Butternut Squash Soup

I wanted a different soup for our celebration of Purim, so I adapted this one. Pinterest inspired, it turned out wonderfully and was so easy to make.

1 diced celery

1 diced carrot

1 bag frozen butternut squash cubes

1 diced apple

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp garlic

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tbsp canola oil

6 cup water

Place canola oil in soup pot. Sauté vegetables until soft. Add water and spices (except bay leaf). Bring to boil and turn down. Use immersion blender to blend. Add bay leaf and let simmer for 1 – 2 hours. Serve with croutons.

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)

Sheet Pan Lunches – מגש

So many people right now are making “sheet pan dinners” because they are easy and healthy. I decided to add to this with what seems to be big in Israel right now: sheet pan lunches or “מגש״” (magash meaning tray). There’s a well known cafe in Tel Aviv where everyone seems to go to that is especially known for this style. I’m not certain of whether they are kashrut certified, but their food sure looks great. I tried to copy their style at home. This is great for a healthy lunch or Shalosh Seudah or if you want to have a meal outside on these in between temperature days.

Ingredients for my sheet pan lunch:

1 can tuna salad

1/2 cp Hummus with schug

Garden Salad with Israeli Salad garnish

2 Hard boiled eggs cut in half

4 medium Pickles (one was eaten before this shot 🙈)

1/2 cucumber sliced lengthwise

1/2 medium red onion sliced

Take a tray and line with parchment paper. Places salads around tray, displaying each one separately. Add condiments around salads. You can have personal trays as well, but this platter would serve 4

( note: You can add whatever you like to this tray. Serve with crackers or wholesome wheat breads)

Shakshuka Hack – Healthy Breakfast Meal

Mornings aren’t always easy. Sometimes I want more than a smoothie or a fruit to get me through my day but don’t feel like overdoing the carbs. In Israel, a dish called “shakshuka” is a big thing. It’s basically tomato sauce with eggs poached directly in the sauce and cumin is usually the spice of choice. This morning I had fresh produce and was inspired to do something with them. That’s how I came up with this shakshuka hack. It took me one minute to wash and dice the veggies and then 5 minutes to cook everything in a pan. This recipe is for one but just add for each person. So simple.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp oregano

1 diced scallion

I diced small roma tomato

1 egg

Sprinkle of parmigiana cheese

Add all veggies and oregano to oiled pan. Sauté on burner on medium heat for two minutes. Break egg on top of sautéed veggies and cover pan with lid. Leave lid on for four minutes without removing and continue to cook on medium heat. The lid will keep the steam from the veggies contained and cook the top of your egg without having to flip it. It won’t be rubbery and the result will be a perfect egg. Sprinkle with fresh parmigiana cheese 🧀 Makes one serving.

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

Easy Couscous Salad

Couscous is an amazing pasta. It was developed in Israel back in 1950s when they couldn’t get rice. The roasted semolina wheat gives it a sort of nutty flavour. I love it. It’s so adaptable to so many dishes. It can be served hot or cold…as a dairy or meat side…and it’s super easy to prepare.

Ingredients:

1 cup roasted pearl couscous

2 cups boiling water.

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

1/2 red diced red pepper

1/2 red onion

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Kedem Red Wine Vinegar

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt to taste

Instructions:

Place couscous in heated pan with 2 tbsp of canola oil and fry until couscous is coated and a bit translucent. Add boiling water to pan. Cover pan and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Stir every so often so it doesn’t clump. Take off heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

Empty couscous into a serving bowl. Dice onion, red onion, pepper and slice cherry tomatoes in half. Add to couscous. Add oil, vinegar and salt to taste. Serves 4.

Any questions…just give me a shout

Chaya

http://www.instagram.com/kosheriffic

Veggie Tuna Salad

I am not one who beats myself up after eating cheesecake because honestly, I love the stuff. There has to be a balance in what you take into your body in terms of fats and calories though. That’s why I love easy, summer salads as a go to after the cheesecake weekends.

