Tori Avey http://toriavey.com Recipes & History - Inspired by our Delicious Past Wed, 27 Apr 2016 22:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.1 Potato Crusted Spinach Frittata http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/potato-crusted-spinach-frittata/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/potato-crusted-spinach-frittata/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:17:17 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=38986 Gluten free vegetarian frittata with spinach, crumbled goat cheese and a crispy potato crust on ToriAvey.com... Read More]]>

Potato Crusted Spinach Frittata - Gluten free vegetarian frittata with spinach, crumbled goat cheese and a crispy potato crust

I love that frittatas can be made with just about anything. As long as you have some fresh eggs and a few vegetables, you can make a frittata. Add some cheese and spices to make things even tastier. This potato crusted version came to me one night when I was trying to come up with a quick dinner. My stepdaughter loves all things potato. A few weeks ago I realized we had some leftover frozen hash browns– not enough for everyone to share, but I couldn’t let them go to waste. You all know I love a good breakfast for dinner and the idea just came to me – potato crusted frittata. It was so simple and such a quick success that I had to share it here. It’s sort of like an American riff on the Spanish tortilla de patatas… and with Passover right around the corner, it could make a terrific easy mid-week meal.

Every regional cuisine has their own version of this eggy entree, from French omelets to Chinese egg foo yung to  Spanish tortillas. The Italian expression “hai fatto una frittata,” which loosely translates to “you’ve made quite a mess,” is fitting given that the only required ingredients are beaten eggs, while the rest can be just about anything in your refrigerator. In Italian kitchens, cooks will sometimes set aside the leftovers from a big meal to use in a frittata the following day. It’s unclear when the frittata first started making an appearance in Italy, but given that they can be made with simple, inexpensive ingredients, it seems likely that they’ve been around for quite some time.

Note: This recipe can be made with frozen hash browns in place of shredded potatoes for the crust… which is exactly how I made it the first time. 🙂

Recommended Products:

Cast Iron Skillet

Affiliate links help to support my website and the free recipe content I provide. A percentage of any purchase you make via these links will go towards buying ingredients, photography supplies and server space, as well as all the other expenses involved in running a large cooking website. Thank you very much for browsing!

Food Photography Beauty Shots & Styling by Louise Mellor

Potato Crusted Spinach Frittata - Gluten free vegetarian frittata with spinach, crumbled goat cheese and a crispy potato crust

Potato Crusted Spinach Frittata

Ingredients

  • 2 medium russet potatoes, 1 lb. total, peeled
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese (you can omit the cheese to make this frittata dairy free)

You will also need

  • Cast iron skillet, lid to cover the top of the skillet, clean tea towel
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: 6
Kosher Key: Dairy
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Shred the russet potatoes to fine shreds using a hand grater or a food processor.
  • Place the shreds in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let them sit for a few minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
  • Beat the eggs with 1 tbsp water, salt and pepper until fluffy. I usually use around ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper (add less salt if using feta cheese, which is quite salty). Reserve the eggs.
  • Place a cast iron skillet on the stove and heat over medium high. While heating, drain the shreds in a colander, then place them in the middle of a clean tea towel.
  • Squeeze the shreds in the tea towel to remove excess liquid.
  • When the skillet is hot, pour 3 tbsp olive oil into it. It should be hot enough that you’ll see wisps of smoke coming from the surface. Immediately spread out the shreds into the bottom of the skillet, forming an even layer of shreds along the bottom. The shreds will sizzle.
  • Cover the skillet with a lid (any pot lid that covers the top will do) and reduce heat to medium. Let the potatoes cook for 2 minutes. Uncover the skillet. Spread out the chopped spinach evenly across the top of the potatoes in a single layer. Recover the skillet for 1 minute longer until the spinach is slightly wilted.
  • Uncover the skillet and sprinkle evenly with the crumbled cheese.
  • Re-beat the eggs, then pour evenly across the top of the cheese to cover.
  • Place the skillet into the preheated oven and let it cook at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the skillet comes out clean. Remove the frittata from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes on the stovetop. Serve. The potatoes will form a golden brown crust on the bottom of each piece of frittata. Delicious!
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Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/passover-dessert-recipe-roundup/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/passover-dessert-recipe-roundup/#comments Sun, 17 Apr 2016 17:15:43 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=39157 Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com.... Read More]]>
 Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
When it comes to Passover desserts, the challenge of cooking without flour or leavening can be especially daunting. With a little creativity, you’d be amazed at the delicious treats you can whip up! Here is a roundup of some of my most popular Passover dessert recipes, along with contributions from past Passover Potlucks and a few other tasty ideas from my food blogger friends. Enjoy!
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
(note: for Ashkenazi Passover, substitute potato starch for corn starch)
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
(note: for Ashkenazi Passover, substitute cardamom for another Passover-friendly spice like cinnamon, or omit)
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
(note: for Ashkenazi Passover, substitute cardamom for another Passover-friendly spice, or omit)
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
(note: for Ashkenazi Passover, check curry powder for kosher certification, or omit)
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
Passover Dessert Recipe Roundup - Dozens of sweet ideas for your Passover Seder meal on ToriAvey.com
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Mediterranean Olive Chicken http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/mediterranean-olive-chicken/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/mediterranean-olive-chicken/#comments Tue, 12 Apr 2016 14:55:07 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=22029 Healthy marinated roast chicken recipe with Mediterranean marinade - green olives, lime, honey, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes. ... Read More]]>

Mediterranean Olive Chicken - Healthy Roasted Marinated Chicken Recipe on ToriAvey.com

Note: I have updated this recipe from my archives with new photographs courtesy of Louise Mellor. This recipe is an oldie but a goodie. Enjoy!

