Chocolate Ganache Tart with Macaroon Crust

Written by chanie on April 1st, 2015

I don’t know about you, but chocolate is about the only way I make it through this holiday. Growing up, my family was pretty strict with our Passover customs so we didn’t eat many processed foods. There was some dairy and OJ for the kids, a stash of lady fingers, and chocolate. Lots and lots of Shmerling chocolate.

We didn’t have it that bad. I had friends who couldn’t use oil, just shmaltz (yes, I know it’s delicious, but not when you’re trying to dress a salad!), who swore off dairy and processed food, and who couldn’t eat chocolate. Even Paleo people (who swear off dairy and processed foods, and who load up on shmaltz) eat chocolate. Me? We ate lots of eggs, chicken and potatoes, and any veggies that could be peeled, like eggplants, cucumbers and beets. We used only kosher salt for seasoning (no spices!) and liquid sugar for sweetening (no homemade Pesach cookies!). Still, my mom made the most delicious Pesach food, and we survived 8-days of gluten free eating. Largely in part due to chocolate.

Nowadays, I don’t think 8 days of gluten free eating is that difficult. Maybe it’s because I’m used to eating Paleo and zoodles are one of my favorite foods. I definitely miss the spices though, and the natural sweeteners like maple syrup. But back to the chocolate. It’s what got me through Passover when I was a kid, and it’s what gets me through it now. And now that California Gourmet has come out with kosher for Passover chocolate chips, my Passover’s are complete. I’ve got homemade nutella, nutella banana ice cream, and now THIS.


And by this I mean the most decadent, indulgent, GUILT-FREE chocolate ganache tart with a macaroon crust. The recipe is so good that it’s actually PRINTED ON THE BACK OF THE BAG. That’s right, my first back of the bag recipe!! It’s hard to believe that such few ingredients could turn out such a delicious treat, but I tested this recipe on a few people who swear off coconut and they were licking. their. fingers. If there was ever a vegan, gluten free, nut free, raw, Paleo recipe that you should try – it’s this. Trust me. Your Passover’s will never be the same again.

Thanks to California Gourmet for allowing me to share this back-of-the-bag recipe!

This post is sponsored by California Gourmet Chocolate Chips. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   View the list of stores that carry the brand here).

Related KFP Recipes:

raw date and almond hamantaschen
gingerbread date truffles

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Passover Nachos with Homemade Plantain Chips

Written by chanie on March 30th, 2015

Ever since I jumped on the Paleo train, plantains have become a regular part of my diet. I frequently buy Trader Joes roasted plantain chips to eat with guacamole or even tuna salad. I eat them on taco night while my kids enjoy crunchy corn tacos, and I top ‘em with nut butter for a delicious treat.


It took me a while to start making my own plantain chips, but once I did, I never turned back. Once you get past the peeling part (which is really ridiculously easy), there’s not much to it.

I prefer to use a mandoline for slicing my plantains because it ensures that all my chips are equal in size so that they cook evenly. Sadly, I don’t have a dairy one (yet!), so I just used a sharp knife. If you’re careful about keeping your chips even, they’ll all bake up nice and crisp at the time same time, and if they don’t, you can just remove the ones that are ready and let the thicker ones finish in the oven.

It’s really that easy! You can bake them savory or sweet – but chili powder and kosher salt are my fave. Of course some gooey melted cheddar doesn’t hurt either.

Can you believe these crunchy cheese smothered chips are kosher for Passover?! Forget the greasy potato chips, and the boring old Passover brownies, THIS is a snack that will make you forget you’ve gone gluten free for 8 days. Yes, it’s as good as it looks, and you know you want it. Now.

Forget Passover, these nachos are great for year-round guilt-free nacho-eating. When you’re eating low-fat oven-baked chips that are made out of a fruit and topped with vegetables, can you even call them nachos? You’re basically just doing your best to get your fill of fruits and veggies, right? RIGHT?

Welcome to my world of deguiltifying comfort food. It’s what I do best.

Now that I’ve got you covered with homemade nutella, nutella banana ice cream, pure-bliss Passover nachos and endless other out-of-the-box kosher for Passover recipes, you can say goodbye to the chicken and potatoes you’ve been making for ages and try some fun dishes instead. Although, if you like the “same old” , I’ve got you covered with that too.

