Well hello there old friend!! I’ve been busier than ever in Brooklyn – well, everywhere really! It’s been a whirlwind tour ever since the book came out in March and time just got away from me – but here I am, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. (Well I’m not actually home, but home is where the heart is, and it all started right. here.)
I always come back for the holidays because they have a special place in my heart, especially ones where we celebrate over dairy delights like Shavuot. Gimme all the cheese!!!! This sheet pan lasagna is going to change the game for you – from a layered patchke dish, to a simple on-pan main! I used cottage cheese because the creamy curds are having a trendy moment all over our social feeds (it stops at cottage cheese ice cream for me!!), but feel free to use ricotta as well.
Sheet Pan Lasagna
16oz lasagna sheets, broken into pieces
16oz whipped cottage cheese (or ricotta cheese)
1 clove of garlic, minced
Zest of half a lemon
2 frozen basil cubes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp Freshly ground pepper or pinch red pepper flakes
1 egg yolk
1 26oz jar marinara sauce
12oz shredded cheese, divided
3 cups kale or spinach
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t stick together.
While the pasta is cooking, combine the cottage cheese, garlic, lemon zest, basil, oregano, pepper and egg yolk in a bowl. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Drain the pasta and spread it out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Add the marinara sauce, kale, and 12oz. of cheese and stir to combine. Spread the noodles out on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Top with dollops of cottage cheese, the remaining shredded cheese and parmesan.
Bake the pasta until the edges of the kale and pasta are crisp and the cheese is bubbly, about 18-20 minutes.
Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there was a Jewish blogger who happened upon a little-know-custom of eating salami on Purim since it’s hung, like the evil Haman was hanged on the gallows. She loved to celebrate the holidays with fun spins on traditions but salami was knows to give her nightmares.
When she was a girl, said blogger was forced to eat salami sandwiches on Friday afternoons, which she promptly threw down the incinerator chute of her apartment building, horrified by the hard white pieces in the salami. She swore off the cured sausage forever.
As a young bridge, not knowing how to cook, and on a newlywed budget, she was introduced to the humble dish of salami and eggs. She learned, that once cooked, the “hard white pieces” in the salami, rendered out into flavorful fat that crisped up the salami into crunchy bits of deliciousness. Intrigued, she hopped on board the salami wagon.
And so, each year, as an ode to her transformation, she puts a spin on salami dishes for the holiday. There was no outdoing her drunken hasselback salami, which has since graced the tables of thousands of Jewish households and deli counters worldwide.
….And now back to first person, I am spellbound that I have carried on this tradition for TEN YEARS here on the blog!! I couldn’t be more proud! This year, my salami inspiration comes by way of Italy, a trip that continues to inspire my cooking on the daily.
Italy is known for it’s pasta, but equally for it’s charcuterie, including salami. This flavorful yet humble dish, marries a garlicky tomato sauce with spicy chili flakes, and rich salami chunks that get crisped up to perfection. Truly worthy of your holiday feast!
In true Italian style, this recipe makes use of the salty and starchy pasta water to build the sauce, so make sure not to drain it and read the full recipe before proceeding!
YIELD: 8 servings
14oz. Abeles & Heymann salami, cut into chunks
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for finishing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or, to taste
6oz. tomato paste
kosher salt, to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is heating up, add the salami to a cold pan. Set the heat to medium and cook the salami until it’s crispy and browned, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the pasta to the water and cook until just under al dente, about 9 minutes. (Read the full recipe first, do not drain the pasta as you will need the pasta water!).
Add the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until softened and fragrant, but not browned. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook until it darkens and caramelizes, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of pasta cooking water and whisk until creamy.
Remove the spaghetti from the pot and toss directly into the tomato sauce, adding more pasta water, if needed, to thin it out. Add in the salami and serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil and additional red pepper flakes for garnish.
I never thought I’d say this but Tiktok is actually good for SOMETHING. The viral baked feta pasta that took the internet by storm last week got me thinking!
It’s salami o’clock here at Busy in Brooklyn, which means it’s that time of year that I make something WOW with Abeles & Heymann salami in honor of Purim (since salami is hung like the evil Haman in the Purim story!).
