Vegetable and Tofu Pad Thai

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I’ve never revisited or republished a recipe on this blog before, but I’m sharing a revamped recipe with you today. I made pad thai recently for dinner and after sharing it on instagram and facebook, I got many requests for the recipe. So I reviewed my old recipe to see if it still held up. Well, that old post was from 2008. That’s almost prehistoric for blog history. So I decided to clean it up a bit. It’s still the same basic ingredients. I’ve had seven years of pad thai practice, both the cooking and the eating. So I think it’s time. Red Boat fish sauce, one of the best anchovy-based fish sauces out there, released a kosher fish sauce, so now, kosher pad thai dreams can really come true for everyone.

I visited a new local to me Asian market on Sunday, so I had just replenished my supply of rice noodles and other goodies, so this week has been filled with various Thai and Chinese treats.

The important thing about pad thai is having everything ready to go when you want to start cooking. Everything cooks quickly.

Start by cooking the pad thai sauce in a small sauce pan. You will want to mix equal parts brown sugar, fish sauce and tamarind concentrate. To that mixture, you will add some vegetable or chicken broth. Boil the mixture and then let it simmer so it can thicken.

While the sauce is cooking, get your rice noodles ready. Fresh rice noodles are amazing, but the dried rice sticks work fine and are simple to cook. Just submerge the noodles in boiling and let them sit for several minutes until soft. Drain and then rinse with cold water until ready to use.

I beat up some eggs and let them cook in a pan. I set those aside.

Next, I sauteed up some shallots and garlic and then added some tofu and chicken style seitan to the pan.

Then, I added some Chinese broccoli and some shiitake mushrooms to the pan. I let those cook a few minutes.

Next, I added the rice noodles to the pan and stirred in the sauce.

After everything was incorporated, I stirred in some bean sprouts and scallions and got ready to plate it.

Serve the finished pad thai with some crushed up peanuts and lime wedges. I love what the lime juice does to this dish.

Enjoy!

Vegetable and Tofu Pad Thai
 
Author:
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. tamarind Concentrate
  • ¼ cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 8 oz. pad thai rice noodles
  • canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup diced extra firm tofu
  • 8 oz. chicken or seitan
  • 1.5 cups slices shiitake mushrooms
  • 1.5 cups sliced chinese broccoli
  • 2 cups bean sprouts, washed
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • ⅕ cup crushed peanuts
  • Lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Combine the fish sauce, brown sugar and tamarind concentrate in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium. Add in the broth. Let it come to a boil and then turn the heat down.
  2. Soak the rice noodles in boiling water until soft. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat up a couple of teaspoons of canola oil in a wok or large pan. Beat the eggs and add to the pan. Scramble them a bit. Transfer eggs to plate and set aside.
  4. Add another teaspoon or two of oil to the hot pan and add your proteins. I like adding tofu or seitan, but feel free to play around with it. Add some beef or chicken or shrimp if that's more your speed. Let it cook a few minutes.
  5. Add in some veggies. This is where I added mushrooms and broccoli. Let that cook a bit.
  6. Now, add the noodles to the pan and stir.
  7. Stir in the sauce.
  8. Finally, add the bean sprouts and the scallions and turn off the heat.
  9. You're just about done!
  10. Serve pad thai topped with some peanuts and some lime wedges on the side. I love fresh squeezed lime juice on mine!

 

 

The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen Cookbook Review & Giveaway

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Happy Chanukah! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! I’m taking a break from Latkefest 2015 to tell you about this fabulous new cookbook – The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen by Amelia Saltsman. I’m also hosting a giveaway for this cookbook, so don’t forget to enter.

SJK-Cover

The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen by Amelia Saltsman is a fabulous cookbook that explores traditional Jewish foods while sticking to the Jewish calendar. Filled with beautiful photos and wonderful stories, this book really spoke to me. As someone who tries to cook seasonally, I felt like this cookbook was made for someone like me. I also loved that even as a Jewish cookbook, it wasn’t just about the potato kugel and the brisket. Amelia writes about the history of various foods and where they came from, while sharing about why they’re important to the Jewish calendar. I love that all of the foods in her cookbook are fresh and inspirational – using very clean ingredients. I recently made her Lamb, Butternut Squash & Quince Tagine and it was a huge hit with my family and guests. I also made her Winter Greens Saute and I know it will be a staple on our table over the next several weeks. I highly recommend this cookbook for anyone who loves exploring new flavors, while sticking to the traditional Jewish calendar. Even putting aside the Jewish calendar, this book stands out as a fabulous cookbook with fresh recipes. This Shabbat, I plan on serving Amelia’s Braised Beef with Semolina Dumplings. It’s the perfect Shabbat Chanukah meal.

