sangria RRH

Katy Morris

Our favorite ladies of Leaf & Ardor Tea Co. never stop brewing!

They’ve concocted a selection of refreshing, unique and healthy new tea blends that “mimic the moods of summer”. Drop these easy to use tea saches into a pitcher of cold water for the perfect iced drink. Leave the sachet to brew (see how gorgeous they are?!) for a morning pick-me-up or evening cocktail.  We’re sharing all the chill news plus recipes today.

Don’t miss our great give-away later this week! We’ve reached out to our our fave glassblowers at Simon Pearce and we’re including an elegant pitcher to serve these cold brews from. Fruity sangria or fragrant tea? You chose! You’l be serving it in style, either way.

photo

Co-owners Connie Pappas & Cristina Copersino recently reminded us that “it’s pretty much impossible to over-steep tea when cold-brewing [their blends], because the cold water extracts less caffeine from the tea, making it perfect for a summer afternoon without caffeine jitters. Hot water and cold water create different chemical reactions when they interact with the tea and herbs so the tasting notes will be slightly different depending on whether you hot brew or cold brew the tea.”

 

So what are these great new blends we are swooning over? Liz met with the owners for an afternoon tasting at Leaf and Ardor’s studio in CT. Here are her thoughts on the thirst-quenching and unique flavors:

sangria w_ 2 glasses 2

“Solstice Sun”: This is a unique take on English Breakfast black tea that combines the summery flavors of invigorating orange zest, lemongrass and fresh rose petals. This is a delicately nuanced black tea blend with subtle undertones. Watch the rose petals turn fuschia when they hit the water. Be sure to serve this in a glass pitcher. Your guests will love the colors of the vibrant petals. Try throwing in some fresh fruit to add a delicate natural sweetness without added sugars.

 

“Ruby Rose Hips” is an herbal blend of rose hips, hibiscus and lemongrass that offers a berry-fruity and slightly tart taste. Connie & Cristina added that it is also a “potent source of vitamins and antioxidants, especially vitamin C.” Hibiscus and rose hips tint this brew a vibrant hot pink- naturally!  Use a chopstick to stir in agave or local honey to balance the tartness.

 

The “Moroccan Mint” is the perfect fusion of uplifting peppermint, spearmint and green tea leaves that would be ideal for a restorative afternoon mojito or mint julep on the back porch. Cristina and Connie recommend adding a touch of agave and sliced lemons for some added flavor. Too lazy to snip mint leaves from your garden? This is the perfect solution.

 

Want some extra tips?

Be sure to check out our post on cold-brewing tips from the experts. We love Leaf and Ardor because we trust all of their blends are organic, pure and free of any of those extra flavorings and extracts . This is what truly sets their products apart from the rest.

SS Smoothie, KF bowls 2

All new blends are currently available on Leaf and Ardor’s website. Be sure to order soon because they are offering free shipping on all of their cold brews through September 21st using the code “COLDBREW”. CT readers: You may shop these teas at The Pantry in Fairfield, CT and a few other great outlets in the nutmeg state. Check Leaf and Ardor’s site for more info.

Love these porcelain tea bowls made by CT ceramicist Karen Ford? They’re on Leaf and Ardor‘s site, too.

Check these recipes below and chill during these steamy days of August.

Be sure to check back (or subscribe by clicking into the SIGN ME UP bar to the right) for a super give-away later this week. We’ve got a bold, contemporary, hand-blown glass pitcher from Simon Pearce to serve these bright cold teas in.  Of course, we’ll be tossing in plenty of great teas to brew, too!

All photos shot by Connie Pappas and Cristina Copersino and are courtesy of Leaf and Ardor.

Leaf and Ardor Ruby Rose Hips Sangria

4 servings

Leaf and Ardor Ruby Rose Hips Sangria

Leaf and Ardor's Cold Brew Teas combine with dry rose and peach brandy to make naturally sweet and refreshing sangria.

Recipe is courtesy of Leaf and Ardor Teas.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups cold brewed Leaf & Ardor Ruby Rose Hips
  • 3 cups dry rosé wine
  • ¼ cup peach brandy/liquor
  • 12 ripe pitted cherries, sliced in half
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 sweet chopped purple plum
  • ½ ripe yet firm chopped nectarine
  • 1/8 - ¼ cup agave to taste

Instructions

  1. Add 1 Leaf & Ardor Ruby Rose Hips cold brew sachet to 4 cups cold water. Allow to steep 6 - 8 hours or overnight.
  2. To the tea add rosé wine, chopped fruit and brandy. Mix well. Taste and add a small amount of agave. (We found it needed only 1/8th of a cup or agave, as the sweetness of the fruit begins to infuse while chilling.)
  3. Serve in a wine glass or frosted glass of your choice. Garnish with lemon or lime wedge.

