Tag Archives: kosher cooking

Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes – a Review

This is the second recipe book in Jamie Geller’s portfolio. I will apologize in advance for any gushing I do – her writing style, her honesty, her humour, her family stories, the hint of cooking aromas wafting around – they just totally pull me in. I can hear her voice in my head as I read her introductions and comments. When I first cracked open the book to read I was not in the best of moods, but by the time I had finished reading the introduction there was a huge grin on my face. Jamie’s easy writing style just resonates with the reader.

We were so excited when her book – yes I got a free copy – arrived at the house. My boys think I am now this huge cookbook expert. Nah, just an Ima who loves to cook and feed her family and is always looking for new recipes. When I told them that I had actually met Jamie, they were in awe. (Jamie – you have a few fans over here!)

What struck me as I initially paged through the book was that there were a lot of recipes that I knew the kids would enjoy as much as us adults. There are many books out there that you just know the kids are not going to even try most of the dishes because they look different, are unpronounceable, or, horror of horrors, don’t contain meat or potatoes!!

What I love about this book is that it was written with the busy mom in mind. We don’t all have six hours to prepare a gourmet supper, but we want to feed our families well, and healthfully. There is a 20 minute section, a 40 minute section, and a 60 minute section and none of the recipes are complicated. Jamie is a very busy mom herself – she knows firsthand that we moms don’t have time for complicated. (Truth be told, her kids are little – how she even has time to cook AND write a book I don’t know!! I take my (chef’s) hat off to her).

In this book, with most of the main dishes, she has added the recipe for a complementary side dish on the same page. This makes life so much simpler – instead of scratching your head about what to serve the answer is there right in front of you. Of course, as in her previous book, there is a wine recommendation for every main dish.

Something that we will be trying soon is the Beef and Green Bean Stir Fry – my Squiggy has started creating in the kitchen and loves Chinese food. This recipe is easy enough for a teen to follow, but sophisticated enough for adult taste. Also on the list for next week is Beef Sausage and Pepper Rolls – anything with sausage in it will go down well. I just recently introduced my boys to red beans and rice. We cook it up and add shredded cheese, some veggie sausage – delish. Jamie has a recipe in this new book entitled “Skillet Red Beans and Rice with Ground Beef” – it’s almost as if she heard one of my boys when he complained that we always had beans and rice as a dairy meal, can’t I make it a meat meal one time?! Thanks Jamie!

As many of you know, if you follow me on facebook and twitter, I cook up a storm every Friday, for Shabbat. I also do this for the holidays too. I generally cook a 3 or 4 course meal plus I bake challahs. I try to make something different every week for Shabbat and for the various holidays, but there are a few dishes that are staples. In Meals in Minutes Jamie has put in a section called Holiday Meals where she provides you with recipes for the entire menu – fish through to dessert, no wondering what to make, all you have to do is cook it. There are recipes for Shabbat, Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot etc. All mouthwatering, and all guaranteed to wow your family and guests!

Jamie brings her own unique voice to cooking – you feel her with you as you cook, or as I like to say “create”, in the kitchen. She understands your culinary needs. This book Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes will be a great addition to your kitchen. Every recipe I have ever made from her books has always succeeded. Her recipes are fool-proof. In fact, I have a buddy who is a single guy, and he swears by Jamie’s first book – he says that if he can cook successfully from her recipes, then anyone can!!

This would make a great Chanukah gift for the cook in your life, or even for yourself. Go on, treat yourself. There are 134 mouthwatering photos in this book and 215 recipes. This is not just a functional cookbook – it is gorgeous too!! This book is available online at Feldheim.com, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Kosher.com and your local Jewish bookstores.

Visit Jamie’s kitchen on kosher.com.

Happy Cooking!!

Sweet Potato Pie

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law who is the most amazing cook ever. I made this for the past Shabbat to rave reviews. Apparently it is good cold, too.

You will need:

2 eggs
1 Cup of sugar  (May substitute Splenda)
1 tsp. salt
1/8  tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Cup milk (or pareve substitute)
2 Tbs. margarine
1 1/2 Cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1 8” pie shell (For Gluten-free leave off pie shell)

How to:

Beat eggs slightly.
Add sugar, salt, spices and milk (or pareve substitute).
Add butter or margarine (melted) to sweet potatoes, or stir in while hot.
Blend with milk and egg mixture.
Pour into pie shell or straight into round baking pan.
Bake in oven at 450 for 10 minutes.
Reduce to 350 for 30-40 minutes until filling is firm.
May put marshmallows on top and brown in 450 oven for a few minutes until light brown.  Do not overload the marshmallows.

Chicken Italiano

The basis for this recipe comes from Norene Gilletz’s Second Helpings. Thanks to my SIL for sending me the original recipe yesterday as I don’t have my cookbook here with me. (I miss it, been a trusty companion for over 16 years….soon, soon). I added rice, as this is easy to make as a one pot meal. As I type this it is cooking in the oven. Smells divine.

So this is my adaptation:

2 cups of white rice (although I am sure you can use brown)
2 onions, sliced
1 medium green pepper, sliced
1 medium red pepper, sliced
6 -8 chicken cutlets
1 clove garlic, minced (can also use garlic powder)
¼ tsp oregano
1 can tomato sauce, 1 can water
2 bay leaves

Spray deep 9 x 13 baking pan with Pam. Cover the bottom evenly with rice. Place vegetables over the rice. Rub chicken with garlic and oregano, and add to pan. Pour tomato sauce and water over chicken, and add bay leaves. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1½  hours. 6-8 servings.

Hadassah’s Apple / Cranberry Cobbler

I adapted this recipe from one given to me by my friend Suzannah.

What you need:

1 cup of  flour

1 cup  of oatmeal

2/3 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar

1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

½ cup melted margarine / butter

1 large can apple pie filling

2 small cans whole berry cranberry sauce (or one large one if you can find)

(you can substitute any flavour pie filling for both canned fruits)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt the margarine.

Combine flour, oatmeal, sugar, margarine, cinnamon in a bowl and mix till well blended.

Open both cans, pour into greased 8 in baking dish (use a deep one).

Top fruit with oatmeal mixture making sure it covers it evenly.

Bake 45 min uncovered or until the top is well browned.

I have been told that this freezes well, but we have never had enough left over to freeze.

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Beef Beer Stew

I got this recipe from my friend Aliza R who got it from Family First. I made it last night with rice and there was nothing left. The kids scarfed it down without hesitation. Definitely a new dish in my repertoire.

Ingredients

2 lb beef stew meat (I used veal)
salt
black pepper
paprika
2 Tbsp. oil
2-3 large onions cut into wedges
1 1/2 c. light beer
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. Vinegar

2 Tbsp. Brown sugar

How to:

Season the meat with salt, black pepper and paprika.

In a braising pot, heat oil over a high flame. Sear meat on all sides. Remove the meat and set it aside.

Add the onion wedges and sauté for 10-12 min. Add the beef, beer, bay leaf, brown sugar and vinegar.

Lower flame to low, cook covered for 2 hours.

The last half hour leave the cover slightly open. Raise flame and cook uncovered for 10-15 min or until sauce is reduced.

Serve with steak fries or roasted potatoes. [I served with rice.]

This was really easy to make. Truth be told, you could just throw everything together in the crock pot in the morning, leave it on low, and you have the main dish ready when you get home from work.

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