Post-holiday cooking - what now?

As the weather cools down, the holiday season behind us, these comfort foods will make you forget all about the inclement temperatures.

Brownies 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Brownies 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
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Okay, it’s back to cooking as normal. No holidays for awhile and no excuses. The weather is getting chilly and it’s time to start thinking about some hearty meals and comforting desserts. Here are just a few suggestions. Let’s start with a delicious bread that is great with a warm soup or with the chili below.
Country Bread with Black Olives
3-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 rounded teaspoons yeast
1 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
½ cup chopped black olives
1 heaping teaspoon minced fresh garlic
Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with corn meal, if desired. Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. In a microwave heat water and 2 tablespoons olive oil to lukewarm. Add to flour mixture and stir. Stir in egg until mixed well. Add 2 cups flour, olives and garlic and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. If sticky, add more flour. Divide dough in half and shape each half into an 8-inch round. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cover with damp towel and let rise until doubled – 30 to 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush dough with remaining olive oil and bake until golden – about 25 minutes. Best served warm.
Tex-Mex Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 pounds boneless chuck meat, cut into cubes
2 onions, chopped
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped (if unavailable, substitute green chilies)
2 jalapenos, chopped
2 red chilies, seeded and chopped (if unavailable, just use 2 tablespoons chili powder)
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
6 cups beef broth
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef until browned. Add onions and peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours. Serve over rice.
Chocolate Meringue Bars
These are a favorite from my childhood.
1 cup margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
1 tablespoon cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans
Meringue: 2 egg whites 1 cup brown sugar Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a jelly roll pan. Cream together margarine and sugars until fluffy. Beat in eggs yolks, water and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well. Spread batter evenly in pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over dough. Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat in the brown sugar, a little at a time. Spread the meringue over the chocolate chips and nuts. Bake for about 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
For more great kosher recipes go to: