Monday, July 29, 2013

Ginger Peach Buttermilk Pancakes

This week I hosted illustrious guests out here in bungalowville- my in laws! After all the time I spend in their house I like to give back to them by hosting and pampering them for as long as they will let me and an essential part of pampering is preparing delicious meals and snacks for them. Personally, I love the opportunity to try out new recipes even if it means rising at the crack of dawn to make them and it is all worth it when your guests declare that they are lick your plate clean good. I'm also a big fan of breakfast food. I am not embarrassed to admit that I will gladly eat pancakes for dinner and be perfectly satisfied. These pancakes are full of ripe summer peaches that add a beautiful sweetness to the pancake but what makes them stand out is the ginger which adds pizzazz and a little pleasant heat. If you don't have fresh ginger you can always use a teaspoon of ground ginger instead. Enjoy!

2 cups flour
2 Tbl sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk (Rivyon in Israel)
2 Tbl canola oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbl fresh grated ginger
4 peaches, peeled and diced

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and ginger. Don't over mix. Fold in the diced peaches. Heat a griddle or frying pan and spray with cooking spray or butter. Place batter by the 1/4 cup full in the pan. Wait till small bubbles appear on the top of the pancake and then flip  and cook for another 30-45 seconds. Serve with maple syrup and butter.

Look at these fluffy beauties!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Edamame Quinoa Salad

Every summer for my daughter's birthday I make a party in which the majority of guests are adults who travel a long way. The kids get pizza and cake but I have to provide more substantive fare for the adults. Bagels with cream cheese and lox is always a staple though this year I made some flavored cream cheeses to change it up a little. The salads, though, are what I always look forward to making. This edamame salad was one of them and was a big hit with the adults and surprisingly even with some of my young nieces. Though there is some quinoa involved the focus is more on the vibrant, toothsome edamame. I bought shelled edamame and what a time saver that was but you can always shell your own. This salad is simple, healthy and great summer eats. Enjoy!

1 cup quinoa
4 cups shelled Edamame
corn from 2 ears of boiled, roasted or grilled corn or one small can of corn
1 red pepper, diced
4 scallions, diced

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Meanwhile in a pot of boiling salted water, cook the edamame till they are just tender but still have some bite to them, about five minutes. Add the edamame ,corn, red pepper and scallions to the quinoa. Add the dressing while the quinoa is still warm and serve at room temperature.

For the dressing:
2 lemons, zest and juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients together.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Coconut Lime Bars

If you have been reading this blog for the last month than you should be able to tell that I am obsessed with limes. I think every single recipe I have made so far this summer in some way incorporates them. Lime season in Israel is for a short time in the summer and last year I got back just in time to enjoy them for a couple of weeks and then too I went overboard with lime recipes. Only after lime season was over did I learn that freezing limes is a great way to have them all year long. Bummer. This year, I hope I make it back in time to stock up and freeze so I can stop feeling so much pressure to use 5 limes a day to take advantage of them. I put them in my water, I put them in my soda, salad dressing, marinades, grain salads, and of course desserts. Which brings me around to these delicious bars.  Buttery shortbread crust. Sweet and tart lime filling. Dayummmm they are good! They are a basic play on a lemon bar but the subtle flavor of the lime is heavenly here and paired up with the coconut these bars become a tropical wonderland for your mouth. They are rich though so a little goes a long way but my, oh, my are they worth every little crumb. Enjoy!

For the crust:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted

Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt and coconut. Cut the butter in with your fingers or a pastry cutter until you have course crumbs. Butter or spray a 9x13 inch pan. Press the crust into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes until lightly golden.

For the filling:
6 eggs
1/2 cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
zest of 3 limes
1/3 cup flour
1 3/4- 2 cups sugar (depending on how sweet or tart you want it)
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 drop green food coloring, optional
Confectioner's sugar for serving

Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over the crust and bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling is set.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fish Tacos with Lime Crema

This is the summer of Fish Tacos. Everywhere I look, in every magazine and on every menu I see fish tacos touted. Well, they have been on my list to make since last summer, so I'm a trail blazer right :)? Something about tacos have always appealed to me. The mix of textures and flavors, spicy and cool and of course how messy they are when you eat them. Messy eating is just fun! There are many ways to make a fish taco- some people fry the fish, some people batter and then fry the fish, some grill it and some bake it. Some add complicated salsas and slaws and pile them so high you can barely taste the fish. This is how I like them. Spicy fish, just a little crunchy, lightly seasoned cabbage, creamy avocado, and some lime crema to cool off the heat that the Sriracha adds. An explosion of flavor in your mouth with every bite. They are the perfect light and easy summer meal. Enjoy!

6 pieces tilapia or another firm white fish such as halibut
1 lime (or small lemon)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
1 tsp cuimin
1 tsp smoked paprika (use regular if you don't have smoked)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2- 1 Tbl Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)
Red Cabbage Slaw (see below)
Lime Crema (see below)
1 ripe avocado , diced
1 large tomato, diced
10-12 flour tortillas for serving

Preheat the oven to 350. Place the tilapia in a pan and squeeze the lime over it. Sprinkle over the chili powder, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and add the sriracha. Mix well and bake for about 12-15 minutes until the fish is opaque and ready.

