Category: Pies

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

Cookie Butter Pumpkin Pie


I’m proud to be an American. Really I am. (Politics aside!) But truth be told, I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s because, being Jewish, we’ve got our fill of holidays, and every Shabbat is practically a Thanksgiving meal in itself. The most we ever did growing up was make some deli turkey sandwiches and maybe pumpkin pie, but no feast and no big bird.

If I’m feeling festive, I’ll usually cook up some Thanksgiving-inspired recipes for the Shabbat before or after Thanksgiving. I make turkey London broil (half of a skinless boneless turkey breast), pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and stuffing and call it a day. I love all the flavors of the holiday and each year, I try to put my own spin on a classic Thanksgiving recipe.

Last year, I had my very first Thanksgiving dinner experience, when my friend Melinda of kitchen-tested) invited my family over for the most lavish spread I’ve ever seen. And I’m Jewish. So when I say lavish. I mean LAVISH. Mel made the most adorable place settings with homemade tea biscuit cookie butter in personalized jars and a crazy good pie bar for dessert (I brought my Mexican hot chocolate pecan pie). This year, she invited us again (I’ve got my stretchy pants ready!) and when I was thinking about what to bring, I decided it had to involve the latest kosher obsession – speculoos, or Lotus caramelize biscuits and cookie butter spread.

You see, Mel had her first taste of the stuff at my house, and I think her eyes rolled back in her head when she licked the gingersnap-flavored butter off the spoon. Of course cookie butter had been around for years, but it’s been hard to get with kosher certification, so I had to resort to begging my friends and family to smuggle some in from Israel. (Just joking of course, it’s perfectly legal. Although maybe it shouldn’t be!).

But the kosher speculoos Gods heard our pleas, and pallets of the stuff have finally arrived at our shores and onto kosher supermarket shelves. No need to stock up on ten jars at a time anymore, they’ve become a staple! Three stores in my hood alone now carry the cookies and butter, as well as numerous stores around Brooklyn. I hope kosher supermarkets everywhere get in on the cookie butter dream too.

So! To celebrate the newly available jars of bliss, I’ve developed this super fun recipe for cookie butter pumpkin pie. Except it’s really a butternut squash pie, but pumpkin just sounds better. And isn’t butternut a pumpkin anyway?

Plus, haven’t you read the news that canned pumpkin isn’t actually pumpkin??!! I know, shocking right? So if they can call canned squash pumpkin, I sure as hell can too. At least I’m being honest, right?

So pumpkin, squash, whatever you decide to use, marries so beautifully with the cookie butter because it’s got that amazingly warm flavor that’s reminiscent of gingersnaps (my all time favorite) and cinnamon. Surprisingly, I’m not that into pumpkin spice flavors, so this is a great alternative. I love to eat it cold, with a dollop of coconut cream, for a decadent dessert. If only I had a fireplace to pair with it!

Don’t be intimidated by the fancy swirls, they’re super simple to make. Just spoon dollops of the cookie butter into your mouth…um…I mean…onto the pie, and then use a knife to swirl the dollops around. Don’t mix too much and don’t stick that knife too deep or you’ll mess with the crust. Ask me how I know.

So whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not – give this decadent and original pumpkin pie a try. If you’re a fan of cookie butter, you’ll be sure to love it! (and If you’re not, who are you and what in the world is wrong with you?!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Related Recipes:

Lotus cookie puppy chow
Lotus cookie pancakes
Lotus cookie cinnamon buns with cookie cream cheese frosting
pumpkin crisp
pumpkin banana souffle

Other Thanksgiving Recipes:

chestnut hummus with Thanksgiving pita chips
unstuffed mushrooms with chestnuts
cranberry sriracha green beans
creamy pareve mashed potatoes
mulled wine cranberry sauce
the best pareve cornbread
turkey roulade with 5-minute stuffing
Mexican hot chocolate pecan pie

Post a Comment

Apple & Honey Galette

Few things truly blow me away in the foodie world nowadays. After five years of blogging, I’ve come to see it (almost) all. But this guy right here? This guy is something to write home  blog about. I don’t remember when I met Eitan Bernath for the first time, but I do remember watching him on Chopped. This kid isn’t just impressive because he had the confidence to go on national TV as a kosher cook and compete against other kids his age. He’s impressive because he took that experience and turned it into a passionate career, all the while attending Yeshiva and doing all the things that kids do at his age. Besides for running a blog, making appearances and doing cooking demos, Eitan somehow managed to teach himself food photography, and I am blown away! I hope that my kids have even half of his passion, drive and determination someday. Eitan, it’s such a pleasure to have you guest post on my blog, welcome!

P.S. Check out Eitan’s interview with me here!

Hey Guys! My name is Eitan Bernath. I am a teen chef from Teaneck, New Jersey. I am so excited to be guest posting on Chanie’s blog while she’s enjoying time with her new baby. You may know me as the Jewish kid who appeared on “Chopped” on the Food Network, a little over 2 years ago. Now at 14 I have a full career as a recipe developer, food photographer, chef and foodie personality in the culinary world. Check out my food blog, CookWithChefEitan.com where I post new fun recipes every Sunday.

Chanie is a legend in the kosher food blogging world and was one of the people who inspired me to start my blog. I am a big fan of many of her recipes. One of my favorites is her Drunken Hasselback Salami. It is awesome! If you haven’t tried it yet, then you clearly are living under a rock! It’s so cool to be guest posting on her blog today! Thank you Chanie!

I am sharing with all of you my Apple Galette recipe. Pie dough has always intimidated me for some reason. As someone who tends to stick to the culinary side of the field, I don’t bake often. But after taking the pastry class at ICC this past summer, I have begun to experiment more in the kitchen with baking.

