Shalom Life | December 23, 2014

The Nosh Pit - What Should I Bring to a Kosher Pot Luck?

Deciding what to bring to a pot luck can be challenging even when there are no restrictions! Check out these yummy kosher recipes to make for your next get together.

By: Sara Torvik

Published: November 10th, 2014 in Culture » Food » Recipes

The Nosh Pit - What Should I Bring to a Kosher Pot Luck?

It could get messy, but it will always be memorable. Every week in the Nosh Pit, we’ll lead the gathering of an impassioned group of foodies, offering delectable dishes, seasonal treats, and other goodies to nosh upon.

We’ll introduce the timely scenario – what to bring to an obligatory sports party or contribute to a spring picnic--and share some auspicious recipes. Spice up a soiree, diversify your dinner, or help convince those reluctant souls that ‘soy substitute’ is not synonymous with ‘stale.’

Recipes are best shared, passed from one sated soul to the next, with everyone adding just their own flair, and creating endless yummy possibilities. At a concert, people shed inhibition and share passion in a moment of synergy and excitement; they will do the same in the Nosh Pit, directing their unparalleled enthusiasm towards food.

Kosher Pot Luck Recipes

It can be hard to know what to bring to a potluck that will satisfy everyone’s tastes, especially if you intend on keeping it kosher. But with these delicious recipes you definitely can’t go wrong. Whether you’re looking to bring a main dish, a side dish, or a dessert, these recipes are the best of the best. And everyone in attendance, whether Jewish or not, will definitely be impressed with your culinary skills. Bon appetite!

All recipes this week are supplied by Tori Avey


Potato Crusted Roasted Vegetable Pot Pie

  • 3 1/2 cups peeled, finely shredded Russet potatoes (about 2 1/4 lbs. potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Filling Ingredients

  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 2 cups shallots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch rounds, then halved
  • 2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

You will also need

  • large wire mesh strainer, plastic wrap, 10 inch pie plate, 9 x 13 x 3 inch baking or roasting pan

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. To make the potato crust: Use a food processor fitted with the fine grater attachment -- or a handheld fine grater -- to grate the potatoes. (The former is much easier!) After the potatoes are grated, add them to a large strainer held over a large bowl. Then use your hands to squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the potatoes. Potatoes have a very high water content, so you'll be surprised at the quantity of liquid; you can actually "wring out" the potatoes!

Add the potatoes to a large mixing bowl with the olive oil, salt, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, egg, and a few turns of pepper. Mix until everything is evenly incorporated. Remove about 1 1/4 cup of this mixture and set it aside in the refrigerator, covered tightly with plastic wrap, pressed down directly on the potatoes -- this will be the top crust of the pie.

Gently press the remaining potato mixture into a 10 inch pie plate, covering the bottom and sides evenly.

If it seems any excess moisture has collected, use a paper towel to press down gently on the top surface.

Place the filled pie plate in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes -- the edges should be beginning to brown. Now reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue cooking for about another 10 minutes, until the bottom is only slightly golden brown or dry.

Remove the crust from the oven and turn the heat up to 475 degrees F.

To make the filling: add the carrots, shallots and sweet potato to a 9 x 13 x 3 inch baking or roasting pan. Toss them with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place this in the preheated oven and roast until all of the vegetables are tender and nicely browned, about 45 minutes. Stir the vegetables every 15 minutes or so. (The sweet potato will become mushy -- and that's what we want, as it will cause the filling of the pie to thicken!)

Add the zucchini, garlic and thyme to the roasting pan and mix to combine. Then return the pan to the oven for another 15 minutes, to soften the zucchini. Reduce the oven heat to 400 degrees F.

Pour the wine and vegetable stock over the roasted vegetables. Use a wooden deglazing spatula to incorporate the liquid into the vegetables and to scrape off any caramelized bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. (These bits are part of what make this so delicious!)

Season with salt and pepper to taste and carefully pour the mixture into the prepared potato crust.

Remove the reserved potato mixture from the refrigerator, and if necessary, squeeze it again with your hands to remove any excess liquid. Then evenly distribute it across the top of the pie. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Try to seal the potatoes on the top of the pie with the precooked edges along the top rim. Don't worry if the there are areas where the vegetables show through.

Place the pie in the oven and bake until the top crust becomes golden brown, about 20 minutes. If it hasn't become brown and crisp, place it under the broiler for about a minute.

Let the pie rest for at least 45 minutes before serving.