For the red cabbage:
3 cups red cabbage, shredded
2 Tbl rice vinegar
1 Tbl oil
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients together.

For the Crema:
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lime, zest and juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 scallion, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together.

To assemble the tacos, place some fish at the bottom of a tortilla. Top with red cabbage, drizzle the crema over it and top with avocado and tomato. Fold up and devour!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tuna Croquettes with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Tuna croquettes are a staple in my house and I make them at least twice a month. I love how they require ingredients I always have lying around, tuna, egg, onion, parsley and how they add great protein to dairy meals that I make. Technically speaking these aren't "real" croquettes because they aren't breaded and fried but croquette just sounds infinitely better then a patty. The secret to these is the sour cream which I think gives them great moisture and a little tang but if you want to make them pareve you can omit it.
 Now, the sauce is what takes these over the top.
 Love it.
Not the red stuff you put on gefilte fish (yum) but the white stuff which they sell bottled in America. In Israel, I wait till Passover when you can get it fresh and then grate it, add a little vinegar and keep it in a jar in my fridge. It's goooood stuff, trust me. This sauce can be made pareve as well by substituting mayonnaise for the sour cream and served slathered on a roast beef sandwich (oh, man I just made myself drool.)If you don't have fresh grated horseradish lying around you can also substitute wasabi powder. Occasionally, I make these pareve and plate them over beautiful baby lettuce and drizzled with the sauce and serve it for an appetizer Shabbat lunch.  Happy Eating!

Makes about 25 croquettes
For the croquettes:
 6 cans of tuna in water, 5 oz each
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbl oil
1/4 cup sour cream
5 eggs
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil  until translucent and season with salt and pepper.  In the meantime, drain the tuna, place it in a bowl and flake it well. Add the eggs, sour cream, parsley, onion mixture and bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Form into walnut size balls and flatten. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry until golden on each side.

For the sauce:
1 cup sour cream or mayonnaise
3 Tbl white horseradish
2 Tbl capers (if large, chop them)
zest and juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients together and serve over the croquettes.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

It's that time of year again, folks! The 9 day luncheon! The annual pot luck get together of all the women in my bungalow colony for shmoozing and overeating-very appropriate for the 9 days, right? Well, there are two constants every year at the luncheon- it always rains (think that's a sign from above?) and there is always rokot krumpli, a Hungarian egg and potato dish. Well, this year tradition ended. It did rain (hence the badly lit picture below) but alas there was no rokot krumpli. Yes, we were devastated.
But I digress.
Now, on to what I brought.
Every year I try to think of something that no one else will bring. Last year it was sushi. Two years ago it was this tortellini salad (big hit, by the way) and somehow I convinced myself that a quinoa salad was the perfect dish. I had mangoes lying around and lots of black beans and they are a great combo together and thus this salad was born. Together with the lime dressing the salad is light and refreshing and just the perfect summer salad.
 Now, the women who come to this event are clearly divided into two categories. Over 50 and under 35 and the two ages sit at two separate tables on opposite sides of the room every single year. The one exception to this rule is yours truly who always sits at the over 50 table, it's just how I roll. The under 35's were very familiar with quinoa and they loved it. The over 50's loved it too but needed a tutorial and some convincing ("vus iz dus? nisht from da alta heim" (that's my broken yiddish and a total exaggeration, all English speakers there, but I'm sticking with it). Bottom line, this salad will be a big hit no matter your age. Enjoy!

2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
1 can (around 15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large mango, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

2 large limes, zest and juice
3 Tbl honey
1/2 cup light olive oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the quinoa VERY well for at least a minute under running water until the water runs clear. If you skip this step the quinoa will be bitter! Place the quinoa in a pot with the water, bring to a boil and then let it simmer until the water is absorbed. In the meantime, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until emulsified and season well. Let the quinoa cool for about 20 minutes and then add the dressing. The quinoa should still be warm when the dressing is added. Add the black beans, mangoes, red onion and parsley and mix. Season the entire mixture with some more salt and pepper to taste and serve at room temperature.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kani- Avocado Salad

Here is my confession of the week: I have an addiction to gefilte fish. I love it. And it doesn't have to be the homemade kind. The frozen loaf is just fine for me and I eagerly wait until Shabbat to have my fill. I even love the jarred stuff (gasp!) because I grew up having it every Shabbat. Why am I telling you this? Because even this gefilte fish addict likes to change up Shabbat appetizer every now and then and this salad is a great way to fill that role. Kani, or mock crab, are those orange and white sticks of fish product that are often used in sushi rolls. They don't have a strong taste at all, just a mild sweetness and a great texture and they pair perfectly with the creamy avocado, lime and other goodies in this salad. It's also a perfect salad for summer eating-it is light (not heavy on mayonnaise) and refreshing .Serve each portion in halved avocados for a beautiful presentation. Enjoy!

