Learn To Make Your Own Candy From A Pro

 

February 16th 2015

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Ilzy Rappaport is a jeweler who creates edible gems. She invents rare boutique sweets, whose flavors will raise the bar on your taste buds. Ilzy is a woman of sugar. She’s super sweet and bubbly, and her work is amazing! Whoever knows Ilzy, can attest that the surplus of sweetness is found within her, and not only in her delicacies. She is a certified confectioner (the title for someone who makes sweets). Even the name sounds appetizing!

Honey Flavoured Marshmallows

Honey Flavored Marshmallows

She creates these wonders either in her own kitchen at home, or at her workshop. She cooks up marmalades in outrageous flavors, and trays of marshmallows that are as light, fluffy and fragrant like a princess’s pillow. The marshmallows are gorgeous pastel colors of lavender flowers, pink oranges, cranberries, bananas and cocoa. She also creates handmade coconut delicacies with a flavor of a time long ago, which will take you back to your childhood  to when you used to get them at the neighborhood candy store.

Honey Lollypops

Honey Lollypops

Ilzy uses only natural ingredients, which she produces from the fruit she uses to create her sweets. When we attempt to get a taste, our requests are gladly accommodated, and she gladly allows us to roam her personal sweet amusement park.  We feel like a group of children who received tickets for a taste all you want party.

Edible Jewels

Her work space smells of the sweet scents of pure vanilla and of expensive alcoholic beverages, which are all incorporated into her sweets. She is well known amongst foodies and connoisseurs. If you have the right connections,  you may receive a special birthday package in the mail, which may be in the shape of a bouquet of marshmallow roses, grapefruit comfrey and a surprising jar of marmalade. These indulgences will give you a high dose of guilty pleasure!

Now it’s your turn to make Izzy’s creations in your own kitchen:

Honey Flavored Marshmallows
Honey Lollypops

Check out these DIY candy recipes:

10 Candy Recipes for Purim
Non-Dairy Purim Treats with Candy Sushi
How To Make Homemade Halva
Homemade Candy for Purim

Translated by Miri Sokol


 

RSVP #ChosenCandy Party Planning Twitter Chat

 

February 13th 2015

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You’re invited to join our #ChosenCandy Twitter chat!

Hosted by @JoyofKosher and sponsored by MIKE AND IKE® and GOLDENBERG’S® PEANUT CHEWS®

Purim is just around the corner and we are getting ready to indulge our sweet tooth. MIKE AND IKE® are a great start and don’t forget about GOLDENBERG’S® PEANUT CHEWS®!

We are having a party on Twitter so join us for Purim ideas for making your own gift basket, party throwing tips and, of course, a bunch of fun giveaways including 5 copies of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Purim Issue and 3 $50 gift cards to an online candy shop.  Ask questions, share your tips and invite your friends! You never know what will happen at a #ChosenCandy Twitter party.

When

Monday February 23rd at 8:30pm EST

Who

@JoyofKosher @JoyofKosherMag @TamarGenger @JamieGeller

@PeanutChews @MikeandIke

Moderator  @MommyBlogExpert

How to participate

Use hashtag #ChosenCandy

Use Tweetchat for easy chatting.

Anyone can participate, but you must be following @JoyofKosher and RSVP here below to win prizes!

Follow us here

RSVP

Let us know you are coming to the party in the comments below to be entered to win some great giveaways. Make sure to include your twitter handle.

WIN

You have the chance to win 5 copies of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Purim Issue and 3 $50 gift cards to an online candy shop.


 

My Philly Fave’s Mishloach Manot

 

February 13th 2015

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Philadelphia favorites are the theme of this Mishloach Manot, complete with a map of City Center, you won’t want to miss out on these great ideas.

Inspired by my hometown, Philadelphia and my daughter’s favorite chocolatey treat, GOLDENBERG’S® PEANUT CHEWS®, this year’s mishloach manot is an ode to both my city and my first born. We put together this gorg gift basket with the uber talented Chavi Chase from Pret a Partee. She’s imaginative, innovative and has impeccable taste – you SO need to book her for your next simcha!

