Kid-friendly Kosher Tortellini with Alfredo Sauce

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Kosher Tortellini and Alfredo Sauce

We recently discovered that our picky-eating 8 year old daughter, who eats almost nothing, was a fan of cheese tortellini with alfredo sauce. We ordered the dish at a non-Kosher restaurant, offered her a bite and she ended up eating the entire thing. She then begged me to make alfredo sauce for her at home.

As some of you might remember, I’m currently without a kitchen due to a remodeling project so the last thing I wanted to tackle was a homemade version of alfredo sauce. Forget about the fact that I’d have to balance a sauce pan on my single electric burner. The thought of cleaning up that mess afterwards with the garden hose in the backyard just didn’t appeal to me at all.

So I went on a mission to find a pre-made, kosher version of tortellini and alfredo sauce.

I’ve ordered kosher cheese tortellini before from the KC Kosher Coop, but I’ve never seen pre-made kosher alfredo sauce. During my next trip to the local Tom Thumb store, I started searching the aisle of canned (Jar) food to see if there was an alfredo option similar to the versions of pre-made spaghetti sauce. I found lots of options but none were kosher.

Next I checked the freezer section and struck cheesy gold goodness: Gezunt Gourmet Tri-Color Tortellini (heat and serve) and Dorot Alfredo Sauce. I bought both immediately and planned to make them for dinner the next night.

But … when I started making dinner the next night, I realized that the Alfredo Sauce required a few more ingredients, ones that I did not have. The frozen package includes 5 individual frozen strips of a mushroom sauce base (1 strip = 1 serving) that you have to mix with milk and heavy cream in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and add spices to taste.

It sounded delicious and easy, but I had no heavy cream on hand so I made the tortellini and served it with a red spaghetti sauce instead. My daughter liked it but not as much as if the pasta was covered with alfredo sauce.

Since then, I’ve purchased heavy cream and will attempt the alfredo sauce sometime this week. Stay tuned for the outcome.

What about you? Do you have suggestions for easy-to-make kosher alfredo sauce?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Don’t miss this culinary adventure in Israel with Susie Fishbein

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COOKING with SUSIE Fishbein

Cooking with Susie Fishbein during the 2014 Culinary Tour

If you are a regular reader of Kosher Treif Cooking, you know that I’m a bit of a groupie when it comes to Susie Fishbein and her cookbooks. All one has to do is examine a few pages in my copy of Kosher by Design Picture Perfect Food for the Holidays and Every Day to know that the recipes are well loved and used often.

When I first began keeping Kosher, I knew nothing about how to cook Kosher food or really even how to cook Jewish food. I’m from the South so the majority of my cooking involved fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, meat loaf made with my old treif friend pork, and just about anything else that could be deep fried or mixed with cheese, butter and heavy cream.

And I can’t lie – making the switch to Kosher wasn’t easy. I relied heavily on Kosher by Design to help me make the transition, and I loved that a lot of the recipes reminded me of my old, comfort-food way of life. Susie does an amazing job of making Kosher food that is outside the standard Jewish-fare box, and her cookbooks gave me the idea to explore ways to make my old treif favorites into Kosher meals.

So why am I telling you all of this?

Because I just learned about an amazing trip – The Susie Fishbein Culinary Tour to Israel – and wanted to share it with you. I sadly cannot make the journey myself due to work commitments but am keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to attend next year.

In the meantime, I’m hoping some of you can attend the trip and tell me how awesome it was to cook with and explore the wonderful Kosher food in Israel with Susie Fishbein : ) Here are some details:

Highlights:

  • Learn creative cooking techniques from acclaimed author Susie Fishbein
  • Meet with top Israeli chefs and participate in culinary workshops
  • Explore the tastes and smells of Israel’s wonderfully diverse markets
  • Discover the flavors of Jerusalem including a halva tasting workshop
  • Experiences culinary diversity and ingenuity in Israel
  • Stay in some of Israel’s top hotels and spas, including the opportunity to upgrade to the new Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem

Best of all in my opinion, get to cook with and learn from Susie Fishbein!