This tuna salad is easy and is so light. It presents well and even kids love it. You can have it at a BBQ as well. Add hard boiled egg if you like. I kept mine simple:

Ingredients:

2 cans tuna in water

1 stalk of celery

1/2 red pepper

1 tbsp mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cucumber

Thoroughly wash vegetables and dice. Prepare tuna by draining water and mashing with the back of a fork until completely flakey. Add mayonnaise and vegetables. Serve on plates with sliced cucumber. 4 servings.

Charcuterie Boards

With any holiday time, it’s always nice to have guests. I love the idea of making charcuterie boards for a lunch meal. They are super easy to prepare, and they look gorgeous when they are done. You will be the trendy chef when you present it to everyone. I made the one above as a meat board. You can totally change this up to cheese by replacing the various meats with various cheeses. Everything else should stay the same

Here’s some ideas I used. Anything really works. You can get several boards and put them across the middle of a table as well.

Breads:

Sourdough loafs

Baguette

Pitas cut into small triangles

Meats:

(Count 6 ounces per person)

Torpedo salami (beef and chicken)

Meat slices

Fruits:

Blueberries

Grapes -red and green

Cherry tomatoes

Dried apricots

Crackers:

Any artisan cracker looks good, like ones with cracked wheat or seeds

Condiments:

Serve these on the board in ramikens or off to the side

Gherkins

Black olives

Green olives

Dijon mustard

Dill dip

Mayonnaise

Hummus

Sourdough Bread Recipe

This is day 2 of my sourdough starter and it was ready for use. I think the all purpose flour was lighter than the whole wheat and so it rose easier. There are so many recipes for sourdough bread out there. I used one that called for 2 and 1/3 cups of starter. The problem with this was I was left with 1/2 cup of my starter. Solution: I just added two cups flour and two cups water to the starter…returning it to my counter. I’m not phased by doing this again.

Not going to lie here…making this bread is a JOB! Today my son went out (I homeschool him) so I had a day free and this was a perfect time to be doing this.

So many steps to making this but the end result is SO worth it! The crust was crisp and the inside airy. The flavour was that of a restaurant artisan bread. You know when you go out and say, “This is why I’m paying for this meal!” When you taste their bread and it’s so good. That’s how this bread turned out.

Ingredients:

2 and a 1/3 cup of sourdough starter

5 cups of all purpose flour

1 cup water

1 tbsp non iodized salt

Directions:

This is where is gets tricky. This dough can not be put into a mixer or you will kill it. When you first combine all the ingredients, it’s a sticky mess (like play dough gone wrong). Continue to combine with a spatula. Then fold the dough upon itself (take one side of the dough and bring it down to the over side with your hands) This is like kneading, but you aren’t using your knuckles. You continue to do this over and over again until the dough stops beings sticky. If it’s too sticky, gradually add some flour and fold some more until the dough is smooth. It should look like this:

Rest the dough for thirty minutes and then fold it three times again. You will do this every thirty minutes 4 times which means 2 hours has passed.

This is when you can let the bread rise. Form the dough into two round balls by tucking the dough underneath and place the good end facing down on a floured tea towel. I took the flour and actually moved it around into the towel. Then cover with siran wrap and let sit 4 hours.

(I didn’t have a Dutch oven, but they are what works best for this bread.)

Take a cookie sheet and place it in the bottom rack of your oven, filling it with an inch of water while it’s in the oven. Don’t try to carry a sheet of water to your oven…you will fail. Turn your oven to 400F

Take your bread from the tea towel and roll it onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. The dough should be covered with flour. Take a sharp serrated knife and score the top of your loaf. I just made a straight line done the side.

Cover the dough again with a towel and let rise for a half an hour. This bread doesn’t get big like regular bread, but it does grow.

After the half hour, place it in the oven at 400F for 50 minutes- 1 hour. Do not open the oven or you will let the steam out.

Take out the bread. It will feel hard when you tap it. Let it rest for one hour before slicing.

This recipe makes 2 loaves.

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