Reprinted with permission from “VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health … for Good” by Mark Bittman.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 1 hour
Combining grains with vegetables and meat makes for a better meatball, moister and more complex in texture and flavor. The combination here is bulgur and spinach, but any soaked or cooked grains (brown rice or steel-cut oats are also nice) work well, as do mashed beans (use about 1½ cups).
There are just as many ways to eat these meatballs as there are to cook them: Put a few on a tossed green salad, stuff into a pita with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, or add them to the tomato sauce on page 239 and simmer for a few minutes, then serve with pasta or on toast.
¼ cup medium-grind bulgur
1 cup boiling water
1 pound ground beef, or lamb
1 cup chopped cooked spinach (thawed frozen is fine), squeezed as dry as possible
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1) Combine the bulgur and boiling water in a small bowl; cover and soak until fully tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a strainer, then press out as much of the water as possible. Combine the bulgur, beef, spinach, garlic, and salt and sprinkle with pepper. Shape into 16 meatballs, handling them no more than is necessary.
2) Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add some of the meatballs; work in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding. Cook, turning once or twice and adjusting the heat as necessary, until they’re firm and browned all over, 5 to 10 minutes. As they finish, transfer them to paper towels to drain and repeat with the remaining meatballs as necessary. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Nutritional Info (4 meatballs, made with 80% lean ground beef): Calories: 439 • Cholesterol: 81mg • Fat: 34g • Saturated Fat: 10g • Protein: 23g • Carbohydrates: 10g • Sodium: 609mg • Fiber: 3g • Trans Fat: 1g • Sugars: 0g
In 1916, the New York Board of Health issued a concise 36 page recipe book aimed at Jewish American homemakers. Published bilingually in both Yiddish and English, “How to Cook for the Family” contained recipes for such “plain, substantial and wholesome” dishes as tomato soup, beef stew and cornstarch pudding. So far as we can tell, the book was a flop among its intended audience. When a reporter working on a story about it asked a couple of Yiddishe homemakers for their opinion, the women told her off.
“The Board of health ain’t got no right to say what I should cook and how,” one woman, explained, in the cadence of a Jimmy Cagney tough-guy. “The East Side is the East Side,” her friend agreed. “I make like my Grossmutter Selig and my mother, Gefullte fish and stuffed helzel. What [do] I care for the Board of Health?”
Interestingly, both of the dishes the women named are stuffed foods — gefilte or “stuffed” fish, and stuffed poultry neck. Neither is “plain” or simple to prepare. Rather, they require both large investments of time and attention to detail, as did so many of the filled foods that were mainstays of our ancestors’ kitchens.
It’s a Sunday, you’re noshy, and there’s a chunk of Friday’s challah leftover. It’s no longer moist enough to be delicious on its own and you’ve made challah French toast or bread pudding way too many times. Trust us, we’ve been there. So, what’s a cook to do? Make schnitzel!
The glorified chicken nugget has gotten some love in the past few years, from food trucks on both coasts, a stand at the Williamsburg food festival Smorgasburg, and even an Alligator variety in California. In Europe it’s often served with potato salad or spätzle and in Israel you’ll find turkey rendition served with hummus in a pita and with French fries or chips as the Israelis say. It’s really not difficult to make — it may be a bit messy, but my mother always told me “a messy kitchen is a happy kitchen.”
Read the story behind these cookies and the cookbook “Chadar Ochel” here
Reprinted with permission from ‘Chadar Ochel’ by Assi Haim and Ofer Vardi.
for 60 cookies
450 grams flour (approximately 3 2⁄3 cups)
¼ cup oil
1 cup water
3 cups sugar
5 cups honey
1½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1) In a food processor, place the flour, eggs and oil and mix until the dough is formed.
2) Divide the dough into 3 equally sized balls and knead each one separately by hand.
3) Form each ball into a sausage 4 inches long.
4) Divide each sausage into 10 pieces, and roll each into a rope that fits around three fingers. Form the rope into a ring by joining the ends.
