Category Archives: food

Chillent

Pic Courtesy of Alan B

The other week at the KFWE 2011 I met up with my new buddy Alan B of Jack’s Gourmet Sausages (seen in the pic with me and the lovely Jamie Geller). He is a real foodie and knows his way around a kitchen better than many people I know.

He shared a recipe with me for a dish called Chillent. See, it’s like Cholent in that it’s a Shabbat lunch hot dish, but it’s hot and spicy and kinda chilli-ish.

So, we figured that we would try it for this past Shabbat – I love to try new dishes and this seemed like it would be perfect. I did add some cholent meat that wasn’t called for in the recipe, knowing that my male eaters need M E A T.

It was just as easy to put together as your traditional cholent, but it was apparent early on that it didn’t have the same stick-to-your-kishkes-ness as cholent does.

We did enjoy it. But the kids missed the full feeling –I-can-never-ever-eat-again-and-I-must-go-and-take-a-six-hour-nap post-cholent feeling, and they missed the potatoes too. I would serve it over rice or couscous if I made it again – and if I do make it again, I will probably make it for supper during the week.

But at least the boys tried it, and didn’t tell me they didn’t want to like it – and I have a delicious new dish in my repertoire.

For Alan’s Chillent Recipe – click over here. Tell him I sent you 😉

Heimishe Food

Last night the twitter gang and I had an awesome exchange that boiled over to my facebook page and now I am bringing it to you.

What were we discussing? Heimishe Food. More importantly, what the worst heimishe food we have ever eaten is. I learned what “yapchik” and “gribben” are, and when @dovbear started talking about other cultures and what they like to eat (duck fetus) I almost threw up.

So come on folks, jump in to the convo – what is the worst food you have ever eaten AND what food will you never eat and why.

French Toast – KoD style

I have been pushed out of the kitchen when it comes to making French toast. See, apparently, the kids feel that the KoD makes it better than I do, even though I was the one who taught him how to make it. There’s gratitude for you!!

Problem is, though, that we are trying to go low fat over here in the royal palace, and French Toast is usually fried up in oil or butter – mucho fat!!

SO my oh so smart husband decided to come up with way to make it lower in fat but just as tasty. Enter our oh so trusty grilled cheese maker thingamajig. Apparently you can use it to scramble eggs too…..Who would have thought??!!

Here follows his recipe. It is truly delicious. Oh and I have to say that he only makes French toast from leftover challah that I have baked. Click here for my challah recipe.

For 4 slices – two servings – you will need:

2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk – obviously the lower the fat content in the milk the better.
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 thick slices of challah – 3/4 to 1 inch
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
Cooking spray

Beat the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a small bowl. Put bread slices in a 9 x9 baking pan. Pour egg mixture over the slices in the pan. Turn bread over and leave until all the mixture is absorbed into the bread – about 5 minutes. While you are waiting, preheat the grilled cheese maker. When it is hot (green light is on) spray it liberally with the cooking spray. Put two slices of the bread on the grids and close the lid and lock. French toast is ready when green light comes back on.

We like it with syrup, the KoD likes to put yogurt on his, some just sprinkle confectioner’s sugar. What toppings do you like?

Man v Food

So in my job as professional foodie, I immerse myself in food – recipes, blogs, magazines, websites, and even TV shows. Luckily I don’t have to eat everything that I write about or I would be the size of a house.

Adam Richman

One show I came across has me seriously addicted – it’s called Man v Food. Adam Richman (judging by the Star of David around his neck he seems to be an MoT) hosts this show where he travels the US of A looking for “pig-out joints” and tries to beat certain restaurant challenges. We just finished watching our way through the second series on Netflix. We are watching Adam gain weight from episode to episode.

He eats things like a 12 inch high burger – 12 patties with cheese and veggies on a bun; wings so hot you can see the steam exiting every single pore on poor Adam’s face; eating a burger covered with sauce so hot it’s called “Shut Up Juice”! And those are just the challenges – each episode Adam visits two restaurants for their unique cuisine and a third restaurant that has a competition. Eat this signature dish within the time limit and you can win a tee shirt or something equal. We watched Adam plow his way through a 72 oz steak in 35 minutes, try to eat 50 chicken wings in 30 minutes, eat so much ice cream that I suffered an ice cream headache, and we saw him attempt to demolish a 7 lb burrito in an hour.

