Tag Archives: shabbat

Scones . . . it’s what’s for breakfast on shabbos mornin’ (and seuda shlishit)

11 Jul

Like I said, I’ve got some free time.  Therefore, I feel the pressure to step it up when it comes to shabbat cooking.  I have to confess, when it comes to shabbat dinner planning, I usually go big for dinner but as a result, lunch gets a bit, well, sad and seuda shlishit (third meal) turns into leftover challah and hummus.  But not this Shabbat. Oh no my friends, this Shabbat I showed up.  I made SCONES. But not just any dinner AND scones.  I made cherry scones with orange zest and organic whole wheat pastry flower and oats. I mean these were delicious. We were asked out to a seuda shlishit (third meal — it’s required on shabbat to have three meals.  You first is dinner, second is lunch and third is a little snack before post-shabbat dinner.  This idea is linked to a section of Torah that states “And Moshe said: Eat it (the Manna) today, for today is Shabbat to Gd; today you will not find it in the field.” The use of the word today three times in the sentence in reference to eating the manna is considered the background resource  for the Rabbinic rule requiring three meals on Shabbat), which we never get asked out to so I figured I should bring it and ‘it’ was scones.  yum. Now, the thing about scones, for those who aren’t as familiar, is that they are not super duper sweet.  You will be sorely disappointed if you’re expecting a sugary sweet breakfast treat.  You will not, however, be disappointed if you’re expecting a buttery, almost biscuit-like treat that tastes good either with jalapeno and white cheddar or with orange zest and cherries.

Orange and Oat Scones
(as adapted from 101Cookbooks.com)

WHAT?

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups rolled oats
zest of 1 orange
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup coarse turbinado or Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
2/3 cup dried cherries

How?!

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse 15-20 times or until it looks like sandy pearls. (If you are working by hand, cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter.) Transfer the dough to a bowl and stir in the oats and zest. Stir in the buttermilk and currants until just moistened.

Bring the dough together with your hands. If the dough is still too crumbly, stir in more buttermilk a tiny splash at a time, but try to avoid over mixing. After bringing the dough together, gently pat it into an 8-inch round. Cut into triangle shapes (see photo) and transfer to the prepared baking sheet with some room between each scone. Sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minute or until the bottoms are deeply golden.

Makes 8 extra-large scones, or 12 to 16 larger ones.

Not Yo Mama’s Roasted Chicken

10 Apr

You ever get sick of eating? Sometimes, and this is weird because clearly I love LOVE love eating, I just get sick of eating.  I’ve decided that my occasional disinterest in food generally correlates to a lack of creative outlet in my life.  This is not rocket science, I realize that.  Right?  When we’re lacking in passion or creativity in one aspect of our lives it permeates the rest of our lives?  You ever notice that? At work, I find myself buried under paperwork and scheduling and emails and if I’m not careful, the lack of creativity that comes from that kind of work can just suck the life out of everything else (thus the reason for this blog).  I notice this the most around shabbat dinner prep time.  Usually, I start planning the menu around Wednesday so we can go shopping on Thursday evening.  But, those days when all I want to make is salad, roast a chicken and call it a day usually means the creative passion needs a good kick in the pants.  So, last shabbat, that kick in the pants was to liven up said roast chicken.

The husband and I recently made a trip out to Teaneck, NJ to visit the family and ended up stocking up on some of our most favorite items at Trader Joe’s (a wonderful grocery store with a surprising amount of kosher options).  Now granted, Miami has it’s fair share of kosher grocery stores but food is crazy expensive in Florida so a chance to stock up at TJ’s was not to be missed.  One of the items we purchased was their sun dried tomatoes.  Delicious.  So, when the following shabbat came around, armed with chicken and said sun dried tomatoes, I set out to make sundried tomato pesto roast chicken and damn, was it good.

