Category: The Nine Days

Sweet Chili Broccoli Salmon

I have a confession to make: I can’t spell brocolli. I mean broccolli. No broccoli! Thank G-d for auto-correct because I just can’t get it right.

I’ve always been a good speller but I’ve got a few mindblocks:
broccoli
nauseous
exercise

It’s a good think I don’t get nauseous from eating broccoli after I exercise otherwise I’d have 3 typos in the same sentence, ha!


Actually speaking of broccoli, it’s one of my favorite veggies, and I can legit eat an entire tray in one sitting! I love it raw, I love it steamed, roasted and stir fried. I’m not even partial to fresh broccoli, the frozen stuff is just fine for my standards, so long as it’s thawed properly and not mushy. Mushy brocolli is gross, Mushy brocolli doesn’t deserve to be spelled correctly.

So for all you broccoli lovers out there – thaw your frozen broccoli, never boil it! I like to run the frozen broccoli under cold water just to lightly thaw and then stir fry over high heat. That’s it. Perfectly tender broccoli every time.

Related Recipes:

sweet chili salmon with wasabi crust
broccoli parmesan poppers 
fish tacos with broccoli slaw

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Sabich Burgers with Peach Amba

On my recent trip to Israel, a humble pita sandwich filled with unlikely ingredients stole the show: The Sabich. A combination of fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, hummus and Israeli salad  is stuffed into a pita and drizzled with tahini and amba, a pickled mango sauce similar to Indian chutney.

The origins of sabich go back to Iraq, where the sandwiches were traditionally eaten on Shabbat mornings. The Iraqi’s brought it with them when they immigrated to Israel in the early days of the state, and it’s named is said to be an acronym for main sandwich components:  salat, beitzah, hazilim (salad, egg, eggplant).

What makes sabich so good? it’s the mishmash of textures and flavors which seem to work so well together — crunchy, creamy, tangy and spicy in every bite!

But above all, it’s the amba that really makes the sandwich and everything else it comes in contact with! I first tried traditional jarred amba a few months ago and let me just say, it was NOT love at first bite. Unripe mango was cut into sticks and pickled in a spicy brine which did not please my palette in the least. But then, I tried the amba at Goldie Falafel in Philly and I was like WHAT. IS. THIS. SORCERY. So, I went to the source of all things Israeli Cuisine, Mike Solomonov’s cookbooks and I was on my way to the most amazing chutney I’d ever had.

So the best amba, I learned, is not, in fact, pickled. It’s cooked down into savory sauce that makes everything better! You can even blend it up into a smooth dip and use it to marinate meat or poultry – all of which I have tried with much success!

This summer, I decided to swap out mango for peaches, for a more seasonal sauce and it just blew it out of the park! Solomonov has done it with apples for topping latkes, and strawberries in the summer, which I’d love to try sometime too. Feel free to switch up your fruit to make it your own – just do it, you won’t regret it!

 

Related Recipes:

sabich latkes
amba bloody harry 
roasted eggplant shakshuka
harissa whipped feta with za’atar eggplant “chips”

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Summer Peach Salad with Chili Lime Dressing

You can thank corn nuts for this salad. Actually you can thank Skopp’s Supermarket in Fallsburg, New York where I purchased said corn nuts that totally inspired this salad!

When it comes to salads (or really most of the recipes I make for dinner), I’m not much of a planner. Inspiration hits at the grocery store or when I’m standing in front of my refrigerator trying to clear it out at the end of the week.

In this case, I was shopping at Skopp’s for my weekly groceries upstate, and I eyed the nut cart with roasted corn nuts all warm and toasty. So I reached for the scoop and thought, “How good would these taste on a salad?!”. I was already in the produce aisle where I caught sight of big beautiful summer peaches, and it hit me – yes!! Juicy peaches and crunchy corn nuts are a good idea, what else should I add? I happened to be standing near the avocados at that point and it was a match made in fruity heaven.

Off to the next aisle, the beautiful baby heirloom tomatoes looked so fresh and colorful and I knew they’d add the perfect balance to the sweetness of the peaches. Mixed greens were a given. And the maple candied pecans – well they are a favorite around here, and the flavors matched perfectly.


That, my friends, is how this Summer Peach Salad was born. It is also a lesson that everything is better with corn nuts!

