Monthly Archives: August 2012

In Need of some Comfort Food? Try this Kosher Beef Dip Sandwich

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I’ve been craving comfort food for the past few weeks, possibly because summer is coming to an end, which makes me sad. I love the freedom to let my 6-year-old sleep late and wear flip flops daily if she choses. For us, school starts back on Monday meaning the lazy days of summer officially come to an end. Sigh. I’m in need of a meaty, yummy sandwich to make me feel better. Say hello to this Beef Dip Sandwich from, you guessed it, Woman’s Day magazine. I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it Kosher so there’s no excuse for not making this bad boy yourself whenever you are in need of a little comfort.

First, let me tell you about my funny trip to the Kosher butcher. I rarely cook with beef other than ground beef for hamburgers or meatballs. When I saw that this recipe called for Beef Bottom Round or Rump Roast, I added it to my grocery list … while thinking, who in their right mind wants to eat something that is basically the behind of an animal … but I’m a beef novice so what do I know? I arrived at the meat counter and started looking for the said Rump Roast. It was no where to be found and neither was the butcher. I ventured over to the non-Kosher meat counter to see what they had. Sure enough, there was a big, plump rump roast. Hmm, I must have just missed it at the Kosher counter. So back I go to search some more. I finally found the butcher and asked for the item on my list. I’m not sure but I think he snickered before telling me that the backside of the cow was not Kosher. Apparently I wasn’t the first person to come looking for a kosher cow behind so we discussed my options and I ended up with a lovely Kosher brisket.

Later, I did a Google search on the topic and found an article titled How to make a beef hindquarter kosher by Martha Adams on eHow, as well as a few other articles that say it is possible to make the backside of a cow Kosher but it takes extra time, which probably means higher costs. I even checked KC Kosher coop and AviGlatt.com with no luck. Per one article I read, it’s easier to find this type of meat – like Filet Mignon – in Israel. I’ll continue my research on this topic but in the meantime, the brisket worked just fine for this recipe – and for this somewhat lazy cook, who didn’t want to drive all over town in search of a Kosher cow’s behind. Here’s the recipe from Woman’s Day with my tweaks to make the recipe Kosher:

Beef Dip Sandwiches Recipe – Woman’s Day

Ingredients:

  • 1   (3 lb)  beef bottom round or rump  roast, trimmed (I used a 3.5 lb Kosher brisket that I cut in half since there are only 3 of us and we didn’t need 3 lbs of meat)
  • 1 medium Vidalia or sweet onion (I think the onions would be yummy but my hubbie won’t eat raw onions so I skipped this ingredient)
  • 1 jar(s)   (11-oz)  pepperoncini  peppers, sliced (reserve 1/2 cup juice) (I was THRILLED to find Kosher Pepperoncini Peppers at the first store on my list – WalMart. I used the Mezzetta brand. Thank you Mezzetta for making your food Kosher!)
  • 1/4 cup(s) olive oil
  • 1   (0.7 oz)  pouch basil vinaigrette or  Italian salad dressing & recipe mix (I used Good Seasons)
  • 3 clove(s) garlic, finely  chopped
  • 4 ciabatta rolls (I had no luck finding Kosher ciabatta rolls in Dallas so I went with a Kaiser Roll instead. I’ll continue searching for Kosher ciabatta rolls and maybe even consider making them in the future. Has anyone tried homemade ciabatta rolls?).
  • Sliced  tomatoes and baby arugula, for serving
  • Sliced avacado (Since I skipped the onions, I added a layer of slides avacado instead. It was an awesome addition to the sandwich).

Directions:

  • In a 5- or 6-qt slow cooker, combine the pepper juice, oil, dressing  mix, garlic and 1/4 cup water. Add the beef and turn to coat.
  • Cook, covered, until the beef is tender, 8 to 10 hours on low or 5 to  6 hours on high. Transfer beef to a cutting board and let rest for at least 15  minutes before slicing. (Since I was using a smaller cut of meat, I reduced the cooking time to 6 hours on low but wished I had reduced the time even more because the meat was a little tougher than I’d like. Next time I’ll try 4 hours on low).
  • While the beef is resting, thinly slice the onion and pepperoncini  peppers and cut the rolls in half lengthwise. Brush cut sides of the roll with  some of the cooking liquid. Pour remaining liquid into a serving  bowl.
  • Layer the beef, onions, sliced pepperoncini, tomatoes and arugula on  the rolls (I added the avacado slices). Serve with reserved cooking liquid for dipping.

