Winner Winner Chicken Dinner-Mustard and Balsamic

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Chicken in Marinade for 1/2 hour

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Chicken finished cooking

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plated chicken

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Lemon and chopped Rosemary

IMG_7545 I made this for dinner the other night and I have to say it was very delicious. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, of course you can use any cut of chicken you’d like.  All I needed was the chicken and the fresh rosemary.  I had all the other ingredients on hand. You will need to marinate for about 1/2 hour and cooking time is about an hour, no need to marinate over night which is part of what I loved about this recipe.  Balsamic Vinegar and Dijon Mustard and a few other easily obtainable ingredients make this a no fuss recipe.  This recipe is for 8 boneless skinless thighs but feel free to double it up, I used about 10 thighs . It would be perfect on the grill as well. I used my oven and I have to say we both loved this recipe.

The chicken would also be wonderful on day 2 as a leftover in a salad!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

8 boneless chicken thighs

1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard ( make it heaping)

1/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 cup of Olive Oil

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice ( I average lemon)

2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

app.  1/4 tsp. of kosher salt, I just sprinkled lightly over the chicken and about 6 grinds on the pepper mill. If you’re doubling recipe you will obviously need more salt and pepper

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, garlic, rosemary and lemon juice. Slowly add in the olive oil with the mixture while you whisk–to emulsify.

Place the chicken in a container or Pyrex  (don’t use metal). I sprinkled about 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt over the chicken tops.  Pour the marinade over the chicken. I left it out for 1/2 hour and let it marinate, you can refrigerate it.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Transfer the chicken to a sprayed ( cooking spray ) baking dish and empty any remaining sauce on top of it.

Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour , or until the chicken is cooked through. It got a nice crust without drying out the chicken after one hour. Depending on your oven and the size of your chicken 1 hour should do it. If you’re working with breasts you’ll have to cut into chicken after 50 minutes to check for doneness depending on the size of your breasts. Haven’t tried it on the grill yet but I can’t imagine this would be anything but delicious, just don’t burn it up!!!!!!

Springtime in a Bowl – Shrimp, Asparagus and Tomato Pasta

Springtime in a Bowl to brighten up this dreary Monday . Try it !

Cooking with Candi

It is really Springtime now even if it is feeling cooler than it should today in NY. That being said it is still Spring and it just makes you want to lighten up the menu a bit and my mind immediately goes to asparagus!  This recipe is a variation on my Summertime Tomato Pasta. I wanted to use some of those beautiful asparagus out there. Even though I knew Joel would pick them out , I still made this dish. The asparagus are large enough for him to easily pick out and put on my plate. This dish is light and delicious and pretty quick to prepare. It is like springtime in a bowl!  There are so very many things to do with asparagus but this just appealed to me tonite and if you leave the shrimp out you have a lovely vegetarian pasta dish and if you leave the pasta out you have a super light…

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Springtime Shrimp, Orzo and Herbs

While this dish is really a mediterranean flavored dish it makes me think of the spring with all its green colors and fresh flavors. Even though it is still pretty cold here in the Northeast I am officially done with Winter. So why not lighten up the menu? I am in a Spring mind-set now and this recipe screams Spring! If you didn’t catch this recipe the first time around here it is again.

The shrimp gets a roasted treatment and the orzo gets it’s flavor from the lemons, feta, dill, scallions and red onions. Yum! It had me at hello. The original recipe is from Ina Garten and this recipe as is should serve 5- 6 nicely. I cut this recipe in 1/2 for the two of us. Simple, easy and delicious that’s the way I like it!
Enjoy and obviously this dish is delicious and right for all times of the year. What’s especially nice about this dish is that it can be served at room temperature which makes it a lovely dish for a luncheon as well. This will be a keeper throughout the summer for a delicious flavorful orzo salad. I have to add that I put this dish together rather quickly which always adds to my general love of a recipe.

You can also modify the amounts of herbs if you don’t enjoy the strong flavors of dill, scallions and onions. My husband is a very fussy eater who usually balks at the sight of anything green thoroughly enjoyed this dish without picking out a single piece of the green stuff! If you don’t like the strong flavor of dill this recipe will probably not be for you but if you enjoy dill, parsley, onion, scallions and cucumbers this is the one for you.

