DIPS DIPS DIPS

WHEN I DIP, YOU DIP , WE DIP….

Whether it’s a shabbos or yuntif seudah, a Sunday morning brunch or a regular weeknight dinner, every meal is easily enhanced by serving a ton of dips along side whatever you have prepared. PERIOD. 

 

So, here it is, my ultimate list of amazing dip recipes.

BRING ON THE MATZAH!

I hope you all have a peaceful weekend. 

✌🏻💜&🥕,

Danielle

For the printable homemade Mayonnaise recipe click here

For the printable Tomato Dip recipe click here

For the printable Herb and Chile Garlic confit recipe click here

For the printable Olive Tapenade recipe click here

For the printable Lemon and Jalapeño Gremolota recipe click here

For the printable Roasted Red Pepper Dip click here

For the printable Almond Tehini recipe click here

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Tom Yum Soup + Video

THAILAND. sigh. BRING ME BACK!!!!!

It is just the most amazing mix of beauty and culture. From the elephant studded jungles to the tropical, crystal blue ocean lined beaches, every inch of this country is absolutely remarkable. It’s the people, the history, the location, the agriculture, the culture, the smells and the food – oh my, the food- that all together contribute to the colorful backdrop of what makes Thailand so truly special. 

The old ladies that sit on the side of a seemingly deserted road selling bananas, the proprietors of each stall at the random street long market places that pop-up any where from the middle of a train track to the inside of a series of gondola like canoes in a through fare of canals, to the barefooted buddhists monks, and even the punky, techno music obsessed teenagers, it is the people who make up and truly influence this great country. Each one with their own familial variations, traditions, and of course, recipes. There are a few staple base recipes, but from their each region, town and family ventures off to create their own version of these very Thai dishes.

Sometimes, the recipes vary between fish bases and meat bases depending on whether you lived in the hills and were surrounded by cattle or if you lived on the sea shore surrounded by the most amazing fish and shell fish. Which, aside from the fact that Thai people just so happen to be culturally the most accomodating, genuinely nice people, is why I think it was not difficult for them to help me come up with a way to kosherfy some of their most traditional recipes. 

Each region we went to we got to take a private cooking class in. At the start of each class the chef, assuming that I just wanted to learn how to make some super fancy, Michelin star worthy dish came armed with a slew of extremely updated, over the top, beautifully plated dishes. As soon as I told them I did not want to learn how to make hotel food and was really there to cook something that their own grandmothers made for them the whole experience changed. Each chef, both women by the way (girl power), instantly relaxed, plastered a huge smile on their face and taught me to make the food that they truly like to eat.

It’s not fancy food and not difficult to make. It is however, complex in flavors and mind blowing-ly delicious. In the west we are used to very different types of herbs and spices. So, Thai food seems complicated as these ingredients are not as easily available as say, a carrot. However, once you have all the ingredients in your house, nothing actually takes more than a few minutes of active prep time to put together. 

Over the course of the classes we made Tom yum soup, which is technically a spicy prawn soup, that we kosherfied by swapping salmon for the prawns. We made a fried flounder with a spicy thai mango salad, sticky rice (my fave!!!), Tom Kah Gai soup, which is basically Thailands version of a Jewish chicken soup, and a spicy, fresh hearts of palm (yup, thats right, NOT canned, meaning straight from the heart of a palm tree!) salad. Each recipe was bright, fresh, light enough to not weigh you down in the crazy heat but filling enough to leave you feeling totally satisfied!

I am so excited to be sharing these videos and giving you a small glimpse of all the amazing things I was privileged to learn and see there. I am going to release the videos one by one, each with a printable recipe so that you can recreate these recipes in your own kitchens. 

Before I do though, I just want to share a few things I learned there. 

  1. There are no rules. If you don’t like an ingredient, don’t worry, just swap it out for something you do like.
  2. Taste along the way. It was not easy writing down these recipes for you, because like any really good recipe handed down from parent to child, they included ” a little of this, a pinch of that and a handful of this”. So, trust your palettes and keep tasting to adjust the flavors till it tastes right to you!
  3. SWEET, SOUR, SPICY and SALTY. These are the flavors that are found in all Thai food. Every dish aims to incorporate all four regions of our tastebuds at the same time which is why each bite-ful of a Thai dish sets off a flavor party in you mouth.
  4. There is a Thai version of a mirepoix. It is their “holy trinity” and it is the base of all their soups and stews. Just like any good jewish neighborhood grocery store sells prepackages bundles of all the herb and veggies we need to make a good chicken soup, the Thai market vendors also sell their 3 traditional ingredients all bundled up. Their three ingredients are galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass. 
  5. Limes are crucial. I knew I would love Thailand because we both share a deep rooted love for lime. It goes in and on everything. If you don’t live in a place where limes are always available (like I do 🙁 ), when they are in season, buy a extra, juice them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. This way you’ll have fresh lime juice all year long!
  6. They put sugar in everything. No joke. I don’t understand because everywhere we went I was clearly the ummmm, I’m trying to think of an elegant way to say this, lets just say they are tiny! The women and the men all have the tiniest waists and the most beautiful skin. Some of them say its from all the coconut they eat, some say its just in their genes (yes, I asked basically every Thai person I met. I mean how can you be 6o and not have a single wrinkle? Naturally?). Whatever it is, it is not because they are on some crazy sugar-free diet. It does however provide a flavor balance to their recipes and really should not be omitted.
  7. Use the freshest ingredients possible. If a recipe calls for flounder, but the flounder in your market doesn’t look amazing, no problem! Buy a different fish. 

