Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rustic Salmon Tart

Isn't it great that you can just call anything that doesn't look perfect, Rustic, and make it sound great? This is actually more of a galette which is not supposed to look perfect, it is supposed to look rustic and I think this tart achieves that charm. For some reason, I felt so British making this and I have no idea why- maybe the English peas? Maybe because I kept thinking about "Bangers and Mash" while I was making this- a British dish that has absolutely nothing to do with this except that it also has potatoes. Who knows- either way this was my concoction from leftover mashed potatoes and that lone salmon fillet sitting in my freezer.
Don't you hate when you have something sitting in your freezer and it's not enough for a meal so you just look at it curiously every time you open the freezer but then leave it there- ad infinitum? Maybe it's just me. But it happens to me a lot. So this time I refused to close the freezer door until I found a use for lonely Sammy and this is what I came up with. I used a buttery crust that I often use for dairy galettes and I think having a good crust is essential here. You could use puff pastry instead but if so I would recommend using all butter puff pastry. My husband declared that this tasted like salmon pot pie and I guess that is sort of what it is- an upside down salmon pot pie-and who doesn't love a good pot pie! But if that description doesn't do it for you, stick to calling it a salmon galette and enjoy!

For the dough:
1 1/4 cup flour (plus more for rolling)
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, cold, cubed
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup ice water

Mix the flour and salt together and cut the butter in with a pastry blender or your hands. Mix the lemon juice, sour cream and water in a bowl and add it to the flour mixture. Refrigerate for 1/2 an hour (the dough will be sticky). Remove from refrigerate and add enough flour to help knead the dough. Roll the dough into a circle (it doesn't have to perfect and transfer it to a parchment lined baking sheet.

2 potatoes, boiled and mashed but leave it chunky
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 small onion
1 cloves garlic
2 Tbl oil
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large fillet or 2 small fillets of salmon, poached or baked and then flaked- or 2 small cans salmon
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 beaten egg
sesame seeds

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil. Add to the potatoes and add the rest of the ingredients besides for the beaten egg and sesame seeds and mix well. Pile the mixture into the middle of the dough, spread it out, leaving a couple of inches as a border. Fold the dough over the mixture to form a crust and brush the crust with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until the crust is golden.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

White Hot Chocolate ala Pumpkin Pie

Apparently, you thought I was joking when I said I was obsessed with pumpkin. Well, I wasn't. If I could put pumpkin in my hot chocolate than that should prove it to you. But don't be turned off by this seemingly odd combo- it tastes like a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte but way better I think because it has lots of white chocolate in it and it is really, really delicious. I served this for Gourmet Breakfast Sunday (unclear whether this is a permanent occurrence) with the Dutch Apple pancake so perhaps I overdid it with sweetness at that meal but drinking this was just purely comforting and the pumpkin just made me feel less bad about all the chocolate. Of course it didn't hurt that I made fresh whip cream ( a task that is so simple I don't know why I ever bought the canned stuff) or topped it with cinnamon and sipped it through a cinnamon stick - all the above made this one of the most decadent drinks I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Enjoy!

3 cups milk
2 cubes pumpkin puree, defrosted or 1 cup canned pumpkin
1 Tbl pumpkin pie spice 
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
200 grams white chocolate, chopped

Combine the milk and pumpkin in a sauce pan over low heat until the mixture is simmering- do not let it come to a boil! Add the pumpkin pie spice and salt and remove from heat. Add the vanilla and white chocolate and mix constantly until the chocolate is totally melted in. Serve with whip cream and cinnamon- yum!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chanukah Greek Chicken- Happy Blogaversary to Me!

Happy One Year Blogaversary to me! One year ago, on Chanukah I decided to embark on the culinary journey that is this blog. It is 135 (!!!- do you know how much time in the kitchen that equals too?!) posts later and I have to say I have enjoyed all the creative efforts that have gone into concocting the dishes that have appeared here (and so has my official taste tester :). Looking forward to another year of great eats and fun in the kitchen!!!!
This Chanukah I decided to spare everyone the funky latke recipes ( cabbage latkes anyone?) and instead made this delicious Greek chicken in honor (or I should say, in memory) of the Greek culture we symbolically fight against on this Holiday. So in that vain, it's practically a mitzvah to eat this chicken, because every bite represents the "consuming" of the Yevanim and I'm happy to fulfill any mitzvah (psuedo or real) that requires the use of my taste buds.
This is actually a great chicken to make for Shabbat Chanukah which is why I am making sure to post this enough time in advance for you to get your ingredients together. I used chicken tenders for this because that is what I had lying around but you can also use whole chicken breasts. The chicken comes out so moist and flavorful and comes together so quickly that forget about Chanukah, I think I'll be making this all year round! The ingredients are simple but the results are spectacular- just the way I like it- Enjoy!

