Tag Archives: parve

Awesome Wedding Dessert Pairings, Continued

Small weddings don’t need big dessert buffets, we pointed out in an earlier post of 10 great wedding cake dessert pairings. One carefully chosen food to accompany the wedding cake makes the dessert course special. Here are four more awesome wedding dessert duos:

  1. Milk Chocolate Cake & Mint Julep Ice Cream
  2. Cheesecake with Pistachio Crust & Poached Pear Half
  3. Honey-Soaked Semolina Cake & Stuffed Dates (Parve)
  4. Lemon Pound Cake & Lemon Almond Tuiles
  5. Mocha Cake & Gourmet Chocolates

flourless chocolate cake
If they’re special enough to make your small wedding guest list, they deserve an awesome dessert

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Recipe: Fruited Apple Loaf, Hors d’Oeuvre Base (Parve)

This recipe is for the seventh hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

This fruited quick bread makes a great hors d’oeuvre base for cheeses and our roasted duck with spiced fruit chutney. The recipe comes from Quick Bread by Beatrice Ojakangas, which is now out of print.

Ingredients for Fruited Apple Loaf

Makes three small loaves.

  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Sherry
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light or dark raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup pitted chopped dates
  • 1 ½ cups chopped tart apple (about 3 small apples)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 5 3/4 x 3 ½-inch loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, oil, Sherry, eggs, vanilla, raisins, fruits, nuts, and dates. In a small bowl, stir the apples and baking soda together and add to the fruit-nut mixture.

In another bowl, stir the flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together and blend into fruit mixture.

Spoon into the prepared pan or pans and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

Cut into thin slices, and cut each slice in half to make hors d’oeuvres bases.

Make Ahead Options

Breads can be frozen up to three months. Wrap tightly. Defrost overnight at room temperature.

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Recipe: Pea Guacamole (Parve Vegetarian)

pea guacamole dip recipe

Photo: Fiona Haynes via Allrecipes.com

This pea guacamole accompanies the sixth hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

This dip accompanies the haddock fish cakes in the royal wedding canape reception menu. You can also serve it with crudites. The recipe comes from the Rancho La Puerta spa in Baja, Mexico.

Ingredients for Pea Guacamole

  • 1 cup frozen peas, slightly thawed
  • 1 medium Hass avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into ¼ -inch dice
  • ½ red or sweet onion, cut into ⅛-inch dice
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions for Pea Guacamole

  1. In a blender or in the bowl of a food processor, process the peas until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher. Add the juice, tomato, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Add the peas and mix well.
  3. If the guacamole won’t be served immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent browning.

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Special Wedding Details: Catoctin Cocktail with Kosher, Organic, Rye Whisky

roundstone-rye-whisky catoctin creek

Source: catoctincreekdistilling.com

Every once in a while I get really excited about bringing you a new find.
This is one of them: Catoctin Creek distilled spirits from Catoctin Creek distillery.

The distillery, located in Virginia, is only two years old. All their whiskys, brandies, and other distilled spirits are certified kosher, certified organic, and — based on all the awards they’ve won — certified delicious.

I’m all for choosing one or two wedding details that will surprise and delight your guests, and I’m all for serving one amazing featured drink in lieu of springing for a full bar. A featured cocktail using a Catoctin Creek spirit fits the bill. The Catoctin Coctail recipe and description below are from Catoctin Creek’s website, catoctincreekdistilling.com.

Show off the cool looking bottles at the bar so everyone knows they’re getting something new.

Catoctin Cocktail

Catoctin Cocktail

Source: catoctincreekdistilling.com

This is a variant on the classic “Canadian Cocktail” but is so much better when made with a 100% rye whisky. Mmmmm….. delicious, eh!
.
2 oz Catoctin Creek Organic Rye Whisky
1/2 oz Cointreau or triple sec
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 dash bitters (Peychauds is a good one)
.
In a shaker half filled with ice cubes, combine all the ingredients. Shake well, strain and pour into a cocktail glass.

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On Project Wedding: How to Make Your Own Wedding Cake

DIY make a homemade wedding cake

Source: ProjectWedding.com; Make a Homemade Wedding Cake!

