Hubby Picked The Shavuot Menu

 

May 28th 2014

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We usually have meat for some of the Shavuot meals, although I love dairy so this meat menu was picked by hubby.

In the past 6 years I have put together 9 Shavuot menus for you: 3 book menus, 3 magazine menus, and 3 website menus.   After 9 menus it’s kinda (super) hard to keep creative.  Truth is after 8 menus I started having menu block.   Menu block looks like this:  After developing and testing over 200 recipes in under 10 weeks for my new book (my skirt tooooo tight to button), looking into the book is like looking into your closet (busting with shmatas clothes) and screaming feeling like you have NOTHING to wear!!!

Tamar rescued me like the greatest friend and expert menu planner that she is (who do you think comes up with our awesome weekly Shabbat Menus?) and put together the book menus.

Blocked once again I decided to employ the help of another special person.  I volunteered a friendly civilian you all know and love for this year’s Shavuos menu.  Instead of giving you yet another female skewed, goat cheese filled, smorgasbord of holiday recipes I asked Hubby what he wanted to eat.  This way I not only have a fresh and fancy new menu for you but save myself the time and trouble of doing this all over again for the real life version of the holiday.  So here is the menu courtesy of Hubby with the what, when and why of his selections in his own words.

JG: Tell me why you picked this menu.

H: These are just the things I want to eat.

Short Rib Sliders

Short Rib Sliders

Appetizer: Short Rib Sliders

H: Sandwiches are my favorite food.

JG: Tell me more.

H: You make it sound like I bought a home.  It’s just a menu, I picked what I like – after that it’s all kinda fuzzy.

JG:  I am writing this all down.

H:  OK so… we love ribs.  It’s the one thing EVERYONE in this family eats.  And I love sandwiches, which is the first thing I said.

JG: Good.

H:  If you can put it on bread I will eat it.

JG: Good, next.

Southwestern Turkey Breast and Green Chili Stuffing

Southwestern Turkey Breast and Green Chili Stuffing

Main: Southwestern Turkey Breast with Green Chili Stuffing

JG: Talk to me.

H: I’ve got nothing.

JG: (Eye roll)

H: I can see you rolling your eyes.  There is too much build up to this interview already.  Just make something up – you know, artistic license and all.

JG: Come on!

H: I love turkey – it was my birthday meal growing up.

Main: BBQ Meatloaf

H: I just really thought it would go good with the turkey.

Sweet Potato and Carrot Bake

Sweet Potato and Carrot Bake

Side: Sweet Potato Carrot Bake

H: I like this dish – cause it’s light – with the other heavy food I thought this was a nice side, and cause my wife doesn’t like making plain veg.

JG: I don’t.

H: I really just want steamed broccoli.

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Side: Caramelized Onion Mash

H: I have turkey, stuffing, meatloaf, gotta have some taters man.

Deconstructed Apple Pie

Deconstructed Apple Pie

Dessert: Deconstructed Apple Pie

JG: You never eat the apple pie.

H: I do on Thanksgiving.

JG: This is not Thanksgiving this is Shavuos.

H: I know.

JG: So are you going to eat the apple pie?

H: Well I started with the turkey thing – that’s how it all started – that’s the inspiration.

JG: Thanks for clarifying.

H: And I eat your puff pastry apple purses.

JG: You’re right.  Okay so we are done.  That’s it; the interview is over, after trying to pin you down for a full week.

H: Ohmigosh you could have done that yourself.

JG:  Wouldn’t have been authentic.

H:  Mark the date people, this is my last interview.

As a bonus for those of you that have my new book JOY of KOSHER Fast, Fresh Family Recipes Hubby put together this mini Shavuot menu, but neither he nor his people could be reached for comment.

Crystal Clear Chicken Soup with Julienne Veg and Angel Hair p.25

Garlic Meatball Heroes with Arugula and Roasted Peppers p.186

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Skewers with Herb Curry Mustard p.161

Colorful Mustard Green Beans p.106

Cherry Bourbon Hand Pies p.28

 

What do you all think of Hubby’s menus?


 

Fish Fusilli

 

May 28th 2014

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Here’s the companion video to my delectable Spinach and Feta Fish Bites. Fish Fusilli is a fast and easy complete meal that will satisfy even the fussiest eaters.

This yummy Quick & Kosher recipe uses frozen gefilte fish. Fill your freezer, because pre-seasoned frozen gefilte fish is a really versatile ingredient that will save you lots of time.

