Monthly Archives: December 2012

Kosher Chipotle Mushroom and Goat Cheese Queso

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Chipotle Mushroom and Goat Cheese Queso

My MIL recently made a delicious discovery at CostCo – Kosher Goat Cheese. Yum! I love the unique flavor of goat cheese but have never cooked with it because I assumed I’d never find a Kosher brand in the Dallas area. Lucky for me, the inlaws made a trip to Costco just this week and brought me home two … really large … packages of said cheese. Now, what to do with all of this cheese?Kosher Goat Cheese

I found a few recipes I wanted to try and since I’m a lover of any food that includes the word Queso, I decided to start with the Chipotle Mushroom and Goat Cheese Queso I found on the Whole Foods web site.

  • 2  teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil
  • 1/2  pound mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used white, Baby Bella and Shiitake mushrooms)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6  ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 6  ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 3/4 cups) (I used Mozzerella since I couldn’t find Kosher Monterey Jack)
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion (I nixed the onion since my hubbie isn’t a fan)
  • 2   chipotles in adobo (from a can), seeded and minced (I only used about half of a Chipotle since I wanted my 6 year old to try the dip and there’s no way she is eating anything spicy).

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms have released their liquid and are dry and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Spread mushrooms over the bottom of a small ovenproof casserole or gratin dish. In a large bowl, combine goat cheese, Jack cheese, spinach, onion and chipotles and toss until combined. Spread cheese mixture evenly over mushrooms and bake until bubbling, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutritional Info:

Per Serving:Serving size: based on 1/8 of the recipe, 160 calories (110 from fat), 13g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 9g protein.

Verdict:

While I liked the taste of the dip, it was much thicker than I was expecting based on the “Queso” name. I was thinking melty cheese dip consistency and what I got was more of a thick casserole consistency. I’m not sure if that’s the way the recipe is supposed to be or if my substitution of the Mozerrella for the Monterey Jack made the “dip” thicker than usual. For future versions, I’d like to keep the flavor but add something (maybe a different kind of cheese) to make it more of a dip and less of a spread. Overall though, not bad and the goat cheese gives it a very strong and nice flavor.Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Totally Yummy Kosher Chinese Lemon Chicken

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Kosher Lemon ChickenI can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had Chinese food since I started keeping Kosher. There are no Kosher Chinese restaurants in Dallas so I’ve had to rely on the few Kosher catered events where Chinese food is served or the annual Purim dinner when our synagogue has Kosher Chinese food shipped in from New Jersey (I think). Sadly, they changed the dinner to Cajun food last year so I even missed out on my Chinese food fix then. Ugh. What’s a Kosher-keeping girl to do?

Well, the only thing I can do I suppose and that’s attempt to make some Chinese food myself!

First, I made a list of my favorite Chinese food dishes: Lemon Chicken, Orange Chicken, Orange Beef, General Tso’s Chicken. And then I got busy surfing the web for recipes. I focused on Lemon Chicken first since it’s at the top of my fav list and was lucky to find a delicious sounding recipe rather quickly thanks to CDKitchen.com Chinese Lemon Chicken.

My original plan was to pair this yummy sounding lemon chicken with my favorite Chicken Fried Rice, but I’d nix the chicken from the rice of course because even I know there’s a limit to how much chicken one should consume during any given meal. But while the Lemon Chicken recipe isn’t difficult, it is a big, ole time suck because you have to fry a bunch of little pieces of chicken. I’m not complaining mind you because I ate 2 giant helpings of the lemon chicken once it was done, but I’m just sayin’ … give yourself plenty of time to prepare this dish.

Here’s the details from the CDKitchen site:

Chinese Lemon Chicken

Ingredients:Kosher Lemon Chicken

8  chicken breast halves, deboned and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup water
4  egg yolks, beaten
2 cups cooking oil green onions, sliced

Lemon Sauce

1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon ginger, or more if desired

Directions:

Combine cornstarch, salt and pepper. Blend in water and egg yolks. Dip chicken pieces into cornstarch-egg mixture. Fry chicken in oil for about 5 minutes until golden. Drain. Sprinkle with green onions. Pour sauce over chicken.

For the sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, about 5 minutes until sauce boils. Pour over chicken. This recipe also works well in a wok.

Since I knew frying up this much chicken was going to take some time, I stirred up the ingredients for the sauce first and had them in a pan on the burner ready to go. Then, as I was putting in the last batch of chicken to fry, I heated up the sauce. That way, everything was ready at the same time and both the chicken and sauce were hot and ready to eat immediately.

