Tag archive for "Parmigiano-Reggiano"

Asparagus Zucchini Winter Soup

kosher soup recipes, rosh hashanah and sukkot recipes

Asparagus Zucchini Winter Soup

2 Comments 16 December 2014

Zuchinni and Asparagus soup


Thank u @shushyturin for this great winter soup recipe!

  • 3 large zucchini (with skins)
  • 1 bunch of thin asparagus
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbl unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbl dry sherry
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 2 large dashes of Kosher salt
  • 1 dash of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (for Parma Crisps)

1. Top a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop spoonfuls (use a tablespoon) on to the liner into little mounds, then press them flat. Bake in 400 degree oven between 5 and 8 minutes (depending upon your oven). Once cooked remove from liner and serve with the soup. I make these while the soup is simmering. 1/2 cup grated cheese makes 9 to 12 crisps.

1. In heavy saucepan melt butter, and add the chopped onion and garlic. Stir till onion is translucent.

2. Wash vegetables and pat dry. Quick chop the zucchini into small chunks and add to pot. Cut off bottom of asparagus stocks (the woody section), and then rough chop the asparagus and add to pot. Cook for about 5 minutes till the veggies get some brown on them, stirring the entire time.

3. Once veggies are brown, add the chicken broth and bring the soup to a boil, then turn down heat. cover the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

4. Vegetables should be soft but still keep their green color. Test the vegetables by pressing them against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. The vegetables are cooked when they smash against the side but still hold their shape.

5. Take the soup off the stove and using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients till it starts to thicken. I like the immersion blender over a food processor as the clean-up is much easier and I don’t make a big mess on my side counter, as I do when I use the food processor.

6. Just before serving add the sherry, mix well and pour into soup bowls. Add a bit of heavy cream to top, and affix one parmesan crisp in center and serve a couple on the side.
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Eggplant Rollups with Hashu (Meat) and Rice Filling

hanukka recipes and tablesettings, kosher passover recipes,seder table Ideas, kosher thanksgiving recipes, purim recipes, baskets, and decor, rosh hashanah and sukkot recipes, shavuot recipes and ideas

Eggplant Rollups with Hashu (Meat) and Rice Filling

2 Comments 05 May 2013


hashu meat, syrian style,

hashu, veal stuffing,meat stuffing, stuffing for vegetables,

Way back in the days when my grandparents resided in Syria, there was no such thing as  a huge slab of meat for the entire family,  so the women had to stretch a pound of meat by grinding and mixing it with short grain rice (faster cooking time), salt, allspice, and cinnamon.  They would stuff this “hashu” filling into the  vegetables that were bought in the local souk in the city. Of course the vegetables were laboriously  scooped upon arrival home. Fruits, vegetables and poultry from the Aleppo region were know to be organic and  extra tasty, and the former residents will passionately attest to it. I will never forget the pride of one of the women that we interviewed for the Sephardic Heritage Museum project when she said, “You haven’t even tasted a CHERRY until you’ve tasted one from Aleppo!” Fortunately, our grandparents brought the memories of the flavors of their native land, and adapted them to our American menu. I’m not actually sure if they made eggplant rollups back in Syria, but I’m sure that they stuffed their  baby eggplants with “hashu”. For a more detailed post on how to make hashu click HERE.

I really enjoy making eggplant rollups for the holidays when one meal rolls into the next because you can just pull it out of the freezer to defrost in the morning and pop into the oven a couple of hours before serving.

If you do freeze in advance, then just remember to defrost and add a little water to the edges of the pyrex before cooking!


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Eggplant Rollups with Hashu (Meat) and Rice Filling

Eggplant Rollups with Hashu (Meat) and Rice Filling


  • 1-2 lbs chop meat
  • 1/3 cup short grain rice(per lb of chop meat)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • garlic salt
  • oregano
  • 2 uniform long eggplants/sliced into long thin slices


  1. Brush each eggplant slice with safflower oil and place on a baking tray.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes
  3. Hashu meat filling:
  4. Mix chop meat, rice, spices and water together with cooking gloves till consistency of wet play dough.
  5. Take each long slice of eggplact and place 2-3 tablespoons of meat at the edge.
  6. Roll up each eggplant slice into a finger sized rollup and place on a pyrex one by one.
  7. Pour a can of tomato sauce over the legnth of each row of rollups.
  8. Sprinkle with garlic salt and oregano.
  9. Bake at 350 for an hour or more (cover for and hour- then uncover for about 20 minutes) till bubbly.
  10. Lefortover "hashu" can be made into torpedo shaped balls and frozen on a cookie sheet for later use.
  11. Can be thrown on top of chicken or any roast, or cholent before cooking.


