Homemade Tagliatelle

Do you ever have a day when you have no idea what to cook? As inspired as I am, even I have the occasional day where I am peering into the depths of my pantry, as if by looking some sort of idea will just pop into my head. It works, sometimes. On days where even staring into the pantry (or fridge and freezer) and nothing seems exciting, I recommend making pasta.  It is simple, satisfying, and guaranteed to please even the pickiest of palates.

You can make many different shapes, but I admit – I was feeling lazy. So I rolled it out and cut it into strips. I have been reliably informed this version of making pasta results in a shape called tagliatelle.

 

Ingredients:

2 C all purpose flour

3 whole eggs

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

extra flour for dusting

 

  1. Combine salt and flour, then make a mound with a space in the center (well) for the eggs

 

2. Add oil, eggs, and very slowly, starting from the edges of the mound of flour combine together all ingredients to form a dough

 

3. Flatten ball of dough to a disk, wrap in plastic, place on room temperature surface and leave sit at least 1 hr.

     

4. Cut the disk into 4 equal peices, then roll into balls. Working with one quarter at a time (refrigerate the remaining pieces during this time), roll the section out as flat as possible.

5. When you have, cut the dough into strips. If you wish, you can then take each strip and twist it a little.

6. Boil at least 6 quarts water and add a generous amount of salt.  When water is at a rolling boil, add your pasta.

7. When the pasta floats to the top, it is done. Serve immediately.

 

 

Easy Shoulder Roast

It’s been over a year since I put anything on the blog – I’ve gone through some major life changes. The first was I had a baby 6 and a half months ago – a sweet girl we call Darling Girly. The second was a few months ago, when we moved into our first home. I still can’t find half of my things, but we are settling in.

These days, recipes are kept pretty simple as my kitchen time is limited thanks to a teething Darling Girly who is starting to try to crawl. My older kids recently requested that I make a ‘yummy roast, the one with no wine or fancy stuff ‘.

Mommy heard you, kids!   Here is the recipe, for other rushed-off-their-feet parents looking to make an easy roast.

 

 

1 roast, about 5 to 7 lbs (shoulder is best, but French will work nicely as well)

2 bags carrots, ends cut (you can peel if you prefer – I don’t, I scrub well)

2 medium Spanish onions cut into quarters

1/2 tbsp  salt

1/2 tbsp  black pepper

1/2 tbsp granulated garlic

2 oz dried parsley

 

To prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 295F. In a large roasting pan, lay out the carrots to form a plank for the roast to rest on.
  2. Scatter quartered onions along edges of pan

3.Add the spices and parsley, starting with salt, then pepper, garlic, and ending with parsley

4. Loosely cover roast with  heavy-duty foil, place on top shelf.

5.Cook at 295F for 3 hrs, the remove from oven and let rest for 2 hrs more.

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free Pasta with Peppers and Capers

The inspiration: A need for a quick meal and to clean out my fridge

Sunday afternoons find me with a need to make a quick meal to feed my family. We’ll have Shabbat leftovers for dinner, but lunch is always about using up what is in the house. Since starting FODMAP, the definition of a ‘quick’ meal has changed. Even so, I didn’t have 30 minutes or an hour to make something. So what to make that would be hot, filling, taste good, and FODMAP friendly?

The Innovation: Using a corn/rice blend pasta instead of completely rice pasta

I’ve tried making rice pasta – it was a mushy overcooked disaster. But at the same time I bought the rice pasta, I also bought a bag of corn/rice blend GF pasta as well. If I’ve never seen it before, I always want to try it. It cooks quickly, too – about the same time and way you’d cook regular pasta. While the pasta cooked, I could saute some peppers I had in the fridge, and add something for a hit of acid. Capers are lovely for that – cooking them a little reduces the astringency a good bit, leaving a lovely almost citrus flavor in its place.  When my two younger kids demanded second helpings, I knew I had a winner.

My Re-Interpretation: Gluten Free Pasta with Peppers and Capers

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Ingredients:

2 large red bell peppers, sliced into strips

1  8 oz bag of GF corn/rice pasta (I used Landau’s)

2 heaping tablespoons of large capers

Olive oil for sauteeing peppers, plus a tiny bit extra

Juice of half a lemon

Juice from the capers to taste

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste.