5) Place the rings on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
6) Mix 1½ cups sugar and the ground ginger and sprinkle some over the rings. Reserve the rest of the sugar.
7) Make the syrup: In a large pan, bring the water, 3 cups of sugar and honey to a boil.
8) Slide the dough rings into the boiling syrup and cook for 30 minutes. Mix occasionally with a wooden spoon.
9) To check for doneness, take one teigelach out of the syrup. If it doesn’t shrink, the cookies are ready.
10) Take the cookies out of the syrup and strain. Put the cookies in a container with the rest of the sugar-ginger mixture and roll to coat. Keep in an airtight container.
It’s here! The New York Times Magazine’s 2013 food and drink issue is out this weekend in print and online. Features range from hunting and killing your own dinner to the rise of healthful fast food. [The New York Times]
Bye-bye matzo! Welcome all that delicious chametz back into your life with one of our favorite challah recipes. [Smitten Kitchen]
Or sweeten the end of Pesach with some babka. [The Jewish Week]
Craving spring flavors? Lemons can hold you over until the season gets fully underway. [Food 52]
Hitler’s food taster talks about her bitter years during the war. [Spiegel]
Another look at Washington, D.C.’s DGS Delicatessen and the modern deli renaissance. [NPR]
Kim Kushner, author of the newly published “The Modern Menu,” hadn’t planned on writing a cookbook. It came about as a result of her cooking students’ constantly asking her to compile her recipes, like curried couscous salad, crunchy curry cauliflower with tahini and pomegranate, chicken with pumpkin, figs, and honey, and tequila London broil with mango chutney.
Kushner responded with a kosher cookbook with recipes for simple, flavorful dishes photographed in a stunningly simple, but highly appealing fashion. “The Modern Menu” is about food that highlights fresh ingredients and evokes a sense of home, warmth and hospitality.
This is very much in keeping with Kushner’s approach to cooking, which is greatly influenced by her growing up in her Israeli-Moroccan mother’s kitchen in Montreal. In the introduction to her book, Kushner recalls that her childhood home was always filled with guests for dinner and Shabbat and holiday meals.
Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov will bring tastes from Zahav to Momofuku’s “Late Night Dinner Series” in the East Village. Reserve now for the April 9 event. [Grub Street]
Matzo showdown! A taste test for a product we always though was, well, tasteless. [Serious Eats]
“Passover is the Olympics for mashgiachs” — shadowing the kosher supervisor for upscale NYC spots Prime Grill and Soho. [The Wall Street Journal]
For the second year in a row, Coke isn’t it for Passover in California. [Boston.com]
Passover recipe roundup:
Dishes from Israel, Estonia and India. [CNN Eatocracy]
Muy delicioso: Mexican chicken in a tomatillo, chipotle and piloncillo sauce. [The Chicago Tribune]
Jewel Chaudhary, mother of Arun Chaudhary, submitted this recipe for Raspberry Ganache Marjolaine for the White House Seder dinner. She originally found it in an issue of Bon Appetit in the early 1990s.
“It was introduced into the family because we are big chocolate lovers, and other than jell-rings or chocolate covered macaroons it’s not always so easy to get unleavened chocolate into your life on Passover. So the introduction on this dessert to our seder was a great way to end the 80’s,” Chaudhary told me in an email.
Raspberry Ganache Marjolaine
Reprinted with Permission from “Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful” (November 2010, Andrews McMeel Publishing)
Marjolaine is a classic French gâteau with a rectangular shape and multiple layers of nutty meringue and buttercream. This rendition features layers of raspberry ganache and hazelnut meringue. The absence of flour and the use of ground nuts, egg whites, and chocolate makes this a sophisticated gluten-free cake and Passover-friendly dessert (as long as you use “kosher for Passover” vanilla and almond extracts). Because it does use dairy ingredients, serve the marjolaine at a meatless Passover meal.
