Za’atar Chicken with Fig “Bacon” Jam

Za’atar Chicken with Fig “Bacon” Jam

8 pc chicken legs and thighs
1 Tbsp Za’atar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
salt and pepper to taste
For the Jam:
1 package Jack’s Gourmet Facon
1 lb fresh figs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
pinch Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine spices for spice mix. Pat chicken parts with a paper towel to dry. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle all over with spice mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven for 35-45 minutes until done.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a nonstick skillet till beginning to brown but not completely crispy. Remove to plate lined with paper towel and let cool, then chop up into small pieces. Take 1 Tbsp of the facon fat and place in small pot along with the figs, sugar, honey, balsamic vinegar, OJ, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, add chopped facon and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook down, smashing figs, till it gets thick like a jam, about 15 minutes. Serve with Za’atar chicken.[gallery

Hawaiin Salmon Burgers with Caramelized Pineapple

Hawaiin Salmon Burgers with Caramelized Pineapple

1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
pinch of cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound fresh, raw skinless salmon
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 hamburger buns or whole wheat buns, toasted
1 avocado, mashed
lettuce (optional)
For pineapple:
2 tablespoon coconut oil
4 large pineapple rings (preferably from a fresh pineapple)

In a small bowl combine the BBQ sauce, pineapple juice, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Set aside for later.

Add salmon to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it’s chopped well. Remove and add salmon to a bowl with the panko, parmesan and 2 tablespoons of the sauce mixture, reserving the rest for serving with the burgers. Mix with a spoon until just combined and form into 4 equally sized burgers. Heat a skillet or grill over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Cook burgers on each side until golden, about 3-4 minutes per side.

In a separate skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and place the pineapple slices in the pan. Cook for about 3-4 mins, flip and cook another 3-4 minutes until well caramelized. To assemble place mashed avocado on one side of the bun, top with burger, drizzle with extra sauce and top with a ring of pineapple.

Grilled Stone Fruit Salad with Honey Goat Cheese Dressing

Grilled Stone Fruit Salad with Honey Goat Cheese Dressing

For the Dressing:
2.5 oz creamy goat cheese
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp water
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Salad:
6 cups mixed baby greens
2 ripe peaches, sliced into wedges
2 ripe plums, sliced into wedges
24 pecan halves

In a blender combine goat cheese, honey, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and water. Season with salt and pepper. Blend till creamy. Refrigerate till ready to use.

Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Grill fruit wedges for 1 minute until grill marks appear. Place salad greens on 4 plates. Top with fruit and nuts. Drizzle with dressing before serving.

Brick Chicken with Board Dressing

Brick Chicken with Board Dressing

1 dried guajillo or New Mexico chile or
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup olive oil plus more for grill
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 4-pound chicken, halved, backbone removed
Lime wedges (for serving)
If using whole chile, toast in a dry skillet, turning often, until slightly puffed and darkened, about 4 minutes. (Do not toast red pepper flakes.) Discard stem and seeds. Finely chop chile and transfer to a small bowl. Stir in cilantro, oregano, lime zest, and 1/4 cup oil; season dressing with salt and pepper.
Prepare grill for medium indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on 1 side of grill; for a gas grill, leave 1 burner turned off). Brush grill rack with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, on grill. Grill chicken, turning occasionally, until skin is crisp and browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 165°, 10-15 minutes per side (move chicken to cooler part of grill if it’s cooking too quickly). About 5 minutes before chicken is done, baste with some of dressing.
Pour remaining dressing onto a carving board (or platter, if you don’t have a large board) and place chicken, skin side up, on top. Let sit at least 10 minutes to rest and absorb flavor from dressing before carving. Drizzle chicken with some dressing from board and serve with limes.

Easy-Breezy Grilling

Easy-Breezy Grilling

Grilling is the simplest, most basic cooking method there is. Before there was any fancy equipment or the latest stainless-steel range, cooking was always just the food and the fire. Funny thing is, most people are more intimidated when it comes to grilling correctly. If you prepare yourself with some basic knowledge, grilling will be easy-breezy. Use these basic tools to get you started and you’ll be grilling to perfection in no time.