A must share for backyard wedding mavens: Project Wedding has just posted instructions for assembling a wedding cake, decorated with herbs and greenery. Sweet.
.
If you need to bake a non-dairy, (parve) wedding cake or whip up some non-dairy frosting, see these recipes at Backyard Huppah:

Go to cake instructions at Project Wedding…

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Pomegranate and Pear Salad Recipe (Parve)

pomegranate and pear saladContinuing our celebration of pomegranate wedding details, this is a recipe for pomegranate and pear salad; great for an autumn or winter wedding. The recipe and photo were shared by JPMJ on allrecipes.com.

Ingredients for Pomegranate and Pear Salad

Serves 8

  • 12 cups green leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn
  • 4 Bartlett or Anjou pear
  • 1 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Divide the lettuce between two bowls. Halve and core the pear, then cut each half in slices. Divide the pear slices and pomegranate seeds among the two bowls and mix gently.
  2. Combine the vegetable oil, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, mustard, honey, and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the dressing thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour the warm dressing over the salads and serve.

Make Ahead Option

You can make the dressing the day before. Refrigerate until ready to use. Reheat before using.

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Spring Berry Compote Recipe (Parve/Non-Dairy)

berriesThis week, we’re sharing recipes for dessert foods to accompany the wedding cake. Intimate weddings don’t need elaborate dessert buffets, but serving something alongside the cake helps end the meal on a celebratory note. Look for an accompaniment that will complement the cake’s flavor, add color, or provide a contrasting texture.

Fresh berries make colorful, fresh decorations for a spring wedding cake. They also make a great accompaniment when served with the cake. You can serve fresh berries uncooked with your cake if you serve them the same day you buy them or –if they are very fresh– the next day. Turning them into a compote will preserve the flavor an additional day as well as create a pleasing melding of the flavors.

Ingredients for Spring Berry Compote (Parev/Non-Dairy)

40 Servings with cake

  • 2½ pints fresh raspberries
  • 2½ pints fresh blueberries
  • 2½ pints fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2½ cups graduated sugar
  • ½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate

Instructions for Spring Berry Compote Recipe

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat raspberries and strawberries; Simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Add the strawberries and simmer until strawberries begin to soften (about 3 minutes).
  3. Add sugar and orange juice concentrate and simmer until sugar dissolves (about 3 more minutes).
  4. Chill 1 hour. Stir and spoon into dessert dishes.

Make Ahead Option

Compote can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.
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Recipe: Broiled Honey-Glazed Spiced Figs for an Autumn Wedding (Parve/Non-Dairy)

This week, we’re sharing recipes for dessert foods to accompany the wedding cake. Intimate weddings don’t need elaborate dessert buffets, but serving something alongside the cake helps end the meal on a celebratory note. Look for an accompaniment that will complement the cake’s flavor, add color, or provide a contrasting texture.

fig_brnturkey-usgovFor those of us who love autumn, just the thought of autumn foods transports us to the warm kitchens and homey spices we love. For fellow autumn lovers, let’s savor each word in the name of this recipe: Broiled … Honey-Glazed … Spiced … Figs … Oh … Yeah….

These broiled figs make a sumptuous treat served with a slice of autumn wedding cake. They are exceedingly easy to make, but best served warm, which is another reason to have experienced kitchen help on hand the day of the wedding, even if you are self-catering your reception. The recipe is from scott at SeattleFoodGeek.com. Thanks, Scott.

Ingredients for Broiled Honey-Glazed Spiced Figs

40 Servings

  • 20 figs
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions for Broiled Honey-Glazed Spiced Fig Recipe

  1. Preheat the broiler and set the top rack as close to the heating element as possible.
  2. Wash the figs and pat them dry. Cut off the stems (you don’t have to, but the stems aren’t edible). Slice figs in half from stem to root.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Lay the figs, cut side up, on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle the honey over the cut side of the figs, then sprinkle on the spice mixture.
  5. Broil the figs on the top rack until honey bubbles and begins to turn brown, about 10 minutes. (Note: Watch the figs carefully, because cooking time will vary from oven to oven.
  6. Remove from heat. Serve one fig half with each piece of wedding cake.

