Mollie Katzen's Sukkot Menu
Secret Tables of Gotham
Bourdain Invades Israel
Tamar Adler's Fried Jewish Artichokes
Save the Bubbes!
The Curious History of Kosher Salt
Shiva for Stage Deli
Berlin's Jewish Foodie Comeback
The Great Deli Rescue
Romping Through the Jewish Pumpkin Patch
Haimish to Haute, NYC Transforms Jewish Food
Bay Area's DIY Jewish Food Movement
Yid.Dish Recipe Box
'Inside the Jewish Bakery’
The Bacon Problem
Manischewitz Goes Sephardic
Jews and the Booze
Jews and Beer
Taking the Food Tour That Keeps on Feeding
At Kosher Feast, Fried Locusts for Dessert
Live Long and Super: Supermarket History
A Slice of Hebrew Pizza
Grow and Behold: A New Line of Kosher Chicken Launches A Conversation Around Jewish Food Ethics
When In Rome… Eat Like the Jews Do
A Letter to Our Readers
JCarrot Archives: 2006-August 2010
Shabbat Dinner, With Panache
Next Generation Challah
Since the whole point of chicken nuggets is bite-sized convenience, showing off the world’s largest one — as Empire Kosher Poultry plans to do tomorrow — seems a bit oxymoronic, kind of like “jumbo shrimp.”
Not that any shellfish — jumbo or otherwise — will come anywhere near Empire’s record-setting nugget, which will be displayed at the Kosherfest trade show.
The 25th-annual, two-day kosher food expo kicks off in Secaucus, N.J., tomorrow and is expected to draw more than 6,000 people, all of them ready to nosh.
In addition to the 40-plus-pound nugget, Kosherfest will feature products from over 300 companies and more than 20 countries.
For the first — and perhaps last — time, the expo will also include a kosher supervisory agency run by a non-Orthodox rabbi. Rabbi Jason Miller’s Kosher Michigan certifies more than 50 businesses and is one of only a handful of non-Orthodox supervising agencies in North America. In an email interview, Menachem Lubinsky, Kosherfest’s founder and co-producer, said that Kosher Michigan is “the first non-Orthodox agency that has even attempted to exhibit at the show” and that it “fell between the cracks.”
“The sales people did not realize that Michigan Kosher was not an Orthodox agency,” he said. “The show is under the kosher supervision of the Association of Kashrus Organizations (AKO) and there will be signs posted throughout the show that AKO takes responsibility only for those booths that are either AKO members or offer products that meet AKO standards. He is clearly not a member and his products do not meet AKO standards. Show management will take steps to assure that only AKO approved exhibitors participate in the show in 2014.”
Interviewed by phone, Miller, who is based in suburban Detroit and certifies over 50 companies, most of them in the Midwest, emphasized that he had not hidden his Conservative identity; in fact, Kosher Michigan’s exhibitor blurb, which he said has been on the Kosherfest website for months, states in the first sentence that the agency was founded in 2008 by a Conservative rabbi.
My dinner guests thought this would be an excellent stew to have on hand for weeknight dinners at home. It’s savory, hearty and filling and has a “stick-to-the-ribs” kind of quality. Check out my full review of “Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week” here. Cooking Note: I didn’t detect the saffron here, the paprika and cinnamon overpowered it, so I’d save it for another time. And I recommend a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.
Harira with Eggplant & Chickpeas
serves 8 to 10
total time: about 45 mins, active time: 20 mins
Harira is a Moroccan noodle soup, served during Ramadan to break the fast. It’s aromatic and slightly spicy, and this version is made thick with eggplant and lentils and studded with a few chickpeas swimming about. Now, if I just invented this soup out of the blue, and someone told me to put noodles in it, I would think we were on a cooking reality show and that someone was trying to sabotage me. But the noodles make it. This soup is a meal on its own. As you can imagine, you might not have the energy to cook a million dishes after fasting. This gets the deed done in one pot. The eggplant really just disintegrates into the soup, to give it a meaty thickness. In traditional harira, lamb is used for that purpose, but, you know.
I had an existential crisis trying to figure out if this recipe should go in the soup or the stew section, and so I went on a spiritual journey and decided, soup. My spiritual journey basically involved looking at fifty other cookbooks to see how they classified it. The soup thickens a lot as it’s left to sit, what with the noodles, so thin it out with water when reheating. The saffron is expensive and thus optional.
