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Monday, September 22, 2014

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Quick & kosher meals in 20, 40 or 60 minutes

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“Nobody prepared me for what it’s like to smell your dinner going up in smoke while you’re on your hands and knees behind the crib searching for a lost pacifier.”

Jamie Geller’s latest book, Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes… from the Bride Who Knew Nothing (Feldheim) is a witty and unintimidating guide to successful and delicious meals. Geared towards busy, time-starved families, her latest book is filled with valuable tips and tools to guide the reader towards culinary success. Geller’s bubbly personality shines through in her user-friendly and practical 20-,40-, and 60-minute meal recipes.

Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes is a visual feast for the eyes and palate, with 217 mouth-watering recipes and more than 100 balanced menus and wine pairings. Choose from such delicious dishes as Asian Chicken Salad with Iced Ginger Green Tea, Sweet and Spicy Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Wedges, Smoked Salmon Crepes, Israeli Salad with Dill, and her yummy Strawberry Pastry Cups.

Jamie also included a chapter titled “For Special Days” where she offers up delicious menus suitable for the various holidays on the Jewish calendar, including Shabbat, the High Holidays, Chanukah, Purim and Shavuot. Feel free to mix and match menus to your heart’s delight!

Jamie Geller’s first cookbook was Quick & Kosher Recipes… from The Bride Who Knew Nothing. She is also a “mom-preneur” and co-founder of the Kosher Media Network, which recently launched a social website for foodies called www.joyofkosher.com as well as the print magazine Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller.

If You’ve Got 20 Minutes: Whether you’re planning-challenged, or you’ve got everything in perfect order but you’re just having a crazy, impossibly busy day – the super-quick recipes in the 20-Minute Meals chapter are just what you need right now!

 

CHICKEN TACOS

 

This is an easy Mexican-style dinner for a perfect kid-friendly fiesta.

 

3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, about a 3-lb.chicken

1 (15-oz.) jar mild salsa, divided

2 tomatoes, diced

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

12 yellow corn taco shells

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced

2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce (1/2 head), rinsed and dried

soy sour cream (e.g., Tofutti)

 

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook shredded chicken with 1 cup salsa.

In a medium bowl, toss tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro.

To assemble tacos, lay out all 12 tacos on a work surface. Evenly distribute the chicken, then beans, then avocado, then lettuce and finally the tomato mixture among the tacos.

Serve tacos with sides of “sour cream” and the remaining salsa. Yield 12 tacos, serves 4

 

If You’ve Got 40 Minutes: Jamie’s done all the legwork – wandered the virtual globe for you – searching out genuine ethnic influences that will add something exotic to your table in just 40 minutes flat!

 

CHICKEN, PEAR AND ARUGULA SALAD

 

I love Bosc pears. They are crisp, sweet and spicy. They are wonderful salad pears and terrific for cooking and baking. This salad goes well with a simple butternut squash soup.

 

1 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into strips

1/4 cup Buffalo-style wing sauce (or your favourite spicy chicken wing sauce)

2 tbsp. canola oil

2 Bosc pears, unpeeled

1 lemon, halved

1 (5-oz.) packaged arugula, rinsed and dried

1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1/2 cup bottled raspberry vinaigrette, divided

1 cup store-bought candied walnuts

In a medium bowl, toss chicken strips with wing sauce. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken strips in the oil for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While chicken is cooking, halve and core the pears and cut them into wedges. Squeeze lemon juice over pears to prevent browning.

In a large serving bowl, toss arugula and onions with 1/4 cup raspberry vinaigrette.

Top with pear wedges, chicken strips, and walnuts. Serve remaining vinaigrette on the side. Serves 4

 

If You’ve Got 60 Minutes: If you’ve got an hour till the dinner bell, think of it as plenty of time to prepare a feast for a king – or at least for your tableful of little princes and princesses! This chapter contains meals that both kids and adults will eat up in a flash.

 

ORANGE HONEY MUSTARD ROASTED CHICKEN

Note: Place both dishes in the oven at the same time and they’ll be ready to serve together.

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

1 stalk celery, cut in 2-in. chunks

2 sprigs parsley

1 (3-lb.) chicken, cut in eighths

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup store-bought orange juice

2 tbsp. orange zest

 

Preheat oven to 450. In a large roasting pan, place onions, celery and parsley. Arrange chicken on top of vegetables.

In a small bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, orange juice and zest. Pour the sauce over chicken and bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 425, uncover and roast for 10 minutes more, or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter.

 

CHOCOLATE PRETZEL CRUST TART

Prep time: 15 minutes. Total: 55 minutes

 

For Pretzel Crust

4 cups whole pretzels

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup melted pareve margarine

For Filling

2 cups pareve semisweet chocolate chips

2 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups soy milk

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup roughly chopped salted pretzels

non-dairy whipped topping

 

Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, crush pretzels into fine crumbs.

In a medium bowl, mix pretzel crumbs, sugar and margarine. Place a 9-inch nonstick pan with a removable bottom on a sturdy cookie sheet so it’s easier to remove from the oven. Press mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan using a small juice glass to press the mixture down and make the crust even. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 20 minutes.

Reduce oven to 325°F.

Combine chocolate chips, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring soy milk to a simmer; do not allow to boil. Pour soy milk over chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.

Gently whisk eggs, one at a time, into chocolate mixture. Pour into tart shell and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until filling is set and the surface is glossy. If you see any bubbles or cracks forming on the surface, take the tart out immediately or the filling will be overcooked. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Just before serving, top with 1/4 cup roughly chopped pretzels. Serve with non-dairy whipped topping. Serves 8

 

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