2 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
21 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
½ cup raspberry preserves
2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons kosher Concord grape wine
2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, husked, divided
½ cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon potato starch
4 large egg whites, room temperature
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½-pint container raspberries
GANACHE: Bring cream to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in preserves, butter, and wine. Cover and chill overnight. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
MERINGUE: Preheat oven to 275°F. Trace five 10x4-inch rectangles on 2 sheets of parchment paper. Invert parchment onto 2 baking sheets. Coarsely grind 1 cup hazelnuts in processor. Combine with ½ cup sugar and potato starch in medium bowl.
Using electric mixer fitted with clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in large bowl until foamy. Add lemon juice, both extracts, and salt; continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff and glossy. Gently fold in hazelnut-sugar mixture.
Place 1 cup meringue on parchment in center of 1 rectangle. Spread with small spatula to fill in rectangle. Repeat with remaining meringue and parchment. Bake until meringues are golden brown and just dry to touch, about 25 minutes. Cool on baking sheets. Carefully peel off paper (meringues will deflate slightly).
Place 1 meringue rectangle on 10x4-inch cardboard rectangle. Spread ½ cup ganache over meringue. Repeat layering with 3 more meringue rectangles and 11⁄2 cups ganache. Top with remaining meringue rectangle. Spread top and sides of marjolaine with ¾ cup ganache. Chill marjolaine until firm, about 1 hour.
Rewarm remaining ganache in heavy medium saucepan over very low heat just until melted, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Place marjolaine on wire rack set over baking sheet. Spread some ganache over sides of marjolaine. Pour remaining ganache over top; smooth with spatula if necessary. Let stand at room temperature until glaze is set, about 30 minutes. Chop remaining 1 cup hazelnuts. Gently press hazelnuts onto sides of marjolaine. Decorate top with raspberries. Chill marjolaine 1 hour.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
Bring a taste of Israel home this weekend with this recipe for baked za’atar eggplant fries with lemon tahini dip. B’tayavon! [The Kitchn]
…and this pomelo and arak cocktail courtesy of our friends at the Kubbeh Project. [New York Magazine]
Is a pastrami and egg sandwich a good idea? You decide. [Serious Eats]
…And what about pastrami on a bialy? [Serious Eats]
DIY seltzer and soda in all their fizzy glory. [Diner’s Journal
Are you a Michael Pollan fan? So are we. His family is putting out a cookbook! [Grub Street
Have you ever wondered what would happen if hipster organic met bubbe’s cooking? Well, someone did — and they shared it on Pinterest.
In the last couple of years, Jewish cookbooks (or rather, hastily scrawled index cards) have been dusted off and made-over. Celebrity chefs have taken up traditional food and given it a twist. This phenomenon isn’t restricted to the Jewish world — How many different takes on mac ‘n’ cheese have you seen in restaurants lately?
This slightly nostalgic, back to our roots with style, Martha Stewart-envy attitude is the basis of every Pinterest board out there. The DIY social media guru takes ordinary, cluttered, non-glitter-full lives and gives them new meaning. After 10 (OK, 20) minutes on the site, you find yourself thinking things like: How did I ever live without an adorable lamp hand-carved out of elk antlers? What was I thinking making any pancake that wasn’t artfully heart-shaped?
So, to add to the discussion, we thought we would let Pinterest have its say. Behold, the top 10 wacky, scrumptious, and slightly frightening Pinterest takes on Jewish food:
Since being aurally haunted by hundreds of toy noise makers during one Purim celebration in my childhood, Purim has been banned from my top 10 list of favorite holidays (making way for more quiet and civilized holidays where you soberly eat matzo ball soup with your family). In my wimpy eyes its only point of redemption is hamantaschen. This year, I have reinterpreted the triangle cookies two ways — one sweet and Asian inspired and the other savory and filled with delicious rich cheese.
