Tag Archives: Kosher Cooking

Too busy baking. .

7 Aug

No matter how strong my intentions are to post more,  I generally fail. I really,  really want to put up blog posts,  but life gets in the way.  I could go on about how my fridge hasn’t been working for a month so I haven’t been able to cook. . but who wants to hear about that?

Instead,  I’ll show you some of the things I’ve been cooking and baking at work over the last few months.  And if I can find the time and energy,  I’ll get more posts up.  Really.  ūüôā

Ps: if you want to see more of my cooking/baking,  I post regularly (with my sister) on our instagram account.  You can find us at Desserts_Plus.

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Pulled BBQ Beef

7 Feb

I ¬†planned on posting this last week for a great Superbowl Sunday dinner idea. Though I’m not a football fan (I’d watch hockey over football any day), I thought this was a great option. ¬†Alas, do to some technical difficulties, my blog has been down for over a week. ¬† But it’s still a great recipe and with a very short prep time, you’re free to watch the hockey game or anything else while it slowly cooks.

This is an easy recipe. ¬†Mix everything together and toss it in the oven or slow-cooker for several hours and you’re good to go.

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This is a hearty, filling meal. It’s fun.¬†Finally, it’s delicious.

I’ve done this with a shoulder roast in the past, and you can, but I really prefer a chuck roast (boneless here, but you can use bone-in).

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Raw, ready to cook.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. beef chuck roast (boneless)
  • salt and pepper

Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. fancy molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
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After 5 hours. .

Preheat the oven to 275¬įF.

Season the roast generously with salt and pepper and place in a Dutch oven or large pot with lid.

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a mixing bowl and pour the sauce over the roast. ¬†Cover the pot and place in the oven to cook for 5 hours, turning the roast over every 2 hours. ¬†It’s ready when the meat breaks apart easily when you stick a fork in it.

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Shredded, mixed with sauce.

Remove the meat from the pot, placing it on a large plate or in a bowl. ¬†Use a spoon to carefully remove as much fat as possible from the top of the sauce. ¬†(If you’re not eating this right away, you can chill the sauce, remove the fat, then reheat it before serving.)

Use two forks to break the roast into small chunks or to shred it.  Remove any fat as you go.

Return the meat to the sauce and mix, making sure all of the beef has been coated in sauce. ¬†Serve on a soft bun on it’s own, or try it with some coleslaw added to the sandwich.

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Makes 6-8 big sandwiches.

** If you’re using a slow cooker, cook for 10 hours on low or until the roast is fork tender and pulls apart easily when using two forks.

Coconut Sweet Potato Soup

29 Jan

It has been cold here. ¬†I mean really, really cold. I hate to complain about the weather because there’s more to my little region of the world than the cold weather, but when temperatures are hitting -40¬įC it has a big impact. ¬†By the time the work day is over and I’ve made it through the frigid temperatures back home I’m there for the night and I’m looking for something to warm me up.

One of the best ways to warm up is with a steaming bowl of soup. ¬†Between the weather and the fact that we still have a couple of days left of National Soup Month, I decided to share a quick, simple and delicious recipe with you. ¬†It’s based on the Coconut Sweet Potato Soup that’s in the 2nd edition of my book,¬†Soup – A Kosher Collection¬†with a few changes that reflected my mood and what I had on hand in my kitchen when I made it a few nights ago.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 lbs. (2 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 5 cups chicken stock (you can use vegetable stock to keep it parve)
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat.  Add the shallots and saute for 4-5 minutes, until the shallots are soft but not browned.  Add the garlic, ginger, salt and pepper and cook another 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add the sweet potatoes and chicken stock, cover and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Puree the soup — I like to use an¬†immersion¬†blender to puree the soup right in the pot, but if you don’t have one, use a food¬†processor¬†or blender to puree the soup in small batches. ¬†When it’s pureed and smooth, return the pot to low heat and add the coconut milk and lemon juice, heating until it just returns to the simmer.

Taste the soup and check for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if necessary.  Serve!

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Meat Chili with Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

10 Jan

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I’ve never used chipotle peppers in adobo Sauce — mainly because I’ve never been able to find a kosher version before. But a while ago I spotted this product on a supplier’s list and ordered a case thinking something like “ah! now I will use these!”. Well . . about six months later, I’ve finally tried them. — and loved them!

