlings would be delicious as well
1/2 lb (1/4 kg) fresh green beans or haricot verts
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 shallots (the bulb kind - not spring onions or scallions), thinly sliced

Extra virgin olive oil
1 container of cherry or grape sized tomatoes - we used multi-coloured heritage tomatoes
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
Juice of one lemon

For the Lamb Chops:
2 racks of lamb (16 rib chops) frenched and separated into 16 individual chops

1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp freshly chopped thyme

To make the Salad:
Lightly toss all ingredients together and set aside.  Do not worry if it seems a bit 'lemony' as the herbs will balance it out as it stands.  Add olive oil until it is of a thick salad dressing consistency

Light the grill and set to medium heat

To make the Vegetables:
Slice the potatoes into thirds or if using fingerlings, leave whole.  Remove tips of green beans and snap in half.  Place in a large pot and add water just to cover.  Bring to a low boil and set a timer to 5 minutes exactly.  When the timer goes off, drain potatoes and green beans in a colander.  In a large saucepan, add olive oil and place over medium flame.  Add shallots and garlic and cook 3-minutes, being careful that the garlic does not burn.  Add tiny tomatoes, green beans and potatoes, salt, pepper, oregano and the juice of one lemon.  Gently stir to mix and set on back of stove, covered lightly.

To make the Lamb Chops:
French the rib bones on the chops or have your butcher do this for you.  Sprinkle both sides of each with salt, pepper, and thyme.  Grill over medium flame for 2 minutes on each side.

To Plate:
Place one quarter of the warmed vegetables in the centre of each plate and arrange 4 lamb chops, with the frenched bones all facing inward, on top of the vegetables.  Drizzle each plate liberally with the herb salad.

Serves 4


K (F)