New Year Resolution Recipes

Ok, so my new year’s resolution to eat healthier in 2010 ended at precisely12:03 amwhen I dove into the guacamole and M&M’s (don’t judge me). Thoughts of getting into those post Christmas sale size (none of your business) I bought last week when out the window along with visions of me finally being able to get rid of the “baby fat” from my last pregnancy 24 years ago.

In the hopes that a small portion of my resolution dignity can be saved this year as I’ve decided to devote this column to low fat/calorie recipes in the hopes that I can reduce a few calories and fat grams from our diets. You’ll notice I didn’t say NO fat as I’m one of those diet heretics that holds to the belief that to forbid is to tempt and that everyone needs a little fat in their diet.

Hope (and my scale) are both optimists and without any further adieu my first gift of the New Year is this column with recipes so good you won’t miss what’s not there. No, I’m not giving you calories on these recipes, suffice it to say that the category that is fat, they contain less than their counterparts.

You can use regular or low fat dairy products in these recipes but be careful when substituting no fat products in baking as they contain a higher percentage of water and that can alter the final results significantly (as in it won’t turn out the way you want it to).

LOWFAT BLUEBERRY MUFFINS (dairy)

2 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)

1 1/4 cups skim milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. In another bowl combine the eggs and milk and beat to combine. Add sugar to the egg mixture and beat to combine. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix to just combine, do not over mix. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter, again, do not over mix. Divide the batter between the 12 greased muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes or until the top is golden. Makes 12

LOWFAT BRAN MUFFINS (dairy)

1 cup flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups bran cereal (crush it up a bit)

11/4 cups skim milk

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg white

1/2 cup applesauce

1 tart apple peeled and chopped

1/2 to 1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 400. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray or use foil paper liners.  In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  In another bowl combine the cereal, milk and sugar. Let the milk and cereal mixture set for 5 minutes and then add the egg, chopped apple, raisins and applesauce.  Add the apple mixture to flour mixture and mix to just combine. There will be lumps in the batter, don’t worry.  Divide the batter into the prepared muffin cups.  Bake for 20 minutes or until browned.  Makes 12.

LOWFAT PINEAPPLE CHICKEN (meat)

2 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces

2 cups water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes or 2 tablespoon powder

2 tablespoons oil (I like sesame oil but any will do)

1 green pepper diced

1 onion, cut into bite size pieces

1 cup celery, thinly sliced

1 cup unsweetened pineapple chunks (canned) (save the juice)

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1 to 2 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon cold water

ground pepper to taste

rice or noodles

Simmer the chicken in the water with bouillon cubes. Save 1 cup of liquid that the chicken is cooked in. Saute the onion, green peppers, celery and pineapple until crisp tender, but not browned.  In a bowl combine the cup of saved chicken broth with the pineapple juice and soy sauce. Whisk to combine. In a small bowl combine the flour and water. Whisk to combine and add the flour mixture to the chicken broth mixture. Whisk to combine. Add the liquid to the vegetables in the pan. Add the cooked chicken and season with pepper to tasted Add to
vegetables. Add the cooked chicken and a dash of pepper, and cook until
hot throughout. Serve over rice or noodles. Serves 6

LOW FAT TEXMEX PASTA SALAD (meat or pareve)

1 lb cooked bow tie pasta

1/2 lb. ground chicken or turkey, cooked (optional)

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 can (16 oz) corn, drained

1 red pepper, diced

1 can (16 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 small red onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 1/2 cup chunky salsa

1/2 no or low fat mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

In a big salad bowl combine the mayonnaise and salsa and mix to combine. Add the remaining ingredients, toss to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes for the flavors to combine. Serves 8.

LOWFAT SALMON SALAD WITH BUTTERMILK DRESSING (dairy)

2 lbs. grilled salmon broken into bite size pieces

6 cups salad greens

3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

1/2 cup non-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon low fat mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon or 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon,
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, or to taste

In a food processor or blender combine the buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, tarragon, garlic, salt and mustard. Process until combined and smooth and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Divide the greens between 6 plates, top with salmon, tomatoes, and sunflower seed and drizzle some of the dressing over the top. Pass the remaining dressing with the salad. Serves 6.

