Medjool Dates Recipes

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Stuffed Dates with Pistachios Recipe

Stuffed Dates with Pistachios

10.15.10 by Jackie

Mascarpone stuffed dates with pistachios is a versatile and easy no-bake dish. It makes a great dessert, appetizer or snack. On top of that, the dessert is so easy to assemble my 6-year-old little sis-in-law can do it!

I used Deglet Noor dates because the texture is firm and thick without tasting overly sweet. This makes them perfect for appetizers. For a sweeter version, you could use Medjool dates.

To make the dish, I pitted the dates and filled them cannoli-style with mascarpone cream. Crushed pistachios add texture, flavor and color. I placed the stuffed dates on a bed of thin butter almond cookies to enhance the presentation and make them easier to handle.


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Dulce de Leche Ice Cream with Date and Pear Compote and Candied Pecans Recipe

Dulce de leche (caramelized milk sauce) is called confiture de lait in French. We had the most delicious Tres Leches during our anniversary trip to Cancun last month, and it inspired me to make ice cream that captures the flavor.

I've made my own dulce de leche in the past by heating a can of condensed milk in boiling water but I remember it took forever. So this time, I took a shortcut and used a can of ready-made dulce de leche.

Dried fruits, pear, honey and candied ginger are very common during the holiday season, so I made a compote out of these ingredients to pair with the ice cream. The final touch is a topping of candied pecans to give the dessert a nice crunch.

This is a dessert that has decadent written all over it. Dieters need not apply. It's a fabulous way to end any holiday meal.

 


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Vegetarian Tajine Recipe

Vegetarian Tajine

07.07.09 by Jackie

Tajine is a Moroccan dish that is named after the special pot in which it is cooked. It's a melting pot of savory and sweet flavors and it's a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. I love all its interesting ingredients like saffron, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, apricots and sun-dried tomatoes.

A lot of my cooking is my own improvisation. I went into the garden and found only 5 apricots that were fully ripe. We've had a lot of problems lately with animals like deer, squirrels and rabbits eating the fruits of Lulu's labor. Of course, this would have never been enough for a tart or preserve. I had a few potatoes, some sun-dried tomatoes and tofu. Eating them as is would have been an option but I thought I would use them to make a vegetarian tajine.

There was a lot of the leftover sauce, so I saved it to make a real lamb tajine stew the next day. All I have to do is run to the store and buy some lamb shanks.


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Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

The idea of a gluten-free chocolate cupcake came up during a dinner with friends. Laura's husband has a gluten allergy and was telling me the challenges she faces. I found out that she often uses chickpea flour as a replacement for all-purpose flour.

Chickpea flour is common in savory dishes in Indian cuisine and is the main ingredient in paratha, a flat Indian bread. I was concerned that its heavy, grainy flavor would be too prominent and overwhelming for a dessert. I added a wide variety of flavorings like fresh ginger, cinnamon, rum, Medjool dates and of course chocolate to cover this up. The result was a dense chocolaty cake that has the internal consistency of fudge. The addition of cherry cream frosting is a nice complement to the fudgy cupcake and adds a bit of moisture to cover up any remaining grainy texture of the chickpea flour in the cupcake.


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Date, Hazelnut and Chocolate filled Croissant-Shaped Rugelach Recipe

Lulu, my husband, has been asking for Rugelach for a while. He has fond memories of the rugelach that his best friend'smom would make when Lulu was a child. Rugelach which means little twists in Yiddish is rolled, filled pastries. It is not overly sweet. The filling can range from chocolate, to fruits, to nuts, and any combination of the three. I picked dates, hazelnuts and chocolate and I think the marriage is pretty successful as it tastes very similar to a Nutella-filled baklava.

I've never made it before and so when through some of my cookbook and found several recipes for the dish. In particular, I liked Martha Stewart's preparation from her cookbook Martha Stewart's cookies p. 288. I adapted it to my taste and to what I had available in my pantry.

I think that it's still kosher but I'm not sure if it's "kosher for Passover". I could have use brandy, extracts or date syrup but I chose not to, to respect the tradition.


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