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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Highlighting: “Variations: Simple and Delicious Dishes Two Ways,” by Daniella Silver. Mesorah Publications. 2019. 296 pages. Hardcover. ISBN-10: 1422623335.

We have already been charmed by the creativity and thoughtfulness that Daniella Silver presented in her two Silver Platter cookbooks. For me, Silver’s books, together with the simplicity and tastefulness of Norene Gilletz’s books, have a permanent place on my kitchen counter.

Silver’s goal is to help food preparation in our homes become as easy as possible, with beautiful and tasty results. In her newest book, “Variations: Simple and Delicious Dishes Two Ways,” She offers variations on each recipe in order for them to be used either as a main entree or an appetizer. Part of her magic is using a combination of simple ingredients that can be easily transformed into a magnificent meal. Overnight Shabbat corned beef can have a new life served cold, with toasted challah and pickles on Motzei Shabbat; that’s the kind of genius alterations that Silver offers in this book.

“A major goal of all of my cookbooks is to allow people to enjoy their lives and not be bogged down by cooking,” Silver said. The book includes over 120 recipes, with many gluten-free options. Nutritional information is included with every recipe.

Each recipe showcases muliple ways to prepare, serve or repurpose main course dishes for different courses or mealtimes. For example, Sesame-Crusted London Broil is perfect for a festive meal; or cut it into bite-size pieces and you’ve got a marvelous appetizer. Spiced Eggplant Wedges are a delicious side dish, or dice them up and serve them as a topping over hummus. Enjoy a Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie...or, even better, why not transform it into an Minty Ice Cream Sandwich? Every recipe offers two creative presentations using the same basic ingredients. Many variations offer substitutions to the base recipe or include additional ingredients to make a totally new dish. You’ll surprise yourself, delight your family and guests, and unlock your culinary creativity with these versatile recipes and innovative variations.

We suggest making “Variations” an immediate member of your cookbook library. The book is available in Judaica stores as well as on Amazon.

Honey Mustard Pretzel Bites

Pareve. Gluten-free option available.

Servings: 4 to 6

  • 4 to 6 individual salmon fillets (about 6 ounces/180 grams each)
  • ⅓ cup grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 8-24 small pretzels (gluten-free or regular)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut fish into 2-inch chunks; place onto prepared baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, combine mustards with oil, honey and garlic.

Spread 1 to 2 teaspoons mustard mixture on top of each piece of fish. Top with a pretzel.

Bake, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily when pierced with a fork. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Variation

Pretzel Salmon

Prepare recipe as above, using 1 skinless, boneless side of salmon (about 2 pounds/1 kilogram). After spreading mustard mixture on salmon, top with pretzels crushed into large crumbs.

Bake, uncovered, for 12 to 18 minutes.

Salami Hasselback Chicken

Meat. Gluten-free. Freezes well.

Servings: 4 to 6

  • 6 single skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 beef salami (1 pound/.5 kilograms) thinly sliced
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 pinch chili flakes

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Using a serrated knife, carefully cut 3 to 4 slits into each chicken breast, not cutting all the way through.

Carefully arrange breasts in a single layer in prepared dish.

Cut each slice of salami in half, forming half-moons. Tuck 1 to 2 half-moons into each slit.

In a medium bowl, stir together ketchup, vinegar, honey, soy sauce, garlic and chili flakes.

Pour sauce to coat chicken and salami on all sides. Push chicken pieces together so that salami is securely in place.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken, until juices run clear.

Variation

Salami Chicken Bites

Cut chicken into 2-inch pieces. Place into a medium bowl. Add salami “moons” and remaining ingredients. Mix well. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until chicken is golden. Using toothpicks, pierce chunks of chicken and salami. lace onto a serving platter. Serve family style, on individual plates or as an appetizer for a party.