Baked Gefilte Fish Casserole


 

Baked Gefilte Fish Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Side dish, entrée
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 24
 
Passover is coming up soon and for me, the traditional dishes for the holiday Seder always include some version of gefilte fish and freshly prepared horseradish with beets added to make it a vibrant fuchsia color. Over the years I have used gefilte fish from a jar or spent the time and money to make a wonderful non-traditional version with salmon, but regardless of the version we had, some of the friends and relatives did not enjoy the texture and wet coating that gefilte fish typically has. One year I discovered that I could make a gefilte fish casserole that seemed to address all of the reservations people had about gefilte fish. The recipe starts with store-bought gefilte fish that is mashed and mixed with finely chopped vegetables, eggs, and matzo meal to make a delicious, brown-crusted fish “cake” that not only tastes great, but is also more economical as the added ingredients stretch the expensive fish and tone down what some consider to be “fishy” flavor. As a bonus, you get a lot of nutritious vegetables too. You can use this as an appetizer, served cold or use larger portions as an entrée, served warm.
Ingredients
  • • 4 pounds of prepared gefilte fish
  • • 2 pounds onions
  • • 1 pound carrots (Scrubbed, but not necessarily peeled. I use a clean Scotch-Brite green pad.)
  • • 2-3 large ribs celery
  • • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, lightly packed
  • • 5 eggs
  • • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • • 2 teaspoons sugar
Instructions
  1. Remove gefilte fish from the jar leaving the gel or broth behind. Mash the fish in a large bowl using a potato masher or your hands.
  2. Cut the vegetables into coarse chunks. In a food processor using the steel knife, pulse the onions, carrots, celery and parsley until they are finely chopped, but not pureed. If your food processor cannot hold all the vegetables at once, chop them in batches.
  3. Beat the eggs lightly with the oil. Add the chopped vegetables, eggs, oil, matzo meal, pepper, salt and sugar to the mashed fish. Blend well.
  4. Transfer the mixture to an oiled 9x13 inch pan and press lightly to even the surface.
  5. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until lightly browned.

 

Prepared Horseradish with Beets


Prepared Horseradish with Beets
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiment, sauce, dip
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 24
 
Horseradish is a wonderful condiment that works any time of year to add zest to foods, but around Passover it is a holiday staple, eaten to complement gefilte fish or baked gefilte fish casserole. While it can be eaten “white” without any beets, it works well with beets from a can or freshly cooked, cooled beets. This recipe for the horseradish is an approximation. Every horseradish root is oddly shaped and they also vary in intensity. I have provided the measurements from the last batch I made, but your mileage will vary.
Ingredients
  • Horseradish root (Size depends on how many ounces of prepared horseradish you want to end up with. Keep in mind you may be adding beets and you will be adding vinegar. I used a 7 ounce, relatively straight piece which yielded 2 cups of prepared horseradish with beet.)
  • White vinegar (I used about 1 cup.)
  • Granulated sugar (I used 4 teaspoons.)
  • Kosher salt (I used 2 teaspoons. You only need 1/2 as much table salt.)
  • Canned beets (not pickled) or a fresh, scrubbed beet (I used 1 medium-sized beet, cooked in the microwave oven with a few tablespoons of water until it could be pierced easily with a fork.)
Instructions
  1. If you are using a fresh beet, I recommend peeling it before you cook it. Wearing a glove or plastic bag on your hand when touching the beet will help you avoid staining your hands. Steam it in a small pot or cook on high in a covered, microwave-safe container with a little water in the microwave oven until tender. Cut into chunks.
  2. Wash the horseradish root thoroughly. The roots are often very dirty and I find the easiest way to clean them is with a toothbrush under running water. Peel the fresh horseradish. Cut it into chunks. Put the pieces in the food processor and process using the metal blade. If you want the horseradish to be pink, gradually add canned shredded or whole beets (not pickled beets) or pieces of freshly cooked beet and continue until you get the color you like. Don’t worry if you do not care for beets by themselves. Horseradish is pretty assertive and the beet does not change the flavor a lot. With the processor running, add through the feed tube as much white vinegar as the horseradish holds without pooling. Add sugar and salt to taste.
Notes
Warning: Do not inhale over the processor bowl or lean in as you open it when processing horseradish as the fumes can irritate both your eyes and nose.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup


Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: ~2 quarts
 
When the weather cools, a bowl of hot soup is a lunch or dinner favorite. Fall and winter bring delicious squashes and hearty root vegetables in abundance. You can make a particularly tasty soup by roasting your vegetables and pureeing them with some broth to achieve the consistency you like. The quantities of the vegetables can be adjusted and even the choice of vegetables can vary. In the base recipe here, I have used butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and a yellow onion, but you can change up the taste a bit by adding garlic, carrots, other squashes, or even something more exotic such as a small beet. If you use vegetable broth and leave out the sour cream garnish, this recipe will meet the guidelines for being vegan.
Ingredients
  • 6 cups butternut squash cut into ~1 inch dice
  • 4 cups orange yams or sweet potatoes cut into ~1 inch dice
  • 1 large onion cut into ~1 inch dice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (a microplane works well for this)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Diced red pepper for garnish (optional)
  • Celery leaves or parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
  • Light sour cream thinned with a bit of milk or water for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a 1/4 sheet pan or a large baking pan with aluminum foil. Place the vegetables in a large bowl and stir to mix. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with ~1 teaspoon of salt, and mix to coat all of the vegetables evenly. Pour into the lined baking pan and distribute the vegetables into an even layer. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and are beginning to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven. At this point you can use a standard blender to puree batches of the vegetable mixture with the broth and spices or you can use an immersion blender. In either case, you transfer the mixture to a sauce pan (3 quarts or larger) so that you can heat it to serving temperature. If you would like a thinner consistency, add additional broth or water. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into serving bowls and garnish with a sprig of parsley or celery leaves, diced red pepper or some sour cream. An especially attractive way to use the sour cream is to use a small spoon to distribute dots of thinned cream in a circle. Use a toothpick to drag a line connecting through the middle of all the dots to make a pretty pattern.

Magic Chocolate Cake (vegan)


Magic Chocolate Cake (vegan)
Author: 
Recipe type: Cake, Bakery, Snack, Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 9
 
This vegan cake is made without milk or eggs and is moist, dark and delicious. It is a simple snack cake that can be put together in minutes without any special tools or ingredients provided you have unsweetened cocoa on hand. It is easy to make at the last minute for unexpected guests. Cakes like this one were developed during the depression era when butter and eggs were expensive or unavailable. For the holidays, I like to use mint flavored chocolate candies to make a light topping for the cake. All it really needs is a dusting of powdered sugar, but you can make that even more attractive by placing a pretty doily over the cake and sprinkling the sugar on top of that. Carefully remove the doily, leaving the pretty design in place.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Icing, mint chocolate candies, or powdered sugar as desired for the top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together. Sift into an 8x8 inch ungreased cake pan. Make three depressions. Pour oil into one, vinegar into the second, and vanilla into the third well. Pour the water over all, and stir with a fork until the batter looks even in color and well blended.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or the top springs back when pressed lightly. Top with Andes Mints or chopped Frango Mints while the cake is hot and spread them over the surface after they have had a couple of minutes to melt, frost with your favorite icing when the cake is cool or dust with powdered sugar.

Talley’s Trail Mix


Talley's Trail Mix
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack, Gift
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 5 cups
 
Besides being delicious as a snack and providing energy for athletic endeavors with a healthful amount of protein, carbohydrate, and fiber, this trail mix makes a nice gift when packaged in a pretty airtight can, jar, or gift bag. The flavors can be adjusted to your tastes by changing the ingredients or the amounts of specific ingredients. This version was always a big hit at fund raisers, sold in holiday gift bags tied with colorful yarn or raffia. Thanks go to Talley for sharing her recipe. I use the Pumpkin Pie Spice to make the preparation easier instead of the list of spices she recommended.
Ingredients
  • All quantities are approximate.)
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup walnut pieces or halves (or pecans or combination)
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, roasted
  • 1/3 cup tamari pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup golden raisins (or whatever you have)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon plus 1/8 – 1/4 tsp of each of the following: nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger (go easier on the stronger flavors) OR 1 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice*
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tsp. water
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. In a large bowl or gallon zip-top plastic bag, mix all the ingredients together except for the egg white, salt and water.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg white and water with an electric mixer until frothy.
  3. Fold the frothy egg white into the nut-fruit mixture gently to avoid breaking up the nut pieces.
  4. Line a 9”x13” baking pan with parchment paper, aluminum foil or a silicone liner, such as Silpat. (The mixture will be very sticky as it bakes.) Spread the fruit and nut mixture into the pan in an even layer, avoiding the pan sides unless you are using a non-stick pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool in the pan on a rack. When cooled, break the trail mix apart into pieces. Store the trail mix in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Notes
*You can use the individual spices or save some time (and possibly some money) by replacing the spices with ~1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.

