Snack Attack/ Homemade Gourmet Popcorn and Other Delicious Recipes

With the last of the winter snows (hopefully) blowing across the Midwest a hint of the idea that would require scraping off the car and going outside when is met with a less than enthusiastic response by my family. Saturday night finds us parked in front of the fireplace with a few friends and neighbors (hopefully the ones who had the foresight to rent a movie from Red Box) and pigging out on junk food (like we REALLY didn’t have enough to eat this weekend).

Junk food in our house usually consists of chips, salsa, anything chocolate and some form of popcorn or mixed nut/cereal snack. While some purists might say that popcorn is a dish best served with salt and a touch or butter I like to dress it up with all sorts of seasonings both sweet and savory.

The following recipes should tickle the taste buds of even the most discerning popcorn/snack food gourmet and they all can be made up on Friday so that when the beginning credits roll on the worst movie ever made (the one you kids just HAD to see) your snacks will end up being the feature presentation.

NOTE: 1 ounce of un-popped popcorn kernels makes approximately 4 cups of popped popcorn

SNACK ATTACK POPCORN (dairy)

1/3 cup butter or margarine

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon onion salt

6 cups unsalted popped popcorn

1 cup thin pretzel sticks

1/2 cup salted, roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 250. In a large bowl combine the popcorn, pretzel sticks and peanuts. Set them aside. In a microwave bowl melt the butter and stir in the seasonings. Drizzle the butter/seasoning mixture over popcorn mixture making sure to stir to coat well. Spread the mixture in a large, shallow ungreased baking pan and put it in the oven to bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon every 10 minutes while it’s baking.  Yield: 7 to 8 cups.

OVEN CARMEL CORN (dairy or pareve)

7 to 8 quarts popped corn
2 cups of blend of salted peanuts, shelled pumpkin seeds and sunflower
seeds
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250. Place popcorn and your choice of nuts in a large container. In a saucepan, combine sugars, butter, salt, syrup and flavorings. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add baking soda, STIR QUICKLY. Pour over popcorn mix in a large flat pan. Bake for 1 hour, stirring several times. Remove from oven and stir occasionally while the mixture cools. Store in airtight container. Makes 7 quarts.

ACROSS THE BORDER PARTY MIX (dairy)

This snack mix gives a new twist to an old favorite with the addition

Of pumpkin seeds.

1 cup small pretzels (twists)

1 cup corn chips

1 cup oyster crackers

1 cup toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds

1 cup honey-roasted peanuts

2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon. chili powder

1/2 teaspoon. ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon. ground red pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, combine the pretzels, corn chips crackers seeds and peanuts.  Set aside the mixture.  In a small bowl, combine the butter or margarine, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin and red pepper mix well. Pour mixture over pretzel mixture; toss to coat. Place on ungreased 15×10-inch shallow baking pan. Bake 25 minutes or until peanuts are golden brown, stirring halfway through cook time. Cool completely. Mixture becomes crisp as it cools.  Note: Recipe can be easily doubled, using 2 baking sheets. Makes 5 cups

WHITE TRASH MIX (dairy or pareve)

3 1/2 cups honey coated breakfast cereal

3 cups peanuts

2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup butter or margarine

12 oz chocolate chips (dairy or pareve)

12 oz raisins

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl combine the cereal, peanuts and raisins. Set the mixture aside. In a small saucepan melt together the peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and nuts. Mix well and when cooled n pour the powdered sugar over the mixture and mix to coat completely. Makes 5 cups.

PIZZA POPCORN

6 to 8 cups popped popcorn

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons dry Italian-style salad dressing mix

1/2 tsp. oregano

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons tomato Ketchup

In large bowl, place hot popped corn; set aside. In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, dry salad dressing mix and oregano and set aside. In small saucepan, melt the butter and ketchup. Pour the mixture over the popped corn, tossing gently to coat. Sprinkle the dry salad dressing mixture over popped corn, tossing again to evenly coat all pieces. Spread coated corn on l5x10-inchbaking sheet. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over baked corn and let cool 5 minutes. Serve immediately or store in airtight container. Makes 3 quarts.

MILK CHOCOLATE POPCORN (dairy)

Popcorn and peanuts glazed with a crispy, chocolate coating.

