Archive for the ‘Eileen’s Recipes’ Category

Photo by Eileen Goldfinger

Photo by Eileen Goldfinger.  Re-posted from 2013 on Blogfinger.net

3-4 pounds chicken, cut in 4 inch pieces, wings cut at the joint

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup vegetable oil

5 tablespoons searing flour

2 bell peppers, any color, cut in ½ inch strips

1 large onion, diced

12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

½ cup red wine

½ cup chicken broth

1  28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crush by hand

½ cup marinara sauce

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (this is spicy)

½ teaspoon dried oregano

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Sprinkle flour on both sides of chicken pieces. In a large fry pan, heat vegetable oil and brown chicken on both sides. Remove chicken from pan and set aside and discard the oil.

In a 5 quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil.  Add onion and peppers. Sauté on medium heat for 10 minutes. Lower the heat and add the garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, San Marzano tomatoes, wine and broth; stir and simmer at a low heat for 30 minutes. Add oregano, red pepper flakes and black pepper, cook for 5 minutes.

Add chicken pieces to the sauce. Make sure the chicken is covered with the sauce. Cook at a simmer for 1 hour with pot cover ajar. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a small amount of broth.  Stir occasionally to make sure the chicken does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Taste sauce to adjust seasoning. If you want it spicier, add more red pepper flakes. Remember you can always add more but if you put too much in you can’t remove it.

Add mushrooms, stir and cook on low-medium heat for 30 minutes.

Serve over pasta.

Serves 4

SOUNDTRACK: Luciano Pavarotti, from the film “Quartet.”

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Eileen’s veal stew. See editor’s note below. 1/13/18 Blogfinger photo ©


By Eileen Goldfinger, Food editor @Blogfinger

1 pound veal cubes, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/4 cup searing flour

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2 inch strips

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into small cubes

1 stalk celery, cut into small 1/4 inch pieces

5 ounces crimini or white button mushrooms, 5 ounces, cut mushrooms in half

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

salt to taste

14 ounces canned plum or cherry tomatoes with puree

1 medium onion, cut into small cubes

2/3 cup unsalted chicken broth

1/2 cup red wine

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil


Combine flour with black pepper and lightly coat veal with flour. Heat oil in a 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Brown the veal in small batches. Remove from pot and set aside on a plate.

Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic to Dutch oven, lower the heat and cook until the vegetables wilt, approximately 10 minutes.

Stir tomatoes, wine, and broth in Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add veal and peppers to the pot. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

Cover the pot and cook for 1 hour.   Continue to stir occasionally. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning ( more pepper and salt if necessary.) Add mushrooms and cook another 15 minutes or until the veal is fork tender.

Add some addional chicken broth during the cooking process if the liquid begins to evaporate.

Serves 2-3 people

PUCCINI.  “O Mio Babbino Caro.”

Editor’s note:  The version photographed above contains two additional ingredients:  In the last 15 minutes of cooking, add half cup of frozen peas.   Separately peel, dice and boil a russet potato until it is fork tender—-serve with the stew.

Red wine is a must.  We had a Foris Pinot Noir  (2014)  from the Rogue Valley in Oregon—-Wegmans selection.  The bread is a Bastone, a crunchy-crusted Italian loaf from Mario’s in Fort Myers, Florida—by way of Sicily.


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pot roast

Eileen’s holiday pot roast. Photograph and recipe by Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor@Blogfinger.net .  ©

Prepare 1-2 days before serving
Preheat oven 350 degrees

5-6 pound brisket
freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cooking onions, diced
4 carrots, peeled, cut in ¼” rings
4 stalks celery with leaves, ¼” slices
1 package (8-10 oz) fresh crimini or white mushrooms, thinly sliced
5 small cans of whole white potatoes (drained of the liquid)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 8 oz jars beef gravy
1 cup red wine
1 box low sodium beef or chicken broth
½ cup marinara sauce

Rub paprika and black pepper on both sides of the brisket (approximately 2 tablespoons of paprika & 1 tablespoon black pepper.)
Heat a large oven proof pan (with cover) on the stove. When pan is hot place brisket in pan and sear until meat turns brown. Turn meat over and sear on the other side. Remove brisket from pan and set aside.

