Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kosherfest 2011, Stuffed Peppers & Humus Chicken

Stuffed Peppers!  Fresh,
seasonal, healthy, and delicious!
The experts would approve!!!
Happy Anniversary Kosher Everyday!!!  It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I began this blog after my inaugural visit to Kosherfest last year.  It’s been such an exciting year and so many incredible things have happened – way beyond my wildest expectations!  Kosher Everyday articles and recipes were quoted and featured in,,, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine and even – how cool is that?!!!  Kosher Everyday was even a finalist for the CBS Most Valuable Blogger Awards…incredible!  I’ve had the opportunity to meet incredible “foodies” along the way and I’ve learned so much too!  Thank you so much to all the Kosher Everyday followers.  Your comments and input have been an inspiration to me – keep reading…the best is yet to come!

Kosherfest 2011 Baby!!
Last week was Kosherfest 2011.  I was a little concerned that after my absolutely amazing experience last year, that this year would pale by comparison.  I had seen so many new products last year, and I wondered if it would just be the same old thing and the novelty wouldn’t be there.  Boy was I silly!  This year’s Kosherfest was fan-spankin-tastic!!!  There were still tons of new vendors and products to inspire, and enough new food to taste that I seriously need to watch what I’m eating for a while to take off all the pounds I put on while at Kosherfest 2011!  Some of my favorites from last year were there too – like Gus’s Pickles (this year I didn’t feel the need to prove myself again and tried the excellent regular sour pickles!), and the Mike E’s sauces (loved the new sugar free sesame teriyaki sauce on steak!).  Manischewitz actually came out with a vending machine that dispenses hot, kosher meals to go – it’s like space age technology!  My husband suggested that it might be great for our teenage son’s bedroom, but I nixed the idea…we’d never see my son if he didn’t need to come downstairs to eat!! I also finally solved a (non-life altering) mystery that has been secretly bugging me for a long time – what is the difference between the foil, paper, and brown paper packages of Kojel Non-Flavored gelatin (*see the answer below)?  I had incredible Australian Lamb Stew (YUM!!), wonderful 3 minute rice, awesome cheeses (cousin Tziporah’s favorite was the fresh Parmesan…she was really tempted to buy the whole cheese wheel!!!), incredible pareve ice creams, phenomenal chocolates, and amazing gluten-free products too.  Sabra Humus came out with some fantastic new products this year – frozen ready-to-use pesto and alfredo sauces.  They even had new guacamole (outstanding!), and basil and pesto humus which they recommended spreading on chicken before baking  – Humus Baked Chicken (Check it out…I actually made it this week with spinach and artichoke humus - the basil and pesto wasn’t available yet).  It was great, and I bet the basil and pesto version will be even better! 
Humus Chicken!

Instead of writing a seventeen page description of all the products I saw, I have decided to include a Kosherfest featured product paragraph at the end of future blogs.  There were so many terrific products and I really would like to give each one the attention it deserves.

I finally met some of my fellow Kosher food bloggers like Sarah Lasry (, Leah Schapira (, Brigitte Mizrahi (, Shoshana Raff (, and many more.   I also got to meet some of my culinary “hero’s” too, and was able to get personally signed cookbooks from Noreen Gillitz and Levana Kirschenbaum which I will definitely treasure for years to come.  There was also a kosher “Iron Chef” competition, and an informational panel with some of the leading culinary authors/chefs including Levana Kirschenbaum, Jeff Nathan, Suzie Fishbein, Gil Marks and Jamie Geller.  When the panel was asked what the current food trends are they nearly all said that it’s important to use seasonal, fresh, locally grown (if possible) produce and products for the best tasting results.  So, when I got back to Chicago and went to my local mega fruit store and found beautiful, small, yellow peppers on sale – the expert advice I got at Kosherfest resonated with me.  Those cute little peppers were perfect for Stuffed Peppers!  When the peppers are fresh and in season they are incredibly sweet and flavorful when roasted.  Filled with a vegetable, meat, and rice filling they are one of our favorite, and prettiest, Shabbat appetizers.   This dish is also fun to make.  After decapitating the peppers, I then get to disembowel the insides (translates as: cutting off the tops of the peppers and removing the seeds and inside membranes…but it’s not nearly as fun to describe it that way!).  I always make a lot of filling…it makes a great side dish too!