How you’ll be cooking. Make sure to have your grill set up for direct and indirect cooking. Some foods need to be seared or cooked quickly directly over flames; other food needs to cook slower, indirectly to the side of the heat source, so they can cook all the way through. Make sure you have areas for both types of cooking on your grill.
Wait for it. Just as an oven needs preheating, a grill needs to preheat before cooking. A charcoal grill in particular needs time to heat up properly before food is put on the grill. Make sure you give yourself enough time before grilling to let the charcoal burn and reach a light gray color with an ash coating so it can cook your food well.

Use the right tools. The BBQ toolkit comes with tongs and a long fork, but the fork is not really the best tool for grilling. Stabbing your meats with the fork will cause precious juices to be released, causing a loss of moisture and flavor. Alternatively, use the tongs and a spatula to move and flip meats to keep your food from losing its juiciness.
Keep it covered. When grilling foods with the lid on, don’t open the grill too often to check on the food. Doing so causes the heat to escape and the food will take longer to cook. Be patient and let it do its thing. Keeping the lid on will reduce cooking time, help control flare-ups, and achieve better results.

Stop flipping. This is a big grilling no-no! Grillers get antsy, feeling like they need to keep busy and move food around, flipping it while grilling. Unless a recipe specifically calls for flipping, foods should not be touched or flipped more than once. Letting your food get good grill marks is what grilling is all about, so leave it alone and let it sear.
Never press! Another cardinal sin of grilling is to press down on your meats. What are you doing? Never press down on your meats! This only causes all the juices to seep out, resulting in dried-out, overcooked food. If you remember only one thing, remember not to press down on your grilled foods!

Keep it slick. Spraying your foods with a little non-stick cooking spray or brushing with a light coat of oil will keep the food from sticking to the grates. It will be easier to flip and remove the food and it will also help your food brown evenly.

Spice-Rubbed Strip Steaks With Caramelized Onions
Serves 4
Ingredients for spice rub:
2 Tbsp. chile powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. dry oregano
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
Ingredients for onions:
2 Tbsp. butter substitute
1 Tbsp. canola oil
3 large Spanish onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for steaks:
4 16-oz. NY strip steaks
kosher salt
2 Tbsp. canola oil
Preheat grill. Combine spices for rub in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat butter substitute and oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook slowly until golden brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Season steaks on both sides with kosher salt. Rub one side of steak with spice rub and drizzle with oil. Place steaks on grill directly over heat and cook until golden brown, 5–6 minutes. Coat other side with oil, turn steaks over, and continue cooking until medium-rare, about 6–7 minutes. Remove from grill and let rest 5 minutes for slicing. Serve steaks with caramelized onions.

Pizza Bites with Marinara

Pizza Bites with Marinara

1 lb pizza dough
1 lb fresh mozzarella, cubed
Cooked vegetables of your choice: sauteed onions, mushrooms, peppers, etc.
1 egg mixed with 1 tsp water
Parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning
store-bought marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 9″ cake or pie pan lined with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Divide pizza dough into small golf ball-size pieces. Push mozzarella and vegetables into each ball then pull the dough around the filling and pinch to close, forming a ball. Brush each pizza ball with egg wash and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, microwave the marinara sauce until warmed through. Serve the pizza bites with the sauce for dipping.

Blintz Kugel with Blueberry Sauce

Blintz Kugel with Blueberry Sauce

1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons sour cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 extra-large eggs
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
For the filling:
3 cups ricotta cheese
8 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese
2 extra-large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 by 13-inch cake pan or baking dish. Place milk, sour cream, melted butter, vanilla, eggs, flour, sugar and baking powder in a blender. Pour half the batter (about 1 3/4 cups) into the prepared dish and bake for 10 minutes, until set.

Meanwhile, for the filling, whisk together the ricotta, mascarpone, eggs, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and mix until thoroughly combined. Spread the cheese filling over the baked crepe. Carefully spoon the remaining crepe batter to cover the cheese.

