Lucious Lemongrass/ Recipes, some Kosher

In the theatre production or movie made the major character typically has a side kick, a buddy, a counterpoint or antagonist that is in place to showcase the talent of the lead. Such is the case with lemongrass in the food world.

Lemongrass is a very versatile plant and can be integrated into just about any recipe from appetizers to desserts. This subtle Asian centric plant offers a subtle citrusy lemon-like (hence the name lemongrass) flavor to any and all dishes it’s used in. Never a main ingredient this green onion looking like plant was nearly impossible to find for years anywhere else but in an Asian grocery. These days, however, lemongrass has become mainstream and often available at farm stands and in the produce section of more upscale or urban grocery stores.

When you’re buying lemongrass you should look for firm stalks. The end (where most of the flavor is concentrated) of the stalk should be plump, rounded and pale yellow (almost white) and the upper stalks should be green. Avoid any lemongrass with yellow or browning leaves.

To use lemongrass in marinades, a stir fry, salads, curry or baked item, you will need to trim the top and base of the stalks and then peel off any dry or tough outer layers. You should only use the bottom 4 inches or so.  The lemongrass flavor becomes more intense the longer it’s cooked so if you want a strong lemongrass flavor; add it at the beginning of your cooking. For a lighter more subtle lemongrass flavor, add it at the very end of your cooking. Storing lemongrass is simple.  Keep it whole, uncut and wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to three weeks, or you can freeze it for up to six months.

Lemongrass may be the understudy ingredient in the following recipes but the flavor it brings to the table gives the dish star quality.

SAIGON CHICKEN SALAD

 

1cup chopped fresh cilantro

5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons lemongrass stalk, finely chopped

3 large lime leaves, minced or substitute 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel for each lime leaf.

1/2 cup olive oil

kosher salt

1 1/4pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves (4 to 5)

5 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam) (or soy sauce)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons minced jalapeno or Serrano chilies with seeds

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 cups Chinese long beans or green beans, cut into bite sized pieces, blanched

8 ounces tomatoes, seeded and cut into strips

1 cup coarsely grated peeled daikon (Japanese white radish) or trimmed red radishes

1 cup coarsely grated seeded English cucumbers

1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage

1cup coarsely grated carrot

1cup mince celery

1cup fresh cilantro leaves

3 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal

1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts

 

In a bowl combine the cilantro, lemon juice, lemongrass, and lime leaves and whisk to combine. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in single layer in a glass baking dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken flipping it once to coat evenly. Cover and chill 3 hours. In a heated grill pan cook the chicken (with a tablespoon or two of marinade). Cook 4 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from heat, cool and cut into strips. Set aside.

 

In a bowl combine the fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, chiles, and garlic. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature; whisk before using.

 

Place the blanched beans in large bowl. Add the tomatoes, daikon, cucumbers, cabbage, carrot, celery leaves, cilantro leaves, green onions, and most of peanuts. Toss to combine. Add the chicken and dressing; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mound salad on large rimmed platter. Sprinkle with remaining peanuts and serve Serves 8

 

Modified from a recipe by Kajsa Alger of Street in Los Angeles

 

LEMONGRASS MEATBALLS IN LETTUCE CUPS

 

1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, pork, turkey or chicken

1lemongrass stalk, bottom 5 inches only, smashed with rolling pin, then minced

1/4 cup chopped green onions

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1tablespoon oil

1teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

 

Dipping sauce

1lemongrass stalk, minced

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4cup fish sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons grated carrot

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons minced green jalapeno pepper

 

2 tablespoons oil

1head of butter lettuce leaves separated

1small English cucumber, thinly sliced

 

Chill the meat in the freezer while making lemongrass paste. You want it cold, not frozen. In the bowl of a food processor combine the lemongrass, green onion, cilantro, fish sauce, garlic, oil, sugar and pepper. Pulse to combine. Add the meat and pulse to combine but don’t overdo. Make meatballs, about 1 heaping tablespoonful each and place them on a cookie sheet that has side. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours so the flavors can blend. While they are chilling make the dipping sauce.

 

Dipping sauce

Place the minced lemongrass in a bowl. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, cilantro, carrot, sugar, and chile and whisk to combine. Set the mixture aside.

 

In a skillet heat the oil. Add the meatballs and cook, browning on all sides until cooked throughout, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and place on a serving platter along with the lettuce leaves and cucumber. Place the meat balls in a lettuce leaf with cucumbers and drizzle the sauce over the top. Serves 8 to 12 as appetizers

 

Submitted by Candice Morant source unknown (modified)

LEMONGRASS STIR FRY

 

2 large stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner white bulb only, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 large shallots, thinly sliced

1 pound cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (4 cups)

12 asparagus spears cut into 1-inch lengths

1/2 cup shredded carrots (about 2 medium)

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

3 tablespoons soy sauce

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup chopped basil

1 cup mung bean sprouts

Rice, for serving

 

In a mini food processor, finely chop the lemongrass.  In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the lemongrass and shallots and stir fry the shallots are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower, asparagus, carrots and red bell pepper along with 1/2 cup of the water; cover and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce and the remaining 1/4 cup of water, whisk to combine and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and season with pepper. Stir in the basil and bean sprouts. Transfer the stir-fried vegetables to bowls and serve with rice.

 

From a recipe by Marcia Kiesel source unknown, modified

 

SPICY THAI SOUP

 

4 lemongrass stalks, bottom two-thirds of tender inner bulbs only, thinly sliced

5-1/4 cloves garlic, chopped

1-1/4 (4 inch) pieces fresh ginger root, chopped

5-1/3 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

3-1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into chunks

1 pound fresh white mushrooms, quartered

2-3/4 teaspoons red curry paste

1/4 cup fish sauce

2-3/4 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk

1-1/4 red onion, sliced

5/8 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

2-3/4 lime, cut into wedges, for serving

1-1/4 fresh jalapeno pepper, sliced into rings

 

Stir lemon grass, garlic, and ginger together in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain chicken broth and set aside. Discard lemon grass, garlic, and ginger.

Heat vegetable oil in a large soup pot over medium heat; Stir in chicken; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in red curry paste, fish sauce, and lime juice until combined. Stir in chicken broth and coconut milk; return to a simmer and cook on low for 15 to 20 minutes. Skim off any excess oil and fat that rises to the top and discard. Stir red onion into the chicken mixture; cook and stir until onion softens, about 5 minutes. move from heat and add about 1/2 the cilantro. Serve with plates of cilantro, lime wedges, and fresh sliced jalapenos. Serves 8.