Notes

Feel free to sub in any seasonal fruit for summer berries in this recipe. Chose fruit that you love and it will be spot on!

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/cold-brewed-teas-cocktail-brews

Leaf and Ardor Solstice Sun Smoothie

2 generous servings

Leaf and Ardor Solstice Sun Smoothie

Ready for change in your breakfast or snack routine? This Solstice Sun Smoothie, courtesy of Leaf and Ardor, will add a bright new idea to your mealtime.

This recipe is non-dairy, pareve. Dairy yogurt may be substituted if preferred.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup plain coconut yogurt
  • ½ cup cold brewed Leaf & Ardor Solstice Sun
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cashew butter
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons honey (or 1/2 - 1 teaspoon agave) to taste
  • ½ ripe banana (reserve some for garnish)
  • 2 small figs (reserve 1 for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • Almonds for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place 1 Solstice Sun tea sachet in 3 cups cold water, brew overnight.
  2. Add yogurt, tea, 1 fig, 1/2 banana, cashew butter, hemp, flax to a blender or vitamix.
  3. Blend well, till smooth. Taste and add sweetener as desired.
  4. Pour into small bowls and garnish with sliced figs, banana and almonds.

Notes

The Solstice Sun Smoothie Bowl is also great with a topping of coconut, granola, and sunflower seeds. You may also add things such as bee pollen, cacao nibs, and hemp seeds.

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/cold-brewed-teas-cocktail-brews

Originally Posted in “Cold Brewed Teas & Cocktail Brews
Photo: Robin Selden, Marcia Selden Catering

Photo: Robin Selden, Marcia Selden Catering

Contributed by Marcia Selden Catering

We love this healthier version of the classic breaded and fried rollatini. It’s lighter in calories but still packs a heavy flavor punch with ricotta, basil, fresh lemon and nutmeg filling. It works as an appetizer or an entrée and is the perfect summer dish.

Eggplants are actually a fruit, just like tomatoes—and they’re part of the Nightshade family, which also includes Tobacco! Eggplants contain the highest amount of nicotine found in any vegetable! But fear not—you’d have to eat 20 lbs of eggplant to ingest the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette. Eggplant is also a great source of fiber and is very low in calories at just 35 per cup.

Eggplant Rollatini the Healthier Way

Eggplant Rollatini the Healthier Way

Here's a great low- fat version of Eggplant Rollatini using peak of summer eggplant and tomatoes.

This sauce can also be enjoyed over grilled chicken, fish, or over a big bowl of your favorite pasta.

This recipe is courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford, CT.

This Eggplant Rollatini is dairy, vegetarian and gluten-free.

Ingredients

    Roasted Tomato Sauce
  • 2 lbs Fresh Tomatoes
  • 8 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and chopped
  • 4 tbs Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Eggplant
  • 3 Medium Eggplants, sliced lengthwise to yield 12 slices
  • 1 ½ C Ricotta
  • ½ C grated Parmesan
  • 1 C Finely Shredded Mozzarella
  • Zest of ½ Lemon
  • ½ tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 tbs Fresh Basil, chopped
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

    Make the Roasted Tomato Sauce
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9X13 baking dish with aluminum foil.
  2. Chop the tomatoes roughly and spread them in the baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, combine the chopped garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper and pour evenly over the tomatoes.
  4. Bake for 2-3 hours, until their edges blacken and the juices are reduced. Pour the roasted tomatoes into a food processor and pulse 2-3 times.
  5. Prepare the eggplant
  6. Preheat a grill pan or outdoor barbeque.
  7. Salt the eggplant slices and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes.
  8. Dry by blotting with paper towels.
  9. Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  10. Grill for about 5 minutes each side, then set aside to cool.
  11. Mix together the ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, basil, lemon zest, parmesan and nutmeg in a bowl.
  12. Lay the eggplant on a sheet pan and spread one rounded tablespoon of ricotta mixture along one edge.
  13. Roll up the eggplant and place in an oven safe dish.
  14. Drizzle with the Roasted Tomato Sauce and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  15. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese bubbles.
http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/eggplant-rollatini-the-healthier-way

 

 

Originally Posted in “Eggplant Rollatini the Healthier Way
Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

We always appreciate a healthy recipe with a twist and this vegan, gluten-free Black Eyed Pea Falafel is just that. 

For you falafel traditionalists, this might require that you step out of your legume box.  It’s not a comittment, just a tasty experiment worth trying. Just be sure to follow the soaking instructions. You’ll love the slightly spicy kick and healthy green flecks from a load of cilantro, parsley, mint leaves and scallions.

For those with gluten sensitivities, black eyed peas are gluten free in their dry state. Do not use canned beans.

Thank you, Back 40 Kitchen in Greenwich, CT, for this delightful twist on one of our favorites. To read more about Back 40 Kitchen and why we love it so, scroll down or click here for our review.

