This recipe came to me last week when I was preparing my salmon and I’m so glad it did because it’s JUST. SO. PRETTY!! I definitely have a thing with decorating a side of salmon, and I love how the apples resemble fish scales!
I think a memory a lot of us have of Rosh Hashanah from our childhood is that moment when the fish head was brought to the table and WE. HAD. TO. EAT. IT.!! It always smelled awful and that fish eye just stared at us, as if to say, you killed me and now you’re going to have to eat me!!! I still have nightmares from those fish heads. Nightmares!!!
When people ask for recipes for the fish head, I usually just tell them that no recipe is going to make anyone want to eat it so just throw tons of lemon on it and stick it in the oven! Most of the fish stores have been storing the fish heads all year, so they’re definitely not fresh, and you can smell it a mile away. I don’t know what’s worse, the eyeball staring back at me or the smell coming out of it!
That’s the thing about fish that people don’t realize – it really should never smell like fish! It should smell like the ocean. If your fish smells fishy, it’s probably not fresh and it will probably taste fishy after you cook it. Moral of the story – BUY FRESH FISH. And don’t try and get fancy with your fish head ‘cuz nobody wants to eat it anyway.
But this here? This is the fish that you WANT to serve. It’s the dish that everyone is going to OOH and AHH over. And you’re going to be feel like a gourmet goddess for pulling it off. At least, until, we pass the fish head around!
May we all be blessed to be like the head, and not the tail this year!
Apple Honey Mustard Salmon
2 lb. side of salmon
1/3 c apricot jam
2 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp Dijon
2 tbsp honey, plus more for drizzling
salt and pepper, to taste
1 red apple, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green apple, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the apricot jam, mustards, honey, salt and pepper. Brush the mixture generously over the salmon. Decorate the salmon by overlapping the apples, alternating between red and green until the salmon is covered. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and honey. Bake, uncovered for 25 minutes, basting once with the pan juices during cooking.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
NOTE: I prefer this recipe served fresh, but if you want to prepare it a day ahead, you can serve the next day at room temperature (reheating cooked salmon tends to make it fishy and dry).
And just like that, summer is over. I’m starting to smell that fresh, crisp fall air and the nights have that slight chill that wraps me like a warm sweater. If I’m honest, I don’t hate the winter at all, but I’ll sure miss the carefree spirit of summer and the smell of freshly cut grass.
I’m excited for the fall flavors that are making their way into the supermarkets. Pumpkins, persimmon and pomegranates are just a few of my favorite things and I can’t wait to see the seasonal produce on the shelves!
It’s a bit early for cranberry season, but you can easily use frozen cranberries in this recipe. The tartness of the berries are a great contrast to the sweetness of the apples and honey, and they make for the most luscious sauce that you’ll want to smother all over rice or noodles. Considering the popularity of my tart pomegranate roast, I think this chicken will be a winner as well!
Serve with a side of sweet tzimmes and braised leeks and you’ve got a simanim-filled entree worthy of your holiday table.
Cranberry Apple Braised Chicken
1 chicken, quartered (skin-on)
1 tbsp grapeseed or other neutral flavored oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 fuji apples, cut into eights
2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup port or sweet red wine
heaping 1/3 cup honey
a few sprigs of thyme
Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a dutch oven or oven-safe pot to medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear the chicken on both sides until browned. Add the wine, honey, apples, cranberries and thyme and season everything with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, allowing the alcohol to cook off for a minute or two and transfer the pot, covered, to a 350 degree oven. Bake the chicken for 1 1/2 hours.
I’ve been loving playing around with Instagram stories these days. It lets me post a step by step cooking tutorial and it’s just. so. fun! Last night I made Asian soup bowls with a richly flavored broth and a variety of vegetables for a make-you-own bowl dinner. I posted a play by play on my stories and the feedback was amazing!
I made these stuffed acorn squashes last Friday, using some of my leftover bacon-wrapped turkey from Thanksgiving. I posted a story as I made them and I got lots of requests for a formal written recipe. I managed a quick photoshoot, even though it was a hectic Friday and do I even need an explanation? I mean just look at these?!
I really love the idea of making this after Thanksgiving with some leftover turkey, but if you don’t have any, just leave it out and keep it vegan. With or without the turkey, this is a beautiful side dish that’s perfect for the fall, winter, holidays or just a weeknight cozy dinner. I put a poached egg over some leftover rice and lemme tell you….sooooo good!
Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing
3 acorn squashes
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 medium red onion, peeled and diced small
2 stalks celery, diced small
10oz. cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and sliced
1 box Near East long grain and wild rice pilaf, cooked according to package directions
1 3.5oz bag roasted chestnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup leftover diced turkey (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable stock (increase to 1 cup if using turkey)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place cut-side up on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle brown sugar over the squash halves and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and caramelized around the edges, about 40 minutes.
Add the remaining olive oil to a saute pan and saute the onion and celery until deeply caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper, and continue to saute until all the water evaporates and mushrooms caramelize. Add the rice, roasted chestnuts and diced turkey (if using) and stir to combine. Add the stock and cook the mixture until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring every few minutes. Add the dried cranberries.
Divide the rice stuffing among the roasted squash halves and serve.
VARIATION: I made this using some of my leftover kosher beef bacon-wrapped turkey, and I added some of the bacon to the dish as well. If you wish to do do so (it adds a nice smoky and crispy element), just crisp up your favorite variety and stir in the stuffing before serving (don’t add it during cooking or it will get soggy).
It’s that time of year again. The season is (finally) changing, the leaves are starting to color, and Pumpkin Spice Latte is back on the Starbuck’s menu. It’s when all the blogs start to dish out their sweet pumpkin creations and I betchya thought I was one of them.
Pumpkin is alright. I even made my usual mini pumpkin pies for Rosh Hashanah last week. What I didn’t make was tzimmes. Lets just say that that cloyingly sweet dish of honey-sweetened carrots and sweet potatoes (sometimes with added prunes) is not one of my favorites. My mom always makes a big pot (tradition!) with the addition of marrow bones and flanken, but somehow it always manages to make it’s rounds around the table, barely making a dent in the heaping pile of sweetness. That’s just it – the stuff is just. too. sweet. And the more I discuss holiday menu’s with people, the more I hear that tzimmes is on the out (I guess my tzimmes roast is going to get buried real deep in the archives!)
Most people keep tzimmes on their menus because it’s traditional to eat carrots over the holidays. Besides for the obvious symbolism for a sweet New Year, the Yiddish word for carrots is meren, to multiply, which is a blessing we hope for in the coming year. Not being a big fan of tzimmes, I try to incorporate my carrots elsewhere, such as in a raw slaw, or roasting them with some maple and harissa.
It occurred to me that with Yom Kippur upon us, and Sukkot not too far away, a savory play on tzimmes ingredients might we a welcome change. I decided to do that in the form of a soup, and to incorporate some of my favorite Thai flavors – curry (for some heat), honey (for some sweet) and coconut milk (for some creaminess). To make it festive and holiday worthy, I added cilantro matzo balls to round out the flavors and keep things exciting!
Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of cilantro but I am coming around. I used to find it completely intolerable but I am slowly sneaking in small amounts and it’s growing on me. Honey + curry though are one of my favorite combinations and I use it in curries, chicken recipes, fish dishes, roasted chickpeas and even popcorn. There’s something about the sweet and spicy that I absolutely love.
I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve seen on Facebook recently lamenting the lack of savory recipes in kosher cookbooks. Every roast is smothered in a sweet concoction, chicken is doused in apricot jam and don’t even get me started on the ridiculous amount of sugar in salad dressings. I mean, I get it. I grew up that way too. But the only way out of the sugar coma is to slowly reduce the amount of sweetness you add to recipes and to introduce more savory (and if you’re open to it, spicy) food. It’s all about conditioning your palette. If you go back to the old recipes on my blog, you can see for yourself how I’ve slowly transitioned to more savory foods. Now, when I taste a salad that’s been doused in sweet dressing, I can’t even swallow it.