Dried parsley to taste

To Prepare:

1) Liberally salt the water for the pasta, when it reaches a boil add the pasta and stir frequently as it cooks to prevent clumps. Boil for about 7 -10 mins, testing at the 7 minute mark for doneness. When the pasta is al dente, remove from fire, drain from water and rinse lightly.

2) While you cook the pasta, add a bit of olive oil to your saute pan. When it is hot, add the peppers and parsley.

3) Saute the peppers at medium high heat for about 5 mins, or til the peppers start to soften and change color.

4) Add the capers, and cook for another 2-3 mins or until peppers are soft but not mushy.

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5) Add pepper-caper mixture to the cooled but still warm pasta. Mix in the caper juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

 

December Kosher Connection LinkUp: Cookies for Chanukah: GF Chocolate Covered Cookies

The Inspiration: Chanukah, a Kosher Connection Linkup, and Eating More Mindfully

In our house, it is not Chanukah unless Mommy (that’s me!) makes cookies. I rarely bake, so when I do it is a treat my whole family enjoys.  In the past few months, I have started to eat healthier and I knew my normal cookie recipe wasn’t going to work on my new diet. I also wasn’t about to make cookies for my family and not get to have any. I follow the FODMAP diet (http://www.aboutibs.org/site/treatment/low-fodmap-diet/) and everything I use in a normal cookie recipe (margarine, white sugar, all-purpose flour) was all no good for me now. So here was my question: could I make a cookie my whole family would enjoy, even me?

 

The Innovation: Following the basic cookie ratio from  Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio, using Gluten Free 1:1 Flour, Turbinado Sugar, and Earth Balance to make the cookies, then covering them in chocolate.

Frankly, I wasn’t even certain if this recipe would come together at all. I followed the ratio for a basic cookie ( the 1-2-3: 1 part fat, 2 parts sugar, 3 parts flour) and the dough simply wouldn’t come together enough to hold a cookie shape. In the end, however, with a bit of tweaking I was able to make a delicious cookie following the ratio, but by adding an additional ingredient to help the flour bind together. The cookie is a dry, slightly crunchy cookie with a mild flavor that would pair well with anything. The chocolate on the outside takes it to another level. I used Equal Exchange Organic Free Trade Chocolate that had bits of roasted espresso beans inside, but feel free to substitute with your preference.

My Interpretation: Chocolate Covered Blood Orange Cookies

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 Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups Gluten Free, 1:1  flour

2 sticks Earth Balance (slightly softened)

1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon blood orange zest

4 extra large eggs

12 oz best quality chocolate, melted over a double boiler.

Yield: approx. 3 dzn cookies, depending on size

To prepare:

1) Pre heat oven to 350F. Cream the Earth Balance with the sugar using a paddle attachment on a stand mixer.  Combine til you cannot see the sugar inside the Earth Balance anymore, about 5 minutes.

2) Add all your ingredients except the eggs. Mix together on low speed for 5-7 minutes, scraping down about 3 times in between. When the Earth balance/sugar is combined completely with the flour and other ingredients, add the eggs.

3) Mix together til a thick batter forms, and eggs are completely mixed into the batter, another 2-3 more. Make sure to scrape the bowl down to ensure everything is mixed together.

4) Form small balls between your palms, then press them almost completely flat. Place them on a parchment lined sheet tray and bake for about 15 mins. The cookies are done when the entire top looks completely dry and develops small cracks. Cool completely.

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5) Using an off-set spatula, dip each cookie quickly into the melted chocolate and place on parchment covered tray. Refrigerate to set the chocolate onto the cookie.


Silvertip Roast with Mustard Crust (Maille Mustard Review)

Many thanks to Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco of Fraiche PR  for sending me two full size jars of Maille mustard (1 Old Style and 1 Dijon Originale) to sample. All opinions are my own.

I’ve seen Maille mustard in my local supermarket, and chalked it up to one of those ingredients that I’d have in the fridge of my dreams. You know, the type of things that would be in your fridge if you had an unlimited food budget.