May be frozen in advance. Make sure to defrost before cooking- add some water to the edges before cooking.


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Esther Mosseri’s Summer Salad with Grilled Summer Squash, Parmesan and Pine Nuts

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Esther Mosseri’s Summer Salad with Grilled Summer Squash, Parmesan and Pine Nuts

No Comments 14 August 2012

“Hi Marlene

I made a great grilled ribbon summer squash salad this weekend!


Esther Mosseri

  • 6-8 yellow and green summer squash.
  • juice of 2 lemons
  •  1 c olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • Optional-shaved parmesean and toasted pine nuts
  1. Rinse squash and cut off ends then thinly slice into ribbons lengthwise with a mandolin or vegetable peeler .
  2. Toss with 1/3 of the olive oil and and lightly grill on one side 1-2 mins until it has nice grill marks and is a little wilted
  3. Put on a plate or tray to cool, when slightly cooled toss with all remaining ingredients except pine nuts and parmesan and sprinkle those over top .
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Asparagus Pesto by Mark Bittman

kosher recipes, kosher rice and pasta recipes, kosher thanksgiving recipes, kosher vegetable recipes, rosh hashanah and sukkot recipes

Asparagus Pesto by Mark Bittman

No Comments 09 August 2012











Summer entertaining means pulling out pre-made gourmet extras from the freezer, and pesto is usually one of them. Pesto- (meaning paste) is  a no-brainer for pasta, or is great drizzled on sliced  mozarella cheese.  This recipe for asparagus pesto is a fresh twist on pasta-in-tupperware on the beach,  served on veggies as a side dish for barbeque (omit the cheese if serving meat), and as Mark Bittman suggests, you can even spread it on fish.

This recipe is quick in preparation.

Make and freeze in ice cube trays or flatten in baggies in the freezer.

watch the video Here

adapted from the New York Times


Asparagus Pesto

Published: May 7, 2010

Time: 20 minutes

  • Salt
  • 1 pound asparagus, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 2-inch segments
  • 1 clove garlic, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, or more as desired
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste.

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Add the asparagus and cook until fully tender but not mushy, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well, reserving some of the cooking liquid, and let the asparagus cool slightly.

2. Transfer the asparagus to a food processor and add the garlic, pine nuts, 2 tablespoons of the oil, Parmesan, a pinch of salt and a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Process the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary, and gradually add the remaining oil and a bit more of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten if necessary. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste, pulse one last time, and serve over pasta, fish or chicken (or cover and refrigerate for up to a day).

Yield: 4 to 6 servings (about 1 1/2 cups).

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Was Popeye Eating Kale?

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Was Popeye Eating Kale?

2 Comments 19 May 2012

Adele Yedid MS, RD

We all somehow inherently know that kale is good for us. From fast food eaters to health food fanatics, children to adults, dietitians to laymen…kale is pretty much a universal health food. Even my computer seems to have gotten the memo on this nutritional giant. While gathering data on kale I typed the words “nutrition” into a Google search and before I could even type the words “of kale,” a funny thing happened. The first search option to pop up was “nutritional perks of kale.” Either my computer is psychic or there’s a major buzz surrounding the health benefits of this green vegetable.

So what’s the hype? Maybe it’s because kale is just so green, or probably because most people don’t like to eat it. We all know that the best test determining how good a food is for you is how bad it tastes, right? (Loud, annoying buzzer) WRONG! I would like the opportunity to disprove that.

Let me begin with a little background information on this “superfood.” Just like your favorite superhero, kale is tender yet strong (proven by its ability to be eaten from raw to braised), fights the bad guys (diseases like cancer and heart disease), puts things back where they belong (as in cholesterol and waste- you get it), and saves the good guys (provides a plethora of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals). Specifically, kale is an amazing source of antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as one of the highest available food sources of vitamin K. It is actually so high in vitamin K (which works in blood clotting factors) that those on blood thinners may be advised to avoid it as it can be counteractive to their medication. Among the specific types of the antioxidants found in kale are the carotenoids and flavonoids, which are the primary factors giving kale its anti-cancer capabilities. I can continue, but I will spare you and simply say that going through kale’s nutritional roster makes me wonder if it was spinach Popeye was eating all that time.