There’s a place in food for all that sugar – it’s called dessert, and that’s why we all love it so much! And finishing a meal off with something sweet is precisely why you should start it with something savory. So, now that Rosh Hashanah is behind us, and we don’t *have* to douse everything in apples and honey, lets welcome the New Year with a newer savory approach to food. This curried carrot and sweet potato soup is a great place to start because it’s both sweet and savory with a nice amount of heat from the ginger and curry.
Wishing you a sweet New Year as sweet as honey and as spicy as curry. Shanah Tova Umetuka!
Curried Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp curry powder
4 large carrots (about 2 lbs), peeled and roughly chopped
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs), peeled and roughly chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 14oz. can coconut milk
2-3 tbsp honey, or, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
cilantro, for garnish
In a soup pot, saute the onion in coconut oil until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until softened. Add the curry powder and continue to saute until fragrant. Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender and add the coconut milk and honey. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. If desired, you may adjust the consistency by adding more coconut milk, stock or water.
Food blogging has taken me to some truly amazing places (front cover of The Wall Street journal, anyone?), but none as priceless as some of the friendships I’ve made through the process. Melinda of Kitchen-Tested has become my “lets-pig-out-at-this-restaurant” buddy, my recipe idea sounding board, my support coach (“You can do this Chanie!”) but most of all, my friend (awwwww….can I grab you a tissue Mel?). So, aside from being an amazing chef (her desserts are so impressive, she should open a bakery), Melinda is totally fearless in the kitchen. She comes up with the craziest stuff you’ve ever seen [like bagel, lox and cream cheese hamantaschen! pecan pie bacon (kosher bacon) and falafel mozzarella sticks!] but she also knows how to keep it simple with down-home-delicious-recipes [like puff pastry potato roses, classic red velvet cake and Texas-style dry rub brisket). I’m honored to have Melinda guest post for me today, and I hope you enjoy her Rosh-Hashanah inspired recipe! Welcome Mel!
Today is a great day because I get to write a recipe for Busy in Brooklyn! Hi, I’m Melinda Strauss and my blog is Kitchen-Tested.com. Ever heard of me??? Basically, you all want to be me today! Chanie is one of the coolest people I know and her masterful recipes blow me away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Chanie loves tahini, cookie butter, marzipan and long walks on the beach. But really, Chanie loves her family and that’s why I’m here on her blog. She recently gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl and all I can say is “Mazal Tov…now move to Long Island!!!” Oh, did I say that out loud? Seriously, my dream is for Chanie to become Busy in The Five Towns so she can live closer to me and I can babysit while she takes naps and maybe goes out for those long walks on the beach.
So about this recipe…sure, you can eat mashed potatoes or you can eat roasted potatoes but why not get a bit of both in every bite? I love this recipe because it’s a one-pan-wonder packed with crazy amounts of flavor. The potatoes are steamed in the oven then smashed, drizzled with tons of olive oil and garlic and roasted with leeks. I love how the leeks get super crunchy in the oven and act as added texture for the potatoes, which are soft in the center and crispy around the edges. The fun thing about this recipe is that you can add any of your favorite spices to the potatoes and you can even throw some fresh whole garlic in the pan. Go nuts and make these roasted smashed potatoes your own!
Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Leeks
1 pound baby red potatoes
1 cup water
1 large leek, only white part sliced thinly (green tops discarded)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place potatoes on a sheet pan, pour water in pan and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain any remaining water from the pan and set the potatoes aside for 10 minutes.
Stir together the olive oil and minced garlic. Add the leeks to the pan then drizzle the potatoes and leeks with 3 tablespoons of the garlic oil to coat all sides.
Space the potatoes out evenly in the pan and smash each one down with a potato smasher, the back of a heavy cup or the palm of your hand. Flatten the potatoes to around 1/2 inch thick. Don’t worry if some break apart. Each potato will smash in a unique way.
Drizzle the potatoes with the remaining oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the potatoes and leeks for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and crispy around the edges. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.