Category: Appetizer

Mom’s Potato Knishes

As a recipe developer, it’s not often that I make other peoples recipes, and when I do, it’s often ones that have been in my family for years. I usually find myself cooking my mom’s dishes around the High Holidays – there’s just something about the Days of Awe that makes me want to connect to my roots, and how more so than with food.

Mom’s potato knishes are a staple at every holiday meal, and it has always been my favorite, because, well… potatoes. It’s probably the only time you’ll see me using margarine – EVER – because coconut oil just doesn’t fly here and to keep the knishes pareve, I’ve got no other choice. Plus, puff pastry is basically 80% margarine anyway, so what’s a little more, amiright?

What I love about this recipe is that the filling makes enough to fill 3 whole rolls and they freeze great! And since they’re frozen unbaked, they taste like you just made them when you bake them up before serving. = a perfect recipe for long holidays like Succos coming up! If you have a custom to eat stuffed foods for the Harvest Holiday, I’ve got you covered there too!

Related Recipes:

cabbage bourekas
deli roll
spanakopita bourekas
salmon en croute with creamed leeks

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Hummus Simanim

As the New Year approaches, I always like to evaluate where I stand and think about what changes I want to make for myself in the coming year, both personally and professionally. For years, my goal was to take the necessary steps towards writing my own cookbook, and now that I have met that goal (far beyond my expectations, with our first printing of 15,000 books completely sold out in just 3 months!), I keep asking myself, “What’s next?”.


I’m not the type of person that settles on status quo – I’m always dreaming up the next big thing and finding ways to challenge myself. It’s like they say – “If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind” – and I definitely believe in that.


Truth be told, once the book went to print, I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I couldn’t imagine coming up with new recipes and ideas ever again! But as my workload lightened up this summer, I got back in the kitchen because I wanted to, not because I had to, and I found my groove again! I went back to my roots, the foods and the flavors that I love the most (yes, that means Israeli food!) and this amazing new recipe came to me! It’s simanim on steroids and it is everything you’ve ever dreamed of for your Rosh Hashanah table and more!

Simanim, or symbolic foods, are traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize our hopes for a sweet New Year. Some simanim include leeks, pomegranate, gourds (any type of squash), dates, black eyed peas or green beans, beets, carrots and fish head (some use ram’s head). These specific foods are eaten because their hebrew translation relates to specific blessings that convey our wishes for the coming year.


When I put the platter together, I couldn’t stop taking photos because, I mean, HOW GORGEOUS IS IT, amiright??? I all but maxed out my SD card and went. to. town. (No- I like seriously went to town, for some fresh pita!). I invited my neighbors over and we stood over my kitchen counter in the mountains, scooping hummus and salad onto blistered bread, the tastes of Israel growing stronger with each bite. It was a simple dish, but it captured everything I love about what I do – channeling my creativity, sharing with friends, cooking with color and putting a twist on tradition.

This dish reminded me how important it is to cook from a place of love – it is, after all, the secret ingredient that makes everything taste better – and that it’s food, family and tradition that brings us all together.

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and sweet New Year with much success in all areas of your lives. May we continue to reach milestones and share good news with each other this year!
Ksiva Vachasima Tova L’shana Tova Umisukah!



Related Recipes:

simanim fritto misto
simanim pasta salad
simanim holiday salad
hummus bassar
chestnut hummus

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Lemon Grilled Leeks with Crispy Panko

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: leeks are an underrated vegetable. Thankfully, they are one of the symbolic foods that is customary to eat on Rosh Hashanah, so once a year people actually take the time to pay attention to them!

Leeks are buttery soft when braised, crispitty crunchy when fried and smoky when grilled. In a word: they are versatile. And I’m so happy to share this method + recipe with you!


First, let us consider that since Rosh Hashanah is so early this year, we can still make use of our grills, and if you don’t have one, there’s still time to savor some al fresco dining. PC Richard & Son has everything you need for outdoor grilling – like these Traeger grills that I’m personally hoping to upgrade to, and some more affordable Weber models. I’ve been grilling so much this summer and I can honestly tell you that there’s nothing quite like it. You keep the mess outdoors, the food is full of flavor and meals come together in minutes. It’s a win-win.

I’ll tell you what else is a win-win: the combo of lemony leeks with a hint of sweet honey and garlicky crispy crumbs makes this humble vegetable the star of the holiday table. It also makes the perfect side to some braised brisket, a leg of lamb or grilled rib eye steak. So lets get grillin!

