Category Archives: Uncategorized

Chicken Fajitas on the Grill

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IMG_5593.JPG Wow–Fajitas on the Grill and the best part is there were no pots and pans to clean up! Cooked in Aluminum Foil Packs right on the grill! They call them Hobo Packs.

Very quick prep and delicious ingredients. Feel free to substitute whatever peppers you would prefer. This is what I did.

Last night there were 4 of us so I used about 2 lbs. of chicken but kept everything else the same and it worked out just fine!

You’ll need heavy-duty aluminum foil for the grill.

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Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken tenders–you can 1/2 them lengthwise into thin strips or leave them whole which is what I did. If you can’t find tenders use a cutlet and cut into thin strips.

1 medium red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick (approximately)

1 poblano chile or serrano chile whatever you can get. Stemmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips. I used both .

1 Red Bell Pepper–cut into strips lengthwise

1 Yellow Bell Pepper –cut into strips lengthwise

*you can really use any peppers that you’d like–these are the ones I used Shishito Peppers would be wonderful as well.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper- you’ll need to be fairly generous with the salt –I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill.

4 -6 fresh oregano sprigs–at least 1 in each packet–I used 2 in each packet.

1 lime, thinly sliced crosswise

Warm flour or corn tortillas, sour cream , guacamole and salsa and some hot sauce for serving. I used small tortillas but any kind will work out nicely. This is a very easy Summer Meal.

Directions:

Cut up all the veggies, onions and chicken and light the grill, I had the grill turned up high , it should be medium to high. I put it to high to pre-heat and then lowered to a more medium – high, if you are unable to do this step just check on them after 12 minutes to make sure the bottom isn’t burning.

In a large bowl, toss the chicken, onion and all the peppers with the olive oil and cumin seeds. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss again.

Arrange 4 14 inch sheets of heavy duty foil on a work surface ( see pics) app. 14 inches don’t get the ruler out. Just eyeball it, it needs to fit a pile of veggies and chicken. Last night I increased the chicken so we had about 6 packs.

Pile the chicken and veggies evenly on one 1/2 of each foil sheet and top with the oregano and lime slices. Fold the foil over the ingredients and pinch the edges to seal.

Place the foil packets on the grill, close the lid and cook over moderately high heat until the chicken is cooked through, anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes.

Open the packets and serve with warm flour fajitas, sour cream , guacamole, salsa and hot sauce.

*Packets can be made a night ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Baked Shrimp with Feta

Still recuperating from my partial knee replacement surgery but couldn’t face another take-out meal. Luckily for me I am in NYC now and was able to order all of my ingredients on line from Agata and Valentina and had it delivered and Joel cleaned up so all was good. This tasted as good as any Greek Restaurant dish I’ve had. I know the Italians think it’s against the law to put cheese on seafood but gratefully the Greeks don’t. This is super tasty and very easy to make. I served over orzo and it was perfect. I ordered my shrimp cleaned and de-veined and used very large (under 10 white shrimp). I used San Marzano canned tomatoes and delicious Greek Feta Cheese. The only thing I forgot to order was some fresh mint to sprinkle on top.

Ingredients:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 nice size garlic cloves, minced

Salt and Pepper –Use Kosher Salt and Freshly ground black pepper

1 large can San Marzano Tomatoes in juice –28 oz. size can

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and de-veined. I used under 10’s and white shrimp. You can stretch this for more people with another 1/2 lb. which will probably get you to 3-4 people as a main dish. Figure 4 shrimp per person. Also the orzo stretches this as well.

1/2 lb. Greek Feta Cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

*2 Tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint

Orzo according to package directions

Directions:

Put 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil in a wide skillet over medium heat . Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. ( about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper) You’ll want to season properly because shrimp and tomatoes need salt but remember feta is salty. Lower heat and allow garlic to soften in pan, sometimes I actually turn off the heat and let garlic just sit there for a few mins.

Open can of tomatoes and pour into saucepan with olive oil and garlic. I cut the tomatoes in 1/2 . I added more salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. I cooked the tomatoes stirring occasionally till very soft about 12-15 mins.

Put shrimp in a mixing bowl and add 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil and season with salt , pepper and if you’d like you can add a little more red pepper flakes here.

Put tomato mixture into a large earthenware baking dish.

Arrange shrimp over tomato mixture in one layer. I diced up my cheese and sprinkled over the surface and I sprinkled dried oregano . ( See photo) You can crumble cheese or dice it up — either way is fine.

