The Jew And The Carrot

Healthy, Simple, and Stylish

By Renanit Levy

Ann Stratton

Helen Nash was born into an old rabbinical family in Cracow, Poland. In New York City, where she has spent most of her life, she studied with world-famous cooks Michael Field, Marcella Hazan, Lydie Marshall, and Millie Chan. An accomplished lecturer and teacher, she has given demonstrations at New York University and the legendary De Gustibus cooking school at Macy’s, as well as at numerous synagogues and Jewish community centers.

We spoke with Helen Nash in November following the publication of Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine: Healthy, Simple & Stylish, her third cookbook.

Read more


Mixing Bowl: Brisket Lab; Hanukkah Recipes

By Devra Ferst

Courtesy of Daniel Delaney

There’s a new cookbook about shmaltz! (More details to come soon on JCarrot.) In the meantime check out this first look. [Eater]

Brisketlab. We really live in a wonderful world, when places like this exist. [Serious Eats]

Eight desserts for eight nights of Hanukkah. Personally, we love the marshmallow dreidels. [Serious Eats

Some seriously wacky bagel flavors are coming out of The Bagel Store in Williamsburg. Sweet potato bagel? French toast bagel? What kind of schmear goes with that anyway? [Serious Eats]

Read more


Modern Hannukah Miracle: Jewish Camp Powered by Veggie Oil

By Becca Linden

Hazon Flickr

Early in 2012, Eden Village Camp, the Jewish organic farm camp in Putnam Valley, NY, converted its backup diesel engine to run on used vegetable oil.

Its first test came this past summer, on July 15, 2012, when a big storm hit. The 200 campers and staff were confined to the dining hall until the storm passed. After a thunder crash, the electricity went out, and the campers let out a collective howl in the dark. A moment later, the camp could hear the hum of its backup generator starting up, and the lights returned – and the air was soon filled with a slight scent of French fries. That is the trademark scent of a generator powered by waste veggie oil!

Read more


A Jewish Ice Cream Flavor for Jon Stewart

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Courtesy of Three Twins Ice Cream

Stephen Colbert inspired Ben & Jerry’s “AmeriCone Dream” ice cream, and the company named its “Late Night Snack” flavor for Jimmy Fallon. So, Neal Gottlieb thought it was time for that other late night funnyman — Jon Stewart — to also have his own ice cream variety.

As it turned out, Gottlieb was better positioned than most people to do something about this. As “founding twin” of the Northern California-based Three Twins organic ice cream company, he was able to whip up some flavors he thought might please Stewart’s palate.

This was exactly two years ago at Hanukkah time, and Gottlieb was thinking Jewish. He came up with three original flavors for the Daily Show’s host to sample: “Land of Milk and Honey” (So smooth and creamy even a goy will enjoy); “Carl’s Kugel” (Oy vey! cream cheese, cinnamon, apple sauce and golden raisins!); and “8 Crazy Nights” (Sweet potato latke ice cream with Hanukkah gelt).

Read more


How To Avoid Latke Fatigue

By Devra Ferst

Courtesy of First Press
BAMcafe Indian Spiced Latke with Cauliflower Chutney & Crushed Cashew Nuts

Tonight will be the fifth night of Hanukkah, meaning I’m right on schedule. I have entered into the arena of latke fatigue — and perhaps you have to. It’s at this point in the holiday that I have had more than one too many classic, plain potato latkes. Many of them were delicious, made up of layers of pillowy shredded potatoes surrounded by perfectly crisp and crackly edges. But, at this point, both my mind and my palate are coated in a thick layer of oil and are in need of something new — a flavor to temper the richness of all the oil. If I were a chef on a cook-off show, this is when I would reach for the “acid,” to “balance the flavors.”

To find latke inspiration, I had to leave tradition aside to seek out something different — and, I knew just where to find it. For the past four years, the New York’s Annual Latke Festival has pitted chefs from some of the city’s top restaurants against one another in a latke showdown. This year was no different: 17 chefs took on the challenge to create a latke that would satisfy some 300 guests and a group of judges with some very serious food credentials.

Read more


Walking the Talk at a Food Conference

By Liz Rueven

Liz Rueven

Hazon’s mission is a lofty one.

It’s so big that I set out to see if all that talk was for real at the Hazon Food Conference, the eighth gathering of the New Jewish Food Movement. With 260 participants gathered at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center over Shabbat Hanukkah we set out to learn about social justice, food ethics, Jewish values and much more, I figured I would get a real sense of the authenticity of Hazon’s ambitious mission by spending four days “talking” food and learning more about Hazon’s focus on creating healthier and more sustainable communities.

Read more


2012's Best Jewish Cookbooks — Day 4

By Leah Koenig and Devra Ferst

BELLA LIEBERBERG
Cooking Together: The amazing women behind the Oma and Bella cookbook.

