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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Last post before Thanksgiving

I was thinking about Thanksgiving this week. Checking my schedule and knew I was a day or two behind. Everything was laid out -- what was made -- what was still to make. And I thought about bread. I love biscuits. Why not make parve biscuits and then I decided to make them. They turned out great. So, I decided to share them eith you. Enjoy!

Parve Biscuits
Makes one dozen

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
One stick parve margarine, unsalted, cut into cubes
1 large egg
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon rice milk, parve
2 tablespoons grape seed oil or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons rice milk for tops of biscuits

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Put the flour, peaking powder and salt In the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine about 4 pulses. Add the margarine, scattered over the top until it resembles sand, about 15 pulses.

Mix the egg eith the soy milk and oil. Add the flour mixture and combine to form large clumps.

take the mixture out of the bowl and place on a floured surface. Lightly knead until the dough comes together.

Using fingertips, form the dough into a 9 x 6 inch rectangle, 3/4 inch thick. Dip a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter into flour and cut out 12 rounds. Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with the 2 tablespoons of rice milk. You can sprinkle the tops with some sea salt if desired

Place in the oven and bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown.

You can add 2 tablespoons chopped chives, chopped thyme leaves, chopped rosemary, or chopped marjoram to the dough before kneading and knead in.

B'tayavon! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving, two great restaurants--one new, one a little over a year old

I was just at dinner at Picnic the Restaurant located at 14-25 Plaza Road North, Fair Lawn, NJ.  The food is phenomenal.  Having been opened a little over a year, Chef Christine Nunn, chef/owner, has a fantastic flair for making classical food with a modern twist.  Her menu generally offers a good selection of fish done to perfection.  It is not kosher, but for those who eat fish out, it is a definite go to place and for those who eat meat and chicken, as well as fish, a definite dining spot.
Another restaurant, that is open just about one month, is Fin Raw Bar and Kitchen located at 183 Glenridge Ave., Montclair, NJ.  As the name suggests, they specialize in fish and seafood of all kinds.  Chef/owner Michael Juliano has a fantastic way with fish.  His selection of fin fish is wonderful and he presents it simply grilled with olive oil and lemon with a choice of sides.  If you are in the area, you really must try it.
Now, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  For those of you who make soup as a first course and are wondering what soup to make, here's one of the soups that I made for this year's Thanksgiving extravaganza.
From our home to yours, have a Happy Thanksgiving and don't forget to give thanks for what you have and those around you.  I do, and I give thanks for my wonderful family and friends, those I know and those I have yet to meet.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
Serves 6
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick rounds
1 large parsnip, peeled and cubed
1 small rutabaga, also called a yellow turnip, peeled and cubed
2 leeks, thickly sliced
1 onion quartered
5 bay leaves
6 thyme sprigs, plus extra to garnish
4 rosemary sprigs
5 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
Thyme sprigs for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Pour oil into a large bowl and mix with the salt and pepper.  Add the vegetables and toss until they are all coated with the oil mixture.
Spread the vegetables out in one layer on a large baking sheet.  Place the bay leaves, the thyme and rosemary sprigs under the vegetables.
Roast the vegetables for about 45 minutes until tender.  Toss occasionally to make sure they are browning evenly.  Remove from the vegetables from the oven, throw out the herbs and place the vegetables into a large stock pot or Dutch oven.
Pour the stock over the vegetables and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.  
Using a hand blender, process for a few minutes until thick and smooth.  Heat through, taste for seasoning and garnish each serving with a small sprig of thyme.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving's almost here.

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away.  I have two soups, six quarts of turkey stock, and one entree (I make two in addition to the turkey) in the freezer.  I also have three kinds of cranberry sauce in the refrigerator.  Now all I have to work on are the desserts.
I make a killer jalapeno cranberry sauce that is the favorite of my 92 year old mother.  She loves it, says it adds zip to the meal and called last week to make sure I was making it for her.
So, since Mom loves it, I decided to share it with you.  It's pretty easy and quick and will stay in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.  I hope you like it as much as Mom does.

Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce
1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled jalapenos or 2 jalapenos seeded, deveined and chopped finely
1/4 cup water
Bring all ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a brisk simmer, stirring often, until the cranberries burst and the juices are syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes.  Transfer to a jar or storage container. let cool, cover and refrigerate.  (Will keep for 1 to 2 weeks.)
Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Will post more Thanksgiving recipes as the mood strikes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away.  Due to the power outage last weekend, I am only a week behind in preparations.  Never fear, I know I will be ready.
This weekend I am going to make my turkey stock, a tomato basil bisque (parve), and a roasted root vegetable soup.  Easy to make and all very freezable.
I am still trying to adjust to cooking and baking low fat and low sodium.  It is getting interesting and there are going to be a lot of veggies at our Thanksgiving feast this year.
I came up with a great low fat alternative to apple pie.  This is so good, you won't miss the pie.

A Healthier Apple Cake
Makes 8 to 12 servings
11/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium apples, cored and finely diced
1 large egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped almonds or pecans
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
Grapeseed oil
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil a 9” x 2” round baking pan with grapeseed oil and line bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit.  Oil the parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl.
Mix together the sugar, apples, nuts, egg, applesauce and vanilla in a large bowl, stirring until well combined.  Add the flour mixture to the apple mixture and mix well to combine.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and confectioner’s sugar together and sprinkle over the top of the cake.
Place the cake in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is browned.