Ingredients:

This is the original recipe and should serve 6 very nicely. I cut in 1/2 and we had a little left over.

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper– amounts are listed below in directions

Olive Oil – amounts listed below in directions

3/4 lb. orzo pasta

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (app. 3 lemons)

2 lbs. shrimp – peeled and deveined . I used Jumbo Shrimp had the fish store peel and de-vein it and I had app. 14 pieces to the pound.

1 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts–this will probably be 2 bunches of scallions

1 cup chopped fresh dill

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and medium diced– I scooped out the seeds with a melon baller

1/2 cup small-diced red onion

3/4 lb good feta cheese, cut into cubes

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare all the ingredients while orzo is cooking.

Cook orzo according to the box for al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice , 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Meantime, place the shrimp on a sprayed sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. ( I mix the shrimp with clean hands and get the olive oil all over the shrimp then sprinkle with Salt and Pepper) Then spread in a single layer. Roast for 5-6 minutes till shrimp are cooked through. Do not Over-cook!!! shrimp will turn pink and curl up.

Add the cooked shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion and start with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and add more if necessary, and app. 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of black pepper–obviously every one has different taste buds for salt and pepper but taste as you go. Toss well. Then add the feta and stir carefully. (remember that the shrimp has salt and so does the feta)

You can eat and enjoy immediately like we did or allow the flavors to seal in for an hour at room temperature. This would make for a lovely salad in the warmer months served at room temperature. If you make ahead and put in the refrigerator–bring to room temperature and taste for seasonings before serving. This would be fine to make ahead of time as long as you bring it to room temperature before serving .

 

 

You don’t have to be Jewish to love Matzo Brei

One of our all time favorite Breakfast Foods during Passover . It’s so good you may want to eat throughout the year. Yum!

Cooking with Candi

It’s all about the Matzo. Matzo and Eggs or so it seems. I always loved Matzo Brei since I’m a little girl, and I always wondered why it is that we only eat this delicious concoction during Passover.  It’s such a delicious treat why don’t we eat it more often? In our house we usually eat it till the matzo runs out. Usually for the week of Passover, then we stop. It’s so good. Everyone has their own little special spin on it.  Before I met Joel I always ate my matzo brei sweet with maple syrup sort of a matzo french toast. Joel loves it crispy and salty with a lot of pepper and since I know him he always asks for it this way. I sort of grew to love it this way as well. What’s not to love?  You definitely don’t have to be Jewish to love…

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Passover Popovers

Super easy and Super light and delicious. Give this one a try. These are delicious during Passover with some preserves in the morning as well as with your Seder Meal. Enjoy and Happy Passover Cooking from my kitchen to yours. I used a muffin tin and it worked out perfectly. Bake these light airy treats for your Seder to rave reviews. One per person is perfect , this recipe yielded 9 popovers. photo20130321-113701.jpg photo

Ingredients:

1 cup cake meal

4 eggs — always work with room temperature eggs unless otherwise stated for best results

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup peanut oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the cake meal, salt and sugar in a bowl.

Bring oil and water to a boil, add cake meal mixture and remove from stove.

Beat in one egg at a time and mix a lot. It will be thick.

Allow to stand for 15 minutes.

Drop into a well-greased muffin or popover tin using a tablespoon to 3/4 full. I spray with cooking spray . I used a Canola Oil baking spray, or lightly grease pan with canola oil.

Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes till medium golden brown. I placed pan in the center of the oven .

Warm before serving if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional Ashkenazi Charoset–Apple/Walnut

DSCN2703This is my easiest Charoset. It’s traditional in the sense that it’s an Ashkenazi (Eastern European) recipe. I add a little brown sugar instead of white sugar and it gives it just a bit more character. This makes about 4 cups, but you can easily double it. My family loves it, so I always make a double batch. Remember, while a reminder of the mortar used in making bricks for Pharaoh, charoset is really just a sweet condiment of apples and wine!

