Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easy Passover Salmon Recipe

I got tired of meat meals so I made dairy for lunch today.  In addition to my husband's awesome matza lasagna, I made a salmon fillet.  This is hardly an original and more of a technique than anything else, but it's fresh tasting and super yummy so I'm including it here.  Here's the recipe:

Celebrate Spring Salmon:
1 piece of salmon fillet
1 lemon, sliced with peel
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced thin
several sprigs of fresh rosemary, stems removed
extra virgin olive oil, probably about 1 Tablespoon

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  You'll be roasting this salmon, baby.
2.  Lay the lemon slices spread throughout your pan.  This is your bed.  Lay the salmon on top of the lemon slices.
3.  Make several slits throughout the fillet and insert the garlic slices into the slits.
4.  Scatter the rosemary leaves on top of the salmon.
5.  Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the salmon.
6.  Roast the salmon, about 10 minutes per inch.  It took me about 20 minutes.  The top of the salmon may turn a nice even brown color from the roasting - a total guest-pleaser.  Serve immediately, or at room temperature, which is my preference.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pesach granola - YUM-O

For the last couple of years, I start to get panicky about Pesach breakfasts for my kids, thinking that without cereal in the morning they will surely starve.  I turn to my friends for assistance and send out an email starting an email chain that's all about Pesach breakfasts.  I've received several helpful responses!  Here is a short list:
  • matza brei - the truly original Pesach breakfast - can be customized!
  • muffins
  • cream cheese OR whitefish salad OR butter & jam OR just jam + matza
  • cottage cheese latkes
  • eggs (I wish the rest of my family loved eggs as much as I do...)
Last year a friend of mine sent me a recipe for matza farfel granola, and since I wasn't able to find that email, I found another granola recipe online that is a winner for me.  My cereal-loving child eats it up, and I find it filling too.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Pesach!!

Happy Pesach/Passover everyone!!  Wishing all of my readers a wonderful holiday/chag/yom tov...drop me a line if you did something creative for your seders!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Passover: Yup, there's an app for that

Got your Pesach guideNo.

Got your OU Passover guideNo.

In the grocery store with no idea whether cottage cheese needs to have a special Passover certification or not?  (BTW, yes it does.)

Don't worry - there's an app for that.  Or two.

I downloaded the OU's Passover app, and I also have the CRC Kosher app that has a new Passover update.  I think that both are useful.

The OU app is essentially a product/category listing.

The CRC Kosher app has an FAQs section, a kashering section, and a nicely organized categorical listing.

On the whole, I think the CRC Kosher app is more developed than the OU app, but it's great to have both.

As a reminder, please confirm with your local rabbi any kosher-related concerns; the CRC and the OU are different agencies and sometimes have different answers to the same question, so the decision ultimately rests with your personal rabbi.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I haven't started preparing for Pesach

There.  I said it.  I haven't started doing anything for the holiday.

Oh sure - I bought the grape juice on sale.  And we bought some tea that seems to fly off the shelves.  And we committed to a few meals out (woo-hoo!).  But other than that?  Nothing.  Nada.

This - despite that I receive emails daily from various Jewish cooking/mom-related sites with this or that Pesach checklist/prep tip.  Despite that I have my own Pesach binder with recipes from previous years, lists, and fun stuff so I don't have to keep re-inventing the wheel.

Why on this green earth have I not even uttered the word in my house?  First - I'm tired.  I had two large events take place last week that I planned, and I'm just tired of planning.  Second - I'm busy at work.  So unfortunately, Pesach hasn't yet appeared on my radar screen.

The other, possibly subconscious, reason why I haven't yet broached the topic is because I want to go back to basics: I want to re-emphasize the holiday itself, and not go nuts with the meals and the cleaning.  It's time to get back to basics and remember what the holiday is about, which is something I only think about when I sit down to seder, not before.

So here are my thoughts:
  • Go through my recipe file and pick out the recipes that are Pesach-friendly.  Salads, chicken, veggie dishes - there's so much out there.  Now's the time to read the recipes again with fresh eyes.
  • Go through the Pesach grocery aisles and really consider what I need (which means, don't go shopping with the kids!).  Buy the staples, not the latest and greatest.
  • Buy a food processor.  Last year I determined that this is something I need, so I want to invest in a good one that will last me for years.
  • I don't bake from scratch during Pesach.  I make fruit salad for dessert, or I splurge and buy the cake-in-a-box.  Pricey...yes, but it really saves me the headache and I allow for it since I don't buy lots of other stuff.
  • I love love love this post.  People - this is what it's about.  Back to basics.
  • Remember that - no matter what - make it fun for the kids.  A stressed out mommy is not fun.  A tired mommy is not fun.  So - be flexible and keep it simple.
 My indulgence every year?  The muffins-in-a-box.  Don't ask me why.  There's a little piece of heaven with some cream cheese on a muffin, I'm sure of it.

What are your favorite Pesach strategies?

Starbucks now questionable for the kosher consumer

Starbucks has rocked the boat in the kosher world.

As Starbucks has added to their food menus, their cleaning practices (as far as cleaning cooking utensils) has come into question with respect to the separation of utensils that are used for coffee-brewing purposes and utensils used for (non-kosher) food purposes.  Knowing that all utensils are (or may be) washed together in hot water, it now becomes difficult to say that a brewed drink at Starbucks is 100% kosher since it has been cleaned and washed together with utensils used in the production of non-kosher food.

In light of all of this, the Houston Kashrut Association (HKA) put out a statement aligning its policy with the Chicago Rabbinical Council which you can read here; essentially, the new guidelines are that the full-service stores are to be avoided (for the most part), and that the kiosks (like those in Target and Randalls) are ok.  Please read more details in the CRC policy which easily outlines the dos and don'ts so that you know what you can order.

Too bad!!