Category Archives: Sweet and Sour

Say Cheese…Cake!

In my opinion, there is no better combination of flavors for dessert then sweet and sour.  Any dessert with citrus is usually my top order at restaurants or the dessert I am most excited to make (and then of course eat)!   Cheesecake always seems too heavy and plain for me so I decided to jazz it up by adding a citrus component to the mix and lightening up the cheesecake filling.  Four layers make up this fabulous full flavored cheesecake!

Graham Cracker Crust  +  Lime Curd+  Lime Cheesecake + Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache = The most amazing, eye catching and delicious dessert you could put on your table for Shavuot!
 

Lime Cheesecake with Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache

Makes 2-14″x4″Tart Pan or 1-8″ Round Springform Pan

 
Lime Curd:

6 Egg Yolks
3/4 C. Sugar
8 Tbs. Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tsp. Lime Peel, grated

Crust:

1 3/4 C. Graham Crackers, finely ground (about 12 whole graham crackers)
1/4 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Butter, melted

Filling:

2 (8-ounce) Packages Cream Cheese, room temperature
2/3 C. Sugar
2 Eggs
4 Tbs. Lime Juice
1 Tbs. Lime Peel, grated
1 16 Oz. Container Sour Cream

Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache:

2 ½ C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 C. Sour Cream
3 Tbs. Oil

Lime Curd:

Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat.  While whisking constantly, bring to a boil and let boil for 30 seconds.  The ingredients should thicken.  Put the side.

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 14×4 inch tart/quiche pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a bowl, mix together the graham crackers, sugar and butter until thoroughly combined.  Press half the crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and on the sides of each pan. Bake 5 minutes. Cool completely.

Filling:
With an electric hand mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lime juice, lime peel and sour cream until completely blended.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Pour half of the curd on each graham cracker crust.  Spread carefully with the back of a spoon or side of a knife until the bottom of each crust is covered.  Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the curd and spread evenly.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cheesecake is set.  When cheesecake is done, set on a cooling rack and make the ganache.

Ganache:
In a medium saucepan melt the chocolate chips, oil and sour cream over medium-low heat until thoroughly combined and smooth.  Stir constantly so the chocolate does not burn.  Spread evenly over each tart and smooth with the back of a spoon or knife.  Sprinkle with lime zest and/or sea salt if desired.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.  May be refrigerated for 2 days or frozen up to 1 month.
 
 

Open Face Dumplings!

I have been craving Chinese food almost everyday for the past week and finally gave in and made these amazing open face dumplings! I love scallion pancakes (who doesn’t love fried dough?) and I am obsessed with Asian spiced beef.  The scallion pancakes have a soft texture on the sides and a crunch from being fried on the bottom.  The meat is spiced perfectly and the sweet and sour sauce just enhances everything about this dish.  Total winner and so excited to share this recipe with you!  


Open Face Beef Dumplings with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Serves 4; 2 Dumplings Each

Scallion Pancakes
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose White Flour
1 Cup Warm Water
Salt
Oil
1 Bunch Scallions, Chopped

Combine the flour and the water and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic.  This takes some time by hand, but the process can be done quicker and cleaner by using a stand mixer. Let rest for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the beef filling.

Beef Filling
1 1/2 lbs. Ground Beef
1 Onion, Finely Diced
1 Egg
1 Tbs. Honey
1 Tbs. Soy Sauce
1 Tbs. Rice Vinegar
2 Tbs. Sesame Oil
2 Tsp. Ginger, minced
2 Tsp. Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Water
Salt and Pepper

Mix all the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.

On a floured surface, cut the scallion pancake ball into 8 equal parts.   Roll each dough one at a time.  Starting with the first piece of dough and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 6 inch circle.  lighting brush the top with oil, 1 Tbs. of scallions and a sprinkle of salt.  Fold in half and press into a ball so no scallions can escape.  Roll the ball of dough again into a 6 inch circle and put to the side.  Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.

In a nonstick skillet, heat up 2 Tbs. of Oil.  Take a scallion pancake  and place 1/2 – 3/4 Cup of the meat mixture inside.  Pinch the sides of the pancake to cover the sides of the meat mixture, leaving the top exposed.  Put to the side and finish filling the rest of the dough.  Place the pancakes in the hot oil, not letting them touch, and fry for about 2 minutes, just until dough starts to turn brown and fried. 