Because I rarely share desserts with you, I decided to share this fabulous winter cake recipe with you. Blood Orange & Olive Oil Polenta Upside Down Cake evokes flavors of the Middle East and would be a special treat for your holiday table.

Blood Orange & Olive Oil Polenta Upside Down Cake
 
Syrup-soaked cakes, usually made with semolina and called tishpishti or namoura, are popular throughout the Middle East. With its stained-glass effect from the variegated colors of blood oranges, this upside-down cake, which gets its nubbly texture from sunny cornmeal, is drenched in a sophisticated ruby-red blood-orange syrup. Use fine-grind cornmeal or polenta; stone-ground meal doesn’t get tender enough in baking.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
FOR THE CAKE
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 2⁄3 cup (145 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (125 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2⁄3 cup (105 g) cornmeal (not stone-ground)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup (165 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
FOR THE SYRUP
  • ½ packet (¹⁄8 ounce/3.5 g) unflavored gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Using a Microplane grater, grate zest from 2 of the blood oranges and reserve. Juice the 2 oranges and reserve. Cut both ends off of each of the remaining 2 oranges, then cut each orange crosswise into rounds ⅛ to 1/16 inch (3 to 2 mm) thick. Cut all but one of the slices in half and discard any center pith.
  2. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the bottom of a flameproof and ovenproof 10-inch (25-cm) skillet (a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is perfect) and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the orange juice. Heat skillet over medium-low heat until most of the sugar is bubbling. Remove from the heat.
  3. Starting at the outer edge of the pan, lay the halved orange slices in the melted sugar with the “scalloped” edge of each slice touching the edge of the pan. Fit as many orange slices as you can into the circle, pinching their corners as you set them into the hot sugar (use a knife point or tongs to adjust the fruit as needed). Some slices will have a “prettier” side; make sure those are placed face down in the sugar. Arrange the remaining halved orange slices in concentric circles toward the center, finishing with the reserved whole slice in the center.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil and granulated sugar on medium speed until thickened and golden. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is thick and creamy gold, 3 to 5 minutes total. Beat in the zest and 1 tablespoon of the juice. On low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, beating after each addition just until blended.
  5. Pour batter evenly over the orange slices and gently smooth the top. Bake the cake until golden brown, the top springs back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a thin-bladed knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake sides. Invert a serving plate over the cake, invert the pan and plate together, and lift off the pan. If any fruit sticks to the pan, loosen it with a spatula and place it on the cake. While the cake is hot, use a fork or bamboo skewer to make holes in it without going all the way through.
  6. While the cake is baking, make the soaking syrup. Fill a medium bowl one-third full with ice and a little water and nestle a smaller bowl, preferably metal, in the ice bath. Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) of the remaining orange juice into a small pot, sprinkle the gelatin on top, and let soften for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir granulated sugar, Cointreau, and lemon juice into the remaining orange juice, then stir the mixture into the softened gelatin. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir to dissolve sugar and gelatin, about 1 minute. Do not allow to boil. Pour syrup into the waiting bowl and stir from time to time until it thickens to the consistency of maple syrup, about 15 minutes. Spoon or brush some of the syrup over the cake. Allow it to soak in, then spoon or brush on more. Repeat until you have used all the syrup.
  8. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing, then cut into wedges with a serrated offset knife to serve.

 

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Butternut Squash & Kale Latkes

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So I’m here bringing you another epic latke post. The corned beef & cabbage latkes were a big hit all over the place, but I just had to follow it up with another latke that seemed more like the me you all know. I needed to include some of my favorite fall comfort foods. That falls to the humble squash and the not so humble green kale.

I’ve got a ton of squash in the house thanks to my CSA. Late fall tends to be filled with a variety of greens, squash, onions and potatoes. Not a bad deal for Chanukah. But this butternut squash was lording over my kitchen and begging to be used. I typically just roast squash in the oven and serve on it’s own or in salads, but changing it up a bit can be good for me. And kale goes with everything.

