Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Coconut Crusted LIME Pie

I have to admit how ridiculous it is to get so excited over a little green fruit that is so small but that is exactly what happened. I hopped over to the shuk last week and there before my very eyes were limes!! I had to do a triple take and confirm a few times that they were indeed limes and not oblong green clementines but they were- and 40 limes later I was happily skipping down the lanes of Machane Yehuda dreaming of Lime Pie. You see, I love this fine country and all the fine things it offers in abundance but there are just some things that you can't get, or can't get a lot of, or often enough- such as parsnips, blueberries and LIMES to name a few and if you think I am obsessed with lemons then you haven't seen me with a lime. And that is why I made this pie with the most ridiculous grin on my face and enjoyed every delicious limey bit of it. As for the other 30 limes still sitting on my counter, well, I'm perfectly content to just gaze at them but more than likely you'll be seeing some more lime infused recipes soon. Enjoy, because I sure as heck did!

For the crust:
32 Tea biscuits or graham crackers (1 sleeve)
2 Tbl Brown sugar
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbl butter (or margarine for pareve), melted

In a food processor place the crackers, sugar, coconut and salt. Pulse until you get coarse crumbs. Mix with the melted butter and pat into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 or 9.5 inch pie plate. There will be a little leftover crust mixture- it's delicious on ice cream! bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool.

For the filling:
1 cup sugar
2 Tbl flour
3 Tbl cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
zest of 3 limes
1/2 cup lime juice (approximately 4-5 limes)
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbl butter (or margarine)
4 egg yolks

In a sauce pan over medium heat whisk the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the water, lime juice and zest and mix often until the mixture starts to thicken and comes to a boil. Add the butter and mix until it is melted. In a bowl whisk the egg yolks. Carefully add 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture to the yolks in the bowl mixing QUICKLY to temper the yolks. Then add the yolk mixture back into the pot and continue to cook another 2-3 minutes until thick.   Pour the filling into the pie crust and refrigerate. Once cool top with whipped cream or whipped topping as desired.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rosh Hashana Menu 2012

We all get what I call menu-block every once in a while- I mean, after making chag for years and years you start to run out of creative ideas of what to make. I love to look at other people's menu's for a little dose of inspiration so here is my menu for one of my meals that can maybe give you some ideas! Chag Sameach!

Round Raisin Challah with Home Made Apple Butter

Curried Carrot Soup with Ginger

Pomegranate Maple Chicken
Chicken Breast with Melted Leeks and Sun dried Tomatoes 
Red Wine Braised French Roast 

Rainbow Wheat berry salad with Dried Cherries, Scallions, Roasted Pumpkin, and Chickpeas 
Roasted Beet Salad-with a Cumin Vinaigrette 
Carrot Slaw- with chives and Chinese Pecans in a light dressing 

Tzimmis (Baked Carrots, Sweet Potatoes and Dried Plums) in a Honeyed sauce  
Spinach and Leek Stuffing Kugel
Traditional Potato Kugel 
Carmelized Onion Couscous 

Toasted Almond and Coconut Ice cream
Honey Date Cake

Click here to see 2011's Rosh Hashana's Menu

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Asparagus and Basil Tortellini Salad

I forgot all about this yummy salad that I made this summer! Last year at my daughter's birthday party I made a tortellini salad that was a huge hit. So when her birthday came around and I was deciding what to feed the adults I thought, been there done that and wasn't going to make it again. But then came the requests and so how could I disappoint my guests? So I did a variation on the original, with a different dressing and using beautiful tender asparagus and my favorite slow roasted tomatoes and lots of fresh basil from the little basil plant I tenderly nurtured (read: drowned and sunburned but somehow managed to keep alive) this summer and it was as big of a hit as the first one. So, I guess it has been decided-forget about the birthday cake- tortellini salad at my daughter's birthday parties is the new tradition!

1 1/2 lbs of cheese tortellini, either fresh or frozen
1 recipe oven roasted tomatoes
1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed and cut into thirds
1/2 cup fresh basil
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the tortellini in salted water according to package directions. About a minute and a half  before they are done add the asparagus to blanch. Drain the pasta well and transfer to a bowl. Mix the pasta with the tomatoes and basil and add the dressing while the pasta is still warm. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve. If not serving immediately make sure to taste and re-season before serving.

For the dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together and pour over the salad.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wasabi Ginger Salmon with Wasabi-Lime Mayo

Life has been super busy since our return to this great country. I literally dropped my suitcases and started cooking for catering jobs that I was probably crazy to take on. But I persevered through the jet lag and I can now take a minutes rest-but literally only a minute because those suitcases still need to be unpacked. The above is my excuse for why new blog posts are so few and far between but I have taken a break from the organizing to present this salmon to you. Salmon is so versatile and holds up so well to so many flavors that I love trying new ways to make it. This is a sweet, savory and spicy Asian take on salmon that is easy and quick and tastes deeelish. Enjoy!

4 fillets salmon
3 Tbl soy sauce
2 tsp wasabi powder
1 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp brown sugar
 Mix all ingredients and marinate the salmon for half an hour. Bake the salmon for 15 minutes and then broil for 2 minutes watching it carefully so that it does not burn. Serve with wasabi mayo.

Wasabi Mayo:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbl wasabi powder
zest of one lime
juice of one lime
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

mix all together and serve with salmon.