Archive for November, 2012



12
Nov
12

Jayne Cohen’s Jewish Holiday Cooking


The Jewish calendar is filled with celebrations, each has its unique foods and traditions. What better way to celebrate than with columnist, blogger, cook author Jayne Cohen‘s Jewish Holiday Cooking? Ms. Cohen covers the spectrum of Jewish cooking around the world. Her dishes – though often traditional – include many a delightful surprise, an update in taste.

The recipes are peppered with quotes from the vast world of Jewish writing ranging from the Talmud to Nathan Englander, from Chaim Grade to Sholem Aleichem, from the Zohar to Shmuel Hanagid and more. It is obvious this is not just a cookbook, it is a paean to Judaism, its timeless spiritual and cultural values, with the recipes representing a way to celebrate it all.

As I browse through the pages, it is obvious the author loves many genres of books, her quotes, her references, her intros to the individual recipes, her writing in general becomes “unputdownable.” As you leaf through, as you read through, not only do you see yourself at the very locals she’s traveled but you can smell and taste as well. Written in the best tradition of M.F.K Fischer, Joseph Wechsberg, Hillaire du Berrier and Ruth Reichl, Ms. Cohen leaves you begging for more…

With Chanuka coming up in less than a month, what could be better than an interesting latke recipe to whet one’s appetite?

Garlic-Rosemary Potato Latkes

Pareve
Yield: About 4 servings

These exceptionally fragrant potato pancakes require no topping or sauce as adornment. They are perfect as is, ready to accompany any roasted or grilled chicken or meat.

Ingredients:

  • About 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold or 3 large russet (baking) potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon matzoh meal or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • About 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • About 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Sea salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Shred the potatoes, using the shredding disk in a food processor. (Don’t wash out the food processor–you’ll be using it again right away.) Transfer the potatoes to a colander or strainer and use your hands or a wooden spoon to press out as much moisture as possible.
  2. Remove the shredding disk from the processor and replace with the steel blade. Return about one third of the shredded potatoes to the food processor. Add the garlic and rosemary and process, using the pulse motion, until roughly pureed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the remaining potatoes, the egg, matzoh meal or flour, salt and pepper to taste, and the baking powder to the bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined. Let stand for 10 minutes to mingle the flavors.
  3. In a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (cast-iron is ideal), heat about 1/4 inch of oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Drop 1/4 cup of the potato latke batter into the pan and flatten with a spatula. Repeat with more batter, cooking no more than 4 or 5 latkes at a time; crowding the pan will give you soggy latkes.
  4. Regulate the heat carefully, reducing it to medium as the latkes fry until golden and crisp on the bottom, about 4 minutes. To prevent oil from splattering, use two spatulas (or a spatula and a large spoon) to turn the latkes carefully. Fry until crisp and golden on the other side.
  5. It’s best to flip the latkes only once, so that they don’t absorb too much oil. So, before turning, lift the latkes slightly with the spatula to make sure the underside is crisp and brown.
  6. As the latkes are done, transfer them to paper towels or untreated brown paper bags to drain.
  7. Continue making latkes in the same manner until all the batter is used. If necessary, add more oil to the pan, but always allow the oil to get hot before frying a new batch.
  8. Serve straightaway, sprinkled with a little coarse salt, if you’d like. Or if necessary, keep the latkes warm in a 200 degree F oven (arrange them in a single layer on a rack placed over an oven-proof platter or baking sheet) and serve when they are all ready to be brought to the table.

From Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover’s Treasury of Classics and Improvisations
by Jayne Cohen (print edition: Wiley 2008; e-book: 2012).
Visit jewishholidaycooking.com

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy! And… don’t forget to tune in this coming Wednesday at 10:00pm (Eastern Time) when we will be talking with Jayne Cohen; we’ll be waiting!

CS

11
Nov
12

A Conversation with Mark (Gavriel) Sanders


Gavriel Sanders, publicist at ARTSCROLL MESORAH PUBLICATIONS for Susie Fishbein‘s Kosher by Design series – since it started appearing in 2003, will talk to us this evening (at 7:00pm Eastern Time, on BlogTalkRadio.com) about his fascinating life’s path from missionary to proud Orthodox Jew. Other projects he’s handled on behalf of publisher ArtScroll Mesorah Publications include Life Is A Test by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, Gateway to Judaism by Rabbi Mordechai Becher, and several books for Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski and Rabbi Paysach Krohn.

As you can see in the video – below – his story is fascinating, his quest for identity inspired by his mother’s own search…

Sanders’ voice is familiar to many Jewish radio listeners in the New York area. Appearing on over 100 commercials, he has also been producer and host of Mah Nishma with Gavriel on FiveTownsRadio.com, IsraelNationalRadio.com, The Jewish Journey on JWisdom.com and of the Gavriel Sanders Show on Zev Brenner‘s Talkline Communications Network. He recently began broadcasting on J-RouteRadio.com. Sanders has lectured coast to coast and internationally on themes of Jewish living, including his popular autobiographical presentation of “A Minister’s Journey to Judaism”.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, here’s the taped show we did with Julia Roth, a mother/teacher/community activist from Richmond, VA, who’s working hard to revitalize and provide missing services to one of America’s oldest Jewish communities.

Please don’t forget to tune us in this evening at 7:00pm Eastern Time for a fascinating conversation. We’ll be waitin’ for ya!

CS

04
Nov
12

Ratatouille Hash


From our friend Geila Hocherman (here and here)’s blog, Geila’s Kosher Revolution:

Photo by Antonis Achilleous

Ratatouille Hash

I was in a restaurant in beautiful St. Maarten when a waiter presented the table with a beautiful ratatouille served in timbales. It was delicious-and set me to thinking about adapting the usual ratatouille, a vegetable stew, to make it less stew-y. Here’s the result, a vibrant, fragrant, hash-every vegetable retains its distinctive texture as well as flavor-that makes a perfect meal served with chicken, fish or meat. You can serve it hot or at room temperature.

Serves 10 to 12
Convert It– To make this a dairy main dish, add a 10-ounce can of drained and rinsed chick peas and crumbled feta. Or, for a quick moussaka-like dish, toss the hash with ground, sauteed lamb.

Geila’s Tips – Check the bottom of the eggplants you buy. If the pip there is round, the plant is female, if long, male. Male eggplants have fewer seeds.

  • 3 pounds (about 2 medium) eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, put through a garlic press
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers * cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • One 12-ounce can plum tomatoes with their juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cover 2 medium cookie sheets with foil.
  2. Place the eggplant in a colander in the sink and roast with 2 tablespoons salt. Top with a plate and a weight, such as as a large can or wine bottle. Let the eggplant drain for 30 minutes rinse and dry it, and transfer to a cookie sheet. Drizzle over 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  3. Place the zucchini on the second cookie sheet, toss with 2 tablespoons salt and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Bake the zucchini and the eggplant until cooked through, about 20 minutes, stirring both after 10 minutes to prevent sticking. Set both aside.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt and saute, stirring, until translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Push the onions to the side of the pan, add the tomato paste to the center, and cook until the the paste begins to bubble, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute the mixture until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bell peppers, stir, and add the vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, if using, and tomatoes with half their juice. and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the eggplant, zucchini and basil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, until the flavors have blended about 10 minutes. If the mixture seems too dry, add more of the tomato juice and simmer 4 to 5 minutes more. Adjest the seasoning, if necessary, transfer to plates, and serve.

–0o0o0–

* 2 roasted bell peppers

On a burner or under the broiler, roast the peppers until the skin is uniformly charred. Transfer to to a paper bag or a bowl. Close the bag or cover the bowl with foil, a dish towel or plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam until they become cool enough to handle. Remove the stems, peel, remove seeds and cut the peppers into 1 to 1 1/2 inch dice. Reserve any juice.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

02
Nov
12

Rabbi Yaakov Spivak’s Shiur at Talia’s


Last Sunday, October 28th, Talia’s [668 Amsterdam Avenue (between 92nd & 93rd Streets) New York; NY 10025; Telephone: 212.580.3770] hosted a brunch with Rabbi Yaakov Spivak who in his unique analytical style gave an insightful shiur on Avraham Avinu, The Man of Seeming Contradictions.