Would You Make This?” is a sporadic column where personal chef Alix Wall evaluates a new cookbook by making some of its recipes, sharing them with friends and asking what they think of the results.
It’s been 10 years since the Brooklyn born and raised Isa — pronounced like Lisa, without the ‘L,’ — Chandra Moskowitz first burst onto the culinary scene with her public access television show, “Post Punk Kitchen.”
Since then, a lot has happened: the former punk rock devotee and Jewish vegan activist has released six cookbooks, including perhaps her most well-known: “Vegan with a Vengeance,” and the best-selling “Veganomicon;” likely gotten more tattoos; and she left Brooklyn for Portland, Oregon, where she met the founder of Vegan Omaha, a guy named John McDevitt, and followed him to Omaha, where she lives now.
It’s here that she wrote “Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week,” her latest book, brimming with — as she says — “plenty of thirty-minute meals, and the ones that take longer are designed with built-in downtime, so while the quinoa and lentils are simmering, you can sit back, relax, and iron out your plans for world domination. Or just play with your cat.”
How much is a kosher website worth? Apparently, half a million dollars. Kosher.com sold earlier this week for that full sticker price.
But wait: It wasn’t owned before? Well, it was, but brace yourself for the actual shocking part: There is no website present at kosher.com. Navigating to kosher.com takes a netizen to a blank, generic search side. This is pretty surprising, given that the kosher food industry is a $12.5 billion per year business (yes, billion, with a “b”).
The site was previously owned by Rosalind Davidowitz of Lawrence, NY and is in the hands of Los Angeles lawyer Eli Perlman. Perlman’s client — an unnamed company — purchased the site and plans to lease it out. (Sadly, Perlman isn’t interested in sharing any more details).
Other domain names that are surprisingly unpopulated include kosherfood.com, Jew.com, and Hannukkah.com. Sadly, thanksgivukkah.com has already been claimed.
Jewish.com looks to have the makings of a site, but is actually nothing more than an a depository of ads for “Jewish Jewelry,” how to pick Jewish names, and where to find the best Jewish dating websites.
Israel.com is also, shockingly, a very simple blog site with aggregations of Israel-related news from around the Web.
RoshHashanah.com is another that doesn’t exist, and YomKippur.com redirects to a sub-site of Shabbat.com, a social network for connected Jews who are looking to spend Shabbat with someone.
So there you have it, web entrepreneurs! A whole host of Jew-related domain names, just ripe for the taking.
When Tim Horel was in his mid-30s, he tripped over his shoelaces and wound up shattering both of his elbows.
“It was way too early for him to be breaking bones like that,” Lisa Stander-Horel, Tim’s wife, told JTA.
The cause for Tim’s weakened bones turned out to be celiac disease, a condition in which the protein found in wheat, rye and other grains provokes an immune response that can damage the small intestine and lead to other health problems.
When the Horels cut gluten from their diet, Stander-Horel found that health problems she had long faced — such as rashes and migraines — disappeared as well.
There is no cure for celiac, which can prevent the body from absorbing needed nutrients and lead to osteoporosis, fatigue and even intestinal cancer. But strict adherence to a gluten-free diet can alleviate most symptoms and provide a chance for the small intestine to heal.
As awareness of the disease has grown, a plethora of dietary options have cropped up. A walk down the aisles of a grocery store finds gluten-free varieties of everything from Rice Krispies to kaiser rolls.
But for kosher keepers and those who just enjoy the pleasures of Jewish foods, adhering to a gluten-free diet can be a challenge. Jewish foods such as kugel, matzah balls and challah are rich in gluten. In fact, wheat and barley are two of the seven species mentioned in Deuteronomy.
To help bring traditional Jewish cooking to the gluten-free, the Horels published “Nosh on This: Gluten-Free Baking from a Jewish American Kitchen,” which was released in September. The book took 10 years to produce — a process Stander-Horel says was “mostly trial and error.”
Stander-Horel has been a passionate baker from an early age and wanted to reproduce all the recipes she remembered from childhood — a policy she calls “No recipe left behind.” In general, Stander-Horel advises gluten-free cooks to carefully examine the ingredients of all purchases and avoid cross-contamination in the kitchen.
Jewish cooks also can take advantage of products already designed to cater to ritual culinary needs. Faye Levy, author of “Healthy Cooking for the Jewish Home,” told JTA that many Passover products can be repurposed for gluten-free cooking.
