Sunday, December 28, 2014

DD Kale Salad (featuring Crunchy Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes and Pomegranate)

That stands for Detox and Delicious if you were wondering. My body still feels fried from all the oil I consumed over Chanukah. After all the doughnuts and the latkes I feel some detox is now in order. I literally dreamed of this salad the night Chanukah was over and then ran to the supermarket the next day to buy all the ingredients. Between the kale, quinoa, sweet potatoes and pomegranate this salad is a super food extravaganza! My favorite part is the crunchy quinoa, a little technique I picked up when I was blessed to be at the Carmel Spa this year. You don't have to make it crunchy but it adds incredible texture to the salad. For this salad I only toasted half of the quinoa and put both the toasted and non toasted quinoa in for a contrast of textures. For the kale, Baby kale would have been my kale of choice but I only had the curly variety so I sliced it into thin ribbons and it was great. A light orange vinaigrette rounds off the salad and compliments the pomegranate, kale and sweet potatoes beautifully. Enjoy!

8 cups baby kale or thinly sliced kale of another variety
1 cup crunchy quinoa (see below),
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Roasted Sweet potato wedges (see below)
1/2 cup cubed Feta cheese (optional)

Assemble the salad by placing the kale at the bottom of a bowl. Top with the quinoa, sweet potatoes, quinoa and pomegranate seeds. Pour the dressing on top, mix and then top with some Feta cheese.

For the Quinoa:
To get one cup of cooked  red and white quinoa, place 1/2 cup white quinoa and 1/2 cup of red quinoa in a strainer and rinse well. Place in a sauce pan and cover with 1 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and let the quinoa cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the flame and let the quinoa steam covered for another 5 minutes. Open the pan and fluff the quinoa. Set aside to cool and dry.
Once the quinoa is cool, heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and add half of the quinoa to the pan. Mix constantly over medium high flame until the quinoa is toasted and crunchy.Drain on a paper towel and cool. Add the toasted and and non toasted quinoa to the salad.

For the Sweet Potatoes:
Preheat your oven to 350.
Cut 2 medium sweet potatoes into wedges and place on a baking sheet. Toss with 1 Tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 35-40 minutes until the wedges are tender and slightly crispy.

For the vinaigrette:
5 Tbl orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
1 Tbl rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup light olive oil or canola oil.
2 Tbl agave or honey
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all together until emulsified.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Broccoli Potato and Cheese Latkes

These latkes are my take on a broccoli potato knish, one of my favorite knishes to eat. The bonus here is that in latke form they are super crispy rather than doughy and the cheese flavor is enhanced. With all the oil and fried food we are consuming over the next few days, I  feel somewhat better about eating a latke that though fried at least has a vegetable and protein element to it as well. I often add cheese to latkes (see Mexican Latkes) because they help the latkes crisp beautifully, and the taste of toasted crispy cheese is divine (think Frico, or Parmesan crisps.) Served with sour cream (no apple sauce with these) the latkes were out of this world! Oh, and Happy 4 year Blogaversary to me!

1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked broccoli
2 1/2 cups grated potato (about 2 medium potatoes, grated)
1/3 cup flour
2 large eggs
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 
salt and pepper to taste
canola oil for frying

In a bowl mix the broccoli with the potato and then stir in the flour which will also help absorb some of the moisture of the potato. Add the eggs, cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a frying pan and put about quarter cup fulls of latke mixture into the pan, press down with the back of a spoon and fry about three minutes on each side or until crispy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Red Kubbe Soup

I am a sucker for any kind of dumpling. Name the culture, if they have a version of a dumpling, I love it. From kreplach to dim sum, from ravioli to pierogi, fill some dough and serve it to me and I'll be in heaven. So it's actually surprising that it has taken me so long to make these Middle Eastern dumplings called kubbe. Different countries across the Middle East make their own versions but the basic premise is the same- a semolina dough filled with a seasoned ground meat mixture boiled in a vegetable soup. The soup itself varies, some serve their kubbe in a hot beet soup, some in a clear vegetable soup and some in a tomato based soup. After reading numerous recipes I came up with my own combination. Beets may sound strange to add but they add a delicious earthiness. You can change the vegetables to your liking and use chicken, beef or vegetable stock- I used beef stock to add richness and to compliment the beef filled dumplings. The soup was rich ,delicious, and hearty from the chunks of vegetables and dumplings, practically a meal unto itself. I served it with some Moroccan bread and it hit the spot.  Enjoy!

For the Kubbe:
1 1/2 cups semolina flour (solet in Hebrew)
1 cup water
2 tsp oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 pound ground beef or chicken
one small onion, finely diced
2 Tbl finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Mix the semolina, water, oil and salt together in a bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. The dough should be soft and pliable but not too wet and sticky. Mix the ground beef with the onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Take small portions of the dough and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Put a small amount of filling in the center and pinch the dough closed around the filling. Refrigerate until ready to cook in the soup.

2 Tablespoons oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, diced
3 stalks celery, cut into chunks
3 carrots, cut into chunks
1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks
1 large zucchini, cut into large slices
2 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small piece of pumpkin, cut into chunks
10 cups of beef, chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup of 22x tomato paste (in America you can use a small can of tomato paste)
2 cups roughly chopped kale or swiss chard or beet greens
2 tsp sugar
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the sweet potatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, beets, and kale and saute another two minutes and then add the stock and tomato paste, sugar, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for half an hour. Add the kubbe to the simmering soup and cook for another half an hour.