Add oil to the pan and heat medium low. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté on medium low heat for 15 minutes. Next add garlic, 1 jar beef gravy, red wine, box of broth, and marinara sauce. Stir the liquids with the vegetables and add the seared brisket to the pan. Place the cover on the pan and put it in the oven for 3 hours. Half way through the cooking time, turn the meat over and continue cooking with lid on pot.

After the 3 hours remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool. Place meat and gravy in a closed container and store in the refrigerator until the morning of the day you plan to serve the meat. Remove congealed fat and take brisket out of container (scrap gravy off the meat). Slice the brisket in ¼” slices on the diagonal, against the grain of the meat. It is very important that you slice against the grain or the meat will be tough and stringy.

Preheat oven 250 degrees.

Place the meat in the original pot. Add the gravy, all the potatoes, mushrooms, and 1 jar beef gravy. Place cover on the pot and place in the oven for 2 hours. I serve the brisket right from the pot it was cooked in. Serves 8


A taste of Jewish history:  It’s now 5777 by the Hebrew calendar, and Rosh Hashanah is upon us. The Jewish New Year is a serious religious event, but, like so many of our holidays, food is a big deal, especially traditional recipes. There are a lot of moving parts, but if Eileen leaves out anything she hears about it.

We eat apples dipped in honey for a sweet new year. Pomegranates have a similar purpose. (Although the Chinese like this too.)  We have round  (goodness without end) egg breads (challah)–often with raisins.  Some of our foods are so good that they show up at multiple holidays.  For example there’s chicken soup with matzoh balls and/or noodles. Then there is sweet Kosher wine and, the piéce de résistance—pot roast.
Of course Jews were scattered all over the world for thousands of years, so there are variations in the foods.  If you are in the north east, brisket is usually used, but if you head to other parts of the country, the pot roast is made with different cuts of meat.

Many Jews that one might meet in New Jersey and New York are from families that escaped from eastern Europe during waves of immigration during  the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.  So they brought pot roast with them.  On the other hand the Sephardic Jews in Deal might have couscous, leeks, pumpkin and fish with the head still attached.

My family, like most others, wanted to be Americanized as soon as possible. And that included customs, dress and language. But the foods were never forgotten. They spoke Yiddish at home because of the grand parents, but they always spoke English elsewhere.

Here is Mandy Patinkin who made an album of songs sung in Yiddish, and in this song he celebrates America–not the old world, but the new…..

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

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Myrna's Jewish Chicken Soup. This batch was just made. By Eileen Goldfinger. Editor @Blogfinger ©

Myrna’s Jewish Chicken Soup. This batch was just made. By Eileen Goldfinger. Editor @Blogfinger ©  Re-posted from February, 2016.


Eileen (left) and Myrna Goldfinger. Chester, NJ. c.1995.

Eileen (left) and Myrna Goldfinger. Chester, NJ. c.1995.



By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger and Paul Goldfinger, Regular Editor@Blogfinger


Most Jewish families have a favorite recipe for what has been called “heaven in a bowl” (Jaimie Oliver). It is a “classic comfort food” and has been part of Jewish tradition since medieval times.

Jewish Chicken Soup  is often prepared to make the sick feel more comfortable. The Huffington Post says that is “has healing powers,” and the University of Nebraska documented some health benefits (anti-inflammatory effects) for colds; probably due to breathing in those delightful fumes.

Eileen follows the tradition of my Mom’s family who came over from Eastern Europe (Poland) shortly after the turn of the 20th century. They settled in Bayonne, New Jersey where they lived in a small row house on the Boulevard. There were 9 children. Grandpa Chaim was a tailor. He sewed uniforms for the Czar until he got to New Jersey.

Grandma Helen was a little gray haired lady with a tiny kitchen where she turned out phenomenal traditional foods. I previously posted the photo of my Mom’s 4 brothers in uniform, newly returned from WWII. As a kid I loved to meet my cousins in Bayonne where we would search the attic and basement for souvenirs from the Pacific and eat all those treats which we craved at that little house.

My mom, Myrna, known also by her Jewish name–Malka, was best known for her soups, and the one I loved so much was her chicken soup with matzoth balls and/or noodles. She always said that she had two “secret ingredients” which Eileen divulges below (with asterisks.)

