Sweet Potato Latkes, Challah Bread Pudding and Cranberry Applesauce for your Thanksgiving and Hannukkah celebration.
Happy Thanksgivingukkah y’all! I hope you’re enjoying this fab amalgamation of holidays. We’re busy trying to get cooking Thanksgiving dinner amid the craziness of some excited kidlets with new Hanukkah presents. There are dry erase markers loose in my living room right now and there’s nothing I can do about it. Anyway, if you happen to catch me on CBS 46 yesterday I shared a few crossover recipes for your Thanksgivingukkah table: sweet potato latkes, cranberry applesauce, challah rum raisin bread pudding and my roasted lemon garlic brussels sprouts (which don’t really have a Jewish twist but I love them!). Here are the recipes!
Sweet Potato Latkes
(makes about 8 latkes)
1 Russet Potato, peeled
1 Sweet Potato, peeled
1/2 yellow onion
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 sprigs worth of fresh thyme (optional)
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Grate potatoes and onion into a bowl using a large box grater. Place mixture into a strainer over another bowl; let drain for 10 minutes or so and then press out as much water from mixture as you can. It’s critical to get the mixture as dry as possible! You can even blot with a paper towel to sop up extra moisture. Another tip: drain the onion on its own first. That’s the major liquid culprit.
Heat oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet.
Add egg, thyme, and seasonings to potato mixture. Blend well. Grab about three tablespoons of the mixture and form into a ball. Place it into the sizzling oil and flatten into a pancake with spatula. Let the latke brown on one side for about 5 minutes, then flip and brown for 5 minutes on the other side. Try not to flip the latke too soon or even peek at the bottom! Letting it be will help it set most nicely into its pancake shape.
Remove latkes and let them drain on paper towels to remove excess grease.
My challah rum raisin bread pudding has a yummy coconut twist.
For the pudding:
1 braided loaf of Challah (A bit stale is better)
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup dark rum
1 cup milk
1 cup coconut milk
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grab a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine rum and raisins. Set aside.
Remove the crusts from the challah. Yeah, this is kind of a b*tch given that the loaf is braided. I use a large serrated knife and just work my way around slicing off as much crust as I can off each braid section. It doesn’t have to be perfect! In a food processor, blend the crusts into bread crumbs. Set aside 3 Tablespoons for the pudding and freeze the rest.
Cube the challah and put it in a large bowl. Add the milk and coconut milk. Set aside to let saturate completely.
In another bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg & salt. Pour it over the bread mixture, and add the raisins/rum. Stir until well blended.
Grease the baking dish with some cooking spray. Then pour the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. The pudding will be more of a shallow pudding (about 1-2 inches high), rather than one of those really thick ones. I prefer this because I think it cooks through better. But for serving, you might cut two pieces and layer them on top of each other for a more scrumptious presentation.
Spiced Rum Sauce (adapted from Bon Apetit magazine)
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup spiced rum or dark rum
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
Stir brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add cream, rum, and cinnamon and bring to simmer.
Simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced, about 5 minutes. It should have a nice, gooey, caramel-ly texture. Serve warm.
Can be saved for leftovers; just reheat before later use.
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup sugar
1/4 cup water (to start)
1/4 cup red wine
4 large Granny Smith apples
In a medium sauce pot, combine cranberries, spices, sugar, water and wine. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.
Peel and core apples, then cut them into medium chunks (approximately ½-inch cubes), and add to the cranberry mixture.
Cover sauce and continue to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If sauce begins to stick, add water (about 1/4 cup at a time).
You might have to break up the apple chunks a little as it simmers, but leave some thicker. It gives the sauce a little more character I think!
If you’ve been following the show, you probably know the Shigleys tend to like our recipes simple and spicy! This one-pot curried cauliflower is just that—and makes an easy, flavorful vegetarian dish for a weeknight meal. Full disclosure, I call it “no chop” because each of the ingredients can be sourced already cut. But technically you might have to chop the onion/cauliflower if you don’t have the pre-chopped versions from the grocery store, or saved in your freezer.
No Chop, One Pot Curried Cauliflower
Spicy and sweet curried cauliflower is a satisfying vegetarian meal.
2 Teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
About 2 (10-oz.) packages fresh cauliflower florets
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup diced red onion
Cooked Basmati Rice
Store-bought Mango Chutney
Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook curry powder and red pepper in hot oil, stirring often, 1 minute.
Add cauliflower, onion, peas and salt, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is crisp-tender.
Reduce heat to low; add 6-8 Tbsp. water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or just until cauliflower is tender.
Want to eat like a fitness model? This week I’m sharing my recipe for a Get Skinny Oatmeal Pancake, which is adapted from a dish my best friend Amina made when she was training for a fitness bikini competition a few years back. I eat this dish for breakfast/snack for a few days when I’m trying to “lean out” before a big event or after indulging too much during, say, the holidays.