My favorite varieties of classic hamantaschen can be found at a few hidden deli counters in New York and in care packages from the mother of a dear college friend, Brian. When we were in college, Brian’s apartment was good for three things: throwing wild patio parties, eating spray can cheese, and hosting impromptu hamantaschen eating parties as soon as his Purim care package arrived. His mother’s hamantaschen were soft, doughy, slightly smashed from the shipping process, and swimming in powdered sugar (perfect for the morning after those legendary patio parties). So when I decided to make hamantaschen this year — with a personal twist — the obvious starting point was tapping Brian’s mom for her recipe.
One of these recipes draws on my Asian heritage and uses black sesame seeds in place of the traditional poppy seed filling. Black sesames are common in Asian cooking and have a smokier and nuttier flavor than their white counterparts. The other is an homage to my cheese and spinach obsessions and is as perfect for an appetizer or party hors d’oeuvre as it is sacrilege.
Take a walking tour of Jewish food in San Francisco with the guys from Wise Sons Deli. Yum. [Serious Eats]
Saveur.com suggests adding white chocolate to your smoky baba ghannouj. An interesting idea. [Saveur]
Passover baking might go down easier if we all tried these chocolate raspberry macaroons. [Serious Eats]
This might be the best veggie Shabbat dinner recipe we’ve heard of in a while — Dan Barber’s cauliflower steak. [Food 52]
But, if you prefer chicken, here’s an excellent tutuorial on how to know when your bird is done. [Food 52]
In this week’s edition of the Forward, Ingredients columnist Leah Koenig writes about the Shabbat traditions of the Ethiopian Jewish community. Savor the recipes below.
The use of spice is very subjective in Ethiopian cuisine, so add or subtract to your liking. You can find berbere at specialty food shops, and order a kosher-certified blend online at teenytinyspice.com.
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
6–7 garlic cloves, grated
1 piece (2-inch) fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 ½ pounds chicken legs or thighs (or a combination), skin removed
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon berbere
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1) Place eggs in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring water to a boil over high heat; turn off heat; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Rinse eggs under cold water, peel them and set aside.
2) Meanwhile, add the oil, onions, garlic and ginger to a Dutch oven or large pot set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover pot with lid and let cook until very soft, 5–6 minutes.
3) Add the chicken and about 2 cups of water; raise heat to medium. Stir in the tomato paste and spices, and season generously with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer; cover and cook until sauce thickens, about 35 minutes. If mixture begins to look dry, add more water as needed.
4) Add peeled eggs to pot, and continue to cook until chicken is fully cooked through, an additional 10–15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings; arrange chicken on a piece of injera, or divide onto plates, and spoon sauce over top.
When you picture the quintessential Jewish “Bubby,” someone like Shira Ginsburg’s grandmother, Judith, probably springs to mind.
Mrs. Ginsburg, the subject of her granddaughter’s one-woman show “Bubby’s Kitchen,” developed a reputation in her Troy, New York, community for her endless, delicious cooking (she’s since moved to Florida, where she still cooks and teaches her grandchildren her culinary ways).
“Growing up there was always rugelach or mandelbread in the oven and soup on the stove. There were also two freezers down in the basement that were full of food,” Ginsburg says of her grandmother’s house, which was located five minutes from her childhood home.
While her ceaseless cooking might seem typical in a Jewish grandmother, the elder Mrs. Ginsburg’s early life was anything but typical. She lost her entire family in the Holocaust and was a resistance fighter in Eastern Europe — a story that takes center stage in the show.
Ginsburg sets her performance around the table of her grandmother’s home — the stage is set with a lone table and six chairs. She tells her family’s story through monologue, Yiddish, liturgical and musical theatre songs, and plays several different family members.
This article first appeared on J. Weekly
After my first column appeared last May, in which I asked readers to share their family recipes, the following email from Cynthia Tauber of San Mateo arrived in my inbox:
“A ‘boureka’ is my favorite food. Just thinking about bourekas makes my mouth water! And when I make them with my daughter, it brings back pleasant memories of my childhood watching my Sephardic grandmother baking away in her Brooklyn kitchen.”
