Growing up, my mom would often prepare chremslach on Passover whenever there were leftover mashed potatoes. Some people refer to chremslach as matza fritters, but in our house, mashed potatoes were the ingredient of choice. They were held together with some egg, dipped in potato starch and fried. Nothing fancy, just another use for potatoes and a simple side for yet another meal.
I decided to spruce up my mom’s basic recipe with some leftover chicken, carrots and onions, for a take on chicken pot pie. If you eat kitniyot, peas would be the perfect addition! The patties are dredged in ground nuts for a crunchy Passover coating. Serve with a side of homemade ketchup, marinara or garlic aioli.
Chicken Pot Pie Passover Croquettes
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup shredded leftover chicken
1/2 cup onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1/2 cup carrots, diced and blanched
1 tbsp oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup ground nuts, such as almonds
salt and pepper, to taste
oil or shmaltz, for frying
In a pan, saute the onion in oil until translucent. Add carrots and garlic (optional) and continue to saute until golden. In a bowl, combine the potatoes, chicken, sauteed veggies, and egg. Season with salt and pepper (see note for additional seasoning).
Set up a dredging station with separate containers for potato starch, egg and ground nuts. Season with a little salt and pepper. Shape croquettes and dredge into potato starch, then egg, and finish with ground nuts. Fry the croquettes in shmaltz or oil until golden brown on both sides.
Yields: approximately 14 croquettes.
NOTE: You may add additional herbs and/or spices according to your Passover customs, such as chopped thyme, rosemary or parsley.
KITNIYOT OPTION: Add peas or corn. Dredge in matza meal instead of ground nuts.
VARIATION: Prepare patties (as pictured below) by lightly dredging in potato starch and frying.
I’m a total sucker for bread pudding. And not just because it’s an excuse to use up leftover bread (which would normally be a good enough reason!). It’s because it’s got that rich comfort food quality that warms you up inside with each and every bite. Spoon after spoon, flavor after flavor, bread pudding is simply, delicious.
Usually, I whip up a batch of chocolate cinnamon bread pudding with chocolate chips. It’s really good, I have to admit. But when I made a variation of this recipe in culinary school last week, I was just wowed by the melted chocolately goodness. Instead of just throwing in chocolate chips, the custard is heated and poured over the chocolate, creating a rich chocolate sauce. The sauce is then poured over the bread so that every morsel is soaked in chocolate batter. Every bite is pure chocolate bliss.
Oh, and there’s rum too. Do I even need to elaborate?
With Pesach a mere 2 weeks away, it’s time to pull all that leftover challah out from the back of your freezer and bake up this awesome treat. You’ll love it so much, you’ll be stashing challah just so that you can make again!
Chocolate Bread Pudding adapted from Professional Baking by Wayne Gislin
1 lb. leftover challa
5 cups coconut milk
1/2 vanilla bean*
6 oz. sugar
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. dark rum
Tear the challa into pieces and place into a greased casserole dish (or individual ramekins, if you wish). Set aside.
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to a pot along with the milk and sugar. Add the scraped bean as well. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and remove the vanilla bean. Pour the hot milk over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and combined. Stir in the rum.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs and temper them by slowly adding the hot chocolate mixture while you whisk. Pour the chocolate mixture over the challa in the casserole dish. Push down on the bread to make sure that it’s fully saturated with the liquid.
To create a waterbath (this keeps the bread pudding moist), place the casserole dish into a larger pan (like a roasting pan) and place on the rack in the oven, with the rack pulled out. Add water to the roasting pan so that the casserole dish is surrounded by water, about 3/4 of the way up.
Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
*If you do not have a vanilla bean, you may use 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
NOTE: If you’d like to make this dairy,use 2 1/2 cups heavy cream + 2 1/2 cups of milk instead of the coconut milk.
Have you heard about the custom for Jewish people to eat Chinese food on Christmas? It all started back in the day when there weren’t so many kosher restaurants to eat at, and the only places open on Xmas were Chinese joints. And the only people frequenting their restaurants were the Jews, since they do not celebrate the gentile holiday. To clarify things: it is not, in fact, a Jewish custom to eat Chinese food on Christmas, but some people enjoy doing so just for kicks. This year, my family decided to follow suit, and we ordered takeout from our favorite Chinese spot, EstiHana.
