Sunday, March 27, 2011

Crunchy Breaded Cauliflower

Crunchy Breaded Cauliflower!
And it's NOT fried...hooray!
My youngest daughter begged me to make the amazing cauliflower that she had at her friends’ house one Shabbat. “Call the mom, please!!” I heard over, and over, and over again. We all know how challenging it can be at times to get our kids to eat their vegetables, so when my daughter actually repeatedly asked for a particular vegetable – I was all over it.  I called the mom, explained that my daughter was one of her biggest fans, and she gladly and graciously gave me her recipe. The recipe called for first cooking the cauliflower, then breading it, then frying it.  I thanked the mom for sharing her awesome recipe with me, hung up the phone and had an “aha” moment.  Of course the cauliflower was outstanding – it was breaded and fried!  How could it not be delicious?!    I really wanted to make my daughter happy, but IMHO although fried cauliflower might be really mouth watering…healthy? – not so much.  The challenge was to make a healthier version that was similar enough to the fried version that there wouldn’t be a big drop in taste. I also wanted to make the whole process less labor intensive as well. 

In the first “Operation Cauliflower” iteration, I poured egg and a small amount of oil over raw cauliflower florets and topped them with a mixture of spices, corn flake crumbs and bread crumbs. Then I put them on a sheet pan, sprayed them with non-stick vegetable spray, and put them in the oven to bake.  On the plus side, spraying them with a light coating of non-stick vegetable spray made them a little crunchier.  On the other hand, the crumbs got all lumpy because they were mixed together with the egg and oil.  As a result, I had to sprinkle some additional crumbs over the cauliflower before baking.    Not a big deal, but the result was definitely not good enough to deem “Operation Cauliflower” a rousing success.

For the next iteration, I mixed the crumbs and spices in a 9x13 inch pan. Then, in a large bowl, I coated the raw florets with the egg and oil mixture. Once thoroughly coated, I rolled each floret in the crumb mixture and placed it on a sheet pan.  It really didn’t take very long.  I sprinkled the remaining crumbs over the florets to cover any missed spots, and sprayed them with a light coating of non-stick vegetable spray.  Into the oven to bake for around 30 minutes and out they came – golden brown, and crunchy! 

The real test was whether the kids would shnooker them before Shabbat (when they thought I wasn’t looking).  If they did that, then I knew “Operation Cauliflower” was successful.  Sure enough – “Stop shnookering the cauliflower” I said with a stern voice…but inside I was doing the dance and cheering!  We had a winner!! Hooray – Crunchy Breaded Cauliflower!!  Now I make two trays on Fridays– one for Shabbat and one for shnookering…if you can’t beat ‘em – join ‘em!

2          large                 cauliflower heads*, broken into florets
1          cup                   corn flake crumbs        
1          cup                   dried unflavored bread crumbs
1          tablespoon        onion powder
1          tablespoon        garlic powder
½         cup                   liquid egg substitute
1          tablespoon        canola oil
                                    non-stick vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 350 F°.   Cover a half sheet pan or large cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick vegetable spray.  Set aside.  In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix egg and oil until blended.  In a 9x13 inch pan, combine corn flake crumbs, bread crumbs, onion powder and garlic powder until thoroughly combined.  Place cauliflower florets into a large bowl.  Pour egg mixture over the cauliflower and mix until florets are completely coated.  Roll each of the coated florets in the crumb mixture and set on the prepared pan in a single layer.  Do not dump the crumbs over the bowl of coated florets – it will clump.  Sprinkle the remainder of the crumbs on the cauliflower on the pan to cover any missed spots.  Spray the florets with a light coating of non-stick vegetable spray.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.  Keep out of reach of children until ready to serve ;-) !

*Please consult your LOR regarding the proper process for cleaning cauliflower.

A BIG bowl of cauliflower florets...
ready to go!
Get the breading ready, add the spices
and mix it up! 
(Note the fancy 9x13 inch pan)
 Egg and oil do mix...
Coat the florets...
The Bread Coats are Coming...
The Bread Coats are Coming!
 Ready to bake on the sheet pan...
Out of the oven...SO crispy and YUMMY!
HEY! Stop Shnookering the Cauliflower!!!

I'd love to hear from you!! Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions and recipes after each blog!!!  Don't forget to pass this blog on to your friends and family!!