I am aware that all this nutritional jargon may not be enough to convince some of you skeptics. My husband Eli was an avid kale chips hater. He would list it on his top 10 worst foods. He would make faces as I ate it at dinner. He strongly felt that I could eat it only because I am a registered dietitian who grew up on a macrobiotic diet, and I would agree to appease him. But despite that, I couldn’t prove to him that I truly did enjoy it. I had to find a way to present it to people like my husband who were on the other side.

And so, I searched and read and tested and tasted. What follows are two recipes that I feel can change your mind if it needs changing. I would like to showcase kale’s versatility by presenting it to you in both cooked and raw form. We will start for the faint of heart with a recipe for spicy kale chips, a crispy and light snack that your kids will fight over. From there we will graduate to enjoying kale in its green glory with my asian sesame kale salad, fresh, earthy and vibrant. Talk about spring cleaning!


For the purpose of my two recipes we will be using curly kale. Other varieties of kale are lacinato or dinosaur kale, as well as ornamental (purple) kale. When buying curly kale I like to look for a bunch that is full, firm and has tight curls. Kale that feels wilted is not fresh and will not have the flavor or nutrition that it should. The color should be deep, rich green, and free of yellowing and obvious blemishes. I choose organic kale which is free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.


Kale should be thoroughly washed, leaf by leaf in cold water. It can then be gathered it in a salad spinner, sprayed with a vegetable wash and allowed to soak for 2-3 minutes to get rid of any critters or dirt that may still be present. Spin it dry and you are ready to go.


Always remove the tough center stem of the kale, then chop to your desired sized pieces


  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (in sprayer bottle such as misto)
  • ¼ tsp sea or Himalayan salt
  • ¼ tsp hot pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Wash kale, remove hard inner stem, cut into bite size pieces
  3. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt (if a misto is not available, simply drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat evenly)
  4. Optional: sprinkle with any or all of the following for added flavor: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, sesame seeds, cumin
  5. Place on parchment lined baking tray, bake for 15-20 min until crispy but not burnt on edges.


  • 1 bunch kale (yield approx 8 cups)
  • 2 cups purple cabbage (sliced thin)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds (I buy raw, hulled seeds and toast myself)
  • Optional: ¼ cup currants


  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs tamari
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  1. Wash and dry kale thoroughly, cut out tough center and chop into bite size pieces
  2. Chop cabbage and scallions, shred carrots
  3. Toast sesame seeds in pan over low flame, moving pan continuously. Take out of pan at first sign of toasting. Do not allow to burn, should get tan
  4. Combine kale, cabbage, carrots, scallion and sesame seeds (and currants if using)
  5. Mix all dressing ingredients and add to salad. You can dress this salad in advance, as the kale can withstand the dressing and it will allow the flavors to develop.
  6. Serving suggestion: as seen in the photo, serve atop a bowl of soba noodles and vegetables in dashi for a balanced meal.

I hope that I have been successful in tempting you to try this nutritional powerhouse. I figured if I haven’t convinced you as of yet I will leave you with the thoughts of my macho husband texting me from the work just the other day: “Hey, is there any kale salad left? I’ll send someone over to pick it up.” Now that’s victory.

Are you willing to take the plunge?

Adele Yedid

contact me  at  AyedidRD@gmail.com


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Spiced Israeli Stuffed Peppers

kosher pareve recipes, kosher recipes, kosher rice and pasta recipes, kosher vegetable recipes, purim recipes, baskets, and decor

Spiced Israeli Stuffed Peppers

2 Comments 14 February 2012


Meet Margo Sugarman- one of my favorite Jewish Hostess bloggers residing in the beautiful land of Israel! We are so lucky to be able to get a glimpse of life as a Jewish wife and mom as she cooks and writes about the wonderful herbs, spices, local fruits and vegetables of  the flavorful Israeli cuisine. Check out The Kosher Blogger  for more great kosher recipes for all of the Jewish Holidays, Shabbat, and week nights!

