Gourmet & Kosher

 

Haute Chocolate – DIY Hot Cocoa

 

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What can be better than a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter’s day?
A mug of hot chocolate—and make that the haute kind.

Not to be confused with cocoa powder mixed with milk, real hot chocolate is made by melting solid bars of chocolate, preferably a dark variety containing a high percentage of cacao, with cream and milk.


 

Dinner Tonight at June Hersh’s

 

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My children are grown and on their own, so my husband and I eat like it is Friday night almost every night of the week. I’ve been known to roast (and eat) an entire duck for myself, or to braise a 5-pound brisket because it looked too good to leave behind at the butcher’s and we had a yen for a pulled brisket sandwich.

smoky chicken and sausage stew

Smoky Chicken and Sausage Stew


 

The Story of The Killer Cheese

 

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The tradition of eating cheese on Hanukah pre-dates latkes, sufganiyot and other more modern traditions.

The story is the stuff of a Hollywood drama. Judith, a beautiful Jewish woman fed salty cheese to Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians general Holofernes. The cheese made him thirsty and he drank too much wine which caused him to fall into a drunken sleep. Judith cut off his head and the Israelis rallied and attacked the Assyrian armies who then fled.


 

Jeff Nathan Clears His Freezer and Makes a Goat...

 

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This time of year is a bit of a mixed blessing for a foodie like me. It’s great to begin planning all the meals I’ll be serving to family, friends and customers over the next few weeks, but it’s a little daunting, too. After all, we’ve been on a holiday spree for the last couple of months!

This past August, while I was being a glutton in France, my fridge bit the dust. I came home to find what was once a well stocked, fairly organized chilled pantry now just an empty shell awaiting the curb. Rosh Hashanah was first on the feasting calendar. And this was a chance at a fresh start for the upcoming New Year. I was intrigued with the possibilities of it all… should I replace everything that was in there?, would I miss, or even need every last ingredient?, if I hadn’t eaten those watermelon rind pickles by now, shouldn’t I be glad they were gone?


 

5-Ingredient Hors D’oeuvres for 8 Nights

 

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Chanukah and party go hand in hand with one another. Chanukah is an exciting Jewish holiday which calls for eight nights of parties while gathering with family and friends. Now you’ll be able to create the ultimate gourmet party food with no more than five ingredients! What is impressive about the following hors d’oeuvres is how gourmet and complicated they seem, yet how simple and easy they are to make.
 

caramelized onion tart

Caramelized Onion Tart


 

Chanukah Treats

 

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Box ‘em, Bag’em, Eat’em!  Whatever you do with them, they are the perfect Chanukah treat.

Ycan find pastry boxes for your donuts at craft stores or online.  Fill mini boxes with donuts for your guests to take home.


 

Out of Your Gourd – 3 Gourmet Pumpkin...

 

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Pumpkins are not only generous in size, but are laden with vitamins and minerals. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible,
including the shell, flesh, seeds, leaves, flowers, and the delicious oil that is produced when the seeds are ground.
The best pumpkins for culinary uses are small (about 5 pounds). Pumpkins are a cold weather fruit (yes, fruit!) and can be stored for long periods in a cool, dark place. I like to remove the seeds and toast them for snacks and garnishes. I also peel the flesh from the shell and either freeze it or cook it until the water cooks out and I am left with a delicious and healthy puree. I also purchase cans of pumpkin puree and use it in everything from breads, pastas, gnocchi, and pastry items.

crispy pumpkin purses

Crispy Pumpkin Purses


 

A Meaty Breakfast From The Kosher Butcher’s...

 

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Being a butcher, my husband leaves for work really early in the morning. I don’t even hear the alarm go off anymore, in fact the first time I realize it’s the next day is when he kisses me goodbye and I get to smell the hint of aftershave as he leaves for work. So family breakfasts, as typically portrayed on TV shows, don’t quite follow that pattern in our home. More often than not it’s a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast with a cup of Italian blend coffee just before leaving for work. However, it is not uncommon for me to come home on a weekday morning to find one of my children cooking up a ‘boerewors breakfast bonanza’ with all the trimmings!

boerewors muffins

Boerewors Muffins


 

Stuffed Baked Potatoes

 

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Stuffed baked potatoes are a warm, comforting and inexpensive way to get dinner or brunch on the table.  Stuffed baked potatoes can be simple with butter and cheese or as complex as caviar and truffles. They can be served as the DISH or as a side.

