Gourmet & Kosher

 

Why I Love Olives

 

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There are a handful of ingredients that not only strengthen the flavor of a dish, but also stand strong as an appetizer-like snack on their own.   My favorite one is small, it’s oily, it’s a fruit, and it’s harvested for its meat and oil.  It is the quintessential olive.

There are dozens of olive varieties encompassing both size and flavor.  Similar to the different nuances in grapes and the wines that grapes become, olives grown in different regions will pick up the fine distinctions of those areas.  The leading growers of olives are the Mediterranean countries ~ Spain, Greece, Italy and Israel where there are groves with some fruit bearing trees dating back thousands of years.  The United States can also claim rights to this delicacy with much younger groves in the Southwestern states.


 

Cooking Israeli Food In America

 

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I just came back from New York City where I gave a few Israeli cooking classes. I always find that no matter where in the world I am, cooking with people is fun, creative and delicious, and passion for cooking crosses cultures and places. As a cook I like to learn and teach new recipes, cooking techniques and tips.

Two cooking classes were hosted by two of my dearest clients and friends Ada-Beth and Laurie, who took my cooking tour in Israel a while ago. The third one took place at Manhattan JCC. I so much appreciate the warm welcome and the opening of the kitchens for me.


 

An Updated Israeli Cabbage Salad

 

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A classic Israeli table is covered with about a dozen colorful salads from all over the Middle East. Once you’ve eaten in a typical Israeli restaurant, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Everything from hummus to babaganush gets served on endless small plates so that you can barely see the table. The collection of salads is a sign of the Israel bountifulness, and general generosity found all over the country.

One of Israel’s most famous salads, found in every falafel stand, is the red cabbage salad.


 

In Season Persimmon Recipes

 

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Persimmons are tropical-tasting fruit that come in various shades and textures; the most common being the Fuyu persimmon (firm, round and light orange) and the Hachiya persimmon (soft texture, oval and dark orange). The firm, pale orange persimmons are the most versatile and can be eaten both raw and cooked. The deep orange varieties are extremely soft and are best used in soups, purees or jams. Fuyu persimmons ripen after they are picked, while Hachiya do not. Make sure not to eat unripe (firm) Hachiya persimmons as they can leave an uncomfortable, dry feeling in your mouth.

Persimmon tart

Persimmon Tart


 

Versatile Kale Recipes

 

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Every once in a while my daughters, now grown up and married with children will ask, “how come we never ate [fill in the blank] when we were kids?”

The answers vary, of course, depending on the particular food.


 

Rethink Your Salad with These Creative Fall Salad...

 

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Salads refer to a whole category of dishes that include raw vegetables but can also include: cold, cooked vegetables, including grains and pasta; ones which add cold meat or seafood; sweet dishes made of cut-up fruit; and even warm dishes. Though the prototypical salad is light, a dinner salad can constitute a complete meal. These dishes are served dressed with vinaigrette.

Vinaigrettes are an emulsion of oils and vinegar sometimes flavored with herbs, spices and commonly used as a salad dressing or cold sauce. Salads are complex and vexing for most chefs who write menus. In America, the salad starts the meal and as a chef, I want my first impression to be a good one. In Europe, a salad ends the meal and the last impression should also be a good one. A salad can be exciting and palate stimulating. I urge all home cooks to rethink their salads. This can be a make-or break course and can become the course that everyone looks forward to.


 

Infused Honey

 

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One of my favorite experiences growing up in Seattle was driving to the Puyallup Fair every September. We admired the enormous prize-winning animals, rode the roller coasters, and walked through the booths of “As Seen on TV” products. What I looked forward to the most was the Snoqualmie Valley Honey, and every year we stocked up on a variety of flavors for Rosh Hashanah. My whole family and I stood at the honey booth, taste-testing each one, from Washington Wild Blackberry (my favorite) to Clover and Peppermint, while my mom loaded up on honey bears and honey sticks for us to enjoy year-round. Since I no longer live in Seattle and always miss going to the fair, I love to make my own infused honey to use for the holidays. Every drizzle is a trip down memory lane and there is nothing more gratifying than making your own artisan honey.

The directions are the same for any flavored honey you choose, and the options are endless!


