Cranberry Glazed Corned Turkey Roast

Cranberry-Turkey

A whole bunch of Jewish holidays just ended and I’m already gearing up for the next set. How did that happen so fast?

This year, in the good ol’ US of A, we have the pleasure of two holidays happening at the same time. Thanksgiving happens to fall on the first night of Chanukah! They say this awesome phenomenon won’t happen for another 79,000 years. Since I don’t plan on being around for the next round of Thanksgivukkah, I thought it best to do something this year to honor the holiday. Two great foodie holidays colliding! I’ve got to do something, right? So stick around this blog. I hope to share a few more Thanksgivukkah recipes with you over the next month.

When I was at the kosher market the other day, they had a display of corned meats. My husband loves corned beef,  and when I saw they had corned turkey roasts, I decided that this would be perfect. I rarely make turkey, so this would be a special treat.  My aunt makes a great corned turkey, and swears that when she makes it, it tastes a bit like ham. I can’t be the judge of that, but this corned turkey came out pretty good, and would be perfect for a Thanksgiving/Chanukah holiday dinner mashup. It’s also great for any shabbat or festive dinner.

The corned turkey comes vaccum-sealed and wrapped in twine. I recommend rinsing the turkey well before cooking. You first boil the turkey for about an hour and a half, then you glaze it and bake it further. I took the twine off before baking, but left it on while I let it simmer. I added some pickling spice and onions to the water bath.

For the glaze, I usually make something similar to what I do for corned beef, but since I have Thanksgiving on my mind, I created a cranberry glaze for this dish. It worked out well! I will definitely do it again!

corned-turkey-cooking

 

Cranberry Glazed Corned Turkey Roast
 
Author:
Recipe type: Poultry, Thansgiving, Main Course

Ingredients
  • 3 lb corned turkey roast (If you can’t get corned turkey where you live, you can substitute corned beef)
  • 2 tbsp. pickling spice
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • ½ can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. chopped thyme
  • 2 tsp. chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp. chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic

Instructions
  1. Rinse the corned turkey roast.
  2. Place the turkey in a large pot of water. Add the pickling spice and the onion. Bring the water to a boil. Turn down the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for an hour to and hour and a half.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375.
  4. After the hour and a half, transfer the turkey roast to a baking pan.
  5. Mix up the rest of the ingredients and pour over the turkey.
  6. Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes.
  7. Baste the turkey every 20 minutes with the sauce.
  8. Remove from the oven. Let cool a few minutes.
  9. Slice and serve.
  10. Enjoy!

Cranberry-Turkey

My Favorite Challah

September is a crazy busy month for this lady. September means a busy work schedule, a busy school schedule for the kids and this year, it also means a crazy busy holiday schedule in our house. The Jewish holidays sprung early this year. On one day, it meant searching high and low for the last protractor on this side of New Jersey, while also looking in the depths of every market for a new fruit I haven’t yet eaten.  On other days, it anchors me to my kitchen, dividing my time between my laptop and my stove. I do love this season of Jewish holidays though. As the cool air creeps in, there is this beautiful air of celebration and anticipation of the fall holiday season. Or maybe that’s just the pumpkin spice lattes I’m smelling. Whatever it is, the mood changes. Life is busy, but in a good way.

I recently celebrated the holiday of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) as well as the holiday of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Both of these holidays provide me with ample time for reflection and appreciation of the past year as well as the year to come. After the crazy roller-coaster I was on this winter, I am so appreciative and thankful for my good health and for all of the support I had from my friends and family. They’ve been there for me, and I love them for it.

This month’s Kosher Connection link-up is all about Spreading the Joy during this holiday season.

I want to share my challah with you.

Challah

Ever since I was a kid, I have looked forward to Shabbat with my family. Friday night dinner with the family is sacrosanct. You don’t mess with that tradition. It’s not about level of Jewish observance. You just find a way to be at the shabbat table with family and friends, celebrating the end of the week together. Shabbat has been the constant in my life. Through my own various cycles and changes in my own Jewish observance, Shabbat has always meant “home” at the end of a long week.