“Products that cater to those that don’t eat gebrokts — moistened matzah meal — often use potato or rice flour,” Levy said. “You can use Passover noodles in soups or for kugel, and it turns out really well.”
Chickpea flour, a traditional ingredient in the Indian kitchen, also works well in savory dishes like latkes and kugels, according to Levy.
For the Horels, finding gluten-free foods was difficult in the years following Tim’s diagnosis.
“The only flour available when we started was one, rice flour,” said Stander-Horel. “A lot of things were only available in Canada, and we had to learn to order things from far, far away.”
But Bonnie Gillert, a nutritionist and author of “Passover the Healthy Way,” says there are now many new gluten-free products on the market, making a gluten free diet radically easier than it used to be.
“With my celiac patients, I work on their mindset,” Gillert said. “They often begin feeling that they’re deprived, that this is a life sentence. Well, it’s something they have to consider for a lifetime, but being gluten free is no obstacle to a healthy, vibrant life.”
Bad news for fried knish lovers: New York is in the midst of a shortage.
Gabila’s, the country’s largest producer of fried knishes (which according to its website has sold over a billion doughy pockets), has had to suspend production of its “Coney Island Squares” until at least the end of November. The reason: a small fire that broke out in the company’s Long Island factory on September 24.
Gabila’s supplies many of the city’s delis and hot dog carts with their fried knishes (which can best be described as mashed potatoes wrapped in fried dough, and which go incredibly well with mustard alongside a deli sandwich). Delis from Katz’s on the Lower East Side to Essen New York Deli in Midwood are out of them.
“Believe me, if I could give you a square knish, I’d give you a square knish. I just can’t right now,” Katz’s fifth-generation owner Jake Dell told CBS News.
Katz’s normally sells 1,500 of these knishes a week (for $3.75 each), according to CBS.
So what does this mean for those of us craving knishes? For the next month you’ll either have to go with the round, baked variety (which sell for 50 cents more at Katz’s) — which are often homemade at delis and restaurants — or try to go over a month without knishes. Hey, your waistline might thank you.
If you’d like to make your own, check out a cooking video from The Forverts.
For the past 13 years, Marla Whitesman and Miriam Saul have led trips for Jewish Americans to Cuba through their company Other Cuban Journeys. On the trips travelers explorere Cuban culture, learn about historical and contemporary Jewish life in Cuba, and participate in a tzedakah project supporting Cuba’s Jewish community. But for kosher participants, the trips have fallen a bit short. With no kosher restaurants or hotel dining facilities in Cuba, observant Jews’ culinary experience of the colorful country has been extremely limited.
That will change this December when Whitesman and Saul bring a group of Orthodox Jews on an inaugural Glatt kosher mission to Cuba.
“We felt so bad each time we saw our kosher guests pulling tins of tuna and other packaged foods out of their suitcases, or stuffing hardboiled eggs from breakfast in to their purses and backpacks to eat later in the day,” said Whitesman. “We simply had no kosher facilities to meet their needs.”
Cuba does have one kosher butcher, but his meat is not for tourists. The butcher, who does not operate under any type of kashrut supervision that would be acceptable to Orthodox Jews coming from abroad, is allowed only to provide meat rations to Cuba’s Jews.
“Our tour groups usually dine at different restaurants,” noted Saul. “The food in Cuba is really good now with all the new privately owned restaurants.” On this trip, a restaurant at the Melia Habanah Hotel will prepare similarly beautiful and tasty meals — only according to strict kashrut standards.
“The chef will prepare chicken, steak and pasta dishes — but of course, no pork,” Saul said. Meals will include Cuban staples like yucca, plantain, boniato (sweet potato), and black beans and rice.
“But we never do Cuban food every night. We might do Italian one night and kebabs another,” she noted. “Even the Cubans get sick of black beans and rice.”
The women are reasonably confident that their plan will work, but also know that their chef will be operating within the Cuban context. “The menus are planned,” said Whitesman. “But you have to be flexible based on what fruits and vegetables are available in the markets on any given day.”
“Kashrut is very regimented, and in Cuba flexibility is the name of the game, so we’re eager to see how it goes,” Saul added.
Registration for the mission, which will take place Dec. 9-16, closes November 1. The cost is $5295 per person based on double occupancy.
