Category Archives: Main Dishes

Meet the Food Bloggers, Becky Selengut

One of my resolutions for my blog is that I find more time to write. My son just turned one and it’s kind of like the no-more-excuses time.  I am very fortunate to have crossed paths with so many food bloggers and would like to share the wealth . Of course if I feature a blogger, I feel like a recipe is definitely part of the package. No better way to get to know someone then to try their food. By the way, enter my contest and you can win a $25 gift card at www.regionalbest.com, last chance.

Chef Becky 

This week , let’s meet Chef Becky A.K.A Chef Reinvented.

What is it about her?  She is snarky, funny, sarcastic and an extremely talented writer.   She just passed on her website Seasonal Cornucopia to Patricia and John Eddy of Cook local which is a smart move since they are hard-working and very talented bloggers themselves.  Chef Becky has new book in the works which she is working on with her partner April on sustainable Seafood ( April’s doing the wine pairings).  Chef Reinvented also teaches cooking classes at P.C.C and is also a personal chef. She is the co-author of a  book  called ” The  Washington Local and Seasonal Cookbook”. A great resource for easy, seasonal recipes. You can find Becky’s blog here.

 When I asked her for a recipe, this is what she gave me. She also added a little note.

2 notes on that recipe:  great with cilantro, and don’t sub low-fat or non-fat  yogurt (makes the sauce separate)  This really made me laugh because it seems like she knows me too well. I never go out of my way to buy things that I need for a recipe, so I am glad she added this extra note. The recipe is from her P.C.C class.

Indian-Style Braised Chicken With Apricots And Yogurt

Ingredients

 1 tbsp butter — unsalted
 1 tbsp vegetable oil
 ¼ cup chopped shallot
 1 ½ lbs chicken thighs
 ¼ tsp mustard seeds
 1 tsp ground fenugreek
 ½ tsp red chile flakes
 1 tsp garam masala
 10  dried apricots — cut into small dice
 ¼ cup red wine vinegar
 1 tbsp honey
 2 cup chicken stock
 1 cup whole fat yogurt ( ½ cup reserved for garnish)
 ¼ cup toasted pistachios — ground to a chunky powder (for garnish)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat the butter and vegetable oil in a medium oven proof skillet. Add the shallot and chicken thighs and cook until the chicken browns well on one side. Turn the chicken pieces over, add the mustard seed, fenugreek, red chile flakes, garam masala, apricots, red wine vinegar and honey and cook for 5 minutes until the vinegar reduces. Whisk together chicken stock and ½ cup of the yogurt, then add to pan, bring to a simmer, cover and cook in the oven until thighs are cooked through, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Garnish with pistachios and serve extra yogurt on the side.

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Norene’s Healthy Cooking


A few months ago my mom was going through my late grandmother’s belongings. Do you want her copy of Second Helpings Please? Yes! That was what I wanted most.
I wanted the cookbook by Norene Gilletz. I wanted to be part of my grandmother’s marvelous cooking. These were the recipes that my grandmother called her own. My mom, my aunt, everyone in my family had a copy of this book and I wanted one too.

Every time I want some Jewish home cooking, I reach for the book.
For the Passover Speder, it was my dictionary; every recipe that I needed was there. In a recent post I told you about what I made for Passover. Last minute, I ended up making a mashed potato kugel and an apple kugel (a kugel is a kind of Jewish Casserole). I used only the ingredients that I had at home.
Norene’s recipes are simple, easy and tasty in the most comforting way possible.
When I need something that will make me feel good but I don’t have the patience to work for hours in the kitchen, Norene’s book saves the day.

I just got a copy of Norene’s Healthy Kitchen, a healthy recipe treasure chest.

A lot of Norene’s recipes are Jewish recipes but by far not all of them.
Her recipes are kosher which in this case means that they don’t contain milk and meat in the same recipe.
There are loads of helpful hints with the recipes, nutritional facts and health tips. Lately I have been trying to eat healthy grains and this book has so many recipes for quinoa, barley, bulgur and every other grain you can think of. I definitely recommend this book for anyone but especially for cooks who like to eat healthy but don’t have the time or patience to slave in the kitchen.

Some other interesting recipes in the book…. Whole wheat Challah, Kasha (buckwheat chili) and Confetti Vegetable Strudel.

For more of Norene’s recipes or to order her book, click on her website

I decided to share this recipe for Couscous Mediterranean-Style
This recipe was so easy that I made it while on the phone with an old friend. My husband and I kept sneaking back to the pot to get a little more.

Couscous Mediterranean-Style

2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic (about 2 tb minced)
1 and 1/2 cups couscous
1 tsp ground cumin
3 cups of hot vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 a cup raisins or currants (I used currants)
1/2 a cup dried apricots or dates (I used dates)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup of chopped parsley or mint
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (I used pecans because I burnt the pine nuts that I had, while on the phone) or slivered almonds

1. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet on medium heat. Add onions, red pepper and garlic; saute for 6-7 minutes or until golden.
2. Stir in the couscous and cumin and cook for 2 minutes longer or until golden. Slowly add the hot broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10- 12 minutes or until the couscous is tender
3. Stir in the raisins, apricots, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and pine nuts and serve
Yield: 8 servings, keeps up to 3 days in the refrigerator, reheats well. Freezes well up to 2 months.
264 calories per serving, 43.7 carbohydrates, 3.9 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and there is even more nutrition information in the book.