Plus, all attendees will receive a copy of Susie’s latest cookbook, as well as a special, personalized book that includes everything you learn on the trip.

2014 Culinary Tour with Susie Fishbein

2014 Culinary Tour with Susie Fishbein

I hope you can attend this great trip and look forward to hearing about your adventures.

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Kosher Food in Barcelona, Spain Part 2

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Kosher Schnitzel Barcelona

We recently visited Barcelona for the second time and were so disappointed to discover that two of our favorite Kosher restaurants from our last visit are either gone or no longer Kosher.

Delicias restaurant, which was our favorite, is no longer Kosher, and Shalom kosher restaurant has closed.Maccabi Barcelona

We were left with one Kosher restaurant in Barcelona called Maccabi on Ramblas, which is in a great location, and I’m not sure why we didn’t try this place during our last trip but we ate there several times this trip : )

The top picture is my almost completely devoured plate of Schnitzel, which I enjoyed several times while in Barcelona. Neil had the beef kabob and steak. Zoe had pasta with plain red sauce and also meat sauce, which was really good.

MaccabiApologies for the blurry photos. I think I was enjoying the Spanish red wine a little too much.

One small complaint is that Maccabi charged extra for each pita, even when you ordered hummus. This fact drove us a bit crazy cause, come on, if we order hummus, we’ve got to have pita to go with it right? The owner’s explanation was that the hummus was the main thing … or something along those lines.

Overall, I’m glad Barcelona still has a Kosher restaurant, but the atmosphere at Maccabi is not as relaxed and friendly as our favs from last year. All of our meals there felt rushed and chaotic but the food was very good and definitely worth it if you find your Kosher self in Barcelona.

If you are not strictly Kosher and OK with eating vegetarian food, last year we told you about a great Vegan Falafel booth located in Mercat de La Boqueria.

Vegan Falafel

This food establishment is not certified Kosher but it is vegan and run and/or owned by a friendly Jewish woman. This trip, we decided to exchange Thanksgiving Turkey for vegan falafel instead, so we purchased our falafels and then bought drinks from a small store, that has a few tables/chairs outside, directly across from the falafel booth and sat down to enjoy our food. Zoe eating Falafel in Barcelona

Zoe, who normally would not touch anything as exotic as falafel, actually ate and enjoyed about half of her lunch. So I think it’s at least somewhat kid friendly.

Once you are done eating, you can walk through the many vendors’ stands in the Boqueria and marvel at the interesting foods for sale. Lots of treif to admire in this market!

Barcelona is a wonderful city to visit but if you are strictly Kosher, you’ll need to bring along some of your own food. We packed several boxes of mac and cheese, cereals, Nutella, etc. to enjoy while we were there. We also ate a lot of vegetarian food, which I’m thrilled to say seems to be on the rise in this very meat/pork heavy city.

What have been your Kosher experiences in Barcelona or other European cities?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

More Kosher Treif Chips for your enjoyment – Maple Bacon

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Kosher Maple Bacon Chips

My hubbie is on a mission now any time he goes to the store. He’s looking for funny, Kosher Treif food to bring home and test. This week he discovered Maple Bacon flavored chips from Kettle. This follows his last discovery of Baby Back Ribs chips and prime steak chips.

Keep the Kosher Treif coming honey! Anyone else have a good Kosher Treif food item to share?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Clean Eating Mac and Cheese … without a kitchen

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Kosher Kitchen RemodelThe above picture depicts the state my kitchen has been in for the past 5 weeks.

Makeshift Pantry

The above picture depicts just a tiny sliver of my dining room, which has now become a makeshift kitchen. The large piece of furniture hiding underneath the food, clock and ziplock bags is a piano. Good thing my daughter decided against continuing her piano lessons for now.

