Friday, March 18, 2011

3-18-11 Purim Shabbat Dinner

I'm putting my feet up for a moment right now, like all Fridays I am very busy in the kitchen today. This is an exciting Shabbat because tomorrow night is the start of Purim (

Here is my menu for tonight:

1. Bread Machine Challah
2. Mixed Green Salad with dried figs and honey balsamic vinaigrette
3. Homeade Artichoke Hummus with vegetables crudite
4. Smoked Salmon Carpaccio
5. Golden Beet Borscht
6. Roasted Whole Lemon Herb Chicken
7. Roasted Potatoes
8. Roasted Broccoli
9. Giant Hamantaschen
10. Fruit Salad

I decided to make bread machine challah this week because I only need 2 loaves. This recipe receives the ravest reviews, people go nuts for this challah.
Here is the recipe:

Bread Machine Challah

1 C. water
3 egg yolks
3 1/2 T. vegetable oil
1 t. salt
1/4 C. plus 2 heaping tablespoons sugar
3 C. bread flour
1 packet active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 t.

1 egg, beaten for glaze

Place ingredients into bread machine basket in order listed above, or according to the directions of your particular bread machine. Make a well in the flour and place yeast inside.
Select Dough cycle.
When dough cycle finishes, remove dough and place onto a floured countertop.
Portion dough into 2 equal pieces. Portion each piece into 3 pieces (you should have 6 equal pieces). Roll each piece into a rope. Braid 3 pieces together, and tuck ends under. Repeat.
Place braided dough onto a sheet pan covered in parchment. Cover with a clean dish towel.
Turn oven onto 350.
Let braids rise for 30 minutes to an hour until doubled in size, and when you press a finger on the dough it does not spring back immeadiately.
Remove dish towel.  Brush with beaten egg.
Place in oven and bake 25 minutes, until bottom sounds hollow when tapped on.
Remove from sheet pan and place on cooling rack.

A friend of mine recently asked me how I come up with what I make. I answered her by telling her that there are a few ways. I go to the grocery store and see what looks beautiful and is in season. Then, I will bring that home and come up with recipes according to what I bought. Another way is I will find recipes in cookbooks I like and then I'll buy the ingredients to make it. The next few recipes I created after finding some of their ingredients at Whole Foods.

Mixed Green Salad with Dried Figs, and Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 package organic mixed greens
a handful of dried figs, chopped- bought these at Whole Foods
1/4 c. toasted pecans

1/4 C. vegetable oil
1/8 C. honey
1/8 C. balsamic vinegar
pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Mix the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, shake until emulsified.
Place greens, dried figs, and pecans in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing. Serve immeadiately.

You can find the recipe for my Artichoke Hummus on this post:

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio

1 package smoked salmon
2 T. olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 T. capers
fresh cracked pepper

Place salmon slices in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound thin with a meat mallet. Carefully peel off plastic and place on serving plate. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and capers. Pour over salmon. Sprinkle fresh cracked pepper over salmon. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to serve.

Golden Beet Borscht

Yes, you can make borscht with golden beets. So delicious for all you beet lovers. No worries about the red beet after effect!

2 Large Golden Beets, peeled and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 small Russet potato, peeled and chopped
2 T. olive oil
1/4 C. white wine
4 C. chicken stock
1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

In a soup pot, place olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and sautee until translucent. Add the beets, celery, garlic, and potato sautee until garlic is fragrant. Pour in the wine and chicken stock. Bring to a slow boil cover with lid. Simmer until beets are tender. Add lemon juice. Using an immersion blender, blend until completely smooth. Serve hot or cold. Optionally, Garnish with a dollop of Tofutti sour cream. For a really gorgeous touch, you could boil one red peeled beet seperately, and when tender puree with immersion blender, swirl a little ontop of Golden soup.

Whole Roasted Lemon and Herb Chicken:
1 whole chicken
kosher salt and pepper
2 lemons
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. each any combination of dried rosemary, oregano, basil, tarragon, thyme
1 t. Mrs. Dash original

Season inside of chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff inside of the chicken with 2 lemons cut in halves. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Rub olive oil onto skin. Pour on lemon juice. Sprinkle on zest, dried herbs, Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper. Rub all over skin.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and a half. Basting chicken with pan juices every so often. Until meat thermometer inserted into center reads higher than 165 degrees F. Skin should be nice and crispy.

Basic Roasted Potatoes:
Preheat oven to 425,
Cut  potatoes in wedges, place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Place in the oven for 45 minutes until browned to your liking

I was trying to think of a Purim dessert to make for tonight, and of course I thought of hamantaschens. I always make hamantaschens, but this year I wanted to mix it up a bit. One idea I had was to make a chocolate dough and fill it with chocolate chips, making double chocolate hamantaschens. The other idea I had, was to make a giant hamantaschen that could be cut like a pie. I ended up going with the giant idea.

Giant Hamantaschen Directions: 
I started out by making my usual hamantaschen dough, and then rolled a big piece of dough very thin. I placed a large dinner plate ontop and using a paring knife I traced around the edges. I placed raspberry jam and apricot jam inside, and folded the edges up to make a triangle. I baked it for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  
For dessert tonight, I am going to serve it in slices with fruit salad.
It turned out just beautiful! Look:
Have a Happy Purim and a Good Shabbat!
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