I grew up eating a lot of chicken and a lot of fish. My mom and stepdad stuck to a heart-healthy diet, which meant that we rarely ate red meat. I used to complain about this when I was 6 or 7 years old… in fact, I had a little saying, which I liked to proclaim in sing-song fashion:

Chicken or fish, chicken or fish, all we ever eat is chicken or fish.

My mother, bless her heart, refrained from scolding me. She’d just smile, hand me my plate, and cheerfully announce that I was on dish duty. I quickly learned that I’d better stop complaining and eat up, or I’d be stuck doing dishes until I went to college.

Looking back, I find it funny that I was bummed about the lack of red meat in my childhood diet. Nowadays, I don’t eat much meat at all– in fact, I would say we’re about 80% vegetarian. We eat Mediterranean-style most of the time, which means we enjoy lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains and olive oil, and very little red meat. We prefer vegetarian entrees, but when we do choose to eat meat, it’s usually chicken or fish… more often chicken.

Because of our Mediterranean inclinations, I’m always coming up with new and creative ways to prepare chicken. I developed this recipe back in 2013, and it’s become a regular on our family meal rotation. It started with a container of ripe green olives in the fridge that I’d been wanting to use up. The thought of marinating those salty olives with chicken sounded enticing. I began throwing together all kinds of complimentary flavors– lime juice for a mild tartness, honey for sweetness, garlic and oregano, plus red pepper flakes for a kick. After marinating and roasting, the chicken turned out just lovely… aromatic, herby, juicy and full of flavor. The marinade created delectable olive-laden pan drippings, so I skimmed the fat, added white wine, and whipped up a delicious sauce.  It would make a great weeknight recipe, and it’s even special enough for a holiday meal. Try it and let me know what you think!

Recommended Products:

Mixing Bowls

Ceramic Baking Dish

Sauce Pan

Affiliate links help to support my website and the free recipe content I provide. A percentage of any purchase you make via these links will go towards buying ingredients, photography supplies and server space, as well as all the other expenses involved in running a large cooking website. Thank you very much for browsing!

Food Photography Beauty Shots & Styling by Louise Mellor

Mediterranean Olive Chicken - Healthy Roasted Marinated Chicken Recipe on ToriAvey.com

Mediterranean Olive Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chopped ripe green olives
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (if sensitive to spice, omit)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4-5 lb chicken pieces, bone in, skin on (I like using chicken thighs)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp cornstarch or potato starch (use potato starch for Passover)

You will also need

  • 9x13 baking dish, plastic wrap, foil
Servings: 6-8
Kosher Key: Meat
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the chopped olives, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, honey, lime zest, red pepper flakes and oregano. Season the marinade with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mediterranean Olive Chicken - Healthy Roasted Marinated Chicken Recipe on ToriAvey.comSprinkle the chicken pieces lightly with salt and pepper. Place chicken pieces in a 9x13 ceramic or glass baking dish. Brush the pieces evenly with olive marinade, using all of the marinade to coat.
  • Mediterranean Olive Chicken - Healthy Roasted Marinated Chicken Recipe on ToriAvey.comCover the baking dish with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, up to overnight (overnight is best).
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap and cover the baking dish with parchment or foil. If using foil, pierce a few vents with a sharp knife around the outer edges. If using parchment, simply cover the dish loosely.
  • Place the covered dish in the oven. Let the chicken bake for 60 minutes, then remove the parchment or foil and cook for an additional 15-30 minutes, basting periodically, until well cooked and tender. At the end of cooking, you may broil it for a minute or two to brown the skin-- watch carefully to make sure it doesn't burn!
  • Mediterranean Olive Chicken - Healthy Roasted Marinated Chicken Recipe on ToriAvey.comTransfer chicken pieces to a platter. Carefully tip the baking dish so that the pan drippings and juices gather in one corner. Use a spoon to skim off the clear liquid fat, separating it from the solid drippings. Discard the fat.
  • Pour the remaining drippings into a small saucepan along with ¼ cup of white wine. Heat the sauce slowly over medium.
  • While sauce is heating, whisk together 1 tbsp cornstarch or 2 tsp potato starch and 2 tbsp water till smooth. Pour the starchy liquid into the saucepan and whisk until combined. Heat the sauce until bubbling and thickened.
  • Serve the chicken topped with warm sauce. Note: this recipe is kosher for Passover if you use potato starch and Passover-approved products with a kosher hechsher.
  • Mediterranean Olive Chicken - Healthy Roasted Marinated Chicken Recipe on ToriAvey.com

Other Great Recipe Ideas

The Pioneer Woman: Herb Roasted Whole Chicken

Tasty Kitchen: Chipotle Grilled Chicken Tacos

Recipe Girl: Cilantro Chicken

Kalyn’s Kitchen: Chicken Souvlaki

Leite’s Culinaria: Peruvian Roast Chicken

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Sweet Potato Spinach Quinoa Gratin http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/sweet-potato-spinach-quinoa-gratin/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/sweet-potato-spinach-quinoa-gratin/#comments Tue, 12 Apr 2016 00:53:39 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=39088 Vegan gluten free entree for Passover or anytime, topped with a rich coconut-saffron “gratin” sauce.... Read More]]>

Sweet Potato Spinach Quinoa Gratin - Vegan gluten free casserole entree for Passover or anytime, topped with a rich coconut-saffron “gratin” sauce.

Developing a vegan entree for Passover is tough business. My vegan guests deserve an entree at the Seder table, but finding one that is flavorful enough for a holiday is a real challenge. Over the past couple of Passovers I’ve given myself the task of coming up with a vegan entree option that isn’t just an afterthought, but something truly comforting and filling. When you remove meat and dairy, then apply Passover restrictions to your list of options – there’s not a whole lot left to work with! Never one to shy away from a challenge, I put on my thinking cap and came up with something pretty amazing. Vegan or not, this casserole is really, really delicious!