PHOTO CREDIT: http://maille.us/

PHOTO CREDIT: http://maille.us/

So when I got an email from Diana asking if I was interested in reviewing these products, I jumped at the chance.  I couldn’t wait to taste really excellent, kosher mustard (both of these are certified OU pareve).

I can say I wasn’t disappointed, and for the first time in my life tasted genuine Dijon mustard. In short, these are excellent products. I tasted a bit of each straight from the jar. The Old Style was a bit spicy, and I was surprised by how smooth the flavor was on my tongue. As soon as I tasted this, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

The Dijon Originale, however, gave me quite a surprise. In the past, I have tasted Grey Poupon, and was not thrilled with the taste – that had been a bit sharp and sour to the point my mouth puckered. Imagine my surprise when I taste this Dijon – bright, full of flavor – and a bit hot.  The heat lingers on the tongue a bit after eating it. After getting over my initial reaction, I found that I kept wanting more.

I will confess that I still need to develop a recipe for this mustard, but just try this- dip boiled red potatoes straight into the jar of Dijon Orignale – and then try to stop eating them. You will find it very hard, if not impossible. I know this from personal experience.

As for the Old Style mustard, I highly recommend using it as a crust on a roast. Be generous – the flavor is distinct but not overpowering, and I can say this was one of the best roasts I have ever made.

Silvertip Roast with Mustard Crust

Ingredients:

2 Silvertip Roasts, about 3 lbs each

2 cups dry red wine

Salt and Pepper for sprinkling

Half a jar of Maille Old Style mustard

2 shallots, sliced

1 pack of crimini mushrooms, cleaned and left whole

1 large Spanish onion, cut in half then cut into slices

To Prepare:

1) Pre-heat oven to 350F.  In a disposable aluminum tray (or doubled up 2 gallon Ziploc bags) pour the red wine over roasts and set in the fridge for a minimum of 20 mins, turning once midway through. While the roasts are marinating, prepare your vegetables and set aside.

2) Remove roasts and discard wine, gently pat dry and sprinkle salt and pepper over top and bottom of roasts.

3) Using a roasting pan with insert, arrange the vegetables on the bottom of the pan. Add the insert, placing the roasts on it. Using a brush (or your fingertips)  liberally apply the mustard all over the roasts, top and bottom. maille1fwp 4) Loosely cover with aluminum foil and roast for 1 hour, uncovering half way through. The temperature at this point will be about 140F, or mid-rare. I would not recommend cooking this style of roast much past mid rare to meduim (150F).

5) Leave roasts to cool at room temperature at least one hour, or until it is barely warm when touched. Slice on a diagonal, and serve with the roasted mushrooms and onions from the bottom of the pan.

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For more information on these specific varieties of mustard, as well as Maille’s other products, please visit their website: http://maille.us/

Kol Foods: A Series on Duck (Finale) Duck Mujadara

The ducks used in these recipes are from KOL Foods. (http://kolfoods.com/) I received no other compensation – all opinions are my own.

One of the things I love to do in the kitchen is to take ingredients, look at them, and say “What happens if I…”.  There is two vital considerations I keep in mind at all times. One – it has to make sense to me. Two – it must treat the ingredient with the respect I feel it deserves.  Yes, even if it’s leftovers. Especially if it’s leftovers. In many homes, they are the source of whines and frowns, but in my house, they can sometimes be better than the original meal!

So when I managed (by hook, crook and bribery) to secure a full duck breast (two pieces) for this recipe I knew precisely how I was going to utilize these gorgeous leftovers. Because let’s face it – duck is delicious right out of the oven, but the next day?  It can be some of the best eating ever. The question was how to make the meat stretch enough to feed my now duck-crazy family.

