KOL Foods: A Revolution in Kosher Meat Part 2 – Review and Giveaway!

Thank you, KOL Foods, for providing me with the meat used in this recipe. A special thank you to Hadassah Sabo Milner (Social Media Specialist of KOL foods) for her assistance and guidance. KOL poultry hashgacha is OU and CHK (Crown Heights) certified.  Before using any product that you are unfamiliar with regarding certification, please consult your personal Rabbinical authority. I have been given product by KOL Foods, and have not been compensated financially.

Special mention to Melinda Strauss of Kitchen-Tested for the edit on the first photo and for her assistance in fine-tuning the re-interpreted recipe!

The second part of this article is a review of the delicious bone/skinless chicken cutlets that I was given a chance to try. The cutlets were extremely clean, free of fragments of bone and cartilage, and with very little extra fat. Each cutlet was very large, and I was very pleased with this – a larger cutlet lends itself to a wider range of preparations.

I chose to do a Chicken Basquaise. Traditionally, as with many classical French recipes, the meat that is used is on the bone. I felt the cutlets were so large that I could treat them in a similar manner that I might treat bone-in, skinless cutlets.  I got the inspiration for my recipe from here: http://frenchfood.about.com/od/maindishes/r/chickenbasqu.htm

My interpretation of Chicken Basquaise - I subsituted smoked turkey for ham, and Italian peppers for green bell peppers.

My interpretation of Chicken Basquaise – I subsituted  chopped smoked turkey drumstick for ham, and Italian peppers for green bell peppers. Thanks goes to Melinda Strauss of Kitchen Tested for the photo edit!

Here is my interpretation of Chicken Basquaise:

4 KOL Foods large chicken cutlets (skinless/boneless) about 1 1/2-2 lbs

Leaves from 4 stems of parsley, minced fine

1 C extra virgin olive oil

2 C flour

2 tbsp spiced paprika

1 tbsp Salt

2C chicken stock (I used broth leftover from my Shabbos chicken soup)

2 tbsp black pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced fine

3 red bell peppers, small dice

3 Italian peppers, small dice

2 smoked turkey drumsticks, meat chopped into bite size pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the cutlets in the olive oil, parsley and garlic for a minimum of 1 hr.

032edited

Mix the flour with spiced paprika, salt and paprika. Heat a Dutch oven on the burner on high and when very hot add a bit of olive oil and your chicken pieces, searing on both sides for about 5-7 mins per side depending on thickness of cutlet. Lower flame to medium low and add smoked turkey pieces and chicken stock.

065edited

Simmer for 15 mins, then add pepper pieces. Simmer entire mixture 15 mins, or until pepper pieces are soft but not mushy. Care must be taken not to overcook peppers.

077edited

Meal is done when chicken is cooked entire way through, and peppers are slightly soft but not mushy. This dish is best served immediately. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven and are excellent the next day.

Now for the best part of the article: Food, Words & Photos first giveaway ever! Ready?!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Scharffen Berger Experiments Part 2: Mousse

Thank you to Jane Mermel from RF Binder for the Scharffen Berger chocolate used in the experiment. These experiences are my own: I conducted the experiment from start to finish, and did not allow anyone to assist me.

The first experiment I made was with chocolate mousse. A basic mousse recipe, courtesy of Helen Nash’s Kosher Kitchen. Temper chocolate, separate eggs, whip whites, add rum and a touch of salt, add yolks to the melted chocolate. Fold in whites. Not difficult. I used the same recipe for both batches of mousse, the only variable being the type of chocolate. In this experiment, I used  the semi-sweet chocolate.

The first challenge I had was to temper the chocolate. The Callebaut tempered beautifully: in about 10 minutes I had perfectly tempered chocolate, with a stunning sheen. The Scharffen Berger took twice as long, and didn’t completely melt. It was confusing: I had never seen chocolate act like that before.

 

Both chocolates in tempering stage: the Callebaut to the left. Scharffen Berger to the right. I noted that throughout the entire process the Scharffen Berger had a unique reddish hue.

No matter, there was still mousse to be made. Despite the Scharffen Berger not melting totally, by the time I added the egg yolks and the whipped white, I was able to make two batches of mousse- one Callebaut, one Scharffen Berger. I put them in the fridge and left them to cool overnight.

Callebaut mousse completed before refrigeration

 

 

 

Scharffen Berger mousse completed, before refrigeration

 

The next morning, I went to check on the mousse. I took a spoon to the Callebaut mousse and was able to scoop it nicely. Then I tried to scoop the Scharffen Berger. Next surprise- the mousse was solid. Completely solid. I had put the mousse into disposable aluminum tins to set, and had to take another tin with steaming hot water and place it under the Scharffen Berger mousse (bain-marie style) in order to get it to soften.