For readers unfamiliar with a boureka, it’s a savory pie made with a variety of fillings; meat, cheese, spinach and potato are common. Sephardic Jews from many countries have their own versions, but they originally hail from Turkey, and today they have become a popular form of Israeli street food.
Pancakes for Shabbat breakfast? Yes, please. Ruth Reichl shares her favorite recipe. [RuthReichl.com]
Next month’s TEDxManhattan is all about food — and you can stream it! [Grub Street]
National hot pastrami sandwich day. Really, everyone should celebrate this. [Eatocracy]
The LA Times opens its recipe vault. Jackpot! [LA Times]
This is our kind of art exhibit. A Chelsea gallery will be displaying a collection of food photos. [New York Times]
I did the most stereotypical thing one can do after the New Year. I went on a juice cleanse. Three full days existing on nothing but sludgy, vitamin and mineral-laden juice. I’ve experienced a variety of feelings: cleansed (yes, seriously), hungry, exhausted, slightly delusional, energetic, sated and, did I mention hungry? My one constant was my ever-present desire to cook. You can pump me up with all the kale juice in the world but you can’t take away my inherent need to cook.
Why did I deliberately submit myself to 72 hours of pure juice torture?
The most obvious reason: the holidays. It’s safe to say I put back enough Nutella, red meat, wine, cookies, and other unmentionables to sustain me through the entirety of 2013. I needed a detox.
Reason two: I wanted to test my self discipline.
Reason three: call me crazy, but I thought juicing might lend itself to a sort of spiritual experience.
Bubbes around the world share pictures of themselves cooking in their kitchens. So cute, we almost want to pinch someone’s cheeks. [The Kitchn]
Give the old matzo ball soup a rest and try carrot soup with tahini and crisped chickpeas. [Smitten Kitchen]
Things are getting real! Here are 20 unspoken truths about the food world. [First We Feast]
Can’t wait for the Downton Abbey Season 3 premier on Sunday? Neither can we. Here’s a menu to celebrate the occasion. [Food52]
Virtuous meals to start the new year with (and to help keep those resolutions). [Serious Eats]
In 1432 a Venetian captain, Pietro Querini, returned home after surviving a terrible shipwreck off the Northern coast of Norway, and described for the first time the stocfisi (dried salt cod) he had tasted in the remote islands where he’d been nursed back to health. His description probably went largely unnoticed at the time, given the abundance of fresh fish in the waters of the lagoon.
Baccalà (stockfish) is a particularly tough kind of dried salt cod, sold by the slab. It became such a staple in Europe in the Middle Ages that it supported the expansion of trade routes with the New World; soon it was popping up in the traditional dishes of areas as diverse as Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, West Africa, the Caribbean and Brazil.
However, it wasn’t until the 1500s that Venice becomes its main point of distribution. The Council of Trento (1555), prohibiting meat to Christians on Fridays, probably gave it a little push; so did the Spanish Portuguese Jews and conversos who settled in Venice after the expulsion, and were already accustomed to eating it. As a matter of fact, for a while it was considered (like pickled fish) a “Jewish food,” which could draw the unwelcome attention of the Inquisition.
In a medieval tavern in 21st century Italy, waitresses in archaic costumes served a tepid, chalk-white substance the texture of oatmeal to tables filled with slightly skeptical diners.
Sweet yet salty, and flavored with a mix of unexpectedly tangy spices, it turned out to be a tasty puree made from shredded chicken breast, almond milk, rose water, cloves and rice flour.
The dish was a savory form of biancomangiare, or almond pudding, a food that was popular in Italy in the Middle Ages. Jews back then loved it, too, food historians say, and often called it “almond rice.”
On this recent night in Bevagna, an ancient walled town in central Italy’s Umbria region, biancomangiare was being served as the first course of a special kosher-style dinner aimed at re-creating a meal that Jews in Italy would have eaten in the 14th and 15th centuries.
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