Recipes From the Bride Who Knew Nothing

Jamie Geller's 2007 cookbook, Quick & Kosher: Recipes From the Bride Who Knew Nothing, is the story of a young businesswoman who came into marriage without knowing a spatula from a saucepan.

Determined to master cooking yet short on time, she was dismayed to find that most cookbooks consider an hour of preparation time "quick," and presumed more culinary skill than many of us have. So she set out to compile her own special collection of quick and easy recipes — recipes with step-by-step instructions requiring not much more than 15 minutes to prepare.

Quick & Kosher is the result of her quest. It offers more than 150 recipes, most of them with adjoining photographs of what the end result should look like. On paper, the dishes really do seem easy to replicate.

Geller, who grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Akiba, lives in New York.

Here's a smattering of main dishes; unfortunately, sheer lack of space leaves no room for the delectable array of desserts included in the book.

Grouper With Pineapple and Corn Chutney


6 grouper fillets, about 3 lbs.
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
4 Tbsps. olive oil

Chutney Ingredients:

2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 can (11 oz.) sweet yellow corn niblets, drained
1 can (11 oz.) white shoepeg corn, drained
3/4 cup drained pineapple bits
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup prepared chunky salsa, mild

Preheat broiler.

Lightly grease a broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Rinse the grouper, pat dry and place in prepared pan.

Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Broil for 5 to 7 minutes on each side.

To Make the Chutney: In a 2-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over low heat. Add both kinds of corn, pineapple, raisins and salsa. Stir to mix.

Cover and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place grouper on a platter and spoon chutney on top.

Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Black-Bean-and-Salsa Salmon


6 salmon fillets, about 3 lbs.
1 jar (16 oz.) prepared hot salsa
1/4 cup canned black beans, drained
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly grease a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Rinse the salmon and pat dry. Place in prepared pan.

Mix salsa and black beans in a bowl, and pour over salmon.

Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

Garnish with sliced avocado.

Makes 6 servings.

Cranberry Chicken


1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup orange juice
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. salt
6 boneless chicken-breast cutlets, about 3 lbs.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, blend the flour with the orange juice, adding the juice slowly, whisking to keep smooth.

Add the cranberries, sugar, margarine, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Stir to mix.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cool the cranberry mixture slightly.

Rinse the cutlets and pat dry. Place in a large deep skillet.

Pour cranberry mixture over chicken in skillet.

Cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Lamb Chops With Pistachio Crust


1 cup salted pistachios, shelled
1/3 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper
2 Tbsps. olive oil
4 shoulder lamp chops (1-inch thick)

Preheat broiler.

Lightly grease a broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Crush the pistachios in a food processor until finely chopped, about 30 seconds. You should have about half a cup.

Mix the ground nuts, salt and pepper. Place on plate.

Pour the olive oil onto another plate.

Rinse lamb chops and pat dry.

Dip the chops into the olive oil, and then into the pistachio mixture to coat all surfaces.

Place lamb chops in prepared broiler pan. Broil about 7 minutes on each side for medium to medium-rare, or longer depending on desired doneness.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Goat-Cheese Walnut Salad


2 packages (5 oz.) mixed field greens
11/2 cups dried cranberries or Craisins
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 log (5.5 oz.) soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
11/2 cups walnuts

Dressing Ingredients:

21/2 Tbsps. red-wine vinegar
1 Tbsps. Dijon-style mustard
1/2 Tbsps. fresh thyme, finely chopped
7 Tbsps. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix the greens, cranberries and onion in a large salad bowl.

Sprinkle the cheese and walnuts over the salad mixture.

For the Dressing: Mix the vinegar, mustard and thyme in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Toss the dressing with the salad right before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Blintz Soufflé


10 to 12 frozen blintzes, assorted flavors, defrosted just enough to separate
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
4 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsps. butter, melted
2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon-sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place blintzes in a 9×13-inch pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together sour cream, sugar, orange juice, eggs, butter, vanilla and salt.

Pour mixture over blintzes.

Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Serve with applesauce or extra sour cream on the side.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.



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