This Kosher Beef Dip Sandwich is a crazy-filling meal. Fortunately the toppings provide some vegetables so you won’t feel so guilty about not serving a side-dish, but you really don’t need anything else to go with it. According to Woman’s Day, the calorie count is 635 based on their recipe. However, the Kaiser Roll (167) seems to have fewer calories than the Ciabatta Roll (250) but the added avacado probably cancels out any savings. So just know it’s comfort food, it’s filliing and it’s somewhat fattening – probably not something you should eat everyday but definitely worth the comfort every now and then.

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

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Broiled sweet and spicy salmon using red pepper jelly

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Delicious Sweet & Spicy Salmon recipe from Woman’s Day Magazine

We just took a quick trip to San Antonio to visit Sea World and hang out on the RiverWalk. It was crazy hot, which made the trip especially challenging. The other thing that made it especially challenging was the lack of Kosher or vegetarian food available within the Sea World Park. The first day, I was smart enough to pack sandwiches for us but the second day, we thought we’d be able find a salad. No such luck. We ended up eating chips and cookies that I’d packed as snacks for the day. I’m seeing a post on how to visit a non-Kosher friendly theme park and not starve in the very near future, but today I want to talk about some unbelievably delicious salmon.

It won’t be a surprise to anyone that I found this recipe for Broiled sweet and spicy salmon with spinach rice in Woman’s Day magazine. I’m a bit addicted to the recipes in this mag and with the exception of one recipe … which was not good at all … everything else I’ve made has been a keeper.

The broiled sweet and spicy salmon was a bit tricky though. It called for Red Pepper Jelly, which was not at all easy to find in Dallas. Only one store (I think WalMart) even had this jelly, and the brand they had wasn’t Kosher. After spending several hours driving all over town, I ended up ordering the Robert Rothchild Farms Red Pepper Jelly via amazon.com. It was way too expensive at just over $11 per jar but oh my goodness, was the salmon ever worth it. It’s such a nice combination of salty soy sauce and sweet and tangy red pepper jelly. My 6 year old daughter gobbled up a piece and wanted more. It was really kind of like eating salmon disguised as a Jolly Rancher candy.

Since discovering this recipes, I’ve found a store in my area called Polly DuPont that sells the Rothchild red pepper jelly. It’s still expensive but cheaper than ordering it online. If you can’t find it in your area, check out the store locator on the Rothchild web site to see if any of your local stores have it.

Here’s the recipe, which is really very quick and simple:

Broiled Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Spinach Rice

Read more: Broiled Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Spinach Rice – Salmon Recipes – Woman’s Day

Ingredients

  • 1 cup(s) long-grain white rice
  • 2 cup(s) baby spinach, chopped
  • Kosher  salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup(s) red pepper jelly (Robert Rothchild brand is Kosher. Anyone know of others that are Kosher?)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) low-sodium soy  sauce
  • 2 teaspoon(s) freshly grated  ginger
  • 1 1 1/4 pound(s) piece skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4  pieces

Directions

  • Cook the rice according to package directions. Fluff with a fork, then  fold in the spinach and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, heat broiler. In a small bowl, whisk together the jelly,  soy sauce and ginger.
  • Place the salmon on a foil-lined broiler-proof baking sheet. Season  with ¼ tsp pepper and broil for 5 minutes. Spoon the jelly mixture over the  salmon and broil until opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes more. I ended up cooking the salmon for about 5 additional minutes because it just seemed to raw inside for my taste. Serve with the  rice.

My favorite recipe for salmon used to the the Terriayki Salmon from Kosher by Design. And while I still love that one, this sweet and spicy version is my new favorite. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Also let me know if you find another Red Pepper Jelly that is Kosher.

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Yogurt Chicken Kebabs with Tomato Salad

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Last week, I sang the praises of my most recent parve discovery – WholeSoy & Co Plain Yogurt that I found at WholeFoods Market. I used it as part of my Spiced Mini Burger Pitas for an easy Shabbat lunch. This parve yogurt really is so great that I couldn’t wait to find another recipe to use it with. So I did some searching on my trusty Woman’s Day magazine site and found this recipe for Yogurt Chicken Kebabs with Tomato Salad.

Now first, let me tell you the funny part. I made this chicken for Friday night dinner and when I looked in my refrigerator Sunday morning, I was wondering why in the world I had so many tomatoes. Then I realized, it was because I somehow forgot to make the “tomato salad” part of this recipe. I must have been a bit tipsy and/or forgetful after enjoy my Shabbat Pina Colada. So I’m seeing a tomato salad somewhere in my future for this week’s menu.

With that in mind, I’ll give you the specifics for the chicken part and if you are so inclined to add the tomato salad, please visit Woman’s Day for those details. For the chicken, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (I substituted WholeSoy & Co Plain Yogurt – parve)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in pieces

In a shallow baking dish, combine the parve yogurt, garlic, cumin, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Thread the check onto 8 skewers and add them to the yogurt mizture, turning to coat. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes and up to overnight. I ended up putting the chicken pieces in the yogurt mixture first and then threading them on the skewers. It was a bit messy but much easier than trying to dip the  whole skewer in the sauce.

