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Kosher Shrimp & Grits

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Before you go ahead and close your browser, no you did not make your way onto a treif blog, everything on here is still kosher! I can’t get over how real those shrimp look, can you?

So to be honest, I’m not really one for kosherizing treif dishes. Like I don’t do cheeseburgers with fake cheese or buttermilk fried chicken with soy milk. It’s just not my thing. But when I saw a package of grits at Shoprite last week, I just had to buy it. I’m a big fan of farina (the wheat version of grits, which are made from corn) and I love all things corn, so I was intrigued. I also mistakenly bought a package of mock shrimp instead of mock crab (we are obsessed with this kani salad in this house) so that’s how this kosher version of shrimp and grits came to be.

Now shrimp and grits is real Southern comfort food, and definitely more of a winter dish than a summer one – so I incorporated some fresh corn and a basil pistou to cut through the heaviness and lighten things up. A squeeze of lime in the creamy cheddar grits also goes a long way.

So, for an anti-tofu, real-food person, I have to be honest and say that the shrimp tasted amazing, but was definitely on the rubbery side. When I made this in my Instagram story, many readers suggested butterflying the shrimp by cutting it in half lengthwise, so I’ve made that suggestion below. But honestly, when I make this again, I’m just going to use kani (mock crab) since we are huge fans of that in this house (and ironically one of my readers messaged me that her dad, who is not religious, ate kani at her house and said it tasted just like shrimp!).

I’m stoked that I managed to plate this up all pretty for a blog post for you guys, its been great having a break, but I’ve missed posting!

 

Other Fish Dishes:

kani salad
spicy tuna melt twice baked potatoes
tuna pasta salad
fish tacos

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Spicy Tuna Melt Twice Baked Potatoes

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

I think I subconsciously invented this dish sometime back in grade school. Remember how they always served tuna with french fries and ketchup? It sounds weird, I know, but somehow it just goes! If you think about it, tuna patties are often mixed with mashed potatoes (along with other veggies), so it’s not that far fetched. And anything smothered in ketchup is a child’s dream dish.

I’ve had my fill of ketchup as a kid, but now I’m all about a different kind of bottled red sauce – sriracha! If you’ve never tried amping up your tuna salad with some heat, you don’t know what you’re missing. I am a spicy tuna girl all the way! I’ve added harissa, schug, sriracha and hot sauce to spice up my tuna – and they all do the perfect job in adding flavor and heat to boring-old tuna and mayo.

Now that you’ve got the baked potato and spicy tuna idea down pat – here comes the cheddar! When it comes to the classic tuna melt, you’re either a tuna melt person or you’re not. Some people are grossed out by the idea of mixing fish and cheese – and I get that. If that’s you – go ahead and leave out the cheese and go pareve on this one. Spicy tuna loaded baked potatoes are still delish.

Although if you ARE a tuna melt kind of person, then get ready to be blown away! I love how such humble ingredients create this dish of pure comfort food. Who says you can’t indulge on the cheap – you sure can!

When I do baked potato night for dinner, I try to mix it up for variation around the table. I’ll do broccoli and cheddar (of course), tuna (with ketchup for the kids, sriracha for me!), baked beans, avocado and salsa, and of course plain ole salt and butter. You can never go wrong with that!

If you want to go all out on the cheese sauce, try making my harissa cheddar sauce to top off some steamed broccoli or baked beans. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed with spicy?

OK, I can go on and on about potatoes, and tuna, and cheese – but lets face it – we’re in The Nine Days, so what else are you making for dinner this week? I’ve got you covered with a Nine Days category, Pinterest board and of course updates on my Facebook and Instagram pages!

So far, I’ve made bruschetta tilapia with basil-almond pesto zoodles (those recipes are in my ebook) and Linguini Lasagna for the kiddies. Tonight it’s gonna be vegetarian chili and cornbread pie. Tomorrow, I plan to tackle tofu for the first time with a marinated Asian tofu with stir fried veggies and rice noodles. Any tips for a tofu novice like me?

I’ll be finishing the week with my tuna nicoise patties, green bean salad and roasted potatoes (also in my ebook) and then onto some meat again for Shabbat (thankfully!). What are you making for dinner this week? I’d love to hear! And please share your favorite baked potato fillings too!


