All Posts By: NANCY DeLUCIA REAL

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Nancy’s Challah Bread

In Breads, Crêpes, Pancakes & Puddings On October 3, 2019 0 Comments

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Sabbath is a day of religious observance by the Jewish people, from Friday evening to Saturday. Traditionally, the celebration begins with the breaking and eating of Challah bread, together with wine and the prayer ritual.

Here is my recipe for Challah bread. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 envelope active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large eggyolks
1/4 cup vegetable oil (preferably safflower or sunflower)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
4-4-1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

Directions:
1. Combine yeast and sugar in a small bowl; add water and swirl – DO NOT MIX WITH A UTENSIL.

2. Cover the yeast mixture with aluminum foil; let rise for 10 to 12 minutes or until it is puffed and foamy.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture, 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, oil, sugar and salt; mix on medium speed with a hand mixer (if using a stand mixer, then mix on medium speed, as well).

4. If using a free-standing bowl, using a wooden spoon, add the flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough amalgamates.

5. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead it – it will absorb remaining flour. The dough should become smooth and elastic.

6. When dough is smooth and elastic, transfer it to an oiled bowl.

7. Cover the dough in bowl with aluminum foil – set aside to rise on a warm surface (wooden board or oven rack with oven turned off) for 1 hour.

8. After one hour, transfer dough to a lightly-floured surface and divide it into 3 equal parts.

9. Working on floured surface, lightly roll & elongate each dough piece until it is about 18 inches long.

10. Transfer the 3 dough cords, one at a time, to a greased and floured 18 X 12-inch baking sheet – make sure the dough cords are centered in baking sheet.

11. Make a braid with the 3 dough cords; set aside to rise in baking sheet, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

12. After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 450°F.

Shape the Challah and Bake:

1. In a small bowl, make egg wash: mix together 1 egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water.

2. Brush the egg wash all over top of braided dough.

3. Place the baking sheet with braided dough on a rack positioned in center of oven.

4. Immediately lower oven temperature to 400°F and bake for 15 minutes.

5. After 15 minutes, lower oven to 375°F and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

6. When Challah bread looks golden brown and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, it is done.

7. Transfer the baking sheet with Challah bread to a counter to cool until it is warm.

8. Serve the Challah warm or cold.

9. TO STORE CHALLAH: Cut the bread in sections large or small enough to fit in gallon-size freezer bags. Store in refrigerator up to 8 days. Alternatively, store the Challah bread in double freezer bags up to 2 months.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

Brown Rice Salad with Carrots, Cranberries & Chives (Vegan)

In Meats On September 3, 2019 0 Comments

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Now that we’re back to “laboring” after Labor Day, keep it simple in the kitchen. Here is a fast, delicious Vegan rice dish!

Prep time: 30-40 minutes (for cooking rice)
10-12 minutes (for assembling salad)
Serves: 4 to 6 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:
1 cup organic brown rice (any variety)
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 2/3 cup dried cranberries
1 small to medium carrot, peeled & finely shredded
1/2 cup finely-chopped, fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 to 6 fresh mint leaf sprigs for garnish

Directions:
1. Cook the rice according to package directions.

2. If rice has some liquid after it has cooked, make sure to drain the rice in a colander.

3. Transfer the cooked rice to a glass, porcelain or metal mixing bowl (DO NOT USE PLASTIC, AS IT WILL HEAT UP).

4. Add all ingredients except for mint leaf sprigs to the rice in bowl; toss and taste.

5. Adjust seasonings, per taste.

6. Garnish with mint leaf sprigs and serve as a side dish.

NOTE: This rice salad can be made early in the day and covered, set on a counter at room temperature. It also keeps well as a leftover, refrigerated, up to 3 to 4 days.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

Bean, Tomato & Parsley Salad

In Meats On August 1, 2019 0 Comments

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Enjoy this easy, fresh salad to keep you cool during August!

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:

One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 quart cherry tomatoes, rinsed & halved
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup fresh, Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and ground black pepper; toss and taste. If needed, adjust seasonings.

2. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

Israeli Herb Salad

In Salads, Sides On July 4, 2019 0 Comments

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I went to Israel in April -as many of you know – and learned how to make the best herb salad ever! Here it is:

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh, Italian flat leaf parsley, stems discarded
1 bunch fresh cilantro (coriander), stems discarded
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, stems discarded
1 bunch fresh tarragon
1/2 of a Serrano chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts or chopped, unsalted almonds
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar or pure maple syrup (for a slightly sweet flavor)
2 teaspoons fine-quality dark Balsamic vinegar
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 4 cherry tomatoes, for garnish

Directions:
1. Wash and spin dry (in a salad spinner) the parsley, cilantro and mint.

2. Transfer half of the spun-dried herbs to a food processor; process finely (DO NOT OVERPROCESS, AS THE HERBS WILL WILT).

3. Transfer the spun-dried herbs to a glass, porcelain or stainless steel mixing bowl; set aside.

4. Repeat processing remaining herbs and transfer them to the bowl; set aside.

5. Rinse and pat dry the taragon; then chop it finely.

6. Add tarragon, Serrano chili pepper, carrot, pine nuts to herbs in mixing bowl.

7. Stir in the olive oil, agave nectar or maple syrup, Balsamic vinegar, salt and ground black pepper.

8. Taste the herb salad and adjust seasonings, according to taste. Serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin

In Vegetables On June 12, 2019 0 Comments

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Tired of the same old, same old cauliflower? Here’s a roasted, spicy version of this otherwise boring vegetable.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 cauliflower head
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried, red chili pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Cut cauliflower into florets measuring about 2 inches each. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cumin, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and chili pepper flakes; set aside.

4. Place cauliflower in a 4-quart saucepot; cover with cold water.

5. Bring cauliflower to a boil; boil 2 minutes.

6. Drain cauliflower.

7. Coat each cauliflower floret with the cumin-oil dressing.

8. Place cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and roast in oven for about 20 minutes.

9. After 20 minutes, remove cauliflower from baking sheet and transfer to a serving bowl.

10. Mince the mint and parsley leaves; toss them into cauliflower. Taste and adjust salt leaves, if needed.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real