Thursday, April 24, 2014

Poached Eggs & Salsa

Post Passover, I came home and hastily restocked my fridge with clean ingredients like Greek yogurt, firm tomatoes, eggs, and vegetable juices. This light creation is full of flavor, spice, and texture. Although perfectly poaching an egg in water is very empowering, breaking them in a Poachpod guarantees perfect-poached eggs every time. If you don't have silicon Poachpods, I highly recommend making the ten dollar investment. You won't be able to eat a meal without wanting a poached egg! 
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
2 firm Plum Tomatoes, small diced
1 Jalapeño, seeded, small diced
1/2 red onion, small chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
2 large cage free eggs  
1/2 an avocado, thinly sliced
Serves: 2 servings
1. In a medium bowl lightly toss tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, lime juice, tabasco sauce, kosher salt and black pepper. 
2. In a saucepan bring water to a boil. lightly butter or spray Poachpods. Crack eggs into poach pods. Place in water and cover pot. Let eggs cook for 5 minutes on a medium flame.
3. On the bottom of a plate or bowl scoop out Greek yogurt, top with salsa (make sure to strain juice), slip poached eggs atop, and eat with avocado on the side or over your egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bon Appétit! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chestnut Stuffing

I never really thought of serving stuffing on it's own-- and it's probably because on thanksgiving I top it with cranberry or rhubarb sauce, and then forked together with a juicy piece of turkey; It sort of gets lost in the thanksgiving holiday even though it's the key to the incredible holiday bites. Stuffing can be made from any extra bread, chicken or turkey left over from the meal the night before, and extra chicken soup; it's a great way to be resourceful. It's also a great dish to explore creativity and variations. If you are making a turkey I always like to take a little stuffing and put it inside of the turkey so it can cook in the gravy and soak up lots of flavor.
3 cups roasted and shelled chestnuts, halved 
*You can use the already shelled and roasted chestnuts 
that come in a package (Galil, Nature's Garden)
1 lb rustic bread, medium diced 
4 cup chicken stock (chicken soup broth)
2 large eggs, beaten 
3 tbsp canola oil 
1 large carrot, peeled and medium diced 
1 cup celery (2 stalks), small chopped 
10 oz crimini mushrooms, small sliced 
1 yellow onion, small chopped 
2 minced garlic cloves 
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried rosemary 
1 tsp ground sage 
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl add the chestnuts, bread, beaten eggs, and chicken stock, toss until combined. In a large skillet lightly sauté the carrots, celery, mushrooms, and onion; mix in the, garlic, parsley, rosemary, sage, salt, and black pepper. Once vegetables lightly brown, pour mixture into bread bowl. Toss all ingredients until combined well and transfer to a large baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. uncover and bake for another 15 minutes until top of dish is crisp.

Bon Appétit! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Original Latkes & Greek Yogurt Topping

Not being a big fryer- and latkes are the best when fried (there's just no two ways about it) I eagerly await Channuka every year for the perfect Latke. I'm pretty picky when it comes to what makes a latke just right; In my opinion you want the edges to be crisp, and the center to be soft and oozing with hot batter. I remember walking through Williamsburg when I was about nine or ten and marveling at all the store fronts filled with Channuka menorahs and magical window displays. My mother and I went into a houseware store that was showing off how incredible their skillets were. Lucky us, it was Channuka and they were frying up batches of hot latkes for everyone to come and taste. That was fourteen years ago and I can still remember that crisp and oozing warm potato latke that was so right- no sour cream or applesauce was needed. I probably should've bought one of those skillets but to be honest, it's all about the batter.
2 pounds (6 medium) Yukon gold potatoes
1 large yellow onion, halved
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour 
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Canola oil for frying
1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp horseradish sauce
1 bunch chives, small chopped
 1/2 bunch parsley, small chopped
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste  
1. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Peel the potatoes and put them in the cold water to keep them from browning. 2. In a large food processor, on a fitted blade finely chop the onions. Put the chopped onions into a large bowl. Quarter the potatoes and finely chop them in the processor. Add them to the onions. Add the eggs, flour, salt and pepper to the potatoes and onions. Mix well until combined. 
2. In a large skillet on a high flame, heat canola oil for frying (about 2 cups). You can see if the oil is ready by dropping a spoonful of batter in, if the oil sizzles it's ready to fry. Put the flame to medium-high. Add 1/4 cup of batter to the oil at a time (don't over crowd pan). Give each latke about a three minutes on each side, or until browned. Drain latkes on layers of paper towels to take away excess oil. 3. In a small bowl whisk the Greek yogurt, and horseradish sauce. Mix in the chives, parsley, salt and pepper. 
Yields: 15 latkes
Bon Appétit! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Vanilla Bean & Jam Holiday Cookies

