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It’s Chanuka and Jewish tradition calls for oil fried dishes, such as latkes – potato pancakes; sufganyot – jelly-filled doughnuts and more. Jelly filled doughnuts never appealed to me, so here is my version of doughnuts.
2 ½ cups flour
1 packet of yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
¼ cup warm water
¾ cup milk – cow, soy, almond, and cashew…warmed
2 ½ tbsp. shortening- softened
¼ cup sugar
oil for frying
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix well until there are no lumps, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 1 cup of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. ,(You can also put in in the refrigerator for a slow overnight rise. Just bring the dough to room temperature before continuing.) Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains. About 1 hour.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a floured 3-inch cutter. * (See note) Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F. Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.
1-tablespoon corn syrup
2-4 tablespoons of water
Place sugar. Corn syrup and vanilla in a bowl and mix well. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue until you reach desired consistency. It should be liquid but not runny.
Submerge doughnut half way, turn over, and place on a cooling rack to set
NOTE: At this point the formed doughnuts can be refrigerated overnight, brought to room temperature the next day, and then rise before baking. You can also freeze them on a cookie sheet.
I was in a restaurant in beautiful St. Maarten when a waiter presented the table with a beautiful ratatouille served in timbales. It was delicious-and set me to thinking about adapting the usual ratatouille, a vegetable stew, to make it less stew-y. Here’s the result, a vibrant, fragrant, hash-every vegetable retains its distinctive texture as well as flavor-that makes a perfect meal served with chicken, fish or meat. You can serve it hot or at room temperature. Serves 10 to 12 Convert It – To make this a dairy main dish, add a 10-ounce can of drained and rinsed chick peas and crumbled feta. Or, for a quick moussaka-like dish, toss the hash with ground, sauteed lamb.
Geila’s Tips – Check the bottom of the eggplants you buy. If the pip there is round, the plant is female, if long, male. Male eggplants have fewer seeds.
3 pounds (about 2 medium) eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
4 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 large onions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, put through a garlic press
2 roasted red bell peppers * cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
One 12-ounce can plum tomatoes with their juice
3 tablespoons chopped basil
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cover 2 medium cookie sheets with foil.
Place the eggplant in a colander in the sink and roast with 2 tablespoons salt. Top with a plate and a weight, such as as a large can or wine bottle. Let the eggplant drain for 30 minutes rinse and dry it, and transfer to a cookie sheet. Drizzle over 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Place the zucchini on the second cookie sheet, toss with 2 tablespoons salt and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Bake the zucchini and the eggplant until cooked through, about 20 minutes, stirring both after 10 minutes to prevent sticking. Set both aside.
In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt and saute, stirring, until translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Push the onions to the side of the pan, add the tomato paste to the center, and cook until the the paste begins to bubble, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute the mixture until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bell peppers, stir, and add the vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, if using, and tomatoes with half their juice. and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the eggplant, zucchini and basil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, until the flavors have blended about 10 minutes. If the mixture seems too dry, add more of the tomato juice and simmer 4 to 5 minutes more. Adjest the seasoning, if necessary, transfer to plates, and serve.
* 2 roasted bell peppers
On a burner or under the broiler, roast the peppers until the skin is uniformly charred. Transfer to to a paper bagor a bowl. Close the bag or cover the bowl with foil, a dish towel or plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam until they become cool enough to handle. Remove the stems, peel and seeds and cut the peppers into 1 to 1 1/2 inch dice. Reserve any juice
This savory pasta dish began with a surplus of tomatoes and zuchini-and the wish to make a pareve dish that had a Parmesan like finish without cheese. The result was the creation of “pareve parmesan,” a breadcrumb and pine nut mixture I’m really excited about. The crumbs and nuts provide texture, cheese-like richness is sup[plied by the sauce, which contains anchovies with their oil. But anchovy phobes will be happy, as the dish has zero anchovy flavor. I hope you’ll devise other ways to use pareve Parmesan, one of my home-pantry basics (see the Tip). And serve this luscious dish often.
Convert It – To make this dairy, use 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan in place of of the breadcrumbs and pine nuts mixture.
Geila’s Tip – You can make the “Pareve Parmesan”-the breadcrumbs, salt and pine nut mixture-ahead of time. Serve it in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks.
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon grapeseed or canola oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
1 pound grape tomatoes, halved
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 medium shallots, sliced thin
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon plus 3 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 pound linguini
One 2-ounce tin anchovies with the oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
First make the pareve Parmesan. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spread the breadcrumbs on a cookie sheet, bake until golden, about 5 minutes. and transfer to a mini food processor oe blender. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts and toast, stirring, until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the processor and pulse to chop. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, add the salt and stir well. Set aside.
Increase the oven temperature to 375 F. Place the tomatoes in a small roasting pan, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, sugar, vinegar, shallots, and 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and toss. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer and set aside.
line a cookie sheet with foil. Place the zucchini in the sheet and toss with 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place the tomatoes and the zuchini in the oven. Bake the zucchini until tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Bake the tomatoes, stirring occasionally and rearranging them in a single layer as necessary, until shriveled and their juice has almost evaporated, about 45 minutes. Set the zucchini and tomatoes aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the remaining kosher salt. Add the linguine and cook until al dente, following package directions. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water. Meanwhile in a mini food processor or blender combine the anchovies with the oil, red pepper flakes, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. and oregano and purée.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, zuchini, anchovy mixture, and pasta and toss. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water and simmer to thicken the sauce, 1 to 2 minutes. Add more water by half-cups if necessary to smooth out the sauce. Remove the pasta from the heat, add the pareve Parmesan, and toss. Transfer to plates and serve.
