Category: Dinner

Roasted Summer Chicken

After weeks of summer prep and camp shopping, I am SO HAPPY that I can officially say welcome the start of summer. The kids are in camp. Everyone is settled in. And I am relishing every moment.

I try to keep dinners simple in the summer, but after a day of running around in the summer heat, and hours spent at the pool, my kids voracious appetites demand more than just frozen pizza. They are HUNGRY! I try to keep the fridge stocked with lots of fruits and veggies, plenty of protein in the freezer and fresh herbs on the window sill.

I think we all associate summer with barbecue but I try to do away with heavy bottled sauces and season food simply instead. Juicy seasonal tomatoes, fresh summer corn and a bunch of fragrant basil are always handy, which is how this delicious light summer dinner came together in no time. My kids literally licked their plates clean!

Now that corn is in season, here’s a great trick for cutting it!!

Israeli couscous is another summer staple – it rounds out the meal, cooks in five minutes, and isn’t as heavy as other starches. But feel free to serve with any starch of your choice!

Related Recipes:

chimichicken
ratatouille roast chicken
corn and heirloom tomato salad with basil lime vinaigretteĀ 

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Pastelon Shepherd’s Pie

Yes, it’s true – plantains and I are having a moment. Ok fine, not a moment, a year. Or three. Or four.

I’ve basically been a fan of plantains ever since my first Whole30 back in 2014. I didn’t even know what they were back then, but when I found Whole30-approved plantain chips in Trader Joes, I was all in. I started noticing the plantains at my local Caribbean grocery, and I learned to make my own chips as well as tostones (twice fried plantains) which I devoured with guacamole and tuna tartare (OK I’m hungry now).

I realized that plantains could make an amazing stand-in for the overused potato on Pesach, so I started to experiment further with different recipes. My plantain nachos were a big hit, and I heard from some readers who started to make my sweet and savory plantain tortillas all year long!

And then there was that summer when I discovered plantains at my local Shoprite in upstate New York and I ate my fair share of maduros – fried ripe plantains with a sprinkle of brown sugar and a squeeze of lime. Better than ice cream.

Plantains, like bananas, change color as they ripen – although unlike bananas, they can be eaten at any stage, so long as they are cooked. Green plantains are very starchy, while yellow and black ones are sweeter and a bit easier to peel. When plantains are fully ripened and black – they only look scary on the outside, but on the inside the plantains are still quite firm. It’s at this point that you can fry them in oil for maduros, or boil them up for mash.

I recently happened upon a recipe for Pastelon – a Peurto Rican lasagna that uses plantains instead of lasagna noodles. It made me think of using mashed plantains instead of potatoes for Shepherd’s Pie and that’s how this recipe was born! It makes a great one pot meal for Chol Hamoed, and can even be prepared and frozen in advance.

Wishing you and yours and Kosher & Happy Passover!

Related Recipes:

plantain nachos
fish tacos with savory plantain tortillas
nutella crepes with sweet plantain tortillas

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Ratatouille Roast Chicken

Y’all know I’m not really one for traditional dishes, but if there’s any time where tradition plays an essential role, it’s Passover, or Pesach. The Passover seder is all about the rituals that we observe each year – from preparing our homes and making them chometz-free (free of any leavened grains), to eating matza and morror (bitter herbs), drinking four cups of wine, hiding the afikomen and reciting the Haggadah. It’s all about, as Fiddler-on-the-Roof used to say, TRADISHUN!

Because this holiday has always been about creating special memories with family, I’m all about the simple kosher-for-Passover foods that my mom prepared each year. On the eve of Passover, we would all wash up with soap, put on some aprons and get to work peeling and chopping veggies for her classic Pesach dishes.

We’d fill mason jars with ratatouille, mock chopped liver, cucumber salad and vinaigrette (a salad of cooked beets, carrots, potatoes and red onion) and each meal over Passover, we’d dig a little deeper into the jars, until they were finished. Somehow, we never got bored of eating the same dishes over and over again because that’s what the holiday was all about.

This ratatouille dish is not quite the same as my mom used to make (since she did not use any processed ingredients like spices or tomato paste!), but it’s definitely inspired by the Passover dish of my youth.

Related Recipes:

chimicken
pulled pesto chicken with fire roasted tomato jam
harissa roasted chicken

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Arayes: Kofta Pita Pockets


I love how today’s food trends have made Middle Eastern food so popular. Otherwise, I probably never would have heard of sabich, or hawaij, or arayes.

So what are they? Arayes are native to Lebanon, where they stuff kofta, a spiced beef or lamb mixture, into pita pockets and grill them. Yes, it’s as good as it’s sounds.

What I love even more than traditional arayes, is that chef’s have been creating their own adaptation of the classic for a fun twist. A local restaurant had fish arayes on the menu last week, and I’ve been seeing lots of other variations of the traditional filling as well.

While I’m usually one for turning tradition on it’s head, I loved my classic recipe so much that I went with it. But I did spare you the annoying blogger habit of calling anything with 3 corners hamantaschen, because frankly, they are not. Although in the festive Purim spirit, they are triangular, and they really do make the perfect Purim party appetizer.

Speaking of Purim party appetizers, I love to put out of bunch of finger food for my Purim feast every year because everyone is so busy coming and going, there’s hyper kids all over the place and probably a bunch of adult drunks too – so no one really wants a formal meal. Finger food makes the perfect spread and arayes are just the thing.

Some other great party appetizers that I’ve done in the past include:

drunken hasselback salami
pulled beef tacos
hummus bassar
breaded honey drumsticks
hot dog eggrolls
potato borekas
franks in blanks
chicken wings
charcuterie board
roasted sweet potatoes with gooey pecans (recipe in Millennial Kosher)
lachmagine pizza (recipeĀ  in Millennial Kosher)

Enjoy!

Related Recipes:

Jerusalem hummus in jars
mechshie
herbed pita chips
grilled chicken fattoush

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ChimiChicken

Chimichurri is my latest obsession. The herbaceous sauce originates from Argentina, where they serve it with grilled meat., but I’ve been putting it on everything and it is GOOD! I’ve always been a pesto person (my spinach pistachio pesto is LIFE!), but because we try to keep my house nut free, I prefer to have a green sauce on hand that doesn’t make me worry. Of course pesto without nuts is not pesto (no matter that your local market labels it as such!), so I moved on to the next best thing.

Now while chimichurri is delicious on it’s own – a perfect dipping sauce for london broil or grilled chicken – I’ve been mixing it into mayo for a lipsmacking aioli that’s delicious on burgers, or as a dressing for a fresh chicken salad – so so good!

One thing I hadn’t done was actually cooked with it (since it’s traditionally served raw), but when I had a container left over at the end of the week, I decided to throw it over some chicken with some tomatoes and the results were absolutely delicious. This one is a winner!

Related Recipes:

pulled pesto chicken burger with fire roasted tomato jam
grilled chicken fattoush with za’atar ranch
spice crusted chicken

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