 

Modified from about.com

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Black VS Green Olives, Which Would You Choose? Great Recipes

Every parent who has ever sent a child to summer camp knows about color wars. That fight to the death Olympic like couple of days where what color/team you’re a part of defines you, empowers you and generally consumes every waking moment. In our house color wars revolves around olives; team green and team black.

Yes, we’re a house divided and while I’m the captain of team black and my husband is the captain of team green our ambivalent side shifting children could care less. They just want olives.

Just so we’re clear, aside from their taste and color olives all come from the same tree. The only difference between them is the state of their ripeness when picked (green ones are harvested when they are immature, a bit denser and a tad more bitter and black ones stay on the tree just a little longer and have a more mellow flavor). All olives must be cured before being eaten and they way they are cured with determine their, final flavor and texture.

Olives are one food you can keep on your pantry shelf, unopened for 3 to 4 years. Once opened, keep them in their original brine in a container with a lid or the original jar. For the most part we use the stuffed green olive or the black from the can in most of our recipes. However, get creative and try some of the other varieties that specialty markets and gourmet sections of your supermarket now carry

 

manzanilla:  Spanish green olive, available unpitted and/or stuffed

 

picholine:  French green olive, salt-brine cured, with subtle, lightly salty flavor

 

kalamata:  Greek black olive, deep purple, almond-shaped rich and fruity flavor

 

niçoise:  French black olive, small in size, rich, nutty, mellow flavor, high pit-to-meat ratio, often packed with herbs and stems intact

 

liguria:  Italian black olive, with a vibrant flavor, sometimes packed with stems

 

ponentine:  Italian black olive, salt-brine cured then packed in vinegar, mild in flavor

 

gaeta:  Italian black olive, dry-salt cured, then rubbed with oil, wrinkled in appearance, mild flavor, often packed with rosemary and other herbs

 

lugano:  Italian black olive, usually very salty, sometimes packed with olive leaves

 

sevillano:  Californian, salt-brine cured, very crisp

 

Modified from about.com

 

Olives are typically not the main ingredient in a recipe. That being said the following recipes are all olive centric and showcase the full bodied flavor of these bite size treats. While you can interchange the different types of olives in the recipes you should know that some are saltier than others and you need to adjust the recipe accordingly.

 

TRADITIONAL TAPENADE

This is a thick olive topping that is terrific with crackers, bread or on chicken or fish.

 

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 to 4 tablespoons capers

2 anchovy fillets, rinsed

1 3/4 cups pitted black or green olives (or a combination)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (fresh is best)

1/3 cup olive oil

Black pepper to taste (optional)

 

In a food process combine all the ingredients and pulse until the mixture forms a paste. Makes approx 2 cups

 

Modified from epicurious.com

CLASSIC GREEK SALAD

 

4 large tomatoes cut into chunks

1 large cucumbers, peeled and diced

1 green pepper, cleaned and chopped

1 red pepper, cleaned and chopped

1 red onion, sliced thin

1 head romaine, shredded

1 to 1 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled

14 to 16 Kalamata olives, pitted

 

Dressing

 

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and black pepper to taste

 

Combine all the dressing ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake to combine and set it aside. In a salad bowl combine the tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, onion and romaine and toss to combine.  Top with cheese and olives and drizzle the dressing on top. Toss to coat and serve. Serves 6.

 

My files source unknown

GREEN OLIVE CHICKEN

 

4 chicken breasts

1/2 cup olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 1/2 cup uncooked rice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 large can whole tomatoes

14 to 16 large green or black olives

1 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste

 

In large skillet heat the oil and lightly brown the chicken. Don’t cook it totally, just brown the outside. Remove the chicken from pan and drain it on paper towels.  Don’t clean the pan.  Add the onion and green and red pepper to pan and cook slightly. Stir in the garlic and rice. Cook stirring until rice is turning golden. Add the tomatoes, olives, chicken broth, oregano and chili powder. Bring the mixture to a boil and then add the chicken. Cover the pan and cook, at a simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until the chicken is done. Serves 4.

 

My file source unknown

 

OLIVE PEPPER CHEESECAKE

 

Butter for greasing pan

1 cup panko bread crumbs

16 oz cream cheese, softened

8 oz grated sharp cheddar

1 pkg. taco seasoning

16 oz sour cream, divided

3 eggs

1/3 cup diced green or black olives, drained well

1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced

1/2 cup salsa

2 cups of your favorite guacamole or avocado dip

Chopped tomatoes for garnish

Chopped olives for garnish

Cheddar for garnish

Corn chips

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch spring form pan and then coat it with panko bread crumbs and set it aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, cheddar and taco seasoning until fluffy; stir in 1 cup sour cream. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Fold in the olives and peppers. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Combine remaining sour cream with salsa and spread the mixture on top. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan and then remove sides from spring form. Top with the guacamole. Garnish the additional tomatoes, olives and cheese. Serve corn chips.    Serves 12 to 16.

 

Submitted by Reggie Magaran Chicago IL

FRESH OLIVE CHOP

 

2 (6 oz.) can Lindsay Naturals Green Ripe Olives, drained and chopped

1/2 cup jarred roasted red pepper, diced

4 ounces crumbled feta

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

toasted pita wedges, crackers, thinly sliced baguettes or tortilla chips

Italian flat leaf parsley as a garnish

 

Place the olives, red pepper, feta, oregano and lemon zest together in a bowl.  Gently toss together.

 

Spoon the mixture into a small bowl and place on a larger platter.  Surround the bowl of with the pita wedges, crackers, baguette slices and/or tortilla chips.  Or spread the olive mixture onto the pita wedge and/or baguette slices, garnish with flat leaf Italian parsley.  Place on a platter and serve immediately.es, crackers and/or baguette slices, garnish with flat leaf Italian parsley.  Place on a platter and serve immediately.

 

This recipe was created By cookbook author Joanne Weir, modified.

 

ARTICHOKE AND BLACK OLIVE DIP

 

1 (7.5 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and diced

1/2 cup diced Lindsay® Ripe Pitted or Lindsay® Greek Kalamata Pitted Olives

1/2 cup diced plum tomatoes

1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

2 tablespoons light or regular sour cream

2 tablespoons light or regular mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours before serving. Serve with crackers or chips. Serves 6 (1/4 cup) servings.