We come together on Friday evening and light candles, and then sit down together for a warm meal –  over good food, good wine, and good company.  This includes challah. Our special holiday and shabbat bread.

I may not be a baker, but I love making challah. I love the process of working with the dough and getting it just right. I also love some of the spiritual rituals that come with making challah. In Jewish communities around the world, people come together while making challah and use that time to pray for health and wellbeing for loved ones. While preparing the dough, it us customary to keep in mind the names of loved ones who may be unwell or possibly need a job. We say a blessing while keeping the names of these people on our minds.

This past month, I’ve had the opportunity to make challah a few times. Each time, I’ve made challah with a friend who had never made challah before. Somehow, when you make challah around others, it makes this ritual all the more special.

My favorite challah recipe is adapted from a recipe that I found on a bag of flour. Over the past several years, I have tried numerous challah recipes. I’ve had several failures and several successes, but this recipe that I am sharing with you, is a recipe that always results in good challah. You can dress it up with whatever topping you’d like. or you may like to fill it with apples or chocolate chips, like I did for our Rosh Hashanah challahs. On some cool fall days, I have also been known to add some roasted garlic to the mix. Just play with it, and enjoy!

My Favorite Challah
 
adapted from the back of the bag of Glick’s flour
Author:
Recipe type: Bread, Shabbat, Jewish Holiday

Ingredients
  • 3.5 tbsp. Active Dry Yeast
  • 5 cups warm water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 5 lbs of High Gluten Bread Flour plus extra flour for kneading and shaping (1-2 cups)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup, plus 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. salt

Instructions
  1. Place yeast, sugar, honey and warm water in to a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of your mixer. I used a Bosch for this recipe. Allow the yeast to sit a few minutes until it bubbles.
  2. Add about 6 cups of the flour and mix in to a paste.
  3. Add eggs, ½ cup of oil, vanilla and the salt. Stir together.
  4. Add the rest of the bag of flour and knead for several minutes. The dough may be a little sticky.
  5. Add the 2tbsp, of oil and knead a few more minutes.
  6. If you are using a machine, turn the dough on to a floured counter and knead a few more minutes. You may need to add an additional half a cup of flour. The dough should be smooth and easy to work with.
  7. Oil large bowl and brush oil on the top of the dough and place in the bowl. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel or with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for around 45 minutes. You will need to punch the dough down halfway through. The dough should double in size.
  8. At this point, you can take challah.
  9. Now is the time to shape your challah. I love the various braiding tutorials on the Challah Blog.
  10. Once you’ve shaped your challah, cover your challahs with plastic wrap or with towels, and place in a warm spot. Allow the challah to rise for another 40 minutes.
  11. Preheat your own to 350.
  12. Brush your challah with an egg wash. Now is the chance to add any toppings like sesame seeds, poppy seeds and other goodies.
  13. Bake your challah at 350 for about 40 minutes.
  14. When you tap on yoiur challah, it should sound hollow. That’s a sign of doneness.
  15. Enjoy!

Roasted Chicken Wrapped in Ramps

Our fridge died this past week. It happened to give its final burst of cold air on a 90+ degree day. My kind of luck, right? So with that fridge, out went lots of food.

Somehow, the fridge and food mess happened at the right time. Things like these rarely do. It just worked out that we were able to find and buy a new fridge pretty quickly, thanks to the fine people at the Sears outlet. Just six or so hours after the fridge was delivered, I also had a brand new Fresh Direct order delivered to my door. It’s those little big things that happen, that can make your week look a little less bleak.

This was the first time I ordered through Fresh Direct, the fabulous online grocery delivery service. I am thrilled they have begun to deliver to my neighborhood. I was very impressed with their selection and prices.

