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November 11, 2013, Estee Kafra

Front coverIt is with great excitement that I include here a recipe from Estee Kafra, the talented and creative genius behind the website Kosher Scoop. And that description doesn’t even include what a fine and genuine person I think she is. Although Estee’s website has been up and going for about 18 months (need to check this!!), Estee is hardly new to the gastronomic world. She is the author of two cookbooks, written for Binah magazine for several years and has just this month published a new cookbook, Estee Kafra’s Cooking Inspired. Estee kindly sent me a copy of her gorgeous new cookbook, a review which can be found below.

 

 

To open the pages of Cooking Inspired is to be transported to a world of culinary possibility, of culinary beauty, to a place where it is impossible NOT to be inspired.  Estee, a talented photographer herself, imbues every page with inspiration. Her creativity is vividly emblazoned in each of her recipes but as importantly, in the way the food is garnished and housed and then photographed.

Which is not to say that Estee’s food is unapproachable. On the contrary. One of the most endearing qualities of Estee’s food is that she uses simple, easy to purchase ingredients and then transforms them easily into dishes that are sublime and beautiful. Her passion is clearly stamped on the recipes but also in what she suggests should be everyday inspirations for all of us – the touch of a child’s hands, the flowing bins of rhubarb in the spring and the crisp crunch of a fresh apple in the fall.

For a “regular” cookbook, this collection abounds with choices for the gluten sensitive population. The meat courses range from Moroccan Chicken, Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce (an Argentinian specialty), to Capons With Vegetable Stuffing and Roast Beef. The Israeli breakfast delicacy Shakshuka is included, as is a wonderful eggplant dip and a colorful Asian appetizer. Cedar planked Salmon with Maple Glaze is a highlight of the Fish Chapter. One of the most appealing things in this book is that there is absolutely something for everyone. Estee clearly has her fingers on the pulse of Jewish cooking in North America today.

Estee Kafra’s Inspired Cooking is the perfect choice for a Chanukah gift. It can be purchased online at Amazon.com and through her website, www.KosherScoop.com.

Other new cookbooks that are of note, include Jamie Geller’s new Joy Of Kosher, Fast, Fresh, Family Recipes, Paula Shoyer’s new tome of baking goodies, The Holiday Kosher Baker: Traditional & Contemporary Desserts, Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek’s lovely new addition to their series, Kids Cooking Made Easy.

 

 

 

Roasted Citrus Quinoa Salad

Estee Salad

Quinoa is always a healthy and easy side dish. The orange juice in this recipe gives this version a tasty twist. It goes especially well with fish and poultry dishes.

  • Yield:      8-10

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained -
  • 2 1/3 cups water -
  • 1 cup orange juice -
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil -
  • 2 tsp honey -
  • 1 tsp kosher salt -
  • black pepper, to taste -
  • 2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments -
  • 1 cup toasted, slivered almonds, pecans, or pine nuts
    (optional) -
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley or 2 scallions,      finely chopped -

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In a 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) baking pan, combine the quinoa with water, juice, oil, honey, salt, and pepper, mixing gently. Bake uncovered for half hour, stirring once during that time. Cool to room temperature and add orange segments, nuts, and greens before serving.

 tip 
To make preparation easier, bake the quinoa ahead. Add remaining ingredients right before serving.

 

 

Quinoa Pilaf

Estee phot

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa -
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided -
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, chopped -
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar -
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted -
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries -
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper -

Instructions:

1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions.

2. Heat a saucepan with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the brown sugar to the pan and stir until it’s dissolved. Cook over low heat for about 5 more minutes, until the onion is soft and light brown in color.

3. Place the quinoa in a mixing bowl and add the caramelized onions, sunflower seeds and cranberries.

4. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and toss it again with the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Kitchen Tip:  Quinoa can be interchanged with whole-wheat couscous. Prepare the couscous according to the package directions and then follow the rest of this recipe.