Archive for October, 2011

Noach: Rainbow Cookies

October 28, 2011

For this week’s parsha, rainbow cookies. These are those three-layer mini-cakes also known as Venetians or Italian Flag cookies, except I have created 6 layers, making a real rainbow (okay, there is no indigo, but the other six colors are there).


Bianco’s Pizza

October 26, 2011

Note: this post was buried in my drafts. I have no idea why I never posted this.

I was flipping through the Gourmet Today cookbook and spotted a recipe for Chris Bianco’s pizza dough. On the opposite page (p. 303) was a recipe for using the dough to make a 14″ pizza with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and cheese.


Happy Birthday, Leon!

October 25, 2011

Three layers of flourless pecan cake, two layers of chocolate mousse, a chocolate¬† frosting, and praline crunch (Marzipan plaque with “Happy 8oth Birthday Daddy!”). This would be great for Passover (scaled back down, of course!).


Cranberry Golden Raisin Wheat Bread

October 24, 2011

I have made this no-knead bread three times now. With a thick, chewy crust and a crumb dense with golden raisins and dried cranberries, this bread is spectacular toasted with cream cheese.


CrustlessTurkey Pot Pie

October 24, 2011

When I was growing up, my mother would make this dish from The Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook called Turkey Dish for Ladies’ Aid Society. The recipe was simple: saute vegetables (onions, green peppers, mushrooms, celery), add flour and broth to make a thickened sauce, and then mix in some cubed leftover turkey (or chicken) and peas. The original recipe called for serving the mixture over toast (kind of like pot pie, but with toast as a crust). My mother served it over rice like chop suey (which I remember my mom making basically the same way, but with the addition of soy sauce, bean sprouts, and water chestnuts.

In the cookbook, the recipe followed another for roast turkey, which offered the following observation: “I’m very lucky, because twice a year, if I need the excuse, I can have turkey for a regular Thanksgiving meal. Once for Sukkoth and once for Thanksgiving.”

If you have turkey leftover from Sukkot–maybe you threw it in the freezer–this is a perfect use for it (and it works with defrosted frozen turkey).


Spicy Sweet Roast Kabocha

October 24, 2011

Kabocha . . . ka-bow-chah. A pretty green-skinned orange-fleshed winter squash. Tastes delicious sliced and roasted with warm fall spices and a little brown sugar. The only hard part is slicing the squash–use a sharp knife and be careful! (next time I may roast it whole for 15 minutes to soften it for slicing) The skin is edible–no need to peel.


The Easiest Best Most Foolproof Rice

October 11, 2011

[picture to follow]

Have you ever had one of those off-days where almost everything you make in the kitchen seems to go awry? I have been having some kitchen issues while cooking right before Yom Tov (picture hot soup spilled all over the place), and was afraid even my easy yellow rice would come out wrong. So, I tried a new rice cooking technique.

A while back, I saw a recipe for oven-baked rice and kind of dismissed the idea. How hard is it to make rice in the pot, I thought–why bother with a new method?

Then, I had a few rice disasters. After years of no problem making rice the usual way, suddenly I was finding my rice to be . . . . unpredictable. With all that was going awry in the kitchen, the last thing I wanted was unpredictable.

So, I gave the oven method a shot. It is supposed to guarantee perfect rice.

Guess what? It is super easy to do, and it really does result in perfect rice.

The original recipe calls for heating rice and oil in a heavy pot, adding water and salt, bringing the whole thing to a boil, covering the pot, and sticking it in the oven for 13 minutes. I wanted to cook the rice in a 9×13 pan that I could use to reheat the rice. So, I heated the rice and oil in the pan while boiling water in a pot. To make yellow rice, I added some turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper to the rice before adding the boiling water. Then I covered the pan tightly with foil and stuck it in the oven for the 13 minutes, let it sit for 5 minutes in a turned off oven, and then took a peek. Perfect yellow rice! Not overcooked, not mushy, not hard and underdone. Just perfect. And already in the pan I can use for reheating.


My Favorite Holiday Salad Dressing

October 2, 2011

I made up this salad dressing specifically for Rosh Hashana, but I use it all the time.  Use it over salad with tomatoes, craisins, mandarin oranges, scallions, and thin Chinese noodles.


Other Round Challah Ideas (plus another challah recipe)

October 1, 2011

I posted about different ways of braiding round challahs, but I have two more ideas.

For the challah on the left, I took two long ropes of dough and twisted them together (like you would when making babka). I took this twisted strand and wrapped it in a spiral, making a twisted round loaf.

For the challah on the right, I shaped 12 round of dough. I put 8 on the bottom of the pan (like you would for a crown challah), sprinkled over raisins and cinnamon sugar, and then placed over 4 more rounds. I dusted the top with cinnamon sugar and sprayed with oil. This makes a domed pull-apart cinnamon raisin challah. You can also spray each ball with oil and roll it in cinnamon sugar before putting it in the pan, and you can stuff the insides of the balls with more raisins or chocolate chips. I proportionately reduced the amount of sugar in the dough to balance the addition of cinnamon sugar.

Here is what they look like before being baked:


My Mom’s Plum Torte

October 1, 2011

This is my mom’s plum torte . . . It is more like a tart than a cake.