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

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Fish Tacos with Broccoli Slaw

Thursday, July 11th, 2013


I’m not a huge fish person, so fish tacos are not something you’d normally find on my menu. Recently though, we’ve started cooking less meat in our house, and plain old chicken, even with endless preparations, gets kind of tired. My husband came home from work one day raving about the red snapper he’d had for lunch, so when I saw some fresh snapper at the fishmonger, I decided to surprise him with something fresh and different from our usual fare. I’ve been making it ever since, and not just with red snapper.

Fish tacos should be a light and filling dish, so I don’t like to fry my fish with a heavy bread crumb topping. Instead, I dust it with a light coating of flour, giving it the perfect golden crust that you just can’t get on it’s own. I wouldn’t even call this fried fish – it’s only lightly pan-fried in a little oil.

Ask any fish taco enthusiast and they will tell you that every fish taco needs 2 accompaniments – a sauce and a slaw. To make things easier, I combine the two. My creamy broccoli slaw is a great change from typical slaw recipes that use cabbage. It’s dressed with a delicious combo of sour cream, jalapeno and lime – the perfect complements to flaky fish.

To assemble your fish tacos, heat up some soft corn tortillas in a dry pan, lightly browning on both sides. Holding the tortilla in the palm of your hand, fill with slaw and top with flaked fish and avocado slices.

1 year ago: linguini lasagna
2 years ago: blueberry corn pancakes

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Vegetarian Chili & Cornbread

Monday, July 8th, 2013

For one week of the summer, I welcome the opportunity to put on my dairy apron, which usually collects dust until Shavuous comes around. Lighter meals of grilled fish and salads are also appreciated on these hot summer days. But for some serious meat eaters, the nine days* can be a challenging time. I know, because my husband is one of them. If he comes home from a long day of work to a pot of mac and cheese, he takes a bite and then asks for the next course. To him, a meal without meat is not a meal at all. The good news is, meat-eaters can still enjoy some hearty dishes, albeit without the 6-hour wait tag.

Vegetarian chili is a great option for the nine days because it is so versatile. You can serve it up in a burrito, over baked potatoes, or as a base for shepherds pie. You can also go the classic route and eat it alongside cornbread, or go Mexican with a tray of enchilada’s. Usually, chili needs to cook for several hours, but because I don’t like to sit over a hot stove in the summer, I’ve come up with a great recipe that doesn’t require endless hours on the stove.

For more great Nine Days ideas, including other meat-lovers recipes, visit the new Nine Days category.

You can also check out my new Nine Day Album on Facebook for great dairy and pareve recipes that are not on the blog.

*The Nine Days is a mourning period over the destruction of the Holy Temple. During this time, observant Jews abstain from eating meat and drinking wine as well as other joyous activities.

To me, chili without cornbread is like a hot dog without mustard. It’s just a must-have! It took a long time for me to come up with the perfect cornbread recipe that is moist, not too sweet, and, well…corny (you know I mean that in the taste of corn sense). The combination of coconut milk and creamed corn keep the cornbread moist and pareve. That means you get to whip them up with some REAL meat chili when the Nine Days are up!

I mentioned lots of fun ways to use chili earlier in the post, but I especially love this one-dish-meal option. You can choose to layer the chili into a square baking dish, or serve them up in individual mason jars for a fun twist. Since the cornbread is cooked on top of the chili (and will rise during baking), I only use half of my cornbread recipe for it. You can use the remaining batter for cupcakes or double up the chili recipe, and make 2 pies.

1 year ago: Corn Flake crunch ice cream
2 years ago: sushi salad II

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Portobello Burgers with Sundried Tomato Aioli

Thursday, June 20th, 2013


When Dena from Chai & Home contacted me about a collaboration between Jewish bloggers to celebrate summer recipes, I was more than happy to join the team. I love the opportunity to work with and promote other bloggers, especially those that share the same traditions and customs as me. “A Very Jewish Summer Week” has been underway since Monday, with fun and exciting posts ranging from tablescapes to summer camp packages.

You can join in on the fun, by visiting the following blog posts:

Monday: Evoking Childhood Shabbat Memories on YentaMamas
Tuesday: Shabbat Style: Alfresco Orange Tablescape on Chai&Home
Wednesday: Summer Camp Care Packages on MadeByMamaleh
Thursday:  Grilled Portobello Burgers with Sundried Tomato Aioli by ME ;)
Friday: Ceviche & Champagne on Bisstyle. English translation here.

