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As I groove to Matisyahu‘s new album, the Hassidic Reggae inspires my cooking. Jamaican food is rather tasty, and is QUITE easy to cook kosher. Well, okay, no pork chops, duh! But we can still have some delicious dishes! The first we can look at is Jerk Chicken. Now, Jerk chicken’s called this because before it’s cooked, you ‘jerk’ it full of holes and fill them with special herbs & spices. It’s a delicious delight to eat, and is rather easy to make when you learn how!

Jerk Chicken

1/4 cup Virgin Olive oil
1/4 cup Soy sauce
3/4 cup White Vinegar
1/2 cup Orange juice
1/4 cup Lime Juice
1 tablespoon Ground Allspice
1 tablespoon Dried Thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Ground sage
1 ablespoon freshly minced garlic
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper (Or a spicy ppper of your choice)
1 Sweet Onion, finely chopped (Vidalia onions are my favorite!)
4 to 6 boneless chicken breasts (About 2 & 1/2 pounds)

Taking the soy sauce, olive oil, vinegar, and juices, pour them in a large plastic container and stir until mixed.

Slowly add in the spices one by one, stirring them in until they’re mixed fully with the wet fluids. Once mixed in, add in the garlic, onion, sugar, ginger, garlic, and the pepper and stir it all up good.

Taking your ckicken breasts, submerge them in the fluid and seal the container. It’s best to marinate for 12-24 hours in the fridge, but one hour is enough if you’re in a pinch.

From here I suggest grilling them outdoors on the grill for the more authentic taste, grilling over low coals for about 6-10 minutes on each side. As it cooks, the excess sauce will likely blacken and fall away, revealing a thickened and browned crispy skin.

I usually serve this with a side of roasted seasoned red potatoes or Jerusalem Artichokes. Both make a good compliment to this delicious main course. Now, such a delight deserves a wonderful dessert. Now, Plantains are a wonderful fruit from Jamaica that are from the same family as bananas. As such, a nice twish is to use another Jamacian delight, Rum, to make a novel twist on a popular dessert:

Plantains Fosters

4 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 Plantains, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons kosher rum
1/4 cup kosher banana flavored liquor

In a medium saucepan, melt your butter up before adding the cinnamon, brown sugar, plantains, and banana liquor.

Cook over medium heat about 3-5 minutes, or until plantains begin to soften.

Serve spooned over a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.

Remove from stove, and pour the rum over the plantains.

Ignight the alcohol while keeping the dessert FAR away from yourself!!! Flames will disappear when the alcohol burns off.

Eat and enjoy! (This should make 4-6 generous servings)

As for kosher rums, I suggest Bacardi (Eight, Gold, Superior), Cruzan Regular and Flavored. And for kosher banana liquor, look into Melody Banana Liquor. ^^ I hope you enjoy this Jamacian dietary trip, and until next time… Shalom and Good Cooking!

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February 27, 2006. dessert, fanboying, main courses, recipes. 1 comment.

Hola!

I love Chorizo. For those that don’t know, it’s a spicy semi-liquid sausage usually made from beef or pork from Mexico, and is an excellent addition to any kitchen. Of course, I’ll be dealing with beef chorizo, as well as it’s soy counterpart, Soyrizo. Now, finding kosher Chorizo can be a tad difficult, but it is out there. I’ve had great luck finding it on the West Coast, what with the high hispanic population. But, Soyrizo will work just fine.

Before we get into any recipes, let me explain just how to cook Chorizo. The sausage comes encased in either one large, fat pachage, or two long and skinny ones. Either way, it’s VERY messy, but oh, so good. Taking a good wide pan (I suggest one of your cast iron skillets, myself), set it to Medium to Medium High (Depending on your burner’s strength) and allow the pan to warm. Next, holding the sausage’s package over the warming pan, slice it open so the loose meat and juices can fall all into the pan (I warned you it’s messy!). Using a spatula, start scattering the meat, pressing it down lightly as you loosen it so all the marinade can cook off. After about 5-10 minutes, the juices should all be gone, and the meet cooked all the way thru.

