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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Grandma (Bubby) Sarah's Matzah Balls

Grandma (Bubby) Sarah Video Series Of Passover Recipes

In continuing our "Grandma (Bubby) Sarah Video Series Of Passover Recipes", originally sent to us by Michael Schreiber, (Production Director of, which seems to be a new Internet startup. The videos are served from, part of, which also owns which is about healthy lifestyles and living.)we now have the all important Matzah Ball. As I mentioned in my post, The Seder Menu, there is a bit of an argument over whether I should take the time to make Matzah Balls or use a pre-mix. This shows you why you can always make them - with a bit of time and thought.

Grandma (Bubby) Sarah's Matzah Balls

Click here if the video above will not play in your browser

(You do require Flash Player Installed)

  1. One Cup Matzah Meal
  2. 4 Eggs
  3. 3/4 Cup Seltzer
  4. 1 Teaspoon Chicken Fat
  5. 1 Teaspoon of Salt

For clear directions see the video.
  1. Mix the Matzah Meal and eggs together. Mix them well!
  2. Add the Seltzer (if you choose to use it.)
  3. Add the chicken fat
  4. Add the salt
  5. Mix again WELL!
  6. Take the mix and cover it with saran (plastic wrap) and put it in the refrigerator for at least 60-120 minutes. This will last for 24 hours (no longer) if you are preparing early.
  7. Heat up a pot of water.
  8. Place the mix next to the pot with a bowl of water.
  9. Dip your hands in the water and make a small ball from the mix. (Keep it small. Matzah Balls expand like blowing up balloons!)
  10. Dump it in to the boiling water.
  11. Finish the mix you made and let them cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour on a medium flame.
  12. Take out and place in soup bowls with the chicken soup.
  13. (You can refrigerate them as well for 24-48 hours to eat later.)

There is one thing to point out. The following recipe by Bubby Sarah - calls for making the Matzah Balls separately and then putting them together with the soup. Thus she uses "shmaltz" which is "chicken fat" in the Matzah Balls. However, you can easily not use chicken fat, (which in and of itself is a process to make if you don't buy it), and place the Matzah balls directly in the Chicken Soup if you are making them at the same time. This is how I make them. I never make them in separate pot. But be aware you must time yourself correctly so that the Matzah Balls are ready to put in the soup - when the soup has already been cooking for 45-60 minutes. They will get all the chicken fat they need from the soup itself - provided you are making "real" chicken soup (and not the "chemical pre-mix kind. Yuck!). (My recipe for chicken soup will come later). But if you want to eat the Matzah Balls separately this is a great recipe. If you want "parve" matzoh balls - make them in a separate pot and leave out the "chicken fat" - but what you want to do this for is beyond me!

Grandma (Bubby) Sarah's Gefilte Fish

Grandma (Bubby) Sarah Video Series Of Passover Recipes

Sometimes among the emails I receive I get a few gems. Today, one such gem from Michael Schreiber, Production Director of, which seems to be a new Internet startup (check it out), sent this one in. The videos are served from (part of, which also owns which is about healthy lifestyles and living.) I will quote from his email:
Dear Fire in my kitchen,

Last weekend I took my video camera and filmed a real bubby making her prized matzah ball soup... medium sinkers. Delicious... easy to replicate as you'll see in the video recipe.

She also demonstrates gefilte fish... the mystery is finally revealed! Her potato kugel is great too. I made a short video recipe for each film, which you are welcome to post on your site if you like.

So many of these old country recipes will disappear as these great people pass away. It's important that these recipes survive!

I have gone through these videos and though I would have the "audacity" of changing some of the recipes (don't tell Bubby Sarah - Grandmothers like that scare me!) they are great recipes and we give Bubby Sarah a big kiss on the cheek for letting us use them!

The Videos contain all the necessary information, but since it is a movie format and you may want to copy it down, I have placed it in the normal Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen format below.

Grandma (Bubby) Sarah's Gefilte Fish

Click here if the video above will not play in your browser

(You do require Flash Player Installed)

  1. 5 lbs (2 Kilo) mixture of white fish, pike and carp.
  2. 3 ground onions
  3. Fish parts - (skin, head and bones used for taste)
  4. Matzah Meal
  5. Seltzer
  6. 3 Carrots
  7. 3 Onions
  8. Salt
  9. Pepper
  10. Sugar

For Grandma (Bubby) Sarah's Gefilte Fish really watch the video. But some important caveats:
  1. Fish must be ground using a Kitchenaid or good Food Processor
  2. The fish parts are usually used to get taste and you cook them in a pan or pot in water for 30-60 minutes and add the water to what you cook the fish in.
  3. Gefilte Fish is something you need to feel and to taste. It is not a science. I have no doubt that Grandma (Bubby) Sarah's Gefilte Fish - because it is Bubby Sarah taste like heaven. This is something that requires love, more love, and a deft palette and hand.

Gefilte Fish is not easy to make. Trust me on this one. It may look simple - but it needs time, forethought and purchases. Do not undertake such a recipe if the smell of fish bothers you or you are grossed out by fish heads! Also, Bubby Sarah likes Seltzer. This may be her "magic" ingredient - but go easy with it. Eggs as well. You will find eggs and eggs and eggs in a great many old world recipes because simply put - eggs were cheap in the old country and the poor could afford them. I will be posting my own Gefilte Fish recipe in a few posts as well).

