Tag Archives: kosher

Oreo and Cherry Cheesecake

Once again I have been blogging over on CartoonKippah.com; this time a completely unique and delicious take on a chilled cheesecake.

I created this cheesecake for Shavuot, a Jewish festival during which we eat dairy foods. My mum usually makes several delicious Israeli style baked cheesecakes topped with all sorts of summer fruits. Some Jews will eat cheese blintzes, a thin pancake.

I love chilled cheesecakes because I love the biscuit base, and the fact that there is no cooking involved! (Unless you are making your own cherry jam!)

This recipe is perfect for Shavuot, or simply as a delicious summer dessert. Definitely one for the sweet tooth!

Check out the recipe here:

Oreo and Cherry Cheesecake

All written content and photographs copyright Vered © 2012. All rights reserved.

Sweet Potato Skin Crisps

This is literally one of the most delicious homemade snacks I have ever made. They took me over an hour to make and were devoured within 3 minutes! But so worth it.

This recipe saves on wastage, saves money, and ensures that you know exactly what ingredients are in your crisps. No msg, additives, or preservatives. Also, as I’m running on a Passover theme, this is a great way to make sure your crisps are kosher for passover!

I was making sweet potato mash and saw a great opportunity to use the tasty crispy skins as a snack.  But there are two ways to make these; you could also keep your peelings from sweet or normal potatoes and roast them separately.

Method 1:

1. Roast skin on sweet potatoes for 1 hr on 220 degrees with a drizzle of olive oil. Turn several times during roasting.
2. Remove the skins and mash the soft part of the potato with salt and pepper.  Put the skins back on the oven tray. There should still be enough oil on the tray but if it is very dry add another drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and put back in the oven on 250 for 15 minutes.

Method 2:

1. Wash and peel potatoes or sweet potatoes. Mix with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and place on an oven tray in the middle of a hot oven.
2. Cook for about 45 minutes at 250 degrees or until the skins are cooked and crispy.
3. Cook the insides of the potatoes however you want. Boil, roast, or use in soups, stews, pies…see my recipes below.

These crisps are delicious with tzatziki dip or just on their own!

Enjoy!

Tip: Try using garlic or chilli oil instead of olive oil

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Baked Chicken with Thyme and Shallots and Sweet Potato Mash (Kosher for Passover)

There’s still two full days left of Passover. Are you wondering what to have for Friday night dinner? Are you bored of boiled and roast potatoes? Don’t even get me started on matzah!

Here’s a delicious recipe; it’s sweet, spicy and actually quite easy! Once you’ve prepared the chicken and sweet potatoes, they go in the oven, leaving you with an hour to wash up, set the table, make a salad or put your feet up!

This recipe is a perfect lunch or dinner during Passover or any other time. I used chicken thighs, but you could use legs or drumsticks instead.

Baked Chicken with Thyme and Shallots

Serves: 3
Prep time: 25 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs, skinless
8 shallots, peeled and halved
Handful of black olives, pitted and halved
1 lemon
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
Fresh thyme sprigs
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Sweet Potato Mash

3 large sweet potatoes, skin on
Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

2. Get your pestle and mortar out! Pour about 4 tbsp olive oil in, with the sliced garlic and chilli. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Grind it into a paste and then marinate the chicken pieces. Place them in an oven tray, ready to bake. Make sure every part of the chicken is covered.

3. Put the shallots and olives in the mortar to pick up any remaining marinade and then add to the tray with the fresh thyme and mix it all together with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the middle of the hot oven for 1 hour.

4. Cut up the sweet potatoes to small roasties size. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place in the hot oven for 1 hour.

5. During the hour that everything is cooking, check the food twice and turn both the chicken and the sweet potatoes. This helps keep the chicken juicy and stop the potato going crispy.

6. You can make your salad or vegetables in this time.

7. After the cooking hour, stick a fork in the chicken and check that the juice is running clear. If not, put back in the oven for another 15 minutes and check again. Make sure you turn the chicken pieces so that they stay juicy.

8. Take the sweet potato out the oven. Gently peel the skins off and put the soft part of the potato in a bowl. Keep the skins as we’ll use those for something else! Add a pinch of salt and pepper and mash the soft sweet potato.

9. Take the chicken out the oven and check again. When it is cooked through and running clear, add the other half of the lemon juice.

Everything should now be ready to serve with your favourite veg or salad. (Or if you are making this for Shabbat, you can place it on your hot plate now!)

It really is quite delicious and I hope you agree!

Enjoy!

Try making homemade crisps with the sweet potato skins.

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Fish Bites (Recipe and Good News!)

