School and Melts!

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Here we go, another week & another article! As you can see from the picture above, the food of this week is melts! Mmmmmmm, melts are so, so good… Let’s start with a basic treat I like to cook up. We start with a bagel, and spread the top with LOTS of smear (Cream cheese). Then we slice our favorite pepper up, and sprinkle that on top. Finally, toast the bagel halves for about 2-3 minutes in a toaster oven, or just microwave for the same time. Mmm, this is so damn good! Great way to wake yourself up, I bet! Next up is tuna melts. Damn, are they good! Let’s do this one up recipe-style:

Tuna Melts

1 can tuna
1 dab brown mustard
1 dab relish
1 dab minced garlic
1 dab minced onions
1/4 cup mayo
cheese

Mix all but the cheese together & spread on slices of bread.

Top with cheese, then bake for 5-10 minutes in a 350 F oven.

Take out, let cool for a minute, and serve.

Mmmmmmm, this is a dish best served on a cool night when there’s no tomato soup in the house. Its a delicious dinner, and another favorite of mine. Now, before I scoot, I wanted you all to know that Wednesday night, your favorite Kosher blogger starts his culinary schooling. YES! By the end of may, I’ll be a Pastry Chef! Wanna Donate? Hit me up!
Yes, the ‘Send Renegade Kosher Thru Culinary School’ fund is alive. Help me out, and let’s bring more awesome food to you, my readers! Until next time, Shalom, and Good Cooking!

January 14, 2008. bread, main courses, Personal, recipes, side dishes, snacks. Leave a comment.

Heading back South of the Border!

I’ve been working my figurative butt off cooking, and I stumbled upon a Mexican Pork dish, Chuletas Adobado, that I thought was interesting. But, why on earth should it be pork? No, no… It looks like a return of the Trayfe-to-Kosher Challenge as we go south of the border once more!

Mexican-Inspired Steaks

3 Cups Fresh Pineapple
1 Whole Garlic Bulb, peeled
1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
5 Poblano Peppers, Peeled & Seeded
1/2 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
1 White Onion
1 Green Pepper
6 (8-ounce) Boneless Beef Steaks

Begin by taking the FRESH pineapple (We need fresh pineapple for the acidicness), garlic, peppers, salt, cumin, cloves, and vinegar in a food processor. Pulse process the mixture until pureed into a thick, juicy mix.

Slice the onion and green pepper into rings, then set the steaks in a sealable plastic container with the sliced onions & green peppers.

Pour the marinade from the food processor over the steak & veggies, seal the container, and marinade for 2-3 hours to allow the juices time to seep into the steaks.

As the steaks finish marinating, fire up the grill and get it NICE and warm. Once ready, take the steaks, onion slices, and green peppers on the grill, keeping the veggies over cooler part of the grill.

Cook the steaks and veggies for about 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 110 degrees F internally. Remember to flip the veggies and steaks halfway thru the grilling to cook evenly.

Remove from grill, and slice steaks into strips. Serve with warm tortillas and vegitarian refried beans.
Serves 6
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 370 g

Amount Per Serving
Calories 514Calories from Fat 105
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11.6g18%
Saturated Fat 3.9g20%
Cholesterol 204mg68%
Sodium 881mg37%
Total Carbohydrates 15.9g5%
Dietary Fiber 2.0g8%
Sugars 9.8g
Protein 83.1g

Vitamin A 5% • Vitamin C 78%
Calcium 4% • Iron 47%

Nutrition Grade A-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

You can also cook the steaks in a cast-iron skillet, or bake inh a 350 degree F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked all the way thru. You can make it into soft tacos with the steak strips and beans, or just use the tortillas to scoop-eat the steaks & beans. I found spanish rice ALSO goes very well with this. Also, I hope the calorie breakdowns of these recipes as of late have been helpful to everyone? Anyhow… Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

December 22, 2007. main courses, recipes, Trayfe-to-Kosher Challenge. Leave a comment.