Return the pan to the oven and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly golden and the filling is almost set. Remove from the oven and allow to stand 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the blintzes in squares and serve warm with the fresh blueberry sauce.

Blueberry Sauce:
Juice from 3 oranges
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 half-pints fresh blueberries (can use frozen)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Combine the orange juice, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is translucent and thickened, stir in the blueberries and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, just until a few berries have burst but most are still whole. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice and cool.

Chocolate Rugelach

Chocolate Rugelach

For the Dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized cubes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 pound regular cream cheese (on average, this is 16 ounces or 2 of those blocks you can buy at the store), chilled and cubed
¼ cup regular sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
raw sugar, for decorating
For the Chocolate Filling:
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cup chocolate, finely chopped (do not use chocolate chips for this, or if you do, you’ve gotta chop them!)
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

For the Dough:
Place cubed butter and flour to your food processor and process for about 30 seconds or so, until the butter is broken up well and the mixture looks like wet sand. Transfer the butter and flour mixture to a large mixing bowl and add in the salt, cream cheese, and sour cream. Mix everything together quickly, breaking up the cream cheese with your hands and working it well into the flour, until the mixture is crumbly.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of foil, press down on it slightly, and form the dough into a thick disk. Wrap the disk tightly in the foil, and chill in the refrigerator for as little as 20 minutes or as long as overnight.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a few baking trays with parchment paper and sprinkle the paper with some raw sugar. Unwrap the dough, divide it into 2 parts, and put one part back in the fridge so it stays cold. Flour your work surface extremely well, then knead the dough a bit to make it less sticky and more maleable. Roll the dough out into a 10 to 12-inch circle of even thickness.

To make filling: Combine the sugar and cinnamon and chop your chocolate. Melt your butter and let it cool. When you are ready to use, brush the butter over the rolled out rugelach, sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then press the chocolate down evenly over the dough. Roll up and bake. Brush the dough with your butter, then sprinkle the chocolate evenly over everything, pressing down a bit to make the chocolate stick. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the circle into 16 equal-sized wedges. Roll the dough up, starting with the bigger side, tightly and carefully, to make the classic rugelach shape. Place the rugelach seam side down onto your parchment. Continue with the rest of your dough, then brush each rugelach with your egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through baking, until the cookies are a light, golden brown. Allow to cool before moving and serving. These will store well in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, and will freeze well for up to 3 months.

Coconut Tomato Basil Soup

Coconut Tomato Basil Soup

2 Tbsp. Oil
5 Garlic cloves, sliced
3 pounds Tomatoes
½ Cup Fresh Basil leaves
1 Cup Vegetable or Chicken Broth
2/3 Cup Coconut Milk
1 Tsp. Sea Salt, or to taste.
Garnish with sliced sun-dried tomatoes and sliced, fresh basil. (optional)

Heat oil over low heat and add the garlic. Cook for about a minute to soften and infuse the oil with garlic. Cut the tomatoes in large pieces Remove the hard stem base, and add to the pot. Add a handful of whole basil leaves. Cover, and cook over a low flame for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree the tomato mixture with an with an immersion blender or regular blender until there are no more chunks of tomato.

Return to stove. Add broth. If the soup is too thick or concentrated add a little more broth. Add the coconut milk and heat through. Season with salt to taste. Before you serve, cut sun-dried tomatoes into 4 or 5 pieces, and finely sliced basil. Garnish with slices of sun-dried tomato and thinly sliced basil to add color.

Hummus with Fried Chickpeas

Hummus with Fried Chickpeas

1/2 cup tahini paste
2 lemons, juiced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup hot water
1 can chickpeas, drained and divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Puree 1/2 cup tahini paste with juice of lemons, cumin, garlic clove, water and 1/2 of the chickpeas. Heat up olive oil and fry remaining chickpeas till cripsy. Remove to paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Top hummus with fried chickpeas and garnish with parsley.

