Tag Archives: traditional

Arancini

23 Apr

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I’ve had the pleasure of eating arancini several times. One memory stands out more than others, Angelina Bistro in Detroit. I had never made them before, so when my chef asked me to prepare them for a tasting for a wedding I was excited! He put me on all of the family recipes for Italian classics as according to him I am an “Italian specialist”. Family recipes, huh…Oh and did I mention the groom is a chef too and the family recipes are his?! Well, the arancini were an absolute hit. And I must admit, and I can here, that I did leave a fingerprint.

Time: 45 minutes              Serves: 12 pieces

Ingredients


  • 1 cup short grain risotto rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnish
  • 1-2 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed – enough for 12 pieces
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used fresh)
  • oil for frying
  • handful basil, chiffonade

How to make it


  • Preheat oil to 375F in a deep fryer or wok.
  • Cook rice uncovered until tender, but firm – about 20 minutes. When done, remove from heat and add butter. Mix to incorporate. Spread out on a large parchment lined tray to cool.
  • Once cooled, place in a large bowl and add egg yolks and parmesan cheese Mix well.
  • Take about 1/3 cup of rice mixture and shape into a ball in the palm of your hand. Make a well in the center of the ball and place a piece of mozzarella in the center. Rework the ball to enclose the cheese.
  • Put the egg whites in a bowl, beat until stiff.
  • Put bread crumbs in a shallow dish.
  • Coat rice balls with stiffened egg white one by one, then roll in bread crumbs, pressing around to coat evenly. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Fry for about 4 minutes until golden brown and crispy all around. Remove and transfer to a paper towel lined baking sheet.
  • To serve, garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and basil chiffonade. Enjoy as is or with a delicious sauce such as my Tomato Butter Sauce.
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Studded Matzo Balls

2 Apr

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It was only natural to honor my first Classic Homemade Chicken Soup with my first ever matzo balls, and it was fitting that I served them on the last day of Passover. They’re studded with carrots, celery, and parsley.

Time: 10 min prep, 30+min cook             Serves: 8

Ingredients


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup matzo meal (I used Manischewitz brand)
  • 3 tbsp water/stock/broth
  • 1 tsp salt, if desired
  • 1/4 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley (I used flat leaf Italian)
  • 1 batch chicken soup

How to make it


  • In a mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, matzo meal, water/stock and salt if using. Mix to incorporate. Cover and place in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile bring soup/stock/water to boil in a 4 quart stock pot.
  • After chilled, add carrots, celery and parsley to batter mix. Gently fold in.
  • Reduce heat to simmer.
  • Moisten hands and roll batter into about 1-inch balls. Gently drop into boiling pot. Cover pot and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  • If cooking broth/water, remove from liquid and serve warm or at room temp. If serving in soup, you’re all set to serve it up 🙂

Classic Homemade Chicken Soup

1 Apr

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I decided this time last year that making my own from-scratch chicken soup was long over-due. Boy am I glad I finally tackled this! It was much easier to make than I imagined and the results were beyond my expectations. I consulted a recipe by Susie Fishbein from her gorgeous book “Kosher by Design,” but put my own spin on it as I like to do 🙂

Time: 30 min prep, 90+min cook                 Serves: 8

Ingredients


  • 1 chicken, cut into 1/8ths (with skin on and bones in)
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 large carrots (or equivalent in baby carrots), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 stalks of fresh dill
  • 5-7 stalks of fresh parsley (I used flat Italian)
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • kosher salt, to taste – I used 1 tbsp
  • ground black pepper, to taste – I used 2 tsp

How to make it


  • Rinse chicken and place in an 8 quart stock pot, or larger. Cover with cold water, then add an additional 4-5 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil. Skim the fat and impurities off the top as it rises, using a small strainer.
  • Add parsnips, carrots, celery, onion, turnip, and garlic to pot.
  • At this point you can either tie the herbs & peppercorn into a bouquet garni (in muslin or cheesecloth), or just toss them in there freely which is what I did.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Start with less, as you can always add more but you can’t take away once it’s in there 🙂
  • Lower the heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Strain the foam & impurities off the top as needed. Taste and add seasoning if needed. Remove from heat.
  • Once the soup is at room temperature, remove veggies with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl – careful to discard any small bones or skin that might stick.
  • Place chicken into another bowl. Break up with your fingers and discard bones & skin. (I set aside 2 cups of this cooked chicken for later use.)
  • Pour broth through a strainer. THis will sift out any remaining small bones or stray skin, as well as the stalks from the herbs. Be sure to discard the bay leaves as well.
  • At this point, you may either combine the broth, veggies, and chicken in a large storage container, or split it up if you plan to freeze some. Or, you may combine the three components in a 4 quart stock pot and refrigerate or reheat to eat right away.

