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Hip and Kosher: Bringing Kashrut Up to Date

May 29, 2013
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Both within and outside of the Jewish community, a growing number of home cooks are embracing kosher cuisine. Whether you already follow kash­ruth or seek to learn more about it, Ronnie Fein’s Hip Kosher provides you with more than 175 recipes for every meal and occasion.
 
Because kosher doesn’t automatically mean traditionally Ashkenazi or Sephardi fare, Hip Kosher showcases contemporary fusion and American dishes ­using popular ingredients and flavors.
 
Whether you follow a kosher diet for religious or other reasons, Hip Kosher is a source of quick kosher recipes that depart from traditional Jewish fare.
 
Beef Kebabs With Quick ­Pebre Sauce
Pebre sauce, a Chilean speciality, is a spicy, hot condiment for grilled beef or chicken. It’s similar to chimichurri sauce, which has become popular in American cooking. You can use pebre as a dipping condiment for grilled skirt steak or hanger steak, but it also tastes good on grilled vegetables.
1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 large garlic cloves, quartered
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
2 Tbsps. lemon juice
1 small habanero pepper, deseeded and quartered (or 1 to 11⁄2 tsps. hot pepper sauce)
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing ingredients
2 lbs. boneless beef for grilling
large cherry tomatoes or other small whole tomatoes
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
2 medium onions, cut into 8 pieces
 
Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler with the rack about 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.
 
To Make the Pebre Sauce: Place the parsley, cilantro, garlic, oregano, lemon juice and the habanero pepper in a food processor and process until the ingredients are finely minced.
 
Gradually add 1⁄2 cup of olive oil while the machine is on, until the sauce is thoroughly blended and the oil has been incorporated. Set aside.
 
Cut the meat into 1 to 1 and 1⁄2-inch chunks. Thread alternating chunks of beef, tomatoes, bell pepper chunks and onion pieces onto metal skewers. Brush the ingredients with a small amount of olive oil. Cook for about 7 to 12 minutes, turning the skewers occasionally, or until the meat reaches the degree of doneness desired. Serve with the pebre sauce.
 
Makes 4 servings.
 
Macaroni With Gorgonzola Cheese and Bread Crumb-Walnut Crust
Everyone loves mac ’n’ cheese. This is a more sophisticated version with tangy blue-veined cheese filling in for the standard cheddar. The nut and bread crumb crust makes a satisfyingly crunchy and vaguely sweet contrast to the soft, tangy pasta and sauce.
1 and 1⁄2 cups elbow macaroni
4 Tbsps. butter
2 Tbsps. all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1⁄2 tsp. salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1⁄2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1⁄4 cup finely chopped walnuts
 
Preheat the oven to 350˚.
 
Cook the macaroni in lightly salted water until it is almost al dente. Drain and set aside in a bowl.
 
While the macaroni is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, turn the heat to low and add 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk for 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring almost constantly for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Pour the sauce over the cooked macaroni and mix thoroughly. Place in a baking dish.
 
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix the bread crumbs, walnuts and melted butter. Sprinkle over the macaroni. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
 
Makes 4 servings.
 
Quinoa Salad With Beans, Corn and Peppers
It’s easy to transform cooked grains into salads. Mix in a few vegetables and a homemade vinaigrette, and you’ve got a good side dish. Make it a more substantial salad by add­ing cooked chicken or turkey.
1 cup of quinoa
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels
1⁄2 small red pepper, cut into 1⁄4-inch pieces
3-4 scallions, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, deseeded and minced (optional)
3 Tbsps. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
 
Vinaigrette Ingredients:
6 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsps. lime juice
2 Tbsps. lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
 
Combine the quinoa and 2 cups of water in a medium sauce­pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
 
Place the quinoa in a bowl and fluff with a fork. Add the beans, tomatoes, corn, red bell pepper, scallions, jalapeno pepper and parsley. Toss ingredients gently.
 
In another bowl, combine the olive oil, lime juice, lemon juice and cumin. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
 
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
 
Mango Fool
This is a particularly refreshing des­sert on a hot day or after a spicy meal. It’s really easy to make and you can transform it into a glamorous dessert for company by spooning portions of the fool into meringue or cake shells, baked mini-pie crusts or cookie crusts. Top the fool with toasted coconut.
2 large ripe mangoes
2 tsps. minced fresh ginger
3 tbsps. honey
1⁄2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup whipping cream
fresh mint sprigs
 
Peel and pit the mangoes and cut the flesh into chunks. Puree the chunks with the ginger in a food processor. Stir in the honey and yogurt.
 
Pour the whipping cream into a large metal bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer). Whip with a hand beater (or the whisk attachment of a mixer), starting at slow speed and gradually increasing to high speed. Whip until thick.
 
Fold into the mango mixture. Refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with mint sprigs.
 
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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