Jewish Shabbos Cholent

If you are lucky enough to live in a high rise when you first get married, as you walk up the stairs after going to shul (synagogue) you will invariably smell cholent on each floor. The thing I noted was no two cholents smelled the same. One smelled sweet, one smelled spicy, one smelled of beans, one of barley. As Jews we all shared in the afternoon meal yet no two cholents were ever alike. It seems it’s a lot like us as a people. We all share the same experience yet each of us brings something different to our “table”.

The above picture was taken of my cholent before Shabbos (because on Shabbos I refrain from all work including turning on my phone). The end product is a warm brown colour with soft beans and perfect flavour.

Ingredients:

Package of beef marrow bones

Two strips flanken (fattier the better)

2/3 cup pearl Barley washed and checked

1/2 cup Cholent beans washed and checked (use kidney, pinto and navy beans if you can’t find the mix)

Two large potatoes cut in quarters

One medium whole onion

Half of a sweet potato layered in slices

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic

3 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp pepper

Salt to taste (kosher meat is pretty salty)

Directions:

Add some canola oil to the bottom of your slow cooker recipe sauce pan. Add marrow bones and flanken. Add spices and ketchup directly to meat. Top with beans/barley and finish with potatoes and slices of sweet potato. Fill pot until water JUST covers everything.

If using a slow cooker, turn on high for three hours and reduce heat until Shabbos lunch. For stove top method, bring to boil and then simmer until Erev Shabbos. Before Shabbos place a “blech” (metal separation) between the heat source and pot and leave on the blech on a very low burner until Shabbos lunch. For my oven, the burner is set to 2 ( where 1 on my burner is the lowest) for the blech to have a slow heat.

You can alter the ingredients depending upon the amount of guests you have. More guests, add more potatoes or more barley. It doesn’t have to be expensive. People come for your company, not your meat. Before Shabbos if you find your water has gone down, add more and give it a stir. The water should be sitting at the top of the mixture before Shabbos so it doesn’t dry out.

Note: this is NOT for Pesach (Passover)

Bubby’s Old Fashioned Chicken Soup

Chicken soup was a staple in our house. My grandmother could make a batch in no time and the smell was amazing. It was one of those things I took for granted until one day my mother was sick and couldn’t make the soup and it was left to me. I was terrified it wouldn’t turn out, but honestly it’s such an easy thing to make. After you get through all the cleaning and chopping, it just looks after itself until dinner time. I guess what I’m saying is don’t be afraid to try new things. You don’t have to use chemicals to get that old fashioned taste in your food when there are so many healthy ingredients out there.

2 carrots, peeled and washed

1 celery

1 parsnip

1 cooking onion

2 inches piece of sweet potato (can be omitted but we like this for flavour)

1 small potato

1 large RAW chicken breast

Package of chicken bones

1 tsp dill weed

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

12 cups water

Peel and wash all vegetables well and cut tips off. ( for people who want vegetables served with their soup, dice vegetables into small pieces. I leave mine whole and serve the broth) Place info large soup pot. Wash chicken breast and bones under water. Wrap chicken bones in cheese cloth, tie the end securely and place chicken into pot. Add spices, salt and pepper. Add water. Turn pot into high and bring to boil. Let boil for 15 minutes and turn to simmer. Leave pot partially covered and let simmer for 6-8 hours. It’s not a fast process if you want the good taste. When done, remove cheese cloth. Serve chicken soup broth with some parsley for garnish.

