Tag Archives: egg free

Simple and Good Braised Chicken

Simple and Good Braised Chicken

This is such a simple chicken recipe, that it risked being called “Chicken With No Name.” It is endlessly adaptable, depending on available ingredients, personal preferences, time and circumstances. I have made it several times over the past few weeks, and it is always a hit.

Ingredients:

1 chicken cut in parts, skinned

Optional: leave skin on and sear the chicken pieces until browned for added flavor

2 -3 carrots, sliced

2 onions, sliced

2 celery stalks with leaves, cut in 1″ pieces

Optional: 1-2 parsnips, or other vegetables. Don’t add too many vegetables, or else the chicken will be overwhelmed. The more simple, the better the outcome.

Salt, to taste. Add the salt sparingly after it is cooked. Kosher chicken tends to be salty, and too much salt ruins the flavor.

1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Optional: paprika adds a nice flavor and color

2 bay leaves (I love bay leaves, so I like to add more)

1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed, near the end

1/2 cup water Optional: use chicken broth, or wine

Optional: 1 can crushed tomatoes or tomato paste for a thicker broth

Optional: 3-4 potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters

Optional: Thicken broth with 1-2 tablespoons of flour or starch. I usually dissolve the starch in a small amount of broth, and then add it to the dish and simmer until thickened.

Optional: If you REALLY want to be fancy, brown the starch or flour in fat, and then gradually add the liquid and stir or whisk until desired thickness. This takes a bit of time and skill, so I don’t recommend it if you are time challenged. It is something I do only for special occasions and for the right audience. My family does not like thicken sauce, and I find that it makes the leftovers “gloppy.”

Instructions 

Place carrots, onions, and celery in the bottom of the pot. If you have the time, you could saute the vegetables until browned, however, I did not. Add the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with pepper, garlic powder, and if using, paprika or other desired spices. Then add the liquid, and, the (optional) tomato puree or paste.

I place the chicken on top of the vegetables so that the stock almost steams or roasts the chicken.

The secret is to cook the chicken with only a minimal amount of liquid or stock. And, only add a minimal amount of salt after it is cooked. Too much salt, or liquid, and the taste is altered. I also only add crushed fresh garlic at the end. In general, less is more with this chicken recipe. The beauty is in its simplicity.

Stove top: bring to boil and let simmer until done. Add crushed garlic, salt and adjust seasonings to taste.

Crockpot. Cook on low until done. Add crushed garlic, salt and adjust seasonings to taste.

In pressure cooker: 7 minutes to pressure and then use the quick release method by running cold water over the lid when done. Add crushed garlic, salt and adjust seasonings to taste.

This week, I made it in the crockpot overnight. I adjusted the seasonings when I got up this morning before going to work. I forgot to take a picture of it in the crockpot. So, I only have pictures when I made it on the stove top.

Here are the pictures:

Layered in the pot before cooking. I see I added parsnips too.


The first time around, my husband ate straight from the pot!


Another live action shot of Jay eating from the pot.


Everyone was soooooo happy! Raizel said, “I am obsessed with this chicken. It is scary good!”  My husband said, “This chicken is killer!” It is one of the few times that there were actually no leftovers.

It is fast, easy, all natural and simple — cooking for the time challenged at its best.

Enjoy!

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Lemon Cake In A Mug

Lemon Cake In A Mug

School started just this past week and things have been very hectic in our home.

Among our many changes, Raizel started high school in our new town. To say she has been nervous is an understatement.

Yaffa’s bus route has yet to be finalized as well. Everyday is a new bus adventure: when she will be picked up? When she will be dropped off? And, will she even be picked up at all?

All of this in a typical day, while working and managing a household. I truly feel that God is carrying me. There is no other explanation for how so much can be done with so little time.

Dolly, from koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com suggested that we make a little celebration in honor of our new and many transitions to ease the level of tension and anxiety.

Unfortunately, I was only able to follow up with her suggestion a few hours before Shabbat last week.

With even greater time challenges than usual, it struck me as a perfect time for a microwave cake.

As I have shared before, these microwave 1 cup cakes are a perfect solution for those moments when you want something sweet, without too much fuss.