What could be more sacred than water? It is essential to all life, refreshing to drink, and beautiful to behold. In May of 2013 we celebrated our marriage with a carefully crafted and lovingly personalized Jewish ceremony. When it came to designing the Kiddush for our wedding, the blessing traditionally said over wine, we chose instead to sanctify water. Neither of us drink alcohol and so the decision to leave out wine was an easy one. We had been using water for our Friday Night Kiddush since we moved in together nine months earlier and it felt like a natural extension to have it at our wedding.
We feel that it is important to make Jewish ritual our own rather than doing something simply because it is how people have done it in the past. We truly believe that the Mitzvoth, Jewish good deeds and ceremonial actions, are opportunities to connect with God and the world in a deeper way. They are rich with meaning and potential but sometimes if they don’t speak to us initially, it takes just a small change to have them feel just right. We both see Judaism as an evolving pathway and feel empowered to adapt ancient wisdom and customs to fit our life circumstance and hearts’ call.
Successful fusion foods typically require unique, inventive and delicious concoctions to come together from different culinary kitchens and actually work for our taste buds. Who would have thought “Latinizing” latkes and cream cheese and lox or “Jewifying” croquetas and chorros could create such successful combinations?
Chef Eric Greenspan of the highly acclaimed L.A. based restaurant, The Foundry on Melrose teamed up with close friend Chef Roberto Trevino, a fellow restaurateur and TV personality from Puerto Rico to create El Ñosh, a Latin-Jewish pop-up concept. The two have managed to design delectable dishes that truly highlight the essence of both of their rich cultures and family backgrounds. We spoke with Chef Eric Greenspan after El Ñosh’s latest pop up event last weekend in New York City to learn more about the concept hitting the road.
So what exactly is El Ñosh?
Where should I start? El Ñosh started out as a fun thing to do. Roberto and I were just joking about how to get ourselves into the Miami food and wine festival and then we realized that we should probably just combine our two cultures, Latin and Jewish, to create a Latin fusion. We then went off and did it for fun, we were just trying to do something different. Since then we have done a couple of pop up events and we are going to be launching our first food in truck in L.A. in about a month.
How did you come up with the name?
The whole process of collaboration was a lot smoother than it should have been. Even choosing the name was a no-brainer. The traditional Yiddish word for snack is Nosh and then Roberto said we should call it El Ñosh, emphasis on the Latin “y”, which is the perfect Jewish- Latin combo. The menu was also almost predestined.
The wine in this dish is an unexpected and nontraditional addition, but it adds delicious flavor. Don’t worry about drinking before noon — the alcohol cooks out before the beans touch your plate. Serve with pita for mopping up the sauce.
For the Beans:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 15-ounce cans fava beans, with their liquid
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley, for serving
For the Eggs: 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 4 eggs
1) Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium pan set over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5–7 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes and tomatoes, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1–2 minutes.
2) Stir in red wine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes soften and most of the liquid has evaporated, 3–5 minutes. Add fava beans with their liquid and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium low, cover pan and simmer until beans are tender, about 10 minutes. Uncover and continue simmering until liquid thickens and reduces by about three quarters, 8–12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, then remove from heat. Taste and add additional salt and red pepper flakes, if desired.
3) Make the eggs: Brush the vegetable oil around the bottom of a medium pan set over medium heat and let warm. Crack each egg into a small cup, then gently slide the eggs into the pan. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until the whites are firm and yolks are still soft, 3–4 minutes.
4) Divide beans and sauce between bowls or plates and carefully top each with a fried egg, a drizzle of olive oil and chopped fresh parsley.
When I started grammar school in my hometown of Vienna at the age of ten, Christian religion classes were part of the schedule. As a Jew, I was allowed to opt out and spend the two hours a week doing my homework in the school cafeteria. This peace only lasted a few weeks into the school year — until the religion teacher asked if I wanted to hold a presentation on Jewish holidays and practices for her class.
I was the only Jewish kid in a year of 70 students, and one out of a handful in a school of roughly 400 10- to 18-year-olds. I was proud of my family’s history, being a grandchild of four Holocaust survivors who managed to make peace with the nation that persecuted them. I felt special to be part of a minority. In my juvenile idealism I also had the strong need to lecture my pre-pubescent classmates, who I hardly knew at that point, about the diversity of religious beliefs in the world and the universal message of tolerance. I saw the presentation as an opportunity to gain school-wide fame as the Jewish Mahatma Gandhi.