I peeled and sliced the squash and then shredded it in my food processor along with some shallots.

I then chopped up the kale in the Cuisinart as well.

I squeezed out the liquid of both veggies and then mixed everything together with some egg, flour, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

mixed

I then got to frying. Flipping over when it got crispy and browned a bit.

frying

I drained on a paper towel lined cooling rack.

draining

These latkes are fabulous served with a sprinkling of room temperature goat cheese. I love the creaminess that the chevre brings to the latke.

Try it! You’ll like it! Enjoy!


Butternut Squash & Kale Latkes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut up in chunks for the food processor
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 heaping cups of cut up Tuscan Kale, washed and stemmed
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 4 tbsp. flour (all purpose or your favorite gluten free blend}
  • additional salt and pepper as needed
  • oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Peel and chunk up the butternut squash. Shred with shredding disc in food processor.
  2. Add the shallots to the processor.
  3. Transfer both to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Chop up the kale in the food processor and then add to squash mixture.
  5. Squeeze any liquid out of the kale/squash mixture
  6. Stir in salt, pepper, flour and eggs
  7. Form in to latke patties and fry - flipping once when browned on each side
  8. Drain and cool on a paper towel lined cooling rack
  9. Serve with some goat cheese
  10. Enjoy!

butternut squash and kale

 

Corned Beef & Cabbage Latkes

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One minute it’s back-to-school season and the next minute it’s Thanksgiving. And before you know it, Chanukah somehow manages to peek its’ face around the corner. Thankfully, winter hasn’t shown its’ chilly face. I’d like to keep it that way.

As soon as I came to my senses and realized that Chanukah is just a few days away, aside from the quick and dirty job of scouring Amazon for presents, I started my latke brainstorming. My husband suggested I do a basic potato latke. After I gave him the stink eye for that zany suggestion, I got to work. I’ve got a few new latke flavors for you to feast on this season and I hope you enjoy them.

The first latke of this Chanukah season is kind of a marriage of St. Patrick’s Day and Chanukah. I’m bringing you some Cabbage and Corned Beef Latkes. I know that St. Patty’s Day is a few months away and in no way connected with the history of Chanukah, but I had the flavors stuck in my head. It occurred to me that it just might work. And it did!

I quickly ran out to my local kosher deli to pick up the best and fattiest corned beef they had on hand.

I shredded up some onions, cabbage and potato in the  food processor, making sure to squeeze out all of the extra starchy liquid when done.

shredded

 

squeeze

I then shredded up the corned beef with a knife and then mixed it into the cabbage and onion mixture.  I stirred in some eggs and flour.

corned beef

 

mixingI then formed the mixture into latke patties and fried until crispy and browned all over.

latkes frying

I drained the finished latkes on a cooling rack.

latkes draining

Of course I snuck a latke or two before serving them. I had to!

I recommend serving the latkes with a creamy horseradish sauce – also known as horsey sauce.

You need to make these though. They are amazing. Especially when the corned beef gets a bit charred and crispy. Brings out the flavor. Anyways – just make them!

If corned beef isn’t your thing, maybe you’d enjoy some wild mushroom and roasted garlic latkes or maybe carrot ginger latkes are more your speed. Whatever floats your boat, get into the holiday spirit and enjoy it with latkes!



Cabbage & Corned Beef Latkes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled
  • 1 small cabbage, cored
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled
  • ¾ lb sliced corned beef (deli style)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. fresh grated black pepper
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for frying
Instructions
  1. With the shredding disc of a food processor, shred the onion, cabbage and potato together
  2. Place the shredded mixture in a towel and carefully squeeze out as much of the starchy liquid as possible. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
  3. Shred up the corned beef with a knife. Add it to the mixing bowl.
  4. Stir in eggs, flour, salt and pepper.
  5. Heat up a large fry pan on medium-high heat.
  6. Add in the vegetable oil and let the oil heat up.
  7. Form the latke mixture in to patties and fry on medium-high heat until brown around the edges. Flip and continue to fry until browned on both sides.
  8. Drain a paper towel lined cooling rack.
  9. Serve with horseradish sauce.
  10. Enjoy!