Never try this recipe without those two items. Sometimes Mom would exaggerate, like when she would tell her students that my Dad was in the FBI and wore a secret code ring. They loved her because she told stories and because she would dance and sing at the drop of a hat.

Mom’s soup is great anytime, but especially for a cold day or if you have a cold..


So here is Myrna’s  recipe for Jewish Chicken Soup.  (Shared by Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger.net)

1 4 pound whole chicken, quartered, skinned; wrap it in a cheese cloth and tied with cotton string

1 large onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

4 carrots, peeled

2 cubes chicken bouillon*(see below for amount)

1 1/2 bunch fresh dill*

1 bunch fresh flat-leafed parsley

4 tablespoons vegetable oil


½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste

salt to taste

Heat oil in an 8 quart stock pot; add onions and celery; sauté for 10 minutes, until they wilt.

Cut 2 carrots into rounds and 2 carrots lengthwise and then in half. Add carrots to pot. Add chicken to pot and fill with water two inches above the chicken.

Bring to boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Take ½ of the dill and parsley, tie them together with cotton twine, and place in pot. Break bouillon cubes into pieces and add to pot. Then add ½ teaspoon black pepper to pot; stir.

Place cover on pot, leaving it ajar; simmer for 1 hour.

Remove dill and parsley from soup and discard. Remove the lengths of carrot from pot, mash them and put them back into pot.

Taste soup; add more pepper and salt according to taste. Add 4 tablespoons of chopped dill to soup.

Serve with cooked thin noodles or matzo balls. (Matzo balls can be purchased in the kosher, refrigerated section of some grocery stores).

Serves 4  (PG note: where it says to leave the pot ajar, it doesn’t mean to replace it with a jar.  Also, some people throw out the chicken after that, but I have always loved boiled chicken with Heinz ketchup.)

Mom adored Broadway show music, and she sang those songs all the time around the house.   The last show she saw on Broadway was her very favorite,  Oklahoma. Eileen and I took her and bought her an official T shirt which said “I’m just a girl who can’t say no.”  She was thrilled.

This song, “People Will Say We’re in Love” from Oklahoma is performed by Alfred Drake and Joan Roberts; written by Rodgers and Hammerstein, and would have brought tears to her eyes.




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Baked ziti, before baking. Eileen's recipe. © Photo by Eileen Goldfinger

Baked ziti, before baking. Eileen’s recipe. ©
Photo by Eileen Goldfinger


Baked ziti after baking and after Attila the Hun sampled the merchandise. Eileen Goldfinger photo ©

Baked ziti after baking and after Attila the Hun sampled the merchandise. Eileen Goldfinger photo ©



Tomato sauce:

1 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Béchamel sauce:

1 stick butter

½ cup flour

3 cups whole milk

1 cup grated parmesan cheese


Remaining ingredients:

1 pound box ziti

16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese

½ cup seasoned bread crumbs

4 ounces grated mozzarella cheese

8 ounces mozzarella cubed

¼ cup fresh basil

½ cup grated parmesan cheese



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 13X9 inch baking dish.

Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil.



Tomato sauce:

In a 5 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium low heat, add garlic, and cook for 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes and crush them with your hands or a potato masher. Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat.



Cook according to box instructions. Drain.


Béchamel sauce:

In a 2 quart sauce pan melt the butter over medium low heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add milk whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Whisk until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup grated parmesan.




In a small bowl combine ½ cup parmesan and breadcrumbs.




Remove ½ cup of tomato sauce and set aside.

Add béchamel sauce to tomato sauce and stir. Add ricotta cheese to the pot with the two sauces and combine. Add basil and cooked ziti and stir.


Place half the ziti with sauce on the bottom of the 13X9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cubes. Pour the remainder of the ziti and sauce mixture on top. Pour the ½ cup reserved tomato sauce on top, sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese, sprinkle breadcrumb mixture next and then scatter remaining mozzarella cubes on top.


Cover dish lightly with a piece of tin foil and bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted and the sauce is bubbling.


Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes and enjoy.