“Stuffed vegetables are prevalent in many Middle Eastern and European countries, each with their own twist and their own flavor profiles. The Greek “gemista” stuffed veggies will use pine nuts, cinnamon and mint; Italian “verdure ripieni” include Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs; “filfil rumi mahsi”, Egyptian stuffed peppers, use allspice, currants and tumeric; Balakan stuffed peppers (names vary by country, but are called “punjena paprika” in Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro) are characterized by their use of paprika; and Ashkenazi stuffed cabbage, naturally, has a sweet sauce.

My favorite are Israeli stuffed vegetables. I think that the version we make in my house (my husband is the stuffed vegetables master) is a combination of the best of all the recipes, with all the exciting and palate tickling flavors that define Israeli cuisine. The addition of hot paprika, cumin, chili and coriander give this recipe its distinctive Israeli character.

Israeli Stuffed Peppers

Admittedly, making stuffed vegetables is a bit of a project, but the results are mouthwatering. The combination of meat, vegetables and rice all in one dish also means that once you’ve made this, you don’t need a whole lot more to round out a full meal, so it may take some time, but it really is a meal in a pot.

The Israeli version doesn’t discriminate when it comes to the vegetables. Any vegetable that can be scooped out or can wrap around the filling can be used in this dish. Wegenerally use peppers, zucchini and onions, but you can also use tomatoes, cabbage, eggplant, or any other vegetable that can be stuffed. This recipe can also be made as vegetarian by simple omitting the meat. It’s just as delicious without it and is a great vegetarian main course.” Margo Sugarman



Vegetables to stuff: About 6 red peppers; 4 thick zucchinis halved; 1 large onion. (Quantities will vary depending on the size of the veggies)

Vegetables to stuff

½ kg (1lb) minced beef

1 cup raw long grained rice (Basmati is best)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions finely chopped

4-6 cloves of garlic crushed

100 g (4 oz) tomato paste

1 grated carrot

½ small chili chopped

¼ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon sweet paprika

¼ hot paprika

Salt and pepper

4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

½ cup chicken stock

For tomato broth

1 800g (28 oz) can chopped tomatoes

200 g (8 oz) tomato paste

About 4 cups of chicken stock (or as much as required to cover the vegetables once they’re in the pot)

¼ teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon sweet paprika

2 cloves of garlic crushed

Remove the tops of the peppers, seeds and white bits

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper

How to do it

1. Prepare the vegetables: For the peppers, slice around the top of the pepper, near the stem and remove the “lid”, setting aside. Remove the seeds and pulp. For the zucchini, from the cut side, using a very small teaspoon or an apple corer, remove the seeds making sure you don’t pierce the bottom. For the onion, place the peeled onion in a pot of boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes. Then make a cut from the top to the bottom of the onion and carefully remove as many of the large outer layers of the onion as you can and set aside.

Remove seeds from the zucchini

2. In a large wok or skillet, heat up the olive oil. Saute the chopped onion until soft. Add the garlic and saute for less than a minute, making sure it doesn’t burn. Add the mince and cook until there is no longer any pink meat. (For vegetarian, omit the meat) Add the 100g tomato paste and mix. Add the rest of the herbs and spices and saute for another few minutes until it’s all releasing lots of wonderful aromas. Add the stock and mix.

3. Remove from the heat and add the rice, mixing well till combined. Add some of this mixture to each vegetable – fill to no higher than 1 cm from the top of the vegetable and fill it loosely as the rice will expand when cooking. For the onion, place one or two sheets of onion on a clean surface and put about 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle and loosely wrap the onion around the filling so that there is a double layer of onion around the filling. You can do the same for cabbage leaves that you have also boiled in water for a few minutes.

Loosely add filling no higher than 1 cm from the top

4. Place the peppers bottom side down in a large, wide pot, and place the “lids” of the peppers back on top (this is just for show). Add the rest of the vegetables in the spaces, making sure the openings are facing upward.

5. Mix together the ingredients for the tomato broth and pour over the vegetables, making sure the liquid covers all the vegetables. This is essential to ensure that all the rice cooks.

6. Cover the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the rice begins to overflow from the peppers and the vegetables are all cooked.

Serves about 6-8.