The inspiration for the colors of our edible gift box come from the GOLDENBERG’S® PEANUT CHEWS® packaging, so classically Philly. Romanian immigrant David Goldenberg first introduced the chocolate-y, chew-y, peanut-y candy in 1917. Romania is where my parents were born. And Northeast Philadelphia (the location of the PEANUT CHEWS® manufacturing facility) is where I was born. Given the insanity of all these coincidences the burning Q is really what took me so many Purim holidays to pull this all together?

Fear not, I’ve finally done it and I’ll breakdown how we assembled this cutie patootie mishloach manot box right here, right now.

Start with a lucite container. Here we used a tray lined with white paper to hold all the goodies. Print out a postcard or picture featuring your city sites or skyline and paste in the center. We got this “I Love Philadelphia” print from this website.

Pick up a lunch box style tin and cover it with a city map. Find your favorite on google images.

Then fill the lunch box with… lunch. (People will be SO psyched for real food amidst all the Purim nosh!) I just couldn’t resist the urge to include Philadelphia Cream Cheese. So what if it was actually born in New York? It’s the best and has my city stamped all over it.

Custom cookies, while not a must, take this misloach manot to the next level. Thanks to Pick A Cookie for creating them. Contact her directly for your own custom confections.

I have the sweetest memories of sucking on salt water taffy while walking the Jersey shore boardwalk with my parents. While not officially Philly – this is where all Philadelphians go to enJOY the sun, sand, shows and casinos. My mouth is just salivating thinking about salt water taffy.

I rounded out the basket with more Philly faves like TastyKakes and Herr’s cause you can’t have something sweet without a little something salty.

I hope my Philly faves have inspired you to make a mishloach manot as an ode to your hometown or favorite candy.

Chag Purim Sameach!

Photo credit: Esti Photography

Designer: Chava Chase from Pret a Partee

Custom Cookies from Pick A Cookie

 

This post is sponsored by GOLDENBERG’S® PEANUT CHEWS® as part of an ongoing partnership.


 

Persian Cardamon Rice Cookies (“Naan-e...

 

February 12th 2015

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Posted 02/12/2015 by My Jerusalem Kitchen
Purim is a time when our reality is upside-down. For me, an upside-down reality is eating butter and sugar -- powdered sugar. Enjoying a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth rice cookie teeming with sweet cardamon notes is me in my "real" state. But since I can't live in my real state every day, 'lest risking cardiac arrest and impossible to keep up with bakery costs, why not do so on Purim? These cookies, commonly served for Purim and at weddings, are the perfect addition to your Purim feast, and I hope you enjoy them!

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10 Mishloach Manot (Shalach Manos) Ideas

 

February 11th 2015

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Purim is coming up in just a few short weeks which means there is plenty of time to plan and prep what you’ll give for mishloach (shalach) manot, which consists of two different ready-to-eat foods (or treats!). Of course, we’ll all be in the same position just a few days before, rushing to come up with a creative idea because, well, life happens and planning can fall by the wayside.  In anticipation of normal life, below are 10 practical and delicious ideas for mishloach manot.

 

Cookies are a very accessible gift for anyone to make, but you can still make your mark by using sweet and fun flavors to make it creative.  Try the Fig and Walnut Cookies for flavors reminiscent of the middle east or Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Chips & Walnuts for a distinctly modern type of cookie.

 

 

Chocolate Bark

For the chocolate lovers in circle there are a multitude of options!  Two of these can be made in a snap, try the two ingredient, super simple Peanut Chew Popcorn for a salty-sweet and crunchy gift.  There’s also the elegant and customizable Decorated Brownie Bites, made even easier if you use brownie mix!  Then there are the sophisticated Passion Fruit Wine and Mango Filled Bonbons to give as a grown-up mishloach manos treat, or the crowd-pleaser Chocolate Bark.

 

 

A little crunch and a sprinkling of cheese can make for a deceptively simple and delicious gift.  Have fun with a favorite child hood snack with homemade Whole Wheat Mozzarella and Chive Cheez-its.  If you’re in a time crunch and have a well-stocked pantry, go for the Truffle and Rosemary Popcorn.