If anyone asks me what one of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes are, mujadara is in the top three (shakshuka and lachmagine round out that list). Many varieties of lentils and rice are staples in my home, so this made my choice pretty simple. To avoid a clash of tastes, (the recipe I was taught for this dish has cilantro, which I couldn’t see working with duck) I had to re-tool the recipe a bit. I can say these were leftovers my whole family enjoyed! (This recipe make quite a lot, so divide it easily in half for a smaller amount)

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Recipe for Duck Mujadara

3 cups basmati rice 

2 cups green lentils 

1 whole KOL Foods duck breast (two pieces), already cooked and diced

1/3 cup white wine

2 tbsp of lemon juice

heaping 1/2 tsp of turmeric

tiny pinch of cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Generous splash of olive oil

 4 cups of  duck stock, plus a little more for the lentils. (see this recipe for duck stock )

1) In a large pot, add just the lentils and a mix of water, white wine and duck stock til the lentils are covered and have an additional knuckle of liquid above that. Bring to a boil, then turn off and leave sit for a minimum of 2 hours (check and add a bit more stock if needed) and then simmer on low til prefered doneness. 

2) In another pot, add your rice, 4 C  duck stock, olive oil, a scant handful of salt and a three-finger pinch of pepper. Simmer for 25 mins with the lid tightly closed. Remove from fire and leave sit for 10 mins. (Nearly everyone I know combine steps 1 and 2, but I find either the lentils are not done as I like or the rice is too soft, so until I get a bit better at making mujadara this is how I make it. If you are able to make the lentils and rice together in the same pot, please feel free to do so.) 

3) In a saucepan, add the white wine, lemon juice, tumeric, and cumin to make a sauce. Add the duck breasts last and cook on low heat til the pieces of duck are warmed through. 

4) Combine the rice and the lentils gently, then add the duck pieces and sauce. Using a rubber or silcone spatula, fold the mixture together til well-coated (all the rice should have a bright yellow hue) and serve immediately.

 

KOL Foods: A Series on Duck part 1

The ducks used in these recipes are from KOL Foods. (http://kolfoods.com/) I received no other compensation – all opinions are my own.

Nearly a year ago, I was given my first chance to taste and review KOL Foods poultry. I wrote a series of posts back then regarding my experience and opinions on the product (http://foodwordsphotos.com/kol-foods-a-revolution-in-kosher-meat/  and http://foodwordsphotos.com/kol-foods-a-revolution-in-kosher-meat-part-2-review-and-giveaway/). So when I was given this second opportunity to review their duck, I didn’t hesitate to take KOL Foods up on their generous offer.

I was requested to develop recipes for the following: a whole roasted duck, a recipe using the bones to make stock, and a recipe using the leftover meat and stock.  This assignment was right up my street – I am an advocate of using every part of an ingredient as possible. One tiny problem: I’ve never cooked duck before.  But it couldn’t be that difficult, could it?

After asking about, I was seriously beginning to wonder if for the first time in my blogging career I’d bitten off more than I could chew. But the ducks were on their way, I already said I’d do it, and that was that. Enter my pal Simone. For traditional French or Middle Eastern cuisine, I have no better resource. The ideas and recipes I get from her are simply elegant, and incredibly easy to execute.

Duck is delicious when cooked to mid- rare and treated very simply.  Thanks goes to Simone for the majority of this concept and recipe.  The following recipe is for 2 ducks, about 4 lbs each. Add a starch and a vegetable, and you have a fantastic meal for a family.

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Recipe for Roasted Duck

2 4lb KOL Foods ducks

1 bottle of red wine

1 16 oz bottle of Pom Cherry Juice

Salt and Pepper to season

Meat thermometer

Take two 2 gallon Ziploc bags and put them inside each other to form one bag (to make it extra strong) Inside the Ziploc, place your ducks one on top of the other, then add your wine and juice. Lay on its side inside a deep pan, and leave marinate in the liquids overnight, turning once or twice.

The next day, preheat your oven to 400F. Remove ducks from Ziplocs, discarding the liquid. Place ducks breast side down on the rack of a roasting tray (or two trays, if they don’t both fit one one) and remove neck from cavity, setting alongside the ducks on the roasting rack. Using a scant handful of salt and pepper, season your ducks inside and out and tie the legs together and the ends with kitchen twine.

Roast in oven for 1 hr at 400F – about 35 mins in, flip duck over so breast side is up. After one hour, use a meat thermometer to determine temperature. When plunged into the thickest part of the breast, it should be a minimum of 150F. I would not recommend cooking higher than this temperature – as the duck rests it cooks a bit more.

