Mediterranean Barley Salad

1 cup barley
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion
2 cups cherry tomatoes, split in half
red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, or mint, optional
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped, optional
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup almonds, chopped and baked
1 pinch kosher salt, or sea salt, to taste

1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add a half teaspoon of salt.
Add barley, cover, and allow to simmer over medium low heat for about 40 minutes, or until barley is cooked.

2. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and gently toss with the barley to coat well.

3. Allow the barley to cool, then add the red onion, tomato, pepper, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and fresh parsley or mint, and oregano.

4. Season well with oregano and sea salt or kosher salt, and adjust seasonings to taste.

5. Serve your barley salad either chilled or at room temperature. 

Caramelized Figs Parfaits with walnuts and yogurt

 For the Figs:

- 12
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons tawny port, Madeira, or other sweet, fortified wine, optional
- Ice cream, yogurt, or whipped cream, optional

    1. In a medium frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the honey and gently stir it into the butter.

    2. When the mixture is fully combined, set the figs cut-side-down in the honey-butter mixture and cook. Shake the pan now and again to keep the figs from sticking and spoon the honey-butter mixture over the tops of the figs until everything is bubbling and the figs are starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

    3. If using port, remove the figs from the pan, and whisk in the port (or whatever you're using).

    4. Once the wine is whisked in and a smooth sauce forms, let it simmer and bubble for a few minutes to thicken.

    5. Add the figs back in the pan, spoon the sauce over them to heat everything together. 

    6. Serve the figs hot or warm, along with Greek yogurt ice cream or greek yogurt topped with walnuts.

Israeli Chicken with Zaatar, lemon and Potatoes


  •  6-8 pieces of bone-in, skin on chicken (thighs, breasts, drumsticks)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  •  1/3 cup lemon juice
  •  2-3 tablespoons zaatar
  •  3 garlic cloves, chopped
  •  salt and pepper to taste
  •  450g / 16 oz baby potatoes, halved (see notes)
  •  fresh thyme, optional


    1. Position a rack near the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200C/400ºF.
    2. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of zaatar, and garlic in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces and the potatoes.  Allow the chicken and potatoes to marinate for 20 minutes or up to 3 hours.
    3. Spread the chicken and potato pieces out onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of za'atar on the chicken and potatoes. You could even sprinkle some chopped fresh thyme on top of you'd like. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and lemon slices or wedges, serve warm.


    • Make ahead: The chicken can be marinated up to 12 hours in advance. If you decide to do that, add the potatoes 20 minutes-3 hours before baking.
    • POTATOES: You can swap out the baby red potatoes for Yukon golds or even sweet potatoes if you'd like. Make sure to cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces so that they cook evenly in the time allotted for the chicken. Larger pieces will not cook in the time and you will have to remove the chicken and continue roasting.
      POTATOES SUBSTITUTIONS: You can substitute the potatoes for three cups of already cooked chickpeas. Can also substitute the potatoes for a mix of eggplant, red peppers and red onions. 

      Zaatar where to buy?
      You can find Zaatar onb Trader Joes, Jewish or Arabian delis or big fancy supermarkets. If you are on a small town, you can order on Amazon.


Czech/Slovakian poppy seeds cake


Poppy seed batter:

  • 1 cup poppy seeds (130 g)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (80 ml)
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (215 g)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder (13 g)
  • 1 1/3 cups milk (320 ml)
  • butter and sifted breadcrumbs to grease and dust a sheet pan

Lemon icing:

  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar (180 g) sifted
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice (60 ml) freshly pressed


  • Before you start baking, grease and flour a sheet pan. Pre-heat oven to 340 °F (170 °C).
  • In a large mixing bowl, crack an egg, add vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Mix with a hand-held kitchen mixer for 3 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk flour, poppy seeds, and baking powder. Add them to the beaten egg. Add milk and mix everything using a mixer on low speed until a semi-liquid batter is created.
  • Pour and spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the cake center. The tooth stick needs to come out clean, or with a few crumbs stuck to the tooth stick, then the cake is finished.
  • Set the baked cake aside. Meantime, make a smooth lemon icing. To achieve this, mix sifted icing sugar with freshly pressed lemon juice. Drizzle the lemon icing over warm cake and spread it using a tablespoon.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan. Slice and serve as a dessert or a coffee cake.