Serve with a green salad


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French toast with fresh Jersey blueberries and peaches. 6/24/16© Paul Goldfinger photo

French toast with fresh Jersey blueberries and peaches. Recipe by Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @ Blogfinger.net.    6/24/16© Paul Goldfinger photo. Click to enlarge.

The fresh  blueberries and peaches  are wonderful now—very sweet.   Eileen got hers at Wegmans.

The French toast recipe is easy and delicious.  You must use challah  (braided egg bread) which you can always get at Wegmans on Friday.  If you buy one, it will last for a week in your fridge, or you can freeze it.  We bought ours this morning.

Use a large shallow bowl and break some eggs into it.  (For two people, use four large eggs.)  With a fork or a whisk, beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are combined.

Add two teaspoons of real vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, and stir into the eggs.

Cut three  1 1/2 inch  slices from the center of the bread and place them in the egg mixture.

Allow the bread slices to soak up the egg mixture on both sides.

Add a tbsp. of vegetable oil to a  12 inch non-stick fry pan and spread the oil over the bottom of the pan. Heat until the oil begins to sizzle.

Place the bread slices into the heated pan and cook both sides until brown.  (approx. 3 minutes per side)

Serve the French toast with fresh fruits and real maple syrup.

Serves 2.




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Eileen's Beef Stew. Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Eileen’s Beef Stew. Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger

2 1/2 pounds chuck roast, trimmed of fat, cut into 2″ cubes

10 cipollini onions, peeled

4  carrots, peeled (2 diced, 2 cut into 2″ rounds)

2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2″ pieces

2 yellow onions. diced

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed

3 stalks celery, diced

1 cup fresh green peas (frozen can be substituted)

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 large mushrooms, thickly sliced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dry thyme

1 cup Guinness stout

1 cup red burgundy wine

1 cup beef stock

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons margarine

searing flour, as needed

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 plum tomatoes,  seeded and diced

In a 5 quart Dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup of oil on medium.  Remove moisture from meat with a paper towel and  lightly sprinkle cubes with searing flour;  place meat in oil and brown on all sides. Do  this in small batches and set meat aside as they brown.

Add diced carrots, celery and yellow onions to the Dutch oven and cook until they soften and brown, approximately 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook 3 minutes. Add wine, stout, beef broth, thyme, tomato paste, black pepper, salt and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and stir.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add meat to pot and simmer covered for 1 hour.  Stir occasionally.

While the meat and sauce are simmering, heat margarine and 2 tablespoons of oil on medium in a large nonstick fry pan.  Add the 2″ pieces of carrot, potatoes, cipollini onions and green beans and sauté until the vegetables turn a little brown,  approximately 30  minutes.

Add the browned vegetables to the meat and sauce after the meat has cooked for 1 hour.

* For the best flavor prepare the stew to this point a day or two prior to serving.

Reheat the stew on medium-low until the sauce begins to simmer.  Add the green peas and mushrooms.  Stir and cook for 1 hour.   Taste to adjust for flavoring.

Serves 4

FATS WALLER:  “The Rump Steak Serenade”

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By Eileen Goldfinger  (food editor at Blogfinger)

4 cups fish broth
1 cup water
6 ounces halibut, cut in 2 inch pieces
4 extra large sea scallops
7 ounces cooked lobster meat
1/2   32 ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes, hand crushed
1 sweet onion, diced
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch of sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 large leaves of Swiss chard,  remove center stem, slice leaves in 1/2 inch strips
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Use a heavy 5 quart Dutch oven with a lid.  Heat oil on medium heat, then add diced onions. Cook onions until they begin to soften, approximately 10 minutes.  Add the Anaheim peppers, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper;  stir and cook for another 10 minutes.  Lower the heat to medium-low, add the garlic and cook for another 10 minutes.  Add the crushed tomatoes, return the heat to medium and cook for an additional 10 minutes

Remove fish from refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature.

Add the broth, water and Swiss chard to the pot, stir, bring to a boil, cover the pot, lower heat so the liquid simmers and cook for one hour.

Taste the soup and adjust seasoning.

Add halibut to soup and cook for 5 minutes.  Next add scallops to soup and cook for 7 minutes.  Finally, add lobster and cook for 2 minutes.

Serve with grilled Ciabatta bread and sautéed slices of polenta.

