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The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine
Saturday, June 23 2018 @ 11:21 PM EDT
The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine
Saturday, June 23 2018 @ 11:21 PM EDT
The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine

New Cookbook, Starters & Sides Made Easy, Arrives Just in Time for the Holidays

The latest cookbook in the popular “Made Easy Series” by authors Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek, shines the spotlight on delicious starters and side dishes sure to enhance any meal.

Who doesn’t love a good main course?  But why should main courses get all the attention?  For any meal to truly shine with creativity, elegance, or just plain fun, it needs a good opening act and side kick.  This fall a new cookbook delivers 60 easy-to-make kosher recipes that focuses the spotlight on meal co-stars.

STARTERS & SIDES MADE EASY by Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek (Artscroll/August 2013; Softcover/$15.99) puts the "wow" into side dishes and appetizers. Like their previous book, Passover Made Easy, Starters & Sides has full color photos for each recipe along with plating and serving suggestions, making it easy to plan an easy and incredible meal. With the Jewish High Holidays just around the corner in early September, this book is a must-have.

All of Victoria and Leah’s recipes are triple-tested, unique, and made with ingredients that are readily available and include "Ahead" tips that will keep home cooks organized and de-stressed. Starters & Sides Made Easy also features a handy Spice Guide, a "Plate It!" section showing unique serving ideas, and "Building Blocks" - essential information for preparing the basics, like rice, potatoes, and roasted vegetables.

“When I am entertaining or having the family over for a holiday meal I don’t want my kitchen to be messy when guests arrive,” Victoria explains. “I like to prepare everything in advance, pull it out of the fridge or freezer and pop in in the oven, so Leah and I added ‘Ahead’ tips for every recipe in this book.”

“When I am looking for a side dish to go with a dinner, I want something quick and easy to make,” says Leah.  “But sometimes easy doesn’t always mean quick. The recipes in our book are about having ideas you love at your fingertips or using ingredients that you can find at your local supermarket.”

Some Leah and Victoria’s delicious recipes in Starters & Sides include:

-          Coleslaw Balls with Jalapeno Dip
-          Broccoli-Stuffed Artichokes
-          Tomato Tart
-          Green Bean, Basil and Pecan Salad
-          Forbidden Black Rice with Mango and Peaches
-          Corned Beef and Spinach Spring Rolls
-          Tangy Meat Pizzas (Lehme B’agine)
-          Falafel Cigars
-          Sweetbreads with White Wine-Parsley Sauce
-          Crunchy Tempura Roll
-          Sea Bass with Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade
-          Seared Pepper Tuna with Gemelli Salad
-          Sweet Potato and Leek Quiche
-          Peach Cracker Crumble
-          Whiskey Sweet Potatoes

You don’t have to been Jewish or keep Kosher to love the array of easy and delicious recipes that anyone will love. For Shabbos and holiday meals, for entertaining, or just a weeknight family dinner, Starters & Sides has the recipe to make any meal shine. 

Starters & Sides is the second cookbook in the “Made Easy” series by Leah and Victoria to be published throughout 2013 and 2014. Their next cookbook, Kids Cooking Made Easy, will be published in October 2013 just in time for Chanukah. For more information on the “Made Easy” series of cookbooks, go to www.artscroll.com/madeeasy .    

Leah Schapira is the co-founder of CookKosher.com, a popular online kosher recipe exchange, and the author of the bestselling Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking.  Leah expresses her love of cooking through her food articles, her busy food website, and her exciting cooking demos and classes. Leah resides in New Jersey with her husband and family. 

Victoria Dwek is the managing editor of Whisk, a popular kosher food magazine published weekly by Ami Magazine. Her feature articles take readers behind the scenes to learn from chefs and other professionals in the kosher food world. An experienced journalist and avid hostess, Victoria’s work combines her passions for good food and good writing. She lives in Deal, New Jersey with her husband and children.

Za’atar and Rosemary Baked Olives
Yield about 4 cups

When these olives bake, they shrink a bit and the flavor intensifies, so they’re even more flavorful than any “raw” spiced olives. During an olive taste test, these two olive and-spice combinations were our favorite. Pick one or prepare and serve them both. I love that I can toss the ingredients together, throw them in the oven, and not do anything else. Serve them along with the salads and dips during the first course of a meal. Your guests will think you splurged on some gourmet antipasti.

Za’atar Black Olives
2 (6-oz) cans whole black olives, drained
2 tsp za’atar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
Rosemary Green Olives
12 oz whole green olives, drained
1 tsp dried rosemary
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Prepare the za’atar black olives: In a baking dish, combine olives, za’atar, garlic, and olive oil. Bake, uncovered,
for 40 minutes.
3. Prepare the rosemary green olives: In a baking dish, combine olives, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. Bake,
uncovered, for 40 minutes.
You can serve the olives separately, or combine them in one serving dish. These olives turn into a perfect spread for garlic bread or challah if you smash them up a bit.

Can’t find za’atar? Make your own: Combine ¼ cup sumac, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon thyme,
1 tablespoon oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor or mini chopper and blend.

AHEAD: You can prepare these olives up to one week ahead. Keep refrigerated and serve at room temperature.

Braised Steak Kebabs with Apricots
Yield 18 skewers

Some people will tell you that kebabs belong only on the grill. Don’t tell that to the Jewish homemaker, who does not want to be standing over a fire right before a meal, but still wants to bring these pretty, juicy, and flavorful bites to the table. Kebabs that we can throw into the oven and then pull out and serve are way more practical. These kebabs are marinated and then braised, giving the meat plenty of time to absorb its fruity (but not overly sweet) marinade. I think that my skewers have found a brand-new home: in a roasting pan.

1 ¼ lbs minute steak roast, cut into ¾-inch cubes
1 onion, cut into strips
36 dried apricots
36 dried cherries or prunes
½ tsp salt
Pinch coarse black pepper
12 oz beer

1 cup pomegranate juice
½ cup teriyaki sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup olive oil

1. Prepare the marinade: In a medium bowl, combine pomegranate juice, teriyaki sauce, garlic, and olive oil.
Add steak cubes. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours or up to overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350oF. Place onion strips into a Dutch oven or roasting pan.
3. Remove steak cubes from marinade (reserve marinade) and thread skewers with steak cubes, apricots, and
cherries or prunes. Place skewers over onions and season with salt and pepper.
4. Pour beer and reserved marinade over skewers. Cover and bake for 1 ½ hours.

AHEAD: These kebabs will freeze well after cooking; just make sure they have plenty of liquid to keep from drying out when reheating.

Recipes may be reprinted with the following credit:
Recipes from Starters & Sides Made Easy
By Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek
August 2013


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