Tasmanian Ocean Trout for Dinner

There's a new Citarella market near me. I love this place, mostly because they have all sorts of gorgeous, fresh produce, interesting breads and fish that not only looks beautiful, but looks as if all of it was just caught -- moist, glossy, and without any hint of fish odor.

Also -- the variety of fish they offer is huge -- you just can't get some of it in most places, even a good fish market. Some I've never seen before.

Like Tasmanian Ocean Trout.

It looked, well, good enough to eat, I had to buy some.

It was more than good enough to eat.

Although Tasmanian Ocean Trout resembles salmon, it doesn't taste like salmon. It's milder and sweeter. The flesh is softer. More like trout.

Of course.

I'll be going back for more. 

Here's how I cooked it. Stay tuned for more recipes.

Of course, if you can't find this fish variety, do try the recipe using salmon.


Roasted Tasmanian Ocean Trout with Orange, Soy and Ginger Glaze

  • 1-1/2 pounds Tasmanian Ocean Trout (or substitute salmon) filet
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 thick scallion, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the fish in a shallow pan or dish. In a bowl, mix the orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic and scallion. Pour the mixture over the salmon and coat the entire surface of the fish with the mixture. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the fish on the parchment. Pour some of the marinade on top. Roast the fish for about 15 minutes or until the surface is crispy and cooked to desired doneness. 


Makes 4 servings


Pear and Green Tomato Chutney


I was always a "late-bloomer" so I was not at all surprised that my tomato plants are too. It's the way it is with me. The plants bore fruit in October rather than at the end of August, when they are supposed to (in my part of the world anyway).

As for me, well, my mother always said "what's the rush?" and of course she was right. I eventually did lose that first tooth, need a bra, learn to ride a bike.

But the tomatoes were a different story. A hurricane was coming (or so I thought). I wasn't about to let the wind and rain destroy those beautiful, slowly-ripening green things. Not after an entire summer of tending to my garden and kvelling when the tiny yellow flowers finally turned themselves into real, would-be tomatoes.

I left a couple on the vine -- just in case the storm passed us by. (It did!)

But with the rest? Some are on the windowsill waiting to ripen. The others became chutney.

Late-bloomers do hold their own in the world in some magnificent way.


Pear and Green Tomato Chutney


3 pounds ripe but firm pears (about 6), peeled, cored and sliced

1 pound yellow onions, peeled and chopped

3 large green tomatoes, cut into chunks

1-1/2 cups raisins

3 stalks celery, sliced about 1/4-inch thick

3 cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons salt

2-1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

6 whole peppercorns


Place the pears, onions, tomatoes, raisins, celery, brown sugar, ginger, cayenne pepper, salt and apple cider vinegar into a large saucepan. Wrap the peppercorns in cheesecloth (or inside a muslin bag) and add to the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly to mix the ingredients. Lower the heat, cover the pan partially and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 hours or until thick.

Makes about 5 cups



Nectarine or Peach Crisp

Peach Crisp

Peach Crisp

Autumn may be here, officially speaking. But I couldn't resist the gorgeous nectarines at a local market. I bought a dozen. Large. 

I let them ripen for two days on my counter and they had that end-of-summer ripe, sweet perfume. I couldn't wait to polish one off, anticipating the juicy flesh on my tongue, savoring the last essences of summer.

They were mealy. Dry. Huge disappointment.

But I hate to throw food out.

Ed wanted me to poach them. It seemed like a good idea because poaching not-so-good fruit can enhance their flavor.

They were so big that before poaching I decided to cut them in half, remove the pits and poach the halves. But when I cut them they were full of brown spots. Beyond poaching.

Huge disappointment. But I hate to throw food out.

So I cut around the brown spots and from 12 large nectarines had enough flesh to make a crisp for 6 people. 

Now, that was not at all disappointing. In fact it was just perfect. I added just a bit of honey and enough lemon juice to bring out the best of what was left of these nectarines.

Here's the recipe, for when you have not-so-good peaches or nectarines (you could make this crisp with pears too), and I bet it would be especially delicious if your fruit started out wonderful too.

Peach/Nectarine Crisp with Oat Crust


3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter (or substitute)


6 large peaches or nectarines

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and work it into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside. Peel the peaches and discard the pits. Slice the peaches into a bowl. Add the flour, honey and lemon juice and toss the ingredients. Place the mixture in the baking dish. Scatter the oat mixture on top of the fruit. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Makes 6 servings



Easier Than Pie Fruit Galette

If you're ever in need of a recipe for a gorgeous, fabulous tasting dessert that looks as if you fussed to create a culinary artistic masterpiece when it really was one of the easiest desserts you ever made -- here it is.

Plum galette.

Even the name is fancy. But this one is a cinch to make and guaranteed to please.

President (Empress, Italian-prune) plums are coming to the end of their season, so get them while you can. Use them for lots of recipes, like Plum Tart or  or Clove and Lemongrass Poached Plums.