This recipe was inspired by my Dairy Free Saffron Scalloped Potatoes, which are made with a delectable coconut milk and saffron-based sauce. It has the creaminess of a dairy dish with the exotic flavor of saffron, which elevates it to something truly special. To make the dish more filling, I sandwiched a layer of quinoa and spinach between the roasted sweet potato slices, topped it with sauce, then baked and broiled it gratin-style. The quinoa provides Passover-friendly protein and makes the dish more hearty overall. This recipe is something I’ve been developing in my head over a the course a few weeks, knowing that all of the ingredients are tasty and should work well together. Even so, I wasn’t sure it would work until I tested it– then retested it– then tested it again, because I couldn’t stop eating it! This Sweet Potato Spinach Quinoa Gratin is really unique, and it’s also a very pretty dish. It’s definitely worth a try as a vegan option for the Seder table, or for Meatless Monday, or just because. Enjoy!

Recommended Products:

Mortar and Pestle

Sauce Pan

Baking Dish

Affiliate links help to support my website and the free recipe content I provide. A percentage of any purchase you make via these links will go towards buying ingredients, photography supplies and server space, as well as all the other expenses involved in running a large cooking website. Thank you very much for browsing!

Food Photography Beauty Shots & Styling by Louise Mellor

Sweet Potato Spinach Quinoa Gratin - Vegan gluten free casserole entree for Passover or anytime, topped with a rich coconut-saffron “gratin” sauce.

Sweet Potato Spinach Quinoa Gratin

Ingredients

  • 2 large orange sweet potatoes (2 lbs. total) peeled and sliced into rounds 1/8 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups roughly chopped spinach
  • 1 pinch saffron threads (make sure it’s good quality saffron - it’s much more expensive, but the cheap stuff has no flavor)
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
  • 1 can (14 oz) full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp finely minced garlic (or ¼ tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (adds heat – use less if spice sensitive)

You will also need

  • 2 baking sheets, mesh colander, mortar and pestle, 8x8 inch baking dish, small saucepan, whisk, ladle
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Servings: 6
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the sweet potato slices across two lightly greased baking sheets. Toss each sheet of slices with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to lightly coat the slices.
  • Roast the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes in the oven, stirring the potatoes and turning each baking sheet around once during cooking, until slices are tender and starting to caramelize.
  • While sweet potatoes are roasting, rinse the quinoa out well in a mesh colander until water runs clear. Combine rinsed quinoa and low sodium vegetable broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender/fluffy. When the quinoa is finished cooking, quickly open the pot and add the roughly chopped spinach on top of the cooked quinoa. Recover the pot and let it rest for 5 minutes while the spinach wilts on top of the quinoa. Stir the spinach into the quinoa. Reserve.
  • After sweet potatoes are removed from the oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees F. Reserve the sweet potato slices. Grind the saffron threads in a mortar and pestle to a powder. Add 2 tbsp of hot water to the ground saffron and let it soak for a few minutes.
  • Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking dish. Place half of the sweet potato slices in a thin layer on the bottom of the dish, with each slice overlapping the next.
  • Spread the cooked quinoa/spinach mixture over the first sweet potato layer.
  • Make a top layer with the remaining sweet potato slices.
  • In a small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine over medium heat. Whisk in 1 tbsp potato starch to form a thick paste.
  • Slowly whisk in the coconut milk. Whisk in the salt, garlic, cayenne pepper, and the reserved saffron water. Heat the sauce over medium, whisking frequently, until it boils and thickens into a golden yellow sauce. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
  • Pour the sauce over the layer of sweet potatoes, using a ladle or large spoon to make sure the potatoes are evenly covered with sauce.
  • Place dish in the oven and bake covered for 20 minutes until heated through. Remove the foil and turn on your broiler. Place your baking dish 6 inches below the broiler. Broil the casserole for a few minutes until the top is nicely, evenly browned. Serve warm.
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Passover Potato Kugel http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/passover-potato-kugel/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/passover-potato-kugel/#comments Sun, 10 Apr 2016 03:50:43 +0000 http://toriavey.com/blog/?p=1038 Easy, delicious recipe for potato kugel. Crispy and golden on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Kosher for Passover.... Read More]]>

Passover Potato Kugel - Traditional Jewish Kugel with Potatoes, Onions and Eggs for the Passover Holiday.

Kugel is a quintessentially Jewish dish that is best described as a baked pudding. The dish originated over 800 years ago in Germany and quickly became popular with Jewish families throughout Eastern Europe. There are many kinds of kugels—noodle kugelssweet kugels, savory kugels. Slow cooking overnight kugels developed because Orthodox families were not allowed to cook during the hours of Shabbat. During the Passover holiday, noodles and sweets take a back seat to dairy-free and flour-free potato kugels, which are served alongside other holiday classics like brisket, roast chicken and matzo ball soup.

For the past several years I’ve been refining my potato kugel recipe. My goal was to create a kugel with the soul of a latke– one big, fluffy, sliceable latke that can serve a large crowd. I’ve learned, over time, to keep things simple… potatoes, eggs, onions and fat, a little starch, some salt and pepper – that’s all you need to make a great kugel. The rest is all about technique. I used to put matzo meal in my kugel to bind it, but have since switched over to potato starch (the “secret ingredient” I use to make crispy, amazing latkes). The starch makes for a lighter, fluffier texture inside… it’s also gluten free for those who have dietary restrictions. Over time I learned to preheat my baking dish, a technique I picked up from my sister-in-law. This step produces a really brown, beautiful crust on the kugel that simply can’t be obtained by oven cooking alone.

