Category: Appetizer

Asian Kani Bites

Ahhhh!!! I’m so so excited for this recipe, sponsored by one of my favorite brands, Kikkoman®! And that Yom Kippur is over, and we can all take a collective sigh of relief that the serious holidays are behind us, we’ve all been inscribed for a healthy, happy year, and on to the celebrations…Sukkot!

Sukkot has always been one of my favorite holidays! The weather is cool but not cold. There’s this wonderful spirit in the air, and we get to hang out with family and friends just eating, singing and rejoicing. I mean, does it get any better than that?


Sukkot is so special that I *almost* don’t mind getting back into the kitchen, again, because I get to make my Bubby’s cabbage soup, all sorts of mechshie (Syrian stuffed vegetables), my kofta stuffed dates (from Millennial Kosher) and of course, Torah cannoli for Simchat Torah!

I’ve talked a lot about the tradition of eating stuffed foods in honor of Sukkot. The tradition is symbolic of an abundant harvest season. Since the wheat is harvested in Israel during the fall, we stuff foods to symbolize our desire for an overflowing harvest. This is popularly done with stuffed cabbage, or holipches, which some say are also made to resemble the scrolls of a Torah.

I know it’s a bit of a stretch, but this year, I decided to do something new, and instead of stuffing a vegetable, I’m stuffing wonton cups with pulled kani aka surimi, or mock crab! Pulled beef has been in the spotlight for a while, and lets just say I’m bored of it. It’s been on every recipe menu, at every party and holiday meal, and it’s just so heavy! I wanted to lighten things up and kani is JUST THE THING.

I love that surimi is a fish that you don’t have to buy fresh, and I always have it in my freezer for Kani or sushi salad! My kids love my kani fried rice from my cookbook, and it’s an easy appetizer you can pull together when you have last minute guests. Which happens a lot on Sukkot by the way!

The great thing about this recipe is that it makes a lot, which is a must for holiday dishes, you can prep all the components ahead of time and just assemble before serving. If the wonton cups last that long ‘cuz they’re pretty addictive!

This recipe is also totally customizable – add whatever toppings you like, or stir the kani into linguini or fried rice instead of wonton cups. There are so many directions to go with this, and the Asian sauce works really well for stir fries too!

I love that Kikkoman has such a large selection of kosher ingredients, you can even buy a prepared sauce instead of making your own! A great trick for drizzling on sriracha or spicy mayo is to unscrew the Kikkoman cap and replace it with the cover of a squeeze bottle (see photo above!), it works wonders!

If you’re feeling extra fancy, try the pickled radishes,  you can even use onions, daikon or carrot instead!

Wishing you and yours a very happy Sukkot!

This post is sponsored by Kikkoman®.

Related Recipes:

kani salad
kani caesar salad with nori croutons
sushi salad
sushi salad II
sushi burrito

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Apple Honey Mustard Salmon

This recipe came to me last week when I was preparing my salmon and I’m so glad it did because it’s JUST. SO. PRETTY!! I definitely have a thing with decorating a side of salmon, and I love how the apples resemble fish scales!

I think a memory a lot of us have of Rosh Hashanah from our childhood is that moment when the fish head was brought to the table and WE. HAD. TO. EAT. IT.!! It always smelled awful and that fish eye just stared at us, as if to say, you killed me and now you’re going to have to eat me!!! I still have nightmares from those fish heads. Nightmares!!!

When people ask for recipes for the fish head, I usually just tell them that no recipe is going to make anyone want to eat it so just throw tons of lemon on it and stick it in the oven! Most of the fish stores have been storing the fish heads all year, so they’re definitely not fresh, and you can smell it a mile away. I don’t know what’s worse, the eyeball staring back at me or the smell coming out of it!

That’s the thing about fish that people don’t realize – it really should never smell like fish! It should smell like the ocean. If your fish smells fishy, it’s probably not fresh and it will probably taste fishy after you cook it. Moral of the story – BUY FRESH FISH. And don’t try and get fancy with your fish head ‘cuz nobody wants to eat it anyway.

But this here? This is the fish that you WANT to serve. It’s the dish that everyone is going to OOH and AHH over. And you’re going to be feel like a gourmet goddess for pulling it off. At least, until, we pass the fish head around!

May we all be blessed to be like the head, and not the tail this year!

 

 

Related Recipes:

honey fish roasted salmon
salmon en croute with creamed leeks
honey sriracha salmon
honey mustard salmon

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Sausage Galette with Apple Cider Onion Jam

It’s that time of year when my inbox gets flooded with Kosherfest invites and it really got me thinking about how far the kosher industry has come. I’m so thankful because having so many amazing kosher products on the market helps me do my job and get creative in the kitchen.

When my mom was growing up, there were the basics: kosher meat, kosher milk, pasta, tomato sauce, ketchup, mayo, canned fruits and veggies… the staples. There was candy and baked goods but nothing like what we have today! We are so fortunate to have so much at our disposal, and kosher cooking is easier and tastier than ever.

I’m especially thankful for kosher imports from around the world that make specialty products accessible. Do you remember when bloggers were making their own cookie butter, and finding a package of Lotus cookies was like striking gold? They’re now readily available in most kosher supermarkets, with kosher certification from Israel.

The newest Israeli import that I’m crushing over are the rolled pie doughs that come frozen, in both sweet and savory varieties. They make galettes and tarts a breeze, and I couldn’t be happier. When Abeles & Heymann released their newest sausage flavors of Bourbon Apple, Teriyaki Ginger and Andouille, I knew just what I was going to make, and LOOK. HOW. PRETTY!!!!