 

 

Zaatar and Olive Challah

No one can turn down homemade challah topped with flavors not often seen at the shabbos table.  This is a win-win situation in my book, make an extra batch of challah one week and freeze the dough, when you’re ready take it out to rise and customize the toppings for a great mishloach manot gift.  Try the Zaatar and Olive Challah or Jew in the City’s Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Challah.

Check out more Purim ideas here!


 

Jewish Comfort Food: Chulent Re-Make

 

February 11th 2015

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Hubby is a shy guy.  Actually, let me restate: Hubby is not a spotlight/limelight kinda dude, more the behind-the-scenes type.  He calls himself the idea man.  And we all laugh about it.  Cause most things that I end up doing are his idea – like writing my first cookbook, making Aliyah and most everything in between.

But he is really really, really, really, funny.  Like crazy funny.  The kids always comment about how much we laugh together and how much fun we have.  We cook together, we clean together (although he would argue he does much of that on his own), we shop together, (except, again, when he is doing that all by his lonesome with a crazy long list from me) and we generally travel as a pair.

Since “my” famous Chulent which has been published in the New York Times is actually “his” I thought that when it came time to make the video he should be the one in front of the camera.  Well it took me years to convince him (and he has since said he will never do it again) cause like I said, he hates the limelight.  But it does tickle him that 63,569 people have watched his video to-date.

People comment, and stop us, and tell us all the time how we have changed their Shabbos and their lives with “our” chulent.  Shows you the power of Jewish comfort food my friends.

Well, guess what?!  This chulent which we made exclusively and almost religiously for 10 years has now been replaced by a new “healthier” chulent!!!!!  With chicken instead of flanken, brown rice instead of barley, sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, low sodium chicken broth instead of soup powder, eggs instead of kishka, chickpeas instead of kidney beans and lots of onions and garlic.  Featuring spices like turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and allspice you can say this Somewhat Sephradic Chulent is a distant cousin to the absolutely Ashkenazi chulent we are known for.

I actually serve it on an large oblong platter with the chicken legs laid out on top of the “mush” and sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Here you can see the “dressed up” serving suggestion perfect for a fancier Shabbos – think Shabbos sheva brachos – or simply if you like to patchke.

You can find the recipe in my new book JOY of KOSHER Fast, Fresh Family Recipes.  I am so super curious to see how you think it stands up to Hubby’s chulent.


 

Week {15} Recipes

 

February 11th 2015

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This week’s recipe list,

Sate Lilit  (make with ground chicken or fish)

Broccoli Stuffed Chicken

Raw Date Brownies

Chocolate Plum Walnut Torte

Kigal of Cholent (Kishke)

Kasha with Brassica Vegetables

Teriyaki Salmon

Pad Thai in Sweet Sauce


 

How and Why To Use Pressure and Slow Cookers

 

February 10th 2015

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Ask any of your middle-aged friends or relatives about pressure cookers, and they’ll likely conjure up a scene straight out of “Pulp Fiction.” While pressure cookers were at their most popular between the 1950s and 1970s, the rubber valves in those early versions could explode in your face pretty easily if the pressure got too strong, and many of us are still scarred by our childhood memories.

Pressure Cooker Risotto

Pressure-Cooker Wild Mushroom Risotto

Scared to death of scalding myself, I resisted buying one until well into my late 30s, when the stress of balancing work and motherhood made me decide that making a rich and full-bodied stock in 45 minutes or a stir-free risotto in 7 was worth finally facing my fears. After all, the staff at my neighborhood Williams and Sonoma assured me that modern pressure cookers will not release pressure unless properly locked, will release excess pressure easily, and will not randomly blow up in your kitchen (on the other hand, one food blogger last summer was visited by an anti-terrorism task force after Googling “pressure cookers,” which did make me wonder).

