Quick Chicken-Rice Dinner

I didn’t feel like making dinner tonight, but my son came home so I felt cereal wasn’t a great option. This dinner is so easy, and takes very little energy to prepare.

Baked Chicken Thighs

1 package chicken thighs, bones in

1/4 cp ketchup

1 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp pepper

Place thighs in 9×11 pan. Combine ketchup, oil and spices and spread it onto the tops of thighs. Bake in preheated 375F oven for 1 hour

Baked Steamed Rice

2 cups parboiled rice

5 cups water

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can sliced mushrooms

1/2 cp frozen or canned peas

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 diced green onion for garnish

Place rice, water, mushrooms, peas and garlic in 9×11 pan. Cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour at 375F. Take out and fluff with fork. Place in serving bowl, add soya sauce and garnish with diced onion.

Step-by-Step Brisket Recipe

2 medium chopped onions

1 3 lb brisket

3 crushed cloves garlic

1 tsp Sweet paprika

3 tablespoons crushed tomatoes

5 medium potatoes

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp flour

Sauté onions in Dutch oven with oil until golden brown
Add crushed tomatoes and minced garlic, salt and pepper to meat and rub in all over. I insert some cloves into the meat by making little holes with tip of my knife
Take remaining spices and flour and rub onto meat
Put meat into Dutch oven on top of sautéed onions and brown both sides (3-4 minutes each side on medium heat)
Add 6 cups of water (enough to cover meat) along with whole potatoes. Cover and let simmer on low for 1 1/2 to two hours. Take out and slice and return to pot. Allow to simmer for another 1/2 hour until meat is soft.
Serve in roasting pan with liquid.

Easy Egg and Cheese Tarts

Thaw out 12 egg roll wraps
Prepare scrambled eggs mixture using 5 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 tsp dill powder, salt and pepper to taste
Spray 12 muffin containers with olive oil spray
Fill each muffin tin with wrap
In each wrap add:
1 tsp canned sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp grated cheese
1 tsp diced chives

Top with scrambled egg mixture

Place in oven for ten minutes or until eggs are done. 

Great for kids lunches or to take on picnics or day trips

Blueberry Banana French Toast



1 banana
2oz fresh blueberries
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more if you like cinnamon)
1 scoop vanilla sugar
Blend all ingredients in blender. Pour batter into flat tray. Dip both sides bread into batter. Fry in warm skillet with canola oil. (About 3 minutes per side). Makes four pieces of French Toast.

Serve with fresh blueberries, whipped cream or syrup

Gefilte Fish Ratatouille

1 medium zucchini sliced thinly

1 red pepper diced

1 medium onion diced

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 cup Tuscanini diced tomatoes 

1/2 cup water 

2 tablespoons sugar

1 jar  Manischewitz Gefilte Fish, drained of broth. 

Prepare all vegetables by dicing thinly. Place Gefilte fish in sieve, and drain broth. Place vegetables into warm skillet with oil. Sauté until vegetables are tender, but not done. Add two tablespoons sugar and pepper. Add diced tomatoes and water along with Gefilte fish. Stir gently until everything is incorporated and fish is covered with tomato broth. Cover and let simmer for half an hour. Serve warm, but tastes great cold as well!

In university I used to need to work harder on some subjects and every Thursday night, I’d get together to study Engineering Static’s with a friend. This is where I learned about the amazing flavour of Ratatouille, and it’s a recipe that’s stayed with me forever.

Gdańsk Chicken

Sauté onions until golden
Place thighs, top down and braise
Turn thighs over and sauté other side
Add spices, potatoes and water and simmer

2 Tbsp oil

1 medium onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 chicken thighs

2 large potatoes halved

4 tsp of sweet paprika

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

2-3 cups water or chicken broth

2 tbsp flour for thickening at end

Place oil into skillet and add minced garlic with sliced onion. Sauté until slightly golden. Add chicken bottoms in, top down. Braise until skin is slightly brown, 3-5 minutes

Turn over and do the same to bottom half. Sprinkle each thigh with sweet paprika (1 tsp per thigh). Drop potatoes into pan, keeping everything level. If food is doubled up, it won’t cook evenly. Add salt and pepper to mix. Add 2-3 cups water and cover. Turn down flame, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Take off cover and turn chicken pieces over so tops brown. Add 2 Tbsp flour, stir and simmer for extra 5 minutes until gravy forms. Cover potatoes and chicken with gravy and plate. Sprinkle with paprika before serving. This is basically more “brown food” but it’s soft and a great comfort food for those chilly fall nights.

Serves two but you can double it!

Classic Meat Stir-Fry Recipe

Due to this recipes simplicity, it was the first one I was formally taught how to make. Now that summer is coming to a close; and all the wonderful veggies are available, it’s a great way to make use of them! Hope you enjoy 😊

1 wok (can use large frying pan, but a wok will give you best results)

3 romaine lettuce leaves (can use bok choy but I’ve found mine to be buggy recently), cleaned, checked for bugs and sliced in inch long strips

2 medium carrots, sliced thinly and on a diagonal (diagonal slicing provides more surface area to cook the veggies with so they cook faster. It also gives more of an area for absorption of flavours and sauces used)

2 celery stalks, sliced thinly on diagonal

2 green onions or one shallot, sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp shredded ginger root (can use powdered ginger but not as strong!)

1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly on diagonal

1 cup frozen or fresh broccoli heads

1 red pepper cored and sliced lengthwise into fine strips

Three tablespoons sesame or olive oil

1 cup water

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoons cornstarch or flour with 1/4 cup water, stir together to make thickening gravy

1 large fast fry steak (~1 pound) sliced in inch wide diagonal strips

Prepare all veggies and sort by hardness. You will begin by frying hard veggies first because they take the longest. Place wok over medium flame. Add oil. When oil gets warm, add carrots, celery and onions first along with garlic and ginger so the flavours of the spices absorb into the veggie mix. Add broccoli. Fry until done but still a bit hard. Push the veggies up side of wok and replace with zucchini and red pepper. Fry until tender. Push up sides of wok. Add romaine leaves. These take one minute to soften. Push up sides of wok. Finally add meat, water, soy sauce and sugar. Sauté meat until it’s done to your liking. Stir in a tablespoon of cornstarch to some water until smooth and pour into water/meat mixture (can also use flour instead of cornstarch) Mix until gravy thickens.

Bring down vegetables into meat mixture, stir until covered in sauce.

Prepare 2 cups of uncooked rice or noodles as directed on package.

Serve hot stir fry over rice or noodles and top with sesame seeds as garnish.

(My veggie stir fry recipe can be seen in an earlier post https://kosheriffic.blog/2018/05/14/easy-stir-fry-dinner/

Enjoy!

(This recipe is dedicated to my best friend in life, who I have enjoyed making this with on countless evenings at home together while listening to music and talking about life, the universe and everything! 🍺)

Quick and Easy Beet Soup (Borscht)

I love the smell of borscht cooking on a cold day. My grandmother used to make it for me at lunch along with a sandwich, and it was the warmest feeling knowing she put so much work and love into a meal for me. Borscht doesn’t have to be so difficult to make, though. This is my quick borscht recipe. In hard times, it’s easy to make.

2 carrots chopped

1 celery chopped (I peel mine to remove the strings)

1 can sliced beets

1/2 medium onion diced

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dill

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil for sautéing

6 cups vegetable broth

Sauté vegetables and spices in olive oil until tender. Add bay leaf and liquid. Bring to boil and turn down to simmer. Let simmer for one hour to one and half hours.

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)