Tag Archives: brownies

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three ways to make Passover Preparation Easier and Cheaper

8 Apr

Preparing Your home for a Kosher Week of Passover can be daunting!

You can do it if you stay away from convenience foods

Delicious Stuffed Cabbage for Passover


Stuffed Cabbage for Passover

and concentrate on proteins and vegetables and a few side items.

Simple menus and a bit of home cooking will make it delicious…and far healthier as most “convenience” foods are way too high in salt, sugar and not the freshest ingredients, hence lower in nutritional value.
Let me know if you need the recipe including diced fresh tomatoes, ketchup
and diced onions/ (We just ate it tonight, yummy)

Secondly. Baked boxes of cookies and cakes are running $10 and more during Passover. Avoid this. With 4 egg whites salt(a pinch), and cocoa with optional chocolate chips and nuts make over 50 meringues. Brownies will need 4 eggs, potato starch, sugar cocoa and chocolate chips or nuts make Platters of brownies.

Use the KISS method, Keep it Simple. Roast veggies, mashed potatoes with caramelized onions.

Call me for recipes or I can do the cooking for you
Chef Helen Gottesman
61.676.2078 Helen@helenshomecooking.com

Passover Prep. One day at a time

18 Mar

From 2 years ago. this bears repeating.
I am putting together recipes for a client (seder for 14), and my own family (two seder for 3 to 7 people.0

Since my client wants brisket, poached salmon for 5 , gefilte fish, brownies (no nuts!) and many of the usual side dishes, i am checking for the best possible recipes. I also have to plan on containers for each of us, foil pans, heavy duty foil(LOTS OF IT) for the counters as well as wrapping food for the client, parchment paper, special dish soap, a new salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, cinnamon etc.
So many of these staples need to be kosher for passover, extremely detailed laws concerning this….

Got recipes and most of shopping list together, but it is too early to shop. Need to be rid of all chametz. Such a challenge.
More on chametz tomorrow

Link

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

Gluten Free “blondies” for Pesach

12 Jan

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Since my husband has Celiac and can’t eat wheat, I was making brownies with potato starch and tried several recipes. Then, hubby decided no more chocolate or cocoa!

 

I looked over other brownie recipes and came up with this  which is enough for a small brownie pan.  It would be doubled or tripled for a 13 by 9 pan.

 

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2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3cup oil
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Beat eggs lightly, add oil, and mis again. then potato starch and coconut and add to greased paN, bAKE IN OVEN AT 350 FOR 20T 25 MIN UNTIL GOLDEN BrOWN . cool.cut and enjoy

Chef Helen Gottesman
561-676-2078 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 561-676-2078 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
helen@helenshomecooking.com helenshomecooking.com

Brownies and Challah Rolls coming to FNI meeting Friday

1 Feb

Chef Helen and Chef Shari (formerly (2chefsonthego) will be bringing samples of raspberry brownies and challah rolls ad other goodies to sample at the Free Networking International this Friday.  the meetings are held at Cypress Creek Country Club at 9400 Military Trail in Boynton Beach, Fl. at 8:15AM every Friday.  for more information see my website www.helenshomecooking.com and www.freenetworkinginternational.com.

To get samples of baked goods left in your office with our business cards, call Chef Helen at

561-676-2078

Gluten Free Brownies

11 May

I will be making these for Thanksgiving and adding in a few spoonfuls of raspberry jam to  the mixture.  Cant wait!

Gluten Free Brownies

4 whole eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

1/2 cup cocoa

3/4 cup potato starch

1/2 cup chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips

Mix eggs just until yolks and whites aree mixed then add the rest of the ingredients, mix until smooth. Bake in a 9 by 13 inch pan for 45 minutes at 350.

helen@helenshomecooking.com  561-676-2078

You can also order these to go from chef Helen as well as potato kugel and other side dishes Call in advance to make sure there is enough!