holiday recipes

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Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

I’ve been loving playing around with Instagram stories these days. It lets me post a step by step cooking tutorial and it’s just. so. fun! Last night I made Asian soup bowls with a richly flavored broth and a variety of vegetables for a make-you-own bowl dinner. I posted a play by play on my stories and the feedback was amazing!

I made these stuffed acorn squashes last Friday, using some of my leftover bacon-wrapped turkey from Thanksgiving. I posted a story as I made them and I got lots of requests for a formal written recipe. I managed a quick photoshoot, even though it was a hectic Friday and do I even need an explanation? I mean just look at these?!

I really love the idea of making this after Thanksgiving with some leftover turkey, but if you don’t have any, just leave it out and keep it vegan. With or without the turkey, this is a beautiful side dish that’s perfect for the fall, winter, holidays or just a weeknight cozy dinner. I put a poached egg over some leftover rice and lemme tell you….sooooo good!


Related Recipes:

apple and sausage stuffed butternut squash
za’atar roasted kabocha squash with silan
turkey roulade with five minute stuffing
unstuffed mushrooms

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Curried Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup
with Cilantro Matzo Balls

Monday, October 10th, 2016

It’s that time of year again. The season is (finally) changing, the leaves are starting to color, and Pumpkin Spice Latte is back on the Starbuck’s menu. It’s when all the blogs start to dish out their sweet pumpkin creations and I betchya thought I was one of them.

Pumpkin is alright. I even made my usual mini pumpkin pies for Rosh Hashanah last week. What I didn’t make was tzimmes. Lets just say that that cloyingly sweet dish of honey-sweetened carrots and sweet potatoes (sometimes with added prunes) is not one of my favorites. My mom always makes a big pot (tradition!) with the addition of marrow bones and flanken, but somehow it always manages to make it’s rounds around the table, barely making a dent in the heaping pile of sweetness. That’s just it – the stuff is just. too. sweet. And the more I discuss holiday menu’s with people, the more I hear that tzimmes is on the out (I guess my tzimmes roast is going to get buried real deep in the archives!)

Most people keep tzimmes on their menus because it’s traditional to eat carrots over the holidays. Besides for the obvious symbolism for a sweet New Year, the Yiddish word for carrots is meren, to multiply, which is a blessing we hope for in the coming year. Not being a big fan of tzimmes, I try to incorporate my carrots elsewhere, such as in a raw slaw, or roasting them with some maple and harissa.

It occurred to me that with Yom Kippur upon us, and Sukkot not too far away, a savory play on tzimmes ingredients might we a welcome change. I decided to do that in the form of a soup, and to incorporate some of my favorite Thai flavors – curry (for some heat), honey (for some sweet) and coconut milk (for some creaminess). To make it festive and holiday worthy, I added cilantro matzo balls to round out the flavors and keep things exciting!

Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of cilantro but I am coming around. I used to find it completely intolerable but I am slowly sneaking in small amounts and it’s growing on me. Honey + curry though are one of my favorite combinations and I use it in curries, chicken recipes, fish dishes, roasted chickpeas and even popcorn. There’s something about the sweet and spicy that I absolutely love.

I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve seen on Facebook recently lamenting the lack of savory recipes in kosher cookbooks. Every roast is smothered in a sweet concoction, chicken is doused in apricot jam and don’t even get me started on the ridiculous amount of sugar in salad dressings. I mean, I get it. I grew up that way too. But the only way out of the sugar coma is to slowly reduce the amount of sweetness you add to recipes and to introduce more savory (and if you’re open to it, spicy) food. It’s all about conditioning your palette. If you go back to the old recipes on my blog, you can see for yourself how I’ve slowly transitioned to more savory foods. Now, when I taste a salad that’s been doused in sweet dressing, I can’t even swallow it.

There’s a place in food for all that sugar – it’s called dessert, and that’s why we all love it so much! And finishing a meal off with something sweet is precisely why you should start it with something savory. So, now that Rosh Hashanah is behind us, and we don’t *have* to douse everything in apples and honey, lets welcome the New Year with a newer savory approach to food. This curried carrot and sweet potato soup is a great place to start because it’s both sweet and savory with a nice amount of heat from the ginger and curry.

Wishing you a sweet New Year as sweet as honey and as spicy as curry. Shanah Tova Umetuka!



This post was sponsored by Lipton Kosher. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

peanut chicken curry
curry chicken salad
coconut crusted fish with curry aioli
curried rice salad
butternut squash soup with shallots and apples

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Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Leeks

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Food blogging has taken me to some truly amazing places (front cover of The Wall Street journal, anyone?), but none as priceless as some of the friendships I’ve made through the process. Melinda of Kitchen-Tested has become my “lets-pig-out-at-this-restaurant” buddy, my recipe idea sounding board, my support coach (“You can do this Chanie!”) but most of all, my friend (awwwww….can I grab you a tissue Mel?). So, aside from being an amazing chef (her desserts are so impressive, she should open a bakery), Melinda is totally fearless in the kitchen. She comes up with the craziest stuff you’ve ever seen [like bagel, lox and cream cheese hamantaschen! pecan pie bacon (kosher bacon) and falafel mozzarella sticks!] but she also knows how to keep it simple with down-home-delicious-recipes [like puff pastry potato roses, classic red velvet cake and Texas-style dry rub brisket). I’m honored to have Melinda guest post for me today, and I hope you enjoy her Rosh-Hashanah inspired recipe! Welcome Mel!