12 cups popped popcorn
2 1/2 cups (12oz can) salted peanuts
1 3/4 cups (11-1/2 oz bag) milk chocolate chip morsels
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 300. Grease large roasting pan. Combine the popcorn and nuts in prepared roasting pan and set aside. Combine morsels, corn syrup and butter in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Pour over popcorn; toss well to coat. Place the mixture in the preheated oven and bake, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes. Loosen popcorn from pan and allow to cool slightly in pan. Remove the mixture to a cookie sheet covered with wax paper to cool completely. Store in airtight container for up to two weeks. Makes about 14 cups.

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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

Yo Yo Yogurt

           
After watching Jamie Lee Curtis touting the benefits and joy of regularity that comes with of eating of Activia ® I was filled  with a fair amount of trepidation (and a few really good one liners) as I approached this column about yogurt. I figured I’d take a pass on the gas jokes and just get down to the basics of writing about the benefits and good stuff that comes from consuming of good old fashioned yogurt.
So what exactly is yogurt? While some of the less informed may immediately think of the creamy sweet stuff in little plastic tubs with fruit on the bottom or the frozen custard like stuff with flavors like caramel crème and chocolate mousse plain yogurt is actually milk that has had bacteria added to it. This good for you bacteria causes the milk to ferment and thicken. This fermented thick mixture is strained and the liquid is drained off. The end result is a tangy creamy mixture that has the consistency of sour cream. Besides being delicious yogurt is also full of calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Regular yogurt is strained once or twice, the new kid on the block, Greek yogurt is, however, strained three times (or more) making for a much thicker and denser consistency.
           Which yogurt is better for you to utilize when climbing the food pyramid, you ask? On one hand Greek yogurt has almost double the protein and fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt. However, regular yogurt has three times the calcium as the Greek variety so choose which ever one works best for you. Finally, it’s really a tossup when it comes to calories (watch what you add to it) and if price is your only concern the Greek yogurt is typically far more expensive.
On the technical side, I prefer to use Greek yogurt to replace cream cheese, sour cream, or ricotta cheese in baking or cooking. The regular yogurt tends to curdle more than the Greek variety when you cook with it.  I gravitate towards regular yogurt when I’m making dips, salad dressing, smoothies, desserts and sauces. When you add fresh fruit either variety works great.
So if there was a smack down cooking cage match between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt which should you bet on and buy? The answer is that it’s a draw you win with both and whoever gets to eat what you make takes home the prize.
   
Yogurt Tips:
1. Use yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream to reduce calories and fat.
2. Add yogurt to your marinades. Its high acid content is a great tenderizer.
3.  Add yogurt near the end of the cooking process to prevent curdling.
4. Use yogurt as a substitute for buttermilk, sour cream, or butter to reduce calories and fat in baking.
5. Don’t use aluminum pans when cooking with yogurt, the acid could cause a negative reaction.
YOGURT MASHED CAULIFLOWER

2 heads of cau¬li¬flower (flo¬rets only)
6 oz con¬tainer of Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons but¬ter
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/2 to 1 tablespoon mince garlic
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 to 3 chopped green onions for gar¬nish
Salt and pep¬per to taste

In a medium pot, bring the water to boil. Add the cau¬li¬flower flo¬rets to the boil¬ing water and let then cook it for about 8 min¬utes or until they are soft. Remove the florets from the heat and drain then in a colander. In a food proces¬sor, com¬bine the cau¬li¬flower with the yogurt, but¬ter, gar¬lic and minced onion and process with pulses until you have a con¬sis¬tency you like. Add the salt and pep¬per to taste. Immediately spoon the mixture into a serving bowl and mix in the parmesan. Top with green onions and serve immediately. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

GREEK YOGURT BERRY PIE
You can use a readymade pie crust if you like

Crust
1 cup flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoons water

Yogurt Cream Cheese Filling:
6 oz. Mascarpone cheese
8 oz Greek yogurt
4 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 to 3 cups mixed berries
3 tablespoons raspberry jam
In a mixing bowl combine the flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives cut the butter in the flour mixture. Add the water the mixture. Mix with a fork until the dough is just moistened. Shape crust dough into a ball with your hands, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Roll out the dough into a 12 inch circle and then fold it in half then in half again. Place it in a tart pan with a removable bottom and unfold.  Press the dough evenly onto the bottom and sides of a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 to15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the crust completely on a wire rack.

