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March 30, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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March 30, 2012

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 30, 2012 Recipes to please the crowd and de-stress the chef Courtesy Joy of Kosher with Jarnie Geller Salmon Cakes with Tropical Fruit Salsa are an elegant, light and refreshing starter course. By Jamie Geller NEW YORK (JTA)--Passover may be the mother of all kitchen yuntifs, but stay cool and don't stress. Here are some of my favorite recipes from last Passover that you will love this Passover and all year. Last year, 99 percent of what I made for Passover weren't actually Passover recipes. Of course they were kosher for Passover, but they didn't require any major Passover ingredient tweaks. These recipes were developed with Passover in mind and have become staples in my year- round repertoire because they were super easy and got the most oohs and ahhs. OK, real gourmet chefs don't keep a tally of how many people flipped over this or that dish--but I really need to know. The winners on my menu get to come back and try for eternal stardom. And the winners are: * Salmon Croquettes with Tropical Fruit Salsa: You cm make this even easier by skipping the fresh salmon and usirg good quality canned salmon. * Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper Saute: Shamelessly simp,e and super beautiful, it is pleasing to the eye and the palate. Audience applause told me that the zucchini actually tasted better when prepped this way. * Pomegranate Braised Brisket: So tender and so sweet, this piece of meat just melts in your mouth. Follow my lead, and this year every dish you serve will be truly delicious, not just "pretty good for Pesach stuff." Chag kasher v'sameach - Have a happy and kosher holiday! SALMON CAKES WITH TROPICAL FRUIT SALSA Croquettes are cute and elegant for your starter course. They're also wonderfully light and refreshing. The tropical salsa is a combination of fresh pineapple, mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice--the perfect complement to the richness of the salmon. The balance of sweet and savory flavors instantly pleases the palate. This is a starter with zing! Courtesy Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper Saute is simple to make, and pleasing to the eye and the palate. Times: preparation: 15 minutes, cooking: 45 minutes, ready: 60 minutes Servings: 10 cakes Ingredients: For cakes: 1 (2-pound) side of salmon, skin on 1/2 cup red onion, diced 2 tablespoons matzah meal 2 large eggs, lightly beaten I teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 4 tablespoons olive oil For salsa: 1 cup diced pineapple 1/2 cup diced mango 1/2 cup diced red onion 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped Juice of 1 lime 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a large baking sheet. Bake salmon skin side down for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Let cool completely. Once salmon is cooled, gently flake away from the skin and break into large chunks. Place in a large bowl and combine with eggs, red onion, matzah meal, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well. Scoop about 1/3 cup at a time into your hands and form into a round patty about 1/4-inch thick. Place on a sheet pan and repeat with remaining mixture until you have formed 10 cakes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine pineapple, mango, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice and salt. Mixwellandsetaside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Fry 5 cakes at a time for about 5 to 8 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate while frying remaining cakes. To serve, top each cake with a few tablespoons of salsa. ZUCCHINI AND RED BELL PEPPER SAUTE Times: preparation: 10 minutes cooking: 15 minutes ready: 25 minutes Servings: 8 Ingredients: 3 tablespoons olive oil 4 medium zucchini, sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler 4 cloves garlic, minced 4 roasted red bell peppers, thinly sliced I teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Preparation: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add zucchini ribbons and saute 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly softened. Add garlic and saute 3 minutes more. Add bell pepper and saute 5 more minutes or until warmed. Stir in paprika; salt and toss to coat. POMEGRANATE BRAISED BRISKET Times: preparation: 5 minutes cooking: 4 hours ready: 4 hours, 5 minutes Servings: 8 Ingredients: I four-pound first cut beef brisket 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided 3 medium onions, peeled and cut into eighths 6 cloves garlic, smashed 2 cups pomegranate juice 2 cups chicken broth 3 tablespoons honey 3 bay leaves 1 small bunch fresh thyme Preparation: Preheat oven to 375. Season brisket with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large roasting pan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Sear brisket about 4 minutes per side or until browned. Remove and set aside. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute onions and garlic for 5 minutes over medium low heat until softened. Return brisket to pan and add pomegranate juice, broth, honey, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Transfer to preheated oven and roast for 2 hours. Flip brisket over and continue roasting for 1 to I 1/2 more hours or until tender. Let brisket rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain. Strain liquid and serve on the side as au jus. Jamie Geller is the author of the best-selling "Quick & Ko- sher" cookbook series and creator of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine. She is the host of the popular "Quick & Kosher" cooking show online at and on-air on JLTE. Follow more of Geller's Quick & Kosher cooking adventures on Twitter@JoyofKosher and on facebook. com/joyofkosher. Robin Cohen's fruit conserve offers some Seder Sweetness By Penny Schwartz BOSTON (JTA)--Robin Cohen, a computer programmer turned national award-winning cook and food writer, recalls vivid childhood memories of her family's Passover kitchen, when charoset was made in a large, old-fashioned wooden chopping bowl. Asmall portion of the tasty fruit-and-nut mixture was placed on the seder table, a symbol of the bricks and mortar used by the Israelites when they were enslaved in ancient Egypt. The restwas reserved for the next day, when the flavorful combina- tion of apples, nuts, wine and cinnamon, with a bit of honey and lemon, was enjoyed as a spread on matzah. The fragrant flavors of charoset past inspired Cohen to create Seder Sweetness, a new jarred fruit conserve that will be available in Boston-area shops. The recipe is not hard for home cooks to follow, she says. The idea for Seder Sweetness jelled last fall, when Cohen began selling her fruit conserves and preserves at local farmers' markets. Cohen, who won Micheal Ruhlman's 2011 national holiday cooking challenge for her rugelah, had just launched Doves and Figs Kitchen, a home-based business devoted to making and selling fruit preserves us- ing local fresh fruit. A Rosh Hashanah variety made from apples, figs, almond and honey became a popular seller; it reminded some custom- ers of charoset. Since then, Cohen has tried several recipes for an authentic charoset flavor, tweaking apple varieties and the balance of other ingredients. Despite the New England winter, she's still able to use local apples, along with local honey, she told JTA. Cohen makes a sugar syrup with sweet kosher wine, lemon and honey, and then adds chopped apples and toasted walnuts (recipe below). She is branching out with other Passover-inspired conserve recipes, including savory ones. Her winter carnival recipe made from cranberries, apples and pears is a perfect accompaniment for brisket or lamb, and was awarded a prize last October from the American Lamb board. She is now testing recipes for an apple-horseradish preserve embellished with mint as a touch of Passover greenery. Horseradish is trendy in the food world right now, Cohen says. Last Passover, Cohen got playful, offering a recipe on her blog for Wicked Son Eggs and Drunken Passover Grilled Cheese using kosher for Passover cheddar cheese, matzah and sweet kosher wine. But making jams, conserves and preserves is her passion, and a family tradition. As a child, Cohen spent summers on Montauk, Long Island, where she and her brother helped their dad pick beach plums and grapes to make jars and jars of jam. They used the old-fashioned method of boiling the fruit for a long time to enhance the natural sweetness while using only a small amount of sugar and no pectin. Jewish family gatherings were a time when the jams were served. Houseguests always left with jars of the summer jams as gifts, she recalled. Offering a jar of the charoset conserve as a gift to a seder host adds something homemade and local, she suggests. ROBIN COHEN'S SEDER SWEETNESS Ingredients: 8 cups apples (measure after peeling, coring, and dicing) I cup water 4 cups sugar 1/2 cup nuts 1/4 cup kosher sweet wine 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons lemon juice Zest of 1 lemon 1 cinnamon stick Preparation: Robin Cohen Childhood memories of her family making charoset at Passover inspired Robin Cohen's Seder Sweetness recipes. \\; Toast walnuts in a 350 degree oven until lightly toasted and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Combine sugar, water, wine, honey, lemon juice, and spices in a large pot and cook over medium high heat until slightly thick and syrupy (about 10 minutes). Stir in apples and cook over medium heat until apples soften slightly. Boil until liquid starts to set (will be softer than a traditional jam). Remove cinnamon stick, mix in nuts. Refrigerate or can. Yield: 8-10 8-ounce jars.