Friday, March 30, 2007

Fruit Salad

Paula Writes:

With the change of seasons, I prepare things that move outdoors well. My insanity continues to the outside world where it is me and my two grills and lots of hungry sisters and children. This makes a large fruit salad, but by the end of the day, it is gone. I leave a stack of plastic cups on the table so the kiddies can help themselves while the adults relax until I squirt them with my water pistol… which the kids love. Of course at the end of the day, I have found grapes floating in the pool and an odd piece of discarded fruit but it is a big hit.

You can fancy this up when serving for a more formal get together by setting individual dishes and garnish with a mint sprig.
Fruit Salad

You will need:
  1. 1 Large bowl
  2. 1 Medium Bowl
  3. 1 cutting board
  4. 1 great knife

You can add or subtract any fruit according to your taste

Fruit Salad with Topping

  1. Pineapple, peeled and sliced into rings
  2. 3 Oranges, with or without the rind, sliced thin
  3. 3 Apples, with or without peel, cored and diced
  4. 1 Cantaloupe , peeled and seeded, cubed
  5. 1 Honeydew Melon, peeled and seeded, cubed
  6. 1 Watermelon Wedge, taken off rind, cubed
  7. 2 Cups of Grapes (mix red and green)
  8. 1 Pint Strawberries, cut in half
  9. 1/2 Cup Raspberries
  10. 3 Bananas sliced thin.
  11. 2 Cups Mini Marshmallows
  12. 3/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
  13. 6 Mint Sprigs
  1. Mix all of the above in a large bowl,
  2. Garnish with mint sprigs
  3. Cover and set in refrigerator until ready to serve
Topping Ingredients (optional):
  1. 2 Cups Plain Yogurt
  2. 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  3. 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  4. 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
  5. 3 Tablespoons Honey
Mix together and serve over fruit salad.

Some things are so simple that we tend to overlook them. Paula's fruit salad is one of them. Simple, easy, healthy and yummy. If you use the optional topping with the yogurt the salad becomes "dairy". If you leave out the yogurt it makes a great salad to serve anywhere at anytime. Paula gets a one for difficulty. She did it!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Passover Shopping

This year I decided, through some incredible attack of true craziness to do most food shopping in the famous "Machaneh Yehudah" shuk - (marketplace) in Jerusalem. There are many people that love shopping here, and others who, like me, do not like having to shlep tons of food in bags all over the place. But there is certainly a magic in places like this, and one cannot beat the prices or the selection.

So while buying (in two trips) fruit, veggies, carp (to make homemade Gifilte Fish) a 7 Kilo Turkey, spices, drinking glasses, wine glasses, tea and coffee glasses and on and on and on... I snapped a couple of pictures.

Machaneh Yehudah is already very crowded as you can see, but will get nutso by tomorrow and certainly on Sunday and then on Monday morning. (Towards Monday afternoon the prices start dropping drastically - but only the brave or the very poor wait till then to buy food for Passover.) There is nothing on this planet that could convince me to go back there over the next three days. So this morning I decided to brave it. My daughter and I actually had a pretty good time, though it was all shlepping and buying and looking and comparing prices.

Got 4 Kilo of strawberries for 20 NIS. That is 9 pds. of Strawberries for the equivalent of a bit less than $5. Got some great Kiwis, around 3 pds. for 22 - around $5. The Turkey and Chicken are fresh; the carp I picked out of the tank while those mamma's were swimming; and the melons and parsley and basil and basil - all fresh were a delight to the nose.

I do not know anyone in the pictures below. I just snapped a couple (my hands were holding bags - big heavy bags most of the time!)

This picture is of the main thouroghfare in Machaneh Yehudah. It leads from Agrippas Street straight to Jaffa Street.

One of the many "stalls" to buy Fresh Fish. (Fresh Carp was going for 20 NIS for a kilo. Little less than $5 for 2.2 pds.)

This lady was not all that happy with me for taking this picture. This is one of the zillion "veggie" stalls. Carrots were going for 3 NIS a Kilo. Around $.65 cents for 2.2 pds.

I am sorry I did not take more pics. But I was kind of "bag heavy". My daughter refused to let me try and get a picture of "Rosh Keves" (Head of a lamb) but I am going to do it!

Anyway I did get almost EVERYTHING done today including my oven!

Now that oven is so clean you can see the reflection of the vacuum cleaner in the oven glass!

(The kitchen though is a MESS still...but that will be fixed with an hour or so of cleaning tomorrow.)

Next we move on to the Seder recipes!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Seder Menu

As you may know the first night of Passover is spent at the "Seder". The "Seder" (literally means "order") is a long festive meal geared to the children and adults like me who pretend they are children - to get them to ask questions about Passover and the celebration of the Jewish people going from slavery into freedom and leaving the shackles of Egypt.

This year I have around 15 people coming to my Seder. Essentially the meal begins only after the first part of reading the HaGaddah is done. Some people rush through this and it takes them around an hour with singing songs etc. Some people like moi! - well we spend a great deal of time talking and discussing the Seder, Passover and all those things. We get to the meal around 11:30 PM. The Seder ends for us around 2-3 AM.

Some traditional foods such as "Charoset" will be home made. This is a mixture of nuts, apples, cinnamon etc. It is eaten to remind us of the "mortar" used by the Jews when they had to make bricks.

Marror - Bitter Herbs is either ground Horse Radish root (for the courageous) and or Romain Lettuce.

Of course we eat Matzo and must drink 4 cups of wine each. I happen to love hand Matzo. And there are many different types - some that cannot be eaten on Passover! (But we will do a separate piece on Matzo.)

