Starchy Goodness

This week I started making foods that don’t freeze well, but do keep well in refrigeration. Thankfully, it all went swimmingly.

First came the hush puppies:

Hush Puppies

I also had a little puff pastry left over (I had to cut the sheets down to the right size for the hot dogs), and some mashed potatoes, so I made a few potato puffs for our resident vegetarian:

Potato Puffs

Then the noodle kugel:

Noodle Kugel

Then the Yerushalmi kugel (and for once the sugar caramelized and mixed in with the noodles without giant lumps):

Yerushalmi Kugel

After that were the roasted red potatoes:

Roasted Red Potatoes

Barley noodles (yes, these were supposed to have mushrooms in them, but I forgot to get them, and since not everyone likes mushrooms I was willing to leave them out):

Barley Noodles

Rice with caramelized onions and cumin (my mother’s recipe):

Onion Rice

Rice with raisins, almonds, curry powder, and other spices (my own recipe, which I think I’ve improved on this year… but we’ll see what the reaction is):

Curried Rice with Raisins and Almonds

And a couple of salad dressings. One for the avocado/orange/pomegranate salad:

Orange Dressing

And one for the Terra Chip salad:

Terra Chip Dressing

On Sunday the big push begins, and I will have four days to finish making almost everything.  Here’s the schedule so far:

Sunday: Chicken, dressing, and vegetable prep for chicken salad; zucchini in tomato sauce; Moroccan carrot salad; potato kugels; acorn squash and cranberries; asparagus; spaghetti (although the meat sauce is already done); sauce for salmon cakes; dressing for Caesar salad.

Monday: Strawberry-watermelon gazpacho;  steak, vegetables, and dressing for Asian steak salad; salmon cakes; cauliflower; dressing for deli salad and strawberry/spinach salad; prepare fruits & vegetables for strawberry/spinach salad; clean and debug greens for Asian steak salad, strawberry/spinach salad, and deli salad.

Tuesday: Apple-cranberry crisp; green beans and mushrooms; pasta with sundried tomatoes; tuna-potato scallop; broccoli with shallots and walnuts; cook rice, chicken, and meat for and assemble sushi rolls; clean and debug greens for Terra chip salad and avocado/orange/pomegranate salad.

Wednesday: Make three kinds of stuffing for the turducken (potato-, bread-, and oatmeal-based); assemble turducken; hearts of palm salad and dressing; baked sweet potatoes; Grandma’s lukshen kugel; prepare ingredients for deli salad; Israeli salad.

While I may not update this blog on a daily basis over the next week, I hope to still post some kind of progress update; and I will certainly post pictures afterwards!

Wish me luck!

Fry, Fry, Fry

Just when I thought it’d be easy….

The cooking from two weeks ago started off just fine — my apple kugel recipe is easy and got done quickly enough.

Apple Kugels

Then came the stuffed cabbages, which you can’t quite see underneath all the extra cabbage leaves I put on top of them to keep them from burning, but trust me, they’re there.  And once again, I made too many of them (at least judging by what people ate last year). I need to remember to use 3 pounds of beef next time rather than 4, and only 2 cabbages.  (It would save me a lot of time, too.) However, they do freeze–and last in the freezer–excellently well. So I don’t mind the leftovers.

Stuffed Cabbage

And then came the bane of my existence two weeks ago — also known as the potato-chicken cr0quettes.  This recipe originally came from a Robert Irvine show on the Food Network in which he used pork.  I changed it to chicken because the concept sounded really cool, and the sauce sounded delicious. It’s made of orange juice, pineapple juice, and the juice of a lime, plus some Thai green curry. The latter, of course, is impossible to find kosher (locally, at least), so I found a recipe for it online and made it myself. Here’s what it looks like in the food processor:

Thai Green Curry

And this is the sauce:

Citrus Green Curry Sauce

Then came the croquettes themselves. As you can see, there are two layers of them in each container.

Potato-Chicken Croquettes

Putting the ingredients together is also pretty simple — mashed potatoes and browned ground chicken, scallions, and soy sauce, balled up and dipped in panko bread crumbs. The problem arrived when it came time to fry them. Last year, I had frozen them pre-frying, thinking that it’d be nicer to serve them fresh out of the pan (they were served for lunch on one of the first days of the holiday, not on Shabbat). The recipe calls for deep-frying, so since my deep-fryer is electric, I loaded up my pan with oil, old-school, set up my splatter guard…and watched half of what I made completely disintegrate in the oil. So I had to pan-fry them instead, which took eons. I mercifully had enough to serve one per person, and they were delicious. This year, I figured I’d fry them first, then freeze — and had the same problem. Fortunately, I only lost about half a dozen croquettes in the process. Unfortunately, that meant pan-frying about 3 dozen more of these annoying little things… which took me over three hours. At this point, I think this may be the last time I serve them for Sukkot, at least in this quantity. I’d love to find another use for the sauce, since I think it’s amazing; but unless it turns out I can bake the croquettes all at once rather than frying them, this recipe is getting shelved.

After this little adventure in frying, I took the next week off for Rosh HaShanah. Cooking went well, and I even tried making the sushi as a trial run — we had guests who were happy to serve as guinea pigs. The rice came out great, although now I have to extrapolate exactly how much I have to make for 20-plus people; and the rolls themselves came out pretty good, too, especially considering it was my first time making sushi rolls. I’ll be sure to post pictures when I make them for Sukkot next week, although I won’t be slicing the rolls until I serve them.

We also had a power outage due to a storm on Rosh HaShanah, during which I spent most of the time panicking about what would become of the food I had been cooking for the three weeks prior that I had in frozen storage. Fortunately, it only lasted about three hours, so there was no harm done, and it made me very thankful for having any electricity at all. 🙂

This week I will be making hush puppies, roasted red potatoes, noodle kugel, Yerushalmi kugel, rice with caramelized onions, rice with curry and raisins, a barley-mushroom dish, and dressings for the Terra Chip salad and the Avocado/orange/pomegranate salad. Here’s hoping my refrigerator will be able to contain everything, as well as what I’m making next week. Eleven days to go!

Wishing all my readers a Shana Tova U’Metukah!