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Category Archives: Appetizers/Snacks

Spiced Fig Compote

November 21, 2016

This is a great appetizer for the big dinner… I always start with a simple cheese plate with a bowl of fig compote. I made this one with a bit of ground coriander and cayenne pepper. It gave it great flavor. I served it with a log of goat cheese and some delicious crackers. I also served a side of sweet spicy nuts.

  • 1 cup dried figs, sliced
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Transfer the figs, orange juice, lemon juice, honey, salt, coriander and cayenne pepper into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium low heat for about 20 minutes till the figs are cooked down and the moisture has cooked away. Serve with cheese and crackers.

Seekh Kebab

October 19, 2016

Here is something you can make with a salad.. these are always a hit and easy to make..

  • 1 lb ground turkey (dark meat is ideal, you can also use pork or lamb)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 1-3 Serrano chilies deseeded
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1-3 green cardamoms
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg

Wooden skewers soaked in water for 2-3 hours.

Mince the onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, cilantro, cardamoms, salt, garam masala, coriander powder and cayenne pepper in a food processor. Add the ground turkey to a large mixing bowl and mix in the onion mixture. Add the egg and mix thoroughly but not too much, (over mixing can toughen the meat). Take each skewer and place a hand full of meat mixture evenly around it creating a long thin kebab. Place all the skewers either on a grill or a hot skillet. Cook till done.  Serve with cilantro chutney.

Matzoh Ball Soup With Dill

October 4, 2016
  • 3-4 pounds whole chicken, the breast taken apart
  • 1 large onion, cut into half
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, with skin on
  • 1 cup dill

In a large stockpot, add the chicken pieces, onion, carrots, garlic cloves and dill and cover it with about 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer removing the foam off the top periodically. Take the breast pieces out after about 15 minutes. Cook the rest on a simmer for 2 hours.
Cool the broth off and take the chicken pieces out. Shred the breast pieces including the rest and keep aside to add to the soup right before serving.

Matzoh Ball Soup1

Strain the broth and smash all the vegetables with the back of a ladle and strain as well. Taste the broth and add salt if needed.

Matzoh Balls

Matzoh Ball Soup3

  • 1 packet Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix

Follow the recipe to make the matzoh balls. Also add the following:

  • 1 small shallot, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 tablespoons dill, chopped fine

Mix the shallot, garlic and dill into the matzoh ball mix and cook according to the directions.

Soup

  • 2 carrots sliced in rounds
  • 2 teaspoons dill, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded chicken

Bring the broth to a boil and add the carrots and chicken.
Add the cooked matzoh balls to the broth and taste for seasonings. Add the dill right before serving.

Matzoh Ball Soup2

Fresh Corn & Arugula Salad with Queso Fresco

July 4, 2016
  • 4 ears of corn, taken off the cob
  • 3 cups of baby arugula
  • ½ cup roasted sliced almonds
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco

Dressing

  • 2 medium lemons, washed, cut in quarters and deseeded
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Transfer the ingredients to a blender. Blend till the dressing is creamy and smooth. Dress the salad and serve immediately.

Grilled Garlic Cilantro Bread

June 28, 2016

My take on a favorite- for the warm season. I love garlic bread but don’t want to use my oven in the summer. This is ideal for the weather- and most of all, it is delicious!!

  • Loaf of sourdough bread, sliced

Grill the slices on both sides on the outside grill and keep aside.

Topping

  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt

Transfer the oil to a small frying pan. Add the garlic cloves and cook the garlic on an extremely low heat for 20 minutes. The trick is not to brown the garlic, just soften and cook it. Cool the mixture and then transfer it to a food processor to mortar and pestle. Add the cilantro and salt. Process till a wet paste is formed. Spread a bit of the paste on each of the slices. Serve with a salad or any grilled meat.

Kathi Kebabs- Chicken Tikkas Stuffed in an Egg Roti

January 5, 2016

Kathi Kebab 4This dish is great with leftover chicken…

I already had cilantro chutney in the fridge. All I had to do is to make some fresh rotis and prepare the egg mixture. Whole wheat or regular tortillas can be used instead of rotis…

  • Leftover chicken tikkas (you need about a quarter cup per kathi), cut into one inch pieces and keep warm
  • 4 whole-wheat rotis
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Egg Mixture

  • 4 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, add the eggs, salt, and cayenne pepper. Beat lightly and keep aside.

Onion Relish

  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 8 toothpicks

In a small bowl mix the onion, salt, cayenne pepper and limejuice. Keep aside.

In a wide non-stick frying pan, heat one tablespoon olive oil. Add one roti to the pan and heat both sides, about a minute on each side. Take out of the pan and add 1/3 cup of the egg mixture. Immediately top the egg mixture with the warmed roti.
Kathi Kebab 1 Cook on medium high heat, till the egg is cooked at the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip the egg roti and cook the other side for about a minute. Kathi Kebab 2

Place the egg roti on a serving plate and place the chicken pieces in the middle from top to bottom. Add about a tablespoon or more of the onion relish and the cilantro chutney. Kathi Kebab 3

Roll the roti and secure with two toothpicks.

Sweet Potato Fries

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch thick fries
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the fries on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle the olive oil, salt, garlic powder and paprika. Mix well with your fingers and bake for about 45 minutes or till the fries are soft on the inside and crunchy and golden brown on the outside.

Sweet Potato Fries

Chicken Parm Sandwiches

December 16, 2015

chicken-parm-sandwichesThis meal is a favorite one in our house- well one of the favorites amongst many! My husband loves chicken parm in all forms. He loves it with spaghetti and as a sandwich. My daughter loves the chicken cutlets I make for the chicken parm. I love making it as well as eating it. I love cooking marinara sauce at home. It makes the house smell warm and cozy, especially on a cold evening. The mixture of tomatoes, onions and garlic makes me really happy! Good thing about making a big batch of marinara sauce is that I can re-use it for other meals that week or freeze it for later. I usually make pasta primavera with the leftover marinara. The chicken cutlets are very versatile as well. I usually make extra since my daughter loves them so much- she says the cutlets taste just like the chicken nuggets she used to have when she was younger. The chicken tastes extra delicious because of the marinade I use before breading it.
I love using really fresh crusty rolls for the sandwich part of this dish. In this case, I found rosemary focaccia rolls. I thought they would go really well with the chicken and the sauce and they did! I also like to toast the rolls with a little drizzle of olive oil. The other flavor enhancer I use is a whole clove of garlic. Rubbing the garlic on the toasted roll gives it a mild and subtle garlic flavor! The sandwich was bursting with flavor! I served it with mixed greens and beer!

Chicken

  • 4-5 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Marinade

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl and marinate the pounded chicken breast for 4-5 hours.

Breading

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups homemade marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 4 Rolls- sliced in half
  • 1 garlic clove- whole
  • Olive oil to drizzle on the rolls

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt. On a third plate, combine the breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.
Lay the cooked chicken pieces in an ovenproof casserole. Ladle spoons of marinara sauce over all the chicken pieces. Add the shredded mozzarella on top and bake for 5-10 minutes in a 350 degrees oven until cheese is melted. In the same oven, place the open rolls drizzled with olive oil. Toast for 3-4 minutes and rub a clove of garlic on all the rolls. Once the cheese is melted, place the chicken pieces on the toasted rolls and serve!