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders or 6-8 chicken breasts
1 cup flour or gluten free subsititute
1 tsp dried oregano
4 Tbl olive oil 
1 large leek, cleaned and chopped (or 1 large onion)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp oregano
3/4 cup pitted olives ( I used green but to be more authentic use Greek Kalamata olives)
3 Tbl capers
3 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper

Mix the flour, oregano and salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour and fry in the oil over high heat so that both sides are browned. Don't worry if the chicken isn't cooked through because it will cook through in the sauce. Remove the chicken and in the remaining oil saute the leek and garlic until the leeks are translucent. Add the wine, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and oregano season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken back in, cover the pan and let the chicken simmer in the sauce for about 8 minutes. Uncover, add the olives, capers and parsley and cook another 2-3 minutes. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup

This is a simple, no frills soup that is just perfect for a winter's night. Red lentils (purchased during my lentil craze in bulk) are not like green lentils that you don't want to overcook. Rather, they are meant to fall apart and as they do they thicken the soup and give it a great texture. Interestingly enough, as they fall apart they also turn yellow and so the soup sort of looks like yellow split pea soup once its cooked. And, best of all, the longer it sits the better it tastes as I discovered after making a huge potful and eating it for the better part of a week. There are no exotic ingredients here, the only spice (besides for salt and pepper) that I added was cumin and I know that lots of people don't like the taste and smell of cumin but I think the taste of it goes really well with the earthiness of lentils. Also, I'm not a huge black pepper fan, I like to use it in moderation but for some reason this soup really was able to handle lots of black pepper and it really enhanced its flavor. The pumpkin in the soup (made from my ever present frozen pumpkin puree) gave the soup thickness and subtle sweet flavor and the combo of lentils and pumpkin in the soup was deeeelish. A simple soup and easy to throw together- so make it tonight!

3 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbl oil
500 grams red lentils (about 2 1/2 cups)
4 quarts chicken stock (about 16 cups) or bouillon
4 cups pumpkin puree ( 8 cubes)
1 1/2 Tblspoons cumin
LOTS of black pepper

Saute the onion, garlic, carrot and celery in the oil until the onions are translucent add the lentils, water, stock and pumpkin and season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Bring to a boil and then let the soup simmer until the lentils have fallen apart and the soup has reduced down a little about an hour.

Do not judge a book by it's cover (or in this case, this really mediocre picture!)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Orange Poppy Pound Cake with Orange Glaze

Have you seen those gorgeous oranges in the supermarket recently? Here, they are huge and bright orange and you can just tell from the outside that they are super sweet and delicious. Seeing them in the market the other day inspired me to make this cake, a take-off of  a pound cake that has great texture and unbelievable orange flavor from a TON of orange zest. I absolutely love oranges, it is my second favorite citrus fruit (coming in right below my beloved lemon) and I have so many memories of eating juicy, sugar sweet oranges when I was young.While I was making this I spotted some poppy seeds in the cabinet and while traditionally lemon pound cake gets paired with poppy seeds, the old man inside of me felt compelled to add them here and I was really happy with the beauty they added with their little black flecks and the subtle poppy flavor in the background, but you can totally leave them out. Just to make this cake more Orange-y I brushed it with orange syrup and THEN added an orange glaze. Orange Heaven. Yum.

For the Cake:
2 sticks margarine, room temp
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
zest of 4 oranges (about 1/4 of a cup)
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup rice milk or soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbl poppy seeds

Cream the margarine and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and the zest. Beat well. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. In another bowl mix the orange juice, soy milk and vanilla. Add each to the bowl alternating one with the other until they are both finished and ending with the flour. Pour into two loaf pans or into a 9x13 cake pan and bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Cool slightly and transfer to a wire rack and make the glaze.

For the syrup:
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar

Combine the juice and sugar in a sauce pan over low heat. Let the sugar melt and mix on low heat another couple of minute until it reduces and looks syrupy. Poke holes all around the cake with a toothpick and brush the cake with glaze a few times.
Once the cake cools, drizzle with glaze.

For the  glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3-5 Tbl orange juice

Whisk the orange juice and sugar together until smooth. The glaze should be thick enough that it pours nicely but not too thick.

                                       Look closely and you can see all that beautiful, delicious zest in there!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dutch Apple Oven Pancake

How would you like to wake up to this beauty as your breakfast? I sure would, and my husband certainly appreciated it. And then continued to appreciate it for breakfast for the next few days since this is like a pancake on steroids and can definitely feed a crowd. Serve this at your next brunch and you will have very happy guests and lots of wow factor. The best part of the pancake is that you don't have to sit over a griddle all morning, you just pop it in the oven and let the oven do all the work. I think the best pan to use here is a cast iron pan but since I actually don't own one of those yet (shocking, I know) I just used an oven proof, teflon coated 10 inch skillet and it worked out great. Of course, apples and cinnamon are an old married couple and just make the pancake taste like a great big buttery apple pie. I served it topped with lots of powdered sugar and whip cream and my husband kept saying how he felt like he was eating something at a fair. Since I'm a big fan of all fair "cuisine" (churros, funnel cakes etc), I'll take that as a compliment!

4 eggs
1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
2 Tbl sugar
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbl butter melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbl cinnamon
2 green apples, cored, peeled, and sliced thin
powdered sugar
maple syrup
whip cream

Preheat oven to 450. Whisk the eggs, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together and slowly add milk while mixing. Add vanilla, cinnamon and melted butter and mix. Let the batter rest for about 20 minutes or up to 2 days. Stir together sugar and cinnamon. In an oven proof skillet (cast iron is the best) heat 1/4 cup of the butter on the stove swirling the pan so the butter coats it all. Add half of the cinnamon sugar and lay the apples around the pan and sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar on top of the apples.Let the mixture bubble and then pour the batter on top and put in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 and then lower to 375 and bake another 20 minutes until the pancake is cooked through. It will puff up in the oven and the apples should rise to the top. Serve with confectioners sugar, whip cream and maple syrup.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cran-Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

 If you love the combination of tart and sweet this recipe is for you. Or if you love the taste of pumpkin pie with a little cranberry sauce shmeared on it, this recipe is for you. Or if you just want to eat something deliciously moist and smelling like Fall, this recipe is for you. If you don't fall into any of those categories-I am just very sorry for you. Once again I had an overabundance of zucchini but I also have lots of my fresh pumpkin puree and putting the two together plus the addition of some* imported* Oceanspray fresh cranberries resulted in these deliciously sweet and tart little muffins. As you can see from the picture, the cranberries pop while the muffins bake yielding that beautiful ruby like look on top that is just beautiful. I think you can get frozen cranberries here as well but if you can't you can just use dried cranberries but you will probably lose the tartness. Either way, these are easy to make and with the fresh pumpkin and cranberries not to mention to the aroma of the pumpkin pie spice wafting through the house they are sure to be a winner. Enjoy!