Three Corner Cookies

Three Corner Cookies

Out of all the festive holidays in the Jewish calendar, Purim is arguably the most exuberant. Kids and adults alike dressing up from head to toe in all sorts of disguises. Baskets of goodies being exchanged door to door. And the hamentashen. Oh those scrumptious, triangular-shaped cookies with fruit or chocolate fillings! You don’t have to settle on a crumbly mess from the bakery (although that’s what you might prefer).You can make your own hamentashen at home. And who knows? Maybe you’ll decide they are too good to only make once a year.

The Dough: The hamentashen dough is a sweet cookie dough that can be crumbly and cake-like, or a more crunchy cookie depending on the dough. The dough is a rolled cookie dough, which is flattened out evenly and then cut out to form cookies. When rolling out the dough, make sure it’s not too thin. The dough needs a little thickness so it doesn’t burn and will be easier to pinch together to form triangles.

The Filling: When filling your cookies, make sure not to overfill. Otherwise the dough will open and the filling will leak out. A little filling goes a long way. Use a filling that is not too liquidy so it doesn’t spill out. Traditionally, apricot and poppy seed fillings are used. You can use any flavor jams, chocolate fillings, fresh fruit and nuts or a combination of any of them.

The Process: After rolling the dough, use something circular to cut out the cookies. A cooke cutter, 1/4 cup measuring cup, or large shot glass can work. The circle-shaped cookie is perfect for creating triangles. Fill each circle with the same amount of filling using a measuring spoon. You can help the dough stick together by brushing the circles with egg whites left over after making the dough before pinching. The egg whites will serve as a glue to keep the hamentashen shape. Brush sides of hamentashen to get a beautiful brown color.

Homemade Hamentashen
About 40 cookies
12 large egg yolks
2 large whole eggs
2 cups sugar
2 lemons zested
1/4 cup apple juice
1 1/2 cup canola oil
8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

4 cups prune butter
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
zest of 1 lemon
egg wash made with 1 egg + 1 Tbsp water

*Alternatively, fill with any one of your favorite jams or chocolate fillings

In a large bowl combine egg yolks, 2 eggs, and sugar. Whisk in zest, juice and oil. Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl. Add 1/3 of flour to egg mixture, stirring to combine, then adding another 1/3, and mixing well again before adding the last 1/3 of flour. Finish mixing by hand to create a firm, slightly sticky dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine prune butter, apricots, walnuts and lemon zest to form filling. Flour your surface and work with 1/3 of the dough. Roll dough out to a 1/4” thick. With a round cookie cutter a measuring cup cut out circles. Fill each circle with a tablespoon of the filling and pinch three corners to close. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat process with remaining dough. Create egg wash with 1 egg and water. Brush cookies with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Brownie Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting

Brownie Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp milk
Cookie Dough Frosting
  • 10 Tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 2-3 Tbsp cream or half and half
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, light-brown sugar and cocoa powder. Pour in melted butter and use a wood spoon to stir until combine. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in milk. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combine (batter will be thick).
  • Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups filling each about 2/3 full (about 1/4 cup batter in each). Bake in preheated oven 16 – 20 minutes (lesser for gooier brownies). Allow to cool in muffin tin several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Cookie Dough Frosting. Store in an airtight container.
Cookie Dough Frosting
  • In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip together butter and light-brown sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes. Mix in flour then add powdered sugar, vanilla, molasses and 2 Tbsp cream and blend together until smooth adding an additional 1 Tbsp of cream to thin if desired. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Note that if you want a pipe-able frosting you will have to leave the chocolate chips out then simply add some of them to the top for garnish, otherwise they’ll just get clogged in the piping tips.

Chocolate Cinnamon with Mocha Icing

Chocolate Cinnamon with Mocha Icing


1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4 tsp instant espresso powder

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups golden brown sugar

1 cup canola oil

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 stick butter substitute


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease nonstick bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk together water, cocoa powder, 2 tsp espresso powder in a small bowl. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In electric mixer or large bowl with hand mixer beat 2 cups brown sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add eggs and beat until blended and smooth. Mix in half of flour mixture, then add cocoa mixture and blend. Add remaining flour mixture and blend. Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips. Pour batter into Bundt pan and bake 50 minutes, till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then flip over onto rack and cook 15 minutes longer.


Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp espresso powder, and 2 Tbsp water in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is melted. Remove from heat and add butter and 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Stir till melted, cool slightly, then drizzle over cake.

Grilled Tuna & Avocado Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Grilled Tuna & Avocado Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette


1 large garlic clove, minced

2 Tbsp red-wine vinegar

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup olive oil, plus additional for brushing

2 Tbsp sour cream, regular or soy

1/2 cup fresh dill

salt and pepper, to taste

1 1/2 lb fresh tuna steaks (1” thick)

2 ripe Hass avocados, split and pitted

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 red onion, finely diced

2 cups baby spinach, optional

Crackers, optional for serving

In a blender, combine garlic, vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Blend till smooth, then stream in olive oil. Add sour cream and dill and season with salt and pepper. Set aside or refrigerate if making in advance.

Brush tuna with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Grill or sear on pan for 4-5 minutes for medium-rare. Let stand 2-3 minutes before slicing into 1/4” slices against the grain. Place tuna in bowl. Scoop out all but 1/4” of avocado flesh and chop into small pieces and add to tuna. Add tomatoes and red onions to tuna and avocado and drizzle with just enough dressing to coat. Serve over baby spinach or with crackers.

Baby Chicken Stir Fry with Onions and Sweet Potato

Baby Chicken Stir Fry with Onions and Sweet Potato

This is a delicious, quick and easy one-pot meal.
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped onion
4 boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1  cups sweet potatoes cut into 1″ small cubes
2 cups canned diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and freshly cracked pepper

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent and beginning to brown. Season chicken with cumin and thyme all over. Push onions to the side, add another 1/2 Tbsp of oil and chicken pieces. Cook till just browned on all sides. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes in juice and 1/4 cup chicken stock. Stir and cover, lowering to a simmer. Check on chicken and sweet potato mixture after ten minutes and add more stock if liquid is evaporating. Cook till sweet potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Sufganiyot with Chocolate Filling

Sufganiyot with Chocolate Filling

1 cup whole milk (or soy/almond milk for Pareve)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons warm water
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
About 10 cups vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of chocolate filling ( or filling of your choice)
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Bring milk to a simmer in a 1-quart heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and stir in granulated sugar and salt. Cool milk to lukewarm. While milk is cooling, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl, stirring until creamy, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Pour milk mixture into a large bowl and stir in 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons oil, eggs, and yeast mixture with a wooden spoon to make a very soft dough. Spread 1 cup flour on work surface and put dough on top. Knead dough, incorporating all of flour from work surface and adding just enough additional flour (if necessary) to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer dough to another large bowl and sprinkle lightly with additional flour, then cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface and roll out with a floured rolling pin until 1/2 inch thick. Cut out rounds with 2-inch cutter. Stretch round to 2 1/2 inches and put 1 teaspoon filling in center, then wrap dough around filling to form a ball and seal very well. Make rest of doughnuts in same manner. Transfer rounds to a floured kitchen towel, then re-roll scraps (only once) and make more doughnuts in same manner. Cover doughnuts with another kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place 30 minutes.

While doughnuts rise, heat 3 inches oil (about 10 cups) in a deep 4-quart pot until it registers 375°F on thermometer. Fry doughnuts a couple at a time, turning occasionally, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer as cooked to paper towels to drain. Serve warm, dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Rosemary-Parsnip Mashed Potatoes:

Rosemary-Parsnip Mashed Potatoes:

6 tablespoons room-temperature butter, divided
6 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 pound large parsnips, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 cup whole almond milk
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Cook potatoes and parsnips in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring milk, butter, and rosemary to simmer in small saucepan.