Related Recipes: cauliflower nachos with harissa cheddar sauce

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Nutella Banana Ice Cream

Written by chanie on March 26th, 2015

Now that I’ve made my homemade nutella, I’ve got to find uses for it, right? As if eating it off a spoon isn’t good enough for me…

The truth is, I am in love with banana ice cream, and I really wanted to share it with you in time for Passover! I made it for the holidays last year, and I’ve been making variations ever since.

There’s not too much to banana ice cream, and that’s precisely why I love it so much. You can say goodbye to the dozen-egg-homemade-passover-ice-cream and say hello to this no-machine, easy, healthy and no-guilt variety that’s tastes just like soft serve.

All you have to do is just slice up some ripe bananas and freeze them until a solid, just a couple of hours. Then, you pulse the bananas in the food processor until they’re very finely chopped. Keep going until the bananas are creamy and add in your flavors of choice! I love adding nut butters – like my homemade nutella – for Passover. During the year, my favorite combo is banana, peanut butter, cinnamon and maple syrup. It’s so so good.

I mean would you just look at that creamy consistency? Don’t you just want to grab a spoon and dive right in?

The best part about banana soft serve is the possibilities. Blend with strawberries, top with coconut whipped cream, stir in some chopped macaroons, or add in your favorite candied nuts!


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Homemade Nutella

Written by chanie on March 24th, 2015

Making my own nutella has been on my list forever. It’s just one of those things that I’ve always wanted to make, but I never got around to it. Now that I finally made a batch, it’s going to be a regular here – it’s just that easy and that good.

If you’ve never made your own nut butter, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s so much better than the store-bought stuff that’s loaded with additives! You can make nut butter out of just about any nut, and there’s nothing to it! You just let it go in the food processor until it’s creamy. It goes from chopped to a sort of greasy chop, then it turns to a creamy consistency with lots of pieces in it, and finally it reaches the beautiful consistency of butter.

There are so many things you can add to nut butter too. Maple syrup, honey, molasses, cinnamon, gingerbread spices, pumpkin spices, and of course….CHOCOLATE.

Chocolate nut butter is definitely my nut butter of choice. Last year, I made chocolate walnut butter for Passover and put it on just about everything. Now that California Gourmet has come out with soy-free kosher for Passover chocolate chips, I’m so excited about all the chocolate nut butter possibilities!

This incredible new brand has 48% cocoa for a rich chocolaty flavor that’s not too sweet. It’s non-GMO, gluten free, nut free, dairy free and with just 3 ingredients, you know you are eating clean. The kosher for Passover chips are made with just cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate, and cocoa butter – that’s it!

I love that California Gourmet’s new product makes eating nutella feel guilt-free! You can eat it with fruit, drizzled over yogurt, mixed into cookies or cake, and smeared over matza (if your custom allows). Me? I eat a spoonful right out of the jar for a decadent treat!

Now if you want to pick up a bag of kosher for Passover California Gourmet chocolate chips, they’re making it into stores nationwide (view the list here). If your store carries the red bag (which contains soy and is not kosher for Passover), you can ask them to bring in the Passover variety as it is available through the same distributor. If you are unable to get the chocolate at a store near you, you can also order it online here or replace it with some good quality chocolate instead.

Now that we’ve got our nutella ready, stay tuned for some banana nutella ice cream, coming to the blog real soon!

This post is sponsored by California Gourmet Chocolate Chips. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Related Recipes: cinnamon honey walnut butter

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Cheesy Zoodle Marinara + Zoodles 101

Written by chanie on March 18th, 2015

With Passover soon approaching, I think it’s time for ZOODLE school! Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, have taken the (healthy) food world by storm, and I am all over the trend.

I’m been zoodling for months now, and I’ve come to love zoodles even more than traditional pasta. Besides being fun and easy to make, zucchini noodles are cheap, very low in calories, and you can get lots of noodles out of a single zucchini. If you haven’t hopped on the zoodle train, it’s time for zoodle 101.

There are three popular tools on the market for making zoodles: The Veggetti, The Julienne Peeler and the Paderno Spiralizer. Each tool has it’s pros and cons. Lets get into it!