Fish Fusilli Recipe. For more of my kosher cooking videos, please watch the JoyofKosher.com YouTube Channel.

Do you have a wonderful recipe that use frozen gefilte fish? I hope you’ll share it with me by leaving a comment below.


 

5 Easy Shavuot Crafts

 

May 27th 2014

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There is something about Shavuot that seems to demand crafts.  Usually they revolve around flowers.  I remember when my children would bring home the tissue paper flowers, or little decorated vases to use a centerpiece for the festive holiday.  I guess it is because it is at a time of year when everything is in bloom and we want to enjoy the bounty of the season. But it is also because Shavuot is an agriculture holiday and very much connected to plants.  We share a few favorite Floral Crafts in this article including a flower pony holder, napkin ring, tissue flowers and decoupage plates, oldies but goodies that never get boring.  Here are some new ideas

These flower decorated pots made by AshleyAnnPhotography are easily done with your favorite floral fabrics.  Get full step by step turotial instructions on ChristineChitnis.com.  Now you have something unique and gorgeous to put your new plants in.

These floral crowns were made for a wedding, but Shavuot would be a perfect time to have fun making and wearing these especially for little girls.  These fresh flower ones might not be as practical, though, so try it with silk flower, instruction here.

I love how simple this dotted vase is to make and inexpensive too.  Any glass vase will work. Get the full instructions from TheCraftedLife.

Learn to make Paper Rosebuds from Creativejewishmom.com, she is always coming up with new and amazing things to make for those of all ages.

Last, but not least, I love this idea for those not as into flowers or maybe more interesting for the boys, DIY Painted Sticks.  Use them as decorating, put a bunch of them together in a vase, as a painted stick bouquet that will never die.


 

How To Serve A Yogurt Bar

 

May 27th 2014

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Our Inspiration: The Mamilla hotel in Jerusalem is a culinary experience like no other. While vacationing in Israel with my family this past winter, the Shabbat weekend we spent at Mamilla was one that took our trip to a whole new level. We were surrounded by gourmet dishes bursting with classic and new flavor combinations; it was a veritable feast for the senses.

Israeli hotels are known for their breakfast spreads and Mamilla’s breakfast spread was the best I have ever experienced. The breakfast included an assortment of fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, and an incredible selection of cheeses, fresh breads and pastries. The real standout of the buffet was the  ‘yogurt bar.’ It was so simple,  yet so indescribably delicious. My six- and eight-year  old sons have never been  more excited about yogurt.  We all kept on heading back  for just a little bit more. The fresh, cool and tangy taste of the yogurt together with the homemade and gourmet granola, milk-coated cereal, passion fruit puree, blueberry sauce and fresh fruit was the best way we could imagine starting our day.  Inspired by our growing obsession with yogurt, I knew we would feature this simple idea in our Shavuot issue. You will love how quickly this all comes together, and is fun, elegant and satisfying without the ‘heavy’ feeling which accompanies many dairy meals.

For The Yogurt Bar

The following are some suggestions (recipes linked on the words), but feel free to add anything you love to make a fun, nutritious and yummy buffet that would be great for any meal and any occasion.

 

Recommended Yogurt – I like to use plain yogurt as a blank canvas for all the flavorful additions. You can also use vanilla or flavored yogurt of choice or a few containers of Greek yogurt if you prefer.

Dessert Option: Use frozen yogurt in place of the yogurt for a fun and modern dessert option.

As seen in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine (Shavuot 2013) – Subscribe Now

 


 

DIY Craft – Utensil Hanger

 

May 26th 2014

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Makes 1 hanger

I love to walk through the aisles of the craft store and hardware store and get inspired by the multitude of different materials. This simple project uses various-sized wooden beads and an old wire hanger that I’ve transformed into an object from which you can hang ladles and other kitchen tools.

You will need:

Wire hanger

Pliers

About 14 big wooden beads

About 63 small wooden beads

Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks or craft glue

S-hook (available at hardware stores; optional)

 

1. Untwist the wire hanger. Use the pliers to straighten out the twisty ends of the wire.

2. Thread the beads onto the wire, alternating size from time to time.

3. Once you’ve threaded on enough beads to get up to the neck of the hanger, bring the two ends of the hanger together and thread the remaining beads over both of the wire pieces.

