Archive for December, 2012



12
Dec
12

Puah’s Day of enLIGHTment


Last Week Wednesday, December 5th of 2012, Puah (see here, here and here) held a pre-Chanuka Day of EnLIGHTment at the beautiful home of Rachel and David Franco in Brooklyn.

Puah-2

It featured a Chinese Auction, a music class for mothers and young daughters (given by Mariel Dweck) and a deeply inspirational talk by Chani Shelby. These were followed at 1:30pm by Panel of Awareness with Josh Klein, MD; Rabbi Gideon Weitzman and Rivki Itzkowitz.

Dr Klein is an Orthodox physician specializing in Fertility; Rabbi Weitzman is the director of Puah and he’s based at the organization main headquarters in Jerusalem; Mrs. Itzkowitz is in charge of the Madrichot, who oversee the lab work and more to ensure that halachic rulings are followed at every step of the procedure.

In you know anyone in need of their services or you wish to help Puah financially, please contact the organization’s American Director Mrs. Lea Davidson, at: 718.336.0603 in Brooklyn.

SYR counseling

10
Dec
12

Donuts, Donuts, Donuts – It’s Chanuka!


Chanu2Tonight we lit the second Chanuka candle and what better way to celebrate than with our dear friend Geila Hocherman‘s (kosherrevolution.net) recipe for doughnuts?

© 2012 Geila Hocherman. All Rights Reserved
It’s Chanuka and Jewish tradition calls for oil fried dishes, such as latkes – potato pancakes; sufganyot – jelly-filled doughnuts and more. Jelly filled doughnuts never appealed to me, so here is my version of doughnuts.

(Videos to follow)

Makes 36 small donuts

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup milk – cow, soy, almond, and cashew…warmed
  • 2 ½ tbsp. shortening- softened
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • oil for frying

1.Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix well until there are no lumps, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
2.In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 1 cup of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. ,(You can also put in in the refrigerator for a slow overnight rise. Just bring the dough to room temperature before continuing.) Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains. About 1 hour.
3.Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a floured 3-inch cutter. * (See note) Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
4.Heat oil in a deep fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F. Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.

Optional glaze

  • 2 cups
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-tablespoon corn syrup
  • 2-4 tablespoons of water
  1. Place sugar. Corn syrup and vanilla in a bowl and mix well. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Continue until you reach desired consistency.  It should be liquid but not runny.
  2. Submerge doughnut half way, turn over, and place on a cooling rack to set

NOTE: At this point the formed doughnuts can be refrigerated overnight, brought to room temperature the next day, and then rise before baking.  You can also freeze them on a cookie sheet.

Geila

When we taped the video for this recipe at Geila’s kitchen I had the pleasure of tasting these doughnuts, I made them myself and served them this evening. I found them easy to make and utterly delicious!

CS

07
Dec
12

Sufganyot! – Part 2


Chanukah may be a minor festival, but the concepts it embodies are major. Jews, that stiff-necked people, were living under the control of Seleucide Greeks. While the conquerors were generally tolerant of other religions, provided the conquered people accepted the ostensibly superior culture, the Jews – for the most part – refused to bend, to compromise, to accept “progress.” They stuck to their beliefs, even when threatened with death. What prompted these people to follow an invisible God, a God they were proscribed from making statutes of, a God who placed so many positive and negative commandments upon them?

A German Menorah, from the late 19th or early 20th century.Photo from the LA Times.

A German Menorah, from the late 19th or early 20th century.
Photo from the LA Times.

For generations, the Jews were witnesses to the Almighty’s open and not so open miracles, they had no need of wood, stone or metal statutes to feel His presence. His presence surrounded them constantly! Their ragtag army, now fought the world’s mightiest power and won. Was that not enough of a miracle? Yet we do not celebrate Chanukah as a merely nationalistic day of independence. No, we celebrate instead the rekindling of the Temple Menorah, the rebirth of our faith.

We celebrate the fact that the Temple in Jerusalem had been purified of foreign idolatrous contamination. We celebrate the fact that just as it seemed that we would have to wait eight days for new consecrated olive oil to be prepared, miraculously a small flask just enough for one day’s kindling was found and yet it lasted a full eight days. The Greeks had combed through the Temple to loot its treasures, to take away anything that could be used by the stubborn Jews to worship that God, and yet throughout the years this small flask had gone unnoticed until truly committed Jews found it. Was it merely that they looked harder, or was that itself a miracle?

As a result of olive oil’s power in restoring us a nation, His nation, we traditionally eat fried foods on Chanukah, here is a recipe for traditional “Sufganyot,” jelly filled donuts:

Sufganyot

(Adapted from Perfect Jewish, page 241)

Traditional sufganyot. - jelly filled doughnuts,

Traditional sufganyot. – jelly filled doughnuts. — Photo from: Perfect Jewish, page 240

Makes 24 doughnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon easy-blend dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons very soft margarine or vegetable oil (for a dairy version you may use sour cream)
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • plum, apricot, red currants or black currant jelly
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Stir the yeast, flour, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a standard electric, mixer fitted with a dough hook. Make a well in the center. Add the milk, egg, yolk, and margarine (or sour cream for dairy sufganyot). Beat on low speed for 2 minutes, or until combined. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic and leaves the side of the bowl. Cover with a dish towel and leave in a warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until doubled in volume.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly to deflate adding a little more flour if the dough is sticky. Divide the dough in half and roll out each piece to 3/4″ thick.
  3. Working with one dough half at a time, using a 2″ cutter, stamp out as many rounds as pssible. Knead the scraps together, reroll and stamp out more rounds, you should form at lease 24. Cover with the dish towel and leave for 20 minutes, or until puffed and slightly risen.
  4. Heat at least 3″ of oil in a deep-fat fryer, wok or large pan to 375 F. or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Working in batches, fry the doughnits, covered for 3 – 4 minutes, or until golden. Turn and fry on the other side for 3 minutes or until well colored. Using a skimmer, or slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
  5. Fit a small pastry bag, with a 1/2″ plain tip, and fill with jelly. Put the sugar into a bowl. When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, make a small slit in the side of each, insert the tip into the center, and squeeze about 1 teaspoon of jelly. Drop each filled doughnut into the sugar and turn to coat completely. Transfer to a wire rack.

