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Quick and Fun Purim Recipes

March 2, 2017 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

Liven up your festive meal with these savory and colorful dishes.

My festive Purim meal is always filled with fun foods. Colorful, stuffed, boozy or upside-down type recipes are great ways to incorporate the themes of Purim into your meal. I love these because they have savory and complex flavors that are not too sweet (after all the candy munching during the day, we need some real food with flavor) and they also can be made a day or two ahead of time and rewarm with ease. Happy Purim!

Persian Spiced Stuffed Peppers

Persian Spiced Stuffed Peppers

Serves 8 – 10

  • 16 mini sweet bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 ½ pound lean ground beef or lamb
  • 1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Gremolata, optional
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut the bell peppers in half top to bottom and remove the seeds and ribs. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat oil. Add onion, garlic and ground beef and cook until browned about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain any excess fat from the meat and return the skillet from the heat. Add tomatoes, paprika, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Add parsley and remove from heat.

Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish and place the bell peppers cut-side up. Evenly divide the beef mixture among the pepper halves. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Make the gremolata: In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add panko and garlic and cook over medium heat, until garlic is soft and panko is toasty, about 3 – 5 minutes. Add lemon zest, juice, salt, pepper and parsley and cook an additional minute so that the juices are absorbed.

Remove peppers from the oven and uncover. Sprinkle with gremolata and bake, uncovered, for another 5 minutes.

Rainbow Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze

Rainbow Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze

Serves 8

  • 2 red bell peppers, stemmed and seeded, cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces
  • 2 medium parsnips. cut into 1 1/12-inch pieces
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cut into 2-inch florets (fresh or frozen, very dried)
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets (fresh or frozen, very dried)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme, or fresh
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Balsamic Glaze

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and place a rack in the center of the oven.

Arrange the peppers, carrots, parsnips, broccoli and cauliflower in rows to create a rainbow of colors on a large baking sheet. Scatter onion powder, garlic powder, and thyme over the vegetables and drizzle with the oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until the vegetables are tender and cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Make the balsamic glaze: In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes.

Drizzle the Balsamic Glaze over the vegetables and serve.

Minute Steak with Sweet Creamy Mushroom Marsala Sauce

Minute Steak with Sweet Creamy Mushroom Marsala Sauce

Serves 12

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted margarine, plus more if needed
  • 3 lb. Minute Steak, split, use both pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced cremini, button, or wild mushrooms, or a mixture
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup soymilk, almond milk or non-dairy creamer
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine or Madeira wine
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (non-fish type)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

Heat margarine in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the minute steaks with salt and pepper and sear on both sides, about 3 minutes per side for medium rare (meat will finish cooking in the oven, so just brown it now). Remove from pan and place in oven-safe dish.

Heat the same skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms "weep," or release water, about 5 minutes. Then add the flour, 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the mustard, and stir to combine. Add the soymilk, broth, Marsala wine and Worcestershire. Mix in the pan to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce over meat.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cook for 12 minutes or until meat is cooked through. Slice meat and serve warm with sauce.

Any Type of Fruit Upside Down Cake

Any Type of Fruit Upside Down Cake

Serves 12

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 2 peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick, fresh or frozen (or other fruit, like pineapple, apples, pears, plums
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine/butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces Tofutti Cream Cheese or dairy cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup soymilk, non-dairy creamer or milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Grease the sides of a 9-by-3-inch round cake or bundt pan or upside-down cake pan – pan with removable bottom.

Sprinkle the brown sugar in the pan and pour in the melted margarine or butter. Top with the peaches and blueberries and set aside.

In a mixer, beat the sugar with the room temperature margarine/butter on medium speed until fluffy, then increase to high speed for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the mixer, add the Tofutti cream cheese ,and then mix on medium speed.

In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

Turn the mixer off and add the eggs, then mix on low speed to beat in the eggs. Add the flour mixture slowly, then add the soymilk and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Spread the batter over the fruit and transfer to the oven.

Bake 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake and invert onto a plate. Let cool and serve.

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