Archive for February, 2008

Apricot Pockets

Servings: About 16 (can be served warm or cold)

Ingredients:
* 1 package frozen puff pastry sheets (2)
* 2 jars (26 oz.) apricot halves, drained
* 1/2 cup sugar

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375°F

Thaw puff pastry for 30 minutes or according to directions on box.

Drain apricots and slice each half into thirds; set aside.

When pastry is thawed, put each sheet on a lightly floured surface and roll out to extend each side by approximately 1/2 inch. Cut each sheet into eight rectangles to make 16 total.

Fill bottom portion of each rectangle with 4-5 pieces of fruit; moisten sides with a bit of water and pinch closed to form a square. Place pocket on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with sugar.

Cut 3 slits in the top of each for the steam to escape while baking.

Bake at 375°F for 25 minutes or until the pockets are golden brown.

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February 2, 2008 at 5:39 am Leave a comment

Broccoli Knish

Serves 6

Ingredients:
* 1 cup mashed potatoes
*1/3 cup matzah meal
*2 tbsp potato starch
*1/2 small onion, finely chopped
*2 egg whites or 1/4 cup Passover egg substitute
*1/2 tsp black pepper
*1/4 tsp salt
*1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli, steamed and finely chopped

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

In a bowl combine the potatoes, matzah meal, potato starch, onion, egg whites, pepper and salt and knead together. Divide the dough into 6 balls and flatten each. Divide the broccoli evenly onto each circle, fold over, and press edges to seal.

Generously coat a baking sheet with the cooking spray. Arrange the knishes in a single layer and place the baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes on each side. Serve hot.

February 2, 2008 at 5:39 am Leave a comment

Knishes: Spinach Cheese

Ingredients:
* 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 2 cups flour
*1 onion, finely chopped
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*1 pound spinach, (10 oz.) frozen chopped
*1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
*1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
*4 ounces pot cheese
*1 egg, beaten

Preparation:
With a fork, mix cream cheese and butter. Cut in the flour. Work with hands until dough holds together.

Place on waxed paper, form into a ball, and chill overnight. Roll out dough 1/3“ thick with floured rolling pin on a well-floured surface. Cut into 2” rounds.

Sauté onion in oil until softened, add spinach and salt. Cook over low heat until tender. Mix cheeses together and stir in egg. Add spinach mixture and blend well.

Place a little spinach filling on each round and fold over. Moisten edge so it will hold together. Flute edge with a fork and prick center. Place pastries on a cookie sheet. You can brush with an egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water) if you wish.

Bake in a 425°F oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 70 to 100 small pastries.

February 2, 2008 at 5:38 am Leave a comment

Sweet Cheese Blintzes


Serving for 10

Ingredients:

* 1 8-ounce carton mascarpone or cottage cheese
*1 tablespoon honey
*1 tablespoon milk
*1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel or snipped lemon verbena
*1/4 teaspoon anise seed, crushed
*3/4 cup all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1 large egg white
*3/4 cup milk
*1 large egg yolk
*2 teaspoon walnut oil or hazelnut oil
*1 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla
*1 cup seedless green grapes, sliced
*1 teaspoon powdered sugar

1. For filling, in a small mixing bowl beat together mascarpone cheese, honey, the 1 tablespoon milk, shredded lemon peel or verbena, and anise seed. Cover; set aside.

2. For blintzes, stir together flour and baking powder. Set aside. In a small mixing bowl beat egg white with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until soft peaks form.

3. In a large mixing bowl combine the 3/4 cup milk, egg yolk, walnut or hazelnut oil, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer until well combined. Add flour mixture; beat just until mixture is smooth. Fold in beaten egg white (texture should be that of a milk shake).

4. Spray a nonstick griddle or skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes. For each blintz, pour about 2 tablespoons batter onto griddle. Quickly spread batter to 4- to 5-inch circle.

5. Cook blintz pancake for 20 seconds or until light brown. Gently turn with a spatula; cook second side for 15 seconds. Invert blintz pancake onto a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining batter to make 10 to 12 blintzes. (You may cook up to 3 or 4 blintzes at a time in a large skillet.) Place a dry paper towel between each layer of blintz pancakes. Cover and keep warm.