So it happened, that I found myself looking at the most beautiful bunch of fresh and local ramps. Have you tried ramps? Ramps are a variety of wild leeks. They have a short season – usually found in my area in the Spring time. They are wildly popular. It seems that as soon as you see them at the farmer’s market, you must grab them fast, or they will be gone before you know it. So this season, every time I have seen them, I have been sure to grab them so that I don’t miss out.

I really love the way ramps look when cooked whole. I find them both pretty and tasty. Their dark green leaves add so much to the look of a dish. They taste fantastic too!

For a recent Shabbat dinner, I chose to wrap some chicken drumsticks in the ramps and glaze them with a sauce, then roast them in the oven. I loved the way these looked, both raw and cooked. They tasted even better.

I began my liberally sprinkling the chicken with salt and fresh ground pepper. I trimmed and washed the ramps and then wrapped them whole around each drumstick. I then brushed each chicken leg with the sauce I prepared and poured the rest of the glaze over the chicken. I then baked the chicken at 375 for about an hour. Everyone enjoyed this chicken. It was served up with some fresh roasted asparagus and roasted sunchokes.

 

You really can’t go wrong with this chicken dish. Enjoy!

ramp-wrapped-chicken

Roasted Chicken Wrapped in Ramps
 
Author:
Recipe type: Poultry, Main Course

Ingredients
  • 1 package chicken pieces (I used drumsticks)
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 bunch of wraps (1 ramp per chicken piece)
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Wash and dry your chicken pieces.
  3. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Wrap each piece of chicken in a ramp and place in baking dish.
  5. In a small bowl, mix up the maple syrups, Dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, and ginger.
  6. Brush the glaze mixture on to chicken. Pour any remaining mixture over the chicken.
  7. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper oven the chicken.
  8. Bake in the oven at 375 for about an hour. Check the chicken for doneness.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Tribes-a-Dozen Challah Review and Giveaway!

I was so happy when I saw the an email in my inbox from Leah over at Tribes-a-Dozen. She told me all about this great new product – Voila! Hallah.

For those of you that don’t know, Voila! Hallah is a new product. It’s the first-ever challah mix in a box. You heard that right – a challah mix in a box. So cool, right?! When I first heard about the mix, I wasn’t so sure what to think. I like shortcuts. I don’t always have success with the boxed stuff. This is definitely a better approach than a frozen Kinneret challah though. And perfect for someone who wants to make a small batch of good challah with ease. You can learn more about Voila! Hallah on their website, facebook and tumblr pages!

I’ve had hits and misses with challah baking. I find that my challah never comes out the same twice. I have come a long way from my first challah baking experience. I now have one set recipe I prefer to use, and ever since I got a Bosch mixer, challah baking has been relatively painless. I tend  make a huge 5lb batch of flour in to challah at time. I manage to stretch that challah to around 12 small challahs or so – which will  last a month or more in our house. Still,  I  was intrigued by this box of promising challah.

Leah sent me three boxes. I am testing the regular plain challah as well as the spelt challah. I have one box of whole wheat challah mix to share with one lucky reader of this blog!

IMG_1767

I am pleased that the instructions on the box were clear and easy to understand. Like other boxed mixes, you only need to have a few ingredients on hand – eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and optional toppings.

I chose to follow the instructions as stated on the box. If I choose, I can always play with other options for subsequent challah bakings.

Included in the box is a flour mix and a yeast packet.

You start by mixing the flour and yeast mixture with warm water. The you add the egg and oil.

IMG_1790

At this point, I wasn’t sure how successful the mix would be. The mixture was sticky – though I was assured by the box, that it would indeed be sticky. I was just used to a different consistency for bread.

You let the dough rest and then you shape it and brush on some egg wash.

IMG_1792

After the shaping, you let the braided loafs rise.

In to the oven they go for around 25 minutes.

