Month: September 2018

New Year, New menu challenges.

The Jewish Holidays are approaching here. Each year I am faced with the challenge of the menu. Of course there are traditional foods that if they weren’t on the menu my friends and family would think I had lost my mind. But as a woman that reads cookbooks like they are novels, I always strive to keep it fresh.

You will always find brisket on my holiday table. It’s a standard and everyone seems to have their own great recipe.It took me quite a while to perfect my brisket and I finally love it.  I also have a chicken dish for those that prefer to not eat red meat. The past few years my chicken dish has been either a citrus honey roasted whole chicken or lemon chicken thighs with a really crispy skin. I love the idea of incorporating traditions into recipes so for Rosh Hashanah I try to work in apples and honey. These recipes always seem to spill over nicely into break fast too.

I came across a recipe for chicken encrusted in horseradish that was really interesting and thought I could make it my own and serve for the New Year. The combination of horseradish, honey and apples is great. Be sure to let the chicken get really dry and to room temperature so that you get that nice crispy skin too.

I also tried a new cake and am passing on my adjusted recipe. Carrot Cake is always a good thing and so is the sweet potato pie my family has been making for years. Since these two ingredients are also traditional fall fare let’s put them together in a new modern Carrot/Sweet Potato Cake. I promise both recipes will be great on your table.

I am actually making these recipes for Rosh Hashanah so no pics yet. I promise to post pics on Sunday. Better yet, send me pictures of your versions.

I wish you and your family a sweet, happy and healthy New Year!

Horseradish Honey Encrusted Chicken
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Servings
4-6 people
Servings
4-6 people
Horseradish Honey Encrusted Chicken
Print Recipe
Servings
4-6 people
Servings
4-6 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Rinse chicken and make sure giblets are removed. Dry thoroughly and let it sit at room temperature. The drier it is the crispier the skin. Place on rack in a roasting pan.
  2. Stuff the chicken with lemon, garlic, shallots, dill, parsley, celery and apples. It will be full but shouldn't be tight. You can adjust the amounts evenly to make sure they all fit.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together, the horseradish, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread all over chicken top and bottom. Make sure you get under skin, too.
  4. Tie legs together, to keep everything in. Tuck wings under the body, for more even cooking. Cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Then turn oven up to 450° to crisp skin. Internal temperature should be between 160° and 165° and juices should run clear at the thigh. Remove from oven and tent with foil to rest. The chicken will continue to cook just a little .
  5. Let chicken rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve. Garnish platter with more dill, parsley and lemons.
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Carrot/Sweet Potato Cake
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Servings
16 slices
Servings
16 slices
Carrot/Sweet Potato Cake
Print Recipe
Servings
16 slices
Servings
16 slices
Ingredients
Cake
Glaze
Servings: slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter or oil a large bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand up mixer, cream together, both sugars,, sour cream, oil, orange juice, and vanilla, until fluffy. Mix in sweet potato, then eggs, one at a time. Try to get it as smooth as possible. Fold in carrots.
  4. Gradually add flour until just combined. Be sure to scrape the bottom. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto rack and cool completely.
  6. While the cake is cooling mix the glaze. Gradually blend confectioners sugar into cream cheese. Add vanilla and then working slowly add milk, until desired consistency.
  7. Pour glaze all over cake and garnish with nuts (if used) or carrot curls.
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Try Something New -Marshmallows!

Ever since I wrote about S’mores, a few weeks ago, I can’t stop thinking about marshmallows.

We seem to have them in the house all the time. My younger daughter likes to freeze them and change the texture. I’ve been known to walk by the pantry and pop one in my mouth. And of course, they are standard fare for hot cocoa. We accept any excuse to put them into a recipe. I mean what would Thanksgiving be without sweet potatoes topped with marshmallow.

I was curious where these delicious little puffs come from. They were actually plant-based and used as medicine, by Egyptian royalty, to help with coughs, sore throats and wounds. If children these days knew that, can you imagine the illnesses they could come up with. In the 1800’s they discovered they could use gelatin to get the same fluffy gesture and it would cost less and use less manpower.

