Category Archives: Side Dishes

Cumin Beets

Cumin Beets

As I have shared in the past, I consider myself to be a pressure cooker and crockpot Queen, in addition to the Arch Duchess of the rice cooker. 

To save time, I am always looking for ways to make fast and easy recipes. 

I was very excited to make this new way to cook beets. It can easily be made in a crockpot, stove top, or in a pressure cooker.

Ingredients

Beets, sliced

1 onions, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 can (14 oz.) chopped tomatoes, juice included

1 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Optional: fresh chopped herbs such as cilantro or parsley 

Instructions:

Wash and scrub beets. Slice with a food processor. If desired, beets can be peeled or left whole. A longer cooking time will be needed for whole beets.

Saute onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Add beets, water and canned tomatoes.

In pressure cooker: bring to pressure for 2 minutes and release the pressure. Simmer if needed until done.

In crock pot: place in crockpot and cook on low until done. If a longer cooking time is needed, then leave beets whole, so that they can cook all day.

Stove pot: bring to a boil and let simmer until done.

Adjust seasoning as needed once fully cooked. 

Fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley add a special gourmet touch.

 I made this just before Shabbat, so unfortunately I have only one picture.

Freshly made, and without any adornment.

 

This is a fast and easy and super tasty way to cook beets. Everyone loved them, even my husband who is not a fan of cumin.

Enjoy!

 

Shabbat In 2 Hours: Mashed Potatoes

Shabbat In 2 Hours: Mashed Potatoes

This is almost one of my non-recipe recipes.

My family loves mashed potatoes. However, mashed potatoes are something that need to be made fresh and served immediately. As I am time challenged, I find it difficult to make anything that requires precise timing. Up until now, I rarely made them.

This past week, I was so excited to have discovered cooking the potatoes in the crock pot. The potatoes cooked while I was at work. Then, when I came home, I mashed them just before Shabbat. In very little time, we had wonderful, fresh mashed potatoes.

I know that this seems like such a little thing. But, it was very exciting for everyone. Sometimes, it is the little things in life that count.

little_things

Ingredients

potatoes, whole and unpeeled

water to cover

salt, pepper to taste

olive oil, to taste

Optional: butter or margarine

Optional:sauteed onions

Optional: fresh crushed garlic

Optional: spices as desired

Optional: paprika, for added color

Instructions

Place whole potatoes in crock pot, and add water to cover. Since I made this early in the morning, I added more water than necessary, to avoid overcooking. However, overcooking is not a high risk proposition. Since they are going to be mashed, overcooking will not harm the final outcome.

When I got home, the potatoes were cooked, and not even over cooked!  I peeled them, and mashed them, adding the cooking water to desired consistency. As I mashed them, I added the salt, pepper and olive oil.

Placed whole in the crock pot, cover with water.

I peeled them after they were cooked.

Mashed and ready to serve!

The variations of mashed potatoes are endless. So far, I have not been too adventurous.

My plan was to leave some of the potatoes whole for a potato salad for lunch on Shabbat day. However, that turned out to be unnecessary.  Everyone in the family devoured the mashed potatoes! I actually ran out.  A definite hit!

Now, everyone is looking forward to having them for Shabbat dinner again.  I am so happy that it will be possible to make this dish more often.

Enjoy!

 

Cranberry Sauce 3 Ways 

 

Cranberry Sauce 3 Ways  

 

Although Thanksgiving has passed, I still want to post my recipes from the holiday.

 

I seem to be having trouble with the formatting of my post, so I am afraid that my spacing of the paragraphs is off.

 

My mother in law (A’H) LOVED Thanksgiving. Nothing gave her more joy and a twinkle in her eye than this day.

 

She passed away on a Sunday after Thanksgiving when the girls were small. (I will not say how long ago as my mother in law was coy about her age.)We are convinced that she waited until after the holiday to celebrate one last time before leaving this world.