Bread Bowls, French Onion Soup, & A Survey!

First off, I’m asking all of my readers to click here to take a survey about this blog. This is just something I’m doing to help figure out my reader stats, where they are coming from, and how to best serve you – my readers. Now, as for today’s recipe, its a basic recipe of sorts that ALWAYS goes over well. Today we’re going to explain how to make Sourdough Bread Bowls.

We begin by grabbing some Sourdough Bread Rounds from our favorite grocery store. To these we’re going to cut a hole in the top about 2-3 inches around, and scoop out the insides of the bowl. Try to leave about 1/2 inch of bread in the bottom. Next, we want to take some Olive Oil and lightly brush it ALL over the inside of the rolls, covering EVERY square inch if possible. Then, setting your prepared rolls on a cookie sheet, bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the inside of the bread bowls are NICE and crispy.

Now we get to the FUN part! These bowls can be used for LOTS of dishes. One of my favorite uses of these inexpensive rounds is to fill them with salad or a dinner soup. But, the most COMMON use of these bowls is in making French Onion Soup.

French Onion Soup

6 Cups Chopped Yellow Onions
1/3 Cup Margarine
8 Cups Vegetable Bouillon (Or Beef-Flavoured Vegitarian Bouillon is preferred if you can get it.)
2 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar
4 Tablespoons Flour
Cognac
White Cheeses Such as Mozzarella, Swiss, etc.

Cook onions slowly in a large cast iron skillet in the margarine until combined. Then cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.

To a crock pot, add in the bouillon and set it to HIGH. Then stir in ALL the contents of the cast iron skillet after the 15 minuters is up, stirring well. Finally, add in the sugar, salt, & flour and cover. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours, or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

When ready to serve, pour 1 tablespoon of cognac into the bottom of each bread bowl, then top with hot soup. Finally, top the bread bowls with your favorite white cheeses & bake in a 425 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes.

Move to plates and serve still warm.
Serves 12

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 157 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

335
Calories from Fat

101
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

11.2g
17%

Saturated Fat

3.9g
20%

Cholesterol

11mg
4%

Sodium

1660mg
69%

Total Carbohydrates

39.4g
13%

Dietary Fiber

1.8g
7%
Sugars

13.6g
Protein

10.7g

Vitamin A 6% Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 22% Iron 10%
Nutrition Grade C-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, nummy. I hope you all enjoy this recipe, and using bread bowls to help make ANY meal special! Also, please fill out the survey to help me out with needed information! Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

December 11, 2007. bread, main courses, Personal, recipes, salad, side dishes. 4 comments.

Returning to the Islands…

Once again, its time to modify our beloved brisket into ANOTHER creation. Having married into a Hula studio, one of the dishes that has always intrigued me is Kalua Pork. BUT, as we know, pork is TRAYFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, let us dust off the Trayfe-to-Kosher Challenge, and make up some Kosher Kalua Beef!

We begin with about 2/3 pd. per person, but I like going for a pound a person as this is a REALLY good recipe. We need a really fatty cut of brisket for this, to help keep the meat juicy during cooking. Take a generous amount of Kosher Sea Salt (Use Coarse Grain Kosher Salt if Sea Salt is unavailable), and rub it into the brisket like a dry rub. Let ir rest for about 10 minutes, then set it in a roasting pan fatty side up. Next, mix together 2 Cups Water and A Dash of Liquid Smoke, then pour into the roasting pan around the brisket. Cover the pan in foil, and roast at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 4 hours. When near the last hour, shred 2 Heads of Cabbage, CAREFULLY uncover the brisket, and line around the meat with the cabbage. Then recover and finish cooking!