Filled with the flavors of fresh vanilla bean, orange zest, and the finest raspberry jam, these cookies easily make themselves the perfect holiday treats. A spin-off of basic sugar cookies they're just as easy to make and scrumptious to eat for children as they are for adults. I had a good time baking these and taking the pictures while every thing reminded me holiday season is in the air.
*The recipe makes about 30 actual cookies which is 15 sandwich cookies. If you double the recipe be sure to split the dough into four separate pieces for chilling.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp table salt 
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (margarine) 
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp orange zest 
Seeds scraped from 2 vanilla beans (or 2 tsp vanilla paste) 
1 cup confectioners' sugar 
1 jar premium raspberry jam (hero jam)
1. In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, orange zest, and vanilla seeds until just combined. Separate dough into two thin disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour until chilled. 2. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a floured countertop roll the dough about 1/4 of an inch thick. Using a floured glass or cookie cutter cut the dough into circles. Roll out remaining dough and use up until all dough is formed into circles. 2. bake cookies for 10 minutes until golden on edges. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Once cookies have cooled dust with confectioners' sugar. Spread half the cookies with 1 teaspoon of jam on each, then sandwich with the remaining cookies. Top each sandwich with confectioners' sugar before serving.
Bon Appétit!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Somen Noodle Pad Thai

There's this incredible Thai restaurant in Beverly Hills called, "Beverly Hills Thai". Every time I leave Los Angeles I crave many things from their menu, like their warm sticky coconut rice with mango, the pepper drunken noodles, and their Pad Thai! Everything is clean, fresh, and comes with a caddy of hot and sweet sauces. Since there is no Kosher Thai restaurant in New York (I can't believe it!!) cooking Thai food is my only option to enjoying a delicious Thai meal. After making this quite a few times I changed around some ingredients; I love using Somen noodles for Pad Thai because of their light texture similar to angel hair pasta. The agave balances out the spiciness and gives this dish just the right blend of flavors. I like to put an extra tablespoon or two of chili paste on the side of the dish to add a little more heat to every bite.

1- 3 oz package Somen noodles
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1- 12 oz package firm tofu, cubed
2 cups bean sprouts
1 bunch scallions, small chopped (save some for garnish)
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp agave
2 tbsp tamarind paste + 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
2 tbsp chili paste
2 lime halves
1/2 cup crushed salted peanuts
Cook Somen noodles according to package. In a wok heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the eggs and scramble lightly, for about 20 seconds. Add the tofu and gently toss in for about a minute. Add noodles and toss for 30 seconds combining eggs and tofu. add the bean sprouts, and scallions; gently toss. Pour in the Worcestershire sauce, agave, tamarind water, peanut oil, sriracha, and chili paste. Add crushed peanuts at the end and top with scallions. Squeeze lime over dish before serving. 
Bon Appétit!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Skirt Steak Tacos

This was my first time using our new pressure cooker (which we got for a wedding present). Growing up my mother used her pressure cooker all the time; She'd make many Moroccan dishes- like chicken and potatoes cooked in a saffron sauce, or meat with herbs and tomatoes. It was a good way to cook meat, keeping it juicy and tender. I had an easy experience making the skirt steak in the pressure cooker; it gave it the perfect softness for shredding while keeping it moist. If you don't have a pressure cooker you can cook the meat on a low flame in a covered pot. The fun thing about tacos is that you can add or take out whatever you like; this recipe makes a great party food especially if you want to have an assembly table. 
4 small corn tortillas
1 lb skirt steak
2 cups barbecue sauce
2 tbsp coarse black pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 cup water
2 cups white shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 jalapeño small diced 
2 tomatoes small diced 
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, small chopped
2 limes
Spray tortillas with olive oil and heat in oven until warm and lightly toasted. 2. In bowl marinate the skirt steak with barbecue sauce, coarse black pepper, cayenne, and garlic (don't add salt since skirt steaks are salty). In a pressure cooker pour in the skirt steak with sauce and water. cook on a low flame for 20 minutes. Remove the skirt steak on to a cutting board and pour sauce into a bowl. Let skirt steak cool for 5 minutes. Then shred the steak into thin pieces. Put the shredded pieces back into the sauce, meanwhile prepare the tortillas. top each one with cabbage, carrots, jalapeño, tomatoes, and avocado. Put a quarter of shredded skirt steak onto each tortilla (save the rest of the sauce to eat/top on tortillas). Top with scallions, Sriracha, and lime juice.
Bon Appétit!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pumpkin Granola Bars

These granola bars line up right in-between a good snack and a not-so-guilty dessert. They're crunchy, salty, well spiced, and pumpkin flavored! It's best to use lightly salted and roasted pumpkin seeds for this recipe, or add one full teaspoon of kosher salt instead. With a busy schedule, and midterms arising  these were great to pop in a ziploc and take for a snack. Extremely kid friendly, you can always cut out the pumpkin seeds and add other things like dried cranberries, shredded coconut, raisins, and nuts. Last year around this time I made Pumpkin Cupcakes which were equally as amazing.
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup white spelt flour 
1/3 cup packed Turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
1 cup chocolate chips 
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup olive oil (or canola)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave
2 tbsp maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a 9x13 baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the oats, flour,  sugar, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, pumpkin puree,vanilla, agave, and maple syrup. Pour the wet ingredients over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Spread the granola mixture on the baking sheet and shape it into a 9 x 13-inch rectangle that’s about 1 inch thick. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and dry to the touch. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then cut into 3 x 1-inch bars using a serrated knife.

Bon Appétit!