Sunday, March 1, 2015

Purim, Wedding & Green Garlic

Yes!  I made it!!!
Mazel Tov!  We have a new daughter!  No, I didn’t have to go through nine months of pregnancy for our addition. Baruch Hashem we were blessed with the simcha of our son’s marriage to our beautiful new daughter-in-law a few weeks ago!  This is the first wedding in our family and boy was it fun!  We danced and danced and danced some more until the band finished playing with overtime. The shtick our friends and family came up with was magical!  I even made the wedding cake, which was definitely a labor of love.

With the wedding feasting over, I really wanted to do a reset to healthier eating.  I was also a little worried that things would be too slow, too quiet, too boring!  Then I realized - in the Matten home life is never boring!!  There are always things happening between the usual chaos in our home and my work, plus with Purim around the corner there is lots of planning and baking to be done. 

To embrace the healthier eating goal, I made a trip to my favorite mega produce store - Jerry's.  Trips to Jerry's are always inspirational as there are regularly new and interesting fruits and vegetables to be found.  I drive the workers there a little crazy asking about how to cook some of the wackier produce I’ve discovered.  This time one of the new items I came across was Green Garlic.  It looks a lot like scallions, has the smell and zesty flavor of garlic, but with a milder garlicky taste.  Healthy and delicious.  In addition to the recipes below, I used it in roasted vegetables which gave them a rich, but not too strong, garlic flavor.  You could probably use it in any salad or side dish that requires crushed garlic.

Fresh Green Garlic-looks like scallions right?
With my healthy eating plan in place it’s time to plan for Purim.  Our family loves embracing the fun of having goofy costumes and a silly theme for our mishloach manot.  Last year our theme was Good “Purim” Humor, and we all dressed up with an Ice Cream Truck theme with our kids as Ice Cream Bars, Ice Cream Cones, Ice cream Sandwiches and Ice Cream Truck men.  Our mishloach manot contained types of mock ice cream treats.  It was chillingly good.  We even dressed up our minivan like an Ice Cream Truck and loudly played the Ice Cream Truck song out of our open windows while making our Purim deliveries!  Clues about this years Purim theme are: our family loves sci-fi, blue boxes, and things that are bigger on the inside. 

Here are some of our Purim (and everyday!) favorites that you can make for family and friends for your Purim seudah . I’d love to hear about your own creative Mishloach Manot Themes.  Chag Sameach & Healthy Eating!

Green Garlic Asian Green Bean Salad      (6-8 servings)
Ask your local produce seller for green garlic.  I had to ask a manager who knew where to find it.  If you can’t find it at your local produce store you can substitute a clove of regular garlic for 2 stalks of Green Garlic.  Also, make sure you use toasted sesame oil.  It give a stronger “sesame” flavor and allows you to use less oil than the untoasted variety.
3 pounds fresh green beans trimmed
2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoon (gluten-free) soy sauce
2-3 stalks Green Garlic, thinly sliced diagonally
¼ cup sliced almonds

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Working in two batches, add the green beans and boil for 3 minutes.  Immediately remove the beans from the pot to a strainer and rinse with cold water.  Transfer the beans to a large bowl.  Using the same boiling water that was used for the first batch, boil the second batch of green beans for 3 minutes, rinsing with cold water when done.  Transfer to the large bowl of beans.  Add the toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, green garlic, sliced almonds and toss until combined. Serve cold as a salad or warm as a side dish.

Green Garlic Spinach Penne (serves 4-6)
This is a particularly pretty dish with the bright green of the garlic, scallions and spinach bursting through the penne.  If you can't find green garlic locally you can substitute a clove or two of regular  garlic.  You can make this dish gluten free by using gluten free penne.  To make this dish lighter use two tablespoons of butter instead of four.
1 pound (gluten free) penne, cooked & drained
3 green garlic stems, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter
10 ounces fresh spinach
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Melt butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the green garlic and spinach, then sauté until the spinach is wilted.  Toss in the scallions and salt.  Serve warm topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Puff Pastry Hamentashen Two Ways (makes 3-4 dozen each recipe)
4 sheets puff pastry, defrosted

Filling Options:
1 14.75 ounce cans salmon (pink or red)
1 ¼ cups bread crumbs, or more if necessary
2 large eggs
1 small onion, finely diced
½ cup ketchup
Place the cans of salmon in a large bowl. Do not drain. Crumble the salmon with your hands (I wear kitchen gloves) to make sure there are no lumps or hard pieces. Add the bread crumbs, eggs, onion, and ketchup. Mix until smooth. If the mixture seems too moist add more bread crumbs – but make sure that the mixture isn’t too dry.

Cucumber Dill Sauce
2 medium cucumbers, peeled
1 ½ cups lowfat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
Process the cucumbers in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add mayonnaise and dill and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer to a container with a lid and refrigerate until ready to serve with the Puff Pastry Salmon Hamentashen.

2 pounds Idaho Potatoes (around 6 medium)
1 large Vidalia or Sweet onion, finely diced (around 2 ½ cups)
1 garlic clove, minced (or one frozen garlic cube)
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cover pot and reduce burner temperature to low. Cook the potatoes covered for 45 minutes until tender when pricked with a fork. Remove the potatoes from the water and allow them to cool completely. This step can be done a day in advance, just keep the potatoes in the refrigerator until ready to use. Peel the cooled potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large (preferably non-stick) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and sugar and sauté until the onion is golden brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally, around 20 minutes. You may need to reduce the temperature of the flame if the onion starts to burn rather than caramelize.
Using a fork or potato masher, mash the potatoes until there are no large lumps. Add the caramelized onions. Reserve the skillet from the onions – you will use it to caramelize the sliced onions. Mix the onions and potatoes until thoroughly combined. Add the salt and eggs. Stir until smooth with a fork, removing any remaining lumps.
To make the Hamentashen:
Preheat oven to 400˚F or 375˚F if using a convection oven. Line 3 large cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
Roll a sheet of puff pastry dough to 9x11 inches. Use a round (fluted if possible) cookie cutter to cut circles from the puff pastry dough. Using a scooper or tablespoon to scoop the salmon mixture or potato mixtureonto the puff pastry circles. Pinch into triangle hamentashen. Bake for 15 minutes until browned. Serve warm or cold with topping the salmon filled ones with Cucumber Dill Sauce. 

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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