Brie en Croute

When I was growing up, Sunday was my father’s day to cook.  The menu never varied, it was always broiled steaks and lamb chops, a salad, and home-made french fries.  My father prided himself on knowing his way around a kitchen.  He would peel and cut the fries in a particular way, preferring a thick cut fry.  He used a stainless steel pan filled with oil and would fry the potatoes in batches until they were golden brown.  My father was unusual in that European men of that generation didn’t typically spend time in the kitchen cooking.  I didn’t realize it at the time but he was modeling a behavior that my children noticed.  They grew up around a grandfather and a father who both devoted lots of time in the kitchen, cooking for their families.  What a nice legacy to have inherited.  My children all know how to cook but I hope that my sons continue this particular tradition and one day cook for their own wives and children.  In the meantime, to all the fathers and grandfathers, and especially to my father-in-law, wishing you a Happy Father’s Day!!

Norm loves to bake so after making this French  Boule, we used it to make a family favorite, Brie En Croute.  We prefer this version as opposed to using puff pastry.

Brie en Croute

1 small French Bread

1 stick sweet butter, melted

3 0r 4 cloves of garlic, minced

16 oz. of Brie

Carefully hollow out center of bread, making a well.  Melt butter, add minced garlic and brush mixture on the inside of the hollowed out bread.  Cut Brie into large pieces and place inside bread.  Take the bread that you had cut out, slice into bite size pieces and brush with remaining garlic butter.  Bake Brie en Croute and croutons on a lined tray in a 375 degree oven till Brie is melted and oozing.  Serves 4-6

Enjoy,

Irene

Ruthie’s Matzoh Lasagne

Matzoh is often used as a base to make all kinds of pies, both savory and sweet.  This recipe was given to me by my close friend Ruthie. We met at an engagement party about 6 years ago when she marched up to me, introduced herself and called me two days later to join her for dinner.  Talk about determination!  Although her permanent home is in New Jersey,  Ruthie spends several months a year in Los Angeles.  She is one of those women who lights up a room with her sparkling eyes and bright smile.  Ruthie, Chag Sameach, and hang in there kid!!  We love you!

Inside the Streit’s Matzoh Factory

Ruthie’s Matzoh Lasagna

2 lbs. sliced mozzarella cheese

3 lbs. cottage cheese

3 eggs

1 Quart Marinara sauce

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with olive oil.  Mix cottage cheese with beaten eggs, and season well with salt and cracked pepper.  Spoon marinara on the bottom of the baking dish and then cover with a layer of matzoh, a layer of mozzarella and a layer of the cottage cheese mixture.  Continue layering till all ingredients are used. Top with mozzarella. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Serves 12.

Tip: To increase the nutritional value, add a layer of sautéed spinach, or kale.  This is an easy recipe to experiment with.

Enjoy,

Irene

Macaroni and Cheese

We get together for so many communal holiday meals and still we plan one more.  At the end of Yom Kippur, after a long and difficult day we have this desire to share another ritual with our friends, breaking the fast.  One would think that people would want to go to their respective homes to drink their coffee and eat their bagels in solitude.  I am not sure I understand it, and I can’t explain it, but I am grateful for it.  Grateful to have friends who host it each year, and grateful to be included.

Gmar Hatimah Tovah!

This is the second year that my contribution to the break-fast will be macaroni and cheese.  What could be more inviting than   hot noodles smothered in gooey cheese and covered by a crunchy topping.

Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb elbow macaroni

6 Tbsp sweet butter

1/2 cup flour

1 quart milk

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

4 cups mixed cheeses, shredded ( I used Gruyère, Monterey Jack and Mozzarella)

5 dashes Tabasco sauce

Panko crumbs or grated day-old challah

1 – 2 Tbs softened butter

In a large pot of boiling water cook macaroni following instructions on package.  Melt butter in a heavy saucepan and slowly whisk in flour, stirring for 2-3 minutes.  In the meantime, heat the milk until hot (but not boiling) and slowly add to flour mixture.  Cook for another 2 minutes until you have a smooth, thickened sauce.  Remove from heat and add shredded cheese.  Stir till cheese has melted into sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add Tabasco sauce.  Combine sauce with cooked noodles and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Top macaroni and cheese with panko crumbs or grate a piece of challah over the top. Dot with butter.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or till bubbly and golden.

Enjoy,

Irene