kale matzo pizza with garlic, lemon, and almonds

A truth about matzo pizza that I only recently learned is that it has the ability to take on the life of a very tasty cracker crust pizza and become something that is delicious enough to have year-round and, in this case, healthyish enough to have for lunch pizza. You have to do the following though: use a fresh cheese (like fresh mozzarella) that will lend some of its excessive moisture to the dry matzo and soften it slightly, salt the shit out of it, and brush it with olive oil so the edges get just slightly kind of fried and light and crispy. I believe that the world is your matzo pizza kosher oyster when you do these things and I’m going to demonstrate it with this tasty recipe inspired by the broccolini and preserved lemon pizza at the hip joint Young Joni, in Minneapolis. That Young Joni pizza has my favorite flavor combo: green + lemon + garlic, and then it also has almonds! Which turns out is a brilliant way to add protein to a vegetarian pizza. I’ve used kale instead of broccolini here because the dainty matzo wanted a daintier topping than broccolini and also I opted to go with lemon zest instead of preserved lemons because I think I’ve recently overdosed on preserved lemons. But you can use them if you want! 


kale matzo pizza with garlic, lemon, and almonds

makes 4

Ingredients

4 slices of matzo (egg matzo or gtfo)
Olive oil
6 oz (170g) fresh mozzarella, torn
Kosher salt
1/3 c (40g) sliced almonds
4 cloves garlic, sliced
4 oz (113g) kale, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Black pepper
Zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
Parmesan, for serving
Sriracha, for serving, or other spicy stuff
 

Clues

Preheat oven to 425ºf.

Place the matzo on baking sheets lined with parchment and brush all over with a thin layer of olive oil. Top with the fresh mozzarella and a few good pinches of salt. Distribute the almonds all over. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, kale, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch of salt, and massage it for a minute or two to soften the kale and get it evenly coated in olive oil. Pile it onto the pizza. It is a lot of kale (and a lot of garlic) but it will cook down in the oven and also a lot of kale is good! Sprinkle with the thyme, a few turns of pepper, and the lemon zest and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the matzo are brown. 

Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a shower of shaved parmesan, and some very good drizzles of sriracha or other spicy stuff and enjoy! Yogurt ranch is also good drizzled on this.
 


-yeh!

shawarma stuffed peppers with tahini and herbs

Happiest Tuesday to you! I’ve just returned from a weekend of celebrating Mia’s 12th birthday! It was exactly what you’d expect out of a 12th birthday weekend: we played with slime, got locked in a room with a zombie, and ate unicorn cake that was dangerously close to looking like a penis cake. It was my first time, ok? How was I supposed to know that rolling marzipan around a log of rice krispies treat and then adding grooves all around and painting it with edible shimmery dust would make it look like an almond flavored wiener of gold? 🤷🏻‍♀️ It’s not my fault. But thank you, Instagram friends, for setting me straight and encouraging it to be more conical and pointy at the top. See? It got better:

The next time I make a unicorn cake I’m going to make two ropes of marzipan and twist them together so that the grooves are plumper and smoother, like the one here. Does anyone in Grand Forks need a unicorn cake?? I want to practice my unicorn cake now. Or maybe even a narwhal cake? Mia’s into narwhals too, I hope this lasts so I can make her a narwhal cake next year.

The whole time I was making this cake I was also watching the World Figure Skating Championships free dance, which was a treat!!! It was a bummer that the Shib Sibs weren’t there but (!!!) Kaitlyn Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker went in their place and my heart just melts when I watch them. They have this young, old-fashioned, first-time-in-love vibe that’s almost as Disney as Meryl and Charlie and it just makes you love them soo much. And then I was running terribly behind on my unicorn horn de-wienering but had to stop everything and give Papadakis and Cizeron my full undivided attention because that was the last time we’ll see *that* program and, sigh, I still can’t get over it’s beauty. Of course they broke the record again. Of course! 

I’m really sad that the skating season is over but now Eggboy gets to have his sports time fun since cycling is about to start. 

Oh but not before our last ski trip hurrah! We’re heading to Whistler at the end of this week for Passover and I’ve been looking forward to this for forever. Whistler seems like the most adorable winter wonderland and you know I love a good mountain!! I’ll be giving Passover cooking demos when I’m not skiing, at Pesach on the Mountain, so I’ve been working up a bunch of new Kosher for Passover recipes including these shawarma stuffed peppers. These peppers are super easy to make. Easier than they are to eat. (Are Eggboy and I the only people who have always struggled with the mechanics of eating a stuffed pepper? Or do you also find this dish slightly flawed in execution?) Maybe we should just eliminate all shame from the equation and use our hands to eat these like an apple. Eh. They are worth the little mess though because they have warm delicious shawarma spice all up in it and when you cover them in a pool of creamy tahini sauce, mmmmm, they are good.

I’ve made these a couple of different ways: one with rice and one with cauliflower rice. Rice absorbs the juices and binds the filling together nicely while the filling in the cauliflower version stays a bit loose and juicy. Juicy lucy. I personally prefer the texture of the rice version but the cauliflower version is still super tasty and a great Passover dinner if you’re not going to be eating rice. 