Watermelon radishes in chalk by Deidre Mannix at Back 40 Kitchen

Watermelon radishes in chalk by Deidre Mannix at Back 40 Kitchen

Black Eyed Pea Falafel

Approximately 20 falafel balls, one oz. each

This falafel recipe is a fun twist on the traditional. Black eyed peas lend a slightly different texture than chick peas and plenty of chopped herbs result in pretty green flecks.

Thank you, Back 40 Kitchen, for sharing this recipe.

This recipe is vegan, pareve (diary free) and gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups black eyed peas soaked for 24 hours
  • 1teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup scallion
  • 1 lemon zested

Instructions

  1. Drain soaked peas and pulse with garlic and spices in food processor until coarsely ground
  2. Add herb and finish processing until finely ground
  3. Chill and reserve
  4. Roll into one ounce balls
  5. Fry at 350 in coconut oil until crisp
  6. Season with salt to taste

Notes

Be sure to follow soaking instructions. Black eyed peas need to be soaked 24 hours in advance of preparing falafel.

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/black-eyed-pea-falafel-recipe

 

Originally Posted in “Black Eyed Pea Falafel Recipe

 

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Katy Morris

Are you still swooning over summer’s abundance of fresh bounty at your farmers’ market?

One of our favorites just made its seasonal debut, and luckily, this versatile fruit will keep us busy in the kitchen right into autumn. When it comes to August aubergines, we’re all in.

 Wait, a fruit?!

Yep. Aubergines, more commonly known as eggplants, are part of the allusive nightshade family, just like tomatoes and potatoes.  They’re usually cooked just like and alongside other hearty veggies but indeed are technically fruits.

 

What’s up with all the different kinds?

 

There’s no need to succumb to the waxy, puffy purple bulbs that you can get year round at your supermarket – head out (if you haven’t already) to the local farmers’ market and see the  different types flourishing right now.

 

Need some help navigating ‘em?  No prob. Here is a quick rundown of some varieties:

 

  • American Eggplants: Otherwise known as globe eggplants, are the familiar round dark purple ones you’re bound to encounter at your market. They can grow up to 12 inches long but keep in mind that usually the smaller the eggplant, the sweeter it will be.

 

photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

  • Oriental Eggplants: These guys are typically long and slender (although can vary in shape). Japanese eggplants boast a glossy dark purple coat whilst Chinese ones are a brighter violet. Their flavor is relatively mild and they’re often cooked with their thin skin on in stir-fries (the spongy texture soaks up soy, ginger or miso super well) or are delish when stuffed and baked. They’re growing ever more popular these days, particularly since they have thin skin and fewer seeds – hence are less bitter – than other varieties.

 

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

  • Indian Eggplants: This kind is tender and sweet and is usually a reddish-purple color with a round, small shape. They are typically used in classic vegetarian curries.

 

  • White Eggplants: So where do ya think the eggplant got its name? Yep, this kind! And they do indeed look like large, white – you guessed it – eggs.  They have a tough skin with a fantastic, fleshy white, sweet interior and hold up particularly well on the grill.

 

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

  • Italian: This is the variety you likely picture when you think of your standard eggplant. They’re nice and plump, beautifully purple and are also perfect on the summer grill (tips on grilling ‘em below) like globes. They’ll give you a lot of creamy flesh to work with – perfect for a Baba Ganoush dip to enjoy in the backyard.

 

  • Grafitti: This uniquely violet and ivory striped variety has a pretty similar earthy taste and meaty texture to your standard Italian one and can be used in the same ways as them when cooking, too. Try them in this Imam Bayeldi recipe!

 

photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

 

 

How should I pick?

As always, ask the vendor at the farmers’ market for their advice. In general, go with blemish-free, smooth, firm eggplants that are heavy for their size (regardless of variety). For your typical globe eggplants, give them a knock before buying – it should be solid and not sound hollow.

Then, give it a gentle squeeze – an eggplant that has a little give when pushed on but then springs back means it’s ripe (versus one that remains dented). Note that overripe eggplants are much bitter in taste and can be super spongy (overly so) inside!

 

Cooking tips?

Stuffed, grilled, roasted, baked…ay, there are so many great ways to enjoy this fruit, so don’t be afraid to get creative! Just keep in mind no matter which method you use that the texture is super meaty and it soaks sauces, liquids and spices up very easily. In most cases, you can swap in eggplants instead of Portobello mushrooms, zucchini or okra.

Here are some top tips:

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

 

Roasting: Typically you’ll roast eggplant whole before you whip it into a dip. We recommend jabbing a fork into it several times to let it breathe before roasting (skin on). Kosher Like Me Contributor Melissa Roberts advises to first “score the flesh in a crosshatch pattern, then to coat with oil. This cut allows the flesh to soak up the oil all the way through, and with eggplant you always need way more than you think [as] it’s such an ‘oil sponge’.