THE VEGGETTI – The veggetti works like a pencil sharpener – each side has a different size blade, one larger and one smaller to yield a thicker or thinner noodle. If you look at the picture below, you can see the leftover zucchini looks like the tip of a sharpened pencil. The veggetti makes long noodles, but perfect ones come with practice. Turning the zucchini is a bit difficult and the results can be a bit scraggly.
PROS: compact, inexpensive ($12-$15)
CONS: You can only make noodles out of veggies that fit in the veggetti opening – up to 2.5″ in diameter.
Purchase here

THE JULIENNE PEELER: A julienne peeler looks like a traditional vegetable peeler, except the blade has little micro blades that cut whatever you are peeling into julienned strips. I prefer the OXO brand.
PROS: compact, inexpensive ($10), easy to use, easy to clean.
CONS: yields the most waste, you get strips and not traditional-looking noodles, only works on straight vegetables that are easy to peel.
Purchase here

THE SPIRALIZER: The spiralizer is the most versatile tool. It allows you to create noodles out of many different vegetables, and even fruits. Any fruit or vegetable that is at least 2.5″ long and at least 1.5″ in diameter can be spiralized. It cannot be hollow or have a pit, and it must be firm. You can spiralize apples, pears, beets, jicama, plantains, kohlrabi, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash (the neck), turnips and more! The spiralizer also yields the most authentic looking noodle. I prefer the Paderno brand.
PROS: yields the most authentic noodle, various blades yield different noodle shapes, works with a variety of fruits and vegetables, easy to use.
CONS: takes up the most space, not cheap ($30-$40 for the 3-blade and $50 for the new 4-blade), endlessly long noodles tangle and are hard to eat (I recommend cutting them shorter with kitchen shears), hardest to clean (I recommend cleaning immediately otherwise it’s hard to remove dried residue).
Purchase 3-blade, Purchase 4-blade

Here you can see how the noodles look based on the tool that was used, and what you have leftover after making the zucchini noodles. Now, lets talk about cooking methods.

BLANCHING – blanching means to cook vegetables quickly in boiling water and then shock them in an ice bath. As you can see below, this yields a mushy noodle. Not recommended!
ROASTING – roasting the zucchini noodles at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes, yields tender zoodles that are evenly cooked.
SAUTEEING – this is my favorite cooking method as it is fast and easy. I saute my zoodles in a wok or large skillet over high heat for about 2-3 minutes for perfectly tender zoodles.

An important point to consider about zoodles, and which tool you want to use to make them, is that zucchini’s have a lot of water. When you use the veggetti or the spiralizer, the seedy center of the zucchini (where most of the water is), get’s incorporated into the noodles. When you use a julienne peeler, you can stop peeling once you reach the seedy portion (in fact you’ll need to, because the strips will just fall apart). Therefore, zoodles made with the julienne peeler have less moisture and won’t water-down your sauces (same goes for cucumbers btw). If you prefer to use a spiralizer or veggetti, one way to solve this problem is to salt the zoodles to draw out some of the moisture. Let the salted zoodles drain in a colander for a few minutes, rinse off the salt and then pat dry on paper towels. I prefer to skip this step. Instead, I only cook my zoodles until tender, and I serve them immeidately (the longer they sit, the more moisture they will emit).

Now that we’ve covered the zoodles – what can you make with them? Well, you are only limited by your creativity! One of my favorite zoodle dishes is this cheesy zoodle marinara. I whip it up for lunch at least once a week! It’s so hearty and indulgent, yet it takes under 5 minutes to prepare. I use the julienne peeler for this because it’s the quickest, and I don’t want my lunch to be a whole to-do. Also, because I don’t use the seedy center of the zucchini, the zoodles don’t water down my sauce.

What else do I make with zoodles? Zoodle Pad Thai (recipe in my ebook), Zoodle Bolognese, Pesto Zoodles with Parmesan, Minestrone Soup with Zoodles, Chicken Zoodle Soup, Miso Soup with Zoodles and more!

And my spiralizer? Well the skies the limit on that! I make everything from rice and risotto to pizza crusts and sandwich buns – all out of vegetables!

If you’re looking for more recipes using the spiralizer, I’ve got loads of delicious spiralized dishes in this months issue of Joy of Kosher Magazine, so be sure to pick up a copy! You’ll find great Kosher for Passover recipes like beet-crust pizza with arugula walnut pesto and fresh mozzarella, cucumber salad with almond butter dressing, Spanish sweet potato rice with lime marinated chicken and no-bean minestrone with zoodles.

You can also check out the new Inspiralized cookbook by Ali Maffucci of Inspiralized.com.

