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
If you’re like us and cannot wait to see what’s in store for the Bon Appetit relaunch, check out Eater’s interview with the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Adam Rapoport.
Fifteen Boston-area chefs attempted to update Jewish food at the “Beyond Bubbie’s Kitchen’’ event held last Sunday. Tzimmes inspired Japanese yam maki and culinary ruminations on borscht led to a beet salad with blood orange and homemade ricotta, Boston.com reports.
Serious Eats’ ‘Sandwich a Day’ highlights the mother of Montreal deli sammies — Smoked Meat at Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen.
In my family, Shabbos dinner were always epic. Friday night meant hordes of guests, a continuous parade of delicious food and raucous singing way into the night. These meals were the stuff of legends among our friends. People would finish up their dinners and stroll over to ours, ready to pull up a chair and join us with full confidence that we’d only be up to the gefilte fish. Honestly, it felt like a weekly party — a pre-Monday infusion of rock-out liturgical sing-offs and the most perfect sweet and sour meatballs you could imagine.
The real centerpiece of these fetes, though, was the steaming vat of profoundly flavorful and deeply soul-warming cholent. The cholent was, in a word, art on my mother’s part. It was endlessly saucy, hot, nourishing and thus, gorgeous. And the funny thing was, it wasn’t anything all that special — it was pretty much just your basic Eastern European Jewish stew like everyone else’s. And yet it was the most festive and delicious thing I could imagine eating.
I’m not really here to talk about cholent, though; I’m here to talk about what my mother’s not-so-special-yet-utterly-spectacular cholent bred. As a twenty-something, new to Brooklyn and to the well-behaved dinner parties to which its inhabitants were more accustomed than I (knowing only from rambunctious singing and Manischewitz-fueled jokes), I was determined to gain (at the very least) borough-wide fame for my Shabbos dinner creations, as my parents had before me.
If you think about it, Super Bowl Sunday is a lot like a Jewish holiday — it’s all about the food.
In an homage to the two teams playing in the big game — the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers — we asked three Jewish chefs and a Pittsburgh deli owner to reimagine the teams’ hometown foods, with a Jewish twist of course.
For Green Bay, Wisconsin, the hometown favorites are cheese curds and cheddar cheese.
Pittsburgh’s signature sandwich (treyf as it is), is courtesy of the Primanti Bros. chain of restaurants, and features meat, melted cheese, French fries and coleslaw between two slices of Italian bread.
Follow your stomach’s desire or go with the food in line with your favorite team. But remember, if you eat too much of these, you may find yourself looking like a line backer.
For beer pairings, we suggest the new Samuel Adams variety pack, which includes White Ale, Boston Lager, Revolutionary Rye, Irish Red, Scotch Ale and Noble Pils. There’s something for everyone. And what’s Super Bowl Sunday without some beer? (Helmet is optional).
Here’s what the experts came up with:
Baking is caught somewhere between a science and an art. Chemical reactions take place at the same time as layers of cake are artfully constructed or sugar is exquisitely pulled and colored. Mastering both the art and the science takes endless hours of practice or unfailingly good guidance. It is just this type of guidance that Sarabeth Levine, the owner of Sarabeth’s restaurants and jam maker, shares with home bakers in her new book “Sarabeth’s Bakery, From My Hands to Yours.”
Her career started with a secret family recipe for Orange-Apricot Marmalade, which she served at her husband’s café and grew from there. For the past 30 years she has been baking breakfast treats and whipping up silken eggs at her restaurants, which helped revolutionize the city’s brunch scene.
Drizzled throughout her book are recipes for a several traditional Jewish baked goods. Her rugelach, which former New York Times Dining columnist Mimi Sheraton calls “the best rugelach in New York and the best I have ever had this side of my grandmother’s kitchen,” are rich with cream cheese and crisp on top. Her babka is a riff on a traditional recipe, made with a breakfast Danish dough.
She talked with us about the roots of her recipes, being a self-taught baker and just how important technique (and flour selection) is in baking. She also shares with us her rugelach and babka recipes.
Buenos Aires, best known as the Paris of South America for its vibrant culture and architecture, has become a major tourism destination. And there’s plenty of interest for the Jewish tourist. Argentina has one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, and the largest in Latin America, with estimates ranging from 175,000 to 250,000. The neighborhoods of Once and Abasto, in the heart of the city, are full of synagogues and are the main area for kosher grocers, butchers and restaurants as well as Judaica and Hebrew book stores, largely clustered on Calle Tucuman. In years past, the neighborhood contained a mix of Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews, but today, Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews remain the most visible. Many Ahskenazis have assimilated, spreading into the suburbs.