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
3/4 cup oil
1 Tbl vanila
3 cups flour
zest of one orange
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbl pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups shredded zucchini
12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries (if fresh cranberries are too tart for you substitute 1 cup of craisins)

Mix the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, vanilla and orange zest. In a seperate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined. Fold in the zucchini and cranberries and bake in greased muffin tins at 350 for about 10 minute or until a toothpick comes out clean.

                                                           Look at those beauties!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

This is another method, rather than a recipe for getting the taste of summer in the middle of winter. Slow roasting cherry tomatoes in the oven concentrates their flavor and gives you the most delicious and intense tomato taste. They don't wind up dry like sun-dried tomatoes, rather, still moist  and they are delicious smeared on bread, thrown into pasta, or put on pizza or sandwiches. They are basically like a fresh condiment and they enhance practically everything you put them on. I was browsing through the super market and took one look at the tomatoes and felt the winter blues. This time of year the tomatoes are mostly green and the little orange that you see is so pale that you almost feel bad for them. Cherry tomatoes, however, are sweet all year and slow roasting them like this just makes them better. Once they are done you can store them in a glass container covered with a little olive oil and keep them in the fridge for a while to be thrown into anything your making, or just for snacking :). Little effort, lots of flavor = my type of dish!

2 kilo cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
olive oil
salt and pepper (garlic powder optional)

Lay the cherry tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over them and season well with salt and pepper. Place them in a 200 degree oven for about 6 hours. Alternatively, you can place them in a 150 degree oven overnight. Store them in a container covered with a little olive oil in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Orange Cranberry Sauce

I firmly believe that cranberry sauce should not just be reserved for Thanksgiving. Personally, I serve cranberry sauce with turkey and sometimes even stuffed chicken all year along and I love it. However, I have to admit that until now, my experience with cranberry sauce has been the canned stuff (grew up on it and love it!) which I always dress up with other ingredients to make it not taste so can-y. This year, I happened to be in America during peak fresh cranberry season and snuck a few bags back with me. I made this fresh cranberry sauce for our Thanksgiving Shabbat and was BLOWN AWAY by how delicious it is. It doesn't even seem related to the canned stuff!! It is so absolutely delicious that I literally had to lick the pot (not a pretty image but a very necessary piece of info). The best part is that it is so easy to make and easy to customize to your liking. I did some research around the supermarkets here and you can even get frozen cranberries here so I will be making this long after my imported cranberries run out. The natural pectin in the cranberries  helps to thicken the sauce and the citrus and cinnamon are just fabulous flavors with the cranberries. Feel free to add less sugar if you prefer the sauce a little tarter but 1 cup was just perfect for me. Enjoy- I sure as heck did!

1 12oz bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
juice of one orange
1 cinnamon stick
3/4- 1 cup sugar 
1 cup water
2 cloves
pinch of salt (crucial!)

Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and let it cook until all or most of the cranberries have popped (about 10 minutes) Cook another 5 minutes and then cool and refrigerate before serving. The sauce will firm up as it chills.

(My apologies if you are turning your computer around, I just have no idea how to rotate this picture)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Morrocan Lentil Soup

I am embarrassed to admit that the first time I tasted a lentil was about 3 weeks ago but I am more upset  that I have missed out on them for so many years. I never had lentils growing up (not quite in the Eastern European repertoire)  and I think that if my  mother would have tried to serve it to my father he would boycotted her cooking. I mean they don't look that appealing- brownish, greenish little discs that turn water brackish looking but I have now been converted and all from some simple lentil soup my mother in law made me. They may look unappealing but they are delicious and sooo healthy- full of fiber and protein- and in my new lentil craze I have bought about 6 bags of them leaving with me lots of lentil recipes to concoct. First up is this soup- I've made plain old lentil soup a few times and it's great but we are all under the weather now and soup is about all we have any desire to eat so I figured I would make something a little more exotic. I used Harissa in the soup which is a Moroccan chili paste mixture that you can find in any refrigerator section in Israel that added a great undertone of spiciness and of course great flavor. Feel free to add more for more intense flavor and more heat but to me this was the perfect amount. As for the turnips, they have nothing to do with Morocco but I just love them in soup but I'll save my turnip tirade for a different post. Enjoy!