Chinese Chicken Fried RiceNow, back to the fried rice or lack thereof. Since I just didn’t have the energy to cook anything else, I simply served the Lemon Chicken on a bed of plain Jasmine rice. It was delicious that way and possibly better than my original idea of fried rice since those two sets of flavors might have battled for control.

Verdict:

I had 2 giant servings, which is sad since this is in no way a “low-cal” recipe. My hubbie had a giant plate, which basically added up to the same 2 giant servings I had. And my very picky 6 year old ate about 10 pieces of the plain chicken without sauce … This is not my first rodeo when it comes to cooking for her so I knew to remove a small portion of the fried chicken before saucing it up. Her exact words were, “Wow, this chicken is good.” She seemed shocked. As a side note, I’ll probably nix the green onions next time around. I love green onions but they didn’t really add a lot to this dish and they even had a weird flavor the 2nd day.

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

KosherConnection

The Kosher Connection, an informal group of creative kosher food bloggers from all around the world, proudly present our monthly kosher recipe challenge.  Each month we will present you with recipes on a different theme from all the kosher food bloggers.

This month is Chinese Food!  Follow our recipes on Twitter with #KosherRecipes.

Interesting Greek Tomato-Spinach Pizza

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Greek Tomato-Spinach Pizza

As part of my family Hanukkah celebration last week, I had totally intended to test out the Greek Tomato-Spinach Pizza recipe in Susie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design picture-perfect food for the holidays & every day. But how does the saying go … the road to good intentions, etc. I bought all of the necessary ingredients but basically ran out of time so … the fam got to enjoy this interesting pizza for last night’s dinner instead.

I have never worked with sheets of phyllo dough before and I have to say, it was no easy task. The sheets kept tearing so my 10 “sheets” of dough became more like 10 patchwork quilts of dough. But once it was all covered with butter, no one could care less about eating pieces of dough instead of smooth, pretty sheets. And honestly, couldn’t the same be said for most any food that is totally covered in butter?

I won’t drag you through the whole recipe here but if you have that particular Kosher by Design book, it’s on page 182. Otherwise, I found a similar version of the recipe on Food.com submitted by Mirja – Evelyn-Inspired Greek Tomato-Spinach Pizza. The only difference is 1 extra Greek Tomato-Spinach Pizzaingredient – 1/2 cup grated halloumi cheese. I did use about an extra cup of mozzarella cheese on my pizza because the hubbie said the “sprinkle” of 1 1/2 cups was just not enough.

All in all, it wasn’t bad. The hubbie loved it. The daughter wouldn’t touch it. I had to make her mac & cheese instead. And I thought the Phyllo was a bit dry. Next time, I’ll try it on a regular pizza crust instead and save myself the hassel.

It does, however, make a huge pizza so be sure to have guests over when you make this thing or else you’ll have leftovers for days : )

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Disney Pin Trading Gift Exchange

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002I participated in the secret santa gift exchange with the Disney Pin Forum this year. And yes, I see the irony in me, a Jewish person, participating in anything santa-related, but that’s just how much I love trading Disney pins. And since I live in Dallas, where the pin trading is slim pickins, I’m willing to join in the fun – even though I don’t celebrate the holiday. Maybe next year I can talk some foks into a Secret Hanukkah Pal Gift Exchange : )

So anyway, I received my gift today of 4 great pins that I have already proudly displayed on our Disney board in Zoe’s playroom. Are there any other Disney pin fanatics out there who are also keeping Kosher? I’d love to connect with you.

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking and Happy Disney Pin Trading!

Kosher Imitation Crab Quiche

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Kosher Imitation Crab QuicheOne of my inspirations for starting this blog was my discovery of Kosher Imitation Crab. I love crab and had really missed having it in my new Kosher life, when I discovered a Kosher crab option. I experimented with a fake crab salad and also making Sushi/California rolls. But I hadn’t done much else with it because let’s face it, not a lot of Kosher cookbooks include recipes that call for crab meat. I finally broke down last week and pulled out a very old copy of a Southern Living cookbook (1987) and found lots of interesting recipes for crab meat, as well as something called Squirrel Fricassee. While I probably won’t be looking for a Kosher substitute for squirrel anytime soon, I did get very excited about all of the crab meat ideas.

I decided to try one of my newly found recipes out last night at a family Hanukkah gathering. I made a Crab Meat Quiche and a Mushroom Quiche (Thanks for the Quiche suggestion from Jamie Kreitman). The Crab Quiche is on the left in the photo and the Mushroom one is on the right. Both were delicious but the Crab Meat Quiche was definitely a bigger hit than the Mushroom one. The Mushroom Quiche did not get as solid as I would have liked so it had a bit of a mushy consistency. I might try adding some flour to that recipe if I ever make it again. If you’re interested in the mushroom recipe, let me know and I’ll share it with you.