So a few weeks ago I randomly decided to attempt to make pie dough. After letting it chill in the fridge, I rolled out the dough and filled it with a filling of sliced apples, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. I baked it off in the oven and waited for it to finished baking. (Now I’m a 14 year old in the 21st century. I don’t really know what patience is and the pie filled the entire house with with a warm, delicious smell. So that was like the longest hour of my life!)

I took it out of the oven, cut myself a slice, and tried it. It was the BEST pie I had ever had in my life! The dough was perfectly flaky. The filling perfectly sweet. It was perfect! My first attempt at pie dough was a success! I will definitely be making many more pies! Comment below and let me know about your first time making pie.

This Apple Galette recipe is perfect for Rosh Hashanah and even for the rest of the upcoming Chagim. It’s great for breakfast, warmed up with a cold scoop of vanilla ice cream or even anytime of the day. Also, I definitely suggest drizzling your slice with even more honey. Because, can you really ever have too much honey? Enjoy!

Related Recipes:

honey hasselback baked apples
apple and honey tart
honey cake with caramelized apples

Post a Comment

Three-Cheese Rollatini Rose Pie

Ever since I was little, my mom’s been making the same Shavuot menu each year. It includes her amazing lasagna, homemade potato and cheese blintzes, French onion soup and an array of store-bought cheesecakes. For the second day meal, she switches up the lasagna for eggplant rollatini, or what she likes to call, rollantini.

I probably pack on about 10 lbs. in those two days, but it’s always worth every bite. Until the weather gets hotter, my skirts are a tad too tight around the middle, and I’m cursing out that creamy slice of cheesecake.

Which is why, when I started cooking up my own Shavuot meals, I decided to come up with healthier variations of some of my favorites. That’s when my spaghetti squash baked ziti, cheesy stuffed mini peppers and pasta-free spinach manicotti were born.

Some time later, I added my cheesy zoodle marinara, broccoli parmesan poppers, portobello pizza and roasted eggplant parmesan. I barely even miss the pasta anymore (ok, maybe just this).

I skip the heavy French onion soup, and go for a lighter chilled strawberry rhubarb soup and simple sides like summer tomato feta salad, pesto baked salmon, and eggplant chips with whipped feta. I might have a small bite of cheesecake, but my skirts still fit after the meal and everyone’s happy!

Which is why THIS happened! I may be expecting baby #5 this summer, but I’ve been packing on the pounds like I’m about to go into hibernation! I’ve got to ease up on my carb intake, so, I did what I always do when I’m looking for pasta alternatives, I go for zucchini. If I’m not eating cheesy zoodle marinara (an absolute staple in my kitchen), I go for a riff on my spinach lasagna roll-ups, made with zucchini strips. This time, I decided to turn those rolls upside down, and add in yellow squash and eggplant, for a pretty rose garden look. Shavuot, after all, is known as “the feast of the roses”, so how very apropos.

Vegetable ribbon pies and rose spiral apple desserts are all the rage right now, so I was more than happy to follow the trend with a savory holiday-worthy version.

Of course there are lots of variations that you can do with this dish – from adding spinach to the filling, using carrots for rolling, or baking it all into a pie crust. But I just love that this is gluten free and no-carb, so why mess with perfection, am I right?

With all my lighter spins on heavy pasta dishes, I’ve come to realize that a lot of what we eat is all in our heads. When I started subbing zoodles in for my spaghetti, a funny thing happened. I didn’t miss anything! I was full, satiated and most importantly, I felt like I had actually eaten pasta! It made me realize that we really have the ability to trick our brains into thinking we are eating something else – if only we can create the same taste, similar texture and mouthfeel, you barely notice the difference. The scale however, definitely does.

So, I’m hoping I’ve inspired you to lighten up your holiday meals, even if only with one dish. If I were you, I’d make it this one!

Do you have any other tricks to lightening up your favorite pasta dishes? I’d love to hear! Share them with me in the comments below!



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

Related Recipes:

spinach lasagna roll-ups
cheesy zoodle (zucchini noodle) marinara
roasted eggplant parmesan
cheesy stuffed mini peppers

Post a Comment

Please NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means that a small percentage of every purchase made through the links above goes to help support the BIB blog!

Salami Quiche

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks here at BIB, with lots of Purim demos, cooking classes and recipe writing! I always say that calling myself BUSY IN BROOKLYN was like a self-fulfilling-prophecy, because when I started this blog I wasn’t half as busy as I am nowadays. But busy is good and I am so thankful for it! Except when all that busying around turns into a sinus infection, and my recipe testing is put on hold because I can’t taste anything! I had amazing plans for a new hamantasch this week, but my taste buds won’t cooperate. And even though I can barely lift my head off my pillow, I’ve got my third demo this week in a couple of hours! So, I THANK GOD for this amazing recipe that I developed for a local magazine’s Purim issue last year, so at least I have something to share!

You all know that I’ve taken on a BIB tradition to share a salami recipe every year. I once heard that people have a tradition to eat salami on Purim because it is hung, like Haman (!!!). Who knows if it’s true, but it’s definitely fun. And it was especially thrilling when my DRUNKEN HASSELBACK SALAMI went crazy viral two years ago (I can’t believe it’s so old!). I always meet readers at demos, or even on the street who tell me that it’s become a weekly tradition for them. I just love that!

For this year, here’s something a bit more homey and family-friendly for your Purim meal. I’m sure this will become a staple in your family for the holidays too. Happy Purim!

Related Recipes:

drunken hasselback salami
beer battered salami chips with beer mustard
salami chips with dijon dipping sauce

Post a Comment