When its finished, take the meat out and drain the liquid out of the roasting pan as best as you can. If a little remains, it won’t really hurt anything. Let it rest for about 15-20 minutes, then use two forks to shred the beef as fine as possible. Then toss with the cabbage and serve over rice with soy sauce. This delicious dish will bring a bit of Aloha to ANY table! If you want, you can also try some fresh pineapple rings serveds with it. Just remember, if you use FRESH pineapple, sprinkle a little salt onto it before eating it. Fresh pineapple is VERY acidic. The salt cuts that, and makes it taste even sweeter. Trust me, acidic burns on your mouth is NOT fun! Use the salt!

So, as you can see, salt is once again our friend. And while this may be a dinner to avoid for anyone on a low sodium diet, for the rest of us it’s a wonderful dinner anyone can enjoy! In fact, you could even make my Avocado & Pomagranate Salad with it. I’d suggest my Hawaiian Sweet Challah, but that has dairy in it. And as we all know, Meat & Dairy is a no-no! Anyhow, until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

October 15, 2007. main courses, recipes, Trayfe-to-Kosher Challenge. 2 comments.

We return to brisket…

Brisket and I have a love/hate relationship. Anyone who has been reading me for a while knows this. So, when I can customize new ways to cook brisket, I do. This is intended to be a wonderful dinner to ring in Shabbat, and it is my hope that you enjoy this dish.

Today’s revision of brisket is something men the world love: Barbecue. We start with your standard brisket cut, but and good cut of beef will do well with this. I estimate about 1/3 a pound per person eating the roast, but you might want a little more if its a fatty cut (Or if guests drop by after services!). We start by slow roasting it to tenderize it the night before. If you’re using brisket, cook it in a pan of water covered in foil at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for an hour. Then drop the heat to 200 degrees F (100 degrees C) and cook it for another 6-8 hours. After cooking, just put it in the fridge to set overnight. I know, you WANT to remove that foil, but DON’T! Trust me, okay?

The next day, start up a wood chip fire in your grill. I recommend apple or maple, as I like the flavors they bring to the mix. As this fire gets roaring, then burns dfown to coals, we turn to our meat. Remove the beef from the pan and slice it into thin slices. Set it aside for now, and then pour EVERYTHING else, dripping and all, into a saucepan. Liquify it over low heat, then add in 1 Medium Sweet Onion, Diced, 1 Can Diced Tomatos, Tobasco Sauce to taste & Barbeque sauce to taste. If you like kick, go to town. But I reccomend using a milder sauce to try this out with.

Once the sauce is ready, lay the slices of beef into the pan again, the cover ALL of it with your new sauce. Cover with new foil, add ventilation holes in the foil, then take it out to the grill. By now, your coals should be down to just glowing embers. We’re going to set the pan RIGHT on the coals, and slow smoke for an hour or two. Make SURE that the temp stays low. The coals should slay glowing & cooking, but no flame. And don’t be afraid to add more wood to the fire. After the 1-2 hours, take the pan to the table, remove the VERY HOT foil, and have a wonderful dinner!

A variation I like to do with this is to prepare the first stage a day before a camping trip. Then I just bring it in a cooler, set it up in a dutch oven over the fire, and cook it up for a hearty dinner at the campsite. 🙂 I recommend baked potatoes, corn on the cob, and a cold dairy-free pasta salad to go as side dishes with this dinner. I hope everyone enjoys this recipe! Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

October 4, 2007. main courses, recipes. 1 comment.

In which our humble cook goes back to Japan…

Ah, ramen… Ramen is something I have a fondness for. I often will frequent a little Japanese place here in Chula Vista as a guilty pleasure. But, unlike most places that sell ramen, they are nice enough to have a miso broth rather than a pork-based broth other places often have. So, munching the nummy ramen with my wife, I pondered if I could make a kosher bowl of ramen. Stroking my chin, I then began to smile widely. Why, of course I could! And i could make it a fusion of Japanese and Jewish cultures, to boot!

Now, before I begin, let me explain the differences between ramen in japan, and the pale imitation ANY poor person in North America knows intimately. Ramen, true ramen, is a meal in and of itself. It’s thick, filling, and yet rests easy on the stomach. All in all, it is a wonderful dish I really want to share with you all. Now, unlike my LASY ramen article, this one is a little more complicated.