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Easy Oven Fries with Parmesan Cheese and Truffle Oil

kosher dairy recipes, kosher recipes, kosher vegetable recipes, mothers day recipes, rosh hashanah pasta, salads, and lunch ideas

Easy Oven Fries with Parmesan Cheese and Truffle Oil

No Comments 14 November 2011


This sophisticated version of good old  french fries are updated with tangy parmesan cheese and exotic truffle oil from Italy. Truffle oils are used in small amounts to enhance the flavor of a dish and is usually added AFTER cooking because it is said that  the aromatic flavor gets lost in the cooking process. Learn more about truffle oils HERE.  Let me know how you like this gourmet and easy side dish!! Marlene

Parmesan & White Truffle Oil Oven Fries

Truffle Oil, D'Allasandro, White - 8 Oz Bottle Each

If you don’t have truffle oil on hand, you can easily buy it  from Amazon: Kosher Truffle Oil, D’Allasandro, White – 8 Oz Bottle Each.


    • 6-8 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into 12 wedges
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons kosher  white truffle oil
    • 2-4 tablespoons of  fresh kosher parmesan cheese
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Thoroughly clean the potatoes and slice each potato into 12 wedges.  Toss with olive oil, salt & pepper.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven until golden brown, about 18-25 minutes (depending on how crispy you like your fries).  Remove from the oven, toss with parmesan  Drizzle with white truffle oil.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish, if desired. Serve with any fish, soup, and a salad.

kosher recipe adapted from http://blogs.babble.com

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Easy Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives & Lemon

kosher recipes, kosher rice and pasta recipes, rosh hashanah and sukkot recipes, rosh hashanah pasta, salads, and lunch ideas

Easy Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives & Lemon

2 Comments 15 September 2011


Even though most people I know are obsessed with their Rosh Hashanah menus, weeknight dinners still need to get onto the table.

Here’s a great pasta recipe that’s tasty for a dairy weeknight with some grilled salmon, OR if you really can’t help yourself, then chalk this up on your dairy holiday lunch menu for Rosh Hashanah or Sukkot!

Thank you Michelle Safdieh for emailing me this fabulous pasta dish!

p.s. Please send all of your best recipes to marlene@thejewishhostess.com.

(P.S. WHEN IS ROSH HASHANAH 2011????- In case you need a reminder:)

Eve of First day Rosh Hashana
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 Light Candles at: 6:26 pm 1
Eve of Second day Rosh Hashana
Thursday, September 29, 2011 Light Candles after: 7:23 pm 1
Friday, September 30, 2011 Light Candles at: 6:23 pm 1
Shabbat, October 1, 2011 Shabbat Ends: 7:20 pm 1


Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives & Lemon by Giada

  • 1 lb linguine
  • 1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained
  • 1 cup med green olives, pittted
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, washed and dried well
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring linguine to boil in salted water 8 -10 min
  2. Drain and reserve 1 Cup water
  3. In food processor, combine sun-dried tomatoes, olives, basil, garlic, oil, lemon zest & juice.
  4. Pulse until blended but still chunky.
  5. Add the parmesan cheese to the pasta and toss well. Pour tomato mixture on top
  6. and toss till pasta is coated.
  7. Season w/ salt and pepper.
  8. Can add pasta water if needed.

adapted from Giada De Laurentis – Food Network



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Pareve Stuffed Artichokes with Eggplant (Medias)

kosher appetizer recipes, kosher pareve recipes, kosher recipes, kosher vegetable recipes, rosh hashanah pasta, salads, and lunch ideas, rosh hashanah vegetables, shavuot recipes and ideas

Pareve Stuffed Artichokes with Eggplant (Medias)

6 Comments 01 June 2011

Photo permission of Bridget Ben Dayan

Hi -I really enjoy your website and I have a delicious and easy recipe for a new twist on medias (stuffed artichoke). When I’m in a health conscience mood i bake, other times I sauté. They are really delicious and deceiving, they look like meat every time I make it, I’m asked for the recipe.” Bridget Ben-Dayan

Ingredients for this Kosher Recipe:

  • 1 medium eggplant – peeled & chopped
  • 1 box of baby bella mushrooms – chopped
  • 1/3 c. flavored breadcrumbs
  • olive oil to saute
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pkg frozen artichoke hearts (10-12 pcs)
  • 3 cups of boiling water
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. flavored breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place frozen artichoke bottoms in a bowl and cover with boiling water,
  3. Add lemon juice to the water.  Leave the artichokes in water until tender.
  4. Saute chopped eggplant in saucepan
  5. When almost soft add in chopped mushrooms and continue to saute until soft.
  6. Puree mixture with hand held mixer, add in breadcrumbs and salt to taste.
  7. Spoon mixture into the artichoke bottoms. (If you find that your mixture is too loose, add more breadcrumbs.)
  8. Fill a small bowl with approx 1/4 c of  breadcrumbs.  Dip filled artichoke, mixture side down into the bowl with breadcrumbs.  Then place artichoke, mixture side down onto greased tray, use oil not spray to insure the desired texture to the top of the artichoke.  Repeat for all of the artichokes, then bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Send in your  favorite easy, healthy recipes to marlene@thejewishhostess.com.