So here is the planned (subject to changes) menu.

  1. Home Made Gefilte Fish - (yours truly is going to make it)
  2. Chopped Liver - (Store bought - this I am not messing with on Passover)
  3. Home Made Chicken Soup with Matzo balls (currently there is a wee bit argument over whether the Matzo Balls should be made from scratch or whether to use a pre-mix. Depends on time actually!)
  4. Pieces of Chicken - Home made not by me though
  5. Turkey
  6. Salad
  7. Mashed Potatoes
  8. Desert - Fruit bowls - Strawberries and Kiwis cut up in a Fruit Salad & maybe even a few bananas (all in season now)
  9. Tea & Coffee
I will supply the recipes for each dish as we go along.

So if anyone has any great recipes or wants to suggest a change in the menu NOW is the time to do it!

AND if anyone of you out there does not have a Seder to go to, and you are in Jerusalem -

Come in and enjoy. Come in and eat. Come and join us. We would love to have you! For we are Free. And we are celebrating our freedom.

**In Israel there is only one Seder, whereas outside of Israel, Jews have two nights in a row with a Seder on each night. (Pays to live in Israel :) ---> The first Seder we do not eat any "roast meat". The "Passover Sacrifice" which is explained in Leviticus was Roast Meat. Thus we do not eat any Roast Meat on that first night to remind us that the Temple was destroyed and thus there are no longer any sacrifices brought and to make sure no one makes a mistake by thinking we are eating any meat that was "sacrificed" in our time. (Welcome to the world of Jewish law - "Halachah")

***Edited - There is an important caveat to the above. It is those of Ashkenazic descent that do not eat roast meat. Those of Sepharadi and Temani (Yeminite) descent do eat Roast Meat. Indeed traditionally they eat a lamb - and it is considered especially blessed to eat the head of the lamb. I am going to try to supply some pictures... which may gross you guys out... but hey!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pistachio Cheesecake (or Pie)

Beth Writes:

I was fiddling around in the kitchen again, Teddy. Below is what I came up with. It’s a thick cheesecake, but not too rich. Perfect for summer, as well as being a lovely light green color for spring celebrations.

(And the reason this isn't for the contest is... My cheesecakes tend to be more like a pie than strictly a cake. They're smooth and creamy and a bit too wet to be called a cake. Plus, my life is so much easier if I just use a pie pan, than try to locate and use a cheesecake pan.)

Pistachio Cheesecake

Cooking Utensils Required:
  1. Electric Mixer
  2. Large Bowl
  3. Rubber Spatula
  4. Measuring Spoons
  5. Measuring Cup (preferably glass notated for liquid measurements)
  1. 1 pre-made 9” graham cracker crust
  2. 2 8oz packages cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
  3. 5 Tablespoons sugar
  4. ¾ cup of whipping cream (NOT pre-made whipped cream)
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  7. 1 package pistachio pudding mix
  8. 1 tub of pre-made whipped cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add whipping cream, eggs, and lemon juice. Beat until smooth.
  4. Add entire package of pudding mix – DRY. Beat until smooth. (Mixture will be rather thick.)
  5. Spread filling into crust – making sure the filling is spread enough to touch the crust all the way around.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until center of cheesecake is firm.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
  9. Slice and serve with a dollop of pre-made whipped cream (optional).
* Don’t worry if your filling doesn’t smooth out immediately. As the cheesecake cooks, it will eventually flatten out. Also, don’t worry if your cheesecake begins to brown slightly around the edges before the center firms completely. If it begins to look brown all the way around, remove it from the oven, even if the center isn’t totally firm. The center will firm as it cools. Oh, and one last thing. As it gets close to being done, it will puff up beyond the edges of the pan - don't freak out. It won't slop over the sides, and it will relax back down to a normal height as it cools.

I loves cheesecake! We traditionally eat Cheesecake on Shavuot (Pentecost) which is 50 days after the first day of Passover (around Easter time). Gets a 3 for difficulty though. But good cheesecake...mmmmm... nothing like it! Going to make this for Shavout and put up the pic here!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fresh Mozzarella - Q&A

Sylvia sent the following question in:

Hi Ted,
I recently bought some fresh mozzarella cheese, and don't really know what to do with it. is it substitutable for regular mozzarella in recipes?
Thank you,
Well to answer really quickly, Mozzarella is always great for making Pizza. Take a look at this recent recipe sent in by Paula - the Insane Cook, as an example:
Tomato & Basil Pizza

Other recipes up at Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen which you could use Mozzarella for are:
  1. Real Men Don't Eat Quiche
  2. Mr. Potato Head - The Good Ole' Potato Recipe
  3. Mac & Cheese Wars - Watch Out For Flying Kids
  4. Quick Thinking, No Great Recipes And Magical Moments
Of course we open this up to readers of Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen. Hopefully we will have comments on what to do with Fresh Mozzarella Cheese. Who has any ideas?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Substitute For Celery? - Q&A

Quick Post:

This is part of the Q&A library at Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen. Readers can submit questions and they will be posted so that answers will be left in the comments section.

I just noticed this comment come in, and while published, maybe it would be good to have it as a post and anyone who can comment do so.

Barbara writes:

ok I can't figure out where else I should post this question for a quick answer so I'm going to do it here.

So many receipes call for celery. Most Americans know the price for celery due to the bad weather here as gone sky hi! Like $2.49 for a bunch! It normally run $.79 at the most.

Anyway- what would be a good substitute for celery until the price comes back down to earth???