From this point, there’s several things you can use your chorizo (Or Soyrizo) for. But for it’s original purpose, let’s look at a traditional hearty Mexican breakfast perfect for when the family stayed the night after a high holy day:

Chorizo con Huevos
(Chorizo and Eggs)

1 package of Soyrizo or beef chorizo
1 dozen chicken eggs, large
1 cup salsa
2 cups shredded kosher cheddar cheese (or soy cheese, if using beef chorizo)
6 12″ tortillas

Start by cooking the chorizo or soyrizo as directed above.

As the meat cooks, crack all the eggs into a large bowl and scramble them up. Once scrambled, toss in the cup of salsa. (Note, the sausage already has a kick to it. I’d reccomend, unless you REALLY like spicy food, to use a mild salsa.)

When the meat has finished cooking, pour the eggs and salsa mix into the pan, turning down the heat to medium low and cook as if making scrambled eggs.

When the eggs are finished cooking, turn off the heat and turn now to the tortillas.

Laying a tortilla on the plate, Scoop some off the egg mixture onto the center of the tortilla.

Add cheese or soy cheese, if you wish, and then pick up one side of the tortilla and overlap the pile of cheese. Pull back slightly, pulling the filling taunt before fonding the sides inwards. Finally roll the tortilla up towards the other side to have a nice burrito!

Makes 4-6 rather full breakfast burritos.

For garnishes, I suggest a nice dairy-free sour creme and/or some guacamole. What, you don’t know HOW to make guacamole?!? For shame! Let’s fix that!

Guacamole

2 avocados, peeled
1 can of Pico de Gallo
1 tablespoon lime juice

Slice avocados in half and set aside the pits (You’ll find out why). Using a spoon, scoop out the meat of the fruit from it’s skin into a large bowl.

Using a fork, mash the avocado meat into a thick paste before stirring in the lime juice.

Finally, add in the Pico de Gallo and mix until finished. To keep it from browning too quickly, take one of the pits and bury it into the guacamole.

Now, before anyone asks, Pico de Gallo is a standard salsa base made usually with tomatoes, onions, cilantro and peppers. It’s all the good chunks in your favorite salsas, without the sauce that they usually swim in. Also, there are several varieties of avocados on the market, but my personal favorite to cook with is the Hass. It’s easily seen by it’s dark green and almost black rough skin. The flavor in these can’t compare, and they are a perfect accompmniment to any meal. Anyhow, I hope this trip into hispanic culinary delights has opened your eyes to a new realm of eating for your tastebuds. Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

February 23, 2006. breakfast, recipes, snacks. 1 comment.

Onigiri vs. Rice Balls (Or how to make your anime-loving friends squeel in glee!)

Sorry for the late post, but this flu really put me under. First, I want to plug Chef Walt’s new cookbook store. I’ve done buisness with him in the past, and he’s an honest shop owner. (Note I get NOTHING for doing this. I just want to help out someone that does carry kosher cookbooks since they’re tough to find!)

Okay, enough plugging! As some readers know, I have a fondness for asian and island food. I know, some may claim that ‘anything bought from a chinese resturant is kosher’, but it’s simply not true! But, you can MAKE kosher asian foods easily from the comfort of your own home. This brings to ming today’s find, Onigiri or rice balls.

The Japanese are the masters of simplicity meeds edibility. The first thing I suggest is to get an Onigiri mold. These can be bought at most Asian grocery stores for as little as $2, depending on the size of the Asian population in your area. True, you COULD shape it by hand, but that takes a LOT of practice and time. It’s better to just use the molds, at first, so as to keep prep time down. Sadly, since they ARE made of rice, they can’t be used during Passover, but the rest of the year makes these a FINE healthy lunch for school or work!