Ingredients:

3 medium Fuji apples (or any other kind you like), peeled, cored and finely diced (use processor to make your life simpler) I usually use whatever is in the house, but on Passover I go through so many apples, so buy what you like (I always like Granny Smith because they are nice and tart)

1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped (buy them pre-chopped)

1/2 cup sweet red wine such as Manischewitz Extra Heavy Malaga or just Concord Grape is fine

*20 pitted dates, chopped; or 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

*for a bit of extra added flavor you can add 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger (optional)

Directions:

After chopping apples, stir all ingredients in a large bowl. Keep in refrigerator ’til ready to serve. Serve at room temperature. You can also pulse everything together in processor, just be very careful not to over-process. I often do this to save time. You don’t want it too fine, so just go gently with the processor if you go that route. I do it in the processor, and I know exactly how I like it to come out, so go easy with the chopping.  If it’s a little dry or too thick, you can always add more wine. I find this always tastes better after it sits and allows the wine  to really soak and ripen for 24 hours. Before serving, check for consistency and add a little more wine, if necessary.

Chicken Marbella–perfect for Passover

This is by far one of my most favorite chicken dishes that I make for the Holidays. It’s a great chicken dish for anytime really. 👍🏻👍🏻

Cooking with Candi

This recipe is my “go to” chicken. I’ve made it almost every Passover since I found it. The original recipe is from the”Silver Palate” cookbook. It was many winters ago that I first had it at my friend Susan’s house.  It has been a staple on my holiday table ever since. Not to say that it is not a recipe for every other day of the year and week, because it’s perfect for anytime. There is also the Brisket recipe that I posted during Rosh Hashana which is on the website, as well as the Honey Roasted Chicken, and Meatballs which all work well for this holiday. I usually make the Chicken Marbella and the meatballs as another dish.

Enjoy!

*The key to this recipe is the overnight marination, which is essential to the moistness of the chicken.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup pitted…

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Spinach Souffle for Passover-So Very Easy-Vegetarian/Dairy Side

Here we are again with all the matzoh meal and no flour for Passover, not to mention the 6 eggs that seem to be in every recipe.  I figured I’d be helpful for all of those looking for ways to reinvent the wheel. This recipe contains cinchy, easy ingredients, and its usually a crowd pleaser. So many variations of the same thing. This one can be made ahead and frozen, which is great. You will just cook it 1/2 way through before freezing, then defrost and cook at 350 degrees for about another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes later. This is a dairy side dish, so obviously won’t work for everyone but hold on to it because it is a keeper when looking for a vegetarian dairy side dish.

Ingredients: (can be doubled)

2 pkgs. frozen spinach (2 boxes) ( it’s app. 20 oz. of spinach, a bag and a half or 2 boxes)

1  bar of cream cheese (feel free to go lite but not fat-free please) *original recipe calls for 1 lb. I’ve been using 1 bar which is 8 oz. and works fine. Obiously it will be that much creamier but not necessary with 2 bars.(1 lb) and that much more fattening! you can leave out to soften or use microwave to soften, not melt.

2 lbs. cottage cheese (also not fat-free please) part skim is just fine

1 cup matzoh meal

6 eggs, well-beaten

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a nice casserole or any baking dish you like to serve in (round souffle large ramekin is perfect) with Pam. Cook spinach thoroughly according to directions (you can microwave it) and drain well by squeezing out all the water–which is the most important tip. Melt the cream cheese in microwave (start out with about 20 seconds, which should do it; but if not, do a little more at a time until totally melted). Add all ingredients in bowl, salt and pepper to taste. Bake 1 hour until golden brown at 350 degrees. If you are making this ahead of time, as I said you can cook 1/2 way through and freeze. Then the day before you want to serve it, take it out of freezer, defrost, and cook the rest of the way through–another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes till golden brown, and bubbly.