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Recipe: Ginger and Lemon Sherbert for a Summer Wedding (Parve/Non-Dairy)

This week, we’re sharing recipes for dessert foods to accompany the wedding cake. Intimate weddings don’t need elaborate dessert buffets, but serving something alongside the cake helps end the meal on a celebratory note. Look for an accompaniment that will complement the cake’s flavor, add color, or provide a contrasting texture.

lemonsOn a summer day, ginger and lemon sherbert makes a sophisticated and refreshing accompaniment to a slice of wedding cake. It would be especially great with a fruit-flavored cake, such as lemon, strawberry, or orange, or a white cake with a raspberry or other berry-based filling. This sherbert is non-dairy and parve, so it can be served after meat in a kosher meal.

The recipe, which originally comes from the Ventana Country Inn Resort in Big Sur, California, is out of Dinners for Two: Recipes from Romantic Country Inns. The author is Sharon O’Connor, a cookbook author and cellist who founded the San Francisco String Quartet.

Sharon O'Connor, cellist, author, and President of Menus and Music

Sharon O'Connor, cellist, author, and President of Menus and Music

I was given Dinners for Two about twenty years ago as a hostess gift. It’s one of my favorite gifts ever. The book came with a CD of romantic music by the San Francisco String Quartet. I’ve not only made some wonderfully romantic foods using this cookbook, I’ve spent hours and hours listening to the music.

Yesterday, while checking if the book and CD are still available, I was delighted (!) to find that Sharon O’Connor now has a whole line of cookbooks accompanied by music CDs, available through her company website, Menus & Music. I highly recommend her books, both as someone who enjoys cooking and and someone who enjoys gifts.

The original sherbert recipe served two people (very romantic). I’ve increased the quantities to make enough for twelve. For a 40-guest wedding (also very romantic), you’ll need to make several batches.

Ingredients for Ginger and Lemon Sherbert (Non-Dairy, Pareve)

Serves 12

  • 3½ cups sugar
  • 2½ cups water
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 2/3 cup sparkling mineral water
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons minced candied ginger

Instructions for Ginger and Lemon Sherbert

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. When the mixture has cooled, stir in the mineral water and lemon juice.
  3. Freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. When almost set, add the ginger and continue freezing until set.

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Vintage Wedding Punch Recipe (Non-Alcoholic)

After I posted yesterday’s champagne punch recipe, I received several requests for a punch without alcohol. That’s a great idea. This refreshing citrus-y punch recipe is from The Kosher Gourmet Cookbook, by Mildred Miller and Bascha Snyder, now out of print. Like the champagne punch, this wedding punch is a wonderful white-glove vintage touch for your wedding reception, even without the white gloves.

The original recipe calls for floating scoops of vanilla ice-cream in the punch bowl, but I removed the ice-cream to keep the punch parve. Also, the thought of guests ladling bits of ice-cream into glasses along with the liquid punch brings to mind a picture of punch splashing onto your guests’ clothing, which might distract them from how wonderful you look. Of course, if the ice-cream floats work for your wedding, go for it!

If you put out a punch with alcohol as well as one without, label them with place cards or other appropriate notes.

Ingredients for Wedding Punch (No Alcohol)

  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 3 quarts lemonade
  • 3 orangeade
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 2 quarts raspberry or cherry soda

Instructions for Wedding Punch (No Alcohol)

Combine the first four ingredients and mix well. When ready to serve, add the soda.

Make Ahead Option

You can mix the first four ingredients together the day before the wedding. Refrigerate the mixture. When you’re ready to serve, put the juice mixture into the punch bowl and add the soda.

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Super Easy Instructions for Assembling Your Hazelnut Wedding Cake

These instructions complete your homemade hazelnut wedding cake, which was begun in earlier posts. You’ve made your hazelnut cake and your whipped non-dairy frosting. Now let’s put it all together:

Ingredients and Materials

  • ½ cup ground hazelnuts
  • 4 plastic straws

Instructions for Assembling Hazelnut Wedding Cake

  1. Place bottom piece of 10-inch cake layer on serving dish. Slip 3 x 5″ pieces of waxed paper 1 inch under cake layer. This makes the paper easily removable when you are through frosting the cake and keeps the plate clean.
  2. Spread a ½-inch layer of filling on top of bottom piece. Place top piece over it and frost entire layer.
  3. Scatter 1/3 cup ground hazelnuts on the waxed paper segments. Lift paper gently and toss nuts onto cake. Repeat until all the nuts are used and remove paper. Put this layer to the side.
  4. Use the same method to frost the 6-inch layer on a separate plate. Frost the edges of the cardboard, too, and use the remainder of the ground nuts.
  5. Refrigerate the layers until a few hours before you plan to serve it.
  6. When you are ready to complete cake, cut 4 pieces of straws the height of the 10-inch cake layer. Place the straws into the cake in a circle, each about 2 inches away from the center.
  7. Place the 6-inch cake layer on top of the 10-inch layer.