I baked for 12 minutes and then put it on broil for another 3-4 minutes till tomatoes were bubbling and cheese got a little brown.

Baked Chicken Caprese

After 2 weeks of being out of my kitchen and constantly eating out it was time for a homemade meal. Don’t get me wrong I love to eat out as much as the next one but sometimes we all just yearn for a home cooked meal eaten at home. I sort of threw this together and I have to say this meal came out delicious. I served over zucchini noodles (zoodles) and some sliced roasted fingerling potatoes. Feel free to use pasta and since the sauce is so delicate and light I would use an angel hair type of pasta.

This was a lightened up version of a Chicken Parmigiana and it satisfied my yen for Chicken Parmigiana but much lighter than the usual fare.

Enjoy!

Please follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

3-4 Chicken Breasts — I used 4 Thinly sliced Chicken Breasts

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3/4 Teaspoon dried Basil

3/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 -2 Cups Fresh Tomatoes– I used Campari Tomatoes and sliced in 1/2 I preferred a larger tomato here since they really break down and make a sauce from the heat . If you can’t find Campari Tomatoesuse 2 pints of grape tomatoes and slice in half.

1/3 cup Red Onion — diced

3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1 – 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella– if you’d like you can also use Fresh Mozzarella –sliced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place Chicken Breasts in a large baking dish or cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with Olive Oil, basil, oregano, garlic powder , salt and pepper

Place halved tomatoes and diced red onion all around the chicken

Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar

Bake for 18-29-0 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. I did app. 18 minutes

After chicken is cooked through (peek at it with a little slice )sprinkle with the cheese

Set oven to broil and place baking pan on the top rack. Broil for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted .

I served with Zucchini noodles and roasted fingerling potatoes.

Delicious!!!

Sheet Pan Shrimp with Asparagus and Potatoes

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This dinner was just delicious.  I used under 8 size shrimp. What this means is that there were about 8 to a pound , so rather large and the cooking times were perfect for them. You will probably have to adjust your cooking time depending on the size of your shrimp. Obviously the larger shrimp took a little longer to cook. I will give you a range of time for anywhere from under 16 to under 8. Timing will vary depending on your oven and the size of the shrimp you use.  The potatoes and asparagus times will remain pretty much the same. I just love cooking on one sheet in the oven! This recipe is a keeper and one I will re-visit often and maybe use different veggies, since I am the only one who ate the asparagus anyway.

Ingredients:

1 pound large shrimp ( anywhere from 8 – 16 count) is perfect – thawed, peeled and de-veined and leave the tails on

Extra – Virgin Olive Oil

3 cloves of garlic-minced

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes if you hate the spice you can omit it

2 Lemons, 1 for zest and juice of, the other 1 thinly sliced

1 lb. Asparagus-trimmed

1 lb. Fingerling Potatoes–halved lengthwise

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper–read directions for amounts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a large rimmed baking sheet for easy clean up

Place the shrimp in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil . Add in minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to coat and set aside.

In another mixing bowl , toss the sliced potatoes with 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil. Season generously with Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper. Transfer Potatoes to the baking sheet in a single layer. Roast potatoes for anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes, or until they are almost tender.

While potatoes are roasting, toss asparagus with 1/2 Tbsp.of Olive Oil and season with Salt and Pepper,  Set aside

Now add 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice to bowl of shrimp and toss to coat. Season Shrimp pretty generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

After 20 minutes or so remove potatoes from the oven and add asparagus and lemon slices to baking sheet. Continue to roast potatoes and asparagus for another 10 minutes,  potatoes should be tender by now , pierce a potatoe with a fork to check for tenderness. If potatoes still need time you can leave them in for a few more minutes. Using a slotted spoon add shrimp to baking sheet and put back in the oven. Roast for another 10 minutes or until shrimp are pink-opaque and firm to touch. My shrimp took about 12 more minutes, this time will depend on your shrimp. I checked after 5 minutes and using tongs turned them over and continued cooking for another 7 more minutes.

When I removed from oven I sprinkled with lemon zest. Perfection on a plate!

*one added tip– after my shrimp is peeled and de-veined and before I am about to cook I always wrap my shrimp in some paper towels to dry them off. It helps with the oil and spices sticking to shrimp.

 

 

 

Easy Israeli Salad

I finally calmed down after the Holidays and needed to return to some clean fresh eating. Even though I really do love all the Passover food it’s nice to return to some lighter fare.