Have you seen this picture that’s been circulating around the web? Cute, isn’t it?
You know what the best part about ordering Chinese food? All that fresh hot rice they send you, which turns into day-old rice the next day. Leftover rice is the perfect starter for dishes like pineapple fried rice. And contrary to popular belief, most fried rice dishes are not fried at all (we are dispelling lots of myths here today!). So the next time you have leftover rice, think twice before throwing it away.
Other ways to use up leftover rice:
Rice pudding or breakfast cereal (use in place of oatmeal)
Tomato rice soup like this one
Rice stuffing for chicken
Cheesy Mexican rice
Chicken and rice soup
Do you have any good ideas for using up leftover rice? Share them in the comments below!
Easy Pineapple Fried Rice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup pineapple, finely diced
12 oz cooked rice (or 1 Chinese takeout container)
2 tbsp eel sauce*
2 tsp soy sauce
3 scallions, chopped
Heat up a skillet and add sesame oil. Toss in pineapple and saute until it begins to caramelize and brown. Add cooked rice, breaking it up with a spatula. If the rice begins to stick, add a little bit of water. Add eel and soy sauce and stir to combine. When rice is heated through, add chopped scallions and serve.
VARIATION: You can add additional chopped vegetables like peppers (red peppers would be great in this), onions, or carrots. Saute them first and when beginning to soften, add the pineapple. Continue as above.
NOTE: Imitation kosher eel sauce is now widely available in supermarkets (I use the Sweet City brand). If you cannot find it, ask for some “sweet sauce” from your local sushi counter.
When it comes to kosher cookbooks, Susie Fishbein is in a league all her own. Her talent and professionalism shine through in each new edition of Kosher by Design, especially her latest, Cooking Coach. Like all of the cookbooks in the Kosher by Design series, Susie carries through on her theme in an immaculate way. In Kosher by Design Cooking Coach, Fishbein shares recipes, tips and techniques to make anyone a better cook. Each section is prefaced by a Game Plan in which Susie teaches the fundamental principles of cooking. She shares techniques, advice and amazing tips to help guide you in the kitchen. From kitchen equipment and essentials, to an in-depth guide to preparing fish, poultry and meat – there’s something to learn for everyone. As a blogger who is familiar with a lot of cooking techniques, there was still so much for me to take away from this book.
Besides for the delectable recipes and beautiful pictures, something else I loved about KBD Cooking Coach is the Playbook. In it, Susie gives you ideas for revamping leftovers of some of her dishes. Or as she likes to call it, reincarnating food. Each recipe and idea in the playbook is as good as it’s original. My only issue with this section (and with the whole book, really) is that I wish the reincarnated recipes were printed beneath their originals, instead of in their own section. It makes it a tad bit confusing.
Not surprisingly, Fishbein does not dissapoint with the well-composed recipes in this book. Some of the dishes I look forward to trying include tomato tarte tatin, Jerusalem artichoke soup, strawberry-goat cheese salad, blueberry and fig glazed duck breasts, cornish hen in port & chocolate sauce, pretzel-crusted lamb chops, fall harvest silver tip roast, sole with peach-basil reduction, butternut squash broken lasagna, silan-roasted sweet potatoes & leeks, gooey walnut brownie pie, and almond thumbprint cookies.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of KBD Cooking Coach at Pomegranate Supermarket back in October. Susie conducted a cooking demo in which she prepared the following turkey taco eggrolls. She also shared her great ideas for reincarnating extra turkey filling into stuffed portobello mushroom caps or into marinara sauce for pasta. We were all served a sample of each dish and they were so incredibly delicious, I knew I had to share them with you!
