My column on OU's website, Shabbat Shalom includes recipes for My Chicken Marbella from "Cooking Jewish," Orange Beets with Almonds from "The Healthy Jewish Cookbook by Michael van Straten and Apricot Jelly Roll from Joan Kekst's "Passover Cookery"
Passover is the most observed Jewish holiday of the year. Even those who never step inside a synagogue pull out all the stops for this one. With our celebratory meal, the Seder, we retell the 3500-year-old story of our ancestors' flight to freedom from the land of Egypt. And everything on the table is laden with meaning.
The centerpiece is the Seder plate, holding the traditional symbols. On every Seder plate sits karpas (a green vegetable), the symbol of spring, which we dip into salt water as we remember the tears shed by our ancestors. Actually for Jews in the shtetls (little villages) in Eastern Europe, spring arrived late, and greens were rare at Passover time. "My father's family always used potato," suggested my friend Yiddish songstress Lori Cahan-Simon, "but added parsley as karpas in the new country, so we have, in effect, parsley potatoes!" Read the whole story.
Passover Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot
My friend Dede Ginter tested this recipe for me, and her husband Ed’s AK
/(alter kocker)/Poker Club gave these light and crispy cookies sixteen
thumbs up. If a recipe called for chocolate chips, you could always
count on Aunt Estelle to use lots. She should have named these Passover
Downfall. Enough said. Mom says “ditto.”
Parchment paper or vegetable cooking spray, for the baking sheet
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter or nondairy margarine, at room
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Passover vanilla
2 1/2 cups matzoh cake meal
3/4 cup potato starch
4 cups (two 12-ounce bags) semisweet chocolate chips
1.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a baking sheet, or better yet, line
it with parchment paper.
2.Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed
until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a
time, scraping the bowl several times. Then beat in the vanilla. Reduce
the speed to low, and add the cake meal and potato starch. Scrape the
bowl, and blend just until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate
chips.(If the dough feels too sticky to handle even with floured hands,
cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is stiff, 30 minutes
to several hours.)
3.Divide the dough into 4 portions. Flour your hands with cake meal, and
form each portion into a log the length of the baking sheet. Space the
logs evenly on the prepared baking sheet, and bake on the center oven
rack until they are golden and the tops are firm to the touch, 30 minutes.
by DEBORAH S. HARTZ
Sally Bower - nee Rabinowitz - has celebrated a lot of Passovers. But the one she remembers most fondly happened 70 years ago in Brooklyn. The Seder was at her boyfriend’s house, and it was the first time she would meet his family. When he opened the door, he had a bouquet for her.
During that evening, he put a ring on Bower’s finger in front of his family - even though the couple had been dating only three months.
Although this story is not in "Melting Pot Memories" by Bower’s niece Judy Bart Kancigor, many other exploits of the Rabinowitz family are. What started as a book written as a family heirloom has become popular across the nation with the book in its fifth printing and more than 3,200 copies sold.
It begins with the story of the Rabinowitz family leaving Slonim, in what is now Belarus, for the United States. It includes a history of the area, the family tree and 600 recipes gathered from 159 family members.
"It’s more of a story than a cookbook," Kancigor says by phone from her home in Fullerton, Calif.
But many of the recipes are from Bower, who was one of the tribe’s better cooks. She learned her way around the kitchen from her mother, who made a mean challah, and her mother-in-law, who had prepared meals for bar mitzvahs and weddings in the old country.
She remembers her mother soaking glasses for three days and burying the silver outside with hot coals for purification. The house was cleaned and any remaining crumbs of chometz - leaven - were searched out with a feather and burned.
Then there were the fish. The live ones kept in the bathtub so they’d be fresh when it was time to make the gefilte fish.
My Passover story in the Orange County Register features recipes for Rack of Lamb with Fig Marsala Sauce, Honey-Pecan Crusted Chicken, Zucchini Leek Latkes, and Chocolate Drenched Stuffed Fruit. Chag Sameach!!
Rosh Hashanah is coming, apples are in season, and thoughts turn to the familiar. Friends tell me this tried and true, really simple cake reminds them of the one their bubbe or tante used to make.
Aunt Sally's Apple Cake
I'm making minis this year for our Hanukkah tapas party! Different latkes with different sauces - one can't have too many! See my blog.
1 large head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose flour
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 pounds beef brisket (preferably the 2nd cut also called the point cut)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 cups dry red wine (a whole bottle to you and me)
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 jar Saucy Susan (see Note)
3 dried bay leaves (preferably Turkish)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Roast the garlic: Slice off the top of the garlic head so that all the cloves are exposed. Place the garlic on a square of aluminum foil, and pour 1 tablespoon oil over the exposed cloves. Twist the foil tight, and roast for 40 minutes. Open the foil and let the garlic cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325°F.
3. Meanwhile, sprinkle brisket on both sides with salt and pepper and liberally with the flour, shaking off any excess.
4. Heat the oil in a large covered casserole or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the brisket and sear, turning often, until well browned, about 6 to 8 minutes per side.
5. Transfer to a plate or platter and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. (I usually have nothing to pour off.) Add the onions, reduce the heat to medium and sauté, stirring often, until golden, about 10
6. Pour in the wine and stir to pick up any browned bits on the bottom of the casserole. Stir in the tomato paste, onion soup mix, Saucy Susan and add the bay leaves and thyme. Squeeze the garlic into the pot.
Weather a little brisk for you these days? My story in today's Orange County Register extolls the virtues of - you guessed it - soup! Enjoy the recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup. For a kosher version, use nondairy sour cream. Read the story.
From “Golden Door Cooks at Home” by Dean Rucker
Grapeseed or canola oil spray
1 large onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 pound russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and sliced
4 to 5 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock or store-bought low sodium broth
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced or 1 can (4 ounces) green chiles, drained and diced
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1. Spray a large saucepan; heat over medium-low heat. Add onion and
cook, stirring, until translucent but not brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir
in chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt, and cook, stirring, for 20
seconds. Add potatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and
simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Spray a medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat until hot
but not smoking. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until
lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
3. Transfer potato mixture to blender and process until smooth, in
batches if necessary. Return soup to saucepan, stir in chiles and corn,
bring back to simmer, and remove pan from heat. Whisk in sour cream and
chopped cilantro. Serve hot. Serves 6