This Passover Potato Kugel is everything a kugel should be… crispy on the outside while soft, fluffy and tender inside. It’s like one enormous latke, an irresistible addition to any Seder table. I highly recommend the schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) if you can swing it. If you prefer to keep it meat-free, use olive oil and it will still be very, very tasty. Enjoy!

Note: I am always working to make my recipes better. I have improved this recipe and reposted it with new pictures. If you’re looking for the old recipe, leave a comment and let me know. I plan to post another”improved” potato kugel recipe with Sephardic spices in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Recommended Products:

Food Processor

Cast Iron Baking Dish

Metal Baking Pan

Porcelain Baking Dish

Affiliate links help to support my website and the free recipe content I provide. A percentage of any purchase you make via these links will go towards buying ingredients, photography supplies and server space, as well as all the other expenses involved in running a large cooking website. Thank you very much for browsing!

Passover Potato Kugel - Traditional Jewish Kugel with Potatoes, Onions and Eggs for the Passover Holiday.

Passover Potato Kugel

ingredients

  • 5 lbs russet potatoes (about 10 medium-sized potatoes)
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 6 tbsp potato starch (if not serving for Passover you may substitute corn starch)
  • 1/4 cup schmaltz or extra virgin olive oil, divided (schmaltz gives amazing flavor; use olive oil to keep it vegetarian)

You will also need

  • 9x13 ceramic, metal or cast iron baking dish or pan (I don't recommend using glass), food processor with grating attachment or hand grater, mixing bowls, pastry brush
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 70 Minutes
Total Time: 90 Minutes
Servings: 15
Kosher Key: Pareve or Meat (depending on fat used), Kosher for Passover
  • Place a 9x13 baking dish or pan in the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees, letting the dish heat up inside. Peel the potatoes, then use a food processor or hand grater to grate them into large shreds.
  • Passover Potato Kugel - Traditional Jewish Kugel with Potatoes, Onions and Eggs for the Passover Holiday.Place the potato shreds in a large mixing bowl and cover with cold water. Let the shreds sit for a few minutes.
  • Passover Potato Kugel - Traditional Jewish Kugel with Potatoes, Onions and Eggs for the Passover Holiday.Meanwhile, peel and shred the two large onions in the food processor or with a hand grater. Reserve.
  • Passover Potato Kugel - Traditional Jewish Kugel with Potatoes, Onions and Eggs for the Passover Holiday.In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper until fluffy.
  • Passover Potato Kugel - Traditional Jewish Kugel with Potatoes, Onions and Eggs for the Passover Holiday.Drain the potato shreds in a colander, pushing down firmly on top of the shreds with your hands to push out the excess liquid.
  • Passover Potato Kugel - Traditional Jewish Kugel with Potatoes, Onions and Eggs for the Passover Holiday.Place grated potatoes in a large bowl. Add the seasoned eggs, grated onions and potato starch to the bowl. Use your hands to mix all ingredients together until well combined.
  • Passover Potato Kugel - Traditional Jewish Kugel with Potatoes, Onions and Eggs for the Passover Holiday.Take the preheated baking dish out of the oven. Quickly pour in 3 tbsp schmaltz or olive oil, then use a pastry brush to carefully spread the fat around the bottom and sides of the hot dish. Careful, don't burn yourself! The hot dish, while a bit difficult to navigate, will help to form a beautiful brown and crisp crust for the kugel.
  • Passover Potato Kugel - Traditional Jewish Kugel with Potatoes, Onions and Eggs for the Passover Holiday.Carefully and quickly spread the potato mixture into an even layer in the baking dish (it should sizzle!), then drizzle remaining 1 tbsp of melted schmaltz or olive oil across the top.
  • Passover Potato Kugel - Traditional Jewish Kugel with Potatoes, Onions and Eggs for the Passover Holiday.Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 60-70 minutes until the top is nicely browned all across the top. If it seems to be browning too fast (before the center is cooked), cover the kugel to keep it from over-browning. You really want it to have a nice golden crust-- at the end of cooking, if it's not quite brown enough, you can put it 6 inches below the broiler for a minute or two to evenly brown it all across the top. This kugel tastes best served hot directly from the oven. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Passover Potato Kugel - Traditional Jewish Kugel with Potatoes, Onions and Eggs for the Passover Holiday.
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Cholent http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/cholent/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/cholent/#comments Fri, 08 Apr 2016 17:23:19 +0000 http://toriavey.com/blog/?p=3298 A savory slow-cooked stew for Shabbat with meat, potatoes and beans. Also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. ... Read More]]>

Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.com

Schalet is the food of heaven,
Which the Lord Himself taught Moses
How to cook, when on that visit
To the summit of Mount Sinai…

Schalet is the pure ambrosia
That the food of heaven composes—
Is the bread of Paradise;
And compared with food so glorious…

From the poem Princess Sabbath by Heinrich Heine,
translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring

Since Biblical times the Jewish people have scattered and settled all over the globe, adapting their foods to suit the regions where they’ve settled. Over the centuries countless regional ethnic dishes have been made kosher to fit the Jewish religious standards for pure eating. This means that “Jewish food” is really world cuisine; there are very few dishes that are uniquely Jewish. Bagels? A Polish baked bread originally created for Lent and later embraced by the Jews. Gefilte fish? A German dish adopted by Yiddish cooks. But cholent– well, cholent is one of the few foods that is totally and completely Jewish.

In Joan Nathan’s fabulous book Jewish Cooking in America, she writes about this distinction:

“Throughout their wandering history, Jews have adapted their life-styles to the local culture. Food is no exception. Following the same dietary laws, Jews, relying on local ingredients, developed regional flavors. Because they have lived in so many places, there is no ‘Jewish food’ other than matzah; haroset (the Passover spread); or cholent or chamim (the Sabbath stews that surface in different forms in every land where Jews have lived).”