From our eight favorite books from the year — one for each night of Hanukkah — we present two below. They are all great holiday gifts for the passionate cook in your life or a treat for yourself. Check out the other books on our list from days 1-3.

Best Cookbooks, Day 1

Best Cookbooks, Day 2

Best Cookbooks, Day 3

Oma & Bella: The Cookbook
By Alexa Karolinski
Self published, 120 pages, $36

Alexa Karolinski, a filmmaker and Berlin-native, had the idea and chutzpah to produce this whimsically-illustrated cookbook of traditional Eastern European dishes. But the recipes themselves are all Oma and Bella’s — two feisty women, both Holocaust survivors (one of whom is Karolinski’s grandmother), who live, cook, and kibbitz together in their shared Berlin apartment.

Karolinski created the cookbook as a companion piece to her independent film Oma & Bella — a 76-minute tribute to the women’s lives and history as told in and through their kitchen. Similarly, the recipes, which range from challengingly old-fashioned dishes like jellied calves foot, pickled herring and boiled tongue, to the more universally-appetizing veal brisket, carrot tzimmes and rugelach, serve as an entree into Oma and Bella’s lives. “Having lost both of their families in the Holocaust, Oma and Bella had to teach themselves, often from scratch, how to make the dishes their mothers and grandmothers made for them.” Now, thanks to their generosity and Karolinski’s patience and diligence (she spent three years watching the women cook, translating their “handfuls into half cups, pinches into teaspoons, and platefuls into servings,” 38 classic dishes are now available to the next generation.

—Leah Koenig

Read more


When it Comes To Eating Local, Kosher-Keepers Are Split

By JTA

The sun was shining over the Union Square farmers market on a recent chilly morning as Chris Mitchell, a 34-year-old chef at the fashionable kosher eatery Jezebel, loomed over a table of Jerusalem artichokes. The six-foot-something Georgia native carefully inspected the exterior of the root vegetable before buying a handful to serve as dried chips.

Mitchell comes to the Manhattan market every morning to buy Jezebel’s produce as part of the restaurant’s commitment to purchase locally produced food.

“If you care about what you’re eating, and who you are feeding your food to, you’ll want to know where it comes from,” said Mitchell. “That’s the beauty of buying locally.”

The locavore movement has become one of the hottest food trends in recent years, propelled by advocates who see it as a conscientous and environmentally friendly alternative to industrial food trucked in over long distances. Produce from local sources often keeps longer and helps keep dollars in the local economy.

Read more


Dive! Right In

By Casey Krebs

Casey Krebs
Binah Middle-Schoolers at the Hazon Food Conference

“I want to rescue food from the dumpster.” Rescue? Food? How do those two words go together? This was a statement I heard when sitting down to watch the documentary Dive at the 8th annual Hazon Food Conference. I watched the preview, saw what looked to be a group of middle and possibly upper class friends diving into dumpsters behind grocery stores to “save” food that would otherwise end up in a landfill. They would then bring this food home to their families and children, cook it up and serve it for dinner. Interesting concept. Could I ever dumpster dive? I purell my hands after touching a doorknob so probably not.

Read more


Build Your Own Beer Bottle Menorah

By Hannah Rubin

Courtesy of Shmaltz Brewing Company

Sombreros, kegs, and teddy bears surround the gleaming Hanukkah lights, on display in a album on Shmaltz Brewing Company’s Facebook page. But what distinguish these holiday scenes are not accessories but rather the very menorahs themselves — they’re made out of beer bottles. They are all entries in Shmaltz’s annual Beer Bottle Menorah Contest, an online holiday contest that is now in its third year.

A beer bottle menorah is exactly what it sounds like: eight brewskis lined in a row, with Hanukkah candles sticking out of them. The problem is how to get those candles to stay put. Creative solutions include placing playing cards, tin foil, upturned bottle caps, and even small dreidels on the top of the beer bottle — all in order to hold that candle in place. The guidelines for last year’s contest offer little help: “We realize the traditional candles still will not fit in the top of the bottles, but we are a handy people from tent dwellers to Jewish carpenters to craft brewers. Behold! A second chance to prove yourselves.” They suggest stuffing a matzo ball in the nape, as a way of holding the candle in place.

Read more


2012's Best Jewish Cookbooks — Day 3

By Margaret Eby and Leah Koenig

From our eight favorite books from the year — one for each night of Hanukkah — we present two below. They are all great holiday gifts for the passionate cook in your life or a treat for yourself.

Best Cookbooks, Day 1

Best Cookbooks, Day 2

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
by Deb Perelman, Knopf, 336 pages, $35

Enormous, crispy oven latkes? Sweet potato blintzes with farmer cheese? Delicate sweet-and-sour brisket with tender root vegetables? Subtly sweet raspberry rugelach? “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook,” by culinary mastermind and cult favorite blogger Deb Perelman, has all these sumptuous recipes, written in the tone of a good friend offering holiday advice.

