Friday, April 11, 2014

Gorgeous Beet Salad


I made this lovely beet salad for a Passover celebration with my friends after being inspired by a similar beet salad at Ad Hoc restaurant in Napa Valley. 

Salad Ingredients:
- 6 red beets (I bought 2 bunches with the leaves at Whole Foods)
- 6 golden yellow beets (I bought 2 bunches with the leaves at Whole Foods)
- 4 clementines
- About 1/2 cup of radish slivers (I bought radish slices from the salad bar at whole foods and then sliced into slivers)
- 3 Hass Avocados (cut in large cubes)
- About 1/2 cup of roasted chopped pistachios 
- olive oil
- salt

Instructions:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
- Rinse dirt off beets and you may need to scrub
- Cut the beets off from their stems and leaves and throw out the leaves or look up another recipe to use them in
- Wrap each beet in aluminum foil (pour olive oil and salt over beets before closing foil). Note: you can put several beets in a shared foil pouch if you want but don't mix the yellow beets with the red beets). Put foiled wrapped beets on a sheet tray in case of leakage. 
- Roast the beets for 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes until a fork can be pierced in easily. They should be tender but not mushy. 
- Unwrap the foil and let them cool so you can handle the beets (save the olive oil and juices if you want later to add to the dressing). 
- Once beets are warm vs hot take a paper towel and gently rub the skins off the beets and they will look perfect and shiny. Note: wear gloves to avoid hand staining. 
- Then slice the beets in quarters and you may need to cut each quarter in half 
- Note: all the steps above to roast beets can be done the day before. Pour some olive oil over the beets and put in plastic containers (red and yellow separate). Store in fridge overnight. 
- Now I got fancy before putting in the fridge overnight and poured regular olive oil and a little fig balsamic vinegar on the red beets and a blood orange olive oil on the yellow beets but regular olive oil will work just fine. 

- Once all ingredients are cool arrange on a platter and sprinkle with salt and pour a little olive oil over it. 

Optional: I made a homemade citrus vinegraitte by mixing together:

- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- juice and zest of one lemon
- juice and zest of half a naval orange
- zest of a grapefruit (no juice)
- a couple pinches of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- whisk it
- slowly stream in about 1/2 cup of olive oil while whisking and then 1/2 cup of canola oil while whisking. 
- taste it and add more sugar or salt if needed. At the end I poured in some of the roasted beet juice the beets had been sitting in to give it a pink color. 

Enjoy!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Celebrating Purim with Hamantachen


I made the most fabulous Hamantaschen and they might be the best I ever made! 

I must give credit to the Shiksa in the Kitchen:


I used her non - dairy dough recipe. The first batch was a little sticky but the second batch was perfect. Not sure if I mis-measured the flour the first time, but if it is sticky add flour, if dry add a little water. 

Her non-dairy (she uses oil) dough and folding technique was perfect. Her batch makes 35 cookies but mine made about 20-25. I also baked mine 14-15 minutes as I like them a little crunchy and a little soft vs. her longer cooking time. 

I didn't make my own filling but I used prune butter (lekvar) found in the jewish section of ethic foods at the grocery. I also used Solo apricot cake and pastry filling for some of them. 

Delicious! Drove around delivering them to friends today. Happy Purim!!!

St. Patrick's Day Feast - Green Pizza and Pasta!



I made a St. Patrick's Day feast of Green Chicken Pesto Pasta and Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potato Pizza. 

For the Pasta:


Ingredients:

1) two packets of Knorr's CREAMY pesto mix
2) one 16oz box of Mueller's corkscrew pasta
3) two cups of reduced fat milk
4) half cup olive oil
5) one cup grated Parmesan cheese
6) one precooked rotisserie chicken (or you could roast your own)

Instructions:

1) Boil a big pot of salted water for the pasta
2) Add the box of pasta to the boiling water and cook for about 12 minutes or until soft 
3) Tear up about 2 cups of chicken (or however much comes off - white meat is best) and set aside
4) In a small saucepan mix together the pesto packets, olive oil, and milk. Bring to a boil whisking constantly over medium high heat. Once it boils reduce heat to low and let it thicken for about 3 minutes or so and keep whisking. 
4) Drain pasta and then put pasta back in the pot you boiled it in
5) Add the chicken to the pasta and then pour the pesto sauce over it all and stir it up. Then stir in the Parmesan cheese
6) Pour onto a serving dish. Yum. 

Now for the pizza!



Ingredients:

1) One Bobolli pre-made crust (or make your own if you have time)
2) Half a head of green cabbage thinly sliced 
3) Pickling spices (McCormick makes - in the spice aisle hidden behind a clip strip of kitchen twine in my store). 
4) Half pound of corned beef from the deli section. (A little more than you need but good for tasting) Tell them its for a pizza and ask them to slice it thinly (thin as possible). 
5) One Idaho potato
6) Olive oil
7) One 8 oz block Monterrey Jack cheese that you need to grate
8) One 2 cup bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (use 1-2 cups of it)
9) Half cup grated Parmesan cheese 

Instructions:

1) Preheat the oven to 500 degrees
2) Sauté the sliced cabbage in a few tablespoons of olive oil that was heated over high heat in a medium pan. Add some salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes. 
3) Take about 1 Tablespoon of the pickling spices and put into a small coffee filter or cheese cloth and tie up with as kitchen twine. Add the spice bundle to the cabbage and cover the cabbage with water and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Once cooked, strain the cabbage of the water and set strained cabbage aside. 
4) Slice the potato into disks/coins about 1/8 -1/4 inch thick (thicker than potato chips). Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put potato slices on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes.  Should be lightly brown but not burned. If you preheat the cookie sheet too then the other side will be brown too. Remove from cookie sheet and set aside. 
5) When the potatoes are done reduce the oven temp to 425 degrees 
6) Put the pizza crust on the cookie sheet after you spray the sheet with Pam. 
7) Pour about 2 tablespoons or so of olive oil and spread all over the crust
8) Layer all the roasted potato slices over the pizza
9) Layer 1/2 the cabbage mixture over that
10) Layer 1/2 the corned beef
11) Layer 1/2 the cheese
12) Repeat layers. If you have too much cabbage etc. then just don't add it all.
13) Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. I turn the broiler on at the end to make it extra brown on top. 

If you like to dip your crust try dipping in thousand island dressing. 

Let cool and slice!!!

This whole meal was a hit!!!