Gourmet & Kosher

 

Vote for Best Slow Cooker Recipe

 

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At the beginning of the month we asked you to enter your slow cooker recipes. The editorial team pored over all the submissions and decided which recipes to try out on our families, and out of those recipes, which would be the final two to be voted on. Our finalists are Layer Slow Cooker Kraut and Slow Cooker Taco Soup. Just click on either recipe and find the thumbs up sign and vote.

Tamar’s top pick is the Layer Slow Cooker Kraut  and says: This dish sounded weird to me, but I thought it was different and something fun to try and it was. I would leave the sausage out of the pot and ideally cook on a grill and serve along side the kraut. The long cooking and the tomatoes and sugar do give the kraut a nice taste even for those that don’t usually like it. Serve with some potatoes as the recipe says and your meal is complete.


 

South African Comfort Food

 

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My children were driving back from Cape Town to Johannesburg where they had spent a wonderful summer vacation at the sea. I called to ask if there were any special requests for dinner on their return that night (Ok, I’ll admit, it was also an excuse to check they were traveling safe!) and without so much as a pause they replied “Steak pie please”!   In this hot weather? I thought.  Somehow I’d always associated such food with cold winter nights and a fire glowing in the background. “And don’t forget the glazed carrots, creamy mashed potatoes and minty peas” they added.   Well, that certainly proved one thing, no matter what the weather the nurturing, safety and security that comfort food offers is definitely soul satisfaction at it’s best.

Home Steak Home!!


 

Golden Globes Dinner Party Menu

 

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Last Thursday, the celebrity chefs responsible for feeding the stars at the Golden Globes on January 15th unveiled their dinner menu.  It has taken six months to prepare for this day and will take a team of 40 chefs and 100 kitchen staff members to make the magic happen. This year’s menu is created by executive chefs Suki Sugiura and pastry chef Thomas Henzi is not only elegant and mouth-watering, but also reflects the global nature of the Golden Globes.

Stars at the Golden Globes will enjoy food flown in from around the world and a decadent dessert topped with real gold shavings.  The menu they will enjoy includes the following dishes that a kosher cook can try to make at home:


 

Comfort Food – Meatloaf

 

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Winter is comfort food season. There is something about the cold howling wind and long nights that make me crave warm, comforting dishes. On these nights I don’t want an aggressively crunchy salad, or complicated dish with tons of ingredients and steps, I want a dish that warms my heart and soothes my soul.

I have a whole list of sentimental foods that fit the bill. They tend to be something from childhood, easy to digest, soothing and as easy as a pair of fuzzy slippers. They are home-style dishes and not complex “cheffy” recipes.


 

Chicken Soup: A Classic Jewish Recipe

 

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I think I could make Jewish Chicken Soup in my sleep. My mother taught me the recipe and the rules before I could read. I’d stand on a chair and watch her clean the bird (“remember we have to take out all the stuff inside the chicken”). She showed me how to remove leftover pinfeathers, sometimes using a lighted match to burn off tiny hairs and then for a few minutes the kitchen would have an awful organic odor.

But all was forgotten as the soup simmered and the heady perfume of salty broth and sweet dill, meaty chicken and softening vegetables suffused through the house reminding us that a good dinner was on its way.


 

ETC Steakhouse – Restaurant Review

 

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It was my birthday, and my husband decided to treat me to dinner out at ETC Steakhouse in Teaneck.

Upon our arrival we were greeted with a smile. We didn’t wish to be seated in the place they chose for us – we wanted somewhere a little more private. Our request was granted with the minimum of fuss and delay.


 

The Best Way to Cook Meat

 

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Red Meat.  It’s a sign of joy, affluence, and celebration.  We avoid it during times of mourning and turn to it during special occasions, but the age old saying “there’s no celebration without meat and wine” is not always accurate.  I’ve had many a memory of an overcooked steak or goulash meat that sat in a slow cooker for much longer than would be considered healthy.

For years, my realm of red meat was limited to ground beef in spaghetti sauce.   I did not dare roast a brisket or slow cook a London broil for fear of over-cooking and ruining dinner.  As I have grown more adventurous as a cook, and been inspired by others, It turns out that cooking meat isn’t all that difficult at all.  I was lacking the attention to detail and a meat thermometer.


 

The Best Hanukkah Fritters and Leftover Gelt Ideas

 

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I don’t tend to do much deep-frying in my kitchen. I would rather order foods like French fries in a restaurant than make them myself. But Chanukkah is the exception. During the eight days of chanukkah I break out my pot of oil and my thermometer and start frying up a storm. It is our custom to eat a different fried food each night of the holiday. We of course enjoy the traditional sufganiyot and latkes but I also like to make other fried treats that might not be commonly associated with Chanukkah, like buñuelos (Colombian cheese fritters) and fried wontons.

Banana Fritter


 

The Deliciousness of Donuts

 

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Chanukah is filled with nostalgia, memories of years past, childhood, and of our ancestors. Each house has its own customs and traditions which bring the Mitzvot closer to the heart.