So what do you think I did? I roasted up those tomatoes with olives, onions, garlic and yes, SALAMI, a la ANTIPASTO. I mean, HOW. GOOD. DOES. THAT. LOOK. (no that’s not a question!)
So, I toss up that roasted antipasto medley with some tricolor pasta for a BOMB appetizer that is just perfect for your Purim meal. I am in love. Thank you TikTok.
So, a few things about this “recipe”, it’s not really a “recipe”. Go ahead and roast whatever you like in there – artichokes, mushrooms, peppers, chickpeas. Just give it all a nice drizzle of oil and let it go for a while until it’s all soft and tender.
And feel free to use some bowtie pasta, or whatever shape you like, or for a no-carb version, toss it with some hearts of palm spaghetti!
Or just serve as an appetizer with some crusty bread. SALAMI HAS NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD!
Roasted Antipasto Salad
YIELD: 8 servings
12oz. tricolor rotini, cooked according to package directions
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
7oz. salami, cut into cubes
1 small red onion, cut into chunks
1 cup mixed black and green olives
handful of garlic cloves
3 strips lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place tomatoes, salami, red onions, olives, garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, basil, oregano, salt and pepper into a baking dish. You want everything in one layer, with plenty of room around (my dish was a bit snug!). Bake, uncovered, for 40-50 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Mix the roasted vegetables with the pasta, and toss gently to combine. Add in the red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Season, to taste with more salt and pepper.
VARIATION: for a carb-free version, use hearts of palm pasta instead of rotini.
It all started with Zahav, the fabulous book on Israeli cooking by Michael Solomonov. Reading Michael’s descriptions of traditional Yemenite soup made me want to charter a flight to Israel, but I did the next best thing: I purchased some Hawaij (and practiced the pronunciation more times than I’d like to admit….CHA-WAYIJ). I was hooked.
There’s just something about the warm golden spices that transports me – and I don’t even know where. I’m 5th generation American on my Mom’s side, and while my Dad is Israeli, his Ashkenazi mother was cooking up shlishkes when he was a kid. I’ve got no Sephardic blood, although I later married into a Syrian family where they cook up their couscous with allspice. This, then, is the power of hawaij, I decided. It has the ability to carry you to a place you never even knew – but it feels like home. Perhaps it’s my souls yearning for Jerusalem, the city of gold, the color of this truly intoxicating blend: Zahav.
Of course the first thing I cooked up with Hawaij for soup wasn’t soup. Because I never go the traditional route (you should know that by now). Instead, I made Jerusalem Hummus in Jars, followed by Hawaij Garlic Confit (you can find that life-changing recipe in my cookbook, Millennial Kosher), some roasted chicken and potatoes, and, yes, finally the soup (where I mixed the meat and chicken in one pot). I also explored the sweet side of Hawaij, with Hawaij for coffee – although of course not in coffee – with my Hawaij Honey Cake.
If you’re confused – let me explain. Hawaij is so good – the Yemenites decided to make two blends – one sweet and one savory. The savory one is used for classic Yemenite soup and the sweet one, for coffee. But the magic spice deserves more and I’m all over it.
So this summer I was putting up a last minute pot of Israeli couscous when I realized I was out of chicken and vegetable stock. I prefer not to cook my couscous in water, since it’s kind of bland, so I looked through my spice cabinet to see how I could improvise. The hawaij for soup looked at me and I realized that if I didn’t have soup – then I could just let the hawaij for soup take it’s place, and then THIS happened! It’s everything you never knew you wanted in Israeli couscous and it’s about to become your go-to recipe.
And since I know by your messages that y’all have hawaij in your cabinets by now, no need to go searching. Just make sure you use the savory blend otherwise this will be a couscous to remember for other reasons (insert facepalm here!).
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 large onion, diced small
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
2 heaping tbsp hawaij for soup
1 17.7oz. pkg Israeli couscous (or 2 8.8oz. bags)
1 15oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, optional
kosher salt, to taste
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a deep skillet and saute the onion until deeply golden. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms caramelize. Add remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and hawaij seasoning and continue to saute until the spices are toasted and fragrant. Add the couscous and saute until lightly toasted. Add chickpeas, if desired, 5 cups of water and salt and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Stir and serve.