If you’ve never used them or had them, they are smoked peppers (often jalapeno) in a delicious sauce made of vinegar, tomato and spices. ¬†On a recent trip to California, I became addicted to a chipotle salsa I had that finally pushed me into trying to cook with them at home.

There are all sorts of things you could do with these, but I started off with a batch of chili. Note that these peppers can be quite spicy and if you don’t love spicy food, go easy on them. ¬†My recipe calls for 2 chipotle peppers (seeds removed), but you can go down to one — or you can even leave them out and just use the adobo sauce. ¬†On the other hand, if you love spicy food, use more of them or forgo removing the seeds.

The chipotle peppers in adobo sauce add ¬†rich, smoky and spicy¬†flavors¬†to this meaty chili. ¬†I tasted it right away and liked it, but not as much as I liked it when I reheated it the next day. ¬†I also like it on it’s own, but it was even better when I squeezed some lime juice into it and dusted the top with some chopped cilantro. ¬† Serve on it’s own, with taco chips for scooping or over a baked potato or pasta.

Chili Рserves 8

  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder (Ancho)
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 19 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 x chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (seeds removed and finely chopped)
  • 3 Tbsp. adobo sauce
  • fresh cilantro and limes for garnishing

Combine the cold water and ground beef in a pot, using your hands or a spoon to break up the ground beef as much as possible. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes, skimming off any scum that comes to the surface.  Set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, poblano pepper and salt and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  You just want to sweat the vegetables to soften them, not brown them.

Add the garlic, cumin and chili powder (I like Ancho or other single pepper chili powder) and cook, stirring, for one minute.

Add the tomatoes, black beans, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce and the ground beef and water you’ve set aside. ¬†Bring to a simmer over medium then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for one hour, stirring occasionally. Taste and check for seasoning. ¬†Eat right away or chill or freeze for later.

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Passover Cheese Blintzes

9 Apr

Every year we turn our kosher food store into a Passover kosher food store.  For over a month, from Purim through Pesach, my days are all about Passover. We pack away all of the  chometz and get tonnes and tonnes (literally) of kosher for Passover food Рit takes us days to get everything unpacked and on the shelves. We even rent a 40 foot train container and park it in our parking lot for extra storage.

As soon as that first items hit the shelves (or even before that) our days are filled with customer questions – about the products we sell, about the foods we cook and about recipes and menu ideas. ¬†Some people love cooking for Passover — they love pulling out the recipes that are traditional in there family and/or experimenting with new recipes and ideas. ¬†Others . . . well, others feel differently. ¬†They fear Passover and loathe matzo. ¬†I also hear a lot of complaints about how heavy the food is. ¬†But it doesn’t have to be.

I am firmly in the camp that likes Passover food. ¬†Really. I actually like matzo. I hear people say they think it tastes like¬†cardboard¬†all the time. ¬†I have no problem with a piece of matzo with butter and some fruit for breakfast. In fact, I’m quite happy with it. Seder meals that include soups, starters, at least two meats, several sides, and dessert can weigh you down, but those meals don’t have to, and the rest of the week can certainly focus on other, lighter things.

One of my favourite treats, something that’s good all year round but I tend to cook rarely outside of Passover is cheese blintzes. The delicate wrapper (bletlach) filled with creamy cheese and served with strawberries and a crisp salad make a great dinner — one that I enjoyed ¬†tonight. ¬†They were so delicious I was questioning my decision to keep them as a Passover treat — but maybe that’s part of what makes them so special.

Blintz Wrappers / Bletlach (based on a recipe from my book, Passover РA Kosher Collection)

It may take a few tries to get the hang of making these, but once you do, they’re easy to make. Fill them with cheese, fruit, potatoes or meat.

4 large eggs

1/2 cup cool water

5 Tbsp. potato starch

1/4 tsp. salt

oil for the skillet

Whisk the eggs, water, potato starch and salt together in a large measuring cup and let it rest for a few minutes. ¬†Whisk again, making sure you get rid of any potato starch lumps. ¬†Heat an 8″ non-stick frying pan over medium heat. ¬†Lightly brush the pan with oil — I like grape seed. ¬†Whisk the batter again and pour some into the pan — swirl the pan immediately so that the batter forms a thin layer and pour any excess batter back into the measuring cup.