Cabbage & Corned Beef Latkes

Dirty Chai Frappé & Hamilton Beach Blender Giveaway

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I’ve been shopping around for a blender for a while. And I have to admit that I’ve been considering some of those super high-priced blenders like Vitamix and Blendtec. So when Hamilton Beach emailed me and let me know about their new Wave-Action blender, the timing was spot on.  I wasn’t sure what to expect. I looked it up and it had some decent reviews. It’s a $50 blender though.

blender-box

I have a good track record with Hamilton Beach products. I’ve tried their food processor and coffee maker, so I know that they have some great budget-friendly products that perform well. But could this blender compete with some more expensive blenders? Could this blender work in my kitchen?

I typically use a blender for a morning smoothie and occasionally some soup or even a frozen cocktail. Each year I commit to using the blender more though.

One of my favorite drinks in the summer is iced coffee. Another favorite is an iced chai latte. I make iced coffee at home all the time, but I’m ashamed to admit that the majority of my iced chais tend to come from places like Starbucks. I always tell myself that I should be making it at home. I shouldn’t be paying five dollars for a drink.

When I do get an iced chai, I often ask for it with a shot of espresso  – which is often referred to as a dirty chai latte. So I decided to pull this blender out of the box and make myself a dirty chai frappé.

I boiled some water and seeped the tea bags in a cup of water to make a strong chai concentrate. I also frozen some cold brew coffee in some ice cube trays.

chai

When the tea and coffee were ready, I blended both with some maple syrup and almond milk. I had myself a vegan dirty chai frappé! And it took me all of two minutes!

ings

This blender worked wonders on my iced chai cravings. It’s Wave Action technology easily pulls everything in to the blades. The blender does include a stirring tamper piece, but I didn’t have to use it on my frappé. I imagine that it will come in helpful with soups or veggie purees. But I was very impressed with it.blender-out

And thanks to Hamilton Beach, you also have the opportunity to win your own blender! Awesome, right? So check it out and enter.

And try my dirty chai frappé.



Dirty Chai Frappé
 
Author:
Serves: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cold brew coffee
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 chai tea bags
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
Instructions
  1. Freeze the cold brew coffee in ice cube trays
  2. Boil the water and brew the tea in the water. Stir in some maple syrup and chill.
  3. When both the coffee is frozen and tea is chilled, place in blender and blend with some almond milk.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

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Tuscan Kale with White Beets and Farro

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I know it’s been a while. I apologize for that. Life gets in the way, as it tends to do.

I have some good stuff coming your way though. Even some giveaways! So I hope you’re all still around.

So in addition to be finally sharing a fabulous dish with you today, I’m also excited that it’s been three years since our fabulous group of Kosher Connection food bloggers came together. I can’t believe it’s been three years! And in those three years, we’ve all grown. It’s amazing to see what our little foodie group can do and where we’ve been.

So today, we’re having a virtual potluck meal of sorts. And I’m bringing a fabulous vegetarian side dish to the table.

Summer in the kitchen, for me, is an exciting  time. The food that I serve is all about what’s in season and as much as possible, what’s local. My CSA pick-up is on Tuesdays and I tend to hit up the various local farmers markets Thursdays and Sundays. I’m thankful to have some amazing options near by.

This dish I’m sharing with you and with my Kosher Connection family is inspired by some greens I had a local restaurant and something I’ve played with over the past several weeks. You can change up any aspect of this dish based on what you have on hand. The greens are interchangeable with any hearty summer green – from kale to swiss chard to spinach to collard greens – you can play with it. I used beets today, but this dish is also wonderful with Japanese Turnips, radishes and other flavorful roots. Additionally, that farro can also be swapped out. I happened to have some ready made farro in my fridge from shabbat cooking, but you can also use quinoa or barley or whatever grain you prefer. The point is to use what you have – the freshest of what you have and to enjoy it.

The white beets that I used can be hard to find, but if you do see them, buy them. They are so great. If you can’t find them though, I’ve used Japanese Turnips in this dish. The taste is obviously not the same, but it’s another great root vegetable that works well against the greens.