Heat a grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat. Oil the grill and cook the chicken, turning occassionally, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

I served the Chicken Kebabs with roasted asparagus sprinkled with the to-die-for Shitake Bacon. Both turned out great and we have plenty of leftovers to enjoy today.

What other creative ideas do you have for incorporating this parve yogurt into your meat meals?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking

The Shabbat Pina Colada – Yummy

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We’ve gotten into the habit of mixing up a fun cocktail right before Shabbat starts as a way to end the long week and start our 25 hours of rest. So far, we’ve tried Lemon Drop Martinis and Margaritas – both of which we love. This past week, I was surfing on Twitter and found a great cocktail idea from Kosher Eye – the Pina Colada. I haven’t had a Pina Colada since I was last on a beach … which was a very long time ago so I called my hubbie and asked him to stop at the store on his way home to pick up a few items we needed for the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1  20-ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 can Coco Lopez kosher Cream of Coconut.
  • 2  cups crushed ice.
  • 12 ounces light rum

We went crazy buying inexpensive alcohol in St. Martin during our honeymoon 7 years ago and still had 2 brand new bottles of rum so I checked that one off the list. All we needed was the pineapples and Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut. Seemed easy enough but after stopping at 4 different stores that were all sold out of the Coco Lopez, my poor hubbie finally gave up.

But did we let that stop us from making these yummy drinks. No way, I decided to give them a try using So Delicious Coconut milk. Now keep in mind I’ve never had Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut so I have now idea if Coconut milk is a decent substitute, but I mixed all of the ingredients in my blender and the Pina Coladas were not bad at all.  I even mixed up a non-alcoholic version for my 6-year-old daughter so we were all able to make a nice La Heim together to kick off Shabbat.

Thanks Kosher Eye for the suggestion via Twitter. Let me know what ideas you have for Shabbat Cocktails next week!

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking

Easy Shabbat Lunch – Spiced Mini Burgers

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Unless we are having guests for Shabbat lunch, I usually serve whatever food is leftover from our Friday night dinner. But this past week, I found a recipe that seemed like it would be quick and easy to prepare in advance for our Shabbat afternoon meal. Plus, it was a great way to surprise my family with something new and different. Well, not only were they surprised, they were downright delighted.  The whole family ended up liking this dish so much, they’ve requested that it be added as a regular staple in our weekly menu.

I found the recipe for Spiced mini burgers with cucumber relish in Woman’s Day magazine. Speaking of which, let me digress for a moment. I’ve become addicted to the recipes in Woman’s Day. Each month, they feature numerous amazing recipes, as well as a calendar of Monthly Meals that includes food suggestions for each day of the month.  You can also access these calendars and recipes online so it’s a snap to pick and choose what you want to make in advance for the week or even the month. They even allow you to create your own shopping list, which has greatly simplified my trips to the grocery store. Woman’s Day has become one of my new best friends when it comes to planning and preparing meals for my family. And thanks to a few substitution tricks, I’m generally able to make most of the recipes Kosher.

OK, back to these yummy burgers. Per the description in Woman’s Day, this simple is a take on souvlaki, a popular Greek street food that pairs meat with  grilled vegetables on a skewer or pita. This version is open to all sorts of  interpretation:  Layer it in a pita pocket or on crisp baguette, or try using  ground lamb instead of beef and adding crumbled feta to the cucumber relish. When my husband first saw it, he called it a Gyro.

Either way, it’s way delicious and although the original recipe called for Greek Yogurt, which is dairy, I simply substitued WholeSoy & Co Plain Yogurt that I found at WholeFoods Market. I was honestly surprised by the wonderful taste. I was expecting something kind of yucky and it really has a sweet, refreshing taste. I even mixed it in with my Puppy’s food last week when she had a tummy ache so she could get some probiotics in her systems. I’ll be using this new product find a lot!