 

Grillin’: The same crosshatch tip for prepping eggplants for grilling is the same as for roasting, according to Melissa. Skin on or off is your choice (we prefer it on, but sometimes it can get a bit tough). After slicing, brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil and season before putting it on the grill. It should only take 3-4 minutes on each side for it to get slightly browned. Then, wrap in tin foil to let them finish cooking all the way through.

 

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

To salt or not to salt?

Traditionally, cooks sprinkle salt on their sliced eggplants and “sweat” them in a colander to draw out bitterness before cooking. Today, everyone seems to have their own opinion, so we consulted with Melissa who says she hasn’t “noticed any pronounced benefits from salting other than the downside of rinsing, squeezing and drying salted eggplant.”

And since you’re like going to be seasoning your eggplant in one way or another when cooking here’s what we think:

Don’t sweat it!

 

Storage tips?

Eggplants do not like the cold – so it’s best to keep your freshly bought ones at room temperature to avoid damage to its texture and flavor. Did you overload on eggplants at the market? Save some for later! f you need to pop some in your freezer, blanch slices for a few minutes and let cook. Then pop in freezer bags after wrapping loosely in wax paper and in the freezer they go.

 

What else should I know?

Like we said, don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to cooking eggplant.

Melissa let us know about her fantastic Eggplant Tarte Tartin with Black Pepper Caramel recipe, which is a super way to incorporate this fruit into a sweet and savory dessert! They also are fantastic paired with some of our favorite spices including garlic, cumin, harissa and much more.

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Check out Leticia SchwartzMoroccan Eggplant Salad below. With eggplant in season from now through late September, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy this one!

Moroccan Eggplant Salad

6-8 servings

 Moroccan Eggplant Salad

This eggplant salad melds Middle Eastern flavors with the summer's best eggplant and tomatoes. It is best prepared a day or two before serving.

Thank you Leticia Schwartz, the Brazilian Foodie, for this recipe.

This salad is pareve (dairy-free), vegan, gluten-free

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants, about ¾ lb each
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1 lb tomatoes, peeled, halved, seeded and chopped
  • Tiny pinch sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 red pepper, seeded, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Center a rack in the middle of the oven. Pre-heat oven at 375 degrees farenheit.
  2. Halve each eggplant lengthwise.
  3. Brush the flesh with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them cut side down on a baking sheet lined with foil.
  4. Roast until tender, and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, peel while stil hot and allow the flesh to drain in a colander over a bowl. Discard the dripping juices.
  5. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat.
  6. Add the garlic and cook until it just starts to turn golden, about 1 minute.
  7. Add the tomatoes, sugar, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
  8. Chop the eggplant roughly and add to the skillet; continue cooking, stirring often, until thick, about 10 to 15 minutes more.
  9. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the red pepper, capers, cilantro, parsley, and lemon juice to taste. Let it cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  10. Return the salad to room temperature and toss with the remaining olive oil before serving

Notes

This salad makes a tasty chilled or room temp appetizer alongside other Middle Eastern dishes. Consider serving it with hummus and chopped vegetable salad with feta cheese.

Or consider serving it as a companion to grilled fish or chicken, with a simple grain like brown rice, quinoa or freekah. This salad has plenty of flavors to season any prepared grains.

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/seasonal-snippet-eggplant-moroccan-eggplant-salad

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

When Florence Fabricant, longtime food critic for the New York Times, mentioned a newly opened Brazilian bakery in NYC that creates guava and cheese babke swirls I was all lit up I guessed that the roots of  Padoca’s treats, including challah french toast and black and white brownies, extended beyond Sao Paolo.

Indeed, owner Marina Halpern, grew up in a tight knit and vibrant Jewish community in Sao Paolo. When she was 11, she converted to Judaism in order to study for her Bat Mitzvah with her classmates at Hebrew day school. After arriving in NYC, she trained at the French Culinary Institute (now ICC) and cooked at the Dutch and the Mark before heading to London for a stint at a cafe known equally for creative dishes and customer service.

Marina Halpern and  chef/baker Rachel Binder (who baked at Maialino, Tabla and Savoy)  are a dynamic duo, pooling their talents and cultures in this bright spot on the corner of 68th St. and First Ave.

 

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Halpern and Binder’s partnership solidified about a year before Padoca opened, when they began working on a vision and recipes together.  They dreamt about a friendly neighborhood bakery/cafe in the spirit of those found in Sao Paolo. And with whimsical touches like a swing instead of a stool in one corner, pendant lights suspended like illuminated teapots, and plenty of free reading for kids and adults, they’ve succeeded in carving out a new neighborhood hot spot.