Thanks so much

So now - what is a good cheap substitute for celery? Here in Israel fruit and vegetables are much cheaper than in the USA. So leave a comment if you have any ideas for Barbara.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

No-Bake Lemonade Pie

This could get to be fun! Kali is going for the ONE STAR!

ok, pie fight is on... my turn for a 1-star rating!
This pie is pretty rich, and both sweet and tart at the same time.
Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen - Lemonade Pie

Lemonade Pie

  1. 1. bowl
  2. 2. spoon
  1. One can *Eagle Brand™ sweetened condensed milk
  2. One 6 oz can frozen pink lemonade or limeade concentrate - thawed
  3. One 8 oz container whipped topping
  4. Few drops red or green food coloring (optional)
  5. 1 prepared graham cracker crust
(Eagle Condensed Milk is certified kosher - dairy by the Kashrut Council of Canada
Eagle also mentions it on their web site. Though I assume any type of sweetened condensed milk would be as good.)

  1. Beat with spoon: condensed milk, lemonade and topping
  2. Stir in food coloring if desired
  3. Pour into pie crust
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve

Well Kali gets the one star! Easy as, well, easy as pie! These pies with whipped cream are going to make us all FAT! But it is amazing. How easy it is to make pies. First Paula sends in a one star recipe! Next we have two one star recipes in a row! Hold me! I think I am going to faint!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

No-Bake Pistachio Pudding Pie


Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen - Pie Fight!

Paula writes:
Ted, just to show you that I do possess some very basic, simple recipes, and because you made me laugh again, this one’s for you.

Now Ted, I know even you, with two left hands can make this.
(Pffffftttttttttt! Simple recipe? Paula? The Messiah has arrived!)

No Bake Pistachio Pudding Pie

Utensils Required:
  1. 1 Bowl ( Ha)
  2. 1 Spoon
  1. 1 Envelope of Any Brand Pistachio Pudding Mix (not cooked)
  2. 1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust (either ready made or homemade)
  3. 1 Can Crushed Pineapple (drained)
  4. 1 Tub Non Dairy Whipped Topping
  1. Any flavor pudding
  2. Any canned fruit
  1. Put Non-Dairy whipped topping in bowl
  2. Pour Pudding into bowl
  3. Pour Drained Pineapple into bowl
  4. Mix together and place in graham cracker crust.
  5. Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve

Wow! Wow Again! Paula got a ONE! (I bet this is really her sister's recipe and Paula is cheating!) Oh Kali...Kali...wake up! Time for a Pie Recipe...

No-Bake Chocolate "Mousse" Pie

Kali submitted another one. This time a PIE! (Paula WATCH OUT!)

I'm glad you liked the beef and cabbage soup recipe. A lot of my recipes definitely are not kosher, I like ham and I like cream of something soups with some of my meat dishes. But I noticed you don't have very many pie recipes, so I thought you might like this one. It's definitely dairy.

About 30 odd years ago my grandmother attended a luncheon where the hostess served a very light and delicious chocolate pie for dessert. Helen was happy to share the recipe... no baking and only three (3) ingredients!! now how simple can you get?!? I was living with my grandparents at the time, so a few days later Grandmom and I decided to make the pie. Oh dear!! We ended up with chocolate soup pie! Fortunately, a few hours in the freezer got the "soup" to "set", but although it tasted just fine, it was missing the light texture it was meant to have. I realized that one rather key step had been omitted from the preparation instructions... cooling the melted chocolate. I have since made this pie many times and it's turned out perfectly.
No-Bake Chocolate "Mousse" Pie

  1. bowl and mixer
  2. double boiler OR glass microwave bowl
  1. Prepared graham cracker pie crust
  2. 1/2 lb Hershey's chocolate with almond bar
  3. 1/2 pint whipping cream
  1. Break chocolate bar into pieces and melt, either by:
    • A double boiler on the stove top OR:
    • In a glass bowl in the microwave - uncovered at 50% power for about 3 - 4 1/2 mins, stirring after 2 1/2 mins.
  2. Stir till smooth and set aside to cool. (until the melted chocolate becomes dull not shiny and isn't too hot to touch)
  3. Whip cream until stiff
  4. Combine the whipped cream and melted chocolate and pour into the pie crust
  5. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving
The key to a light and fluffy pie is to make sure that the melted chocolate is cooled enough that it doesn't "melt" the whipped cream. Can also be made with a plain chocolate bar (for those who dislike almonds), and I suppose a fruit/nut-type chocolate bar could also be used.

Let's see. If I give this a one, Paula will go berserk and Paula and Beth will go on strike. Mmmmm... decisions - decisions. Nope a Two it is cause well because I want to keep my head on my shoulders and it does involve nuking or melting on a stove and timing. (We also have to keep Paula and Beth happy!) Before we get to the pie - a few words from moi! - Kali you will find, and I say this with pride that a great many people who submit recipes here are not kosher nor Jewish. It is amazing. So feel free to submit anything you like - (O.K. none of the ham or frogs legs...sheesh!)

And now I got news for all of you, especially Kali. The pie above is Dairy...BUT guess what? Use a grade A chocolate which is Bittersweet and usually thus not made with milk products and a non-dairy Whipped Cream and Voila! - Parve Pie! (But you have to like that type of chocolate of course!)

Hey Kid! I Dare You To Say This Is Not Good!