I actually served this on my Seder Table and it so delicious along side any meat dish . I particularly love it over grilled chicken or fried chicken cutlets.

Whatever and whenever you decide to serve this it will be most wonderful.

Just a word about making ahead… I chopped and diced all the vegetables and put in a bowl and put in the fridge. I juiced my lemon and had it set aside. Right before serving I added olive oil and lemon juice stirred it up well and tasted for salt and pepper.

If you add oil and lemon juice too soon it will be very soggy and I don’t like it that way at all. So just have it all ready to serve and add dressing right before.

Ingredients;

this is what I used feel free to substitute whatever you’d like. ( Canned Chick Peas are also delicious in this) Olives, Scallions, Feta Cheese, whatever you feel like.

1 Large Seedless Cucumber or remove the seeds from a seeded one or just keep the seeds if you don’t care

1 box grape tomatoes halved

1 yellow pepper, diced or an orange one. I used orange and yellow about 1/2 and 1/2

1/2 cup diced red onion

2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley , chopped

2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil– I used 3 but you can start with 2 add the salt and pepper and add for more flavor after

3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, toss together all the vegetables. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and chopped parsley and mix thoroughly to coat.

Season with Salt and Pepper to your liking. Serve cold or at room temperature. I like it cold but it’s delicious either way.

Homemade Chicken Soup with Not-So-Homemade Matzo Balls

IMG_4514I always make my own chicken soup. It is delicious broth. I usually make a few batches and freeze them because it’s a great thing to have frozen in quart containers as stock and will last for up to six months frozen. When the holidays come—whether Rosh Hashanah or Passover—I always make my chicken soup with matzo balls. I make the soup a day ahead and skim whatever fat is on there before adding my matzo balls. Keep reading for my “secret matzo ball recipe”.

INGREDIENTS: CHICKEN STOCK:

1 5lb. organic roasting chicken (I throw away the insides)

1 package of chicken wings (this was suggested to me a long time ago by my BFF Karyn and she was oh so right. It adds some fat, which translates into a lot of flavor and you will skim off the fat the next day. Thanks, Karyn…yes, I remembered!)

1 large, yellow Spanish onion; unpeeled and quartered

A big bunch of dill

4 celery stalks with leaves, cut into thirds

4 carrots, unpeeled and halved

Bunch of flat-leaf parsley (Use this only if you want. This time, I didn’t have it so I used only the dill.)

A bunch of thyme (if you wish)

1 head of garlic, cut in half cross-wise (skin and all)

2 tbsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. whole black peppercorns

DIRECTIONS FOR SOUP:

I place the chicken, chicken wings, onion, carrots, celery, whatever herbs I’m using, garlic, salt and pepper in as large a  pot as I can find (usually about a 16-20 qt. stockpot.) Add cold water to cover chicken by at least 2 inches above the chicken but not to the top of the pot because it will boil over (very messy). Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered, for about 3 hours. I skim the soup skum (sounds lovely) off for the first half hour or so—after that, you shouldn’t have much more. I remove the chicken from the broth after an hour or so, because it is cooked and it will taste like a rubber chicken if you plan on eating it. Sometimes, I like to shred it and return it to the soup. If you are not using the chicken (what a waste of good chicken), just leave it in. It will fall apart in there. I leave the wings and discard them at the end of the 3 hours. Next, I strain all of the soup, discard all remnants, fill my containers and put in the fridge. The next day (or the day of the holiday), I usually skim off the fat that has risen to the top and make my matzo balls (recipe below).

MATZO BALLS:

This has always been my secret, but now it’s out. Okay, I own it. After years of making matzo balls from scratch, my mother (yes, my mother, the cook) turned me on to Manischewitz boxed matzo ball mix! It just wasn’t worth it. My balls weren’t as consistent as I would have liked, whereas these are always perfection! Light and fluffy and everyone always loves them. No sinkers here!

I follow the directions on the box carefully. They sell just the mix box. You will need vegetable oil and 2 eggs per box. I do add a little piece of dill inside each ball, but that’s it! Now my secret is out. Sometimes this is really the only way to go. It saves time and ingredients and is really good. No MSG or trans-fats either! So make the soup, cheat with the balls, and enjoy. There is no substitute for homemade chicken soup, though.

