Jeweled Rice with Crispy Salami Croutons

Latest Obsession

Fair warning, readers!¬† In the coming months, you’ll come to notice that I have quite the obsession with Adeena Sussman’s cookbook, Sababa. Using her recipes as inspiration, while I drool all over the pages (jk, that’s gross), I adapted her Jeweled Rice recipe for a fun twist on a dish for Purim! Truthfully, I am not paid to endorse her book, I’m just THAT much in love with it!

A New Twist

A few weeks ago, my husband Elliott and I were eating Friday night dinner and catching up on the past week. Occasionally we’ll go down these rabbit-hole conversations and this one was just that. He was helping me brainstorm for a Purim recipe. Now, don’t get me wrong, Hamantashen are great. But we have a good amount of those recipes on MeatYourVegetables, so I thought it was time to do something different.

Elliott made some comment about his love of hanging salamis above our back door and he mentioned something along the lines of “ya know, Haman… hanging… salami.” Ah, here comes the light bulb moment.

It makes so much sense now why serving hassleback salami at a Purim seudah has become a “thing” because Haman was hanged on the gallows. So we put two and two together and decided on “Jeweled” rice, because you know – Queen Esther, royalty, crown, jewels. You get the idea. ūüôā And topped with my ever popular salami croutons – how can this go wrong? And yes, I know, I’m making a dish with MEAT?! Sometimes ya have to switch it up, right?

Household staple

Yes, my salami croutons have become a staple in our house (well, just for Elliott). All I do is dice up some salami (it’s easier to do this with softer salami, but you still can with dried, it’ll just be much harder to peel off the paper and chop) and fry it in a bit of olive oil until they’re SUPER crispy. BOOM- salami croutons. A great way to get my husband to eat salad, HA!

Side note here on the jeweled rice. Just like Adeena’s recipe goes, feel free to use any dried fruit. I opted for apricots because Elliott likes apricots and not much else in the dried fruit category. And I went with sliced almonds because again, he’s very particular and he loves almonds. Adding some pomegranate seeds on top would be a great addition too, for that jeweled look. Or, try dried cranberries, or maybe even sun-dried tomatoes!

So there you have it! A great new twist on a dish that’s perfect for Purim, or any time of year! I’m serving this for our upcoming seudah and for Friday night Shabbos dinner!

Purim Sameach!

0 from 0 votes
Jeweled Rice with Crispy Salami Croutons
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Course: Side
Servings: 4 people
Author: Rachel Katzman
  • 1 cup Basmati or Jasmine Rice If all you have on hand is regular white rice, go ahead and use it. It'll still be delish
  • 1/2 Onion, diced I used red onion for this photo because, well that's all I had in the house and it gives the dish a nice sweetness, so use what you like!
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp Dried dill I love using fresh dill but dried is so much easier to use since most of us already have it in our pantry. If you use fresh, chop up 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup Dried apricots, chopped Again, use whatever dried fruit you like!
  • 1/2 cup Sliced or Slivered almonds
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced I had a meyer lemon on hand and love that bright burst of sweet, tart lemon!
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Salami, cut into cubes
  • 5 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  1. Make the rice: Rinse the rice in a sieve and place in a medium-sized pot or rice cooker. Add 2 cups of water and cook for about 20 minutes until fluffy and tender

  2. While the rice is cooking, in a medium-sized skillet, heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil over medium-heat

  3. Add the onions and and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt

  4. Make sure to stir frequently so the onions don't burn

  5. Cook for about 20 minutes until the onions are golden and caramelized - remove from pan and set aside to cool

  6. While the rice is cooling, add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil into the pan where the onions cooked and add the salami cubes

  7. Cook on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes until crispy but be careful not to burn (they cook pretty fast)

  8. Add the semi-cooled rice in a large bowl and add the dill, chopped apricots, remaining salt and pepper, lemon zest and juice and almonds

  9. Add the salami croutons along with the remaining oil from the salami

  10. Mix well and add in pomegranate if desired!

  11. Serve warm or room temp and enjoy!


Gingerbread Hamantashen With Pumpkin Pie Filling

Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie HamantashenThe holiday of Purim will be here soon and that means one thing around here, hamantashen.  Hamantashen are triangular cookies usually filled with jam or jelly. They are meant to resemble the ear or hat of the antagonist from the Purim story, Haman. As I have stated in the past, I am not a baker.  Ask me to roast a big honking piece of meat, no problem, saute some vegetables, I can do that, but cookies and cakes are just not my speed. I usually leave the baking to my lovely wife, Ronit. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating baked goods of all sorts, but making them is just not my thing. That being said Purim wouldn’t be the same without hamantashen, so I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave it a shot.