Ready for the oven

Now, let’s keep it real, this is not the most difficult recipe in the world.  But, I figured, with Passover right around the corner and the daunting task of making food taste good and interesting without beans, wheat, corn, etc., I figured I’d share.  The secret to this recipe is freshness and the even spread.  When you’re spreading the sun dried tomato mixture into the chicken, you’re gonna have to get over yourself get in there–I mean get under that skin nice and good.

What?

  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 (5-pound) whole chicken
  • How?

    1. In a food processor, pulse basil, pine nuts, garlic, sundried tomatoes, salt and pepper a few times until coarsely chopped. With processor running, slowly add olive oil until combined.
    2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
    3. Place chicken in a roasting pan. Completely cover with pesto, lifting skin on top of breast and rubbing underneath the skin as well. Loosely cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to roast for about 1 hour.***
    4. Carve into pieces and serve.

    ***I got in there and basted a little bit even though the recipe did not call for basting.  I have a very strong fear of dried out chicken (dried out chicken and heights–what are ya gonna do!?).  I’m not sure this is necessary but the chicken was super juicy and delicious.

    Rub-a-Dub Chicken

    6 Mar

    While we’re on the subject of delicious recipes from our mothers, I have to share the love brought to us by Rub Dub Chicken.  Now, technically it is actually courtesy of the New York Times, but, my mother-in-law is the glorious woman who put it together so lovingly so I attribute it to her.  I experienced my first bite of Rub Dub Chicken at my in-laws house during our week of sheva brachot in New Jersey.  I took a bite and was in heaven.  It’s the kind of chicken whose juice you slop up with your challah and everything else you got on your plate.  The sides are just decoration compared to this delectable chicken.  And the best part? It’s the easiest recipe for roast chicken I have ever come across.  It requires nothing but the mixing of spices and well, the rubbing of it into the chicken.  My father-in-law told me that the secret to its juiciness lies in the 2-3 hours it needs to marinate and the brown sugar mixture, which brings out its natural juices.  Whatever it is, its good and is officially a shabbat dinner staple in our household.

    Spices ready for rubbin'

    Now, because the juice and flavor is so strong and delicious, I highly recommend sides like Israeli couscous and/or roasted new potatoes with some roasted veggies or something like that. Seriously, let this baby be the star of your dinner.  I mean, you wouldn’t put Patti on the same stage as Barbra, would you?  Wait . . . would you!?!?!

    Rub Dub Chicken

    Ingredients

    1 whole chicken (3 1/2 pounds)
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon brown sugar

    Method

    Combine all ingredients together. Rub chicken thickly and well all over, under skin too, using the entire rub. Let the chicken sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place seasoned chicken on rack. Roast for 20 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue cooking, about another 30 minutes, basting with any drippings frequently, until meat registers about 180 degrees? Let sit for 10 minutes before carving.

    Sweet, delicious rub dub chicken.

    No Buttermilk Here

    26 Feb

    Well, we finally got cable, which means the various channels that play cooking shows of all kinds have been having their fair share of viewing time in our house.  We recently discovered Man vs. Food and every time I watch it, my old treif taste buds come roaring back.  Sure, I’d like to sink my teeth into a Philly cheese steak, but I ain’t gonna do it–ever.  Luckily, there are some very tasty meat alternatives out there that allow us to indulge a little.  The most recent episode we saw featured some delicious fried chicken.  Yum.  I mean, YUM.  The secret to some good, Southern fried chicken is a solid 24 hour marinate in buttermilk.  But alas, that’s not happening in our kosher home.  But just because we’re not bathing our chicken in buttermilk doesn’t mean we can enjoy some ‘fried’ chicken.  So, this shabbat dinner I tried out some oven-fried chicken.  Now, Ina (a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa) has an oven-fried chicken recipe but alas it calls for buttermilk so that wasn’t happening.  I scoured the internet for oven-fried recipes that didn’t include dairy and really didn’t find much.  I needed it to be dairy-free but also needed it to be juicy.  As a Southern woman, I find it difficult to think of making any kind of fried or oven-fried chicken without buttermilk but as a kosher woman, well, it’s out of the question.  Still, it needed to be juicy.  I can’t be the only person out there who has sunk there teeth into what looked like a nice, juicy oven-fried drumstick, only to find it so dried up you’re faking your yummy noises while asking for the water (“Mmmmm, soooo good.  Wow. Yum. Can anyone pass the water?”) . Finally, I settled on a recipe from the blog, The Hillbilly Housewife.  I mean hell, I gotta think that an oven-fried chicken recipe from a woman flat-out admitting to being a Hillbilly is gonna a) be delicious and b)gonna involve mounds of butter.  However, there was only a little and it was easily substituted for margarine and the result was very juicy.   I used some fresh bread crumbs made from some left over challah and cooked it for exactly an hour.  There was some thyme, there was some olive oil, there was some kosher salt.  It was all very delicious, if I do say so myself.