1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup celery chopped ( add the leaves in too they are delicious!)
3 carrots, sliced
2 turnips, diced
1 can chickpeas
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbl Harissa
 1 Tbl cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
5 quarts/liters vegetable or chicken stock
2 1/2 cups green lentils
1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrots until the onions are translucent. Add the Harissa and mix in to coat the vegetables and cook another minute. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the chickpeas and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then let the soup simmer for about an hour until the lentils are fully cooked but not falling apart. After half an hour add the chickpeas to the soup and cook till the soup is finished.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pumpkin Puree

This is not really a recipe but rather a method for how to make your own pumpkin puree. Personally, I love pumpkin and try to use it in as many recipes as I can each fall/winter but I hate to buy the canned puree stuff because even though it claims to be all natural, it doesn't have that beautiful bright orange color nor does it have the real taste of pumpkin not to mention a can of it (at least here) is really expensive. So, I decided to make my own pumpkin puree, portion it and freeze it ( it freezes beautifully!) and this way I have fresh pumpkin puree ready for me when ever I am ready to cook (how Martha Stewart of me, right?!) The truth is that it is actually so easy to do that I'm upset at myself that I've never done it before and now there is no going back- no more over priced, brown, canned pumpkin for me. Here in Israel, pumpkin is abundant right now and practically throughout the year but in America this is really the season to get fresh pumpkin if you want to make puree to have it for the rest of the year. Make sure to buy small pumpkins like the "sugar pumpkin" and other varieties that are sold in stores like Trader Joe's or even ShopRite  and not those huge Jack o' Lantern pumpkins which practically have no meat on them (nope, sorry, you can't steal it off your neighbor's stoop.) Once you have the pumpkin, the rest is easy. I freeze them in a muffin pan which makes each frozen cube about a 1/2 cup portion so I know when I am baking how many cubes I need. Once you bake with fresh pumpkin you'll never go back!

1 small pumpkin, or 3 pieces of cut pumpkin (in Israel)
1 baking sheet
Food processor
tin foil
muffin tin
freezer bags

For whole pumpkins, place pumpkin on baking sheet and cover with foil. For pieces of pumpkin, remove all seeds and stringy parts and place on baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for about 2 hours for pieces and about 3 hours for small whole pumpkins. They are ready when a fork goes into them easily. Cool the pumpkin and scoop out the flesh. Put the flesh in a food processor and puree until smooth.

 If it is too watery strain the mixture to remove the water. Place the mixture into a muffin pan and freeze until solid.

Remove from the pan and place in air tight ziplock freezer bags for future use.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chickpea Burgers with Lemon Garlic Aioli

The last time I posted a chickpea recipe I couldn't believe how excited people got, after all, the chickpea is just a humble little ingredient that we all have in the back of our pantries sitting forlorn and neglected. But apparently, lots of people love them and are looking for ways to use them but just can't think of how. This recipe is the result of the same dilemma and also the need to make dinner from ingredients I had lying around the house. To any woman who is thinking of serving these to her husband here is a tip: they truly are delicious burgers, but say "chickpea burger" to a man and most of them will go running to their mama's house for pot roast. Instead, call them falafel burgers because that is sort of what they taste like,( and what man doesn't like falafel?) and you will see he will down at least 2 of these. Truthfully, these burgers have everything that falafel is made of in them and more but the upside is that they are only pan fried and not deep fried and thus are super healthy (you can omit that piece of info from your hubby as well). I served them on fresh sesame buns with sliced tomato and avocado (avocado is crucial here, it just went so well!) and a slather of the lemon garlic aioli which is just a fancy name for a flavored mayonnaise. The lemon in the aioli really added brightness to the burgers and helped everything come together amazingly. So, as sketchy as these burgers may sound I PROMISE you they are delicious (just look at that picture and tell me you don't want to devour that) and beg you to make them tonight! Enjoy!

For the burgers: (makes about 8 nice size burgers)
2 stalks celery
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
2 cans chickpeas,  drained
1/3 cup chopped parsley
juice of 1 lemon
1 small carrot, shredded
2 tsp cumin
2 eggs
3 Tbl Tehina paste
3 Tbl olive oil
2/3 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbl oil for frying
Hamburger buns
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced avocado

In a food processor pulse the celery, onion and garlic together until finely chopped but not pureed (alternatively, you can just chop them by hand very finely or hand grate them). Remove the veggies to a bowl and add the chickpeas. Pulse a few times until the chickpeas are partially pureed but still a little chunky (you can also just hand mash them with a potato masher). Add the chickpeas to the veggies and add the rest of the ingredients. Season very well with salt and pepper. The mixture should be a little wet but not too wet - if its to wet add a little more bread crumbs. Shape the mixture into patties the size of your burger buns and pan fry in the oil until both sides are brown. Serve on a bun with the aioli, tomatoes and avocado.

For the Aioli:
1 cup mayonaise
zest of half a lemon
juice of a lemon
2 tsp minced garlic
2 drops hot sauce (optional)
salt and pepper

Mix all together in a bowl and serve with the burgers.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mexican Rice and Beans

I told my husband I was making him Mexican rice and beans and his reaction was less than enthusiastic and I can't quote him but it definitely included the words blah and bland. Now, I'm not really surprised because on its own rice and beans are two very blah and bland items but one taste of this rice made him realize two things: 1) he wants this rice once a week 2) never underestimate your wife- because let me tell you, ain't nothing bland about this dish, this was just a bowl of flavor goodness. I call this Mexican rice because of some basic Mexican flavors I added such as cumin, lime juice, oregano and jalapeno but you can feel free to omit or add whatever seasonings you prefer and make it as spicy as you like. To add freshness I added parsley at the end but to be really authentic, if you prefer the taste of shampoo you could add cilantro (no offense to the cilantro lovers but I'm just not there yet). I cooked the mixture in vegetable broth that I had which added great depth of flavor to the dish but feel free to just use water or water and some bouillon. To me this is practically a main dish- the beans have lots of protein and the brown rice is a great and healthy and because it is so flavorful it really feels like you are eating a dish instead of a side dish. Add some chopped meat to it and it really could become a meal in a pot (you know I love those!) but I didn't think it was necessary and anyway Gallby wouldn't have been too happy. Enjoy!

