Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chimichurri Sauce

Though it is hard for people to understand, I am not a steak lover. Never was and not sure I will ever be. I watch people eat steak and go goo goo-ga ga over it and I just cannot understand. Some times the goo-goo ga ga-ness will be so extreme that I will feel the need to taste it again. But I am always left with the same feeling of - eh, nothing special. However, 5 years ago I was at a wedding where they served some form of steak. I wan't too impressed and wasn't really going to eat it until they brought out a shimmering, bright green sauce to go with it. One taste of the sauce and I was licking my plate clean. That sauce, it turns out, was chimichurri but not the typical chimichurri which is usually parsley and/or cilantro blended with some olive oil and garlic. This one was enhanced by little chunks of tomatoes and onion and was slightly sweet but also acidic at the same time. It was heavenly. Why it has taken me 5 years to recreate it I'm not sure at all. Maybe because I was recently in a supermarket and saw the butcher cutting fresh rib steaks and lost my head and had to have them (now you know how dinner ideas are formed in this house.) And once I had the 90 shekel a kilo rib steaks in hand this sauce dug itself out of my memory and threw itself at me. Now, I understand that the picture may not do anything for you and why would something that sort of looks like a nightmare swamp make you drool? But herbs tend to start browning once chopped and I was wayyyy to busy inhaling my steak to take a picture right away and so you are not experiencing the vibrant green that I did, but trust me on this one, a smothering of this green, herb-y goodness on your next steak or chicken is the way to go. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro
4 cloves garlic
1 cup olive oil
1 small tomato, seeded and diced finely
2 Tblspoons finely chopped red onion
3 Tblspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor process the parsley, cilantro and garlic. Slowly add in the oil and blend in until smooth. Remove from bowl and mix in the tomato, onion, sugar and season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Red Wine Sangria

I know, I know it has been a while. But my usual excuse is still valid. I have been swamped with catering. And while that is a great thing and I am not complaining, I have not had a minute to do anything including writing up blog posts. It is times like these that I could use a large glass of Sangria, one of my favorite cocktails, so this posting is actually a little selfish. Sangria is a fruity wine based cocktail from Spain that just hits the spot every time. Now, with strawberries in season is the perfect time to make a nice big pitcher which would be a great treat for Shabbat lunch or even as part of dessert because it can practically be considered a fruit salad. Ok, a fruit salad soaked in wine but who's asking? I especially love Sangria in the summer when delicious peaches and nectarines are in season but you can definitely make a mean jug o' Sangria any time of year. Just pick the best fruit of whatever season you are in and you are good to go.
 Sangria in my humble opinion is best made at least a day in advance, even better if you could make it two days in advance, so the flavors of the fruit really have a chance to combine with the wine.  Now that I think of it, with Purim coming up this would make a great addition to any seuda. I promise you, forgetting Haman's name never tasted so good! Enjoy!

1 bottle dry red wine (750ml)
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 apples, chopped
2 pears, chopped
1 pint of strawberrires, washed, hulled and sliced
2 oranges, sliced
(other fruit you can add in season are peaches, nectarines, plums, pitted cherries, blueberries, raspberries)
1 cup Sprite or Ginger Ale (optional, only if you want a fizzy Sangria)

Pour the wine into a large pitcher. Add the orange juice and sugar and mix well. Before serving taste the Sangria to see if it needs more sweetness. It should be sweet but not overly so. Add the chopped fruit and mix. Refrigerate for at least a day and preferably 2 days. Before serving add the Sprite or Ginger Ale and mix.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut. Cream. Pie.  Do I need to write anything else? Isn't that enough to get you drooling?
 Answer these questions: Is your favorite chocolate bar Bounty? Do you dive into the Pesach Macaroon container as soon as they are purchased? Do you keep at least 3 cans of coconut milk in your pantry just because? Do you insist on buying only coconut scented candles, soap, and or shampoo?  If you have answered yes to 3 out of 4 of these questions then you are a coco-nut like me and  you have surely already indulged before in some coconut cream pie. Perhaps, however, you have never attempted to make it yourself. Well, I am here to tell you that it is way too easy not to do yourself and tastes too darn good not to make often. Make it dairy, make it pareve-JUST MAKE IT! In order not to leave you in the lurch I am available for taste testings when ever said pies are made. Enjoy!

1 9 inch Graham Cracker pie crust (purchased or home made)
2 2/3 cups coconut milk, soy/rice milk or regular milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coconut extract (optional but yummy)
1 1/3 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup whipped cream (can substitute pareve but omit the sugar below)
2 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/2 cup coconut flakes, toasted

In a sauce pan whisk the egg and milk together well. Over medium heat add the sugar, corn starch and salt and whisk constantly until thickened (until it coats the back of a spoon well). Remove from heat and add the vanilla, coconut extract and coconut flakes. Pour into pie crust, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top and refrigerate for at least an hour. Meanwhile whip the cream with the sugar and coconut extract. In a saute pan toast the  1/2 cup of coconut by placing it in the pan over low heat and shaking, mixing it every so often till it turns lightly golden (make sure not to burn it.) Once the pie is cooled top with whipped cream and toasted coconut.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl Buffalo Wings

This is an oldie but a goodie. I posted this recipe more than two years ago and I still get comments till this day about how incredible these wings are. So I am re-posting them in honor of the Super Bowl today- if you are watching and need an incredible Buffalo wing recipe these are them! Enjoy!

To make them:
1 kilo (around 2 pounds) chicken wings, each one separated into 2 pieces
Flour- seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder)
1/2 cup of Hot Sauce ( My fave is Frank's- you can find it in Israel at CheaperKol in Givat Shaul)
1/4 cup of honey
2 Tblspoons brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
Sesame seeds
Oil for frying

Preheat the oven to broil. Make sure the wings are dry and dredge them in the flour. Heat the oil and lightly fry each wing till they are crispy. In the meantime, heat the hotsauce, honey, brown sugar and garlic powder in a pot. When the wings are fried, dip each into the sauce, lay on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Broil for about 5-8 minutes. Broiling will make them super-crispy but because there is honey and sugar in the sauce make sure to watch them carefully so they don't burn.
Enjoy with a nice glass of Alka-Seltzer.