Now that you have all the building blocks to take the recipe I give you and make them your own I’m going to help you out by linking the names of some of the produce to websites where you can easily buy them (hint: starts with “ama” and ends with “zon”). 

GALANGAL:

click here for fresh galangal 

click here for dried galangal

KAFFIR LIME LEAVES:

click here for fresh kaffir lime leaves

click here for dried kaffir lime leaves

LEMONGRASS:

click here for fresh lemongrass

click here for dried lemongrass

THAI BIRD CHILES:

click here for fresh Thai bird chiles

click here for dried Thai bird chiles

BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWERS:

click here for dried butterfly pea flowers

PANDAN LEAVES:

click here for fresh pandan leaves

click here for dried pandan leaves

NOTE: These are raw ingredients. The links are for produce that is NOT grown in Israel and there for not subject to the laws the apply to produce grown in Israel. Consult with your own rabbi on how to check these vegetables appropriately.

For the full printable Tom Yum Soup recipe click here.

 

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FIRE ROASTED EGGPLANT

5IVE INGREDIENT FRIDAY 

KOSHER FOR PASSOVER

INASANELY DELICIOUS

EASY TO MAKE

HEALTHY

Should I keep going, or do you get the point?

               

It’s super simple, bursting with flavor and basically the best addition to your Shabbos table since schnitzel. 

I really hope all you of you are going to take the weekend to relax and rest up from all the cleaning and organizing of this past week. It’s time to recharge and get ready for the king queen of all holidays!

Wishing you all a peasful weekend.

💜,

Danielle

For the printable Fire Roasted Epplant recipe click here

 

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So Simple Salad Dressing Recipes

                 

               

I really don’t consider myself a food snob. I’m a lover of chinese food, eaten straight out of the box and a firm believer that no chocolate chip cookie recipe will ever compete with the ones that are made by just adding 3 ingredients to the mix that comes out of the red box (if you don’t know what I’m referring to, we can’t be friends). But, and this is a huge but, some foods, NEED to be homemade. On the top of that list is salad dressing. 

Home made salad dressing are a huge pet peeve of mine. They are really easy to make and taste significantly better. 

So many times, including in restaurants, the salad dressings taste so artificial and just not good. Not to mention the atrocity that is bottled salad dressing. That stuff is so gross! I recently had the pleasure (read: misfortune) to taste test a bunch of them. Let me just say that some of them were really difficult to get down and totally gag inducing.  They have a weird tangy sweetness and in my opinion, always just tastes off. 

But have no fear. A good salad dressing is actually sooooooo simple to make. They require virtually no prep time and can usually be made with regular everyday ingredients you already have in your house. 

As part of my movement to rid the world of bad salad dressings, I decided to give you all a bunch of really yummy and easy recipes. 

Before we dive into individual recipes though lets just talk salad dressing basics. There are a few fundamentals to a good dressing that really everyone should know. Once you know these principals you can pretty much stop reading this, because you will be able to make your own dressings, from scratch with out a recipe. 

But keep reading anyway because I actually spent time writing them out for you. Thanks, mwa.

Lets start with a vinaigrette. These are the lightest of all dressings. On the simplest level they’re merely any kind of acid (think lemon, lime, vinegar etc.) whisked together with oil salt and pepper. It’s usally a 2:1 ratio of oil:acid and in my opinion are the tastiest! They are flavorful but still light enough to allow you to actually taste the vegetables you are pouring them over. Plus, because the amounts of acidic fruits and vinegars out there is tremendous, the flavor combinations are endless. Which means you can basically have a different salad dressing every night and never get bored. 

Then there mayonnaise based dressings. From here you can go into directions. You can start by making your own mayo or used a store bought mayo as a base. I personally do both, depending on how much time I have. In my mind as long as the flavors are balanced both options are perfectly acceptable. Balancing flavors though is where it gets tricky.