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno, diced
2 Tbl olive oil
1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
3 1/3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or as much liquid as your rice bag says you  need for 1 1/2 cups)
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 Tbl tomato paste
2 Tbl ketchup
2 tsp lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in the olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and saute another 2 minutes to get the rice toasted. Add the rest of the ingredients except the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat until the rice is ready (follow the cooking time on your rice package- each brand has different cooking times.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

This post is dedicated to my amazing mother in law in honor of her birthday today. If she lived near us (which she doesn't, but we are working on it) this would be her birthday cake this year. It is a luscious, rich pie that not only tastes sinful but is a showstopper as well.  Crunchy cookie crust, peanut butter mousse filling that is smooth and rich and a chocolate ganache topping that just makes you want to cry it's that good. I don't know where this recipe is from but I have had it hand written amongst my recipes for years and I have stopped to look at it so many times wanting to make it but never finding the right occasion. Finally, invited to a meal where there was to be a large number of dessert loving adults I decided it was time. I made the pie pareve using Tofutti cream cheese which surprisingly is available in Israel (but will cost you a pretty penny) but you can make this dairy by just substituting cream cheese and I'm sure it would be divine. Enjoy!

For the crust:
2 cups sandwich cookie or chocolate tea biscuit crumbs
1/2 cup peanuts chopped
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbl margarine melted

Combine all the ingredients and press into a sprayed 10 inch springform pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minute and then cool.

1 3/4 Rich's whip
2 cups peanut butter
16 oz Tofutti cream cheese ( 2 tubs)
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 Tb vanilla extract

In a bowl beat the rich's whip till stiff. In another bowl beat the peanut butter and cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the sugar and vanilla and then fold in the whipping cream. Pour into crust and refrigerate for 3 hours.

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rich's whip
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

In a sauce pan combine the sugar and cream. Stir until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, mixing until they are melted. Spread the mixture over the pie and garnish with chopped peanuts. Refrigerate and serve cold.

                                                         Happy Birthday Girlie!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chock full of Fall Pasta

I am back in America again for my sister's wedding and I am writing this as I look out the window at the most beautiful Fall foliage I have seen in a while. It's an absolutely breathtaking sight and one of the reasons I just love Fall. This pasta is the essence of Fall to me. It's a dish that is heavy but not Winter heavy with great Fall essence from the pumpkin, chard and mushrooms and you know how much I love me my pumpkin! I was surprised by how much my husband loved this- I mean it is definitely praise worthy but the ingredients are so simple that it's almost surprising how it all comes together so deliciously. Bottom line, take advantage of the fresh seasonal pumpkin and chard and make this for a quick dinner - you will NOT be disappointed!

1 lb pasta
1 small onion diced
2 tsp crushed garlic
1-2 cups cubed fresh pumpkin
3 cups swiss chard (mangold or alei selek), rinsed and dried
2 boxes mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
4 Tbl butter
l 1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan
grated nutmeg

Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the cubed pumpkin, chard and mushrooms and saute another 2 minutes seasoning it wall with salt and pepper. Add the broth to the pan and cover the pan letting the vegetables steam cook until the pumpkin is fork tender (about 3 minutes). In a sauce pan melt the butter and add the cream until it just reaches a boil, lower and mix in the parmesan and a little grated nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Boil the noodles until they are al-dente and mix in the vegetables and all the juice from the pan. Mix the cream sauce in to the noodles and veggies and serve warm. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Another toungue twister, another home run dish. I told you already I have a thing for pancakes and there are plenty more to come. My thing for pancakes combined with my thing for pumpkin (see here) resulted in these. Light and fluffy with a distinct pumpkin spice taste and all the right seasonings that make these taste just like pumpkin pie, these pancakes are a treat. The pureed pumpkin gives the pancakes unbelievable moistness and subtle pumpkin flavor. I used fresh pumpkin that I boiled, mashed and drained of liquid but you can use the canned variety as well with  great results. This makes for a great breakfast for erev-Thanksgiving when you have the pumpkin lying around anyway or on any cool fall morning when just the smell of these cooking will warm you up. Enjoy!

1 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 Tbl melted butter (or oil)
2 Tbl vinegar
2 cups flour
4 Tbl brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt

Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients including the pumpkin in another bowl. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined but without over mixing. Fry the pancakes in  pan or on a griddle rubbed with some butter or sprayed with cooking spray.

Alright, not the prettiest stacking job but the urgency to devour them warm overtook any artistry we may have attempted.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Salt and Pepper Onion Kugel

O.K, I know its an oxymoron to call kugel gourmet but sometimes something just tastes good enough to blog without it being gourmet. This is a take on salt and pepper kugel which haunts my memories from shul kiddushes past. All the old people used to eat it and I really wanted to like it but every time I tasted it it just tasted-blah-ironically, it tasted like it had no salt and no pepper. Weirdly enough I've been thinking about this kugel recently and for some odd reason that I can't explain I felt the need to make it and make it good. I did that by adding a truck load of caramelized onions which we all know have the power to make even paper taste delicious. The onions along with seasoning just made this kugel superb. Even my dear husband who was a little suspicious loved it and thus I have added a new kugel to my Shabbat rotation. Enjoy!