8 Kani sticks, sliced thinly or shredded (apparently now available in Israel!)
1 ripe Avocado, diced
3 Tbl chopped red onion
1 small jalapeno, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lime, zest and juice
2 1/2 Tbl Mayonnaise
1 tsp white horseradish or alternatively a couple of dashes of hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl place the kani, avocado, red onion, jalapeno and parsley and gently mix. Add the zest and juice of the lime, the mayo and horseradish, season with salt and pepper and mix gently again.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Roasted Corn Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette

Nothing says summer like fresh corn. Here, in upstate New York where I am for the summer, you can get beautiful ears of corn that are so sweet you can eat it raw and for pennies (literally! 18 cents each!). We have corn at least three times a week here and at every BBQ feast in between and while I thoroughly enjoy a boiled ear of corn I also like to look for other interesting and delicious ways to use them. Roasting or grilling corn is a great option because the flavor of the corn concentrates and enhances its sweetness. In this yummy, simple salad I combined the sweet roasted corn with creamy avocado, and fresh tomato and tied it together with the flavors of lime and chili.  A perfect addition to your next BBQ or as a fresh side dish at your next meal. Enjoy!

4 ears of corn, keep them in their husks
1 avocado, diced
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 scallions, sliced

For the dressing:
1  large lime, zest and juice
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

To roast the corn:
Preheat the oven to 350. Lay the corn still in their husks directly on the oven rack. Roast for 30-35 minutes until the corn is ready.
Cut the corn off the cob and place in a bowl. Add the avocado, scallions and tomatoes.
Whisk the ingredients of the dressing together and pour over salad.  Mix gently and serve.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

9 Days Recipes 2013

Back by popular demand it's the 9 days recipe collection! Though we may make dairy meals often during the year, many of us find menu planning for 9 days worth of them daunting. So here are a whole bunch of awesome recipes to help you out! Enjoy!

Soups and Salads:
Roasted Tomato Soup

Corn Chowder
Summer's Bounty Soup
Blooming Onion and Cheese Bread
Ranch Dressing
Citrus Salad

Tortellini Salad

Greek Salad with Lemony Garlic Dressing
Summer Wheatberry Salad

Halibut Piccata
Maple Sesame Salmon
Pesto Halibut with Roasted Tomatoes
Panko Parmesan Crusted Salmon

Mozzarella Crusted Stuffed Sole
Wasabi Ginger Salmon
Pan Fried Halibut with Lemon Cream Sauce
Sun Dried Tomato, Basil and Pine nut Crusted Salmon
Crispy Golden Fish Sticks

Quiches and Tarts:
Rustic Salmon Tart
Zucchini Galette

Tomato Basil and Goat Cheese Quiche
Potato Leek "Soup" Quiche
French Onion Quiche
Swiss Chard and Leek Tart
Spanakopita Strudel

Eggplant Involtini
Not Your Grandmother's Tuna Noodle Casserole
Penne ala vodka
Asparagus and Rigatoni with Boursin Cream Sauce
Fettuccine Portabella

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Pasta
Cheese Latcakes
Broccoli and Cheese Stromboli
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
Veggie Chili
Salmon Pasta Pesto
Salmon Papardelle with Lemon Cream sauce

Baked Eggplant Spaghetti
Baked Butternut Squash and Cheese Polenta
Chickpea Burgers with Lemon Garlic Aioli

Cheesey Broccoli and Rice Gratin

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

Banana Buttermilk Pancakes
Zucchini Blueberry Bread

Monday, July 1, 2013

Avocado- Mango Salsa

I'm baaaaackkkkkkkk!!! That was the longest blogcation ever! Between catering, getting ready to go to America and settling in here for the summer a month has passed without a recipe post! Well, I am settled in, my pantry is stocked, and I'm ready to cook! I spent the past couple of days wandering around the Farmer's market and grocery stores just admiring the beautiful summer produce. I saw lots of beautiful zucchini (the bane of my summer cooking), funky shaped summer squashes, asparagus, golden corn,limes and lots more. But my eye wandered to the mangoes having not had one since last summer and I bought four of them. So first up is this little salsa I threw together with these sugar sweet mangoes and creamy ripe Costco avocados. I served it over some lightly marinated grilled chicken but feel free to serve it over salmon or just with some chips. It tasted fresh, sweet with just a little zing of heat from the jalapeno and ginger and was a perfect complement to the chicken. Enjoy!

1 ripe Avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1 Mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1 lime, juiced  (use lemon if you can't find lime)
1 small red onion, diced
1 small jalapeno pepper, diced finely
1/4 tsp finely minced ginger
1 1/2 Tbl freshly chopped cilantro or parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl place the diced mango, avocado, onion, jalapeno and ginger. Squeeze the lime juice over it, add the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.