Cook until the blettle (single bletlach) starts to bubble a little, the top is dry to the touch, the bottom just starts to brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. ¬†Loosen the edges and turn the blettle out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. ¬†Continue with the rest of the batter, whisking before each blettle and brushing with oil after every 2 or 3 bletlach — you should get 12-15 bletlach from one batch. ¬†Separate the layers of bletlach with parchment paper.

Cheese Filling

2 lbs. 1% pressed cottage cheese (or paper or baker’s cheese)

4 large eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with a spoon until everything is thoroughly incorporated.

Assemble the blintzes by placing one wrapper on your work surface with the cooked-side up.

Place approximately 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture along the bottom edge of the wrapper and roll it up from the bottom so that the filling is covered with the blettle.  Fold the left and right sides in so that both ends are closed then continue to roll up from the bottom, using the whole blettle.  Continue with the rest of the bletlach and filling.

You can refrigerate or freeze them at this point or heat some butter in a skillet and brown on both sides for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve on their own or with strawberries and sour cream.

Blintz Strawberries

These strawberries are great with the blintzes or use to top your matzo brei for breakfast.

1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced

3 Tbsp. sugar

3 Tbsp. fresh orange juice

1 tsp. potato starch

2 tsp. cool water

Place the strawberries, sugar and orange juice in a pot over medium heat and cook until the strawberries have release some juice and the liquid comes to a simmer — this should take about 5 minutes. ¬†In a small bowl, whisk the potato starch and water together. ¬†Add to the pot and stir through. ¬†Cook another minute, or until the juices have thickened slightly. ¬†Remove from heat. Serve hot of chill and serve cold.

Chicken, Corn and Poblano Stew

31 Jan
Typically, winter brings bitterly cold temperatures to my little corner of the world. ¬†We can go weeks without a break, keeping an eye on the thermostat, waiting for it to rise above the -30C mark. So far this winter has been atypical. Sure, we’ve had some cold days where the wind kept us below -30C, but for the most part, it’s been a beautiful, warm winter here.
Those of you living south of the Canadian border may still shudder when I tell you that we’re happy with the temperatures hovering in the 0 to -10C range. ¬†For those of us up here, it’s been a joy. ¬†Even if we’re not shivering away, it is winter and it does call for some meals that warm you (and your home) up.
I make a soup that I love that has poblano peppers, corn, tomatillos and potatoes — the other night I decided to take those flavours and turn them into a chicken stew. This is a great change from a typical beef stew – while still filling and warming, it feels lighter. ¬†The poblano add a little heat, the potatoes add some bulk, the tomatillos add a tang and the corn a touch of sweetness. ¬†If you’re not a fan of cilantro, leave it out. ¬†If you don’t like any spice at all, substitute a couple of bell peppers for the poblanos.
  • 2 poblano peppers, cut in half, cored and seeded
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8 small tomatillos, husks removed, cored and diced
  • 3 cups good, homemade chicken stock
  • 12 new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Preheat your broiler.  Place the poblanos on a baking sheet, cut side down and broil for 5-8 minutes, or until the skins are charred.  Transfer to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let the peppers cool enough to handle and then peel them, discarding the peel. Dice the peppers and set aside.

Remove any excess fat from the thighs, rinse and pat dry.  Cut into large chunks and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over med-high heat. ¬†Sear the chicken in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan) until it just starts to brown, about 2 minutes per side. ¬†Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Once all of the chicken is seared, add more oil if the pan is dry, reduce heat to medium and add the onions.  Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until they start to brown and soften.  Add the garlic, tomatillo and poblanos and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and potatoes and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan, making sure that nothing is sticking.

Turn the heat back up to medium-high and bring the stock to a simmer. ¬†Cook for 15 minutes — if it’s boiling too hard, reduce the temperature again. ¬†Return the chicken to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. ¬†Add the corn and simmer another 2 minutes. ¬†Add the cilantro and stir through. ¬†Taste, checking the seasoning. ¬†Add salt if necessary and serve!