(The above soup is pictured with “kreplach” which is a meat filled dumpling)

Roasted Bone Marrow Sheet Pan Dinner

During Passover time, it’s super hard to make meat and potatoes look fancy. I forgot to post this bone marrow sheet pan meal I made using very basic ingredients. It takes no time to make and is delish! It presents well too 🥂

Package of beef marrow bones (look for ones that have lots of marrow)

1 whole garlic, peeled and cap off

1 medium onion cut into inch pieces

1 large sweet potato cut into inch pieces

2 baking potatoes cut into inch pieces

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 salt

Blend spices and canola oil well in a large bowl. Reserve some oil/spice mixture for garlic and bone marrow prices. Place all veggies (except whole garlic) into bowl and combine until the veggies are well covered. Remove veggies from bowl and lay onto baking tray covered in parchment paper. Pour 1 tablespoons of oil and spice mixture into garlic top and onto each piece of bone marrow. Lay everything on a baking tray and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour at 375F (if you want a softer garlic then feel free to wrap it in foil before laying it onto the pan. Carefully open it after roasting due to steam)

This goes great with French bread. Scoop out the roasted garlic and marrow and shmear it over. The veggies plated on the side.

Puff Pastry Schnitzel

I haven’t been feeling well. 2 weeks ago I was bitten by some insect and had a bad reaction. I ended up in hospital for a week and this is Canada…we don’t keep people in hospital ever…unless it’s bad.

So I’ve been having trouble making the meals. I can’t stand for long periods of time etc. This week for Shabbos I came up with this recipe for phyllo schnitzel. I used to make this by cutting up the schnitzel into bite sized strips and then covering each strip with a piece of puff pastry (like wieners in a blanket) but today I just couldn’t. If you want something that presents well that you can serve on a tray, do it that way. This way worked well for me right now and took only 35 minutes to bake. Hope you enjoy it. The result looks awesome.

Ingredients:

4 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken

Honey mustard

Puff pastry dough squares

Garlic powder

Pepper

Take the chicken pieces and sprinkle with garlic and pepper

Place two squares together and roll out to make a rectangle.

Place one piece of chicken chicken on one side of the pastry dough and on the other half smear with a thin layer of mustard

Seal the pastry dough and tuck the ends under so it looks like a pocket.

Repeat with the other three piece until you have four pastry pockets.

Place on an oiled 9×11 pan. Cover with egg wash and sesame seeds

Bake for 35 minutes at 375F or until pastry is golden. Serve warm.

If you have any questions about this one, just ask.

Chaya

Cherry Shiraz Duck

People are often afraid to cook duck. This one isn’t that hard. It’s inspired by Jamie Oliver and I tweaked the juice with Cherry Shiraz Preserve

The average guide to cooking duck is 20 minutes for each pound at 350F. Scoring a duck is important because it allows all that extra fat to run out and into your pan. That’s no worry, because you will take it out half way through, drain the fat and save it in a nice mason jar with your favourite herb (I added poultry seasoning to my jar…but fresh rosemary sprigs would be great). Use the fat anytime when frying onions or add to cholent.

Ingredients:

Duck:

One duck (4-5 pounds)

2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

Dry contents of 1 orange pekoe tea bag

Olive oil

Cherry Shiraz Gravy:

1 jar Tishbi Cherry Shiraz Preserves

Three cloves garlic

Three small red onions cut in quarters

2 medium carrots cut in 3 inch long chunks

1 cup steeped orange pekoe tea (Note: throw out the bag when done and use the tea)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F

Score the top of your duck in a cross cross fashion with a sharp knife. Drizzle some olive oil on top. Mix all spices including tea leaves and rub all over duck (including legs, wings and underneath) It should look like this:

Place into 9×13″ pan and pop it into the oven uncovered for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350F

Take out and drain all the duck fat into a mason jar as described above. Add garlic, onions and carrots to the bottom of the pan making sure they are covered with a bit of duck juice. Turn duck over with breast down this time placing it on top of the veggies and re-insert duck into oven for 45 minutes. For 5 lb duck add 15 minutes.

Take the duck out and let it sit.

Cherry Shiraz Gravy:

1 7.7 oz jar Tishbi Cherry Shiraz Preserves

1 cup steeped orange pekoe tea

Cooked onions, garlic and carrots from duck

3 tsp flour

1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger

Instructions:

Remove duck from pan and set it onto a clean platter or plate, leaving cooked veggies in the bottom. Place pan onto your stove element.

