Category: Main Dish

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

Post a Comment

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

Post a Comment

Lemony Orzo Soup with Meatballs

Hello, hello my fellow winter bunnies. It’s officially cold out, even the snow has made an appearance this week. I find winter pretty depressing tbh, and if it was up to me, I’d stay indoors snuggling under my covers until Spring!

The only thing that really gets me through winter is my down coat, fingerless gloves (so I can answer my DM’S!), some uplifting music, and hearty soups. That last one is mandatory.

I’ve never been that much of a soup person because it’s just ANOTHER thing to make for dinner, but I’ve found that my kids really love a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter night, and if you play your culinary cards right – it doesn’t have to be that extra thing at dinner, it can actually BE dinner.

To turn your soup into a one pot meal, follow these basic guidelines:

1. include a protein: chicken, shredded beef, meatballs, smoked turkey, tofu
3. include grains: pasta (orzo, couscous, ramen), farro, barley, quinoa, rice
2. include vegetables: endless options!

If you’re feeling¬† like you need a little somethin somethin on the side, make a salad or serve with fresh baguettes or pita for dipping!

Hoping this hearty soup keeps you warm all winter long!

Other hearty winter soups:

crockpot mushroom barley stoup
spinach matzo ball minestrone soup
smoky split pea soup with thyme dumplings
cream of chicken soup in bread bowls

Post a Comment

Skirt Steak Tacos

Cookbook. Cookbook. Cookbook. That’s all I can think about these days. In the morning, afternoon and evening, even in my sleep. I was literally typing up recipes in my dream the other night…yes! It’s really happening!

Here are the stats as of 11/9/17, 10:41 AM:}

132/145 recipes tested
13/145 recipes to retest
11/145 recipes photographed
59/145 recipes written
0/145 headnotes written
0/3 intro chapters written

Would you look at those numbers? When I think about all the work I have ahead of me, I get so overwhelmed and stressed. But then I look back at the 132 crazy, amazing, unique, delicious and doable recipes that I’ve created for this book and I have to be proud. Yes, there is so, so much to do. But it will happen. And it will be glorious when it does.

Meanwhile, we’ve mostly been eating the recipes I’ve been testing (my 11 year old wanted to know why the dinners have become so weird in the house, with several courses, sometimes mismatched foods that don’t go together!), so I’ve been pretty quiet on social media these days. I did take the time to celebrate persimmon season with these awesome skirt steak tacos, and I’m so happy to share the recipe with you here!

Related Recipes:

refried bean tacos
Old Bay fish tacos
coconut crusted fish tacos with plantain tortillas
fish tacos with broccoli slaw

Post a Comment

Cranberry Apple Braised Chicken


And just like that, summer is over. I’m starting to smell that fresh, crisp fall air and the nights have that slight chill that wraps me like a warm sweater. If I’m honest, I don’t hate the winter at all, but I’ll sure miss the carefree spirit of summer and the smell of freshly cut grass.

I’m excited for the fall flavors that are making their way into the supermarkets. Pumpkins, persimmon and pomegranates are just a few of my favorite things and I can’t wait to see the seasonal produce on the shelves!

It’s a bit early for cranberry season, but you can easily use frozen cranberries in this recipe. The tartness of the berries are a great contrast to the sweetness of the apples and honey, and they make for the most luscious sauce that you’ll want to smother all over rice or noodles. Considering the popularity of my tart pomegranate roast, I think this chicken will be a winner as well!

Serve with a side of sweet tzimmes and braised leeks and you’ve got a simanim-filled entree worthy of your holiday table.

Related Recipes:

turkey meatballs with red wine cranberry marinara
cranberry sriracha green beans
honey roasted za’atar chicken with dried fruit
duchesse sweet potato apples

Post a Comment