Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chic Made Simple - A review with Chicken Fire Poppers, Mini Mushroom Beef Sliders & No-Bake Cheesecake Mousse

This year at Kosherfest I had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Esther Deutsch, the author of the new Kosher cookbook Chic Made Simple Published by Feldheim, this beautiful new cookbook boasts fresh, fast, and fabulous recipes. At Kosherfest, I asked Esther what was the most important thing she wanted to convey to her cookbook readers.  She replied “My cookbook has easy, delicious, and pretty recipes that make everyone happy”.  After going through the cookbook I can honestly say that Esther achieved her goal.  The recipes in this book are pretty to look at!  I went over each page, tagging my favorites with a sticky tab, until my dear daughter asked if there were any pages I didn’t tab! There are so many recipes I can’t wait to try based upon the gorgeous photos, the straightforward instructions, and the simple, fresh and accessible ingredients.  This book has more “gourmet” recipes, such as Salmon or Tuna Tartare and Mexican Chicken-Filled Crepes with Shallot Sauce and more everyday family friendly recipes such as Chicken Fire Poppers (my family’s new favorite!!)  There are recipes with mock crab, and sushi grade tuna, and simpler fare such as No Bake Cheesecake MousseThere are recipes in this book that truly will make everyone happy.  Chic also has a lot of recipes with mushrooms, wahoo!  I couldn’t wait to try the Mini Mushroom Beef Sliders which use mushroom caps! instead of a bun – sheer genius and perfect for the Matten Mushroom Loving Family!! 

When I started reading the Chic, I was struck by how much Esther Deutsch sounded like she could be a friend of mine, sitting in my kitchen discussing recipes with me.  From her “Then life happened” to the basic theme of the book: “…fuss-free became the way to go.  My essential criteria for good food hadn’t lapsed – food still needed to be absolutely delicious and served with flair – but quick and easy now made the list too.”   Those are the same beliefs that I have for!!  I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Each recipe has a little blue box associated with it that contains stories, tips and alternatives for each recipes, making each recipe not just a single recipe but a whole variety of recipes.  Bonus!  For example, the Chocolate French Macarons with Caramel Cream can be made as described in the main recipe, but the little blue box gives you an alternative chocolate filling, as well as additional recipes for vanilla and coffee macarons.  And who wouldn’t want to make the latest, trendiest Macaron dessert for their guests – all tied up in a bow (as shown in the recipe photograph!).  You can also impress your guests with Quilted Fondant Cupcakes with step by step instructions for doing the quilting on top of the cupcakes – with quick tips for speeding up the process in the little blue box.

I can see why Chic is such a popular cookbook, with easy, fast, and fabulous recipes, it’s simple to find recipes that will make your family happy…just like mine was!!

Chicken Fire Poppers
My family’s new favorite!  When I made these my dear Daughter said “You must make these again!”  Dear Husband said “Wow, these are really good!”, and dear Son said “YUM!” That pretty much sums it up!! I did find I needed more eggs than the recipe stated for dipping the chicken in, and I would keep a whole box of corn flake crumbs on hand to make sure you don’t run out.  I also used canola oil for the frying.  Here is the original recipe but I doubled the recipe when I made them.
2 eggs
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 pound chicken cutlets, cut into bite-size (1 ½ - inch pieces)
Corn flake crumbs
Oil for frying
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
1/3 cup hot sauce (I use Franks)
Sliced chives to garnish (optional)

1.       Preheat the oven to 350° F.  In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the garlic powder and onion powder.  Dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then coat with cornflake crumbs.
2.       In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Fry the coated chicken pieces in the oil on both sides until golden and crispy.  Let drain on paper towels for a few minutes, then transfer the chicken to a baking pan.
3.       In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients.  Pour the sauce over the fried chicken.  Bake the chicken, covered for 20 minutes (do not overbake).  Spoon the sauce from the bottom of the pan over the chicken, garnish with the chives, if desired, and serve warm.  Serves 4-6.