I decided to adapt the vanilla cake in a mug recipe and make it into a lemon cake instead. I substituted lemon juice for milk and added lemon zest too. I did not use lemon extract, but I think that could have worked nicely as well.

As a bonus, this cake also does not have eggs. Spelt flour can easily be substituted, for those who do not eat wheat.

I am happy to say that it came out really well!

Ingredients

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup lemon juice. I used freshly squeezed

Zest from 1 lemon

3 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (1 capful)

Optional: lemon extract could be good too.

Optional: sprinkle icing sugar over the cake, after it is baked and while it is still warm.

Instructions

In a large mug, combine dry ingredients until well mixed. Add oil, vanilla lemon zest, and liquid, and mix until well blended.

Microwave for 90 seconds.

If you are uncertain about the power of your microwave, start with 1 minute and increase the time as necessary.

Sprinkle icing sugar on top if desired after it’s baked, and while it is still warm.

Here are the pictures. I am happy to say that some where taken by me, others by Raizel, and one was even taken by Yaffa, with Raizel’s assistance.

Raizel guided Yaffa to take this picture. Please forgive the mess in the background, but, you get a good idea of what preparing for the Sabbath is all about.

Getting ready to mix.

Mixing it up. Raizel took the picture.

About it go into the microwave.

Final product. Voila!

Raizel says, “it’s good! In fact it’s very good. In fact, it’s delicious!”

Yaffa says, “it’s good! I like it!” In a full sentence no less.

I am happy to say that it was eaten before the night was over. It’s not chocolate, but definitely still a hit.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Tofu Napoleon — Joint Post

Zucchini Tofu Napoleon

The blogging world has opened up so many new culinary opportunities.

The beauty of blogging is that I get to virtually visit the kitchens of people all over the world and then adapt the recipes to suite my family’s taste. Hence, I recently posted a recipe which I called Lentils Napoleon. Here is the link: https://cookingforthetimechallenged.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/lentils-napoleon/

I adapted the recipe based on The Eggplant Napoleon recipe posted by Dolly, who is behind the apron of koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com.

Here is the link to her wonderful blog: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/

Here is the link for her post on Eggplant Napoleon:

https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/eggplant-napoleon/

However, I must apologize for an inadvertent culinary faux pas: Lentils Napoleon is really a misnomer.

Through this joint post, I have learned that my lentil dish should have been named Lentils with Cumin and Sumac.

And, how did I learn this?

Because Dolly, who is a dedicated teacher, kindly reminded me that “Napoleon” really refers to anything baked in thin layers interspersed with something creamy.

My lentil dish was certainly not that. I simply liked the spices she used and thought I would use lentils instead.

BUT, my malapropism has led to this current hands-on learning experience.  Dolly is a genuine educator: she suggested that we do a joint post on a “real” Lentils Napoleon.

Our goal is to post as simultaneously as possible both of our recipes, using the culinary concept of layering vegetables interspersed with something creamy, the real culinary definition of Napoleon-style dishes.

Here is the link to Dolly’s post on Beets and Beans Napoleon. I am sorry but I don’t know how to make a short link:

Beets and Beans Napoleon – koolkosherkitchen

https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/beets-and-beans-napoleon/

For me, this has been a real opportunity to see how unique we all are.  We infuse our own special spark into everything we do.

Our own special spark

Raizel’s painting from camp.

Based on a more careful reading of Dolly’s post, and some online research, I discovered that Wolfgang Puck, the original creator of Beets Napoleon, used goat cheese between layers of beets.

For this post, I decided to use thinly sliced zucchini between a tofu-lentil creamy layer.  I thought that tofu, with a dash of vinegar, would recreate a more goat cheese-like texture. In addition, I had run out of lentils, and I didn’t feel like shopping for more.

Raizel was my hands-on helper in this activity. She came home from camp this week, and was very excited when I suggested we make this dish for our joint post.

Raizel helped with the actual cooking, and she also took some of the photos. Raizel has a unique gift for coming up with recipes that are often quite good. But, photography is one of her passions; and of course, she loved using my phone as a camera!

