Quick Bone Broth

The weather is turning colder, and I feel a strong desire to cook heartier, more filling meals. One of the things I love to make are homemade broths and stocks – they are incredibly economical, you can customize them to your preference, you get a lot for just a bit of work, and they add so much flavor to even the simplest and plainest of food. There is a lot of room for flexibility as well -you can cook it for 3 hours, or for as many as 12 or even 24.  You can roast the bones first, or use fresh, raw bones. Add more vegetables, different herbs or spices – the choices are yours and they are endless. You will notice there is no salt and pepper in the recipe – that is deliberate to prevent over-seasoning whatever final dish you are preparing with the broth. This recipe is also easy to divide or multiply as needed.

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Ingredients: 

2 lbs chicken bones

1 lb chicken necks

6 frozen cubes of parsley

4 frozen cubes of basil

4 frozen cubes of garlic

1/2 lb carrots

1 head of celery

1 medium Spanish onion

small amount of oil for sauteing

 

  1. In a heavy stock pot (at least 8 qts) add a small amount of oil to the bottom of the pot. When it gets hot, add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook on medium high for 7-10 minutes, or until the vegetables soften and get a bit of color on them.
  2. Add the cubes of frozen parsley, basil and garlic. Stir into the vegetables and let soften. Then add the chicken bones, necks, and water til an inch or two from the top.

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3. Bring to a boil, then lower flame til there are lazy bubbles floating to the surface every few seconds. Skim any scum from the surface as you are able to.

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4. Cook for about 3 hrs, or until the the broth is deep gold in color. Strain with a fine mesh strainer to remove as many impurities as possible.

Baked Apple-Sesame Seed Chips

The inspiration: apples from a friend

Confession time: I don’t really eat that many apples. With few exceptions, I follow the FODMAP diet (although my family does not) and apples are considered a fruit to avoid because it has a lot of fructose naturally.  So are lots of other types of fruits as well, which make me sad because I love fresh fruit!  Most of my favorite fruits (tree fruits, like cherries, pears, apricots, apples, peaches and plums) are on the ‘ to avoid’ list.

So what do you do when your friend tells you she bought too many apples (they were on sale) and she needs your help to use them up? My husband likes apple chips ( I usually reserve this treat for Passover, minus the sesame seeds) and my kids will eat them sometimes. They are simple enough, and take longer to bake than to prepare. Win-win if you ask me.

The innovation: baking with sesame seeds to give a little nutty flavor

Before I started FODMAP, this was a snack I loved. It’s got sweetness, it’s a little crunchy, and I didn’t feel guilty for eating them! One of the things I like to add is sesame seeds – they are very healthy for you, and give a bit of extra flavor and crunch. I also switched from using regular cane sugar to coconut sugar to make the recipe a bit healthier as well.

My interpretation: Baked Apple Sesame Seed Chips

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Ingredients:

5 Macintosh apples, cored and halved, then sliced thin

1/2 C coconut sugar

1/2 C sesame seeds

1/3 C  ground cinnamon

olive oil spray

To Prepare:

1. Preheat oven to 350F

2. Arrange the apple slices on two full size baking sheets. Spray a light coating of olive oil spray over the slices. 

3. Sprinkle first the sesame seeds, then the coconut sugar, then the cinnamon over the apple slices. It works best in this order because the oil helps anchor the sesame seeds to the apple slice, and the sugar stays on better this way.

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4. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, then shut off oven. Leave oven closed and allow apple slices to cool completely before removing . Using a butter knife, carefully remove them from the tray. These chips are best if eaten right away, or left in a Ziploc and eaten within a day or so. 

Lazy Leftovers Make Super Summer Suppers: Roasted Chicken Salad with Provencal Style Tomatoes and Dijon Dressing

The inspiration: Leftover roasted chicken breasts, garbanzo beans that needed eating, fresh tomatoes, and a need for something to feed my family for lunch.

Leftover chicken breasts can be delicious, but they usually need something to accompany them to really make them taste their best. Rummaging around my fridge, I found some leftover garbanzo beans, and I had tomatoes that needed to be used up.  It was far too hot to stand over a stove to cook, and when I am feeling lazy I usually make some sort of salad. This way I feed my family quickly and it’s not too much work!

The innovation: Giving the whole salad a boost by adding seasoned, roasted tomatoes and a bit of Dijon-red wine vinegar dressing.

I had wanted to make Provencal style tomatoes for a while. I have a cookbook that I read to get inspired (The Provencal Cookbook by Gui Gedda and Marie-Pierre Moine) and I kept coming back to this recipe.  Even so, the salad still needed a kick, something to make it really delicious. I love a good Dijon dressing, and after dipping pieces of cold chicken into some Dijon mustard, I had the idea for this dressing.

This salad is full of flavors and textures – the softness of the salad greens, the bite from the Dijon and the red leaf lettuce, the smooth creaminess of the garbanzo beans, the silky texture and sweetness from the tomatoes, and the roasted flavor and heartiness of the chicken. I think that is what makes it a great salad – no two mouthfuls are indentical.