Tropical Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


Tropical Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Bakery
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 15
 
This tasty tropical cake contains no butter or oil (except for preparing the pan) if you don’t add frosting. You can replace the frosting with just a dusting of powdered sugar or serve it with a dollop of whipped cream, but the cream cheese frosting is rich and delicious. It is a dense cake, not a fluffy, tall one, and a small piece is a good-sized serving. We like it with sliced banana under the frosting and toasted coconut on the top. You can add other fruit to the cake batter if you like. This should be really good with some chopped cranberries in the cake, but I haven’t tried that yet. I serve it directly from the pan, but if you want you can remove it from the pan after 10 minutes and cool it on a rack before you frost it.
Ingredients
Cake
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon for preparing the pan
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 can 20 ounces crushed pineapple packed in juice - undrained
  • 1/2 cup broken walnuts
  • Oil, butter or pan spray for preparing the pan
Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (Do not use the salt if you are using salted butter.)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted if there are lumps
Optional
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 cup toasted shredded coconut
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 pan with butter, oil or pan spray. Dust with flour by pouring in a tablespoon of flour and tipping the pan around until the whole surface is covered with flour. Tap the pan upside down over the sink or trash bin to remove any excess flour. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix well and break up any baking soda lumps if you have some. Mix the wet ingredients and add to the dry ingredients stirring just until combined. Stir in the nuts. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until the cake is golden and springs back to a light touch.
  2. Cool the cake. When it has cooled, you can cover the surface of the cake with banana sliced into thin coins just before you frost the cake.
Frosting:
  1. Cream the butter, cream cheese, salt and vanilla together until soft and fluffy using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Beat in the powdered sugar. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. If you used the banana slices, you can put small dollops of frosting on banana slices and use an offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly over the cake. If desired, sprinkle toasted, shredded coconut over the frosting.

Turkey and Potato Curry Pockets


Turkey and Potato Curry Pockets
Author: 
Recipe type: Main dish, Entree, Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 12 pockets, Serve 2 per person
 
These pockets turn leftover turkey or chicken, mashed potatoes and perhaps even leftover vegetables into a meal you would enjoy even if you had to start from scratch. The curried potato mixture is similar to what you might find in an Indian samosa, but these are baked in a pastry pocket instead of being fried. You can make your own pastry or use the packaged ones you find in the refrigerator case in the supermarket. You can store the unbaked pockets in the freezer for up to 2 months by placing them on a baking sheet and freezing them until they are firm enough to transfer to a freezer-weight plastic bag. Bake the frozen pies at 375°F for 30 to 45 minutes.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup onion, diced or chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups diced roasted turkey or chicken
  • 3 refrigerated rolled pie crusts
  • 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees °F. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick silicone sheet such as Silpat or parchment paper. Heat the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, curry powder, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is golden brown and softened. Take off the heat. Add the mashed potatoes, peas and turkey.
  2. Unroll the pie crusts and cut each into 4 quarters. Divide the potato/pea/turkey mixture into 12 portions and place them on the dough, covering one half of each piece of dough. Fold the dough over the filling. Use a fork to press the edges to seal them and leave a decorative edge. Put the pies on the baking sheet. Brush with the beaten egg and bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies


Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bakery, Cookies, Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 5 dozen
 
Just about everybody loves sugar cookies and these buttery cookies with the melt-in-your-mouth addition of cream cheese are especially lovable. They are flavored with the warm spices of the holiday season. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can use cinnamon and a little nutmeg, grated with a microplane instead. They are not like the heavier shortbread cookies, nor as “tough” as a rolled or pressed cookie. The flavor is more complex than a Snickerdoodle and I don’t find these cookies to be as doughy. They are fairly delicate and crispy and it is very hard to eat just one…or two…or three. While I call them Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies, I am thankful that they are delicious any time of year. I was trying to count how many I made in this last batch so I could write the number down for you with some authority, but I started eating them as I put them on the cooling rack. I’m pretty sure it made around 5 dozen cookies.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter – 2 sticks or 1/2 pound (leave at room temperature for about an hour)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (leave at room temperature for about an hour)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar + more for dipping a glass to press the cookies
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (only if using unsalted butter)
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl. Beat in the sugar (and salt, if using) until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix the flour, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice together until the color is uniform. (Be sure to get any lumps out of the baking powder before pouring it in the flour.) Stir the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together just until combined. Chill an hour or more to firm up the dough to make it more manageable.
  2. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll tablespoons of the dough into balls quickly with the palms of your hands. Place them on ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. A one-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop makes this very easy. Fill a shallow bowl with granulated sugar. Rub a very small amount of cookie dough (to make the sugar adhere) on the flat bottom of a glass or a small metal measuring cup that fits in the shallow bowl. Dip the glass in the sugar and flatten each ball of dough into a thin circle, dipping the glass back into the sugar for each cookie.
  3. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the cookie sheets and cool on wire racks.

