Traditional Sukkot Foods

Finding sukkot foods can present something for a challenge for the Jewish cook. Passover is characterized by its food restrictions and places serious culinary demands on a cook; Shavuot is a celebration of milk and dairy food, Rosh Hashanah recipes are sweet, full of honey, apples, dates and carrots, and Hannukah recipes are traditionally fried. Sukkot follows closely behind Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but does not have the same clear dietary traditions that mark the other festival.

Sukkot (Succot) is the Jewish harvest festival and therefore Sukkot recipes include many fruits and vegetables. In keeping with the idea of abundance, foods are often stuffed. The best known traditional sukkot food is “holishkes” an Eastern European dish composed of cabbage leaves stuffed with a meat and rice filling. “Dolmas” or stuffed vine leaves are the Middle-Eastern alternative. More recently, sukkot has become associated with fall (autumn) produce including pumpkins and squash, apples, pears and plums.

Sukkot lasts for 7 days, and during this time food is eaten in a sukkah. For some people the sukkah is conveniently located on their porch or in the garden. For others, the sukka may be up or down stairs, or they may share a communal sukkah. In such a case, it is helpful to plan menus which include foods that can easily be transported – don’t try to carry individually plated antipasti stacks up 2 flights of stairs!

Sukkot is a time to enjoy the best of the seasonal produce and make the most of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are available. Don’t limit yourself to stuffing cabbage or vine leaves – sukkot is a time to take advantage of the colorful fruit and vegetables available at this time of year. Try meat stuffed tomatoes, pesto stuffed mushrooms, cheesy stuffed zucchini (the round ones are wonderful for stuffing), and baked stuffed nectarines for desserts. Meat and chicken can also be stuffed and rolled – instead of meatloaf, try meatloaf roulade stuffed a mashed sweet potato filling; delicious and different. Or try stuffing chicken breasts, this works well with pesto, dried fruits or mushroom sauce. Strudels are another variation on the stuffed theme – you can take this is many different directions – stuff with meat, sautéed eggplant and mushrooms, tuna, or fruit.

One thing is guaranteed – after eating all the food at the end of sukkot you’re sure to feel stuffed! To find more sukkot recipes visit http://www.jewishholidayrecipe.com/sukkotrecipes.html

Chag sukkot sameach – have a happy holiday!!



Source by Elana Gotkine

A Tasty Chicken Recipe That Genghis Khan Loved – So Why Don’t You Try It

Welcome to the Gourmet Chicken Recipe Series. Today is the best Central Asian Chicken Dish ever created and one of the best dishes to be centerpiece of your next dinner party…..

Mongolian Chicken

Ingredients:

2 tsp. peanut oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. sugar, 2 tsp. cornstarch, 10 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, 2 tsp. freshly ground chillies, 1/2 tsp. finely chopped onions, 2 tsp. cold water, 2 tsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. peanut oil, 1 tbsp. shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, 1/3 cup chicken broth, 1 tsp. dark soy sauce, 4 dried Chinese mushrooms, 1/2 small red bell pepper cut 1-inch triangles, 3 spring onions mainly white cut into 2″ lengths, 1/2 tsp. cornstarch, 2 tsp. cold water for thickening, 1 tsp. sesame oil, 2 tsp. ground bean sauce (mo si jeung), 10 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut on diagonal into 1/4″ thick by 2″ long slices, 4 Chinese dried mushrooms (soaked in warm water for 45 minutes, rinsed, water squeezed out, stems discarded, caps halved)

Method:

1. Mix the marinade ingredients together and marinate the chicken while you prepare all of the other ingredients for cooking.

2. Mix together the garlic, chilis, and onion. Combine the ground bean sauce, water, and sugar.

3. Heat a wok, add the groundnut oil, and swirl the surface with oil.

4. Stir-fry the garlic mixture for 5 seconds.

5. Add the ground bean sauce mixture and stir-fry for 5 seconds.

6. Add the rice wine and combine. Pour in the broth then the dark soy sauce and stir to combine.

7. Add the chicken, mushrooms, bell peppers, and scallions.

8. Stir-fry over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, reduce the heat a little, and stir in the thickening mixture for a few seconds.