For getting lean, you can’t beat “clean” ingredients like oatmeal and egg whites. Combining them together—with a smattering of delicious (and naturally low-carb) berries and a dash of cinnamon and sugar—yields a protein-packed pancake that’s hearty, tasty and great for the waistline. The flavor and texture of the pancake kind of reminds me of matzoh brie, the fried matzoh version of French toast that is served during Passover. Bon appetit!
Get Skinny Oatmeal Pancake
This delicious oatmeal pancake is protein-packed with egg whites.
4 Egg Whites
½ cup regular rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)
½ cup fresh berries such as blueberries/strawberries
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add oatmeal and cinnamon. Pour mixture into pan coated with cooking spray, over medium heat. When bottom of pancake begins to brown, place 1/2 of berries onto pancake (reserve the remaining half to top the finished pancake). Flip pancake and cook until both sides are golden brown.
Frittata. It sounds so fancy, doesn’t it? I thought so when I first saw Bethenny Frankel cooking one on her Bravo show “Bethenny Getting Married.” She just whipped one up one morning for her future (uh, I guess now former) mother-in-law, and it looked really impressive and cool. I thought, I’d like to learn that! If you’re unfamiliar, a frittata is like a baked omelette, and is a great way to use up all those veggie stragglers in your fridge. Add some cheese, herbs and bacon, and you can’t go wrong.
Bacon, Herb & Cheese Frittata
3 strips bacon (store-bought, pre-cooked such as Oscar Mayer or Boars Head)
Red and yellow pepper, diced
Fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme
Gruyere cheese, cut into small chunks
4 eggs, beaten
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Milk
What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add milk to eggs; whisk and season with Salt and Pepper. Heat oil over medium high heat. Saute peppers and bacon until lightly browned. Pour in egg mixture, reduce heat to low and cook until egg begins to set around the edges but is still wet in the center. Top egg with cheese, then fresh herbs. Transfer pan to oven and complete cooking. Loosen with spatula and transfer to plate (or cover pan with plate and flip to release). Cut into wedges and serve.
One of my cooking tricks is to try and do half of a meal homemade, even if the other half is born in a box (or freezer bag). When it comes to pasta nights, I have an easy tomato sauce I make to go along with, say, store-bought fresh ravioli, to make the meal a bit more special. I call it the “bathtime” sauce because I can get all the ingredients going in the pot before we start the kids’ bath/bedtime routine—and it simmers down just in time for dinner with the hubby. The key ingredients are a can of San Marzano tomatoes (available at most grocery stores; this variety has the most flavor), and a shredded carrot, which adds a nice sweetness. As with many sauces, you can make it your own with a dash more of this or a handful more of that—and I change it up a little myself virtually every time I make this. But here’s the tried and true version.
San Marzano tomatoes make homemade tomato sauce a snap.
Homemade Tomato Sauce
2+ Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup onion chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 28-oz can San Marzano whole tomatoes
1 ½ cups water
Generous splash of leftover red wine
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Heat a tablespoon oil over medium low heat. Saute mushrooms, garlic and onion until light brown. Add can of tomatoes, water and carrot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer uncovered to reduce sauce. After about 10 minutes, add a smidge more olive oil, wine, sugar and cheese. Continue reducing another 15 minutes, until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
Last week I appeared on Atlanta’s CBS Better Mornings to share some easy recipes and reinventions for back to school. I made a breadless Teriyaki Chicken Tender, which we then reinvented into multiple meals. For example, you can do an Asian Noodle Salad for dinner on Day 2, lettuce wraps for lunch on Day 3, and mix-and-match the chicken or noodle salad for kids’ lunches throughout the week. Thankfully my little sister Lauren was in town and helped 33-week-pregnant-me prep all the food for the segment—and she’s a natural at food styling! Here’s a pic of us on set!
Chicken Teriyaki Strips
6 boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
2 cups Teriyaki Sauce
Sesame Seeds, lightly toasted.
Marinate chicken in Teriyaki sauce for at least 20 minutes.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
Place chicken in pan (about 10 strips at a time), and cook until crisp, browned and cooked through, turning once. Add more cooking spray as needed.
Roll freshly-cooked chicken strips in sesame seeds.
Asian Noodle Chicken Salad
For the Dressing:
1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup Fresh lime juice
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
3 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
2 Teaspoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
Dash of kosher salt.
For the Salad:
7 oz. Rice Noodles
2 cups Red Cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 English Cucumber, seeded, halved and thinly sliced
Leftover Chicken Teriyaki Strips, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup Thai Basil, chopped
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
Crispy Fried Shallots*
Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain, set aside, and toss with a drop or two of sesame oil.
Combine ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and whisk.
Assemble salad ingredients in a large bowl, add dressing and serve!