This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese.

Look for the Natural & Kosher logo wherever fine kosher cheeses are sold.

Stay tuned for more exciting cheesy recipes, coming soon!

For other recipes & ideas using Natural & Kosher Cheese products, you can follow them via:

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Say Cheese! :-D

Other Zoodle Recipes:

spinach white bean minestrone with zoodles
harissa roasted chicken with zoodles

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Favorite Kitchen Tools

Written by chanie on March 9th, 2015

Although I’ve been married for 12 years, I have yet to make my own Passover. And I plan to avoid it at all costs, as long as I can. This year though, my mom and in-laws are both going away, so it’s looking more and more like I might have to finally bite the Passover bullet (unless one of you want to invite me over!). Making Passover means I’ll have to stock up on kitchen essentials, which got me thinking…What are my kitchen essentials? It’s a question that’s often asked at my cooking demonstrations, and I think it’s about time I share them with you!


Take the time to read through each and every recommendation, as they are chock full of kitchen TIPS as well as TOOLS, enjoy!

1. Paderno Spiralizer This handy kitchen tool creates noodles out of a variety of vegetables creating endless possibilities. I make pizza crusts, burger buns, noodles, curly fries and rice – all out of veggies! It is truly the perfect tool for those looking to reduce their carb intake – especially during Passover! The newest version includes 4 blades, but I love the classic 3-blade spiralizer which creates ribbon noodles, thick udon-style noodles and thinner spaghetti noodles (the newer model also includes an angel-hair-noodle blade).
2. Mini Kitchen Whisk I love this for emulsifying salad dressing, mixing sauces and more! You can never have too many whisks in the kitchen! That’s why I chose it for my logo!
3. OXO Julienne Peeler This is my go-to tool for quick and easy zoodles (zucchini noodles) or julienned carrots for the soup. It’s super compact and easy to use so you can make salads like these. Note that I have tried other brands and I recommend the OXO only.
4. Kitchen Tongs I use kitchen tongs on a daily basis. I have several, in many different sizes. It’s great for removing items from a pot, stir frying, stirring noodles, handling meat or poultry on the BBQ, serving salads, and even juicing citrus! See my kitchen tips (#1) for more on that!
5. Belgique Cookware I purchased the Belgique cookware set at Macy’s when I got married, and it has carried me through years of cooking! My pots still shine beautifully, cook evenly and clean wonderfully. I am IN LOVE with my pots. The only drawback is that they stopped making stainless steel lids (which is what I have) and they only come with glass lids now. I’m not a fan of glass lids because they can crack, but as far as pots go, you get a real bang for you buck with this set. I love it so much that I even purchased additional pieces of open stock over the years, like this sauteuse. Please note that I cannot vouch for the quality of the current model!
6. Le Creuset Dutch Oven I don’t think I would have ever bought this pot, had I not won 2nd place in a Mushroom Contest for this recipe, which awarded me a $500 gift certificate to Williams Sonoma. When I got the gift card in the mail, I knew exactly what I was going to buy! A dutch oven allows you to cook on the stovetop as well as the oven – making things like braising super efficient. When I started cooking my roasts in a dutch oven, the results did not compare to those I made previously. These heavy cast-iron pots are perfect for soups, stews and even breadmaking. If there’s one expensive item you splurge on in the kitchen, make it a dutch oven.
7. Professsional Knife Sharpening Machine People ALWAYS ask me what knife I use and I always say the same thing: it’s more worthwhile to invest in a knife sharpener than it is to invest in a knife. I use a budget friendly Santoku knife (see #15), which I sharpen regularly, making it good as new! One of the most dangerous tools in a kitchen is a DULL KNIFE because it requires you to use more pressure, which can result in injuries. A sharp knife does the work for you, no pressure required. Granted, I splurged on a pricier model (using the leftover money from my Mushroom Contest win), but you can easily purchase a more budget-friendly option. There are also other methods of knife sharpening, like using a whetstone, but it gives me the chills so an electric sharpener is my preferred method.
8. Silicone Spatulas These are a must-have for every kitchen! I use mine to scrape out the food processor, remove batter from mixing bowls, and mix up a stir-fry without scraping my nonstick wok (#18).
9. Garlic Crusher If you’re like me, and you don’t love mincing garlic by hand, or having to take out the mini processor to do the work, a garlic crusher is a must! This brand comes with a nifty little tool to help you clean the crevices.