First off, we need some ingredients. As always, I work to find kosher ingredients. First, we need miso. I suggest Natural Foods’ Miso for this. It is the REAL stuff, and Kosher to boot. Now, red or white is up to your personal taste, so I suggest getting both to see which you prefer. Personally, I’m a white miso man, myself. Now, as for kosher ramen, of course any good kosher grocery store is going to carry it. They are easy enough to find that you should have no worries. Everything else should be easy enough to find in your standard grocery store’s Asian section and Kosher section.

Kosher Ramen for Fun & Profit

4 Packages Kosher Ramen
6 Cups Vegetable Broth (Though I prefer using this vegetable stock recipe, myself. Always have some on hand lately for cooking experimenting.)
8 ounces White or Red Miso Paste
1 Package Silken Tofu, Cubed
A Pinch or Two of Minced Ginger
2 Teaspoons Lemon Grass, Chopped
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Bunch Green Onions, Diced
1 Cup Heart of Palms, Sliced Lengthwise into Quarters
Soy Sauce to Taste
Sesame seeds to Taste

Bring the broth (Or stock) to a simmer in a large pot with a lid, then slowly add in the tofu while stirring. As it dissolves, the tofu is going to give up a thickening reaction that is going to help make this VERY filling.

Once the tofu has dissolved into the broth/stock, add in all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the ramen, sesame seeds, and green onions (If you used broth, be GENTLE with the soy sauce. That stuff is salty already!!!). Cover and let the whole broth simmer over low heat for about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so just to stir everything up.

About 5-10 minutes before the hour is up, open up the ramen packages. See those foil packages? Throw them away. It’d be an insult to this dish to use them. Pop the noodles into the pot and cover for the remaining time. This not only cooks our noodles, but also infuses the nummy taste of our miso base into the noodles. This is a GOOD thing!

To serve, get out 4 BIG bowls. Scoop out the noodles, and divide them between the four bowls. Then divide the miso base between the 4 bowls. Finally, garnish with the sesame seeds and green onions. At this point, if you wish, you could add some fish cake.

Now, I know… Kosher fish cake!? Are you MAD!? Well, to be honest, Japanese fish cake is made in a VERY similar way to gefilte fish. The only differences being the fish used, and that it’s dyed to be purty. Yes, purists will scream, but I’ve found that some slices off a gefilte fish ‘log’ around the bowl is wonderful. And if you miss that redish-pink color, top each slice with some beet-infused horseradish! Viola! There’s your red, and the hurseradish will go nicely with the asian flavours. Trust me, I do it a lot.

Now then, I hope this recipe goes over well. Of course, you can customize it. Customize like MAD! Toppings are only limited by your imagination, really. boiled egg sliices, thin slices of beef, and even meat-free all taste wonderful with this mix. All in all, its YOUR choices as its YOUR ramen, after all! Anyhow, until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

August 21, 2007. Kosher Links, main courses. 1 comment.

One more for today….

I love salmon. Especially Pacific NW Salmon. But, when you cook such a large salmon, you often have leftovers. Now, what do we do with this, that is the query! Well, I came up with this simple casserole recipe that does quite well for itself!

Salmon Surprise (or You’ll Eat It and LIKE IT!)

2 cups macaroni, cooked & drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup (Before anyone asks, remember Amy’s is kosher!)
2 cups vegetable broth
3-4 cups cooked salmon, flaked into bits
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I prefer cheddar, but have fun with this! Experiment! I tried Pepperjack once, and it was delicious!)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup olives or pimentos (Optional)

Mix ALL together in a large casserole dish, and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.

Simple, no? Anyhow, until next time, shalom and good cooking!

August 8, 2007. main courses, recipes. 1 comment.

Bacon!?