My Interpretation: Roasted Chicken Salad with Provencal Style Tomatoes and Dijon Dressing

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This recipe is a entree size portion for 2-3 adults.

Ingredients:

3 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts (already cooked and cooled completely)

2 cups already cooked garbanzo beans

4 beefsteak tomatoes

1/4 tsp of the following spices: sugar, fine sea salt, oregano, and garlic

1 (12oz) bag of butter lettuce/red leaf lettuce mix (or 12 oz of your preferred salad greens)

3 tblsp of Dijon mustard

2 tblsp of capers

2 tblsp of juice from the capers

2-3 oz of red wine vinegar

A three- finger pinch each of  sea salt and black pepper

Olive oil 

To Prepare:

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the tomatoes in half, and with a spoon carefully scoop out the seeds and white interior (set aside for another use or dispose). Turn upside on a sheet tray and leave sit for at least 30 minutes to remove excess liquid. 

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2) Oil a oven-safe baking dish with a light layer of olive oil, and arrange tomatoes in dish cut-side up. Sprinkle insides with the sugar, fine sea salt, oregano, and garlic. Bake at 400F for about 45 mins, then remove and let cool to just above room temperature.

3) Cut the tomatoes into slices – you may notice that the skin comes away as you cut, and that is ideal. Whatever skin remains after cutting, carefully peel away. Refrigerate and chill completely.

4) While you wait for tomatoes to cool assemble the dressing. Using a stick blender, blend together everything except the olive oil.  Very slowly and in a thin stream add the olive oil til mixture looks a bit fluffy and is a very pale yellow.Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

5) To assemble, slice the chicken breasts on the bias, then cut in half down the middle (for a fancier presentation leave in strips) Add the garbanzo beans, and roasted tomatoes to the salad greens. To avoid over-dressing the salad, dip the fingertips of one hand into the dressing, then fold the dressing onto the salad, gently mixing the ingredients at the same time. Save leftover dressing for another use. 

 

 

 

 

Beef and Lentil Stew

The inspiration – The need for a tasty main dish for the Sabbath

It’s easy to make the same Sabbath foods week after week, and you would even be perfectly justified (and in the majority) to do so.  Some sort of fish, a type of soup, a type of roasted meat, a starch, a veg, and dessert more often than not grace the majority of Sabbath tables. Truth told, there is nothing wrong with this formula – one could even say it is traditional. I cannot speak, nor do I intend to speak for anyone else, but the question begs to be asked- do you ever want to change this? Make something new?

But what do you do when you want something different? For me, it is a luxury to make a meal all in one pot, and a novelty on a Friday night. The meal gets cut to 3 courses instead of four, and the serving and cleanup is much less.

Once in a great while, I’ll make some sort of stew – the main factor is that it must have meat, veg and starch all in one pot, and everyone has to be able to eat something from it.

The innovation – Taking a classic, French -style stew and using lentils and barley instead of potatoes or beans

Since on Shabbat day (Saturday morning) we eat cholent, (a bean and potato based stew  cooked on the stove overnight), I wanted a stew with no beans or potatoes. So with a little thinking, I added some lentils and barley directly to the pot – the stew was not super thick, with a smooth texture to the broth due to the starch in the barley. This was a stew everyone ate!

My interpretation: Beef and Lentil Stew

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Recipe for Beef Stew:

3 lbs large pieces stew beef (I use chuck tender)

8 oz green lentils

6 oz pearled barley

2 small parsnips, cut in half, then diced

1 bunch celery, chopped fine (trim the very tips, use everything, leaves included, til the last 1/2′)

4 carrots, cut into small pieces

1 lg Spanish onion, fine dice

5 garlic cloves, fine mince

3/4 C dry red wine

Olive oil for searing/sauteing

Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare:

In a large saute pan, pat stew beef dry with paper towel, add a tiny bit of salt and pepper, and sear on high heat both sides, about 3-5 mins per side or until you see a nice brown crust forming. You may need to do this in batches – do not scrape pan in between. Set meat aside, and add 1/4 of red wine to deglaze pan and get all the goodness left in the pan. Reserve this as well.

In a 10Q stock pot, add a bit of olive oil, get it hot. Add garlic and onions, let sweat til onions starts to turn clear, about 5-10 mins on meduim high heat. Add carrots, celery, and parsnips, cooking on meduim high heat til the vegetables just start to soften, about 10 mins more. Add the reserved liquid from searing, as well as the red wine.

Add the lentils and the barley now, stirring well and lowering heat. Cover and let sit for about 10 mins, then add water to completely cover, and a bit of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower to scarcely a simmer and cook for approx. 3 hrs. Meat and veg will be tender, and the lentils and barley will have a bit of bite but will not be hard at all.

Flavor note: In the last 10- 15 mins of cooking, taste the stew. At this point, you may decide to add a bit more wine for a stronger red wine taste – 1/4C will do the trick. Also use this time to readjust your salt and pepper if needed.