In the bowl of a food processor combine all the ingredients and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. When ready to assemble the pie spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the tart shell. Sprinkle the berries over the top of the filling. In a glass bowl heat the jam slightly and then drizzle the warm jam over the top of the berries. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

Modified from about.com

SEAFOOD LASAGNA

1 large egg, beaten to blend
salt and pepper to taste
12 to 15 lasagna noodles, cooked
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. butter
6 tbs. all purpose flour
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 cups Stonyfield Farm Lowfat (1%) Organic Milk
2 cups Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt (or substitute with yogurt cheese)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere
1 lb. lobster meat (slightly undercooked if possible), coarsely chopped
1 lb. small shrimp (uncooked)
1 lb. small scallops (uncooked)

Whisk flour in heavy medium saucepan to remove any lumps. Gradually add 1 cup milk, whisking until smooth. Add remaining 2 cups milk and nutmeg; whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in Parmesan, egg and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made 1 day ahead, just cover and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat until heated through before using; do not boil. Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl combine lobster, shrimp, and scallops together In a separate bowl fold together 1 1/4 cup gruyere, 1 1/4 cup mozzarella and yogurt. In 8 1/2 by 11 inch baking dish, start by coating the bottom of the dish with a thin layer of white sauce; next add a layer of lasagna noodles placing tightly together, cut to fit if necessary. Spread 1/3 of yogurt and cheese mixture, and sprinkle with 1/3 seafood. Repeat layers 2 times ending with lasagna noodles. Finish the top with white sauce and sprinkled with remaining cheese. Cook for 35 minutes on top of sheet pan in case it bubbles over

From stoneyfield.com

ZUCCHINI GRIDDLE CAKES WITH YOGURT SAUCE

3 to 4 medium zucchini, shredded
Salt and pepper
3  eggs, beaten
1/2 cup  flour
1 tablespoon  olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill or 2 tablespoons dried
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 to 6 tablespoons oil (or more as needed)

Yogurt sauce
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons minced cloves garlic
3 tablespoons chopped cucumbers
1/2 teaspoon salt.

Place the shredded zucchini in a colander over a bowl or in the sink and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drain for five to 10 minutes and then place the zucchini in a towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Try squeezing it a second time just to make sure you got all the liquid out. Put the zucchini in a bowl and add the eggs. Mix to combine. Add the flour, salt, olive oil, mozzarella, green onions dill and pepper. Mix and add the baking powder. Mix to combine. Place the griddle on the heat and brush 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil on the surface Spoon heaping tablespoons of the batter several inches apart so they have room to spread (don’t make them too big). They may need to be flattened slightly. Cook until they are golden on one side (3 to 4 minutes) and then flip them and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. The griddle cakes should be crispy. You can make them up ahead of time and keep them warm in the oven. Serve hot. Makes 12

For yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, cucumber and salt. Mix well, and serve on the side or on pancakes.

Submitted by Brian Zimmerman NY, NY

APPLE AND CARROT YOGURT SALAD

1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 carrots, peeled and shredded (3 1/2 cups)
2 apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch sticks (3 1/2 cups)
1 cup shredded jicama
1 head red leaf lettuce, torn in to bite size pieces
1 cup chopped pecans

In a salad bowl combine the yogurt, vinegar, pepper, salt and parsley in a bowl. Add the carrots, apples, jicama and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to soften the vegetables slightly. Place the lettuce on a platter and then spoon the apple mixture over the top.  Sprinkle the pecans on the top and serve. Serves 6
 
.
AVOCADO AND MANGO WITH SPICY TAHINI YOGURT DRESSING
I
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
3 mangos, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

To make the dressing combine the yogurt and tahini in a bowl and whisk them together until smooth. Add the cumin, coriander, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Divide the avocado and mango slices between 6 plates. Spoon the dressing over and sprinkle with almonds.

Modified from Taste of Israel by Avi Ganor and Ron Maiberg

.
FRESH HERB TUNA PASTA WITH YOGURT DILL SAUCE

1 cup orzo pasta
3 green onions (sliced thin tops included)
1 green bell pepper (minced fine)
1 red bell pepper (minced fine)
2 tomatoes (diced)
1/2 cup black or kalmata olives (finely diced)
2 eggs (hardboiled finely diced)
2 teaspoon fresh dill (finely minced)
1 tablespoons dill (fresh, finely minced)
2 teaspoons celery seeds
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt
6 oz water (tuna, drained)
1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
 salt
 pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and rinse under cold water to quick chill, drain well and pour into large mixing bowl.  Stir in green onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, egg, fresh herbs, mustard, and parsley; mixing well.  Add the lemon juice, yogurt, tuna and cheese, mix well; add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a sliced bell pepper slice, sliced tomato or additional cheese if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Submitted by Sharon Barlone West Bloomfield MI
RIGATONI WITH YOGURT LIME SAUCE

