Hello readers! This is Rayzel writing. Many of you have written to comment on a recipe or to let me know how much your children or spouses have enjoyed something you made from this column. Please continue to write, Chavie and I thrilled to get your feedback.
One reader recently asked me how I got started in food writing and food related endeavors.
One thing that got me hooked is my interest in competitive cooking! I began entering cooking and writing contests as a young girl, without great success. When the Manischewitz company began the first ever formal kosher cooking competition, I was in their first set of finalists. Most recently, I participated in—and won—the grand prize in a Heinz cookoff.
I hope reading these winning recipes prompt some readers to take part in the wave of competitive cooking all across the country! For inspiration, check out cookingcontestcentral.com for current contests and winners.
Manischewitz Middle Eastern Falafel Stuffed Peppers
4 medium bell peppers (red, green, yellow)
1 pound ground meat (lamb)
6 tablespoons Manischewitz® Falafel Mix
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1/8 bunch basil washed, dried and chopped
3 tablespoons oil
1 jar pasta sauce with mushrooms
Water (enough to form paste)
To make the filling: Mix falafel mix with enough water to make a paste. Brown meat and falafel pasta separately in a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil each. Falafel should be cooled until crumbly. Meat should be drained. Set cooked meat and falafel aside. Sauté onions, garlic, and basil together in frying pan with third tablespoon oil. Add meat and falafel and mix together. Set aside.
Prepare bell peppers: Cut tops of peppers, remove seeds and cut a design in top of peppers (You can hold peppers together with wooden skewers to help them not fall apart in oven). After peppers are secure, stuff them with filling. Place the 4 peppers in a baking dish that is filled with the jar of pasta sauce. In an 8” x 8” pan, sauce should be about 1 1/2” deep. Cook for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until veggies are softened but still slightly crunchy.
Heinz/Ocean Spray Crunchy Glazed Tortellini
1 package frozen cheese or meat filled tortellini (15 oz.)
1 can Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce divided into two parts
1 bottle Heinz Chili Sauce divided into two parts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. chili powder
3 Tbs. hot sauce
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Pour in package of frozen tortellini. Mix olive oil with spices and sugar and half the chili sauce and half the cranberry sauce in a bowl until smooth. Pour sauce over tortellini and mix until evenly coated. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until tortellini’s are crunchy and glazed.
In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise with the other half of the chili and cranberry sauces. Serve tortellini with toothpicks and dipping sauce (in the picture in a cucumber well) as an appetizer or as a delicious main with chopped cucumbers or leafy salad on the side!
Chavie Hagler and Rayzel Yaish are two Bergen County full-time working mothers who have a passion for delicious food! In the spirit of friends and family, we hope you will enjoy our tasty thoughts and share your questions and kosher food ideas with us at kosherkitchensink_jewishlinkbc.com
By Chavie Hagler and Rayzel Yaish