Tastes Like Summer Corn Salad

 

Tastes Like Summer Corn Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetable, Salad, Side
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 10+
 
This recipe is adapted from Heidi Swanson and 101 Cookbooks. While Heidi considered this a summer salad, we have enjoyed it other times of year by using good quality, thawed frozen sweet corn as a substitute when fresh corn is not available. If you use frozen corn now, try this again with fresh corn when summer crops are super sweet. Regardless of which corn you use, the end product will be a sweet, crunchy, chewy salad with a light lemony vinaigrette, that you can serve cold or at room temperature. If you don’t have a shallot, you can use a small amount of another type of onion, but mellow it in the lemon juice before you proceed with the rest of the preparation. You can make the vinaigrette in a bowl or jar, but for picnic transport or do ahead, the jar works better.
Ingredients
  • 6 medium ears of corn or 3 cups of frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light oil (olive, canola, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pepitas (shelled Mexican pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano or substitute another herb
Instructions
  1. If you have toasted the pepitas or sunflower seeds yourself, put them aside to cool. If you are using fresh corn, remove the husks and silk and with the corn lying on your cutting board, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cobs a row or two at a time as close to their base as you can. Doing only a couple of rows at a time maximizes getting as many full kernels as possible. Place the kernels in a medium bowl with the red bell pepper and shallot while you make the dressing.
  2. Combine the lemon juice, salt, sugar and oregano in a small bowl or jar and mix until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Gradually add the oil, whisking vigorously until the dressing comes together or shake in the jar. Taste, and adjust with more lemon juice, salt or sugar, if needed. This dressing should be on the sweet side, and not overly tangy and acidic.
  3. Just before serving, add the seeds to the bowl of corn along with the dressing. Toss well, getting everything well coated. You can garnish the salad with a little more oregano that you rub between your hands to sprinkle over the top.

Turkey Dressing with Bread or Gluten-Free Rice

Turkey Dressing with Bread or Gluten-Free Rice
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: Varies
 
Ingredients
BREAD DRESSING
  • 2 pound loaf of sliced, wheat, butter-top bread (about 16 cups)
  • 2 pounds of mushrooms (sliced if small, chopped if big)
  • 6 cups yellow onion, diced or chopped (about 2 pounds)
  • 4 cups celery, diced or chopped (1/2 of a large bunch of celery, 1 pound)
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • Sage to taste (Start with 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Stock or water to moisten, if necessary
Instructions
Bread Dressing Instructions
GLUTEN-FREE RICE DRESSING
Gluten-Free Rice Dressing Instructions

Toasted Walnuts with Rosemary


Hard to photograph...Delicious to eat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toasted Walnuts with Rosemary
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack, Gifts, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 cups
 
Whether you are serving these as a snack, with drinks or using them to dress up a salad or sautéed vegetables, you will enjoy the earthy, resinous flavor of the rosemary and the salty-sweet-spicy combination of salt, sugar, and black pepper. They are delicious warm, but if you are packaging them, make sure they are completely cool. They also make a nice hostess or holiday gift. Do not substitute table salt for the kosher salt. The larger crystals of the kosher salt not only add a nice texture and crunch of salt in some bites, but the same volume of table salt has twice the saltiness of kosher salt. You can use any of the larger-grained sea salts. You can make the dried ground rosemary by stripping fresh rosemary needles from their stems and leaving them to dry on a sheet of parchment paper for a day or two. Grind them in a blender or electric coffee grinder. If you do not have ground rosemary, you can substitute 3 tablespoons of chopped, fresh rosemary needles.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (1 pound) walnut halves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried ground rosemary needles
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground fresh black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the rosemary, salt, sugar, and pepper. Add the nuts, drizzle in the oil and gently mix all of the ingredients until the nuts are evenly coated with the oil and the seasonings. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a non-stick silicone liner such as Silpat or aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack of the oven, stirring occasionally until the nuts are golden and toasted, about 15 minutes. Cool the nuts in the pan on a cooling rack. When the nuts are cool, transfer to a serving bowl or an airtight container. These will keep for 2 weeks at room temperature.