As much as I love a good sugar cookie style hamantashen with a jam filling, for this recipe I wanted a hamantashen that was a little different.  I also wanted something with contrast and a pop of color. It’s still pretty cold in Chicago, so I was drawn to the warmer flavors of ginger and cinnamon and winter squash. Gingerbread seemed like an obvious choice with its dark color and strong flavor.  A pumpkin pie filling gives these hamantashen textural and chromatic contrast. The idea was also inspired by the fact that my kids are going through a Harry Potter phase which is the theme for our costumes and mishloach manot. Pumpkin seems to a recurring culinary theme in the wizarding world so I figured why not. Let us know what your favorite flavor hamantashen is in the comment.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie Hamantashen Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie Hamantashen
Gingerbread Hamantashen With Pumpkin Pie Filling
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Resting Time
1 hr
Total Time
30 mins

A little something different than your average jelly filled hamantashen. The darker colored dough with the bright orange filling gives these some great visual appeal and the the warm flavor profile of the ginger and cinnamon really makes them pop in the flavor department.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Holiday, Jewish
Keyword: Hamantashen
Servings: 36 Pieces
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 5 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Molasses
  • 2 tbsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Ground Clove
  • 2 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 Large Butternut Squash
  • 1/4 tbsp Real Maple Syrup Not pancake syrup
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
Special Equipment
  • 3" Round Pastry Ring or Cookie Cutter
  • Stand Mixer With whisk and dough hook attachments
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Parchment Paper
  • Aluminum Foil
  1. Using your stand mixer with the whisk attached beat together the eggs, vanilla, molasses, oil, and brown sugar until thoroughly combined

  2. Switch to the dough hook and add the flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Mix on low until the dough starts to come together. It should look like small pebbles at this point.

  3. Slowly start adding the water a little bit at a time until the dough starts to come together. It should take about a 1/4 cup but you may need a little more or less. Once it comes together, stop adding water and let it mix a little longer until it forms a smooth ball.

  4. Wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350¬įF. Using a heavy serrated knife cut the squash in half the long way and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle on the maple syrup and then sprinkle on the salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

  2. Put the two halves back together and wrap in foil.  Bake until soft, about 90 minutes.

  3. Allow the squash to cool and the scoop out the flesh from the skin using a large metal spoon. Using a fork or a potato masher, mash until you achieve the desired consistency.  If the mixture seems a bit wet feel free to drain out some of the liquid.

Final Assembly and Baking
  1. Roll out your dough about 1/4" thick and cut 3" rounds. Place a 1 teaspoon of your filling in the middle and fold the edges up in to a triangle.

  2. Place the hamantashen on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake until they start to brown on the edges, about 10 minutes. Allow the hamantashen to cool and serve or wrap and freeze.

Ok now that the baking is done I am going to go smoke a brisket.  While I do that don’t forget to check out Rachel’s latest hamantaschen recipe: Blackberry Cheesecake Hamantashen! or some of our other hamantaschen recipes:

Purim: Texas Chili With Cowboy Candy Hamantaschen

Not one, but TWO healthy Hamantaschen!

Barbecue Chicken Hamantaschen

Low carb lemon poppyseed coconut hamantaschen

Purim: Texas Chili With Cowboy Candy Hamantaschen

Chili and HamentashenI have a confession to make, I am not much of a baker.¬† While I love to cook, I leave most of the baking to my lovely wife Ronit.¬† Not wanting to just rip off someone else’s recipe, this left me with the daunting challenge of coming up with a recipe for¬†hamantaschen, a traditional triangular pastry eaten on the Jewish holiday of Purim, from scratch.