Look for additional information about  Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Grilled Hamburger Cake - Really!

Grilled Hamburger Cake!
It really looks like Cake!!

On Purim wicked Haman plotted the Jews’ disaster,
But G-d foiled his plans through Mordechai and Esther.
We say V’nahafoch-hu, on Purim things were turned around,
And though in the Megilla G-d’s name is hidden – miracles abound!

For your Purim Seuda, turn things around too…
Because Hashem saved each and every Jew!
Instead of cake for dessert, make it for the main,
It sounds really crazy – just let me explain.

When is a cake, not really a cake – ask if you will…
When can you actually make a cake on the grill?!!
When does a cake have beef, but no flour and doesn’t rise?!!
When you make a V’nahafoch-hu Grilled Hamburger Cake…surprise!

I know it sounds strange, beef in a cake!
But I promise you - this one’s real easy to make.
Two big hamburgers make up the layers inside,
And smooth mashed potatoes “frost” the cake with pride.

A ketchup drizzle, a fancy decoration…
You bring out the cake for the main with no explanation.
Your guests stare with wonder at a cake for the meal,
But you know that this “cake” is the real deal!

For Purim this year I wish you much happiness and joy,
And hope that I have helped you with your own Purim ploy!

Chag Sameach!!!

3          pounds                 ground beef
¼         cup                       barbecue sauce

7         cups                     instant dried mashed potatoes
¼         cup                       chicken consume mix
4         tablespoons           margarine
1          tablespoon            onion powder
10        cups                     boiling water
                                       ketchup for garnish

Heat grill to medium heat.  Divide beef into two.  Form two large patties from the ground beef.  Grill until cooked through, flipping once – around 10 minutes.  Spread barbecue sauce on burgers during grilling.  Remove from grill.

While the beef is cooking prepare the potatoes.  Combine all the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed.  Add boiling water and margarine and stir until completely smooth. 

Place one of the patties on a large heat-proof plate.  Cover generously with mashed potatoes and smooth.  Top with the next patty.  “Frost” the layers with rest of the potatoes.  You can use a pastry bag to pipe borders and decorations on the “cake”, and can make a “ridged” edge by running a serrated knife along the outside of the “frosted cake”.  Drizzle ketchup along the edge of the cake for additional decoration.

Slice and serve warm to your surprised guests!

What do you need for Grilled Hamburger Cake?
Hamburger, Mashed Potatoes & Spices...

Make the large patties - that's a dinner plate! 
Toss 'em on the grill & cover 'em with bbq sauce...
If it weren't for the cake we'd eat 'em right now! 
Make the potatoes while grilling...
mix until smooth - like frosting! 
 Assemble the "cake" one layer at a time!
 Now cover the whole thing with the potato
"frosting" & "ice" smooth.  Fill a bag with 
potato "icing" and decorate - so fun!
(and SO sneaky!) 
 It really looks like cake!  Drizzle 
with ketchup...slice and serve!

   I'd love to hear from you!! Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions and recipes after each blog!!!  Don't forget to pass this blog on to your friends and family!!

Look for additional information about  Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Portabella Mushroom Pizzas

These days there are tons of articles about healthy eating.  Low fat, low sugar, low cholesterol, low sodium, gluten free, nut free, lactose free, vegetarian, grapefruit diets, vegan diets just to name a few.  You never hear of people on the cookie diet (although sometimes I wish they would be!).  I myself try to be on a low carb diet – low sugar, lots of vegetables and whole grain/high fiber carbs (we’re not counting the past week…).  I really do feel better when I’m eating healthier (can we please not count the cinnamon bun cookies I ate over Shabbat). I am always trying to come up with recipes that are filling and healthy so that I don’t turn into the Cookie Monster. 

One of the foods my family really likes is mushrooms.  We love all kinds of mushrooms – white, crimini, portabella, shitake, oyster – you name it…if it’s a mushroom its welcome here!  We have been known to slice up pounds of mushrooms, sauté them in a skillet sprayed with butter flavored non-stick spay and eat them right out of the pan as a snack!  We love going to the farmers market in the summer and getting fresh mushrooms from the Mushroom Guy. As I’m writing this blog, I’m eating our family’s famous egg and vegetable scramble – with mushrooms of course.  It’s all about the mushrooms!  (My husband Alan says the mushroom is a real “fun-guy”).  I was surprised to find out that mushrooms are actually pretty healthy.  According to  an entire cup of mushrooms has only 15 calories!  They are also “low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Zinc and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin D, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Selenium.”   Go figure.  So, when trying to figure out what to make for dinner and the big, beautiful portabella mushrooms were staring at me in the refrigerator, I came up with the only logical solution.  Everyone in my family loves pizza, and everyone loves mushrooms.  What if, instead of using the mushrooms as pizza topping we used them as the actual pizza?  They were small enough to go into a toaster oven, and you could even make two side by side.  The only ingredients needed were the mushrooms, a nice thick pasta sauce (preferably with even more vegetables in the sauce) and lots of pizza cheese.  The result:  Portabella Mushroom Pizzas that everyone loves!  Hooray!!  The recipe is so easy that even my kids can make them (bonus!).  Another bonus is that this recipe is virtually carb free!  It’s great for those on the South Beach or even Atkins diet, or anyone that is trying to just plain eat healthier with fewer calories without skimping on quantity or taste.  Works for me!  Now if only there really was a cookie diet and cookies were carb free…a girl can dream can’t she….

1          large     Portabella Mushroom Cap, cleaned*
¼         cup       pasta sauce
½         cup       shredded part skim mozzarella, or pizza cheese
                        nonstick vegetable spray

Preheat (toaster) oven to 400° F. Spray a (toaster oven) pan with non-stick vegetable spray.  Place the mushroom on the pan.  Cover with sauce and then cheese.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes, until cheese has melted.  You can add additional cheese for an extra cheesy pizza, and if you like the pizza cheese slightly browned you can press the “toast” lever to brown the top of the pizza.  I will often brown the pizza and then add additional cheese.  Yum!

You can actually clean the mushrooms by peeling off a layer of the outside of the mushrooms.  See pictures below.

Mushrooms for four!
Peel away the outer skin...look how
clean it looks!
Get the pan and pizza ready...
into the oven it goes!
It's done...unless you like it CHEESY!!'s SO good!!!

 I'd love to hear from you!! Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions and recipes after each blog!!!  Don't forget to pass this blog on to your friends and family!!

Look for additional information about  Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spice Packet Shnitzel - The Movie!!

Dear Friends,
I present to you the second attempt at Edible Experience Kosher Everyday – The Movie!  I had some early showings (sort of like Canne – but not so much).  The early reviews have been very positive with people commenting that they did learn new ideas from the movie.  I had one not so rave review – “Good energy and presence…but everyone knows how to make Shnitzel!”  I will take the last one in stride and focus on the great reviews!  Please feel free to leave your comments and reviews below – I’m made of pretty strong stuff J!  If you like it...share it with your friends and family - the more the merrier!!

Remember the Spice Packet Shnitzel?!
Oh, and don’t forget to wait for the bloopers after the movie credits ;-)…have fun and enjoy the show!!


Here’s a link to the original Spice Packet Shabbat blog and a copy of the "Spice Packet Snitchel" recipe.  Enjoy!!  

3-4       pounds             boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
2          cups                 unflavored bread crumbs
1          envelope           Spice Packet Mix
                                    Nonstick vegetable spray

1          large                 “Ziplock” gallon bag
1          very sharp        knife
1          large                 skillet

Mix bread crumbs and Spice Packet mix in a large gallon size “Ziplock” bag.  Rinse cutlets under cool water.  Slice the cutlets in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.  Place five or six cutlets in the bag.  Seal and shake until all the cutlets are completely coated with bread crumbs.  Spray a large skillet with nonstick vegetable spray, turn heat to medium/high.  Place the cutlets in a single layer in the skillet and cook until the edges of the cutlets start to turn white, around 5 minutes.  Spray the cutlets with vegetable spray then flip.  Cook another 4-5 minutes until golden brown.  If the cutlets seem to be browning too quickly, turn the heat down to medium.  Cook cutlets in batches then serve warm. 
You can also bake the cutlets in a 350° F oven.  Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick vegetable spray.  Spread cutlets in a single layer on the pan. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

I'd love to hear from you!! Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions and recipes after each blog!!!  Don't forget to pass this blog on to your friends and family!!

Look for additional information about  Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.