Grilled Radicchio with Black Sesame Dressing

Written by chanie on June 25th, 2015

I used to be afraid of trying new things. I’d turn my nose up on offal and cilantro and I swore off gamey meats like lamb and duck. But boy was I losing out. Trying new things allows you to expand your culinary horizons. It opens your palate to new flavors, and if you try things enough times, sometimes you realize that you don’t hate them as much as you think you did.

Case in point: radicchio. It’s bitter. Yes, bitter. And who would want to eat bitter lettuce, right?! That’s what I thought until I tried it a few times. First, I put it a handful in a big salad for a hint of bitterness and crunch. Then I shredded some into a slaw. And finally, I decided to go all out and grill it. Grilling lettuce is a must for summer and if you haven’t tried it yet – put it on your to do list! You can start with romaine for a grilled Caesar salad, and then move on to the more adventurous radicchio. Grilling the radicchio gives it a delicious smoky flavor, and topping it with sweet pomegranate seeds offsets the bitterness. Be sure to check out my tip for mellowing radicchio’s hard bite in the recipe below!

When De La Rosa sent me over some black sesame tahini, it was another lesson in trying new things. Black tahini is a lot more pungent than the traditional stuff and I’d never tried it before. The full-on sesame flavor really hits you, so you’ve got to go easy on the stuff. It’s also so incredibly black, you feel like you’re working with tar, or black paint. I bet it would make such a fun garnish painted on a plate, or better yet, made into savory ice cream (with a side of tuna tartare). I can’t wait to play around with it more, but for now, I started with a simple salad dressing that’s packed full of bright flavors like fresh ginger and lime. It’s so refreshing and unique, perfect for my grilled radicchio salad.

Aside for tahini, De La Rosa also carries a full line of oils, balsamic vinegar and wines. They believe in producing “Real Foods for Real People,” a philosophy that I strongly endorse. Their kosher, organic and GMO free products are made with the highest standards of quality and purity so be sure to check out their site for more of their products!

I’d love to hear about how you’re learning to try new foods this summer. Whether it’s radicchio, black sesame tahini, or that ingredient that you’ve always been to afraid to eat – brave it up (even if it means you have to spit it out!) and let me now how it goes!


This post has been sponsored by De La Rosa. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Related Recipes:

Pomegranate coleslaw
Ricotta and tahini stuffed figs
Fish with green tahini

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Beer & Franks Baked Beans

Written by chanie on June 18th, 2015

With Father’s Day soon approaching, I was wracking my brain trying to think of the most serious guy food I could come up with. It’s BBQ season after all, and there’s nothing that guys like more than to sit back with an ice cold beer and some hot dogs, am I right? A side of baked beans or chili doesn’t hurt either, so I decided to mix it all together for some serious guy grub – beer and franks baked beans, can I get an Amen?!

To really up the ante on this beer-franks-beans mashup, I used beer infused hot dogs from my favorite brand, Abeles & Heymann. They also make whiskey infused dogs, so if you want to try for a bourbon version, go right ahead!

The thing about these baked beans, is that they’re not really baked, in fact, they come together quickly on the stovetop. And they really do taste like beer. So if you don’t like thick creamy stout as much as I do, go ahead and use stock instead. The brown sugar and molasses add such great flavor, you won’t even miss the beer! (Although if you’re serving this up for dad, he might!)

Now honestly this was first try at making baked beans from scratch (well semi-scratch if you count the fact that I used canned beans instead of dried). I usually just buy a can of baked beans and heat it up on the stovetop, straight from the can. That’s the way my mom always did it, campfire-style, and that’s the way I do it too!

Making from-scratch beans wasn’t hard at all, it came together in no time! I love how the franks turn it into an all out meal, and I served it over mashed potatoes for some serious comfort food. My kids gobbled up their beer-infused-dinner, none-the-wiser, but I wondered if they were a wee bit tipsy, or if it was all the candy they had consumed from their last-day-of-school-parties (what’s up with that, by the way?!). If you’re worried about all that alcohol (as not all of it will burn off during cooking), you can make these adult-only. Don’t you just love the idea of spiked beans?

Now that I’ve made beer infused baked beans, I’ve got all sorts of spiked foods up my blogger sleeve! Considering how viral my drunken hasselback salami went, I’m pretty sure you’re all liking it too!

Happy Father’s Day ya’ll! Have fun, stay safe, and don’t get too drunk on these boozy beans!


