On Friday, Sept 14th, a member of the Secret Recipe Club, Daniel Saraga of The Haggis and The Herring, passed away suddenly. Today over 40 members of the club are having a blog party in Daniel’s honor.
We have all chosen recipes from Daniel’s blog and recreated them in the same way he did so many of ours. We hope that this helps his wife Meredith and two children plus the one on the way, brother Abisaac, and the rest of the family understand what a huge impact Daniel had on the food community and our organization in particular. If you didn’t have a chance to meet Daniel, here is a link to the lovely eulogy his wife wrote and presented at the funeral.
Daniel was nothing if not passionate about food and that joy came through in every post he wrote. I decided that I would create a Sunday Supper with his recipes and made a meal I know he would have loved. This combination of recipes is definitely going to be a family favorite from now on and I will think of Daniel each time I make it.
Daniel loved his family and heritage and The Haggis and The Herring celebrates both. His wife has Scottish heritage (Haggis) and Daniel had a Jewish history (Herring). The blog’s recipe list includes internationally influenced recipes that draw on the family’s travels in England, Europe, South Asia and Mediterranean countries.
Right now we are in the middle of a major heat wave in California, with temperatures over 100°F. It is really hard to believe today is the first day of October. One of the recipes I made was his Israeli Salad, a delightful and unusual combination of vegetables and herbs in a fresh lemon juice and olive oil dressing. It is a savory salad but contains mint and cucumber which when combined makes your tongue sense an almost sweet flavor. It is delightful, light and is the absolute perfect choice for hot summer evenings.
For the rest of the meal I wanted something that wouldn’t require a lot of tending or last minute work and I found the perfect pair. I selected his Lemon-Rosemary Chicken that would echo the lemon in the salad and bring in one of my favorite herbs. It couldn’t be easier – you marinate the chicken and then roast it off in the oven. No muss, no fuss. My kind of recipe! You can even make a sauce from the marinade.
While the chicken is marinating you can make his Mustard and Garlic Roasted Potatoes. This is another really simple dish that is a slam-dunk comfort food. You whisk together freshly minced garlic, olive oil, and Dijon mustard and toss in cubed potatoes. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet, pop them in the oven and forget them.
If you want, you can roast the chicken and potatoes together, making this even easier to cook and clean up. I threw the potatoes on a baking sheet, scattered around the edges of the pan and started them while I worked on the chicken and sauce. Then I added the chicken to the center of the pan, put it back in the oven. A few minutes later and your meal is ready. Your hungry family will be happy at how quickly you can get dinner on the table!
And of course, because it is Chocolate Monday, we are finishing the meal with a little chocolate and peanut butter treat. I was immediately drawn to Daniel’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are a cross between old-fashioned peanut butter cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Could there be anything better? I had a hard time not eating the entire batch, so I froze some of the dough to bake off later. For those who cannot eat gluten, I included a recipe for my favorite GF flour blend. Everyone will love these heavenly morsels!
I loved Daniel’s sense of humor, compassion, and willingness to help anyone who had questions. He was always the first one to jump in when someone posted a question on our Facebook group page. Daniel will be truly missed by everyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting him online, read his blog, or enjoyed his wonderful sense of humor. His wife and brother have pledged to keep his blog going and they are posting articles he had written and scheduled ahead. I know Daniel is smiling at the thought that his words will still reach people.
Thank you Daniel for leaving a lasting memory for your friends and family. We thoroughly enjoyed knowing you and will always keep you in our hearts.
Yield: 8 servings
8 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 bay leaves, broken into small pieces
3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
4 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp salt
Hot pepper sauce to taste
2 tbsp light mayonnaise
Marinate Chicken: Whisk oil, lemon juice, bay leaves, rosemary, garlic, salt and hot pepper. Pour marinade over chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to overnight.
Set a rack on the lower level of the oven, another in the top third, and preheat to 425°F.
Prepare Chicken: Remove chicken from marinade and, using tongs, transfer to a baking sheet. Reserve the marinade to make the sauce. Place chicken in the hot oven and bake on lowest rack for 30 minutes, flipping each piece over halfway through.
Make Sauce: While chicken is cooking, strain reserved marinade into a medium saucepan; discard solids. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute. This will kill any bacteria that may be present. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Whisk in mayonnaise until smooth. Serve chicken with sauce.
Mustard and Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
3 lb potatoes, scrubbed clean
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl combine olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and Dijon mustard. Whisk until emulsified and smooth. Pour this sauce over the potatoes and toss until the are all evenly coated.
Spread the potatoes out on a large baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, turning potatoes every 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
NOTE: If you are baking the potatoes along with the chicken, place them around the outside of the baking sheet. Start with the oven at 425°F and roast the potatoes for about 20 minutes. Increase heat to 425°F, add the chicken to the baking sheet, move the sheet to the upper oven rack, and continue cooking another 20 minutes or until chicken reaches 160°F on an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest portion.
Yield: about 8 servings
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
3 medium-large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 Vidalia or other sweet onion, peeled and diced
2 to 4 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp sumac (substitute 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp lemon zest if not available)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch granulated sugar, if needed
Additional mint sprigs, for garnish
Peel the cucumbers, slice in half lengthwise and remove the seeds by running a spoon down the center. Cut into cubes and place in a large bowl. Add the remaining vegetables, mint, sumac and pepper. Toss until combined.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and sugar (if using). Whisk until combined and pour over the vegetables. Toss again so that everything is coated and evenly distributed. Garnish bowl with mint sprigs and serve.
Store any leftovers in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: Makes approximately 30 cookies
1-1/4 cup flour, or gluten-free blend (see below)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats, or regular oats pulsed in a food processor until lightly chopped (GF if needed)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F and butter or line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in oats. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, cream together the brown sugar, butter, peanut butter, and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients and mix to form a smooth dough. Stir in chocolate chips.
Roll dough into 1-1/2 inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Using a fork, flatten cookies to between 1/2 and 1/4-inch thickness. Bake for 10 minutes.
Immediately remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
Silvana Nardone, Editor-in-Chief, Easy Eats.com and Silvana’s Kitchen
Yield: about 16 cups (4 quarts or 1 gallon)
4 lb (13 cups)
3-3/4 cups brown rice flour (or use all white rice flour)
3-3/4 cups white rice flour
3-3/4 cups tapioca flour
1-3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp potato starch flour
2 tbsp plus 1-1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3-3/4 tsp salt
In large bowl, mix all ingredients with whisk until fully incorporated. Transfer to storage container; seal tightly. Store in cool, dry place or in refrigerator. Before using, stir or shake vigorously to blend the flours and xanthan gum.
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Here are more of Daniel’s recipes from other members of the Secret Recipe Club. Make sure you check them out!