The expert panel!
Me and Jamie Geller!
(This is how I look after a 6 AM flight!)
The kosher vending machine!
Great for the dorm!
I’m already looking forward to Kosherfest 2012 (November 13-14, 2012), and can’t wait to see what fantastic and exciting things (I”H) this upcoming year will bring!

Stuffed Peppers          
I use fresh small (not miniature) peppers for this recipe.  You can use any color pepper, just make sure that any additional peppers you add to the recipe are a different color for a beautiful contrast.  I also make a lot of filling and use the leftovers as a side dish. You can use up to 24 small peppers depending upon the size of the peppers and how much filling you would like to have leftover.  These peppers also freeze well to use at a later time.
12-16   small                colorful peppers (slightly smaller than a tennis ball), stems removed
2          tablespoons      olive oil
1          large                 onion, diced
2          cloves              garlic, minced (or 2 frozen cubes)
2 ½ - 3 pounds             lean ground beef
1          large                 pepper (different color from small peppers), finely diced
1          1.25 ounce       envelope taco seasoning
6          ounce               can tomato paste
3          cups                 cooked brown rice
                                    non-stick vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 350 ° F.  Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Spray with non-stick vegetable spray.  Set aside.

Slice the tops off of the small peppers. Finely dice the pepper tops, then set aside.  Place the peppers on the prepared cookie sheet.  If the peppers don’t sit nicely on the tray slice a small portion off the bottom or the pepper, being careful not to make a hole on the pepper.  Set the tray aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onions are clear.  Add the ground beef and sauté until beef is browned, making sure to break up any large clumps.  Add the diced peppers and sauté for another 2 minutes until peppers are softened.  Add the taco seasoning and tomato paste, stirring until completely blended.  Stir in the cooked brown rice.

Spoon the taco filling into the prepared peppers.  Bake for 30 minutes until the tops are browned.  Serve warm.

Note: This dish is great for the GFE (Gluten Free Eater).  Simply use gluten-free taco seasoning or substitute 1 tablespoon chili powder or your favorite chili sauce.

All the ingredients...
Cut off the tops of the peppers...
 Then dice the pepper tops...
Brown the onions, garlic & beef,
then add the peppers...
Add the taco seasoning...
Mix in the could
eat it right out of the pan it's 
so good plain!!
Fill the peppers...
then bake!
30 minutes later...
Stuffed Peppers!!
(Can I have two??)
Humus Baked Chicken
2                     chickens, cut into 8ths skin removed
1          cup      your favorite Sabra Humus (like spinach & artichoke or basil and pesto)
non-stick vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 350 ° F.  Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Spray with non-stick vegetable spray.  Set aside. 

Place the chicken on the prepared cookie sheet.  Spread the humus on the chicken with a pastry brush making sure to coat completely.  Bake for 60 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned.

Note: This dish is great for the GFE (Gluten Free Eater). 

 I used spinach & artichoke humus
but you can use your favorite flavor!
Spread it on the chicken...
So delicious...can't wait to try
the spicy buffalo humus!!!

*The Kojel Packaging Mystery Solved: The answer, given to me by the kind manufacturer at the show, was fascinating.  All gelatin is packaged on the same machines.  When different flavors of gelatin are packaged, in between different flavors the machines are “dry-cleaned”, i.e. no water is used and specific machines are used for specific varieties of flavors.  Each machine has a unique packaging – paper, foil, brown paper.  However, when packaging un-flavored gelatin the machines need to have a “wet-cleaning” to make sure that there are no traces of the flavored gelatin color.  Even a small amount of flavored gelatin would show up in an unflavored, clear, gelatin package.  Therefore the company uses whichever machine happens to be available rather than a specific machine – thus the variation in packaging.  Like I said…fascinating!

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at,, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
 or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!

KosherEveryday is one of the finalists for the 
2011 CBS Most Valuable Blogger Awards!! 

1 comment:

  1. This dish is awesome as well as very delicious. thanks for sharing it.

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