(Transfer veggie mixture to a stove top skillet if you can not place your pan directly on your element)

Sprinkle flour around pan and blend it with veggies

Add tea, Tishbi Cherry Shiraz Preserves and ginger to pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. This will give you a chunky gravy.

Serve your duck on a board. It’s not something you daintily slice. You will tear it apart with two forks and dip the pieces in the gravy. (You can always tear the pieces off the duck and put it in a serving bowl, mixing it with the gravy).

This is a great Friday night meal. Serves 4. The average kosher duck is $25 and we had pieces left over for our Shabbos day meal.

You can find “Tishbi’s Cherry Shiraz Preserve” at Fruit of the Land Store in Toronto. It’s worth it for this recipe. When I opened the jar, the smell was like heaven. The mix of cherries and Shiraz added the right flavour to this spicy duck. It blends with the ginger and garlic to give everything a extra kick. (#sponsored)

Let me know if you have any questions

Chaya

Healthy Breaded Chicken

It’s super hot in Toronto right now and everyone is thinking picnics and family get togethers. Why not bring along this simple, healthy breaded chicken to the party?

I made my own bread crumbs (inspired to do so by @raizyscookin on Instagram) by putting left over bread (that was on the verge of going stale) on a cookie sheet. I sprinkled them with garlic powder and salt and turned the over to 200F. I let them bake until they were hard (it took mine 1/2 hour but depending on how much you have on your pan it could be less. (Watch them that they don’t burn but dark brown is fine because they are just bread crumbs). When they were hard I crumbled them into a food processor and pulsed until finely ground. I ended up with enough crumbs to fill a litter container. You can always buy your own breadcrumbs and skip the step

Now onto the chicken:

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken cut into 8ths

Canola oil

Bread crumbs

1 tsp Garlic

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Pepper

Directions:

Wash the chicken and lay it bone side down onto a 9×13″ foil baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Take canola oil and drizzle onto each piece of chicken

Sprinkle bread crumbs over chicken so that they are completely covered

Sprinkle spices over chicken

If you find it looks too dry, you can add a little more canola oil over the bread crumbs but not too much. You don’t want the pan swimming in oil…you just want it to cover the chicken.

Put into 400F preheated oven uncovered for 1 hour.

Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. The chicken will be crispy and flavourful. It will taste like you deep fried it without the deep frying.

Have fun experimenting with the spices. You can add what you like to your chicken and if you have any questions, just let me know.

Thanks

Chaya

Follow me on Instagram Kosheriffic

Easy Veggie Stir Fry Dinner

When I make dinner, I create as I go along, but someone asked me how I made my stir fry so I’m sharing it here. A stir fry is one of the easiest dinners because you can put whatever vegetables you love in it, and it should still taste good.

Tonight my son told me he wanted noodles so I went with capellini. They are thin and cook very quickly. This dinner cost me under $20 to make. I don’t think you could go out for a meal and feed 5-6 people under $20.

Ingredients:

4 tbsp olive oil

1/2 bag diced carrots

2 celery stalks

1 medium onion

1 cup button mushrooms

1/2 medium zucchini

1/2 red pepper

1/4 cup soya sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp dill

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 cp water

4 cups of water

1/2 package capellini noodles

Directions:

Dice all veggies and place into a large warm frying pan (or wok) with olive oil. Stir fry until onion is translucent (10 minutes). Mix soya sauce, water, and spices. Add to vegetables and turn down the heat. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are done. You can add more water if needed.

Add water to a 4 litre pot with a 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and add noodles. Turn down the heat to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Plate the noodles and serve the vegetables on top. This also can be made with rice. A great meal on a hot day. Minimal cooking time.

