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Why I Love Cooking for My Clients

25 Jul

In a world where most jobs have us as “cogs in a wheel” working for low wages, without sight of a final goal for the company or ourselves.

Instead, as a Personal Chef I speak to people about what food means to eeds that would determine the choices of foods we will preparethem.  Is it simply for nourishment?  Must it be a work of art for them to enjoy it?  Are there specific dietary n

Time Magazine’s list of Broken New Years Resolutions Same as 2015?

30 Dec

Man plans, G-d laughs.

We make resolutions whether out loud, written or to ourselves.  According to Time Magazine, here is the list of most broken New Years resolutions.  How can we do better this year?

Do you need someone to guide you with exercise, relaxation, fiscal responsibility, educating yourself, or my favorite:  EATING BETTER.

I can help you with eating better and refer to some of the best local (South Florida) people to help you with the rest!

Do you need help planning menus?Are you looking for someone to prepare meals in your home that will address any health issues and will please the palate of everyone in your household?

Call Chef Helen at 561-676-2078 or email to schedule your free in-home pr phone consultation.

helen@helenshomecooking.com or check out my website at

http://www.helenshomecooking.com

Rosh HaShanah Dishes for the Soul

6 Sep

Rosh Hashana inspires dishes for the soul

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Personal chef Helen Gottesman of Helen’s Home Cooking prepares a kosher holiday meal. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Before Helen Gottesman looks into the depths of the new year, she glances back to remember the sweetest, most flavorful dishes of her childhood.

Rosh Hashana inspires dishes for the soul photo

The most vivid culinary memory of Rosh Hashanas past: Pflaumenkuchen, her Czech-German grandmother’s special plum tart.

“I remember the smell of the plums. My mother made a couple of dishes wonderfully, and one of them was my grandmother’s plum tart. She would use Italian prune plums. They came into season shortly before Rosh Hashana – and it was a short season,” recalls Gottesman, a New York native who works as a personal chef in Boynton Beach.

This is the great motif of Gottesman’s home cooking – comfort foods that pay homage to family memories. And as the Jewish New Year begins at sunset tonight, ushering in 10 days of reflection and repentance, she will greet it with prayer, introspection and kosher dishes reminiscent of her younger years in the Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood of Queens.

Rosh Hashana inspires dishes for the soul photo

“We would always have the matzo ball soup and, typically, challah,” says Gottesman, 55, who now bakes eight loaves of traditional challah bread at a time.

Helen Gottesman prepares her plum tart (or pflaumen kuchen). (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

And because Rosh Hashana exalts the sweetest of foods – as in honey-dipped apples to beckon happiness – there was always a piece of that ­fragrant, open-face plum tart, a culinary prayer for a sweet life.

Today, in accordance with her Orthodox Jewish faith, Gottesman keeps a kosher kitchen. But “kitchen” is a movable notion for a woman who turned a love of cooking Shabbat dinner for friends – and a knowledge of nutrition and kosher standards – into a small enterprise she calls Helen’s Home Cooking ( helenshomecooking.com).

Usually, she cooks in other people’s kitchens.

“Because I focus on kosher cooking and I keep kosher myself, I’m aware that people are particular about anything that comes into their house,” says Gottesman, who shares her home with husband. Robert, an educator, and 16-year-old son, Adir.

So when she cooked an early Rosh Hashana dinner at a friend’s home on a recent weeknight, Gottesman worked with fresh ingredients her friend had shopped for and brought only the items her friend was missing. While other mobile chefs may carry their own knives and trusty spice kits, she used her friend’s cooking vessels and kitchen utensils.

On the menu that day: one soul-warming comfort dish after another. She roasted a chicken with sweet potatoes, white potatoes and carrots, a sweet noodle kugel with sugar and apples, a batch of almond-flecked green beans, a steaming pot of matzo ball soup and her grandmother’s plum tart.

It’s the kind of cooking that stirs easy conversation with friends and clients.

“If I’m in their kitchen, I hear their food stories, what they like and what they don’t, what their idea of comfort food is. For some, it’s lasagna. You never know. It all depends where and how they grew up,” says Gottesman.

She says a lot of her clients are seniors who don’t cook for themselves anymore. “And they don’t like the takeout places. Typically, what they want is the comfort foods they grew up with,” says the chef.

She dreams of opening a healthy kosher café one day, “a place of coffee, homemade breads and vegetarian items.” But for now she cooks wherever a kitchen welcomes her.

“I love cooking,” says Gottesman. “When I start cooking, I can get a little carried away and my husband tells me, ‘Don’t you realize there are only three of us in this house?'”

