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Cook It Kosher

Ooey, gooey, yummy, cheesy... does it get any better than breaded, fried, melty mozzarella cheese?

This recipe combines two elements of traditional Chanukah food—cheese and oil.

Why oil? After winning the war against the Syrians, the Maccabees returned to Jerusalem to liberate it. They entered the Temple and cleared it of the idols placed there by the Syrian vandals. Since the Temple's golden Menorah had been stolen by the Syrians, the Maccabees now made one of cheaper metal. When they wanted to light it, they found only a small cruse of pure olive oil bearing the seal of the High Priest Yochanan. It was sufficient to light the Menorah only for one day, but by a miracle of G‑d, it continued to burn for eight days, till new oil was made available, which is why we celebrate Chanukah for eight days. Because of the miracle of oil, it's traditional to eat fried foods on Chanukah (like doughnuts and latkes).

It is also customary to eat dairy foods on Chanukah, in commemoration of the bravery of Yehudit. Click here to read the story of this brave woman whose daring courage led to a great Maccabee victory.

So these fried mozzarella sticks are a perfect Chanukah combination. You can even plate them in the shape of a menorah.

The two most important things to keep in mind when making this recipes are:

  1. Make sure you freeze the breaded cheese for at least 30 minutes before frying.
  2. Make sure your oil is not too hot, otherwise the crumbs will burn, the outer layer of melted cheese will push its way through the crumb and stick all over the bottom of the frying pan, while the inside stays frozen. Ie. You will end up with an inedible, burned mess.

Other than that, it's pretty simple!


  • 10 mozzarella sticks (you can use string cheese, or cut a block of cheese to size)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup flavored Panko crumbs
  • oil for frying
  • marinara sauce for dipping (optional)


  1. Coat each cheese stick in flour, then dip in egg and coat with the crumbs.
  2. Place the coated cheese sticks on a tray or plate lined with wax or parchment paper. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil to medium, then drop 2-3 sticks in the oil. Cook until brown on one side, then gently flip and cook until the other side is lightly browned. Remove from pan and place on a piece of paper towel.
  4. Serve immediately, with warm marinara sauce for dipping (optional).

This is my new favorite lunch. Crunchy green beans and fresh corn with roasted (or fresh) red peppers and my signature yellow dressing.

You can prep it in individual containers at the beginning of the week; just store the dressing in a separate small containers. Grab a container on your way to work, and dress it immediately before eating.

Feel free to throw in some protein to beef it up a bit. Cubed chicken or turkey, flaked fish, sliced hardboiled eggs, etc.

You can also serve as a Shabbat side dish. I’ve watched it fly off the table the past few weeks—everyone loved it!

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. green beans
  • 3 corn cobs
  • 2 red peppers

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 small raw onion
  • ⅓ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar or honey
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. mustard
  • ½ tsp. salt


  1. Cut the ends off the green beans. Place them in a pot and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil. As soon as the water reaches a rolling boil, remove the green beans and set aside.
  2. Place the corn cobs in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. When the water reaches a rolling boil, leave the corn in for 1–2 minutes, then remove and set aside. When the corn has cooled enough to handle, slice off the kernels and set aside.
  3. Cut the peppers into a large dice. Either add them to the salad raw, or roast them first. To roast, place the peppers on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and bake at 400° F for about 20 minutes.
  4. Toss all salad ingredients together.
  5. Using a blender, food processor, or even a good immersion blender, blend dressing ingredients.
  6. Dress immediately before serving.

It’s apple season, which means it’s prime time for all kinds of apple desserts, like this apple pie.

I used sweet red apples, but if you prefer a more tart apple pie, you can definitely use green ones.

Because we’re using a premade crust, that definitely cuts down on the prep time.

You’ll need to peel and dice the apples and toss them with the sugar, spices and lemon juice. That goes into the pie crust, and gets topped with the crumble mixture.

While that’s baking, you can make the strawberry sauce. I find the strawberry sauce gives this dessert a refreshing kick, but if you prefer, a sticky caramel sauce would also be delicious.

Pie Ingredients:

  • 3 red apples
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ginger powder
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced (approx. 2 tbsp.)
  • 1 premade pie crust

Crumb Topping Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. rolled oats
  • ½ to 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp. butter/margarine

Strawberry Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, juiced (approx 3–4 tbsp.)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries


  1. Dice the apples and toss with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and lemon juice. You can also add some lemon zest for extra flavor. Pour the apple mixture into the pie crust.
  2. To make the crumb topping, mix the sugar, flour and oats together. Cut the butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the dry mixture. Using your fingertips, work the butter and the dry ingredients until it becomes crumb-like.
  3. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the apples and bake at 350° F for 45–50 minutes.
  4. To make the strawberry sauce, place all ingredients into a saucepan over very low heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the strawberries let out their juices, approximately 15 minutes. Blend and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sauce will thicken in the fridge.
  5. Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream (or ice cream) and a drizzle of strawberry sauce. Apple pie can be served warm or cold. Store in the refrigerator.

What’s your favorite apple dessert?

Kugel is one of those traditional Ashkenazic dishes which makes some people roll their eyes, but without which others can’t imagine a holiday or Shabbat meal. Sweet noodle kugel with raisins is quite popular, and this one is easy.


  • 12 oz. medium noodles
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 5 eggs
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt


  1. Soak the raisins in 1 cup of water until the noodles are cooked.
  2. Cook and the drain the noodles, and immediately mix in the oil.
  3. Mix the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, drained raisins, salt and vanilla together. Pour over noodles. Stir until the noodles are evenly coated.
  4. Pour the mixture into a greased 9″ × 13″ pan (or two smaller square pans) and bake at 375° F for 45 minutes, until top is golden.

With a robust tahini-based dressing

Chicken salad is a healthy meal-in-a-bowl we can feel good about eating. Well, maybe not your typical mayo-drenched chicken salad, but this one uses a tahini-based dressing which is genuinely healthy and absolutely delicious.

I like to make the chicken and the dressing in the beginning of the week, which means that whenever I want to eat it, I need only to cut up the veggies. It’s also a good bring-to-work lunch—just keep the dressing in a separate little container until you’re ready to eat it.

Keep in mind that if you have leftover chicken or schnitzel in the fridge, you can certainly use that. You don’t have to make it fresh for the salad.

I went with the most basic vegetable combination—lettuce, cucumber and tomato. You can of course add, remove or change it up in pretty much any way you like. I sometimes add slivered almonds or crumbled pecans for additional texture and flavor.

The dressing is tahini-based, and further flavored with fresh lemon juice (don’t use the bottled stuff, please!), pure maple syrup (not the pancake stuff), garlic, ginger and salt. There are lots of other dressings that would work well here, too, so if you don’t like this one, feel free to experiment.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce
  • 4 small cucumbers
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb. raw thin chicken cutlets

Chicken Marinade:

  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2–3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (approximately the juice of half a lemon)
  • 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. ginger powder
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt


  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a container or Ziploc bag. Place the chicken in the marinade and refrigerate for about an hour. Then pour out the chicken and the marinade onto a baking pan, and bake at 400° F for 15–20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool.
  2. Wash, check and cut the lettuce. Slice the cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Cube the chicken. Toss all ingredients together. Optional: add some slivered nuts for an additional texture.
  3. Mix all the dressing ingredients together. Pour over the salad immediately before serving.

What are your favorite chicken salad add-ins?

Cook It Kosher features recipes from food blogger Miriam Szokovski, as well as guest bloggers and cookbook authors. Let us know if you’d like to contribute!