It is pretty easy for me to come up with a recipe for most things cooked, but once you talk baking, it become chemistry and not art. Unfortunately, my degrees are in computer science, biology, and business. I dropped chemistry.  I made this challenge even harder on myself by choosing to do a savory hamantaschen, which means I had less recipes to use for reference.  Having recently done Cheddar Stuffed Jalapeno Hush Puppies I still had some cornmeal and Jalapenos to use up, which led me to a cornbread hamantaschen with candied jalapenos, also know as cowboy candy.

I was also looking for something hearty to go along with the hamantaschen to put in mishloach manot, the traditional food packages given to friends for the Purim holiday and chili seemed like an obvious answer.  I kept the the chili recipe pretty mild, as the hamantaschen will provide some heat.  You can always add some chipotle peppers to increase the spice level if you like it hot.  I am not a big fan of beans, and they are generally frowned upon when making Texas style chili, so I left them out of this recipe.

Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s hamantaschen:¬†Low carb lemon poppyseed coconut hamantaschen

Cowboy Candy

5 from 1 vote
Chili and Hamantaschen
Cowboy Candy Filling
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins

This a great sweet and spicy treat that can be used as a filling for hamantashen, topping for a burger, or stirred into a corn bread mix.

Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Servings: 24 pieces
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 6 Large Jalapenos Sliced into rounds
  • 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Sliced thin
  • 1 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Dried Onion
  • 1 tsp Celery Seed
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 2 qt Sauce Pot
  • 1 Sheet Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  1. Preheat your oven to 250¬įF

  2. Add the sugar and vinegar to a sauce pot and place on the stove over medium heat, stirring regularly to prevent the sugar from burning.

  3. Once a syrup, is formed lower the heat all the way down and add all the other ingredients. Stir to coat. 

  4. Spread the mixture on a parchment paper lined sheet pan, and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes to dry it mixture out.

  5. Use to fill hamentaschen, top burgers, or stir in to a cornbread mix.

Cornbread Hamantaschen

5 from 1 vote
Chili and Hamantaschen
Cornbread Cowboy Candy Hamtashen
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
45 mins

A crispy savory hamantaschen dough, filled with a sweet and spicy filling.  Great accompaniment to hearty soups and chili. 

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Kosher, Tex-Mex
Servings: 24 pieces
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Four
  • 1 1/2 Cups Yellow Cornmeal
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Milk or Soy Milk
  • 1 Stick Cold Margarine Cut in to tablespoon sized pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder Optional for some additional heat
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Recipe Cowboy Candy See above recipe
  • Stand Mixer
  • Sheet Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • Circular Pastry Ring or Cookie Cutter
  1. In your mixer bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, chili powder (if desired), baking powder, and salt and mix with the paddle attachment on low.

  2. Incorporate the margarine a few pieces at time.

  3. Add the eggs and (soy) milk and boost the speed to medium, mixing just until a dough is formed.  Be careful not to over-mix, or your dough will be tough.

  4. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350¬įF. 

  5. Roll out the dough to about 1/8th of an inch thickness and cut out rounds with the pastry ring/cookie cutter.

  6. Fill with about a teaspoon of Cowboy Candy, and fold corners of dough to form a triangle and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

  7. Bake for about 15 minutes.  Hamantashen should be crispy and lightly browned.

Texas Chili

5 from 1 vote
Chili and Hamantaschen
Texas Chili
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs

A hearty dish to warm your bones and your soul.  I am not a big fan of beans, and most Texas style chilis don't call for them, so I left them out of this recipe.  You can add as little or as much spice as you would like by adjusting the amount of chipotle peppers you add.

Course: Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine: BBQ, Kosher, Tex-Mex
Servings: 12 Bowls
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 2 lb Beef Something from the chuck, cut in to 1/2" cubes
  • 28 oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Large Onions 1/4" Dice
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper 1/4" Dice
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper 1/4" Dice
  • 6 Cloves Garlic Finely Minced
  • 1 Bottle Beer Not too cheap or too expensive, Sam Adams Boston Lager is a good option
  • 3 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 7 oz Can of Chipotles in Adobe Sauce Optional if you want some heat
  • 3 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • Salt and Pepper To taste
  • 2 tbsp Masa Harina (corn flour NOT corn meal) Ground up tortilla chips will work in a pinch
  1. Add the cooking oil to a heavy pot or Dutch oven and place over high heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer add the meat in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. Brown the meat on all sides and remove from the pot.