*To make the crispy shallots, slice up two shallots into 2mm slices. Heat 4 tablespoons oil (or enough to cover shallots) over medium low heat. Add shallots and cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Fried Shallots can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
I’m a huge fan of Atlanta radio hostMara Davis, and was thrilled when she agreed to cook on Deb’s Kitchen! This week we’re making one of her signature recipes: a “burnt” broccoli and cauliflower dish that’s pretty low-calorie, very easy to make, and kid-friendly.
Though Mara’s husband tends to be the “alpha chef” in her home, she told me she recently started cooking more, joking that she had more time on her hands since transitioning from her longtime role on 92.9 FM. Now you can catch Mara reporting forAtlanta Eatsand sharing celebrity interviews and hilarious musings on herpodcast. Thanks SO much for joining me, Mara!
For another variation on roasted veggies, check outthis recipeI cooked on the TODAY Show a few months back.
Burnt Cauliflower and Broccoli
Roasted cauliflower and broccoli topped with Parmesan is delicious and kid-friendly.
2 heads Broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
1 small head Cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Drizzle the chopped broccoli and cauliflower with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until edges are dark brown. Mara’s tip: separate the cauliflower and broccoli onto different baking sheets before baking because the cauliflower can take a bit longer to brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Loaded baked potatoes are an easy weeknight dish, all the better when dressed up with a fancy caramelized onion. In this episode I’m cooking my staple red onion topping, which is both sweet and savory and takes just 15 minutes to make. So in my house, we pop the potatoes in the oven, finish up the bedtime/bath time routine with the kids, then whip up the onions and other toppings to have dinner ready in a snap. I know it takes longer to actually bake the potatoes in the oven but I do think it’s much more rewarding and delicious. Just “precook” them for 3 minutes in the microwave to cut the baking time from over an hour to, say, 35 minutes.
Fancy Loaded Baked Potatoes
Savory caramelized onions really dress up a baked potato.
2 Russet potatoes, baked
Shredded cheddar cheese and Emmenthal cheese
For the Caramelized Onions
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
2 cups vertically sliced red onion
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sugar; sauté or until browned (about 8 minutes). Stir in sherry, Worcestershire, thyme, and; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates, scraping pan to loosen those tasty browned bits. (This step is called “deglazing,” similar to what we did in the Balsamic Steak recipe.) Top each potato half with about three tablespoons onion mixture, as well as cheese, broccoli, and sour cream if desired. Yum!
I love falafel, but it’s not the kind of thing I can make from scratch on an average day. Okay, I’m probably not making this from scratch ever. There’s little incentive to when you can make a tasty falafel pita pocket starting from Trader Joe’s pre-made falafel, which I think are delicious and very authentic tasting. But you do need to doctor the dish up for full effect. For the uninitiated, falafel is a vegetarian Middle Eastern dish that’s like chickpea chicken nugget of sorts, minus the meat. The chickpeas, spices, and sometimes fava beans are mashed and formed into a little patty and deep-fried. It’s considered a fast food/street food, but if you throw in a good amount of veggies it makes a healthy lunch and is great for on-the-go.
Melty Falafel Pita Pocket
With fresh veggies and warmed in the oven, falafel is a great weekend lunch.
Whole wheat pita pocket, cut in half
Pre-made falafel, such as Trader Joe’s
Heat oven to 375.
Cook falafel according to package instructions. Set aside. Spread 3-4 heaping tablespoons of hummus in pita pocket half. Add 3 falafels, halved. Top with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and about a tablespoon feta cheese. Spray pita pocket with cooking spray and heat in oven until hummus is warmed and melty, about five minutes. Enjoy!
Stir-fry is a staple weeknight meal in our house, and a simple way to shake things up is to swap out the standard rice accompaniment for an Asian-style noodle instead. In this episode, I’m reinventing the Honey Balsamic Filet we made a few weeks back. Even if I have just an ounce or two of steak leftover, I’ll wrap it up to make this stir-fry the next day. A little meat goes a long way, especially when you slice it very thin and add the veggies.
Saucy Beef with Broccoli Noodle Stir Fry
Use noodles instead of rice to liven up your weekly stir-fry.
Leftover Honey-Balsamic Filet, cut thinly, crosswise, into bite-sized pieces
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain, rinse and toss with a few drops of sesame oil.
Heat a Tablespoon of vegetable oil and a teaspoon of sesame oil in wok over medium high heat.
Add beef and stir-fry until edges brown and crisp.
Add a bit more oil, broccoli and continue cooking until broccoli is crisp tender. Add noodles and Teriyaki and soy sauce and cook for about two minutes, until heated through and noodles get a little crispy.
*For a midsummer twist, you could substitute a store-bought peanut sauce for Teriyaki and serve cold.
If you want to reinvent the filet as a beef fried rice dish, you can try my Trader Joe’s Cheat, also.