*You can also add thin soup noodles to this recipe, if you like. (obviously not on Passover)

Passover 2019

Passover is celebrated in commemoration of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. For eight days we do not partake of any leavening agent in our food. We read the Haggadah ( a narration of the Exodus) which is the central part of the first and second nights of Passover. Despite the dispersal of Jews throughout the world, we are united in the celebration of the 8 day festival, upholding family bond and family traditions over the traditional Seder meal. The central object of every Seder Table is the Seder Plate, arranged with the symbolic foods. There are no rules for menus for this meal , although many families like mine maintain specific traditions. My family has nostalgic customs for certain foods and everyone insists on having those beloved foods on the table. In our case it is more out of love for these particular dishes than any real religious significance. And since we only eat this way once a year I try to make as many of these special dishes as possible.

Since starting my blog I have tried to publish my most favorite recipes for the holidays . These recipes have become a tradition in my family . Along the way I have picked up some amazing new recipes that have now been incorporated into Cooking with Candi.

I have been posting these recipes since 2011 and I try and compile a list of all of these recipes every year. The list is here and if you enter that title or enter Passover into the search bar on my site the recipe should come up. If you’re having trouble you can google a recipe title or Passover along with Cooking with Candi and it should come up this way or send me an email in my comments section and I will get back to you. If you have any questions or comments I would like to hear from you as well.

These recipes have evolved over the years starting with my Great Grandmother and Grandmother. They are wonderful recipes and I hope you can make some of them part of your own family tradition and pass them down to your children and family.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting as many of these recipes as possible.

Remember to relax and enjoy the holidays and make some unforgettable memories for you and yours!

Happy Cooking!

Passover Recipes:

Homemade Chicken Soup with not so Homemade Matzoh Balls

Passover Popovers

Traditional Ashkenazi Charoset

Slow Cooked Brisket

Happy New Year Brisket–perfect for any holiday any time of the year

Un-Stuffed Cabbage –Probably one of my personal favorites in place of Sweet and Sour Meatballs and also frees up your oven because it is cooked on the stove-top

Grandma Regina’s Farfel–my Grandma Regina lives on in this recipe and it is always on our Seder Table–it’s a little difficult but totally delicious if you get it right

Honey Roasted Chicken

Chicken Marbella

Old School Meatballs

Apricot Honey-Mustard Chicken

Peach Farfel– a must

Bree’s Slow Cooked Skirt Steaks — this one I make in place of Brisket because everyone likes it better in my family –Obviously your family may prefer brisket and I personally love Brisket but I go with my family requests here and this is so super easy and frees up your oven.

Karyn’s Cranberry-Apple Crisp for Passover– a must have for every table you can even serve it as dessert!

Judy’s Apple Matzoh Kugel for Passover

Sweet Matzoh Pudding

Spinach Souffle for Passover–so very easy and it’s a Vegetarian but Dairy Dish

Passover Cobbler

My Favorite Macaroons–Traditional Style for Passover

Julie’s Brownies for Passover

Marcy’s Matzoh Crunch Candy–super delicious and easy and addictive–a most amazing dessert!

Meringue Cookies

Ellen’s Passover Apple Cake

Matzoh Brei

Blueberry Banana Bundt Cake

I had rotten bananas and I had some blueberries and I had all the other ingredients for this delicious bundt cake in the house. It took about 20 minutes to prep and another 50 minutes in the oven and it’s going into the freezer for another time and place. I cut into it to taste it and will cut it into 4 sections and freeze it for when we come back this summer to Colorado. It freezes so well and the bananas were going in the garbage so there you have it –snacking cake for another time. You can freeze this cake up to 3 months, but make sure you wrap it up carefully and mark the date you freeze it on the bag. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon fine salt (table salt)

1/2 cup butter unsalted and softened

3/4 cup sugar

3 large eggs — room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 bananas mashed– very ripe black bananas

1 cup blueberries — rinsed and dried

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I spray a Bundt Pan with Bakers Aid Spray– you can use other sprays but I prefer this one for baking

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set it aside

Cream Butter and Sugar in an Electric Mixer. Add eggs one at a time and the vanilla. Beat until well combined

Add the flour Mixture to the bowl and Combine until just mixed. Fold in the Blueberries and Bananas with a spatula

Pour the batter into the sprayed Bundt Pan

Bake for 50 minutes. Check with a cake tester or toothpick till it comes out clean.

Enjoy!!

Egg Roll in a Bowl

I came across this recipe through a friend on Instagram and knew I had to make it as soon as possible. Thanks @nutritionbynataliee and thanks for this great recipe @40aprons. I did take liberties with the original recipe which is Whole30, Keto, Paleo and Low Carb) Feel free to check out the recipe on 40aprons blog.