 

Modified from Lindsay.com

 

CHICKEN CHILI MAC N CHEESE

 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 chili peppers, diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons flour

2 1/4 cups chicken broth

2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 (1 lbs.) box macaroni pasta, cooked

8 ounce grilled chicken breast, diced

1 (6 oz.) can California Black Ripe Olives, whole, pitted

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/8 teaspoon paprika

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 9X13 baking pan. In a saucepan melt the butter. Stir in peppers and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes until smooth and golden. Whisk in the chicken broth, a half cup at a time, until smooth and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in cheese and remove from heat. Add the cooked pasta, chicken and olives. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Top with breadcrumbs, sprinkle the top with the paprika and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serves 6 to 8

 

Recipe courtesy of the California Olive Committee, modified

 

OLIVE CORN AND RICE SALAD

You can add or subtract the amount of veggies as you please!

 

1 (16 oz.) can whole corn, drained or 2 cups fresh off the cob

3 to 4 cups cooked rice

1/ 2 cup chopped red pepper

1/ 2 cup chopped green onions

1 cup chopped black olives

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded

1 to 2 tomatoes, chopped and seeded

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/ 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/ 4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

 

In medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, corn, rice, peppers, green onions and olives. Toss to combine. In a jar with a lid combine the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, parsley, mustard and garlic powder. Shake the dressing to combine and pour over the salad. Cover and chill several hours. Stir in the shredded lettuce just before serving then top with the Parmesan cheese. Serves 6 to 8

 

My files source unknown

 

BAKED PASTA WITH OLIVES

 

1 pound pasta (fusilli or bow tie), cooked according to the package, drained, kept warm

5 small zucchini cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 (28 ounces) can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped

1cup black olives, sliced

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 pound Mozzarella cheese shredded or cubed

2 to 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese for topping

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9X13 baking pan. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and saute zucchini until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season them with salt and pepper and put them in a large bowl. Add the pasta, tomatoes, olives, 1/3 cup Parmesan, rosemary and 1/2 of the mozzarella. Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine Place the mixture into the prepared pan and then sprinkle the top.

Cover the top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan and bake until cheese is melted and the top slightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 4 to 6

 

Modified from The New Pasta Cookbook by Joanne Glynn

Quintessential Club Sandwiches/ Recipes that make you say “make me a member” (kosher)

To paraphrase the words of Grocho Marks, why would I want to belong to a club that would have me as a member? Well, obviously, he wasn’t talking about a club that loves club sandwiches because everyone I know who’s ever eaten one is a member of that organization for life.

A classic club sandwich for those of you who have never had this tasty treat is a triple decker sandwich combination of bread, turkey, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce and mayonnaise. The most popular theory is that the club sandwich was first served in 1894 at the famous Saratoga Club House the very same place where potato chips were invented.  What is probably more likely origin story is that club sandwich was created in the club cars of the trains zipping in and out of New York, Chicago and Philly (and yes, Philly cheese steak sandwiches are a subject for another column).

I belong to the cooking club of tweaking a recipe once I’ve got it right the first time just because I can and well, I usually end up with something if not better at least more interesting. The following club sandwich recipes are all variations on a theme and all delicious.  For the very best eating experience I suggest that, when possible, you use leftover turkey or chicken rather than the processed and sliced kind of deli meat you usually find in this kind of sandwich if you’re ordering it at a restaurant. Real meat as opposed to processed is always better for you. You can use whatever type of bread you like (whole grain is nice) and low or no fat mayo is just fine.

TUNA AND PEPPER CLUB (dairy)

 

1/3 cup buttermilk ranch salad dressing

2 red peppers, seeded and diced and divided

1 12-oz. can solid white tuna, drained and broken in chunks

2 stalks celery, diced

1 cup whole kernel corn, drained

4 or 5 thin slices of red onion

12 slices toasted whole wheat or rye bread

lettuce

 

In blender container combine the dressing and 1 diced red pepper; process but not too much, you want there to be chunks of the red peppers in the sauce. Set the sauce aside. In a bowl combine the remaining diced pepper, tuna, celery, corn, and 1/4 cup of the sauce.  For each sandwich, spread two slices of toasted bread with the sauce. Top one with the tuna mixture, a slice or two of red onion and lettuce. Place another piece of bread on top and repeat finishing with a third piece of bread. Secure with 2 toothpicks and then cut in half diagonally. Makes 4 sandwiches

VEGI CHICKEN CLUB SANDWICH (meat)

 

2 to 3 boneless chicken breasts, sliced into 10 to 12 pieces

Salt and pepper

2 teaspoons oil

1 long loaf multi grain bread or Italian bread (not sliced)

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup honey Dijon mustard

1 to 1 1/2 pounds kosher breakfast beef, cooked and drained

4 roma tomatoes, sliced

2 avocados, pitted, sliced thin

1/2 carton alfalfa sprouts

1 thinly sliced English cucumber

6 to 8 lettuce leaves

 

 

Slice the loaf of bread in thirds lengthwise and set it aside. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a grill pan and cook the chicken pieces for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until just done. Set the pieces aside on paper towel to drain. Slice the loaf of bread horizontally and set aside. In a bowl combine the mayonnaise with the honey Dijon mustard and mix to combine. Spread the mustard-mayonnaise on the bottom third of the sliced bread. Arrange 1/2 of the chicken slices on the bottom layer of the bread. Top with the 1/2 of the breakfast beef, 1/2 tomatoes, 1/2 avocados, 1/2 the bean sprouts and 1/2 the cucumber and lettuce leaves. Place the middle third of the bread on top and repeat the layering starting with the mayonnaise. Spread the top of the bread with the remaining mayonnaise mixture and top the sandwich. Secure the sandwich with toothpicks and slice into 6 sandwiches. Serves 6

 

SALAMI CLUB SANDWICH (meat)

 

1/2 (16-ounce) Italian bread loaf

1/4 cup Italian dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup mustard

1/2 pound sliced salami

1/2 pound sliced smoked turkey

lettuce leaves

3 roma tomatoes, sliced

8 turkey pastrami

 

Cut bread diagonally into 12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices; arrange on a baking sheet. Brush slices evenly with Italian dressing. Bake at 375 for 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly toasted. Spread untoasted sides of bread slices evenly with mayonnaise and mustard. Layer 4 bread slices, mayonnaise side up, with salami, and turkey. Top with 4 bread slices, mayonnaise side up; layer with lettuce, tomato, and turkey pastrami. Top with remaining 4 bread slices, mayonnaise side down. Cut in half, and secure with wooden picks. Serves 4.

