Apr 2, 2014

Fast Food—For Pesach!

While some cooks like to have every meal cooked in advance others prefer to cook on Yom Tov. If you prefer fresh food your best friend in the kitchen can be the grill pan. While you may not equate grilling with Pesach cooking, it’s actually a great way to come up with innovative dishes using limited ingredients. You can grill your entire meal from chicken breasts and steaks to vegetables and potatoes on the side to fruit for dessert. Grilling is a quick and efficient cooking method that allows you to prepare fresh food on Yom Tov without a fuss. Nothing beats a grill pan for getting supper on the table in the shortest time when you get home late from your Chol Hamoed trips.

Traditionally grill pans have been made with non-stick coatings to allow you to use less oil and fat and to facilitate easy cleanup. Many cooks are unhappy with these coatings. The new stainless steel grill pans have no coating and do require a bit of oil to keep things from sticking. Better pans are constructed from multiple layers of metal, giving them superior heat conduct. As long as the pan is extremely hot and you don’t move the food until it’s had a chance to develop a sear, you will be able to move it easily.

You can serve these plain or add some homemade tomato sauce or duck sauce. Stop by our store or visit our website for our recipes.

4 skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoon oil

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

½ teaspoon coarse salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon paprika (optional)

Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Place them on your work surface. Holding your knife parallel to the countertop, slice through the thickness of each cutlet, yielding two thin cutlets. 

In a small bowl, mix oil salt and spices. Rub each piece of chicken with oil mixture and set aside. You can prepare this in advance and refrigerate until needed.

Heat your grill pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water sprinkled on it sizzles and disappears. Lower flame to medium and place the cutlets in the pan. Grill 4-5 minutes. Carefully flip cutlets over and cook 4 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

1 pound pepper steak, sliced into thin strips

1 cup pineapple juice

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 red pepper, sliced into strips

Rinse pepper steak and pat dry. Place the pepper steak in a non-reactive dish or a Ziploc bag. Do not marinate in a foil pan. Pour pineapple juice over the steak strips and allow them to marinate for 1-2 hours. 

Remove the meat from the juice and pat dry. Discard the juice. Season the meat with cinnamon and pepper.

Heat your grill pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water sprinkled on it sizzles and disappears. Lower flame to medium and place the steaks in the pan. Cook 8-10 minutes or until “grill marks” appear on the meat. Flip steaks and continue cooking a few minutes longer. Steaks may still be slightly pink in the center—that’s fine. They will continue cooking after you have removed them from the grill due to residual heat. Don’t overcook pepper steak or it will be tough.

Serve with grilled pineapple and peppers, pouring pan juices over the meat and vegetables.

If your minhag is not to use spices simply leave them out. These potatoes are delicious with just salt and pepper.

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes

3 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, checked and chopped (optional)

Peel or scrub potatoes according to your minhag. Slice into rounds, ¼” thick. In a pot of salted water, boil potatoes for 10 minutes. Do not cook them longer. Drain and allow them to dry a bit.

Add oil, salt and spices to the potatoes and toss to coat. Add parsley and toss once more.

Heat your grill pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water sprinkled on it sizzles and disappears. Lower flame to medium and spread the potatoes in the pan. Cook 5 minutes or until black “grill marks” appear on the potatoes. Using a large turner, flip potatoes and continue cooking until well browned.

Your grill pan has probably seen the likes of zucchini and eggplant but how about other tasty vegetables. Now that serrated peelers give us the option of conveniently using more vegetables than ever you can add to your recipe repertoire. Try peeling peppers with a serrated peeler then grilling them for a few minutes. The high heat accentuates pepper’s natural sweetness. Brush them with a bit of oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper for a low-fat side dish. Grill eggplant slices, thick-cut rings of onion and yellow squash along with the peppers for a colorful, non-potato side dish. Grill peppers and pineapple chunks to serve with the marinated steak above.

Grilled Vegetable Medley 

2 small zucchini

2 yellow squash

1 medium eggplant

1 large sweet or red onion

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Peel or scrub vegetables according to your minhag. Slice zucchini and yellow squash diagonally into ¼” slices. Slice eggplant lengthwise into ½” slices. Stack the slices and cut into sticks ½” wide. Core peppers and cut them into strips approximately 1 inch wide. Slice the onion into rings ¼” thick. 

Toss vegetables with oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Heat your grill pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water sprinkled on it sizzles and disappears. Lower flame to medium and spread the vegetables in the pan. Cook 7-8 minutes or until black “grill marks” appear on the vegetables tossing once during cooking.

More tasty Pesach recipes next week!

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