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This blog is for the purpose of all things related to the kitchen. This includes recipes, cool gadgets, and little anecdotes. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

And All God Said Was Don't Eat Bread!

In my family, Passover is always a big production. We have 25 guests relatives from out of town move into our house for 3 days. The food is never ending, and with my family there is never a dull quiet moment. Every year the same stories are retold, yet they never seem to get old. The same arguments and words are said at the Passover seder, and yet everyone still loves to hear them.

My mother cooks her heart out for this holiday. It is rare that we see her leave the kitchen. And after every meal everyone expresses how full they are and how they cannot fit another bite into their already bloated stomachs...yet a few hours later they are asking about the next meal.

Most would assume with all the dietary restrictions placed on us for these seven days it would be difficult to eat good food. On the contrary, we all say certain foods always come out so much better on Passover. We cannot explain it since the recipes are the same year round, and yet for some reason we all agree it tastes much better this time.

One of these foods is potato kugel. I make potato year round, it's my go to kugel for shabbat. Don't get me wrong, I am very proud of my potato kugel. I like to think of it as delicious. Nevertheless, I still know that when Passover comes around...all my potato kugels will be put to shame by this one. The most important trick I learned from my mother is to make sure to heat up the oil before pouring it into the mix. So I always put the oil in the pan first and put that in the oven for 15 minutes or so and add that in last, right before placing the whole kugel in the oven. I find it helps to really give the kugel a great golden brown look.

I will place a warning attached with this recipe. It seems to run in my family that we all have our faux pas with potato kugel. My mother has yet to live down this story and it is from before she was even married to my father. She was preparing a potato kugel for shabbat and made sure to add pepper to the kugel since she knew my father liked it. The kugel turned out to be inedible because of the copious amounts of pepper.

I too messed up one of my first potato kugels, however to the opposite extreme. I made it one shabbat and forgot to add any sort of pepper or salt. Needless to say, it was a very bland mixture of potatoes.

So I remind you to check the recipe twice before putting it in the oven!

Potato Kugel

1/2 C. oil
8 medium potatoes
2 onions chopped
1 tablespoon salt
Black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
5 eggs

Heat oil in 9 x 13 pan in oven. Peel and grate potatoes and onions. Mix in
rest of ingredients. Add hot oil and mix. Pour into pan and bake at 400 F
for about and hour or until brown on top.


Happy Passover!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Salty-Sweet Combo

I have always been a fan of the salty with the sweet. In my mind, whoever thought to mix the two was a genius. I will eat chocolate covered pretzels, caramel popcorn, tortilla chips with sweet chili....I like it all.

Recently, I came up with a new salty-sweet combination without even realizing what I was doing. As I was preparing my dinner of a greek salad I decided to change things up a little and really live on the edge. Instead of using my normal dressing of olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano I was in the mood for poppyseed dressing. This dressing is more on the sweeter side and the combination of that with the salty feta cheese really excited my taste buds.

My new favorite thing to do with salad dressing is put all the ingredients in a mini food processor and blend it all together. This saves my poor arm from all the shaking and the high chance of a jar of oil exploding on me. The outcome is a great creamy dressing.

I highly recommend trying this combination, even though it sounds a bit strange!

Greek Salad

Romaine lettuce
red onion
olives (optional)

Poppyseed Dressing

1 cup oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons chopped onion
2 teaspoons poppyseeds


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Heart Attack Continuation

I have loved red meat ever since I tried ribs for the first time on my trip to Florida with my grandparents years ago. Growing up I never had the opportunity to eat it so frequently since my father is very good about not eating meat in order to stay healthy.

In my quest to learn how to make delicious meat and put my cholesterol through the roof, I decided to try my favorite meat of all...corned beef. Your first thought might be why does she like the corned beef cold cut that much?? Well, don't get me wrong thats delicious as well. But this cut of meat is the kind you buy at the butcher, it is normally a brisket which has been pickled. The beauty of corned beef is that you boil it before cooking, so it is always soft no matter what.

The way I make corned beef, as learned from my mother, is by boiling it in water for about 2-3 hours. I then let it cool and slice it nice and thin. I make a great glaze out of ketchup and mustard and poor that on top of the meat and bake it for 30-45 minutes in the oven.

What is great about this recipe is that you can freeze it at any stage so it can be prepared earlier to save time. When I make it, I often freeze it after boiling and only defrost it the day I want to serve it and then glaze it right before the meal.

I strongly believe if you don't try this recipe you are really missing out!

Corned Beef Glaze

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons mustard 

heat all ingredients together in a sauce pan on a low flame and poor onto already sliced corned beef. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, until sauce is sticky.