Cold Borscht? It’s better than it sounds…

It’s hot here – like really, really, really hot.  It’s too hot to slave in the kitchen all day for a hot Shabbat evening meal.  I found a recipe for cold borscht on Haaretz and thought what a great alternative to the gazpachos everyone goes crazy for in the summer (especially since I have yet to be convinced that there’s a difference between gazpacho and a really good salsa).  I’ve tweaked it a little since the original recipe was a little plain.  You could serve this with some some grilled white fish and grilled potatoes/veggies for a complete meal.  And did I mention that beets are good for you?

Here’s what you need:

5-6 medium beets, peeled

4 cups water

1tsp kosher salt

1/4tsp Hungarian hot paprika (I can’t say enough how much I love this stuff, and it’s packed with Vitamin C)

1tbsp sugar

1tbsp kosher balsamic vinegar

1tbsp lemon juice

1 1/2tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp black pepper

In a pot arrange the peeled beets in water. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the beets are fork-tender.  Remove the beets and purée.  Add black pepper and lemon zest to the beets and freeze into ice cubes.  Vigorously blend the salt, sugar, paprika, vinegar, and lemon juice into the remaining beet juice.  Chill for at least 4 hours and serve cold.  I recommend serving it in a fancy glass with the beet ice cubes mentioned above and a dollop of sour cream on top.

Healthy, pretty, and great in soup!


Best Roasted Kosher Turkey Ever

I tend to make rather outrageous claims to the awesomeness of my cooking, but according to my husband, this is legit.

1 kosher turkey (or not kosher if that’s your thing)

1/4 cup olive oil (also kosher or non depending on your thing)

1 large bunch tarragon (rough-chop half and keep the other half whole)

2 small lemons, halved

1tbsp kosher sea salt (you can do regular, but the chunky stuff is better)

1/2tbsp black pepper

2 medium shallots, peeled but not chopped


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Ideally, your bird will include a pop-up thermometer (it seems to be the fad these days), but if not, you’ll want to have a meat thermometer handy.  Carefully remove any extraneous bird parts, rinse the bird, and then pat dry.  Place breast down on a prepared rack in a roasting pan.  Whisk chopped tarragon, salt, and pepper into olive oil.  Carefully separate skin from meat so that you can run your fingers underneath.  Rub oil all over bird, inside the cavity, and underneath skin.  You want that bird thoroughly greased up (don’t worry, olive oil is full of good fats).  Next, stuff the cavity of the bird with the lemons, shallots, and whole tarragon.  Tie legs together with kitchen twine if necessary (some birds come with a connector already) and place in oven.  If the top of the bird starts getting too brown, cover with an aluminium foil ‘tent.’  Cooking times will vary based on bird weight, so check the package for the approximate time for your poundage.  If the bird includes a pop-up timer, keep an eye on it.  You don’t want to overcook the bird, so remove it as soon as it pops up and let it rest twenty minutes before carving.  If you are using your own thermometer, you’re looking for about 175 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature will continue to rise slightly while resting).  Serve with roasted potatoes and sauteed mushrooms or any of your other favourite sides.  This is a great recipe for Thanksgiving or just Shabbat since it can be prepared before sundown and the leftovers are super-yummy, and it works great on a chicken if you have a smaller crowd (just reduce the amounts of oil, salt, and pepper…the tarragon should still be fine).

These leftovers work well in my recipe for ‘Cure-All’ Slowcooker Soup.

Please observe safe food handling practices when dealing with all raw meat, especially poultry.

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