Cleaning out the fridge, miscellaneous leftover vegetables can be roasted and turned into a healthy, satisfying soup enjoyed with crusty bread. MIRIAM PASCAL PHOTOS

It’s totally kosher!



Miriam Pascal

At age 31, with energy to burn and publication of a third cookbook under her apron, Miriam Pascal wants to make it easier for you to feed your family.

Mesorah Publications has just released Pascal’s “More Real Life Kosher Cooking: Delicious Recipes that Create a Lifetime of Culinary Memories,” as a follow- up to the New Jersey food writer’s bestselling 2017 “Real Life Kosher Cooking.”

“The last cookbook sold out within 10 days,” related Pascal, who lives in Lakewood, N.J.

“Within a few days, I had people sending me pictures of dishes they’d made from the book,” she said. “After all that work, to know people are using it and loving it, I was like ‘Oh my God, I need to do this again.’”

Because the last one sold so well, Pascal went straight from finishing “Real Life Kosher Cooking” to working on “More Real Life Kosher Cooking.”

For Pascal her, real-life cooking means recipes “that are going to fit into your real life.

“What I found is people are busy, they want good food but don’t have a lot of time,” she said.

As a child, Pascal began cooking with her parents, whom she described as creative cooks. Her earliest memory in the kitchen is with her mother, who used to make challah every Friday for the Sabbath.

“My mother is an amazing cook, she’s super creative,” Pascal said. “But, she’s not super methodical. She just throws things together. She takes chances that maybe I wouldn’t take.

“I’m a real perfectionist. So even when I was really young, possibly even before I was 8, my mother used to make the dough and she would let me braid it. I loved doing that.”

Before writing her first cookbook, “Something Sweet,” released in 2015, Pascal had already built a fan base offering simple but delicious kosher recipes on her website, Overtime Cook.

Rainbow Salad is easy to make and combines romaine lettuce, red cabbage, avocado, diced mango, crispy fried onions and lightly crushed sweet potato chips. The salad is topped with maple lime dressing.

She’s created a Facebook group for her site, which has more than 8,000 members. There, members discuss recipes, share tips and photos of dishes they’ve made from Pascal’s repertoire.

These are “recipes that are going to fit into your real life,” Pascal said.

Pascal keeps a strict kosher diet and a kitchen. That means meat and chicken must be slaughtered in a certain way.

“I use different dishes for meat and dairy products,” she said.

She doesn’t eat pork or shellfish. Kosher also means no mixing of meat and dairy.

“So no cheeseburger or chicken Parmesan,” said Pascal. “Some of those restrictions have led me to create kosherized versions of those things. I read recipes in Bon Appétit or Food and Wine and figure out ‘how can I turn that into a kosher recipe?’”

It helps that Pascal’s hometown of Lakewood offers a plethora of kosher supermarkets, butchers, delis and restaurants.

“It’s definitely the largest Jewish community in New Jersey and on the coast,” she said.

But, the author is careful to include substitutions and alternatives for her readers who don’t have the same access to kosher products.

“I know what products are not available and I do use some of them but overall I try very hard to make recipes accessible for people who aren’t able to shop in kosher grocery stores,” she said.

Each recipe is made with accessible, easy-to-find ingredients and instructions, and includes “Plan Ahead”” and/or freezer tips.

Recipes range from Breakfast and Breads, Appetizers and Snacks, Salads and Spreads, to Soups and Stews, Meat and Poultry, Dairy and Meatless Mains, Desserts and Drinks, Sauces and Staples and Baked Goods and Pastries.

In between posting new recipes on her website and working as a freelance photographer, Pascal writes a monthly cooking column for Ami Magazine.

Wontons
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Servings
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Servings
10-12
Wontons
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Servings
10-12
Servings
10-12
Ingredients
  • lbs. ground beef
  • 2 Tbsps. soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsps. sesame seeds, preferably a mix of black and white
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 50 wonton wrappers, approximately
  • 1 18-oz. jar hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsps. sriracha
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ cup water
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • sliced scallions, optional for garnish
  • additional sesame seeds, optional, for garnish
Servings:
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Instructions
  1. To prepare the wontons: Combine beef, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions and garlic in a large bowl; stir gently until just combined.
  2. Place about 2 teaspoons meat mixture onto the center of a wonton wrapper. Brush a small amount of water along the edges before pressing them together to help keep them sealed; bring the edges together to form a wonton. Set aside; repeat with remaining meat and wonton wrappers.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop a few wontons into the boiling water; cook for about 6 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. Remove wontons with a slotted spoon; place on parchment paper, not touching each other. Set wontons aside.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the garlic sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat; simmer mixture for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens.
  5. Just before serving, toss cooked wontons in sauce; warm through. If desired, garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
Recipe Notes

Plan Ahead: Wontons can be frozen, without sauce, either before cooking (boil just before serving; if boiling frozen, add 1 minute to cooking time) or after cooking. Sauce can be prepared up to 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge. Combine wontons and reheated sauce just before serving

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Rainbow Salad
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Servings
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Servings
6
Rainbow Salad
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. romaine lettuce
  • 4 oz. shredded red cabbage
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup lightly crushed sweet potato chips
  • ¾ cup crispy fried onions (such as French’s)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsps. lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or 1 cube frozen garlic
  • tsps. kosher salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
Servings:
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Instructions
  1. Prepare the dressing: Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Set aside. Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing just before serving; toss to combine.
Recipe Notes

With almost nothing to prep, Miriam Pascal makes this recipe when she doesn’t have time, but still wants to wow guests. The combination of sweet and savory flavors, plus all kinds of great crunchy textures, really makes this a winner.

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Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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