Category Archives: Kosher food

Kosher, cheesy lasagna soup with Italian sausage

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As a treif-loving girl, one of the foods I’ve missed most since taking on Kosher status is Lasagna. Sure, I can make the all-dairy kind of Lasagna, and while it’s good, it’s just not quite the same as the meaty, cheesy treif version.

So I was more than thrilled to come across a recipe (I first saw this recipe via a Facebook post) for Lasagna soup from a Farmgirl’s Dabbles. I read the recipe and accepted the challenge to turn this treif dish into something eatable for us Kosher-keeping folks.

Here’s the ingredient list with my exceptions:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. Italian Sausage (Kosher Substitute: Tofurky Italian Sausage)
  • 3 cups chopped onions (I only used about 1/2 of an onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 T. tomato paste (I assume the T. means tablespoons)
  • 1 29-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock (Kosher Substitute: Imagine Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth)
  • 8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta (I couldn’t find either so I used the twist pasta I had in my pantry)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves (I used 3 or 4 leaves)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the cheesy yummy part:

  • 8 oz. ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (Optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces (I chopped up the Tofurky Italian sausage into small pieces) and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock (I used a skillet for the sausage mixture and then added it to the soup mixture in a pot). Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

For the next step, as suggested in the recipe, I cooked the pasta in a separate pot and then added some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them because I wasn’t sure if my daughter would eat the soup, but I KNOW she’ll always eat pasta and cheese. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

I used a slightly different method to serve. I first placed the pasta in a serving bowl and added the cheesy mixture (ricotta, Parmesan, and Mozzarella). Next, I ladled the soup over the pasta and sprinkled extra Parmesan on top.

I served with baked mixed vegetables (sweet potatoes, etc.) and a bottle of what my friend likes to call “the Kosher version of two-buck chuck” wine from Trader Joes. I’ve recently learned they have a Kosher version of this wine so I decided to give it a try … sadly, it wasn’t my favorite so I probably won’t buy it again, which is a shame since it cost only $4.

Lasagna wine

Enjoy and happy Kosher Treif cooking!

Kids’ Chopped at home Challenge (Video)

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Zoe has started watching and loving the kids’ cooking shows, especially the Chopped Teen Tournament. She asked tonight if we could do a chopped challenge at home so I picked 5 ingredients for her and let her create a dish. I gave her:

  • Tortillas
  • Lettuce
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Papaya
  • Hummus

She had fun and the video above shows the awesome results.

Happy Kosher, not-so-treif Cooking!

Kosher hamburgers and what seems like a very, dairy dessert for dinner

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Kosher hamburger with fried pastrami

A few years ago, we were visiting LA and stopped at a Kosher deli on Pico street for lunch before heading to the airport. I ordered and devoured a hamburger topped with pastrami that was fried so crisp it reminded me of my old treif friend bacon. It was amazingly delicious, and I haven’t stopped craving it since.

A few weeks ago, I decided to attempt a repeat of said burger and the above photo is the result. OK, so it wasn’t as good as the bacon-like burger in LA but it was pretty darn close, and I didn’t need to fly anywhere to get it.

Afterwards, we treated ourselves to strawberry shortcake topped with it-so-shouldn’t-be-served-after-a-meat-meal whipped cream.

Strawberry Shortcake with pareve whipped cream

Thanks to my new friend, So Delicious Dairy Free CocoWhip, we were able to enjoy a dairy-like dessert favorite but in a Kosher pareve form, and it taste just like the real, fat-filled dairy whipped cream. It’s ready-made and can be frozen and then thawed about an hour before you plan to serve. I found it at Wholefoods in Dallas.

So Delicious Coconut Whip

It felt so decadent to be eating whipped cream topped strawberry shortcake, just like my mom used to make, immediately after eating a similar-too-bacon burger.

Have you turned any of your dairy favorite desserts into pareve treats to enjoy after a meat meal?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Kosher Broiled Spicy Salmon with Hot Pepper Raspberry Jelly

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Kosher Spicy Broiled SalmonA few years ago, I tried a new recipe from Woman’s Day magazine called Broiled sweet and spicy salmon using red pepper jelly. Finding the red pepper jelly was no easy task. I ended up having to order it from Amazon but the end result was delicious.