    Ingredients

    (I’m actually not going to put measurements as it really depends on how much chicken you’re making.  Just make sure your chicken is more than fully covered by the bread crumbs/seasonings.  All measurements will be based on your liking)

    Cut-up chicken
    Fresh bread crumbs
    Thyme
    Kosher salt
    Pepper
    Paprika
    Garlic Powder
    Olive oil – Enough to coat your roasting an
    Margarine

    Method

    Pre-heat oven to 400°.

    In an empty freezer bag, or in a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and seasonings.  Put one portion of cut-up chicken in the bag and shake  or coat it in the bowl. Lay the coated chicken in a well oiled 9 by 13-inch rectangular baking pan.

    After all your chicken is nicely coated and laid out in the pan, gently place any left over bread crumb/seasoning mixture on top of the chicken to get yourself a nice and extra crispy taste.  Next, put a dollop of margarine on top of each piece of chicken (more for the breast, less for a wing).  This will get it that nice and juicy taste you want.

    Bake the chicken for about 45 minutes to an hour. Some people recommend turning the chicken over after it is half done baking. This is probably good advice, but I didn’t turn it over because I like the under sides to be a little more moist and a little less crispy.  I will leave the choice for turning the chicken up to you. You know it’s done when the chicken is a nice, golden brown color and the juice runs clear when you stick a fork in it.

    Chicken - happy and coated in their roasting pan.

     

    Post-oven and ready to be devoured.

    A Vegan Shabbs

    13 Feb

    What happens when you can’t really afford to buy a lot of meat, are having guests over for shabbat lunch and they’re coming to your house for lunch from a meat-filled kiddish?  You make yourself a vegan shabbat.  Now, for those who are new to this kosher thing, it is customary to wait several hours between eating meat and dairy (but only about 30 minutes if you’re going from dairy into meat). So, since I had plans for going diary this shabbat lunch but found out that our guests (and my husband) would be coming back from a meat-tastic kiddish luncheon, the only choice was vegan.  Yum!  I actually really enjoy the occasional vegan meal, dairy-head that I am, but my husband isn’t so enthralled with it so the challenge of creating a delicious and filling vegan shabbat lunch was on.

    For shabbat dinner, I made The Barefoot Contessa’s lemon chicken with croutons (ala Annie Grossman) and dang, that stuff was good. Lemon chicken is a staple in our household and was actually the first whole roast chicken I ever made. The extra special yummy part about this chicken is that the ‘croutons’ act as instant stuffing, which is and will remain, my favorite side dish.  The Contessa’s original recipe calls for sauteing the cut up bread but I actually toast it, which helps with the whole ‘stuffing’ feel to the dish.

    But lunch was something entirely different.  The menu went something like this:

    Chickpea curry
    Brown rice
    Baked soy tofu with sesame seeds
    Roasted cauliflower and sweet potato with tahini and parsley
    Generic green salad

    Since I can’t take pictures during shabbat, I really only got pictures of the chickpea curry as everything else was roasting right on up until shabbat came in.  It’s a shame too because the cauliflower and sweet potato looked just as gorgeous as it tasted.