Matzo Brei

30 Mar

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Matzo brei (rhymes with “fry”) is a treat on Passover but is equally as good any time of year. It’s a wonderful breakfast/brunch item, similar to the Tex-Mex dish migas (tortilla & egg dish). You don’t have to celebrate Passover to celebrate good food. I served this with veggie sausage patties.

Time: 10 minutes Serves: 2

Ingredients


  • 2 sheets matzo, broken into large chunks
  • 2 large eggs, whisked together
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • jam and/or syrup for serving (optional)

How to make it


  • Place broken pieces of matzo into a colander and run under hot water for a about 30 seconds. You want them to be moist but not totally soaked & soggy.
  • Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add moist pieces of matzo and cook on each side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Add eggs, season with s&p, and scramble up.
  • Serve with jam and/or syrup as desired.

 

King Cake

12 Feb

King cake

Laissez les bons temps rouler! I found this recipe in 2012’s February issue of “Louisiana Cookin'” in an article by Marcelle Bienvenu. She borrowed the recipe from Fleischmann’s Yeast. I cut the recipe in half, which may have affected the shape but the flavors & textures were not compromised. Though it’s a great way to celebrate Fat Tuesday, I would make this throughout the year. I would definitely use this for French Toast and think I’d try adding raisins to the cinnamon sugar sometime as well.

Time: 30 minutes + rise                   Serves: 8

Ingredients


  • Cake


  • 2 1/4 cups AP flour + more for work surface, etc.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 package Fleishmann’s Rapid Rise yeast
  • 3/8 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 tbsp butter (1 stick)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Glaze


  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (I skipped this step and you can tell by my pic 😦 )
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • Colored Sugar


  • 3/4 cups sugar divided between 3 seal-able jars or plastic bags
  • food coloring: red, blue, yellow and green

How to make it


  • Cake


  • Combine 3/4 cup flour, 2 tbsp sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
  • Heat milk, water, and 6 tbsp butter until very warm – about 120-130F.
  • Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add egg and 1/4 cup flour. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in remaining flour (1 1/4 cup) to make a stiff batter.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Melt 2 tbsp butter. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining (3/8 cup) sugar with cinnamon and mix to incorporate.
  • Punch dough down. Move to a lightly floured work surface.
  • Divide into 3 equal portions. Roll each to about 12 in x 4 in.
  • Brush each with melted butter. Then, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Beginning at the long end, roll each up tightly – as if for a jellyroll. Pinch seams to form long ropes.
  • Braid. Then form into an oval – mine turned more into a (tighter) crown. Pinch ends together to seal.
  • Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover (I used a kitchen towel) and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size- about an hour+.
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden.
  • Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack (I kept the parchment paper beneath, to catch glaze later). Cool completely.
  • Glaze


  • Combine sugar and milk in a bowl, starting with 1 tbsp milk and adding more if needed to reach desired consistency. Whisk until smooth.
  • Colored Sugar


  • The amount of food coloring you use depends on how dark/bold you want your colors. I’ll provide a range.
  • In a small bowl, mix 4-8 drops blue coloring with 8-16 red coloring. Add to one of the bags of sugar. Seal, and mix around with your hand to distribute the color.
  • Add 4-8 drops green food coloring into another bag of sugar. Seal, and mix around with your hand to distribute the color.
  • Add 4-8 drops of yellow food coloring into remaining bag of sugar. Seal, and mix around with your hand to distribute the color.
  • Pour glaze over cake. Sprinkle colored sugar over top.

King cake 2

Hamantaschen

8 Mar

This is a recipe I adapted from a beautiful cookbook that my sister gave me as a gift called Kosher by Design by Susie Fishbein. They are traditional fare for the Jewish Purim holiday and add to the boisterous, joyous celebration. Traditional fillings include prune, poppy seed, and apricot. I stuck with apricot and then branched out with the delicious mango butter – yum!

Time: 15 min prep, 20 min bake            Serves: 16-20

Ingredients


  • Dough


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups flour + for sprinkling & dipping
  • Filling


  • mango butter
  • apricot preserves
  • Finishing Touches


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • cinnamon + sugar combined (about 1 tbsp total)

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine oil, egg, vanilla, water, and sugar. Mix well either by hand or with electric mixer. In a separate bowl combine flour & baking powder. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, incorporating as you go. Knead until you form a soft dough. Sprinkle counter top or work surface with flour & flour rolling pin. Roll dough out into a thin layer, about 1/4 inch.
  • Dip the rim of a 3-inch glass in flour. Use the glass as a cookie cutter and cut out circles. Re-roll the scraps of dough & reuse.
  • In the center of each circle, drop a teaspoon of filling. Shape into a triangle by folding 2 sides of the circle to the center and pinch together at the corners. Fold remaining side up to the center and pinch together at the corners.
  • Place the hamantaschen 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Make sure corners are tightly pinched so they don’t open during baking. Bake 20 minutes.