Jewish Food

 

The Best Stuffed Peppers With Variations

 

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Present a tray of multi colored stuffed peppers for an easy holiday dish that will surely elicit oohs and aahs. I am going to give you a few variations on this recipe that’s ready in 40 minutes: from start to serve.

Colors: Don’t stress on the colors – it’s just for presentation. Of course a green bell pepper is not as sweet as yellow, orange and red but after that consideration buy what’s on sale, available or pleasing to your eye.


 

The Search For The Real Yerushalmi Kugel

 

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I thought I knew what Yerushalmi Kugel was, a thin noodle kugel that was kind of peppery.  I am not a fan of the more classic sweet noodle kugel, but I have always liked this salty, peppery version.  I even made my version a while back with soba noodles, Soba Noodle Kugel.  This past Summer I was lucky to spend a few weeks in Israel and on my first Shabbat in Jerusalem I discovered the real Yerushalmi Kugel.

It was a remarkable site.  The kugel was maybe 2 feet in diameter and 2 feet high.  It was sliced up in layers and served piping hot.  It was a dark brown color and so I had to try it.  This kugel was sweet, but not too sweet in that it was more caramelized with a peppery accent.  It was really good and for the rest of the trip I wondered how to bring this recipe back to New York.


 

Fall 2014 Magazine Sneak Peek

 

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Cooking With Joy: Pastrami Fry Salad

 

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We love meat and we love salad- so this recipe was perfect for us! One of our new favorite things is Jacks Facon- its sooooooooooooooooooooo good! This salad would be great with Facon or any of your favorite deli fried to perfection.


 

Brisket Is Best When…

 

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…overcooked.  Really!  If you want that tender, soft, melt-in-your-mouth, fork tender, cuts like “butter” beef then brisket is your best friend, your baby, your #1.  Although in Israel it’s designated by the number #3 but that’s neither here nor there.  Most often we cookbook authors will end a brisket recipe with instructions to let it rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving.  But really, there is a better way to do that and so much more.  Listen very closely to what I am writing and you are reading here:  No matter what the recipe tells you, mine included brisket is best when…


 

In the JOK Kitchen with Silk Road Vegetarian ...

 

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The Silk Road refers to the routes of trade along Central Asia, India and the Mediterranean.  Many of our Jewish ancestors worked along these routes dealing in the spice trade.  Dahlia Abraham-Klein takes us all on a culinary journey through her heritage in her new book.  After years of suffering health problems on a regular American diet, Dahlia went back to her roots and found that the foods of her ancestors could be easily made today.  Many are naturally vegan and gluten free and they changed her life.

The Silk Road Vegetarian is the culmination of Dahlia’s transformation and celebration of her family’s strong culinary roots along the Silk Road. With 120 vegan, vegetarian and/or gluten free recipes tweaked for the modern cook, the Silk Road Vegetarian has something for everyone.  Dahlia shares a lot of herself in this book, but we wanted to know a little more.  Here is what we learned from Dahlia plus a few recipes from the book you can try out.  And don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win your own copy.


 

Celebrate Israel with Traditional Israeli Food

 

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There are many ways to celebrate Israel here in the US on Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s independence day.  Most of the time it involves eating our favorite Israeli foods.  In Israel families pack large picnics and go out to BBQ and there is no reason we can’t do the same here.  Israeli food like Hummus and Zaatar has become increasingly popular among all people in the US over the past couple of years and it has become such a part of most of our homes that I rarely sit at a Shabbat table without being served hummus and often matbucha.  My favorite part is starting the meal with lots of little salads and spreads with some fresh pita.  Then you can grill up some chicken or kabobs or fry some falafel and your meal is complete.  Here is the menu I am thinking about this year, feel free to make your own spreads or take a little help from the store.

israeli style hummus

Israeli Style Hummus


 

Quick Passover Breakfasts

 

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After all the preparation for the Seders you know you are set for dinner with leftovers, at least until they run out or you get tired of eating them.  But what about breakfast?  How do you manage to feed the family in the morning when you are in a rush, tired of eating matzo brie (although can one get tired of that delicious little pancake?), and your family doesn’t like commercial cereals that resemble their favorite everyday cereal but has a mouth feel of Styrofoam (my opinion)?

Here are some alternatives for breakfast that can start your day, and stomachs, on a happy note!