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad with Almonds and Citrus Vinaigrette

12 Jun

I love salads. ¬†Leafy greens tossed with a light¬†vinaigrette as a starter, whole-meal salads with chicken or steak and chunky vegetables or something in-between. ¬† If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with great farmers markets, now’s the time to take a stroll and see what’s available for your salad bowl.

For lunch today I made one of my favorites.

Romaine lettuce, toasted almonds, roasted/steamed beets, sweet white onion, cranberry/pecan goat cheese and a mandarin/lemon dressing.

First, the beets need to be cooked. ¬†My favorite way to do them is to cut the leaves off (use them in a soup or saute them for dinner), wash well and wrap in a couple of layers of aluminum foil. ¬† Then they go into a 400 F oven for 45 minutes ¬†to 1 1/4 hours — timing will depend on the size of the beets. ¬†They’re done when a skewer or a thin knife can be inserted with little to no¬†resistance. ¬†Take them out of the oven and leave them, wrapped in the foil for about 15 minutes, or until they’ve cooled enough to handle. ¬†If you’ve got them, put on some gloves and rub the beets — the skins should slip right off. ¬†If not, use a paring knife to help them along. ¬†Slice the beets, put them into a bowl and into the fridge to chill. ¬†You can cook these and keep them in the fridge, covered, for a few days.

I used romaine lettuce because that’s what I had in the fridge but you can use anything you like. ¬†Just wash and dry well, tear it into bite size pieces (using a knife to cut the lettuce will make it rust faster than tearing). ¬†Top the lettuce with some thinly sliced white (or red) onion, toasted almond slivers, chilled beets and cheese. ¬†More often than not, I have a package of my favourite Israeli sheep feta in my fridge and the tangy, creamy cheese is perfect for this type of salad. ¬†Today I had a delicious log of pecan/cranberry goat cheese in the fridge, so that’s what I used.

Finally, drizzle the salad with citrus vinaigrette and serve.

Citrus Vinaigrette — Makes enough for 4-6 servings

3 Tbsp. mandarin (or orange) juice

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

pinch black pepper

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. Dijon (or grainy) mustart

1/4 cup canola or other light oil

Whisk all ingredients together and taste, adjusting salt and pepper if necessary.

A Fresh Passover

10 Apr

I often hear people complain about heavy foods at Passover. ¬†It’s true – with menus that include chopped liver, brisket and kugels it can weigh you down. ¬†And while I like to serve traditional foods during the holidays, there are a lot more options that people don’t associate with Passover menus.

For meals that include these heavier dishes, I always make sure to include a fresh, crisp salad and fresh fruit for desserts.  I also make sure that the week has plenty of lighter meals Рa fritatta with salad or maybe my favorite Mediterranean Black Cod served with steamed vegetables.

For a lighter, fresh Passover, here are a couple of my favorite salad recipes (from my cookbook Passover – A Kosher Collection).

Watermelon & Feta Salad

This is one of my favorite salads.  For a different version, replace the mint with basil and the lime juice with balsamic vinegar.

2 Tbsp. | 30 mL fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp. | 30 mL olive oil

1/4 tsp. | 1 mL black pepper

6 cups | 1.4 L watermelon, seedless, cit into 1-inch | 2.5-cm cubes

4 oz. | 115 g feta cheese, cubed or crumbled

3 Tbsp. | 45 mL fresh mint, finely sliced

3 oz. | 85 g red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (1/2 small)

Mix the lime juice, olive oil and black pepper together in a large mixing bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and gently mix together.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Can be made several hours in advance.  If you do make it ahead. pour off any excess liquid and taste, checking for seasoning before serving.

Jicima Slaw

This is a great alternative to classic coleslaw. ¬†It’s crisp, light and flavourful.

1 1/2 lbs. | 680 g jicima, peeled and julienned (1 medium)

3 oz. | 85 g carrots, peeled and shredded (2 small)

3 oz. | 85 g yellow pepper, cored, seeded and cut into a thin julienne (1/2 medium)

3 oz. | 85 g orange pepper, cored, seeded and cut into a thin julienne (1/2 medium)

1 oz. | 28 g green onions, thinly sliced (2 large)

3 oz. | 85 g white onion, peeled and sliced paper thin (1/2 small)

3 Tbsp. | 45 mL fresh lime juice

3 Tbsp. | 45 mL fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp. | 30 mL grapeseed oil (or light olive oil)

1 tsp. | 5 mL salt

2 Tbsp. | 30 mL honey

2 Tbsp. | 30 mL chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 tsp. | 1 mL black pepper

Put all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and toss together.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to blend together.