4. Thread the beads all the way to the end and bend it into a hook shape.

5. Using a dab of hot glue or craft glue, seal on the last bead. Allow the glue to set, about 1 minute.

6. Display interesting spoons and ladles from the hanger. If you have a tool to hang that does not have a hooked end, use an S-hook to hang it.

 

Text credit: Excerpted from SWEET PAUL EAT & MAKE, © 2014 by Paul Lowe Einlyng. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Photo credit: © Alexandra Grablewski.


 

In The JOK Kitchen with Sweet Paul *Giveaway*

 

May 26th 2014

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Sweet Paul is the gorgeous and creative blog created by Paul Lowe in 2007.  His blog filled with recipes and crafts with a Scandinavian sensibility turned into a highly praised online magazine in 2009 and then a print quarterly in 2012.  Paul has inspired and influenced countless people with his stylish take on crafts and food.  Paul was raised in Norway and has always been passionate about cooking, crafting and decorating.  He has been a food and craft stylist for more than twenty years and just recently published his first cook/craft book, Sweet Paul Eat and Make: Charming Recipes and Kitchen Crafts You Will Love.  The book is filled with easy to make recipes, most of which just happen to be kosher.   In addition to the recipes that are organized by time of day, Morning, Brunch, Noon and Night, Paul includes easy to do crafts for decorating a table to added kitchen touches, like his utensil hanger, made from every day items, turned into a fun decorative piece.

We are lucky to be giving away a copy of the Sweet Paul book and to also to share this Q&A I got from Paul.

You grew up in Norway, When did you move to NY and What do you miss most about Norway?

Not that much really, my family of course and a few food items but I can say with my hand on my heart that I haven’t felt homesick once.

I love that it is important to you that everything be real and not always perfect, how have you been able to work as a stylist and live by that philosophy?

When I started out all food in magazines and ad’s looked like plastic.  I said from day 1 that I don’t care to do that.  I slowly managed people to see it my way that food needs to look real and not like it came from a factory.

I’m really happy to see that the plastic food has more or less disappeared from magazines and ad’s.

salmon eggs benedict

What is your earliest cooking memory?

My earliest memory is the smell of coffee.  My grandmother would make strong coffee every morning.  The smell of coffee still makes me feel safe.

Of taste would have to be her pancakes that she made paper thin like crepes and filled it with her homemade blueberry jam.

Most of your crafts use every day items we all have like tart pans or hangers, how do you get inspired for your crafts?

It can come from everywhere.

Like now I have been collecting egg cartons for a year and wanted to do something with them.

I cut one open and it looked like a bird face, so I turned them into bird masks for Halloween.

My best idea is hatched out in the bath tub!

Sweet Paul - Chicken with Olives & Capers

Why did you decide to break up your book for crafts and food by time of day?

Because that’s how we eat and I wanted the book to reflect that.

There are a lot of recipes with eggs in them, what do you like most about eggs?

Eggs are my all time favorite ingredients. I eat 3 eggs every morning.  Never get tired of them.

They are so versatile and I just love using them, scrambles, poached, fried, just stop me…

For the recipes and photos linked to: Text credit: Excerpted from SWEET PAUL EAT & MAKE, © 2014 by Paul Lowe Einlyng. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Photo credit: © Alexandra Grablewski.

Note – not all the recipes in this book are kosher, but most are or can be adapted for a kosher kitchen, plus the crafts are great for everyone.

***Giveaway***  Now you have a chance to WIN a copy of Paul’s new book.  To enter start by commenting below.  Then enter with Gleam.

Sweet Paul Cookbook

 


 

4 Dairy Shavuot Menus

 

May 23rd 2014

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The count up continues!!  With less than two weeks to go until the holiday of Shavuot we really need to start planning.  I know some people have the custom to eat meat some of the days or some of the meals, but I figure we have enough meat menus on the site, what we are missing is more dairy menus that are nice enough to host company and enjoy as a festive holiday meal.

Here are four menus to take you through the two day holiday, if you live in Israel you get to choose, for the rest of you I got you covered.

Menu 1, first night. 

It is tradition to stay up all night learning on the first night of Shavuot so we really need energy and maybe some caffeine from this meal. I have loaded it up with green tea to begin and end the meal as well as lots of healthy protein to keep you going.  Don’t worry though if you are not staying up, there is not really enough caffeine in these foods to keep you up, sip some Iced Green Tea with Mint for the real caffeine effect.