PFLAUMENKUCHEN (PLUM TART) WITH MUERBETEIG DOUGH CRUST

TO MAKE THE CRUST:

1 cup margarine

3 cups flour

2 egg yolks

1 lemon

1/4 cup sugar

Cream margarine and sugar, add flour then egg yolks along with grated rind of lemon along with the juice. Chill dough for at least half an hour and then pat into large pie tin with fingers.

TO MAKE THE PLUM TART:

Muerbeteig dough

6-9 Italian prune plums

1 teaspoon sugar

Cut plums into eighths and place them skin side down in the pie pan starting with the outside going halfway up the side. When all of the space is covered, sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 30 minutes at 350º. Tart is done when crust is lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before serving.

ROAST CHICKEN WITH VEGETABLES

Serve with vegetables on the side.

1 chicken cut into eighths or serving size pieces

1 large sweet potato or 2 medium, peeled and cut into chunks

2 white potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 large onion sliced or cut into chunks

1 zucchini, sliced

Garlic, a few cloves

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced or diced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Paprika, to taste

In a roasting pan place bed of vegetables and mix them up and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, top with chicken pieces skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and paprika.

Place in preheated 350º oven. After 30 minutes, turn chicken pieces over and sprinkle salt and pepper and paprika on the chicken if you have not already done so. When this is done (it will be browned) turn chicken pieces back to skin side up and cook for another 30 minutes. (Cooking time is about 1 hour, 15 minutes to 11/2 hours.)

STRING BEANS ALMONDINE

1 to 11/2 pounds string beans

1 tablespoon margarine

1/4 cup almonds, slivered or sliced

1/4 red pepper, slivered

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut tips off string beans. Either leave beans whole or slice into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Place into boiling salted water until they are tender, but still bright green in color.

Drain the string beans. In the same pot, melt margarine and lightly sauté almonds. Add red pepper and cook to soften slightly. Then add the string beans to heat through.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon, and serve.

Recipes by Helen Gottesman,   http://www.helenshomecooking.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chef Helen has an email list join now

12 Jan

Chef Helen has an email list

Join my email list

Cooking tips, recipes and more

Mom’s Chicken Fricasee (via Chefhelen’s Blog)

29 Dec

Really easy for beginner cook!

This is my go-to dish for Friday night.  Cheap, easy and it can simmer an extra hour if dinner is delayed.

Mom’s Chicken Fricasee

1 chicken cut into eighths

1 lb. ground beef or turkey 1 onion, diced

1 jar tomato sauce oil spray.

Saute onion in oil and brown chicken pieces on both sides.  Add in the tomato sauce.  when sauce is simmering, (medium flame) add walnut-sized meatballs to sauce and cover.   Cook for 20 to 30 minutes.  Add a small … Read More

via Chefhelen’s Blog

Kosher Personal Chef in Non-Kosher World

4 Sep

Many of my current and prospective clients are non-Observant Jews in South Florida .  Since I am Observant, I spoke with my rabbi to see how I could cook for my clients in their home who do not keep kosher and still make a living doing this while following Jewish Law (Halacha) which prohibits giving non-kosher food to another Jew.

According to my Rabbi, I need to only offer Kosher meat to my clients, not give them any meat/dairy combinations, and no shellfish.

To accomplish this, I use the equipment the client has in their home (stoves, knoves, potas, pans) and offer an inclusive price for my services so I can offer only kosher food to my clients.  I will make a few dollars less and they get a better product.!!

Link

Kosher Personal Chef in a Non-Kosher world

4 Sep

Kosher Personal Chef in a Non-Kosher world

Chef Helen Gottesman cooks in South Florida

Baking Challah for Shabbos

16 Aug

http://www.helenshomecooking.com/Helen_s_Baking.html

Check it out.. Challah Baking for shabbos…speciaL BAKED GOODS AS WELL What will it be?  Apple cake?  Muffins? Kokosh?  Call or email to find out!

561-676-2078

helen@helenshomecooking.com in Boynton Beach, Fl

Sale in Personal Chef Services..Cure for the Summer Doldrums

15 Jul

Sale in Personal Chef Services..Cure for the Summer Doldrums.

Barley Mushroom Soup

9 Jun
This image shows a few dried mushrooms.

This image shows a few dried mushrooms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new client asked for this soup and after taste testing it.  I had to make it for us at home.  it is my new favorite!    the original recipe, which I adapted, is from Classic Kosher Cooking by Sara Finkel.

1 large onion

1 bay leaf crumbled

3 Tablespoons margarine

1/2 pound mushrooms sliced

2 Tablespoons flour

8 cups water

2/3 cup pearl barley  * I used 1 cup

1 stalk celery diced

1 carrot diced  ** I sed 3  for addl flavor and color

2 tsp salt or to taste

1/4 tsp pepper

**3 to 4 addl dried and reconstituted mushrooms (my addition)

Saute onion and bay leaf in margarine until tender

Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are golden, Push vegetables aside and stir in flour until smooth, Gradually stir in water, Add remaining ingredients  Bring to boil and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Serves 8

Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls..Traditional!!

