Friday, December 28, 2012

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pecans

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
With Pecans

Inspire by This American Bite's Yosef Silver's recipe: Maple, Balsamic & Lemon Brussels Sprouts.  Yosef's recipe reminded me that I had a couple of pounds of Brussels spouts in the fridge that I needed to do something with.  I liked his idea of using maple, but I only had maple sugar, not maple syrup and I added some pecans for crunch.

2 lbs Brussels Sprouts Trimmed and Quartered
Olive Oil -Enough to lightly coat your sheet pan
1 Cup of Pecans
3 Tbsp of Maple Sugar
Kosher Salt and Pepper to Taste

Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil and a thin layer of olive oil.  Put the pan in the oven and heat it to 400F.  Once the oven is up to temprature remove the pan.  Spread the Brussels sprouts out on the hot pan and sprinkle the pecans on top.  Season with the maple sugar, salt and pepper.  Roast until brussles sprouts are tender and start to brown about 10 minutes on each side.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

First Look at Soul Surfing Pizza

First Look at Soul Surfing Pizza

First Look at Soul Surfing Pizza

I went into Soul Surfing Pizza this past Saturday night with my wife.  They are in the old Malibu Pizza location, and stuck with the same decor, although it does seem to be a new owner. They are still in soft open mode, although they are open to the public.  

Two weeks prior I had taken a couple of pizzas out from there and what happy with the pizza, but was hoping they would be a little more organized by this week. It took over ten minutes before a waitress came to take our order.  Generally wait times were long, which I will chalk up to the fact that they are still working out the kinks.  At that point they did not yet have menus, so you had to try and remember the types of pizzas they have as the waitress rattled them off.  It appears as if their specialty is using all sorts of fake meats on their pizzas and in their soups. The waitress mentioned that they finally got fries but their fryer was broken. 

My wife and I both started with soups, she got the cream of potato with "bacon" and I got the Italian wedding "meatball" soup.   My wife's soup came without the bacon, which was brought later but was cold, rubbery, and was way too salty.  The potato soup itself was decent.  The wedding soup on the other hand was thin and bland and had two tiny meatballs. 

The star of this place is their pizza.  We ordered 12" 1/2 five cheese, 1/2 Hawaiian barbeque chicken, which was delicious.  The crust is wonderfully thin and crunchy, the sauces where flavorful, and the topping combinations are well thought out.  I only have a few small complaints about the pizza. When I asked what the five cheeses were on the five cheese pizza I was told by the waitress it was secret, which I think was just a cover up for the fact that she did not know.  They don't have anything smaller than 12" which is in my opinion a little large for one person, but perfect for two. Finally pizza by the slice would be nice, especially if they hope to attract families with children.  

My early assessment of Soul Surfing Pizza is that it has potential once they get their act together.  Once they have menus and work out their service issues, this could be a great new Saturday night spot.  My suggestion is give them until after the New Year to work out the kinks, bring a friend, and skip the soup, because here it is all about the pizza.  Look for a full review of this place sometime after it is no longer in a soft open mode.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Duck Fat Roasted Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes

Duck Fat Roasted Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes

Duck Fat Roasted Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes

Duck Fat Roasted Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes
2 lbs of multicolored fingerling or marble potatoes
3 tablespoons of duck fat
1 tablespoon dried or fresh rosemary
Salt to taste

Add potatoes to a pot of cold, salted water.  Cook on high until just soft enough that you can easily insert a paring knife. While the potatoes are boiling, heat a cast iron skillet in a 400 F oven.  Once the potatoes are soft, drain and set aside. Take the skillet out of the oven and add the duck fat.  It should melt almost instantly.   Add the potatoes, rosemary, and salt, and toss to coat.  Put the potatoes in the oven, and roast for 20 minutes or until the potatoes start to brown.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sufganiot (Donuts)

I am not much of a baker, but good thing my wife is.  See her guest post below:

Sufganiot (Donuts)
Guest Post by Ronit Peikes

Sufganiot, or donuts, are a classic Chanukah treat. Traditionally, sufganiot are filled with jelly, custard, caramel cream or chocolate cream. In an effort to engage the kids in a fun activity at a rainy day, I decided to embark on making homemade sufganiot with the kids. We made them smaller, more like mini donut balls, using the recipe below. The original recipe is from