If, like me, you are ready to have some more crab meat in your life, here’s details for the Crab Quiche:

Kosher Imitation Crab Quiche
(1987 Southern Living Cookbook, page 218)

Ingredients:

Pastry for 9-inch pie (I bought the ready-made pie crusts that can be found in the frozen dessert section at the grocery store)
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 (6-ounce) package frozen crab meat, thawed and drained (The Kosher Imitation Crab I use (Dyna Sea) comes in a 16 ounce package so I measured out 6 ounces and saved the rest for something else. I also chopped up the crab pieces so they were smallish bite-sized chunks) Kosher Imitation Crab
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss Cheese (I could only find kosher swiss cheese slices in Dallas so I had to sort of bunch them up and shred … which was a bit of a pain)
1/3 cup chopped green onions

Directions:

Line a 9-inch quiche dish with pastry. Trim excess pastry around edges. Prick bottom and sides of paastry with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 3 minutes; remove from oven, and gently prick with a fork. Bake an additonal 5 minutes. (I skipped this step because I used a ready-made frozen pie crust).

Combine eggs, mayonnaise, flour, and milk; mix thoroughly. Stir in crabmeat, cheese and green onions. Spoon mixture into pastry shell (or pie crust). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: one 9-inch quiche.

Verdict:

Delish! Everyone LOVED it. And best of all, it’s easy and quick. And since it is dairy, we were able to eat the yummy Tiramisu Cheesecake for dessert, which my MIL said was one of the best desserts she has ever had. It was a lovely evening. Speaking of Tiramisu Cheesecake, if you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to leave a comment on my Tiramisu post for a chance to win some great prizes from the Hanukkah blog party.

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking and Happy Hanukkah!

Yummy Tiramisu Cheesecake for Hanukkah

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Kosher Tiramisu Cheesecake

Welcome to our first ever Hanukkah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook. It’s traditional on Hanukkah to eat fried treats, most notably donuts and latkes, and we’ve got a fabulous array of Hanukkah themed recipes, treats and crafts from Jewish bloggers all over the world! Scroll down for links to all of the delicious treats and leave me a comment about your all-time favorite Hanukkah food for a chance to win some great prizes.

For years I’ve wanted to make all sorts of recipes that called for Mascarpone, an ingredient that seemed very elusive to me, one because I have no idea what it actually is and two because I have not been able to find Kosher Mascarpone in the Dallas area … that is until the wonderful Trader Joe’s opened in our area. I was so excited to see Kosher Mascarpone that I even talked my MIL into buying one even though she had no plans to use it. One such recipe that I’d been dying to make is the Tiramisu Cheesecake featured in Susie Fishbein’s Kosher By Design for holidays. So I bought the mascarpone, and the Hanukkah blog party gave me the perfect opportunity to test this recipe on my family during a little holiday gathering.

Tiramisu cheesecake ingredientsFinding all of the other ingredients was also a bit of a tricky process so it took me a couple of weeks to gather up everything. The trickiest ingredients included: mascarpone, instant expresso and the lady-finger cookies. I had to go to several stores to find these items in Dallas and ended up finding the lady-fingers just this past weekend in the baked goods section at my local Tom Thumb.

I found a copy of the recipe online via this blog post: New York – Shavuos 2012: Thoughts and Recipes on Cheesecake from Kosher Food Stars and here is my version with my tweaks in italics:

Susie Fishbein’s Tiramisu Cheesecake recipe

A light fluffy change from the traditional cheesecake. You will love the slight espresso flavor mixed with the creamy cheese. The preferred ladyfingers are the soft sponge-cake kind. I have seen them in many supermarkets near the fruit section. If you can’t find them, don’t panic, you can use the hard ladyfinger cookies, cut in half to line the outside. Don’t forget the grated chocolate for the top; it looks very pretty. You can freeze this cake in an airtight container or well wrapped in foil. To thaw, loosen the covering and leave in the refrigerator for at least a day.

Ingredients:

14  chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Oreos)
2  tablespoons butter, melted
12-14 soft sponge ladyfingers (3-ounce package) (I used Safeway Kitchesn Lady Fingers brand found in the bakery section at Tom Thumb grocery store)
1  teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee (I used Medaglia D’oro brand. I also used the recommended amount but would recommend a bit more if you actually want the coffee flavor. My cake did not taste like coffee at all)
2  tablespoons whole milk
2  (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1  (8-ounce) package Mascarpone cheese, softened (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
1  cup sugar
1  tablespoon cornstarch
1  teaspoon vanilla
3  large eggs
1  (8-ounce) container sour cream
milk chocolate bar, for grating

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the cookies until they are finely crushed into crumbs. Add the butter and mix to moisten.