6. To serve, spoon 1 slightly rounded tablespoon of cheese mixture across pancake just below center. Fold the bottom of pancake over filling. Fold in sides, then roll up. Arrange blintzes, seam-side down, on individual dessert plates. Top with grapes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

February 2, 2008 at 5:38 am Leave a comment

Classic Cheese Blintzes

Blintzes are a traditional dish for the holiday of Shavuot. Top with sour cream, apple sauce or cinnamon and sugar.

Ingredients:

BATTER

* 4 eggs
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 cup flour
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 package vanilla sugar
* Pinch of salt
* 1 Tbsp. oil

CHEESE FILLING I

* 1/2 pound farmer cheese
* 4 ounces cream cheese
* 4 Tbsps. honey or maple syrup
* juice of 1/2 lemon
* 1 egg yolk

CHEESE FILLING II

* 1 pound cottage cheese, strained
* 2 egg yolks
* 2 Tbsps. flour
* 2 Tbsps. sugar
* 1 tsp. vanilla sugar
* 1/4 cup raisins (optional)

BATTER: In a large mixer bowl combine eggs, milk, water and blend well. Gradually add flour, then both sugars, salt and oil. Beat well until there are no lumps in the batter.

FILLING I: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat well. Or combine all the ingredients in a blender container and blend until smooth.

FILLING II: Combine all ingredients, except raisins, in a bowl and beat well. Or all the ingredients can be combined in a blender container and blended until smooth. Then add raisins.

TO ASSEMBLE CREPES: 1. Prepare batter and filling of your choice. Using a paper towel or basting brush, apply a thin coating of oil to a 7 inch skillet. Place skillet over medium heat until skillet is hot but not smoking.

2. Ladle approximately 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet. Tilt pan to swirl the batter so it covers the bottom of the skillet.

3. Fry on one side until small air bubbles form, and top is set. Bottom should be golden brown. When done, carefully loosen edges of crepe and slip out of skillet onto a plate..

4. Repeat the above procedure until all the batter is used. Grease the skillet as needed..

5. Turn each crepe so that golden brown side is up. Place 3 tablespoons of filling on one edge in a 2 1/2 inch long by 1-inch wide mound..

6. Roll once to cover filling. Fold the sides into the center and continue rolling until completely closed..

7. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet and place each crepe seam side down in the skillet and fry 2 minutes on each side, turning once.

VARIATION: Whole wheat pastry flour can be used instead of white flour.

February 2, 2008 at 5:37 am Leave a comment

Spinach Choux Bites

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry:
* 1 cup cold water
* 3 ounces butter
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, finely diced
* 10 basil leaves, roughly torn
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Filling:
* 8 ounces spinach cooked, chopped, and drained well
* 1/2 cup soft garlic cream cheese
* 1 large bunch basil, finely torn
* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation:
To make Choux pastry, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1 cup cold water into a medium-sized saucepan. Add butter and melt over low heat. Increase heat and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and immediately add all the flour. Beat to a smooth paste. Return to a low heat to dry a little, then cool until tepid. Add eggs gradually, beating well between each addition. Add mozzarella, torn basil leaves, and salt and pepper.

Place heaped spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with damp parchment paper, leaving a space between each. Bake for 15 minutes until puffed and golden. Cool.

For filling. Blend spinach, cream cheese, and basil together until smooth. Season well. Make a slit in each choux bite. Fill each bite with 1 teaspoon of filling. Place bites back on lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmesan if using. Reheat in oven for 3-5 minutes.

Makes about 20 bites.

February 2, 2008 at 5:36 am Leave a comment

Salmon with Fresh Pineapple Salsa


Ingredients:
* 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh pineapple
* 1/2 cup chopped red sweet pepper
* 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
* 3 tablespoon lime juice
* 1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro or chives
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1 small fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
* 1 1-pound fresh skinless salmon fillet, 1 inch thick
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Preparation:
*1. For salsa, in a medium bowl combine pineapple, sweet pepper, onion, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, the cilantro, honey, and jalapeno pepper. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
*2. Lightly grease the rack of an indoor electric grill or lightly coat with cooking spray. Preheat grill. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 4 serving-size pieces. Brush both sides of fish with the remaining lime juice and sprinkle with cumin.
*3। Place fish on the grill rack, tucking under any thin edges। If using a covered grill, close lid. Grill until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. (For a covered grill, allow 4 to 6 minutes. For an uncovered grill, allow 8 to 12 minutes, gently turning once halfway through grilling.) Serve the fish with salsa. Makes 4 servings.

February 2, 2008 at 5:36 am Leave a comment

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