This year, we were fortunate to host my husband’s oldest sister and his nephew and his new wife joined us. (Readers may remember my posts on Sheva Brachot for them, https://cookingforthetimechallenged.wordpress.com/2016/02/)

As we are aging, I appreciate these rare gatherings. Every celebration is a poignant opportunity to be cherished and savored.

This year, at my sister in law Hana’s request, we began our meal paying tribute to my mother in law, who loved this holiday so much. Everyone also shared what they were grateful for during this past year.

My gratitude was that everyone was such a good sport that the turkey took so long to cook. On Thanksgiving, I finally realized that an oven thermometer is critical to accurately gauge my oven’s temperature. My oven, it seems, is cooking challenged which contributes to my time challenges.

In my cooking frenzy, I made 3 different types of cranberry sauce.

I made my husband’s favorite traditional cranberry sauce, and 2 variations of cranberry relish.

Although these recipes are ubiquitous for Thanksgiving fare, I still wanted to post them here.


Traditional Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

 1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Optional: use orange juice instead of water

4 cups or 1 12-oz package fresh or frozen cranberries

Optional: Pecans, orange zest, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.

Instructions:

Rinse cranberries. Pick out and discard any damaged or bruised cranberries.

Put the water and sugar in a medium saucepan on high heat and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar.Add cranberries. Return water to a boil and then gently simmer until the cranberries are cooked, and sauce is desired thickness.

Traditional Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Orange Relish With Or Without Ginger

Ingredients

12 ounces cranberries

1 cup white sugar

1 orange, quartered

Optional: grated fresh ginger, lemon zest

Instructions: 

Place sugar, cranberries and orange in food processor. Gently pulse until coarsely chopped and desired texture. Add grated ginger or lemon zest.

Here are the pictures:

Cranberry, orange and sugar, chopped in the food processor.

Here is the cranberry relish. Visually, it is hard to distinguish between the one with ginger or without.

They were all a hit. However, after our guests left, I took the cranberry relish and made a fruit torte. I have been wanting to post on that for a few weeks, but, I had to post this one first.

Enjoy!

 
 

Pan Roasted Green Beans

In our last house, I enjoyed the use of 2 fabulous fridges and 2 great ovens. 

In this house, I do not have that same luxury. 

So, unfortunately, some of my green beans froze in the fridge. In order to rescue the green beans, I pan roasted rather than steaming them. 

This is made similar to the cauliflower, that I already posted.  

I find pan roasting even more flavorful than steaming and something a little different. 

It was fast and easy and only required one pan to clean. 

Ingredients 

Green beans, trimmed  

Salt, pepper and fresh minced or crushed garlic 

Optional tamari or soy sauce. I did not use this in order to keep the sodium level lower.

Instructions 

Spray oil the pan and add the green beans. Sauté until beginning to soften. Then, add salt and pepper to taste. 

Begin cooking with a medium to high heat. Then, add water as necessary to avoid burning the green beans and garlic.

If desired, add soy sauce, tamari and crushed fresh garlic. Sauté until desired texture. 

beginning to cook, before adding garlic and water

near the end of cooking, adjusting spices and texture

It came out great! No one noticed that some of the beans had been frozen. 

Simple, fast and easy.

Enjoy!

Baked Mashed Potatoes 

This is a variation of the mashed potato kugel that I posted earlier. I realize that I may be repeating myself with this post, but, it was such a hit that I wanted to share it with everyone.

Over Passover, I had alot of leftover potatoes. So, I decided to mash them with sautéed onions and then bake them in the oven. 

This is a great way to use up leftovers and no eggs!

The recipe is very flexible and depends on the amount of potatoes that you have available.

Ingredients 

Potatoes 

Onions, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste.

Paprika 

Oil

Water as needed to desired consistency 

Instructions 

Boil potatoes. I cooked them in the pressure cooker, 7 minutes to pressure, using quick release method.