Onigiri

Short-grain Rice (I suggest Calrose, myself)
Nori (Sheets of seaweed), cut into strips
Filling (Optional)

Start by cooking up 2 cups of rice (Do not forget to wash the rice first!).

Once the rice is finished cooking, scoop into the mold and form it fully.

Finally, wrap the rice ball in the strip of Nori, wrap in celephane, and save for when you eat!

This is the basic concept, really. Of course, from here, there’s SEVERAL additions to be made. First, a popular topping for Onigiri is toasted sesame seeds, which should be in ANY kosher grocery store. Just sprinkle some atop the rice ball when wrapping in Nori and there you go! Also, you can also FILL your rice ball! Here’s how it works:

Using the mold, fill it halfway with rice.

Now, here the sky is the limit! You can use any hundreds of thousands of fillings. But, for ease of time to get your motor running, here’s some simple suggestions:

BBQ Chicken
refried beans
peanut butter and/or jelly
Gefilte Fish (Yes, I’ve tried this, and it works surprisingly well!)

Then, once you ‘secret filling’ is in place in the center. fill the rest of the mold with rice, close ‘n mold, and then proceed as you normally would. thrue, if you do a more dessert Onigiri (Like using chocolate pudding or the like), it’d be wise to leave off the nori and the sesame seeds. But, half the idea of Onigiri is that they are a healthy and fully personalizable lunch or snack on the go! Anyhow, I hope you come to love Onigiri as much as I do! Until next time, Shalom and good cooking!

February 21, 2006. recipes, snacks. 5 comments.

KOSHER Philly Cheesesteaks!

Morningstar Farms, I love you. I bow to your greatness! Long live the Morningstar greatness! For those curious why I’m preaching the greatness of Morningstar Farms, they just came out with a new KOSHER product: Morningstar Farms® Meal Starters™ Steak Strips. These strips work great in stir fry, but they also work great in ANOTHER delight… I was challenged to figure out a kosher Philly Cheesesteak… And I’ve DONE IT! I was testing out soy cheeses, but this works SO much better.

Completly vegan and Kosher Parve, these steak strips are WONDERFUL to cook with. Great in stir fry, ‘beef’ stew, and the like, I adore these delights. But, the true test is in Philly Cheesesteaks. Here’s what you need:

KOSHER Philly Cheesesteaks

1 bag of Morningstar Farms® Meal Starters™ Steak Strips
1/2 whole onion, sliced and split into halves
1/2 whole green pepper, sliced and split into halves
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 package of kosher sliced provalone cheese
4 itallian rolls split open

Preheat your griddle, keeping a wide spatula on hand for cooking the sandwitches.

Opening the bag of steak strips, pout out onto the griddle and start cooking, tossing with the spatula until coooked thru (These cook FAST, which means about 2-3 minutes, or up to 5 if frozen before cooking).

When strips are done cooking, take your onion and green pepper strips and mushrooms before tossing them in with the steak strips, grilling them all together as you grab the buns. Once again, this should only take 2-3 minutes.

Lightly buttering the insides of the buns (Or use olive oil if you wish), place them FACE DOWN for about a minute on the grill as the meat and veggies finish cooking.

As the buns toast, split the cooking meat and veggies into four piles. Cover each pile of meat and veggie goodness with two slices f Provalone cheese to melt it slightly.

Taking each bun, hold it open as you scoop each pile of meat, cheese, and veggies into the open bun before closing. Should make 4 rather full sandwiches.

This is a VERY messy yet tasty dish. THIS is the kind of projects i was hoping to accomplish when starting this blog, and I’m glad to have tackled this challenge. Now, true, some kosher keepers will not want to use this recipe. Dispite the fact it’s vegatables and dairy, the fact that it’s still a veggie option to meat will shy some away. But, I figure myself that if it’s kosher, it’s not breaking the core rules, and it’s good… I’ll cook and eat it! So, this is Renegade Kosher signing off this special article to cheer I DID IT! Shalom, and good eating!