 

Dress It Up: Matzah Pizza Recipes *Giveaway*

 

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I am not a big fan of kosher for Passover foods.  Meaning, I like to make things that I actually make and eat over the course of the year, recipes that are inherently kosher for Passover.

But there are two exceptions, matzah brei and matzah pizza.  Two foods I so enjoy and always wonder why I don’t bring them into the year-round rotation.


 

Cookbook Spotlight: Nosh On This (Gluten Free) ...

 

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Last year we featured Lisa Horel from the GlutenFreeCanteen blog and her first book, the Book of Nosh, filled with gluten free classic Jewish bakery foods. After Lisa became gluten free she wouldn’t give up her favorites and with so many people needing to be gluten free she has fullfilled a great need for these recipes. Check out the full interview with Lisa here, In the JOK Kitchen with Gluten Free Canteen.

Lisa is back again with more gluten free recipes in Nosh On This, she says, “Nosh on This is a larger, more comprehensive book with a detailed introduction about gluten-free flours along with lots of helpful baking tips. It contains over 100 recipes including a chapter on baked savories and a chapter on how to use a baking mix in a variety of different ways. The book is full of photos – one for each recipe.”


 

Sweet and Spicy Sambusak For Purim

 

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Curry leaves, fenugreek, and multi-colored mustard seeds aren’t part of every day Ashkenazi fare. Integral to Indian foods, they are all part of the vast sweep of Jewish cuisine that includes distinct Indian- Jewish communities.

Kolkata (Calcutta), Cochin and Mumbai (Bombay) were home to the largest Jewish communities for centuries, and yet were relatively unknown to the West. There were smaller Jewish communities dotted throughout the Indian subcontinent. They developed foodways deeply influenced by their neighbors, from spices to techniques.


 

Celebrating Memories – Chicken Paprikash...

 

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He was a holocaust survivor. He was a husband. He was a father. He was a Zaide. He was our hero. Alex Lebovic, my father-in-law, just recently passed away. No words can really express the emotion we feel as a dear one passes on to the next world. We perhaps handle it with grace, strength, overwhelming sadness, humor, denial, guilt, or perhaps with a degree of stoicism. For me, my face, my actions, my words are mere cover-ups to the way I really feel. My father in law was a lot of things, yet writing them on paper or expressing them verbally seems to diminish everything he was. And because of that, for me, I need to celebrate and honor his memory.

In today’s world, Judaism perhaps is just as much a religion as it is a culture. And food is a huge part of that culture. It is quite unlikely that you would find gefilte fish, schmaltz, cholent, gribenes or even potato kugel, outside the Jewish home. Our many holidays are laden with yummy and traditional foods.  Food for my father-in-law, meant being alive. Being a survivor of such notorious concentration camps as, Auschwitz and Dachau where food was scarce, if at all, gave my father-in-law a longing for the dishes he grew up on.


 

In the JOK Kitchen with Tina Wasserman *Giveaway*

 

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Tina Wasserman has been in the food writing business for a while, but two years ago when she wrote her first cookbook, Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of The Jewish Diaspora, she really appeared on the map.  Tina loves to share the history of our food and helps us all connect to our Jewish roots through food.  Her new book, Entree to Judaism For Families, is filled with the tools to help kids of all ages learn to cook in the kitchen and learn bits of history too.  I had the chance to meet Tina recently and I came away with so much amazing knowledge.  Let’s see what we can learn now.

Your books are filled with little history lessons connecting the food to Jewish history, how did you learn all these facts?


 

The Best Chicken Liver Recipes

 

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Once upon a time…. and it wasn’t that long ago either, we had to grill and kosher liver at home. Today, thank goodness, we can order it form some butchers grilled and already koshered for us.

I remember my mother having to kosher her own meat. I can still see those koshering racks, chunks of salt and lumps of ‘something’ floating about in aluminum buckets under our kitchen table, but come dinnertime, thank goodness, it had miraculously evolved into a magnificent roast.


 

8 Nights of Idaho Potato Latkes *Giveaway*

 

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The classic potato latke, fried to a crispy golden brown and emerging from the pan still sizzling, is a family favorite during Hanukkah and year round.  Although the standard ingredients are simple enough, I have seen versions with no added flour, sautéed onions, thick, fluffy, grated by hand, shredded or even mashed.  What makes a really great latke is a really great potato, which is why your search should start and end in Idaho.

Traditional Potato Latkes