When you make your own homemade mayo you can control the amounts of salt, sugar and lemon you use to make it, which makes it easier to balance the flavors after. Store bought mayos on the other hand come ready made, which means you have to TASTE them before you use them. Every brand tastes different. Some are sweeter, some are blander, mustard-ier (I’m copywriting that word), theres just no way to know unless you taste it! So, even though using mayo out of a jar saves time on the making-the-mayo step, you really need know how to adjust the recipe to suit which brand you are using. (*Sidenote-this is why you have to taste as you go along, even when you follow a recipe exactly because, like in this case if the recipe calls for mayo, if you don’t know what brand they used its may not taste the same). 

Once you settle on which mayo you are using you need to figure out how to flavor it. Now, in my mind the biggest offense of any salad dressing is when someone adds sugar or honey where it does not belong. Let me say this again, because this is insanely important. 

NOT ALL SALAD DRESSINGS NEED SUGAR OR HONEY.

In fact, most of them do not. Once in a while you may need a drop of honey or a pinch of sugar to balance out the tartness of a very strong vinegar that will over power your veggies however, most of the time it is completely unnecessary. It takes the beautiful, bright, fresh dressing you just made it and turns into something that tastes like it came out of a bottle. I don’t know when it became acceptable to put sugar in a caesar dressing but it needs to stop. Of the six dressing recipes I gave you only 1 contains honey and its because it needs it. Without it, the turmeric is too strong and overpowering. 

When flavoring a mayo I like to always start with my acid. From there I add in any garlic or onions and the season liberally with salt and pepper. Mayonaisse is very forgiving, so if you add too much of one thing, don’t worry about it. Just take a deep breath and figure out which ingredients you can add a little more of to balance it out. 

The last category of dressings is actually not a category at all. Its the NON-DRESSING DRESSINGS. What is that? Thats all the things that are not technically salad dressing but yet, can be used as one. Think techina, chumus, pesto etc. These are fun because they add variety to our regular arsenal of dressings.

Personally, of all of them techina is my favorite so, I’m going to include a basic recipe for that here also. But even within the techina world, you can totally individualize it. Add harissa for some middle eastern flavors, spice it up with a fire roasted jalapeño, go korean by dropping in a spoonful of gochujang, or add a handful of herbs for a green techina. 

Now that you have an understanding of what goes into, in my opinion, the two (but sort of 3 if you cont non-dressing-dressings) schools of dressings you can easily whip up a quick and easy salad to go along with your dinners.

Just incase you don’t feel like making up your own  though, I am giving you my easiest and most family friendly recipes. They are extremely versatile so feel free to play around and personalize them to your liking. 

Hope this posts makes your life a little easier and significantly more delicious! 

Peas out, 

Danielle

                      

For the printable Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Raspberry Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Roasted Garlic Dressing recipe click here

For the printable Caesar Dressing click here

For the printable Turmeric and Preserved Lime Vinaigrette click here

For the printable Tehini recipe click here

For the printable Creamy Sesame Dressing/Dip recipe click here

For the printable Carrot Ginger Dressing click here

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Mulled Wine

Holidazzzzzzzze.

Drink enough of this and that is what will happen. 

An overwhelming feeling of deep relaxation will wash over you and any awkward, inappropriate or just really annoying things that family members may say to you at your annual party will simply slide right off your back.

Some call this alcoholism. I call it smart planning. 

Any time a bunch of people that love you and think they know what’s best for you gather in a room together, where you happen to also be, they feel like it’s their job to help you “fix” your life. This, of course, never occurs with my own family, since mine is a very quiet and reserved bunch. But, I know that this is a common problem and, anyone that knows my family, knows what a huge lie that is. There is no shortage of “I-could-do-a-better-job-at-your-life-than-you-do” personalities in my family. So, I get it.

The truth is that only people that really care about you and actually want you to succeed in life act like this. They are also the same people that forgive your bad jokes, tell you when you have food in your teeth and run over to watch your kids when you are sick. It’s with these people in our lives that a simple game of taboo can turn into a gut-wrenching, hours-long, laughter-fest that we can hopefully spend our holidays with. 

During these mostly nice and beautiful, but sometimes overwhelming parties, it’s always nice to have something warm on the stove to keep everyone satiated. It doesn’t hurt when that something makes your whole house smell like winter spices and contains some alcohol.

So, this holiday season keep everyone happy and make a huge pot of mulled wine. 

Peas, Love & Happy Holidays,

Danielle

For the printable Mulled Wine recipe, click here

 

 

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Sherry Braised Short Ribs

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Short ribs are the perfect meat.

They need to be cooked low and slow so, you don’t have to stand over them mixing and turning. They can go sweet, savory, garlicky, asian-y, mexican-y, italian-y etc. Which means there are endless variations that you can make to satisfy any mood you are in. And, anything leftover, if there even are any, can easily be repurposed into another delicious meal. 