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Filed under Cookbooks and Books, Main Dishes

Passover Cooking Recipes

I am busy getting ready for Passover this year and I thought I would pop in to tell you about my favorite Passover Recipe of all time.

(I am sorry if you read about these last year but I am so in love with them!)
The sweet and sour meatballs! These are the quickest, easiest and sweetest meatballs around. They are perfect to make ahead and freeze. They are especially amazing for kids. They are from the book called Second Helpings Please by cookbook author Norene Gilletz.
Norene is basically the pioneer of Jewish Recipes!
I just got her new book, Norene’s Healthy Kitchen and will write about it soon. I have been trying recipes and I am absolutely in love with the ones that I have tried so far.

Eileen Mintz put together a bunch of admirable recipes for Passover, click here for more details.

I made this Passover Honey Nut Cake in Soaking Syrup this morning. I had to check the recipe before I made it for Passover. It came out quite thin so I will have to double the recipe. The taste is incredibly moist and sweet. I will use a lot less syrup because the syrup makes it a tiny bit too sweet.

If you have any Passover suggestions, please add them in the comments.

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Filed under Appetizers, Main Dishes, Recipes

Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce



This pasta is a favorite of mine. Vodka adds the tang that it needs. Perfect for a weekday dinner.

Three Words: Easy, Tasty and Creamy!

500 grams of pasta
Salt
1 and a half tablespoons of butter
Olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 and a half cups of whole canned tomatoes (diced)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Fresh thyme (about 4 sprigs)
250 ml of cream
¼ cup of vodka
Tabasco
Fresh Basil
Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil and butter in pan. Put onion in butter and sauté until transparent.
2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and thyme. Cook while stirring, until the liquid
disappears (about 10 minutes).
3. Add cream, vodka and Tabasco until thick ( about 3 minutes).
4. At the same time, cook pasta according to directions.
5. Mix with sauce and top with basil and Parmesan if desired.

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Spaguetti Squash Macaroni and Cheese


At the potluck I hosted this week, blogger Catherine made a Spanish Macaroni and Cheese. I was inspired by her dish to make something cheesy at home. I came up with this Spaghetti Squash Macaroni and Cheese. It is not exactly like macaroni and cheese but a healthy, quick substitute. The creaminess reminds me of a risotto. Nice for a dinner when you are dining alone. A weekday supper.

The recipe makes 1 large serving or 2 side dish servings

Here is my recipe for Spaghetti Squash Macaroni and Cheese.

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon of butter
Half a spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 a cup of grated Cheese (I used Beecher’s Flagship and Parmigiano-Reggiano)
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Chopped Chives

1. Place squash cut side up in a microwave dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on size of squash. Cook more if necessary and comb out strands.
2. In a saucepan, saute the garlic in butter.
3. Add spaghetti squash, 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir.
4. Add Cheese and stir until you get the consistency that you like. Add more cheese or milk as needed.
5. Chop chives and mix in. Season with salt and pepper.

I used olive oil with chives in the food processor to decorate the plate. I placed it in a squeeze bottle and made little circles.

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Filed under Appetizers, Main Dishes, Recipes, Uncategorized

Risotto Therapy

When I first started cooking, I looked for easy things to make. I obsessively watched Rachel Ray, trying to beat her at her 30 minute meals. Then I discovered the gracefulness of cooking, the art of it , the dance of it , the whole idea of focusing all your love in one place. You might think I am a freak but cooking has become a pleasure that I can afford to do endlessly without feeling the tiniest speck of guilt. This is of course as long as I don’t eat endlessly.I realized I was hooked when I made risotto for the first time.RI- SOT- TO.The word rolls off my tongue softly and gracefully like when Nabokov chanted the word LO- LI- TA, in his controversial but extremely brilliant book.At first I just heard about Risotto. People would say : “Oh it’s delicious but it’s so much work!” The first time I made it, I had no idea how it was supposed to taste. I started with the basic, Risotto a la Milanese.The yellow, saffrony, creamy rice came out perfect the first time. ( This never happens to me!)I felt like I was eating a pot of gold.So for all those people who tried to scare me into making instant rice, you are missing out on something in this world. Risotto only takes about 30 minutes(including prep time), but a meaningful 30 minutes where all you do is focus on this one beautiful masterpiece of golden porridge-like, pasta textured rice.This is your time with your Risotto. No answering phones, No checking emails and no distractions.So… The next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed with work. Two words , Risotto therapy!
The technique in risotto is to have one pot of stock on the stove on a simmer so that it stays hot and to cook your rice in another pot by adding one ladle of hot stock at a time to your rice. Then, stir, stir and stir some more. Homemade stock is the best but if you are not ready to put that much effort into it you can use cartons of stock too. Just try not to use those cubes of soup powder, they taste really bland and are usually infested with M.S.G.The only inconvenience with risotto is that is tastes better when it’s piping hot and just made. This is a bit more complicated for restaurants to make perfectly since it requires individual attention. This is one of those foods that taste just as great or even better when you make it.
So get some Arborio rice(the rice for risotto )and have some relaxing time with this creamy new friend.
Risotto A la Milanese Recipe

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