You can replace the salmon with chicken or turkey

Submitted byWanda Louias Long GroveIL

LOWER FAT FETTUCCINE ALFREDO (dairy)
1 tablespoon margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups skim milk
4 tablespoons non fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons light cream cheese
1 1/4 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
4 cups hot cooked fettuccine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground pepper to taste

In a sauce pan saute the garlic in the margarine and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the flour, cook for a minute and then gradually whisk in the milk, stirring constantly. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Stir in the cream cheese; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until it melts. Add the parsley and pepper, mix to combine and then pour the cheese mixture over hot cooked fettuccine. Mix to combine. Place the mixture in a serving bowl and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Serves 4

Modified from about.com

LOWFAT CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY SOUR CREAM CAKE(dairy)

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 egg
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 to 3 tablespoons regular or low sugar raspberry preserves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8X8 baking pan.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine all the ingredients except the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for about and hour and sprinkle the top with powdered sugar. Serves 6

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French Fries and Other Good Stuff

According to Gourmet (a magazine that is sadly ceasing publication) the key to making the perfect French fries is to double fry them. They suggest that you flash fry them first to eliminate moisture, then fry them again for crispness. While the recipe for the fries was pretty good I decided that a few other recipes that incorporate other vegetables and can be “oven” fried might just be the perfect food gift for my readers. Some of the recipes call for regular corn oil, others olive or peanut. They all have their own distinctive flavor and you can really use them interchangeably. Don’t season fried anything before serving as the salt tends

Happy Chanukah (and Merry Christmas) to all and good eating

FRENCH FRIES A LA GOURMET MAGAZINE

 

About 8 cups vegetable oil
2 pounds medium baking (russet) potatoes, peeled

a deep-fat thermometer; an adjustable-blade slicer fitted with French fry or large (1/4-inch) julienne blade
Heat 1 1/2 inches oil to 325 in a 5-quart heavy pot over medium heat. While oil is heating, cut potatoes with slicer into 1/4-inch sticks. Fry potatoes in 5 batches for 1 1/2 minutes per batch (potatoes will not be golden) and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 325°F between batches.) Heat oil to 350. Refry potatoes in 5 batches until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch, and transfer to clean paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 350 between batches.) Season fries with salt.

 

From Gourmet May 2009

 

SEASONED OVEN FRIES

 

4 large potatoes

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons cayenne

2 teaspoons onion powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

Cheddar cheese (optional)

Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Cut potatoes into wedges and place them on a greased cookie sheet with sides. In a bowl combine the oil, paprika, garlic salt, chili powder, onion powder and cumin. Brush the wedges with the oil and spice mixture. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes depending on how crispy you want the fries. You can sprinkle the cheese over the top of the fries in the last 4 to 5 minutes of cooking. Salt to taste. Serves 4.

 

ROSEMARY PARMESAN SWEET POTATO FRIES
3 large sweet potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

1 to 2 tablespoons bread crumbs

3 tablespoon oil

 

Preheat oven to 450. Cut sweet potatoes, with skins on, into long thin sticks.

In a bowl, combine the oil salt, pepper, rosemary, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Add the sweet potato sticks and toss to coat. Place cooling rack on top of cookie sheet, spread potatoes in a single layer on top of cooling rack.

Cook at 450 degrees for 40 minutes or until desired crispiness.

 

FRIED ZUCCHINI

 

3 large zucchini, washed, trimmed, cut lengthwise into strips

olive oil

1 tablespoon of salt

 

For batter:

1 1/2 cup soda water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup flour

 

Put the zucchini pieces in a bowl, salt them lightly and then let them sit for 20 minutes. Pour off the liquid, pat dry and set them aside.

 

In a bowl combine the soda, flour and salt. Whisk together.

 

Heat the oil. Dip the zucchini strips in the batter and then fry them in the oil for 4 to 5 minutes. The batter will puff up while it’s frying. The strips will be done when they are lightly golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately. This doesn’t reheat well. Serves 4 to 5 as a snack.