4 cups cooked rigatoni pasta
2 cups frozen peas
1 red pepper diced small

Sauce:
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoon minced garlic
Zest of lime
Lime juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
4 green onions, sliced thin
Parmesan cheese to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, in a bowl combine the yogurt, garlic, and lime zest. Mix to combine and add the lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.  Stir well and set aside.

Just before draining pasta add the diced pepper and peas to the pot and let cook for 1 minute. Save 1 cup of the salted pasta water and then drain the rest.  Return pasta and peas to pot.  Stir in yogurt sauce.  Add the saved pasta water slowly mixing until you get the desired consistency for the sauce.  Serve immediately, topped with green onions and Parmesan. Serves 4

CHICKEN AND CHICKPEA CURRY

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/4 lb. package ground chicken or turkey
1 large onion, chopped in medium dice
2 tablespoons sweet curry powder
1 can petite dice tomatoes with juice (14.5 oz.)
1 can chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans, 15.5 oz. can)
12 oz. Greek yogurt
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley for garnish, optional

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy frying pan, add ground chicken or turkey, breaking it apart with the turner and sauteing until it is well cooked and lightly browned about 8 to 10 minutes.

Push the chicken or turkey to one side of the pan, add the 1 teaspoon olive oil, then add the chopped onions and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until onions are just starting to get some color. Sprinkle onions with the curry powder and cook about 2 minutes more, turning a few times, then stir the onion mixture into the chicken. Add the tomatoes with juice and drained chickpeas and let simmer about 5 minutes, or until some liquid has evaporated and flavors are well blended. Turn heat to low, stir in yogurt, and simmer about 3 minutes more. (Don’t let it come to a boil after the yogurt has been added.)

Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro if desired. Serves 4.

Modified from Chicken Chickpea Curry Bowls by Rachel Ray

Bagel Bonanza or How Not to End Up in the Emergency Room

  

Quick, think of the most dangerous item you have in your kitchen.

 

No, it’s not that meat cleaver you never use or the blowtorch you keep on hand for kashering the oven for Pesach. Surprisingly, it’s probably one of those bagels you’ve got stashed away in the freezer. Ok, now that you’ve stopped laughing you should know that there are probably more emergency room visits for those would be gourmets who’ve “slipped” and sliced open their hand while trying to cut open a bagel than all other household mishaps combined.

For those of you who live on the moon a bagel (BAY-guhl) is a doughnut-shaped yeast roll with a thick, chewy texture and a shiny crust. Bagels are boiled in water before they’re baked because the boiling reduces the starch content and creates a shiny chewy crust. A traditional water bagel is made without eggs and, because it doesn’t contain fat, is chewier than an egg bagel. The bagel (the word means bracelet in German) was the everyday bread of the Jews in Eastern Europe. It has, over the past few decades, become the most famous Jewish food in America and standard American bread. Supposedly German in origin, the bagel came into its own and took its definitive form in the Polish shtetl. Because of their shape, no beginning and no end, bagels are supposed to symbolize the eternal cycle of Jewish life. In the old days, they were supposed to be a protection against evil spirits, warding off the evil eye and bringing good luck. For these reasons they were routinely served at circumcision, when a woman was in labor and at funerals, along with hard-boiled eggs. These days we indulge ourselves just because they taste so good.

In the interest of household safety and the need to share some really great bagel recipes (not recipes on how to make bagels but, rather recipes that use them) I’m offering the following guidelines for anxiety free slicing.

 

HOW TO SLICE A BAGEL

Hold the bagel upright on a cutting surface by forming an arch (a U shape) with your thumb and fingers. Pinch the bagel firmly between the thumb and fingers and hold it against the surface. Place the sharp (make sure it’s sharp) knife inside the arch and carefully slice downward toward the table surface using a gentle but steady sawing motion. NEVER, EVER, CUT THE BAGEL BY HOLDING IT YOUR HAND AND SLICING IT TOWARD YOUR HAND!