His quest is to find the best junk food in all America, and not the McDonalds and Burger Kings. He is visiting the mom and pop restaurants along with the most popular eateries in each town he visits. As we watch, his cholesterol is rising, his waistline is increasing. Regular portions are not enough for him – everything needs to be supersized.

It’s like a train wreck – you can see destruction and devastation happening but you cannot tear your eyes away. Truth is I love hearing about all the different signature dishes, and I enjoy watching Adam devour amounts of food that normal men could only dream of consuming.

Adam, this yiddishe mama worries about you, and I want to feed you some healthy food. But I do have a challenge for you. Do a kosher episode. Come to our neck of the woods and let’s go to ETC Steakhouse in Teaneck – let them make you a kosher 72 oz steak to eat in 60 minutes, or maybe Shalom Bombay can make you a curry so hot, it will put “shut up juice” to shame. Or even, take my KoD up on his suggestion – how much cholent can you consume in 60 minutes?? Adam – what do you say? Kosher food will go down so much easier I am sure!!

Go Adam Go!! Man v Kosher Food – sure to be a winner!!

Zucchini Bread

I made six loaves of zucchini bread on Friday – the first time I had made it, and I am in total love with it. So here is the recipe – my SIL emailed me the recipe, she got it from a friend….so I have no clue where it originated. I doubled the recipe as I had a lot of zucchini to use up.

My 8 year old actually ate a piece before I told him it was zucchini. As soon as he knew he was grossed out! Silly goose.

Zucchini Bread

(Pareve)

2 C. zucchini, grated
2 C. sugar
1 C. vegetable oil ( may substitute with applesauce)
3 eggs lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 C. flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind,
1 C. chopped nuts,optional

Drain zucchini well.  Combine with sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Stir flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Add to zucchini mixture and mix well (by hand).  Stir in lemon rind and nuts, if desired.

Divide batter into 2, well-greased 2-qt. loaf pans.  Bake at 325, for 70 minutes.  If pyrex pans, bake for about 60.  Cool in pan 10 mins.  Wrap in foil and refrigerate.  May be frozen.

“I don’t want to like it!!”

I wrote a while back about us starting to eat healthier low fat meals as a family. (Hey, if I have to suffer, then they do too!!)

Last night I made a delicious supper that was low fat and low cost too! I made meat sauce with lean ground meat (next time I may use turkey as it is much leaner), with whole wheat pasta. I was concerned that the children would not like the whole wheat pasta as it is not white and they are used to white spaghetti. So I mixed the sauce in with the pasta instead of serving it separately and the brown-ness was hidden by the tomato/meat sauce. I served some steamed vegetables on the side.

All was going well, the kids were eating with gusto, until *someone* mentioned that he preferred the taste of the whole wheat pasta to the regular. One of the boys immediately put down his fork. All of a sudden he didn’t like the food because it was whole wheat pasta. Logic didn’t sway him at all. The others didn’t care. They were too busy eating up every morsel that was on their plates.

We are definitely sticking with whole wheat pasta for now – and the kid that won’t eat it will just have to get over his aversion. I have seen him eat it and enjoy it when he didn’t know what he was eating.

What are your tips for getting healthy food into unsuspecting children?

Hadassah’s Thanksgiving Shabbat Dinner

We decided to make Thanksgiving dinner on Shabbat – to save me the insanity of cooking for two days straight.

After reviewing our options and consulting with those in the know, I present to you my menu.

Of course I will be baking challah to start off our meal – does one make braided challahs or round ones for Thanksgiving?

We will start with a Butternut Squash Soup (I hope the kids don’t complain that there is no gefilte fish or that there isn’t chicken soup).

Main course will of course be the turkey that is currently defrosting in the fridge. It’s 14lbs so it will take a while to cook. I don’t think I am making stuffing – there will be plenty of side dishes, so I don’t think it’s necessary. I will just put some lemon wedges in the cavity with an onion or two. I will (gulp) buy cranberry sauce – never having had it, I have no clue how to make it or how it should taste. I usually have my turkey with applesauce. Hmm. Maybe I should make my own….

The KoD has requested my crustless sweet potato pie with marshmallows on the top. I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, who got it from a friend…

I will also be making my “Crapple Cobbler” – ok that’s short for cranberry-apple, or cranberry-pineapple. What I love about this dish is that you can eat it hot, cold, with a main course, on its own. It is yumminess personified.

Another side will be steamed green beans, either with slivered almonds or toasted sesame seeds. I may even make them into a cold salad and add sliced Italian tomatoes and make a zesty vinaigrette.