 

BATTER FRIED MUSHROOMS
2 to 3 cups oil for frying
1 lb. whole white button mushrooms, cleaned and dried
2 eggs, beaten
8 oz. seltzer
1 cup cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or in a deep sauce pan. In a bowl combine the eggs and water and whisk to combine. Whisk in the corn starch and salt and pepper a little bit at a time to prevent lumps. Dip the mushrooms in the batter and fry 1/3 of them at a time making sure that they don’t clump together. Fry them for 2 to 3 minutes or until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season with a little salt. Serve with immediately. Serves 4 to 6. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

GARLIC ONION RINGS
2 cups flour

3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

3/4 teaspoon garlic salt

12 ounce beer, flat and at room temperature

1/4 cup oil, plus oil for frying

2 egg whites

4 LARGE flat sweet onions, cut in to 1/2 inch rings, separated

 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, breadcrumbs and salt.  In another bowl combine the beer and the oil. Pour the beer mixture into the flour mixture, stirring with a whisk until just combined, do not over mix and let set for at least an hour. Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a deep fryer or large pot . While the oil is heating, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them into the batter being careful to not over mix. Dip the rings into the batter, then drop into the hot oil, making sure to not crowd them. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve. Don’t salt before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Modified from The New Southern Cook

 

Cupcakes for the Holidays

There are times in your life ( like after eating a dozen latkes) when you just gotta have that certain something sweet BUT you really don’t want the guilt associated with gobbling up 5 bags of candy coins or a calorie laden mega doughnut topped with chocolate and filled with custard (granted, there aren’t too many times when I DON’T want that kind of doughnut). For me that’s when I reach for a cupcake. Just enough cake and frosting to satisfy but not so much as that I feel like I’ve over indulged and the “oh I blew my holiday diet AGAIN” remorse isn’t omnipresent.

The origin of the cupcake isn’t all that clear. Some historians say it’s because the original recipe contained 1 cup measurements (I cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar etc.) Another source I checked with said that long ago that cake batter was cooked in tea cups, hence the name, cup-cake. Either way it came about I’m just glad the recipes evolved into the sweet treats we love today.

Deciding what type of cupcakes to make and what to top them with can be truly a personal and existential experience. You can fill them, frost them, and dust them with powdered sugar or cocoa. Sprinkles are always nice and so is a couple of pieces of candy or chocolate stuck into the top of the batter just before baking. The possibilities are endless and the results are always irresistible.

With cupcakes you can indulge in your love of lemon, banana, chocolate or vanilla or both at the same time and not have to commit to eating a whole cake. One of the beauties of making cupcakes is that most cake recipes can be converted into cupcakes. There are, however, some exceptions, like angel and sponge cakes, they don’t have quite enough structure to pull off the smaller size, but those to obvious exceptions aside, I say go for whatever recipe you want and see how creative you can get. I prefer to use cupcake liners in my pans as I find it easier to take them out after they’ve been cooked and they help keep all those pesky crumbs from falling all over your lap or shirt.

Just a few cup cake rules before you get started.

 

1. Always grease or line you baking pan, easier to remove the cupcake

2. Never over fill the pan, it will make an overly large cupcake top

4. Once the pan or pans are full, put them in the preheated oven immediately. The longer they sit out, the less they will rise.

5. Cupcakes should be baked in at least a 350 so that the structure sets quickly and the cake doesn’t dry while it’s baking

3. Make sure you test the cupcake with a toothpick before you remove it from the oven to make sure it cooked throughout.

 

 

Depending on how you decorate the following recipe they can be served as a snack or at a formal dinner and are equally at home at a 5 year olds birthday party or a wedding reception. I make the peanut butter ones every Chanukah and decorate them with chocolate candy coins.  Enjoy!

PEANUT BUTTER CUP CUPCAKES (dairy)

1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
16 miniature peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350. Place paper cup cake liners in the muffin pan and set it aside. In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer combine the margarine or butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar.  Mix to combine and then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture to the egg mixture with the milk. Do not over mix or you’ll get air bubbles in the cup cake. Fill each muffin cups about 1/2 full of batter. Place a peanut butter cup into the center of each and push it down so it almost touches the bottom but so there is still some batter underneath the peanut butter cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean (be careful not to test where the candy is, you won’t get a true test of if the cupcake is done). Makes approx 14 to 16

 

 

BANANA SPLIT CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2 mashed ripe bananas

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk or non dairy substitute

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese or pareve cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoon soft butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Optional Toppings;

hot fudge sauce,

maraschino cherries

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 20 to 24 muffin cups or use paper liners. In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. In another large bowl combine the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar until blended.  Frost and top with fudge sauce and a maraschino cherry

 

Modified from the Joy of Baking

 

ZUCCHINI AND PISTACHIO CUPCAKES (pareve)

This recipe uses self rising flour if you don’t have it for each cup of self rising flour use 1 cup of all-purpose flour and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

2 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup granulated sugar

4 zucchinis, grated

1 cup shelled pistachio nuts, chopped

2 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup dried cranberries

 

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease or line 2 12 muffin tin pans. In a bowl combine the egg, oil, and sugar and whisk until combined.  Add the zucchini, lime zest and nuts and stir together until well mixed.  Add the flour, cinnamon and baking powder, into the zucchini mixture and gently fold it in. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and bake and for 18 to 20 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack and then dust the top with powdered sugar. Makes 24.