Enjoy, gentle reader, Enjoy!

CS

 

Chag Chanukah same’ach!!

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06
Dec
12

Caldo Verde


In this era when not only do we crave flavor, but value the health benefits of the various ingredients that make up that wonderful dish; in this wintertime when we look for foods that will warm us there is nothing better than a good hot soup.

We’ve adapted the following recipe from various sources to come up with our own kosher, nutritious, delicious version:

Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup, made mainly from kale and potatoes.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 medium russet potatoes or other floury baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound kale, leaves trimmed from the thick stems, rinsed and finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan with 8 cups water and add a little salt. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Mash the potatoes lightly with a fork, leaving them in the water.
  2. Cook the kale in a pan of boiling water for 3 – 4 minutes. Drain and stir into the potato broth with the olive oil. Simmer for 1 – 2 minutes. Season to taste and serve hot.

–XoX–

Variation

Ingredients

  • 2 Jack’s Gourmet Mexican Style Chorizos, sliced

Directions

  1. Heat up a small amount of olive oil over medium heat. Add chorizo slices and brown. Once browned remove and set aside.
  2. Follow step 1 in the vegetarian version above.
  3. Add the Jack’s Gourmet chorizo slices and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the kale and let cook until desired level of doneness.
  4. Serve immediately.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

03
Dec
12

Cherry Heering and Chanuka


CherrCoffHeer-1As I’ve written before, Cherry Heering has long been a part of my memories and family traditions. Thus, as we stand almost on the threshold of Chanukah, when I saw an ad for Peter Heering‘s products, I thought it would be a great idea to once again, bring Cherry Heering to a family get together.

Always on the lookout for new recipes I may come across, I was pleased that Peter Heering‘s distributors sent me some intriguing ideas.

CherrCoffHeer-2I especially liked the Coffee Latte; it’s easy to make and absolutely delicious!

1 ½ oz Coffee Heering liquor

Steamed Milk, may use skim

Pour Coffee Heering into a mug add Steamed Milk

Garnish with chocolate shavings

I tried it last eve and it certainly hit the spot. But… I can’t wait to try the “Boozy” Donuts with Creme Brulee Topping:

Donuts are the new cupcakes and a big trend for the season, an easy way to upgrade regular old store bought donuts and take it from an afternoon snack to a fancy dessert

Ingredients

  • 6 sugar-covered donuts
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 oz either Coffee or Cherry Heering Liqueur

Directions

  1. Heat the donuts in the oven at 250 degrees for 5 minutes.
  2. On a plate ad the sugar, brush the top of the warm donuts with water and drip in the sugar.
  3. Insert and fill the liqueur in multiple spots of the bottom of the donuts with a small turkey baster/or cake decorating tool about 1/2 oz per donut
  4. With a creme brulee torch, burn the sugar top of the donuts to a hard sugar topping. If you dont have a creme brulee torch, you can simply put in the oven on broil for a few minutes till the sugar caramelizes.
  5. Serve right away while warm, a good tip is to let the guests watch while you are putting the finishing touches, their mouths will be watering and you will look like a pro in the kitchen!

The younger grand kids will just have to make do with the store bought donuts, that is… if the “Boozy” ones last long enough for their families to arrive…

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

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02
Dec
12

Elegant Desserts


Recently I stumbled upon Elegant Desserts website and having tasted some of their delectable creations at various catered affairs I couldn’t help but order a few items…

This past Friday eve, to cap off a delicious Shabbos meal, we shared some of the goodies…

kosher-scene-copyright-copy21

ElegDes6

We started out with the Hazelnut Pyramid, it comes with nuts and chocolate in hazelnut ice cream. A superb opening salvo of flavor! We followed with a Strawberry Rose Sorbet

elegdes5

…a Green Apple Square (green apple sorbet topped with a lemon sorbet rosette), Strawberry Square (strawberry puree sorbet with strawberry sauce and white drizzle), and a Mixed Berry Tower (mixed berry puree sorbet one with a vanilla rosette and one with a lemon).

ElegDes3

Frankly, the fruit sorbets and puree tasted so incredibly fruit like, it’s obvious that instead of using a common base for sorbets and adding flavors (as most American manufacturers do), Elegant Desserts obviously prefers real fruits! We loved all the flavors and the only thing that marred everyone’s delight was that I hadn’t ordered enough!

Although I’d gotten some items that I was planning to bring out during Chanuka, it was hard to contain ourselves and we succumbed to temptation at Shabbos lunch…

ElegDes2

We started with the set of four Dreidlach (lemon,green apple,cherry,orange) and finished the meal with the Menorah

ElegDes4

Flavors were great, my personal favorites were the Green Apple Square and the green apple puree, followed closely by the Strawberry Flower and the Strawberry Square; the lemon flavored sorbet, however, received more votes from the rest of our company.

Now I’m left with no other choice but to order their Chanuka specialties again!

CS




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