Friday, April 22, 2011

Some Pre-Passover Cooking

Roasted Eggplant Dip
Roasted eggplant, red peppers & onions - which will soon become a dip. I peeled and cut a small eggplant into a 1 inch dice, cut 4 small onions into quarters, and 1 1/2 red peppers into 2 inch pieces. I tossed the veggies with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then roasted them at 400 F until they were browned and very soft. Next time - I will add several cloves of garlic to the mix.
I let the veggies cool, then zapped them in the food processor with a little salt & pepper. This makes a great dip with celery for the beginning of the Seder, or with matzoh or "Tam Tams" during the week. It can be served warm or at room temperature.

  - Another treat to nibble on while we tell the story:
Sweet & Spicy Nuts (almonds & cashews)

This is actually made from a a Weight Watchers recipe.

1/4 cup(s) honey   
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes   (I used only 1/4 tsp in the ones I made - because S. doesn't like things hot - so add according to your taste)
3 cup(s) almonds, whole (I used 2 cups almonds and 1 cup cashews - raw nuts work best in this recipe)  
3 Tbsp sugar  (I use organic sugar or turbinado sugar - the granules seem larger and they coat the nuts nicely)
1 tsp table salt   (I use organic Kosher sea salt - kind of pink with large grains)
1/2 tsp chili powder   (if you do not have KFP chili powder - you can use any combination of chili powder spices - like paprika, cumin, garlic, cayenne pepper, etc)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

  • Warm honey and crushed red pepper in a heavy skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in the nuts. Remove from heat and spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10-18 minutes; - CHECK THEM EVERY 5-10 MINUTES - DO NOT LET THEM BURN - they are done when they look nicely browned - cool 2 to 3 minutes. (Honey mixture will still be slightly sticky.) 

  • Don't let them cool too long or the sugar mixture will not stick to them.

  • Combine sugar, salt and chili powder in a medium bowl. Add the nuts to the bowl and toss gently. Spread nuts on parchment paper or wax paper to cool completely. Store in an airtight container (I use canning jars) until ready to use. 

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