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Summer Rolls with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

I couldn’t imagine  going through summer without posting the ultimate light and healthy dish – summer rolls. To be honest, I have no idea why they are called “summer” rolls. I think it’s because they are lighter than their wonton cousins, but I could be wrong.

Unlike classic eggrolls, which are usually fried and heavy, summer rolls are made with rice paper rounds and don’t require any cooking. If you’ve never worked with rice paper before. don’t be intimidated, it’s really super easy.

The great thing about summer rolls is that they can be filled with anything – fruit, veggies, or your protein of choice. Fish and tofu work wonderfully in these rice paper roll-ups, but grilled chicken and veggies are my faves. I once watched Giada de Laurentiis make a fruity version on the Food Network. She filled the rounds with pad Thai noodles, strawberries, mango and almonds and prepared a honey-mint dipping sauce to go on the side. She served them after a yoga lesson as the perfect post-workout treat.

For me, making a dish like this doesn’t really require a recipe. I look into my fridge and put together whatever scraps I can find. In this case, I had leftover marinated chicken breasts, so I threw them on my grill pan for a quick sear. I found some nappa cabbage, shredded carrots, scallions and edamame, and put them all together for a fabulous combo. Feel free to do the same (grab whatever you can find in your fridge) or follow my recipe below.

Oh, and the dipping sauce? Let me just say this — it’s awesome.

1 year ago: roasted beet salsa
2 years ago: gefilte fish patties in tomato sauce

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Spicy Roasted Edamame

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

I am so excited about this post. And not because of the recipe (even though it is incredibly delicious!). It’s because I finally cracked the code to the mystery of food photography. OK it’s not exactly a mystery, but it was to me. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you  may have noticed how my photography has been slowly evolving. First, I ordered this book. And then this ebook. Then I took a photography class. And then I listened intently to the talented food photographer Noah Fecks at the Kosher Food Blogger Conference. And finally, finally, I pulled out my tripod from the basement. As if 2 books and a class in photography didn’t stress it enough! I was just too lazy to set up a whole mini “studio” to photograph my dishes. But slowly I’ve been pulling out little things here and there (like my son’s old portacrib mattress that serves as my lightboard!) to form my little space in the corner of my kids playroom. Here’s a peak at my “studio”!

So, now for the food! I absolutely love those spicy wasabi roasted peas that they sell with the nuts in all the drug stores. You know what I’m talking about right? Well I wanted to recreate them at home, so I started playing around with some recipes. And here’s what I learned: wasabi loses it’s potency when heated. That’s right. Once you put wasabi-anything in the oven, it loses it’s flavor and it’s like you added nothing! So, to get that spicy kick, I added Asian hot sauce (sriracha) and sprinkled on wasabi powder once the edamame were browned and toasty. The resulting healthy snack is incredibly addicting. I like the medium spice level but you can adjust the sriracha to make it more or less hot. Roasted edamame beans are best eaten fresh, straight out of the oven!

For more Chinese recipes, check out the kosher connection link-up below!

1 year ago: crunchy shriveled green beans
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Sushi Salad II

Thursday, July 7th, 2011


Google Analytics is a fascinating tool. It allows you to track who visited your website, how they found it and what they looked at, among other things. When I have time, I like to research how people came to Busy in Brooklyn, and which recipes are the most popular. Ever since starting my blog in February, the all-time most popular post is this sushi salad. Being such a crowd-pleasing recipe, I figured it was about time to try another variation. Now I am beginning to understand why just about every kosher pizza shop, restaurant (be it meat or dairy) and supermarket is carrying sushi! I thought the fad might pass at some point, but I think I can rest assured that it is here to stay!

I love making sushi salad because it takes all the hassle out of hand rolling the sushi, but it offers the same taste and texture with minimal effort. It is also visually appealing. For a beautiful presentation, choose vegetables with vibrant colors. I recently made a similar recipe to this one, using shredded carrots in place of the edamame. The bright orange carrots with the green cucumbers and vibrant pink radishes looked picture-perfect. Feel free to try whatever vegetables suit your taste. You can also add mock crab, flaked salmon, lox and/or pickled ginger.

NOTE: Edamame are soybeans that come in a pod. They are commonly served in Japanese restaurants with a dusting of sea salt. Edamame are tasty, fun to eat, and good for you. When served in their pods, just squeeze the beans out and they’ll easily pop. I like to buy them already hulled. They can be found in the freezer section of most supermarkets.

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