Make Ahead Options

The cake layers can be frozen for 2 weeks. Move them to the refrigerator 24 hours before you need them. When you freeze the cakes, put them in the freezer uncovered for an hour to set the frosting, then cover them very well.

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Delectable Non-Dairy Frosting Recipe for Homemade Wedding Cake (Parve)

This frosting and filling recipe goes with the hazelnut wedding cake recipe we started in yesterday’s post.

When we last left the kitchen, we had prepared two 10-inch cakes and had divided each cake into two layers. Now for the frosting…

Ingredients for Whipped Cake Filling and Frosting (Parve)

These ingredients make enough frosting and filling for two 10-inch cakes, so you will have a generous amount of frosting for your 10- and 6-inch tiers.

  • 3 cups non-dairy whipped cream substitute
  • 2 Tbl sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions for Whipped Cake Filling and Frosting

I’ve broken down the ingredients into two batches to keep the volume of whipping cream easy to handle in a home kitchen.
For each batch:

  1. In a large bowl, whip 1½ cup non-dairy whipped cream substitute until it begins to thicken.
  2. Add 1 Tbl sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Continue to whip until it forms peaks.

Next post: Assembling the cake.
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Wedding Cake Recipe: Hazelnut Cake for 50 People (Parve)

This cake recipe comes from a cookbook published more than 25 years ago called “The Kosher Gourmet Cookbook”, by Mildred Miller and Bascha Snyder. I love that the book’s recipes and styling come right out of the era when a woman’s baking ensemble included a calico apron and pearl necklace. There are chapters titled “Luncheons”, “Teas”, and “Cocktail Parties” along with “Saturday Afternoon Kiddush”.

My copy has passed through many hands. One of my brothers bought it for me from a library book sale when I was studying for my conversion to Judaism. I’m glad my brother rescued it from the book sale and I can bring this recipe to you today.

The original recipe is for one 10″ round cake. I’m recommending that you make two of these cakes and cut one down to 6″ diameter. That will give you a traditional two-tiered wedding cake that serves 50 people (Wedding Cake Size and Servings Chart). Constructing the cake involves cutting one of the 10″ cakes down to 6″, resulting in some unused cake, but I’m going to trust that you can put the trimmed pieces to good use.

You will need a 6-inch diameter circle of currogated cardboard. Buy one from a craft or party store or make one of clean cardboard and wrap it in aluminum foil.

Tomorrow I’ll post the frosting recipe and instructions for assembling the cake.

Ingredients for Hazelnut Cake (Parve)

Serves 50. There are enough ingredients to make two 10-inch cakes.

  • 14 eggs
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups ground hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. flour

Instructions for Hazelnut Cake

These instructions make one cake. You will need to make 2 cakes total.

  1. Preheat oven to 275°.
  2. Separate 6 of the eggs, putting the yolks into a large bowl. Add one whole egg. Beat for 10 minutes until thick and light yellow.
  3. Gradually beat in ½ cup sugar, 1 cup ground hazelnuts, and 1/3 cup bread crumbs.
  4. In another bowl, beat 6 egg whites until foamy.
  5. Add ¼ cup sugar, 1 Tbl. at a time.
  6. Continue to beat until the whites form stiff peaks.
  7. With a spatula mix gently one-fourth of the whites into the hazelnut mixture.
  8. Sprinkle 1 tsp. flour over mixture and gently fold in the rest of the whites.
  9. Grease and flour a 10-inch spring-form pan. Pour batter into pan.
  10. Bake at 275° in the middle of the oven 35-40 minutes, until it shrinks away from the sides of the pan. Immediately remove the rim of the spring-form and let the cake cool on a rack.
  11. Slice through the cake horizontally into two equal layers.

