Enjoy our current and previous recipes of the month! We also have curry dip.

Challah Bread

Challah BreadEveryone seems to like this Challah Bread recipe. It is the traditional Friday night Shabbat offering. I make it for our Havarah and add raisins to this round version for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This recipe makes three normal sized loaves, either round or straight. For weddings and Bar Mitzvahs I use the whole recipe to make one large loaf.

Ingredients:

2 packages or dry yeast ( 2 Tbs )
.5 cup of warm water
pinch of sugar

5 whole eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
.5 cup vegetable oil
1.5 cup warm water
1 Tbs kosher salt
9 – 10 cups of all purpose flour

1 egg mixed with 1 Tbs of water
poppy seeds or sesame seeds for garnish
Optional: 1 cup of raisin, golden or dark

Mix yeast, warm water and a pinch of sugar in a large measuring cup. While this is blooming beat 5 eggs in a stranding mixer bowl. Add 3/4 cups of sugar and beat again. Add the yeast mixture. Beat lightly. Mix in .5 cup of oil and 1.5 cup of water with the 1 tbs salt.

Once this is all together slowly add 2 – 3 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Slowly add the remaining 6 or 7 cups of flour. The weather seems to determine how much I add. Once this is done and all flour is in, turn out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and turn into an oil coated bowl for rising. Cover with a lid or dish towel. If using raisins you can mix them in using the mixer or when forming into loaves.

Let rise twice, punching down between risings. Know that you can also put this in the refrigerator overnight to hold and rise if you are running out of time. Let it come to room temp. before trying to work with it.

Now here’s the fun part. Punch down and divide into thirds. Divide each third into three long coils. Braid these coils and place on a parchment lined pan. Brush with the egg water mixture. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

I have a commercial size oven so I can put them all on a full sheet pan to bake at once.

Turn the oven to 140 and put the challah in the oven for 20 minutes. Raise the oven temp to 200 and bake for 15 minutes. Raise the temp to 275 and bake for 15 minutes. Finally raise the oven temp to 375 and bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. If browning too fast cover with tin foil. I start on the bottom rack and turn and raise to the upper rack half way through cooking or when I turn the temp up for the last time. Let cool completely in the pan or on a wire rack.

Serve and make everyone happy! Shabbat Shalom

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Plums And Tomatoes With Burrata And Hot Sauce

It’s October but there are still fabulous tomatoes to be had. Last year I found a series of salads in the August 2018 issue of “Bon Appetit.”. Now I don’t normally do this but there were 3 salads in that article and I have been eating two of them all summer and serving them at every party that I can. They were amazing. The one printed below has everyone asking for the recipe. The other, on a separate page, was a cucumber and honeydew or cantaloupe with ricotta salata. So run out and get some tomatoes while you can. The original recipe calls for peaches but it’s plum season now so that’s what I’m having for lunch.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. mild hot sauce, such as Crystal or Frank’s
2 tsp plain rice vinegar
2 tsp honey
kosher salt to taste
6 ripe plums ( or 3 peaches or nectarines ) cut into halves
2 large ripe tomatoes cut into wedges ( I like to use the orange and yellow heirlooms as they are less acid )
8 oz ball of burrata
tarragon sprigs for garnish
flaky sea salt for garnish

Whisk oil, hot sauce, honey and vinegar in a small jar until the honey dissolves. Season with the kosher salt.
Cut the plums and tomatoes and put them in a low platter.
Tear the burrata into pieces on top of the fruit.
Garnish with tarragon and salt.

The nasturtiums are still blooming in my garden so nothing like a little extra garnish.

Serves 2 – 4

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Shaved Vegetable Salad

A client asked me to make a shaved asparagus salad for her dinner party this summer. I thought that it might be more interesting with several vegetables, so here’s my updated version.

Shaved Vegetable SaladIngredients:

1 lb asparagus
1 lb zucchini
1 lb yellow summer squash
1 lb haricot vert, green beans
1 bunch radish
4 tablespoon chopped dill
4 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
4 tablespoon chopped chives
1 red onion sliced very thinly

Marinade:

juice of 2 lemons
.5 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish:

.5 cup pumpkin seeds, salted
saved asparagus tips

Wash and dry asparagus, beans, zucchini, and summer squash. Cut off the hard end of the asparagus and cut the tips to save as garnish. Using a vegetable peeler shave all of these vegetables to thin strips. Thinly slice the radish and red onion.

Marinade: Mix the lemon juice and oil with salt and pepper.

Save some of the marinade for the asparagus tips. Marinate the tips and save in a small container. Toss the rest of the vegetables in a bowl with the herbs, lemon, and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit overnight to cook the vegetables. Know that the salad will reduce by half as it wilts.

Just before serving garnish with the asparagus tips and the pumpkin seeds.

Serves 12

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Grilled Scallops And Fresh Warm Corn Melange

It’s summer and we want to cook everything outside. So here’s a recipe for fresh corn and scallops on the grill.