How to choose your potato:


 

Grilled Chicken Panini with Olive Pesto Tapenade

 

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The famous steakhouse in LA Shiloh’s, serves an Olive Tapenade with their warm, crusty baguette as soon as you sit down for a meal. This combination almost definitely means you’re mostly full by the time you get the menu. I’ve slightly adapted the recipe from a tradition tapenade to create a pesto fusion. It’s the perfect condiment for any sandwich; especially this grilled chicken panini sandwich.

I like to keep my paninis simple, as they’re more like a convenience food when I prepare them at home. It’s a great way to repurpose leftover chicken into a new meal. Or, you can make your own from scratch using an interesting mix of spices, with paprika and cumin being my favorite. Don’t feel limited, grilled chicken is like a blank canvas, use whatever you’d like to infuse flavor to it.


 

Dinner Tonight Italian Style

 

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Dinner tonight at Alessandra Rovati is always Italian.  This Venice-born Kosher Italian chef turns to simple, healthful, and authentic Italian fare when cooking for her family—including her Brooklyn-born husband, who loves it. The little ones (a four-and-a half-year-old son and three-year-old daughter) love to help, but you can imagine the mess they make.

Cod Fillets in Bread Gratin

Cod Fillets in Bread Gratin


 

Syrian Cooking With Poopa Dweck

 

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Today, I’m going to cook traditional Syrian dishes with Poopa Dweck, author of Aromas of Aleppo. Most of the dishes we’re going to make I have prepared before—one even weekly. As a Syrian Jew, it’s the food I grew up with as well. Yet, I still hope to unlock secrets of the Syrian kitchen, and bring access to this distinctive and tantalizing cuisine to Joy of Kosher readers. For all of you—we’re going to make maza (small delights) first, two types. Bastel, delightful small semolina pastries, filled with ground meat, and laham b’ajeen, mini meat pies, a favorite of all types of Jews everywhere. And for the main course—we’re preparing mehshi kusa, squash filled with ground meat and rice—with a surprisingly delicious side.

bastel-ground meat filled pastries

Bastel


 

Pressure Cooker Stews for Succot

 

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I usually spend Succot in Seattle with my family and the weather is always really cold! I know I should be talking about how much I love spending time with everyone when I return to my hometown (and I really do), but all I can think about is putting on layers and layers of clothes to eat in the succah every night. We put on our heavy coats, enter the succah and hope the soup will warm us very quickly.

As a kid, my Succot memories in chilly Seattle always existed around my Savtah’s incredible cooking and her recipes are still in full-swing today. For years, I’ve been making her cous cous, tongue, meringues, ice cream and more! But until this year, I never tackled two of my favorite recipes that my Savtah made every Succot: Cabbage Borscht and Oxtail Soup. Making these recipes in my own home has brought back so many sweet memories I know you will love these hearty stews as much as I always have.


 

In Season – Concord Grapes

 

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For many of us, Concord grapes are associated with either peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or Kiddush wine. I never really thought about eating the inky-colored, fragrant fresh table grapes until they started appearing in markets over the last few years.

Concord grapes are a dark blue/purple slip-skin (the skin separates easily from the fruit) variety of grape that is highly aromatic—yet largely ignored by consumers who prefer the seedless varieties.


 

Rosh Hashanah Recipes

 

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It’s that time of year again.  Who can believe that the summer flew by, the kids started school and we are planning Rosh HaShana menus? The mornings are just starting to feel autumn-y and there are some great seasonal flavors and ingredients to work with!  I have a delicious and impressive line-up for Rosh HaShana and hope you enjoy it.

Duck and Wild Rice Salad

Duck and Wild Rice Salad with Orange Shallot Dressing