 

Modified from about.com

 

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

generous 1/3 cup potato flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon milk

 

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and cocoa powder and beat until combined. Add the sugar and beat until combined.  Add the cream cheese, vanilla, milk and eggs and beat to combine.   Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and beat until just combined.  Spoon the mixture into the paper liners and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool before frosting.

 

1 oz bittersweet chocolate

5 oz cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Melt the chocolate in the microwave but don’t over heat it, it should just be soft. Cool for about minutes. Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and then pour the chocolate over the top. Add the vanilla and mix until the cheese and chocolate is combine. Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Frost and serve. Makes 12

 

Submitted by Roger Mancref and Cheryl Rodrego Naples FL

 

CANDIED CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

Topping

6 chocolate candy bars, chopped into pieces (your choice)

1, 12 oz bag of any kind of M&M’s you like

Crush, cut and mash into tiny pieces

Mix together in a bowl, set aside

 

Frosting

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup semi sweet chocolate

1/2 cup cream

 

Cupcakes

12 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup mini chocolate chips

 

 

Make the frosting first. In a microwave bowl melt the chocolate and cream together. Stir until smooth and then add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Cool in the refrigerator and when it is cool beat the frosting until it is spreadable.

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or place paper liners in 24 cupcakes molds. In a bowl combine the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix to combine. Add the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs and mix to combine. Add the salt, baking soda, flour, chocolate chips and mix to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepare tins filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before frosting and then decorate with the chopped candy. Makes 24.

 

LUSCIOUS LEMON CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

 

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sour cream or pareve substitute

 

FROSTING:

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon milk or pareve substitute

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease or paper line 30 muffin tins. Set them aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar. Mix to combine and then with the mixer running add the eggs. With the mixer still running add lemon zest and vanilla. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  With the mixer running slowly add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. This will be a thick batter.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the butter and powdered sugar. Mix until combined.  Add the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest and milk; beat until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Makes 30.

Buffalo Wing Bananza

When I announced to my cooking class of pre schoolers that we were making Buffalo wings they all started giggling.BUFFALO’S DON’T HAVE WINGS MRS. GOLTZ!!!! Was the universal consensus of these 4 and 5 year olds. It was at this point that I realized explaining we’re talking chicken wings here and that we just call them Buffalo wings because the original hot and spicy dish was invented in a small bar onMain St.in downtownBuffaloNew Yorkwouldn’t get me very far. I mustered up my best I’m not kidding voice and said that these wings were from very teeny tiny special Buffalo and that they tasted a lot like chicken. Needless to say they didn’t believe me

It’s hard to believe that balabustas used to consider chicken wings as scraps. Not worth much except to enhance the flavor of stock or soup. Then, on October 30, 1964 inBuffalo, Anchor Bar owner Teressa Bellissimo was faced with feeding her son and his friends a late snack. She happened to have a lot of extra chicken wings on hand so she fried up the wings, dipped them in a spicy chili sauce, and served them with celery and creamy dressing. The wings were an instant hit and have since become a menu staple everywhere.

TraditionallyBuffalostyle sauce is cayenne pepper based sauce and usually has some spices added to enhance the basic flavor. These combinations of spices are what distinguish one Buffalo Wing sauce from another Today there are a gazillion different recipes for chicken wings, ranging from jerked wings to Oriental or even pizza. So, even if you can’t, like my family, handle the original hot stuff recipes you can experiment with what ever flavors and taste combinations you like and still enjoy the fun of eating wings.

Of course you can use other parts of the chicken with the following recipes if you want to make a main course instead of an appetizer. The parts of the wing used for wings recipes will vary from recipe to recipe. Some recipes want you to cut off the wing tip and use just the drummette and double-bone pieces without separating them. Some separate the drummette from the double-bone. You can use any or all the parts you like best, there is no one right way.