February 17, 2006. recipes, snacks, Trayfe-to-Kosher Challenge. 2 comments.

Sick cook…

I’ve rather settled into this posting on Mondays and Thursdays. 2 Times a week is good for now, unless I suddenly get some kosher company sponsoring me to do it more often. As I fight off a cold, I’m cheered up with Challahback Girl, a mash done by DJ BC of Gwen Stefani’s ‘Hollaback Girl’ and Frank Yankovick and His Yanks’ ‘Hava Nagila’. I’m suprised it’s so good, actually.

But, as I fight off the cold, it helps me remeber some of my classic cooking training growing up. The most popular of these would have to be my tuna casserole dish, a sure-fire KOSHER delight that’ll fill anyone up! Also, this article is to show all the different foods I’ve found that ARE kosher. My wife was surprised by this, and I think you will be, too!

Tuna Casserole

2 14 oz. cans of Amy’s Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 bags of Lay’s Potato Chips (NO RIDGES! Just plain ol’ greasy chips!)

1 14 oz. can peas

4 3 oz. cans of Bumble Bee tuna

1 bag of No Yolks Egg Noodles, Broad or extra broad

1 block of Tillamook Kosher/Vegetarian Medium Cheddar cheese

Seasonings to taste

Start with preheating your over to 350 degrees F. As the oven heats up, take out a large saucepan.

Cook the egg noodles, drain, and return to pan.

Blend cream of mushroom soup, tuna, and peas all in saucepan over the cooked noodles and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until cooked.

As the tuna mixture cooks, this is where I add spices and the first part of cheese. Splitting the cheese block in half, I shred ALL the first half into the simmering mixture.

Turning down the heat to simmer just to keep it warm, I then add in a dash of garlic salt, a shaake of lemon pepper, and mabye some Mrs. Dash if I’m feeling saucy! The spice seasonings are entirely up to you, of course. (Don’t worry about adding kosher salt, there will be MORE than enough salt in the dish…)

As the cheesy mixture keeps warm, take out a large 9″ x 11″ glass casserole dish. Now, THIS is the fun part! Opening the first bag of chips, crunch up ALL the chips. Just mash them down with your hands until they’ve been reduced to salty crumbs. Now, coat the Bottom of the casserole with a nice, thick layer of chip crumbs.

Next, take the cheesy mix of nummy tuna goodness and pour that over the chip bed you just made. Get as MUCH as you can into the dish! Scrape the sides of the pan, if you must! This dish is too good to let go of scraps!

Next, we take up the remaining cheese. Remember how the first half went into the mix? Well, this other half is shedded onto the top of the casserole, covering up as MUCH as you possibly can!

After the casserole top is smothered in cheesy goodness, take the REMAINING chips and scatter them all over the top of the casserole, giving your dish a nice crispy topping!

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and serve!

Now, before you ask why I said get TWO bags and not one, we all have lived in family households. Kids see chips, and they think that chips equal their snacks. Rather than having your chips ‘disappear’, I reccomend just getting two bags. That way, if both bags survive, YOU have something to nibble while the tuna casserole cooks up. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I LOVE cooking and eating it, and I’m sorry this article isn’t as long as my normal articles. Until Monday, Shalom and Good Cooking!

February 16, 2006. main courses, recipes. Leave a comment.

Tofu Pt. 2: Stir Fry

It’s amazing how many times I get asked how to make a stir-fry. To me, Stir Fry is one of the easiest, yet one of the most filling dishes, you can cook on a budget. Fist, we need a wok. A good wok can be purchased at Bed, Bath, & Beyond or a similar store for around $20, and will come with a set of cooking chopsticks. A good wok is something that any good cook or chef should have in his or her kitchen, and the benefits will outweigh the initial purchase price. I prefer my wok to have a rounded bottom, but a flat bottom works almost as well.