 Quick Homemade Chicken Stock

Quick Homemade Chicken Stock

But, how do they work? Water normally boils at 212°F at sea level. At lower pressure, for example in the mountains, the boiling point drops to a lower temperature. On the contrary, by sealing the liquid inside the pressure cooker, then boiling it, we create steam that raises the pressure in the pot, which in turn raises the boiling point of the liquid up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperatures and the steam make the food cook much quicker. Unlike microwave ovens, which can dehydrate and toughen certain types of foods and cook others unevenly, pressure cookers preserve moisture, flavor and most of the nutrients, while killing any parasites or bacteria. Hello, perfect braised ribs!

Nonna Miri's Beans

Nonna Miri’s Beans in a Flask… In The Slow Cooker

Despite of all their advantages, pressure cookers might still have too many drawbacks for the very accident-prone. Enter the crock pot, an appliance as all-American as apple pie (as a matter of fact, I’d never even heard of them until I moved to the US). Like the pressure cooker, the crock pot was buoyed by the post-war social changes which had brought many women to work outside the home. For an added touch of romance, the idea was inspired to Naxon (the owner of the original company, later sold to Rival), by his Bubbe’s cholent. The great innovation of the slow cooker was that it could be safely left unattended all day, putting the ingredients in before going to work and adding the last touches when returning from work. The slow cooker frees your oven and stovetop for other uses, or allows you to start cleaning those areas while still cooking part of your meal – which makes it a brilliant option for large gatherings and multi-course holiday meals.

Pear Cake

Pear Cake

However, speed is not the only reason to use a crock pot: there are plenty of other advantages to this method of cooking. For example, cheaper and tougher cuts of meat are tenderized through the long cooking process, which also allows better distribution of flavors – and once they are ready, they are kept warm until it’s time to eat. But the moist and gentle heat is also perfect for classic cheesecakes. At these low temperatures, the chance that the food will burn or stick to the bottom of the pot is practically zero. Which brings me to the main advantage offered by both the slow cooker and the pressure cooker, through opposite means (respectively, very low heat and very high heat): their ability to cook effortlessly and without stirring foods like risotto or polenta, that would otherwise require lots of babying. Foodie snobs might frown, but there are some days when you have better things to focus your energy on than your wooden spoon, and I dare your family members to tell the difference.

 

As seen in the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine

Late Winter 2014

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Cookbook Spotlight: Gefiltefest *Giveaway*

 

February 9th 2015

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The word doesn’t really exist – it was made up by Michael Leventhal, founder and organiser of a Jewish food charity and annual Jewish food festival in London.  It’s a play on the words ‘gefilte fish‘ perhaps the best known Ashkenazi dish.

This engaging cookbook is a collection of recipes from well known Ashkenazi and Sephardi chefs and food writers from across the globe, with a foreword by the best known of all, Claudia Roden.  It features personal favourites that you know are charged with emotion and every recipe has a story behind it.   Every dish reveals the writer’s roots, global wanderings and modern practicalities and passions.

The book brings together old and modern, with an especially strong section on chicken, lamb and beef for everyday or festival meals.

You’ll find asparagus and biltong salad from South Africa, tabbouleh and fattoush salad from Lebanon, artichoke and cheese casserole from Syria and rhubarb tart from Alsace.

Each recipe is what Jewish food is all about: loving preparation, pleasure in feeding family and friends, passing on the skills to later generations and celebrating Shabbat and festivals.

American contributors include: Ken Albala, Florence Fabricant,Sue Fishkoff, Jamie Geller,Stan Ginsberg,Joyce Goldstein, Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray, Richard Grausman, Deborah Madison, the late Gil Marks, Helen Nash, Joan Nathan, Fred Plotkin, Steven Raichlen, Michael Ruhlman, Leah Shapira, Paula Shoyer and Tina Wasserman.

The Gefiltefest Cookbook will make a superb present and in the best of Jewish traditions, the proceeds will go to charity.

Here are just three of my favorite recipes:

Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray’s  Spring Asparagus and Pickled Red Onion Salad is an excellent starter for a Shabbat or holiday dinner. There is just something so elegant about asparagus stalks, with their bright green colour and tight, floral-like tips. Asparagus is one of the vegetables that really signals the coming of spring and that our winter dependence on root vegetables is coming to an end.

LEEKS AND FENNEL

The poached leeks marinated in a tangy dressing in Florence Fabricant’s Leeks and Fennel in Anise Vinaigrette are elegant and appetite-whetting at the start of a meal. While creating this recipe, it occurred to Florence that the recipe could take on a different personality if fennel bulbs were combined with the leeks. She also added anise seed and tarragon to the dressing to reinforce the liquorice delicacy of the fennel.

VANILLA CHEESE CAKE

Vanilla Cheesecake with Caramel Pecans and a Butterscotch Sauce is Rachel Davies’ take on a classic baked cheesecake with some extra special topping. She loves the jewel-like broken caramel on top of this cake, and it gives a nice crunch too. Her tip for this recipe: If you love toffee sauce, double the quantities and keep a little jar in the fridge to heat as a sauce with ice cream and desserts.

***Giveaway***  Win a copy of The Gefiltefest Cookbook by commenting below and then getting more chances with rafflecopter.
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/RECIPE/ White Chocolate Bark

 

February 9th 2015

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This recipe was so nice and easy! Perfect for Tu Bi’shvat, or any shabbos for a treat. The directions called for heating the chocolate in a pan over direct heat. I would suggest doing one of the following instead;

1) Melting in a microwave. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe glass bowl. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each 30 seconds until it’s melted.
2) Melting in a double boiler. Set your double boiler up over med heat. Place your chocolate in the bowl of the double boiler and stir until melted.
The microwave version is easier and what I ended up doing ☺


The white chocolate was very pretty and showed off the fruit in a great way. They look like little jewels on the chocolate. I also did a milk chocolate version and the fruit didn’t pop as well but the pistachios looked great. And to be honest I’m more of a dark chocolate person, white is not so much my thing. But it’s so pretty I’m glad I tried it! If you try it make sure to post a pic on Instagram and don’t forget to hashtg it #whitechocolatebark


 

A Healthier Take on Jewish Classics

 

February 6th 2015

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There are only a few things more confusing than advice on healthful eating: Paleoists, vegans, carb cyclers, ketone diet adepts, fructarians, vegetarians, flexitarians, doctors, dietitians, trainers, scientists, celebrities, coaches, chefs–and the list keeps going– all state that they’ve found the perfect way to eat, but many of them give opposite recommendations. And then, if we were already confused, there’s kashrut…However, if you look closely, there’s something everyone–including kosher laws–agrees upon: plants are great for us, and they should be the core of our diets.

We don’t normally think of Jewish dietary laws being plant based, however, they do give us plenty of freedom when it comes to the plant world. They also promote moderation with products from the animal kingdom; restricting us on how to obtain, combine and eat them. We do obsess with meat and dairy, however, maybe our eyes should be on the plants, which are pretty much free for all (except for checking them for insects, which are not plants!).

Adding more veggies into our dishes enriches them. Even the classics can benefit from the nutrients, phytochemicals (plant compounds), color, flavor, texture and fiber from roots, stems, florets, leaves, bulbs and even blossoms. Throw in more roots into your cholent, switch the bow ties in your kasha varenishkes for cruciferous vegetables to increase the dish’s antioxidant and health protective compound content, while you add some color contrast, crunch and a subtle sweetness. Here are the recipes to get you started, but feel free to get creative with what you get in the produce aisle or in the farmer’s market. Experiment with herbs, spices, and feel free to make substitutions. It’s hard to go wrong!

Healthier Cholent

My Root Vegetable Cholent is the perfect combination of healthy root vegetables, spices and beef stew meat, preferably pasture raised. The spices add lots of good-for-you compounds, like turmeric, which is a nutritional powerhouse and smoked paprika. The cholent should cook for a minimum of 8 hours but can also be set before shabbat and eaten at lunch.

Healthier Kasha Varnishkes

Kasha with Brassica Vegetables is twist on the traditional  Eastern European kasha dish made by toasting buckwheat. Some people find it a bit bitter. If you prefer, you can use buckwheat groats (untoasted) for a milder flavor.  Either way, it makes a delicious, nutrient loaded and gluten free option. Brassica vegetables, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts and turnips have amazing cancer protective compounds, and you can interchange members of brassica vegetable family in this recipe, as you please.