10. Microplane Zester Some people forgo this tool because they don’t do much zesting, but a microplane works for so much more than that! I use a microplane to grate ginger, garlic and shallots into sauces and dressings.
11. Hinged Ice Cream Scoop An ice cream scoop is a must-have for portioning out everything from cookie dough, muffin batter, meatballs, burgers, biscuits and more! If you ever wondered how professional places manage to make cookies and muffins that are all exactly the same size, it’s because they use a portion scoop! Scoops come in all sizes, so you can get smaller ones for meatballs and larger ones for muffins. Besides for equal-sized portions being aesthetically pleasing, it also means that your food will cook evenly, since everything is the same size.
12. Ziploc Freezer Bags This kitchen tool comes straight out of your supermarket aisle! I never use big ‘ole fancy pastry bags in the kitchen. Ziploc freezer bags do the job just perfectly for me! One of the tricks I like to use is to stuff my Ziploc bag into a measuring cup to make filling it easier. Then, I snip off the corner with kitchen shears and use it to pipe pastry cream into cannolis, mousse into cups, puree onto wontons and frosting onto cupcakes.
13. Lodge Cast Iron Grill This stovetop griddle sits over your stovetop burners and grills up poultry, meat and fish with beautiful grill marks. The cast iron gets smoking hot, making it the perfect surface for indoor grilling. NOTE: When purchasing cast iron, look for unseasoned varieties as lard and other types of nonkosher fats may have been used in the seasoning process (when I purchased this grill several years ago, it had a kosher certification).
14. Nesting Bowls This inexpensive set of nesting bowls really helps to keep prep clean and organized. One of the principles of professional cooking is “mise en place”, which means to have all of the components of your dish prepped and organized before preparing it. Prepping large meals with various courses can be made more efficient by cooking with that philosophy in mind.
15. Victorinox Santoku Knife I have really small hands, so a classic 8″ chef’s knife doesn’t work for me. I want to feel comfortable with my grasp on my most-used kitchen tool, so I prefer the shape, style and size of this 7″ santoku knife. If you like a classic shape better, I also recommend the Global budget-friendly knife or the pricier Wusthof.
16. Zyliss Folding Mandolin A mandolin is an essential tool for anyone who wants to cook with finesse. It creates uniform slices in varying thicknesses, so you can create the perfect garnish, potatoes au gratin, veggie chips or fries. This version folds for easy storage. NOTE: Safety First! Make sure to use the accompanying safety guard.
17. Flour Sack Towels These all purpose cotton towels are lightweight and perfect for many kitchen jobs such as drying greens, squeezing excess moisture from herbs or veggies (in lieu of expensive cheesecloth) and wiping counters or hands while cooking.
18. TFal Nonstick Wok I love Asian cooking so a wok is a must-have in my kitchen. This lightweight nonstick wok is dishwasher-safe, making it perfect for stir fries, Pad Thai, deep-frying, or even steaming or smoking. It’s large size works wonders for sauteing spiralized veggies!
19. Nonstick Mini Rolling Pin Mini rolling pins don’t have to be just for play dough! I love that this is nonstick for easy cleaning, and it’s non-cumbersome, so I have a handle (pun intended!) on my doughs (not my favorite thing to prepare!).
20. Zyliss Safe Edge Can Opener If you’re still using an old fashioned can opener, it’s time for an upgrade! You never know where your cans have been sitting, or for how long. They can carry all sorts of bacteria! To prevent cross-contamination, use an opener that removes the entire lid of the can without leaving sharp edges. Safety all around!

What are some of your kitchen must-haves? I would love to hear! Share them with me in the comments below.

Please NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means that a small percentage of every purchase made through the links above goes to help support the BIB blog!

 

Purim Deviled Eggs

Written by chanie on March 4th, 2015

You probably never thought you’d hear a nice Jewish girl say this, but thank G-d for Easter! You see, I just wasn’t feeling Purim this year. I’ve been busier than ever (I think I should change my name to BUSIER in Brooklyn) and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t really come up with a fun food gift that wouldn’t break the bank.

Enter Target’s dollar section AKA my favorite place of all time! Since I couldn’t seem to come up with something, I decided to shop around and let the aisles do the talking. Well talk, they did! When I saw these adorable Easter egg crates, I knew exactly what I was going to make. Total cost: $1.