It smelled so good while it baked. I was excited to pull them out of the oven. Lo and behold – I have two challahs! Perfect for Shabbat! So happy! I did set aside a small challah roll for sampling before shabbat. Verdict is in – it tasted great!

IMG_1794

I highly recommend this mix – for the nervous or hesitant baker, or for someone short on time. This mix was easy and it came out perfectly.

Thanks to the kind folks at Tribes-a-Dozen, I have a box of Voila! Hallah to send to one lucky blog reader. Please fill out the raffle form below! Please note that this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Shabbat Shalom!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mushroom Meatloaf

I rarely have the luxury of extra time on Friday afternoons.  I love when the days get longer in the spring time. Still, I somehow manage to race against the clock each Friday, to ensure that everything is ready in time. I had the day off this Friday. I managed to use it well. I also managed to have everytthing cooked with two hours to spare. That’s unheard of in this house. Of course, I managed to find what to do in those two hours. There is always plenty of tidying up, working and parenting that can be done in that time.

What I was extremely happy about though, was that I could actually take a photo of one of the Shabbat foods. It’s the little things, right?

When I did my weekly shopping trip to the kosher grocery store, they had ground beef on sale. I probably should have bought a few extra packages to throw in to the abyss of my deep freezer. I just bought one package though, and decided to wait until Friday to figure out it’s fate.

When Friday came along, the ground beef screamed meatloaf at me. I chose to make a mushroom meatloaf. Everyone is happy with this meatloaf. I pair it with a vegetarian mushroom gravy. The gravy can do double duty for any side dishes.

Mushroom Meatloaf
Ingredients

1.5 lbs ground beef
2 small onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 containers mushrooms (1/2 container, chopped; the other 1/2 – thinly sliced)
2 tsp. ground thyme
2 tsp. paprika
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup flavored bread crumbs
1/2 cup ketchup
pepper


Glaze
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tsp. soy sauce
1.5 tbsp. brown sugar
 tsp. sriracha sauce (less if you like it less spicy)
salt
pepper

Gravy
olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 container mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp. flour
Vegetable broth – about 1-2 cups or to desired consistency
salt
pepper
garlic powder



Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, mix everything together except for half of the chopped onions and the sliced mushrooms.

Smush half of the meat mixture in to a loaf pan.

Sprinkle the remaining chopped onions and sliced mushrooms over the mixture. Top with the rest of the meat mixture.

In a small bowl, mix up the glaze ingredients. Spread over the meatloaf mixture.

Baked for around 45 minutes.

While the meatloaf is baking, work on the gravy.

In a deep saute pan, saute the chopped onions, garlic, shallots and mushrooms in olive oil.
Sprinkle in some garlic powder, salt and pepper

Stir in the flour to make a roux.

Whisk in the vegetable broth until you reach desired consistency. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

When the meatloaf has cooled down a little, slice and serve with the gravy.

Enjoy!

Braised Turkey Legs and Veggies and Stuff – The New Cholent?

In a perfect world I would plan ahead. In a perfect world, my shabbat menu would be planned on Tuesday, with shopping done on Wednesday, and cooking done on Thursday. In a perfect world.

My reality is worlds away. My reality is that it occurs to me that Shabbat is coming on Wednesday. I doodle some menu ideas during the day and forget those notes at work when I get home. At work on Thursday, I doodle out some shopping lists. Once again, I forget those lists at work. On Thursday night I tell myself I will take something out of the freezer or run to the store. Reality is that I am exhausted and would rather veg out in front of Grey’s Anatomy while sipping some honeyed tea. That was my week.

On Friday morning I grab some chicken soup out of the freezer. Quickly scan the vegetable drawer and draw up a realistic list for the husband. I forgot to take any protein out of the freezer the night before, so I beg J to run to the store on his way to work to pick up chicken and some sort of beef product for cholent or some other shabbat lunch treat. I mosey on off to work and ignore the impending last minute shabbat cookathon that will greet me when I return home.