Cholent is uniquely Jewish. It was created because Jewish law does not permit cooking on Shabbat. To adhere to this prohibition, Jewish cooks began to create meat and bean stews in heavy pots that would slowly simmer inside a low-heat oven overnight. They would prepare the stew on Friday before sundown, cook it partially, and place it into the oven to continue cooking throughout the night. That way, there would be no need to kindle a fire or light a stove during the hours of Shabbat; they would simple remove the stew from the oven at mealtime and it would be fully cooked and ready to serve.

Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.com

Cholent is partially cooked before the Shabbat candle lighting at sundown on Friday evening, then placed in the oven to slowly finish cooking overnight.

iStock.com/Syversen

According the The New Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Gloria Kaufer Greene, the word cholent may have come into usage in medieval Europe:

“The medieval word cholent (with ‘ch’ pronounced as in ‘chair’) may have come from the French chaud-lent, meaning ‘warm slowly,’ or, less likely, from the Yiddish shul ende which describes when the cholent is eaten — at ‘synagogue end.'”

My friend, food historian Gil Marks, refutes this notion of shul ende being the root of the word, because the word cholent was used in France before Yiddish developed as a language in the mid 1200’s. In his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, he contends that the word most likely evolved from the French chaud (hot) or from the Spanish escallento (warm), since the dish probably made its way to France from Spain. Still others believe that the word cholent is derived from the Hebrew she’lan, meaning “that rested” and referring to the pot resting in the oven overnight.

While nobody knows the exact source of the word cholent, it is without a doubt one of the most beloved dishes in Jewish cuisine.

A Cholent By Any Other Name

Shabbat stews are cooked all over the world in different ways and under many different names. Here are a few of the many varieties of cholent:

Schalet – The Yiddish word for cholent, referred to in the German poem at the beginning of this blog. Schalet refers to an Eastern European-style cholent with meat, beans, barley, and sometimes kishke. Spicing is minimal; often only salt and pepper are used.

Hamin/Hamim/Chamim/Chamin – From the Hebrew word “hot.” The Sephardic version of cholent is known as hamin. Popular throughout Israel, hamin is often made with chicken rather than meat and usually contains eggs. It is also spiced more exotically than Eastern European cholent.

Dafina & Skhina – In Spain, the Maghreb, and Morocco, cholent is referred to as dafina or skhina. It is generally cooked with chickpeas, meat, potatoes and eggs along with spices native to the Maghreb.

Osh Savo – A sweet and sour Shabbat rice stew served by Bukharan Jews.

Tabeet & Pacha – Iraqi Jews have two popular Shabbat dishes. Tabeet is made with a whole chicken stuffed with rice, herbs, and seasonings. Pacha is tripe stuffed with lamb, seasonings, and rose petals. Both are slowly cooked overnight for Shabbat, which makes them regional ethnic variations on the cholent theme.

Batia Restaurant in Tel Aviv

Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.com

With Miri, the manager of Batia restaurant in Tel Aviv.

On a trip to Israel in the summer of 2010, our friend Hagai brought me to a restaurant called Batia in Tel Aviv. It’s a traditional Ashkenazi restaurant, well known for their cholent. While there I met the manager, Miri. She gave me a tour of their kitchen and I got to snap a shot of their massive cholent pot, which is the size of about twelve normal cholent pots. Check it out:

Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.com

Huge cholent pot at Batia Restaurant – Tel Aviv, Israel.

Miri told me that even with all of this cholent, they never fail to run out towards the end of the day. It is absolutely delicious. Their cholent is made in the Israeli style with eggs, similar to mine but with less spices. They also add a kishke to their cholent and sliced meat if you ask for it.

Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.com

Batia’s famous cholent, complete with kishke.

Cholent: A Family Affair

Tamar Genger from the website Joy of Kosher talked about the warm memories and feelings that a pot of cholent can conjure. “People have an emotional response to the word ‘cholent’ — it may be a memory of a meal at a grandparents house, kiddush after shul or that unmistakable smell that warms the entire home on a cold winter morning.” I totally relate to this emotional response, even though I didn’t grow up eating cholent. For the past decade, cholent has made a regular appearance on our Shabbat table. During the winter, it doesn’t feel like Shabbat unless a pot of cholent is slowly cooking in the oven, filling the house with its tantalizing, savory aroma. Cholent and challah are the official flavors of Shabbat in our home.

Cholent recipes vary greatly from region to region, and even from family to family. No two cholent recipes are exactly alike. It’s one of those dishes that evolves over generations, with spices and ingredients being added or changed to suit family tastes. Some cholent recipes have a hint of sweetness in them from the addition of honey or ketchup. Our family prefers a savory cholent, the recipe for which appears below. Ashkenazi cholent recipes sometimes include kishke, or stuffed derma, which is a particularly unique Jewish delicacy. We never include a kishke, but you could certainly buy a kishke and add it to the pot. Couldn’t hurt!

Our family’s cholent recipe is a reflection of the heritage of my fiance’s parents; his mother was Sephardic, his father Ashkenazi. The dish uses the basic ingredients of an Ashkenazi cholent– meat, beans, potatoes, and sometimes barley or kasha– with added Sephardic spices for flavor. We also add whole eggs to the pot, another Sephardic custom. The eggs slowly cook in the broth, soaking up the flavor of the cholent and turning a lovely brown color. I sometimes use chickpeas, as is the custom in Moroccan dafina. Other times, I use a combination of kidney, pinto, and lima beans, which are more often used in Ashkenazi cholent. It just depends on what we have in the pantry on Friday. I use red potatoes because they have a lower starch content, so they won’t dissolve during the long slow cooking process. When we want a lighter cholent, I leave out the barley grains and let the potatoes take starchy center stage. Cholent is flexible that way. The result of combining all of these different flavors is an irresistible savory cholent that is always a hit on Shabbat.