9. Finally, add the sesame oil, which will impart a beautiful fragrance and richness to the dish.

serve hot over rice

BON APÉTIT…..



Source by CJ Jacobs

Butternut-Mushroom Lasagna With Pepperjack Bechamel

Béchamel is a simple white sauce with a roux base (flour and butter), whisked with milk, half-and-half, or light cream. Flavor enhancers often include ground nutmeg, a little lemon zest, fresh or dried herbs, or cheese, as in this recipe.

Shredded pepperjack may not be a common cheese to use in béchamel, but it does add a flavorful, peppery zip to the mild, creamy sauce and layers this vegetarian lasagna with silky texture and a rich, cheesy taste.

Roasting the butternut squash, mushrooms, and scallions before mixing them in the filling brings out their deep, earthy flavors-and it’s a simple process that doesn’t take much time. Toss them with a little oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes. That’s all there is to it.

Tip: To cut the squash into 1/4-inch half-moon slices, first cut the long end from the bulb base, then peel; cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into slices; remove seeds if using the bulb end.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

For the Lasagna

  • 1 large butternut squash, 2-1/2 to 3 lbs, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch half-moon slices
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 5 scallions, white and green parts separated; green parts chopped and set aside
  • olive oil, for drizzling and oiling baking dish
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 15-oz container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Italian dried herb mixture, for garnish

For the Béchamel

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 pint half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup grated pepperjack cheese
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

For the Lasagna

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a large, shallow baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place the sliced butternut squash, mushrooms, and white parts of the scallions on the pan and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss or stir to coat. Roast 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  3. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350° F. Let the vegetables cool 10 minutes, then place the scallions on a cutting board and chop.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the squash, mushrooms, white and reserved green parts of the scallion, ricotta, Parmesan, and lemon zest. Stir gently to combine, trying not to break up the squash into small pieces.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the lasagna noodles in salted, boiling water 8-9 minutes, until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water.

For the Béchamel

  1. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour a little at a time and continue whisking until incorporated, 3 minutes.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high and gradually whisk in the half-and-half, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Stir in the pepperjack cheese until melted. Season with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is slightly thickened (should coat the back of a spoon), 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover.

To Assemble and Bake

  1. Lightly oil a 13 X 9-inch baking dish and place 4 lasagna noodles in the bottom, slightly overlapping. Spread half the butternut mixture over the noodles.
  2. Spoon 1/3 of the béchamel overtop, smoothing as much as possible. Repeat the layer with 4 more noodles, the remainder of the butternut mixture, and 1/3 of the sauce.
  3. Finish the dish with 4 noodles and spread the remaining sauce on top. Scatter the grated Parmesan cheese over all and sprinkle with dried herbs.
  4. Bake uncovered until bubbly and beginning to brown on top, 35-40 minutes.

Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.



Source by Pamela Steed Hill

A Chicken Pie Recipe With That Master Chef Touch

No one can resist a delicious pie. While apple pie usually ranks as the top favorite, chicken pie comes at a very close second.

Why is a chicken pie recipe such a popular dish for homemaker and their families? For one, chicken pie can already be considered as a complete meal because of the proteins and carbohydrates that you can derive from the chicken meat and crust, respectively, and the necessary fiber from legumes and vegetables that you add to the filling.

However, because you can find chicken pies practically everywhere, they have become unfairly labeled as “ordinary” fare. Some not-so-discriminate individuals have even come to claim that all chicken pies taste the same, despite the fact that there are thousands of varieties of chicken pie recipes that you can find on the Internet.

This comment cannot be said of chicken pies made by culinary experts from the leading five-star restaurants in the world today. Just check out the reality cooking shows on TV and you will see Master Chefs transform the humble chicken pie into a gourmet delight.