There was only one problem: I didn’t actually know very much about my religion. The experiences of my grandparents had left them — to put it mildly — disillusioned with religious belief. My parents didn’t connect much with tradition, either. The high holidays and Shabbat were celebrated in a secular fashion. The whole family came together for dinner most nights anyways, so Fridays really weren’t that different. There were candles and blessings and wine and the occasional yarmulke, but I was usually more occupied with arguing with my cousins and indulging in the copious amounts of mostly Austrian food like beef broth soups with noodles and goulash.
“Would You Make This?” is a sporadic column where personal chef Alix Wall evaluates a new cookbook by making some of its recipes, sharing them with friends and asking what they think of the results.
I have to admit that I had no idea who Jamie Geller was before receiving “Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes” (published October 15, William Morrow). When I read she’s known as the kosher Rachael Ray, I thought “okay, so she’s meant to appeal to the masses who don’t like to cook much, and don’t mind relying on some pre-packaged ingredients to get out of the kitchen faster.” That’s exactly right. Geller refers to herself as The Bride Who Knew Nothing, and says she can’t get out of the kitchen fast enough. That sounds a bit odd for someone who’s since become a kosher food celebrity, but never mind. Her books are for people who don’t love to cook, but need to feed their families, and want to do it reasonably well.
Every kosher cookbook has its multiple versions of roast chicken, brisket and kugel, as this one does. And, I skipped right over the sugary kugels and anything with marshmallow. Let’s see how the kosher maven handles some dishes not traditionally found in a kosher cookbook, I reasoned. Which is how I came up with fish tacos, corn cilantro cakes and cherry pies.
I warned my friends, a Bay Area power couple (their description), that we’d be eating an unconventional Shabbos meal of fish tacos. They were game.
While Geller’s corn cakes call for frozen or canned corn, amazingly, fresh was still available in our farmers markets, which is another reason I chose this dish to try. Also, I liked that it went along with my taco theme. I chose the cherry pies not only because I can never get enough cherries, and didn’t know one can buy them frozen.
The corn cakes involve mixing corn kernels with corn meal, a bit of flour, some optional hot sauce, eggs and a few other ingredients and then lightly frying them and serving them with an avocado “aioli.”
Is Philadelphia hungry for Israeli and Jewish foods? Chef Michael Solomonov certainly thinks so.
Solomonov and his business partner Steve Cook announced that they’ll be adding two more restaurants to their group, which already includes the award-winning Israeli-style restaurant Zahav: A laid back Israeli-style Hummus restaurant named Dizengoff, and a restaurant with “traditional Jewish Diaspora” foods named Abe Fisher. Both are slated to launch down the street from each other in spring 2014, on 16th and Sansom Street in center city Philadelphia.
The news of the latest restaurants in the works broke last week, as the two were in the air, returning from a food tour they had led in Israel.
At Dizengoff the focus will be “really great, consistent hummus,” says Solomonov, who was born in Israel and spent his childhood moving between Israel and the United States.
The menu at the 25-seat restaurant will be very limited, he says. At the moment, he isn’t willing to commit to serving anything beyond hummus and tahini.
“Minimalism is kind of going what we’re going for,” says Solomonov. The restaurant will be “accessible” in terms of both concept and price, he says.
When Smadar and Oded Lerner of San Jose decided to marry almost 25 years ago, Smadar told him two things she wanted for their future children: to speak Mandarin and go to church. Secular Israeli that he was, Oded was willing to make that concession for love.
Today the Lerners live observant Jewish lives, something neither of them could have predicted. But from the start, a lifestyle choice they were certain about was growing their own food.
Oded Lerner, 73, was born in pre-state Israel. His father taught agriculture and “tried to teach me at home,” he said. The family had a garden and fruit orchard, along with some chickens and a goat. In high school, Oded would box up their fruits and vegetables and take them to market before school to earn pocket money.
Smadar, 50, grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., and Los Angeles as the daughter of Chinese immigrants. Her mother gardened when she was little, and as soon as she was old enough, Smadar began to help pruning roses and other plants.
The couple met in a hiking club in Los Angeles; for Oded, it was a second marriage. The Lerners’ journey to Judaism began when Smadar took a course to learn more about the religion. That led to her Reform conversion and then a second, Orthodox conversion, with Oded increasing his observance as well.