Over the years I’ve refined this cholent recipe. I used to overnight soak the beans, pre-boil the ingredients and often cooked it in the oven. Now I always use a slow cooker, and I only give the beans a quick soak. If I’m in a hurry I skip the soak entirely– the quick soaked beans are easier on digestion, but the slow cooking process will fully cook the raw beans. Remember, this dish cooks overnight, which requires some forethought. The traditional way is to start the cooking on Friday before sundown so that the pot cooking before Shabbat begins. Enjoy!

Note – I have updated this recipe from a 2010 post with several refinements and new photos from my talented from Louise Mellor. If you’re looking for the old recipe, scroll down in comments, I have posted it there.

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Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.com

Cholent

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs large red potatoes, peeled and halved (for a smaller slow cooker, use 2 lbs)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 lbs beef stew meat or brisket, cut into chunks (for a smaller slow cooker, use 2 lbs)
  • 2 marrow bones
  • 1 cup dried beans - lima, pinto, chickpeas, red beans (not kidney), or a mixture
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley or coarse-grain kasha (optional - for gluten free, do not use pearl barley)
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 6 eggs (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (if spice sensitive use 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (if spice sensitive use just a pinch)
  • 1 kishke (optional - we never add this, but many families like it)
  • Water (varies)

You will also need

  • 6-8 quart slow cooker
Total Time: 16 Hours
Servings: 8 servings
Kosher Key: Meat
  • Note: The beans in this recipe will soften without any pre-soaking due to the long slow cooking process, however they will be easier to digest with a simple quick soak prior to cooking. To do this, place the beans into the bottom of a large pot and cover with water. The beans will expand to over double their size, so make sure you cover by several inches of water to allow for expansion. Bring the beans to a boil for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Let them soak in the cooking water for 1 hour, then drain and rinse well before proceeding with the recipe. Also note that it is not recommended to slow-cook kidney beans.
  • In a large slow cooker (the larger the better!), place the potatoes in a single layer on the bottom of the cooking vessel.
  • Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.comSprinkle the onions over the potatoes.
  • Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.comPlace the beef in a single layer on top of the onions and potatoes. Place the two marrow bones in the meat. If you're adding a kishke, now would be the time to put it in the cooker.
  • Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.comRinse the beans clean, checking for any stones or impurities. If using barley or kasha, do the same with the grains. Sprinkle the beans (raw or pre-soaked) and optional grains over the top of the meat. Place the three whole garlic cloves into the meat, evenly spaced. Sprinkle the whole mixture with the black pepper.
  • Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.comIf using eggs, rinse them well and then tuck them into the meat. In a 4-cup container, whisk together the low sodium chicken broth, kosher salt, paprika, turmeric, cumin and cayenne.
  • Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.comPour the liquid over the cholent. Add additional water until all of the beans and pieces of meat are covered. For us, it's usually another 1-2 cups of water in our slow cooker-- it will vary; I usually add a bit more liquid if using grains, because they will soak it up.
  • Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.comCover the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 16 hours. Check occasionally as it's cooking; add additional water and stir a bit if it's looking too dry. Most cookers will auto-switch to warm when the cooking is complete. If yours doesn’t, set it to warm until ready to serve.
  • Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.comIt will look a bit medieval when it's done cooking! Don't worry, just dig in and you'll see that it's perfectly cooked below the surface. Peel the eggs before serving the cholent. 
  • Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.comTo cook this recipe in the oven, layer the ingredients in a large heavy 7-8 quart Dutch oven. Make sure you have enough liquid to just cover all ingredients. Cover with lid and cook cholent at 200 degrees for 12-16 hours.
  • Cholent - Slow-cooked stew for Shabbat, also known as Chamin, Dafina, and Skhina. Easy Delicious Recipe on ToriAvey.com
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My New YouTube Channel! http://toriavey.com/toris-corner/2016/04/whats-happening-in-april/ http://toriavey.com/toris-corner/2016/04/whats-happening-in-april/#comments Wed, 06 Apr 2016 22:23:57 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=38935 I've launched a YouTube channel! From spring recipes to famous birthdays to Passover cooking, check out what's happening on my site in April.... Read More]]>

Guess what? I’ve launched a YouTube channel! I’ll be posting updates from my website, new video content and more. Check out my first video below and let me know what you think!

Healthy Recipes Category: http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/rec…

Thomas Jefferson Marinated Asparagus: http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/201…

Thomas Jefferson White Bean Soup: http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/201…

Chocolate Babka: http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/201…

Cinnamon Babka: http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/201…

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Macaroons: http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/201…

Savory Herb Braised Brisket: http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/201…

Spinach Artichoke Matzo Mina: http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/201…

Honey Garlic Chicken: http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/201…

Matzo Ball Soup: http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/201…

Passover Category: http://toriavey.com/what-is-passover/

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Lemon Lentil Parsley Salad http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/lemon-lentil-parsley-salad/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/lemon-lentil-parsley-salad/#comments Wed, 06 Apr 2016 19:47:55 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=38912 Simple, healthy and tasty vegan mezze side salad with protein and fiber.... Read More]]>

Lemon Lentil Parsley Salad - Simple, Healthy Vegan Side Salad with Protein and Fiber on ToriAvey.com

 

Lentils have recently experienced a surge in popularity, particularly in vegan dishes. With all the “lentil hoopla,” you would think they’re the newest superfood discovered in the Brazilian rainforest. The truth is, lentils are one of the most ancient food sources on record. These legumes have been around since pre-Biblical times. It’s also not the first time they’ve been recognized as a healthy meatless protein source. In the U.S. during World War II, they became a popular protein substitute in the midst of wartime rationing when meat was more difficult to come by. They’ve been a food staple in the Middle East and Mediterranean for centuries, but they weren’t always so highly regarded. During Classical times wealthy Greeks turned their nose up at lentils, deeming them a “poor man’s food.” Hippocrates, always ahead of his time, recognized their many health benefits and prescribed lentils to his patients that suffered from liver ailments. We now know that the high amounts of choline found in lentils help to improve liver function by aiding in filtering toxins from out of the bloodstream.