“The Smitten Kitchen,” is gorgeously laid out, with dozens of photographs that will make you want to head to your oven lickety-split. Perelman has formulas for everything from calzones to grapefruit pound cake. One look at the table of contents will give any home cook a host of new ideas for holiday dinners and laidback brunches, dinner party desserts and cozy night-in spreads. An added perk is that most of the recipes are new, so you won’t find them on Perlman’s website.

While some of the book’s recipes are not kosher, Perelman has included a separate category in the index for Jewish recipes, to make flipping through for Hanukkah dishes easier. It’s an ideal gift for the dedicated home cook looking to expand his or her repertoire. Just watch out: We bet there’ll be a lot more figs, olive oil and sea salt challah and rhubarb hamantaschen in your life after you gift this cookbook.

— Margaret Eby

Read more


Hip Hanukkah Fare at Brooklyn's 606 R&D

By Temim Fruchter

Claudia Ficca

As winter slides in and makes itself comfy in New York for the next couple of months, locals are — as ever — on the lookout for interesting new edibles in the Hanukkah spirit, even as they pick up boxes of staunchly reliable latkes from Zabars and Russ & Daughters.

Thank goodness for 606 R&D — quite possibly the only hip new Brooklyn restaurant to be serving up a split powdered sugar donut and raspberry jam ‘sandwich’ in honor of the holiday. Not to mention a special potato pancake appetizer served with a dollop of creme fraiche and a slaw of beet, apple and celery root. And while these are definitely special holiday items, stop by 606 R&D year-round for delicious classic cake donuts (inspired by Dreesen’s Famous Donuts in the Hamptons and made by a Kickstarter-funded donut robot) and some extremely tasty latke cousins (try the carrot parsnip pancakes or the cauliflower pakoras).

So what’s the story behind the marriage of such inventive culinary whimsy with such old world Brooklyn Jewish sensibilities?

Read more


Giving a Fig for Fine Spirits

By Ezra Glinter

Ezra Glinter
Dorit and David Nahmias of Nahmias et Fils

I’ve got an aunt who likes to tell me that being a movie critic must be the best job in the world. You get to watch movies all day and write about them. What could be better, right? Real life film critics might add a few caveats, like the low pay, job insecurity, fierce competition, long hours and constant struggle against obsolescence, but hey, point taken. There are perks.

The same goes for most cultural journalists. Besides doing what we love, there are usually little extras that come with the job — review copies, advance screenings, press showings, and so on. It’s all pretty swell. But when it comes to freebies, one thing is certain: There’s no beat like the booze beat.

That’s something I learned when an invitation landed in my inbox to attend the winner’s circle of the New York International Spirits Competition on December 3 at the tony 3 West Club in Midtown Manhattan, a venue that happens to be in the same building as the Women’s National Republican Club. It was an especially pleasant surprise because, though I’ve done a couple of liquor-related pieces before, it’s not a regular subject of mine — yet.

Read more


Mixing Bowl: Hanukkah Edition

By Devra Ferst

Thinkstock

If you’re going to take advice from someone on how to make a proper latke, that person should be Melissa Clark. [New York Times]

Everything you ever wanted to know about hosting a latke party. [Serious Eats]

Latkes goes modernist. [Saveur]

Try them with….brown butter and cinnamon applesauce. [Serious Eats]

Looking to celebrate the holiday of oil without covering your kitchen in it? Here’s a great list of events. [Serious Eats]

Read more


Edible Gifts: Chocolate Covered Salted Caramels

By Katherine Martinelli

Katherine Martinelli

This Hanukkah, give presents from the heart and the kitchen with homemade food gifts. In this series, we’ll present four sweet and savory ideas to spice up your holiday gift giving for everyone on your list.

Homemade candy makes some of the best DIY holiday food gifts. Besides its visual appeal and delicious taste, most candy recipes produce big batches, so you can knock everyone off your list at once. This year I decided to try my hand at salted caramels, which are simultaneously nostalgic and trendy. They’re not difficult to make, but the secret is all in the temperature.

The base of all caramel recipes is essentially the same: butter, sugar, cream, and corn syrup. Of course, the kind of butter (salted vs. unsalted), sugar (white vs. brown), and cream (heavy cream, condensed milk, or even crème fraiche) vary wildly, as do the order in which to cook it all.

After a good deal of experimentation, I can tell you that I have a preferred method (see below), but that cooking the ingredients in a totally different order also yields tasty results. For example, you could cook the sugar, water and corn syrup together first before adding the cream and butter.