 

Cooking With Joy: Somewhat Sephardic Chulent

 

February 5th 2015

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One aspect of this cookbook that I really like, are the intro’s that Jamie writes before all the recipes. Some of the things that she writes really pertain to me and how I am cooking my way through this book. In this recipe’s intro, Jamie writes “Who reads a cookbook in order, anyway?” Well I am very happy she wrote that. Originally when I started this project I thought that I would just go in order and cook every recipe. Well I haven’t really been doing that. Jamie was right- maybe nobody actually reads a cookbook in order! I am skipping around, and still building up the courage to cook the Family Fricasee from pg 171, not sure what about it scares me; I just haven’t brought myself to face it yet. Also, how many briskets or huge pieces of meat can my family eat in a row? (Don’t answer that)

Okay, now onto the actual recipe! This Chulent came out so delicious! It was such a pleasant change from our usual Chulent.  The way we make our usual is with beer, bbq sauce and Worcestershire sauce, so this had a quite a different flavor. I was wary of using cinnamon and chicken stock, but we along with our guests really loved it! We paired it with an Israeli salad to cut the richness. The use of rice made it so creamy and the chickpeas added a really nice texture.  The recipe calls for 4 veal marrow bones. I chose to use beef instead. The bones added SO much flavor but they did make the Chulent a little greasier than I would have liked, so next time I will only use 2.

DRESS IT UP Puff Pastry Sephardic Chulent Cups

Note: This blog series, Cooking With Joy, is meant to be a companion to the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller cookbook.  Most of the full recipes are only available in the cookbook.

 

Top 5 Jewish Comfort Foods You Should Make this...

 

February 4th 2015

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We survived January! Don’t listen to the groundhog, because despite whatever snow might be in store the days are only getting longer and you can forget it’s winter by getting a head start on Purim or Pesach planning (okay, maybe not quite yet).  We tend to reach for warming, comforting foods in the dark of winter and even more so on Shabbos when it’s a time to relax to truly enjoy.  Below are the 10 best recipes for 5 of the most famous Jewish comfort foods, since it can be a contentious subject they are not listed in any particular order, we all deserve to choose our own favorite foods!  A lot of people have family recipes from Bubbe, so let us know what you do different to make your classic Jewish foods truly comforting!

 

 

Garlic Honey Brisket

Garlic Honey Brisket: Jamie’s go-to, fool-proof brisket recipe that is as delicious as it is simple, or if you’re looking for a more barbecue inspired brisket try the “Overnight” BBQ Beef Brisket.  It’s hard to believe that brisket could be a gal’s best friend, but after tossing it in a marinade just sit back and let it do all the work while you reap the rewards of comforted and fully bellies alongside smiling faces.

 

 

Matzo Ball Soup: Otherwise known as Jewish Penicillin, and let me say not a week goes by in the winter when I don’t find a way to get some high-quality homemade matzo ball soup.  As long as you don’t pound them into baseballs, these will always bring comfort, but if someone is not a matzo ball fan try the Wild Rice Chicken Soup.

 

 

Geller Family Challah: Possibly the most famous challah recipe out there and even though it calls for a 6 pound bag of flour, you may devour most of it before anyone else realizes how much you made!  If there happens to be extra challah dough, make it into Challah Dough Cinnamon Buns for a warm erev-Shabbos treat.

 

 

Potato Kugel: Everyone always fights over the crispy corners, but serve them as individual kugel cups everyone will get their own!  You can also make this without the cups, just be sure to cook it in a glass pyrex, it helps to make it extra crispy.  Another must have is the classic Yerushalmi, or Salt and Pepper Kugel, the salt and pepper are a savory kick that differentiates this kugel from it’s otherwise sweet counterpart, raisin noodle kugel.

 

 

Family Heirloom Chulent: If people think post-Thanksgiving meal naps are a sport, then post-cholent Shabbos naps must be the marathon equivalent.  Whether you prefer old fashioned Ashkenazi chulent or are more of the Israeli Hamin fan, both  have an abundant mix of carbs and meats to keep everyone at the table satisfied.