This post is sponsored by Abeles & Heymann. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Other Hot Dog Recipes:

hot dog eggrolls
bunless fajita dogs
spiralized spud dogs
kid-friendly dirty rice
fire roasted tomato rice stoup with franks

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Blueberry Sweet Potato Granola Salad

Written by chanie on June 11th, 2015

I gave you a sneak peek at this light summer salad a few weeks ago, and I’m so excited to finally share it here for keeps! Credit for this awesome combination actually goes to a restaurant named “BLUEBERRY” on Avenue M in Brooklyn. It’s a family-friendly place with fluorescent green walls (not their finest choice) and some great outdoor seating. I love to take my kids there because they’ve got great kid food and a frozen yogurt bar to boot! They’ve also got some really great salads on the menu, like a version of this blueberry salad (you’ve got to make a mean salad if it’s literally got your NAME written all over it, right?), and a delicious haloumi salad with grilled veggies and a sesame teriyaki dressing. I must reinvent that one next! They’ve also got an assortment of malawach and shakshuka, and you all know how I love me some Israeli food.

Thanks to Blueberry for giving me the awesome idea of putting granola on a salad, it’s such a fun way to add crunch, especially during the summer months. Enjoy!

 

Grilled Chicken Shawarma Salad

Written by chanie on June 3rd, 2015

This past Friday, Food52 posted a happiness experiment on Instagram, challenging their followers to write a list of things that make them happy and tag it #happylist. Of course, it got me thinking about what makes me happy and I put together my happy list.

Happiness Is…

– bike riding with my kids
apricot season
– sunglasses
– Masterchef (who am I kidding? Gordon Ramsay)
– ice coffee
– fresh corn on the cob
– blogging
– circus arts at the gym
saltwater sandals
harissa
– anything Ottolenghi
– homemade popsicles
– the weekend

When I wrote that “anything Ottolenghi” makes me happy, I meant it! I am a true Israeli at heart, and I love digging in to Israeli food – from homemade falafel, to shawarma, shakshuka, hummus, za’atar, roasted eggplants, halva, krembo’s….I think you get the point. With summer (finally!!!) here, It’s time to lighten things up, and this amazing grilled chicken shawarma salad is my go-to. For lunch or dinner, it’s so light and filling, you’ll want to eat it all summer long!

Now since my talented friend Miriam Pascal of OvertimeCook is busy putting finishing touches on her new cookbook, I’m only too happy to fill in with this guest post, so head on over to her blog for the recipe!

B’tayavon!

 

Cajun Quinoa Burgers

Written by chanie on May 28th, 2015

Call them burgers, call them patties, call them cakes – call them whatever you want. So long as you make them. Because they’re gooooood.

I call them burgers because burgers are my thing. And because it’s summer (finally!) and that just makes me want to eat more burgers. Meat burgers are great, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes you just want something light for lunch. Or dinner. Or hey, even breakfast (OMG can you imagine a fried egg dripping down this thing?!).

So back to my burger obsession, lets talk about it. I won a recipe contest for this vegetarian cheeseburger, I’m also in love with this Paleo burger, and don’t even get me started on this spinach falafel burger. These chickpea burgers are awesome on the grill, and these sweet pepper ones are not too bad either. Told you I had a burger obsession.

I quite like quinoa too. And I just about put cajun seasoning on everything – like roasted chickpeas, and broccoli, blackened fish and chicken. Yummo.

And of course I like things spicy too, so my easy jalapeno crema packs a great punch and an added brightness that goes great with these patties.

One of the things I love about these is how great they are for packed lunches. Picnic at the beach? check. Quick lunch on the go, check. Easy bites for vacation, yup.

And speaking of vacation, I’m working hard on keeping things as healthy as possible as we slowly shed our sweaters and jackets, inching our way towards summer. With the holidays behind us, there are no more excuses, who’s with me?!

How are YOU planning to eat light and healthy this summer? Share your ideas with me in the comments below!


Related Recipes:

quinoa pad thai
roasted veggie quinoa salad
spinach falafel burger
portobello cheeseburger

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Broccoli Parmesan Poppers (Gluten Free!)

Written by chanie on May 20th, 2015

We’re gonna keep things short and sweet today since I know you’re all so busy prepping for Shavuot! I’m gonna let the photos do the talking.


I think you’re getting the picture (pun intended). I took some good old broccoli trees and made ’em kid friendly! And they’re even gluten free. Because I love you. (And because I’m on South Beach).