Leave duck rest for about an hour and 15 mins before cutting, then cut lengthwise to serve. Each side can then be cut down into wing, breast and leg pieces.

For my family, I chose to serve the duck with herb-roasted baby potatoes and grilled endive – recipe will be in a future blogpost.

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Cranberry-Almond Bread Pudding

The Inspiration: A loaf of leftover challah from Shabbat, and a freezing cold day.

I live in a co-op building, and one day this past week they shut off the heat for an entire day to repair the boiler. It was raining, cold, and altogether dreary. I was desperate to bake something to warm my house, but couldn’t decide what.  I found a whole challah leftover from Shabbat, and nothing warms up a house faster than bread pudding. It’s easy to make, bakes pretty quickly, and is delicious right out of the oven.

The Innovation: Using oil instead of margarine to brown the bread.

I hear so much about how margarine is not good for you. Even if it is trans-fat free, there are much healthier alternatives. I wanted to see if I used oil if I would get the same result I do with margarine. I love bread pudding with a gorgeous, toasty crust and a soft center. Finding a bit of cottonseed oil in my cabinet, I got to work.

My interpretation: Cranberry-Almond Bread Pudding:

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I was very pleased with the result – a delicious bread pudding with a crispy, nutty top that is not too sweet, a soft, light center, and none of the greasy mouth-feel that margarine can sometimes leave behind.

Recipe:

6 cups of challah, cut into large cubes (I used water challah, but you can also use egg challah, but leave it to dry first)

1/3 C cottonseed or other light-tasting oil suitable for baking

2 C vanilla flavored almond milk

1 and 1/2 C sugar, plus a 1/4 C for sprinkling

2 capfuls of best quality vanilla extract 

Generous pinch of salt

9 meduim eggs

5 oz dried cranberries

3 oz slivered almonds

Heat a large pot, adding the challah then the oil. Stir repeatedly, to ensure all the bread is well-coated, and lower flame so it will gently toast. Take care not to over-brown; stir til bread is a light golden brown, then turn off flame. Do not remove pot from burner.

Prepare the rest of your ingredients except the slivered almonds in a separate container, whisk well to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the challah, fold gently to combine well and pour into a oven-safe casserole dish or oven-to-tableware.

Sprinkle the slivered almonds and the sugar on top. Bake in oven at 350F for about 30 mins or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out hot and clean. Leave sit in oven til mostly cooled for best result.

 

 

December Kosher Connection LinkUp: Fagiuoli all’Uccelletto with Beef and Mushrooms

This month’s linkup topic is Comfort Food. Perfect for this time of year, I’d say, with the cold and wind. It’s the time of year one fires up the stove top and makes dish after dish that simmer for hours to make a meal that warm the home and satisfy both body and soul.

This dish is a compilation of everything I love: it has wine, fresh herbs and garlic, white beans that melt in your mouth and meat so tender you can cut it with a spoon. Fresh tomato sauce reminds me of summer, and the mushrooms add a bit of taste and texture.

The actual preparation of this dish is not difficult at all, but to make all the components from scratch, as I do, you will want to have some time on your hands.  Let me give you the recipe, and then I will include links to recipes on my blog how to prepare the individual ingredients like the stock and tomato sauce.

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This recipe makes quite a lot – easily divide in half if you are serving for yourself or a few people. It is quite delicious fresh, but as with a lot of stews and slow cooked meals the leftovers are even better the next day!

You will need:

1 lb dried white beans

2 lbs stew beef

2 quarts tomato sauce

3 quarts stock or water

1 1/2 lb sliced button mushrooms

1 large handful fresh parsley finely minced (leaves only, save stems for stock)

7 fresh sage leaves finely minced  (leaves only, save stems for stock)

14 fresh tarragon leaves finely minced (leaves only save stems for stock)

5 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced

Generous two finger pinch dried orange peel

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 C dry red wine

Olive oil

1) Take 1 lb of dried white beans and soak in 2 quarts cold water or stock with a generous splash of wine added. Soak for 12 hours. Leaves beans sit as you prepare the rest of the recipe

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2) Take 2 lbs stew beef (preferably from the shoulder or chuck) and pat dry. Add a touch of salt and pepper to all pieces. Get a saute pan very hot, add a bit of olive oil. Sear all pieces on both sides for about 3-5 minutes, or until you develop a good browned layer. Remove beef from pan, set aside.  Do not clean saute pan – you will need that for the mushrooms.