There are so many ways we use marshmallows all the time; s’mores, rice crisp treats, fluffernutter sandwiches, toppings for ice cream and yogurt and lots of holiday treats. A couple of years ago I shared with you how to make your own graham crackers and that was a big success. So today I thought we’d make our own marshmallows! I love that you can make a good old-fashioned white (vanilla) marshmallow or with a little creativity you can flavor them with so many fun flavors. I love chocolate or coffee flavoring but you can go to town with whatever your treat calls for or wherever your mind go.

They are actually very easy to make, but because of the setting time, you have to plan ahead. You need at least 8 hours for them to set, and you really need a good candy thermometer. The recipe given is for vanilla marshmallows, and I used two tablespoons of vanilla. If you want a different flavor I would still start with vanilla and add. There is something about the back flavor of vanilla with the gelatin that you need. Instead of 2 tablespoons of vanilla, start with 2 teaspoons and then add your other flavor. I also used honey instead of the tradition al corn syrup.  I love the flavor and feel good about not using corn syrup. You could use maple syrup too, but adjust your flavoring accordingly.

If you want to make these vegetarian or vegan you can sub out the gelatin for agar agar. You can find agar agar powder in the Asian food section of most markets, specialty baking stores or online If you can only find the flakes not the powder that’s okay. Agar agar powder measures exactly the same as gelatin. Agar agar flakes – 1 Tablespoon flakes equals 1 teaspoon powder.

The best part is you can use a kitchen torch and make these toasty just on top or you can skewer them and make traditional scores. Just remember because they are coated in powdered sugar they will caramelize really fat and there is really no way of avoiding the almost burnt marshmallow look.

Homemade Marshmallows
Print Recipe
Servings
20 pieces
Servings
20 pieces
Homemade Marshmallows
Print Recipe
Servings
20 pieces
Servings
20 pieces
Ingredients
Servings: pieces
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9x13 pan, lightly, with nonstick spray. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of that then spray again.
  2. Have all your ingredients measured and ready to go. Pour the 1/4 cup of water in a shallow dish and sprinkle gelatin over stand set aside for 10 minutes. Do not touch it.
  3. Put the sugar, 1/2 cup water and honey in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved and starts to simmer. Using a candy thermometer, cook until 240° F. Keep an eye on it. Meanwhile put the, now dissolved, gelatin in a stand up mixer. Once your sugar mixture reaches temperature, pour it, carefully, over the gelatin in mixer. Beat on low until well combined and not lumpy. Increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and tripled in volume (about 10 minutes).
  4. Add the vanilla (and whatever flavoring you are using).Spray a spatula with a little nonstick spray and pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth top with spatula and set aside to set, at least 8 hours. Make sure it is in a cool place, but not refrigerated.
  5. Whisk together confectioners sugar and cornstarch and sift onto a baking sheet of shallow dish. Using a sharp knife cut marshmallows into 1" or 2" cubes. You can also use cookie cutters for different shapes. I would spray a little nonstick spray on them before I start. Lightly dust marshmallows, on all sides, with the confectioners sugar mix.
Recipe Notes

Store marshmallows, divided by parchment paper, in an airtight container. They should keep for about 4 days.

Use a kitchen torch to "toast" marshmallows.

If you want a different flavor I would still start with vanilla and add. There is something about the back flavor of vanilla with the gelatin that you need. Instead of 2 tablespoons of vanilla, start with 2 teaspoons and then add your other flavor. I also used honey instead of the tradition al corn syrup.  I love the flavor and feel good about not using corn syrup. You could use maple syrup too, but adjust your flavoring accordingly.

If you want to make these vegetarian or vegan you can sub out the gelatin for agar agar. You can find agar agar powder in the Asian food section of most markets, specialty baking stores or online If you can only find the flakes not the powder that's okay. Agar agar powder measures exactly the same as gelatin. Agar agar flakes - 1 Tablespoon flakes equals 1 teaspoon powder.

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