SAVORY JAMS + SAUSAGE BOARDS

Here’s the thing. Pesach is all about the proteins. Fine, potatoes also but this post os just about the proteins. We’re talking everything from beef, lamb, veal, chicken, turkey duck and eggs! It’s all good and all delicious. For some reason though, because we are limited in the products we can use on Pesach we have this idea in our head that all the food is “simple”. In reality that couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

How many of us actually use products to cook our proteins with anyway? Maybe the occasional quick recipe will use an already bottled sauce or an ethic recipe will call for an ingredient that although could totally be kosher for Pesach just doesn’t have certification. Really though, with a little bit of research into those flavors you can reproduce so much of them using the limited ingredients we have access to on Pesach.

But wait.

There is another option. 

We. can take our proteins and go in another direction completely. An all together easier, but equally delicious directions. We can leave the proteins very lightly seasoned with basic staples like salt, pepper and garlic. Then we can create a variety of our own condiments to serve along side our proteins. Beside for how awesome it is to have a fridge stocked with the right sauces, salads, dips and jams it is also super convenient if you have to feed lots of people with different food preferences. Like I said in my last blog post, keeping a well stocked fridge on Pesach is half the battle when you need to feed people every single meal for more than a week! 

I like to serve huge platters of proteins every night. Then I switch up the accouterments each night so things don’t get boring. I try to have the proteins stick to a theme. Every night I serve one tip of chicken, think chicken legs, cutlets, pargiyot or wings. Then I add in a meat. Somenights its veal ribs and veal chops. Other nights ill go the lamb route and serve baby lamb chops and keftas. If I could find kosher for Pesach sausages I by a variety of those and serve them on a huge platter with the jams. It keeps the dinners interesting but still super easy and quick to create!

Here’s all the added advantages to this style of Pesach cooking:

  • Have more free time on Pesach by spending one day stuck in the kitchen making all the dips, salads, jams and condiments then spend the rest of Pesach throwing meals together in no time at all!
  • Feed lots of people exactly what they want but serving simply season proteins and letting everyone build their own plates with whichever flavors they like!
  • Since proteins can go on a grill or under a boiler, the only dishes you’ll have to do each night are the ones you eat off of!

and last but not least…

  • Your food will be infinitely more delicious!

My last suggestions, which is really more of a strongly advised statement is make all your accoutrement parve. After you turn over your kitchen, make sure to do these first. Double and triple the recipes you love so that they last the whole yuntiv because you are going to want to eat them with every single meal!

Happy Cleaning Everyone!

*NOTE: These recipes call for already sautéed onions. I start off all my Pesach cooking with 40 onions that I cook on low heat for 5-6 hours until they are golden and practically melted. I wrote up about how I do it in my last blog post!

For the printable MELTED PEPPERS AND ONION JAM click here

For the printable FENNEL AND ONION JAM click here

For the printable JALAPENO AND ONION JAM click here

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CHIMMISCHUG PESTO + HOW DIPS & SALADS CAN YOUR CHANGE PESACH FOREVER!

I hear a lot of complaining from people that all they have to eat on Pesach is chicken, meat and potatoes. I get it. Everyone missed their bread and their oats. But you know what, chicken, meat and potatoes are awesome! They are blank canvases that can pair with a huge palette of sauces, dips and salads. (Like how did that canvases, palettes…)

I have a few tricks snd some staple dips that I make in huge batches on the first day of my Pesach cooking. They stay beautifully in the fridge all Pesach long and switch up which ones I serve at each meal! 

I’ve said it about a million times by now but I’ll say it again. I LOVE PESACH! It’s the beginning of nice weather here in Israel and that means it’s officially barbecue season! We grill up a variety of different proteins every single night and serve them with all the fridge staple dips!

Before I start giving you a few of my best staple tips and dips heres a few things to keep in mind:

  • I like to make all my dips and base ingredients first so that they are parve. This way I can use and serve them with everything!
  • Adjust the flavors to your families preferences. If you don’t like cilantro, swap it for parsley. Spicy foods are not your thing…Leave the heat element out!
  • Double or triple each recipe. Starting from scratch the second days is just not fun. So make sure to make enough of everything so that it lasts you the whole holiday.        

SAUTEED ONIONS:

The first thing I always do is sautée up 40 onions. Yup, that’s right 40. Why so many? We go through tons and tons of onions on Pesach. They get smothered on chicken, add to hash browns, mixed into our eggs, turned into dips and layered into our yapsik.

  • I use my food processor’s slicing blade to cut them into really thin strips (takes 5 to cut 40 onions, it’s amazing!)
  • Add them to a huge pot with a few tbsp oil, 1 tbsp salt and little crushed black pepper.
  • Set the fire to medium heat, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Once a little water has come out of the onions, remove the cover, lower the heat to medium low and cook for 5-6 hours till they are a deep golden color and have a beautiful melty texture!

Garlic flavored oil:

The second thing I do is peel about 20 cloves of garlic. I do three things with the cloves.

  • I take about 16 cloves and add them to a large 16 oz jar. Fill the jar up to the top with whichever oil you prefer. Stick it in to the fridge and then any time you need oil for sauteeing, salad dressings, searing meat or marinades use your garlic oil. It is the ultimate flavor booster!
  • The second thing I like to do is right away make a few batches of confit garlic. All you do is stick however many cloves of garlic you want into an over proof dish. Add whatever spices or herbs you like and little salt and pepper. Cover the garlic with olive oil, wrap dish tightly in foil and bake in a 350f oven for about 35-40 minutes. 
  • Lastly and probably most importantly, take the rest of the cloves and stick them right into the food processor. Pulse until all the garlic is minced. (be careful not to over pulse or it will turn into a puree) Mix in a few tbsp of canola oil and pour all the minced garlic into an airtight jar. Top off with a little more oil and pop in the fridge. Your cooking will be sooooo much easier!

Salatim:

This is probably the most food enhancing part of all my Pesach cooking. We like strong flavors around here and the right kind of dips and salatim enhance all food. 

Weather I serve chicken, meat, potatoes or eggs everything gets served with a different salad or dip. This way, evenjhough were technically eating the same foods over and over, they’re always paired with different flavors so nothing gets boring.CLICK ON THE LINKS TO GET THESE RECIPES!

Heres this years newest addition:

SPICY CHIMMISCHUG PESTO

Here’s a few more we can’t do without:

ALMOND “TECHINA”

GARLIC MAYO

TOMATO DIP

GARLIC CONFIT

JALAPENO LEMON GREMOLATA

OLIVE TAPENADE

ROASTED RED PEPPER DIP

 

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Rosh Hashannah Salatim

For me salads are the best part of any meal. I love those cold, refreshing, crunchy bites in between all the hot food. Making salads on the other hand is the worst!

I force myself to make them on a daily basis because I love them and when I make them on my own I get to put in them exactly what I want. However, I would say that any salad that is not cut up and chopped by me is already halfway there to being my favorite salad. 

In an effort to make sure theres tons of cold crunchy veggies on my Rosh Hashannah table this holiday, I made a bunch of salads today that can stay in the fridge and get better everyday they sit! This way if I’m too tired or busy with kids, I at least know I can pull these out!

I made a carrot salad, a fennel salad, a sweet and sour type of eggplant salad, a garlic confit and a bunch of dips to put on the table at every meal. 

I hope everyones cooking is going well and can’t wait to see what you all made!

Happy Cooking!

For the printable Moroccan-y Carrot Slaw recipe click here

For the printable Fennel and Apple Slaw recipe click here

For the Pickled Eggplant and Onion recipe click here

For the printable Garlic Confit recipe click here

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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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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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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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