Mini Donuts:
3.5 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp yeast
4 heaping Tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
6 Tbsp butter, softened
Oil for frying
**I made the donuts non-dairy, so I used soy milk in place of milk and margerine instead of butter. I also made a half recipe, as the full recipe said it would make about 45 donuts and our family of four definitely didn't need that many. A half recipe made about 22 donuts.
Mix all ingredients and set aside to rise for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, shape dough into ping-pong sized balls and allow to rise for another hour. **I found the dough to be very sticky, so we used some flour to help form the dough balls.
While dough is rising, prepare chocolate glaze: melt together 4.5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, 3/4 c rich's whip, and 1 Tbsp margerine. Set aside to cool.
Heat oil in a large pot until hot but not popping. Fry a few balls at a time for about 1 minute on each side, or until golden brown. Set aside to paper-towel lined cookie sheet to cool and then dip in toppings. I prepared three toppings options: cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, and chocolate glaze with different sprinkles to dip in afterwards.
The kids really enjoyed being involved in every part of the process except the actual frying. And they liked eating them even more!
Chanukah Sameach!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce

Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat

With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce

Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat

Duck fat is what I like to refer to as the “Cadillac of Schmaltz.”  In the hierarchy of fats, I am told that it ranks higher then bacon fat. (Not that I would know personally.)  It provides a richness that cannot be reproduced by other fats.  The fennel, with its strong licorice flavor, acts to balance the richness from the duck fat and give some more character to the latke.

I shred my potatoes as opposed to grinding them for a more rustic texture and look, likely because that is how my mother makes hers.


·         6 medium russet potatoes

·         3 large eggs, beaten

·         1 fennel bulb, top and bottom removed

·         1 cup all-purpose flour

·         Salt and pepper to taste

·         Duck fat for frying

Makes approximately 18 medium-sized latkes.

Peel the potatoes and shred them along with the fennel in a food processor or with a box grater.   Transfer the shredded potatoes and fennel to a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, salt, and pepper ad mix thoroughly with your hands.  Add 2 tablespoons of duck fat to your pan, and heat it over medium heat until it is hot.  Form palm-sized patties from the latke mixture and fry until golden brown on one side, and then flip and fry on the other side.  Remove from frying pan to a paper-towel lined plate to cool briefly.  Serve hot.

Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce

For my apple sauce I modified Alton Brown’s “10 Minute Apple Sauce” recipe.   Chinese five spice powder is a spice blend consisting of cinnamon, powdered star anise and anise seed, powdered ginger and ground cloves.  The anise compliments the fennel in the latkes.

  • 2 Michigan Red, 2 Granny Smith, and 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled cored, and quartered (Original recipe called for 3 Golden Delicious apples and 3 Fuji Apples but I like a little more variety)
  • 1 cup apple juice (Original recipe called for unfiltered apple juice but I used what I had in the house)
  • 2 tablespoons rum (Original recipe called for cognac or brandy, but again I used what I had in the house)
  • 2 tablespoons margarine (Original recipe called for butter, but I needed to keep it non-dairy)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (Original recipe called for ground cinnamon but I wanted something with a little more character)

This recipe is super simple.  Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe container, cover loosely, and microwave on high until the apples are soft, about 10 minutes (Your microwave may vary).  Then using an immersion blender, sometimes known as a stick blender, puree until desired consistency. 

Makes about 6 cups, depending on the size of your apples.
Related Post: A Trio of Latkes

Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:

Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce

Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes

Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin

Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
Yosef from This American Bite made Latkes & Brisket on Rye
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can't Believe They're Crispy!) Baked Latkes
Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes

Donuts and Desserts:
Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
Gigi from Gigi's Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts
Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
Shoshana from Couldn't Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
The Gluten Free maven made Gluten Free Vegan Cake Donuts
Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot
Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies

Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:
Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
G6 from Guess Who's Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
Jennifer from Juanita's Cocina made Kugel
Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll!
Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables