Shomrei Cooks Tasty


The garden is bursting with fresh basil and the farm fresh tomatoes will soon be in the markets. What a perfect meal when chicken is added in this “genius” recipe from Jamie Oliver.

Jamie Oliver’s Tender & Crisp Chicken Legs with Sweet Tomatoes and Basil

serves 4


4 chicken leg quarters

1 pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 big bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and stalks chopped

2 big handfuls of cherry, beefsteak, and/or plum tomatoes halved and quartered

1 whole garlic bulb, broken into cloves

1 fresh red chile, finely chopped or a big pinch of dried chile flakes

1 splash of olive oil

1 14.5 can of cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed (optional)

2 handfuls of small potatoes (optional)

kalamata olives, to taste (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper and put into a snug-fitting pan in one layer, skin side up.
  3. Throw in all the basil, then put in tomatoes. Add optional beans, quartered potatoes. and olives)
  4. Scatter the garlic cloves over the chicken with the chile. Drizzle in some olive oil.
  5. Mix everything so that the tomatoes (most of beans,potatoes, and olives) get pushed underneath the chicken.
  6. Place in oven, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, turning any exposed tomatoes about halfway through. The chicken should become crisp and the meat should fall off the bones.
  7. If the chicken doesn’t crisp up, turn the heat higher after an hour or so.

NOTES: For ease of serving, use already cut legs and thighs or cut the leg quarters into 2 pieces.

Squeeze garlic out of skins before serving. 

Serve with mashed potatoes instead of including potatoes in dish. 

In a pinch, substitute dried basil for fresh.

Instead of serving as is, remove chicken from bones, shred and serve chicken and sauce over pasta.

It seems that mangoes are always in season nowadays. The jewel-like color of fresh mangoes (or jarred) makes this salad sparkle


Black Bean Mango Salad

serves 6


2 medium or 3 Champagne mangoes, chopped

1 large tomato , chopped (optional)

1 large bell pepper, chopped

1 cup corn, cooked or frozen and thawed

19 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 c. cilantro, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. red onion, minced

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lime

2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

chile flakes to taste


  1. In a large bowl, add mango, tomato, bell pepper, corn, black beans, cilantro, onion, olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, chile flakes and gently stir to combine.
  2. Serve cold.

Notes: Refrigerate covered for up to 24 hours.

To make ahead: Refrigerate without olive oil, lime juice and salt. Add just before serving.

A handful of finely chopped mint could be added just before serving.

Serve with chips.

Summer calls for pickled vegetables-cucumber salad, dill and sour pickles, cole slaw. Add this recipe to your summer table. It’s perfect on burgers and dogs, as well as, tacos and nachos.


Quick Pickled Onions

Yields 2 cups

1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or additional white vinegar

1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey

1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)


  1. Pack onion slices into a 1 pint mason jar or other heat safe container.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine water, vinegars, maple syrup, salt and pepper flakes. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Carefully pour into the jar of onions.
  3. Use a butter knife or spoon to press the onions down into the vinegar and pop any air bubbles. Let cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes). The onions should be ready to serve.
  4. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. They will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

NOTE: A spoonful of pickling spices could be added.

Reuse the pickling solution for thinly sliced cucumbers.

Maple syrup makes this condiment suitable for vegans.

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Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg, a professional librarian, is a long-time congregant and serves as volunteer librarian for Shomrei's Lampert Library. The library, one of the best-kept secrets at Shomrei is used by the Rabbi, congregants, students and teachers of the JLC (Hebrew School) and Preschool. It's a tremendous resource completely supported by your donations and gifts. Aileen also heads the Shomrei Caterers, the in-house food preparation group. Can there be any better combination…good food and good books!
Aileen Grossberg

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