Ugh. Real-Life has delt the wife & I a crappy hand. Sorry for the absence, but I’m back. Not much of an article, but I wanted to be nice. First off, for the ultimate in trayfe wrongness, there are now Bacon Mints. Yes, you heard right. Bacon with a hint of mint. No clue on their kosher status, but I assume they arn’t. Speaking of bacon,. why is it the bane of our people? I know so many who will never stray from kosher – EXCEPT for bacon. Well, let’s get past this, shall we? Let’s create a dish that USES bacon, Kosher bacon, and have it be something that any Jew can eat without guilt! Yes, folks, he’s making BACON Kosher now! When will it end!?

Today’s dish is a Traditional German Bean & Sausage Soup, modified into Kosher form. It has turkey as it’s meat, so no dairy with this dinner! We start by cooking 4 Strips Turkey bacon until crisp, but KEEP the grease & fat that cooked off in the pan. Crumble up the bacon, and save for later, as well. Next, toss 1/2 Cup Onion, Diced into the pan with the fat & grease, & saute until tender & brown.

Transfer onions & cooking grease into a pot, and add in: 2 Cups Water; 1 Cup Baby Carrots; 1 Cup Red Potatoes, Sliced in Half; 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped Roughly; 1/2 Teaspoon Marjoram; and 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to Medium-Low.

Cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Next we need 8 oz. Turkey Sausage with Casings, Sliced Thinly, 1 16 oz. Can Grean Beans, Undrained, and 1 16. oz. Can Great Northern Beans, Undrained. Add these to the pot with the crumbled bacon, and then cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until the sausage is cooked fully. Serve in bowls with challah for a wonderful meal.

This dish can ALSO be done in a slow cooker. Add all the ingredients into a slow cooker, and cook on low for 8 hours, and you will have yourself a wonderful meal. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this nice twist to a traditional German soup with a Bacon taste! Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

February 23, 2007. main courses, recipes, Trayfe-to-Kosher Challenge. 2 comments.

JIB Comments, News, and… KOSHER Menudo!?

So, it seems that The Jewish & Israel Blog Awards were announced, and I came in second in Kosher Blog of the Year. I am sad that GF By the Bay and Me-Ander wern’t in the voting! Give the good underdogs a shot! Also, why did LGF get the most votes, yet still not win? They are all awesome blogs, so I award them the RKC Thumbs Up For being Awesome Bloggers Award! ^^

So I have been trying to get in touch with Lang’s here in S. Diego County to try and get a cake for a Torah dedication party I’m catering this weekend. Good food, good times, and good new Torah! ^^ It’s a rare meat menu for me, so I’m going all out with roasted lamb, smoked beef roast, lemon chicken, couscous, salad, and more. The client wants me to get some cakes & desserts (Thus trying to contact Lang’s.), as well, so I’ll be busy with that -all- weekend.

I have to admit, this article on Cuban Jews really made me smile. It’s nice to see that finally, they can live a full Jewish life. In the theme of Hispanic cooking, I wanted to look at a special soup popular in Mexico that tastes rather good: Menudo.

To make this, We’re going to start with 5 lbs. Stew Beef (Basically random cuts of beef chopped up into 1 to 1 1/2 in. cubes.). Now, this we’re going to boil this in a stock pot of water for 2 hours, skimming off the fat that collects on the top each hour. After skimming off the fat the third time, we need to add in 2 lbs. Hominy (Goya, Giant, Super G, and Uncle Williams all make Certified Kosher Hominy in canned form. ^^) and stir it up good before letting it cook over Medium heat for another hour. 15-20 into that hour, scorch 8 oz. Chili Powder lightly in a skillet before pouring it into the soup. To this add 4 Onions, Chopped Roughly and 3 Bunches Cilantro, Shredded. Let it all simmer for the last 15 minutes before serving in bowls with Tortillas, minced onions, lemon & lime wedges, fresh cilantro, and your favorite salsa.