They focused on traditional sweets from Halpern’s native Brazil and heavily influenced by Binder’s passion for Israeli ingredients and flavors combinations.

Chef/Baker Rachel Binder Photo: Liz Rueven

Chef/Baker Rachel Binder
Photo: Liz Rueven

When I visited them for a tasting, the guava and cheese babke swirls were on the cooling rack wafting tropical scents across the glass fronted bakery case brimming with swirls of cinnamon and chocolate and gleaming dulce de leche . But the combination that had enticed me initially was with cream cheese, ricotta and guava.

This combo is so classic- so perfect- that it’s called Romeo and Juliet. And lucky for us, you can find Binder’s recipe for this gooey treat, below.

 Other standouts were Empadinhas- a pot pie of sorts, traditionally made with chicken and hearts of palm, tastes like a cousin to Israeli borekas. Binder changed the traditional empadinhas dough from a flaky layered crust to more of a pot pie dough- lending heft to the casing for fillings like tomato and hearts of palm or mushroom with onion and dill.

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Binder’s influence smacks of Eastern European flavor combinations she grew up with as she was surrounded by her Mom and two grandmothers. She cites all three as fabulous cooks who were always simmering soups and constantly baking treats of all kinds. But as an American girl living in Jerusalem for all of her youth, she was also deeply influenced by Middle Eastern flavors, too.

Don’t miss her salads in the take-out case in the front. She leans heavily towards vegetarian combinations expressed in dishes like Lentil and Bulgur Salad with goat cheese, red pepper, parsley and mint.  Middle Eastern flavors appear too, with simply seasoned Chick Peas marinated in fragrant EVOO, lemon, red onion and garlic.

Sandwiches lean towards Jewish classics like Smoked Salmon, cream cheese, pickled onions and capers on Pumpernickel or easy vegan combos like Roasted Red Peppers, tomatoes and sprouts on yeasty, whole grain Pullman.

Halpern also credits her Mom with inspiring many of the recipes at Padoca, including the Challah French Toast. They soak the bakery’s whole wheat challah  in coconut, condensed and whole milks and then bake it to sweet perfection each morning.

It’s worth eating full fat everything sometimes.

 

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Binder bakes whole wheat challah every Friday. It’s smaller than expected, as per requests from young patrons in the neighborhood. The challah is slightly sweet and nutty and flecked with white and black sesame seeds. It’s pareve (non-dairy) and available on Fridays/Saturdays. Consider ordering larger sizes and rounds for upcoming holidays.

Breakfast treats abound, too, with shiny, glazed pastries like Red Pepper Brioche and Egg Brioche with Cheese.

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Salty/ sweet combinations are perfect on summer mornings.

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

  

Halpern credits her Mom as inspiration for Padoca’s signature Bolo de Coco, or Coconut Cake.

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Citrusy lemon tang infuses the cake with moisture while the original recipe has been tweaked by Binder to include cassava flour for better texture.

Brazilian classics are here for those who know the culture. Pao de queijo (called PDQ) are light cheese breads and are always available.

Wash it all down with Nobletree Coffee, grown in Brazil and roasted in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Palais de Thes provides the teas and freshly pressed juices are available for those yearning for drinkable fruits and veggies.

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Monkey Swirls are irresistible with layers of moist dough wrapped around nutty, cinnamon flecked swirls. You’ll find chocolate and dulce de leche, too.

Clever riffs on NY classic black and whites appear in treats like these Black and White Brownies. I’ve been dreaming of serving them alongside juicy summer raspberries.

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Enjoy Chef Rachel Binder’s recipe for Guava and Cheese Swirls, below. She’s made it easy to whip this up at home.

Padoca Bakery

359 E. 68th St. , corner of First Ave., NYC

M-F 7 AM-7 PM

Sat./Sun. 8 AM-6 PM

212-249-8085

Note: Padoca Bakery has many vegetarian options for readers who are Kosher Like Me. It is NOT a kosher bakery.

Romeo and Juliet Babke Swirls

Romeo and Juliet Babke Swirls

This rich cream cheese, ricotta and guava babke recipe is courtesy of Chef Rachel Binder, Padoca Bakery, NYC. It is called Romeo and Juliet because the flavors are perfect together!

Note that the dough needs to be refrigerated overnight before completing this recipe.

This babke is dairy.