Well it looks like this is the month for chopped meat & beef. In a previous entry Real Hamburgers - Back To Basics I discussed how to make a real simple hamburger meal. Then along came the entry, Hamburger With Cabbage & Tomato Sauce. And then Kali submitted her Beef and Cabbage Soup. And of course Paula had to submit the Boiled Corned Beef & Cabbage.

So now comes along my own entry again, "Hey Kid! I Dare You To Say This Is Not Good!" And of course it comes with a story. (Sheesh .. deal with my stories!)

So it is getting close to Passover. Since Purim many clean their houses (spring cleaning sort of) to get rid of all "Chametz" - bread and bread products. We do so because on Passover, we are not allowed to have any bread or bread by-products in our possession. This comes from the injunction of "you shall not see nor shall you find". The laws are complicated and yet boil down to this. No bread or bread by-products or anything not certified "kosher for Passover" will be found in the possession of observant Jews.

So folks... this means we have to be rid of all those open bags of food that are in the pantry. Most try to make something with them. That half bag of Pasta; the frozen bread; even the eggs. Cause sooner or later we have to clean the Kitchen... and let me tell you doing the kitchen for Passover including the oven demands 10 mil. of Valium every hour or so!

So there I was in my supermarket. Once Again. UGH! And mentally I am trying to figure out just what the hell I can feed the 13 year old carnivore when he gets home from school. I know I have two possibilities.

1. Either the kid walks in and says "I am starving" and expects a 13 course dinner with a waiter, busboy and menu all rolled into one OR:
2. "Nah. Don't have to eat right now. Not really hungry."

Go figure out what to make on that kind of stomach clock!

I am also trying to buy the least amount of stuff cause I know next week is Passover shopping. So in my head I remember I have a half open bread crumb bag which I must either use or throw away, some eggs, some pasta - well all the normal stuff in the pantry.

I am just about to give in and buy two frozen Pizzas. Hey I am tired and I don't need this pressure. Besides if the kid is hungry when he comes home, Pizza is done in 15 minutes. And if he is not hungry Pizza can sit in the freezer. Little mess, no brains.

But then I hear this woman arguing with the butcher over at the Fresh Meat Counter. There are people like that all over the world. They come to buy. Spend an hour picking out the meat, driving the butcher crazy and asking him for recipes (yeah right!) and the people on line behind her are getting closer and closer to thinking that tar and feathering this woman is not such a bad idea!

And my eye falls on the Fresh ground meat, on which there is kind of a sale. So I say - ground meat, eggs, bread crumbs, and some other left over open bottles. And of course I walk straight up to the counter and say to the woman real nice like "All I need is a 1 pound of ground meat. Do you mind?" And I smile and bat my eyelashes. Of course she says "Yes I mind. I have been here picking out meat for over an hour!" So I say, "And so have the people behind you!"

That is when she turns and sees 5 people waiting on line - with their fists clenched and ready to maul her! Ahh, for the power of crowds in the supermarket. So she still had a semblance of dignity left, sighed and told the butcher to take care of us.

So this is a combo recipe of "cheating" and frying and cooking with what was in the house. I mark the ready made stuff with [*Cheat].

Anyway - here is what the kid got. And I dared him to tell me they were not the best damn burgers he ever ate!

  1. Mixing Bowl
  2. Frying pan or Deep Fryer
  3. Small Pot for sauce
  4. Big Fork, Spoon or Flat Spatular
  1. 1 pound of chopped meat
  2. 1 Medium sized onions
  3. 5 cloves of Fresh Garlic
  4. 2 Eggs (medium)
  5. One-quarter to one-half cup of bread crumbs (hey I had to get rid of them!)
  6. Two tablespoons (hell just squeeze) of Hickory Sauce or Mustard & Honey Sauce. (I had the Hunts Mustard and Honey left over - so I used that) [*Cheat] - Of course you can make your own sauce.
  7. 1 small bag of "Garlic & Basil & Parsley" sauce (100 grams) [*Cheat] (Of course you can make your own)
  8. A smidgen (okay 1 teaspoon) of Olive oil or oil.
  9. Mazola Oil - for frying
Directions: (Or how Teddy made it - cause I was lazy)
  1. Take the chopped meat and put in the mixing bowl.
  2. Add the bread crumbs and eggs and mix together well. (Clean your hands! - Yeah that's right - YOU!)
  3. Add the sauce and mix again.
  4. Take your oven pan cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Cover foil with a very thin layer of olive oil.
  6. Make burgers, (round, square or just an indeterminate shape!) from the meat.
  7. Put burgers on Pan.
  8. Turn oven to 200 degrees Celsius. (350 Fahrenheit)
  9. Put burgers in oven. 15 minutes on one side - 10 on other for medium rare.
  10. Now - I have a deep fryer. And it is great to make french fries. But it is also great to fry up onions and the such. And I was lazy. So I heated up the deep fryer, cut the ovens up, cut up the garlic (not too fine for either otherwise they will drop through the basket on the fryer) and dumped them in while the burgers were cooking. Alternatively, you can use a pan, put oil in, cut up the onions and garlic and fry them until they are golden brown.
  11. Small pot for the Garlic & Basil sauce. Just dump in with water, (1 cup), put on low flame for 5-7 minutes.
  12. Now you can babble on the phone for a bit.
  13. When the burgers were ready I placed them on a plate covered with lettuce. Then on top I put the fried onions and garlic cloves. Then on top of that I put the sauce. In the picture the dark spots are the onions (not burned meat - sheesh!) and the white sauce is the sauce.
I made Aviad - "the kid" - hold it before he tasted them (picture below). He finishes the whole dish tells me they were indeed the best burgers he ever had - and then says:
"I know you made this just for you blog. There is no way you would feed me like this normally!"
Get to your room Kid! Don't come out until you are 18!