3) Drain beans, and add 1 quart stock, 2 quarts tomato sauce, and the stew beef. Bring just to the boil, then lower to a simmer. Stir occasionally, leave simmer for a minimum of 3 hours. It is done when you can smash a bean easily between two fingers, and the meat is soft and tender.

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4) With the saute pan from the seared meat, add a tiny bit of olive oil and cook the garlic first, til it starts to brown. Add your mushrooms, herbs, and dried orange peel and cook til there is practically no liquid left – about 30 mins on medium heat. To help in the reduction, remove excess liquid at times and add to the beans and meat mixture. When the mushrooms have shrunk to half their original size, and there is only a tiny bit of liquid in the pan, raise heat to high and add your wine. Reduce til there is barely any liquid, and the edges of the mushrooms start to brown and crisp up.

5) When beans and meat are finished, garnish with a generous spoonful of the mushrooms and enjoy!

Recipe for Vegetable Stock (photo step-by-step as well as recipe) http://foodwordsphotos.com/the-basic-kitchen-vegetable-stock/

Recipe for Tomato Sauce (http://foodwordsphotos.com/fagiuoli-alluccelletto-with-sausage/

 

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The Best Chanukah Present: Oreillettes

Chanukah came and went so fast this year! This past Sunday, I hosted my family for a dinner party at my home, and I got a chance to use a recipe that was given to me. I treasure this recipe – it is from a very lovely lady named Simone, and it is her own personal recipe.  Just like any good, heirloom recipe, the measurements were not exact, so I had to tinker a little to get it to where it needed to be.

Oreillettes means ‘little pillows’ in French (I have also seen it translated as ‘ little pig ears’, but little pillows sounds so much nicer, I think!). I originally saw a recipe for this dessert in Richard Olney’s ‘Provence the Beautiful’ cookbook and really wanted to make it. Since I had an unpleasant experience making a dessert from there previously, I went to someone I knew who was expert in French cuisine for their recipe.

The dough is silky smooth, and a dream to roll and cut. When placed into hot oil, they puff up almost immediately. Dusted with sugar, this Provencal treat is considered by many as the ‘sweet lover’s potato chip’.  I can see why – they are so light and airy, you could eat handfuls at one time, just like potato chips!

This recipe as is makes several dozen – halve the recipe if you are only making for yourself or a few people!

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Oreillettes

9 C flour

1 1/4 C almond milk  (can also use regular milk)

3 stick margarine, melted (can also use butter)

5 eggs

2 pinches salt

Zest from 2 oranges 

3 tsp rum

confectioner’s or icing sugar for coating ( I used regular sugar because that is what I had)

36 oz of cottonseed or peanut oil for frying

 

In a large bowl, add the flour and make a well in the center. Add half of the melted margarine, and work the flour in slowly, bringing from the outside in, going around the bowl. When all incorporated, add the eggs and knead together. To the remainder of the melted margarine, add the salt, rum, almond milk, and zest, mix lightly. Transfer dough to mixer with hook attachment. On low speed add the rest of the melted margarine. Mix on low speed til dough is extremely soft and silky to the touch.  Leave dough rest in a covered bowl in warm place for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, take dough and cut in half, working with one piece at a time, keeping the other piece in a covered bowl.  At this point heat oil in heavy pot or pan.  Roll the dough as thinly as possibly, and cut into strips, then on a diagonal to make diamonds.

When oil is hot add 8-10 little pieces at a time. Test with a tiny piece of dough first- if it sinks and stays at the bottom it is not hot enough. If it sinks and pops up right away, it is ready for frying. Fry for about 2 mins, til you see holes form on the pieces. Remove with slotted spoon to paper-towel covered tray, dust generously with sugar and serve immediately.