Serves 2

Cook’s note: A more economical version could substitute any solid white fish such as tilapia for the halibut. The lobster could be replaced with shrimp.  A good wine with this is Cavit’s Pinot Grigio  (from Italy) served chilled. It is inexpensive and quite delicious.

Editor’s note:  This recipe is 100% heart healthy. Fish is a nutritious protein source which contains no saturated fat and very low amounts of total fat. Lobster and scallops are shellfish which contain only small amounts of cholesterol.  All these fish components are heart healthy due to their fish oils. Note that the cooking oil chosen is olive oil, which is a “good oil” high in monounsaturated fat.  Swiss chard is high in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.    This recipe originally posted on Blogfinger in 2011.  PG

MUSIC: To play while you enjoy your Italian Fish Soup by candlelight :  Puccini, from La Boheme, “Musetta’s Waltz”–Kiri Te Kanawa:

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By Eileen and Paul Goldfinger, Editors @Blogfinger

The striped bass has been a major prize for Ocean Grove fishermen for generations.  In the 1980’s, stripers became endangered, but they came back  by 2007.

Hybrid striped bass. Internet photo.


In recent years, stores have not been allowed to sell them, although licensed fishermen are allowed to  catch them, however there are strict rules governing size and numbers.

Eileen  caught a striped  bass at Wegmans, but it was a farm -raised hybrid striper.  (see photo above) .

This week Wegmans is carrying these fish which are a cross between a striper and a white bass.  A Wegmans seaman filleted the fish which weighed 1.9 pounds.  It yielded a one pound fillet with the skin.

Eileen found the meat to be pinkish, but it was snow white when it was cooked, and it was delicious, coming off the skin easily with a butter knife.

Here is an action video filmed live by our movie crew in Eileen’s kitchen, and below that are her instructions for sautéing a hybrid striped bass.Turn on the music below during the video.


Heat a mixture of 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of margarine in a 12 inch nonstick fry pan until the margarine melts and the mixture is sizzling.

Rub paprika and freshly ground black pepper on the fillets. (Approximately 1 pound). Sauté the fillets skin side up for 10 minutes on medium low heat.

Dice 3 scallions & 1/4 bell pepper, and add them to the pan after the 10 minutes .

Then you are ready to flip the fish over and cook on the skin side. Raise the heat to medium and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

During the last five minutes of cooking use a spoon to baste the fish with the oil/margarine mixture bubbling in the pan.


Serves 2

SAVOY CAJUN BAND with Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer:



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Eileen's Lobster Salad. Photo by Eileen Goldfinger ©

Eileen’s lobster salad. Photo by Eileen Goldfinger ©

By Eileen Goldfinger,  Food Editor @Blogfinger


Cooking the lobsters:

2 lobsters , approx 1 1/2 pounds each, steamed for 15 minutes and then cooled in an ice bath and set aside.


Lobster Salad:

1 1/2 cups cooked lobster meat cut in 1/2″ pieces

3 scallions, minced

1/3 cup celery, minced

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 drops Tabasco (hot sauce)

1/4 tsp. freshly grated black pepper

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

pinch of salt


Green Salad:

5 ounces mixed baby greens

2 small bell peppers, thinly sliced

2 radishes, thinly sliced

2 inches of a seedless cucumber, thinly sliced

2 Campari tomatoes, quartered

1 avocado, peeled and quartered

6 endive leaves

1/2 small lemon, juiced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Lobster salad preparation:

Mix lobster, celery and scallion together in a bowl.

In another bowl mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, Tabasco, salt and pepper.

Combine the mayonnaise mixture with the lobster mixture.


Green salad preparation:

Mix baby greens, peppers, radishes and cucumbers together in a bowl.

Squeeze lemon juice on greens and add oil, salt and pepper and stir.

Place half of the greens mixture around the perimeter of each of two dinner plates.

Divide the lobster salad in half and place in the center of each plate.

Place the endive leaves on the outside of each plate (3 leaves per plate) and place

a piece of tomato on each leaf and place a quarter of the avocado on opposite sides of each plate.


Serve with an artisan bread and enjoy.


Serves 2

EVA CASSIDY   from Porgy and Bess (originally posted as a summer dish)


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