Borrowing from both Sephardic and Ashkenazic traditions we opt to have latkes and doughnuts for our Chanukah treat, it’s like having dinner and dessert. A “healthy” meal of fried comfort foods; one week only! I think my kids look forward to this week all year. I try to get everything ready so we can eat while sitting snuggly in the afterglow of the blessings. Each year I ask myself whether to make doughnuts using yeast or a quick raised cake doughnut (one using baking powder or baking soda).


 

Chinese Recipes, Anyone?

 
 

‘Chanukah, Oh Chanukah come light the menorah. Let’s have a party. We’ll all dance the hora.’ You know the rest, but what are we going to do on December 24 and 25 when we’re not ready to peel potatoes again or heat up oil for the latkes one more time? We’ll go out for Chinese, of course. How did this Jewish connection between Chinese food and December 24th get started? Some say that Chinatown in New York City was close to the Lower East Side and the restaurants there were open that night, so the rest is history.

 


 

Get Ready For Chanukah

 

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We’re just days away until the first candle is lit on your family’s Chanukah menorah. It’s never too soon to get out your holiday check list. So, did you buy a new box of candles yet? Are your pounds of potatoes and onions purchased for batch after batch of latkes? More important than anything else, especially if you have children, are all of your gifts bought, wrapped, labeled, and hidden?

Some years ago we started a Nathan family tradition, attempting to combat the mad rush we usually experience while preparing for the holiday. More like a family concept than a tradition, I should note… This two-step idea just made sense to us so feel free to adapt it into your family’s Chanukah routine…


 

Rotisserie Chicken

 

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Nothing brings out our primal instincts in cooking more than preparing food on an open spit. What was once a necessary cooking method requiring nothing more than meat, fire and a big stick has now become all the rage in the best markets and butcher shops.  Walk down any main street and you will see large rotisserie ovens turning and churning out freshly roasted chicken, juices dripping down the window pane and appetites growing with every step.  The good news is; these succulent birds can be easily prepared at home for a fraction of the cost.

To achieve rotisserie nirvana, you can, of course, invest in a countertop rotisserie.  The manufacturers of “slice them and dice them” fame make affordable and practical models for your home, as does Cuisanart other name brand kitchen appliance companies.  The results are good and the clean up is generally easy.  If the weather is not a factor, you can brave the elements and cook your bird on an outdoor spit, your gas grill most likely comes with an attachment and the bird can roast outside, lid down until juicy perfection.   Some indoor ovens come fitted with a rotisserie option, and all you need to do is follow the manufacturer’s instructions, keep a watchful eye and spin your bird to delicious results.


 

Egyptian Recipes -A Walk Down Memory Lane

 

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I could never have predicted that Egyptian food would provoke a Proustian flood of memories. But there it was, on a recent, nearly two-week trip my husband Ed and I took to Cairo (plus a cruise down the Nile). I tasted Rahib, which, like the author’s famous madeleines, carried me back to my girlhood.

My grandma made this dish, only she didn’t call it Rahib, which is a lovely word for roasted eggplant and tomato salad. I remember how she roasted a whole eggplant on top of the gas burner until it turned charcoal black, and then mixed the insides with onions and tomatoes, parsley and vegetable oil. In Egypt the salad is made with scallions, fresh coriander and olive oil, but it’s the same dish, one I haven’t eaten since I was a little girl. So fresh and colorful, begging to be tasted.


 

Winter Soup Recipes

 

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I’m sitting in my office with a fleece jacket on and the baseboard heater turned to high in an attempt to compensate for the cold temperatures that arrived last night with the first snow of the season. As I do every year, as soon as the cold weather arrives and the snow hits the ground I start thinking about which soups I’m going to prepare in my kitchen.

Now, I don’t want you to think that hot soups are only appropriate in the late fall and winter – there isn’t really a time when a bowl of soup isn’t appreciated. But there’s something about watching through the kitchen window as snowflakes fall and a pot of chicken soup simmers gently in my warm kitchen. And if you’re lucky enough to have somebody cooking soup for you, there’s nothing better than walking in from the frigid cold and being hit with the steam and aroma wafting out of a pot on the stove.


 

An Alternative Thanksgiving Menu

 

 

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“Of course I’d be honored to write a Thanksgiving post for JoyofKosher.com but there’s only one problem…we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.” I’m Canadian, my wife is Czech, our kids are Israeli and even though we’ve been living in the States for nearly eight years we’ve never really gotten into it. There are a number of reasons we don’t, none of them religious. As a Rabbi I feel that celebrating Thanksgiving is perfectly permitted, maybe even sensible. But as a family, especially a rabbinic family, we rarely have quiet times. Every weekend is busy; of course Shabbat is packed, but then so is Sunday. (Oh yeah, and my wife dislikes turkey.)

Thanksgiving for us is one of the few times we can count on everyone else being busy and leaving us to ourselves. I’m a University Chaplain and a Hillel Rabbi and the campus is like a ghost town during the Thanksgiving recess. The streets are empty, no one calls us, and we have a chance to have what I imagine a weekend is like for people who are not Shabbat observant. A little quiet, some leaf-raking, a bunch of football and some nice food.