3 large onions, sliced
2 Tbl oil
2 Tbl sugar
1 pkg wide egg noodles
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbl salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup oil

Saute the onions in 2 Tbl of oil seasoning them with salt, pepper and 2 Tbl sugar until they are golden brown and caramelized ( about 25 minutes). Boil the noodles, drain and add the onions, eggs, 1/3 cup oil, salt and pepper. Pour into a greased pan ( I prefer pyrex) and sprinkle the top with paprika. Bake for about 40 minutes until the kugel is set and golden brown.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

I think Fall has to be my favorite season. Not too hot, not too cold (except at night in our lovely hometown), beautiful foliage and some of my favorite seasonal produce like pumpkin, squash, cranberries, pears etc. So I will make it my business to use as much pumpkin and squash in as many recipes as I can this Fall and I've already made a list of ideas that will find its way to this blog- so if you aren't a fan of the orange veggies, consider yourself warned. Is it embarrassing to admit that thinking of what to make with pumpkin and squash has kept me up at night? Well, something about being exhausted but having gourds on your mind makes for great recipe ideas. This one was born around 1 am and I'm super proud of it. I  love the exotic-ness of adding the coconut milk while still getting the down home comfort feel of a soup and adding curry with the coconut is just like peas and carrots- destined for each other. The result is a creamy, slightly sweet and mildly spicy soup that just hits home. Enjoy!

1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 Tbl olive oil
2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
8 cups chicken stock or 8 cups water and chicken buillon
11/2 Tbl curry
1 can coconut milk (NOT cream of coconut)
3 Tbl brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion and garlic in the tablespoon of oil until the onions are translucent. Add the squash cubes, stock, curry, coconut milk, brown sugar and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook over low heat until the squash is cooked through about an hour. Blend with an immersion blender and serve.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Marinated Beer Can Chicken

My husband has been asking me to make Beer Can Chicken for ages but something about having a chicken hang out in my oven right side up has never appealed to me. Finally, being the good wife, I gave in but not before seriously tweaking the traditional recipe. Typically, beer can chicken is just a plain roasted chicken  who sits on a half empty beer can and roasts like that so that the fat can drip down the chicken and caramelize the skin and the evaporation from the beer can keep the chicken moist but with no beer flavor.
NO BEER FLAVOR?? So, then what the heck is the point?! Thus became the logic for me marinating the chicken first in some of the beer and lots of other yummy stuff before I let  Mr. Chickie dangle rather uncomfortably (imagine you sitting on a little beer can for two hours!) on his toasty can. The marinade smelled so good that had it not had killer amounts of potential e-coli in it I would have drunk it with a straw. I have to admit, though, that at points I did feel uncomfortable as I checked on the chicken because it looked so...alive...sitting there that way, like an old man sitting in front of a T.V is the image that came to my mind (look at the picture and you'll see what I mean, head drooped over, drooling)- but I got over it when the delicious aroma hit me. So if you have no qualms about harassing a chicken with a beer can then make this chicken today!!

1 whole chicken
1 can beer
2 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
2 heaping Tbls whole grain Dijon mustard
4 Tbl brown sugar
2 Tbl oil
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper

Combine one cup of the beer (save the rest and the can!) and the other marinade ingredients in a shallow pan. Marinate the chicken in it for a few hours or overnight. Place the can half full with beer in a roasting pan and sit the chicken firmly on the can. Roast at 350 for 2 hours basting occasionally if you want with the pan juices.

All lathered up and ready for the Beach:

All tanned and delicious- (sorry for the backside view!)


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ranch Dressing

Well, I can tell you this- I never knew how good ranch dressing was -or how fattening. I've tried some bottled versions before although there aren't that many with a hashgacha but they always tasted sort of flat to me with just a little token tang to make it seem ranch-y. But the home made stuff is soooooo much better! The only problem is that all the recipes I have seen for the dressing call for insane amounts of mayonaise and sour cream among other things but the thought of putting so many calories on a poor piece of lettuce was upsetting so I scaled down the fat grams by using low fat sour cream and low fat mayo. I'm sure the real deal tastes better but it's hard to imagine because this lowfat version was finger lickin' good. I served it simply over some crisp romaine lettuce for some crunch and some tomatoes because tomatoes always taste so darn good drenched in dressing and had myself a ranchy feast. Enjoy!

1/2 cup lowfat good quality mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk (rivyon 1.5 % in Israel)
1/4 cup lowfat sour cream
4 scallions
2 Tbl parsley
1 Tb dill
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbl Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
1 tsp hot sauce, optional
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor chop the scallions, parsley, dill and garlic. Remove to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate. Dressing will thicken slightly in the fridge. Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chunky Mocha Zebra Cookies

Well, I guess they aren't technically Zebra cookies because they don't have stripes but you get the point. My husband and I have been on a serious coffee kick recently and I've been looking for ways to incorporate our addiction in other more solid forms. These cookies pack a serious coffee punch with 3 Tablespoons of coffee but surprisingly the coffee taste is not overwhelming. The flavor is offset by chunks of chocolate- semi sweet and white chocolate but had I had any milk chocolate on hand I would have put that in too. The cookies came out with what I think is the perfect cookie texture- crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and oozing chocolate and the little caffeine buzz I got from them was nice too :). All in all, can't go wrong with these beauties. Enjoy!

