Keeping it Cool

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Ginger Pickled Salmon or Halibut
Makes 8 servings

2 1/2 pounds Atlantic salmon fillets or halibut steaks
(about 8 slices)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white vinegar or rice vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons pickling spices
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 thin slices of ginger
1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced

Cut fish in serving-size pieces. In a large pot, bring water, vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, pickling spices, bay leaf and thyme to a boil. Add fish and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Gently turn fish over and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove pot from heat. Add ginger and onion.

When cool, carefully transfer contents of pot to a large casserole, cover and refrigerate. Let fish marinate for 3 to 4 days before serving.

Note: Fish will keep 7 to 10 days in the fridge.

Pesto Pasta Salad

Makes 8 to 10 servings

12-ounce package spiral pasta or 3-color rotini
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
(broccoli, cauliflower and carrots)
6 green onions, chopped
1 green and 1 red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
1/4 to 1/3 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3-1/2 cup light mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well. (Pasta can be made in advance and refrigerated for a day or two.)

Cook vegetables according to package directions. Let cool. (Veggies can be cooked in advance and refrigerated.)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Chill at least 2 or 3 hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend.

Note: Leftovers will keep for 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

Variations: If you don’t have pesto on hand, add 2 cloves of freshly crushed garlic and 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese. For a pareve version, omit the cheese.

Best-O Pesto
Makes 1 cup

2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 to 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tomato juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Place nuts in a small skillet and brown over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Wash basil and parsley thoroughly. Wrap in paper towels and dry well.

Start the processor and drop garlic through feed tube. Process until minced. Add nuts, basil, parsley and cheese. Process until fine, about 15 seconds.

Drizzle oil and tomato juice through the feed tube while the machine is running. Process until blended. Season to taste.

Note: Pesto keeps 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator and can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Tip: When fresh basil is expensive, use a combination of basil and fresh baby spinach. It works perfectly! Freeze pesto in ice cube trays. Transfer cubes to a re-sealable plastic freezer bag and store in the freezer. Each cube contains 2 tablespoons pesto. Add a cube of pesto to your favorite pasta sauce, soup, salad or vegetarian stew.


Ginger Pickled Salmon

Lauren’s Black Bean Salad
Makes 6 cups

2 cans (19 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Combine the beans, onion, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; mix well. (Can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

At serving time, sprinkle with feta cheese and serve immediately.

Note: Keeps for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Variation, Tex-Mex Bean Salad: Omit feta cheese. Add 2 cups drained corn kernels, 2 chopped red peppers, and 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro or parsley.


Light ‘n Luscious Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle
Photos: Estee Gestetner

Light ‘n Luscious Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

(No-Bake)
Makes 16 servings

1/2 pound light cream cheese
1/2 pound non-fat cottage cheese
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups fat-free Greek yogurt (no sugar added)
1 sponge cake (about 6 cups cut-up)
3 cups strawberries, sliced (reserve a few whole berries for garnishing)
2 to 3 tablespoons grated semi-sweet chocolate

In a food processor or electric mixer, combine cream cheese and cottage cheese. Beat until smooth. Add icing sugar and lemon juice. Mix until thoroughly blended. Add yogurt and mix just until smooth. Do not overbeat.

Cut sponge cake into 1-inch cubes.

Assembly: In the bottom of a glass serving bowl, spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Arrange half of the cake cubes in a layer over cheese. Top with a layer of sliced strawberries. Repeat once again with cheese mixture, cake and strawberries. Top with remaining cheese mixture, forming peaks with the back of a spoon.

Garnish with whole berries. Sprinkle with grated chocolate. Chill several hours or overnight before serving.

Note: Do not freeze.

Norene Gilletz of Toronto, Canada is a kosher cookbook author and food consultant. She is the author of nine cookbooks. For more information, visit www.gourmania.com or contact her at goodfood@gourmania.com.

This article was featured in Jewish Action Summer 2011.

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