Beet, Kale and Seaweed Salad

Beet, Kale and Seaweed Salad

Shiitake Mushroom Soup

Kale, Beet and Seaweed Salad with Chinese Green Tea Dressing

Spicy Salmon over Sesame Noodles

Green Tea Ice Cream

Menu 2, Lunch.

For those that stayed awake all night, you probably slept all morning and are just getting up in time for lunch or maybe Brunch is in order.  Start off with something warm and filling and move on to light and sweet.

Apple Buns

Tomato Soup with Eggs In a Hole

Salad with Grapefruit and Goat Cheese

Farro Dried Fruit Garbanzo Salad

Pastrami Gravlax

Apple Buns

Menu 3, Dinner.

By now you should be recovered and have time prepare for a leisurely dinner with the family. How about some fondue? You can transfer a flame to a sterno and just let it burn out.

pesto fondue with polenta

Pesto Fondue with Polenta Cubes and lots of veggies make this a meal.  Serve alongside a Mushroom Salad and Caramel Chomeur or simple dairy cookies for dessert.

Menu 4, Lunch.

For the last meal I will go a bit more traditional for those of you who must have blintzes and cheesecake, this is the menu for you.

pecan pie cheesecake

Walnut Asparagus Puffs

Spinach and Feta Blintzes

Vegetable Fries

Almond Olive Sole

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

Get more ideas for menus and recipes for Shavuot in our full guide, with recipes for all kinds of nachos, blintzes or crepes, brunch menu ideas, Italian menus, Romanian recipes and cheese plates and consider a few more menus:

A Dairy Mexican Menu

An Elegant Dairy Feast

Dairy Indian Menu

 


 

4 Fish Recipes And How To Pick Fresh Fish

 

May 23rd 2014

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It suddenly became clear to me after a year of living in new york city. I was distractedly looking at the menu proposal for yet another fundraising dinner at the non-profit where I worked, and all of a sudden realized that all the fish options were salmon, salmon, and salmon. Baked salmon, poached salmon, smoked salmon, in a hodgepodge of flavors and textures. Had all the hype about its health benefits made us forget about all other types of fish? Or was it fear of the unknown?

Growing up in Venice, my experience had been different: my mom and her friends always cooked many types of seasonal fish — very simply, with just a handful of fresh ingredients and no sauces that would hide its flavor. This minimalistic sophistication was meant at highlighting ingredients of the highest quality, and finding a good fish was considered at least as important as knowing how to cook it.

Red Snapper In Crazy Water

In fact, one of the hearts of Venice is still the Pescaria, the fish market in Rialto: dozens of stands sprawl under two massive Gothic loggias from the beginning of the 20th century (but the market itself dates back to about 600 years earlier), displaying a dizzying variety of fish and seafood from the lagoon and the nearby sea, and constantly crowded with hundreds of shoppers and a few tourists.

Salmon Roulade

This should be a foodie’s first stop in Venice; the fishmongers at the Pescaria, and not any famous chefs, are the true depositories of authentic Venetian cuisine, proving that fish is only as good as it is fresh. The Venetian standards have always been very high, including sustainability — as shown in a centuries-old carved marble plaque that displays strict regulations for minimum allowable sizes to be fished, so as to preserve the local habitat.

Lettuce Wrapped John Dory

It’s in this incredible place that I received some of my first informal lessons in cooking — starting from the fact that if the ingredients are local, fresh and seasonal, the food will taste good!

As to learning how to pick the right fish, here are a few tips:

1: Find a clean fish market and make friends with the fishmonger, who will help you find the freshest fish available and will clean it and scale it for you if you can’t stomach doing it yourself.

2: LOOK HIM IN THE EYE! (The fish, not necessarily the fishmonger.) A fresh fish should look alive! Its eyes should look clear, its gills should be quite wet and bright red (if they are brown or grayish, your friend was frozen); the skin, flesh and fins should be firm and bouncy, and the scales shiny. It should smell like the ocean, but not too fishy.

3: If you are buying fillets, be aware that brown edges or red streaks show age and should be avoided.  A smaller fish will often have more delicate flesh than a larger one.

4: Try to avoid fish that is sold already wrapped in plastic as it will be difficult to determine how fresh it is. If you have to buy it, at least rinse it very well and pat it dry with paper towels before cooking. However, it’s best to buy fresh fish, or even flash frozen fish* (allow it to thaw slowly in your fridge, rinse and dry it, and then cook it immediately).

