Tag Archives: gluten 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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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!

 

In A Hurry Nut Drop Cookies

This is another recipe from my mother. While we were visiting, my mother had one of her various meetings. This recipe was her contribution.

My mother said that this is her go-to cookie recipe when she is short on time and wants to serve something simple and yet spectacular.

These cookies have an added panache, as you can adapt the flavor with different spices. And, they are also kosher for Passover!

 

Ingredients

1 lbs nuts or seeds. My mother said that “peanuts are the best, but any combination will work.”

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

Optional: coriander and cardamom

Instructions

Beat egg with sugar and spices. Add nuts. Shape into cookies, drop on parchment line pan.

Bake in 325*F oven until set.

Optional, sprinkle with icing sugar when done, but my mother thinks they are sweet enough.

To give as a gift, place gently into a glass mason jar. Cover and decorate with a nice ribbon or bow.

Mixed and ready to drop.

Mixed and ready to drop.

Drop with a spoon onto parchment paper.

 

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

In a jar to give as a gift.


Fast, easy, sophisticated and yum!

Enjoy!

Shabbat in 2 Hours — Baked Apples

shabbat-cat

I love cats. I couldn’t resist.



Shabbat in 2 Hours — Baked Apples

I hesitate to call this an actual recipe. However, my friend Malka introduced me to baked apples for Shabbat. It is even faster and easier than my fruit compote, and I bake them while I have everything else in the oven.

Ingredients:

Apples, cut in half, and seeds removed

cinnamon

Instructions:

Cut apples in half and remove the core and any other blemishes. Lightly spray oil the pan and sprinkle cinnamon over the bottom. Add apples, cut side down.

Bake in 350* – 375* oven until done. The house will smell heavenly!


Enjoy!

Just for fun, I thought I would post this.

shabbat-coke-image

Many blessings to all for a beautiful shabbat.

Saturday night begins the first night of Channuka and Christmas Eve. Happy holidays everyone!


Love,

Carol and family.

Cranberry Torte

As I shared on my last post, I had lots of cranberry relish leftover from Thanksgiving. 

Rather than let it go to waste, I thought I would use it to make this fruit torte. 

This cake recipe is very flexible and it has endless variations. Feel free to adapt the recipe for whatever fruit you have available — fresh or canned. It can even be adapted for various flours with success. 

Ingredients:

4 eggs

2 cups sugar (white or brown or a combination)

1 cup oil

1 tsp. vanilla

Optional: you can use other flavorings such almond, lemon, etc. depending on the fruit

2 cups flour

Optional: you can substitute almond, cornmeal, whole wheat, spelt, rice flour or gluten-free flour blends in any combination. It may change the texture, which could make it more interesting. I usually make it with spelt.

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt (a “pinch”) 

Optional Variations:
Chocolate cake: substitute 1/2 cup cocoa for 1/2 cup flour

2 cups cranberry relish 

Optional Variations: Add 2-4 cups fresh or canned fruit on top and sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. It amount depends on the size of the pan. 

Instructions:

By hand: cream together oil and sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in sifted together dry ingredients until blended.

With a food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in food process for 1 minute. Add flour, salt and baking powder and pulse until just blended.

Pour batter into greased or parchment lined pan. Place cranberry relish on top.

If using fresh or canned fruit, sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, if desired, over fruit.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Here are the pictures:

Cake batter on the bottom.

Ready to be baked.

Fresh out of the oven!

The final product. Voila!

Raizel and her friend Kayla said, “this is awesome!” I cut them both a piece before freezing it.

Enjoy!

References:

This recipe is adapted from my ubiquitous 1-2-3-4 cake and the apple cake recipe from Classic Kosher Cooking. 

As I have shared, all my cake recipes are basically an adaptation of the 1-2-3-4 cake. I then adjust the liquid or the sugar if using fruit, or adding pie filling. Sort of like mix and match. In Classic Kosher Cooking the apple cake recipe called for 2.5 cups cake flour and 1/4 orange juice. I eliminated the liquid and decreased the flour, since I generally use spelt or regular all purpose flour.

I have since, however, seen this recipe published on various sites all over the internet using different proportions. 

Most recently, my friend Malka introduced me to the recipe which is published annually in The New York Times as a Plum Torte. 

Here is the link:

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/3783-original-plum-torte

So, this recipe is practically no fail and VERY versatile!

The Only Cake Recipe You Will Ever Need: The 1-2-3-4 Anything Cake & Optional Glaze

The Only Cake Recipe You Will Ever Need: The 1-2-3-4 Anything Cake

The road to parenthood was not simple one for us. So, when we granted the blessing of children, I was eager to celebrate their birthdays with a homemade cake, decorated with roses.

Just before their first birthday, with great excitement, I enrolled in a local cake decorating class.

The class was definitely a learning experience. But, not in the way one might expect.

I learned that cake decorating is really sugar art. The cake functions similar to the canvas of a painting.

The greatest lesson I learned, however, was that I do not like decorating cakes. I found it very time consuming and very labor intensive.

So, my days of cake decorating came quickly to an end. I have not touched an icing tip since.

This was the cake recipe that I used for my class. It is the perfect cake for the time challenged cook. It is fast and easy, only uses one bowl, and it is easily adaptable.

I have included all the multiple variations, so you see how this is really the only cake recipe that you will ever need.

The marble cake I just posted is also one of the many variations.