 

Modified from Southern Living, JANUARY 2001

 

TEX MEX CLUB (meat)

 

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)

1 tablespoon minced onion

8 slices kosher breakfast beef, cooked and drained

6 slices hearty grain bread

8 slices deli hickory smoked or barbeque turkey

4 large tomato slices

1 avocado, pitted, peeled, sliced

red leaf lettuce leaves

 

In a bowl combine the mayonnaise, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, minced onion and chili powder. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Spread the mayonnaise mixture evenly over one side of the bread slices. On the first piece of bread layer a 1 lettuce leaf, 2 slices of turkey, then 2 slices of kosher breakfast beef, then a slice of tomato and then a 2 slices of avocado. Season with a little salt and pepper. Place another piece of bread on top and repeat. Place the 3rd slice of bread mayonnaise side down. Secure with toothpicks and cut in half. Repeat for the second sandwich. Serves 2.

 

Submitted by Roxanne Lemers Fort Meyers FL

 

LEFTOVER CRANBERRY TURKEY CLUB (meat)

 

3 slices whole grain bread

2 leaves lettuce

2 slices fresh tomato

4 strips cooked turkey bacon

3 to 4 oz leftover cooked turkey

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon leftover cranberry sauce

 

In a bowl combine the mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. Toast three slices of bread. Spread one side of each slice with the mayonnaise mixture. On the first piece of bread place lettuce on top of the mayonnaise. Put a slice of tomato on top of that, then the a few pieces of turkey and 2 pieces of turkey bacon. Place the second slice of bread on top of the cheese, mayonnaise side down. Spread the top of this slice of bread with the mayonnaise mixture. Repeat the layering sequence and top with the remaining slice of bread. Secure with toothpicks and slice diagonally. Makes 2

 

Submitted by Charles Katrell Chicago IL

RASPBERRY CHICKEN CLUB (meat)

 

1 package puff pastry

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

4 tablespoons honey, divided

6 ounces thinly sliced deli chicken breast

6 ounces thinly sliced turkey pastrami

1/3 to 1/2 cup raspberry preserves

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

 

Preheat oven to 400. Defrost the puff pastry sheets and place them on parchment paper and then place the puff pastry on cookie sheets  Cut along the lines so that each sheet is cut into 3 pieces. In a microwave bowl combine the butter and 2 tablespoons honey. Microwave for 15 to 20 seconds and then brush the mixture over the dough. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until just lightly golden browned. Cool to room temperature. Spread the top of 2 layers with the raspberry mixture. Top the preserves with the chicken. Place the second layer of the crust on top of the chicken. Spread this layer with more preserves.  Layer the pastrami on top of the preserves. Top with the third crust. Spread the remaining honey mixture on top. Sprinkle the top with poppy seeds. Return the loafs to the oven and bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes before cutting. Cut each loaf into 4 sections. Makes 8 pieces

 

BREAKFAST CLUB SANDWICH (dairy)

Even though this isn’t technically a club sandwich this recipe from thatsmyhome.com is sooooo delicious I just had to share it.

 

Peanut streusel:

 

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

 

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

6 eggs, beaten to blend

1/3 cup milk

12 slices firm white or egg bread

3 to 4 bananas, sliced 1/4-inch thick

Ground cinnamon

Maple syrup, optional

 

For streusel, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon. Add peanut butter. Work into mixture using 2 forks or your fingers, until blended and crumbly. Set aside.

 

Blend cream cheese, sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl. Beat together the eggs and milk in a large, flat dish. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons cream-cheese mixture on each bread slice. Top a slice of bread with sliced bananas. Place second slice of bread with cream cheese side down on bananas. Repeat for remaining bread slices. Spray 2 (13-by-9-inch) glass baking dishes with nonstick cooking spray. Dip a sandwich in the egg mixture, turning to coat each side. Repeat. Place 3 sandwiches in each dish; sprinkle with cinnamon. Have oven heating to 375.Sprinkle about 2 1/2 tablespoons streusel topping over each sandwich, pressing lightly to make it adhere to the bread slice. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Slice in half, corner to corner, for each serving, and serve with maple syrup, if desired. Serves 6.

 

Are they Chickpeas or Garbanzos? /kosher recipes

This is that magical time of year when all things, especially my dieting start anew. After warding off the cold and chill of winter with that extra 10 pounds of excess weight (blubber sounds so harsh) I know that I have got to get a grip on the inhalation of comfort food (ie: chocolate, pizza, chocolate, mashed potatoes, chocolate) that have comprised my fuel for the past few months. I’ve taken stock of my eating habits and have decided that salads and high fiber foods are now on the menu in full force.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they want to shed a few pounds is that they think they have to starve themselves. That’s a big no no. You should eat sensibly and eat smart. Fiber and roughage should play a big part in any

Chick peas are perhaps better known by their name garbanzo beans. They are a round-ish, beige to light green members of the legume family grown primarily in part ofWest Asia,India, and in theMediterranean. Most are familiar with chick peas as either used whole in salads, or ground up to make the popular Middle Eastern dish hummus and falafel. You can get them dried or canned and for my money and the amount of time needed I tend to always use the canned variety.

Chick peas are incredibly versatile and are a frequent ingredient in pacific rim,Mediterraneanand Italian dishes.  They are considered a starchy carbohydrate and are a great staple for people with diabetes. A serving of chick peas (about 4 ounces or half a cup) has about 17 grams of dietary fiber and 19 grams of protein. They are considered more digestible than most other beans making them a wiser option for suffers of how shall I put this delicately…….. excessive flatulence.

This is so not a case of beans beans the magical fruit the more you eat the more you…….ok, you know what I mean. These recipes are all easy, a little different, delicious not so high in calories and oh so good for you.

 

SPINACH AND CHICK PEA CURRY (meat)

 

1 tablespoon oil

1 onion, chopped

1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn

1 tablespoon curry paste

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 lb cooked shredded chicken (leftovers work great)

1 bunch fresh spinach stems removed

1 teaspoon dried basil or to taste

 

In a large wok or skillet heat oil over medium heat; saute onions until translucent. Stir in creamed corn and curry paste. Cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes. As you stir, add salt, pepper and garlic. Stir in garbanzo beans and gently fold in cooked chicken. Add spinach and cover. When spinach is tender, remove from heat and stir in basil. Serves 4

 

GREEK SALAD (dairy)

 

2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained

2 cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15 ounce) can black olives, drained and chopped

1 ounce crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup Italian-style salad dressing

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Combine the beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, garlic, olives, cheese, salad dressing, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper. Toss together and refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Serve chilled. Serves 8

HUMMUS (pareve)

 

1 can (15-oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas); drained (reserve liquid)
1/2 cup sesame seed
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Snipped parsley
pita bread; crackers or vegetable dippers

 

Place reserved bean liquid, the sesame seed and garlic in blender container. Cover and blend on high speed until mixed. Add the garbanzo beans, lemon juice and salt; cover and blend on high speed, stopping blender to scrapes sides if necessary, until of uniform consistency. Garnish with parsley. Serve as spread or dip with wedges of pita bread. Makes 2 cups.