After I found the egg crates, I realized that I would need something to place them in – something nice and sturdy, that would hold them in place. Well, I didn’t have to look much further. A bit deeper in to the Target bargain bins, I found these square wooden boxes, which fit the crates just right. Total cost: $3.

Now all I needed was to fill the empty space next to the eggs, but what to put? Hmm, deviled eggs, deviled…hot…hot sauce! The perfect accompaniment to deviled eggs! So I did what any bargain hunter would do, on my way home from Target, I stopped by every little supermarket I could find and went straight for the condiment aisle. I tried all the bottles to see what would fit, until I scored the ultimate find! OU certified Louisiana hot sauce at 4 for $1. You got that right! FOUR whole bottles for one hundred pennies! The original price was $3.19 per bottle, but they were on special just this week! Talk about good timing!

I also scored this amazing copper beer bucket at Target for just $3 – a great addition to my growing props collection. And the plastic eggs that came with the egg cartons? My kids are gonna have a ball with those.

So, Target loot in hand, I went home and cooked up some 6 dozen eggs. Cooking in bulk always reminds me why I never want to go into the catering business. Peeling them was such a pain, and my house literally stunk like a chicken coop! Do you know what the secret to easy egg peeling is? Use old eggs. Seriously! The fresher the egg, the harder they are to peel. And do you think I remembered to buy eggs two weeks ago? NO. This girl, who knew the secret to easy-egg-peeling, bought FRESH eggs. I kid you not.


Now if you want to serve up deviled eggs vertical-style (stuffing them standing up instead of cutting them in half lengthwise), here’s what I learned: you need to slice off the top from the wide end of the egg. If you start from the narrow tip, you’re gonna lose half the egg before you reach enough of the yellow to be able to get it out. Once I sliced off the wide end, I squeezed gently on the whites and the yolk literally plops out. It even makes a “plopping” noise. Kind of funny!

Once I’ve separated my yolks from the whites, I go ahead and fill my food processor with the yolks, adding in some mayo, mustard, pickle relish, onion powder and salt. I give it a whirl and let it go until the mixture is nice and creamy. Then, I scoop the creamy filling into a ziploc bag and cut off the tip. I fill the whites with the yolks and top it with a bit of chopped green onion. Simple. Clean. And oh so yummy.

Deviled eggs, check. Egg cartons, check. Hot sauce, check.

Now the only thing left to do, was make a cute card – and it came to me just as I was putting the finishing touches on my crates. Why not use yellow and white card stock to make an egg-shaped card? I’m not a big fan of my handwriting so creating tags on the computer really works for me! Seriously, how cute are these?!

I hope you enjoyed my little peek into my family’s shalach manos! Wishing you and yours a truly EGGSELLENT PURIM!

If this post has induced a deviled eggs craving, I’ve got you covered! Check out this classic recipe, or try this pickled one!

And if you’d like to print your own Egg cards, download the template here (I reduced the size for the yolk portion of the card).

What did you make for shalach manos this year? Share your Purim ideas with me in the comments below!

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Beer Battered Salami Chips with Beer Mustard

Written by chanie on February 26th, 2015

Oh yes I did. I made SALAMI. ON. STEROIDS.

And I didn’t have much choice either. I mean, there’s pretty much no outdoing my drunken hasselback salami, so I had to go there. And by there I mean, the deep fryer.

Ever since I read about a not-so-well-known custom to eat salami on Purim (to commemorate the hanging of HAMAN…hanging….salami….get it?), I’ve been banging out salami recipes for the holiday. Truth be told, I have no idea if this is a real thing, or if I happened upon a practical joke, but regardless, this taking-salami-to-the-next-level challenge has been a blast.

And it’s so ironic because I literally hated salami growing up. My mom used to feed us salami sandwiches for lunch every Friday afternoon. She’d smear ketchup on rye and top it with thick slices of salami all wrapped up in a foil package so we could take it along as we played in the courtyard of our building. One at a time, we’d chuck those salami sandwiches down the incinerator, and my mom was none the wiser! Fast forward some 20+ years and here. I. am.

Now when I think about this recipe, I have to admit, it’s like the ultimate guy food. It’s got beer, salami and it’s fried. I mean, seriously, could you ask for anything more?

Apparently you can. Because, not only did I come up with the ultimate finger food, I even made a beer dipping sauce, just to take the whole Purim thing over the top. Because that’s the way I roll. Or hang, apparently.