This recipe is my own version of a salad I enjoy at a local smoothie cafe. It’s super simple but very filling, and I find it quite tasty. Together with a green smoothie, it makes a very nice light lunch. I know this may make me sound like a health nut, but during times of overindulgence, it’s nice to have a something light that also tastes great. Sometimes the simple things are the most satisfying. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Food Photography Beauty Shots & Styling by Louise Mellor

Lemon Lentil Parsley Salad - Simple, Healthy Vegan Side Salad with Protein and Fiber on ToriAvey.com

 

Lemon Lentil Parsley Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups green or brown lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-7 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne

You will also need

  • saucepan, colander, mixing bowls
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Servings: 6 cups of salad
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Boil lentils in 6 cups of water, then simmer for about 15 minutes until tender but not overly soft. Drain lentils, then rinse with cold water. Drain well in the colander.
  • Place lentils in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, fresh lemon juice, sea salt and cayenne. Pour the dressing over the lentils and add fresh chopped parsley to the bowl. Stir all ingredients together with a fork until the lentils are evenly coated with dressing and the parsley is dispersed throughout.
  • Refrigerate in a covered container for about 30 minutes, or until chilled. Serve. Will last 4-6 days in the refrigerator in a sealed airtight container.
  • Lemon Lentil Parsley Salad - Simple, Healthy Vegan Side Salad with Protein and Fiber on ToriAvey.com
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Golden Memories Party http://toriavey.com/home-garden/2016/04/golden-memories-party/ http://toriavey.com/home-garden/2016/04/golden-memories-party/#comments Sun, 03 Apr 2016 16:32:04 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=38595 Decorating a nostalgic tablescape with vintage items, maps and old photographs to celebrate beautiful memories.... Read More]]>

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

Golden Memories Party – Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs from ToriAvey.com contributor Brenda Ponnay

There is nothing I love better than spending a day shopping flea markets and antique malls… not the upscale stores that sell pricey crystal chandeliers or highly-polished furniture that belonged to a prince in some far away land. No, I prefer the dusty, cram-packed consignment shops where you can find anything from old Coke bottles to psychedelic lava lamps, ancient cookbooks, leather boots, abandoned orange crates and everything in between. These little shops are wonderlands of discovery.

What I especially love about these places is that every piece tells a story. You might not know it at first, but the deeper you dig, the more history you can find. Every treasure is unique, and it’s not likely you’ll ever come across anything exactly like it again, especially not on an end-cap at Target. Sure, I love a professionally staged home as much as the next Becky-Home-Decky. But to me, a home filled with treasures that have stories to go with them is so much more charming.

Recently, I came across an old vintage dresser mirror at one of these stores. It’s not anything particularly special. I paid twenty bucks for it, so not a huge investment. I absolutely loved the aged patina of the old mirror nestled inside a frame of weathered yellow wood. It has flecks and ripples, rust spots and nicks. Maybe it belonged to a Peggy Sue from the 1950’s. Did she gaze into it as she got ready for a hot date to the malt shop? Maybe it was repainted in the 70’s by some beehived Betty wearing a long striped polyester dress that reached the floor… I’ll never know, and that adds to the magic of it. It’s a jumping off point for my imagination.

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

When I’m throwing a party, a simple piece like this can inspire a whole theme. I recently hosted a brunch for some friends and family, so I decided to set up a little vignette with my new favorite mirror on the sideboard beside our dining room table. It was a perfect focal point that would set the mood for our party– the theme, Golden Memories, was further inspired by the amazing forsythia branches I happened to find in our local grocery store’s floral department.

I always plan my parties around a theme, no matter how big or small. It’s a little trick I picked up from my grandmother. She always threw the best themed parties.

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

Since I have a stash of old photos that my grandfather gave me, I decided to string them on the vintage mirror.

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

I used jute twine and washi tape, which is easily removed without ruining the pictures. I just love washi tape, and it comes in so many patterns and colors! (Yes, I have an extensive wash tape collection.)

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

I placed some old books beside the mirror to give my vase of branches some height. It didn’t hurt that the books were classics, which went right along with my theme.

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

I also placed a few trinkets from around my house in clusters of three. The roses were picked from my garden.

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

Speaking of roses, don’t flowers make the best cake decorations? (Only when they’re organic, of course!) They are inexpensive and always look like a million bucks, even when the blossoms are open and ready to drop their petals at any minute. I have a kumquat tree in my front yard that has been going crazy this spring, so I clipped a few branches and added the bright orange fruit as embellishment. An easy trick to get fruit to stay put on top of your cake is to spear them with toothpicks, then stick the toothpicks into the cake.

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

Since the kumquats looked so pretty on the cake, I decided to use them in my other party decorations, too. I love decorating with flowers and fruit. They look fresh and festive, and I don’t have to store them in a box when the party’s over.

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

Fruit also made an appearance in our champagne glasses. I rolled some blackberries in sugar to take the bite off their tart flavor, then placed them in flutes.

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

Then I set the table for our brunch. At first I was going to just scatter photos on the top of the table as a conversation starter, but then I worried they might get ruined by drips and sticky fingers. I could have made color copies and used them that way, but in the end I decided to use a giant map of Paris as a tablecloth instead.

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

This would work well for a travel-themed event or a French soirée. I used it to remember a trip my mom and I went on to Paris several years ago, which was definitely a golden memory for both of us. I even marked out places we had visited with little tabs.