Can be made 4-6 hours before serving.

Latkes

29 Nov

I’ve been thinking about the latkes I’ll be frying for Chanukah this year.  I spend days and days making latkes.   As often happens, when I start thinking about a holiday food it brings back memories of the foods I enjoyed as a kid. I grew up with traditional foods prepared by my mother and grandmothers and though I will always love them, I also like throwing new twists at old favourites.

As I was thinking about using sweet potato, leeks, zucchini, mushroom and maybe some blue potatoes in latkes, the blue potatoes reminded me of my Baba‚Äôs (grandmother) blue latkes. No, Baba didn‚Äôt use blue potatoes like I was planning. Her pancakes were made from red, waxy potatoes that had turned a purplish-blue as the starches oxidized after they were finely grated. Some people add white vinegar to the potatoes to stop the oxidizing but I always grate the onions first and let their juices keep the potatoes from discoloring. ¬† Baba went au natural and we ate them as they were — ¬†and loved them! But, if I want blue latkes I‚Äôll use those blue potatoes.

Here are a few of my favourite latke recipes. ¬†While I love, love, love potato latkes, it’s nice to have a few variations to have throughout the holiday. Try one or all of them.

Remember ‚Äď Chanukah is a holiday that calls for eating things fried with oil. So I use oil to pan-fry all of the latkes. If you are looking for a lighter version, you can spray a non-stick frying-pan with vegetable spray ‚Äď but be warned ‚Äď the results will not be the same. For crisp on the outside, soft on the inside latkes use the oil. (You are commemorating a miracle!)

Some latke pointers that I shared a couple of years ago and thought it’s time to share again:

  • Use a food processor or box grater to grate vegetables and then squeeze as much liquid from the vegetables as you can. Discard liquid.
  • Use a non-stick or cast-iron frying pan for frying. Heat 1/4‚ÄĚ ‚Äď 1/2‚Äú of canola or vegetable oil over medium heat. The oil should be hot enough for the latkes to sizzle and bubble as soon as they touch the oil, but not too hot or they will burn before they are cooked through.
  • To keep your potatoes from oxidizing grate the onions first. Toss the potatoes with the onion juices as you grate them and it will keep them from turning brown or blue.
  • Drain the cooked latkes on paper towel.
  • Fry one latke and taste it, checking the seasoning before frying the whole batch. If you like things light on salt and pepper cut back my quantities ‚Äď taste one and add seasoning to suit your tastes.
  • Serve with apple sauce, sour cream, cr√®me fraiche, Greek yogurt or or tzatziki.
  • Latkes are best served hot, right out of the pan (after draining). If you are feeding a group, place the fresh latkes on a baking sheet and keep in a 200¬ļ oven as you make them. If necessary, they can be frozen, thawed and reheated on a baking sheet at 350¬ļ degrees, uncovered, until warm (about 10-15 minutes).
Potato Latkes (adapted from Passover – a Kosher Collection)
  • 1 lb. | 454 g yellow onion, peeled and grated¬†(2 medium)
  • 2 lbs. | 910 g red potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¬Ĺ oz. | 14 g cake meal (or flour) (2 Tbsp. | 30 mL)
  • 1 ¬Ĺ tsp. | 7 mL salt
  • ¬ľ tsp. | 1 mL black pepper
  • canola ¬†oil for frying
Grate the onion first, then grate the potato and mix them together. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the onion/potato mixture and place in a mixing bowl.
Add the eggs, cake meal, salt and pepper and mix well.
Heat ¬ľ-inch | 5-mm of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Use two spoons or an ice-cream scoop to gently place batter into the oil (use about 2 Tbsp. | 30 mL of mixture for each latke).
Fry for about 4 minutes, or until the edges start to brown, then turn over and cook another 3‚Äď5 minutes until both sides are golden brown.
Transfer to paper towel to drain.  Continue frying the rest of the latkes, adding more oil if necessary.
Enjoy on their own or with sour cream or applesauce.
Makes 12-16