I’ve never made mustard from scratch before so I was excited to give it a try. There’s something really interesting I discovered about mustard in this recipe creation process. When mustard is exposed to heat, it loses it’s potency. (Same goes for horseradish and wasabi by the way)! I learned this by trying the same mustard recipe two ways – one used a bit more beer so I reduced it over heat, and the other I blended in the food processor to thicken, using no heat. The results were astounding! The blended mustard is super hot, while the cooked mustard is mildly sweet with little heat. Pretty awesome, right?

When the crispy salami and beer mustard meet, it’s the ultimate marriage. And it’s not just any salami, by the way. I used my favorite brand, Abeles & Heymann, because after visiting their factory a few months ago, and watching the salami-making process with my own eyes, I know their salami is made with the highest quality ingredients from start to finish!

And I wouldn’t think of coating that salami in anything less than the perfect crispy batter – which is what you get from beer batter. It’s super light and crisp, and let’s not forget, easy! Beer batter is just flour and beer and that’s it. Because the salami is packed with flavor, I don’t add much else, but you can always add a pinch of cayenne for some heat, if you’d like.

Now that we have the ultimate party food, lets discuss the Jewish holiday of Purim for a second! The Purim celebration is based upon the biblical Book of Esther, which recounts the story of Queen Esther and how she saved the Jewish people from annihilation at the hands of Haman (after whom the HAMANtasch is named). We celebrate with a festive feast (where these salami chips must make an appearance!), sending food gifts to family and friends, drinking until we don’t know the difference between the evil HAMAN and the righteous MOREDECHAI, and of course, dressing up as characters in the Purim story.

Growing up, Purim was always our favorite holiday, and you can imagine why. We got to dress up, deliver goodies to our friends and gorge on hamantaschen. As an adult, I love to put my own twist on the holiday with creative themes on my food gifts, fun twists on holiday cocktails and of course, crazy spins on salami!

If you live in Brooklyn, Queens or The Five Towns, be sure to check out my other salami recipe in the all new FYI Magazine! I’m so excited to join the team of FYI as the food editor, with a column for Fast & Fresh recipes as well as a Nutritious and Delicious section. This month, I’ve got a quick and easy salami quiche as well as a Persian twist on dried fruit truffles – perfect for your Purim feast or your Mishloach Manos.

Whether you choose to take on the Purim salami tradition or not, just remember to have fun and be joyous, because that’s what this holiday is all about! :) Happy Purim!

Salami making at the Abeles & Heymann factory with owner, Seth Levitt! This is the first and last time you will see me in a lab coat and hairnet ;)

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

Other Salami Recipes:

drunken hasselback salami
baked salami chips with dijon dipping sauce

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Halva Krembo’s

Written by chanie on February 19th, 2015

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know about my recent trip to Israel. I posted lots of droolworthy pics of all of the delicious foods I was eating! And there was no shortage of that. Israel is the land of milk and honey – overflowing with the most amazing bounty. A single trip to the Machane Yehudah market will prove just that. You’ll find the sweetest seasonal fruits and perfect large, robust vegetables that are all farm fresh and (mostly) locally grown. The stands piled high with fresh baked pastries, the artisan breads and fluffy pillows of pita, and the hidden gems of culture at every turn are awe-inspiring.

One thing the shuk is known for is it’s halva. “Mamlechet HaHalva”, or “The Halva Kingdom” is famous for it’s amazing array of halva flavors. It is so hard to pick a favorite but the espresso, candied pecan and cinnamon are all up there!

And any of you that have walked passed the halva stand have been nudged by the famous “Halva King” to try a piece. He’s become a fixture in the shuk, gold crown and all! See my pic with him below!

The Halva Kingdom recently started making a line of flavored tahini as well. I tasted the freshly ground paste (which tastes like peanut butter) and then sampled a selection of sweet and savory flavors like tomato, pesto, nougat, chocolate, and more. The nougat was so good, I brought home a bucket!

All of the amazing flavors and aromas of the shuk inspired me to create a twist on a classic Israel snack – the KREMBO. Krembo is hebrew for “There’s Cream In It”, referring to the fluffy cream hiding under it’s chocolate coating. Krembo’s have a round biscuit base and are available in vanilla and mocha flavors. They’re wrapped up in thin foil packaging, blue for vanilla and brown for mocha.