Ingredients

    Dough
  • 4 1/4 cups All Purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • Grated zest of 1 small lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup water and up to 1 to 2 tablespoons extra, if needed
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • For the filling:
  • 8 oz. guava paste
  • Cheese Filling
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 10.5 oz. package goat cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add eggs and 1/2 cup water, mixing with the dough hook until it comes together, this may take a few minutes. If it doesn’t come together add extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a ball.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the salt, then the butter, a little at a time, mixing until it’s incorporated into the dough. Then, mix on medium speed for 10 minutes until dough is completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. If it doesn’t, add 1 tablespoon extra flour until it does.
  4. Divide dough into 2 discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Roll dough into a 15x11 rectangle. Spread with guava jam. Then spread with cheese filling (see instructions below).
  6. Roll the dough up with the filling into a long, tight log. Transfer the log to a lightly floured baking tray and freeze for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice the log into 1” pieces and place in cavities of muffin tin. Repeat with second dough.
  7. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rise 1 - 1 1/2 hours at room temperature.
  8. Heat oven to 375°F.
  9. Remove towels. Brush each “swirl” with egg wash (1 egg and 1 egg yolk).
  10. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
  11. Prepare the Cheese Filling
  12. Beat cream cheese with lemon zest very well until smooth.
  13. Add goat cheese, sugar and vanilla extract and beat well.
  14. Add egg and beat to combine.
http://kosherlikeme.com/on-the-road/swooning-over-babke-swirls-at-padoca-bakery

 

 

Photo: Leticia Schwartz

Photo: Leticia Schwartz

Chayote, also called vegetable pear, mirliton or christophine, begs to be pickled.

Say, What???

We’re starting off our pickle week with chayote because we loved learning that it receives brine like a welcoming sponge (a good thing) due to it’s high water content and mild flavor. Classified as a gourd, Chayote is a kissing cousin to cucumbers, also gourds.

And yes, for sure, we’ll be posting a simple pickled cuke recipe later this week.

Adobe stock

Adobe stock

And yes, we just love any excuse to explore unfamiliar ingredients.

Our Brazilian foodie friend, Leticia Schwartz, grew up eating lots of chayote in her family’s kitchen. Her Mom simply sautéed it in butter with a little salt and pepper and a few drops of water. Because of it’s crisp, smooth texture and indistinctive flavor, chayote is often simmered in curries and soups, or julienned and tossed with beets and cabbage in a raw slaw. It’s a great raw addition to fruit salads, too.

Leticia recommends using gloves to protect hands from a sticky fluid that oozes from the chayote. She then peels the vegetable pear using a vegetable peeler, slices the gourd in half and carves out the the core and pits before slicing it.

Watch for more about pickling and fermentation later this week.  We’ll be sharing inspiration from Sandor Katz, aka Sandorkraut, fermentation revivalist extraordinaire, and James Beard award winner.  If you want to know why you should consider pickling and fermenting, what the health benefits are, and how utterly simple it is, check back in on Thursday.

Thank you, Leticia Schwartz, for this Pickled Chayote recipe.

Easy Pickled Chayote

Pickled chayote is an easy and wonderful way to explore this pear shaped, pale vegetable.

Chayote is also referred to as mirliton, christophine and vegetable pear.

Thank you, Leticia Schwartz, for this recipe.

These pickles are vegan and pareve (non-dairy)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 chayottes, pitted and cut into slices (see photo)

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the white vinegar, yellow onion, garlic, whole cloves, star anise, coriander seeds, salt and sugar.
  2. Bring to a boil, just to dissolve the salt and turn off the heat.
  3. Add the chayotte and let it cool completely.
  4. Transfer everything to a sterilized jar and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

Notes

Chayote may be found year-round in Latino and Asian markets or in the vegetable section of large markets with broad offerings.

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/easy-pickled-chayote

 

 

Originally Posted in “Easy Pickled Chayote
Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Shakshuka, a North African one-skillet, vegetarian dish, is basically eggs dropped into tomato sauce and baked until yolks firm up to your liking.

But there are as many riffs on this dish as there are cooks in the kitchen. So we’re sharing our most basic and favorite version here and you can add or subtract ingredients as you like.

Use the freshest eggs you can find and their richness will shine here. You’ll love the  bold flavors as they come together, first on the stovetop and then in the oven. 

photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Once I received my 15 inch cast iron pan as a gift from SC last year, I began fantasizing about the many variations of shakshuka I would simmer/bake in it.  YUP.  That’s how delicious this dish is. And relax; any oven-proof pan will do just fine.

With this basic recipe as your starting point, feel free to add in any of the following:

Greens: beet greens, kale, chopped collard greens, spinach.

Other veggies: cubed or thinly sliced potatoes (par-boiled), fried eggplant (diced or sliced), sliced mushrooms, red or yellow peppers, zucchini, fresh tomatoes

Cheese: feta, mozzarella or any other cheese that melts nicely

Spices: cilantro, parsley, cumin, fresh garlic, thyme, saffron threads, jalapeno peppers, freshly cracked pepper.

What’s your riff on shakshuka? Let us know in the comment section below.

 

Shakshuka

8 servings

Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a flexible dish so feel free to be creative. Add feta or mozzarella cheese once the eggs are in the pan if you like things cheesy. Add other veggies like diced zucchini, mushrooms or chopped fresh tomatoes if you like your sauce chunky.