Sitting at my desk at work, sipping my coffee – it’s 8:30 am. The phone rings. It’s J. “Good news,” he says, “I bought turkey legs!” He is excited and totally proud of this.

What the heck am I going to do with turkey legs? I don’t like turkey! I don’t like cholent, but at least I can cook it with my eyes closed. J protests that the turkey will be perfect. It’s the perfect protein for cooking overnight.

When I get home from work, I have minutes to brainstorm what this turkey will become. It’s T-minus 1.5 hours until Shabbat starts and I still need to come up with a menu. I open the fridge and glance at the two ginormous turkey legs. Those legs look larger than my 4-year-old’s! I glance at the crockpot…too small! I yank the dutch oven out of the cabinet, heat up the flame, and get to work.

What I came up with worked really well. I highly recommend this as a substitute for your cholent, or really any night of the week.


Braised Turkey Legs with Root Vegetables
Ingredients:

Two to Three Large Turkey Legs (thighs would also work)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
salt
pepper
1 tbsp smoked paprika
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large leek, chopped
5 carrots, sliced
1 large potato, cubed
2 turnips, cubed
3 parsnips, sliced
2.5 cups vegetable broth
Bay leaf
Chopped parsley

Wash and dry the turkey. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven, brown the turkey in olive oil. Takes about 6-10 minutes. Remove the turkey to a plate.

Throw in the onions, garlic, and leeks. Saute a few minutes. Add in the smoked paprika. Add in the chopped veggies. Cook for a couple minutes. Place the turkey over the root veggies. Now add the vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a boil. Add in the bay leaf and chopped parsley. Turn the heat down to medium low or cook in an oven set at 210 degrees. Cook overnight – slow cook on low for 10 hours.

Enjoy!

African Peanut Chicken

This chicken was so good that I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of it. Well actually it tasted good, but looked pretty awful. It was also shabbat. So really no chance to get a good shot of it.


I love trying new ideas. The weekend is really my canvas to play with flavor. What I love most of all though, is experimenting with my dinner guests.

I love Asian style peanut sauces on foods, but had never ventured into the African peanut realm in food making. I often come upon recipes for African peanut soups and chicken dishes, but have held back on messing with them. The dear hubster has never been a fan of the asian peanut sauce – so I always assumed that an African peanut dish was off limits.

I decided to ignore his opinions and work out a recipe for me. I was really in the mood for a chicken dish that popped with flavor. I was in the mood for something different. A colleague has often mentioned a traditional African peanut sauce that she makes for her husband. I thought I would try my hand at something.

In searching through cookbooks and various blogs, I came up with a recipe that worked with what I had on hand. It came out amazing. Even the hubster loved it. To prove it, he devoured all the leftovers.

African Peanut Chicken with Vegetables

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of creamy peanut butter (not the sugary kind)
3 cups of vegetable broth
1 chicken – cut up
1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
salt
pepper
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 can diced tomatoes
2 large turnips, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
1 potato, cubed
1 sweet potato, cubed
cilantro, chopped (about a handful)

Preheat your oven to 325°F.


In a small bowl, whisk the peanut butter with 1.5 cups of the vegetable broth.


Wash and dry your chicken. Season it with salt and pepper.


In a large dutch oven, brown the chicken in the vegetable oil. Transfer the chicken to a plate.


Add the onion, garlic, and peppers to the pot. S

auté a few minutes. Add in the cayenne and coriander.

Once the onion mixture has softened, add in the chopped root veggies.

Stir in the peanut butter mixture as well as the tomatoes and the remaining broth.

Add the chicken to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer and cover the pot. Transfer the chicken to the oven and cook for another hour.

After an hour – take the chicken out of the oven and place on the stove on medium heat. Transfer the chicken and veggies to a serving dish. Simmer, and reduce the sauce on the stove. Should take about 15 minutes. Mix in the cilantro.