I am going to leave this at a two. You can of course make your own sauce, or make a delicious tomato sauce with fresh spices. (Please don't use ketchup in the recipe. Ugh!) Enjoy it. And happy Passover cleaning!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Beef and Cabbage Soup

Something New From Someone New. Kali writes:

I really like "one pot" meals, and am always on the look-out for that kind of recipes. Unfortunately, many of them aren't really "one pot", and they're complicated. So when my step-mom saw this recipe on a TV program about 20 yrs ago and scribbled it down then made it, it was so yummy, I really wanted the recipe. I usually make it as a supper on a cold winter evening, but have served it to "company", and even my grandfather (who was initially shocked that i was serving "soup" as a main course to "company", decided that it really was a good meal and enjoyed it very much.)
Beef and Cabbage Soup

Utensils Required:
  1. 1. grater or food processor
  2. 2. large stew pot

  1. 5 lbs ground beef
  2. 5 onions, chopped (or less to taste)
  3. 3 quarts canned whole tomatoes
  4. 1 lb carrots, shredded
  5. 4 cans beef consommé
  6. 2 small heads green cabbage, chopped coarsely
  7. salt, pepper, ground oregano, ground nutmeg
  1. Brown ground beef and onions in stew pot over low heat on the stove. (unless you have extra extra lean ground beef, you probably won't need any oil, but if necessary, add 1-2 Tbs cooking oil)
  2. Add tomatoes (with juice), carrots and beef consommé
  3. Cover and simmer 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add salt (about 1-2 tsp, or to taste), ground pepper to taste, ground oregano (about 3-4 tsp), and nutmeg (about 1tsp)
  5. Add cabbage
  6. Stir well, cover and simmer an additional 45-60 minutes until cabbage is tender. (may adjust seasonings at the end, i tend to under season then add some more at the end.)
  7. Serve in bowls.
This soup not only freezes well, but it always tastes better to me the 2nd day after the flavors have had a chance to blend. (just stick the whole pot in the fridge if you can, and reheat it on the stove.) Recipe can also be halved.

I serve it with crusty french bread or rolls and maybe a green salad. For those who don't keep Kosher, grated Swiss cheese on top is a very tasty addition.
Kali Added This In A Later Email:
I meant to send you this comment earlier... I rarely follow any recipe "exactly". A "recipe", to me, is a guideline, but unless it's a cake which does call for exact measurements (or it'll fall flat), I make things up as I go along and alter things to my own tastes.

I do tend to add garlic to almost anything (as to the point where it's so second nature to me that I neglected to add that as an optional ingredient for the beef and cabbage soup. (it wasn't on the original recipe card where i wrote down the

A couple other optional ingredients are a few stalks of celery (chopped and added with the carrots) or some hearty red wine (added with the consomme).

Or you can use a cheese substitute! Easy to make and it is a main dish actually. Heavy and filling. Gets a two for difficulty. Would add a garlic to the recipe as well. I would call this a "stew" and if you make it thick and rich it certainly is a "stew" BUT it is technically "soup" at the beginning. Thank you Kali for a great easy recipe!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hamburger With Cabbage & Tomato Sauce

When I saw this recipe in my inbox I started laughing, as I was in the middle of making a different type of Hamburger Recipe (and I will explain it all in the next post.) For the time being it seems our Insane Cook, Paula, was in the kitchen this weekend.

Hamburger With Cabbage & Tomato Sauce

  1. 3-4 Pounds Ground Beef
  2. 1/2 Head of Cabbage, chopped up
  3. 2 Cans Tomato Soup or 2 Cups Tomato Sauce (leftover Marinara works well)
  4. 2 Cloves Garlic
  5. 1 Bunch Scallions
  6. 1 Cup Mushrooms (diced, and optional)
  7. 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
You will need:
  1. 1 Skillet
  2. 1 Baking dish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Heat oil in skillet on medium heat
  3. Add Garlic and Scallions and sauté until tender
  4. Add Ground Beef, cook until browned
  5. Pour Tomato sauce over beef and simmer for 10 minutes
  6. In baking dish, layer the bottom with 1/2 of the ground beef mixture
  7. Add the cabbage and mushrooms
  8. Pour the rest of the beef mixture over the cabbage
  9. Bake for 2 hours

This is no more than a two if that much on difficulty. As I said I am going to follow this recipe with my own Hamburger recipe - which is actually a post to kick off Passover and explain a bit about the holiday. An easy meal from Paula. Miracles do happen!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Boiled Corned Beef & Cabbage

Paula sent this one in last week, just got around to it.

In the United States, corned beef is also associated with Saint Patrick’s Day when many Irish Americans eat a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage. Corned beef was originally a substitute for Irish Bacon in the late 1800s. Irish immigrants living in New York City’s Lower East Side sought an equivalent in taste and texture to their traditional Irish bacon (similar to Canadian bacon), and learned about this cheaper alternative to bacon from their Jewish neighbors.

A similar dish is the boiled dinner, consisting of corned beef, cabbage, and root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and potatoes, which is popular in New England.

Corned beef is also used to make the cold cut of Pastrami. made the Pastrami Sandwich famous.

Here in Boston, it is said that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. The following meal is done in one pot. I have friends of non Irish descent tell me when they have tried a boiled dinner, it had no flavor. I ask “How did you prepare it?”