Being VERY CAREFUL, place a lid or piece of foil securely on the top of the pan with the dumplings. Make sure the temperature on the stove is at low and very slowly pour in 1/4 cup of water lifting the lid up slightly so as not to get burned by the oil.  Cover immediately and turn to medium low.  Steam for  15-20 minutes until the meat is completely cooked through.  Drain the dumplings and serve warm with sweet and sour sauce.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup Ponzu
3 Tbs. Honey

Combine all in a small pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce is reduced to 1/4 Cup.  Serve warm.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bread!

“Wow!  Are you sure this is Kosher for Passover?”
Why are Passover foods known to be stale and tasteless?  

From the time Jews left Egypt, Passover  has had a reputation for producing sub-par and “Pesach tasting” food.  There is no reason why this should be the norm because recipe searchers, like myself,  have an extensive list of great “Kosher for Passover” recipes just a mouse click away.
Some of you may have realized  that I did not contribute to Kosher food blogs and websites for Passover. You may have thought I wouldn’t want to waste my time posting about Passover food. However, the real reason I did not share my recipes before or during Passover was because I was just plain ol’ busy cooking them!
Passover (or in hebrew Pesach) is a great time for experimenting in the kitchen.  The forbidden grains, wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt helped me get creative, improving and challenging my culinary skills. My goal was to keep it tasty, healthy and gluten free.
Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas
5 Bananas, sliced 1/2 – 1 inch thick
1 Package of Chocolate Chips
1 TBS Oil
Toppings of your choice (sprinkles, coconut, chopped nuts, white chocolate, dried fruit, etc)
In a double boiler (google a picture if you want to see what it looks like), melt chocolate chips and oil (can also be melted directly on stove top but keep a close eye on it so as not to burn).  When melted, dip sliced bananas in the chocolate and pick up with a fork by scooping under the banana and shake off excess chocolate.  Lay on parchment paper and add toppings.  Freeze the bananas overnight and enjoy!  Serve Frozen.

Orange-Almond Cake Pops
Makes 20 Pops
2 Oranges
4 Eggs
¾ C. Agave
2 C. Almonds
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
Wash oranges and boil them whole (peel and all) for 1 hour or until soft.  Blend 2 Cups of  almonds until it turns into a flour texture.  Remove and blend oranges till smooth.  Process in eggs, agave, almond flour, salt and baking soda until blended.  Pour into a greased 9 inch round cake pan or spring form.  Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes until center comes out clean. Take cake apart and roll into 1- 2 inch balls. 
Roasted Zucchini with Sweet and Sour Onions
Make 20 Side Servings
5 Green Zucchinis, ½ “ sliced on a bias
5 Yellow Zucchinis, ½ “ sliced on a bias
Olive Oil 
Salt
Pepper
7 Yellow Onions, sliced
2-3 TBS. Apple Cider Vinegar
Preheat oven to 400.  Coat the zucchini on both sides and roast for 15-25 minutes till the zucchini has a slight caramel color and is soft.  Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. 
In a preheated sauté pan, heat 3-4 TBS. of oil.  Add onions and cook at a medium low heat for about 30-45 minutes.  The key to caramelization is to go caramelize the onions nice and slow so the sugars in the onion can release and not burn.  When caramelized, add the vinegar, salt and pepper.
To serve, spread the caramelized onions on the bottom of a plate and layer the zucchini on top of the onion.
Balsamic Glazed Chicken Kabobs
Makes 20 or more Skewers
I really like the recipe because it takes a very minimal amount of ingredients to feed a lot of people. 
8 Chicken Breasts, cut into 2 “ pieces
3 Red Onions, cut into 8 pieces
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
1-2 Containers of Fresh Mushroom, White or Portobello, cleaned and stems removed
½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
½ Cup Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder
Wooden Skewers
Preheat oven to 350. Skewer the mushrooms, chicken, onions and cherry tomatoes.  Put in pan and pour oil and balsamic vinegar on top.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder and rotate to coat the other side in the marinade.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes.  Enjoy hot or cold.  
Pictures and Ideas Worth Sharing:
Almond Chocolate Macaroons
Chocolate Cake  (Sugar and Gluten Free)
Quinoa – Broccoli Burgers   


Quinoa and Salmon Fried “Rice” (not pictured)
The Best Brisket (not pictured but recipe coming soon in another blog post)