Pour the sauce over the chicken. Serve over rice.


Enjoy!

Beer Braised Brisket

I had some extra beer. I had bought a couple loosies to experiment with during the beer bread episode. I am not really a beer drinker, even in partylicious social settings. I decided to experiment a little. Wouldn’t want the good Heineken to go to waste.
I opted for a beer braised brisket. The guy at the liquor store claimed that ANYTHING can be cooked better with beer.
Hindy’s Beer Braised Brisket

Ingredients:

1 Brisket – should have some good marbling on it
Salt
Pepper
Thyme
Onion, chopped
Garlic, chopped
2 red potatoes, cubed
3 stalks celery, sliced
3-4 carrots, sliced
Bay Leaves
1 Bottle of Beer
Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 350.
Rub salt and pepper into the meat. In a Dutch oven, brown your meat on all sides. Takes around 15 minutes.
Put your meat aside. Toss in the onions, garlic, and some of the thyme. Scrape up the meaty bits. Saute for 10 minutes. Remove half of the onions.
Lay the brisket on top of the onions. Cover with the rest of the onion mixture. Surround the meat with chopped veggies. Throw in the rest of the thyme and the bay leaves. Add some more salt and pepper.
Pour over the beer.

Cover and transfer the meat to the oven. Cook for a few hours until done.
Let the meat cool before slicing.

The verdict is that the meat was very good, but the beer taste was not overpowering in the least bit. It’s a good brisket over all. The meat was very tender. Not sure if that was because of the beer or the brisket cut though.

Chicken Soup

I am sorry I have been neglectful. I have been cooking. I just got back from a mini-vacation to The City of Brotherly Love. It was a nice trip. After 4 days of eating in restaurants though, I wanted something comforting and home-made. It had to be soup. There is something so comforting and warming about the perfect chicken soup. Throw in a matzo ball and a few egg noodles, and I am in soup heaven.

Of course everyone has their own version of chicken soup. Some like it packed with stuff, some like broth, some like lots of chicken parts in it, some even add meat to it (the horror!). I like my soup simple. I like it with some veggies, but with the broth strained. I like minimal chicken parts in the soup.

I was never given a recipe for soup. I am sure if I asked my mom, she would give me a rundown of what needs to go in soup. What I learned about soup, I learned from watching – except my mom does her chicken parts differently.

I used a huge stock pot, so I can freeze several meals of soup for later. I gather carrots, 3 yellow onions, 1 head of garlic, 3 parsnip, 2 turnips, celery, and some fresh dill, salt, pepper, a bay leaf, and of course – the chicken. This batch was made with a couple pounds of chicken wings, but any bone-in chicken parts would work. My mom uses a “soup chicken,” but I can’t get those at my local store.

I chop up the veggies.

Sauté the chopped onions, carrots, and celery. When the veggies are soft, add in the root veggies. I sometimes will add some sweet potato to the mix. Fill up the pot – not too full so it boils over, with cold water. I then put the chicken parts in a cheesecloth bag and deposit it in the soup-to-be. Add in the bay leaf and dill. The stove should be set to medium-high. The lid should be off. Let the soup come to a boil, this can take 30 minutes or so, depending on amount of liquid. I like to let the soup boil down a bit with the lid halfway on, so that the soup flavor is more concentrated. After slow boiling it for an hour, I let the soup simmer on low-ish overnight – the way my mom does it. In the morning you have an amazing wonderful smell coming from your kitchen.

Let the soup cool. Place the soup in to containers for eating later, or dig in. As far as the whole matzo ball/noodle part of the soup, those should not be frozen. Matzo balls and noodles should be made the day of soup eating. I buy my noodles. I like the thin egg noodles. I like the matzo ball mixes just fine, but the recipes that are on the back of the matza meal boxes work just fine. If you want your matza balls extra fluffy, some like to add a little bit of seltzer to the mix. Enjoy!

1 2