Now, let’s just say that this doesn’t have enough kick for you! Well, let’s CUSTOMIZE!!! Rather than scorching the chili powder, you can scorch 4-5 of your favorite hot peppers before dicing them up and adding them to the sauce. Also, I like to add 3-4 cloves of garlic minced up when I add in the spices, just to give it a bit of extra flavor. Now, this recipe serves about 10-12 easily, and leaves enough for leftovers. I recommend making it for BIG dinner events, or mabye a ‘Mexican Night’ at your temple. Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

January 23, 2007. Jewish Links, main courses, News, recipes. 2 comments.

A Return to Lamb…

So, it’s time for ANOTHER article! And, with ANY article these days, we seem to open with a Kashrut Alert! The Avon Chanukah Tin with Hard Mint Candy (UPC# 9400012552) was represented in Avon Catalogues as being OU certified. It is not certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. Shame on you, Avon! I’ve always thought so highly of your products!

Also, people can now visit this site to vote for their favored Jblog for the JIB awards. As they are using the ratings over the past year to choose the winner, I fully expect The Kosher Blog to win. Though I am still amused that almost all the other nominees are friends or those I read. Nifty!

Now, with Pesach starting to come near, folks are already starting to plan those seder meals. Now, I already have requested my guest Seder blogger for this year, Gluten-Free by the bay, to write me an article. So it should be interesting to see an entire GF Seder meal! Something to look forward to in the months to come. But I wanted to look at something a bit more traditional and have some lamb.

Lamb, as we all know, is one of the main staples on any Seder plate. Well, the lamb shank, anyhow… But, I am one of those that thinks that at least ONE of the two meals should be meat & the other dairy. As such, let’s look over another favorite lamb dish of mine: Honey-Basted Lamb with Gravy. Yes, taking the popular way to cook ham, and using it on a lamb roast! Don’t give me that look! It turns out delicious! Let me show you how it’s done…

We begin by lining the roasting pan with aluminum foil. This will catch all the juices later for gravy-making. Mmmmm… Next, we need a 6 pd. Leg of Lamb. I leave the bone in as we’ll need it for the plate, anyhow. In a small dish, mix together 1 Teaspoon Fresh Ginger, 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt, and 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper. This is going to be a dry rub we’ll use to coat the lamb with lightly. Next we want to set the lamb into the foil-lined pan with the fatty side UP! Finally, sprinkle on some Dried Rosemary to taste and start baking uncovered in a 325°F oven for 60 minutes.

Now, we next need to combine 1 Cup Hard Apple Cider and 2/3 Cup Honey as our lamb bakes. Once baked, pull it out and baste the lamb with the honey & cider mixture before popping it in for 90 minutes (Or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. You DO have a meat thermometer, yes?). Every 30 minutes or so, I also like to open it up and baste the lamb with the juices collected in the pan, just to keep it moist and fresh.

Once we reach the desired temperature, take the lamb out of the pan and let it REST on a platter for a good 20-30 minutes before carving out our shank bone. Meanwhile, we have all these pan juices for a Gravy! Separate them from the fat, and collect 2 Cups Pan Juices before putting it into a small sauce pan over Medium-Low heat. Mix together 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch and 2 Tablespoons White Wine before adding it to your warming drippings. Now, whisk the mixture until thickened. Whatever happens, do NOT stop whisking! It should take about 6-7 minutes of cooking and whisking, but your patience will be rewarded with a thick & hearty gravy. If you want, the gravy recipe can be doubled & tripled easily, as EVERYONE loves gravy. Just double or triple up the ingredients, if you have the drippings for it.

Anyhow, I hope that this gets folks interested in ideas for the coming holiday. Me, I’m not looking forward to THE CLEANING! My Seders have been called for already, this year. The first night I will be with my Rabbi, and the second night I FULLY expect to be in my temple’s kitchens cooking. Hmmm, i winder if Rabbi will ask me to make this for him… He does love his lamb! Anyhow, until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

January 18, 2007. Kashrut Alerts, main courses, recipes, seder. 3 comments.

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