Now, this article will just go over the basics of stir fry. This meal is so customizable, there’s very little you can do to mess it up. First, warm the wok with a medium flame, and add a splash of oil to your wok (Just 2-3 tablespoons should be enough for the meal, really.). Next, as described in Tofu Part 1, you should drain and dry out as MUCH water as poossible in the tofu block. Once dried out, cube the semi-firm to firm tofu up and toss them into the wok (You can chop up the cubes as large or small as you like, depending purely on how much tofu you want per bite). As the tofu cooks, use the cooking chopsticks to stir the tofu in the wok all about. You will know the tofy is done cooking when the tofu turns a nice golden color all over, which should take no longer than 10 minutes, at the most.
From here, I suggest adding the vegatables. Now, while some prefer fresh vegatables, I suggest purchasing a bag of frozen stir fry vegatables. These usually include, but are not limited to, Green Beans, Carrots, Broccoli, Onions, Snap Peas, Celery, Water Chestnuts and even baby corn. Some will even have stir fry noodles included in the bags, and that’ll make this a lot simpler. Taking the frozen veggies, dump the entire bag atop the cooking tofu. Using your cooking chopsticks, mix everything together in the wok while getting your Stir-Fry sauce ready.
I personally suggest Soy Vay‘s Chinese Marinade, myself. It’s a good kosher sauce, and adds a special kick to the stir fry. Once the vegatables and tofu have cooked together for about 10 more minutes, pour some of the sauce over the tofu and vegetable mixture. How much you add just depends on your personal tastes, really. A little if you just want a hint of taste, or a lot if you want it marinating in the flavor of your stir fry sauce.
At this point, the changes are still up to you. If your stir fry vegatables came with noodles, you can just scoop the cooked mixture onto plates and eat happily. Also, you could serve the tofu and vegatables over cooked white rice, if you prefer. Or if you wish, 2-3 minutes before adding the sauce, you can also add in some stir fry noodles. Finally, durring Pesach, you could even serve it over matzos to spice up the cardboard we all must eat (I kid, I kid… It’s not cardboard, it just tastes that way!). Really, the choice is up to you on how you want to do it.
Now, an addition I enjoy is to toss in some fresh bean sprouts when I add the frozen vegatables. They just cook up nicely, and add a nice texture to the finished dish. Also, instead of tofu, you can also use 2-3 boneless chicken breasts cubed up. This way, you can ensure your family or yourself is still eating healthily, but also enjoying good food. Or, for added protien, you can add in 2-3 scrambled eggs once the tofu or chicken is cooked, stirring it wuickly so it breaks into pieces before adding the vegatables. I hope this article helps you to explore your own variations in tofu, and learn to enjoy this inexpensive meal that can easily feed a family of 4 with ease. Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

February 13, 2006. advice, main courses, recipes. Leave a comment.

And now for something completly different…

I know, I promised more tofu, but I recieved an urgent request for Challah. So, as I make ready to go attend the The 16th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival and listen to El Meod Na’Ala Orphaned Land (I want to go back to Isreal just to SEE these guys!!! Darnit, tour in America!), I thought I’d help out an annonymous request!

Challah. The bread of my people. The one traditional thing that even I’m not renegade enough to tamper too much with. Oh, not to say that I don’t! Heaven forbid a hopeful chef not exploring new terrain! The mix of metal and traditional Israli music is fuel me now, and it’s time to break out of the box! Let’s do this! This is a variation of a recipe from The Jewish Catalog by Siegel, Strassfeld, and Strassfeld, JPS, and it’s traditional with a twist!

CHALLAH RECIPE

1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
2 packages dry yeast
1 cup boiling water
4 teaspoons salt
7 cups flour
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons liquid garlic extract

Pour the oil, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl.

Add 1 cup boiling water and stir; add 1/2 cup cold water.

Dissolve 2 packages dry yeast in 1/3 cup warm water.

