June 06, 2012

Cooking class with Zehorit

As I promised, yesterday I went to a community cooking class. The class was offered by local branch of AISH with a tremendous help of  local chef Zehorit Heilicher. First of all, I have to thank you all organizers, who worked tirelessly to put together this delicious event, which is quite rare in our community. For a second, I would like to share with all of you some recipes from this event. The recipes were created by Zehorit Heilicher specially for the event and, believe me, they are delicious and very healthy. All recipes use only kosher ingredients. I hope, you will enjoy them as I did. I wish we would have more delicious events like this one. Definitely we need a cooking class for Jewish men.

Tomato-Eggplant Platter
Serves 6-8
3 slender eggplants, sliced into 1/4" circles
8 large tomato, sliced the same
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
In a large frying pan heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Lightly fry each slice of eggplant until golden brown. Place on paper towel covered plate to cool. Repeat with the rest of eggplant slices, adding more oil as needed. On a non-reactive platter, place slices of eggplant interchanging them with tomato slices. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil and chopped garlic. Season slices with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over tomato and eggplant slices. Serve at room temperature with thin baguette slices.
White bean & sage "Hummus"
Serves 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (save liquid)
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, diced
2 tablespoons fresh sage, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil then cook onions until translucent over medium high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragnant; add beans and sage then season with salt ans pepper. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook beans, stirring often, for 5 more minutes. Take beans off heat and set aside to cool.
Place cooled beans, onion and sage in a food processor. Add lemon juice. Puree beans until smooth and creamy, taste and adjust seasoning. (if too thick, add some of reserved canned liquid).

Herb & dried fruit couscous pilaf
Serves 6
1 package couscous
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fime
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
Optional 1 medium sweet red pepper - diced small
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, diced small
1/2 cup currants, blueberries or cherries
1/2 cup dried cherries, cut in half
1/2 cup minced scallions
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
In a medium frying pan over medium heat, combine olive oil, garlic and herbs and cook until fragrant. taste the herbs and then season with salt & pepper.
Turn off the heat, add currants, cherries and scallions and toss gently to combine. Prepare couscous according to package directions and then fluff with a fork into a large bowl. Add the herb mixture and stir gently. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over couscous, mixing gently to combine.
Taste couscous and season with salt ans pepper if needed. This couscous is best served cold or at room temperature and is wonderful for a picnic.

Mixed greens salad with hearts of palm and avocado in lemony dressing
Serves 6-8
6 cups mixed greens
2 cups hearts of palm, sliced 1/3" think
1/2 medium red oniln, sliced thinly
2 medium avocados, peeled and sectioned
1/2 cups candied pecans (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 tablespoon olive oil
Whisk all ingredients of vinaigrette except the olive oil. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking continuously. Taste the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Place avocado sections and the heart of palms in a medium bowl and gently coat with a tablespoon of vinaigrette. Combine greens and onion slices in a large bowl and then top with avocado and hearts of palm mixture. Sprinkle with candied pecans on top and serve immediately. For another variation try adding blue cheese crumbles to the salad.

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