Use the cardboard circle as a template to cut one of the cakes down to 6″ diameter.

Next Steps

  1. Make the frosting
  2. Assembling the cake

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Recipe: Herbed Mixed Vegetables for a Crowd (Parve)

British Royal Family Wedding

"As soon as the service is over, I'll race you to the buffet."

This dish is from the Buckingham Palace reception menu posted on December 13. I’ll be posting recipes from the menu all week, kosher-fied and with additional special touches, so that you can recreate the menu for your wedding.

This is the final dish in our Buckingham Palace reception menu. The traditional English dinner is meat and two veg. We put the two veg’s into one simple-to-prepare side dish. (And if you ask for this dish at Buckingham Palace, be sure to pronounce the “h” in the word herbed.)

The recipe is based on the herbed green beans in Jeanne Jones Entertains: Cook It Light Menus for Every Occasion. I don’t think the book is in publication anymore, but it’s been a good friend to me.

Recipe: Herbed Green Beans and Carrots (Parve)

Serves 50

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. fresh green beans
  • 2 lbs. fresh carrots, cut into long thin pieces
  • 6 Tbls canola or corn oil
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped, or 1 heaping Tbls dried
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup finely chopped chives

Instructions

  1. In batches, steam the vegetables for 5 minutes. Rinse under cold running water, drain, and set aside.
  2. Using two large skillets, heat 3 Tbls of oil in each skillet. Add half the herbs and salt to each skillet. Add half the vegetables to each skillet. Heat just to serving temperature.

Make Ahead Option

Steam the vegetables the day before. After they’ve cooled under the running water and drained. refrigerate them in sealed bags. Reheat them with the herbs the next day.
See the full Wedding Menu Fit for Royalty (You!)
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Vegan/Vegetarian Wedding Recipe: Spanikopita (Parve) – Serves 8

Prince Philip Buckingham Palace Reception

"I say, have you tried the spanikopita?"

This dish is from the Buckingham Palace reception menu posted on December 13. I’ll be posting recipes from the menu all week, kosher-fied and with additional special touches, so that you can recreate the menu for your wedding.

This entree is for your vegan/vegetarian guests. The Buckingham Palace reception menu calls for spinach-filled crepes, but crepes require milk, which wouldn’t fit into our kosher meat menu. We turn, then, to spanikopita, spinach pie, which uses parve phyllo dough. The tofu, walnuts, and nutritional yeast in the filling provide hunger-satisfying protein. Since The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, was born The Prince of Greece and Denmark, I’m sure he’d appreciate the dish’s Greek roots.

The recipe comes from Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock. The author is Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a Jewish vegan tsunami. I picked up my copy of the cookbook several years ago in order to get protein into my meat-averse daughters. (One of my daughters was only five years old when she first yelled, “I’m a vegetarian and you don’t understand me!”)

The instructions are a bit fiddly, so if you’re catering your own wedding, making servings for all of your guests is going to take a lot of time — time that’s especially precious in the hours leading up to your wedding. Instead, prepare one of these pies, which provides 8 servings, and reserve the servings to the side for your vegan/vegetarian guests. (If all of your guests are vegetarian, then enlist extra hands to prepare enough servings for everyone.)

Prince Charles in synagogue

"Do you think they'll let me hold one of the huppah poles?"

Recipe: Spanikopita – Spinach Pie (Parve)

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • ¼ plus 2 Tbls. olive oil, plus extra oil for brushing the phyllo
  • 2 bunches fresh spinach, rinsed very well, long stems removed
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped dill
  • 2 lbs. firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Dash of ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ cup finely ground walnuts
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Several dashes fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 box frozen phyllo dough, thawed overnight

Instructions for Making the Spinach Filling

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, warm 2 Tbls olive oil over medium heat for a minute, then add the scallions, spinach, scallions, garlic, and dill. Add the spinach in small batches if pot it too full.
  2. Satuè until completely wilted and soft and a good amount of liquid has sweated out of the greens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the drained tofu (use your hands for more control) to a smooth but slightly grainy consistency.
  4. Take the cooled spinach mixture by small handfuls and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard the liquid.
  5. Add the squeezed spinach to the tofu. Add the lemon juice, oregano, nutmeg, ground walnuts, ¼ cup of the olive oil, and the nutritional yeast. Mix well with your hands, season with salt and pepper. Taste the mixture; it should be pleasantly salty and tangy.