Every submission will be entered to win any Susie Fishbein cookbook!



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Creamy Low Fat Penne alla Vodka

kosher dairy recipes, kosher recipes, kosher rice and pasta recipes

Creamy Low Fat Penne alla Vodka

1 Comment 12 March 2011

Lucy’s Take On: Rocco DiSpirito’s “No Cream, No Cry Penne alla Vodka”

By Lucy Cohen Blatter

Full disclosure: I made this recipe once before. But I really wanted to share it with you guys. Isn’t that a testament to how good it is?

Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito’s “No Cream, No Cry Penne alla Vodka”  is about a million times better for you than the version you’ll order at a restaurant. Normally the dish is made with tomato sauce, heavy cream, vodka and white pasta. Rocco’s dish starts with whole wheat pasta, and the creaminess comes from greek yogurt rather than cream.

You might notice that vodka is glaringly missing from this dish. In his intro, Rocco explains that vodka adds calories but not much taste to this traditional dish. So, he decided to skip it. I don’t think you’ll miss it at all.

Which brings me to the topic of greek yogurt. I am a huge fan! Greek yogurt with honey and granola is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. It’s full of calcium and protein and it’s so rich and creamy that plain old yogurt pales in comparison. It’s also a great substitute for sour cream and heavy cream in recipes. It cuts the fat down significantly and is so tasty.

Now, back to the recipe at hand. Rocco mentions that whole wheat pasta tends to need a bit more cooking time. I totally agree. And he also says you can make your own marinara sauce or use the jarred kind. For a sunday night dinner, homemade sauce might be nice. On the weekdays? I’m always going to go for the jar.


Warm the pasta sauce and red pepper flakes until the sauce thickens:

Take about a half a cup of the sauce and mix it with the yogurt. This prevents the yogurt from curdling:

Then mix the yogurt mixture with the sauce and heat through:

Basil adds a great fresh taste:


Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese makes everything better. It’s even better when it’s pre-grated:




Rocco’s “No Cream, No Cry Penne alla Vodka”*

Serves 4



  • 8 oz whole wheat penne
  • 2 cups Rocco’s How Low Can You Go Low-Fat Marinara Sauce (recipe not shown) or storebought low-fat marinara sauce
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 (7 oz) container 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese



  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, about 9 minutes; drain.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, bring the marinara sauce and crushed red pepper to a simmer in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the sauce, stirring it occasionally with a heat-resistant rubber spatula, until it is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the sauté pan from the heat.
  3. Stir about ½ cup of the marinara sauce into the yogurt until smooth (this tempers it and prevents the yogurt from curdling). Then whisk the yogurt mixture back into the marinara sauce.
  4. In a large serving bowl, toss the sauce with the drained penne and the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Fat: 4.8 g

Calories: 320

Protein: 18 g

Carbohydrates: 55 g

Cholesterol: 11 mg

Fiber: 6 g

Sodium: 416 mg

*From DiSpirito’s cookbook, NOW EAT THIS!




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How to Make Authentic Italian Potato Gnocchi

kosher recipes, kosher rice and pasta recipes

How to Make Authentic Italian Potato Gnocchi

2 Comments 01 February 2011

By Lisa C.

Gnocchi are delicious little Italian potato dumplings that make for a very elegant and impressive meal or side dish.  They are on the menu at pretty much any Italian restaurant, but Gnocchi are surprisingly simple to make at home.  They do require some time and effort, but it is well worth it for some authentic Italian dining right from your own kitchen.

I tried this Gnocchi recipe with both white and whole wheat flour. It worked great both ways, but I will say that the white version tasted much more authentic.  Personally, I happen to love the flavor of whole wheat things (plus, all of the added health benefits), so I loved both versions, but there was definitely a big difference between the two.  Try it out and see which one you like best!