 

// // //

ROASTED RED PEPPER AND CHICK PEA DIP (dairy or pareve)

 

16 oz canned garbanzo beans; rinsed and drained
7 oz Jar roasted red peppers; rinsed and drained
1/2 cup plain yogurt or non dairy sour cream substitute
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Makes 2 cups.

// // //

LAMB STEW WITH SPINACH AND GARBANZO BEANS (meat)

 

2 pounds lamb shoulder or stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
Garlic powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 10-ounce package ready-to-use spinach leaves
Lemon wedges

 

Sprinkle lamb with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add lamb and sauté until brown, about 10 minutes. Add onion and carrots and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garbanzo beans, broth, tomato sauce, and lemon juice and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot and simmer gently until lamb is tender, about 1 hour. Add spinach to stew. Cover and cook until spinach wilts, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Season stew with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled

 

ROAST CHICKEN BREASTS WITH GARBANZO BEANS

 

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon smoked paprika*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup non dairy sour cream substitute
4 chicken breast halves with bones
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, divided

 

Preheat oven to 450. Mix the olive oil, garlic, paprika, cumin and red pepper in medium bowl. Pour 1 teaspoon spiced oil mixture into small bowl; whisk in non dairy sour cream and set aside for sauce. Place chicken in a roasting pan. Rub 2 tablespoons spiced oil mixture over chicken. Add beans, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup cilantro to remaining spiced oil mixture; toss to coat. Pour bean mixture around chicken. Sprinkle everything generously with salt and pepper. Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cilantro. Transfer chicken to plates. Spoon bean mixture over. Serve with sauce. Serves 4.

 

TROPICAL GARBANZO BEAN SALAD (pareve)
2 (15 ounce) cans of garbanzo beans, drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup of diced sweet yellow onion
1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes

2 cups shredded lettuce
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
3 minced garlic cloves
10 black olives
1/2 cup chopped parsley

In a large wooden salad bowl combine the red and green peppers, lettuce, onion, tomatoes, olives, garbanzo beans and chopped parsley

In a blender combine the lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the garbanzo bean mixture. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so. Serves 6

 

SWEET ‘N SPICY GARBANZO BEAN CHILI (dairy)

 

2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained

2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 medium (1/2 cup) red onion, chopped

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup sweet and spicy French salad dressing

4 ounces (1 cup) Cheddar Cheese, shredded

1/2 cup sour cream

Chili powder, if desired

 

Place all ingredients except salad dressing, cheese, sour cream and chili powder in slow cooker. Cover; cook on Low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or High heat setting for 3 to 4 hours or until flavors are well blended. Just before serving, stir in the salad dressing. To serve, place chili into bowls; sprinkle with cheese and a dollop of sour cream; sprinkle the top with chili powder, if desired. Serves 4 to 5.

Reinventing the Slider or Thank You White Castle

             

Ever hear of a guy named Walter Anderson? Well, he’s the culinary genius who gave us White Castle and the world famous concept of the slider (they call it a slyder, just so we’re clear here). Thanks to good ole Walt, we can all chow down on lots of teeny tiny burgers and call ourselves gourmets. While my youth was spent gobbling down those 2 ½ in square mouthfuls of ground beef and onions my adult years have seen me take my fascination with these burger babies to a whole new level.

This mini teeny tiny burgers craze has been sweeping low and high eating establishments for years now and I’ve taken it upon myself to sample quite a few of the more outlandish ones. Sliders are smaller than the super sized fast food staples we’ve grown accustomed to but small in size doesn’t mean it has to be small in the flavor department. Your sliders don’t have to be limited to beef they can be a reinvented by using chicken, or fish or even veggies.

If sliders are guilty pleasures then lock me up and throw away the key. Better yet, put me in the kitchen with these following recipes and sentence me to a life time of eating these delicious treats.

 Note: The best way to assemble and serve your sliders is to place all the sliced rolls (toasted if you prefer them that way) on a platter and  top each bottom, in an assembly line fashion with the lettuce, tomatoes, dressing, ketchup, mayo or mustard you’re using.

 

MUSHROOM AND BEEF SLIDERS

 

3 pounds ground beef

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon margarine

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb sliced mushrooms (your choice but I like to use at least 2 different kinds)

1 red onion diced

2 tablespoons white wine

Dijon mustard and mayonnaise to taste

12 dinner rolls

 

Melt margarine and olive oil in large sauté pan. Add the mushrooms, onion and wine and sauté just until the mushrooms and onions are soft, season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the vegetables aside. In a bowl combine the ground beef, salt, and pepper in bowl, divide the meat into 4 ounces patties. You can cook them on a grill or in a grill pan. Toast the buns slightly and spread the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard on them.  Place beef patty on bottom bun and spoon the mushroom and onion mixture over the patty and top with the remaining bun.  Makes 12.

 

Submitted by Art Rostburn Trenton NJ

 

HOT LOX SLIDERS

 

1 lb lox (smoked salmon)

4 green onions, minced

2 tablespoons fresh minced dill

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

pepper

1 egg

3 to 4 tablespoon breadcrumbs

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

8 small dinner rolls, toasted

8 slices cucumber

8 slices of avocado 

 

Place the lox in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to get smallish pieces. Be careful not to make it a puree. Place the minced lox in a bowl and add the, egg, bread crumbs, green onions, dill, and lemon juice, mustard and olive oil. Season with pepper. Form the mixture into 8 small patties. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and lightly sear both sides of the patty and immediately place it on the bottom half of toasted roll. Top with a cucumber and avocado slice and place the top on top. Makes 8

 

CARAMELIZED ONION TURKEY SLIDERS

 

Onions:

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

Pinch salt and pepper

2 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

 

Burger:

1 lb ground turkey

2 teaspoon olive oil

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

2 green onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 cup mayonnaise

salt and pepper

8 rolls

 

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet. Saute the celery and green onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set the mixture aside.

 

In the same skillet, heat 2 more teaspoons olive oil. When oil is hot saute the onions with the sugar and season with salt and pepper and cook. Saute about 15 20 minutes until the onions are golden, stir occasionally.