One good example of a gourmet chicken pie recipe is the Chicken and Mushroom Pie creation of Chef David Coulson in the popular BBC cooking competition show “MasterChef” The Professionals”. Give this recipe a try in your own kitchen and discover the culinary magic that a Master Chef can weave upon a humble chicken pie recipe…

MasterChef David Coulson’s Chicken and Mushroom Pie

Ingredients for the Chicken:

1 large whole chicken

olive oil, for drizzling

salt

freshly ground black pepper

100ml/3½fl oz chicken stock

100ml/3½fl oz Madeira

Ingredients for the Sauce:

25g/1oz butter

2 tbsps vegetable oil

2 small carrots }

1 celery stick } Make sure that these 4 ingredients are finely chopped

1 shallot }

1 clove garlic }

1 leek, cleaned and sliced

100g/3½oz mixed mushrooms (ideally morels and girolles), cleaned and chopped

150ml/5fl oz dry white wine

100ml/3½fl oz double cream

4 large flat mushrooms (remove the stalks)

Ingredients for the Pastry:

225g/8oz ready-made puff pastry

flour, for dusting

1 free-range egg, beaten

Instructions:

1) Preheat your oven to 200C or 400F or Gas 6.

2) With the use of a boning knife, cut off the legs and wings from the chicken and set aside. Carefully carve off the breasts. Drizzle the breasts with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Tightly wrap the chicken breasts in plastic cling wrap and set aside.

3) Arrange your chicken legs on a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the legs for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and cooked through (poke the thickest part of the leg with a fork or skewer to see if the juices run clear). Baste the chicken as often as necessary while cooking.

3) Unwrap the chicken breasts from plastic cling film. Poach the breasts for 20 minutes (or until cooked through) in a pan of simmering water. Carefully shred the meat inside a bowl and set it aside.

4) Let your Madeira and chicken stock in your small pan simmer for a few minutes before adding the chicken wings. Cook the wings for 20 minutes, or until it is cooked through. Set the wings aside, but keep your cooking stock on reserve.

5) Cook the sauce by heating butter and 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan. Gently fry the carrots, celery, leek and shallot for 4-5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic and mushrooms together with your remaining oil and gently fry for another 4 to 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream. Put in your shredded chicken leg meat.

6) Arrange your flat mushrooms over a baking sheet and spoon the mushroom sauce on top.

7) For the pastry, start by rolling out with a rolling pin the puff pastry on a floured surface. With the use of a pastry cutter, stamp out circles in the same size as the flat mushrooms that you have arranged on your baking sheet. Place the pastry on a separate baking sheet. Prick the surface with a fork or skewer. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg. Bake this together with the filled mushrooms for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it has risen well and turned golden brown.

8) To serve, cut the chicken breast into thick slices with a knife. Remove all the bones from the chicken wings. Sit the mushrooms on a serving plate. Arrange a pastry circle on top and at an angle. Lay the chicken breast and wing meats alongside. Reheat the reserve chicken stock and Madeira sauce and drizzle over the plate. Garnish the pie with fresh thyme. Serve with creamed potatoes.



Source by Charles Hayes

Make Stuffed Mushrooms In Your Toaster Oven

These incredible baked stuffed mushrooms are an impressive and tasty appetizer perfect for a special occasion meal or cocktail party. Gooey sharp cheddar cheese provides just the right amount of decadence without over powering the mushrooms. The toaster oven is perfect for this appetizer; it heats up quickly and bakes quickly. A convection model will ensure even baking and perfect results. The close proximity of the heating elements in a toaster oven lead to perfectly browned tops. I’m getting hungry just thinking about these delectable treats!

While these stuffed mushrooms may be a special high-calorie indulgence not meant for everyday consumption, I still try to make them a bit healthier than traditional fare. I do this by using extra virgin olive oil rather than butter and fresh whole wheat bread crumbs rather than store-bought white breadcrumbs. Using a red onion instead of a white or yellow one gives you anthocyanins; these powerful antioxidants are only found in red or purple foods. And dozens of health benefits have been attributed to garlic.

Ingredients For 10 Stuffed Mushrooms

10 large mushrooms, very firm, with the caps still closed

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1 small red onion

4 cloves of fresh garlic

1/4 tablespoon of good quality Worcestershire sauce

1 slice of whole grain wheat bread

1/4 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons of clean, filtered water

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat your toaster oven to 350° F.

