Friday, September 25, 2015

Creamy Garlic Avocado Dip

1/3 cup Labne (I used Karoun Lite brand) If you can't find Labne, sour cream or greek yogurt will do.
2-3 Avocados
1-2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
(A little lemon rind too, microplaned in)
Spicy Garlic Blend (to taste): Dehydrated Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes and Salt

Slice avocados in half, spoon into bowl (or labne container!) Mash Avocado along with Labne, lemon juice, spices and lemon rind.

Serve with cucumber slices, crackers (or mini-matzah's), chips, as a sandwich spread, or with fish. If you're doing paleo or gluten free, it'd go well with even more crudite or Mary's Gone Crackers!

Ok. So you'll tell me that this is not quite guacamole. I presume that's not a complaint. Enjoy!

Monday, July 27, 2015

The BIG B Brisket Slow Cooker BBQ Burrito

This dish has it all: BBQ Sauce, Bourbon, Beer, Brisket, Beef Bacon and Beans. Made easy in the crockpot and all rolled into one beautiful burrito.
Sign me up.

2 lbs Brisket Strip (Grow and Behold)
0.6 oz Beef Bacon chunks (G&B
24-36 oz Refried and/or Chili Beans (canned, I used Brads)
Tofutti Sour Supreme/Better than Sour Cream
Baby Spinach
(Optional: Onion, Corn, or Vegan Cheese)
Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

BBQ Sauce (Homemade or if bottled, add your own zing):
1/3 cup Organic Ketchup (no corn syrup!)
2/3 cup Tomato Paste or Sauce (if you have it)
A handful of favorite seasoning blend: italian, Pereg BBQ, mustard powder, Emeril's essence, garlic and onion powder, lemon peel, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, black pepper, cumin, turmeric, celery seed
2-4 Garlic Cloves (crushed/chopped)
2-4 dashes Hot Sauce
3 tbs Mesquite Honey
2 Bay Leaves1 cup Beer
1/2 cup Bourbon (I used Makers Mark)
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Combine all BBQ Sauce ingredients in slow cooker. Add brisket and bacon. If you're using an onion add it now (bonus: you can do a big chop, it'll melt into the sauce!). Ideally, this is low and slow, so plan on letting this simmer about 8-9 hours on low while you go about your day. You're saving the beans for later, when you have a *ton* of leftover BBQ sauce and no idea what to do with it! I like to make sure the liquid covers the meat, so adjust measurements accordingly (or add broth or water) if needed.

8 hours (or so) later, come on back to this pot of goodness, and place the brisket and bacon (points if you can tell the difference at this stage) in a bowl in order to shred it. It's fine if some sauce comes along for the ride, but leave most of it separate. Open up beans, and stir them into the sauce filled crockpot (or, if you'd like to dirty another dish, or task this role to a younger kitchen assistant, pour them together with the sauce into a new bowl. The sauce will warm up the beans. Mash them all in together, so the beans become BBQ beans. Feel free to taste and add more hot sauce, if desired.)

Now, the beef should be fork tender for you, so go ahead and shred it, either with a gloved hand or a fork. I keep brown sugar or coconut sugar on hand in case the honey doesn't provide enough balance. Taste your sauce as you shred the beef, and decide if yours needs some help with more spice, honey or sugar.

Once these major components are ready, set up an assembly line for you to build your burritos! Take a whole wheat tortilla and spoon a generous dollop of Tofutti sour supreme in the center. Top with leaves of spinach, then a generous spoonful of bean & sauce mixture, which you can flatten and spread with the back of the spoon, and finally, top with generous serving of the beef. Be sure not to overfill, as you'll want to roll this burrito tucked on all sides if you're making a tray full to serve at a shabbat meal. Rule of thumb is that the ingredients should take up 1/3-1/2 of the size of the tortilla (see picture above).

This got rave reviews at our "scotch and meat" meal. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Passover Sweet Treats

Marshmallow Treats

Non-Stick Spray
Berries (or your favorite fruit)
Chocolate Chips
Mint Leaves for garnish, optional
Pie Tin

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Spray tin (you may want to line pan with aluminum foil)
Toss Marshmallows into pan and, after 5 minutes, add in small pieces of fruit and chocolate chips.

Cook for 6-8 minutes longer, until Marshmallows are your favorite shade of brown.

Apologies the picture doesn't have mint or chocolate... This version was made to go into a crepe as a filling.

 Passover Crepes (aka Egg Noodles)

6 Large Eggs
1 cup Tapioca (or Potato) Starch
1.5 cups Water (or Milk) a bit more or less to consistency that works for your desired level of thickness
1 pinch of salt
Large Non-stick pan, spray or oil
Ladle or Squeeze bottle (the later makes this so easy)
Spatula (or really delicate tongs)
Your Favorite Crepe Fillings (chocolate spread, fruit, marshmallows etc)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, whisk or stir with fork until blended. There may be a clump or two, but try to break it up as much as possible.
Heat pan to a high temperature.
Spread batter to coat pan.
Cook for 1-2 minutes, until edges start to release from sides and crepe can easily flip.
Continue to cook slightly less time on this opposite side.
Place onto plate to serve later, along with the side above, fresh fruit, chocolate spread (or chips).
Keep the batter well mixed, it separates easily

Optional use of this recipe: Savory crepes with roasted veggies or to serve as Egg Noodes: Roll up crepe and slice into noodles for soup, tomato sauce, or bolognese.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Buttery Bourbon Couscous

Recently I was craving the butter that was in my fridge - so I hunted down a vehicle that would provide me with buttery goodness. I've served it as an all-in-one bowl meal with goat cheese and veggie sausage stirred in, or as a side to a meal with roasted broccoli and a big salad.

4 cups Israeli Whole Wheat Couscous (this isn't easy to find, but I discovered mine in a market that has a huge section of items imported from Israel. Regular Israeli couscous can be found everywhere.)
1/3 cup unsalted butter (I used sweet cream butter) + 1 pat for added before serving.
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
1/4-1/2 cup Sliced Almonds
Dash of Bourbon (up to 2 oz)
Spices in abundance! 
Basil (I used two frozen Dorot cubes)
2 tbs Pereg "American Hamburger spice mix" - this includes Paprika, Black Pepper, Garlic, Salt, Coriander, & Cumin
1 tbs Zaatar
2 tbs Parsley (I had an abundance of dried parsley)
2 pinches Sumac
1 pinch Ginger

Cooking Instructions:
In a medium saucepan, toast the couscous over medium-high heat (I sprayed the pan w/spray oil first).
While toasting, boil 6 cups or so* of water to add to pan.
Once you add the water, also add dried cranberries so they can hydrate as well.
As the water comes back to a boil add butter, bourbon and spices.
Lower to a simmer, cover for 5 minutes. At 5 minutes, remove top, stir, add almonds, and taste - it probably needs an additional 1-2 minutes. For the bowl version, depending on your veggie sausage cooking instructions, you might be able to add them in to cook in these final minutes. Finally, add that last pat of butter as you fluff to serve.


*I'm always generous with my water measurements in couscous, whatever the package says, I add about a 1/2 cup more. No one ever complains, and particularly if you aren't serving it immediately, or if reheating to serve later, the grain keeps absorbing moisture.