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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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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.

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

Gluten Free dinner rolls

28 Dec

Today I used Glutino’s mix for bread to make their recipe tor Dinner rolls(Challah will be a bigger challenge)..It looks so strange and the texture is so different, I have no idea how this will turn out.   In the oven now…Will follow up with pictures

Thanksgiving Dinner Prep

21 Nov

Today,I prepped most of the food to bring to dinner tomorrow. So far,Roast turkey, already carved.  Stuffing, two types of cranberry sauce, twice baked sweet potatoes,roast  vegetables , gluten etables-free brownies, soon apple crisp, soon curried carrots, steamed green beans ( finishing with margarine, garlic and pecans at her kitchen).  potato kugel,

Still have to finish the gravy and biscuits…..

 

OOh there’s also chocolate pecan pie. yum

Chef Helen

561-676-2078

www.helenshomecooking.com

banana muffins

7 Nov

need to add more sugar to this!

http://www.catcancook.com/awesome-banana-muffin-recipe/

About to try this recipe!

Chef Helen

561-676-2078

HOMEMADE POPCORN

30 Oct

http://www.ehow.com/how_4585224_make-homemade-popcorn.html

aMAZING HOW LITTLE i NEEDED , MAYBE $10 CENTS WORTH TO MAKE A DUTCH OVEN FULL.!

Thanksgiving Dinner Planning

15 Oct

I am planning out a Thanksgiving dinner for a client .   turkey, stuffing sweet potatoes, veggies, pumpkin or butternut squash soup, potato kugel and desserts.  Yum!

Who else needs meals or side dishes for turkey day?

561-676-2078  chefhelen@helenshomecooking.com  www.helenshomecooking.com

Food Product Creation and Development

26 Aug
Dry TVP flakes are an inexpensive protein sour...

Dry TVP flakes are an inexpensive protein source when purchased in bulk and can be added to a variety of vegetarian dishes or used as an imperceptible meat extender or supplement to bulk out a meat dish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a student at Queens College /CUNY, the most interesting course that I took was in Experimental Food Science.  We had to create a recipe and test variations and create a publishable (as in the Journal of the AMA, or other professional publications) article after taste testing the variations on random subjects.  I did a standard beef meatloaf recipe and tested it with increasing ratios of TVP.(Textured Vegetable Protein).  We then had to get a suffficiently large random sampling taste tested and the result was a 50/50 meat/TVP was palatable, when we used more than half of TVP the result was too grainy and did not taste of meat.

I still use these skills today.  I taste test variations on recipes that clients have whether for their own use or commercial use.  I have the skills that could help any small or start up food manufacturer in their testing phase and assist in marketing.

Who do you know that needs these skills today?  Are you looking for research done to take your product for commercial use and see whether it is viable?  I have the skills to to do this on a small scale and lower budget than the larger concerns that will cost you tems of thousands in cash…You can also start  with me as a part time employee and then upgrade to full focus groups etc with the tens of thousands in funds it will  cost.

Call Chef Helen at 561-676-2078 or email today at chefhelen@helenshomecooking.com

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

German Potato Salad by Ilse (my mom)

11 Jul

My mother got this recipe from her mother..It was a staple in our home for many years.  By brother-in-law Alan ( jokes?)  that he married into the family just for the Potato Salad (Yes it is that good!)

My mother always made this in larger portions, while we don’t eat nearly as much…The main thing with this recipe is that the potato are still hot when the other ingredients are mixed in.  If it is not eaten warm, forget it.  This is not a recipe that works well for leftovers.

Recipe for 3 to 4 people

3 to 4 Large Baking Potatoes

1 onion, diced

Salt and pepper

White vinegar (cheapest, un-fanciest works best

3 to 4 TBsp. or a dollop of Mayonnaise

1 Tbsp or a splash of Cooking oil (canola or vegetable oil, not olive oil)

Starting with cold water to cover potatoes by an inch or two, bring water to boil and boil for about 15 minutes until fork tender.  Holding potatoes by the aforementioned fork, peel potatoes with paring knife and put in mixing bowl.  Slice thinly and put back into bowl with diced onion, salt and pepper to taste,  mayo and vinegar, mix.  If potatoes are sufficiently hot, it will start to melt in. Add   a “splash” of salad oil, taste for salt and pepper and serve hot.

 

We typically ate this with cold cuts or hot dogs….

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

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-..

2 step Pound Cake per cindy

22 May

from Cindy Yagoda Markowitz

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
    3 cups sugar
    1 pound butter, softened
    3/4 cup milk
    6 eggs
    2 tsp. vanillaPlace flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla (in that order) in 4 qt. bowl  Beat at low speed for 1 minute.  Scrape down sides, beat on medium for 2 minutes.
    Pour into greased and floured 10″ tube pan.
    Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour & 30 minutes or until done.  Cool in pan 10 minutes  Remove from pan, cool completely on wire rack.

Beer Bread

22 May
Bread Pans
Image by floodllama via Flickr

Beer Bread

3 cups self-rising flour

1/2 cup sugar

1  12 ounce bottle of beer (reg , light or non-alcoholic)

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted.

Stir together first 3 ingredients, pour into lightly greased 9 by 5 loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Pour melted butter on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Variation!  add 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives to dry ingredients….

Benefits of Hiring Chef Helen

27 Apr

I help busy people save time cooking for their families.

I help prepare the right foods so clients  will lose weight.

I help save people money on food…less waste as I prepare just what you want/need.

I teach people how to cook so they can find self-satisfaction.

I help people make healthy dietary choices

I help to keep families together at the dinner table.

Chametz Free

18 Apr

We cleaned everything up for Pesach and cooked up a storm…My son burnt the chometz outside on the grill and the garbage is being picked up now.  officially chometz free.

No bread ..oatmeal, cereal etc no regular salad dressings, soy sauce, mustard etc…..all packed up .  Since we planned ahead, there is less stuff packed away!  Organization has advantages!

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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Passover Preparation Continued

15 Apr

Dinner for tonight was made already.  Turkey meatballs, pasta leftover from last night, lentil soup,  salad, challah, wine . I will pick up some Stella D’oro cookies for tonight and tomorrow.

I cleaned off some of the shelves in the fridge and have little left to save that is chametz.  Still have a lot of fresh fruit.

If you did not already do the sale of chametz or need info on that go to www.chabad.org and look up Passover.  That way any Jew that inadvertently had chametz after thorough cleaning and search, will be ok.  You can also do this with your local Rabbi.  I did this online a week ago.

Chef Helen Gottesman

561-676-2078

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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