Read more


Edible Gifts: Infused Oils

By Katherine Martinelli

Katherine Martinelli

The best kind of Hanukkah gifts are those you can make and your friends eat. In this series, we’ll present four sweet and savory ideas to spice up your holiday gift giving for everyone on your list.

While fried foods grace the Hanukkah table, perhaps no gift is more appropriate than oil. Nice olive oil, with its grassy, fruity undertones, makes an excellent present on its own. But to up the ante and personalize the offering, try your hand at infusing the oil first. The possibilities are endless, the presentation visually appealing, and the taste memorable.

Infusing oil is as simple as putting the flavors you want in a bottle along with some decent olive oil. Just let it hang out together for a week or two and you’ve got yourself a special treat worthy of finishing sauces, amping up salads, and drizzling on bread. It makes a great last minute gift because even if it’s not done infusing, you can instruct the recipient to wait to use it to let the flavors develop.

Read more


2012's Best Jewish Cookbooks — Day 2

By Molly Yeh and Ben Harris

From our eight favorite books from the year — one for each night of Hanukkah — we present two below. (Check back every day this week for another two books.) They are all great holiday gifts for the passionate cook in your life or a treat for yourself.

2012’s Best Jewish Cookbooks — Day 1

Meat Smoking 101 for the Deli Fanatic

The Mile End Cookbook: Redefining Jewish Comfort Food From Hash to Hamantaschen
by Noah and Rae Bernamoff
Clarkson Potter, 224 pages, $27.50

For the restaurant that is described by co-owner Noah Bernamoff as a “Montreal greatest-hits album,” its cookbook reads like an intimate liner jacket to your favorite new band’s cover record, where Jewish delicatessen classics are covered by twenty-somethings with a knack for all things local and homemade. A first skim, with sightings of DIY salami and Montreal smoked meat, may intimidate even an experienced chef, but Noah and Rae Bernamoff’s humble-beginnings narrative is relatable enough to encourage even a culinary novice to take a stab at some of the more complicated recipes.

Read more


Turning the Tables: The Miracle of Latkes

By Rabbi Noah Tzvi Farkas

wikimedia

As we fire up our Hanukkiot, our thoughts turn to miracles and their place in our lives. After all, the story of Hanukkah includes the miracle of the Maccabees’ victory *and( the oil, which lasted eight days. With those miraculous events, we come to the lesser (but no less relevant) miracle of the potato latke.

This little potato pancake has become the central food of the holiday. According to some, we eat latkes because they are fried in oil, symbolizing the miracle of the oil that lasted eight days. But what else can we learn from the little latke? Is there a way to connect it to the holiday beyond the fact that it’s fried? With these questions in mind, here are a few tips for considering the miracles at our tables:

Read more


Edible Gifts: Healthy Recipes in a Jar

By Katherine Martinelli

Katherine Martinelli

The best kind of Hanukkah gifts are those you can make and your friends eat. In this series, we’ll present four sweet and savory ideas to spice up your holiday gift giving for everyone on your list.

Holiday food gifts are often sweet, rich, and calorie-laden. While the colder weather calls for comfort food, why not deliver it in the form of a steaming hot, one pot meal? Recipes in a jar — where the dry ingredients are attractively layered in a clear jar — are a fun and creative gift for a food lover. But instead of the usual cookie in a jar, this Hanukkah hit up your pantry and give the gift of homemade three-bean chili or Middle Eastern mujadara.

The premise is simple: Take your favorite grain recipe, separate out the dry ingredients, and layer them in a nice jar, then include a recipe for the recipient. Unlike baked goods or candies, these presents are shelf stable so there’s no pressure to eat them immediately and the recipient will have a hot meal at their fingertips whenever they like.

Bean chili is a perfect contestant for a recipe in a jar — you can use the recipe below, or adapt your favorite. Use any beans you like (though a mix of red kidney beans, white beans, and black beans has a nice effect) and add in a spice mix. This recipe produces a hearty and richly flavored vegan chili that would satisfy vegetarians and meat lovers alike.

Read more


2012's Best Jewish Cookbooks

By Devra Ferst

Nate Lavey

This year my desk has been strewn with cookbooks containing recipes for homemade pastrami, sweet potato and farmer cheese blintzes, German Jewish cakes, Sephardic treasures from the island of Rhodes and delicious dishes to keep one warm during the winter. These cookbooks have called me to the kitchen and many have made appearances both at my dinner table and at the table of the reviewers below. The books have coached us through fermentation experiments, allowed us to travel to Zimbabwe without leaving our kitchens and helped us understand the culinary legacy of Jerusalem’s diverse population.

From our eight favorite books from the year — one for each night of Hanukkah — we present two below. (Check back every day this week for another two books.) They are all great holiday gifts for the passionate cook in your life or a treat for yourself.

Read more


Would you like to receive updates about new stories?






















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.