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Fuzzy Navel Chicken with Grilled Peaches

July 6, 2012

This is the time of year when the farmers put out signs next to their peaches that say “eat over the sink…super juicy!”  When I brought home my basket of peaches from the farmer’s market, I knew I wanted to highlight their sweet yumminess.  When I was in college, my favorite cocktail was a fuzzy navel: orange juice, peach schnapps and vodka…so, I used it for a marinade on the chicken!  All of the food magazines right now have been featuring grilled peaches so I figured I’d give those a try.

My camera was dead, so the pictures are from my phone, hence the lack of color.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup peach schnapps
1 shot vodka
3 fresh peaches
Scallions for garnish (also delicious this time of year!)

Cut the peach into pieces and squeeze them over a bowl.  Combine with OJ, schnapps, and vodka.  Marinade the chicken breast for at least one hour.

Meanwhile, slice the peaches (they’re not so easy to slice!)  Pop them onto the grill so they get grill marks.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill for about 4 minutes on each side.

Pour the rest of the marinade into a sauce pan and cook over medium heat to thicken into a sauce.

To serve, sprinkle chopped scallions over peaches.  Spoon sauce over chicken.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  This could also totally be sliced up and put on top of some spinach or arugala.  You could use the sauce as a dressing for the salad.

You can eat this hot or at room temperature!

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

July 2, 2012

My posts have been few and far between over the past year.  My new job was exciting and fun, but also kept me so busy that we often lived off of Shabbat leftovers for weeks at a time.  I stuck with recipes I knew to be quick and easy, and totally lacked creative energy for cooking.  I did write two posts since the last time I wrote for Mah Zeh Taim.  You can check out my Chicken with Apple Salsa and my Mediterranean Tartlet on the NosherMyJewishLearning.com‘s food blog.

     

But now, summer is upon us!  I have some spare creative energy, not to mention enough time to use it for cooking!  If you’ve followed my older posts, I really lived off of the 97th street Farmer’s Market when we lived in Manhattan, especially in the summer.  All of my cooking ideas came from whatever fresh ingredients I found that week.  Last week I discovered the New Rochelle Farmer’s Market, and I’m inspired again!  Yay!

Friday I came home with squash blossoms, bell peppers, garlic scapes and more.  I also had some lovely pesto in my fridge from last week’s basil purchase.  I knew I wanted to make stuffed squash blossoms, but I had only eaten them stuffed with ricotta, so I tried a new solution to make them pareve, but still creamy!

Ingredients
24 squash blossoms
1 garlic scape, finely diced
1 small orange pepper, finely diced
1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
3 tablespoons prepared pesto (homemade is best!)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons
3/4 cup soy milk
Salt & Pepper to taste
Olive Oil for frying 

Squash blossoms take some special attention to clean for dirt and bugs.  Hold them under the faucet to make sure you clean inside and outside.

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Combine the peppers and scapes and blot with a paper towel to take out some of the excess moisture.

In a small sauce pot, heat up 3 tablespoons of oil.  Then add the flour to make a roux.  Then add the soy milk and mix well.  Watch it closely and continuously stir so it won’t burn.  Then add salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and let cool a bit.  Then add to the vegetable mixture.  Mix in 3 tablespoons of pesto.

Now comes the messy part.  I did not get this down to a science…I tried with a pastry bag and with my fingers, neither one was better than the other.  Open each blossom and stuff the pesto vegetable mixture into the opening of the flower.  Twist the petals at the top and set aside.  Repeat process until all blossoms have been stuffed.

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In a large pot, pour 1/2 inch of olive oil and bring to a high heat.  Fry each blossom for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden.

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Let drain on paper towels.

They’re a yummy, super seasonal treat.  Ingredients are very healthy, cooking method is not so healthy.  I didn’t batter them, so that cuts out some calories, right?

Enjoy!

S’mores Pops

March 22, 2012

When in doubt, make cake balls…and put a stick in it…and call it a cake pop.

For this one, I made my good ol’ chocolate cake, used marshmallows instead of frosting, and rolled them in graham cracker crumbs.  They were a major hit!

Ingredients
9×13 pan of chocolate cake
12 oz. small marshmallows
2 tablespoons margarine
1 bag pareve chocolate chips
2 tablespoon canola oil
Graham cracker crumbs

In a saucepan, melt 8 oz. marshmallows with 2 tablespoons margarine until it is light and fluffy.

 

Break up the chocolate cake and mush it up with the marshmallow fluff.  Make golf ball sized balls of the mixture around a small marshmallow.  (The marshmallow should be in the center of the chocolate ball.)  Place on lined cookie sheet in the freezer for at least one hour.

Remove from the freezer and stick in lollipop sticks.  Meanwhile, in a double boiler, melt chocolate chips with oil.  Prepare graham cracker crumbs on a plate.  Dip each pop into the chocolate and then roll in the graham cracker crumbs.

Let cool until chocolate hardens.

These can be frozen for up to 4 months!

Layered Salami Potatoes

February 10, 2012

This was totally one of those “what can I do with what’s in the fridge?” meals.  When I opened the door, I had a bag of potatoes, a bag of onions, condiments and a log of salami.  So I made a twist on Kosher by Design scalloped potatoes.

