Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Green Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a dish that originated in Northern Africa, but has now taken the world (well the brunch world) by storm. 
It is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and spices, but if you google shakshuka there are countless hits with so many variations. 

In green shakshuka the tomatoes are replaced with hearty greens, but there is still lots of spice and the eggs are slowly cooked in the creamy sauce. 

Be sure to eat this with a piece of crusty bread to mop up the runny yolk and flavorful greens.
Green Shakshuka 

2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion thinly sliced 
2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
1 jalapeño seeded and diced (if you like it hot leave the seeds in)
1 cup milk 
1/3 cup pesto 
4 handfuls fresh spinach 
2 cups chopped kale 
6 eggs
2 scallions, chopped
1 Tbs parsley, chopped

In a large pan (that will accommodate all of the eggs) heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. 
Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for 2 minutes. 
Add the milk and be sure to scrape up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. 
Cook for a few minutes then add the pesto and stir to combine. 
Allow the milk and pesto mixture to reduce for 3 minutes or so. 
Add the greens and allow them to wilt and for the flavors to combine.
Take your spoon and make small spaces in the sauce to hold the eggs. Crack the eggs into the spaces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let the eggs gently cook for about 8 minutes until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. 
Remove from heat and sprinkle scallions and parsley over the top. Serve with warm crusty bread.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Oat Crumb Topping

Cinnamon has this cozy toasty feel to it and that's why it's the perfect spice on a cold winter day. 
This recipe is adapted from allrecipes.com
These are best enjoyed warm from the oven with a big cup of piping hot chai masala tea. 

1 1/2 cups flour 
1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs oil 
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla 
1 apple - diced 

1/3 cup flour 
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/8 tsp salt 
3 Tbs oil-1/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C 
Line a muffin tin with paper liners 
Mix together the first 5 ingredients, add the next 4 ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the diced apples and fold them in until well distributed throughout the batter. 
Scoop into prepared muffin tin filling half way. 
To make the topping mix together the dry ingredients then slowly add the oil until you have a crumbly texture that slightly sticks together to make big crumbs. 
Sprinkle over the muffin batter. 
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Foolproof Cholent

Wikipedia definition of cholent - Cholent (Yiddish: טשאָלנט, tsholnt or tshoolnt) or Hamin (Hebrew: חמין) is a traditional Jewish stew. It is usually simmered overnight for 12 hours or more, and eaten for lunch on Shabbat (the Sabbath). Cholent was developed over the centuries to conform with Jewish laws that prohibit cooking on the Sabbath. The pot is brought to a boil on Friday before the Sabbath begins, and kept on a blech or hotplate, or placed in a low oven or electric slow cooker, until the following day
The slow cooked hearty flavors of a cholent that cooks for a long long time really enhances Shabbos. The smell permeates the house and the tender meat, soft potatoes, and spices come together to make for the perfect heart warming shabbos dish. 
I know that a lot of people put all different spices, sauces, and even beer in their cholent and that's fine and delicious in its own right, but I grew up eating simply flavored cholent and that's really the way I like it. 
My mother makes stovetop cholent, it's made in a heavy bottomed pot and is kept over a low flame the whole shabbos. I love my mother's cholent, but when I moved to Israel (along with my brother and sister in law) I grew accustomed to my sister in law's cholent which is made in a crock pot so that's how I make it and it's (almost) as delicious as my mother's. a
Feel free to add other things to this basic recipe, but trust me it's pretty great just like this. 
Try to put your cholent up first thing Friday morning because the longer it cooks the better it tastes. You can even prep everything in the crockpot on Thursday put it in the fridge and then on Friday morning add the water and cook it on low until lunch time on Shabbos. 
I put my meat into the crockpot frozen and when it's ready to serve I shred the meat into large chunks. 
The amount of water varies on size of the crockpot, you want to add enough water that all the ingredients are just covered. I check my cholent before I go to sleep on Friday night and if it looks a little dry I add some boiling water from the urn. 

Foolproof Cholent 
Non stick cooking spray 
2 tsp kosher salt 
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 heaping Tbs paprika
1 tsp onion powder 
4 oz. piece of pastrami 
12 oz. piece of flanken 
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into about 2 inch pieces 
1 large onion, peeled cut into chunks 
3/4 cup barley 
1/4 white beans 
1/4 cup kidney beans 
Water - the amount varies on the size of the crockpot 

Spray the the pot of a slow cooker (crockpot) liberally with non-stick spray this ensures that the cholent doesn't stick and makes for easy cleanup. 
Sprinkle in the spices to cover the bottom of the pot
Place the meats, potatoes, onion, and beans in the crockpot. Pour water into the pot until it just covers all of the ingredients. 
Set your crockpot to low 
Place a piece of foil on the pot and then the lid - this makes a better seal than the cover along and keeps all the moisture inside the pot. 
Cover and let it cook until lunch on Shabbos day 

Gut Shabbos and Shabbat Shalom!