He spoke of how courageously, armed merely with his faith in Hakadosh Baruch Hu, he withstood all outside pressures and created a new faith, showing the real truth, the real meaning of our life on this lowly plane of existence.

Chef Oren and his sous chef

The food was quite good; I had a Pasta Bolognaise, prepared by Chef Oren. It consisted of rigatoni, ground beef and a nice subtle tomato sauce.

I hope there will be many more such Brunch and Limmud occasions at Talia’s

CS

01
Nov
12

Kosher By Design Cooking Coach


Mark van Doren once said: “A good teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.” Susie Fishbein – that quintessential teacher – is looking to wean devoted Kosher by Design cooks, off the book and onto self-actualization in the kitchen with her new cookbook “Kosher by Design Cooking Coach.

Cover Used by permission: ArtScroll Shaar Press

With over 400 full-color pictures by the talented John Uher, 10 pictorial coaching sections and a cross referenced index of 120 new recipes, this 8th title in ArtScroll‘s Kosher by Design series, imparts essential skills, techniques, tips and tools to help us excel in the kitchen. Cooking Coach includes sections on essential kitchen equipment, why 3 culinary knives will do the trick, key tips on buying and preparing fish, meat, chicken and side dishes, and my favorite, an easy to follow playbook of recipe variations that help stretch the budget without being mealtime boring or left-over repetitive.

The lay out is so picture laden and easy on the eye it could pass for an idiot’s guide to the kitchen were it not for its elegant descriptive content. I think what we all love about Susie most and what’s made her series such an enormous success, is her ability to deliver fool-proof recipes that are delicious and make us look like culinary heroes to our family and friends. In this latest cookbook, Susie wants to up the ante and move her loyal audience beyond the written recipe, teaching us essential skills to help us develop, discover and explore our own creative cooking abilities beyond the text and within our own selves; the ultimate gift of a true teacher.

From the book, page 184:

Bulgogi

Used by permission: ArtScroll Shaar Press

Photo by: John Uher, on page 185

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Bulgogi is Korea’s most famous street food. It is also served in homes and restaurants, prepared on tabletop hibachi-style grills.

The key to this dish is slicing the meat paperr thin so it absorbs all the flavors of the marinade and cooks quickly. If you freeze the meat for 30-45 minutes out of it packaging in a piece of foil or parchment, it will be much easier to slice nicely.

  • 8 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce **
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 pounds filet split, cut into paper thin 1/16 inch slices
  • 1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce, separated into leaves.

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted or toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  1. In a medium bowl mix the garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne. Add the sliced steak. Toss and stir to separate the slices and make sure they are well coated. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and discard any remaining marinade. Sear the meat, in a single layer, allowing room between slices, you may need to do this in batches. If so, wipe out the pan between each batch and heat a bit more. oil. Don’t move the meat around. Get some good caramelization and then, using tongs, turn each slice over and repeat on the second side, 3-5 minutes in total cooking time.
  3. Roll 1/2 cup meat in a Bibb lettuce leaf. Repeat until all the meat is rolled. Transfer to a plate or a platter.
  4. In a small bowl, prepare the the clipping sauce. Whisk together the soy sauce, honey , ginger, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes.

** True Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies. If the kosher certification mark stands alone, then the percentage of anchovies is less than 1.6% of the whole product. Many rabbinical authorities say that this is okay to use with meat. If the kosher certification is on the label has a fish notation next to it, the level exceeds 1.6%; do not use it in meat dishes.

Page 27,  in the Playbook section, lists what you can do with the leftovers of the above recipe:

Make a tasty ASIAN BEEF SOUP with your leftovers: In a soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add 1 sliced onion, 10 sliced shiitake mushrooms, and 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger. Sauté until the mushrooms and onion sare wilted. Add 6 cups chicken stock.  1/4 cup shredded carrots, a handful of pea pods, and 1 thinly sliced stalk bok choy. Bring to a simmer; cook for 10 minutes. Mix in 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sriracha chilli sauce. Chop the leftover bulgogi and add to the pot along with 2 scallions thinly sliced on the diagonal.

Enjoy, enjoy!

SYR




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