I washed and peeled the beets and then I sliced them thinly with a mandoline. I then put them in the hot pan with some olive oil, shallots and garlic. Once the beets had softened, I added in the chopped greens. I added some salt and pepper to taste and stirred everything together. Greens don’t take long to cook.

white beets slicedcooked beetskale

Once everything was ready, I took everything off the heat and then stirred in the farro. And the dish is ready. It’s that easy. And it’s good. Hope you enjoy!

mixed

Tuscan Kale with White Beets and Farro
 
Author:
Recipe type: side dish
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garilc, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 2 white beets, washed and peeled
  • 1 bunch of Tuscan Kale, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup cooked Farro
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel the beets.
  2. Slice the beets thinly. A mandoline is a great tool for it.
  3. Heat up the olive oil in a large pan.
  4. Add in the sliced beets, shallots and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes until soft
  5. Add in the chopped kale, salt and pepper. Stir and let the kale soften. Remove from heat when cooked.
  6. Mix in the cooked farro
  7. Serve

kale with white beets

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Hamilton Beach #FlexBrew Coffeemaker & Giveaway

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You may not already know this about me, but I have a bit a of a coffee habit. I’m totally addicted to coffee. With that coffee drinking habit comes a lot of coffee gear. I’ve tried every affordable and some not so affordable coffee brewing system out there. So you can only imagine what my coffee habit combined with my kitchen appliance habit does to my kitchen. I’m always looking for the perfect coffee brewing system. So when Hamilton Beach mentioned their new FlexBrew coffee maker, I was excited to checking it out.

For the record, I’m the only coffee drinker in this house. So unless I’m hosting a crowd, I typically brew only a few cups each day. I do supplement with some coffee pit stops near my office. On a typical morning though, I’ll brew my coffee using my Bodum french press or a pour-over Melitta coffee filter. They’re both very easy to use. In the summer, I will typically prep a huge batch of cold-brew coffee in my Toddy.

What’s great about the FlexBrew system from Hamilton Beach is that you have a few options. You can brew a 12-cup pot of coffee through a standard paper filter, you can brew a single cup of coffee through the drip system AND you can brew a single cup of coffee using a Keurig K-cup. That’s a lot of options to get your coffee fix on. In addition to these brew sizes, you can program it to brew at a set time and you can adjust your coffee strength. This is great for me since I have crazy mornings and I love my coffee bold. Win win, right?

So I tried all three brewing options:

  • I made about 8 cups of coffee in the pot. It was great. I selected bold. It came out just how I wanted it. This made me happy.
  • I tried brewing with ground coffee in the single-cup mode. It gave me a good cup of coffee. My only frustration is that I was hoping for quick and it took a few minutes. Still, it produced a good, even cup of coffee.
  • Last, I tried the K-cup option. I used a Starbucks brand K-cup. I used the Verona Roast. It took a couple minutes to brew that, but it produced a consistently good cup of coffee.

All in all, this machine produces good coffee. I just wish that the single cup method was faster, but that’s just me. I’m impatient for my coffee fix. I highly recommend this coffee maker for anyone.

Glad to have this addition to my home.

And the good news? You can enter to win this coffee maker! Enter now. Enjoy your coffee!

 

*Please note that this coffee maker was given to me by Hamilton Beach but all opinions are my own.



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Creamy White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard

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I had a huge amount of swiss chard in my kitchen. I was going to turn it into a stir fry, but the wintery weather got the better of me. I decided to come up with a soup recipe that would work with what I had on hand.

swiss-chard-2

My daughter loves spinach in her soup. I had a hunch that the swiss chard would be a good stand-in. So I got to work.

I sauteed some onions and garlic in some olive oil and added in some rosemary and two cans of cannellini beans.

beans

I then added some vegetable broth to the mixture and let it come to a boil. I let the soup simmer on the stove on low for about an hour.

While the bean soup cooked, I worked on the swiss chard. I chopped up some washed swiss chard. Then, I sauteed some shallots and garlic with some salt and pepper. I used lots of garlic. I added the chopped swiss chard to the pan and let that cook for a few minutes. Swiss chard takes about 5 minutes or so to be cooked. Once it was softened, I set it aside for when the soup was done.

swiss-chard-cooking

Once the beans were cooked through, I took out my immersion blender and pureed the soup mixture. I made sure to puree everything, giving it a velvety and creamy texture. Once that was done, I added the swiss chard to the pot.

soup-pot

This soup took about an hour from start to finish. Woot woot! And my daughter approved. She’s my toughest critic!