I am not a follower of any of those diets so I made it my way and next time would serve over rice!

The flavors were delicious and although there are a lot of different ingredients the recipe cooks up quickly and easily.

This should serve 4 people especially if you add rice.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

6 green onions (scallions) green and white parts divided

5 cloves minced garlic

1 pound ground pork which I used but you can use beef, chicken , turkey or shrimp or tofu for a vegetarian dish

1 Teaspoon fresh ginger – grated

8 oz. can of water chestnuts chopped

1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce — I used Sriracha and you’ll need more for dressing

1 bag of ColeSlaw Mix — 14 oz. bag

3 Tablespoons Coconut Aminos or Light Tamari or Low Sodium Soy Sauce -I used Braggs Coconut Aminos

1/2 cup onion diced — I used red but you can use spanish onion

1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce

1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Dressing:

1/4 cup Mayonnaise

1-2 Tablespoons Sriracha — I used 2

Pinch of Kosher Salt

Directions:

In a large Frying Pan / Skillet heat sesame oil over medium heat

Add white parts on green onions, diced onion, and garlic and saute. Stir frequently while this cook and onion is completely softened and broken down for about 5 minutes

Add ground meat, grated ginger, water chestnuts, and Hoisin and 1 Tablespoon Sriracha. Cook until the meat is browned, broken up and cooked probably 10 minutes more.

Add Coleslaw mix, coconut aminos or soy sauce or tamari , taste for salt and pepper and add accordingly. Cook , stirring frequently until cabbage is tender — at least 5 more minutes.

In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1-2 Tablespoons of Sriracha, add a pinch of salt to taste. You’ll drizzle this sauce with a spoon over the egg roll in a bowl mixture.

Top with some green onions and if you like some brown rice would be delicious underneath all this .Or any rice you like .

 

 

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Sheet Pan Shrimp with Asparagus and Potatoes

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This dinner was just delicious.  I used under 8 size shrimp. What this means is that there were about 8 to a pound , so rather large and the cooking times were perfect for them. You will probably have to adjust your cooking time depending on the size of your shrimp. Obviously the larger shrimp took a little longer to cook. I will give you a range of time for anywhere from under 16 to under 8. Timing will vary depending on your oven and the size of the shrimp you use.  The potatoes and asparagus times will remain pretty much the same. I just love cooking on one sheet in the oven! This recipe is a keeper and one I will re-visit often and maybe use different veggies, since I am the only one who ate the asparagus anyway.

Ingredients:

1 pound large shrimp ( anywhere from 8 – 16 count) is perfect – thawed, peeled and de-veined and leave the tails on

Extra – Virgin Olive Oil

3 cloves of garlic-minced

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes if you hate the spice you can omit it

2 Lemons, 1 for zest and juice of, the other 1 thinly sliced

1 lb. Asparagus-trimmed

1 lb. Fingerling Potatoes–halved lengthwise

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper–read directions for amounts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a large rimmed baking sheet for easy clean up

Place the shrimp in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil . Add in minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to coat and set aside.

In another mixing bowl , toss the sliced potatoes with 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil. Season generously with Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper. Transfer Potatoes to the baking sheet in a single layer. Roast potatoes for anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes, or until they are almost tender.

While potatoes are roasting, toss asparagus with 1/2 Tbsp.of Olive Oil and season with Salt and Pepper,  Set aside

Now add 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice to bowl of shrimp and toss to coat. Season Shrimp pretty generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

After 20 minutes or so remove potatoes from the oven and add asparagus and lemon slices to baking sheet. Continue to roast potatoes and asparagus for another 10 minutes,  potatoes should be tender by now , pierce a potatoe with a fork to check for tenderness. If potatoes still need time you can leave them in for a few more minutes. Using a slotted spoon add shrimp to baking sheet and put back in the oven. Roast for another 10 minutes or until shrimp are pink-opaque and firm to touch. My shrimp took about 12 more minutes, this time will depend on your shrimp. I checked after 5 minutes and using tongs turned them over and continued cooking for another 7 more minutes.

When I removed from oven I sprinkled with lemon zest. Perfection on a plate!

*one added tip– after my shrimp is peeled and de-veined and before I am about to cook I always wrap my shrimp in some paper towels to dry them off. It helps with the oil and spices sticking to shrimp.