I love that Abeles & Heymann is constantly upping their game and their new sausage flavors are so exciting! I’m so honored to be a brand ambassador for them, because I truly love the quality and care that they put into their products. My family cannot tolerate any other hot dog and because they are so conscious of putting out healthier products, I don’t have to feel bad about feeding them to my family, because many are free of nitrates and other additives.

So lets talk tart — In honor of the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah, I whipped up an easy apple mustard using prepared apple butter and cooked down the most lip-smacking apple cider onion jam that is about to be added to EVERYTHING! Make it and you’ll see!

If you’ve got any apple cider onion jam left, feel free to add it to grilled cheese with some sliced apples (if you make it pareve), mixed some into your holiday roast, smother it over chicken, squash or mix into rice. Or, just eat it by the spoonful cuz it’s THAT good.

As for the sausages, if you’re not up for a galette, you can slice them on the diagonal, sear them off and add to a charcuterie board. Wrap ’em in puff pastry for classic franks in blanks. Roast them with potatoes or peppers and onions for an easy sheet pan meal. Or just go classic in a hot dog bun, ‘cuz you can never go wrong with that!

Wishing you an easily prep for the holidays ahead, and a super sweet and delicious year!

This post is sponsored by Abeles & Heymann.

Related Recipes:

sausage stuffed butternut squash with apples
salami tarte tatin
apple and honey galette

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Dips & Spreads

Walk into any kosher supermarket and you’re likely to find a display case of wall to wall dips. What is it about Jews and dips and when did this cultural shift happen?

In Sephardic culture, SALATIM have adorned their Shabbos tables for generations. Unlike most mayo-based dips that you find in Ashkenazi cuisine, salatim are usually cooked down for hours (think matbucha!) and are exclusively savory.

Growing up in an Ashkenazi home, dips were not really a THING. And come to think of it, neither was a smorgasbord of salads. Life was a lot simpler back then, and if we had some pickled cucumber salad, chrein (horseradish with beets) and tahini (my dad is Israeli after all) we were happy campers. Perhaps it’s our foodie culture or this generation’s need for abundance that has our Shabbos feasts outdoing the most lavish Thanksgiving spreads. Luckily, I like to play around in the kitchen, so spending my Fridays whipping up multiple dishes isn’t the worst thing. But for those who find cooking overwhelming, Shabbos prep can be a chore, and believe me I get it. That’s where store-bought dips come in handy, and the good news is, you don’t really have to buy them.

I’ve never been that big on prepping dips, probably because they are just a vehicle for eating more challah. We always have hummus and tahini around, and I’ll make (or buy!) olive dip on occasion, but dips for me are an “extra”, a cherry on the top if I’m feeling extra fancy or I want to go all out for special guests.

If I have tomatoes on hand that are too soft for salad, I’ll usually cook down my tomato jalepeno dip (recipe in my book) and we absolutely love garlic confit smeared over challah (recipe also in my book), but in general, I prefer NO-COOK dips that I can just throw into the food processor and be done with it! One of my favorite kitchen hacks for making dips it to cover the bowl of my food processor with plastic wrap before putting the cover on, so the oil or mayo doesn’t splatter all over the top of the machine when I blend, and I can make one dip after another with minimal clean up.

The best part about making homemade dips in the food processor is that amounts don’t really matter. You can throw most things from a jar into your machine with a big dollop of mayo (lemon juice keeps it tasting fresh, and salt is always a given) and you’re good to go. Here are some good combos!

 

Related Recipes:

trio of sweet challah dips

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Camembert en Croûte Salad

People often ask me if I feel deprived as a serious foodie who keeps kosher, and the answer is “no”. As someone who’s been kosher since birth, I don’t crave “treif” simply because I’ve never tried it. And there is really so much available on the kosher market today, that I don’t really feel like I’m missing out.

BUT… (there’s always a but isn’t there?!), traveling as a kosher keeper is hard stuff. Especially when you go places that don’t have much kosher available, and you’ve got to stuff your bag with cans of tuna and crackers. I have to admit that part isn’t easy, and for that reason, I usually choose to travel to places based on the kosher availability there.

Which totally works for me because eating out, I feel, is part and parcel of a vacation. I’m not the sit-by-the-beach and suntan kinda gal, so I’d rather hit the town and see what it has to offer.


I love exploring different food cultures and traveling really opens your eyes to different ingredients and flavor combinations. On my recent trip to Paris, I ordered the camembert salad, which was served simply over a bed of iceberg lettuce, with a drizzle of balsamic and honey and a sprinkling of pine nuts. It really made me rethink the whole camembert thing (I always just wrap it in puff pastry), and I knew I was going to recreate it when I got home,

I took the best of the salad, and paired it with the “en croute” concept, for a deconstructed cheese salad of your dreams. There’s not much else to say about this other than IT’S AS GOOD AS IT LOOKS.

Camembert, if you’re not familiar, is a soft and creamy, surface-ripened cow’s milk cheese. The white bloomy rind is totally edible, with barely any moldy flavor. As someone who is not a fan of moldy cheese, I absolutely love Camembert (and brie!), so I wouldn’t be scared off by it.


If you’re not quite ready for Camembert on it’s own, I recommend wrapping it in puff pastry with some fig jam and candied nuts and baking until puffed and golden. That’s really what got me into this wheel of wonder to begin with and it’s absolutely amazing!


halloumi cheese waffles with tomato jam and balsamic syrup
brie marsala pizza
dried fruit brie bites

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