Grandma Regina’s Farfel for Passover

DSCN2696DSCN2700I must preface this with the fact that anyone who’s ever had this farfel dish loves it. It is steeped in tradition, it was made absolutely the best by my Grandma Regina, and only seconded by my mother (G’ma Millie). It is a very tricky dish to make, and after many failed attempts, I figured out that doubling it doesn’t work, and you must let it dry out!!! It should probably sit out to dry for at least 2 hours. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true. Of course, G’ma Regina never wrote a single thing down, so you’ll be winging the spices and the oil, because I always do. It’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s so delish and we only  make it but once a year. When I was little I couldn’t wait to have it at my grandparents’ house. We looked forward to it every year at Seder. It’s no surprise that it’s Joel’s favorite. He remembers my grandmother’s and that’s a tough act to follow even after all these years.  It’s tradition in our house to always have it on Passover, and what better way to remember Grandma Regina. There is no better legacy to a great cook than a well cooked farfel.

This recipe is definitely passed down with love and lots of patience because this recipe takes time and love. It is well worth it though.

Happy Passover!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 canisters matzoh farfel–I used 14 ounce containers

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced (regular white mushrooms)

2 spanish onions, peeled and sliced thinly

Vegetable oil

Kosher salt (app. 1 tablespoon)

Freshly ground black pepper (app. 1/2 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon garlic powder (every year I guess this amount. If you’d like, you can also use fresh garlic, and then it would probably be approx. 2 minced cloves.)

Paprika (get some good paprika here and use a good dash for color)

6 eggs

Directions:

Beat eggs with spices (the paprika will add a red color). Coat the farfel with the egg mixture. Add oil to a large heavy skillet, about 1/4 inch deep, and heat over medium-high flame. Toss farfel in the hot oil, and coat well; farfel should brown a little bit. (Don’t burn.) Then add water to just cover the farfel, bring to a boil, then simmer until water dissolves. After the water is all gone I turn the flame off and just let it sit there and dry out. I cannot emphasize enough how important this step is. Go out and do something else, and come back to it.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, saute the mushrooms and onions with salt and pepper and a dash of paprika here as well.  The farfel is very bland and you’ll need the salt and pepper. Put this in a container ’til you’re ready to use it. You will eventually add it to dried out farfel. When farfel is completely dried out (at least 2 hours), add the mushroom and onion mixture to it. Taste for salt and pepper. Mix well and bake in a Pyrex dish at 375 degrees for about  1 – 1/2 hours. You want it to get crispy. If it’s too dry, add a little more oil to baking dish. Stir it often–you’ll have to open oven a few times and stir. Your house will smell great while making this. My family likes this on the crispy side, so I let it cook for a long time, but you’ll be able to tell when it’s done–it will be bubbly and crispy! Enjoy and good luck!

Marcy’s Matzoh Crunch ( like candy)

Many years ago I made this recipe and it was awesome. I’ve had it in various people’s homes, and it is so good. My gf Marcy ( who is a great cook) says she must always supply it for her kids, and she keeps in tins in refrigerator and sends them home with it ( even better) this is the stuff that I find deadly to keep around. It’s candy, and fun to make with your kids or grandkids. You can use white chocolate or toasted almonds /walnuts etc. or stick with recipe as it is. You would add the walnuts sprinkled on top as chocolate is setting. Thanks for sharing  the recipe Marcy.

Ingredients:

4 – 6 unsalted matzoh sheets

1 cup unsalted butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

3/4 cup chocolate chips or semi-sweet chips

*nuts if you’d like sprinkled on top (almonds/walnuts etc.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Line a cookie sheet with foil and cover bottom of pan with baking parchment on top of foil. ( this is important b/c mixture is very very sticky) Line bottom of pan evenly with matzoh sheets, cutting extra pieces of matzoh to fit on the cookie sheet as even as possible. Combine margarine/butter and brown sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour over matzoh. Place in oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes watching to make sure the mixture is not burning. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread melted chocolate over matzoh. While still warm, cut into squares or odd shapes and put in refrigerator until set. Chocolate will get hard. I think it’s better to go with the “odd shapes” as it may be hard to cut perfectly square. You can use white chocolate, and if you’d like sprinkle nuts on top as I mentioned above.