Anyway, here is what you will need to make your own Gnocchi:

  • About 2 lbs. russet potatoes
  • 1.5-2 cups flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg

Start by washing and baking your potatoes at 350°F until they can be easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.  Once they are baked, let them cool until they are easy enough to handle and peel off the skins (after they are cooked, the skins should come right off).

Next, you need to mash your potatoes.  It is really important that they be light and fluffy with no lumps – the best way to do this is with a ricer or potato mill.  I don’t have one, so I put them through a cheese grater.  You could probably also just mash them by hand – just make sure there are no lumps.

See how light and fluffy they look?  Now, mix in the egg and salt.

Now, you will start to add your flour.  You want to keep adding it, little by little, until the dough comes together in a ball that doesn’t stick too much to your hands – you should need about 1.5-2 cups, but use more or less than that if you need to.  Remember: the more flour you add, the heavier your gnocchi will be – so you want to add as little as possible.

Your dough should look something like this.

Now, on a floured surface, take a ball of dough about the size of your fist and roll it into a log.  With a sharp knife, cut the log into little “pillows.”  Aren’t they cute?  Once you have all of your pillows cut, drop them into boiling water in batches – if you put too many in at once, they will stick together.

The gnocchi are finished cooking about one minute after they float.  This is a pretty fast process – they should only take 3-5 minutes to cook.  When they are done, drain them and put them in a bowl.

Now, you can top them with whatever sauce you want.  I went with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese (yum!), but the sky’s the limit – try pesto, butter and sage, olive oil and garlic, or whatever you like.


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Sun Dried Tomato Pesto- Six Ingredients

kosher pareve recipes, kosher recipes, kosher rice and pasta recipes

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto- Six Ingredients

No Comments 10 November 2010

Six Ingredients for the New Bride (or tired mom):

My family is not loving  regular pesto made with basil, so I decided to try this recipe by Giada.

Kids and adults loved it this past Shabbat lunch, including my one year old nephew,  who literally – practically,  devoured his plate.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto by Giada De Laurentiis

  • 12 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves OR 1/4 cup of prepared basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • toasted pine nuts (optional)

Directions for this Kosher Recipe

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2  cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, blend the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, garlic, salt and pepper,pine nuts(optional) to taste, and basil  or pre-made pesto in a food processor and blend until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer the tomato mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the Parmesan, or omit to make it pareve.

Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve with toasted pine nuts on top.

adapted from Food Network

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Green Garlic Caesar Salad with Anchovy Croutons

kosher recipes, kosher salad recipes

Green Garlic Caesar Salad with Anchovy Croutons

No Comments 11 June 2010

This week, the New York Times featured a brand new Caesar salad recipe and I can’t wait to try it. You see, I’m planning on making a Shabbat family lunch this summer in honor of my niece’s Sheva Berachot (the seven celebratory meals that happen after many Jewish weddings), and I would like to taste-test it this week. Anyone out there willing to beat me to it???  Please comment below!!

This recipe sounds like a winner!

read the article written by Melissa Clark, June 4, 2010


1/2 cup of olive oil

7 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

1 large head green garlic (outer layer, stalk and root end removed) or substitute 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 ounces crusty day-old bread in 3/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 large eggs

2 large or 3 small heads romaine lettuce, separated into leaves and torn into pieces, if desired (about 10 cups)

*3/4 cup Kosher Parmesan cheese, grated.

1. Make croutons: Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the anchovies and cook, stirring, until they melt into oil, about 2 minutes. Stir in half the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about one minute. Add bread cubes, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toast, tossing frequently, until croutons are golden and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Make dressing: In medium bowl, whisk together remaining garlic and anchovies, plus lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire and remaining pepper. Slowly whisk in remaining olive oil.

3. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Lower eggs into pan. For nearly raw eggs cook for 90 seconds; for soft boiled, cook for 4 minutes. Rinse eggs under cold water until cool enough to handle.

4. Combine lettuce, cheese and croutons in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss well. Crack eggs into salad, scooping out any whites clinging to shell and toss once more. Add salt to taste.

Yield: 2 to 4 servings.

*To all Sephardic cooks!! Sephardic Halacha rules that we are not allowed to serve fish and cheese in the same dish- so make sure to omit the cheese in this salad- it will still be delicious , it will then be pareve and you can serve it for a meat meal!

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