Friday, December 30, 2011

Green Goddess Dressing

This home-made salad dressing DOES NOT taste a bit like anything you can buy in a shop.  It is fantastic on a mixed green salad but if you are also having fish, it makes a good sauce for this as well.  For some reason, I find it goes really well with fish. Try a dollup of this on top of fresh grilled or pan-fried salmon.  You will be surprised.

I use a magic bullet.  You can also use a food processor or blender or even mix it in a bowl.  Let it stand in the refrigerator for a few hours at least.


1 3/4 cup Mayonnaise - I use Best Foods or Hellmans as it is a kosher brand.  Any non-sweet mayo will do
1/4    cup sour cream (or non-dairy sour cream substitute)
3-6    Anchovy fillets, mashed or put through a garlic press (this is how I do it)
1-2    cloves garlic, put through a garlic press or minced and mashed
3       Tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves (or 1-1/2 dried tarragon soaked in a bit of vinegar)
2       Tablespoons minced fresh chives or spring onions (scallions)
1       Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/8    cup vinegar (red wine)


Combine all ingredients in a jar (or magic bullet, food processor or blender) and mix thoroughly.  Should stay fresh for and delicious for several days if covered well and stored in the refrigerator.

Makes 2 Cups - this recipe can be halved. 

k (D) or Pareve if you can find a suitable non-dairy sour cream substitute

Chocolate Mousse Pie

Most chocolate mousse recipes contain raw egg.  This recipe contains no egg at all.  It is easy, fail-proof if you follow the easy directions, and will feed many as it is very rich.  Enjoy!


    21 chocolate cookies such as chocolate graham cracker-type cookies
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, (or margarine) cut into pieces, room temperature


    12 ounces dark chili chocolate or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract or use half tsp. vanilla extract and half tsp. almond extract
    Pinch of salt
    3 3/4 cups chilled whipping cream – Divided.
    1/4 cup sugar

    Chocolate shavings (optional) but really, very pretty!
    Mint leaves, washed and dried
    Assorted berries


For Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with baking paper (parchment paper) and then butter or oil lightly. Finely grind cookies in processor or put them in a plastic bag and beat them to small crumbs with a rolling pin or wine bottle. Add butter and process until mixture is evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan to form thin crust. Bake crust 5 minutes. Transfer crust to rack and cool completely.

For Mousse:
Combine chocolate, vanilla/almond extract and salt in processor or blender.

Bring 1 cup cream to boil in heavy small saucepan. With processor running,  gradually pour hot cream through feed tube and process until chocolate is melted and smooth. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Beat 2 cups cream and sugar in large bowl to stiff peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture. Pour mousse into prepared crust. Chill until set, about 6 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)

Beat remaining 3/4 cup cream in medium bowl to firm peaks. Transfer to pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe rosettes of cream around edge of cake. Garnish with chocolate shavings, mint leaves and optional fruit.

Remove pie from refrigerator and using a thin knife, run this around the edges of the spring form pan and crust.  Gently unlock the hinged side and removed the spring form pan.  Using a cake knife, dipped in hot water, cut the chocolate mousse pie and remove using a cake server - decorate plated pieces with remaining whipped cream and optional garnish. (Don't forget you have parchment paper under the bottom crust!)
K (D)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chopped Liver - better than Paté!

Most people I speak to have a preference in how they like chopped liver.  Many like it chunky.  I prefer it smooth.  Some must have it on rye bread.  Others preer to spread it on crackers or matzah.  It looks fancy if put into a mold after grinding but is just as delicious (and easy) to use any bowl you have that will be attractive.  Enjoy!


    2 pounds chicken livers –  see below for kashering instructions*
    1 cup rendered chicken fat  (schmaltz)
    2 cups medium-diced yellow onion (2 onions)
    1/3 cup Madeira wine
    4 extra-large eggs, hard-cooked, peeled, and chunked (so you can 'check' them)
    1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
    2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    Pinch cayenne pepper
    2 tablespoons chopped capers, optional (but yummy!)

Drain the livers and saute them in 2 batches in 2 tablespoons of the chicken fat over medium-high heat, turning once, for about 5 minutes, or until just barely pink inside.
Don't overcook the livers or they will be dry. Transfer them to a large bowl.
In the same pan, saute the onions in 3 tablespoons of the chicken fat over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until browned. Add the Madeira and deglaze the pan, scraping the sides, for about 15 seconds. Pour into the bowl with the livers.

Add the eggs, parsley, thyme, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and the remaining chicken fat to the bowl. Toss quickly to combine. Transfer half the mixture to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade until coarsely chopped - which is traditional, or if you are like me, I grind the mixture until it has a smooth texture – more like a paté. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Season to taste and serve well-chilled sprinkled with chopped capers and a sprig of herbs to decorate.

K (F)

*Important - liver MUST be kashered before use.  Chicken livers or livers of other species of fowl can be broiled whole without cutting the surface. Follow the instructions of your Rabbi or see the following link for instructionsKashering Chicken Livers

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Spinach Salad in Parmesean Frico Cups

This is a both a pretty and a delicious salad - refreshing and very easy to serve.  Kids especially love it as they enjoy the parmesean cups being part of the salad as well as the little salad bowl.  The salad dressing can be made early in the morning and taken out about 10 minutes before serving as the olive oil will partially solidify in the refrigerator.

You can make the parmesean frico cups the day before if you have a cool, dry place in which to keep them so they do not pick up moisture.

The toasted nuts add a wonderful dimension to the salad.  If you are not a nut eater, then fried chinese-style noodles can be used and are quite good as well.  Tiny homemade croutons can be added if you have some leftover bread.  Be sure and make them small so the size will be in proportion to the little salads.

For the Parmesan Frico Cups:
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan 

For the Citrus Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  One small clove of garlic,crushed (optional - but wonderful!)
For the Spinach Salad:
  • 6 ounces baby English spinach leaves (about 6 cups)
  • 1 orange, cut into segments (I use fresh mandarins)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted ( I use toasted pecans - walnuts are nice too)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (the flatter-shaped red onion 'seem' milder and I use these)
  • Special equipment: a silpat mat, a muffin tin, and a small drinking glass
  • (I hear that some less-expensive silicone baking mats work well - I have not tried this)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the Parmesan Frico Cups:
Place a silpat mat on a baking sheet. Place 6 (1/4-cup) mounds of Parmesan cheese on the mat and gently tap down until each mound is flat and 4 1/2 to 5 inches in diameter.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Watch carefully as they can go from perfect to a bit too brown quickly.

Working quickly, use a thin spatula to transfer the Parmesan Frico to a muffin tin. Gently place a small drinking glass on top of the Parmesan Frico to mold it into the shape 1 of the muffin cups. Let cool until firm, about 5 minutes. Continue with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

For the Citrus Vinaigrette:
Combine all the ingredients in a jar or a tight-sealing plastic container. Shake to blend. Taste.  If you think it needs a bit more honey or salt or even a few drops of balsamic vinegar, now is the time to adjust the dressing to your taste.  Refrigerate until 10 minutes before ready to use.

For the Spinach Salad:
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to combine. Divide the salad among the Parmesan Frico Cups and serve immediately.

Kosher for Pesach if ingredients are chosen with care. (omit croutons, fried noodles, etc)

K (D)