Beat 3 eggs, and add to oil and water mixture, saving 1 tablespoon of beaten eggs to be brushed on loaves before baking.

Add dissolved yeast and stir.

Add 7 cups of unbleached flour and mix well.

Turn out on floured board and knead until dough does not stick to board or hands. Add more flour if necessary.

Return dough to bowl and cover with a clean towel.

Place in oven that has been preheated for 1 minute and then turned off.

Let dough rise for 1 hour; it will double in bulk. If poked with finger, the hole will remain.

Turn dough out on lightly floured board and knead for 1 minutes.

Cut into 12 equal pieces and knead each piece with a little flour until it is not sticky.

Let rest while you grease a cookie sheet with vegetable shortening.

Roll each piece of dough into a strand about 8 inches long. Make four braided loaves.

Place on baking sheet and let rise for 45 minutes at room temperature.

Mix garlic extract with remaining egg atop the loaves.

Bake in 375 degree F oven for 40 minutes, then remove loaves to racks to cool.

Now, let’s say you have an hour before shabbos, and you find out the parents are coming over! No time to raise the loaves, and they will KNOW if you got it from the bakery! What to do?!? Well, this is an emergency-only quick fix I use. First, get 4 tubes of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, and use the egg wash from the previous recipe (One tablespoon of egg and 2 tablespoons liquid garlic extract mixed together, though you could just use one egg.). Take the crecent rolls out of the cans and roll two of each sections of dough together into ropes. Using the same method of braiding loaves, braid the ropes together into loaves. You SHOULD have enough for two loaves. Paint with the egg wash, then bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until covered with a golden crust. Finally remove from the oven and let cool.

Now, I do NOT reccomend this for use except in emergencies! While it tastes & looks like Challah, it’s just… Not the same! I know, I know, I’m supposed to be all renegade and all that, but some things shouldn’t be tampered with. Now, MY variation in the loaf above is to get rid of the sesame seeds most smother their loaves with, and instead use liquid garlic extract in the egg wash. It gives the bread a lice touch, almost like garlic bread without the butter! I’m also working on a variation of Hawaiian sweet bread challah, too, per my wife’s request:

Hawaiian Sweet Challah

1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup mashed potato
2 Tbsp sugar
1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c butter
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
4- 4 1/2 cups flour

In a large bowl, mix together the water, mashed potatos, sugar, and the yeast. Set aside once mixed to proof for five minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat your milk, salt, and butter over low heat until the butter is completely melted.

Cool mixture to lukewarm and whisk in eggs (Keep aside one tablespoon of the eggs for the eggwash!).

Add milk-egg mixture to the potatoes and yeast. Stir well.

Add 3/4 cup sugar and enough of the 4 1/2 cups flour to make a workable dough.

Knead for a few minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in oiled bowl, turn once and cover loosely with plastic wrap and a light, clean dishtowel.

Let it rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough before cutting into 8 thick strands.

Braid into Challah loaf before covering over and letting rise until doubled in size.

Give it a LIGHT egg wash (1 tablespoon egg. No garlic on this one, as it’ll distract from the sweet taste.)

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, or until golden brown.

So, I hope this gives you some ideas on Challah recipes! Until next time, Shalom and good cooking!

February 9, 2006. bread, fanboying, recipes. Leave a comment.

Tofu Pt. 1: Curry

I love curry, and it amazes me more Kosher keepers do not enjoy this delicious delight! Inherently kosher AND vegan, there is little this filling dish can’t do to spice up your meals… Literally! Let’s look at a basic curry recipe, and we can see how to adjust it as we go!

Thai Curry

3 small onions
4 pieces of garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
4 cups coconut milk
2 teaspoons red curry paste*
3 teaspoons coconut paste (santen)
1 standard package tofu, firm
Favorite vegetables (Optional)

* Use sparingly. A little of this goes a LONG way! If you can’t handle spice, LEAVE IT OUT!!! If you like spice, add more sparingly.