When I thought about what kind of recipe to post as part of a weeklong summerfest, I just knew it had to involve grilling. It doesn’t hurt that my newly purchased grill pan was waiting to be broken into! Well what better way to celebrate “A Very Jewish Summer Week” than with the  quintessential American summer food – burgers. Burgers, especially grilled ones on the BBQ, are a summer staple in our culture. When you think of summer BBQ’s – burgers and hot dogs are the very first things that come to mind. They cook up rather quickly on a hot grill, and paired with some fresh lettuce, tomato and onion, make the perfect summertime meal.

The only problem with featuring an authentic burger on “A Very Jewish Summer Week” is that as an observant Jew who keeps kosher, cheeseburgers are a no-no (we don’t eat milk and meat together). I’ve never been to McDonalds or Burger King, and I’ve never tried a slice of melted cheese on a beef patty.

So what’s a kosher blogger to do? I decided to celebrate both my Jewishness, and the joy of Summer BBQing with something even better. A grilled portobello burger with all the fixings. With the Nine Days (a period of mourning in which observant Jews abstain from eating meat). soon approaching, we’ll be thankful for this delicious vegetarian take on a summer classic!

Now, back why you’re all here. The burger. I decided on a portobello mushroom cheeseburger because thick and meaty portobellos are the perfect stand-in for beef in a vegetarian sandwich. They also lend themselves really well to grilling. To take this vegetarian burger over the top, I topped it off with some sundried tomato aioli, the perfect complement to grilled mushrooms. The addition of mozzarella cheese, beefsteak tomatoes, bitter arugula and red onions leaves nothing behind. One bite of this heavenly sandwich and you’ll forget what meat burgers are all about!

UPDATE 10/2/13: This recipe won 2nd place in The Mushroom Channel’s Swap It or Top It Contest. To watch me make the burger for News 12 Brooklyn, click here.

1 year ago: kid-friendly dirty rice
2 years ago: easy strawberry shortcake

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“Magic” Salmon

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Even though we’re not big dairy eaters around here, I’m so excited to cook for the Nine Days. It gives me a chance to think outside the box, and a rest from typical chicken dinners. I’m grabbing at the chance to make delicious and healthy fish recipes which are a great source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.

There are many different ways to prepare fish, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can grill, pan-fry, bake, poach or steam fish in many different preparations, but it is best cooked quickly over high heat. If your fish is cooked right, it won’t taste “fishy”.

When purchasing fresh fish, it should smell like the ocean, not like fish. It should have a vibrant color. Pale fish or fish with discolored patches is not fresh. A great tip is to tell your fishmonger that you are making sushi with the fish. This will ensure that the fish is fresh enough to be eaten raw.

One of my favorite ways of preparing baked salmon and tilapia is using Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic Seasoning Blend. The blend is exactly as it is named; pure magic. When baking fish, the key is to bake it at a high temperature for a short period of time. Your fish will be soft, tasty, and best of all, so incredibly quick and easy to prepare. Recipes follow below.

I have lots of ideas brewing for the upcoming week, so I thought I’d share some ideas for those of you who like to plan ahead:

Dairy Recipe Ideas:

homemade pizza
lasagna
– quiches
– risottos
quesadilles
stuffed shells
eggplant parmesan
– fettucine alfredo
– penne alla vodka
– french onion soup
– cream of any vegetable soup
stuffed mushrooms
eggplant rollatini
– macaroni and cheese
pancakes, waffles or french toast
– baked potatoes with broccoli and cheddar or other fillings

Meat-Lovers Recipe Ideas:

vegetarian chili with cheesy corn bread
portobello mushroom burger
tuna steak
– grilled halibut
fish tacos
– falafel

Light ‘n Healthy Recipe Ideas:

salad nicoise
shakshuka
portobello pizza
– sushi rolls or sushi salad
chickpea patties
cheesy stuffed mini peppers
– stir fry with tofu and rice
steamed fish and veggies au papillote
baked sweet potatoes with cottage cheese or other fillings

Other Pareve Recipe Ideas:

– tuna or salmon croquettes
– tuna casserole
salmon pasta salad
Crispy breaded fish sandwich or “fish and chips”

Please feel free to share your Nine Days Menu ideas in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

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