    Our shabbat lunch guests seemed to really enjoy the meal even though it wasn’t meat (even if they lied, I’m going with it) and more importantly, my husband actually like baked tofu.  I mean, now that is a holy shabbat.

    Recipes:

    Barefoot Contessa Roasted Lemon Chicken with Croutons:

    Ingredients

    • 1 (4 to 5-pound) roasting chicken
    • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
    • Olive oil
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 lemons, quartered
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted
    • 6 cups (3/4-inch) bread cubes – PAERVE (make sure your bread is not dairy).

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    Take the giblets out of the chicken and wash it inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers. Toss the onion with a little olive oil in a small roasting pan. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemons inside the chicken. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, brush it with the melted margarine or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

    Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. (The onions may burn, but the flavor is good.)

    Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 to

    10 minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the croutons on a serving platter. Slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the croutons. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.

    Chickpea Curry (Recipe from Two Hippos):
    Serves ~8-10

    Ingredients

    1 large onion, chopped
    3-4 cloves garlic, minced
    oil
    3 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    tomato paste
    2-3 medium tomatoes, chopped
    ~12 oz fresh spinach
    1 c. vegetable broth (liquid or hot water + powder)
    curry
    coriander
    cumin
    crushed red pepper
    salt
    pepper

    Directions

    1. Add oil to large saute pan and add the onion and garlic. Stir over medium heat.

    2. Add 2-3 tbsp {this is where I didn’t measure so play around} of tomato paste and the tomatoes to the onion garlic mixture. Stir and let it cook into a sauce/gravy (~5 minutes).

    3. Add some spices (start with the curry/coriander/cumin/red pepper in smaller amounts and add more to taste). You’ll probably want more curry/coriander/cumin and less red pepper.

    4. Add the chickpeas and stir. Let it cook for ~5 minutes.

    5. Add 1 c. broth (or mix 1 c. hot water + powder broth, stir, and add). Stir.

    6. Let everything cook over low heat until the liquid has reduced into a gravy-like texture. Stir occasionally (~ 1/2 hour). Taste occasionally, adding any or all of the spaces as you see fit.

    7.  Add spinach, mix in, and let it wilt into the chickpea mixture.

    8. Taste again and add spices (e.g., salt and pepper) as necessary.

    9. Enjoy!

    Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato with Tehina

    Ingredients:

    1 head of cauliflower – washed, destemmed and cut into bite-sized portions
    3 medium sweet potatoes – washed and cubed
    Olive Oil
    Kosher Salt
    Pepper
    Paprika
    Chopped parsley

    Tehina (I don’t use a recipe for making tehina so the recipe below is a best guestimate):
    Tahini paste
    Hot water
    Fresh lemon juice
    Kosher salt
    Garlic powder

    Directions

    Preheat over to 425.

    Toss chopped cauliflower and sweet potatoes into a roasting pan with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.  After tossing, sprinkle mixture with paprika until your desired amount.  Roast veggies until soft and crispy (about 45 minutes).  Let roasted veggies cool.  Meanwhile, put about 1/2 cup of tahini into a Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup fitted with a spout.  Gradually add hot water (not boiling!) until thick and creamy though not too runny (it should be about the same consistency as chocolate or caramel syrup on a sundae).  After achieving desired consistency, gradually add lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time.  Additionally, add pinches of garlic powder and kosher salt until desired flavor (I like a good balance of all but some folks like their tehina more garlicky than lemony and visa versa).  This is truly a recipe where you need to taste as you go.

    After you have your tehina to the consistency and flavor of your liking, pour over veggies in an even fashion.  Sprinkle with parsley.

    A Word on Flourless Cake

    1 Feb

    Hey Ya’ll.

    I hope everyone is staying warm! I had the air conditioning on during the drive home and the door to the porch is open so yes,  J and I are having different experiences right now.  Sorry boo.