With tahini being just about the most popular food of Israel, I was surprised they never came out with a halva flavored krembo – so I decided to do just that! I started with a sesame-flavored cookie and topped it with some tahini-flavored whipped cream. I coated it all in chocolate and decorated it with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.


Creating a beautiful chocolate glaze came together easily with the amazing new brand of kosher vegan chocolate chips – California Gourmet. Their 45% cocoa chips are rich in chocolatey flavor with just the right balance of sweetness. I love how easily it melts, perfect for dipping, and it hardens quickly too. I stir in some coconut oil to create the perfect chocolate magic shell, and we use the leftovers to have a little after-school fondue dipping party!

California Gourmet chocolate chips help me keep my krembo’s pareve, without sacrificing on richness and flavor. And boy are these rich and flavorful! Halva flavored Krembo’s, here we come!

And while we are talking about homemade krembo’s, I must give a shoutout to the Balaboosta cookbook. In it, Israeli Chef Einat Admony recreates one of the favorite snacks of her childhood, you guessed it….krembo. Her homemade version of the classic (which looks incredible, by the way), gave me the push I needed to make these happen.

You see, I’m not much of a pastry girl. In fact, I don’t own a single pastry bag. When I say to fill your pastry bag with whip cream, I mean Ziploc. And I cut the corner with a scissor, the old fashioned way. That’s how I pipe people. So let me tell you – If i can make these, you most definitely can. They might look intimidating, but they are anything but. And that, my friends, is just the way I like to do things. Happy Halva-ing!



Here are some photos of the things that inspired this recipe! With the Halva King, eating freshly ground tahini and surrounded by the many flavors of tahini, halva, and of course, krembo!

This post is sponsored by California Gourmet Chocolate Chips. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Related Recipes: halva & ricotta stuffed figs

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Raspberry Hamantaschen Hand Pies

Written by chanie on February 12th, 2015

I can’t believe the blogosphere is already awash with hamantaschen recipes. Is it just me or has this year literally flown by?!


Purim is one of my favorite holidays, and I’m sure it is for you too! Any holiday where we get to dress up in fun costumes, eat a nonsensical amount of candy and drink until we don’t know the difference between Haman and Mordechai is fine. by. me.

Purim is about JOY and FAMILY and TRADITION and I love to shake things up with fun and exciting recipes. Last year, my drunken hasselback salami went out all out viral and my Hamantini cocktail took a festive cookie to the next level. We can’t forget my sushi hamantaschen, baklava hamantaschen, mustache glasses, and other Purim fun, all easily accessible in my Purim column. There are some really great recipes coming up as well that I can’t wait to share with you!


As you can see, I love shaking things up, and whenever I get a chance to deconstruct a traditional holiday food, I take it and run! Hybrid recipes are my all time favorite and these hamantaschen hand pies are just the thing. If you’re not familiar with hand pies, they are basically a handheld pie made with a flaky pie crust and filled with fruit filling. They’re usually folded over into a semicircle shape, but are sometimes rectangular or even round. I’ve never seen triangular hand pies so I thought they’d make the perfect hamantasch!


My first batch was not as successfull as these beauties here. At first, I just made slits in the dough, ala classic pie, but they just looked like rustic hand pies, not hamantaschen. I troubleshooted and then these were born. And I couldn’t love them any more. They’re not only rustic and adorable, they taste AMAZING too. I think I even like them more than the traditional!


Would you believe that I’ve never made real, traditional hamantaschen? I was always scared away by those sob stories where the hamantaschen opened during baking and all the jam bled out. I also love the packaged store-bought variety that is full of additivies and junk. I mean it’s Purim after all. So if you’re gonna gorge on candy, you might as well eat a hamatasch. The real, margarine and preservative kind (so says the Paleo enthusiast lol).


While we’re on the topic of fun hamantasch recipes, here are some of my favorites from around the web: rainbow hamantaschen, funfetti hamataschen, fluffernutter hamantaschen, speculoos hamantaschen, smores hamantaschen, and halva hamantaschen. I also love the idea of savory hamantaschen, Bon Appetit‘s got a great variety from around the world.

What’s your favorite version? Share it with me in the comments below!




Related Recipes:

date and almond marzipan hamantaschen
baklava hamantaschen
sushi hamantaschen
savory hamantaschen trio
The Hamantini

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