Cuisine wise, Argentina is best known for beef, the staple of virtually every meal. Kosher cuisine here is no different, and visitors used to dry kosher meat will be happy to find juicy, tender steaks in Buenos Aires. Yosef Chamen, of the kosher butcher shop Carniceria Artesanal Kasher (Viamonte 2743 at Boulogne-Sur-Mer; +54/11-4962-5643) says, “it’s because we use smaller, younger cows, not the big ones like you have in the United States that makes our meat always tender.” And kosher food has a following throughout the city, even among non-observant Jews and non-Jews alike, according to Isaac Laniado, owner of the Kosher Pizza Man (Tucuman 3110 at Anchorena; +54/11-4861-7290). “People believe that kosher is a healthier way of eating, and it is true,” he says. So whether you’re a frum or just a curious visitor, there are plenty of reasons to try Buenos Aires’s kosher offerings.
This past Sunday, Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” featured Israeli-born chef Michael Solomonov, of Philadelphia’s Zahav Restaurant. Solomonov battled Iron Chef Jose Garces in a head to head culinary competition. The pressure was on for both chefs who had just 60 minutes to create a world-class meal featuring passion fruit, the secret competition ingredient, which was revealed only moments before cooking began.
Solomonov, staying true to his personal and culinary roots, fried up fresh chickpea falafel with passion fruit and amba and served tuna carpaccio stuffed with tabboule. He wowed the judges with his passion fruit infused malabi custard for dessert. Iron Chef veteran Garces, impressed the judges with a “tour of the Islands,” cooking dishes from Cuba and Majorca including an opah ceviche with passion fruit sorbet. In the end, as with so many Iron Chef episodes, the challenger — Solomonov — was defeated.
Following the battle, Jew and the Carrot caught up with Solomonov to discuss his influences and what it’s really like to cook on ‘Iron Chef’.
Earlier this month I hosted a Tu B’shvat gathering for our havurah focused on the shivat haminim — a seven species — “deconstructed” seder. With 25 kids, we opted for heavy on the deconstructed, light on the seder and decided to have a potluck where each family brought a dish incorporating one or more species of Israel. Ideas, recipes and questions about the ingredients flew back and forth on Twitter and Facebook prior to the gathering. For many, this was a new concept and people wanted to know: What are these items? Where does the Torah make reference to them? Which of these are locally grown here in Georgia? What in the world is date honey, and did they even cultivate bees in Ancient Israel?
If every food has a story, every meal can be an opportunity for reinterpreting and retelling that story in a culinary form of midrash. In a very literal sense, midrash is a reinterpretation of Jewish text — both biblical narrative and legal passages. In a similar way, modern Jewish cooks and chefs are looking at traditional ingredients, dishes and recipes and reinterpreting them to fit more contemporary values, tastes and regional influences. In our Jewish tradition, the Passover seder is the most literal form of mealtime storytelling, but Shabbat, holiday and daily meals can also spark investigation, interpretation and retelling.
From crispy fried gribenes to the mouth-puckering sorrel soup, schav, too many of the foods loved by our Jewish ancestors have fallen to the wayside. Help the Forward’s Ingredients columnist, Leah Koenig, elect the top 10 traditional Jewish foods/dishes (Ashkenazi, Sephardic or other) to rescue from culinary oblivion and bring back to the contemporary table. Nominate your favorite lost treasures by posting comments here, or send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Then watch for the final list in the March 11 issue of the Forward.
Eleven months into planning our April wedding, and my fiancé and I feel like we should write a book — the ultimate guide to the sustainable Jewish wedding. We dove into the world of wedding planning together, and decided to plan a wedding that would truly reflect us — with our desire to live sustainably and to also fulfill our families’ desire to have a large simcha.
Once we started on our venue search, the next question was obvious — what will we eat? For us, having a vegetarian wedding was of utmost importance. You might remember that Chelsea Clinton served meat at her wedding, although she’s a vegetarian. We fell on the other side of that debate. Why should we serve meat when we wouldn’t eat it ourselves? And along those lines, did we need to have a kosher caterer, or could we have a vegetarian-only wedding and satisfy the needs of most of our guests? But then we fretted — what about our orthodox guests? What about the fact that it’s a wedding — shouldn’t it be kosher?