 Said kitchen has been in need of a serious remodel for many years so a few weeks of living like a gypsy shouldn’t bother me too much, but I’m just around the corner from being really annoyed. We’ve eaten takeout and sandwiches for just about as long as I can stand, so I decided to try-out this “clean eating” initiative I’ve been hearing so much about lately.

I did a Google search for clean eating and clean food and found many great recipes, including a free download from Eating Well. On Monday night, I decided to skip the fast food and prepare a home cooked meal … without a kitchen. I chose the Sweet Potato Macaroni & Cheese recipe because it seemed easy enough (the microwave was involved) and required few dishes (I’m currently washing my dishes on my front lawn … the neighbors are so proud).

To kick things off, I killed the sweet potato in the microwave. The recipe said to cook it for 7 to 10 minutes. I cooked it for 7 and what came out looked like an old leather shoe. There wasn’t even anything close to a potato left inside the skin. Yuck.

By this point, I already had the noodles and the cheese sauce cooking (on a griddle lying on my floor) so I didn’t want to throw it all out, but I also didn’t want to buy or attempt cooking another sweet potato.

Cooking mac and cheese without a kitchen

My husband was at the drugstore picking up a prescription so I texted him to bring me home a few jars of sweet potato baby food. And no, it wasn’t as easy as all that. He texted back WTF? And I texted back “just do it.” And then there was more texting about which brand, etc., and even more discussion about the strange conversation he had with the check-out lady.

I finally got the baby food and added it to the cheese mixture, heated everything up (still working from the floor), transferred it all to a disposable pan and broiled it all for a few minutes to brown the breadcrumbs on top. And TaDah: Clean food (sort of) baked on the floor without a kitchen!

Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

I have to say, it wasn’t half bad. My hubbie even agreed and so did my daughter until she decided, after eating an entire bowl, that she didn’t like it. Here’s a few notes about my version, some of which make the recipe somewhat unclean:

  • As mentioned, I killed the sweet potato so I substituted 3 jars of sweet potato baby food instead. Don’t think anyone noticed. And the baby food was organic.
  • The recipe calls for whole wheat pasta and breadcrumbs. Whole wheat pasta: Check. Whole wheat breadcrumbs: not so much. Plain ole unclean breadcrumbs were used.
  • My daughter hates peas so I added those in last and only on half of the dish. Worked perfectly.
  • I used substantially more cheese than the recipe called for, which might explain why it tasted so great. I used 2 cups to the recipe’s 1 1/4 cups.

Overall, it was a fun experiment and there weren’t many pots/pans/dishes to wash on the lawn afterwards. A win for everyone concerned I’m sure.

Tell me about some weird extremes you’ve taken to cook food during a remodel? I’d love to get some tips and tricks.

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

 

 

The ultimate in Kosher Treif snacking

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Kosher Baby Back ribs ChipsOK tell me the above picture isn’t funny? I think my husband might have found the ultimate in Kosher Treif snacking today during his Sunday trip to Wal-Mart. To quote him, “I got everything on your shopping list and one extra item that I thought was too funny to pass up.”

Hello Herr’s Baby Back Rib flavor chips, which are … wait for it … OU Kosher.

According to a review on Herr’s web site, they “top them with the authentic flavor of your favorite Baby Back Ribs.”

As a girl who used to eat treif of all sorts, I can’t say that the chips actually taste like the baby back ribs I remember from my trips to the Rendezvous in Memphis, but then again, I’m not sure anything Kosher could replace that amazing experience.

But as a funny Kosher snack that allows me to make-believe I’m eating something from my good ole treif days, Herr’s baby back ribs chips are not too shabby.

And by the way, the hubby also brought home this snack – Herr’s Kansas City Prime Steak Flavor chips – OU Dairy. Not quite as funny a Kosher baby back ribs but definitely a close second. I haven’t tried them yet but will let you know the verdict.

Kosher Prime Steak ChipsWhat about you? Have you tried either of these snacks? If so, what did you think?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!