I like to take my leftover short ribs shred them, and make tacos, or stuff them into egg roll or wonton wrappers. It’s the perfect side dish or appetizer. I sometimes even make and fill the wontons and then freeze them raw. This way, if I have last minute company, which happens pretty often around here (you know who you are), I can just pop out how ever many I need and fry ’em up.

This recipe is amazing on it’s own and repurposed. The sherry wine, which I pretty much put in everything because it’s amazing, gives it such a good rustic full-bodied but still light, flavor. It’s a really nice change from red wine braised short ribs and even though its basically a huge chunk of meat, it really doesn’t leave you feeling as heavy.

You are definitely going to want to serve these with something to soak up the insanely heavenly juice. I served mine with rice, because in my house, a meal wit out rice would cause a small riot, but think mashed potatoes or even really good crusty bread.

If you actually do have any leftovers, besides for just eating them cold out of the fridge, you can definitely put these into wontons. Serve them with a really good horseradish dipping sauce, and BOOM, best appitizer ever! In fact, double the recipe and make extra, just so you can do that. It’s worth it!

For the printable recipe click here.

Hope you all enjoy:)

Peas out,

Danielle

 

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Cross-hatched Broiled Eggplant

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The first course is my favorite course of any meal. Those few minutes before everyone comes home from shul, when the table is set beautifully, and there are tons of appetizers, dips and salads plated and scattered so precisely and elegantly over the table top brings me pure joy. My hours spent cooking in my small, Israeli, not-enough-counterspace-or-cabinets-kitchen all become worth it. I look at my table, breath deeply and think to myself how beautiful shabbos really is.

Then they come home.

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Within minutes every single toy has come off the shelves, out of boxes and thrown all over the floor only to be abandoned seconds later to the more fun, fort building using every one of the blankets taken off of the freshly made beds.

Even with the all this chaos swirling around my house, when we finally make it to our seats and I see all the mouthwatering dishes confetti-ed across the table I remember what a privilege it is to cook and feed the people we love.

               img_5494 Now that we’ve established just how important the first course is to me, lets talk about what it actually takes to put out such an array of food.

It takes a few days of being extremely organized to create a truly spectacular first course. Dips and sauces take time to prepare and if you leave it all till Friday, there just won’t be time. So, I usually start by making anything that is ok sitting in the fridge or meant to be served cold, first. That could include salad dressings, dips, and marinated salads (think carrots or peppers). Next I move on to my more time-consuming elements.  I”ll boil any grains that I’m going to include in salads and roast any vegetables. Lastly, I make my mayo because it has raw eggs and cook my fish so that its as fresh as possible. Then before lunch, all I have to do is cut up whatever fresh vegetables I need and I’m good to go.

All that is fine, until you have a week where everything is going wrong and cooking becomes an afterthought. So, you have to pull a meal together in an hour. In those situations I make four fast and easy dishes. I make mayo, salsa, tahini and this eggplant.

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It is so simple and so delicious. The cooking time takes about an hour but the active work takes less than 5 minutes. You get so much flavor for such little effort and it looks so insanely beautiful on the table. In fact, I don’t only make this when I’m short on time because no matter how many people you are serving, it always gets finished! 

Cross-hatching the eggplant adds tons of little corners to the eggplant that get perfectly crispy and it makes it so easy to just scoop out the actual flesh. I like to serve it with a drizzle of tehini, some fresh parsley and when I want to get fancy I’ll sometimes add some chopped tomato and shallots. 

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For the printable Cross-hatched Broiled Eggplant recipe click here.

For my Tehini recipe click here.

Hope you all enjoy!

Peas & Love,

Danielle

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Moroccan Fish Video + Recipe

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

That is the only thing I can think to write. I dont know what I was thinking making these videos. First of all, I just had a baby.

Literally just.  

Like only eight months before.

My baby is a newborn.

Which means I’m about the size of a whale.

That just ate a whale.

Then theres the issue of, I had NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING. 

But, I did it anyways. I guess for people that know me, thats not much of a shock. 

Then on top of it, I decided, since I was filming videos, I should make as many as possible in one day. 

So, even though I am new to this and will, please god, get better over time, I’m so confident in these recipes that I’m gong to share them with the world no matter what. 

To see the full video click here

I do want to thank my amazing producer, Natasha and incredibly talented videographer, Shay, for being awesome at what they do and their insane amount of patience and guidance! 

This recipe is really special to me, as it is my grandmothers authentic Moroccan fish. I know there are a lot of people out there claiming to make the best Moroccan fish but, all I can say is that my grandmothers is the best. If you don’t believe me……..make it!

I hope this recipe brings you all as much joy and love as it brings my family. 

For the printable recipe click here

Sending you all lots of Peas and Love from my kitchen to yours,

Danielle

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