 

Check out more Shabbos ideas here!

 


 

Cooking Portuguese with The Kosher Butcher’s...

 

February 4th 2015

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Adapted from ‘Cooking the Portuguese way in South Africa’ by Mimi Jardim

November 2014 was the first ever ‘South African Cook Book Awards’. TV cameras, radio personalities and journalists were eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winner and runners up.

 

​I’m sure you’ve all had one of those moments​ when you suddenly recognise somebody ‘really famous’ and they’re standing right in front of you in real life, and you think to yourself, there’s no point going up and being that ‘arb nerd’ introducing yourself with some silly statement! Well I had just one of those at that book awards. However, I did manage to push ​my way through the press just to confirm that right there in front of me was Mimi Jardim, Author, cooking teacher, food consultant and ​D​oye​n​ of Portuguese cooking in South A​f​rica. A gentle smile of acknowledgement from her seemed to suffice, until she saw my name tag and acknowledged my books!!!

She had a nurturing warmth where she almost took me under her wing introducing me to the South African Culinary World.  And ​wings I might add are her forte’ as she is the food consultant to Nando​’​s, the international chain of addictive Portugues​e flame grilled Chicken with a kosher franchise here in South Africa and branches opening ​soon in the United States.

​​I couldn’t wait to have her on my radio show and it was no surprise that a personality so warm and real would share all her tips, secrets and recipes for some of the most delicious Portuguese dishes I’ve ever ​made and ​tasted.

My family loves spicy food and just as a bottle of Piri Piri sauce is a standard in my fridge, as it is in every Portuguese home, including of course a bay​ ​leaf tree and many chilli bushes in their gardens.

Being the food consultant to Nando​’​s would mean Mimi has made piri piri sauce on a scale from from 1 – 10 in ‘ouch’ factor.

Here is her favourite piri piri sauce.

Mimi’s Piri Piri Sauce

There are dozens of recipes for piri piri sauce. I prefer this very simple one. Piri piri chillies are VERY HOT. Unless you grown your own, they may be bought as dried, whole chillies. If you are using fresh chillies, crush or slice them, place them in a jar or bottle (preferably on with a cork top), add 2 cloves of crushed garlic, a small piece of lemon rind, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp salt. Fill the rest of the bottle with two-thirds mixed olive and cooking oil and one-third vinegar. Cork the bottle and shake once a day. Leave for at least 10 – 15 days before using.

Chicken Mozambique is Portuguese version of Chicken Piri Piri.  My family loves spicy food! A bottle of Piri Piri sauce is a standard in my fridge, as it is in every Portuguese home.

To save time while working in the fields, or at large church gatherings (festas), it is the custom in Madeira to skewer chunks of beef on bay sticks and to grill them over glowing coals. In restaurants today, kebabs are served on iron skewers which hang from a rack.

This Kebabs on Bay Tree Sticks recipe is very easy to try at home and it is amazing what an atmosphere it creates. The host offers the bay stick skewers to guests, who help themselves to chunks of meat. (Don’t forget to leave a hand free for the wine.) If you are using iron skewers, throw a few dried bay leaves into the fire – they produce a wonderful aroma. These can also be painted with blob of garlic ‘butter’ just before serving. Garlic ‘butter’ can also be served in a dipping bowl. Chunks of Portuguese bread/rolls can be placed on either side of a piece of meat to help pull it off the stick, then dipped in garlic!

Once you marinate the steak in Mimi Jardim’s Prego Steak Rolls recipe for 3-4 hours, you won’t be able to resist the the juiciness of the meat paired with the crispy Portuguese roll.  Dipping the the roll and steak into the gravy is key and, of course, my favourite is the taste of the bay leaves.

 

You can easily make Mimi’s Chocolate Salami recipe  your own. I added honeycomb, glaced cherries, baby marshmallow and melted the chocolate chips to replace chocolate powder for a non-dairy alternative. If you like nuts, you can add 1/4 cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts to the mixture.