I love serving a dairy Yom Tov meal on Shavuot and as a lunch meal for other holidays too. But I’m tired of blintze soufflé, quiche and super cheesy options. This year I’m serving this easy, delicious, make-ahead fish dish, a grilled watermelon salad (the dressing is amazing and good on a grilled chicken salad too), a beautiful and flavorful frittata and definitely the decadent cheesecake and maybe even some cookies too. (Those might not make it to Yom Tov; my family eats them before I can store them.)

Some other ideas to check out online at Gourmetkoshercooking.com are gourmet pizzas, calzones, strawberry and mozzarella salad, mango, tomato caprese salad, and so many cheesecakes and dairy rugelach to choose from.

Creamy Mustard Baked Flounder

Creamy Mustard Baked FlounderServes 5-6

  • 4 (8 ounce) fish fillets, flounder, sole or red snapper
  • 8 ounces crème fraiche (recipe below, but available at national supermarkets)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoky paprika

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the fish fillets in an ovenproof baking dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Combine the crème fraiche, both mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Sprinkle with the paprika. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until it is just cooked through. Do not overcook. Fish should be flakey at the ends when it is cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature with the pan sauce spooned on top. Can be prepared a day ahead of time and stored, covered in the refrigerator.

Crème fraîche

  • 1 cup heavy or whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk or 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

In a jar with a lid, place whipping cream and buttermilk (or sour cream); cover securely and shake 15 seconds. Set aside at room temperature for 24 hours or until very thick. Stir once or twice during that time. NOTE: Cream will thicken faster if the room is warm. Stir thickened crème fraiche well. Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Pesto Frittata

Pesto FrittataServes 10

Pesto:

  • ⅓ cup almonds
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • ½ cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Frittata:

  • 4 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 15 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups ricotta cheese

For the pesto: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the almonds on a small baking sheet and roast until fragrant and golden brown 10 to 12 minutes. Cool. Put the almonds, basil and parsley in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the olive oil, Parmesan and kosher salt and process until smooth. Set aside.

For the frittata: Halve the leeks lengthwise and then cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces; you should have about 4 cups of sliced leeks. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a 9 – by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Coat a 10-inch skillet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and put over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the leeks, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender but not brown, about 10 minutes. Season with some salt and pepper. Spread the leek mixture evenly in the baking dish.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and return it to medium heat. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 minutes. Season with some salt and pepper. Spread the zucchini on top of the leeks.

Whisk the eggs, ricotta and pesto in a large bowl until blended. Season with some salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the baking dish and gently stir with a wooden spoon so the egg mixture is fully incorporated into the vegetables.

Put the baking dish into a larger roasting pan and pour hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking. Bake the frittata for 50 minutes; gently shake the pan, and if it still appears loose in the center, bake until it is set and only slightly jiggly in the center, about 5 more minutes.

Remove the frittata from the water bath and let it rest for 15 minutes at room temperature. Cut into squares and serve.

Grilled Watermelon Salad On Spinach Lettuce, with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Grilled Watermelon Salad On Spinach Lettuce, with Balsamic VinaigretteServes 6

This dressing is excellent on a grilled chicken salad too, or other romaine lettuce salad. It’s sweet and savory. I often use it as a meat or chicken marinade too.

  • ½ watermelon, cut into 3-inch wide by 1-inch thick squares or rectangles (about 10 pieces total)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 – 8 cups baby spinach lettuce
  • ½ cup halved grape tomatoes
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • Crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese, optional
  • Candied nuts, optional

For the watermelon: Heat a nonstick grill pan or grill over medium-high heat. Brush oil over watermelon slices to thinly coat and place on hot grill pan. Grill each side about 2 minutes until grill marks appear; transfer to a plate and season with salt.

For the dressing: Pour the vinegar and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to a thick syrup consistency, about 7 minutes. Set aside. Whisk in olive oil in a steady stream until dressing is emulsified. Add salt and stir.

Scatter spinach on a large platter. Top with tomatoes, red onions, cheese, and candied nuts, if using. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over salad. Top with watermelon and a bit more dressing. Serve immediately.

Oreo Cookie Cheesecake

Oreo Cookie CheesecakeServes 12-15

If you would like to skip a step, omit the sour cream layer.

Crust:

  • 2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (about 20 cookies)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

Cheesecake:

  • 2 lbs. (approximately 4 cups) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy whipor whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups coarsely crumbled Oreos

Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ganache

  • 1/3 cup non-dairy whip or whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

For the crust: In a small bowl, mix cookie crumbs, butter and sugar until blended. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 10-inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.

For the cheesecake: In a mixer, beat cream cheese until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add whipping cream, flour and vanilla. Mix well. Beat eggs in a small dish and add to cream cheese mixture. Pour 3-1/2 cups of this batter into prepared crust. Top with crumbled cookies. Pour remaining batter over cookies.

Gently place cheesecake in large roasting pan filled with ½ inch of water. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

For the topping: In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Spread over cheesecake. Bake for 7 more minutes. Turn oven off and leave cheesecake in with door closed for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours. Remove sides of pan.

For the ganache: In a small saucepan over low heat, warm whipping cream. Add chocolate and stir. Turn flame off and continue stirring until chocolate is smooth and glossy. Add vanilla. Carefully spread mixture over cheesecake allowing it to drip down the sides. Chill.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie CookiesMakes 24

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted margarine or butter
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, such as Medaglia d'Oro
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole walnuts in large chunks
  • 1 cup whole pecan in large chunks
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a double boiler or over very low heat, in a medium saucepan, melt butter, 6 ounces of the chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate, stirring occasionally, until just melted. Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes.

In an electric mixer, beat the eggs, espresso powder, and vanilla until combined. Add the sugar, raise the speed to medium-high, and beat for 2 minutes, until the batter is thicker.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Combine the 1/3 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and fold it into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. In another bowl, combine the walnuts, pecans, peanut butter chips, the remaining 6 ounces of chocolate chips, and the tablespoon of flour and fold it into the chocolate mixture. Drop by rounded mounds, about 2 tablespoons each of batter, 1 inch apart onto the prepared sheet pans. Bake for 15 minutes exactly. Cool on the baking sheets.