Aug 4, 2016

Doing Dairy

With the start of the 9 days approaching, we are all looking for dairy dishes to please our families. Many milchig recipes call for 3 pots, four mixing bowls and hours spent in the hot kitchen. Those are definitely not the ones we want to try! But while we prefer to spend time enjoying the sunshine and warm summer weather we are not ready to give up on taste and creativity. Recipes that are short on preparation time but long on flavor are our favorites.

Pecan French Toast Casserole
For the French toast:
1 loaf challah, sliced thin

2-3 tablespoons butter for pan

8 large eggs

2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

For the pecan topping:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Maple syrup for serving


Generously butter a 9"x13" oven-to-table baking dish. Arrange slices in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Be sure to spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare pecan topping. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Set aside.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pecan topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve immediately with maple syrup.


Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Cheddar Potato Skins
4 Idaho potatoes


1 large onion, diced

2 tablespoons butter

32 ounces fresh or frozen checked broccoli florets

1 teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup milk

2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Scrub potatoes well. Using a paring knife, peel potato skin into strips, taking some flesh with the peel. Strips should be about 1 ½ inches wide. You should have about 24 strips.

Cut potatoes into cubes and set aside.

Place peeled strips on a sheet pan, skin side up. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil or spray with cooking spray. Roast until edges are crisp, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven.

Heat butter in a 6 quart stockpot. Sauté onions over medium heat until slightly browned, stir occasionally to keep them from burning. Add broccoli and cubed potatoes. Add onion powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add 6 cups water and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until broccoli and potatoes are tender.

Add milk and puree soup using a hand blender. Stir in 1 ¾ cups cheddar until melted. Taste and add salt or pepper as desired.

Turn potato skins over and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheddar.

Divide soup among 8 soup crocks or heat-proof bowls. Top with 3-4 potato skins and place all the crocks on a sheet pan.

Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.


Mediterranean Tilapia

4 tilapia fillets

3 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

1 medium green pepper, diced

10 pimento-stuffed olives, sliced

2 tablespoons capers, diced


Dredge tilapia in flour, coating both sides. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet until extremely hot. Place fillets in hot oil and sear 2-3 minutes until a crust has formed. Flip the fish and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Remove from pan and place the fillets in a 9"x13" glass or ceramic baking dish.

Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. Add all the diced vegetables and sauté until just softened, approximately 5-6 minutes.

Spoon the sautéed vegetables over the tilapia and bake for 10-15 minutes or until fish just begins to flake. Serve hot.


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