Mini Mushroom Beef Sliders

We LOVE mushrooms here in the Matten house, so I was especially excited to try out this recipe.  I didn’t have Worcestershire sauce in the house so I substituted teriyaki sauce instead, and the mushrooms came out great!  I also added slightly less salt to the recipe as well.  I baked the caps for half the time top down, then flipped them and baked them top side up for the remaining time.  Be prepared to fend off the hungry crowd until they are done – the aromatic spices make the sliders smell great while they are grilling!
20 large white mushrooms
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
1 pound chuck ground beef
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon basil, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 egg beaten
½ cup bread crumbs
16 mushroom stems minced
Barbecue sauce
10 fresh basil leaves
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (10 slices total)
Fresh rosemary sprigs, to garnish

1.       Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Remove the mushroom stems from the caps.  Mince the stems and set aside for making the sliders.  On a baking sheet, spray the mushroom caps with nonstick cooking spray and drizzle with the Worcestershire sauce.  Sprinkle the caps with the salt and black pepper.  Bake, uncovered for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven.
2.       In a bowl, combine the ground beef, herbs, garlic, salt, black pepper, egg, bread crumbs, and minced mushroom stems.  Form into small patties the same size as the mushroom caps.  Grill the patties on an indoor or outdoor grill or sear in a nonstick skillet in hot oil for 4-5 minutes per side.
3.       To assemble the sliders, spread the barbecue sauce on the insides of two mushroom caps.  Place a patty on one mushroom cap, add a basil leaf and a slice of tomato, and top with the other mushroom cap.  Garnish with a sprig of rosemary: stick the sprig through the top of the mushroom cap and pierce all the way through. (This will also help keep the slider intact.) Yields 8-10 burgers.

No-Bake Cheesecake Mousse

7/8 cup (1 ¾ sticks) butter
4 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons sugar
4 containers 9% soft cheese (I use Tnuva or Norman’s)
1 ¼ cups confectionsers sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
1.       Preheat the oven to 350° F.  In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dough crumbs until the mixture is crumbly.  Press two-thirds of the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9 ½ - inch springform pan to form and even crust.  Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
2.       In a baking pan, bake the remaining one-third of the dough crumbs for 25 minutes.  Transfer the baked crumbs from the pan to a sealable plastic bag and crush to form fine crumbs.  Set aside.
3.       To prepare the cheese filling:  Whip the heavy cream with the sugar.  Set aside.
4.       Beat the soft cheese with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla sugar.  Fold gently into the heavy cream.  Pour the mixture over the baked crust and sprinkle with the fine crumbs.  Refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving.  Serves 10.

All the ingredients....
 Seasoned egg and corn flake crumbs....
 Fry them in canola oil...
 All golden brown....
 Done!  Now for the sauce..
 Combine the sauce ingredients....
 Stir until smooth...SO simple!!
 Pour it over the chicken....
SO saucy & delicious!!
 Thanks Esther!
These are fast & fabulous!!

All the ingredients in a bowl...
 Can you count 10 patties?
 They don't call me the "gadget queen" 
for nothing!
Check out the stove top mini slider pan!
 Cover with the lid to keep the heat
in and make the cool grill marks on top!
 Fabulous!  Simply Fabulous!!
 Burgers are done, now the mushrooms!
 Mushrooms are done!
 A little BBQ sauce in the middle....
 Put it all together...
So beautiful I'm nearly speechless!

Kosher Everyday is dedicated to the memory of my father
Dr. Theodore Saltzberg - Tuvia Ben Nachum Z”L
May his memory be for a blessing - Yihi zichro baruch.

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at,, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
The Chicago Tribune Syndication,
 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!!

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  1. You sure advertise the book well :)

    Will check if it's available in our local Judaica store.

    1. Great! Please let me know when you find's a fabulous book!

  2. Thank You Sharon, your review was both informative and fun! I'm glad that some of my family favorites became yours. It was a pleasure meeting you at kosherfest. Wishing you much continued success!
    Esther Deutsch