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Cook It Kosher

Tangy Sweet Onion Salad Dressing

March 18, 2018

Towards the end of Passover last year, we'd had our fill of lemon juice/salt/olive oil dressed salads, but it is the Chabad custom to avoid garlic and ginger on Passover, as well as most processed products including vinegars. Soy sauce and mustard are out too, because they contain kitniyot as well as being processed.

I noticed some small purple onions hanging around and was inspired to attempt a Passover version of my creamy yellow salad dressing. The purple onion gives it the most magnificent color, and is a creative way of adding a contrasting flavor when short on ingredients.

You can serve it over any leafy salad. We used it on a salad made with romaine lettuce, mango slices, finely diced purple onion, cubed jicama, and candied nuts, and it was quickly finished. You could also include sliced cucumber and avocado chunks.


  • 1 small onion (4 oz. / 120 grams)
  • ¾ cup light olive oil
  • 6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp. sugar*
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt


  1. Cut the onion into quarters. Place onion and rest of ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.
  2. Serve over the salad of your choice, for example: romaine lettuce, mango, jicama, purple onion, nuts.

*Note: You can use liquid sugar here. Use the amount that is equivalent to 4 tbsp. sugar. This will vary based on which ratio you used when making your liquid sugar.

Kosher-For-Passover Toasted Coconut Macaroons

March 11, 2018

If the humble coconut macaroon isn’t the most iconic Passover treat, I don’t know what is!

Chabad custom is to buy minimal processed foods for Passover, which means make-it-yourself is the name of the game.

This is a simple homemade version, not quite like the bought ones, but strong in that toasty coconut flavor with an addictive stickiness and a hint of salt.

This is the kind of volume you’re looking for when beating your eggs.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups shredded (unsweetened) coconut
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt


  1. Toss 2 cups shredded coconut with 1 tsp. sugar and ½ tsp. kosher salt. Spread it out on a baking sheet in a thin layer and bake at 350° F until just golden, about 5 minutes. Keep a careful eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Crack the eggs into a medium-sized bowl and beat for several minutes until pale, frothy and significantly increased in volume (see picture above).
  3. Slowly beat in the sugar, lemon juice and salt, and then fold in the raw and toasted coconut.
  4. Place the batter in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm it up so it will hold its shape better when baking.
  5. Use a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop the batter into evenly sized mounds on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 350° F for 15–20 minutes.

Yields: 25 macaroons

Vegan Butternut Squash Pot Sticker Dumplings

March 4, 2018

If you prefer a more traditional dumpling, try my chicken pot stickers, but if you’re feeling adventurous (or vegan/vegetarian), these are a wonderful alternative.

I’ve used ready-made wonton wrappers for the dough on these, but if you have time, I’ve included a recipe to make your own, which is always better.


Pot Sticker Ingredients

  • 1 lb. butternut squash, raw, cubed
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ inch fresh ginger, very finely diced
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 30 wonton wrappers (OR make your own dough)


  1. Toss the butternut squash with 2 tbsp. oil and 1 tsp. salt. Spread in a single layer over a baking sheet and roast at 400° F for 30 minutes.
  2. In a frying pan, sauté the shallot in 2 tbsp. oil until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and fry another minute or two. Add the scallions and cook until just softened. Salt to taste.
  3. Mash the butternut squash (or blitz it in a food processor for a super smooth consistency) and mix through the fried ingredients.
  4. Spread out the wonton wrappers (round or square) on a sheet of parchment paper.
  5. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each. Dip your fingers in cold water and run them around the edges of the dough. Gently pinch together the sides to form pleated edges. (You can find tutorials of this on YouTube, if you’re not sure how.) Be careful not to overfill, or they will be too difficult to seal. Repeat until all dumplings have been sealed.
  6. Heat 1–2 tbsp. oil in a frying pan that has a lid (or a wide-bottomed pot). When the oil is hot, place as many pot stickers as will fit without touching each other. Fry for approximately 2 minutes, then add a splash of water to the pan (1–2 tbsp.) and cover. Let the dumplings steam through for a couple of minutes so the filling gets cooked. Uncover and leave over the heat for another minute. Remove the rest and repeat with the next batch. When ready, the bottoms should be crispy, the sides tender, the filling plump and juicy.
  7. If you haven’t gotten the very crispy bottoms you wanted, you can always refry them in a little bit of hot oil after they’re done steaming. (Alternatively, you could just do these as fried wontons and pan fry them in oil to begin with, skipping the steaming entirely).
  8. Repeat until all dumplings have been cooked. Serve with dipping sauce (recipe below) and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and scallion (optional).

Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • ½ chili pepper, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 6 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1–2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2–3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
  • Sesame seeds


  1. Slice scallions, red chili pepper, garlic and ginger.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together.
  3. Serve with dumplings.

Note: The longer the sauce sits, the spicier it gets, so if you prepare it in advance, you may want to leave out the chili pepper and add it in shortly before serving.

Yields: 30 dumplings

Easy Marinated London Broil

February 18, 2018

Purim is next week, and one of the four mitzvahs of the day is to have a festive meal. No need to go all-out for a brisket. London broil, when prepared correctly, also goes over well.

London broil must be cooked medium-rare, medium at the very most. Any more than that and it is tough and chewy. If you only like your meat well done, choose a different cut. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the meat must be pink inside (the sauce has made it look darker than it was).

You can eat this warm, fresh from the oven. It is also good cold and mixed into a salad.


  • 1 piece London broil (1-2 lbs.)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice (juice from approximately half an orange)
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed


  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Place the meat in a zip-top bag and pour in the dressing. Seal and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, ideally longer.
  3. Transfer the meat with the marinade to a baking pan. Broil for 8 minutes on each side. Do not overcook. If you don't have broil on your oven, cook at 450-500F. London broil must be pink on the inside to be tender. If it is cooked too long it will be tough and chewy. If you only like meat cooked well done, choose a different a cut.
  4. Remove from oven and rest 10-15 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

Lemon Poppy Seed Hamantaschen

February 11, 2018

We're all familiar with Traditional Poppy Seed Hamantaschen, but this year I was motivated to put a twist on the traditional, and create this new version where I incorporate the poppy seeds into the dough and fill them with a tart lemon curd. Since lemon is my favorite flavor, I was extremely satisfied with the outcome.

The method is the same as for any other hamantaschen. If you're not familiar with how to fold them, check out this video. Full recipe below.

Wondering why Hamantaschen are traditional Purim fare? The reasons and symbolism are abundant. On the surface level, Haman, the evil villain from the Purim story, was said to wear a triangular hat. Alternatively, he is said to have had triangular ears (hence, the Hebrew name for hamantaschen, "Oznei Haman" - Haman's ears.

For a deeper look at the message behind the Hamantasch, read The Secret of the Hamantasch, Holy Hamantaschen, and Mystic Purim Pastries.


  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-2½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup lemon curd


  1. Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour, the poppy seeds, lemon zest, and the baking powder. Mix.
  3. Add the remaining flour until the dough forms a soft, but not sticky ball.
  4. Roll out the dough and cut out circles.
  5. Put a teaspoon of lemon curd in the center of each circle.
  6. Gently fold the sides and pinch shut tightly.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes on 350°F.

Yields: 20 Hamantaschen

Chewy Homemade Caramels

February 4, 2018

With some basic ingredients and a candy thermometer, you can make these homemade caramels that will impress everybody.

Wrap them up, pair with a classy drink or seasonal fruit, and give these to your friends and family as mishloach manot on Purim.

It's all about precision with these; you can't ignore the details and you can't just wing it, or you won't get the right consistency.


  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • coarse or flaked sea salt


  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Spray with baking spray.
  2. Place the butter, cream, and salt in a small pan and heat over a low flame until butter has melted. Remove from the fire and keep warm.
  3. Carefully place the sugar, water, and corn syrup into a medium-sized pot. Stir gently so that all the sugar is wet. Make sure there is no sugar stuck to the sides of the pot. If there is, use a wet pastry brush to brush it off. NOTE: The mixture will bubble up tremendously when you add the butter and cream, so you need to account for that when choosing your pot.
  4. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and turn the stove on to medium-high. Cook until the mixture reaches 320°F. You will see the sugar bubble and change colors to a light amber and then turn darker. Do not mix the sugar while it is cooking. If it seems to be noticeably darker in one area of the pan, hold the pan by the handles and gently swirl the mixture. Do not mix with a spoon or whisk.
  5. As soon as the sugar reaches 320°F, whisk in the melted butter and cream mixture. The mixture will bubble up wildly. Keep the mixture on the stove until it reaches 245°F.
  6. Remove from the stove, quickly whisk in the vanilla, and pour the mixture into the pan. After about 10 minutes, sprinkle with the coarse or flaked sea salt.
  7. Leave the caramels to set until the next day. Cut into pieces with a sharp knife and wrap with parchment paper. Store at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Yields: 24 caramels

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!
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