Showing posts from March 7, 2010

Use Up Your Chometz, Pt. V (Mongolian Beef)

This recipe is very easy to make.  Essentially it's mix sauce ingredients, throw on top of cooked beef.  It cooks up faster than the rice. If you have attempted to make Chinese-style dishes before, then you probably already have most of the ingredients.

Sambal oelek  is made by the same guy who brought you sriracha sauce.  It's a thick chunky-style paste, but not quite as hot as sriracha.  But if your idea of hot is two turns of the pepper mill, then stick with just 1 teaspoon of the stuff.

I found the original recipe at Cooking Light.  It called for thinly sliced steak, but I tried ground beef and it works even better, because dumping excess grease is faster than thinly slicing.  I also substituted balsamic vinegar for the sherry, which I never have on hand and didn't feel like buying a whole bottle just for 2 teaspoons full of it.  Finally, although I have also used Japanese buckwheat soba noodles and no one complained too much, I usually take the easy way out and make …

Use Up Your Chometz, Pt. IV (Potato Salad)

Potato salad isn't just for summer anymore.  Serve this easy-to-make side dish with tuna salad or hamburgers.  It's best served the same day it's made, but if you make it on Friday to serve on Shabbos, no one will be the wiser.

A friend gave me a photocopy of her photocopy of this recipe from The Best of Supercook: Vegetables and Salads by Isabel Moore (1977).   I changed the quantities of some things, added a few ingredients, omitted others, and tinkered with it's preparation. 

If you don't have fresh dill, use a ton of the dried.  And leave the skins on.  It makes the salad prettier, and a little healthier.

Potato Salad
Yield:  6 servings.

2 Lbs. red potatoes, quartered, then sliced  (or sliced, then quartered)
2 Tbs. salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl. olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh dill
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. paprika for garnish (optional)

Add the potatoes to…

Use Up Your Chometz, Pt. III (Mock Chopped Liver)

So why make a food that tastes like another food?  Why not just make the original?  Isn't an original better than a knock-off?  Am I asking too many questions?

For those who are kosher, it allows something that resembles meat to be served at a dairy meal (normally a BIG  no-no!).  It can be eaten by vegetarians.  It's less expensive than the real thing.  The ingredients are more readily available (I can't remember the last time my local supermarket carried kosher liver).  There's less cholesterol.  And, it uses up that half-bag of brown lentils you have in the back of the pantry.

Mock Chopped "Liver" keeps for 3-4 days so you can make the whole thing in advance.   Or you can make the components in advance, then when you see guests walking up the driveway, throw everything in the food processor and chop, then dump the "liver" into a bowl and pass around a box of Triscuits.

This is another recipe that is greater than the sum of its parts.  Make a…

Use Up Your Chometz, Pt. II (Chicken Fried Rice)

A couple of years or so ago, my youngest child brought home from school a recipe from his cooking class. Fried rice. His repertoire up until then consisted of cold cereal and Wacky Mac (usually not together), so this was quite a step up. He has made it himself at home a few times, but he eventually decided that "mom makes it better," which translates to "I don't wanna cook let mom do it." I've since tweaked the recipe to include leftover chicken (originally cooked plain or lightly sauced so as not to overpower this dish), ginger, scallions and sesame seeds. 

Never use freshly-made rice to make fried rice! It will stick to the bottom of the skillet and/or turn into mush. Cold cooked rice stays firm throughout the cooking.  The easiest way to do this is: whenever I make a rice dish, I make more rice than I need then freeze the excess. Just be sure to defrost the rice overnight, rather than dumping the frozen block into the frying pan. If you aren't…

Use Up Your Chometz, Pt. I (Salmon with Soy-Honey Sauce)

I know it's a little early, but it takes a while to use up all those massive quantities of chometz (pronounced KHUH-metz), the kosher but not kosher-for-passover foods and stuff taking up space in my pantry.  I already started purchasing KP products to avoid last year's emergency, when I couldn't find Fox-s U-Bet ANYWHERE.  KP Mayo was on the shelves at my local ShopRite last week, but because I procrastinated an entire whole week, they were out of it today.  They better get more in cuz i have 6 cans of tuna that need mayo-ing, and I don't have the knack to make it from scratch.  Yet.  BTW, ShopRite KP tuna (at my store anyway) was not in the KP section, but hiding in plain sight by the regular tuna.  Same for some other products, such as Maxwell House KP coffee.

Because we adopted a beagle last May, I couldn't store the KP groceries on the floor of the dining room like I used to.  So I cleaned out two shelves of one cabinet and shoved most of it in there, leaving …