Enough of my talking. Here’s the recipe as found in Woman’s Day magazine with a few hints I learned while making this delish dish:

Spiced Mini Burgers with Cucumber Relish – Beef Recipes – Woman’s Day

  • 1 pound(s) ground beef (I used Solomon’s Ground Beef that I buy by the case from the KC Kosher Co-op)
  • 2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon(s) dried oregano
  • Kosher  salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon  juice
  • 1/2 English cucumber, cut into 1/4-in. pieces
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely  chopped (I made one batch with the onion and one without since my hubbie hates onions. Both were good).
  • 1/4 cup(s) fresh mint, roughly  chopped (I’ve started growing mint in my backyard. Easy to grow and so fun to just pick what I need!)
  • 4 piece(s) flatbread (I used Kronos Pita Original 6″ rounds. My hubbie also ate one of these on a Challah roll. Both ways are yummy)
  • 1/4 cup(s) nonfat Greek  yogurt (SUBSTITUTED WHOLESOY & CO PLAIN PARVE YOGURT)

Directions

  1. Form the beef into twelve 1/2-in.-thick patties and season with the  cumin, oregano, and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. (I made tiny little burger patties but afterwards my hubbie said his mom makes them in more of an oblong shape, sort of like a hotdog. This shape probably makes more sense if you’re going to eat these burgers in a pita.)
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook half the  patties to the desired doneness, 3 minutes per side for medium; transfer to a  plate. Cook the remaining patties. Return the first batch of burgers to the  skillet and add the lemon juice; turn the burgers to coat. (I probably doubled the recommended time because I can’t stand even a slight pink color inside my burgers)
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, onion, mint,  remaining Tbsp oil, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. (I halfed the cucumber mixture and added onions to only one half to please the onion haters in my house!)
  4. Spread the flatbread with the yogurt and top with the burgers and  cucumber relish.

Try this recipe tonight and let me know what you think.

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Who knew a girl could get so excited about a knife?

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Sky opening up intro music plays loudly here.

My newest Cutco knife arrived yesterday. It’s a lovely 7″ pearl handle Santoku knife that according to the maker can be used to chop, slice and dice meats and vegetables, slice sushi or butterfly chicken breasts. I don’t now about all of that but I plan on using it for cutting just about everything in site when I’m making dairy meals.

After taking one look at this sizable knife, my hubbie expressed his concern that I might get angry and use it on him sometime. I assured him that I’d never use my milkhik (milk) knife on his fleishik (meat) self!

This is my 5th Cutco knife. The first 2 I received as a wedding gift, which only began the addiction to these awesome knives. I now I have 3 for meat meals and 2 for dairy. I love them all and am happy to welcome this newest addition into my family.

Thank you Cutco for making these wonderful knives but hey, if you’d possibly consider lowering the price just a bit or offering a buy 1 get 1 free sale sometime soon, they would be greatly appreciated.

What about you? Do you own a Cutco knife or two? Share your info and your love for these gems.

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Soymilk is a Great Way to make Yummy Desserts Parve

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After discovering that I had a graham cracker pie crust in my pantry on Friday, I decided to whip-up a quick dessert before Shabbat, preferably one that called for ingredients I already had in my pantry/fridge. I first looked in the Kosher by Design, Short on Time cookbook by Susie Fishbein, but couldn’t find a recipe that matched my existing ingredients. Next I went to the Kosher by Design Entertains and found a great recipe for Blueberry Lemon Creme Brulee Tart on page 297. If you have the book, please go by that picture and not mine when deciding if you want to make this dessert or not. My picture absolutely does not do this delicious dessert justice.

Since I was serving meat for dinner, I needed a parve dessert. And what I love about Susie Fishbein’s recipes is that she does a great job of suggesting substitutes to make her dishes parve. In this particular recipe, replacing the heavy cream with parve soy milk does the trick. I used the Whole Foods 365 Organic Soymilk in place of the heavy cream. I also was able to skip the crust part since I already had a pre-made crust. The pie probably would have been even more yummy if I’d made my own crust but hey, when a girl has limited time, she’s gotta take some short cuts.

Afterwards, I also found several recipes online for this same dessert and some even had fewer ingredients so you could probably pick and choose what you want to include. Here’s a similar version of the recipe with some awesome photos from a blog called A Foodie Stay Fit by Teri. If you don’t have Fishbein’s Entertains cookbook, drop me a note and I’ll see what I can do to get you a copy of this recipe.

Finally, I must end with a warning. Creme Brulee is my ALL-TIME favorite dessert. When I first made this “pie,” I somehow missed the “creme brulee” part at the end of the recipe’s name. I have a habit of skipping things when I’m in a hurry. Then over a period of 2 days, I ate 4 pieces. Yesterday, I had a couple more pieces. The first time I noticed that this recipe was actually for my favorite dessert was when I sat down today to start writing this post. I’m not sure of the calorie count in one piece, but I’m guessing I ate about a month’s worth of calories in 3 days. I’m going to blame it on the fact that I have absolutely no will-power when it comes to creme brulee of any kind. I’ll even eat bad creme brulee. That’s how much I love it. But this creme brulee is far from bad. In fact, it’s crazy good, so make sure you have plenty of people around to share it with you when you make it … otherwise, you might eat the whole pie in one sitting.

Happy Koser Treif Cooking!