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Kosher cooking for hot summer days

Kosher cooking for hot summer days

Summer is a time to take the party and the paper plates outside – even if the party consists of a family of four enjoying an afternoon picnic at the beach or an evening cooking out on the back deck.

And so, as summer hits its midway point we offer some kosher recipes for picnics or barbeque meals, and some quick tips for the perfect grilling experience.

:::::::: COOL KOSHER RECIPES ::::::::

From “EnLITEned Kosher Cooking” by Nechama Cohen
Low fat, low carb, 4 servings

For outdoor or indoor broling or grilling (especially for fish and/or thick cuts of meat), in order to cook well on the inside and avoid scorching on the outside, use the lowest shelf in your indoor broiler and the highest level on your outdoor grill. Position thick cuts of meat away from any direct flame and check the insides for doneness. Beware! Leftover marinade you have used on raw fish, meat or poultry should either be discarded or boiled for at least three minutes before using as an accompaniment.

3 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 ounces light beer
1 tablespoon wine vinegar white or red
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon onion soup powder (optional)
sugar substitute equal to 1 tablespoon sugar
12-ounce lean top round, cut into 1″ cubes
bamboo skewers
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small red pepper, seeded and cubed
1 small green pepper, seeded and cubed

Mix marinade ingredients in a glass bowl and set aside. Prick meat chunks with a fork and soak in marinade, overnight if possible. Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling, to prevent them from burning. Place alternating pieces of meat and vegetables on skewers. Grill to desired doneness on an open flame, counter-top grilling appliance, or oven broiler and serve.

Cherry tomatoes, eggplant cubes or zucchini chunks would be great vegetables to include on these kabobs as well. A chicken breast can be used instead of beef.

From “EnLITEned Kosher Cooking” by Nechama Cohen
Low carb, fat free, Approx. 1 cup

Great for grilling and as marinades

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced

From “Jewish Cooking For All Seasons” by Laura Frankel

I love the play of sweet fruit and spicy flavors. It is a palate opener that keeps your taste buds tingling bite after bite. Sometimes a sauce is too cloying and your palate becomes saturated. Not with this sauce. Pick the ripest fruit you can find and use as much harissa as you dare. This is a great dish as the components can all be done ahead of time.

2 large red onions, sliced thinly
8 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 ripe plums, pitted, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 ripe peaches, pitted, peeled and cut into large chunks
2-16 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juices
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 – 1/2 cup harissa or favorite hot sauce
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup neutral flavored oil (canola or olive oil, not Extra Virgin)
10 pounds of short ribs cut into individual pieces on the bone (ask your butcher for “English cut”)
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Place a large sauce pan over medium low heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and slowly cook until golden brown (about 15-20 minutes). Add the fruit, tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, vinegar, harissa and spices. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is very fragrant and the fruit is soft (about 30 minutes). Cool the mixture completely. Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor in batches, or use an immersion blender. Add the fresh herbs and oil. Slowly simmer for about 15 minutes until the flavors have melded. The sauce can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen for 2 months. Combine the ribs, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, garlic and parsley and place in a storage container with tight fitting lid or large Ziploc bag. Marinate the short ribs at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat the grill to medium low heat or oven to 275 degrees F. Place the short ribs on the grill and grill until the meat is very tender, turning the ribs as necessary (about 1-1/2 – 2 hours). During the last 1/2 hour, brush the ribs with the barbecue sauce. Serve the ribs with plenty of extra sauce.

Serve the ribs hot off the grill or tent them with foil and eat them at room temperature. They will also travel well to a picnic. Be sure to bring extra sauce.

From “Quick & Kosher” by Jamie Geller
4 servings

Southern-Style Chicken is classic picnic food. It’s great cold. Just pack it up in a basket with a bottle of wine, and head out to the park for a gorgeous day.
Substitute 2 tablespoons olive oil for the mayonnaise or just use 3 tablespoons of olive oil or mayonnaise if you are not quite the Dijon fan that I am.

1 chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds, cut into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon McCormick fried chicken seasoning
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
3/4 cup seasoned mini croutons
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Pull off skin using a dry paper towel and place in prepared pan. Rub fried chicken seasoning into the chicken. Mix mayonnaise and mustard to blend, and then spread over chicken, coating all surfaces. Coat both sides of chicken with bread crumbs and arrange in prepared pan. Liberally spray non-stick cooking spray over chicken. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Chicken should be nicely browned and crunchy. Serve immediately.

From “Quick & Kosher” by Jamie Geller
6 servings

Salmon is a big winner, cold or warm, in terms of taste. Even among non-fish eaters, salmon often goes over well.

6 salmon fillets, about 3 pounds
1 (16-ounce) jar prepared hot salsa
1/4 cup canned black beans, drained
1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.Rinse salmon and pat dry. Place in prepared pan. Mix salsa and black beans in a bowl and pour over salmon. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Garnish with sliced avocado, if desired.

From “Quick & Kosher” by Jamie Geller
6 servings

Sauteing and browning the walnuts will release a bit more flavor. Place them in a skillet with 1 teaspoon canola oil over high heat for a minute or two. When warm and golden brown in color, proceed with Step 4.

6 boneless chicken breast cutlets, about 3 pounds
2 (10.5-ounce) cans condensed chicken broth
2-1/2 cups water
For sauce
1 cup walnuts
2 cups baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup basil leaves
4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Rinse cutlets and pat dry. In a medium pot, bring chicken broth and water to a boil. Add chicken, and when the broth comes back to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow chicken to finish cooking from the retained heat for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from broth, cover and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour. To prepare sauce, in a food processor or blender place walnuts, spinach, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse 3 or 4 times. Pour the olive oil in a steady stream through feed tube while machine is running, until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Spread pesto over cooled cutlets or cut cooled chicken into slices, and drizzle with pesto. Serve any additional sauce on the side.

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