Directions
Heat up a little vegetable oil in your wox (Or a deep cast iron skillet), and throw in the roughly chopped onion.

Stir ’till it gets a little brownish, then add the minced garlic.

Stir a little, then add vegetables. (I use half a bag of stir fry vegetables, myself. They can be bought in most grocery’s frozen section, and include a nice mix of asian veggies.)

Stirfry untill the vegetables are slightly cooked.

Add tofu in small cubes and stir fry untill they’re a little brown.

Heat the coconut milk and mix with the broth and the curry paste.

Stir and wait untill everything is thoroughly mixed.

Wait until the coconut milk mixture boils and add to the vegetables and onions.

Add coconut paste to thicken the curry.

Leave on fire for a while and mix regularly. Until you feel it’s finished (No more than a few minutes), and serve over rice.

Now, I know… I can hear you claiming you can’t prepare tofu! It’s allways soggy! Well, the OTHER reason for this article is to explain how to PREPARE your tofu for cooking! Let’s start with the standard tofu block. It’ll come in a plastic tub covered in thin plastic and soaking in water. Draining the water out, we take four paper towels and fold them in half. Now, set the block on the towels and folds the remaining towels over.

At this point, the tofu should be wrapped in paper towels. VERY gently now, press down on the tofu. You don’t want to smash the tofu at all, instead we’re draining out ALL the water (Or as much as possible). If the napkins get soggy, switch them out for fresh ones. We just want to get out as MUCH tofu as possible before cooking, thus making it cook all the easier. Once the napkins remain mostly dry, unwrap and chop into cubes for cooking.

Using these ideas, we’ll look into stir fry itself in the next article, as well as other ways tofu can be used in your family’s meals. Until then, Shalom and good eating!

February 6, 2006. main courses, recipes. 8 comments.

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I thought i posted this YESTERDAY, but I saved it as a draft. Doh! So, I’ll post it today with another article:

Yesterday we looked at BBQed ribs. Today we’ll look at baked ribs. While just as tasty in some respects, the flavor is VERY different! Now, the key to baked ribs, just like barbequed ribs, is patience. But, unlike the smoking process, oven cooking is a LOT quicker.

Starting with a short rack of beef ribs, it’s good to wash off the rib meat with warm water before patting mostly dry with paper towels or a good cheesecloth. Then, at this point, preheat the oven to 225°F. while getting your dry rub ready. Now, I promised my dry rub recipe, no? Well, here it is:

Dry Rub
1/4th cup whole black peppercorns
1/16th cup light brown sugar
1/4th cup salt
1/8th cup dried red pepper seeds
1/8th cup dry mustard
1/8th cup Garlic Powder
1 bay leaf

Combine ALL the ingredients in your food processor or blender.

Chop & mix until the bay leaf & peppercorns are pulverized, and the mixture is thoroughly blended.

Now, if you can’t tell, my dry rub has a -slight- kick. I use it more to bring out the flavor of the meat, myself, and brush it off after cooking. But you can change it up to whatever your family likes best! As for the ribs, coat them ALL over with the dry rub, tyaking care to not miss a spot. Then, inject a meat thermometer into the rib meat (Don’t hit the bones) and set inside a shallow baking pan. Finally, cover the ribs and pan with foil and pop in the oven.

Now, you can estimate they’ll be done in an hour or two, but I go by the internmal temperature, myself. When the internal temperature of the ribs hits 145°F., you know the ribs are done! Personally, I brushj off the peppercorns & peppers before slicing and eating, but some prefer them on. You know the ribs are finished when they’ve loosened from the bones and the meat is nice, juicy, & tender!

This dish I suggest serving with some nice baked potatos with dairy-free margarine and some steamed carrots topped in cinnamon. So, until next time, Shalom & Good Eating!

February 2, 2006. main courses, recipes. 1 comment.