I will also be making mashed potatoes just in case my boys won’t eat the sweet potato pie. I mash them with a little margarine, some chicken stock, some dill, salt and pepper. We like them very creamy. (I am so hungry right now.)

For dessert – well, I doubt anyone will have room for afters, but I have to prepare something, maybe baked apples? Or apple pie cake a la mode? Suggestions?

The kids are so excited to have turkey – I haven’t roasted a turkey in donkey’s years – all they remember is that when I last roasted one I roasted it upside down. I shall see if I can do the same this year, and follow in the family tradition.

Gobble gobble ya’ll!

Time saving – not really

Us busy mothers use some shortcuts sometimes in order to get good meals on the table. Friday night I was planning to serve a chicken pot pie. It needs pastry. With everything else I was cooking for Shabbat, I just didn’t have the time to make a pastry from scratch, so I bought frozen pastry. I defrosted it so I could spend 5 minutes rolling it out. Imagine my surprise when I found lumps of margarine still within the dough. It had not been blended properly. So I now had to spend time that I didn’t budget for remixing this pastry. How did this save me time? Do they not have quality control at these manufacturers? I was most ticked off.

Plus there was eggshell for the second week running in our gefilte fish. I buy the frozen loaves and boil them up – I will be writing to the company to complain. At the prices I pay for their fish there should be no egg shells anywhere in my food.

I guess I have yet to take my Grumpitol and Snarkitol this morning….

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Monsey Tales

We survived the weekend. Intact. Well, we did, the fridge – not so much. Seven kids and two grown ups – it takes a lot to feed that many people. We went from total peace and quiet, the two of us, to us plus seven kids, within the space of 24 hours. And we are sane enough to still tell the tale. Ok, I know that’s a matter of opinion, but hey, allow me my delusions 😉 . We are now back to 4 kids and two adults – the decibel level is slightly less, but the house is still hopping.

This will be the first full week with my kids here – and they are not going to day camp. The two big boys are too old, and most of the older three’s friends have gone to sleepaway camp. Not an option for my boys. The little one would probably enjoy day camp very much – but it’s not an option this summer, either. I am starting to appreciate how cheap everything was in Montreal. School, camp etc is three times the cost here. The kids will be doing Ima camp as they have done in summers gone by. Makes for a relaxing summer, I guess. If anyone has any suggestions of stuff to do locally that won’t break the bank, that would be appreciated.

We shlepped them to Costco yesterday. Heehee. Their eyes went huge as they saw the selection and the prices and the sheer size of some of the packaging. Yeah., I can make fun, especially as I did the same thing two weeks ago when the KoD took me there for the first time. But now I am a seasoned Costco veteran so that gives me seniority.

I had better go and wake up my boys for minyan – will check in with you guys at some point…

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Chicken Feet

One of my favourite childhood taste-memories is the feel of chicken feet on my tongue once I was done slurping up my chicken soup on Friday nights. We would feast on pippiks and chicken necks, and sometimes Grandma would throw some chicken feet into the soup. Those who have had them totally understand the appeal of these delicacies.

raw chicken feet, ready for my soup.

Once I moved to Canada it became impossible to find chicken feet, in fact, people went out of their way to show me their utmost displeasure at even mentioning chicken feet and chicken soup in the same breath.

Today I was shopping at Monsey Glatt (an experience on a Thursday afternoon, I can tell you) and while perusing the meat freezers I came face to face with a bunch of chicken feet, packaged and ready to sell. To me. For my soup. This week. In my mind, this was reason #46279 to move to Monsey – they sell chicken feet!! I was so darn excited and couldn’t wait to come home and show the KoD my purchase, after almost 2 decades of living chicken-feet-free. Such deprivation!!

For someone who works in the food industry, his reaction was not as I expected. He was totally disgusterated at the idea of me even thinking to put them in the soup. Plus, the thought of this possibly being a regular occurrence seemed to shake him to his very core. I offered to cook them in a mesh bag-thing inside the soup, so I could take them out as soon as they were cooked. Only I would eat them, I wouldn’t serve them to him or the kids. The dude turned quite a nice shade of green – and totally leeched the joy out of my find. Harumph.

Well, KoD, let me just tell you this. I would look very very carefully under your pillow tonight before you go to sleep – you just might find some interesting items in need of a pedicure.

You know, I could have bought Beef Knees too – but I didn’t know quite what to do with those….

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