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.