ANTIPASTI AND PRIMI (Appetizers and First Course)
Golden Corn Cake
1 cup corn meal,
1 cup All-Purpose flour,
1/4 cup sugar,
4 tsp. baking powder,
1/2 tsp. salt.
1 cup milk,
1 Tbsp. melted butter.
Bake in a buttered shallow pan at 425░F (220░C) for 20 minutes.
Tofu and Smoked Salmon Spread
Wrap a brick of soft tofu in a kitchen towel or cheese cloth and squeeze out the moisture. Mash the tofu with a fork. Add:
3 Tbsp. Mayonnaise,
1 tsp. mustard,
4 Tbsp. finely chopped smoked salmon,
1 Tbsp. finely chopped dill (or parsley, or cilantro),
2 Tbsp. capers,
salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Mix well. Serve with toast, crackers or bread.
Spaghetti Squash Fritters
Wrap a spaghetti squash in foil and roast in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about an hour. When the squash cools, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Then spoon out the flesh, which should look like spaghetti strands. To the cool squash flesh add:
a handful of chopped green onion,
a pinch each of cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, paprika, salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes, AND
6 heaping Tbsp. flour
Mix well. Spoon onto a preheated non-stick frying pan with a bit of oil (add new oil for each batch), using the back of the spoon flatten each fritter. Fry over medium low heat until golden brown on both sides. Serve with sour cream.
Wash a large eggplant and cut off the stem part. Slice it lengthwise into thin slices (about 1/3 inch thick). Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and let it stand for 30 minutes. Rinse the eggplant slices and pat them dry with a paper towel. Dredge each slice in flour, shake off excess. Fry in shallow oil, turning once, until golden brown on each side. Drain the excess oil on paper towels. Sprinkle each slice with freshly cracked black pepper (on one side). Set aside.
In a food processor, chop 5 cloves of garlic (or to taste), 1 cup of walnut chunks (shelled, of course!) and one large tomato (with peel and seeds) until it forms a nearly homogeneous mass. Add salt to taste and 1 tbsp. olive oil.
This paste can also be used as a pesto sauce for pasta (just thin it some more with olive oil).
Place a spoonful of the filling on the peppered side of an eggplant slice (on the wider end) and roll up (without folding the sides as with a burrito). Repeat with the remaining slices.
Sun-Dried Tomato Meatball Soup
Prepare chicken broth with carrots, celery, onions, leeks, and whole cloves of garlic. Discard the chicken (the meat can be separated from the bones and used for chicken salad, etc.). To the heated broth add chopped sun-dried tomatoes. When the soup boils again, add the meatballs (see below) one by one. You can also add some frozen or fresh garden vegetables (peas, corn, peppers, green onions).
To the ground meat add salt, pepper, paprika, garlic salt (to taste), one egg and 2-3 tbsp. flour. Mix well. Form little meatballs about 2 cm in diameter.
Stuffed Potato Pancakes (a new version of the traditional Hanukka dish, potato latkes, with three different fillings!)
6 large boiled potatoes; 1 egg; 2 Tbsp flour; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/4 tsp pepper.
Mash the potatoes and mix with egg, flour, salt and pepper. Make 16 thin, flat patties. Prepare the filling (see below). Spread the filling on 8 of the patties. Cover with the rest of the patties, and press well together. Brown the patties in butter or oil in a frying pan. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt sauce.
250 gr (1/2 lb) salmon, cooked and deboned, or 1 large can; 1 onion (white or red), finely chopped; 1 Tbsp chopped dill. Combine all the ingredients well.
Smoked Salmon and Egg Filling:
150 gr smoked salmon (or any other smoked fish), chopped; 2 hardboiled eggs, chopped; 1 onion (white or red), finely chopped; 1 Tbsp chopped dill. Combine all the ingredients well.
500 gr (1 lb) mushrooms, sliced or chopped; 1 onion (white), coarsely chopped; 1 Tbsp chopped parsley. Saute mushrooms and onions in a frying pan until the onion is transparent and the mushrooms soften. Add the parsley.