Throughout this process there has been the tension between providing for what we feel our community expects, and serving food that mirrors our daily food values. As a natural foods chef, Adamah alumnus, lover of local food and preacher of eating healthy cuisine, the process of planning the food for our wedding has challenged all of my food values. For a split second, I even considered catering the wedding myself, but then I realized that was crazy.
Although winemaking in the region dates back thousands of years, modern Israeli wine has gotten a bad rap and in the past visitors rarely traveled to Israel thinking of vineyards. But the times they are a-changin’, and Israeli wine is gaining its place alongside other respected New World regions like California, South Africa and New Zealand. Along with the improvement in wine, a small but passionate wine tourism industry has sprouted in Israel in recent years.
Travelers looking to sample wine grown on land as old as the Bible have been able to indulge their wine interest with short trips to wineries on grand tours of the country for the past couple of years. But until recently, dedicated foodies and curious oenophiles had nowhere to turn for wine travel in the holy land.
That changed with the start of the start of My Israel Wine Tours, led by Boston native Esther Cohen. Since launching in January 2010, Cohen’s company has taken nearly 500 individuals on tours of some of Israel’s 380 wineries.
What exactly is the difference between rugelach and schnecken? Joan Nathan goes after the sweet history of these two desserts on Tablet.
What to do with leftover Kiddush wine? Israeli wine blog HaKerem finds some bizarre answers via twitter.
Looking for an Indian dinner recipe? My Jewish Learning shares a recipe for saag chevre, a spin on the classic saag paneer.
I have a confession… I used to be a commercial rugelach kinda gal. The actual bakery variety never tempted me. I always enjoyed the chewy, soft, slightly Pillsbury-like texture of Green’s cinnamon rugelach and the house brand from Zabar’s. I couldn’t even keep a bag of them in my apartment for fear of unfettered overindulgence.
All that changed, however, when I moved to Harlem, a historically black neighborhood, this winter and discovered one of the last purveyors of butter-dough rugelach in the New York City on West 118th street — Lee Lee’s bakery. The shop, which opened about a decade ago after moving from Amsterdam Avenue, is known by the sign that used to be painted on in its window advertising “Rugelach by a Brother” (that would be Alvin Lee Smalls, aka “Mr. Lee” the man behind Lee Lee’s).
Spring may be on our minds, but the access to fresh, locally grown edible plants that it brings will be limited for most of the country over the next several months, as winter’s long finger stretch into March.
And for schools and childhood nutrition advocates working to get healthier, fresher food into the 31 million school meals served each day, this poses yet another challenge to an already difficult situation. But two recent changes in Washington are making it easier to get healthy food to lunch lines around the country.
In December, President Obama signed the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR), known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which helps fight child hunger through federally funded school meals and nutrition programs. Though the bill far from perfect, it is a major step in reversing the trend which has left American public school students being served some of the least healthy, most industrial, processed and frankly tasteless, food one can find in the US food system.
Ireland is a country that’s revered more for its drinks than it’s food. And for strictly kosher visitors, a trip to the capital city of Dublin may very well require living on Guinness and Jameson alone. But for avid Jewish travelers, who are a bit more flexible with their taste buds, there are several options, including vegetarian spots and a delicious bakery that’s been around since before James Joyce penned “Dubliners”.
Once boasting a large Jewish community, Dublin’s Portobello neighborhood was dubbed “Little Jerusalem,” during the first half of the 20th century. Today, the few remaining Jews of Dublin have moved to the outskirts of the city. Central Dublin now shows little semblance of its Jewish history, aside from an Irish-Jewish museum housed in a defunct synagogue and one formerly kosher bakery that still serves some traditional Jewish baked goods.
In honor of the influx of iPhone users that is sure to appear in the wake of Verizon’s recent acquisition, the Jew & the Carrot has rounded up six must-have apps for the Jewish foodie. From an online kosher cookbook to restaurant recommendations around the globe and a virtual tasting notebook, these apps are sure to indulge your foodie passion round the clock from your pocket. So sit back, charge your phone and get clicking.
For the Cookbook Fanatic… Kosher Cookbook, $4.99
This app has already received some attention in the virtual world and rightfully so. While I’d never give up my Joan Nathan cookbooks, this app’s Jewish cooking expert, Gloria Kobrin, offers up some tasty dishes, including recipes for beef tagine, fried olives and candied orange peel. You can search for recipes by occasion such as “party fare” and type like “vegetarian gourmet” as well as meat, dairy and parve dishes. An extra perk is the planner function, which offers up seasonal and holiday menus for easy reference. Key to this app’s indispensability is its genuinely voluminous offerings (over 300 recipes). It’s unlikely that you’ll make all of them, but in case you’re worried about boring your tastebuds, check out the Kosher Cookbook app’s recipes that go beyond the range of the typical kosher palate. Click on the boeuf bourguignon, white wine and tarragon sauce and try out the baklava recipe.