Ingredients
14 oz. log salami, thinly sliced

4 idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon paprika
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fat free mayonnaise

Start out by making the sauceMelt the margarine in a pan and combine with the flour to make a roue.  Add the sliced onions, stock, mayonnaise, and paprika.  Stir until the roue is completely dissolved.  Let the sauce simmer until it thickens.

Meanwhile, peel and slice the potatoes and salami.

In a 9×13 pan, ladel 1/4 of the sauce and spread around the bottom of the pan.  Build one layer of potatoes, slightly overlapping with each other.  Ladel another 1/4 of the sauce and spread around.  Then layer the salami slices (I didn’t have enough to overlap and I think it was actually better that way.)  Ladel another 1/4 of the sauce and spread around.  Do one last layer of the potatoes and pour the remaining sauce over the top.

Bake at 375 degrees for an hour and a half.

We had this with a big green salad and my veggie of choice at the moment, roasted brussel sprouts.  It was really hearty and total comfort food.  The leftovers cold be chopped up and folded into puff pastry for a great appetizer!

Fig Muffins

January 25, 2012

Chodesh tov!  You know what Rosh Chodesh Shvat means, right?  Tu B’Shvat is coming! I’m super picky about my dried fruits, but I love this holiday.  When we had a ton of dried figs lying around after the Rosh Hodesh, It’s a Girl Thing! meeting this month, I figured I would be creative and do something exciting with them for my Rosh Hodesh Women’s Group!  These fig muffins were a major hit at our group and when my husband tasted one he said “really delicious, that’s what these are!” which, I take to be a good thing.  I made 24 mini muffins and 7 regular muffins, so it would probably yield 18 regular muffins.

Ingredients
12 dried figs
3/4 cup water
2 sticks margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Chop up the figs.  Put into a saucepan along with the water.  Heat over medium heat until the water is mostly gone.  Let cool.

Meanwhile, cream margarine, sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

Mix rehydrated figs with wet ingredients.  Slowely blend in dry ingredients.

Pour into greased muffin tin.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

These are a perfect Tu b’Shvat treat, or for your next tea party!

Penne al la healthier Vodka & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

January 22, 2012

Ok, you caught me.  One of my guilty pleasures is creamy pasta sauces.  I’ve done a few healthier versions of creamy sauces (like the sage and roasted garlic white sauce and sweet potato cream sauce), but tonight I just didn’t want to even have to think.  I’m pretty sure this is the easiest recipe on my whole blog!

Vodka Sauce Ingredients
4 cups roasted garlic marinara (I used Trader Joes)
1 cup vodka
1.5 cup fat free evaporated milk (from a can)
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Combine marinara, vodka and milk and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Stir in parmesan cheese.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
4 whole brussel sprouts per person, cleaned and quartered
Olive Oil
Seasoning Salt (your favorite blend)

Coat brussel sprouts in olive oil and seasoning salt.  Roast at 400 degrees until they are slightly browned (about 20 minutes, sometimes more depending on the size of your sprouts.)

Cook 1.5 lb. whole wheat penne to box instructions for firm.  Add the pasta into the hot sauce and let cook on low heat for 2 more minutes.

Serve brussel sprouts either on top of the pasta, or as a side.  Don’t forget a final sprinkle of parm!

Fast, tasty and low in calories.

Pumpkin Swirl Pareve Cheesecake

November 23, 2011

Best part about Fall?  PUMPKIN!  Now, I know you can get canned pumpkin all year round, but for some reason, when the leaves start crunching, I start making everything pumpkin.  Last year, just before Thanksgiving, I posted the amazing pumpkin pecan white chocolate chunk waffles.  This year, it’s dessert!  The perfect pareve pumpkin swirl cheesecake.  It really only came about because I had tofutti cream cheese and sour cream in my fridge that needed to get used up, but the result was delectable!

Ingredients
2 packs graham crackers
1 stick margarine, melted
2  8 oz  packages tofutti cream cheese
1  12 oz. package tofutti sour cream
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 eggs
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

What’s a cheesecake without a graham cracker crust?  It’s legit the easiest thing.  First, grind the graham crackers in the food processor.  Then mix with the melted butter, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt and press into an 11″ springform pan.  Tip: Use the bottom of a glass to press in the crust.  Bake the crust at 325 degrees for 5 minutes.  Make sure it’s totally cooled before you pour the batter in.

Beat the cream cheese, sour cream, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 cup white sugar until smooth.  Add 2 eggs and beat smooth.  Remove 1 cup of the mixture (save it for the swirling).  Then add 2 more eggs, the can of pumpkin, extracts, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Beat until smooth, but don’t over beat!

Pour the orange mixture into the crust.  Pour dollops of the white into the orange and swirl it all together.

Pop it in the oven (forget about water baths…too much work) at 325 for about an hour until it’s set but the middle jiggles a little bit.  Let it cool for at least an hour, then refrigerate overnight.

A new twist on an old Thanksgiving desert…and it freezes really well!

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