Instructions for Making the Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 325º.
  2. Oil a 9”x12- to 13” baking dish.
  3. Prepare eight sheets of dough with olive oil in the following manner: Lay one sheet of dough in the pan, brush it generously with olive oil. Lay the second sheet on top and brush it generously with olive oil. Continue until you have eight layers of dough. If the sheets of dough go up the sides of the pan, that’s OK.

    Helpful Hint: Phyllo dough dries out very quickly. Keep the layers you’re not working with covered with a damp cloth or piece of plastic wrap. The first time you work with the dough it can seem like you don’t have enough hands to work and keep the layers covered, but once you get into a pattern it’s quite easy.

  4. Gently spread the spinach mixture on top of the dough.
  5. Prepare another eight layers of phyllo (or add a few more layers if you have leftover dough), put on top of spinach layer, and tuck into the sides of the pan any overhanging dough.
  6. Lightly score the top layer of dough into 8 rectangles of equal size (this will prevent the dough from crumbling too much when slicing after it’s baked.)
  7. Brush with lots of olive oil.
  8. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown, being careful not to let the phyllo burn.

See the full Wedding Menu Fit for Royalty (You!)
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Recipe: Roasted Rosemary Potatoes with Garlic for 50 (Parve)

The Queen Addresses Parliament

"We pronounce these potatoes scrumptious."

This side dish is from the Buckingham Palace reception menu I posted December 13. I’ll be posting recipes from the menu all week, kosher-fied and with additional special touches, so that you can recreate the menu for your wedding.

The Buckingham palace menu calls for scalloped potatoes, but I took the liberty of substituting roasted potatoes, which are less heavy and more appropriate for warm backyard wedding weather. They are also require a lot less kitchen prep time since you don’t have to cut the potatoes into thin slices as with scalloped potatoes. The rosemary makes them worthy of a special occasion.

The recipe comes from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein, but I increased the quantities to serve 50 people.

Recipe: Roasted Rosemary Potatoes with Garlic (Parve)

Serves 50

Ingredients

  • 16 lbs. new red potatoes, left whole if small, halved or quartered if large
  • 48 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup dried rosemary
  • Kosher (coarse) salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Divide the potatoes and garlic among 4 half-size insert pans.
  3. Drizzle each pan with ¼ cup oil and toss well to evenly coat.
  4. Sprinkle each pan with 2 Tbl rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss again.
  5. Roast, uncovered for 40-50 minutes, depending on size, turning halfway through cooking time, or until the potatoes are nicely browned and tender. Serve hot.

Make Ahead Option

These are best served soon after they are cooked. They can be cooked the day ahead, covered with foil and refrigerated overnight, and reheated the next day, but the texture will not be as creamy. When you reheat the potatoes, put a few tablespoons of water in the bottom of each pan to keep the potatoes from drying out.

See the full Wedding Menu Fit for Royalty (You!)
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Recipe: Chocolate Mousse (Parve) – Wedding Dessert for 50 People

Prince William and Catherine Middleton Engagement Portrait

"I love you and Grandmum's parev chocolate mousse."

Chocolate mousse is the dessert in the Buckingham Palace reception menu I posted yesterday. I’ll be posting recipes from the menu all week, kosher-fied and with additional special touches, so that you can recreate the menu for your wedding.

This version of chocolate mousse comes from Evelyn Rose’s The New Complete International Jewish CookbookJewish wedding recipes, a book that I use a lot for entertaining. It’s often the first book I turn to when I want to add something new to my repertoire, because the recipes never disappoint.

The recipe is parve (meaning it doesn’t have any dairy or animal products), so you can serve it after a meat meal.

You can make this mousse up to three months ahead and freeze it, or keep it in the refrigerator up to four days, which makes it especially convenient for a small, self-catered wedding.