Plan on about five to six wings per pound, depending on size. Four to six wings per person makes an adequate serving. Raw wings can be frozen up to nine months and the cooked wings can be prepared and frozen up to one month in advance of when you’ll need them.

PIZZA WINGS

3   pounds chicken wings, about 18

1 jar pizza sauce (14 oz)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons dry pizza seasoning

2 tablespoons fresh parsley — chopped

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon coarse-grind pepper

Preheat oven to 425.  Line 2 jellyroll pans or cookie sheet with foil.  Arrange the chicken wings, skin side up, on the foil.  In a bowl combine the pizza sauce, vinegar, pizza seasoning, parsley salt and pepper. Mix to combine and set 1/2 cup of the mixture aside.  Brush the wings with the sauce mixture making sure to coat both sides.  Bake the wings for 20 to 30 minutes  Remove them from the oven when they are crispy.  Brush the cooked wings with the remaining sauce and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

BETTER THAN EVER BUFFALO WINGS

1/4 cup margarine, melted

2 to 3   tablespoonsTabascosauce

1   tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1    teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

3    pounds chicken wings, about 18, tips removed

Preheat oven to 425. Using knife or scissors cut each wing at joint into 2 pieces. Rinse the pieces and dry them very well.  Line 2 jellyroll pans or cookie sheets with foil.  In a glass or ceramic bowl combine the margarine,Tabasco, vinegar, cayenne, salt, and paprika and garlic powder.  Mix well. Add the chicken to the mixture and toss to coat.  Arrange the coated wings on the prepared pan.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and meat is no longer pink near bone. Serves 6 to 8.

TACO WINGS

A beautifully different way to serve a simple appetizer

3   pounds chicken wings, about 18, tips removed

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2   cups iceberg lettuce, shredded

Optional:

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped lime wedges, pareve sour cream and guacamole,

Preheat oven to 425.  Line 2 jellyroll pans or cookie sheets with foil.  Arrange wings skin side up on pans.  In a bowl combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and salt and pepper. Mix to form a paste.  Rub the paste all over wings.  Bake until crispy and golden, 25 to 30 mins.  Spread the lettuce over serving plate and place the wings on top.  Sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the top of the warm wings.  Serve with lime wedges, pareve sour cream and guacamole, if desired.  Serves 6 to 8.

GRILLED MARGARITA WINGS

2 pounds chicken wings, cut into 2 pieces at joint, tips removed

1/2 cup tequila

1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon freshly ground coarse black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons minced cilantro

Wash the wings, pat dry and place in a large, heavy-duty resealable plastic food bag. In a small bowl, combine the tequila, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice and zest, garlic, cumin, pepper, salt and cilantro. Mix well and pour the marinade over the wings in the bag. Seal the bag and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Prepare a medium-hot grill. Drain the wings, discarding the marinade. Grill the wings, turning often, until they are slightly charred and cooked through, about 25 minutes. You can broil these wings if grilling is not an option. Serves 4 to 5.

TACO CHIP CHICKEN WINGS

This is a very quick appetizer recipe and a good way to    use up the crumbs from your tortilla chips. Flavored chips work well with this recipe. Also try using the spicier taco seasoning mix if you want a hotter chicken… Great serves with hot pepper sauce,

2 lb. chicken drumettes

2 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix

4 cups crushed tortilla chip crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. In a shallow dish or bowl combine the taco seasoning mix and tortilla chip crumbs. Mix to combine. Roll the chicken pieces in the chip mixture and place the coated drumettes on a lightly greased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the drumettes and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

ORIENTAL CHICKEN WINGS

The trick to these is roasting them in a very hot oven.

1 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1 cup peanut or vegetable oil

1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped

1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, finely minced

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely minced

4 pounds chicken wings cut into 2 pieces at joint, tips removed

Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, oil, green onions, ginger, and garlic in a saucepan. Mix to combine and heat the sauce just to the boiling point. Set the mixture aside and cool to room temperature.  Rinse the chicken wings and pat it dry (make sure it’s very dry). Place all the pieces in a large glass or ceramic (not aluminum) bowl*. Pour the marinade over wings and stir to coat. Cover the chicken and allow it to marinate for several hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to cook the wings preheat oven to 500. Line 2 jelly roll pans or cookie sheets with aluminum foil and arrange the wings on them. Brush the wings with the left over additional marinade. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, turning once, until the wings are cooked and crispy brown at the edges. Serve hot or cold as an appetizer or as an entree. Serves 5 to 6.