CHEESE BAGEL BITES

 
3 plain bagels, split and toasted
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Green onions (with tops) chopped
 
Spread bagels with mustard. Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl and then spread the mixture to the edges of bagel halves. Set the oven to broil.  Broil the prepared bagels about 5 inches from heat until topping is bubbly, about 1 minute. Cut each bagel into 6 pieces. Makes 36 appetizers;
BAGELS WITH LEMON CHICKEN AND AVOCADO SAUCE

1 lb ground chicken

1 egg

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon each pepper, oregano and paprika

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 clove garlic, minced

4 bagels, halved

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 tomatoes,

sliced romaine lettuce

1/2 cup pareve cream cheese

2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup pareve sour cream

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

juice of 1/2 lemon

Combine the pareve cream cheese, avocado, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, Tabasco sauce, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth. Place the sauce in a bowl and refrigerate until cold. In another bowl combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, lemon zest and garlic. Mix well and shape into 4 patties about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Grill the patties over on the grill or in a grill pan for about 5 minutes per side until no longer pink inside. Arrange the tomato slices then sliced mushrooms over bottom half of each bagel. Place chicken patty on top of the mushrooms and cover it with the avocado sauce and lettuce and the top of the bagel. Serves 4

TEX MEX PIZZA BAGEL
 

6 bagels, split and toasted  (jalapeno flavor is great)
3 tablespoons ready made pizza sauce
1 can (8-3/4 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 to 2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers (remove seeds for a milder flavor) (optional)
12 tortilla chips (white or yellow), broken up
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mozzarella
1 tablespoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 425. Spoon 1-1/2 teaspoon pizza sauce on each bagel half. Evenly top each bagel half with beans onion, jalapeno pepper, tortilla chips and cheese. Sprinkle with chili powder. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and is heated through. Makes 12 halves.

TOMATO BASIL BAGEL BRUSCHETTA

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup seeded and diced ripe tomato
2 tablespoon shredded fresh basil leaves
Pinch of salt
1 bagel (garlic, onion or plain), split
1 clove of garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise

In a bowl combine the oil, tomato, basil and salt. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. Toast the bagel in the toaster or under the broiler. While the bagel is still hot, rub the cut surface with the garlic. Spoon the tomato mixture on top. Eat at once. Makes 1 bagel. This can be multiplied as many times as you like
The traditional bagel sandwich USUALLY consists of cream cheese, lox, a slice of onion and a slice of tomato. However, bagel sandwiches are so popular these days that bagel shops often have 15 or 20 varieties to choose from and probably 40 or 50 sandwich variations on their menus. Here, courtesy of Philadelphia Cream Company are some really simple (and delicious) ways to make a quick and easy bagel snack.
Strawberry Banana Crunch: Spread strawberry cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with banana slices; sprinkle with granola.

Banana Split: Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with banana slices; sprinkle with peanuts. Drizzle with strawberry preserves.

Apple Cinnamon: Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with apple slices and raisins. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Peach Melba: Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with peach slices; drizzle with raspberry preserves.

Apple Cinnamon Praline: apple cinnamon cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Sprinkle with toasted pecans; drizzle with maple syrup.

Health & Nut: Spread vegetable cream cheese on a toasted whole wheat bagel. sprinkle with raisins and toasted sunflower seeds.

Tropical: Spread pineapple cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with toasted coconut and almonds or macadamia nuts. 

Quick, think of the most dangerous item you have in your kitchen.

 

No, it’s not that meat cleaver you never use or the blowtorch you keep on hand for kashering the oven for Pesach. Surprisingly, it’s probably one of those bagels you’ve got stashed away in the freezer. Ok, now that you’ve stopped laughing you should know that there are probably more emergency room visits for those would be gourmets who’ve “slipped” and sliced open their hand while trying to cut open a bagel than all other household mishaps combined.

For those of you who live on the moon a bagel (BAY-guhl) is a doughnut-shaped yeast roll with a thick, chewy texture and a shiny crust. Bagels are boiled in water before they’re baked because the boiling reduces the starch content and creates a shiny chewy crust. A traditional water bagel is made without eggs and, because it doesn’t contain fat, is chewier than an egg bagel. The bagel (the word means bracelet in German) was the everyday bread of the Jews in Eastern Europe. It has, over the past few decades, become the most famous Jewish food in America and standard American bread. Supposedly German in origin, the bagel came into its own and took its definitive form in the Polish shtetl. Because of their shape, no beginning and no end, bagels are supposed to symbolize the eternal cycle of Jewish life. In the old days, they were supposed to be a protection against evil spirits, warding off the evil eye and bringing good luck. For these reasons they were routinely served at circumcision, when a woman was in labor and at funerals, along with hard-boiled eggs. These days we indulge ourselves just because they taste so good.