“Neither of us would have guessed that this is what our lives would look like when we met,” they agree.
Today, 25 years later, the retired electrical engineer and his wife spend much of their time gardening a few miles from their home in Willow Glen. While the Latimer Community Garden is not the closest one to where they live, Smadar chose it because of its proximity to where she buys kosher meat.
San Jose began its community garden program in 1977, providing land, tools and other materials like wood chips and compost to residents who grow their own produce and flowers. All 18 gardens have strict rules — they must be organic, and the gardeners are not allowed to sell what they grow; the produce must be for their own use, donated or given away.
The Lerners have been at the Latimer for seven years; this year, Smadar is serving as the garden’s secretary-treasurer.
On a recent visit, they were growing a mix of peppers, tomatoes, squash and, in a nod to Smadar’s Chinese heritage, winter melons and yam leaves (a Chinese green that her mother grew when she was young; it grows easily and plentifully).
There are 37 plots in the Latimer, and according to the Lerners nearly all are tended by foreign-born gardeners. They believe they are the only Jews at present. While no one socializes outside the garden, everyone is very friendly inside.
“It’s an interesting melting pot,” she said. “There are people from Serbia, Russia, China, Ukraine, Iran and Iraq.”
“In America, the culture is going to the supermarket,” Oded added. “People [in the garden] have their own traditional foods, and everyone can have the food they like.”
Smadar explained how to identify a Bosnian garden, by the large tomatoes on the periphery with peppers inside, which they roast, peel and freeze for later use.
Getting Nat Goldberg to stop for a minute is no small feat.
The Nigerian restaurant Buka, which she co-owns with partner and chef Lookman Mashood, is hopping. Their spice-selling store just opened and African Restaurant Week is going strong through Oct. 20th with three-course, $28.95-prix-fixes and a Friday night hip-hop DJ party.
Far from Goldberg’s Australian home, Jewish upbringing and architecture career, the couple’s business has created a buzz, having turned a narrow, brick-lined law office in a a newly hip corner of the Clinton Hill neighborhood into a happening, art and music-filled eatery.
“She designed it and I built it,” Mashood, a professional carpenter, says with pride, before popping back into the open-galley kitchen to oversee cooks and put together a catering order.
Recipe: Nat Goldberg’s Nigerian Chicken Pepper Soup
Goldberg believes their ethnic eatery featuring recipes from Mashood’s family and the country’s myriad ethnic groups, filled a void. Unless you really knew where to go, where to find New York’s innocuous, hole-in-wall places, you couldn’t eat Nigerian food in the city, she said. The meaning of Buka is small, side-of-the-road restaurant, maybe lacking in appearance but totally delivering in quality.
And the city’s Nigerian community has embraced them, according to Goldberg, who believes 70% of their customers are from Nigeria.
New Yorkers with a sense of adventure gravitate to Buka for cow feet or goat head cooked in Igbo spices. Goldberg is not kidding when she says the food is hot. No fusion here. Nor do they “tone down foods to suit the American palate.”
Buka’s Nigerian Chicken Pepper Soup
1 yellow onion, diced
Few sprigs of fresh mint
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
4 cups of chicken stock
Fresh habanero peppers (to taste) chopped fine
1 tbsp pepper soup spice
Salt to taste
Place chicken, onion, thyme, habanero peppers, salt and spices in a large pot.
Cook on a low flame for 25 minutes.
Add the stock and boil for an additional 20 minutes.
Remove from heat
Stir in mint and serve.
pepper soup spice sold at Buka Market
There are few Jews living in the South Pacific island nation of Fiji, aside from a small Jewish community in the capital city of Suva who are mostly descendants of Australian merchants who arrived in the 1880s. One of them is Ofir Yudilevich, executive chef at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa on the main island of Viti Levu. Responsible for four restaurants, catering and room service for an average of 3,000 guest and staff meals a day, Yudilevich has come a long way from his family’s restaurant in New Zealand.
Born in Israel in 1974, Yudilevich grew up in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv, but moved to Auckland, New Zealand after his bar mitzvah, when his parents divorced and his father was remarried, to a Kiwi. (His mother and sister remained in Israel.) Yudilevich Sr., an Israeli army vet who became a property developer and restaurateur, opened New Zealand’s first Israeli, kosher-style restaurant, Le Haim (kosher certification wasn’t available). The menu, including falafel, shawarma, Grandma’s potato latkes and over 30 salads, was a hit with the Jewish community.