*Or use large lock-style plastic bag.

Candy Cane Heaven

There are certain foods that have a finite season where the price is perfect and the taste sublime. You rush to the store at the first advertisement and shop with the motto “shop till you drop” and stock up.  Most the time this kind of hunting for the perfect specimen is conducted in the produce aisle. However, at this time of year, when you’re talking prime time a specialty item, it’s all about the candy cane.

The candy cane is that once a year item that you can find in abundance until December 26th and then it disappears (except for the 75% off rack for about 30 seconds) until Thanksgiving the following year. I say, plan ahead, buy now, buy a lot (because they store very well and I ‘m going to give you lots of yummy recipes) and store them the extras until you need them.

So, what is the best way to store candy canes? The best way to store any hard candy for a length of time is to place it in a zip lock bag and store in a dry place.  Do not store them in the freezer or refrigerator, the moisture is too high and will cause them to get sticky.

CANDY CANE TIP: In the event of a candy cane emergency (can’t find any) you can always substitute those round peppermint candies that are always available.

WHITE CANDY CANE FUDGE

 

2 (10 ounce) packages vanilla baking chips

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 1/2 cups crushed candy canes

1 to 2 drops red food coloring (not too much)

 

Line an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease the foil. In a saucepan combine the vanilla chips and sweetened condensed milk. And heat over a low flame, stirring frequently until almost melted. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir until totally smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract, food coloring, and crushed candy canes. Mix quickly and spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Refrigerated (do not cover) for 2 to 3 hours and then cut into bite sized squares. Makes at least 24 pieces or more depending on how you cut the pieces.

 

Source unknown, my files

 

OREO ® MINT BALLS

 

1  12 oz package of Oreo cookies (plain not double stuff)

2/3 cup crushed candy cane pieces (not too big)

1 8 oz. package cream cheese

1 package Chocolate Almond Bark ®

Mini chocolate chips or sprinkles for decorating

 

Put a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet and set it aside. In the bowl of the food processor combine the cookies and broken candy canes. Process until combined and it’s totally crumbs. Add 1/2 of the cream cheese to the mixture and process to combine. Add the remaining cream cheese and process to combine. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the mixture into balls and place it on the prepared pan. When you use up all the dough place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Melt the dipping chocolate in a microwave bowl.  Remove the pan from the freezer. Using a long bamboo skewer dip the cookie balls, one at a time, into the melted chocolate. Place the dipped balls back on the waxed paper and then sprinkle the chocolate or sprinkle over the balls. Makes 24 to 30 depending on the size of the balls. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Modified from about.com

 

CHOCO MINT PIE

 

Crust

2 cups plain vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (about 1 8 oz box crumbled)

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted

 

Chocolate Layer

3 tablespoons boiling water

3/4 cup chocolate chips

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

 

Peppermint Layer

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

1/4 cup milk

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup finely crushed candy canes (7 to 8 canes)

whipped cream, for toping optional

2 or 2 candy canes chopped into small pieces

 

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl combine the cookie crumbs, cocoa and sugar.  Add the butter and mix to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch spring form pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and then cool to room temperature.

 

While the crust is cooling combine the chocolate chips and boiling water and mix until the chips are melted. Cool the chocolate mixture to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the whipping cream with the powdered sugar until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Spoon the chocolate mixture into crust and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. While the pie is cooling place the candy canes in the bowl of a food processor and process until it becomes a fine powder. Place the marshmallows and milk in a small pan and cook over a low heat until the marshmallows are melted. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Beat the 1 cup of whipping cream to form stiff peaks. Fold the crushed candy canes into the whipped cream and then fold that mixture into the marshmallow mixture. Cool for 10 minutes in the refrigerator and then spoon the mixture over the chocolate layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. You can also freeze this pie and serve it frozen. Top with sweetened whipped cream and chopped candy canes.

