Friday, July 18, 2014

Caramelized Onions over Hummus

The  sweet onions are a nice  touch  to hummus, serve with toasted flat bread  as a appetizer  or with  your favorite Mediterranean / Middle Eastern meal.


Ingredients:
1 med. yellow onion diced
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 cup Classic Hummus


Directions :

In a  small  shallow bowl put about a cup  of classic hummus, I  like the  classic  flavor because  there are no other flavors that compete with  the wonderful sweet onions. Smooth  the hummus  up on the sides of the bowl so onions stay in the center.



 In a  small  skillet  bring to a med. heat and drizzle  with  olive oil, then add the  diced  onions, saute the onions  till they are tender  and add the  white wine vinegar and  light brown sugar and stir in  and cook  till  onions turn a beautiful caramel color,  pour over the hummus and serve.



Friday, July 11, 2014

Spiced Parsnips and Carrots

So  easy and so healthy! Roasting Carrots and Parsnips in the  oven turns them a beautiful color and they are tender and sweet  and crispy. By adding paprika and cayenne you  get nicely spiced  veggies that would  be a great alternative to fries to  go with a burger or  delicious blackened salmon.                                  

Ingredients: 

6 carrots peeled
2 large Parsnips  peeled
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 pinch of salt 
1/3 cup  Olive oil

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 400°F. 
Peel the carrots and parsnips and cut in  halve lengthwise. (If carrots are small and slender, leave them whole. If parsnips are large, quarter them lengthwise. Place  them on a baking sheet  in a single layer close together.
In a glass measuring cup add the  olive oil, paprika, cayenne, salt , mix together and drizzle over the vegetables and place in the oven for about 20 min. then take them out and flip them over to make sure  all sides get golden and place back in the oven   for about 10  more min.  Remove from oven and place on a platter, sprinkle with parsley and serve . 4 serving

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Za`Atar Spice Blend

Za'atar (zaatar) is a mixture of sumac, sesame seed and herbs frequently used in the Middle East and Mediterranean areas.


Za'atar is the Arabic name for an herb blend that is popular in Israeli cooking. Traditionally, the blend was made from a plant by the same name, but today most Za'atar blends are made from herbs like oregano, marjoram, and not  any of the "real" Za'atar herb

Za`Atar Flatbread
Current uses of what we now call Za'atar are mostly culinary. The seasoning mixture is comprised of dried herbs, toasted sesame seeds, ground sumac, and salt. Sumac is another Middle Eastern flavoring, characterized by its deep red berries and often sold dried and ground into a coarse powder with a tart, cranberry like flavor.
You can find a Za'atar blend at most Middle Eastern grocery stores or you can make it from scratch.
Za`atar Pizza on the left. Make a paste with Za`atar and Olive oil and spread on your already made flatbread and top with feta  cheese and place  in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 min. and serve with hummus  and Israeli Salad


Ingredients :
  • 1/4 cup sumac
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt   

Preparation:

Grind the sesame seeds in food processor or with mortar and pestle. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Store za'atar in a cool, dark place in a plastic zip bag or in an airtight container. When stored properly, Za'atar can be used from 3-6 months.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Flavorful Italian Cobb Salad Made Lighter


I love the  idea of Cobb salad, but  I don`t eat pork or salty meats. So I used Smoked Turkey. It so  refreshing on  a hot summer day  and it serves 4.
Ingredients:
8 oz. Bocconcini ( Mozzarella Balls)
12- 14   whole Golden  Pepperoncini`s
1/2 cup  Smoked Turkey sliced and  cut into inch size pieces
1/3 cup  Non Pareil Capers  drained
3/4 cup whole pitted black olives drained
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
7.5 oz.  jar marinated Artichoke hearts drained
1 pint cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 teaspoon dry  Basil
5 oz. or abt. 4 large handfuls of  mixed  greens
Instructions :
Arrange  the greens in a large  platter or a pasta bowl.
Place the  turkey, pepperoncini,   black olives,  sliced eggs, artichoke hearts, and cherry tomatoes halves, capers, Bocconcini  decoratively  in rows over the greens   and sprinkle the dry basil over the salad.
Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Drizzle the  salad  with your  favorite store  bought Italian dressing or make your own and serve.
Basic Italian Salad Dressing  recipe:
Ingredients : 
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Pinch of dried oregano
Preparation: 
Combine all ingredients in small bowl and whisk to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Eggs Benedict My Style

Makes  2  servings, what is shown is one serving.



