RSS
 

Archive for the ‘appetizer recipes’ Category

of cheese blintzes and cheese kreplach

27 May
coating the pan with batter to make the blintzes
In my home growing up, my mother and grandmother would prepare and serve dairy delicacies for our milchig meal on Shavuos.  These included Cheese Blintzes, Cheese Kreplach and Cheese Knaidlach to name a few, and an old-fashioned style cheesecake which I did not appreciate at the time.  Being the first in my family to get married, I continued the tradition of making these specialties to serve in my home on Shavuos morning.  Subsequently, two of my brother’s got married, and since my mother wanted them to enjoy these foods and could not expect their wives to make them, she started the tradition of making the blintzes and kreplach for all of us for Yom Tov.  And the cheesecake!  Being in the cheesecake business does not exclude me from getting my own pan of (unbaked) cheesecake, made with the traditional dough on the bottom and dough on top with a farmer’s cheese filling.  Yum!
In the past several years, my mother has been preparing these items with my help in my home, so I can appreciate how much time it takes to cook it and pack it up for the individual families.  Yesterday my mother came over and single-handedly made 80 crepes (still not enough!) and filled them.  With the help of my daughter-in-law and 10-year-old son, dough was rolled out, filled and sealed for approx 180 kreplach, after which my mother cooked them in gently boiling water, drained them and bathed them in breadcrumbs toasted in butter.  Serve with a sprinkling of confectionary sugar either as a dessert or as an entrée, perhaps accompanied by a blintz, a dollop of sour cream and a fresh strawberry.  Ahhh…..
Are you wondering what I did yesterday as everyone around me was put to work?  As a matter of fact, I was taking pictures for this blog post and I made the blintze filling, kreplach filling, and the dough for the cheesecakes.  All in all, we spent hours in the kitchen together, bonding – mothers, grandmothers, daughter and daughter-in-law, and lets not forget the sons and son-in-law – some helping and some watching and tasting.  What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
CHEESE BLINTZES
This recipe is from The Haimishe Kitchen, volume 1.  It makes approximately 16-18 small crepes.

Ingredients

CREPES
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
stack of crepes
FILLING:
  • 1.5 lb farmer cheese
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoon vanilla sugar
    blintz filling

Directions

For crepes, mix together flour and eggs.  Stir until no lumps remain.  Add remaining ingredients slowly.  You may need an immersion blender to make it smooth.  Heat frying pan, brush with oil or butter.  With a ladle, pour some batter into the pan while tilting and swirling it to make a thin layer.  When the underside is brown, turn to brown the other side.  Crepes should be soft and pliable.  Pile them one of top of the other until you are done and are ready to fill them.
For the filling, mix all ingredients together.  Fill and roll blintzes.  Note: The blintze filling is not overly sweet, because too much sugar will make for the filling liquid and it will ooze out. If you prefer a sweeter blintze, top with confectionary sugar (and sour cream ;)). Serve warm by reheating covered in an oven or in a single layer in a  pan with melted butter.
blintz heaven
CHEESE KREPLACH
This recipe was given to me by a customer that asked me to make them for her.  They are soft and delicious.  Do not reroll the extra dough, as it will be tough.  This recipe will yield approximately 60 kreplach.

Ingredients

DOUGH:
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 whipped cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • dash of salt
  • 4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
FILLING:
  • 2 lbs farmer cheese
  • 1/2 tub whipped cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • vanilla sugar & sugar to taste*
TOPPING:
  • breadcrumbs
  • butter
  • drop of sugar
*note: sugar makes the cheese soft causing a loose texture, so put in the smallest amount that it needs to taste good.  Then a bit of confectionary sugar on top should put on the finishing touch of sweetness.

Directions

Mix all ingredients together for the dough.  Let stand at room temp for 2 hours.  If  it is too soft to roll, refrigerate for 1/2 hour or more.  Heat a pot of water to a gentle boil.  Add a bit of salt to the water.  In a frying pan, melt 1/2 stick of butter.  Add breadcrumbs and a bit of sugar and toast till it’s a nice light brown color.  My mother likes to make her own breadcrumbs, so the pieces are not too fine.  I bought the panko crumbs (not the orange ones), but you can use any unflavored, store-bought breadcrumbs.
Roll out dough to 1/16″ thickness.  Cut dough into 2 -3″ rounds with a cookie cutter.  Spoon a bit of filling in the center of each round.  Fold in half and seal with a fork or with your fingers.
When you have several of them ready, gently drop into pot of water.  Cook for a few minutes.  Remove kreplach from the water and place in a strainer or colander.
When drained, toss in the breadcrumb mixture.  Serve warm with a bit of conf. sugar on top.
 

sticky drumettes

02 Sep

How many times have you tried a recipe from a cookbook or magazine and when you wanted to make it again, could not find the publication you got it from, or better yet, could not remember which publication you got it from??  I get several food magazines monthly plus the weekly Mishpacha and Ami Magazines.  If a recipe looks interesting, I fold the page in half indicating I would like to try it, but mostly I never get to them (there are so many!).  When I try out and like a recipe, my best bet is to copy it onto this blog, not only to share my experience with you, but also to serve as a personal recipe book so I can easily find the recipes worth making again!

