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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Cooking farr

We have an overnight guest plus two more friends coming to dinner. That means dinner for five plus Shabbos lunch for three. And one does want to do special things for guests, no?

For tonight:
Salsa gefilte fish

Garlic-basil chicken
Spinach kugel
Rosemary potatoes

Mocha seven layer cake


For tomorrow:
Salsa gefilte fish

Shepherd's pie
Marinated asparagus

Fruit salad



First step: gefilte fish. This was my major use of convenience foods: I put two frozen loaves in loaf pans and covered them with hot salsa. Baked them for 90 minutes at 325.

The next two dishes were multitasked. While I soaked off the sand from the basil, I chopped and saute'd red onions in olive oil, and added black pepper and a touch of allspice. Then I added baby spinach from bags - two bags and cooked it down. Once cooked, I let it cool.

Then I pulverized a couple of cloves of garlic with the basil (I love my handblender) and some olive oil, placed two cut-up chickens in a roasting pan, over some bay leaves and basil stems, and stuffed a tablespoon or so of the pesto under the skin of each piece, except the wings. I spritzed the whole thing with cooking spray and put it into the oven.

The spinach having cooled, I mixed in matzo meal and eggs and a handful of shelled pistachios. I poured that into a loaf pan and put it in the oven.

Then I washed the saute pan and started all over again - one spanish onion and one red pepper in light oil, with black pepper. Meanwhile, I micowaved a bunch of cut up white potatoes. Then I added 1.5 pounds of ground beef to the veggie mixture and browned it. When it was cooked, I put it in a strainer to lose the fat. By this time the potatoes had cooked, so I took them out and mashed them with salt, pepper and some hot water. I put a layer of the potatoes on the bottom of a casserole, added the meat mixture and topped it with more potatoes. This is now cooling.

The kugel was finished by then, so it is cooling. The cooled gefilte fish loaves are in the fridge.

Then I cleaned two bunches of asparagus and microwaved them for three minutes. I added one half red onion, minced, two cloves of minced garlic, parsley, cajun spice (a mistake, but it'll be fine), extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and tossed that around. It's sitting in the fridge, marinating.

I just pulled the chicken out of the oven. My house smells heavenly.

The only thing that's left to do is to cut up the potatoes for the rosemary potatoes, sprinkle them with rosemary and pepper and spray with olive oil, and bake them. That'll wait until 4PM.

The fruit salad is store bought, as are the baked goods. Done.

Comments

How do you heat up that shepherd's pie? *curious*

It's dry. I put it on my blech.

what I wouldn't do to be able to cook like this!! whenever I try to cook full yummy *full meals*, at least half of it goes horribly wrong, and I end up frustrated :(

but a pareve spinach kugel, and a pareve dessert to boot!! do you have specific recipes for these two? I tried to get the kugel directions from above, but my kitchen skills weren't up to the task...

Recipe for dessert:

Go to bakery. See cake that looks yummy. Buy. :)

For kugel:

One red onion
2 bags baby spinach
2 eggs
1/4 cup matzo meal
Olive oil
black pepper
allspice
Balsamic vinegar
optional: shelled pistachios

Chop onion coarsely. Saute in olive oil until soft. Add the black pepper and just a shake of allspice. Add the spinach slowly, stirring constantly until it is all wilted. Put in a splash of vinegar (a teaspoon, maybe) Allow to cool.

Put in the eggs

Add eggs, matzo meal and pistacho nuts (1/4 cup, or a handful.) Mix to combine. Spray a loaf pan and pour in mixture. Bake at 350 until the top is firm.

Go to bakery. See cake that looks yummy. Buy. :)

see that doesn't usually work for me -- the ones that look yummy to me, end up tasting like cardboard :(

thanks, the recipe sounds wonderful -- is it easy enough for a complete novice with a crappy stove? should the pan be completely cool before adding the eggs? (or egg substitutes in my case)

allspice question -- do spices have to be heschered? I have noticed some brands are OU, others not at all, but often the OU brands don't come in whatever spice I'm trying to find at the time. I keep forgetting to notice in my friends' kitchens what brands they have...

Also, it occurs to me that if you were to take Everyone's Pareve Chocolate Cake Recipe -- you know, the one with the vinegar and the cocoa? -- and add a heaping spoonful of espresso powder, then maybe whip up a nice seven-minute (er, basically meringue) frosting with similar flavoring -- well, I wouldn't necessarily try for a seven-layer cake unless someone had specifically requested, but four or six layers (2-3 pans split) is easy enough.

I've got to start having people over for Shabbos dinner so I have an excuse to bake. With two of us, we'd eat ourselves sick. :) But a pareve spinach kugel is a really good thought -- my default spinach kugel is way the heck dairy.

I don't make kugels often - mostly I buy them. And they always come pareve, so I don't think about them being dairy.

I don't bake. Too much measuring. *Way* too much sugar. And did I mention measuring? :)

Have you tried any of the frozen kugel brands? If so, which were good and which should I avoid? I've always wanted to try one, but would hate to throw out that much food and $$$ if it was horrible.

I think the measuring is the one part that I can handle -- it's the getting everything together in the right order and mixture that eludes me ;)

Everyone's Pareve Chocolate Cake Recipe -- you know, the one with

I don't know this one -- is it on the web somewhere? I'm only just lately having the urge to learn to cook/bake better, so I don't have too many recipes site or cookbooks yet.

I'm guessing that it's this one. http://www.livejournal.com/users/kid_lit_fan/89582.html It's awfully good, and, yep, it's pareve. It's also cheap to make, and ridiculously easy.

I checked out that recipe -- it sounds deceptively easy...I could *probably* find a way to mess it up ;)

Since you've tried this recipe before, do you mind if I ask you my (admittedly kitchen-ignorant) questions at your recipe post?

Be my guest--I don't think I'm as good or as dedicated a cook as mamadeb but I know a fair amount!

It's not that I'm so dedicated. It's that it's one of my two creative outlets - writing and cooking. And I emphatically do not bake. I admire those who do (and the bakery mocha cake tasted delicious and sophistocated, so that worked out well) but I don't.