 

In a bowl combine the ground turkey, Tabasco sauce, smoked paprika, mayonnaise and cooked onion and celery mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Gently combine the ingredients. Make 8 small patties. Either spray a skillet with non stick spray or heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet. Cook until the bottoms are just turning brown, about 4 minutes. Flip the burgers, baste with bbq sauce and cook 4 more minutes. Flip once again, baste it with the bbq sauce and cook for 2 or 3 more minutes. Place patty in bun and top with caramelized onions. Makes 8.

 

LAMB SLIDERS WITH MOCK YOGURT SAUCE

 

Sauce:

1/2 cup mock yogurt

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

3 tablespoons grated cucumber

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

salt to taste

 

Burgers:

1 1/2 pound lean ground lamb

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tsp salt

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 to 10 small rolls, split (mini sandwich rolls or small dinner rolls work great)

Preparation:

 

To make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine  the mock yogurt, garlic, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, pepper and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

To make the lamb burgers: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oil. Form the mixture into 8 to 10 small, thin patties. Heat a skillet (cast iron is good to use) over high heat and brush with oil. Add the lamb burgers and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side for medium.

 

Lightly toast the rolls, then place a lamb burger in each and top with the sauce. Makes 8 to 10.

 

Modified from epicurious

 

CHICKEN AND VEGGIE SLIDERS

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/4 can (7 ounces) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

8 small buns

1/2 cup minced mushrooms (I like portabella)

8 tomatoes slices

2 cups bean sprouts

 

 Heat the oil in a skillet. Saute the pepper, mushrooms, onion and garlic in the skillet until they start to get a little soft. Add the chicken, barbecue sauce, chipotles and 1/4 cup water; cover and simmer until chicken is done, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Remove chicken from sauce; place on a plate to cool for 5 minutes. Shred the chicken and return it to the sauce stirring to coat. Place the bottom half of the buns on a cookie sheet. Divide the chicken mixture evenly between them and then top with tomato slices and the sprouts. Top with the top of the bun, secure with a tooth pick and serve.  Makes 8

 

Modified from Self magazine recipe (date unknown)

 

SHRIMP SLIDERS

 

1 1/4 pounds salmon filets chopped (not too small)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 teaspoons lemon juice

A few dashes of hot sauce

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

3 green onions, chopped, green and white parts

1 1/4 cups crushed crackers (approx 24 crackers)

12 mini buns, split

Toppings: tartar sauce, sliced red onions, cucumber slices (at least 24)

 

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with cooking spray. In a bowl combine the egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, hot sauce, Old Bay, salt, pepper, cilantro, green onions. Fold in the chopped salmon and cracker crumbs, the mixture will be very thick. Shape the mixture into 12 patties. Place the patties on the cookie sheet and cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least one hour (you can refrigerate overnight).

 

To Bake:

Preheat oven to 375. Place baking sheet with shrimp patties in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm and shrimp have turned pink.

 

To Pan-Fry:

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shrimp patties 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.

 

To Finish:

Place the patties on bottom halves of buns, top with tartar sauce, red onions, and 2 cucumber slices each. Makes 12 sliders or 4 full-sized burgers;

 

Adapted Southern Living Magazine (date unknown)

Cool as a Cucumber

           We’ve all done enough of that these past few weeks. This is when I say, bring out the cucumbers and start chopping. They’re tasty, low in calorie and can be diced and sliced and thrown into a salad, sandwich or even used as a main course.
           There are three main types of cucumber, slicing, pickling and English. Slicing cucumbers are the most popular and have a dark green skin. Most slicing cucumbers are waxed to extend their shelf life. I always recommend washing the skin to remove the wax. The pickling cucumber (sometimes called a gherkin) is small and crisp and has a bumpy skin. The English cucumber is long, narrow and almost always seedless. English cucumbers are wrapped in cellophane to extend shelf life. Cucumbers should be refrigerated and you shouldn’t wash them until you’re ready to use them.
         There are two really good techniques for making cucumbers “decorative”. The fist is to scrape the length of the cucumber with the tines of a fork before you slice it. The second is to use a zester the same way. The zester (a tool used for removing the colored part of fruit rind) makes a deeper groove in the cucumber. You can also use a melon baller to remove the seeds before slicing. Just cut the cucumber in half, start at one end and scoop away.

The recipes below are a mixture of easy appetizers, salads and main course. Some include herbs and spices. Whenever possible I suggest you use fresh. Fresh herbs enhance the taste of cucumbers and makes the flavors pop.

GREEK SALAD (dairy)

1 small to medium red onion or sweet onion
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
3 to 4 large Kirby cucumbers or 2 medium regular cucumbers
1 large, ripe tomato
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled or cut into small cubes
8 kalamata olives, pitted and quartered, lengthwise

Cut the onion into very thin rings. If using a regular (not sweet) onion, put it in a shallow bowl with 2/3 cup vinegar and marinate 1/2 hour, tossing a few times. Meanwhile, trim cucumbers, halve lengthwise and cut into half moon shapes, about 3/8-inch thick. Put into a mixing bowl. Core tomato, halve, then cut into wedges. Halve wedges and add to the cucumber. Drain and add the onions. Put olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper and remaining vinegar in a small mixing bowl or large cup. Mix and add to vegetables. Toss well and let sit, covered, 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature.  Add feta and olives. Toss. Check for seasoning. Serves 6.

CUCUMBER SOUP (dairy)

4 green onions, trimmed
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
Salt and white pepper to taste
3 tablespoons fried onions (I like Durkees)

Detach the green part of the green onions and mince about 3 tablespoons. Set aside. Put white part of the green onions and cucumbers in a food processor or blender and puree. Add the buttermilk, dill and salt and pepper.Blend until smooth. Refrigerate at least an hour. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary. Sprinkle the green onion tops and fried onions on top. Serves 4.

ASIAN CUCUMBER SALAD (pareve)

4 large cucumbers; cut in slices
5 green onions white part only, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves (you can substitute flat leaf parsley)
1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts (I like to use honey roasted)

Put the sliced cucumbers into a bowl with the shallots and sprinkle over the vinegar. Add the sweet chili sauce and soy sauce and toss the salad. Just before serving add the coriander leaves and peanuts and toss again. Serve at once. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

CHEESEAND CUCUMBER SLICES (dairy)

1 large cucumber
1/2 oz. Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1/4 tsp. dill weed
1 tablespoon whipped cream cheese
Dash each salt and white pepper

Cut off ends of cucumber. Using tines of a fork, score peel of cucumber. Cut cucumber in half crosswise and using a melon baller or small spoon, remove and discard seeds from both halves; set aside. In small mixing bowl thoroughly combine remaining ingredients. Spoon half of the cheese mixture into cored section of each cucumber half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. To serve, remove plastic wrap and carefully slice each cucumber half into 6 equal slices. Makes 2 servings, 6 slices each.