Today is a great day because I get to write a recipe for Busy in Brooklyn! Hi, I’m Melinda Strauss and my blog is Kitchen-Tested.com. Ever heard of me??? Basically, you all want to be me today! Chanie is one of the coolest people I know and her masterful recipes blow me away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Chanie loves tahini, cookie butter, marzipan and long walks on the beach. But really, Chanie loves her family and that’s why I’m here on her blog. She recently gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl and all I can say is “Mazal Tov…now move to Long Island!!!” Oh, did I say that out loud? Seriously, my dream is for Chanie to become Busy in The Five Towns so she can live closer to me and I can babysit while she takes naps and maybe goes out for those long walks on the beach.

So about this recipe…sure, you can eat mashed potatoes or you can eat roasted potatoes but why not get a bit of both in every bite? I love this recipe because it’s a one-pan-wonder packed with crazy amounts of flavor. The potatoes are steamed in the oven then smashed, drizzled with tons of olive oil and garlic and roasted with leeks. I love how the leeks get super crunchy in the oven and act as added texture for the potatoes, which are soft in the center and crispy around the edges. The fun thing about this recipe is that you can add any of your favorite spices to the potatoes and you can even throw some fresh whole garlic in the pan. Go nuts and make these roasted smashed potatoes your own!

Related Recipes:

honey mustard roasted potatoes
cream of leek soup with crispy leeks

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Salami Quiche

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks here at BIB, with lots of Purim demos, cooking classes and recipe writing! I always say that calling myself BUSY IN BROOKLYN was like a self-fulfilling-prophecy, because when I started this blog I wasn’t half as busy as I am nowadays. But busy is good and I am so thankful for it! Except when all that busying around turns into a sinus infection, and my recipe testing is put on hold because I can’t taste anything! I had amazing plans for a new hamantasch this week, but my taste buds won’t cooperate. And even though I can barely lift my head off my pillow, I’ve got my third demo this week in a couple of hours! So, I THANK GOD for this amazing recipe that I developed for a local magazine’s Purim issue last year, so at least I have something to share!

You all know that I’ve taken on a BIB tradition to share a salami recipe every year. I once heard that people have a tradition to eat salami on Purim because it is hung, like Haman (!!!). Who knows if it’s true, but it’s definitely fun. And it was especially thrilling when my DRUNKEN HASSELBACK SALAMI went crazy viral two years ago (I can’t believe it’s so old!). I always meet readers at demos, or even on the street who tell me that it’s become a weekly tradition for them. I just love that!

For this year, here’s something a bit more homey and family-friendly for your Purim meal. I’m sure this will become a staple in your family for the holidays too. Happy Purim!

Related Recipes:

drunken hasselback salami
beer battered salami chips with beer mustard
salami chips with dijon dipping sauce

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Savory Pomegranate Roast
with Garlic & Cipollini Onions

Monday, October 6th, 2014

I’m not really one of those people that goes into the butcher knowing what type of roast I want to make for the holidays. I just look for what’s on sale, or which roast is going to give me the most bang for my buck and I take it home. Once you understand the basics to purchasing and preparing kosher meat, you don’t have to feel stuck on a certain cut and you can feel free to choose.

It was a few days before Rosh Hashanah when I unwrapped my square roast, wondering how I would prepare it. I had so many sweet side dishes that I wanted to go for something savory – but I also wanted to play on the Jewish New Year concept. I decided to work with pomegranate molasses – a tangy condiment that’s made by reducing pomegranate juice, and pair it with savory ingredients like garlic, onions and rosemary.

When you’re preparing a new recipe and testing it on a roast, it’s always a guessing game on just how tender it’s going to turn out. I usually like to use wine or tomatoes to help tenderize my meats, but I was shocked to see how soft and buttery this roast came out without it. It was so tender, you could eat it with a spoon! And the gravy – oh my! It was thick and delicious, with a hint of tang, filled with creamy pieces of garlic and cipollini onions that practically melted into the sauce. I’d definitely call this a winner, and that’s why I’m posting it! Chag Sameach!

Other Roast Recipes:

tzimmes roast
Rosh Hashanah roast
beer braised brisket with onion gravy
crockpot pulled BBQ brisket

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Blueberry Port Duck with Duck Fat Potatoes

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Duck is not one of those things that you make regularly. Like going to a fine restaurant to celebrate a milestone or a thoughtful gift on a birthday, duck is reserved for special occasions. Especially, kosher duck. With it’s high price tag, I like to reserve duck or lamb chops for the holidays, when my family can enjoy the poultry at a beautifully set table worthy of it. Instead of splurging on just the duck breasts, I usually buy the whole duck and butcher it myself, so I can render all the extra fat and use the carcass for stock. I end up paying close the same much per lb. and I get so much more for my money.

With Shavuot* just a few short weeks away, so many of us are knee deep in cheesecake recipes that we’ve all but forgotten about “meat recipes”. Personally, I wait all year for my mom’s incredible lasagna, but by the time our dairy meal is done, I need a nap! If you’re looking for a change from the heavy dairy food, give this “special occasion” recipe a try. After all, what greater occasion is there to celebrate good food, than on a holiday.

*Shavuot is the holiday in which Jews commemorate the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. Dairy food is traditionally eaten, but many have a custom to serve meat as well. (Kosher observers do not eat milk and meat together, so a meal must be exclusively meat or milk).

Rendered duck fat has a rich golden color and produces the most crispy gribenes (duck skin cracklings). I love to use the duck fat for roasted potatoes. They give the potatoes an unmatched crispy exterior, and a smooth and creamy (not to mention flavorful) interior.

Other Festive Nondairy Dishes:

chicken breast with port wine cherry sauce
lemon and garlic whole roasted chicken
beer braised brisket with onion gravy
melt in your mouth veal meatballs
turkey roulade with 5-minute stuffing

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