5: Avoid at all costs fish that was frozen but is being sold as fresh.

Whole Roasted Turbot

Whole Roasted Turbot

 

*Flash Frozen Fish: Many fish are frozen on the boat, minutes after they were caught making them fresher than fish at your local market.

As seen in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine (Pesach 2013) – Subscribe Now.


 

It’s Time For Cauliflower To Take Center...

 

May 22nd 2014

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Vegetables have long been the trusty side kick to steak, chicken and fish.  A sort of companion to the main meal, in the best meals, it can highlight the best of the main, but in many instances it is really nothing, but a forgotten afterthought.  Recently with the farm to table popularity and more interest in vegetarian and vegan foods, vegetables are finally playing a starring role on our plates.

Not just for vegetarians.  In many restaurants around the country, vegetables are assuming the part of the hero with or without meat.  Just because you are highlighting the vegetable doesn’t mean you can’t include a little meat flavoring to enhance it unless you are a vegetarian.  I love getting inspired around the web and I feel like every few months there is a new vegetable taking center stage.  Last month I shared a recipe for Shawarma Carrots which I happened to just serve again with beluga lentils and my kids couldn’t get enough (especially the one that hates carrots and loves meat and spice), I was amazed.

Now, it is cauliflower’s time to shine.  I have always loved roasted cauliflower, but last year when I first tried this raw Cauliflower Couscous I first began to realize the many hidden talents we can exploit with cauliflower.  I learned to use it to make low carb Cauliflower Pizza Crust and now in possibly my favorite cauliflower recipe to date, I am loving Cauliflower Steaks with Tomato Olive Cauliflower Mash.

vegetarian cauliflower steaks

This recipe is enhanced and made easier using Sincerely Brigitte Tomato Olive Cheese* in the cauliflower mash.  That part of the recipe alone is delicious, but mixed with the crispier cauliflower steak and some toasted hazelnuts it became the perfect bite.

Make sure to learn more about these cheeses, find out today’s winner and get one last chance to win your own sampler in our Sincerely Brigitte Month of May Contest.

*Note: This post is part of a paid partnership with Sincerely Brigitte, all opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Cooking With Joy: Israeli Appetizers

 

May 22nd 2014

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As promised I am continuing on with the Israeli recipes. This time I made it a meal by combining some very yummy recipes. Eggplant Caviar, Lemon Lovers Chummus and Falafel Poppers.

When we went to Israel this past winter, I fell in love with eggplant all over again. At every meal that I saw it, I would pile it high on my plate or add it to my schwarma, falafel, you name it. You know that fried brown eggplant yumminess? Just thinking about it makes me hungry.

We don’t bring eggplant into the house all that much because Hubs and the kids aren’t such big fans. So I wasn’t expecting this dish to go over so well. Hubs was pleasantly surprised. I guess it’s the Italian eggplant that is used in this recipe that makes the difference. It has a much milder flavor- dare I say better flavor. This recipe gave me a chance to work on my non existent knife skills- I wanted it to look pretty, even if it was just for us.

Then I made the Chummus. Hubs is a HUGE chummus guy. When he was in Yeshiva in Israel before we got married, he would buy a kilo (2.2 lbs) of chummus and a few pitot, and that would last him a good two days- yes you read correctly 2 days! We usually have a 32oz one in the house and it takes on average a week for us to finish (Hubs is no longer surviving on Yeshiva food). Our five year old has come to expect it at shabbos meals and gets upset if he cant make his turkey and chummus sandwich on shabbos day.

As expected the Chummus went over crazy well with my fam. Both kids and hubs devoured it even before we made our falafel sandwiches. I put some aside to bring to my extended family for shabbos and everyone loved it!

I don’t usually fry things (Chanukahs latkes don’t count), so I am not very aware of the rules of frying. After this rule was explained to me by Hubs, it actually is common sense. MAKE SURE YOUR PAN IS DRY BEFORE ADDING THE OIL. As the oil was heating up it started bubbling and crackling, then giant geysers of oil/water popped up from the pan, it was very dangerous. Anyway….. First batch went into the oil and immediately burnt, second batch came out just right and by the third batch the oil was cold and the falafel took a while to cook.

Eggplant Caviar page 40
DRESS IT UP Eggplant Caviar Crostini

Lemon Lover’s Hummus page 42
DRESS IT UP Tricolor Hummus Trifles

Falafel Poppers with Lemon Sesame Schug page 46
DRESS IT DOWN Falafel Sandwiches

We enjoyed a really tasty Israeli style lunch, all from scratch which made it taste even better!