Sauté onions in oil until nicely browned. Add potatoes and water to the pan. Mash the potatoes and onions together with enough water to reach the desired texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place mashed potato mixture into a pan. Lightly oil the top, so that the mixture will brown when baked. Sprinkle paprika on top.

Bake in 350* oven until done.

Here are the potatoes in the pressure cooker:

potatoes in pressure cooker


saute onions until browned

mash the potatoes &sauted onions

the final product — yum!


This was such a hit that I could barely take a picture of it after Shabbat. A ringing endorsement.

Enjoy!

Aloo Matar Masala

Aloo matar masala

This is from one of my friends Parul Singhal, who posted this recipe at my request.

Here is a link to the original post on her blog:

https://gharkepakwan.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/aloo-matar-masala/

Below is my adaption of Parul’s recipe, to accommodate more readily available local ingredients.

Thank you Parul!  I hope that I did your recipe justice!

Ingredients

1 small onions, diced

3 – 4 potatoes, cubes

1 cup green peas

1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger

1 can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon cumin, turmeric

1 tablespoon salt, coriander

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

red pepper flakes, to taste

1 -2 clove fresh garlic, crushed

The original recipe called for:

a pinch of asafetida/hing.

1 teaspoon chopped green chili

1/2 red chili powder

Chopped coriander leaves for garnish.

Instead, I added a small onion, crushed fresh garlic, and canned diced tomatoes.  Fresh cilantro would have also made a nicer touch, but I didn’t have any handy.

Instructions:

Sauté onion, garlic, cumin, turmeric, coriander, salt, and  ginger, until fragrant. Add potatoes, tomatoes and water. Bring to pressure for 5-7 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes) and release the pressure using the quick release method. I cooked it for 5 minutes, and then simmered it on the stove top to thicken and finish cooking. After the potatoes are cooked, add the peas. Adjust seasoning, and then add hot pepper flakes to taste, crushed garlic.  Complete by adding the garam masala at the end.  Ideally, fresh chopped cilantro before serving is a wonderful addition.

Here are the pictures:
 

Outcome: Everyone liked it! Although not completely authentic, I am happy to say that it was finished within a day. So, that to me is an unqualified success!

My husband is now suggesting we acquire more authentic Indian spices. Some of them were omitted, and I think that it would have been better with them.

Thank you Parul! I so appreciate you sharing this wonderful recipe!

It has occurred to me that blogging is a great way to learn traditional, authentic recipes.  Before blogging, I never could have made something like this. My husband was amazed.

So, thank you everyone!  I am so grateful to all of you.

(Off topic, but, I would love to receive recipes for Brazilian beans, if anyone is familiar with this cuisine.)

 

Braised cabbage with caraway

  

  

By accident, this post was published last night. 

I try not to post too often, and this was in the queue for posting. 

However, there are so “accidents” in this world. So, I took it as a sign to share this recipe on the blog.

I was inspired by some of the recent posts by others on cooking cabbage. 

Sometimes it happens that we run low on food, but still haven’t gone shopping yet. 

So, I always like to have a cabbage and carrots stowed away as a backup for situations like this. They are less perishable than other vegetables and taste better than frozen.

Ingredients 

1 cabbage, sliced

2 onions, sliced

Optional: 2 grated carrots 

1 can diced tomatoes 

1/2 – 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Salt, pepper to taste

Optional: crushed fresh garlic or garlic powder 

Instructions 

Sauté onions until slightly golden. Add cabbage, tomatoes and spices.

Cover and cook over a low heat. Check to make sure there is enough, but not too much water. Stir to prevent burning. Adjust seasonings.

Here are some pictures:

Slice cabbage:

   

Grate carrots. I have a small but VERY shape grater for small amounts.

 

 Sauté onions:

 

Add other ingredients:

  

Viola! Final product:
  

The rest of the family does not like cabbage that much. But, this was enthusiastically approved of. My husband said, “this is pretty good!”

Enjoy!