Home Living Jewish The Shabbat Table – Easy, elegant dishes from the Aishes Chayil cookbook

The Shabbat Table – Easy, elegant dishes from the Aishes Chayil cookbook

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Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! The Aishes Chayil Cookbook (Feldheim), a project of the Aishes Chayil postpartum recuperation centre in Monroe, NY (near Monsey), recently arrived in my mailbox. This fascinating cookbook is packed with recipes for delectable, elegant dishes served at a new mommy and baby resort, also known as a kimpeturin heim. Its clientele consists of new moms who are recovering from childbirth. With their newborns in competent nursery care, new mothers can luxuriate in the serenity and comfort of the magnificent décor and elegant accommodations.

Gourmet meals are at the heart of Aishes Chayil’s quality rehabilitative care, and their meals will definitely delight the palate. Now you can recreate their famous cuisine right in your own home. The Aishes Chayil Cookbook contains 200 recipes, each accompanied by a full-colour photo, and there are informative health notes included with each recipe.   

The salads are colourful and appealing: Purple Pear Salad, Pomegranate Spinach Salad, and Marinated Eggplant Salad. Main dishes include Special Occasion Chicken Wellington, Chicken Low Mein with Stir-Fry Vegetables, and Sizzling Ginger Apricot Chicken. If you’re in the mood for beef, enjoy Garlic and Rosemary Rib Steak, Roasted Sweet and Sour Flanken, or Peppercorn Chuck-Eye Roast.

Side dishes include Honey Crunch Noodle Pudding, Snow Peas with Pearl Onions, or Parve Creamy Mashed Potatoes. If you prefer dairy, try their Baked Ziti Pie or Eggplant Rollatini. Desserts include such delicacies as Streusel-Stuffed Peaches, Baked Apple in a Pastry, The Ultimate Meringue, and Phyllo Strawberry Napoleons.

Here are some dishes that will make delicious additions to your Shabbat table. Enjoy in good health!

 

HEARTS OF PALM AND AVOCADO SALAD IN A TACO BOWL

Sometimes ingredients that we enjoy on a regular basis get a new life when they’re seasoned just a little bit differently. Avocado and hearts of palm may have met before, but not like this.

3 ripe but firm avocados, cubed

1 cup sliced hearts of palm

1/2 cup red onion, finely diced

4 cups mixed salad greens

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 extra-large carrot, julienned

3 oz alfalfa sprouts

Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup orange juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp chopped fresh basil

1/4 tsp salt

  • In a large bowl, combine avocados, hearts of palm, and red onion. Toss gently to combine.
  • To prepare the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together white wine vinegar, orange juice, and mustard until blended. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add basil and salt.
  • Drizzle dressing over avocado mixture (you do not need to use it all) and toss gently to coat. Divide greens between 4 taco bowls (see below) or plates, and place avocado salad on top. Top with sun-dried tomatoes, carrots, and alfalfa sprouts.

4 servings

How to Make a Taco Bowl:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Brush a 6-inch wonton down with oil to coat. Place over an upside down 5-inch ramekin or round aluminum pan. Wrap it around snugly to create the shape of an upside-down bowl. Bake for 10 minutes. Gently remove and let cool, then turn over and fill with salad.

HEALTH NOTE: Alfalfa sprouts are harvested from the alfalfa plant before it is fully grown. They contain a surprising amount of protein and are also noted for their saponin content. Saponin is known to boost immunity and lower LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol.

 

SALMON WITH TERIYAKI GLAZE

This is the classic salmon that is very popular and continues to be the voted favourite. It is doused with a delightfully sweet and savoury sauce which has a hint of ginger.

4 garlic cloves, minced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

4 (4-6 oz) salmon fillets

Teriyaki Sauce:

2/3 cup teriyaki sauce

2 tsp sugar

1/3 cup water

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch ground ginger

1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup water

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • In a baking dish, combine garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add salmon and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Place baking dish in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine teriyaki sauce, sugar, water, garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and ginger. Bring to a boil, add cornstarch and cook until sauce is thickened. Drizzle over salmon before serving. Garnish with shredded vegetables.

4 servings

HEALTH NOTE: Salmon is the richest food source of omega-3 fatty acids. One serving of salmon contains the full daily requirement of omega-3s. Omega-3s work to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and improve good cholesterol. They protect your nervous system from the effects of aging, help your brain work better, and lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Salmon also strengthens heart muscles to reduce the chances of a heart attack. In addition, salmon can prevent blood clots from forming and reduces the risks of a stroke.

 

READ: THE SHABBAT TABLE – EDIBLE GIFTS FOR PURIM

 

CAPONS WITH MUSHROOM STUFFING (Meat)

Sometimes people get confused about which part of the chicken they should buy when making stuffed capons. Capons, as referred to here, are dark, boneless chicken thighs with the skin intact. Be sure to place the capons tightly against each other, seam side down, so they don’t open.

2 Tbsp oil

1 onion, chopped

8 oz fresh mushrooms, diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1 cup white rice, uncooked

Salt and pepper to taste

1 egg

4 chicken capons

Glaze:

1 cup hot and spicy duck sauce

1/4 cup apricot jam

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp garlic powder  

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add mushrooms and pepper and continue to saute until all vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Add raw rice to the pan and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in egg.
  • Stuff the capons with the vegetable-rice mixture and place in a baking pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine duck sauce, jam, brown sugar, lemon juice, and garlic powder. Pour over chicken. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Chick chicken during baking to make sure that the liquid hasn’t dried up. Uncover during the last 15 minutes.

4 servings

 

HEALTH NOTE: In today’s day and age, most people—if tested—would be found vitamin D deficient to some degree. Vitamin D is a vitamin we absorb through sun rays, and the deficiency is very common for those of us not directly exposed to adequate sunlight. Therefore, we have to get our vitamin D from the foods we eat. Mushrooms are actually the only produce that contain this essential vitamin.

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Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, cookbook editor and now a podcaster. Norene lives in Toronto and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website at gourmania.com..