 

15 Italian Recipes for Shavuot

 

May 21st 2014

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Dairy meals are traditionally served on Shavuot because of the connection between the life sustaining properties of the Torah and milk.  Blintzes and cheesecakes are often served along with the favorite, special occasion dairy dishes.  When it comes to choosing certain cuisines, often we are faced with following the dairy or meat versions of the recipes.  This can be a particularly difficult challenge when it comes to Italian cuisine, because dairy is such a central component.  Here are 15 Italian dairy recipes to try this Shavuot.

 

 

Caprese Latke

This would not be the time to hop on the 30-day paleo trend, considering that almost all of the following recipes have wheat (Herbed Focaccia and Zucchini Bruschetta) or dairy (Caprese Latkes) in them!  Start light with the Braised and Raw Kale with Pine Nuts or the classic caesar, either the Greek Yogurt Caesar Salad or Curly Endive Caesar.

 

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

It’s finally time to put that pasta maker (that you got as a gift last Chanukah) to good use.  The Arugula Pesto looks beautiful on the plate, and tastes even better when you get a bite of salty parmesan, sharp garlic and creamy pine nuts.  Then there is the creamy Pappardelle Pasta with Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce inspired by a recipe from Ottimo restaurant in Lakewood.  Last, but certainly not least, Gnocchi Mac and Cheese, the name screams “cook me now”.

 

 

Of course, this meal would not be complete without pizza.  You could try the Classic Margherita Pizza, which is a sure-fire crowd pleaser, or shake things up with the Mediterranean Hummus Pizza.  The Plum and Goat Cheese Flatbreads are not technically pizza, but you’ll be running to wash and make ha’motzi to try these flatbreads.

 

For dessert there is cheesecake, of course, but after a potentially heavy meal enjoy these Mini Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecakes.  Another individually-sized dessert include the delicious Cannoli Cups with Chocolate Raspberry Drizzle or fight for a slice of Spongata (Double Crusted Honey Nut Pie).

Check out all of our Shavuot recipes here!

 


 

Corrections

 

May 21st 2014

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Zucchini Egg Soup

Missing ingredient: 2 eggs


 

Kosher Traditional Brazilian Recipes

 

May 21st 2014

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Ask Us: Hi When I am going to see some Brazilian recipes in your magazine/website? I Would love to have a kosher version of feijoada, for example…

Answer:

This was a tough one, but a fun one.  When I looked up Feijoada and found that is a black bean stew filled with all kinds of smoked and pickled meats usually of the pork variety I knew it was going to be a challenge to recreate.   And I didn’t want to stop at just one dish for all of you.  So I enlisted a friend, Chef Tami Weiser of The Weiser Kitchen to help create a full Kosher Brazilian feast.  I got the Feijoada, she got the sides and dessert.

Starting with the feijoada I researched and what I found was that anything goes with Feijoada.  Every one has their own version and it reminded me a lot of cholent.  I was initially going to try it for Shabbat lunch, but was nervous to have it cook quite so long for the first try and it is also good for a late Friday night when the food has to sit on a warmer for hours.  I read about many versions of the dish, the only constant was smokey meat and serving it with orange slices.

My version of Kosher Feijoada was made with Jack’s kosher chorizo, pickled corned beef, ribs and more.  It was filling, but not as heavy as cholent and very good served over rice with orange slices as it was recommended.  You are supposed to serve it with Collard greens, but I don’t love those greens and I couldn’t find them that day so I went with Sauteed Garlicky Kale, which was a perfect match.

When I shared my effort on Instagram, I got quite the response.  Looks like we got a lot of Brazilians over there.  I had read about Farofa and really want to try making it, but have yet to find the Manioc meal to make it, despite all the comments that it is easy to find kosher, so if any of you can share your recipe and a picture, submit it here.  They also recommended enjoying a Caipirinha, a Brazilian cocktail made with Cachaca, a sugar cane liquor somewhat like Rum, the drink is made with lime and sugar, but for me is just missing the mint (I am a mojito girl).