Gently pull the stems off of the cleaned mushrooms and chop very finely (stems only.) Finely mince the red onion and the garlic (use a garlic press if you have one.) Sautee the chopped mushroom stems, minced red onion and minced garlic in the extra virgin olive oil until tender. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Use your food processor to process the whole wheat bread into fine bread crumbs and add to onion and mushroom mixture along with the shredded cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce, sea salt and black pepper. Mix everything very gently till well combined.

Put the filtered water and the mushroom caps in a shallow baking dish that will fit in your toaster oven. Fill mushroom caps with the mixture, mounding over the top. Bake in your toaster oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Visit Toaster Oven Reviews to find the best toaster oven for making these stuffed mushrooms and so much more. You’ll find thousands of reviews and a handy buying guide to help you along the way.



Source by Heather Krasovec

Save Money by Making Your Own Spaghetti Sauce

Italian cooks have been experimenting with sauces for centuries. Specific sauces were created to go with specific pasta shapes. Many Italian cooks think the sauce makes the dish. Though American grocery stores carry an array of jarred sauces, they cost more and may not suit your taste. Home made sauce costs less, tastes better, and has less salt.

As author Jack Denton Scott notes in “The Complete book of Pasta,” when you have mastered the art of pasta sauce “you are a long way to mastering the art of Italian cooking.” Denton thinks sauces should be delicately flavored and no ingredient should dominate.

Though I’m a “made from scratch” cook, in a pinch I have used jarred sauces. Just as Denton described, some sauces had an overpowering flavor of garlic. Other sauces had corn syrup in them and tasted too sweet. The dried seasoning packets were too strong and tasted artificial. Italian sauce varies from regio to region, but one stands out from the rest — Duke of Urbino Sauce.

Food correspondent Waverly Root writes about the sauce in his book, “The Cooking of Italy.” In the 15th century Urbino, Italy became an important town. Apparently the ruling duke, Federigo da Montefeltro, was unpopular and so afraid of being poisoned that he ate unseasoned food. “But the Duke, as fond of seasoning as the next aristocrat,” Root writes, “had his own private sauce — prepared for him at the table by a trusted servant from secret ingredients.” Though bottled Duke of Urbino sauce is available, the ingredients are still secret. Root thinks honey is one of them.

Do you want to save money? If so, make your own pasta sauce. After reading dozens of recipes, I came up with this recipe for basic tomato sauce. I added a touch of honey in honor of the Duke of Urbino. The sauce has few ingredients and you can make it in 10-15 minutes. Make a double batch, if you have time, and freeze half for another day.

Ingredients

2 1/2 tablespoons extra light olive oil

1 large shallot, peeled and minced

1-2 teaspoons garlic, minced (depends on your taste)

2 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon lower sodium salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon dried basil

Method

Pour olive oil into soup kettle. Add minced shallot and cook for two minutes. Add all remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer on very low for 8 minutes. Watch the sauce carefully because it is thick and spurts like lava. Use it for spaghetti, pizza, chicken or meat. Makes 8-10 servings.

Variations

Beef Sauce: Add one pound 93% lean hamburger, cooked.

Olive Sauce: Add 1 2.25-ounce can of sliced black olives.

Mushroom Sauce: Add 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms, sliced and cooked.

Chicken Sauce: Add 2 cups cubed chicken, cooked.



Source by Harriet Hodgson

Get Saucey

Referred to simply as the five Mother Sauces, their basic repertoire comprises the better cuisines and can easily be expanded upon to create dozens of sumptuous toppings and foundations for your food (if you know what you’re doing).