Hollandaise Sauce
4 large Egg Yolks
1/2 stick Melted Butter  
2 tsp.  Lemon Juice
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Pepper
a pinch  of cayenne
Instructions  for the Hollandaise  sauce 
Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt nd pepper. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.

Ingredients for the remainder of the recipe
4 eggs sunny side up
4 slices of med. sliced Turkey ham, browned in a skillet
2 cups of baby spinach sauteed in butter
2 English muffins toasted
12 pieces of  asparagus roasted in the oven  

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350  degrees.
Trim ends of the  Asparagus and place on a baking sheet drizzle with Olive oil and salt and pepper and place in the oven for about  10 - 15 min, till bright green and starts to caramelized and remove  from oven. 
In a small skillet melt about  2 tsp. of butter  add a pinch of salt and put in the spinach and toss till slightly wilted and remove from the  heat and place in a bowl. in the same skillet brown  4 slices of  turkey ham and and remove from heat. 
Toast the English muffins in a toaster, when toasted place 2 halves on 2 plates, add   the sauteed spinach on the  4  muffin halves and place the browned turkey  on top of the spinach.  Fry 4 eggs sunny side up and place on top of each muffin, place 6 pieces  of asparagus on each plate, whisk the Hollandaise sauce and drizzle over the eggs and asparagus, add a pinch  of cayenne and pepper on top and serve.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Indian Inspired Chili

This is the most  amazing chili  you  will ever  eat  with  mild Indian spices, your guests will be raving about this one!

Ingredients  For the sauce:                                                                                                                                        
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon powdered  ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ Serrano  pepper, seeded and minced, ( save the half of the Serrano not chopped for the Turkey)
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon paprika
1  15-ounce can tomato sauce  
2 cups water  

Ingredients for the rest of the chili:
4 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup raisins 
¼ cup shelled pistachios 
1 teaspoon ground cumin  
1 large white onion, finely diced 
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced 
1/2 Serrano  pepper (don’t chop )
½ teaspoon salt 
1 pound ground turkey 
1/2 teaspoon dried   cilantro 
1 15 oz. can  Canellini beans dried and rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup half and half  


Directions :

Step 1.  
To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in  med  saucepan over med. heat. add the chopped serrano pepper and cook until tender, then add ginger  and the garlic and cook about  1 min. longer.   Add the gram masala and  paprika and cook for 30 seconds. add the tomato sauce and the  water and stir and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for  15 min. 

Step 2 .
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over med. heat.  Add the raisins   and the pistachios and cook, stirring occasionally until the  raisins swell up and the  pistachios toast lightly  about  1 min. and remove from  the   skillet and place in a bowl and set  aside. 

Step 3. 
Return the skillet  to med. heat and add the remaining olive oil.  then add the chopped onion and  bell pepper and cook until softened and starting to  turn brown. about 5  min.  and add the cumin, then the remaining not chopped half of the serrano pepper and cook 2 min. more and season with salt.  Next add the ground turkey breaking up the lumps and cook till opaque about 5 min. When this step is  finished, transfer the mixture to a  large pot. 

Step 4. 
Add the prepared sauce  to the turkey and  onion mixture and  add the drained and rinsed Canellini beans and stir and  bring to a boil then reduce the  heat to low and simmer until the  mixture thickens slightly  about 10 min.

Step 5. 
Remove the serrano pepper  half and discard.  stir in the honey,  half and half, raisins and pistachios.  Taste for seasoning and stir in the cilantro right before serving.


* notes

Please  do the steps as followed, if you  just  dump everything in and  cook it wont taste the same. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

CHALLAH-APPLE STUFFING

Ingredients :
2 1-lb loaves challah
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced onion
2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples
8 sprigs thyme, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary,  finely chopped
6 sprigs marjoram, finely chopped
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Note: To dice means to chop into roughly ¼-inch cubes.
Special Equipment:
Aluminum Foil
9x13-inch baking dish
Directions:
Cut challah into 1-inch cubes and let cubes sit out in a bowl or on a baking tray, uncovered, for at least six hours to make them stale.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium-low heat, then add onions and celery. Add three teaspoons of salt and ground pepper to taste, and cook until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Add apples and herbs and cook until apples are soft, about 5 minutes more.

In a large bowl, combine challah cubes, cooked vegetables in butter, and chicken broth. Mix until the bread is saturated with liquid, and everything is evenly mixed. Press stuffing into a 9x13-inch baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes, then remove the foil, raise your oven to 450°F, and cook stuffing uncovered for another 10-15 minutes, or until the top starts to brown slightly.
Cool 10 minutes, then serve.