Do yourself a favor and bookmark this flaxseed crumb recipe because if you’re gluten free, you’re going to want to put it on everything. Especially homemade chicken nuggets. Trust me.


Did I mention they are baked too? You’re welcome.


I love how much goodness is packed into these little balls. Broccoli, flaxseeds, almond meal, and I even made a Greek yogurt ranch dip. Betchya never knew that healthy food could taste/look this good!


And you know what else? these little magic balls are easily adaptable too! If you want a more cheesy bite, add some shredded cheddar. Or your favorite cheese. And you can easily swap in some panko or breadcrumbs if you don’t have gluten free ingredients on hand like I do. Told you they were magic balls.


You’ve got the recipe, now get into the kitchen and make them already! Happy dipping!


This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Related Recipes:

3-cheese broccoli pull-apart buns
sweet sand savory cheese balls
zucchini parmesan chips
gluten free pesto zucchini fries

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Rosewater Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits

Written by chanie on May 18th, 2015

I like rosewater, can you tell? Honestly, I hadn’t even heard of the stuff before I married into a Sephardic family. And I didn’t like it at first either.

Rosewater has a very distinct, perfumy taste and you either love it or hate it. I like how it compliments certain dishes, when used in the right proportions – never too much, just a splash for subtle floral notes.

I especially like to incorporate rosewater into my Shavuot recipes since the holiday is also called “The Feast of the Roses”. On Shavuot, Jews commemorate the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. It is told that Mount Sinai was covered in roses at the time the Torah was received, so many communities have a custom to decorate their homes and synagogues (as well as Torah scrolls) with roses. In some Sephardic synagogues, it is customary to sprinkle rose water on the congregants. I’ll pass on that one, but rosewater-scented mousse? yes please.

When it comes to light and airy cheesecake mousse, there are so many possibilities and if rosewater is not your thing, you’ve got plenty of options! Think vanilla, or lemon, almond or coffee, anything tastes good with cream cheese and whip cream! And the filling? You can go to town on that too! Angel food cake, brownie crumbs, blueberry sauce or lemon curd are all great ideas to use in a cheesecake parfait.

Since I’m not much of a baker, and cheesecake is so difficult to perfect (just ask Molly), I take the easy no-bake route and go for the mousse. It’s Shavuot after all, so we get to whip out (pun intended) the heavy cream and really go at it!

If you follow my blog, you probably know that I love to cook seasonally, so when Shavuot rolls around, I always try to incorporate something rhubarb or strawberry into my menu. You can go with fresh or frozen here, but since I always keep my freezer stocked for smoothies and popsicles, I went with that. The sweet and tangy ruby-colored sauce, with notes of honey and pomegranate, is a perfect match to the rosewater-scented cheesecake. I finish it with some cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (mixed with some melted butter, of course) and a shaving of white chocolate. Does it get any better than that?!

Now that I’ve got my dessert down pat, I’ve got to think up some menu’s for our 3-day food fest! I’ll definitely be making my gluten free broccoli parmesan poppers (recipe to be posted on Wednesday), as well as my famous roasted eggplant parmesan. I’m thinking of making my roasted tomato soup with muenster breadsticks and maybe my zucchini parmesan chips. Goat cheese ice cream is always a huge hit and this linguini lasagna is a huge time saver.

Of course there will be some meat meals too, and these Moroccan fish balls are definitely making an appearance as an appetizer. What’s cooking in your kitchen for the holidays? I’d love to hear your menu’s (maybe it will give me some ideas!), so leave a comment and share them with me below!

And don’t forget to check out the Shavuot category for more great recipes and ideas! 


Related Recipes:

goat cheese ice cream
classic cheesecake
strawberry rhubarb soup
sachlav rosewater pudding

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Moroccan Fish Balls

Written by chanie on May 12th, 2015

If there is one store I wish every Jewish community around the world would have, it would be Benz’s Gourmet. The local gourmet kosher shop is celebrating it’s 12th anniversary and we’re feasting on a special gefilte fish recipe in their honor!

Benz’s carries everything from artisan cholov yisroel cheese (imported from France!), smoked fish, caviar, beer, as well as specialty baking and gluten free products. They boast a huge olive bar and a whopping 27 varieties of herring. Whether I’m looking for a gourmet kosher product (like truffle oil), or I’m in the mood for fresh fish, I head on over to Benz’s. Thankfully, it’s just a few blocks away!