Or for this easy puff pastry tart. It's a lovely dessert for family, company, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Shabbat or any old time.

Plum Galette with Orange and Rosemary

(If you can’t find frozen dough pastry squares in the frozen section of your supermarket, buy regular puff pastry sheets and cut the sheets into squares.)

  • 6 puff pastry squares (4-inch)
  • 3 peaches or 6 President or Empress (or about 8 Italian prune) plums, cut into wedges (about one pound)
  • 3-4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pastry squares on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Prick the dough in a few places. Arrange equal amounts of the fruit on top of each square, leaving a border of 1/2-inch. Mix the sugar, orange peel and rosemary. Sprinkle equal amounts of the sugar mixture on top of the fruit (using the extra sugar if you have a real sweet tooth). Pinch the dough border to make it slightly higher and closer to the fruit. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Makes 6 servings



Banana Spice Cake


Break-the-Fast desserts aren't typically gooey or loaded with sugar or dripping with icing. This is the time for lighter treats. Babka and Zimsterne cookies rather than chocolate cake with caramel sauce. 

So I made banana cake for the upcoming holiday.

To go with the rugelach, mandel bread and butter cookies

This version is moist and gently spicy to give it a hint of autumn. It's also rich and sweet without being heavy and cloying.

Freezable too. 

Banana Yogurt Spice Cake

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a (10-inch) 8-cup bundt pan. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves together in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the sugar and eggs for 2-3 minutes or until well blended. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla extract and beat for one minute or until thoroughly blended. Add the bananas and yogurt and mix for 1-2 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix until the batter is thoroughly blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a cake rack to cool completely.

Makes 12-16 servings


Our Favorite Cookies

Aunt Fanny's Cookies

Aunt Fanny's Cookies

It wouldn't be my house if there weren't some of these in the freezer for the holidays. During Rosh Hashanah and of course, for my Break-the-Fast. These are my Mom's famous butter cookies. They are probably the most-loved, most-baked cookies in my (and once, my Mom's) repertoire.

When I was growing up I didn't know they were butter cookies because my Mom made them with shortening. After I got interested in cooking I asked her why she called them butter cookies and she explained that during WWII she couldn't get butter, but everyone wanted the cookies, and so -- 

We tried them with real butter and never looked back. Except for when I need something dairy-free, and then, of course, I go back to the shortening. These cookies are fabulous, either way, though, to confess, I like the butter ones much better.

Here they are, fresh from the oven.

In our family we never actually called them butter cookies, not because of the shortening but because the recipe came from my mother's Aunt Fanny. So everyone in the family called them Fanny's (recipe), which is scrawled out as "Fannies" in all the old family recipe collections.

I don't know if anyone in my family is named for Aunt Fanny, but these cookies give her kind of the same immortality.


1/2 pound unsalted butter, cut into chunks (or one cup cold shortening)

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

lekvar, jam, nut butter, etc.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat them in an electric mixer set at medium speed for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix another 1-2 minutes, or until the ingredients are almost blended. Add the egg yolks, salt and vanilla extract. Mix the ingredients 1-2 minutes, or until a uniform dough forms. Scoop pieces of dough and shape them into balls about 1" in diameter. Flatten the balls between your palms. Press each circle with your thumb to make an indentation in the center. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet, leaving an inch of space between them. Fill the thumb print spaces with a small amount of lekvar, jam, etc. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. You can freeze these cookies for 6 months.


Makes about 60



The Brisket


Yesterday I wrote about the un-brisket. You know, why I usually don't make brisket for the holidays.

But I do make brisket on occasion and I realize it is THE specialty for Rosh Hashanah.

And I also know that no matter how many recipes there are out there for brisket, there are always thousands of people wanting more. Not just recipes, but information on how to make brisket so that your family wants it again and remembers your brisket as the ultimate dinner.

So here's what you might want to do: not only learn a good recipe, but also get instruction from the world's premiere kosher cookbook author: Jamie Geller.

Here's how: Jamie is giving video courses called HOME in which she and other culinary experts will teach you the best methods and tips for making the best brisket.

There are other courses too. Challah and Do-it-Yourself Rosh Hashanah (with recipes PLUS crafts).

You can get one or get them all. The price is $19.99/course.

But take a look yourself, watch the trailer and get the skills, the tools, the encouragement and confidence you need to cook it right.

Here's where: HOME by Jamie Geller.

Chicken Fricassee, the Un-Brisket Choice for Rosh Hashanah

Chicken Fricassee

Chicken Fricassee

My friends are always surprised that I don't usually serve brisket on Rosh Hashanah. In fact, they used to tell me it is heresy. Everyone knows that brisket is the big, big, popular, festive and impressive-looking main course for the New Year! So they ask -- how come it's not what I do?

