Ah … summertime is officially here. And so is reading outdoors in the shade.
And what is my favorite read? Cooking magazines, of course! I get many, but my favorite is Joy of Kosher by Jamie Geller. Other magazines present a challenge to turn nonkosher recipes into kosher ones, but this is summertime, and I want easy. Nothing can be easier than Joy Of Kosher in which every delicious recipe is kosher. Any recipe can be downloaded on a computer, but having the magazine’s color photos in your hands is indeed special.
A hot lazy day will find me reading and combining some of my own classics with the new ones. Here are some examples in which I combine my home-grown tomatoes and Geller’s recipes in some luscious ways.
Geller’s pulled chicken sandwiches are so simple, using the meat from a rotisserie chicken so you get white and tender dark meat as well. The pages reveal another unique take on ceviche (which cooks raw fish in citrus juices) and is a refreshing summer treat. And the easy sushi salad is one of my own go-to pareve menu picks year-round. My patriotic finale is always a layered berry trifle served in a glass trifle bowl — simply layer sliced strawberries and blueberries with real whipped cream and crushed shortbread cookies. I slightly soak the cookies in a sugar syrup or warm orange juice before adding. Yummy!
Ilene Spector is a local freelance writer.
JAMIE GELLER’S BBQ PULLED CHICKEN SANDWICHES
4 cups skinless chicken, shredded from a cooked rotisserie chicken
2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
4 to 6 challah or kaiser rolls, split in half
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
Directions: Using your fingers or two forks, pull chicken from the bones, shredding it into medium strands. Combine chicken and barbecue sauce in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until chicken is heated through. Arrange the roll halves on a serving platter. (I like to toast one side.) Evenly distribute the chicken among the rolls. When ready to serve, top with avocado slices. I serve these with homemade coleslaw. 4-6 servings.
1 pound sushi grade very fresh tuna steaks
½ cup stone fruits, such as plums, peaches or apricots
1 jalapeno, seeded and very finely diced, optional
⅓ cup fresh mint, chopped
⅓ cup fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
Directions: Chop tuna and fruit into half-inch chunks. Mix with remaining ingredients and allow flavors to meld together in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or more. Serve chilled. 4-6 servings.
EASY SUSHI SALAD
1 cup uncooked sushi rice (it’s important to use sushi rice)
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 large seedless cucumber, peeled (striped, so not entirely peeled)
4 to 8 ounces imitation crab meat, shredded style preferred
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds, black or white
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Very scant cup of light soy sauce
½ teaspoon wasabi, optional for some heat
½ ripe, firm avocado, chunks or slices
2 sheets black fresh (nori) seaweed
Directions: In a pot with cover, bring 1½ cups water to a boil. Add the sushi rice. Turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 18 minutes. Turn off the burner and let the rice steam in the covered pot for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and stir in the rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Flake the rice with a fork and let completely cool. Cut the cucumber into small squares. Stir the cucumber, “crab” and sesame seeds in the cooled rice. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil and wasabi, if using. Then stir this mixture into the rice, mixing well, coating rice. Fluff the rice mixture once again. Taste at this point, and add more soy sauce if necessary. Can be refrigerated covered for a few hours or overnight. Just before serving, add the avocado, mixing it in gently. Tear the seaweed into small pieces and sprinkle on top of salad with additional sesame seeds, if desired. The important thing is to get the rice seasoned properly. 6-8 servings.