In the interest of household safety and the need to share some really great bagel recipes (not recipes on how to make bagels but, rather recipes that use them) I’m offering the following guidelines for anxiety free slicing.

 

HOW TO SLICE A BAGEL

 

Hold the bagel upright on a cutting surface by forming an arch (a U shape) with your thumb and fingers. Pinch the bagel firmly between the thumb and fingers and hold it against the surface. Place the sharp (make sure it’s sharp) knife inside the arch and carefully slice downward toward the table surface using a gentle but steady sawing motion. NEVER, EVER, CUT THE BAGEL BY HOLDING IT YOUR HAND AND SLICING IT TOWARD YOUR HAND!


CHEESE BAGEL BITES
 

 
3 plain bagels, split and toasted
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Green onions (with tops) chopped
 
Spread bagels with mustard. Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl and then spread the mixture to the edges of bagel halves. Set the oven to broil.  Broil the prepared bagels about 5 inches from heat until topping is bubbly, about 1 minute. Cut each bagel into 6 pieces. Makes 36 appetizers;


BAGELS WITH LEMON CHICKEN AND AVOCADO SAUCE

 

1 lb ground chicken

1 egg

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon each pepper, oregano and paprika

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 clove garlic, minced

4 bagels, halved

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 tomatoes,

sliced romaine lettuce

1/2 cup pareve cream cheese

2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup pareve sour cream

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

juice of 1/2 lemon

 

Combine the pareve cream cheese, avocado, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, Tabasco sauce, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth. Place the sauce in a bowl and refrigerate until cold. In another bowl combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, lemon zest and garlic. Mix well and shape into 4 patties about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Grill the patties over on the grill or in a grill pan for about 5 minutes per side until no longer pink inside. Arrange the tomato slices then sliced mushrooms over bottom half of each bagel. Place chicken patty on top of the mushrooms and cover it with the avocado sauce and lettuce and the top of the bagel. Serves 4

TEX MEX PIZZA BAGEL
 

6 bagels, split and toasted  (jalapeno flavor is great)
3 tablespoons ready made pizza sauce
1 can (8-3/4 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 to 2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers (remove seeds for a milder flavor) (optional)
12 tortilla chips (white or yellow), broken up
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mozzarella
1 tablespoon chili powder

 

Preheat oven to 425. Spoon 1-1/2 teaspoon pizza sauce on each bagel half. Evenly top each bagel half with beans onion, jalapeno pepper, tortilla chips and cheese. Sprinkle with chili powder. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and is heated through. Makes 12 halves.

 

TOMATO BASIL BAGEL BRUSCHETTA

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup seeded and diced ripe tomato
2 tablespoon shredded fresh basil leaves
Pinch of salt
1 bagel (garlic, onion or plain), split
1 clove of garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise

In a bowl combine the oil, tomato, basil and salt. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. Toast the bagel in the toaster or under the broiler. While the bagel is still hot, rub the cut surface with the garlic. Spoon the tomato mixture on top. Eat at once. Makes 1 bagel. This can be multiplied as many times as you like


The traditional bagel sandwich USUALLY consists of cream cheese, lox, a slice of onion and a slice of tomato. However, bagel sandwiches are so popular these days that bagel shops often have 15 or 20 varieties to choose from and probably 40 or 50 sandwich variations on their menus. Here, courtesy of Philadelphia Cream Company are some really simple (and delicious) ways to make a quick and easy bagel snack.


Strawberry Banana Crunch: Spread strawberry cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with banana slices; sprinkle with granola.

 

Banana Split: Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with banana slices; sprinkle with peanuts. Drizzle with strawberry preserves.

Apple Cinnamon:

Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with apple slices and raisins. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Peach Melba: Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with peach slices; drizzle with raspberry preserves.

Apple Cinnamon Praline: apple cinnamon cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Sprinkle with toasted pecans; drizzle with maple syrup.

Health & Nut: Spread vegetable cream cheese on a toasted whole wheat bagel. sprinkle with raisins and toasted sunflower seeds.

Tropical: Spread pineapple cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with toasted coconut and almonds or macadamia nuts.