What I love about the store is that they are constantly on the lookout for new kosher products. If there is ever an item that I can’t find locally, I ask Benz’s to order it for me, and they do! Recently, I needed rosewater for an upcoming Shavuot recipe, and I couldn’t find it anywhere. I gave them a call and it was in the store just a few days later. Now that’s what I call good service!

Besides for Benz’s gourmet selection, they also carry traditional gefilte fish, a family recipe that they’ve been perfecting for over 30 years. I’m always looking to change up traditional gefilte (‘cuz reinventing traditional food is what I do best!) and Benz’s gefilte fish offers me the perfect canvas to build my hybrid recipe.

I don’t know about you, but the more I cook, the more I appreciate savory food. And the more I experiment, the more I realize that you don’t need to use a lot of sweetener in your cooking. My mom doesn’t agree, and neither does my Bubby. They’re ashkenazi food is loaded with sugar, the more the merrier.

If you ask me, sugar is just a fill-in for the absence of flavor. If you build layers of flavor and spice, there’s no need to load sugar into savory food. Look at gefilte fish – most Jewish Bubby’s cook it up in stock made of onions, carrots and celery (the good stuff!), they season to taste with salt and pepper and then they go ahead and pour a boatload of sugar into the pot. I grew up on that stuff, so I know. And don’t get me wrong, it even tastes good. So does candy.

I don’t want to carry on the sugar torch, so I’m trying to condition my kids to like savory foods. I don’t overload my salad’s with sugar, and I make spicy roasted chickpeas as a snack instead of cake. That’s not to say that my kids don’t get to pick their favorite sugary cereal as a Shabbat treat. Believe me, they have their fill of sugar. But I try. And all Bubby’s everywhere are questioning my better judgement!

Sephardic Bubby’s have been serving chraime for years. it’s a popular Moroccan dish of fish cooked in a spicy tomato sauce, and it’s usually made with white fish or salmon. I decided to shake things up by using prepared gefilte fish, ‘cuz that’s the way I roll (pun intended). I incorporated all the traditional elements of Moroccan fish here – including colored peppers, lots of garlic, parsley, lemon, and of course, harissa – a hot pepper paste that’s often used in North African cuisine. I’ve made variations of this recipe for a fish loaf as well as fried patties, but I love how these fish balls can stretch a roll of gefilte fish into so many portions. The fish balls become nice and fluffy, almost the texture of a matza balls, but with lots of spice from cumin, turmeric and fresh garlic.

As good as it is, I’m not sure my fusion cooking would win my husband’s Sephardic family over (although it did win him over, he asked for triples!). Sephardim are not fond of gefilte fish (understatement). On the flip side, try asking my Ashkenazi Bubby to eat spicy gefilte fish, I can just hear her already. Spicy gefilte fish? With harissa? What’s thatCould you pass the sugar please?! So here I am, mixing up the cultures with another one of my hybrid recipes, and I hope ya’ll will enjoy it, Ashkenazim and Sephardim alike.


This post is sponsored by Benz’s Fish. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram or at BenzsFish.com. And don’t forget to visit Benz’s Gourmet at 332 Albany Ave in Brooklyn. 

Related Recipes:

gefilte fish patties in tomato sauce
breaded gefilte fish patties
gefilte fish, three ways

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Garbanzo Shakshuka with Labneh & Za’atar

Written by chanie on May 7th, 2015

I might be a blogger, but the truth is, I don’t read many blogs. Sure I frequent them, and I drool over the mouthwatering dishes, but actually read them? Not really. Between work and family, there’s not that much time to get acquainted with the lives of fellow food bloggers. It’s a shame, really, but there’s only so much time in the day!


Confession #2: I don’t really cook things from other blogs either. Sure I pin the recipes, bookmark them, screenshot them, and even email some to myself. But I never quite get around to making them. Yeh.


There’s one exception though and that is the JewHungry blog. Not only do I read Whitney’s posts, I actually make some of her food. Like this, and these, and of course this! Whitney is a girl after my own heart. She loves sriracha and anything Middle Eastern, and her recipes are no fuss. She’s also a mom, a social worker/school counselor and a southern girl with lots to say! I love to read her articles on motherhood (and anything, really!) for The Huffington Post. Whitney’s writing is as good as her food, but today, I’m filling in! I’m happy to do a guest post for Whit, and since she’s pregnant, I wanted to make one of her favorites – shakshuka!

Now unlike Whitney, I’m a total cheat. Instead of slaving over a sauce, I make my own quick and easy version, and I’ll show you how. Head on over to Jewhungry for the deets!

