The following dishes are all excerpted from my latest cookbook, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple.
The three golden rules in real estate are: Location, location, location. Mine are: Streamline, streamline, streamline. Streamline the costs; streamline the steps; streamline the number of tools and utensils.
Above all, there's one thing that affords you all this streamlining, deliciously, painlessly and effortlessly, and of course beautifully: Use only the best. Meaning, the real thing. And while food-shopping and cooking, hum to yourself, as I do, the immortal song: "Ain't nothin' like the real thing!" Shana Tova and enjoy the recipes!
Kabocha Sweet Potato Soup
My daughter Bella’s favorite. I brought her a vat of it when she had her baby. Still she doesn’t seem to tire of it and now enjoys it with her baby. I always notice with pleasure that all kids love it! A snap to make: All aboard, then cream it at the end of cooking.
- 1 Kabocha squash, about 2 pounds, unpeeled, seeded, and cut into large chunks (use a hammer)
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
- 2 cups red lentils or yellow split peas (Passover: 2 large potatoes, cut in large chunks)
- 6 ribs celery, peeled
- 1 large bunch dill, fronds and stems
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 6 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- Sea salt to taste
- 3 quarts (12 cups) water
- Ground pepper to taste
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a wide heavy pot. Reduce to medium, cover, and cook1 ½ hours. Cream with an Immersion blender. Adjust the texture and seasonings. Makes a dozen ample servings.
Roasted Salmon with Maple Glaze (Gluten Free)
One of my ¨C and many of my regulars great favorites. The short and dazzling flavor lineup does its magic with practically no work. You will never say you are bored of salmon again! Bluefish will be suitable here, as well as any thick white fish (bass, mahimahi, halibut, etc.).
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cracked pepper, or less to taste
- 1 whole side salmon, about 3. pounds, skin off, bones out, trimmed
Preheat the oven to 500F. Mix all but last ingredient in a bowl. Place the salmon skin side up in a baking pan just large enough to fit it snugly in one layer (if you have empty spaces, the liquids will burn). Pour the sauce evenly over the fish. Bake 18 minutes, or a minute or two longer, until the fish is tender but firm to the touch. Transfer to a platter and pour the cooking juices over the fish. Serve hot, or at room temperature. Makes 8 main course servings, or a dozen ample first course servings.
Trimming salmon sides-You will notice on the outermost side of each salmon half a flat, opaque strip, which runs the whole length of the fish: It is very fatty and not meaty and contributes nothing but a greasy, fishy taste. Have no mercy, cut it all off and discard it: You are not wasting it, you are saving the salmon. PS: Sushi restaurants use that part of the salmon to great advantage, but you are not a sushi restaurant and are not equipped with their knowledge and quality control, so please don’t go there and order it in a good sushi restaurant!
Boeuf Bourguignon (Gluten Free)
Spend a wonderful evening with a few French classics and some wine to go with dinner! By the way, my bourguignon has been included in Joan Schwartz’s charming book, deceptively innocent, called Meat and Potatoes. My secret ingredient here is crème de cassis, the wonderful black currant liqueur. To peel tiny onions, throw them in a pot of boiling water for just one minute: The skins will slip right off. Better yet, get frozen tiny onions (also called cocktail onions). This dish reheats very well and improves with age, so go ahead and make it a day or two ahead.
- 4 pounds beef or bison shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes for stew
- 6 cups water
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 cups dry red wine
- ¼ cup crème de cassis (liquor stores; Passover: use a nice berry liqueur)
- 2 large tomatoes, diced small
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 6 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only (or throw the sprigs in whole, but don’t forget to discard them at the end of cooking)
- 2 pounds very thin long carrots, peeled (about 20. Not baby carrots)
- 20 very small organic potatoes, scrubbed (only organic potatoes are safe with skins on)
- 2 dozen tiny onions, peeled and left whole (frozen OK: they are already peeled)
On a stove top: Place beef, water, and oil in a heavy, wide-bottom pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook covered for 2 hours. Add the garlic, wine, cassis, tomatoes, pepper, and bay leaves and cook 30 more minutes. Add thyme, carrots, potatoes, and onions and cook 30 more minutes. The meat should be fork-tender. Transfer meat and all vegetables on platter with a slotted spoon. If the liquid left in the pot is too thin, reduce it on a high flame until it is thickened, the consistency of maple syrup. Pour the reduced liquid over the whole dish and serve hot. Makes 8 servings.
With a Crock-Pot: Layer all the ingredients except the water (no water) in a 6-quart Crock-Pot; in the order they were given. Set the Crock-Pot on low in the morning. It will be ready for dinner (10 to 12 hours total cooking time).
Variation: Try the dish using dark stout beer instead of wine, as my daughter-in-law Ruthie does.
Hot And sweet Parsnips
Those of you who have my first book, Lévana’s Table, make this dish quite often, I am always told. It fits so nicely in this book I must include it here as well! Poor parsnips too often serve as crowd actor, and then get discarded (as in chicken soup), but here they are “it”. Who knew they could be so fabulous?
- 1 dozen very thin parsnips, peeled and left whole (settle for 5–6 larger ones, peeled and quartered lengthwise)
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sugar or Sucanat
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or less to taste
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients in a wide heavy pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or a drop longer, until the parsnips are tender and the liquids in the pot have thickened. Pour the sauce over the parsnips. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.
Cranberry Apricot Bread Pudding
I often whip up this treat after a party, when I look to recycle my leftover bread. Attention gluten-free diners: This is for you too! Any bread will do as long as it is not too crusty (in other words, don’t use baguette or ciabatta!). You will love the kick and the bold ruby-colored specks the cranberries add. Nothing to it: All aboard—one step and you’re done! Individual desserts: Pour into greased muffin molds and reduce the baking time to about 45 minutes.
- 1-pound loaf bread, gluten-free OK, cut up in large chunks
- 3 cups milk or dairy-free milk, low-fat OK
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups all-fruit apricot preserves
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup oil
- 2 tablespoons orange flower water (settle for 2 tablespoons orange zest)
- 3 tablespoons apricot brandy or rum
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped (food processor)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Mix all ingredients except cranberries by hand in a bowl, breaking up the bread and preserves as you go. Fold in the cranberries. Pour the batter into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan, or a greased 10-inch round pan. Bake for about 1 hour, or a little longer, until the pudding looks nice and puffy, and the center is firm. Serve warm or at room temperature, alone or with caramel sauce (page 39), and a scoop of sorbet or vanilla ice cream. Makes a dozen servings.
Variation: Apple Bread Pudding
Skip the cranberries and the orange flower water, and reduce the milk to 2 cups. Add 4 Granny Smith (green) apples, unpeeled and coarsely grated, and 2 tablespoons cinnamon. Proceed just as above.
Click here to order: The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple.
Excerpted with Permission from The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen Cookbook By Levana Kirshenbaum