Aish: Mazel tov on your latest cookbook, Susie. We’re told it’s a departure from your previous seven.
SF: Yes and no. You’ll certainly find 140 new recipes that were formulated to complement the brand standards for Kosher by Design. And food photographer John Uher, whose client list includes Godiva Chocolates, has done another amazing job. But this is an empowering cookbook, designed to make anyone a better cook, regardless of skill level.
Aish: How did you structure that?
SF: This cookbook has ten major sections, from appetizers to salads and soups, to fish, chicken, meats, to side dishes and desserts and more. At the head of each section, we’ve designed a Game Plan that gives the home cook a great deal of practical information. For example, in the meat section, we illustrate and discuss all the various cuts of kosher meats. With fish, we teach you the art of pin boning. There’s a section that details what a well-stocked kosher kitchen should always have on hand, along with an overview of essential equipment you’ll need in order to make your cooking more efficient.
Aish: Your last cookbook was aimed at a specific demographic – the teens and 20-somethings. Is Cooking Coach aimed at a specific group?
SF: No, although I did have in mind that for new brides, this cookbook could be a very welcome tutorial. What I really aimed to do – and we did it – was to capture and convey some of the best techniques and methods I’ve presented in cooking demos over the last ten years. Some people said I was crazy, giving away my “trade secrets.”
But I disagree. I’ve learned, grown, and become a much better cook since the first Kosher by Design cookbook came out nearly ten years ago. I want to pass on the benefits to my readers. Remember that I’m not formally trained. Most home cooks are like I was, so I wanted to give them access to ideas and tips that would make them more creative and more confident.
Aish: Are there holiday recipes in Cooking Coach?
SF: Not by design. There is a small number of recipes involving frying in oil, which certainly works for Chanukah. And for Thanksgiving at our home, we featured the Roast Turkey with Maple-Mustard Glaze. But on the whole, you’ll find many healthy and very tasty new recipes here. My husband’s favorite is the Yemenite Meat Soup which uses the spice hawaij. There’s a fabulous recipe for Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping.
A surprising and nutritious treat are Kale Chips. In my house, they don’t survive the trip from the oven to the table! The Tandoori Salmon is amazing, as is the Lamb Couscous. The dessert section is very diverse, with some pretty yummy treats like a Peanut Butter Bundt Cake with a Chocolate Glaze. The Thai Sticky Rice and Mangoes makes for a very unusual and satisfying finish to an aromatic meal.
Aish: We wish you great success with Cooking Coach.
SF: Thank you and thanks to your many readers who’ve helped make Kosher by Design what it is today.
Helene’s Turkey Taco Eggrolls
Yields 16 eggrolls
My friend Helene Wengrofsky is a fabulous cook. With 3 teenage sons, she is constantly cooking and coming up with new recipes. Her son Steven dropped off 6 of these eggrolls at my house one afternoon. When Helene texted to see how my whole family liked them I had to report that Kal and I loved them so much we had polished off all the eggrolls… my kids didn’t even get a whiff.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 pound dark meat ground turkey
- 1 (1.25-ounce) packet Ortega taco seasoning mix
- 3⁄4 cup water
- 5 ounces (½ of a 10-ounce box) frozen spinach, completely defrosted
- 1 (1-pound) package eggroll wrappers; I like Nasoya brand
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- canola oil, for frying
- bottled taco sauce or hot sauce for dipping
Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large (12-14-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon. Cook for 2-3 minutes until no longer pink and just starting to brown. Add the taco seasoning packet and the water. Bring to a simmer.
Squeeze all the liquid out of the 5 ounces of spinach. Add spinach to the pan and cook for 5 minutes longer. Stir to distribute the spinach. Cook until all liquid is cooked out. Remove from heat. Cool completely or the eggrolls will be soggy.