 

Modified from food.com submitted by Ronnie Cohn Chicago IL

 

CHOCOLATE AND SOUR CREAM CANDY CANE BARS

 

Crust:

20 chocolate wafer cookies

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon instant coffee

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Filling:

8 ounces milk or semi sweet chocolate

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

2 eggs

 

Frosting:

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon light corn syrup

2 tablespoons sour cream at room temperature

6 to10 candy canes, chopped

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan and then set it aside. In the bowl of a food processor combine the chocolate cookies, butter, sugar, coffee and salt and process until combined. . Press the crust into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes and then cool to room temperature.

 

While the crust is cooling melt the milk chocolate in a microwave dish and set it aside. While it’s cooling, in the bowl of the food processer combine the sugar, sour cream, and cream cheese. Process until smooth. Add the eggs and process until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and process until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the baked crust. Bake 30 minutes or until the edges are slightly puffed but the center is set but still a little wiggly in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature

 

In a microwave bowl combine the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup and cook for 1 minute or until the chocolate is melted. Add the sour cream and mix to combine. Spread the frosting over the cake. Sprinkle the chopped candy canes over top of the warm frosting .Cool slightly and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting. Serves 8 to 10.

 

Modified from Cricketcakes.com

 

CANDY CANE CHEESECAKE

 

8 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 1-1/3 cups white baking pieces

2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 8 ounces)

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 8 ounce carton mascarpone cheese

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

3 eggs

3/4 cup finely crushed candy canes

2 ounces white chocolate or 1/3 cup white baking pieces

Crushed candy canes for garnish

 

For crust:

Preheat oven to 325. In a medium bowl, stir together graham crackers and butter until combined. Press crumb mixture firmly onto the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan (do not go up the sides of pan.) Bake for 10 minutes then cool to room temperature.

 

For filling:

In a microwave bowl melt the 8 ounces white chocolate and set it aside. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar and salt with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in the melted chocolate and extract until smooth and combined, scraping sides of bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time until combined. Stir in 3/4 cup candy. Pour the filling onto the crust. Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a 2 1/2-inch area around the outside edge of the cheesecake seems set when gently shaken. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 then using a sharp small knife, loosen the cake from the sides of pan. Cool for an additional 45 minutes. Remove sides of the spring form pan and cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to serve place the cheesecake on a serving plate (keep the cheesecake on the bottom of the spring form pan.) In a microwave bowl melt the white chocolate and drizzle it over the top of the cheesecake and then sprinkle the chopped candy canes over the top. Cut in wedges with a sharp knife dipped in warm water. (To store any remaining cheesecake, cover and chill in refrigerator up to 2 days.)

Modified from Midwestliving.com submitted by Carin Silverston Chicago IL

Latke VS Doughnut

Quick Hanukkah quiz: Which came first, the latke (potato pancake) or the sufganyot (doughnut)?

Well, if you guessed the latke, you’d be wrong. Even though Jews have been celebrating Chanukah for more than 2,000 years, the potato latkes didn’t get “invented” until around the 15th century because potatoes did not become a staple in Europe and Russia until the New World was discovered and the potato was introduced to the menu our great great great great great bubbies and zadies.

The sufganyot or doughnuts, however, can be traced back to a fried honey ball called “loukomathes” that our ancestors made in ancient inGreece.

Being of Ashkenazi decent I always made latkes at least 3 or 4 nights of Hanukkah.  For the best results I always use russets or Yukon Gold potatoes. They are high in starch, and the starch is necessary to help the latke mixture stick together and form pancakes that don’t fall apart. Most people choose to peel the potatoes but . leaving the skin on will add color and texture to your pancakes. Be sure to scrub the potatoes thoroughly with a vegetable brush if you leave the skin on. If you do peel them keep them under water between peeling and shredding to prevent them from oxidizing. (Oxidation is what’s happening when potatoes start turning those lovely shades of pink brown and gray.) Latkes are traditionally made with a potatoes and onions, but there’s no halicha that says you have to make them the same every time. You can use shredded sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, garlic, parsnips or zucchini in most latke recipe. Just be sure that the majority of the mixture still consists of potatoes; these other vegetables do not contain enough starch to make the mixture stick together.
Having the onions and any other veggies trimmed and peeled and measured before you start shredding if really helpful. If you have a food processor with a shredder attachment, this will make putting everything together go faster, but a good old-fashioned hand-held grater will work just as well. If you want lacy latkes with rough, crispy edges, shred those potatoes coarsely. If you prefer denser latkes with smooth edges, use the fine side of the grater.

