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Purim Blast

May 9, 2009 | by Chef Herschel Arnow

Great Purim recipes for a bunch of fun party themes.

We always look forward to Purim in our home. Just after Chanukah one of my children asks, "What are we doing for Mishlo'ach Manot?" followed by, "What are we going to dress up as?" "Who are we going to invite for the Purim seudah [meal]?" as well as "What are we going to serve for the seudah?"

We always make Mishlo'ach Manot at home. It has to be somewhat easy, not very expensive and a little bit . One year, lemon meringue pies with tea; another year, homemade chocolate chip cookies and a bottle of milk; another year, salad dressing with croutons. All are fun, useful, and usually finished before or at the seudah.

As for costumes, in my house we all like to dress up in the same theme -- power in numbers. We got a lot of looks the year we dressed up as nuns. The next year we were tough, dangerous pirates. Spooky witches with long noses were also a favorite.

For the seudah, we go for fun and tasty, and easy to do. We also pick themes which helps us direct the energy. One year it was a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of the Pilgrims with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Another year, all of the guests participated and everyone brought a different Chinese dish. When we made homemade pasta for Mishlo'ach Manot, we made an Italian feast. I recently catered a Hawaiian banquet as well as a Jamaican event for some more ideas.

Tip: When you need ethnic recipes on the internet, just type what you're looking for on the search engine, e.g., "Spanish recipes," and you will be amazed at how many sites you will find.

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How to make a perfect turkey without really trying. This recipe works for any size turkey.

Cover wings and drumsticks to prevent drying out. Place turkey on its side. Insert into preheated 450º F oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn turkey over to the other side. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off oven. Allow turkey to remain in oven 30 minutes. Carve and serve.

Traditional Stuffing

Bread (old, new, any bread you have)
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper

For this one you need to use your intuition on some of the amounts.

Wet bread, squeeze out water and tear up. Fry lots of onions and mushrooms (dark brown but not crisp). Add oil (as much as you can stand). Add eggs – 1 ½ eggs per loaf of bread. Add lots of paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper (it should have a strong taste).

Place in pan. Do not pack tight. Bake at 375º F until firm. Brown on top.

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See: Chef's Secrets: Spaghetti

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Kinda like pizza, kinda like bread, really great.

4-6 loaf

1 kilo flour
50 gr. yeast (instant)
2 eggs
50 gr. sugar
30 gr. salt
4 tsps. olive oil
2 cups water, according to need

Preheat oven to 220º C. Mix all dry ingredients together. Add eggs and water. Add oil last. Let the dough rest an hour.

Divide dough into small balls. Roll it into small circles. Spread oil or sauces on it and bake 7-8 minutes.

Sauce #1

1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic sliced thin
8 leaves of rosemary chopped (also dry)

Sauce #2

1/2 cup olive oil
chopped oregano
1 tsp. crushed garlic
3 cubed tomatoes
course ground black pepper

Sauce #3

1/2 cup olive oil
30 leaves chopped basil
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 spoons grated cheese

Sauce #4

1 chopped onion
1/2 cup eggplant cubed
10 leaves chopped basil
1 chopped tomato
1/2 cup olive oil

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1 lb. spaghetti
1/4 pound butter
1 cup cream
1 cup cheese
White pepper to taste

Melt half of the butter together with all of the cream. When thick, add a 1/3 cup of cheese. When combined, add noodles and all remaining ingredients or make sauce separately and just add sauce individually.

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(Lends itself to costumes also.)


(from MasterCook)

1 1/2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken breast
1 cup crushed pineapple in juice
3/8 cup soy sauce, low sodium
1 green onion
1 1/2 dashes ginger – ground
1 red pepper – ground
1 kiwi fruit – sliced

Rinse chicken and pat dry. If necessary, cut chicken into 4 serving-size pieces. Drain pineapple, reserving liquid (you should have about ½ cup). Place pineapple liquid and soy sauce in large skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Place chicken in soy sauce mixture. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine drained pineapple, kiwi fruit, green onion, ginger, and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat until warm, about 3 minutes.

To serve, remove chicken from soy sauce mixture. Spoon pineapple mixture over chicken or turkey.

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(from MasterCook)

1 pkg. Top Ramen noodles per person (natural spice or regular)
Round steak or cube steak – cut into strips 3/4 inch wide – approximately
3 tbsps. salad oil with fresh garlic and ginger
Green onion chopped (include green tops)
6 or more eggs – scrambled
3 tbsps. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sugar

Fry steak in salad oil mixture until done. Cook Top Ramen noodles as directed on package. Scramble eggs in soy sauce and sugar; crumble. Put noodles in bowl with broth. Add on top steak, then eggs and onions. Sprinkle soy sauce to season, if desired.

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1 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsps. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsps. brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup water

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and cornmeal and combine. Add the sugar and stir. Add the vanilla to the water, and then add the mixture to the dry ingredients, binding to form a soft dough. Knead lightly. Leave covered for about half an hour. Divide the dough into eight portions.

Flour your hands. Knead lightly, then roll and pull each portion to form 6 in 1 ½ in. length, about 1/8 in. thick.

Dip the festival in a mixture of cornmeal and flour, then deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Serve with a sweet spicy sauce for dipping.

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1 chicken cut into 1/8's
1 onion; finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped scallion (green onion)
2 tsps. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. sugar
1 tsp. ground allspice
2 tsps. ground nutmeg
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1 hot pepper; finely chopped
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 tbsps. soy sauce
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. cider or white vinegar

Combine ingredients, and process in blender or food processor. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for at least four hours before cooking. Cook on a grill, broil or roast.

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NOW FOR A NICE SANGRIA for all occasions

1/2 lemon thinly sliced
1/2 orange thinly sliced
1/2 apple thinly sliced
50 gr. sugar
1/2 bottle red wine (any kind)
2 tbsps. brandy
2 cups water

Mix in a pot the fruit and sugar until the sugar melts. Add wine, brandy and water until it boils. Taste and adjust seasonings (it has to taste good).

Refrigerate and serve in frosted glasses.




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