Any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

-Chaya

BBQ Skirt Steak

With the nice weather upon us, I love to BBQ. Actually, we were even BBQ’ing when it was snowing, but we are used to the cold weather. I will try to blog more about BBQ ideas, as I even have baked cookies on my BBQ in the really hot weather.

This past week I made our family skirt steak. I make my steak a bit under cooked because I like to warm it in a 200F oven before we eat our Friday night meal. If you want your meat darker, just BBQ it longer on each side

Ingredients

1 skirt steak ( 2 lbs)

3 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp soya sauce

Turn bbq on and wait 10 minutes until it reaches 400F

Take steak and wash it well under water. Lay it on a plate. Take canola oil and add spices and soya sauce to it, mixing it evenly in a small bowl. Baste the steak on both sides with canola/spice mixture.

Take tongs and lay steak onto grill. Cover and wait 6 minutes. Grill second side for an additional six minutes. If you want a darker steak, grill longer.

Remove from grill and sit onto a clean plate. Let meat sit for 15 – 20 minutes. This allows the juices to settle in the meat. Serve sliced with some garden herbs around it for decoration.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out

Chaya

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http://www.instagram.com/kosheriffic

Cheesy Pasta Parmigiana

As the warm weather hits, it’s so nice to go out in the patio and share a nice pasta meal with friends. This home cooked dish is something you will be able to make quickly while they are sitting with you in your kitchen, talking about their week.

Ingredients:

2 litres of water

200 g rotini pasta (1/2 package)

4 tbsp canola oil

1/2 cp diced onion

1 tbsp dill weed

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 sprig thyme leaves

1 tbsp of flour

1 and a 1/2 cup whole milk

6 slices Haolom white cheese

1/2 cp grated Parmigiana cheese

Instructions:

Bring water to boil. Add pasta and let simmer for 6-7 minutes. Drain but do not rinse.

Fry onions until soft but not translucent (5 minutes). Pinch the leaves off of the fresh thyme. Add them and rest of spices with flour to onions in frying pan and stir until combined (frying flour is a great way to thicken soups as well). Add milk and stir. Let simmer until milk thickens. Add cheese slices and grated parmigiana. Add pasta to pan of ingredients and mix until pasta is completely coated. Serves four.

Serve with a side salad.

Leave your comments. Would love to hear what you would like me to make for you next!

-Chaya

Easy Summer Salad

How are you today? In Toronto’s it’s hot out. We’ve had such cold weather (I know…it’s Canada), but I was hoping for spring weather. (after all, it is May). Today I woke up to see the temperature is absolutely balmy out. I have no time for cooking today. I had a wonderful time food-hopping with a bunch a great kosher foodies in Toronto. Naomi Nachman (Author of “Perfect for Pesach”) came to Toronto for “Kosher Chopped” competition and stayed to hit the Kosher Toronto restaurants. I didn’t even go to every one of them, and I’m tired.

Also, tonight is the Jewish festival of Lag B’Omer. “Lag” for the number 33 which is the number of days since the first night of Pesach (Passover). One of the ways we celebrate it is by lighting bonfires and roasting s’mores. There’s lots of singing and dancing. So tonight calls for an easy salad that will go with bbq hotdogs. This salad is not dairy because I’m serving it with meat and I stick to kosher dietary laws, but feel free to add a dairy dressing if you like! 😘

Ingredients:

1 pint cherrie tomatoes

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 whole peeled cucumber

1 tblsp mayonnaise – dairy free

1 tsp dill powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cut cherrie tomatoes in half and cucumbers into 1 inch pieces. Add diced onion. Mix mayonnaise with spices and mix into salad.

This is SUCH a refreshing salad. It goes with burgers, hotdogs, the last meal on Shabbos …anything.

Remember to have fun with your cooking. Don’t get caught up in the “amounts”. Play with things until they get to where you like them. Eating is supposed to be fun. Reach out to me if you have any questions and follow me on Instagram Kosheriffic

-Chaya