Tiramisu cheesecake

Use crushed Oreos to make bottom of crust and ladyfingers to line the sides.

Press the crumbs into the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Cut the ladyfingers in half, crosswise. Line the ladyfingers around the sides of the pan, rounded side out and cut side down.

In a small cup or bowl mix the espresso powder in the milk, stirring to dissolve. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and Mascarpone until combined and fluffy. Gradually add sugar. Beat on medium-high until smooth. Turn the speed to low and beat in the cornstarch, vanilla, and eggs until just combined. Stir espresso mixture into the batter.

Pour the batter into the ladyfinger-lined pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Center will appear nearly set when gently shaken. Remove from oven. Immediately spread the sour cream on top, starting at the center and going almost to the edges. (I had a bit of trouble spreading the sour cream. It sort of sunk in the middle of the cake. I’d actually recommend stirring up the sour cream first and then start by spreading from the outside and work your way in).

Stir sour cream and spread it on top of cheesecake starting from the outter edges and moving inward.

Stir sour cream and spread it on top of cheesecake starting from the outter edges and moving inward.

Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Use a small knife or spatula to make sure the ladyfingers are not sticking to the sides of the pan. Cool at least one hour. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours. Sprinkle grated chocolate over the top of the cheesecake.

Yield: 12 servings

THE CONTEST HAS ENDED. THANKS SO MUCH TO ALL OF YOU WHO PARTICPATED. WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL SOON!

Hanukkah Blog PartyTo help get everyone into party mode, we have a bunch of fabulous new cookbooks to giveaway! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win one of:

  • 2 copies of Susie Fishbein’s new Kosher By Design Cooking Coach (sponsored by Artscroll)
  • 2 copies of Leah Schapira’s  Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking (sponsored by Artscroll)
  • 2 copies of Esther Deutch’s CHIC Made Simple (sponsored by the author)

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 16th. Limit one entry per person per blog, so visit the other blogs for extra chances to win!

Prizes can only be shipped within the US. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address in order to qualify.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post about your favorite Hanukkah food.

This is the second of many fabulous Holiday Blog Parties. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to participate in future parties, please email holidayblogparties@gmail.com

Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:

Latkes:

Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki

Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce

Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes

Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin

Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes

Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes

Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can’t Believe They’re Crispy!) Baked Latkes

Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes

Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes

Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes

Donuts and Desserts:

Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling

Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts

Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters

Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns

Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt

Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake

Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes

Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc

Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets

Gigi from Gigi’s Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts 

Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs

Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls

Shoshana from Couldn’t Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate

Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp

Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies

Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets

Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts

Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot

Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce

Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake

Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies

Yosef from This American Bite made Garlic, Zaatar and Olive Oil Popcorn

Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:

Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce

Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini

G6 from Guess Who’s Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup

Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup

Jennifer from Juanita’s Cocina made Kugel

Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll!

Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables

Ways to make your friend regret stealing your candy

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SmartiesToday at synagogue, my daughter was given a package of Smarties and decided to share half of it with a friend. She wanted to get a drink or food or something so she licked her half of the Smarties and then left them with the friend to guard. When she returned, said Smarties were all gone and the friend denied having anything to do with the disappearance.

According to my daugheter, the scene went down something like this:

“Where are my Smarties?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t eat them.”

“I licked them before I gave them to you.”

“No you didn’t, I touched them all before I ate them and they were all dry so I know you didn’t lick them. But I didn’t eat your Smarties.”

Now when this story was relayed to me, I’m sure I should have come up with some words of wisdom about sharing and being fair with friends, but all I could do was laugh out loud.

My daughter didn’t understand why I thought the licking part was so darn funny. She is only 6 years old afterall. But after I explained the whole “your friend stole your candy and ate your germs” thing to her, she got it and also understood why the older girls sitting at the table next to them thought it was so darn funny as well.

I’m not sure the friend ever understood the joke or that she was caught red-handed in a germy, Smartie lie.

Moral of the story: If you ever want to get in a little pre-revenge on a friend who might steal your candy, give it all a good lick first before leaving it with her/him for safe-keeping.

Speaking of yummy Smarties, CakeSpy.com has an interesting blog post about baking with Smarties (and I also borrowed the lovely Smarties photo from her site). Now that might be a yummy Hanukkah recipe ingredient!

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking and Candy Revenge!