Friday, April 29, 2011

4-29-2011 Welcome Back Shabbat

We are back at home and getting into the swing of things. I dove right into the kitchen to make our shabbat dinner.

Our menu for tonight:

1. Challah
2. Carmelized Onion Baba Ghanoush
3. Greek Quinoa Salad
4. Apple Cider Slaw
5. Pickles, Olives, and Dolmas (I bought these at Central Market, they are Cedar's brand)
6. Tuna Cakes
7. Tuscan Lemon Chicken
8. Mustard Roasted Potatoes
9. Steamed Green Beans
10. Cake Batter Blondies
11. Cookies-n-cream Truffles
12. Fresh Fruit

After having excellent baba ghanoush at a restaurant in Miami, I decided to make my own. I looked through several cookbooks to get an idea of how to make it. Most of the recipes included raw garlic, which gives me terrible heartburn. My remedy for this was to carmelize the onions and garlic. The result was fabulous.

King Hock is not a quinoa fan, but that doesn't mean I will ever stop trying to make him like it. I made a delicious Greek quinoa salad for tonight, we will see how that goes with him.

The Tuscan lemon chicken, and mustard roasted potatoes are both Ina Garten recipes. I adore Ina Garten. I actually don't own any of her cookbooks, but Aunt B does. I had the pleasure of reading all of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks on our vacation. Her recipes are all simple and gorgeous.

I can't take the credit for the cake batter blondies. I found the recipe on another blog ( right before Pesach, and have been dreaming about making them ever since.

Also while on vacation, King Hock's cousin informed me about cookies and cream truffles. After hearing about them, I couldn't wait to get home to make them. They are spectacular, and super easy to make.

Here are the recipes and pictures:

Carmelized Onion Baba Ghanoush

1 large eggplant
1 onion, sliced
6 T. olive oil
1 large lemon, juiced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
3 T. mayo
3 T. tahini (optional, I left this out)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick the eggplant on all sides with a fork. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes-1 hour until soft.

Split the baked eggplant, and allow to drain. Scoop out the pulp, and discard the peel.

Heat 2 T. of the olive oil in a sautee pan, and add the onion. Sautee on medium, until carmelized, turn down the heat if the start browning too fast. Once semi carmelized, add the garlic, and cook until lightly browned.

Using a food processor, or an immersion blender, blend the cooked eggplant, onions, garlic, remaining 4 T. olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, mayo, and tahini (if using) until creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning. You may want to add more lemon if you like it tangier.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Greek Quinoa Salad

1 C. uncooked quinoa
1 cucumber, peeled seeded and diced
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 c. fresh Italian parsley, minced
1/2 c. feta cheese, optional for a dairy meal

2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. red wine vinegar
3 T. olive oil
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Cook quinoa according to the package. Let cool. Mix together the cooked and cooled quinoa, cucumber, tomato, parsley, feta cheese (if using).

In a small bowl mix together the dressing ingredient. Pour over the quinoa. Stir until completely combined.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Apple Cider Slaw

1 package Angel Hair Shredded Cabbage
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 c. slivered almonds, toasted
handful dried cranberries

In a small bowl, mix together the apple cider vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper.

In a large bowl place the cabbage, almonds, and dried cranberries. Pour dressing over and toss. Best served immediately, so cabbage stays crunchy.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken

1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, flattened
Kosher salt
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved

Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup. Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.

When ready to grill,  turn a gas grill on low heat. Place the chicken on the cooler side, skin side up, and weigh it down with the dish you used for marinating. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the dish, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in quarters, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves.

Mustard Roasted Potatoes

2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
2 yellow onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the potatoes into one-inch cubes (halves or quarters for the small potatoes, several more cuts for the larger ones). Place potatoes into a large plastic bag with a zipper seal. Peel onion and cut in half. Slice crosswise to about 1/4 inch thickness to make half rounds and add to bag.

Add the olive oil, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to bag; seal, and toss together. This can be prepped a few hours in advance and left in the plastic bag until ready to roast.

Line a sheet pan with foil and spread potatoes and onions onto pan. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour; until potatoes are lightly browned on the outside and tender on the inside. Toss the potatoes occassionally to prevent sticking and for even browning.

Garnish with chopped parsley and more salt if needed and serve immediately.

Cake Batter Blondies

1 box yellow cake mix, Duncan Hines preferably
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/3 – 1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional hard to find parve)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non stick spray.

Combine the cake mix, oil, and egg in a large bowl. Add the soy milk slowly – you want the batter to be as dense as possible.  Mix in the rainbow sprinkles, and white chocolate chips if using. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

You want to bake it just until the edges turn golden brown, the center will be under baked, but this is what you want.

Cookies-n-cream Truffles

45 chocolate sandwich cookies
1 package Tofutti soy cream cheese, softened
2 bags, parve chocolate chips

Place 9 of the cookies in a medium ziploc. Place 36 of the cookies in a large ziploc. Using a skillet or a meat mallet (the flat side) Crush the cookies until fine.

Mix the contents of the larger baggy and the soy cream cheese until thoroughly combined.

Melt the chocolate over a double broiler, or in the microwave at 15 second intervals until melted.

Form the cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Drop the balls into the melted chocolate. Use a fork and shake of the excess. Place onto a sheet pan covered in parchment or wax paper. Place the truffles in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator.


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