Archive for April, 2012

Low-Carb Red Pepper, Mushroom and Feta Breakfast Casserole (or how I used up all my extra eggs from Passover)

April 25, 2012

I had some eggs that I had to use up. Well, a whole lot of eggs, actually.

I may have bought a few too many for Passover. Just maybe.

It wasn’t that I didn’t bake enough. And it wasn’t a matter of not eating enough. In fact, maybe I ate too much.

I wanted some way of using up the eggs that didn’t involve yet another cake or cookie or brownie. And no more matzoh brie. I was looking for something low-carb that could be eaten over the course of a few days (or–better yet–frozen for much later consumption).

At first I was going to make the egg muffins from Kalyn’s Kitchen, but then I saw this breakfast casserole on her site. It calls for 18 eggs (just the amount that I had to use up!), plus feta, bell pepper, and mushrooms (all ingredients that I had on hand and that I needed to use up).

According to Kalyn, these egg muffins and casseroles reheat well and can even be frozen. I divided the casserole into eight portions for reheating as needed for a quick breakfast or light supper.

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Right Before Shabbos Tomato Chickpea Orzo Salad

April 22, 2012

This recipe is from before Pesach, when I was  trying to use up little bits of this and that chometz. I whipped this together right before Shabbos, so I just glanced at the recipe for inspiration and then did my own thing in the kitchen.

For a thrown together salad, it was a surprisingly huge hit. I think this will be especially nice to serve for Shabbos lunch when the weather gets really hot.

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Avocado, Tomato and Hearts of Palm Salad

April 22, 2012

I had this cool, refreshing salad at a friend’s house and then made it myself, with a few little changes.

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Super Fudgy Brownies (Gluten-Free and Kosher for Passover)

April 19, 2012

Yes, I know. Pesach is over. Back to chometz.

All the same, give these brownies a chance. A crackly thin crust, fudgy interior, intense chocolate flavor–these are stellar brownies that can hold their own against chometz brownies any day.

These are different from the Homemade Passover Brownie Mix brownies in that those brownies have a cocoa flavor (like a boxed mix brownie) with nutty overtones and a certain chewiness, while these have a deep, pure semisweet chocolate flavor and a soft, fudgy texture.

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Zinfandel Strawberries

April 11, 2012

Have wine leftover from the seder? You can macerate berries in wine to make a nice accompaniment to dessert. I served Zinfandel macerated strawberries with flourless chocolate cake, following a recipe from Todd Aarons, chef at Tierra Sur (restaurant for Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, California).

The recipe is simple: wash, stem and cut 2 pints of strawberries into 1/4″ thick pieces/slices. Put the berries into a bowl with a cup of Zinfandel wine. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, drain off the wine into a small saucepan–it will have turned deep pink from the berries (see above picture). Boil down the wine until it is reduced by about half and is syrupy.

Store the wine reduction and the berries separately and combine when serving (the original recipe says to plate the cake with some berries and then drizzle over some wine reduction).

The wine reduction is intense, like balsamic vinegar, because the boiling down intensifies the acidity as well as the sweetness. The berries are infused with wine flavor all the way through.

The overall effect is very sophisticated and adult. I added some sugar to leftover berries and liked the added sweetness.

Chestnut Pistachio Terrine (vegetarian and kosher for Passover)

April 5, 2012

Most likely, if you have vegetarians coming to your seder, you have already figured out what you are serving them. But, if you are a last minute kind of person, this nut loaf will be a good addition to your seder table.

It is good served cold with some tangy sauce on the side, like duck sauce.

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Feta Compli

April 4, 2012

Last year for Pesach, I made what I called Naked Spanakopita: spinach filling without the filo. It was good, but I felt it was too crowded in a round pan and needed to be spread thinner in a  9×13 pan. Plus, I just wanted to tweak it a bit.

Then a neighbor kindly lent me a copy of The When You Live in Hawaii You Get Very Creative During Passover Cookbook, published by Sof Ma’arav Congregation, Honolulu, Hawaii (1989). There was a recipe with the irresistible title “Feta Compli.” I decided to borrow the name, plus the idea of topping the spinach layer with a cheese-ey, creamy layer. I also made the filling richer and more moist with Dill Havarti cheese and some farmer’s cheese.

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Passover 2012

April 3, 2012

Here are the desserts I am making for Pesach this year:

brownies

chocolate chip cookies

meringues

hazelnut macaroons

chocolate chocolate cookies

chocolate cake

pecan cake with chocolate frosting

chocolate nemesis

lemon angel pie

intense fudge nuggets

Intense Fudge Nuggets

April 3, 2012

It is amazing what small changes in a recipe can do. This recipe started off as a chocolate-free and not-kosher-for-Passover recipe for croquants from Dorie Greenspan (basically a nut meringue cookie). I replaced the flour in the recipe with cocoa to make a chocolate nut cookie. It was chewy when warm, and crispy when cool, with the same chocolate intensity as my favorite passover chocolate cookies.

I started seeing a lot of flourless fudge cookies recently (including the Pesach issue of Whisk magazine). Like my chocolate croquants, these cookies are mostly sugar, cocoa and egg whites. I noticed that the proportions of this kind of cookie (see the King Arthur version as an example), were only a little different from the chocolate croquants. The difference was the use of powdered sugar instead of granulated and more cocoa in relation to the egg whites and sugar.

As an experiment, I reduced the sugar by 4 Tbl. and increased the cocoa by 2 Tbl. in my recipe. Plus, I replaced the nuts with chocolate chips.  Oh, and I reduced the baking temperature from 400 degrees to 350 degrees. The results? Instead of being crispy and light, the cookies ended up being dense and fudgy.

So light and crispy or dense and fudgy–it is up to you.

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Gianduja Macaroons

April 3, 2012

This stared off as a recipe for almond-lemon macaroons at Israeli Kitchen. They have morphed into hazelnut macaroons, dipped in hazelnut truffle chocolate.

The cookies are chewy, with an amazingly intense hazelnut flavor. If you like Nutella (pasta gianduja), you will love these macaroons.

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