Scallop with Corn MelangeIngredients:

9 Fresh sea scallops
3 Ears of fresh corn
2 Tbl olive oil for sauté, more for grilling
Half a red pepper, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, 4 or 5 oz. , chopped
1 medium yellow onion, 4 oz., diced
1/3 cup of fennel, chopped
1 tsp fennel fronds, minced
2 tsp fresh dill, minced
Grated rind of 1 lime
Lime juice from half the lime
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

More cilantro and lime juice for garnish

Heat the grill. While heating roll corn in olive oil. When the grill is hot place the corn on the grill, turning every 5 minutes until charred on all sides. When done remove from the grill and cool.
When cool cut the kernels from the cob. Reserve.

While grilling chop and mince the vegetables and herbs. Heat the 2 T. of olive oil in a skillet.
Cook the onions until starting to brown. Then add the peppers and garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add the tomato, fennel, minced fennel and dill. Cover and cook a few minutes until the corn is cooked through.

Roll the scallops in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 minutes on each side.
Remove.

Remove the lid from the corn mixture and add the lime rind, juice of half the lime and the cilantro. Stir.

Divide corn melange between 3 plates. Top with three scallops each. Squeeze the juice from the second half of the lime over the scallops. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Serves 3

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Grilled Cheese A La Charlie

Grilled Cheese SandwichMy friend Charlie came for dinner the other night and brought some cheese for appetizers.
He brought Asiago and Gruyere. I thought that was an interesting combo, but he explained. He said that he had had a grilled cheese sandwich at the Hotel Northampton years ago and had been dreaming about it ever since. I asked for a description and here’s my attempt to match his list of ingredients.

Ingredients:

2 oz. onions, chopped
1 T. butter
1 Roma tomato, sliced into 4ths and oven roasted with a little oil, s and p. ( do ahead )
1 oz Asiago, sliced
1 oz Gruyere, sliced

2 slices of sandwich or sourdough bread. ( I used Sriracha Sesame from “ the Bread Shed” in Keene, N.H. It gave it an extra kick)
1 T butter to spread on the bread.

Heat a small frying pan and melt 1 T. butter. Add the chopped onion and cook until it is starting to brown. Add the sliced tomato to heat through. Remove both from the pan.

Spread butter on the outsides of each slice of bread. Place buttered side down on cutting board. On one slice place the Asiago. On the other place the Gruyere. Place the tomato and onion on either side. Combine sides.

Fry in the skillet until golden on both sides. Covering the pan helps the cheese to melt more evenly.

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Polenta Casserole With Mushroom Filling

May Recipe of the Month

When I make stuffed mushrooms for catering I often have extra stuffing. I had a lot left over one day and was looking for a way to use it up. I often cook polenta for myself for dinner with different toppings so thought this might make a great vegetarian main dish. I brought it to a meeting one night and everyone wanted the recipe, so here goes.

The stuffing for mushroom caps recipe has bread crumbs in it and I have omitted them for this version.

Ingredients:

MUSHROOM FILLING

2 lbs. assorted mushrooms: white, crimini, baby bella’s, sliced or chopped
2 shallots, minced
1/2 large Spanish onion, chopped
6 T. unsalted butter
1 small bunch Italian Parsley, chopped
2 stems of fresh Tarragon, chopped
.5 cup of white wine or Vermouth
.75 tsp nutmeg
2 T. heavy cream
2 oz. gruyere
1/2 cup parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom Polenta CasseroleMelt the butter in a large frying pan. Sauté the shallot and onion until translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until starting to loose their liquid. Add the parsley and tarragon with the wine. Cook down until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat. Stir in the nutmeg, cream and cheeses, salt and pepper. Let cool

POLENTA

2 cups fast cooking polenta
8 cups of water
1 cup of milk
4 T butter
.5 cup parmesan to mix into the polenta
1 tsp each salt and pepper, or to taste
.5 cup of parmesan, for the topping

Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt. Slowly stir in polenta, stirring constantly until almost thick. Mixture will bubble up so stay close. Add 1 cup of milk and continue stirring until thick. 5 – 10 minutes. Stir in butter, parmesan and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Pour half into an 8 x 10 baking dish. Or comparable size pan. ( 9 x 12) Spread the mushroom mixture over the top. Cover with the rest of the polenta. Sprinkle the last half cup of parmesan over the top.

Preheat the oven to 350. Bake 45 – 50 minutes until heated through. Turn on the broiler and move to upper shelf of the oven. Watch carefully so that the parmesan browns but does not burn.
Enjoy with a salad for a great vegetarian meal.

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Baked Black Bass With Vegetables

Black Bass BakeWhole fish look so appealing. I bought this black bass and then decided to filet it for faster baking and ease of serving. (Adapted from CHINA MOON Cookbook by Barbara Tropp.)