This recipe is vegetarian and pareve (non-dairy)

Ingredients

  • 3 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. tomato paste
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. fresh spinach
  • 8 eggs
  • parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a heavy, deep sided pan (cast iron is great here), heat oil and saute onions for 8-10 minutes until they are well cooked but not brown.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and all seasoning. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  4. Crack eggs into individual cups, making sure to leave yolks intact.
  5. With the back of a tablespoon, make a shallow well in the sauce for each egg and slide the egg gently into the sauce. Repeat until all eggs are in the pan.
  6. Gently tuck spinach around the eggs and allow all to simmer 5-7 minutes. Cook until whites have firmed up a bit but yolks are still runny.
  7. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with a large spoon.

Notes

Enjoy pita, challah or any good bread with this sauce. The runny yolks beg to be mopped up. If you are ok with the spinach disappearing into the sauce, add spinach to sauce about 2 minutes before adding eggs. Stir well and drop eggs in. Feel free to adjust spices if you like a little more heat.

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/shakshuka-perfect-at-any-time

Originally Posted in “Shakshuka; Perfect at any Time
Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

We’re so excited about seeing all sorts of cherries in the farmers’ markets!  We would NEVER leave you pining for a great recipe!

Lazy bones who are lucky enough to live in CT can march themselves into SoNo Baking Company and pick this deliciousness up directly from John Barricelli’s bakery (consider ordering ahead, as I did). For the rest of you baker-types out there, this Sweet Cinnamon Focaccia with Cherries and Grapes is a moist, yeasty square with plenty of fruit in every nook and cranny. Trust me, you’ll want to make this.

Consider this focaccia dough as a starting point for other seasonal pastries, too. Check out Barricelli’s The Seasonal Baker to see how farm fresh ingredients can be your inspiration for baking in all four seasons.

Thanks, John, for sharing this recipe with us here.

For everything you might want to know about cherries- where to pick ‘em anywhere in the USA, how to pit them, and which varieties to use in your recipes, scroll down or click into this month’s Seasonal Snippet here.

 

Sweet Cinnamon Focaccia with Cherries & Grapes

makes approximately 1 dozen squares

Sweet Cinnamon Focaccia with Cherries & Grapes

This recipe is from THE SEASONAL BAKER by John Barricelli, with permission from the author.

From John, " I've been making a sweet, cinnamon-scented focaccia with dried fruit for years. It's a favorite with my kids, who clamor for it for breakfast. This is an adaptation of that recipe topped with fresh fruit and sanding sugar. It's a treat for breakfast but you may also like to make it for dessert as an open-faced fruit pie with a great, yeasty crust. The addition of sugar in the dough makes it softer and less crispy. "

This recipe is pareve (non-dairy), egg free (vegan)

Ingredients

    Focacccia Dough
  • 1 3/4 cups warm (105-110 degrees fahrenheit) water
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups plus 2 TB all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 tsp course salt
  • 2 TB plus 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Topping
  • 1 C pitted, halved fresh cherries
  • 1 C halved fresh red grapes
  • 1 C halved fresh green grapes
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 3 TB sanding sugar

Instructions

    Make the dough
  1. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the warm water with the yeast and let proof for about 5 minutes.
  2. In a very large bowl, stir together all of the flour and salt, granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Make a well in the center.
  4. When the yeast has proofed, pour it into the well along with the remaining 1 1/2 cups water and 2 TB of the oil, setting aside the remaining 1/2 cup of oil.
  5. Using a plastic pastry scraper, gradually pull the flour into the yeast mixture, folding to mix, until a very wet dough forms.
  6. Knead the dough in the bowl for 5 minutes by folding the dough over itself with the plastic pastry scraper while you turn the bowl.
  7. Scrape the dough out onto a clean work surface.
  8. Wash and dry the bowl.
  9. Smear the bottom of the bowl with olive oil.
  10. Scrape up the dough with the plastic scraper, return it to the bowl and turn to coast with the oil.
  11. Cover with an oiled sheet of plastic wrap.
  12. Let the dough stand in a warm place (at least 70 degrees fahrenheit) for about 1 1/2 hours or until the volume increases by 1 1/2 times.
  13. Make the topping
  14. In a large bowl, toss the cherries and grapes with the olive oil.
  15. Continue
  16. Coat a 17 by 12 inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  17. Add the 1/2 cup of olive oil.
  18. Use a plastic scraper to turn the dough out onto the oiled baking sheet.
  19. Flip the dough so that the oiled side is up.
  20. Press the dough out to the edges of the pan with your fingertips until the dough fills the baking sheet and is dimpled all over.
  21. If the dough contracts, set it aside fro 10 minutes to relax, and try again.
  22. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and increased about 1 1/2 times in bulk, 30-45 minutes.
  23. Set the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit
  24. Scatter the fruit over the dough and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  25. The dough will have deflated somewhat; set aside to rise again for 20 minutes.
  26. Bake, rotating the sheet about two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until the focaccia is evenly golden on top and bottom, about 30 minutes.
  27. Immediately, slide the focaccia onto a wire rack.
  28. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.
http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/sweet-cinnamon-focaccia-with-cherries-grapes