Arrange an eggroll wrapper on your cutting board facing you like a diamond. Brush the eggwash along the edges of the wrapper. Place 2 tablespoons of filling horizontally in the middle of the eggroll, form into a 4-inch log. Fold the bottom corner over the filling toward the top corner. Fold the two sides in toward the center. It should now look like an envelope. Roll firmly toward the top corner, making a roll 4 inches wide. Be careful not to tear wrapper, and seal the final edge with a brushing of the egg wash. Set aside, seam-side-down. Continue with remaining filling and wrappers.
In a deep fryer or in a medium pot, heat canola oil to 355°F. If using a pot, oil should to be deep enough to keep eggrolls from touching bottom of pan, at least 3 inches of oil. Fry eggrolls in batches, about 2-3 minutes until golden brown, turning occasionally; don’t crowd the pot. Drain on paper towels. Serve with taco sauce.
Cowboy Chicken Salad
Yields 6-8 servings
Dinner in a bowl with some Southwestern flair! If you are counting calories, don’t let the pan-frying of the chicken scare you off. Instead, put the coated chicken pieces onto a cookie cooling rack set in a jellyroll pan and bake them for 10-15 minutes at 350°F. Serve with just a few tortilla strips.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 2 large flour tortillas
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup lowfat mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon favorite barbecue sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- canola oil for frying
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon chili powder
- 4 ounces salad greens
- 12 small cherry tomatoes
- 1 small (8.5-ounce) can corn kernels, drained
- 3 tablespoons canned black beans, rinsed
- juice of half a lime
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise into thin strips, 6-7 strips per breast. Set aside.
Fold the tortillas in half and slice into thin strips. Set aside.
Meanwhile, place the panko into one part of a 2-part breading station. In the second part, whisk the mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, water, ½ teaspoon dill, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and mustard powder.
Dip the chicken strips into the mayonnaise mixture and then into the panko. Place onto a cookie sheet until all are breaded. Allow to air-dry for 10 minutes so that the panko will adhere better during cooking.
Heat 1-inch canola oil in a medium pot. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, in a single layer, in batches. The oil should bubble vigorously; don’t over-crowd the pot. Fry until medium golden, about 2 minutes. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon to paper towels. Discard any burnt coating pieces from the pot.
When all the chicken is done, add the tortilla strips to the oil and fry until golden. Remove to paper towels and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon dill, salt, and chili powder.
Place salad greens into a large bowl. Halve the cherry tomatoes; add to bowl. Add the corn, black beans, lime juice, and avocado.
In a small bowl, whisk the ¼ cup oil, vinegar, cumin, and chili powder. Dress the salad, tossing to coat. Top with chicken and tortilla strips.
Israeli Eggplant Pepper Salad
Yields 10-12 servings
I did a show a few years back for a Chabad in John’s Creek, Georgia. The group had hired a fabulous team of caterers, Donna Meyer and Jodie Sturgeon, to set up a table of appetizers for the guests as they were arriving for the show. This salad was so gorgeous and delicious, I had a hard time tearing away from the table when my show began. Jodie was kind enough to share the recipe.
- 3 medium Italian dark purple eggplants, unpeeled, ends trimmed, cut into 3⁄4-inch dice
- fine sea salt
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, from about ½ lemon
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
- canola oil for deep frying
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 large onion, peeled, very thinly sliced
- fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
Put cut eggplant pieces in single layers on two cookie sheets. Sprinkle with salt. Let them sit for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Line a large colander with more paper towels. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the ketchup, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin.
In a deep pot, heat enough oil to come a little less than halfway up the side of the pot. Allow the oil to get very hot, 350°F. Carefully add the eggplant and fry until golden. You will need to do this in 2-3 batches, depending on the size of your pot. Remove with a slotted spoon or a spider. Cool the eggplant in the paper towel-lined colander to remove excess oil. Transfer to the bowl of sauce. Replace the paper towels in the colander for subsequent batches.
Add the red pepper and onion to the hot oil in the pot and fry until limp and shiny, about 3-4 minutes. Add to the colander if it is big enough; if not, drain on paper towels.
Cover and refrigerate the salad. This salad is best when it sits for a few hours or overnight. Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.
Transfer peppers and onion to the large bowl. Gently stir the ketchup mixture into the vegetables.
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