I decided last night to pull out this yummy recipe again and whip it up for dinner. Only once I started prepping, I discovered the jelly I had on-hand was Hot Pepper Raspberry Preserves. Not exactly the flavor I was going for, but I have to say, it turned outHot Pepper Raspberry Preserves pretty well.

The mixture of jelly, soy sauce and ginger was very spicy but once it was broiled on the salmon, the tongue-burning flavor was tamed enough to enjoy the salmon without keeping a cool drink close by.

My 8 year old ate several pieces and then came back later to finish off the leftovers.

What flavors have you tried to spice-up Salmon?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

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!

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 Passover Cooking Frenzy

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I spent the day in a cooking frenzy and thanks to me, my hubbie spent the day in an errand-running frenzy. I kept coming across ingredients I’d forgotten to buy and also thinking of things we needed that weren’t included in my original Passover plan.

At the end of the day, I’d completed 6 of the 9 items, plus 1 bonus cake so I’m counting that as a win since I’ve still got tomorrow to finish up numbers 7, 8 and 9.

Here’s the line-up so far and all but one are from Susie Fishbein’s Passover by Design Cookbook because, quite frankly, I’m lazy when it comes to Passover cooking. I love that I can find a bunch of great recipes in one cookbook – it’s my one-stop-recipe-shop to help make my life easier during a very labor intensive holiday:

Tri Color Gefilte Fish

Tri Color Gefilte Fish from Rosh Hashanah 2012 is always a big hit. It’s a bit time-consuming to make and you need to read the entire recipe before starting or else you’ll end up like me today … somehow skipping over the eggs, salt and pepper that needed to be added to the gefilte fish base and then having to figure out how to get them in after the fact. Keeping my fingers crossed that this dish turns out OK this year : ) I also usually make some kind of a horseradish-based sauce to go with this fish.

Meat LogKosher Meat and Potato Roll or as it’s known in my house, the Meat Log. It’s like your Mom’s old-fashioned meatloaf with a hidden surprise inside of mashed potatoes.

We joke about this dish often, but it’s always a hit and it’s always gone at the end of the Seder.

Delicious and somewhat easy to make.

 

Sweet and Sour Meatballs from Susie Fishbein’s Passover by Design cookbook, page 35. I originally found this meatball recipe in Susie’s cookbook for kids, where there are 2 different kinds of meatballs. My family loves both so the Sweet and Sour version is an easy, quick crowd-pleaser for Passover.

Passover Crumb Cake

A hidden Passover Dessert Gem – the Crumb Cake from Susie Fishbein’s Passover Cookbook page 248. This cake looks like dry sand but taste like moist yummy apples, even though there’s not a single apple in it. I couldn’t believe how delicious it turned out last Passover so it’s making a repeat appearance this year. A small amount of effort and ingredients produces an amazing dessert.

Teriyaki Chicken, also from Susie Fishbein’s Passover by Design cookbook, page 124. I have a bit of a love, hate relationship with this recipe. The photo in the cookbook makes the sauce look very dark brown and quite beautiful. My sauce never seems to get that dark. It’s more of a tan color and never as sticky as described in the book. I’m sure it’s user error on my part, and the chicken is still quite tasty, which is why I keep making it but I do wish I knew the secret to the dark brown, sticky consistency.

Slow Roasted Chicken, page 115 of the same cookbook. This recipe is a new one for us. My husband usually makes a slow-roasted chicken using the rotisserie tool on our grill, but since we can’t use it for Passover, I decided to give this oven version a try. I’ll let you know how it tastes after our first Seder. Has anyone made this chicken before?

Purple Cabbage Salad, page 82 of the same cookbook. I make this salad for almost every holiday and when we’re having company for Shabbat. It’s definitely loved and it holds up well over a few days if there are left-overs.

What are you cooking for Passover? Do you have favorite dishes you make every year?

Happy Passover and Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!