Yemenite Haroset Truffles
1/3 cup (2 ounces) pitted dates
1/3 cup (2 ounces) dried figs
1/3 cup (2 ounces) raisins
1/3 cup (2 ounces) dried apricots
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup toasted coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 1/2 tablespoons orange liqueur
FOR THE COATING
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted and finely ground
1. Combine the dried fruit, honey, and spices in a food processor
and pulse until smooth. Add the pecans, slivered almonds, and orange
liqueur, and process until well combined.
2. Form the mixture into balls 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll them
in the ground almonds, and place them in individual fluted foil or
paper candy cups. Refrigerate, covered, until firm, at least 3 hours.
These will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Makes 16 to 20
A delicious Passover recipe from "Cooking Jewish" on Lifetime TV's website. Get the recipe.
Haroset is a fruit and nut mixture that reminds us of the mortar our forefathers used when they were slaves in Egypt. Jews all over the world make it with whatever is local. For Jews of Eastern European extraction, that means walnuts and apples, a little sweet wine, and I add cinnamon and honey. But whatever you do toast the nuts!
For an unusual presentation, try my Yemenite Haroset Truffles from my cookbook, COOKING JEWISH. They are so sweet, spicy, and festive, they really belong on the dessert table, but I like to serve them during the Seder, where they won’t get lost amidst that ostentatious display of sponge cakes, tortes, cookies, and pastries. (Ah yes, poor us. No bread for a week. Thus we remember the sufferings of our ancestors!) Recently I made these truffles on FOX TV in Atlanta. To view the podcast click here.
And now here's the recipe:
The festival of Passover, which begins this year at sundown on Wednesday, commemorates the exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. Because in their haste to depart they could not wait for their bread to rise, the dough was baked in flat cakes. To commemorate our passage to freedom, Jews throughout the world eat matzo for the eight-day holiday (seven in Israel). Strict rabbinical rules govern every aspect of its production.
“Our process with our Passover matzoh,” explained David Rossi, vice-president of marketing for RAB Food Group, owners of the Manischewitz brand, “from the time water touches the flour and gets mixed, then sheeted, made thinner and thinner, to the end of baking in the oven – can be no longer than 18 minutes. If there is a mechanical failure or some issue or error where the matzoh did not get through that run in 18 minutes, then the whole run must be thrown away.”
Before the company can begin production for Passover, the entire facility must be thoroughly cleaned and inspected – a procedure that makes Mama Hinda’s routine seem like a light dusting.
“The process takes four to seven weeks,” Rossi noted. “All the belts, all the lines, all the motors, all the ovens are cleaned and kashered (made kosher) to meet strict rabbinical standards for Passover.”
Turning out hundreds of Passover items, in addition to 10 varieties of matzo – spelt is Manischewitz’s new flavor this year – is no overnighter. “We begin making Passover products in September until early March for the following year,” Rossi noted. “Because the plant is kashered at tremendous expense, we produce Passover products until we’ve run all the requirements for the year. Then in March we start making non-Passover products.”
1/4 cup melted chicken fat or vegetable oil
4 scallions, white and half the green part, thinly sliced
3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, finely chopped (1 to 1½ cups)
1 envelope matzoh ball mix, such as Manischewitz
1/2 cup matzoh meal
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Kosher (coarse) salt
Dash of white pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder (see Note)
2 tablespoons club soda, chicken broth, or water
1. Heat the chicken fat in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallions and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
2. Combine the matzoh ball mix with the matzoh meal in a medium-size bowl. Add the eggs and mix well. Stir in the mushroom mixture, parsley, 2 teaspoons salt, the white pepper, and the baking powder. Add the club soda and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and lightly salt it.
4. Form the mixture into balls that are a little larger than a marble, wetting your hands if necessary to keep them from sticking. Drop the balls into the boiling water and cook, covered, at a slow, steady boil (not a hard boil) until tender, 30 minutes (depending on the size of the balls).
5. Carefully remove the matzoh balls with a slotted spoon, and serve in soup.
Makes 24 to 30 golf-ball-size balls
Notes: For Passover use kosher-for-Passover baking powder, or if unavailable, it may be omitted. You will find that after cooking these matzoh balls, the cooking liquid is so flavorful, it is almost a soup in itself, particularly if you have used chicken fat. I use this broth instead of water in soups and stews and for cooking rice.
From “Pure Dessert” by Alice Medrich
8 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1.2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350˚F.
Line bottom and sides of 8-inch square baking pan with foil.
2. Place chocolate and butter in heatproof bowl and set in wide skillet
of almost-simmering water. Stir frequently until mixture is melted,
smooth and quite warm. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. In medium bowl, beat eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla with hand-held
mixer on high speed until eggs are thick and light colored, about 2
minutes. Whisk in warm chocolate. Fold in flour.
4. Scrape batter into lined pan and spread evenly. Bake until toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on
5. Invert brownies on rack and peel off foil. Turn right side up on cutting board and cut into sixteen 2-inch squares.
from Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family
Layered Hummus and Eggplant with Roasted Garlic and Pine Nuts 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar 1⁄2 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon sugar 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt, or to taste
Book presents Jewish holidays as if each were a
party in a decked-out Manhattan apartment.
Thursday, December 18, 2003
By JUDY BART KANCIGOR
Special to the Register
Not so long ago, the words "kosher wine" brought to mind
that syrupy sweet, almost- cough-medicine-like concoction
served as an accompaniment to prayers. Not anymore. Twenty
years ago, observant Jewish baby boomers, hipper and more
sophisticated than their parents, demanded the same selection
and quality found in the nonkosher world, and winemakers took
"Kosher wines have exploded onto the market," said Susie
Fishbein, author of "Kosher by Design" (Mesorah Publications,
$32.99), who set off an explosion of sorts herself, selling
20,000 copies of her cookbook in the first week of
publication. "There are award-winning wines from all over the
world. It's no longer Malaga and blackberry syrup."
Fishbein's book captures the beauty of the holidays with a
feast for the eye as well as the palate. With 120 lavish
photos, each holiday is presented as if it were a party. To
achieve this effect, Fishbein enlisted the help of party
planner Renee Erreich, and the luscious table settings and
presentation ideas the two created - and photographer John
Uher shot – fairly leap off the page. Set in spectacular
Manhattan apartments, the dazzling photos inspire rather than
intimidate. These are very showy menus, but everything in the
book is doable.