Related Recipes:

spaghetti squash shakshuka
baked portobello shakshuka
quick and easy shakshuka

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Bunless Fajita Dogs

Written by chanie on April 30th, 2015

What a week it’s been! I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous food photography class by Andrew Scrivani, food photographer extraordinaire and regular contributor to The New York Times. The class was hosted at the B&H Photo Event Space, which offers lots of free seminars and inspirational lectures. It was my first time going, and I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for more great workshops!

I took a lot out of the class, and I’m sharing it with you here, mostly in my pictures. Andrew spoke about many different aspects of food photography, but what really got me was how he said that our food photos should tell a story. They should evoke emotion in the reader, drawing them into the photo and the scene. I’m only fairly new to “decent” food photography, I’m slowly learning and growing with each blog post, but I really tried to incorporate that into these photos. Let me know what you think!

Now aside from the amazing food photography class, I also took part in a really fun fundraising event for the Ha’or Beacon school. I had never heard of Ha’or Beacon before, but just working with the thoughtful and caring staff on the Culinary for a Cause fundraiser, gave me a small glimpse into the type of people running the special needs school. Aside for a Chinese Auction, the entertainment for the evening was a roundup of cooking demonstrations by yours truly and a few other famous kosher foodies, including OvertimeCook, The Aussie Gourmet, Dini Delivers, Joy of Kosher Magazine Editor, Shifra Klein, and Victoria Dweck, cookbook author and editor of Ami Magazine.

Each of us was assigned a different course to demonstrate including Hors D’oeuvres, Appetizer, Entree, Side Dishes and Dessert. I made the hors d’oeuvres of mini Asian turkey sliders on a cauliflower bun with quick pickled cucumbers and spicy mayo. I really wanted to show people how easy it to make cauliflower-everything (rice, couscous, pizza crust and buns) so I decided on that dish. Needless to say, it was super fun and great to meet so many of my fans!

Now the one thing I didn’t do at the event, was eat. Yes, I tried my turkey sliders but Victoria’s braised short ribs were off limits, not to mention Dini’s quinoa-corn cakes and Miriam’s chocolate crepes. I’m going strong on The South Beach Diet, and I won’t cheat for ‘nothin!


In fact, I’ve really upped my ante by joining a fitness regimen at The Space Brooklyn. They are hosting a 60 day challenge, where they are encouraging participants to get healthy via the mind and body by doing 30 workouts in 60 days. Their amazing lineup of classes helps me mix it up, so that I’m not bored or dreading my workouts. So far I’ve done a yoga class, a circus arts class, a barre burn class, and pilates is on the schedule for tomorrow.

I’m charlie horse in muscles that I didn’t know existed, but I feel so strong and healthy! I’m looking forward to attending some of the other nutrition-based classes that they are featuring during the #30in60 campaign (one of which will include me and my spiralizer!)

So, back to the food, ‘cuz that’s what it always boils down to, right?! Today I’m sharing a favorite dish and a favorite trick. First, how on earth will I get through BBQ season on South Beach?! Well, I”ll tell you…BUNLESS HOT DOGS are the thing! Turning your hot,dog into its own bun is a diet lifesaver! You’ll be amazed at how a simple slit in your hot dog will open up when it’s heated and the filling possibilities are endless!


Fajita spiced peppers and onions are my absolute fave, and I’m sharing my own homemade spice mix below! With no carbs or MSG, it’s great on chicken or beef, perfect in tacos, and definitely over hot dogs. Finish with some sauerkraut (fermented foods are top of the food chain these days) and salsa, and you’ve got yourself a carbless meal that’s filling AND delicious!



Bunless hot dogs are best made with a nice hefty dog, so Abeles & Heymann’s knockwurst are my go-to. I love that they use natural nitrates found in celery and cherry, so there’s nothing artificial about them. In fact, ever since I went down to the factory for a tour, I don’t feel guilty about eating hot dogs at all. They start with real pieces of meat, not the fatty trimmings that I always imagined, to produce an extremely flavorful dog that is unmatched in the kosher industry. Quality and flavor? I”ll take two, please.

What’s your favorite way to top off your hot dog? Share it with me in the comments below!

This post is sponsored by Abeles & Heymann. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Other Hot Dog Recipes:

hot dog eggrolls
spiralized spud dogs
kid friendly dirty rice
fire roasted tomato rice stoup

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