This post is sponsored by P.C. Richard & Son. All opinions are my own.

Related Recipes:

salmon en croute with creamed leeks
roasted smashed potatoes with leeks
cream of leek soup

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Grilled Chicken Wedge Salad
with Carrot Ginger Dressing

Grilled chicken salad is my dish of choice for summer. There always seems to be some leftover chicken in the fridge and I love the challenge of coming up with new ways to eat it – depending on what I have on hand. I typically go with Middle Eastern-inspired recipes when I use pargiot, or dark meat cutlets, and I go Asian or Indian with chicken breasts.

The iceberg salad with carrot ginger dressing is my favorite starter at Asian restaurants – it’s just so light and fresh and really the perfect way to start a meal of heavy Chinese food. I’m always picking out the big chunks of iceberg that are wedged into each other, so I decided to make a salad that is all about the wedge!

Traditional wedge salad is smothered in bacon and blue cheese dressing – and aside from the fact that it’s not kosher, I’m not even tempted, because, well….blue cheese. I prefer not to eat food that tastes like stinky socks, you know? But this right here? This is I can get behind. With creamy avocado, peppery radishes and crisp cucumber, you don’t even miss croutons and the dish will leave you feeling light and refreshed – just how I love my summer salads.


Related Recipes:

Asian lettuce wraps
grilled chicken fattoush with za’atar ranch
grilled chicken salad with jalapeno honey mustard dressing
grilled chicken shawarma salad

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Kalbi Korean BBQ Ribs

Before we get started on this summer-must-have recipe, I have a small favor to ask of y’all! Saveur is hosting their yearly blog awards and it would mean so much to me if you would nominate me for “best food culture blog“. It’s super easy to do and takes less than 2 minutes – you can nominate busyinbrooklyn as many times as you’d like until tomorrow evening. Thank you so much for your continued love and support!

I don’t grill – meat – enough. Maybe it’s because my husband is vegetarian. Or because kosher cuts are so darn expensive, and my kids don’t really care either way. I’m the only one who’s really going to appreciate it, so I can’t justify the splurge that often. Of course burgers, hot dogs, pargiot and veggies make a regular appearance on the grill, but steak – not so much.

I’m far from a vegetarian but I’m also not that enthusiastic about animal protein. It feels so heavy and hard to digest, so we’re down to having it just once a week (OK twice if you count those days when I just want to crash and feed my kids hot dogs – the no nitrate, reduced fat, better for you version because even though I’m tired, I’m not about to feed my kids complete and total junk!). Don’t tell my husband but I have to admit that I feel better when I don’t eat that much meat, but it’s summer, and the grill is calling for some sizzling steak!

I used to get this dish at Sushi Mestuyan in Queens – a kosher Japanese steak house that was, when it first opened, a pretty good restaurant. It was around for years, opened up a few other branches, and gradually declined into obscurity. I don’t think it’s around anymore, but I dream about their Metsuyan Kalbi, because it had the most tender pieces of grilled meat in a rich Korean BBQ sauce that I can practically still taste. They served it in a cast iron skillet with a side of coconut rice and it was enough to make a vegetarian want to splurge. I forgot about that dish until I made these ribs, and the sweet and spicy umami-rich marinade just brought me back to their dining room with the giant fish tank along the wall. When food can transport you like that – you know you’ve got yourself a winning recipe! Also when your anti-animal-protein husband breaks his diet for a piece (or two, or three) you can bet you’ve nailed it.

What makes the marinade truly shine is my (not so new) favorite kosher ingredient – gochujang! Tzipporah Rothkopf, a Korean convert to Judaism decided to bring some of her native condiments to the kosher market and I thank G-d every day that she decided to become Jewish! Her kosher-certified brand, KOKO Kosher Korean features authentic Korean condiments like gochujang (fermented red chili paste), gochugaru (chili powder),  kimchi (fermented cabbage), doenjang (fermented soybean paste aka miso), and ganjang (fermented soy sauce). What makes these products so unique is that the fermentation process deepens the flavors, creating umami-rich savory notes that are so complex and delicious. I can’t get enough of her gochujang – it’s sticky, sweet, salty and spicy all at once – I can eat it with a spoon!

Related Recipes:

Asian grilled marinated chicken
mongolian beef
grilled radicchio with black sesame dressing

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