Related Recipes:

caramelized peach and gouda quesadillas
corn and heirloom tomato salad with basil lime vinagrette
fruit salad with basil honey lime dressing

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Shaktuna (Tunisian Tuna Shakshuka)

Having recently traveled to Paris, I have a newfound love of tuna – and not the type we mix with mayo and stuff in a bagel. But the kind that’s canned in good quality olive oil and served with sesame bread. Or the kind that’s stuffed into a teeny tiny sandwich with potatoes, eggs, capers and olives: the Tunisian tuna sandwich known as Fricassé.

I made my way to Charles Traiteur, the popular kosher catering/take-out to taste their renowned Tunisian Tuna Sandwich, a soft sesame baguette stuffed with tuna, eggs, harissa, olives and a hint of mustard. It was good, but it didn’t quite live up to the hype, maybe because the bread was soggy.

But then I went back before Shabbos and got their Tunisian Fricaseé sandwich – mini bites of heaven with the same ingredients of the tuna sandwich, only on delicious fried bread and I haven’t stopped dreaming about it since!

Now lets go back a couple of months, when I was introduced to Finer Fin tuna, aptly named because that tuna is FINE!!! I have been hooked on their amazing flavors, including Mexicana, 3-Bean, Zesty Lemon and Spicy Chili. Each filet is hand-sliced and packed in extra virgin olive oil. The tuna is wild caught, a great source of Omega 3, Non-GMO, low in mercury and sustainable caught. It basically sells itself!

So, back to Paris, I came home re-inspired on the tuna front and decided to do a riff on shakshuka and the classic Tunisian Tuna sandwich and let me just say…WOW. Like seriously this makes the perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch or even dinner. It was just THAT good.

Because Finer Fin’s tuna is already packed with flavor, it needed only a small can of tomato sauce to create a base for shakshuka. I added the other classic elements of olives and capers, but you can easily leave those out if you’re not a fan of briny flavors.

You can also throw in some spinach or kale into the mix if you’d like, which is really what I love about shakshuka – it’s just so versatile! (see the gazillion different combos I linked to below, I can’t get enough!).

So if you’re looking for a taste of Paris, or you just want a quick and easy dinner to get on the table, look no further than SHAKTUNA!

This post has been sponsored by Finer Fin. All opinions are my own.

Related Recipes:

roasted eggplant shakshuka
Mexican quinoa shakshuka
beet, kale and goat cheese shakshuka
zoodle shakshuka,
garbanzo bean shakshuka with labneh
spaghetti squash shakshuka
stuffed portobello shakshuka

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Orange Cardamom Noodle Kugel

Well hello there blogosphere, it’s been so long, hasn’t it?! Life has been hectic as ever, but I’ve always got my blog on the back of mind, wanting to cook, and photograph, and post and just share with y’all. Pesach (in Beijing, China!) has come and gone. I’ve since been to Ohio, and off to Antwerp tomorrow, and guess how I’m celebrating? By making kugel!

If you know me, I consider myself the Anti-Kugel. Yes, that’s right. I’m Jewish and I don’t like kugel! Why, you ask? Well I believe that instead of boiling up veggies, mashing them, and then mixing them with oil and eggs and who-knows-what-else, why don’t you skip the whole complicated process and JUST. ROAST. VEGGIES. Same goes with potatoes. And noodles? Well you can cook em and eat em JUST. LIKE THAT. But alas, kugel has stood the test of time, and you’ll find the gazillion calorie concoction in most Jewish Ashkenazi houses on Erev Shabbat (my mom included)!

So what, pray tell, is kugel doing HERE? Well in one word: Shtisel. The viral Israeli TV series that was made popular by Netflix has captured my heart, and that of many, Jews and non-Jews alike. It has me craving Israeli salad with tahini, tea, and all sorts of traditional heimish foods that I haven’t looked at in years. In short: If Shtisel has ME making kugel, and you’re not watching it, then you’ve got to GET. ON. IT. Chasdei Hashem I’m here to spread the Shtisel love!

So I’ve been sprinkled with “heimish” dust but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to made traditional kugel, because, well, I’m still ME. And because Shavuos is coming up, what do you think I did? I made dairy lokshin kugel – one that’s lightened up with the refreshing taste of orange, cardamom and vanilla bean + some ricotta for creaminess and yogurt for some tang. All in all, a perfect compliment to your Shavuot menu. B’hechlet!

Related Recipes:

orange cardamom malabi
shavuot menu roundup
rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits
Bubby’s challah kugel

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