CUCUMBER DILL SAUCE(dairy/fish)

Wonderful with fish or as a vegetable dip

2 cups sour cream or pareve substitute
2 med. size cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped fine
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill OR 2 tablespoons dried dill weed
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons milk or non dairy substitute
1/2 teaspoon salt
For garnish: 1 jar (2 oz.) red lumpfish caviar, dill sprig

Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl. Cover and refrigerate. To serve, spoon caviar around edges of sauce; place dill sprig in middle. Makes 3 1/2 cups. 

 
CUCUMBER ORANGE AND POMEGRANET SALAD (pareve)
2 hothouse cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 large naval oranges, zest and pith removed, halved and thinly sliced
8 ounces young spinach leaves
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

In a large bowl combine the cucumbers, fennel, onion, oranges and spinach in large shallow bowl. Whisk together vinegar, orange juice, honey and olive oil. Toss with salad. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pine nuts.  Serves 8

SWEET AND SOUR CUCUMBER SALAD (pareve)

3 cups peeled, seeded and thinly sliced cucumbers
11/2 cups thinly sliced sweet onions
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon dried dill weed

2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a medium bowl toss together cucumbers, onions and carrot; set aside. In a liquid measuring cup combine oil,vinegar, sugar, dill 2 tablespoons water, salt and black pepper. Pour over cucumber mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top serve immediately. If you want to make this ahead of time cover and refrigerate and don’t sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top until ready to serve. Serves 6.

MINI CUCUMBER SANDWICHES (dairy/fish)

1 medium cucumber
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
dash Worcestershire sauce
1 loaf sliced whole grain bread
 paprika

Score cucumber lengthwise with fork (for looks) and slice thin. In medium bowl, combine vinegar and water, add cucumber slices; let stand at room temp. at least 30 min. Drain WELL. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, mayo, garlic powder, onion salt and Worcestershire. Cut bread slices into rounds (or any shape you want, with a cookie cutter) and spread with cream cheese mixture. Top each with a slice of cucumber. Shortly before serving top with olive slice or paprika, or both. You can also add a little dab of cream cheese/mayo and top with a baby shrimp.

Makes about 48 round tea sandwiches.

To make these the night before, cover with SLIGHTLY damp paper towels, then cover the whole plate with foil. Keep in fridge and they’ll be just great.

APPLECUCUMBER AND WALNUT SALAD (dairy)

For the dressing:
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ large lemon)
2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup chopped cucumber (well drained)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint or parsley
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For the salad:
1 head red leaf of bib lettuce, trimmed, washed, and dried
1 cucumber, peeled if you want, diced large
1 Granny Smith or other tart apple, cored and diced large
1/3 cup dark raisins
2/3 cup toasted walnut pieces
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and olive oil. Add lemon juice, honey, cucumber, coriander, min and salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, cucumber, apple, and raisins. Stir in 2/3’s of the dressing well, add just enough to moisten the ingredients, and toss to coat.

Place on a serving platter or individual plates, sprinkle with the walnuts and the pomegranate seeds if you have them, and serve.

TOMATO CUCUMBER SALAD (pareve)

2 cucumbers, sliced thin

sea or kosher salt for sprinkling
6 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 green onions, sliced
3 to 4 radishes, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and finely diced
1/3 cup minced parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Kalamata, black or nicoise olives for garnish

In a serving bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, onions, parsley, lemon zest, olive oil, lemon juice. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Garnish with olives and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

CUCUMBER MUSTARD AND DILL SAUCE(dairy)

Great with fish or with vegetables

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill, or 1 tsp dried dill
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup peeled, coarsely chopped cucumber
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of finely ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until well blended. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve.Serve cold. May be kept up to 2 days in refrigerator.

ROASTED PEPPERS AND CUCUMBER SALAD (pareve)

1 large green bell pepper
3 6-to 8-ounce tomatoes, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
3/4 cup black olives, pitted, quartered
2/3 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Char pepper over gas flame or in broiler until blackened.Enclose in plastic bag 15 minutes. Peel, seed, and cut pepper into 1/3-inch cubes. Place in large bowl. Add tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onion, and parsley. Whisk oil and lemon juice in small bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper, then mix into vegetables. Let vegetables marinate at least 15 minutes before serving. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Serves 6.

Modified recipe from epicurious.com

CUCUMBER AND PINEAPPLESALAD (pareve)

2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (2-inch-long) fresh serrano or jalapeno chili, minced, including seeds
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
2 cups fresh pineapple, cored, peeled,  and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
2 to 3 medium tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

In a large salad bowl whisk together lime juice and sugar until sugar is dissolved, then whisk in the oil, garlic, chili, and soy sauce (to taste). Add the cucumber, pineapple cilantro mint and tomato. Toss to coat and then season with salt. Let set in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour for the flavors to blend. Serves 6 to 8.

GARLIC CUCUMBER CHICKEN (meat)
1lb boneless chicken breasts, skinned
1lb cucumber
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 green onions sliced
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white wine
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes and set aside.  Peel the cucumber, halve it and remove the seeds with a teaspoon. Then cut it into 1 inch cubes, sprinkle with salt and put the cucumber into a colander to drain for 20 minutes. (This removes the excess moisture from the cucumber). Next rinse the cucumber cubes in running cold water and blot them dry with kitchen paper. Heat a wok or large frying pan until very hot.  Add the oil and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the chicken cubes and stir-fry them for a few seconds.  Add all the other ingredients except the cucumber and continue to stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
 Now add the cucumber cubes and keep stir-frying the entire mixture for another 3 minutes. Serve at once. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

SUPER EASY GOURMET CUCUMBER CHICKEN SALAD (meat)

1 lb. cooked chicken, diced (leftovers are great for this)
1 cup seedless red or green grapes, halved
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup diced cucumbers
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
3/4 mayonnaise or salad dressing

In a salad bowl combine the chicken, grapes, pecans, celery, cucumber, oranges and salad dressing. Toss to coat and serve. Makes 6 servings

 

The Always Amazing (and now afordable) Asparagus

            Available, affordable (for now) and incredibly versatile asparagus is often considered the quintessential spring vegetable. With spring just beginning ‘NOW” seemed like a great time to indulge. Serve it hot or cold depending on your mood it only takes about 10 minutes to wash it, cook it and eat it.

