Rosh HaShanah 5775 Post Mortem

September 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Success. All three meals. Read more…

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Rosh HaShanah 5775 III

September 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Cooking marathon day three – fun with undefrosted meat. Also shopping.

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Rosh HaShanah 5775 II

September 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Today, I cooked the starches. I made dressing, rice pilaf and sweet potato kugel. Read more…

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Rosh HaShanah 5775

September 22, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s Monday. Rosh HaShanah starts Wednesday night. Not only is the deadline very close, but this also means that it’s a Thursday-Friday holiday. Since the next day is Shabbat, that makes it a 3-day Yom Tov. Which means planning and cooking six festive meals. For those with large families or many guests at all meals, that’s 6 Thanksgiving level meals. To be repeated twice more in a month.

This is why Orthodox Jewish cooks think Thanksgiving is a breeze.
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Chicken Taco Soup

January 19, 2014 2 comments

This is another in my endless effort to make something interesting out of Shabbat leftovers. This time, I had bone-in, skin-on chicken breast flavored with chili powder, so I thought Chicken Taco Soup would be nice. I found this recipe:. It looked delicious but it would need modifications. It would, however, serve as an excellent jumping off point.

First, of course, I didn’t need to cook boneless chicken breasts since I was using leftovers. I also don’t have soft corn tortillas available to me – I have been unable to find them with kosher supervision. I have never seen Rotel in the stores where I shop, and I didn’t even try to look for cans of green chilis. However, I could get FRESH jalapenos, and cans of diced tomatoes with green pepper and onions, and that would do fine.

I stopped by the grocery store and got what wasn’t already in my pantry – frozen corn, fresh produce, corn chips and the canned tomato products.

I chopped up onion and green pepper and minced jalapeno (did the last with gloves on), and cooked them in a little oil. I took the skin off the chicken and sliced the meat off the bones, and slivered it. Tossed that in the pot, and added the tomato products, the beans and the chicken broth, plus some taco seasoning and a handful or so of frozen corn. I let it simmer for an hour or so.

I served it with diced avocado, thin slices of lime and tortilla chips.

Chicken Taco Soup

2 bone-in, skin-on cooked chicken breasts
One green pepper (can use any color)
One onion
One jalapeno (optional)
One can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onions
One small can tomato paste
1 box low sodium chicken broth
One can black beans
1/2 cup frozen corn niblets
Tablespoon taco seasoning (or chili powder or what you like)

Garnish: avocado and lime slices

Chop the pepper and onions and minced jalapeno, and saute in a little neutral oil until soft. Add the shredded chicken and the rest of the ingredients and let simmer.

It should look like this:

pot of soup

Pot of soup

Served it with diced avocado and sliced lime.

20140119_201451

It added just the right touch of acid.

If you want to make this vegetarian, use seitan and vegetarian broth. In which case, those who keep kosher, like me, can use sour cream or greek yogurt as part of the garnish.

Categories: Uncategorized

Winter One Pot Dish

January 6, 2014 4 comments

It’s going to be cold tonight and I wanted something yummy and comforting and rich. And I NEVER want to do anything hard. And having something seasonal is always a good idea.

I wanted to make this with turkey stew, but the store was out. It’s a good store with its own butcher on staff, and I could have asked for some. I’ve done that in the past. This time, though, I was perfectly fine with getting a couple of drumsticks instead. But if the cut of meat is important, ASK. It NEVER hurts.

So, I got turkey drumsticks, sweet potatoes, onions, and precut carrots. 4 main ingredients. How hard could that be? Not at all.

I wanted to make this as easy as possible and also as attention free as possible, so I preheated the oven to 350F and used a heavy dutch oven metal handles and metal handles. This is a very versatile pot, something worth having. So many things can be started on top of the stove and finished in the oven.

I put the drumsticks (skin and all) and the precut carrots in the pot and covered them with water and put it over high heat. This gave me time to peel and chop the sweet potatoes and a couple of onions and add them. These are all very sweet, so I needed balance. I like acid. In fact, I LOVE acid. I had a few choices on hand – vinegar, lemon juice, wine – but I chose to use lemon pepper seasoning, which included peel and citric acid plus other flavorings. Why? I wanted the lemon flavor specifically because it works well with the other ingredients, but I wanted something that could stand up to long cooking. Lemon is a bit more volatile. And I like the way this seasoning tastes.

