Food for All Seasons

Laura Frankel, full-time chef and mother, celebrates Jewish and kosher cooking with her new book Jewish Cooking For All Seasons. The book is a collection of 150 seasonal recipes for soups, salads, starters, main dishes and desserts that have that professional touch. The recipes are grouped by season so you can use fresh produce to its best advantage and serve unusual dishes for the holidays and beyond.

Frankel draws on flavors from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Mexico and more. Here are some great main course recipe ideas for a casual summer dinner. Add a few side dishes and enjoy!


Grilled Summer Vegetables


The only rule to grilling vegetables is that there are no rules — just keep your grill at medium to medium-high heat and go! You can even grill vegetables a day or two ahead of serving.

Suggested Vegetables:

carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise
eggplant, sliced into 1-inch-thick rounds
red and yellow bell peppers, sliced into rings or wedges
onions, sliced into rings or wedges
zucchini, sliced into wedges or thinly sliced lengthwise
portobello mushrooms (scrape out the gills)
tomatoes, cut into wedges or halves

Toss or brush the vegetables of your choosing with olive oil and liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables over medium-high heat from 5 to 10 minutes on each side, according to their size and thickness, until hot and caramelized.

Transfer the vegetables to a platter and sprinkle with your choice of garnishes.


Fried Chicken


2 chickens, each about 4 lbs., cut into 6 pieces, on the bone
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rice flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsps. dried thyme
3 Tbsps. sweet paprika
1 Tbsp. mustard powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsps. cayenne pepper (optional)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup water
oil for frying
fresh lemon or lime juice (optional)

Rinse and pat dry the chicken pieces. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Combine the flours, cornmeal, thyme, paprika, mustard, cumin and cayenne (if using) in a large shallow dish. Whisk the eggs and water together in another shallow dish.

Lightly dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture. Next, dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture to coat. Finally, place the chicken back in the flour mixture and allow it to sit in the flour for several minutes.

Heat at least two inches of oil to 350 degrees in a large, deep skillet, wide, shallow saucepan or Dutch oven. (Use a deep-frying thermometer and watch the temperature carefully: Overly hot oil will brown the chicken too quickly and cold oil will make the chicken soggy and greasy.)

Shake off any excess flour from the chicken and fry in batches (to prevent crowding), turning the pieces a few times, until it is browned on all sides and registers an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about 12 minutes for the breasts and about 15 minutes for the dark meat.

Let the chicken drain on layers of paper towels. Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice over the chicken for extra flavor, if using.

The fried chicken can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for several days.

Serves 6.


Grilled Rib-Eye Sandwiches With Grilled Vegetables


4 rib-eyes fillets (8 oz. each)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 grilled flatbreads or pitas
Garlicky Aioli (recipe follows)

Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium high.

Generously season the steaks with salt and pepper. Grill the steaks on one side for 5 minutes, then rotate the steaks a quarter-turn (this gives the steaks a professional-looking diamond-shaped grill marking) and continue cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Turn the steaks over and continue cooking about 7 minutes for medium rare (the steaks yield slightly when the sides are pressed). Remove from the grill and loosely cover the steaks with foil.

To serve, slice the steaks against the grain into thin strips and pile on a platter with grilled vegetables. Briefly warm the flatbreads on the grill and serve with Garlicky Aioli.


Garlicky Aioli


2 large and very fresh garlic cloves
kosher salt
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup neutral-flavored oil, such as canola oil
1 Tbsp. water
freshly ground black pepper

Place the garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in a mortar and pound it to a paste, or on a cutting board smash and scrape the garlic and 1 teaspoon salt with the side of your knife. Transfer the garlic paste to a food process or blender or to a mixing bowl.

If Using a Food Processor or Blender: Process the garlic paste, yolk, mustard and lemon juice until well combined. With the motor running, slowly add the oils, drop by drop, until the mixture thickens. When all the oil has been added, keep the motor running and slowly add the water to thin the sauce slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If Mixing By Hand: Place the garlic paste, yolk, mustard and lemon juice in a nonreactive stainless-steel or glass bowl and whisk together until smooth. Slowly drizzle the oils into the bowl, whisking constantly, until the sauce resembles a loose mayonnaise, then whisk in water to thin the sauce slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes one-half cup.


Grilled Marinated Short Ribs With Spicy Fruit Barbecue Sauce


10 lbs. short ribs, cut into individual ribs, each about 3-inches long
1 bottle (12 oz.) ale or favorite beer
juice and grated zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Spicy Fruit Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)

Rinse the short ribs to remove any bone fragments or debris. Pat the ribs dry.

Combine the ribs with the ale, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, garlic, parsley and cilantro in a large container with a tight-fitting lid or several resealable plastic bags. Marinate the short ribs at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the grill to medium-low, or the oven to 275 degrees.

Remove the ribs from the marinade and pat dry. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and grill the ribs, covered, turning the ribs several times until browned on all sides, 11/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. If oven cooking, bake the ribs on racks, uncovered in 2 to 3 large roasting pans.

During the last 30 minutes, brush the ribs frequently with the barbecue sauce. Serve the ribs with plenty of extra sauce.

Serves 6 to 8.


Spicy Barbecue Sauce


olive oil
2 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 large ripe mangoes, pitted, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 large ripe plums, pitted and cut into large chunks
2 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into large chunks
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 to 1/4 cup Harissa (recipe follows)
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 can (28 oz.) whole peeled tomatoes with their juices
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil, such as canola

Heat a large nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat and lightly coat the bottom of the pan with the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper, and slowly cook until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in the mangoes, plums, peaches, tomato paste, vinegar, Harissa, coriander, cumin and ginger. Break up the tomatoes slightly with your hands and add them with their juices. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very fragrant and the fruit is soft, about 30 minutes. Cool the mixture completely.

Purée the mixture in a blender or food processor in batches. Add the cilantro, parsley and oil. Return the sauce to the pan, and simmer about 15 minutes, until the flavors have melded.



1/2 cup chili flakes
1 boiling water
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Add the chili flakes to the boiling water, and let steep for 5 minutes to rehydrate. Drain the flakes in a fine-mesh sieve or strainer set over a bowl and transfer the flakes to a blender.

Add the olive oil, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process to a smooth paste, adding some of the chili soaking water if needed. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes one-half cup.



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