“I cooked it in a pot of water and dumped the water. I did this three times and then cooked it with the vegetables.” Or that they cooked each item in a separate pot.

I then laugh and tell them that they had dumped all of the flavor out. There is no need to cook this more than once. The flavor from the meat cooks into the vegetables in the pot as it cooks.

The key to a great tasting boiled dinner is the beef itself. I have tried several corned beefs and have found a local butcher who cures the meat himself and by far it is the best corned beef I have ever tasted. I make these several times a year.
Boiled Corned Beef & Cabbage

Paula's Corn Beef

You will need :

One Very Large Pot, that’s it (Ha! now a simple dinner from one who has used every pot in the house)

Yukon Gold PotatoesIngredients:
  1. 6 – 8 Pound Corned Beef ( I use a thin end Grey Cured)
  2. Yukon Gold Potatoes*, peeled and left whole (2 per person)
  3. 5 Pounds Carrots peeled
  4. Head of Cabbage (quartered)
  5. 1 Turnip, peeled and cubed ( you may leave it out if you don’t like it)
*You can use most any potato, however I find the Yukon to have the best flavor for this meal.


The whole process takes approx. 3 hours

  1. Place meat in the pot, fill 3/4 full with cold water
  2. Place pot on burner and turn heat to high
  3. Once water boils, lower heat to a simmer (low boil) and cook for an hour
  4. Add carrots and continue simmering for an hour
  5. Add potatoes and turnip and continue simmering for an hour
  6. Add cabbage and cook until tender
  7. Remove meat and slice onto platter
  8. Enjoy!
Pickled Corn Beef (Not Paula's - but to give you an idea of the meat)

Corned Beef - made well - is an incredible eat - if one forgets about the cholesterol and such! Paula is right though - it is all in the cut of the meat, as is actually anything we cook from meat. The trick is to make a medium cut of meat - taste like the Garden In Eden. This is not complicated just a bit time consuming though the "kitchen" part is really not that much. So 2 stars for difficulty. Oh by the way - add a few onions to the recipe. If you can get small baby onions they are the best with it.

Food, Lotteries and Nika's Culinaria

In a nice disucssion with one of the many food bloggers around the world, the owner of the blog Nika's Culinaria when I wished her success for next year in becoming a finalist in Weblog Awards, she commented:

Teddy: you are too generous :-) Actually, I think I do not want to be in the running.. I have a hard enough time getting over not winning the lottery!
Anyway, her answer kind of jogged my memory and I went hunting among the tons of magnets hanging on my refrigerator so thus it can legitimately go into Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen. The following picture is for Nika, from Nika's Culinaria.

Now more excuses. Next year you will be a finalist!
And folks visit her blog - Nika's Culinaria!

(Tomorrow we begin with Passover stuff!)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tomato & Basil Pizza

Paula sent this one in. Pizza top to bottom!

I am not a fan of take-out or fast food. My daughter asked me recently “Why can’t we just order a pizza over the phone like normal people?

So now in addition to being labeled “insane” , I am now considered “abnormal”.
Tomato & Basil Pizza

You will need (Utensils):
  1. 2 Medium bowls
  2. 1 - 15" pizza pan or 2 - 10" pans
Ingredients For Crust:
  1. 1 Envelope active dry yeast
  2. 1 Cup warm water (to dissolve yeast)
  3. 1 1/2 Cups wheat flour
  4. 2 Teaspoons sugar
  5. 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  6. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  7. 1 1/2 Cups White flour
Ingredients For Toppings:
  1. 1 Block Mozzarella Cheese (Shredded)
  2. 4 Large Tomatoes (Sliced)
  3. 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  4. 4 Tablespoons Fresh Basil (chopped)
  5. 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  6. 2 Teaspoons Oregano
  1. You can add any toppings such as vegetables, onions etc.
  2. Instead of or in addition to tomatoes, you can use a sauce. Just put it on before other toppings and cook an additional 5 -10 minutes.
  1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
  3. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, olive oil and 1 cup of the white flour.
  5. Knead in the remaining 1/2 cup of unbleached white flour by hand, kneading for about 5 minutes.
  6. Spray a medium size bowl with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat thoroughly.
  8. Cover bowl with a cloth and allow it to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
  9. Spray one 15-inch pizza pan or two 10-inch pizza pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  10. Stretch pizza dough to fit pan.
  11. Put crust in 425 degree oven for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and place tomato slices, shredded mozzarella and seasonings on partially baked crust.
  13. Drizzle Olive oil over top
  14. Bake until cheese is melted and crust is browned. About 15 - 25 minutes.

Some people have a favorite Pizzeria. NOT PAULA! No! If her daughter wants Pizza then she is going to get REAL PIZZA. Though to some this may seem like overkill, actually once you do it, and if you get it down right, it is great to make in the house. Additionally, you can buy ready made frozen pizza dough and start from there (just adding the toppings that you like). To be honest I am lazy so I buy the ready made dough and then experiment with garlic & onion pizza; broccoli pizza; or any other type of toppings you like. (Just no anchovies - YUCK!) I happen to love fresh onion and garlic with a touch of broccoli. But if you get this recipe down, including the dough, it basically is great for whatever floats your boat. We leave this specific recipe in the 3 star for difficulty cause it does need time and thought.

Also, once you get the dough down - well there are a million things we can make with it! All Yummy.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Orange Dijon Chicken

Paula Writes:

I just love easy chicken dishes and it is so versatile you can do anything with it and have a great dish.