I love this delectable soup, which is full of the deep flavors of roasted eggplant and sweet peppers. It’s also a great example of three-way cooking – a single dish you can easily modify to make something that works for any menu. The option to finish thickening the soup with oil rather than with butter or a butter-based roux is key to its versatility. I offer this with fricos – quickly prepared cheese wafers – but you can garnish it with grated parmesan and fresh ricotta instead.
Serves 10 to 12
Convert It – To make this into a meat dish, substitute chicken stock for the vegetable stock and drizzle each serving with Balsamic Gastrique.* For a parve version, substitute extra-virgin olive oil for the butter and finish with drops of balsamic vinegar, Balsamic Gastrique or basil leaves.
Geila’s Tip – You can make the fricos ahead of time and store them in an airtight container. They’re also delicious served with drinks.
4 medium to large eggplants (4 to 5 pounds)
6 medium red, yellow or orange bell peppers
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
4 to 6 large garlic cloves, to taste, minced
one 2-ounce can tomato paste
3 quarts vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 or 4 basil leaves
1 cup shreded Parmesan, Cheddar, Swish or other hard cheese
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne peppers, or to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line 1 or 2 medium cookie sheets, depending on eggplant size, with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray or grease lightly with vegetable oil.
Remove any stems from the eggplant and halve them lengthwise. With a fork, prick the skin-side of the eggplant all over. Sprinkle the cut sides with salt, place the eggplants skin-side up on the sheet, and bake until wrinkled and soft, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly then remove the skin and seeds with your fingers. (If removing the seeds is difficult, work them out under cold running water). Chop the eggplant into large chunks.
On a burner or under the broiler, roast the peppers until the skin is uniformly charred. Transfer to to a paper bagor a bowl. Close the bag or cover the bowl with foil, a dish towel or plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam until they become cool enough to handle. Remove the stems, peel and seeds and cut the peppers into 1 to 1 1/2 inch dice. Reserve any juice.
In a heavy soup pot, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté just until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir the peppers, eggplant, tomato paste, and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour.
Using a hand blender (or carefully transferring to a stand blender or food processor in batches), purée the soup. If too thick add more stock.
To make the fricos, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and mix lightly until blended. Transfer to a colander and shake to remove excess flour and any small bits of cheese.
Heat a medium non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add a small handful of the frico mixture. Spread with your fingers to make a 3 inch round. When the cheese has melted and the edges of the frico are slightly colored, turn carefully with a spatula and cook until the bottom is colored, abou 30 seconds. Remove and drape the frico, colored side up. over a rolling pin. Let cool aand firm. Rep[eat with the remaining mixture.
Season the soup with salt and pepper, transfer to serving bowls and garnish with the basil. Serve with the fricos.
* Balsamic Gastrique (page 26)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
in a small glass bowl, combine the sugar and vinegar. Microwave at full power for 30 seconds, or until the liquid has boiled and becomes syrupy. Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Traditional mayo based slaws often miss the mark. This main-dish slaw with grilled chicken gets a savory Asian spin with the addition of a soy sauce- and sesame oil-based dressing. Almonds and crushed ramen noodles-a garnish to keep in mind for other uses-add texture and crunch. I prefer flavorful dark meat for this, but feel free to use white. Fresh napa cabbage is the first choice, but you can use packaged slaw for convenience. Minus the chicken, this makes a delicious side. You can make this all in advance; just dress right before serving.
Geila’s Tips – To crush the ramen noodles place them in a resealable plastic bag, seal, and roll a heavy can over them.
Convert It – To make this pareve, eliminate the chicken, The dish works equally well for non-meat eaters.
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup sake or dry white wine
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds
One 3-ounce package dry ramen noodles, crushed
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup mirin
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 cup grapeseed or canola oil
1 medium head napa cabbage, sliced fine, or one 10 ounce package slaw
6 scallions, white parts only, sliced fine
In a gallon-size sealable plastic bag, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken, press out any air from the bag, seal and refrigerate overnight.
Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the almonds and toast, stirring to prevent burning, until golden. About 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. In the same pan, toast the noodles until golden, stirring, about 8 minutes, and transfer to the bowl. Toast the sesame seeds in the pan, stirring, until golden, about 8 minutes, and transfer to the bowl. Set aside. (You can make this ahead. If you do, cool it completely, transfer it to a lidded container, and store it at room temperature.)
Heat a large grill, pan or heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken, shaking off excess marinade and grill until just cooked through, turning once 12 minutes for breasts, 15 minutes for thighs,. Alternately, broil, turning once, until just cooked through, or grill on an outdoor grill 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cool and cut into bite-size pieces.
To make the dressing, in a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oil. Using a hand blender or whisk, blend, adding the oil in a steady stream until the mixture has thickened.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken slaw, scallions, almonds, sesame seeds and ramen*. Just before serving, drizzle in the dressing and toss. Transfer to individual plates and serve.
*Ramen Noodles. These fresh and dried Japanese noodles are made from flour, salt and water. It’s the dried version I call for, available as Tradition Ramen Noodle Soup, a soup-mix kit that contains a flavor packet. Use the noodles and save the packet for another use.