 

New Chicken and Quince Recipe For Rosh Hashanah

 

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We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to do a guest post for Joy of Kosher. So much so, that we immediately started thinking of different dishes we could create. We wanted something unique,  something that would represent our cooking and also that would appeal to the Joy of Kosher readers. At the same time, we wanted to step out of “our” box a little bit. As some of you may know, most of the recipes you’ll find in our blog are vegan and vegetarian. And that is mainly how we cook at home… but the Holidays are always a bit more special. So we wanted to incorporate some meat this time and get creative with it.

That’s when the idea of chicken and quince came to mind.


 

Budget Mediterranean Family Dinners

 

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What to make in between the hectic days of Yom Tov & Back to School Madness?

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to cook great tasting, exotic meals that can be prepared in minutes.


 

Grilled Duck Sauce Recipes

 

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I’m basically a make-it-from-scratch cook. But there are a few store-bought, packaged products I couldn’t do without: canned stock, pizza dough and Gold’s Duck Sauce. Two kinds of Gold’s Duck Sauce actually, Sweet & Sour and Hot & Spicy.


 

A Shabbat Menu with Gold’s

 

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Sometimes all it takes for a perfect meal are a few great quality ingredients. Enjoy the summer weather with these quick and gourmet recipes for Shabbat and every day of the week.

Panko Crusted Salmon


 

New Recipes with Beets

 

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I’m embarrassed to admit that before Joy of Kosher’s #GoForTheGold’s campaign, I had never tried a Gold’s product. Surprising, yes. I knew they made horseradish, but since gefilte fish is a rarity in my cooking I never used it. Nevertheless, I was up for the challenge of using one of their many condiments in my cooking and I picked that purple jar of Borscht.


 

Flavored Ice Cubes

 

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In the insane summer heat in Long Island, I pretty much drink everything ice-cold. But watered down drinks are a pet peeve of mine so I’ve been having some fun with the solution to that problem. By making my own flavored ice cubes, I have control over the flavors that keep my drinks cool and my kids love helping fill the ice cube trays with their favorite fruits and drinks! Here are my 6 favorite ice cube flavors but the options are endless! You can even make savory and spicy ice cubes for whiskey and tomato juice.

Strawberry and Blueberry Flavored Ice Cubes


 

Authentic Healthy Italian Food

 

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My husband jokes that I should sell weight-loss tours of Italy. The idea goes back a couple of decades ago, as soon as I moved to the States and
started bringing American friends and family with me when I returned to Venice to visit my mother. Almost every one of them would confess, as they got ready for the trip, that they were excited, but also worried about gaining a few pounds with all the great food and gelato; and regularly they would come back to the States a couple of weeks later five to ten pounds lighter!

To me the concept always seemed pretty clear: in Italy the food may be decadent, but it’s hard to eat more than three times a day because snacks are not so readily available or portable. Besides, the portions are tiny compared to American super-sizing.  (I love to give the example of
lattes, which are just 6 ounces at Italian cafes and a whopping 12 to 20 ounces at Starbucks.)  What remained shocking, though, was the misconception that my friends seemed to have about what constituted Italian food. They envisioned loads of pasta, smothered in tomato sauce, cheese, and cream. Not to mention major olive oil dipping.  (The dipping myth really annoys me. Growing up in Italy, I’ve only been offered olive oil with bread when tasting it before a purchase.  Certainly not at a restaurant before a four-course meal!)  How did the Americanization of
Italian food, which has given it such a bad rep, originate?


 

Semi-Homemade with Gold’s Barbecue Sauce

 

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When it comes to classic barbecue sauce, my go-to brand is Gold’s “Really, Really Good” Barbecue Sauce! It has the perfect balance of sweetness and tang with a mixture of tomato puree, molasses, honey, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder and natural smoke flavor. And to top it all off, the barbecue sauce is gluten free and fat free. My pantry is practically lined with Gold’s Barbecue Sauce so I can use it at a moments notice. But even with the incredible richness and color of Gold’s bottled sauce, I sometimes like to jazz it up with my own herbs and spices. So with that in mind, I’ve come up with a few recipes that will definitely take Gold’s Barbecue Sauce to a whole new level!

Strawberry Jalapeño BBQ Chicken Wings