The festive Purim meal is one of my favorite time to try out fun and interesting recipes. Over the years I have served different themed menus like Asian food, or Indian or Mexican meals, but my favorite menu to serve is a mixture of old and new, international and American foods, challenging and easy and especially unique recipes. This year, I’m starting with a crisp and citrusy Kale salad, then serving both Maple Mustard Chicken (super flavorful and quick) and Roast Beef with a sharp and tangy Horseradish sauce. This recipe will be a Shabbos go-to recipe because it’s a make ahead dish that gets rave reviews. I’m serving it all with Savory Oven Baked Basmati Rice with Cranberries and Saffron, and Absolutely Delicious Asparagus (if you don’t eat asparagus, just use green beans and call it Addictive Green Beans). And finally Bourbon Pecan Pie and My Favorite Hamantaschen Recipe.
Happy Purim and be sure to share your best Purim dishes (pictures too) to firstname.lastname@example.org . I love seeing what you create at home and how your meal is special.
Kale Salad with Mangos and Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
Small handful toasted pumpkin seeds, about 2 rounded tablespoons (if you live near Trader Joe’s they have a great toasted pumpkin seed with an OU)
In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.
In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.
Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.
Maple Mustard Chicken
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
- 6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
- Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add chopped herbs and vinegar; cook 30 seconds. Pour into bowl; cool. Whisk in syrup and mustard. Place chicken in glass baking dish. Pour marinade over and turn to coat. Sprinkle with pepper.Cover; chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy, large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and sauté 2 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking until chicken is cooked through and brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to platter.
Super Easy Roast Beef with Horseradish Cream Sauce
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- One 7- to 8-pound beef roast, tied
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1 cup tofutti sour cream
- 1/2 cup prepared white horseradish
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried dill (optional)
Set a rack over a baking sheet. Rub 1/2 cup of the salt all over the roast and let stand for 10 minutes. Repeat with another 1/2 cup of the salt. Transfer the roast to the rack and refrigerate uncovered for 2 days. Bring to room temperature 3 hours before roasting.
Preheat the oven to 450°. Season the meat with pepper and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 225° and roast for about 1 hour and 30 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 120°. Let the meat rest for 30 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the sour cream, horseradish, mustard, and dill and the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt and pepper. Slice the roast and serve with the horseradish cream.
The roast beef can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve warm or chilled. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Baked Basmati Rice with Cranberries and Saffron
From The Persian Food Cookbook by Reyna Simnegar
- 4 cups basmati rice
- 6 cups water
- ½ cup chicken consommé powder
- 1 stick margarine, cut into pieces
- 1 cup craisins
- ½ teaspoon ground saffron
- ½ teaspoon turmeric1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Spread rice in the bottom of the pan. Add water, chicken consommé, margarine, craisins, saffron, turmeric, and salt. Stir together and cover with foil.Bake for 1-½ hours or until rice is tender and water has evaporated.Fluff rice with a fork and serve on a shallow platter, mounding rice into a pyramid.
I Can’t Stop Asparagus (or Green Beans)
There is something about this dish, just something that makes people wipe their plates clean of it. Maybe the kosher bacon, or pastrami, the sautéed leeks and toasted nuts, who knows? It’s addictive because its good. I often use the same recipe for green beans. It substitutes perfectly.
- 4 ounces, kosher beef bacon or diced pastrami or imitation bacon bits (optional)
- 1 tablespoon margarine
- 1 pound asparagus, ends removed, sliced into 2-inch pieces
- 1 ¼ cups thinly sliced leeks
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, sauté the kosher bacon or pastrami, over medium heat, until crisp. Add the margarine and then the asparagus and leeks and cook until asparagus is tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
Add garlic, lemon and orange zests, pine nuts and parsley and cook another 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Bourbon Pecan Pie
Yes, this pie has a slightly drunken flavor but its not overwhelming and adds a richness and delicious taste to an already scrumptious pie. It’s a great alternative to traditional pecan pie.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold margarine/butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
- 5 ounces sugar
- 2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- 8.5 ounces dark corn syrup
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) margarine/butter, melted
- 1.4 ounces bourbon
- 3.5 ounces chocolate chips, melted and cooled to room temperature (but not hardened)
- 7 ounces pecans
- 1 egg, beaten
- Splash of soymilk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. For the pie dough: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and mix. Add the margarine/butter cubes and process until the largest pieces are the size of peas and the smallest are the size of a grain of rice (or use a pastry cutter). Transfer to a bowl and slowly pour in 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water, a few drops at a time, mixing vigorously with your hands in between pours; the margarine/butter and flour mixture should just come together. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape into discs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let rest, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour. Roll one piece of dough into a circle just larger than the pie pan you will be using. Fit the dough into the pan, fold the edges under and crimp as you like. Put this pastry shell in the freezer while you make the pie filling.
For the filling: Whisk together the sugar and whole eggs and yolks in a medium bowl until fully incorporated. Add the dark corn syrup, melted margarine/butter and bourbon and mix to combine. (The mixture should be completely smooth and homogenous. The margarine/butter will rise to the top rather rapidly if you let the mixture sit, but you can whisk it back together in a few seconds.) Brush the frozen pastry shell with the melted chocolate using a pastry brush, spreading it evenly over the bottom and sides. Scatter the pecans over the bottom of the pastry shell and pour the sugar and egg mixture over the pecans. For the egg wash: Mix the beaten egg with a splash of soymilk. Brush the sides of the pastry crust with the egg wash. Bake until the filling has puffed up and cracked and the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. All home ovens are different, so if the pecans start to burn, turn the oven down to 325 degrees F to finish baking, or tent some aluminum foil over the pie to prevent more unwanted darkening. You also may need to rotate the pie mid-bake, if one side is browning more rapidly than the other. Let cool for at least 2 hours before eating.
My Favorite Hamentaschen
- 3 cups flour
- ½ cup finely ground almonds
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ½ pound unsalted margarine or butter
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, almonds, baking powder, salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Blend or cut in the butter until the mixture resembles very fine crumbs.
In a small bow, beat the egg, water and lemon juice until well blended. Add to the flour mixture and beat until completely blended and the mixture begin to form a dough. Do not over mix.
Transfer to a floured board and knead the dough into a ball. Divide the ball into 6 equal portions for easier handling. Flatten each portion with the palms of your hands and roll it out to ¼ inch thick. With a scalloped cookie cutter or the top of a water glass, cut into 3 ½ inch rounds. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each round. Fold the edges of the dough toward the center to form a triangle, leaving a bit of the filling visible in the center. Pinch the edges to seal them.
Place the hamantashen on a lightly greased foil-lined baking sheet and brush with egg white. Bake fro 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and eat.
- 2 cups apricot preserves
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup chopped nuts like walnuts, toasted
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- 1 ¼ cups pitted prunes
- ½ cup raisins
- Sweet wine or water
- ½ cup sugar
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 orange
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted
In a large bowl, soak the prunes and raisins in enough wine to cover for 3 hours or overnight. Drain well. Chop or mince the prunes and raisins. Add the sugar, lemon juice and zests, and walnuts and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- 4 ounces poppy seed
- ½ cup nondairy creamer
- 1 tablespoon unsalted margarine or butter
- ¼ cup seedless raisins
- ¼ cup walnuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine the poppy seeds, creamer, margarine, raisins, walnuts, and honey. Bring to a boil and stir over medium heat until the creamer is absorbed and the mixture thickens. Cool. Stir in the vanilla.
- ½ cup cocoa
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup nondairy creamer
- 1 cup toasted nuts, finely chopped
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly..