Friday night dinner on a Monday lunchtime

Earlier in the year, Wimshul Cooks offered a “Vegetarian Friday Night menu” as part of Wimbledon Synagogue’s Auction of Promises. Judith from Apples and Honey Nursery bid for the meal and shared it with all the staff from the Nursery for their summer social. We weren’t going to quibble with the fact that this took place on a Monday lunchtime!  Judith told us it was the best staff social ever.

Here was the menu:

Starters

Superb Apple Hallah by Liz

Scrummy Onion and Basil Quiche

Main Courses

Amazing Spinach Casserole by Carra

Extraordinary Courgette Latkes by Alison

Aromatic Stuffed Peppers with basmati rice by Claudia

Dessert

Divine Chocolate Torte by Lynne

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A selection of the recipes:

Amazing Spinach Casserole (Carra Kane)

This is a recipe you can make in advance, place in your refrigerator overnight and then cook the next day.  My husband loves it cold, and eats it like a dip the day after.  All the women in my family have their own version of this so I am not really sure where it originated!  But I do know that every time I make this dish, everyone enjoys it 😉  Have fun and feel free to change the amounts…sometimes I just use however much spinach I have in the freezer and stir in cream cheese and soup mix until it looks like the right combination.
300 g cream cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1kg frozen spinach
Worcestershire sauce
seasonings of your choice- pepper, garlic granules, onion powder, etc.
bread crumbs
butter
Directions:
1) defrost and drain your spinach.  You will want to get as much water out as possible.
2) mix spinach, cream cheese, soup all together in a round pyrex dish
3) add a few dashes (4-6) of Worcestershire sauce and a bit of seasonings.  I use garlic granules, onion powder, and pepper.  Stir all together and taste – decide if you would like to add more seasonings!
4) use a spoon to flatten the top of the dish and clean the edges of the dish (makes it pretty when you serve later)
5) sprinkle breadcrumbs on the top so you can’t see the spinach (I use seasoned breadcrumbs for added flavour)
6) place about 10-15 small knobs of butter (scattered evenly) over the top of the breadcrumbs
7) Bake in the oven, uncovered for 40-45 mins on 180C and serve hot!
Enjoy!

Apple Hallah (Liz) – click on the link

Stuffed Peppers (Claudia Camhi)

This is a vegetarian recipe with the delicate flavours and scents of Persian cuisine. My mother-in-law has had the patience to introduce me to her cuisine and their subtle tastes.

  • 150 grams of basmati rice washed in cold water 2-3 times and then drained
  • 7 peppers (any colour)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed edible rose petals
  • 4 teaspoons of dry dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 2 OXO vegetable cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • Find a medium-sized pot with a lid that can hold the 7 peppers upright. Heat 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil and stir fry the chopped onions until it is lightly golden. Set aside.
  • Rinse and dry the peppers. Carefully cut a top lid-like layer from each pepper (on the part that has the stem) and set aside, they will be used as a lid.
  • Mix a cup of water with the tomato puree, one crushed OXO cube and half the stir fried onion and place in the bottom of the pan.
  • Rinse the rice in cold water until this comes out clear and then drain. Bring 4 cups of water and a tablespoon of salt to a rolling boil. Boil the rice for 5-7 minutes or until it is al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water and place in a bowl. Add the rose petals, turmeric, crushed OXO cube, the rest of the onion, the dry dill weed and gently mix using a fork.
  • Stuff the peppers with this mix, but be careful to not overfill as the rice will expand once completely cooked.
  • Sit the peppers upright in the pan and cover each one with its top.
  • Place the lid on the pan and cook/steam at a slow flame until the peppers are soft (20 min approx.) If the juices at the bottom of the pan look too thick add more water.

 

Onion and Basil Quiche (Claudia Camhi)

This is a quick and versatile recipe. It is a nice alternative for picnics and communal eating.

Dough (for a 20 cm diameter/8 inch loose base tin)

  • 250 grams of plain flour
  • 80ml of lukewarm water
  • 40 ml of sunflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Filling

  • 2 large eggs
  • 250 grams pot of ricotta
  • 250 grams pot of yoghurt (do not use fat-free)
  • 150 grams of grated cheddar inside plus some extra for the top
  • 1 leek, 1 red onion, 1 white onion finely chopped.
  • A small handful of finely chopped basil (the Greek basil tastes great with this recipe)

Dough

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Place the flour in a bowl and mix in the salt and baking powder.
  3. Add the oil and lukewarm water.
  4. Briefly combine with your hand until you get a moist dough that does not stick to your hands. If too dry add lukewarm water. If too sticky add more flour.
  5. Pat it thinly on the tin. There is no need to grease or oil containers.
  6. Bake in middle rack at 180 C until lightly golden 15-20 min but do not allow the edges to get too dark (this is a good time to make the filling).
  7. Remove from oven.

Filling

  1. Stir fry the onions and leek in sunflower oil until soft but not golden and add finely chopped basil to soften at last minute.
  2. In a bowl mix onions and leeks with the ricotta, yoghurt and cheddar. Finally mix in the eggs.
  3. Pour filling on the pre-baked dough base and even out its surface. Sprinkle the top with grated cheddar.
  4. Bake for approx. 45 min at 180 C until the top is golden.

Serves 8 to 10 people

For picnics,  you can double the recipe and bake on a 30cmx38cm baking tray.

TIPS: Make sure to use lukewarm water for the dough. If the water too hot the dough becomes hard to manage. Do not work the dough just combine it into a manageable mix. Do not forget to prebake to avoid sogginess. There is no need to use parchment or weight with beans.

Storage

It can last up to a week if covered with cling film and refrigerated.

Chocolate torte (Lynne)

Ingredients

  • 200g plain chocolate
  • 3tbsp water
  • 110g margarine
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 90g ground hazelnuts or almonds
  • 60g self raising flour

Glaze

  • 150g plain chocolate
  • 90g margarine

Preheat the oven to 170 deg C

Line the tin.

To make the torte, melt the chocolate with the water (I do this in the microwave).

Beat in the margarine, a little at a time.

Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and then stir into the chocolate mixture.

Fold in the nuts and flour.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the mixture.

Pour mixture into tin, bang on surface to remove any air bubbles, and bake for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool.

To make the glaze, melt the chocolate and then beat in the margarine. Spread over the cake and down the sides.

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