    So, tonight’s menu is Koshi—-kosher sushi (ya’ll can borrow that word but know its a Jewhungry word, nkay?).  That’s right, Jews can eat sushi thanks be to tuna, salmon and fake crab meat.  Now, there’s lots to talk about when we’re talking about Koshi.  First, because I spent the first 28 years of my life NOT eating kosher, I actually know what real crab meat tastes like.  Therefore, I can whole-heartedly say that fake crab meat is delicious and taste reasonably like the real thing. One of the best meals we’ve had since moving to Miami was a dinner of pasta and fake crab cakes at a little kosher joint in Boca (where we were joined by J and his sweet in-laws).  I’m telling you, it was DELICIOUS! I still dream of that meal.  The hubby and I still get bugged out from time to time when we’re sitting in a kosher dairy restaurant and they have traditionally non-kosher items like shrimp, crab cakes and chorizo on the menu (which, I should say, are all fake and kosher).  We still double check with the waiter that the items are indeed fake and kosher, which they always are.  But still, we’re suspicious Jews so we gotta ask.

    More Koshi to come but first, the flourless cake.

    As my closest friends and family know, shabbat* is my favorite holiday, which is pretty great because I get to celebrate it every week.  With the stress of a new job and constantly being in the car battling Miami drivers, shabbat is the day that I have to spend quality time with my husband.  In the morning, I drink my coffee on the porch while reading a delightful book with no intellectual value whatsoever and for 25 hours, I’m in a little bubble.  There’s no computer or cell phone or TV or radio or Facebook, which means there’s no one trying to sell me anything or force me to think about how messed out the world is.  It’s just peaceful.  But of course, the best part is the eating and the sleeping (I’m just keeping it real ya’ll).  So this shabbat I started a new book by Jane Green called “Promises to Keep”.  Now, this book is never gonna win a Pulitzer however, its perfect for woman with several hours to kill and a cup of coffee on a porch in Florida.  I didn’t actually open to book when I picked it up at the library so you can imagine my amazement when I discovered it contained recipes! Yes! Recipes! One of the main characters is a vegan chef so there is a recipe at the end of each chapter.  Very cute.  I decided to make the first recipe from the book on Sunday night as I was inspired by J’s PTA Mom post.  The recipe was for an orange and almond crunch flourless cake.

    Ingredients:

    1 orange
    3 eggs
    1 cup confectioner’s sugar
    1/4 cup plain flour, sifted
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 cup ground almonds
    1/2 cup orange marmalade
    Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

    Method:

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch springform cake tin and line with wax paper.

    Put the orange in a pan, cover with water and simmer for 1 hour (or nuke in a microwave for around 25 minutes) until soft.  Cut the orange in half, remove the seeds and puree in a food processor.

    Beat the eggs and sugar until pale and thick.  Fold in the flour, baking  powder, almonds and orange puree.  Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour.

    Melt the marmalade in a small pan, then pour through a fine sieve, pressing to get all the juice out.  Spread the rind-free juice over the cake.

    When cool, sift the confectioners’ sugar over the cake.

    Now, this cake was alright. I mean, it was good but I don’t know.  I had to hand-grind the almonds and I think that’s what kinda put this one on the “nice, but no need to repeat” category.  You must, MUST grind those puppies good.  They’re their for texture, but the orange should be the star.  If anything, we got some pretty pictures outta it and isn’t that what really counts 🙂

    *Shabbat is the Hebrew word for ‘sabbath’.  The Torah tells us that when Gd was creating the world, Gd worked for 6 days and on the seventh day, Gd rested.  This is where we get shabbat from–this day of rest.  The laws of shabbat are very complex so the very very very abridged version lies in the idea of abstaining from creation on shabbat.  Thus, we do not turn on lights, create flames or do anything that remotely resembles work (i.e. put oil-based make up on our faces. That one is a piece of work, no pun intended).  What falls into the realm of “work” when we’re talking about shabbat is even more complex and this post is already a bit of a novel so I’ll just leave things as they are.

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