Whether sparked by a book, a film, a conversation or something else entirely, there is a growing sense among Americans that complacency in our diets and purchasing habits is no longer good enough. But making these changes — to eat only local or organic food, or to give up meat forever — can feel overwhelming.
For those looking for a way to test the waters of change before jumping in headfirst, the Web site Veguary is a project aimed at getting people to change their eating habits by reducing their meat consumption for the month of February. “By reducing your meat intake you’ll start eating sustainably, start eating healthfully, and start eating consciously,” the site says.
The sunny smiling face of baking in Israel today indisputably belongs to Carine Goren.
Combining Martha Stewart’s mastery of pastry with Rachael Ray-style enthusiasm, she dominates the television screens as she prepares delectable desserts on her television show “Sweet Secrets.” That is also the title of her cookbook, which has been a mainstay of the bestseller list for years, and her recipes are passed around the Internet and frequently appear on Hebrew-language food blogs.
Her popularity created a demand for her recipes among English-speakers in Israel. So, last year Goren published her own translation of” Sweet Secrets,” which is available by mail-order in the US.
The desserts she creates are at once impressive and largely simple to make. Her ability to bring high-level baking to the home cook works well because she is self-taught. All of her recipes are developed in the house she shares with her husband Ronen, who left his own cooking career to manage his wife’s pastry burgeoning empire – which includes cookbooks, her television show, and a very active website and fan forum. They even photographed the desserts for her cookbook at home. (Full disclosure: as a family friend whose husband has assisted her with legal work, I have enjoyed eating the photo session “leftovers” more than once.)
Za’atar is an herb. Sorry – it’s not a specific herb, but one of any number of herbs in the hyssop family. Scratch that: it’s a combination of herbs. But wait, sometimes there are sesame seeds. Actually, it’s a paste made with some type or types of herbs, sesame seeds, and lots of olive oil.
Confused? Join the club.
In reality, za’atar is all of these things. There is a bush that grows in the deserts of Israel known as za’atar. The bush is most likely a member of the hyssop family, though some call it savory or wild oregano. It’s small and somewhat rough leaves are a fusion wild oregano and thyme flavors.
After working as the White House’s “ethics czar,” Norm Eisen, son of a holocaust surivor, will take over the post of Ambassador to the Czech Republic, says NPR. The Ambassador who keeps kosher, will kasher his new kitchen, in a home that once served as Nazi Headquarters for the region.
Editor of Saveur and Top Chef Masters Judge, James Oseland shares a soft spot for 2nd Avenue Deli’s matzo ball soup “It’s been said a million times, but their matzoh ball soup is a life-changer,” he writes on Midtown Lunch.
As of Tuesday, Mcy D’s has been serving up McFalafel at its locations throughout Israel, says Yediot Aharot. Because, there was really a lack of falafel…
It’s hard to believe that a cookbook published in 1936 would have much relevance to today’s cooks, other than as a culinary artifact. But Dr. Erna Meyer’s “How to Cook in Palestine” — widely regarded as the first “Israeli cookbook” — offers lessons and recipes that are just as valuable to cooks in 2011 as they were 75 years ago. From eating locally and naturally to useful tips on saving money, Meyer was ahead of her time. Published by the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO), during the British mandate, the cookbook provides unique insight into the roots of Israeli cuisine and illustrates how it started as a practical mixture of traditions from Europe, ingredients available in Palestine and economic considerations.
Meyer, a transplant from Germany, understood the desire to maintain culinary traditions from home, but saw the realistic need to adapt to Palestine. In English, German and Hebrew, she urged immigrant housewives, mostly from Europe, to adapt to their new homeland by using local ingredients such as eggplant, vegetable marrow (a zucchini-like vegetable), ketchup, and olive oil that were widely available to them.
She explains how to use local produce, spices, and equipment, saying it would make a healthier, tastier, and more economically run kitchen. “We housewives,” Meyer urges, “must take an attempt to free our kitchens from European customs which are not applicable to Palestine. We should wholeheartedly stand in favour of healthy Palestine cooking.” Similar to Israeli cooking today, Palestinian cooking relied heavily on a diet of fresh and stewed vegetables, chose oil over butter, and used Middle Eastern spices to make food livelier.
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