  2. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, salt, and pepper.  Cook until they are translucent. Then add the garlic and continue to cook until the garlic starts to brown.

  3. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, and smoked paprika and cook until the peppers begin to soften.

  4. Turn the heat down to low and add the beef back in along with the tomatoes, masa harina, and beer. Add the chipotles now if desired.

  5. Cover and simmer on low for an hour or until desired consistency is achieved.

A Very BBQ Purim

So what you may not know is Rachel and I have a kosher BBQ team known as 5 Dudes and a Vegetarian and until recently I was living in condo where I¬†could not grill¬†or smoke. ¬†On the first of the year I¬†finally moved in to a house, and I bought myself a new grill and smoker. So for Mishloach Manot ¬†and the Purim se’udah this year I decided to do a BBQ theme. Check out my menu below.

Vegetable Soup: Pulled out of the freezer

Cherry Glazed Smoked Duck: I am going to put 2 ducks on new 22‚ÄĚ Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker for a few hours at about 250¬įF basting with apple juice every hour or so until they¬†hit an internal temperature of 160¬įF. ¬†Then I will glaze the ducks¬†with some homemade cherry jam and finish them over high heat on the Weber Original Kettle 22″ ¬†to set the glaze and crisp up the skin.

Smoked Top of The Rib Roast: ¬†I refer to this cut as a poor man‚Äôs brisket.¬† It usually comes netted and rolled, but if you¬†take the net off and unroll the roast, it is a thin striated piece of meat very similar to brisket.¬† I plan on applying a dry rub of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, salt, pepper and brown sugar. ¬†The roast will be cooked alongside the duck on the 22‚ÄĚ Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker at 250¬įF until it hits about 200¬įF and then I will let it rest and slice it.

Beef Burger Sliders: ¬†Seasoned with just salt and pepper and grilled on the Weber Original Kettle 22″. Served on a pretzel bun with all the fixings including slow cooker¬†caramelized onions and home pickled jalapenos.

Romanian Hot Dogs: Because the kids love them! Grilled of course on the Weber Original Kettle 22″. ¬†Served on a poppy seed bun, but no ketchup. (We are in Chicago after all)

Sides are being brought by guests.
Brought By Rachel:
Super Spicy Drunken Noodles
Raw Falafel Balls with lemon za’atar dipping sauce
Cauliflower Tabbouleh
You can see her Purim se’udah menu ideas here: ¬†Purim Se‚Äôudah Menu ‚Äď the Rachel way

Being brought by another guest:
Roast Potatoes
Squash Kugel

Dessert by my wife, Ronit:
S’mores Turnovers: Puff pastry triangles filled with chocolate and marshmallows, and baked until golden brown

And of course plenty of wine, beer and whiskey to go around.
Let me know what you think about the menu in the comments.  Happy Purim everyone!

Barbecue Chicken Hamantashen

In honor of the upcoming Jewish holiday of  Purim I challenged Rachel to hamantaschen throw down.  I figure I should be able to best her easily, as they are usually high in sugar and carbs which are Kryptonite  to my compadre.

While hamantaschen usually take the form of a sweet triangular cookie, I went in a completely different direction creating a savory appetizer version.  For the BBQ sauce I recommend my Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce .

5 from 1 vote
Barbecue Chicken Hamantaschen
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hrs
A great a savory twist on a traditionally sweet cookie. It makes a great appetizer.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, BBQ
Servings: 4
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 12 Round Won-ton skins Thawed
  • 1/2 Chicken Chopped (Roasted, Grilled, or Smoked Store bought rotisserie or leftover chick works great for this
  • 2 Cups BBQ Sauce
  • 1 Whole Egg Beaten
  • Vegetable Oil for Frying
  1. Add the chicken and BBQ sauce to a pot and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add a teaspoon of the chicken to the center of the won-ton skin, brush egg on the edges, and fold the edges to make a triangle with an open center. Repeat for all 12 won-tons.
  3. Fill a heavy frying pan with about a 1/2" of oil and place over medium heat. Fry over until golden brown on each side and serve immediately.

Please let me know what you think of the recipe¬†in the comments. Also let me know if you liked my hamantaschen recipe or Rachel’s better. ¬†Her’s can be found here: Not one, but TWO healthy Hamantaschen!