2 1/2 cups flour
3 Tbl instant coffee
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa
2 sticks butter (or margarine) at room temp.
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 bar (100 grams) white chocolate, chunked (or 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips)
1 bar (100 grams) semi sweet chocolate, chunked
1 bar ( 100 grams) milk chocolate, chunked

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl mix together the flour, coffee, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa. With a mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla. Gradually mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Fold in the chopped chocolate. Roll the dough into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove them when they are still soft and seem not quite ready- they will harden slightly as they cool.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Potato-Leek "soup" QUICHE

This is my final installment of quiches based on soups. It's appropriate to post it now because I always serve Potato Leek soup to break the Yom Kippur fast so I was reminded of this quiche. I love this quiche because of its unusual crust which would also make it a great addition to your Pesach repertoire. The crust is made of shredded potatoes which is meant to be the potato component from the soup and filled with a creamy leek filling. Together they really do taste like a delicious creamy potato leek soup in quiche clothing. You can also make this pareve by substituting rice milk and tofutti sour cream but I highly recommend the dairy version- it is unique and delicious and always a winner- enjoy!

For the crust:

  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • salt and pepper

For the filling:

  • 3 leeks, cleaned and white and light green parts chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the shredded potatoes with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Spray a 9 inch round quiche pan (I used Pyrex) heavily with cooking spray and press the filling along the bottom and up the sides until its covered. Bake for 15 minutes until the potatoes are just lightly golden. Saute the leek in the butter for about 10 minutes until translucent and cool for a few minutes. In a bowl mix together the cream, eggs, sour cream and ½ cup of the Mozzarella and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the leeks and mix well. Pour the mixture into the crust and top with remaining Mozzarella. Bake for about 40 minutes until the center is set and the quiche is golden brown.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sweet Zucchini Corn Muffins

Even back in Israel I find myself with an overabundance of zucchini. I'm not sure what makes me feel the need to buy so many every time I'm in the super market but I once again have found myself with a few too many. It's actually gotten to be an enjoyable challenge for me to figure out what to use my zucchini for. These I made with Yom Kippur breakfast in mind. Who doesn't love a corn muffin? The zucchini adds the incredible moistness and the health factor and the combo makes them hard to resist. I used to get corn muffins growing up at a local restaurant and I couldn't get over how good they were. Once I went to another bakery and found they had the same ones. I put two and two together and did some research and realized that they were all using a pre-packaged mix that they bought in bulk. That was disappointing but of course it didn't stop me from buying them. These are different then the muffins of my past, a little less sweet and a lot less preservatives (read: none) and they taste moist and fresh and just perfectly corny. My husband and CTT(Chief Taste Tester -btw, thank you for all the applications for the position but the position is happily filled) tasted one warm and put a little dab of butter and honey on it and was in heaven. Enjoy!

(makes 72 mini muffins)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups course ground corn meal
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 medium Zucchini, shredded
1/3 cup honey
1 cup oil
3/4 cup milk (if making pareve use rice or soy milk)
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Mix the zucchini in with the dry ingredients. In another bowl whisk together the wet ingredients and add it to they dry mixing until incorporated but without over mixing. Spoon into mini muffins tins and bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Banana Buttermilk Pancakes

I'm a fan of pancakes any which way. I firmly believe that they should not be limited to breakfast and that they can be eaten for any meal and at any time.  I've been experimenting with different pancake combinations (more to come) and I've loved every minute of it. These I made for a lucky house guest who was visiting us from the unholy land. I made them while he was still sleeping in the hopes that the smell of the pancakes wafting toward his room would wake him and send the message that I was hungry and it was time to eat. It worked (or was it the pan I loudly dropped outside his door that woke him up?) and we all thoroughly enjoyed. Making pancakes with buttermilk is classic and the milk adds a delightful tang and helps give the pancakes a soft and delicious spongy texture. Even if you are not a fan of buttermilk I recommend you try these although if you are really opposed you can just use more milk instead. Enjoy!

3 cups flour
4 Tbl sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
2 large ripe bananas, mashed

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. In another bowl mix the wet ingredients together and then fold in the mashed banana. Combine the dry into the wet mixture right before cooking . Spray a griddle or frying pan with cooking spray and place a quarter of a cup of the batter on the pan. Cook over medium heat until the top side is bubbling and then flip over and cook for another 45 seconds or so on the next side.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chocolatey Peanutty Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Let me tell you about my friend Joe. I only met him this summer but I fell in love with him when I discovered the amazing things he has to offer. He introduced me to the world of well priced, gourmet and organic food stuffs and I spent my limited time with him enamored. Other people already know him well and sometimes call him by his professional name, Trader Joe, but I like to think I'm on a first name basis with him. Ok, enough with my senseless rambling. Basically, Trader Joe's is heaven for foodies and I love the place. I know I'm a latecomer because everyone else has been going there for years but there has never been one near where I used to live or visit in America but this summer I discovered one will be opening near my in-laws and I made an effort to seek one out and start the getting to know you process. I can't even list the things I found there that made me happy but one thing I found were little mini chocolate peanut butter cups that were uber cute and delicious. I froze them and hauled them back with me with the intention of making some sort of heavenly cookie with them. Fast forward to now and this is what I've made. Peanut butter cookies studded with the peanut butter cups and chocolate chips and then just because I felt like going crazy, some Reese's peanut butter chips. Lordy, they are good. I'm serving these for Yom Kippur breakfast. If I can keep them away from my husband for that long. Enjoy!