Lentil-Tofu Napoleon

Ingredients:

For Tofu-Lentil Layer:

1 lbs. firm tofu

Spice mix:

1 tablespoon garlic salt

1-2 teaspoons garlic power

1 teaspoon pepper, and cumin

½ teaspoon coriander, and sumac

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Optional: 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Optional: fresh cilantro

Optional: Leftover Napoleon Lentils

Vinegar to taste, in order to get a slightly tangy taste for the tofu. I used red wine vinegar, but I think that apple cider vinegar would be good too.

Vegetable Layer:

3 Zucchini, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

Lentil Tofu Creamy layer: Slice the tofu about 5 mm thick and sprinkle spices on top. Spray oil grill, and cook the tofu until done.

I took the leftover lentils from when I first posted the recipe and pureed it together with the tofu and added the vinegar.

The vinegar gives it a nice tang and a creamy texture.

Then I adjusted the seasoning.

Raizel said, “It looks terrible but it tastes great.”

Vegetable layer: Slice the zucchini is thin slices. I have a wonderful compact grater/slicer that I used. It is very sharp and is able to slice 2 different thickness. It also has 3 blades for various grating. Raizel actually sliced the zucchini and she did it very well!

Sauté zucchini in pan, sprayed with olive oil. Add crushed garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Layer zucchini in a small, lightly oiled dish. Next add layer of tofu-lentils, and continuing layering until near the top. Top layer should be of zucchini.

Bake covered for 20 minutes or until cooked.

I made this in individual servings. I think that it could be made in a larger pan, and then sliced when cooked. However, it might be difficult to  maintain the desired layered look. Wolfgang Puck, I believe, used a cookie cutter to get a uniform and attractive serving portion.

Serve with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

Here are the pictures. Since I made it with Raizel and she likes photography, we took quite a few.

 

Tofu marinating with the spices.

Raizel slicing the zucchini. Go Raizel!

Sauteing the zucchini.

Raizel placing the tofu on the grill.

Raizel cooked the tofu by herself!

Pureeing the tofu

Ready to cook!

Voila! The final product!

 

The verdict:  The recipe objectively came out great. However, subjectively, is was not well received.

After it was so beautifully prepared, my husband reminded me that he does not like anything creamy. Raizel, who was very excited and very enthusiastic during the whole process, also didn’t eat it. Despite her protestations, Raizel does not like anything creamy either.

In the end, I was the only one who ate it. I thought it tasted great.

I also ate the leftover tofu “cream” during the week, as a spread on rice cakes.

Overall, I would say that this recipe is delicious, but for someone else’s family.

What did I learn?

I have my own song in the kitchen. 

Everyone has their own song.

For my family, simple is best.

Finally, I had lots of fun discussing and planning this with Dolly. We had a bonding experience!Thank you Dolly!

 

 

Vanilla Cake In A Mug

Vanilla Cake In A Mug

We are still unpacking, so I have not yet started to bake again yet.

These microwave 1 cup cakes are a perfect solution for those moments when you want something sweet, without too much fuss.

Yaffa said that she wanted a vanilla cake, and that she likes vanilla more than chocolate. That she could even vocalize that in and of itself is amazing. I had to honor her request.

This cake was a bit of a risk. I made the recipe up, based on the proportions of flour to sugar in the brownie cake posted earlier. As a bonus, this cake also does not have eggs. Spelt flour can easily be substituted, for those who do not eat wheat.

I am happy to say that it came out really well!

Ingredients

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup milk (or liquid of your choice. I used rice milk)

3 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (1 capful)

Instructions

In a large mug, combine dry ingredients until well mixed. Add oil, vanilla and liquid, and mix until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.

Microwave for 90 seconds

If you are uncertain about the power of your microwave, start with 1 minute and increase the time as necessary.

Adding the wet ingredients to the dry.

Mixing the batter until smooth.

In this version, I added chocolate chips.

Baked with chocolate chips.

 

 

Final product with chocolate chips added on top by Raizel.

 

 

Raizel said, “This is soooooo good. It needs ice cream.”

My husband said, “Very cool. It’s pretty gosh darn good!”

Fast, easy, all natural, healthy and even small kitchen approved.