Ingredients:

2 filets of black bass or one small whole bass

MARINADE:
1/4 cup Sake Wine
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. chopped fresh coriander, leaves and stems
1 T. Toasted Sesame Oil
2 T. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 piece of garlic, minced
1 inch of fresh lemon grass, sliced and minced
.5 T sugar
1 tsp Red Thai Curry Paste
1 tsp fresh lemon juice, or lime if you have it

VEGETABLES:
2 T peanut oil for frying
1 small onion cut into 1/4 inch wedges
2 small carrots, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 inch of fresh lemon grass , diced
4 cups of Napa cabbage, cut into ribbons
.5 lb baby Bellas or white mushrooms, sliced
.5 tsp Pink Szechuan pepper corns
1.5 tsp fresh ginger, chopped

GARNISH
Chopped Cilantro and lemon or lime wedges

Heat the oven to 375. degrees

Combine all of the Marinade ingredients. Lay the fish filets in the marinade. Cover with the sauce and turn several times while you prepare the vegetables. Usually 10 – 15 minutes

Heat a WOK or Skillet and add the peanut oil. When hot add the onion and stir fry until golden and wilted. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to coat everything with the oil and toss and cook just until starting to wilt. You may add more oil down the sides if needed. Remove from the heat and spread on a baking dish.
Remove the fish from the marinade and place the fish on the vegetables. Pour 2 or more T. of the marinade over the fish. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until soft.

Serve with the vegetables underneath. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a lemon or lime wedge. Serve with rice or soba noodles.

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Pear Tarte Tartin

This is a classic recipe usually made with apples. I love it with pears. Sometimes I also add raspberries to the dish.

Ingredients

Pear Tart Tartin BakedFILLING

3 or 4 ripe and flavorful pears. I used Bartletts
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup of white sugar
4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
Whipped cream, optional

TARTE TARTIN PASTRY CRUST

1 cup of all purpose flour
.5 tsp salt
1 stick of cold unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
2 – 3 Tablespoons of ice water as needed

One Black Cast Iron Skillet, 10 inch

Prepare the crust: pulse the flour and salt in a Cuisinart with the metal blade. Add the butter and pulse until small pieces form. Add the egg yolk , pulse. Add the water 1 T. at a time until it pulls from the sides of the bowl. Form in to a flat disk and refrigerate for atleast an hour.

When ready to assemble roll the dough out a bit larger than the pan. Flip over the pears and tuck the sides down around the pears.

FILLING

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Peal and quarter the pears. Sprinkle with the lemon juice to coat. Place the sugar in the pan over a low hear. When some of the sugar starts to melt begin stirring with a wooden spoon until it is all melted and begins to turn a light golden color.

Pear Tart Tartin UnbakedRemove the pan from the heat. Arrange the pears in the pan with the rounded side down. I have messed this up more than once so remember that the pan will be flipped and you want the rounded side up for the final presentation.

Fill the center with a piece of pear and fill in where needed with smaller pieces. Or fill in with fresh raspberries.

Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the pears. Place back on the stove top at medium heat. Cook until the sugar turns a deep caramel color and the juices released from the fruit has nearly evaporate. 15 – 20 minutes.

Roll out the dough and cover the pears, tucking the sides DOWN INTO the pan.

Bake for 25 – 30 minuted or until the crust is golden. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Using a knife run it around the edges of the pan. CAREFULLY place a larger plate over the pan. Using two hands and two pot holders, carefully flip the pan over releasing the tarte on to the platter.

Serve with whipped cream

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Roasted Red Snapper, Mediterranean Style

There was a small Red Snapper at the Coop last week. Just the right size. And not often seen here in the north!!! So I had to have it. What, you think this photo looks funny. Well, I was so excited that I plated half and started eating before I remembered that I should have take the photograph first. Your picture will undoubtably look better. It was delish.

Ingredients:

1 whole small red snapper, cleaned and gutted. Scales removed
8 pieces of garlic minced and mashed with a drop of kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
salt
.5 tsp black pepper
.5 tsp sumac
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or oregano
1.5 bell peppers, orange and yellow, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced in rounds
Greek or Italian olive oil
1 lemon, quartered

Preheat oven to 425 degree F

Brush a baking dish with olive oil

Pat the Snapper dry and make a few slits in each side of the fish. Fill the slits with the garlic and some of the fresh herbs. Place in the prepared baking dish.

Mix the spices: cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and sumac in a small bowl. Use 3/4 of of the mix to coat the fish on both sides.

Stuff the cavity with the fresh herbs and some tomato, onions and peppers.

Place the remaining vegetables around the fish and sprinkle with a little salt and the rest of the spice mix.

Drizzle the fish and vegetables with a liberal amount of olive oil.

Bake in the the oven at 425 for about 25 minutes or until the fish flakes. Remove from oven and squeeze half of the lemon over the dish. Plate and serve with the other lemon wedges.

Serve with rice. I used Jasmine.

Serves two.

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