Golden Memories Party - Decorating a Nostalgic Tablescape with Vintage Items, Maps and Old Photographs

With everything set up, I was ready for my guests.  I hope you enjoyed my Golden Memories tablescape!

Naked cake generously provided by Elyssa Fournier of Mixed Bakery. To learn more about Mixed Bakery’s baked goods, check her website and follow her on Facebook.

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Dark Chocolate Pistachio Macaroons http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/dark-chocolate-pistachio-macaroons/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/04/dark-chocolate-pistachio-macaroons/#comments Fri, 01 Apr 2016 19:11:39 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=38853 A delicious gluten free treat for Passover or any time of year! ... Read More]]>

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Macaroons with Rosewater and Sea Salt Flakes - Delicious Gluten Free Treat for Passover or Anytime

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Macaroons with Rosewater and Sea Salt Flakes – Delicious Gluten Free Treat for Passover or Anytime of Year

There is something so special about pistachios. Growing up, I always felt like they were the “fancy nut.” Maybe it’s their distinctive green color or their utterly unique flavor that made me covet pistachios. With their royal history and their hefty price tag, it’s no wonder I sensed that pistachios were special. Little did I know just how many delectable treats can be made with these sweet green nuts. Macaroons, those ubiquitous haystacks of Passover sweetness, seem like a perfect vehicle to showcase the pistachio in all of its glory.

Macaroons originated in Italy in the 1700’s, where they were first made with almond paste. Italian Jews adopted the recipe from from Italians during the 1700s. Macaroons have nutty roots; they were first made with almond paste. Jews appreciated that the chewy cookies contained no grains or leavening, and thus could be enjoyed during Passover. In Mediterranean Sephardic Jewish communities, macaroons are usually made with almonds, like they originally were in Italy. But there is no law that says we can’t use pistachios! American macaroons are more often made with coconut, which provides a nice, chewy base. After experimenting a bit, I found the rich combination of pistachio and coconut to be utterly irresistible. I added rosewater to the mix, inspired by the classic Persian pistachio/rosewater flavor combination. Then (because why stop now?)  I dipped them in dark chocolate and sprinkled them with sea salt flakes. Whoa. Be still my heart!

Skinning the pistachios takes some time, but for a special occasion like Passover these are well worth the effort. Technically you don’t have to skin them, but your macaroons will be a bit less light/fluffy and the color won’t be as bright a green. If you plan a bit in advance, you can skin the nuts a day prior while binging Netflix. A little extra effort goes a long way here. These macaroons are worth the time, they are truly special. Enjoy!

Recommended Products:

Mixing Bowls

Baking Sheet

Silpat

Affiliate links help to support my website and the free recipe content I provide. A percentage of any purchase you make via these links will go towards buying ingredients, photography supplies and server space, as well as all the other expenses involved in running a large cooking website. Thank you very much for browsing!

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Macaroons with Rosewater and Sea Salt Flakes - Delicious Gluten Free Treat for Passover or Anytime

Beauty shots and styling by Bethany Nauert.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Macaroons

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut flakes (plain, unsweetened)
  • 1 1/2 cups skinless pistachios - to learn how, click here
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp potato starch (if not for Passover, you can substitute corn starch)
  • 1 1/2 tsp rosewater (or substitute vanilla extract)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • Pinch of of salt
  • 9 oz dark chocolate (use a dairy free chocolate to keep it pareve)
  • Sea salt flakes for garnish

You will also need

  • Food processor, parchment paper or nonstick silicone baking mat
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Servings: 26-28 macaroons
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In this recipe, you can use either grated fresh coconut or dried coconut flakes. If using dried coconut, rehydrate it by pouring it into a bowl and covering it with warm water. Let the coconut soak for 5 minutes, then drain. Squeeze all the excess liquid out firmly with your fingers. Proceed with recipe. If using fresh coconut, no need to prep it-- simply proceed with recipe.
  • Place skinned pistachios into a food processor. Process for a few seconds until the mixture becomes a mixture of fine crumbles. Don’t over-process and let it turn into a paste… it should resemble crumbs.
  • Beat the egg and egg white together in a small bowl. Stir the processed pistachio crumb mixture into the rehydrated coconut along with the sugar, potato starch, rosewater or vanilla, beaten egg and egg white, and salt. Stir with a fork well to combine, making sure all ingredients are evenly dispersed.
  • Dark Chocolate Pistachio Macaroons with Rosewater and Sea Salt Flakes - Delicious Gluten Free Treat for Passover or AnytimeLine a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Place rounded tablespoonfuls of the coconut mixture onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced, forming the mounds into rounded haystack-like shapes. They will feel very loose and delicate at first, but will firm up as they bake.
  • Place the macaroons in the oven and let them bake for 30 minutes, until the bases of the haystacks turn light golden brown. Don’t overbake or the macaroons will become dry. Remove the macaroons from the oven. Allow the macaroons to cool directly on the baking sheet. Do not try to remove them before they'll cool; when hot, they are delicate, but they become firmer as they cool.
  • Melt 9 oz dark chocolate, either in the microwave or in a double boiler. If using the microwave, heat at 50% power for 1 minute, stir, then continue to melt in 15 second bursts at 50% power until the chocolate becomes smooth. Grasp each macaroon at the top and dip the top into the melted chocolate, twisting it into the chocolate and coating it about 1/4 inch up the sides. Place back on the baking sheet.
  • While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle a few sea salt flakes on top of each macaroon. Allow chocolate to dry completely.
  • I like to store these macaroons in the refrigerator for best shelf life. If kept in a sealed container too long the internal moisture from the macaroons will “melt” the sea salt, so if you’re planning on keeping them sealed for a longer period of time, you may wish to skip the sea salt entirely.
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