Articles by Norene  

Chanukah Delights!
by Norene Gilletz

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The chanukiyah is lit each of the eight nights of Chanukah, in honour of the miracle of a tiny jar of oil, sufficient to light the menorah for one day, burning for a full eight days. It is traditional to eat foods prepared with oil, such as potato latkes and sufganiyot (Israeli-style donuts filled with jelly).

Dairy dishes such as cheese latkes are also customary. The Jewish heroine Judith helped secure a victory for the Jewish forces by slaying Holofernes, the vicious general of the Greek army. She gave him salty cheese to eat, followed by strong wine to quench his thirst. The wine caused him to fall into a deep sleep. Judith seized the sword of Holofernes and slew him with it. His soldiers fled, resulting in the victory of the Macabees.

This year for your Chanukah celebration, why not prepare this delicious recipe for Tomatoes Greco. These stuffed tomatoes make a wonderful addition to a brunch menu or are ideal as a side dish for a dairy meal. You’ll love the tangy combination of feta cheese, red onions, oregano and long grain white rice baked inside plump red tomatoes, adding a Mediterranean accompaniment to any fish dish.

After tasting this tasty vegetable dish, I’m sure you will agree that “variety is the rice of life!” This recipe is courtesy of USA Rice Federation. Visit their website at www.riceinfo.com. Enjoy.

TOMATOES GRECO

8 large tomatoes
3 cups cooked rice, hot
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Remove tops of tomatoes and scoop out insides; drain upside-down on paper towels.

In a large bowl, combine rice, onion, cheese, oregano and salt. Spoon rice mixture into tomatoes, drizzle with oil and place in a 9x13-inch (3-litre) baking dish. Bake in the oven at 425°F until hot, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Makes 8 servings


For the dairy-sensitive individual, the list of foods to avoid seems endless. No cheeses, no creamy soups or sauces, no milk chocolate, cheesecake, ice cream, butter, cheese, lasagna, no Caesar salad. Many pre-packaged foods contain dairy as well.

Dr. Patricia Morales Fine was shocked when she discovered that she was allergic to milk. Then she learned she also was lactose-intolerant. When she eliminated dairy foods from her diet, her symptoms disappeared. However, Fine missed eating creamy soups, buttery sauces and rich desserts.

She experimented tirelessly and eventually created Elegant Dairy-Free Entertaining. In the comprehensive cookbook, Fine dispels the myth that rich and creamy recipes have to include dairy foods. She offers excellent alternatives to traditional dairy-laden recipes and includes many new recipes that will become family favourites. Although this is not a kosher cookbook, the kosher cook will find many helpful tips on how to cook pareve dairy-free recipes.

You’ll find recipes for Shamelessly Stuffed French Toast, Killer Smoked Salmon Dip, Chocolate Bread Pudding Surprise and Regret-Me-Not Brownies. There are beautiful photos, plus many tips on how to cook dairy-free, including dairy-free substitutions.

The inside cover includes helpful charts, including a Prohibited Ingredient Shopping List, Safety Rules for Dining Out, Safe Non-Dairy Substitutes and Watch Out for Hidden Dairy.

For Chanukah, be sure to try these light, airy pancakes with a hint of citrus. Perfect for breakfast or brunch, they are ideal for those on a dairy-free diet – or anyone else! Visit Fine’s website at www.dairyfreegourmet.com for more helpful information, resources and ordering information.

FLUFFY FLAPJACKS

3 large egg whites
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup Rice Dream (original)
1/2 tsp. pure lemon extract
1
/2 tsp. orange oil or extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 medium banana, sliced (optional)
1 recipe Seasoned Maple Syrup (below)

In a large bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form, then set aside. In a separate large bowl, beat yolks with Rice Dream and extracts. Slowly stir in flour, sugar and salt; then fold in whipped whites in three additions.

Heat canola oil on large griddle over medium heat. Then ladle pancake batter onto hot griddle for desired pancake size (about 1/4 cup per pancake). Flip the pancakes once edges are brown. Add canola oil as needed to keep pancakes from sticking.

Serve with warm Seasoned Maple Syrup.

Makes 4 servings. Garnish with roasted nuts, fresh fruit and syrup.

Variations: Press a few thin banana slices into each pancake just after pouring batter onto griddle.
Tips: Stir batter just before pouring each batch. The very last batch may lose some air and result in thinner flapjacks.

SEASONED MAPLE SYRUP

1 cup pure maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 medium pear, peeled and coarsely chopped (core removed)
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, mix all ingredients together. Simmer over low-medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until needed.

Makes 4 servings.

Variations: Use chopped apples, bananas and/or raisins instead of (or in addition to) the pear.
Tips: Avoid overly ripe fruit because it may disintegrate or turn mushy when heated.

Order Elegant Dairy Free Entertaining at Shop@Gourmania

   

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