Zucchini Leek Latkes (adapted from Passover – A Kosher Collection)
I’ve seen young children who maynot enjoy vegetables gobble these up.¬†They’re a little softer than potato latkes, so be gentle when you flip them over.
  • 1 ¬Ĺ lbs. | 680 g zucchini, trimmed and shredded
  • 8 oz. | 225 g red potato, peeled and shredded
  • 8 oz. | 225 g leek, washed well and thinly sliced¬†(2 medium)
  • 1 ¬Ĺ tsp. | 7 mL salt
  • ¬Ĺ tsp. | 2 mL black pepper
  • 2 ¬Ĺ oz. | 70 g cake meal ¬†(¬Ĺ cup | 120 mL) (or flour)
  • 1 tsp. | 5 mL paprika
  • 3 large eggs
  • canola oil for frying
Grate the zucchini and potato and squeeze out any excess liquid. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Heat ¬ľ-inch | 5-mm of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Use two spoons to gently place the mixture into the oil (use about 2 Tbsp. | 30 mL of mixture for each latke).
Fry for 2‚Äď3 minutes, or until the edges start to brown, then turn over and cook another 2‚Äď3 minutes, until both sides are golden brown.
Transfer to paper towel to drain and continue with the rest of the latkes, adding more oil if necessary.
Makes 16-18

Wild Rice and Mushroom Latkes

  • 3 cups button/crimini mushrooms ‚Äď thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion ‚Äď peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 can (425 g) cooked wild rice ‚Äď rinsed and drained
  • 1-2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • canola oil for frying

Sauté onions for 2-3 minutes in oil over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have released their juices and are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool.

Place the cooled mushrooms and onions in a mixing bowl and add the salt, pepper, eggs and flour. Mix well.

Heat oil in a frying pan and carefully spoon heaping tablespoons of the mixture into the oil. Fry for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and set.

Drain and serve.

Makes 16-18

Yom Kippur – Breaking the Fast Soup

13 Sep

When I grew up and well into my twenties, my paternal grandparents lived across the street from the synagogue most of my family attended. We’d have most of our holiday meals at their house, everything prepared by my baba (grandmother) and served up by my mother and aunts.

For most holiday and Shabbat meals at Baba’s, meat was on the menu. ¬†But to break the fast of Yom Kippur, we always went with a lighter, dairy meal. When services ended at the synagogue, my family would file out the back door and stroll the half-block to the house. ¬†Every single year, we’d be welcomed by the aromas of coffee brewing and freshly baked cinnamon rolls and blueberry or Saskatoon berry buns wafting from the kitchen in the back of the house to the entrance and living room.
Dinner would be any combination of kugels, knishes, blintzes, fish, salads and other dairy dishes. ¬†But the one thing I remember the most was Baba’s Yom Kippur Soup. Once we were all gathered around the table, challah and the milky vegetable soup was always the first course. ¬†Now, though we ate this soup every year, it wasn’t always the same. ¬†It was always close, but the vegetables in the soup were determined by whatever was plentiful in the garden that took up her back yard.
This recipe, Baba’s Break-the-Fast Soup, was first printed in my cookbook Soup – A Kosher Collection (2004 – Whitecap).
Feel free to add or remove vegetables depending on your likes and dislikes or on whatever is fresh from your garden.
1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 Tbsp. | 45 mL olive oil
1 small carrot, peeled and diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
1/2 small parsnip, peeled and diced
6 cups | 1.5 L vegetable stock
1 medium red potato, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups | 375 mL green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch | 2.5 cm pieces
1/4 lb. | 125 g button mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch | 5 mm thick
3 Tbsp. | 45 mL all-purpose flour
3 cups | 750 mL 2% milk
2 oz. | 50 g thin soup noodles
1 Tbsp. | 15 mL  fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tsp. | 5 mL salt
1/4 tsp. | 1 mL black pepper
Over medium-low heat, sauté the onion in olive oil for 2-3 minutes, stirring as it cooks.  Add the carrot, celery and parsnip and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes.
Add the stock and potato, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add the beans and mushrooms, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer gently for 15 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and milk.  Make sure the mixture is well blended and there are no lumps.  Whisk the mixture into the soup and add the noodles. Bring the soup back to a simmer.
Cook until the noodles are tender and add the dill, salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.