In the spirit of Chanukah, Busy In Brooklyn is giving away a copy of Kosher by Design Cooking Coach! To enter the giveaway, help your favorite blog win the FriendsEat 2012 Best Food Blogger contest by voting. Simply visit the BIB page on FriendsEat, login with your facebook account and click the “love” button. Then, leave a comment below letting me know you’ve voted. For a bonus entry, ask your friends to vote too by posting it on your facebook status. Winner will be chosen at random at 9:00 AM Tuesday, December 18th.
Helene’s Turkey Taco Eggrolls
reprinted with permission from Kosher by Design Cooking Coach, Artscroll Publications yields 16 eggrolls
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound dark meat ground turkey
1 (1.25-ounce) packet Ortega taco seasoning mix
3⁄4 cup water
5 ounces (½ of a 10-ounce box) frozen spinach, completely defrosted
1 (1-pound) package eggroll wrappers; I like Nasoya brand
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
canola oil, for frying
bottled taco sauce or hot sauce for dipping
1. Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large (12-14-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon. Cook for 2-3 minutes until no longer pink and just starting to brown. Add the taco seasoning packet and the water. Bring to a simmer.
2. Squeeze all the liquid out of the 5 ounces of spinach. Add spinach to the pan and cook for 5 minutes longer. Stir to distribute the spinach. Cook until all liquid is cooked out. Remove from heat. Cool completely or the eggrolls will be soggy.
3. Arrange an eggroll wrapper on your cutting board facing you like a diamond. Brush the eggwash along the edges of the wrapper. Place 2 tablespoons of filling horizontally in the middle of the eggroll, form into a 4-inch log. Fold the bottom corner over the filling toward the top corner. Fold the two sides in toward the center. It should now look like an envelope. Roll firmly toward the top corner, making a roll 4 inches wide. Be careful not to tear wrapper, and seal the final edge with a brushing of the egg wash. Set aside, seam-side-down. Continue with remaining filling and wrappers.
4. In a deep fryer or in a medium pot, heat canola oil to 355°F. If using a pot, oil should to be deep enough to keep eggrolls from touching bottom of pan, at least 3 inches of oil. Fry eggrolls in batches, about 2-3 minutes until golden brown, turning occasionally; don’t crowd the pot. Drain on paper towels. Serve with taco sauce.
Make a double batch of the filling. It freezes beautifully up to a month. When you are ready to use, defrost it and mix with 1/4 cup jarred marinara sauce to make stuffed portobello mushroom caps. Bake at 350 degrees until the mushrooms are soft and the filling is warmed, about 20 minutes. You can also add an additional 1/2 cup marinara and serve over freshly cooked pasta.
Sometimes I feel like a grandma. And not just because I’m always tired from running after the kids or because I like to sit on the glider in my babies room and crochet. It’s because I have that old lady habit of not wanting to throw food away. And let me tell you people. I did not grow up that way. If a tomato so much as had a dimple, my mom would consider it rotten. Me? I go through my fridge and brainstorm about how I can use each and every fruit and vegetable to the last drop. If my fruits are getting too soft, I’ll make a compote. If my tomatoes are mushy, I’ll make a tomato soup. I just can’t stomach throwing food away. Lucky for my family, I don’t serve up Shabbos leftovers passed Monday, but I’ve been know to turn my leftover chicken soup into chicken pot pie. Lets hope I don’t become like one of those Bubby’s who is still serving up their leftover gefilte fish on Thursday!
Last week, I had some cherries that were on their way out. I thought about making cherry clafoutis, but I wasn’t really in the mood of baking (am I ever?). So I googled “leftover cherries” and I found my way to David Lebovitz’s cherries in red wine syrup. I’m a sucker for anything in red wine, so I knew I just had to make it. I’ve poached pears, figs, and prunes, but never cherries. My only issue with David’s recipe is that he uses cornstarch to thicken the sauce. I did not see a need for that at all. If you let the wine reduce enough, it will thicken into a lovely syrup. I served it over vanilla bean ice cream and pound cake, but I could eat it plain, straight out of a bowl.
Cherries in Red Wine Syrup adapted from David Lebovitz
1 pound fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups red wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Put the cherries, wine, vinegar, almond extract and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 30 minutes, until the cherries are wilted and the sauce has reduced and thickened.