Tag Archives: Cooking

Enjoy Dinners Professionally Prepared in Your Home

21 Mar

Chef Helen prepares weekly meals for you and your family

Meal plans from as little as $25.00 per person!

Experienced in kosher, Gluten-Free, Salt Free and Sugar Free Diets and more.

Call today for your free consultation! 561-676-2078 helen@helenshomecooking.com

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28 Dec

3 tips to make cooking easier and healthier by ChefHelen

2 May

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Too many people are eating frozen food and take out food on a daily basis these days.

I am told that my being willing and able to prepare dinners from scratch is unusual. I like being able to decide how well done a dish is or how much seasoning goes in

First. Keep it simple. If you are a novice cook or very busy. Think of what flavors you. like…sharp like Parmesan.. sweet like. honey? find quick cooking proteins like a steak or chicken cutlets or salmon fillets. Find what spice rubs you can use or herbs go easily with each dish.

Skip the one color plate. To make food appealing avoid a white plate with white foods , a brown plate with brown foods etc, Vary the colors and textures of what you are eating and serving. If everything must be one color try a tiny bit of parsley (ideally fresh, dried will still add color) or diced red pepper) (the mini peppers at the fruit markets are ideal for this.)

Thirdly, ask at the fruit market if they can recommend something new, We all get into a comfort zone and find ourselves with the same dishes over and over. I found dragonmfruit a few months ago that way and haven’t looked back.

Fourth, *you thought I would stop at three? Hah! As a Personal Chef I always give a little more that I agreed to. There is always room for a little extra stir fry, a pasta made with bits and pieces left in your fridge or a simple dessert.

Check out my website at http://www.helenshomecooking.com for menu items and call me at 561-676-2078 to found out about my in your home cooking lessons and dinners professionally prepared by me in your home.
Emails with comments are also appreciated at chefhelen@helenshomecooking.com

How kosher should we be?

23 Aug

I recently spoke to an old friend who told me her grown son had become completely kosher .As neither of us grew up in a completely observant environment I was impressed by the change in her son.

Then I met him again and we started talking.  I was curious to find out exactly what he considered totally kosher.  According to him eating Glatt kosher meat is all you have to do.  I told him that is just part of it.  when I started keeping kosher over 25 years ago, I started with no obvious combinations of meat and dairy, no shellfish (hard for me to give that up!!) and no pork.  I ate in generic restaurants and the cafeteria at the company I worked for in NY and was very proud of myself for doing that.  Then as a cook/chef I realize they just cooked a cheeseburger on that grill, or a slice of bacon in that pan, ,, what was I thinking??  I started reading books about kashrut. I learned a lot.  Without completely different pots, pans, stoves, knives, cutting boards, and sinks it is virtually impossible to keep kosher in your own home.

 

Some people also think that a slice of plain cheese pizza in a generic pizza joint is OK.  Oh contraire!  Just because a kosher person chooses to keep meat and dairy separate.  most pizza joints have no problems putting meat drippings or actual meat in the tomato sauce to flavor it.  There goes the separation of meat and dairy!! 

 

Then there is the bread and cake.  A generic restaurant is likeliest to lard (pig fat) to get the flakiest pie crust.  They have no reason not to.  Many places will use lard to grease their bread pans as it can be cheaper than vegetable oil and since it is not actually IN the bread there is no need to list in on the ingredients.  Think of that for vegetarians as well!

 

Unless you have a mashgiach on premises in a commercial setting you can’t be sure what you are dealing with.  If you have a trademarked kosher symbol like the “OU” or “OK” or a local organization like the ORB here in South Florida you can’t be sure what you’re getting is kosher.

 

Just my two cents. Tell me what you think.

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

Pesach Kosher Dinner Menus

8 Jan

I am starting to get calls about catering seders for groups for the Passpver seder. This year (2013/ 5773) Passover begins on March 26th. I am able to prepare food in my client’s home or kosher commercial kitchen. The most requested dinner items have traditionally been turkey or brisket. This year I have have been hearing from people looking at options at a lower cost (also healthier) such as shicken or capon..
I would of course prepare the traditional Seder plates, sides such as tsimmes and potato kugel,appetizer such as as gefilte fish and desserts as well as traditional matzoh ball soup. I have not figured out pricing exactly but we are probably talking about $36/per person with 10 or more people.

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

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