One of the most important parts of the latke-making process is squeezing out the potatoes. Wet, juicy potatoes make for soggy, greasy latkes that fall apart in the pan because wet items will not brown well in oil. The potatoes need to be dry and the oil needs to be good and hot, so that the exterior of the latke will quickly crisp up prevent to much grease from being absorbed. To squeeze out the potato mixture, place it in a towel and squeeze. Empty the contents of the towel into a mixing bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients

Pour the oil into a skillet until it’s 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. When the oil is about 350 it’s ready.  If you don’t have a deep-fat thermometer, you can test the temperature of the oil by dropping a small amount of latke mixture into the pan. If it turns golden brown within one minute, the oil is ready. Form the latkes by carefully placing spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil, then flattening the mounds with a spatula. Fry until they are browned on the bottom, then flip them with a spatula and brown the other side. Drain the latkes on paper towels and serve them immediately, if possible. If you aren’t able to serve them right away, keep them in the oven at 200 on a pan or platter. To keep them nice and crispy, don’t stack them up, and don’t cover them.

 

Latke Cooking Tips

Any latke can be made low-fat just by changing how you cook it. For a lower fat version, just fry for a minute or two on each side to get the outside crispy then bake latkes for about 10 minutes at 400-450. then turn the latke over and bake it for another 5 minutes on the other side.

APPLE AND POTATO LATKES (pareve)

 

1 lb russet potatoes, peeled
1 apple, peeled and cored
1 large egg
1/4 cup flour
salt
ground pepper
canola oil
powdered sugar

 

Grate the potatoes and apples together in food processor. Put the shredded mixture into a colander and squeeze out liquid. Place the mixture in a bowl and add the egg and flour, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. In large non-stick skillet, heat enough oil to cover bottom of the pan. Spoon out the batter into pan (approx 2 to 3 tablespoons per latke), being careful not to crowd the latkes. Cook until crisp and brown on one side, then turn and fry on other side. Keep finished pancakes warm in oven all pancakes are fried. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired just before serving. Makes 10 pancakes.

 

SPINACH AND ZUCCHINI LATKES (pareve)

 

2 lb fresh spinach, stemmed rinsed and chopped
1 lb zucchini peeled
1 lb russet potatoes peeled
1 onion
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried ground coriander
pepper
salt
oil

 

Grate the potatoes, zucchini and onion in food processor. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place the grated potato in a bowl and add the spinach, egg, flour, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. In large non-stick skillet, heat enough oil to cover bottom of the pan. Spoon out the batter (approx 2 to 3 tablespoons per latke) at a time into pan, being careful not to crowd the latkes. Cook until crisp and brown on one side, then turn and fry on other side. Keep finished pancakes warm in oven all pancakes are fried. Drain on paper towels. Makes around 24 pancakes.

 

GARDEN VEGETABLE LATKES (pareve)
Carrots, parsnips, green onions and dill make all  the difference in these colorful pancakes. Mix some chopped dill and green onions into sour cream to pass alongside.

 

8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces carrots (about 2 large), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces parsnips (about 2 large), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs, beaten to blend

10 tablespoons (about) oil

 

Preheat oven to 325. Place baking sheet in oven. Using food processor fitted with medium grating disk, shred potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Place towel on work surface. Spread vegetables over. Roll up towel; squeeze tightly to absorb moisture from vegetables. Blend flour, dill, onions, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add vegetables; toss to coat. Mix in eggs.  Heat 6 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, drop 2 heaping tablespoons batter per pancake into hot oil. Using spoon, spread to 4-inch rounds. Cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to sheet in oven. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to skillet by tablespoonfuls as necessary. Serve hot. Makes about 12

 

MASHED POTATO PANCAKES (dairy)
Your search for hard-to-find good recipe for  mashed potato latkes  is now over. These are good old homemade ones that are slightly sweet, and very very moist.

 

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 potatoes – peeled, boiled and mashed
1 onion, chopped

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup oil
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir in mashed potatoes and onion until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and milk, and stir lightly into potato mixture. Stir in corn syrup and nutmeg, mixing well. Heat a large griddle to medium-high heat. Brush the griddle with oil and spoon potato mixture onto griddle in 12 equal portions. Fry  until brown on both sides brushing the griddle with more oil as necessary. Serve hot. Serves 6.This recipe can be doubled or tripled