26 July 2015 - 10 Av 5775 - י' אב ה' אלפים תשע"ה
Vegetarian Moussaka Print E-mail

This is a great dairy main course dish for the cooler months and a favourite for vegetarians as well as meat-eaters.

3 ½    pounds eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
½       cup olive oil
1        large onion, thinly sliced
1        cup finely chopped peeled carrots
1        cup finely chopped celery
5        garlic cloves, minced
12     ounces Portobello mushrooms, sliced into small pieces
1       teaspoon dried oregano
½      teaspoon ground cinnamon
1      28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1/4   cup chopped fresh parsley
1      cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
6      tablespoons butter
7      tablespoons all purpose flour
3 ½  cups whole milk
4      large egg yolks
        Salt & pepper

Cover 2 baking sheets with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of eggplant rounds with salt. Arrange eggplant in single layer atop towels. Let stand 30 minutes.

Position first rack in bottom third of oven and second rack in top third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Remove eggplant and paper towels from baking sheets. Pat eggplant dry and then oil the same baking sheets. Brush both sides of eggplant rounds with 1/4 cup oil. Arrange in single layer on baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes. Turn eggplant and rotate pans in oven. Continue baking until tender, about 15 minutes longer. Remove & cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Heat 1/4 cup oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery.

Sauté until onion is very tender, about 12 minutes. Mix in garlic, then mushrooms. Sauté until juices evaporate. Mix in oregano and cinnamon. Add tomatoes and parsley. Cook until mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange half of eggplant in single layer. Spoon half of tomato mixture evenly over eggplant. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Repeat layering with remaining eggplant, tomato mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese.

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 cup cheese. Whisk yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot sauce.

Pour sauce over vegetables in dish. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over sauce.

Bake moussaka until heated through and sauce is golden brown on top, about 45 minutes. Cool 15 minutes.

Candy Apples Print E-mail

In many communities, Candy Apples are a traditional childhood treat for Simchat Torah to remind them of the sweetness of the Torah.

It is best to purchase a candy thermometer. The nuts are optional and there are many easy variations to this easy recipe. Coloured sprinkles make a nice fun alternative.

12    red delicious apples
12    wooden popsicle sticks
3 ½    cups sugar
3/4    cup light corn syrup
1    teaspoon red food coloring
3 ½    cups water
1    cup chopped peanuts

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Wash and dry apples. Insert a stick through the stem of each, leaving about 2 inches of the stick.

Place the chopped peanuts in a deep bowl large enough to roll apples in. Place the sugar, corn syrup, food coloring, and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring slowly to a boil while stirring constantly and cook until the ingredients are dissolved.

Insert a candy thermometer into the liquid and continuing cooking, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 290°F. This should take about 20 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and dip the apples, one by one, coating each evenly. Work quickly so the sauce doesn’t harden. As you finish dipping each apple, roll it in the peanuts to coat evenly. Place each apple standing on the prepared cookie sheet. Let the apples cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Apple Honey Cake Print E-mail

3 ½    cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4    teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4    teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4    teaspoons ground cinnamon
½    teaspoon salt
1/4    teaspoon grated nutmeg
1    cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2    tablespoons vegetable oil
2    extra-large eggs
1    cup honey
¾    cup brewed coffee, cooled
2    large McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped

1.    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch angel food cake pan. Use parchment paper to line the pan. Do not grease paper.
2.    Onto a large sheet of wax paper, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
3.    In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until combined.
4.    Add the honey. Beat on low speed until blended. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds.
5.    Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the coffee, until the batter is combined. (The batter will be loose.)
6.    With a wooden spoon, stir in the chopped apples.
7.    Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until the cake is deep golden on top. Remove the pan from the oven to a wire rack and let it stand for 5 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and carefully remove the cake. Let the cake stand right side up on a wire rack to cool.

Sourced from Epicurious.com
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