VARIATION: I’ve tried this recipe with just onions, onions and mushrooms, and onions, mushrooms and chickpeas. I ended up liking the one with just onions the most but you can also try with peppers, eggplant and/or other vegetables.
NOTE: If you prepare the couscous in advance, add a bit of water, cover and steam for a few minutes, mixing with a spoon to loosen up the couscous before serving.
I don’t know about you, but the only thing that keeps me from making blintzes on Shavuot is the crepe-making. The rest of the process is fairly easy, and I don’t even mind the light frying. But those crepes, man they are hard to nail down.
My mom so hates the crepe-making process that she’s been ordering her crepes ready-made from a caterer for years. Instead, she puts her attention on delicious homemade fillings – creamy potato with deeply caramelized onions and sweet cheese with an apricot sauce for dipping. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
I’m all for finding the easier way around dishes and this lasagna roll-up blintz hack is no exception! I love me some savory lasagna roll-ups, filled with spinach-flecked creamy ricotta and oozing with cheesy mozzarella, so why not go sweet, amIright? Dredging the sweet-filled pasta sheets in Corn Flake crumbs and frying them really takes it over the top, and I’m one happy crepe-free Momma.
What I really love about these decadent Shavuot treats is that they truly resemble blintzes, and if you want to stay away from the fryer, just go ahead and serve them up without the breading. You can add some chopped nuts for texture, and of course the requisite sour cream and strawberry sauce. Cuz blintzes without sour cream are a sad, sad thing.
Those of you that have been following my diet journey over on Instagram know that I’ve been staying away from delicious carby treats like these for the past couple of weeks, so I had to send them straight out of the house as soon as I was done making them. I don’t have the willpower to say no to a piping hot plate of sweet, crunchy, cheesy pasta rolls, do you? If your answer is yes, please tell me your secret ‘cuz I’m gonna need it come the cheesecake holiday.
We’re pretty low key when it comes to dairy in my house – I only serve it once a week, and it’s usually pizza, mac ‘n cheese or baked ziti. But Shavuot? Shavuot is the time for cheesy French onion soup, 4-cheese lasagna, a cheese board of your dreams, and of course plenty of cheesecake and blintzes. And lets not forget the dairy ice cream either. G-d help me survive this decadent holiday!
I’m pretty stoked to be hosting my mom for the first time this year – she’s usually the one who hosts, so I better get my menu planned. Stay tuned, I’ll share it with you soon. In the meantime, have a look at the Index for some inspiration!
Lets get rollin’!
Lasagna Roll-Up Blintzes
1 package lasagna noodles
16oz. ricotta cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
3 tbsp heavy cream or whole milk
3 cup Corn Flake crumbs
canola oil, for frying
powder sugar, for dusting
Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and spread the noodles on a light greased surface. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and salt.
Spread a heaping spoonful of the cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle and roll the noodles up. Place seam side down on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs and heavy cream. In a second shallow bowl, add the Corn Flake crumbs and season with a pinch of salt.
Remove the roll-ups from the freezer and dip each roll in eggs and then cornflake crumbs, shaking off the excess each time. Work with a few at a time so that the rolls don’t start to defrost and lose their shape. Return the rolls to the freezer until you are ready to fry.
Heat a few inches of oil in a skillet and fry the rollups, turning so that all the sides are browned. Drain on paper towels.
Dust the rolls generously with powdered sugar and serve with strawberry sauce.
– If you desire a smooth cheese filling, blend the cheese mixture in a food processor or blender (you may not need all the lasagna noodles as the volume of the cheese will decrease).
– Use equal parts graham cracker crumbs and Corn Flake crumbs for a sweeter breading.
– Serve with your favorite warmed jam or pie filling.
16oz frozen strawberries
2 tbsp sugar, or, to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
Add the ingredients to a small saucepan and cook until the strawberries are soft. Mash the berries with a fork to break them up and cook over low heat until thickened. If desired, blend with an immersion blender or serve chunky. Adjust sweetness according to your taste and the sweetness of the fruit.