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar (white or brown or a combination)

1 cup oil

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla, almond, lemon, etc.

1 cup liquid (water, juice, milk, coffee, etc.)

3 cups flour — I used spelt, but you can use a gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, corn meal or any other flour too. The texture, however, may be slightly altered.

3 tsp. baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt (a “pinch”)

Optional Variations:

Chocolate Chip Cake: stir in 1 cup chocolate chips when mixed

As You Like It Cake: stir in 1 cup chopped nuts, dried fruit, etc.

Chocolate Cake: 1/2 cup cocoa for 1/2 cup flour for a chocolate cake

Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg, dash white pepper to dry ingredients

Lemon Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, dash white pepper to dry ingredients and, add 1 lemon zested to the wet ingredients. Do not add lemon juice for the liquid because then the baking powder will work differently. You could try adding baking soda instead, but I have never personally tried that.

Almond Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, dash white pepper and 1/4 cup ground almonds when adding flour.

Lemon Poppy Cake: Add 1 lemon zested to the wet ingredients and ¼ cup of poppy seeds to the dry ingredients.

Marble Cake: Pour ¾ of batter into the pan. Then, with the remaining batter, add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Pour over vanilla batter in stripes. Gently swirl with a knife. Do not over mix!

Instructions:

By hand: beat eggs, and sugar. Add oil and vanilla. Alternate adding the liquid and the dry ingredients until blended.

With a food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in food process for 1 minute. Slowly add liquid until well blended. Add flour, salt and baking powder and pulse until just blended.

Stir in nuts, chocolate chips or dried fruit if using.

Pour batter into a greased, sprayed or parchment lined pan.

This can be made in a greased and lightly floured Bundt pan, or two 9″ layers, one 9″x 13″ rectangular cake or 24 cupcakes.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Although I didn’t intent to add a glaze, Raizel made a special request. How could I say no?

Optional Glaze

Ingredients:

1 cup icing sugar

4 teaspoons of milk or liquid (I use rice milk, but lemon juice also works)

Instructions:

Pour icing sugar in a bowl. Add the liquid 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until desired consistency.

Drizzle over cake, while slightly warm.

This cake also freezes well, with or without a glaze.

Here are the pictures:

 

Yaffa decided to help take pictures and took this one all by herself.

This is my picture, attempting to avoid shadows.

 

Fresh out of the oven, ready to frost😉

 

Raizel REALLY wanted it frosted.

Raizel approved!

 

Raizel, as you can see loved it. I gave her a piece fresh out of the oven.

After not baking a cake for quite a while, Raizel has come to the realization that homemade, from scratch cakes are REALLY yummy!

Raizel said, “I really missed homemade cakes.”

I am also very grateful for my trusty oven thermometer. It is making such a big difference!

Hurrah!

Enjoy!

Shabbat Marble Cake With Optional Glaze

Shabbat Marble Cake With Optional Glaze

When the girls were little, I baked almost everything from scratch. As Raizel was on the Feingold Diet, I made everything with all natural ingredients, and without dyes, additives or preservatives. With time, I have collected a small repertoire of fast and easy baking recipes. Nothing fancy, but I figure, “done is better than undone.”

Ironically, the highest compliment that I usually receive from Raizel is, “this tastes as good as store bought,” rather than the other way around!

My oven is also still not working properly. To compensate,  I have started using an oven thermometer, which I am finding very helpful. 

Armed with my trusty thermometer, and with the day off for Thanksgiving, I had time to make this Shabbat Marble Cake. This is the first cake that I have baked since we moved to our new house.

For those who may not be familiar, a Shabbat cake is simple, fast and easy cake that one makes especially for Shabbat and those moments when one has a lot of cooking to do and limited time. Perfect for the time challenged cook.

Ingredients

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup liquid – I used rice milk but juice is also good

2 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups flour: I used spelt, but you can use a gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, corn meal or any other flour too. The texture, however, may be altered slightly.

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt (a “pinch”)

3 tablespoons cocoa powder: Add at the end to only 1/2 – 1/3 of the batter

Instructions

By hand: beat eggs, and sugar. Add oil and vanilla. Alternate adding the liquid and the dry ingredients until blended.

With a food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in food process for 1 minute. Slowly add liquid until well blended. Add flour, salt and baking powder and pulse until just blended.

To assemble marble cake:

Pour ½ – ¾ of batter into a greased or parchment paper lined pan, or use a Bundt pan.

If using a Bundt pan, lightly flour the pan after it is greased to prevent sticking.

Then, with the remaining batter, add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Pour over vanilla batter in stripes. Gently swirl with a knife. Do not over mix!

This can also be made as two 9″ layers, one 9″x 13″ rectangular cake or 24 cupcakes.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Optional Glaze

Ingredients:

1 cup icing sugar

4 teaspoons of milk or liquid (I use rice milk, but lemon juice also works)

Instructions

Pour icing sugar in a bowl. Add liquid 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until desired consistency.

Drizzle over cake, while slightly warm.

Since I am time challenged, I was only able to take 2 pictures:

 

Fresh out of the oven.

I took  this picture just before Shabbat.


Although she will never admit it, I think that Raizel is finally missing home baked goods. She said, “this is great! It is even better than store bought!

I am happy to say that between her, Yaffa, and her friend Kayla, I have only 2 pieces left. I consider that to be a ringing endorsement.

Enjoy!