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup margarine (2 sticks) , softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 Tbl milk
12 oz mini peanut butter cups
3/4  cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350. Cream the margarine, sugars and peanut butter together until well combined and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add vanilla and milk . Mix the flour, salt and baking soda together in a bowl and add it to the mixture. Fold in all the goodies.  Place rounded tablespoon fulls on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake about 7-10 minutes until light browned. Don't over bake them- you want them to be a little soft when you take them out as they will firm up when they cool and you want them to be chewy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rosh Hashanah Menu 2011

I always enjoy reading other people's menus for chag and love to get inspiration from what other people are making. To that end I thought to myself- why not post my menu for one of  what seems like hundreds of meals for this Rosh Hashanah. Call me crazy, but I actually love putting together menus and sometimes spend way too much time (I'm too embaressed to tell you my record) coming up with them. This menu was extra fun to make because I worked hard to try to incorporate at least one of the traditional simanim in each dish. Though by now most people will have their menus planned (and maybe even their shopping done!) maybe this menu can inspire the late bloomers.

Rosh Hashanah 2011
Round Raisin Challah served with Homemade Apple Butter

Starter: Sweet and Spicy Carrot and Apple Soup

Appetizer: Spinach Salad with Avocado, Mango, Pomegranate seeds with Strips of Grilled Salmon served in a crisp wonton bowl

Mains: Chicken Breast with Caramelized Leeks and Mushrooms
           Apple Cider Brisket

Sides:  Spinach and Leek Noodle Kugel
           Cranberry Apple Challah Kugel
           Couscous with Dates, Apricots and Pistachios
           Assorted Salads (cherry tomato, marinated vegetable, cabbage)

Dessert: Traditional Honey Cake, Cinnamon Babka (as shown below) and Seasonal Fruit

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Grilled Garlic Citrus Chicken

I have a theory that any recipe that appears on the back of a product is an amazing recipe. I mean, the company wants you to try the recipe to show how great their product is so it will of course be a quadruple tested awesome recipe. I've been right about 99% of the time and with a statistic like that I will continue making product sponsored recipes. This recipe came from the back of the Gulden's mustard container and I could tell by the ingredients that this would be a winner. Heck, I liked the marinade so much I think I'm going to reinvent it as a salad dressing. The chicken tastes great charcoal grilled and we are going to grill every week until summer is truly gone and until the fog here in this glorious yishuv does not allow us to see our own fingers (true story!)- but it would also taste great broiled or cooked on a stove top grill pan. Enjoy!

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup deli mustard (it's only fair to use Gulden's)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbl lemon juice
2 Tbl lime juice
2 Tbl orange juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
8 chicken breasts or one whole chicken, cut up

Whisk all ingredients together in large bowl. Marinate chicken in the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 12. Grill over medium heat and cook about 10-15 minutes, turning frequently until the inside is no longer pink.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chickpea Salad with Tehina and Garlic Dressing

This salad is as hearty and delicious as it is colorful. I don't know about you but I always have canned chickpeas in my pantry and as I peruse the shelves I always stare at them longingly for a while and then move on because I can't think of what to do with them. This salad is a great way to get them on your table in a delicious, nutritious and eye catching way. You could really throw anything into this salad like olives, or roasted vegetables, or corn but this is what I had lying around. I also happened to have tehina in my fridge and since this salad sort of reminds me of Israeli salad in a way I thought a dressing made from tehina would be great and it was. Another good thing about this salad is that it stays well in the fridge for a while and I threw in some grilled chicken and had it as a meal a different day. So, bottom line, sharpen that knife and get ready to dice a little (ok, alot) and then dig in.

2 (15oz) cans chick peas, drained
2 cucumbers, diced
2 stalks celery, diced (optional)
1/2 cup scallions, diced
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced or the equivalent of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup yellow pepper, diced
1/2 cup orange pepper, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup Tehina
4 Tbl lemon juice
2 Tbl water
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bourbon Baked Beans

Say that three times fast. And then dig in because this is dayummmmm good! I've been wanting to make home-made baked beans for forevahhh-no offense to Bush's (which are actually quite good) but there is something so appealing about beans that have been slow cooked for hours with fresh ingredients. And let me tell you something, you need to make these. Yesterday. The flavor of these beans are UNBELIEVABLE! I knew they would be good but I was shocked by just how good they were. Now, you may get intimidated by the length of the cooking time but OH LORDY it is worth it! Now, I am going to give you the instructions as you should do it but when I made it I tried to take the lazy route and cook them on top of the stove thinking it would cook quicker. Bad idea. Terrible. I put them up at 3pm. By 11 pm they were still happily sitting in their sauce smirking at me as they stayed raw. Baked beans are meant to be baked and I apparently broke the cardinal rule. By the time we got to eat them  let's just say it was time for morning prayers. So, lesson learned, next time I will be baking them like a good girl and enjoying them for dinner instead of breakfast.

1 lb white beans (I used Navy)
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup Honey Bourbon (or regular Bourbon)
1 Tbl granulated garlic
2 Tbl vinegar
6 cups water (plus more if necessary)
2 heaping Tbl Dijon Mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup pastrami fat back, cubed (optional)

Soak the beans with water to cover overnight and then drain. Preheat the oven to 350. In a heavy duty oven safe pot (Le Crueset is my  fave) brown the pieces of pastrami until the fat renders out. Remove the pastrami and drain all but 3 Tbl of the fat.  Alternatively, if you are not using the pastrami, heat 3 Tbl olive oil. Saute the onion in the fat or oil until translucent and add the bourbon. Let the bourbon cook for 2 minutes to release the alcohol  and add the beans. Add the brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, garlic, vinegar and water to the pot and mix well. Bring to a boil and transfer to the oven. Bake covered for about 3-4 hours checking every 45 minutes if more water is needed until the beans are tender. Leave the lid open for the last half an hour to allow some liquid to evaporate.

Yes, it looks like Chulent but Chulent only wishes it could taste this good!