Drain potato mixture and return to pot. Stir briefly over medium heat to evaporate excess moisture. Add milk mixture and mash well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks with Caper and Bread Crumb Salsa

Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks with Caper and Bread Crumb Salsa

Twelve 1-inch-thick rib-eye steaks (about 3/4 pound each)
1 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and coarsely ground pepper
Two 1 1/2-pound plain focaccia, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup drained small capers
2 tablespoons minced thyme
Canola oil, for the grill

On a large baking sheet, brush the rib-eye steaks on both sides with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with 1/2 tablespoon each of salt and coarsely ground pepper. Let the steaks stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

  1. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Working in batches, pulse the focaccia in a food processor until it is chopped into coarse crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil. Spread the bread crumbs on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake them for about 30 minutes, turning and stirring occasionally, until the crumbs are dry and golden. Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the shallots with the vinegar and let stand for 15 minutes. Add the capers and thyme, then slowly whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil until blended. Add the bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper and toss well.
  3. Light a grill or preheat a cast-iron grill pan. Lightly brush the grate or grill pan with vegetable oil. Grill the steaks over a medium-hot fire until deeply browned on both sides, about 6 minutes for medium rare. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Thickly slice the steaks across the grain and arrange on a platter. Spoon half of the bread-crumb salsa over the meat and pass the rest at the table.

MAKE AHEAD The bread crumbs and vinaigrette for the salsa can be made early in the day and tossed together just before serving.

Lamb ragout

Lamb ragout


  • 1 lb lamb, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallot, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 small tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp olive tapenade
  • Salt, to taste

Heat the olive oil to a high heat, then add the lamb and cook until it is well-browned. Remove and reduce the heat to low. Sauté the diced shallot and garlic with the bay and oregano until the onion is translucent.
Add the tomato paste, diced tomato, and cook until reduced to a pulp. Return the browned lamb and cover with water. Bring this to a boil then simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until the lamb is very tender.
Stir in the olive tapenade, season to taste, and serve over gnocchi or pasta.

Alternative recipe:

¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ pound ground lamb
1 cup onion, finely diced
¼ cup garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ½ cups white wine
1 cup chopped canned tomato
3 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground fennel
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large stew pot.
Break up ground lamb into small pieces and add to pot, browning over high heat.
Add onions and garlic. Cook together until vegetables start to soften, about 2 minutes.
Add tomato paste and stir to incorporate, about 1 minute.
Add wine and cook until it evaporates, about 2 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium low to keep ragout cooking at a simmer. Cook for about 1½ hours so all liquid is reduced and flavors have combined


Potato Gnocchi

Potato Gnocchi

Kosher salt

2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread a 1-inch layer of salt in a small roasting pan. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and arrange them on the salt in a single layer. Bake until fork-tender, about 11/2 hours. Remove them from the oven and slit them lengthwise to release their steam.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop their flesh into a ricer and rice the potatoes onto the paper towels in a shallow layer. Let cool completely.

Working over a medium bowl, sift the all-purpose and cake flours with a large pinch of salt. Measure out 4 lightly packed cups of the riced potatoes (1 pound), and transfer the potatoes to a work surface. Sprinkle the sifted flour mixture over the potatoes and drizzle with the olive oil. Gently form the dough into a firm ball.

Test the gnocchi dough: Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Using your hands, form one 3/4-inch round. Boil the gnocchi until it floats to the surface, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to a plate and let cool. It should be light and tender but still hold together. If the gnocchi breaks apart in the boiling water, the dough has too little flour; add more. If the gnocchi is tough and chewy, the dough has too much flour; cut in a little more of the reserved riced potatoes.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Divide the dough into quarters. Working with one piece at a time, gently roll the dough into a long rope about 1/2 inch wide. Using a sharp knife, cut the rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make light ridges. Transfer the gnocchi to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let the gnocchi stand at room temperature for 1 hour to dry.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add half of the gnocchi at a time and boil over high heat until they rise to the surface, then cook for 15 seconds longer. Using a wire skimmer, transfer the gnocchi to the bowl of ice water. Drain on paper towels and pat dry.

Toss with oil and refrigerate for up to 3 hours or freeze the gnocchi on baking sheets in a single layer. Transfer them to an airtight container or resealable plastic bags and freeze for up to six weeks. To serve, sauté them in butter until heated through before proceeding.