12 Apr
matzo ball soup

matzo ball soup (Photo credit: derek7272)

Fill a small stock pot with water and add a bit of salt.  While this comes to a boil add chicken necks and backs (if you like not wasting the chicken) or some chicken thighs,  Once it comes to a boil, add 3 to 4 peeled and roughly chopped carrots, 2 turnips and 2 parssnips (also peeled and roughly chopped along with 2 ribs of celery. a large onion and few cloves of garlic.  allow to simmer for at lest two hours (covered or not).

The recipe on the package of matzoh meal lists 3 eggs, e/4 cup of matzoh meal and 1/4 tsp salt,  my rercipe is just a bit different.  Beat up the eggs in a small bowl, add the salt, water (1/2 an eggshell full for every 2 eggs) and some fresh chopped dill and or parsly.  Then add the matzoh meal.  When it is mixed, chill it in the fridge for an hour or more and the matzoh meal wuill have a chance to absorb the liquids.  At that time, with wet hands, make mrble walnut sized matzoh balls in your hands and drop them into the slowly boiling soup.  (If the soup is not boiling, the matzoh balls fall apart in the soup….yuck) Cover the soup and let it cook for another hour .  then serve with matzoh balls…

Tov Ta’am…yummy

For more details. call Chef Helen at 561-676-2078 or http://www.helenshomecooking.com helen@helenshomecooking.com

As my friend Jeff Popper answered when asked what a Matzoh Ball was, he answered, the only edible part of the matzoh

Skillet Dinner Recipe

3 Apr

Skillet Dinner Recipe.

How to use up your leftovers before Passover!!

Baked Meatballs…Yum

2 Apr

Baked Meatballs…Yum.

Check out the article about me in the Palm Beach Post last fall coming Again

8 Jul
Ou kosher

Image via Wikipedia

I will be included in an article in the next few weeks in the Accent Section.  Watch for it.

http://www.pbpulse.com/dining/2010/09/07/boynton-beach-kosher-chef-draws-on-childhood-for-..

Gluten Free Passover Foods

16 Apr
Potato flour.

Image via Wikipedia

For those of you that are on a gluten-free diet, get all you can of the potato starch and cake meal for Passover/Pesach on sale.  It is naturally gluten free!  Just look up the recipes on my website or on the net.

Sponge Cake

Potato kugel

zucchini kugel

Matzoh balls

Pesach cookies made with potato statch, ground nuts or cake meal (from the cakes made with potato starch).

Yum.

Skillet Dinner Recipe

16 Apr

Skillet Dinner Recipe.

1 pound greund beef or chicken or turkey)

1 onion diced

1 TYbsp oil

1 jar tomato sauce

water

1 red  or green pepper diced (optional)

5 to 8 ounces shaped pasta , such as ziti,elbows or farfalle

Pour 1 Tbsp oil into fry pan and heat on medium, add diced onion and diced pepper if you use it, until soft.  Add ground meat and break apart with a fork or wooden spoon as it browns.  When all browned, mix in jar of tomato sauce (I use Newman’s Own Marinara) and mix in,  Wait a minute and add about 6  to 8 ounces  of shaped pasta ,  then add about 1/2 jar of water.  Let cook on low to medium for about 10 minutes until pasta is cooked through… Yum

 

Chef Helen Gottesman 561=676=2078

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Salmon with Ginger, Soy and Lime Marinade

10 Mar

Salmon with Ginger, Soy Sauce and Lime

4 Salmon Steaks or Fillets

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Tbsp.  Lime Juice (freshly squeezed)

2 Tbsp. Freshly grated Ginger

2 Tbsp. Light Soy Sauce (Gluten Free preferred)

Add all ingredients (except salmon) into a glass  dish and lay salmon in marinade, (turning at least once) for about 2 hours in refrigerator. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees (or until fish flakes with fork).  Delicious served over greens such as braised kale.

 

recipes@helenshomecooking.com

www.helenshomecooking.com

Boynton beach, FloridaFeedback is appreciated!

String Beans Amondine/ Almondine

24 Feb

This is one of the recipes that I included in my featured article in the Palm Beach Post in August 2010.

String Beans Almandine

1 Tbsp. Margarine

¼ cup Almonds, slivered or sliced

Red pepper ¼ slivered

Salt and pepper

Cut tips off string beans and either
leave whole or slice into 1 to 2 inch pieces.  Place into boiling
salted water for about 8 to 10 minutes and taste for desired
doneness.Drain the string beans.  In the same
pot or another, melt margarine and lightly sauté almonds. Add red
pepper to soften and then the string beans to heat through.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and a squeeze of lemon and serve.

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