Well, my grandma always made turkey. So did my mother. So I guess turkey is the tradition in our family and I just follow suit.

But I have to confess, after all the teasing I've gotten over the years I began to think that turkey was kind of strange and that I was doing something bizarre.

Until recently.

Because I read an article by Joan Nathan in Tablet about this very thing. 

She said that before the Civil War, brisket was not the usual Rosh Hashanah specialty, and that it was only after refrigerated trains could carry meat more quickly and easily across the country that this big hunk of meat became a holiday specialty. Before that, she said, Jewish home cooks might prepare dishes such as chicken fricassee for the occasion.


It conjured up glorious memories of my mother's (and grandmother's) chicken fricassee. Did they serve that also during the holidays? I don't remember. All I know is that after I read the article I went out and bought the necessary items for chicken fricassee and made a big batch. I was going to freeze it in portions for the holidays but my daughter Gillian and her kids came for a surprise visit and my fricassee was cooling down before the big freeze.

We ate it for dinner. At first Gillian was reluctant because she and my other daughter, Meredith, refused to eat chicken fricassee when they were girls. "Too soft!" "Too wet!"

They used to make fun of me for loving it.

But that's what I had in the fridge the day of the surprise visit so that's what we ate for dinner that night.

Guess what? Gillian loved it! And said she changed her mind.

Tastes do change over the years.

That's why people eat brisket for Rosh Hashanah now, rather than fricassee. And for some terrific ideas about preparing the best brisket ever, click here.

But maybe it's time to reconsider Chicken Fricassee for the holidays? I will offer it as an option when my family comes.

Chicken Fricassee

  • 16-20 ounces chopped beef, veal, turkey or a combination
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs or matzo meal
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 chicken wings, cut into sections
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 pound chicken gizzards
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water, approximately
  • 4 medium all purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks, optional
  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks, optional
  • 10 ounces coarsely cut mushrooms, optional


In a large bowl, combine the chopped meat, bread crumbs and egg and mix thoroughly. Shape the meat mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls and set aside. Pour the vegetable oil into a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook the meatballs for 6-8 minutes, turning them occasionally, or until lightly browned on all sides. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside. Add the wings and cook them for 6-8 minutes, turning them occasionally, or until lightly browned. Remove the wings from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and gizzards to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until golden and softened. Return the wings and meatballs to the pan. Sprinkle the ingredients with the paprika, salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients gently to season the meats evenly. Pour in 1-1/2 cups water. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 35-40 minutes. Add the optional ingredients if desired, cover the pan and cook an additional 50-60 minutes. Check the pan occasionally and turn the ingredients gently. Check fluid levels and add more water if needed.

Makes 8 servings



Oat Topped Banana Brown Sugar Muffins

Oat Topped Banana Brown Sugar Muffins

Oat Topped Banana Brown Sugar Muffins

Having company for the Labor Day weekend? 

Need a breakfast bread for the back-to-school crowd?

Brunch item?

These banana muffins will suit so many needs.

Oat-Topped Banana Brown Sugar Muffins

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 small very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin tins. Mix the flour, 1/2 cup oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together in a bowl. In a second bowl, mix the banana, yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir just to bend ingredients. Spoon equal amounts into the greased muffin tins. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the 2 tablespoons oats. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 12

Baked Marinated Pineapple with Meringue Top

Marinated Marinated Pineapple with Meringue

Marinated Marinated Pineapple with Meringue

After a big, heavy meal -- like the kind we usually eat for Rosh Hashanah or any other holiday (Thanksgiving, for example) -- I like to serve a fruit dessert. I'll also serve Honey Cake and Plum Torte but not everyone can stuff cake in right after dinner.

So, fruit.

This is a pretty way to serve fresh fruit, festive enough for any holiday table. You can use any cut up fruit you like in addition to the pineapple. 



·                1 large pineapple

·                1 cup berries and/or grapes or cut up peach/plum/apricot

·                1/3 cup confectioner's sugar

·                3 tablespoons rum or orange juice

·                3 tablespoons brandy or orange juice

·                4 large egg whites

·                1 cup sugar

·                1/2 cup melted apricot preserves


Cut the pineapple in half, keeping the leaves intact. Cut out the flesh (use a spoon to scoop portions you don't reach with the knife). Reserve the pineapple shells. Cut away and discard the hard core in the center of the flesh. Cut the pineapple into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Add the berries, confectioner's sugar, rum and brandy. Toss the fruit and let rest for at least one hour in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating constantly until the whites stand in stiff, glossy peaks. Place the fruit and accumulated juices back into the reserved pineapple shells. Spoon the meringue on top, spreading it to the sides, making sure to seal the edges. Place the pineapple halves on a cookie sheet. Cover the leaves with aluminum foil. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned. Remove the foil from the leaves. Drizzle the melted apricot preserves on on a serving platter and place the pineapple on top or serve the sauce separately.

Makes 6 servings