RECIPE: Fiji-Style Pickled Fish
It was also a training ground for Ofir Yudilevich.
“It hooked me on the love of food and working in a kitchen, and I have not looked back since,” he says. With that experience under his belt, he worked at Sheraton Auckland and the chain’s hotels in Sydney, Bangkok, and Tel Aviv. Moving up in the culinary ranks, he spent a year at the Ivy in London. Now he gets to feed visitors to paradise, a dream job if there was one.
Gerri Miller: How does an Israeli-born New Zealander wind up in Fiji?
Ofir Yudilevich: I came here by accident last October. I had finished (a job) in Cebu, the Philippines, and was taking a year’s sabbatical. I became a dive instructor there. The chef happened to resign on the same day, so it was meant to be.
WASHINGTON — Eli’s Restaurant, a popular kosher eatery in Washington D.C., frequented by politicians, lobbyists and government workers, may have a date with the wrecking ball.
According to a petition being circulated on Change.org, its “current storefront will be demolished as part of a redevelopment plan.”
The petition, which had 100 signatures as of Tuesday, wants the owners to know “how important it is that they find a new location in DC and continue to serve the downtown Jewish community.”
The restaurant has been serving corned beef sandwiches, hamburgers and soups at its location near DuPont Circle, at the southeast corner of the intersection of N and 20th streets, NW, since 2004.
Efforts to speak with the restaurant’s management were unsuccessful.
At least one other kosher eatery is open in downtown Washington — in the local JCC.
Fiji-Style Kokoda Pickled Fish
The most famous Fijian dish is called Kokoda (pronounced ko-kon-da), which has at its core a ceviche or pickled fish. In Israel and in many Jewish homes around the world, pickled herring is on every grandmother’s table. Fiji takes this basic dish and put a twist on it like only Fiji can, adding coconut and chili to it which takes it to a new level and adds the summer feel to it.
1 pound firm-flesh white fish, such as Spanish mackerel
¾ cut white wine vinegar
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut cream
2 small red chilli peppers (add more to taste if you want the dish spicy)
1 bunch fresh coriander
Salt and pepper
1 small red onion
Optional garnish: chili, coriander, sugarcane sticks
Dice the fish and marinate overnight in white wine vinegar to cure it.
In the morning, wash the fish under cold water.
Then marinate for a second time for two-three hours in lemon juice, to take on a citrus flavor.
Then combine with coconut cream, chillis, diced red onion and coriander, salt and pepper to taste.
Best served cold, this dish can be made in advance and is perfect for a picnic.
The picked fish is preserved, which makes it safe to leave unrefrigerated.
The government shutdown already has veterans and federal workers up in arms. Now, you can add an 18-year-old Jewish chef to the list.
Until last week, Sarah Rosenthal was spending long hours in the kitchen. The Seattle resident was scheduled to fly to Washington D.C. last Friday, and compete on Saturday for the title of America’s Top Teen Chef. Now, she’ll have a few more months to perfect her recipe. Rosenthal learned Wednesday that the contest is postponed until January because of the government shutdown.
“People are literally stopping traffic and protesting and striking,” she said she was told.
Rosenthal, 18, who graduated from West Seattle High School in June, is taking a break before she enters the University of Montana in late January. While she made this decision to give herself a well-deserved rest after a long slog of earning straight A’s in numerous advanced placement classes throughout high school, she felt she could also use the time to prepare for the competition. Of course she didn’t know it would be this much time.
If she wins the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF)-sponsored contest in January, she will win the chance to cook a meal in the White House kitchen for President Obama and a public appearance with Maneet Chauhan. The Indian-born chef is a frequent judge on the Food Network’s “Chopped,” and the author of “Flavors of My World” with Doug Singer.
Rosenthal’s journey to this point began, of course, by helping her grandmothers in the kitchen. A Hungarian dish, nukele paprikash (chicken with spaetzle, or dumplings), was a favorite.
Rosenthal grew up attending Seattle’s progressive Jewish community, Kol HaNeshamah, and despite her current ambivalence about Judaism, she still sings in its choir. Her favorite Jewish food is a chocolate chip danish from the Katella Deli in Orange County, Ca.
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