For shawarma seasoning, I love NY Shuk’s, but here is a great easy homemade version too. And here is a great k for p tahini!


shawarma stuffed peppers with tahini and herbs

serves 4

ingredients

2 tb olive oil or canola oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

Kosher salt

2 tsp shawarma seasoning

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 lb ground turkey

black pepper

1 c (6 oz) cauliflower rice or 1 c cooked basmati rice (from 60g dry rice)

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes

4 large or 6 small bell peppers

1/4 c (50g) tahini

3 tb cold water

1 lemon

fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint), for topping

 

 

clues

Preheat the oven to 400ºf. 

In a large skillet or pot, heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add the shawarma seasoning and turmeric and cook for another minute. Add the ground turkey and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few turns of pepper. Brown the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula. When it’s all cooked through and no longer pink, reduce the heat to low. If you’re using cauliflower rice, microwave it (covered in a bowl or in the bag it came in if the package says that it’s ok) for 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower rice or basmati rice to the skillet and stir in the diced tomatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers, core them, and place them in a casserole dish. Fill the peppers with the turkey mixture and then bake for 35 minutes. 

To make the tahini sauce, stir together the tahini, water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste until smooth. When the peppers are done cooking, squeeze them with additional lemon juice, top with a nice big blob of tahini sauce, and a pile of fresh herbs. Enjoy!

 


hazelnut + almond flour chocolate chip cookie cake (gluten free & kosher for passover)

we are in full blown passover mode up in here. this past week i’ve tested three briskets, batch after batch of baked matzo brei, and millions of millennial pink coconut macaroons that i am so gosh darn excited to share with you. and of course one dozen iterations of this cookie cake (we’ll get to that!). alas there is no carp in our bath tub, as i’m pretty sure sven cat would get to him before we would, but that’s a dumb excuse, we should have at least tried, right? next year, with a carp!

i’m having three seders + easter next week! seder one will be in chicago with mum and stoop and marshy’s famous gefilte fish, seder two will be in fargo with a city wide afikoman after (i don’t actually know about the afikoman thing but i feel like if any town were to do this first around here, fargo would be the one, right?), and matzo pizza night seder with eggboy, rugrats passover, and the hogwarts haggadah. the jdate haggadah has been good to us but we’re moving onto the hogwarts one because you can only laugh at pharoah’s dating profile so many times.

after all that i’m going to help eggmom with easter! let’s do harissa carrots. and minty potato salad. and some beet pickled eggs! and what would be fun to hide in an easter egg hunt for the family egg to search for and find? a pet baby goat? a mozart kugel? 

it’s going to be a great spring holiday season. 

i want to sing from the rooftops about this cookie cake!!!! it is the descendant of three things: a really gooey tasty vegan gluten free cookie bar from the town co-op that was essentially almond flour and agave, the baked marzipan center of my sprinkletaschen, and the massive cookie cakes that all of my campers got during parents weekend back when i was a camp counselor in 2011. After two days, the counselors were instructed to take away any uneaten cookie cakes and the story was that they had to be thrown away so they didn’t attract bugs but the truth was we ate them all over the course of the following week when we sat on late night duty reading gossip magazines. Aside from the spray can cheese, those cookie cakes were the most delightful things that summer, so chewy and satisfying. 

My recipe testing journey with this cookie cake began when I baked some of the leftover sprinkletaschen filling on its own and realized that it had a great chewy texture. I wanted this cake to be a chocolate chip cookie though, and not a big hunk of baked marzipan (although that wouldn’t be so bad), so I added some brown sugar, chocolate chips, a huge splash of vanilla, and subbed half of the almond flour for hazelnut flour, which gave the whole thing this awesome darker toastier flavor. I’m using Bob’s Red Mill’s Hazelnut Flour and Almond Flour here which both taste amazing and are fluffy and eliminate the step of grinding your own nut flours, so I got the whole dough mixing process down to about three minutes. There's no need to cream any butter, you just need one big bowl, one smaller bowl, and a spoon. It’s really stupidly easy, and really stupidly good. Not just Kosher for Passover good, but good good. 

Two kosher for passover notes: 

-the baking soda can be omitted if you avoid it on Passover. The texture will be slightly denser and more gooey, but it will still be great! 

-the frosting in the photo is a basic butter + powdered sugar buttercream but for a dairy free dessert, you have many options: use this great dairy free frosting, serve it hot with a scoop of dairy free ice cream, drizzle on melted chocolate or a simple powdered sugar glaze, or serve it with just a light dusting of powdered sugar. 


hazelnut + almond flour chocolate chip cookie cake

makes one 8-inch cookie cake

ingredients

1 c bob’s red mill almond flour
1 c bob’s red mill hazelnut flour (or 1 more c almond flour)
1/2 c lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda (can omit if you don’t have it on passover, it’ll be denser but still super tasty!)
1 large egg
1 tb vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 c chocolate chips

to decorate:
buttercream
or for a dairy-free alternative: dairy free ice cream, coconut whip, or glaze made with powdered sugar and dairy-free milk

clues

preheat the oven to 350ºf. grease an 8" cake pan and line it with parchment. set aside.

in a large bowl, combine the flours, sugars, salt, and baking soda. in a small separate bowl, combine the egg, vanilla, and almond extracts.

add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, add the chocolate chips, and stir to combine. it may seem dry at first but keep on stirring. pat the dough out evenly in your prepared cake pan.

bake until golden brown on top, begin checking for doneness at 22 minutes.

remove the cake from the oven and let it cool fully in the pan- or serve it warm! wait for it to cool fully if you're decorating it with frosting though.

the cookie cake can be baked a day in advance. once cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. 


-yeh!

Thanks to bob's red mill for sponsoring this post!