I pretty much dumped that all over. I then added bay leaves because you must add bay leaves. I also wanted spices to complement the turkey and sweet potatoes as well as balance them. To me, that means warm, brown spices – cinnamon, cumin, ginger, cardamon. I have all these spices and I could have added a pinch or two of all of them. But I chose to use garam masala, which has those ingredients and others and is really yummy on sweet potatoes. I just added a couple of pinches. I also wanted just a little heat, so I added a whole dried hot chilli. I added just a little water to make sure it was mixed, brought the whole thing to a boil, covered it and put it in the oven. It’s simmering now.

I intend to take out the drumsticks, shred them and put the meat back in the dish. Green salad would complete the meal.

This could also be made in the crockpot. I would only suggest that if you’re using lemon juice, add it at the end of cooking. Start on high for an hour, reduce to low. Cook for at least six hours. Add very little water.

2 turkey drumsticks (or lb turkey stew)
One package of precut package or one pound carrots peeled and sliced
Two sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped very coarsely
2 medium onions or one large, chopped
1 large bay leaf
Tablespoon lemon pepper or lemon juice
Pinch spices (cinnamon, cumin, ginger or equivalent spice mixture)
Hot pepper pod
water
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Place all ingredients except water and salt and pepper into dutch oven. JUST cover with water and bring to boil. Cover and place in oven. Let cook for at least two hours. Remove turkey, bay leaf and pepper pod. Remove the meat from the turkey legs and shred, and replace in the pot. Salt and pepper to taste.

Crockpot instructions – same except skip the lemon juice if using. Put the crockpot on high for an hour, switch to low. Cook for six hours. Proceed as above, adding lemon juice (if using) with the salt and pepper.

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What I did today July 17, 2012

July 17, 2012 5 comments

This will be picture heavy, as I just got a new camera and I wanted to play with it.

This is a fairly normal day at work – food for M, the brittle diabetic, and food for everyone else. On a sad note, that everyone else is reduce by one, who passed away a couple of weeks ago. I miss him very much.

Let’s start with the arsenal:

Knife case

That’s the first layer of my knife roll – a vegetable peeler that I know won’t disappear and a Sharpie because I label everything.

knives and steel

My babies. The knife facing left is my meat knife, and I use it more than any other tool I own. The one facing right is my dairy knife and I haven’t used it in months. The steel is in the middle. They’re ten inch blades, which is about the biggest my hands can handle.

Today, I made several puree’d vegetables, mashed potatoes and chicken meatloaf. I also made some non-puree’d vegetables.

I started with the chicken meatloaf since that took the longest to cook. That’s a mixture of spices (parsley, garlic powder, pepper, seasoned salt), oil, minced onions and, of course, ground chicken.

minced onions

These aren’t the most even cut, I’m sad to say.

The next thing was mashed potatoes. I peeled and cut up about 4lbs of redskin potatoes, and put them into COLD heavily salted water. This is the best way to cook mashed potatoes – it does good things to the starch content.
Pot of potatoes

Then I made the food for my diabetic guy. All of it has to be pureed and measured, none of which looks particularly appetizing, and mostly like this:

Zucchini puree

This, along with peas and green beans, will be measured into one pound aluminum containers, labeled and frozen. This way the counselors only have to heat it up and serve it to my hug monster.

At this point, the meatloaves were done.

chicken loaf

And so were the mashed potatoes.

mashed potatoes

These are simply potatoes, parsley and onion powder. I’d salted the water heavily enough that I didn’t need to add salt to the dish. That’s right – no fat or milk/milk substitute. They are actually tasty. I took out six half-cups for my guy, and packaged the remainder for everyone else.

Packed and ready to go

The closed aluminum pans are headed for the freezer. The plastic tubs will be used tonight, except for one meatloaf, which was also labeled and frozen. The little container of mixed vegetables is for I, so his counselor can mash them up with a serving of meat loaf and mashed potatoes.

This was the result of three hours work.

Categories: cooking, work
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