  • 6 small potatoes, boiled, peeled, and riced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh cottage cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • smoked bacon or guanciale, diced, for garnish


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup boiling water



  1. Place riced potatoes into a large bowl
  2. Sautee onions in butter until light brown
  3. Lightly toss potatoes, with onion, cheese, and seasonings until combined


  1. Place the flour on a clean work surface
  2. Add the salt
  3. Make a well in the top of the flour and add the egg.
  4. Work the egg into the flour
  5. Slowly add the water to the flour mixture, mixing it in as you go
  6. Knead dough until smooth


  1. Brown bacon and reserve
  2. Roll the dough out very thin, approx 1/16 inch
  3. Cut into round circles using a glass or a cookie cutter
  4. Add a spoonful of the filling to the center of each circle, compacting the filling
  5. Fold the dough around the filling, sealing the edges, creating a half circle or crescent shape
  6. When all of the pierogi are filled, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, cook the pierogi for use a few minutes
  7. Serve with butter, bacon and the fat of the bacon.


Tikka Masala



The chicken

  • 4-5 boneless chicken thighs or two chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp tandoori masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegetable oil

Restaurant chicken tikka masala

  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp garlic ginger paste - recipe link below
  • 2 tsp Indian restaurant spice mix powder - recipe link below
  • 1 Tbsp tandoori masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste diluted in 2 Tbsp water
  • 15 oz curry base - recipe link below
  • 3 Tbsp coconut milk powder
  • 1 Tbsp almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream 35%
  • juice of 1/6 lemon


The chicken

  • Pre-heat your oven to 400F.
  • Combine 2 Tbsp tandoori masala powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 3-4 Tbsp vegetable oil in a bowl that won't stain. Cut the chicken into big bite size pieces and combine with marinade. Let stand briefly.- or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Transfer chicken to a sturdy cookie sheet and roast until it reaches an internal temperature of about 165F, about 15 minutes.

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Combine Indian restaurant spice mix powder, tandoori masala and salt in a small bowl. This is your spice mix.
  • Combine the almond and coconut milk powder with enough water to get to the texture of coconut milk or heavy cream.
  • Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to get to the consistency of passata.
  • Heat your frying pan (don't use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add 3 Tbsp vegetable oil. Use all the oil specified. It's important.
  • When the oil starts to shimmer add the garlic ginger paste. Cook it, stirring constantly, until it stops sputtering.
  • Turn down the heat and add the spice mix. This is the critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn.
  • Turn the heat up to medium high. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form (the oil will likely separate). This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat.
  • Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. Watch the edges of the pan. The curry can stick here.
  • Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the curry base and let cook until the bubbles form. Turn the heat down to low and add the pre-cooked chicken, coconut almond mixture and sugar.
  • Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick add a bit more curry base. Don't add water.
  • Add the cream and stir. Mix in the lemon juice, garnish with a bit of chopped fresh coriander if you like and serve.


Tandoori masala powder is available in any Indian grocery. Check the list of ingredients. Some contain quite a bit of salt. If you see salt high on the list of ingredients reduce the amount of kosher salt accordingly.