I decided to use the Callebaut mousse as a pie, topped with rum-soaked maraschino cherries. The Scharffen Berger mousse I used as a filling and icing for a gluten free vanilla layer cake. I felt this played to the strengths of each of the finished products. The Callebaut chocolate has a hint of cinnamon and a rich, lingering finish on the tongue. The Scharffen Berger chocolate has a strong honey taste and bold flavor, the finish more subtle and very sweet.

Chocolate mousse in graham cracker crust with rum-soaked maraschino cherries. Chocolate used: Callebaut semi-sweet.

 

I noted that after the Scharffen Berger chocolate cooled, the unique coloring disappeared. Vanilla gluten-free layed cake filled and iced with chocolate mousse. Chocolate used: Scharffen Berger semi-sweet.

This experiment was interesting, but I am already looking forward to the next one: candy. Chocolate candy. Molded, definitely, possibly truffles as well. Oh the possibilities…

 

 

Review: Quick & Kosher: The Bride who Knew Nothing/Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes by Jamie Geller

I was given a copy of both books to review and all opinions are my own. Many thanks to Jamie Geller and Feldheim Publishers. 

The day the box with “Quick and Kosher” and “Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes” by Jamie Geller arrived at my office, it immediately put a smile on my face. It was really difficult not to open the box immediately. I subscribe to Joy of Kosher, and I’ve heard of Jamie Geller.  I knew of the books, and have read reviews from fellow kosher food bloggers. Now I would get to see for myself why these books were so popular.

These cookbooks aren’t as good as everyone says: they are better. Whether you have a culinary background or not, whether you are a housewife for 20 years or a newly minted kallah-there is something in here for everyone. How is that possible? It’s because of the reality in the recipes.

Let’s start with “Quick and Kosher: The Bride who Knew Nothing” . The average recipe in this book takes less than 10 minutes of preparation and less than an hour of cooking time.  The ingredients are ones that are familiar, found in most grocery stores, and aren’t terribly expensive. The flavor profiles and pairings are not too outrageous. It’s good, easy, reliable cooking that can be dressed up or down to suit the occasion. Consider this book the little black dress of kosher cookbooks, if you will.

There are also lists of must-haves: kitchen essentials, spices, and time saving tips. There are “trade-secret” interviews with the managers of different departments at Supersol, a hugely popular kosher supermarket with branches in the Five Towns as well as Queens. There is stunning photography, and a list translating all the  Yiddish words into English and their meanings.

What is my favorite part? My favorite part is the story behind it all. Jamie, you see, had a high-flying career as a producer for HBO. Cooking wasn’t a part of her vocabulary. Then she started to take her Judaism a bit more seriously, and next thing she knows, she’s getting married. And now that Husband, Shabbat, and Yom Tovim were part of her vocabulary, it meant that cooking had to be as well-and in a hurry. After all, there are times when take-out will just not do.

I also love the comments that she adds to each recipe. Where the recipe came from, what her husband/grandfather/mother/friend said about the recipe. By the time I was finished (I read cookbooks like people read novels) I could completely understand why people loved this cookbook.  The warmth and friendliness, the sense of camaraderie was apparent in every single recipe, on every single page. Jamie kept it real, and it shows.

In “Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes” you get more of  Jamie’s signature style: warmth and wit, impeccable photography and presentation.  For everything that her first book has to offer, this cookbook offers even more. The book is thoughtfully laid out, with no detail spared. Recipes are arranged according to time to complete: you have recipes that take 20, 40 or 60 minutes to make. What I love about these recipes: the side dishes and the garnishes! Each one not only complements the main part of the dish, but is something stand-out on its own.

I love all the little “goodies” this book offers: menu plans for Shabbat and the Yom Tovim, complete with wine pairings. There is the Slick Little Primer on Oils, which gives info about different types of oils used in cooking.  How to Create a Comfort Zone also stood out in my mind after I finished reading it. After all, how many times do people think of a kitchen as merely a functional place? Jamie completely gets it- you want delicious food, you have to be comfortable in your kitchen, with your tools (see the section on the Tool Box for more details) and your ingredients (see Spotlight-What’s New in Kosher).

It doesn’t matter if you have 500 cookbooks or 5. You are going to want to add these two to your collection-then be prepared to use them often. Then, be prepared to buy Jamie’s new book when it comes out in 2013. If “Quick & Kosher: The Bride who Knew Nothing” and “Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes” are any indication, this newest release will be truly worth the investment.

Both books are available via the publisher www.feldheim.com as well as on Amazon.