Brazilian style rice and black eyed peas

Tami made a special Brazilian Garlic and Onion Rice with Black Eyed Peas.  You can make it without the black eyed peas if serving with the Feijoda or with the beans for a complete vegetarian meal aside the collards.  Either way it is a traditional Brazilian recipe in it’s own right made with red palm oil, a staple in Brazilian cooking, but the real flavor comes from the garlic and onions.

slow cooked greens, brazilian style

She also shares here recipe for Slow Cooked Greens. This version uses a twist on refogato–a mixture of finely processed onions, garlic and peppers, Brazil’s version of the sofrito paste that is the hallmark of other Latino and Mediterranean cuisines, and in this dish, it’s truly yummy. This is what layering flavors is all about. It would be perfect alongside the feijoada.

 Brazilian coconut truffle cupcake

For dessert I had a lot of recommendations for fried bananas and those would be yummy any time, but Tami wanted to go all out and made these Brazilian Style Coconut Truffle Cupcakes.

We hope our Brazilian fans enjoy these recipes and encourage you all to comment and share your versions of these and other Brazilian dishes.  We also hope that we inspire others to try some Brazilian recipes, invite some friends and have a Carnaval anytime.

Click here to read about how one family is keeping kosher in Salvador, Brazil.

 


 

What Does All Natural Mean On A Food Label?

 

May 20th 2014

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Ask Us: I went to purchase an Osem consommé. And was pleased to find “all natural” on the jar front. When I looked at the ingredients, I found a GMO item listed. How can that product be considered all natural and are GMO items really considered kosher, and if so, how?

Answer:

There is no standard definition nor any regulation for the term “natural” as found on a product as a health claim. While it can’t be used in the actual ingredient list (aside from “natural flavorings”), the USDA allows the term to be used on products that contain no added colors or artificial ingredients, and have only minimal processing. The FDA allows products to advertise as “natural” if they do not contain added color, artificial flavorings or synthetic substances. Using this definition it appears that genetically modified foods would not be considered “natural”. However, because there is no regulation of genetically modified foods, and terminology is so vague, many companies have been getting away with this very type of confusing labeling for a while. This has prompted citizen activism to promote labeling regulations and require GMO labeling, with lawsuits and their implications being decided sometime this year.

As for the Kashrus of genetically modified foods, there doesn’t seem to be a problem in that regard. Representatives of both the OU and COR responded that while GM foods may be a health issue, they leave that to the FDA and CFIA (in Canada) to decide. Once a food meets compliance with the FDA and USDA regulations, Kashrus certifiers will ensure only that the food meets kosher regulations.

You can learn more about GMO’s and their connection to Kosher in the following articles:

Are GMO’s Kosher – TheForward.com

Why GMO Foods Should Not Be Considered Kosher – Jewcology

 

 


 

Ricotta Recipes For Shavuot Link Up

 

May 19th 2014

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We only eat meat about once or twice a week in my house.  I am not sure when it happened, but over the years we just gravitated to a more vegetarian lifestyle.  We all like a good steak and we enjoy burgers and hot dogs and stews and roasts, we are true omnivores, we just limit our meat.  I think that keeping kosher actually pushes many of us in one direction or the other.  If we are eating pasta we tend to go dairy so we can have our Parmesan cheese, while non kosher keepers don’t think that way.  Plus I have a small kitchen and only one sink, so I prefer to just stay on the dairy side of things most of the time.

Now that it is time to start planning for Shavuot it should be easy for me, but I like to find new things, different foods, something elevated that I don’t cook all year.  That is how I ended up with these two dishes perfect for the holiday, both using ricotta cheese.

 

Butternut Squash Gratin

Butternut Squash Gratin

Ricotta, like all cheese is a great source of protein and calcium.  I used a small amount to add a rich creaminess to this Butternut Squash Gratin without as much fat as heavy cream.  Ricotta is high in fat and calories, but it is also filled with vitamins and nutrients and a little goes a long way.  For the gratin, the roasted squash and ricotta are a match made in heaven, but what really make this dish is the oyster mushrooms, get them at an Asian market for the best prices.

ricotta-cheese-cakes-mini

Chocolate Chip Mini Ricotta Cheese Cakes

I was actually never a real fan of ricotta until I found fresher and good quality ricotta first from Stew Leonards and then from Natural and Kosher.  The freshness makes a huge difference to the point that I would now eat it out of the container.  I am not really a cheesecake fan either, but these little bites are perfect for me.  They help with portion control and are low in sugar, especially if you go light or stay away from the extra chocolate.  Each one is less than 80 calories, a perfect way to end your Shavuot meal.