 

Creamy White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
For the Swiss Chard:
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 big bunch of swiss chard, stems trimmed off, washed and chopped (about 4-5 overflowing cups)
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • additional salt and pepper as needed
Instructions
  1. Start by heating up the olive oil in a medium size soup pot.
  2. Add in the onions and garlic, drained beans, salt, pepper and rosemary and saute another 5-7 minutes.
  3. You want the garlic and onions to soften a bit and get fragrant.
  4. Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and let the mixture simmer.
  6. While the beans cook, work on the swiss chard.
  7. In a large saute pan, heat up the olive oil.
  8. Add in the shallots and the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
  9. Add in the chopped swiss chard, the salt and pepper and stir a bit and let it soften - stirring a every couple of minutes.
  10. The swiss chard process should take about 5-7 minutes.
  11. Turn off the heat and set the swiss chard to the side.
  12. Let the bean soup mixture cook for a total of about an hour. The beans should be pretty soft.
  13. Using your immersion blender, puree the soup completely. The beans will give the soup a very creamy and velvety texture.
  14. Once the soup is pureed, stir in the cooked swiss chard.
  15. Serve and enjoy!

white-bean-soup

Rosemary, Fig & Goat Cheese Latkes

latkes-main

Chanukah starts tomorrow night. It only hit me when I glanced at my calendar on Outlook and it told me that I had to light the first candle on Tuesday.  I stifled a gasp. I’m totally not caught up with holiday preparations. I need to buy Chanukah and Christmas presents. Need to buy presents for my kid’s teachers and therapists. I need to sort out a chanukah party menu. The list goes on. I will breathe after December 23. That’s when I start my staycation.

Chanukah is already in the air though. Even if it hasn’t begun. The Chanukah spirit arrived last week when I made those delicious golden beet latkes. Today, I have another fun Chanukah treat and I’m sure I’ll have some more goodies for you through the holiday.

I’m so excited to share these latkes with you. The idea for these latkes came about one evening when I had some people over for a wine and cheese night. I served an appetizer that had some roasted figs with rosemary and goat cheese on them. As I worked through the flavors, and loved them, I knew these flavors had to become a latke! So here we are today!

I soaked some dried figs in some port wine and brought some goat cheese to room temperature. You can let the figs soak for about 20 minutes, or you can get distracted like I did and keep them soaking for an hour. You want them to soften and plump up. I chopped up the figs along with some shallots and mixed them with the goat cheese. I set that bowl aside.

goat-cheese-and-figsfilling

The potato process needs to happen fast as you want them to keep their light color. I washed and peeled the potatoes. I shredded the potatoes, along with some onion, garlic and more shallots in the food processor using the shredding disc. Next, I rinsed the grated potato mixture and squeezed out all of the liquid.

I placed the mixture in to a large mixing bowl and stirred in some eggs, almond flour, salt, pepper and fresh chopped rosemary.

potato-mixture

Next, I heated up some oil in a large fry pan.

I placed a thin layer of potato mixture in my hand and then placed some fig and goat cheese layer on top of it. You want a decent amount of goat cheese, but make sure that there’s an edge of potato around it. I topped the goat cheese with another thin layer of potatoes. You want the latke to be thin so that it gets crispy and cooked through, but you also want the cheese to shine through. The cheese should be completely covered by the potato mixture.

stuffed-latkes

I fried the latkes until crisp on both sides. The trick with latkes is to place them in the pan and leave them alone until you see the shredded potatoes begin to brown at the edges. The browning will poke through. But don’t peek and don’t flip until you can see that it’s very crisp.

frying-latkes

Drain the finished latkes on a cooling rack over a paper towel lined cookie sheet.

drain-latkes

It’s best to serve fresh. But if you have to make these ahead of time, you can keep them warm in a 250-degree oven.

These latkes are out of this world. Because of the creamy goat cheese with figs inside, you don’t need any sauce or sour cream on top. There’s a huge amount of flavor all packed in to the latke! It’s amazing! My first thought as I sunk my teeth in to the latke was that it was “off the hook!” And I never say that! It was that good though. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!