 

 

Photo courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering

Photo courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering

Miso is a flavorful and healthy ingredient that’s easy to cook with – made from fermented soybeans, it’s packed with healthy benefits like amino acids, vitamin B and also aids in digestion. Many people are familiar with miso in soup recipes, but you can use it in salads, to roast veggies and to elevate fish to a whole new level.

Check out these recipes for Miso Marinated Black Cod and Sweet Potatoes Glazed with Miso and Tehini (scroll to next post for recipe).

They’re both perfect for summer—light and full of flavor!

 

Know Your Miso:

There are several types of Miso, here’s a quick breakdown of their flavor profiles:

White Miso (Shiro Miso)~Known as ‘sweet’ or ‘mellow’ miso. It has a milder flavor that can be built on and is adaptable—great for soups and veggies

Yellow Miso (Shinshu Miso)~Has a mild flavor profile and ranges in color from light yellow to light brown. This works well with soups and as a glaze.

Red Miso (Aka Miso)~Saltier than the other varietals. Has a more distinct flavor and is perfect for marinades or glazes and richer soups. It can sometimes overwhelm other ingredients in a dish, so you only need to use a small amount.

Miso Marinated Black Cod

4 servings

Make the marinade 2-3 days ahead of cooking the fish and half the work will be done!

This recipe is courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford, CT.

This recipe is pareve (non-dairy)

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Mirin
  • ¼ cup Sake
  • 4 Tbs. Shiro miso paste
  • 4 Tbs. Sugar
  • 3 Tbs. Diced Garlic
  • 4 Black Cod Filets, about ½ pound each
  • 2 Tbs. Sesame Oil
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds, for garnish
  • Sliced Green Onions, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place mirin and sake into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat to cook off the alcohol.
  2. Simmer for about 2 minutes and add miso and garlic, stir until combined. Stir in the sugar and sesame oil and remove from heat and allow it to cool.
  3. Pat the black cod fillets and dry them with paper towels, slather the fish with the cooled miso marinade and place it in a bowl or pan and cover with plastic wrap. The fish can marinate in the refrigerator for up to eight hours.
  4. When you’re ready to cook the fish, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Remove excess miso from the fillets and place the fish skin-side up in a heated, lightly oiled pan and cook for three minutes each side to sear the outside to golden brown.
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes
  7. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/miso-magic-and-marinated-black-cod

 

 

 

 

Originally Posted in “Miso Magic and Marinated Black Cod
Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Later this week we’ll have helpful tips on the range of MISO types and when to use which of them where.

While you’re hanging on, here’s a recipe for roasted sweet potatoes with a surprising glaze that is sure to become a regular in your repertoire. Try it on carrots, cauliflower or turnips, too.

Last week, I popped diced bits of sweet potato in the oven as per Marcia Selden Catering‘s recipe. After roasting them, I allowed them to cool and glazed them with this simple mixture. I kinda forgot about them in my refrigerator until the weekend when I layered a couple of spoonsful over some chopped kale salad.

I was totally surprised at how complex and satisfying the flavors are.

While roasting the potatoes brings out their sweetness, the miso deepens the savory nuttiness of the tehini. The undertones in this super simple recipe are more yummy umami than I expected!

Use these as a side dish or a perfectly healthy salad topper.

Can’t say we didn’t warn ya. These are ADDICTIVE!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Miso Tehini Glaze

4 servings

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Miso Tehini Glaze

Roasted sweet potatoes become more interesting with this unexpectedly nutty and slightly salty glaze. The potatoes are great warm or at room temperature. Serve as a side dish or on top of a pile of greens to add interest to your salad.

This recipe is courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford, CT

This recipe is pareve (non-dairy) and vegan

Ingredients

  • 2 C. Diced and Peeled Sweet Potatoes
  • 1-2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • 3 Tbs. White or Yellow Miso Paste
  • 3 Tbs. Tehini
  • 1 Tbs. Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 C. Water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place diced sweet potatoes in a single layer on a sheet pan, and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
  3. Roast for 25-30 minutes. Carefully turn halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning.
  4. While the sweet potatoes roast, combine remaining ingredients to a saucepan and turn heat to medium-low.
  5. Whisk over low heat until smooth. Add a bit more water as needed.
  6. Drizzle potatoes with sauce before serving.

Notes

These glazed sweet potato bites are great as leftovers.

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-miso-tehina-glaze