North African Meatball Stew 

 

North African Meatball Stew

We are slowly digging out from under with our boxes. I have yet to fully unpack and comfortably organize the kitchen.

In addition, the move has brought up many emotions in my family. 

Last week, I found myself writing more on my non-food blog, coffeeklatchinsight.wordpress.com.

So, if anyone is interested in knowing how my week was last week, please stop by and visit!

I am open to feedback: I periodically think I should only have blog. But, my understanding of blogging rules is that a blog is best suited to one subject. Many readers find it too disconcerting to keep switching gears.

What is other people’s experience?

In the meantime, my cooking is even more rudimentary than before the move.

I am slowly getting up to speed, much to my family’s delight.

This is a dish that was inspired by Mona at healthyindiancooking.wordpress.com’s recipe on Easy Meatball Stew. The link is here for anyone who would like to see the original:

https://healthyindiankitchen.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/easy-meatball-stew/

It is a wonderful blog, full of my favorite food. I highly recommend  that you stop by for a visit!

However, although I love the original recipe, I had already packed up most of my spices. What was left were my spice mixes and the very basic spices. So, I combined Mona’s recipe with my previously posted North African Meatballs recipe. I am happy to say that this version is much better. “The potatoes and carrots give more flavor and texture to the sauce,” according to Raizel, my budding gourmet.

Ingredients 

Meatballs:

2 lbs. ground meat

1 tablespoon North African Spice Mix, or to taste

1 clove garlic crushed 

North African Spice Mix:

1 tablespoon salt, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, garlic powder 

2 tablespoons paprika 

1/2 teaspoon pepper, cayenne, cloves 

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 

Sauce

1 onion, chopped 

3-4 potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters

4 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal. I prefer to keep slices on the larger side.

3 cups water or broth 

1 can diced tomatoes 

3 oz. tomato paste

Alternative: I have only used 6 oz. tomato paste, with success. It all depends on what I have available.

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cloves garlic, crushed 

Optional: chopped fresh parsley and/or cilantro 

Instructions 

Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a pot. I usually add the crushed garlic at the end.

Blend all ingredients for the meatballs together. Shape into balls and place in sauce.

Stove top: bring to boil and let simmer until done. Add crushed garlic and adjust seasonings to taste.

Crockpot. Cook on low until done. Less water is required.

In pressure cooker: 4 minutes to pressure and then use the quick release method by running cold water over the lid when done.

This week, I made it in the crockpot overnight. I adjusted the seasonings when I got up this morning before going to work.

Fresh herbs always add a gourmet touch, but I am not up to that yet.

Here are the pictures:

 

all set and ready to go in the crockpot


voila! the final product.

Everyone was soooooo happy!

I made it for this past Shabbat, and everyone wanted to have some. It was a hit!

Thank you Mona at healthyindiancooking.wordpress.com! 

And thank you to all my fellow bloggers for sharing your wonderful recipes. I feel like I am able to have a virtual glimpse of the kitchens of so many, all over the world!

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!

Lentil Mushroom Soup

During Sheva Brachot, I served 2 soups.  This was the second soup that I served.  It can be made with either red or green lentils. I find the red lentils have a finer texture, but the green lentils are more hardy.

Lentil Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

1 onion

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

4 bay leaves

2 cups lentils, red or green

1 tablespoon salt, to taste

Optional: pepper and or garlic, to taste. I usually do not add either, unless the vegetables are not flavorful.

Water to cover

Optional: chopped fresh cilantro or parsley to garnish

Instructions:

Sauté onions and mushrooms. Add lentils, bay leaves, and salt.

Add water and then bring to a boil, cover and simmer until lentils begin to soften.

Next, add the celery and carrots. Continue to simmer until done.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

In pressure cooker: bring to pressure for 5 minutes. Released the pressure quickly by running cold water over the lid when done. Then, add carrots and celery and simmer until done.

Crockpot. Add all ingredients into crockpot. Cook on low until done. If desired, add carrots and celery half way through the cooking, and then continuing cooking until done. Less water is required.

It is important to add just enough water, but not have it be too thick or too thin.

Here are the pictures:




This was another hit!  Many of our guests requested second helpings.

Enjoy!