Rosemary, Fig & Goat Cheese Latkes
 
Author:
Ingredients
Fig & Goat Cheese Filling
  • 7 dried figs
  • 1 cup of port wine or other semi dry red wine
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 oz. goat cheese (chevre)
Latke Blend
  • 4 large red potatoes, washed and peeled nand quartered
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 tbsp. almond flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Soak the figs in the wine for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the figs and chop them finely. In a small bowl, mix the figs with the chopped shallot and goat cheese. Set the bowl aside.
  3. In a food processor fitted with a shredding disc, grate the potatoes, onions, garlic and shallot.
  4. Rinse and drain the grated potato mixture. Squeeze out all of the liquid.
  5. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Mix the rosemary, salt, pepper, egg and flour into the potato mixture.
  7. Heat about a ½ an inch of oil in a large frying pan.
  8. Form the potato mixture in to a small thin patty in your hand and place a tablespoon or so of goat cheese filling in the middle. Cover it with a small thin layer of potato mixture and seal along the edges.
  9. Fry in the oil until browned and crisp on both sides.
  10. Drain on a cooling rack or paper towels.
  11. Enjoy!

latkes-tower

Golden Beet Latkes + Hamilton Beach Giveaway

latkes main

So I woke up this week and realized that it’s already the middle of December. The snow clued me in a little, but the giant 8 ft. tall santa and reindeer on my neighbor’s lawn is probably what really did me in. Anyways, it’s December and the holidays are almost here and I’m over the moon about it. Can’t you tell?

With Chanukah almost here, I need to continue my tradition of coming up with some new latke recipes. On last year’s menu, there were some carrot ginger latkes and some wild mushroom & roasted garlic latkes. Both were amazing. How could I top that? I really wanted to go for something somewhat simple for my first latke of the season. You really have to ease into it. I decided to turn to one of my favorite root veggies. Golden beets. I definitely don’t show enough love for the humble golden beet often enough. So a latke it must be.

beets

Hamilton Beach recently sent me their Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor to check out and use in my holiday cooking. What better way to test out a food processor then to abuse using it during my latke making fest?! It really is the perfect way to check out what it’s made of.

hamilton beach

I loved the simplicity of the set up as I took it out of the box. Everything just stacked together. There was very little question as to what piece goes where. I also loved how the shredding disc is reversible. One side slices and one side shreds. Another thing I noted as I took hold of the new appliance was how light it is. It didn’t feel cumbersome in my arms or on my kitchen counter.

When it got down to making the machine work, I was also pleasantly surprised and impressed. Beets are much firmer than potatoes, so I figured that shredding the beets would be a pretty good test. When I placed the beets in the feeding tube and pushed down, the beets were shredded in seconds! The machine was really strong and worked really well!

shredded beets

Later in the day, I tested the machine with some dried fruit and nuts. I tested with that mixture because I knew it would be difficult to cut through. and it’s what I used for charoset at Pesach. If this machine can handle my Passover Charoset, then it definitely is a winner! And lo and behold, it worked! It attacked the dried apricots and figs with gusto!

I didn’t think that a budget-friendly machine would work for me, but so glad that this Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor works well! This food processor would be the perfect addition to my year-round kitchen gear AND for my pesach kitchen gear. I love how this machine processes the food so fast and is so easy to handle. I also love that it comes with the extra shredding and slicing disc.  I would definitely recommend this food processor to anyone! Good news for you, I’ve got one of these Hamilton Beach Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor to give away!

Anyways, back to these golden beet latkes.

Here’s what I did.

I washed and peeled the beets and onions and then I quartered them. I processed them in the food processor with the shredding disc.

I transferred the mixture to a bowl and then added the chopped garlic, chopped dill, salt and pepper, egg and the flour. I mixed everything together well.

I then heated up some oil in my fry pan, shaped the mixture in to latke patties and then fried them until browned and crispy on both sides. I drained the latkes on paper towels.

latkes frying

I served the latkes with sour cream, though next time, I think I will serve them with a nice lemon aioli.

These latkes are delicious.

Check out the recipe below and don’t forget to enter to win your own Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor!



vertical latkes

Golden Beet Latkes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 golden beets
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 tbsp. almond flour, (you can also use regular all-purpose flour)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • - See more at: http://confident-cook.com/2014/12/golden-beet-latkes.html#sthash.8QM4ZrrJ.dpuf
Instructions
  1. Wash, peel and quarter the beets
  2. peel and quarter the onions
  3. Using the shredding disc on your food processor, shred the beets and onions.
  4. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients
  5. Mix everything together well
  6. Form beet mixture in to thin patties and fry in hot oil until browned on both sides.
  7. Drain on paper towels.
  8. Serve with some sour cream and dill or a lemon aioli.
  9. Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Hamilton Beach provided me with this food processor to review, but all opinions and the recipe are my own.

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