This is based on a recipe from Zehava Krohn in the Ami Living.  I loved the consistency of the sauce and how beautifully it glazed the chicken.  I used a hot sauce which I found in the sushi section of my supermarket and it was so hot, I had to triple the recipe (without adding hot sauce) to make it edible.  Later, my kids told me that it is an overly hot sauce!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 lbs chicken drumettes (this is the half of the wing that looks like a mini drumstick)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • generous pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Oil, for frying

Flour Dredge

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp  chili powder
  • pinch of coarsely ground pepper

 

Honey Hot Sauce

  • 1/2 stick margarine
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp – 1/3 cup hot sauce (depending how you like it)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 T vinegar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (if you are serving it today).
  2. Toss drumettes with olive oil and seasoning.  If you have a good eye for these things, you do not need to measure the spices, just sprinkle.
  3. Heat oil for frying in a medium saucepan.
  4. In a small bowl, combine flour and seasoning.  Dredge drumettes in the flour.  When oil is hot, drop drumettes into the oil and fry on both sides until outside is golden and crisp, about 8 to 10  minutes.  You do not need to worry if they are cooked through because it will continue cooking in the oven.  Drain chicken on a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine.  Stir in the honey, hot sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, and vinegar.  Cook for 7-10 minutes, until sauce thickens a bit.  Stir in dissolved cornstarch.
  6. Dip drumettes into the sauce and place in an aluminum baking pan.  You may freeze at this point but if you are serving them soon, bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven.

 

 

mini blini’s

28 Apr

These are a take on the classic cheese blintze – fun to make and a huge crowd pleaser!  I’ve served them at large parties and small family dinners alike, always with great results.  The recipe makes quite a bit (about 100 2.5-ich pieces), and they freeze beautifully.   Heat covered in the oven before serving.

INGREDIENTS

2 — (8-ounce)  packages cream cheese, softened
2 — egg  yolks
1 cup  sugar
2 loaves sliced  white bread, crust removed
1 cup (2 sticks) butter,  melted
1 Tbsp  Cinnamon
1 cup  Sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Beat together cream cheese, egg yolks, and sugar in a large mixing  bowl.
  2. Roll bread slices as thinly as possible with a rolling pin.  Spread  with cream cheese mixture.  Roll up and dip in melted butter.   Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
  3. Preheat oven to 400F.
  4. Remove Mini Blini from freezer and cut each piece in half.  Place on  a baking sheet and bake 10 to 13 minutes or until heated through.

 

 

do you have to be jewish to eat beef tongue?

26 Sep

Tongue has been a delicacy in our home ever since I can remember.  Naturally, it wasn’t an everyday indulgence but you could count on being served tongue in apricot sauce on any given Yom Tov (Holiday).  It was with great interest then, that my sister told me about a recent episode of “Chopped” she had witnessed while waiting at the doctor’s office.  “Chopped” is a Food Network show, where 4 chefs compete to make an appetizer, entree, and dessert, within a 20 minute time frame (for each course), with specific items given to them in a basket.  (They “chop” one chef after each course, leaving one winner at the end.)  Naturally they don’t know in advance which foods will be in their baskets.  For the appetizer on this episode, the chefs were each given a cooked pickled beef tongue along with 2 or 3 other ingredients.  I was shocked to hear that none of these self made or trained restaurant chefs knew what to do with the tongue!  3 of the chefs chopped it up (skin on) and threw it into a salad, and the 4th chef knew that he had to peel it but had no clue how, and he proceeded to stand up the tongue and peel it like a pineapple!  Needless to say, he was just left with the center of the tongue…..

By contrast, tongue can be found on the menu of any given Kosher or “Kosher-style” deli.  Be it in a sandwich or by the pound, tongue is the most expensive deli meat on the board.  A raw pickled tongue can cost approximately $12/lb, and cooked tongue will set you back $26/lb or more.  Tongue is delicious served in a sweet apricot sauce, but my family prefers it plain and warm with a bit of mustard.  Alternatively, I put a few warm slices of tongue on top of a salad dressed with a honey dijon sauce.

HOW TO COOK A PICKLED TONGUE

Remove tongue from sealed package and rinse with cold water.  Place in a large pot and completely cover with water. Cook on medium to medium-high heat for 3 hours, changing the water after 1 1/2 hours.  Let tongue cool for about 1 hour.  Remove from water and peel the tough outer skin layer with your fingers.  It should peel off easily. 

Let cool completely before slicing.  The thinner the slices you cut, the more delectable your dish will be.

SWEET AND SOUR APRICOT SAUCE

This recipe is the one I’ve been using all the years.  It is from The Spice and Spirit of Kosher Jewish Cooking, volume 1, cookbook.

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces apricot nectar or Ceres brand apricot juice
  • 6 ounces red raisins (optional)
  • 6-7 Tbsp white or brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Approximately 30 minutes before serving, warm sauce ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  Stir in as many slices of tongue as you are going to serve.  Shut off flame, and let tongue warm in the sauce for a few minutes. 

I usually serve a slice of sweet and pepper lukshin (noodle) kugel alongside the tongue.  It goes very well with the apricot sauce and the textures contrast nicely.