Chicken Khao Soi


2 dried chillies, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften
1 long red chilli, chopped
2 eschalots, roughly chopped
2 tsp mild curry powder
2 tsp ground turmeric
6 garlic cloves
1 1/2 lemongrass stalks, bruised, thinly sliced
3 tsp coriander seeds, toasted, crushed
6 cardamom pods, crushed, seeds reserved and pods discarded
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander roots & stems, plus leaves to serve
1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
8 cups (2L) chicken stock
2 kaffir lime leaves
400ml can coconut cream
8 chicken drumsticks
1/4 cup (60ml) fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp caster sugar
200g dried rice noodles, cooked
1 red onion, thinly sliced, to serve
1 cup (50g) crispy noodles, to serve
Lime wedges, to serve

  • Place chillies, eschalot, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, coriander seeds, cardamom seed, coriander root and stem, and 2 tbs oil in a food processor and whiz to a paste.
  • Heat remaining 1 tbs oil in a large non-stick stockpot over medium-low heat and add the spice paste. Cook, stirring, for 8-10 minutes until lightly caramelised. Add chicken stock, kaffir lime leaves and coconut cream, and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and simmer for 35 minutes or until chicken has cooked through and sauce is rich. Remove chicken and reduce broth for 10 minutes. Season with fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
  • Divide rice noodles among bowls and ladle over the soup. Add chicken and top with onion, coriander leaves and crispy noodles. Serve with lime wedges.

Roasted chicken with limes

 This Thai recipe for lime roast chicken is super-delicious. With crispy skin and tender meat beneath, you'll love the sweet lime flavor of this roast chicken, which makes a perfect meal to serve for any social gathering, as well as for everyday meals. Add as much or as little chili as you like—the lime sauce will still taste just as sweet! 

1 4 lb./2 kg. chicken whole or cut in pieces
1/2 cup chicken stock

For Lime Marinade Sauce:
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar (or substitute regular white or apple cider vinegar)
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup sugar (brown, loosely packed)
7 to 8 garlic cloves (minced, or 1 tablespoon bottled pureed garlic)
1 to 2 red chilies (fresh, minced; or 1 teaspoon dried cayenne pepper)
3 green onions (sliced)
4 lime wedges

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Empty cavity of the chicken, rinse and pat dry. Place chicken in a deep roasting pan or casserole dish with a lid, or foil for cover.

    2. Place marinade/sauce ingredients in a saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until it reaches a light boil and sugar dissolves. Reduce to a minimum, stirring occasionally for several minutes, until sauce thickens slightly.

    3. Pour 1/3 of this sauce over chicken. Thoroughly coat the chicken by spooning it over. Reserve remaining sauce for later. Add 1/4 cup stock to the bottom of the
     roasting pan, then cover and place chicken in the oven for 1 hour.

    4. Remove from oven and use a ladle to spoon juices from the bottom of the pan over the chicken. Cover and return to the oven 1 more hour.

    5. Remove from oven and spoon 2 to 3 more tablespoons of the lime marinade/sauce you reserved earlier over chicken (the sauce may have become thick by this time, almost like a syrup; this is fine—it will "melt" when it touches the hot flesh of the chicken. There should still be moisture (juices) in the bottom of the roasting pan - if not, add 1/4 cup more stock. Cover and roast until the inner flesh is well cooked (30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how large of a chicken you're roasting).

    6. Finally, uncover the chicken and return to oven 15 minutes, until the skin has turned golden-brown.

    7. Using a ladle, scoop out 1/3 cup of the juices from the bottom of the roasting pan and add to the reserved lime sauce. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sauce is warm. Taste-test it, adding a little more sugar, if desired, or a little more fish sauce if not salty enough. Add more fresh minced chili or cayenne pepper if more spice is desired.

    8. To serve, either place the whole chicken on a platter and pour the sauce over or serve it on the side. OR, place chicken on a chopping board, and chop it into pieces (as shown). Place the pieces on a serving platter. Pour sauce over, then top with sliced spring onions.

  • Tips

    • When roasting chicken, always check to make sure there is some liquid in the bottom of the pan (a little water or stock can be added as needed). This will ensure a more tender roast.
    • To test if chicken is done: Slip a knife into several of the thickest parts of the chicken (the drumstick, or just under the drumstick are good places). If the meat near the bone is white and the juices run clear, it is done. If you see red meat and/or red juices, the chicken requires another 15 to 30 minutes.