Roasted Stuffed Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 4 long, purple eggplants (Chinese or Japanese style)
  • 9 tbsp olive oil, divided (or more, if needed)
  • 12 large, whole cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 large onion sliced into very thin, half-moon style slices (almost 2 cups)
  • 2 sweet cubanella peppers, very thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, finely diced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 large tomato, grated

Peel the eggplants in stripes, salt the exterior of the eggplant generously, and set aside for 45 min. Don't chop the tops off. You can cut the extra leafy part around the stem with kitchen scissors, but you do not have to.

Pour 1/3 cup of olive oil in a deep saute pan. Add onions, whole cloves of garlic, and cubanella peppers. Saute them until onion is transparent. Stir frequently to prevent browning of onions and garlic. This is one of the key steps to Imam Bayıldı.

After onions are cooked, add finely diced tomatoes, chopped parsley, salt, pepper and sugar into the saute pan. Cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, cover and let it cool.

Wash the eggplants, dry. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pan, fry the eggplants on each side until they are golden brown (1-2 min). Add more olive oil if needed to fry the rest. Set the eggplants in a baking dish to cool.

Slit an opening in the middle of the eggplant half way through. Don't cut all the way through the eggplant. Make the opening little bigger with your fingers. You want it to look like a canoe.

Equally divide the filling among four eggplants. Stuff them well.

Pour the grated tomato into the baking pan, cover the pan with aluminum foil. Make several slits on the foil to let the steam escape.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until the eggplants are cooked thoroughly.

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Cake Ingredients

  • 10 oz. premium quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 oz. toasted hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp kosher powdered sugar (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup premium quality cocoa powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut paste (recipe below)
  • 2 tsp strong brewed espresso, cooled completely
  • 2 tsp hazelnut liqueur
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Fresh raspberries

Hazelnut Paste Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb roasted hazelnuts (skins removed)
  • 2 tbsp egg whites (about 2 egg whites)
  • 1 cup Passover Powdered Sugar (recipe below- or, buy Passover-approved powdered sugar))
  • 1 tsp hazelnut liqueur

Passover Powdered Sugar Ingredients (recipe from Martha Stewart)

  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • 2 cups granulated sugar

You will also need

  • Springform pan, electric mixer, parchment paper, food processor, nonstick cooking spray
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and adjust the rack to the middle of the oven.
  • Cut a 9 inch circle of parchment paper to line a 9 inch spring form pan.
  • Lightly, with nonstick cooking spray, spray the bottom of the pan, place the parchment into the bottom, and then lightly spray again, (spray-paper-spray) and set aside.
  • Melt chocolate over water in a Bain Marie, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once the chocolate is melted, set it aside to cool.
  • Add the egg whites to the bowl of an electric mixer, attach the whisk. Begin to whisk the egg whites on medium speed until they become bubbly and foamy. Then increase speed to high and whisk egg whites until they just begin to become soft peaks.
  • Gradually add in 1/3 of the sugar and continue to whisk for an additional minute. Eggs should be in between soft and hard peaks.
  • Using a spatula, gently remove egg whites and transfer them into another clean bowl – set aside.
  • In a bowl of a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts with the powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt to form a fine, sand like mixture. Do not overprocess.
  • In the bowl of the electric mixer, combine the butter and ¾ cup of sugar. With the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the Hazelnut Paste (recipe below), scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula – mix until well combined. Add in the yolks one at a time and mix until combined.
  • Mix in the espresso and vanilla extract, followed by the melted chocolate – mix until just combined. Gently fold in the hazelnut mixture from the food processor. Fold in the egg whites in thirds until just combined – do not over mix.
  • Place the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 50 - 55 minutes. The finished cake will be slightly cracked and puffy.
  • Once removed from the oven, the cake will fall in the middle (don’t worry, it is suppose to). Allow to cool slightly then place into the refrigerator to cool completely and become firm (at least 4 – 6 hours or overnight). Do not try to unmold or slice while warm, the cake will fall apart and appear uncooked.
  • Unmold the sides, serve with vanilla ice cream and raspberries – garnish with Passover Powdered Sugar.

To Make Hazelnut Paste

  • In a food processor, finely grind the nuts until mealy. Add egg whites, confectioners' sugar and liqueur. Blend until paste forms. Wrap and store in a covered container, up to 2 weeks.

To Make Passover Powdered Sugar

  • Regular powdered sugar contains cornstarch, which is considered kitniyot (some Ashkenazi Jews will not eat kitniyot during Passover). You can purchase Passover Powdered Sugar at many kosher markets. To make your own, In a food processor, combine potato starch and sugar (according to amounts above). Process until mixture is very powdery and resembles confectioners' sugar, about 2 minutes. Allow to settle for about 1 minute before removing processor cover.

Find more yummy pot luck recipes from Tori Avey on the next page!

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