Eating asparagus is really good for you. Five spears contain only 20 calories, have 400 milligrams of potassium are a great source of folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins A, C and B6.  While most asparagus is green, the purple and white varieties are becoming increasingly popular. White asparagus is created by growing the stalks under mounds of earth so they don’t produce chlorophyll (hummm Albino asparagus?) Although more tender than the green variety, in my opinion, white asparagus has a somewhat bland flavor. It is also WAY more expensive than the green variety. When choosing asparagus you should look for thin, medium-sized spears that is firm and green (except for the white asparagus) with tightly closed tips. Avoid asparagus with wrinkled stalks and wilted tips

            When you store your asparagus wrap the bottom of the stalks in a damp paper towel and put everything it a plastic bag. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.  As an alternative, trim the bottom of the spears and stand them, covered, in a glass container, in an inch of water, in the refrigerator, for a few days

To prepare your asparagus for cooking take each spear by its ends and bend it gently.  It will snap at approximately where tenderness begins.  You can save the stem ends (freeze them) or pitch them. If the stalks are at all thick, peel the portion of the stalk below the tip with a vegetable peeler so that the tips and the stalk cook evenly.

       This year, with a bumper crop available I’m planning on “stalking” the asparagus and trying as many new recipes as time and my waist line permit. The following tips and recipes should help you join me in the hunt.

 

Cleaning and Cooking Tips:

Soak the asparagus in cold water for several minutes. Swish it to remove dirt and grit.

To boil, tie the asparagus in bundles (this makes them easy to remove all at once) and immerse in boiling, salted water. Blanch for about 10 minutes, or just until tender. Remove bundles immediately, remove strings, and keep warm.

If using an asparagus cooker or tall pot, tie and stand the asparagus upright with the spears above water, then cover and cook just until the stalks are tender but still firm.

To microwave, arrange the spears in a round baking dish with the tips toward the center. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook on HIGH (100% power) for 8 minutes or until crisp-tender, rotating the dish a half turn after about 4 minutes.

If using asparagus in a cold dish, plunge into cold water immediately after cooking.

Avoid cooking asparagus in an iron pot. Asparagus contains tannins which react on contact with iron, altering the vegetable’s color.

 

ASPARAGUS APPLE AND CHICKEN SALAD

This is a great main course salad that helps make left over chicken or turkey

1 cup fresh asparagus cut in 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup cubed cooked chicken or turkey

1/2 cup diced red apple

2 cups torn mixed greens

1/2 to 1 cup toasted slivered almonds

Cook asparagus in a small amount of water until tender crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes; drain and cool. In a bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, honey parsley, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and then add the chicken, apple, almonds and asparagus. Toss the mixture to coat it with the dressing. Serve immediately over greens.  Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

ASPARAGUS MARINARA WITH FETTUCCINI

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup minced onion

2 cups canned crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil

1 pound Asparagus; cut into 1″ pieces, tips separated

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 to 4 teaspoons sugar, to taste

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Fettuccine; or other pasta, cooked, drained and kept warm

In a large skillet heat the olive oil for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and onions. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes over a medium heat and then add the crushed tomatoes and basil. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the cut asparagus but not tips. Simmer the asparagus in the sauce until tender and then add the tips. Cook 3 to 4 more minutes and then add the white wine and sugar. and salt and pepper. Serve over hot pasta. Serves 4

ASPARAGUS PARMESAN TART

This versatile quiche can be served a brunch, lunch as a quick dinner or a simple appetizer.

1 uncooked ready made pie crust room temperature or 1 recipe of homemade

1 teaspoon flour

1 lb. asparagus, each spear trimmed to 3″

1 cup half and half

2 eggs

1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450.  Bake the pie crust till golden, about 15 min.  Cool on rack.  Reduce oven temperature to 375.  Cook asparagus in boiling salted water till just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.  Drain well. Place the asparagus on paper towels and pat it dry. In a bowl combine the half & half, eggs, cheese, tarragon and salt and pepper.  Arrange asparagus in spoke-of-wheel fashion in crust, tips toward edge and ends meeting in center.  Pour the egg mixture gently over the asparagus and return the filled crust to the oven.  Bake till tart puffs and top browns, about 35 minutes.  Cool slightly to set and serve. Serves 4

ASPARAGUS AND PISTACHIOS

3 lbs. asparagus

1/4 cup butter or margarine

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon marjoram

1 cup chopped pistachio nuts

Cook the asparagus, uncovered, in boiling water until just barely tender when pierced, 5-8 minutes. Drain and place it on a serving platter.

In a sauce pan melt the butter or margarine and add the lemon juice, marjoram and nuts until the mixture is sizzling. Immediately pour the mixture over asparagus and serve. Serves 8

ASPARAGUS AVOCADO WRAPS

These are fabulous as a quick lunch, easy dinner or simple appetizer

24 spears asparagus, cooked crisp tender and cooled and patted dry

1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons dried parsley

1 1/2 cups cooked cold white rice

3 tablespoons plain yogurt or mayonnaise

3 whole wheat tortillas, 10 inches in diameter

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped red onion

In a small bowl combine the avocado, lime juice, parsley and garlic. Mash to combine into a coarse puree. Set the mixture aside. In another small bowl, combine the together the rice and yogurt or mayonnaise and mix to mix well.

Heat the tortillas for 10 seconds in the microwave to soften them. Lay the tortillas flat the cutting board. Spread the avocado mixture equally among the tortillas. Top each tortilla with an equal amount of the rice mixture, asparagus, cilantro, and onion.  Fold in both sides and the bottom of each tortilla up over the filling; then roll to close. If made in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Return to room temperature before serving. To serve, cut each wrap in half crosswise. Makes 6 servings

SIZZLING HOT ASPARAGUS AND SHRIMP (or MOCK CRAB) SALAD

1 pound asparagus, trimmed, and blanched to crisp tender

1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon red onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of salt
1 to 2 teaspoons pepper flakes (depending on how hot you like it)
1 pound cooked and peeled shrimp (or mock crab if you keep kosher)

In a bowl combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, parsley, red onion. Whisk to combine and set aside Heat the oil in a skillet and add the garlic and asparagus. Cook until heated turning frequently to prevent the asparagus and garlic from burning. When the asparagus is hot, add the shrimp, stirring constantly until the shrimp warm. Spoon the shrimp asparagus mixture in a serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the top, toss to coat and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

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