Chocolate Mousse Recipe (Parve)

Serves 50

Chocolate Mousse Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. plain (semi-sweet) chocolate
  • 30 eggs, separated
  • 4 level Tbsp instant coffee, dissolved in 6 Tbsp hot water
  • 6 fl oz (¾ cup) rum, Creme de Menthe, brandy, Cointreau or orange juice
  • 5 Tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • For the garnish: 8 oz. (2 cups) toasted almonds or chopped walnuts

Chocolate Mousse Instructions

  1. Break up the chocolate and stand in a basin over very hot (not boiling) water. Heat gently until melted, then remove from heat. (Or melt, uncovered, for 1½ minutes on 100 percent power in the microwave.)
  2. Immediately drop in the egg yolks and beat vigorously until the mixture begins to thicken.
  3. Stir in the coffee or the liqueur. Allow to go quite cold.
  4. Beat the egg whites until they just hold soft peaks, then beat in the caster sugar.
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl containing the egg whites and blend together.
  6. Spoon into individual paper cases.

Make Ahead Options

Keeps four days in the refrigerator or three months in the freezer.

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Recipe: Salade Niçoise for a Crowd (Parve/Vegetarian)

There’s a special place in my heart for couples who cater their own weddings and communities whose members join together to make a wedding meal. I’ve thrown plenty of dinner parties of various sizes in my life, and I’m a serious student of the buffet. I’ve read books, I study photos, and I’m always on the lookout for delicious, practical, and beautiful foods worthy of a celebration table. Today at a Bat Mitzvah lunch I came across a buffet dish worth sharing with those of you out there who find themselves responsible for feeding a celebratory crowd. The dish: a salade nicoise platter. It’s delicious and easy to make, and sitting on a buffet it’s alive with color.

Salade Niçoise is a great dish, because it’s a hardy main-dish salad with a variety of nutritious foods: fresh salad greens, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, green beans, tomatoes, and black olives. Traditional salade Niçoise also has anchovies, capers, and shallots, but this version leaves them out in order to appeal to a wide crowd (and eliminate the most expensive ingredients).

When you’re making enough food to feed a crowd, a platter is a great way to present the salad because guests can build their salad as they like, and unlike salads served in large bowls, the tastiest ingredients won’t get lost in all the greens.

The platter also looks beautiful on a buffet with all the colorful ingredients set out in different sections of the platter. If it hadn’t been Shabbat, I would have taken a photo for you, but let me describe it for you: the bright greens of the lettuce and green beans, the red of the tomatoes, the white and yellow of the eggs, and the black olives, along with the flaked tuna.

I’ll also admit that I like salade Niçoise because it’s fun to say: Having spent a year in former-French-colony Tunisia, I can pass on the pronunciation with some confidence: salad nee-SWAHS. For the times when a written menu is called for, it’s also fun to write (or to take the time to track down the required website design HTML tag for) the letter “c” with the cedilla mark in the middle of niçoise. There it is. Did you see it there in the middle of the word? Lovely. Too much fun for a Saturday night.

Enough about my love affair with salade niçoise; it’s time to begin yours. The instructions are for a platter of 24 servings. To feed more people than that, prepare more platters.

I need to give credit to the folks who put together today’s lunch, which was at Tifereth Israel Synagogue in Washington, DC. It’s an exceptionally friendly community, and their special occasion kiddush lunches are always wonderful.

Recipe: Salade Niçoise for a Crowd (Parve)

Serves 24

Ingredients
4 heads Boston-lettuce leaves; washed, dried, and shredded into small pieces
4 pounds green beans, steamed
12 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
16 small boiling potatoes, cooked and cut in half
12 ounces canned chunk tuna, oil packed, flaked with a fork
18 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 cup good-quality small pitted black olives

Vinaigrette Ingredients
2 Tbsp Dijon-type mustard
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp kosher red wine vinegar
3 cups good quality olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

Instructions for Salade Niçoise

  1. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together. Adjust the seasonings as necessary.
  2. Toss the green beens with a quarter cup of the the vinaigrette.
  3. Arrange the shredded lettuce in a heap running down the middle of a large platter. Arrange the other ingredients around the lettuce, keeping all of each component together.
  4. Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side of the platter.

Make Ahead Option

You can prepare the components a day before. Cover and refridgerate each component separately. Combine them on the platter just before serving so that the salad looks fresh when you serve it.

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