*less time in the kitchen = more time for baseball*
Orange Dijon Chicken

You will need (Utensils):

  1. 1 Large Bowl
  2. 1 Skillet
  3. 1 Roasting Pan
  1. 6 Boneless Chicken Breast halves
  2. 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  3. 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  4. 3 Tablespoons Orange Marmalade
  5. 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  6. 2 Teaspoons Honey
  7. 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper
*I usually set the chicken in a brine for an hour before preparing it. To do this, place the chicken in a pot of cold water with 1/2 Cup of Kosher salt. Rinse thoroughly before preparing.

  1. Heat oven to 350 Degrees
  2. Combine Marmalade, Dijon and Honey
  3. Heat oil in skillet
  4. Sprinkle the peppers on the chicken to coat
  5. Add half of the chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side (until golden)
  6. Remove from skillet
  7. Add remaining chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side (until golden)
  8. Coat chicken with Marmalade mixture and place in roasting pan
  9. Cook for 45 minutes

We have had quite a few Chicken recipes here at Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen. (Click here to see recipes labeled "Chicken). For those who like chicken, (and from experience many children do not like chicken). But chicken is fairly healthy, good for those watching weight, and does not require an "acquired" taste. If you are a meat eater, chicken works well. If you are not an accomplished cook (as most of us are not) - Chicken is a great place to start learning how to cook. Whatever the case chicken recipes seem to be very popular.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Linguine With Fresh Tomatoes

Paula is getting ready for the weekend and St. Patrick's Day so we get ever more recipes. She writes for this one:

This side dish goes great with chicken or fish. Of course according to a certain teen, it’s great right out of the fridge, cold the next day.
Linguine With Fresh Tomatoes

You will need (Utensils):
  1. 1 Large pot to cook pasta
  2. 1 Medium bowl
  3. 1 Spoon
  4. 1 Serving dish
  1. 1 Pound Fresh Linguine Pasta (cooked)
  2. 4 Large Tomatoes (diced)
  3. 3 Tablespoons Fresh Basil (chopped)
  4. 2 Cloves Garlic (minced, chopped fine)
  5. 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper (fresh is best)
  6. 1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Pictures of Linguine Pasta

Linguine Pasta - Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen Linguine Pasta - Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen

  1. Combine tomatoes, basil, garlic, pepper and olive oil
  2. Toss
  3. Pour over hot linguine
  4. Serve

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Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen goes to help feed needy families in Israel. The funds are donated directly to the needy families - regardless of religion, race or creed. The remaining 50% will be donated to a Rape Crises Center for Women in Israel. (For a full explanation please read this.)

(Paula writes 1 Pound Fresh Linguine Pasta - cooked. Bear that in mind. This is to make the sauce. She assumes we know how to make the pasta!) This is a one for difficulty even if you do have to cook the Pasta!

As to Pasta itself. This could probably be one of the most confusing things to the "new" cook. Pasta is used as a "descriptor" and a "name" of many really different dishes. There are many different types of "pasta", many shapes, many tastes (spinach etc.). We are going to cover all this in a separate post devoted to Pasta.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Oatmeal Muffins

Paula sent in this recipe today. (I should mention that she sent in pictures for two previous recipes. "Cranberry Muffins" & "Coconut Cake". Her oven works faster than her digital camera! Go figure!) The demon of the kitchen writes:

I love grains and use (sneak) them whenever possible in baked goods. These are a great treat for breakfast.
Oatmeal Muffins

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen - Oatmeal Muffins

You will need:
  1. 1 Muffin tin (greased or use papers)
  2. 1 Large Bowl
  3. 1 Wooden Spoon
  4. 1 Pan (to cook oatmeal) or Microwave
  5. 1 Toothpick for "Done" test
  1. 1 Cup Cooked Oatmeal ( as directed on container)
  2. 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  3. 1/4 Cup Molasses
  4. 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  5. 1/2 Cup Applesauce
  6. 1 Egg
  7. 1/4 Cup Soy Milk
  1. Substitute Oat or Bran flour for white flour to keep this really healthy
  2. Substitute 3 Tablespoons of Sugar for Molasses
  3. Add 2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
  4. Substitute 1/2 Cup Mashed Bananas for applesauce
  5. Add 3/4 Cup Diced Apples
  6. Substitute Milk for Soy Milk
  1. Heat Oven to 350 Degrees
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl until well blended.
  3. Make a well in the middle (by pushing mixture against side of bowl)
  4. Add Wet ingredients to the middle
  5. Mix with spoon until well blended
  6. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes
*If they will not be consumed within a day or two, freeze individually and thaw when needed.

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Fifty Percent (50%) of all revenue of any product purchased through
Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen goes to help feed needy families in Israel. The funds are donated directly to the needy families - regardless of religion, race or creed. The remaining 50% will be donated to a Rape Crises Center for Women in Israel. (For a full explanation please read this.)

This does honestly, scouts honor!, deserve a three in difficulty - but we will give it a two! Not only do you have to bake (that gives it a two as usual) BUT sheesh...we have to make a "well" in the middle and push all the dry ingredients to the side and then add the wet ingrdients. For people with two left hands like me...oy vey! I can just imagine my kitchen after that feat! But seriously, this is really a healthy treat and interesting to say the least (of course this she sends in without a picture because I bet she has two left hands too!). As you may have noticed originally it is Parve, as the soy milk is not "real dairy" milk. But if you substitute real milk here, well it is a dairy dish.