Pascale’s Kitchen: Throw it in the pan

With all the energy spent on chagim cooking, this Shabbat make your life easier with one-pot/pan dishes.

 Rugelach (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Rugelach
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

The phrase “after the holidays” has a great meaning for me. Because what is after the holidays for me? No more crazy holiday meals, no more entertaining family members, friends and acquaintances, no more traditional foods appropriate for any occasion. In short, peace returns to my life, and life returns to its course. And from that we arrive at the weekend and have to organize an appropriate menu in honor of the Shabbat Queen.

I decided to prepare delicacies where everything happens in one vessel, pot or pan. This will save me time, save me from having to mess with utensils and save me energy, which I ran out of with the preparation of all those holiday meals.

Every weekend I make yeast dough. I can’t stop. Whether I’m hosting or I’m a guest, I don’t miss the Friday morning custom of preparing yeast dough. This time, I chose to make rugelach cookies.

They can be created with two rolling methods. One, presented here, is the creation of a rectangle and dividing it into triangles. The other is the creation of two or three circles of dough. Spread with the chocolate filling and divide into triangles like pizza slices, only narrower. Roll each triangle from the wide side closest to you to the other side. 

 Couscous & chicken in tomato sauce (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Couscous & chicken in tomato sauce (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

Instead of baking them individually, I decided to combine them in one or two pans, depending on the diameter of the pan, and bake them as a whole rugelach cake – all in one pan. There’s no need to slice it – it’s okay to just tear off the rugelach, bite and enjoy.

The second recipe is for preparing a variety of vegetables in the oven. Light, aesthetic, tasty and low in calories. It is important to pay attention to the selection of vegetables that you put in the pan. The pan itself is brought to the table, thus saving on serving utensils.

The third recipe I chose is for a stew of Israeli couscous and chicken breast or chicken thighs in a spicy sauce. It’s so easy and simple, that you’ll be surprised by how many compliments it will garner.

Rugelach

Makes 30-35 pastries.

For dough:

  • 3 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 20 grams dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 grams butter, softened (or margarine for the parve version)

For filling:

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 150 grams butter (or margarine), melted
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

For brushing:

  • 1 egg, beaten

For syrup:

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To prepare the dough: Put all the dough ingredients except the butter (or margarine) in an electric mixer. Mix for 5 minutes. Add butter and mix for another 3 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a bowl and leave covered in a warm place until doubled in volume.

To make the filling: Mix all the filling ingredients to get a uniform and thick texture. Let cool. 

Roll out 1/4 of the amount of dough into a wide rectangle, spread a generous amount of the filling on it and cut into long, narrow triangles.

Roll the triangles from their wide side to the narrow side to get the shape of the rugelach. Arrange them in a pan lined with parchment paper, close to each other. This is how to prepare all your rugelach. Arrange in one or two pans, depending on the diameter of the desired pan. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until they double in size. Brush with a beaten egg and bake in an oven preheated to medium heat (355°F/180°C) for about 20 minutes.

To prepare the syrup: Boil together sugar, vanilla and water for 10 minutes. Brush the rugelach with the hot syrup.

Difficulty level: ModerateTime: About 2 hours, including risingStatus: Dairy/parve

 Roasted vegetables with garlic, rosemary and thyme (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Roasted vegetables with garlic, rosemary and thyme (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Roasted vegetables with garlic, rosemary and thyme

Makes 6-8 servings.

  • 1 medium cauliflower, braised and strained

Spices for cauliflower:

  • 1 Tbsp. red paprika, sweet or spicy
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 3-4 heads of fennel, cut into quarters, or parsley roots, cut lengthwise
  • 3-4 bulbs of kohlrabi or turnips, quartered or sliced
  • 3-4 green peppers, cut into strips
  • 3-4 yellow peppers, cut into strips (other color peppers can be mixed in as well)
  • 1-2 full or split heads of garlic
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 cup quality olive oil
  • Salt and coarse black pepper

Drain the braised cauliflower well. Mix all the seasonings in a saucer. Brush the cauliflower with seasoning on all sides.

Line an oven tray with parchment paper (you can also use a large decorative pan). Arrange rows and rows of peeled and cut vegetables in the pan. Place the seasoned cauliflower at the edge of the pan. Sprinkle the rosemary and thyme sprigs around. Pour the olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and ground pepper.

Cover with additional parchment paper, place aluminum foil on top and seal tightly. Put in an oven preheated to medium-high heat (355°F/180°C - 375°F/190°C) and bake for about 40 minutes until the vegetables soften. Remove the parchment paper and aluminum foil and continue roasting for another 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned and lightly tanned. Take out and serve.

Difficulty level: EasyTime: About 1 hour, 15 minutesStatus: Parve

Couscous & chicken in tomato sauce

Makes 6-8 servings.

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 500 grams chicken breast, cut into cubes, or chicken thighs, cut into cubes or strips
  • 1 large onion, cut into medium-sized cubes
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into small cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. crushed tomato
  • 1 bag of round Israeli couscous
  • 1Tbsp. harissa
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Water according to the instructions on the couscous package + 1/2 cup

For serving and garnish:

  • 1/4 cup coriander, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil in a wide, flat pot. Add the chicken breast or chicken thigh cubes and fry for 3-4 minutes, until they change color. Add the onions, mix and sauté for a minute or two.

Add the diced tomatoes and minced garlic and mix. Add the cubes of bell peppers and sauté while stirring for another minute or two. Add the crushed tomatoes and the couscous and steam everything while stirring. Gradually pour in the water, add salt and pepper and harissa, stir and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and cook until softened and the liquid is absorbed (if necessary, add a little water). Turn off the heat and leave closed for about five minutes. Sprinkle the chopped parsley and coriander on top. Serve hot.

Difficulty level: Easy-moderateTime: About 30 minutesStatus: Meat

Translated by Tzvi Joffre.