Great news readers! As well as my regular recipes and photographs here on my blog, I will now be posting kosher recipes over on CartoonKippah! They will be recipes inspired by my mixed Jewish background and will feature my own photography. Nothing will change on my own blog, I will just be cooking lots more!

My first post is a Kosher for Passover recipe for Fish Bites. It’s a healthy, cheap and low-fat recipe suitable for pescatarians, dieters, and those keeping Passover. Perfect for lunch or a starter. I hope you will check it out, enjoy!

Passover Recipe: Fish Bites

Penne Funghi (and Hanukkah)

Hanukkah starts tomorrow, and many people know that Jews traditionally eat oily foods like doughnuts and potato latkes (a potato pancake made from grated potato and onion). I’m sure we will see many delicious recipes for latkes this week!

Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days when the Maccabees rededicated the holy Temple in Jerusalem after their victory over the Syrian-Greeks. Fried foods like potato pancakes (“latkas” in Yiddish and “livivot” in Hebrew) and doughnuts (“sufganiyot” in Hebrew) are traditional Hanukkah treats because they are cooked in oil and remind us of the miracle of the holiday. From: http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/Hanukkah-Food-Traditions.htm

Another tradition which I had completely forgotten about (until my sister reminded me at our Christmukka themed food club evening) is that Jews often eat dairy at Hanukkah.

Dairy foods did not become popular on Hanukkah until the Middle Ages. The custom of eating things like cheese, cheesecake and blintzes emerged from the story of Judith. According to legend, Judith was a great beauty who saved her village from the Babylonians. The Babylonian army was besieging her village, when Judith charmed her way into the enemy camp with a basket of cheese and wine. She brought the food to the enemy general, Holofernes, who consumed increasing amounts of wine along with the cheese. (According to the story, the cheese was very salty, hence making Holoferenes very thirsty.) When Holofernes eventually became drunk and passed out, Judith beheaded him with his sword and brought his head back to the village in her basket. When the Babylonians discovered that their leader had been slain, they left. In this way Judith saved her people and eventually it became traditional to eat dairy foods in honor of her bravery. From: http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/Hanukkah-Food-Traditions.htm

I personally think this tradition is all wrong and really we should be drinking more wine to remember Judith on Hanukkah! Oh well, there’s always Purim! (On the festival of Purim, Jews are supposed to get drunk.)

At Hanukkah, lots of Jews will eat their dairy in the form of cheesecake, or cottage cheese on their latkes, yum! Here is how I will be eating my dairy this year; it ties in with my pasta obsession and my love for savoury foods.

As you may have realised, I’m a big fan of easy, quick recipes. This is also a super simple and cheap recipe and works really well as part of a ‘pot luck’ dinner or buffet style lunch. And of course, it’s totally kosher. If you’re in a real rush you could get the pasta on as soon as the garlic is cooked. Make sure you give the mushrooms enough time to cook though. I personally don’t like half-cooked mushrooms as I think they can be a bit slimy that way and it gives them a bad reputation!

Penne Funghi

Takes: 35 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
300g penne pasta (or your favourite pasta)
100g button mushrooms, sliced
4 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp dried oregano
25g butter
3 tbsps olive oil
3 tbsps soft cream cheese

salt & pepper

1. Heat the butter and oil in a pan on a low heat. When melted, add the garlic and about 2 minutes later, the mushrooms.

2. Soften the mushrooms for about 10 minutes or until they are all cooked and soft and covered in the garlicy butter. Then add the herbs, and some salt and pepper, stir and continue to cook on a low heat. If the sauce starts to dry out, add a little water.

3. In a separate pan, boil your pasta in the usual way for about 12 minutes or the time stated on the packet.

4. About 2 minutes before the pasta is ready add the cream cheese to the mushrooms and stir though until melted. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

5. As soon as your pasta is sieved, stir in the sauce and serve hot!

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I would like to, once again, enter this recipe to Pasta Presto Nights, hosted by Ruth. The next post PPN will be in 2012!

Quorn Chilli Con Carne

No I’m not vegetarian. But I like to experiment with different ingredients and health is very important to me. It is commonly said that too much meat is bad for you, and I am personally quite happy eating vegetarian meals a lot of the time. However, I will definitely eat meat when I go home for Friday night dinner and my mum has made her roast chicken!

A quick, easy and cheap beef substitute is quorn mince. It is high in protein and fibre and low in fat. If you feel like you’ve had a bit too much meat recently, or you want to try out quorn, then here is a quick recipe for veggie chilli con carne. The only difference between this and a meaty chilli is the quorn and stock, so this recipe would work fine with beef mince as well, just leave it to cook for a bit longer.

If you haven’t eaten quorn before, or didn’t like it last time, I dare you to give this a go. Let me know what you think. Similarly, if you often cook with quorn and have any comments or tips, I’d love to hear from you. So far, the biggest thing I’ve learnt about quorn is just that it needs just a bit more spice and flavour than cooking with meat.

Quorn Chilli Con Carne

Start to finish time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
500g quorn mince
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil
1 tin kidney beans
1 vegetable stock cube
1 red pepper, sliced
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1tsp lemon juice
Salt & pepper

Spices:
2 tbsps cumin powder
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander powder

1. Heat the oil in the pan and add the onion and garlic. Gently fry until softened. Add the tinned tomatoes and stock cube and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat.

2. Heat the spices in a separate pan and then add to the pot.

3. Add the quorn, coriander, sliced pepper, lemon juice and the kidney beans and cook for a further 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot with rice, a tortilla and sour cream.

The spices that I’ve used make a delicious combination for any Mexican dish, whether it’s fajitas or burrito, or anything else. I like to make extra and keep it in a jar in the spice cupboard to save time next time!

Do you like quorn? What’s your favourite way to cook it? Are you also a non-veggie who eats veggie food?

Sweet Potato Chicken Pie

One of my favourite things to cook is chicken pie. You can add whatever vegetables and herbs you like and make it different every time. It’s cheap to make, and, although a bit time consuming, not very difficult.

Tonight I am making my chicken pie with leek and sweet potato. For a kosher version, simply use margerine instead of butter, glaze with an egg, and exclude the cream. Use dairy free pastry or make your own. Puff or shortcrust. It works just as well.

Although I’m uploading my recipe, I’d like you to read it with a pinch of salt! I’m not the sort of person that follows recipes strictly, and so I tend to make things up as I’m cooking. I consider recipes to be inspiration rather than instructions. Therefore I’d like you to feel free to do the same. Don’t like tarragon? Don’t add it. Don’t like leek? Change it to mushroom. You get the picture…

Chicken Pie with Leek and Sweet Potato

Start to finish time:  1 hr 30 mins
Serves: 3 people

25g cooking butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 skinless chicken breasts
1 large or 2 medium white onions
1/2 red onion
2 large garlic cloves
1 large leek
1 large sweet potato
200ml chicken stock
1 tsp dried parsley or a bunch of fresh parsley
1/4 tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried thyme or a fresh bunch
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 glass of white wine
100ml cream
Ready rolled puff pastry
2 tablespoons of plain/cornflour
salt & pepper
milk/egg to glaze

Preheat the oven to 180.

Thinly slice all the onion and garlic. Heat a pan with the oil and butter and when hot, add the onion, then a few minutes later the garlic.  Gently fry on a low heat for a few minutes. In the meantime, wash and slice the leeks. Rings are fine as they cook away anyway. Stir in the leek and cook it all until soft. Keep stirring. If you want to add other vegetables such as mushroom now is the time.

Cut the chicken to evenly sized cubes and add to the pot. Give it a stir and then add all the herbs, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the wine and stock or 200ml water and 1 chicken stock cube. I like Kallo organic stock cubes.

Cook with the lid on for about 15 minutes and stir every so often.

In the meantime prepare the pasty. If you have ready rolled puff pastry all you need to do is put the dish over it and cut around it. If you have roll it yourself pastry then flour your clean worktop and rolling pin, and roll it out to about 8mm thick. Then shape it on the dish.

I definitely do not have time to make my own pastry.

If you prefer the kind of pie with pastry all around, buy ready rolled shortcrust pastry. Butter the dish first, and then put pastry on the bottom and around the sides. Then blind bake it for about 15 mins, or while the pot is simmering.

Add the sweet potato, evenly cubed 2x2cm. Stir in and cook for a few minutes.

Lastly, slowly add the cream and stir in. Make sure it is on a low heat. If the mixture is too runny, add about 2 tablespoons of flour making sure to add a little at a time and mix it in to avoid lumps.

The mixture is almost ready. Taste it! If it tastes good but something is missing, you can add a teaspoon of white wine vinegar, and more salt/pepper/stock. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stalks.

When it is the right thickness, add the mixture to your pot and drape the pastry on top. If you have any leftover pastry, cut out leaf shapes and place on top. Glaze the pastry with milk or egg, and pop it in the middle of the oven.


Open a bottle of wine and sit back for 30 minutes or until the pastry is perfectly puffed and golden.

Enjoy!

If you try my recipe I’d love to hear from you about how it went! Also feel free to ask questions if something isn’t clear.