In the nineteenth century, a young pâtisserie chef and later a renown French chef Marie Antoine-Carême was the first to organize the French sauces into groups that were based on four foundational basics. Later, French chef Auguste Escoffier added

one more sauce so that there were now five, which he systemized in recipe form in his classic 1903 Le Guide Culinaire.They’re called mother sauces because each one is like the head of its own little special family (is that cute or what?):

+ Béchamel – This is a basic roux whisked with milk, butter and flour to make a white sauce, including Mornay and Cheese sauces;

+ Velouté – A velouté is a light roux whisked with chicken, turkey, fish or any other clear stock;

+ Espagnole – your basic brown sauce made with tomato purée and mirepoix (usually a combination of onions, celery and bell peppers) for deeper color and flavor, including Mushroom Sauce, Madeira Sauce and Port Wine Sauce;

+ Sauce Tomato – classic tomato sauce, the staple in Italian restaurants,plus expanded to include Creole and Provencale sauces;

+ Hollandaise – a rich egg yolk sauce known for topping Eggs Benedict and asparagus (Bernaise sauce is part of this “family”);

These sauces are considered the foundations for many dishes and required learning by culinary students whether they specialize or not. You can be sure any Michelin rated restaurant has a saucier on staff, painstakingly whipping up all five sauces each day like a creative scientist, ready for whatever needs that special addition or smooth creamy topping. Besides his sauces, he (or she) will be simmering stocks from scratch, preparing gravies and soups.

So let’s envision this for a minute. f you are lucky enough to dine in a top-rated restaurant, the sauce which envelopes your filet mignon will have been prepared by a bona fide sauce chef from scratch and will taste like it. If you are dining at the Olive Garden, you will be slurping down their standard tomato sauce (not that there’s anything wrong with it) or a (probably) pre-packaged alfredo sauce. It will taste okay but nothing like it was prepared at a Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay or Wolfgang Puck Michelin-rated establishment. You’ll also find sauciers in the kitchens of finer hotels like the Ritz Carlson and the Sofitel. By the same token, don’t expect some line cook at Denny’s to be stirring a pot of homemade Bordelaise red wine sauce for your steak and eggs. The waitress will slap down a bottle of ketchup on your table and ask if there will be anything else (okay, maybe some A-1 for those more discriminating palates).

When all is said and done, in your own kitchen save yourself some big time aggravation and just go to the supermarket, buy a couple of envelopes of Hollandaise sauce, mushroom sauce, brown gravy mix and a jar of tomato sauce and call it a day. You’ll sleep better for sure. And we won’t tell if you don’t.



Source by Dale Phillip

Quick and Easy Rabbit With a Mushroom and Mustard Sauce

Here in the United Kingdom, Rabbit is not as popular a meat as it is in other countries in Europe. Although traditionally it was the basis of good hearty country stews and casseroles. Rabbit has a very delicate flavour and is very low in fat compared to red meat but still contains high levels of iron. It’s low fat content means that it is ideally cooked by either stewing or braising in wine or a good stock.

Ingredients

  • 4 portions of rabbit – either wild or farmed
  • 30 grams of dried Porcini mushrooms
  • 250 grams of brown chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 200 millilitres of chicken stock
  • 100 millilitres of a medium white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped curly leaved parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche
  • 400 grams of your favourite pasta – mine is tagliatelle
  • 40 grams of butter

Method

Remove the skin from the rabbit portions and smear the Dijon mustard over the meat. Use a deep frying pan with a lid. Heat the oil in the pan and add the meat. Brown the meat on all sides and then remove from the pan.

Pre-soak the Porcini mushrooms in water for around 30 minutes and then drain. Slice the chestnut mushrooms and add them to the pan. Peel and crush the garlic and put into the pan with the mushrooms. Gently fry the chestnut mushrooms until golden but avoid burning the garlic or it will take on a bitter taste. Add the Porcini mushrooms along with the chicken stock and the white wine. Bring this to the boil and then add the rabbit portions back into the pan. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the rabbit is thoroughly cooked. Add the creme fraiche at the end of the cooking time and whisk into the sauce.

Cook your pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for the recommended time or until softened but still slightly al dente. Drain the pasta but retain 2 tablespoons of the liquid. Put the pasta back into the saucepan it was cooked in and add those 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Add the butter and toss the pasta around in the saucepan as the butter melts, so coating the pasta.

Serve the rabbit portions, one per person, on a bed of the pasta and spoon over the mushroom and mustard sauce. Sprinkle over with the freshly chopped curly leaved parsley.

Enjoy!



Source by Delia Craddock