Archive for the 'Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum' Category



19
Dec
10

Matbukha and Shakshuka


[When it comes to Moroccan dishes, there is hardly anyone who can come up to the level of Lévana Kirschenbaum. If you get the impression that The Kosher Scene looks up to her, well… having attended so many of her Monday night cooking demos, we truly do! Last Friday we posted 3 recipes for Shakshouka, frankly, that series could not possibly be complete without Lévana’s take on the subject. CS]

Cooked tomato salad: Matbukha

Gluten Free, Pareve

This is one of our Moroccan favorite dishes, a sort of comfort food for ex-pats and honorary Sephardis alike: See how they mop that sauce with their bread! Shakshuka is nothing more than Matbukha with eggs scrambled into it and served as a main course, and gets its funny name from the Arabic word for “scramble.” Sometimes tomatoes get too expensive; in this case, it would be OK to use canned diced tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 2 red bell peppers, washed, cored, and seeded
  • 2–3 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, or 8 plum tomatoes, diced small (settle for 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, liquid and all)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Slice about ¼ inch off the pointed end of the head of garlic, leaving the cloves exposed.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil onto the garlic and the peppers, place them on a cookie sheet, and roast for 30 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and the peppers are charred (the peppers might be ready a few minutes before the garlic).
  4. Press the cloves out of their skins while still warm and mash with a fork.
  5. Peel the peppers and cut them into thin strips.
  6. In a heavy wide-bottom pot, bring the tomatoes, oil, and paprika to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium, add the roasted garlic and peppers, and cook covered for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. All of the water should evaporate, and the oil will resurface (if you neglect this step, you will not get the desired look and texture but a glorified tomato sauce).
  8. Add the freshly minced garlic and the salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Let cool and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Use a slotted spoon to serve so the oil stays behind. This will keep for up to two weeks.

Variation: Shakshuka

Gluten Free, Pareve

Stir 8 eggs into the Matbukha, mixing thoroughly with a wooden spoon, and cook just a few more minutes until the eggs are barely set. If you would rather end up with a more pristine look, leave the eggs whole, break them one by one, and set them over the mixture, close but not touching, and cook covered on a low flame until they look barely set.

Serve hot, alone, or with a good whole-grain bread, or on a bed of cooked (canned OK) white beans (except on Passover!).

Makes 8 servings.

CS

01
Sep
10

Orange Honey Cake


Many people are not big fans of honey cake, but… along comes the incomparable Lévana Kirschenbaum and voilà, she single-handedly changes all their minds! SYR always considered eating honey cake on Rosh Hashana as a “must”, rather than a “want to,” now that she’s tasted Lévana’s moist and flavorful variation on the theme (at her last cooking demo, this past Monday evening), she hasn’t stopped raving about it.

Orange Honey Cake

I actually succeed in turning quite a few people on to my honey cake. Mine is moist and spicy and easy to love; I trust it will make you forget all the indignities of past dried-out and brittle honey cakes. I make it several ways, all scrumptious, but this is one of my favorite. The secret ingredient, orange marmalade, was shared by my dear friend Leah.

Ingredients:

1 cup oil
2/3 cup brown sugar or sucanat
1 cup honey
1 cup orange marmalade, try your best for all-fruit
4 eggs
3/4 cup strong coffee at room temperature
3 tablespoons rum or brandy

3 cups flour: all purpose, whole wheat pastry or spelt (spelt my favorite)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, allspice and ginger
1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Whisk the first set of ingredients in a bowl.
Mix the second set of ingredients in a second bowl.
Combine both mixtures thoroughly, mixing only until just combined. Pour the batter into a greased tube pan, and bake 1 hour, or a little longer, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

Orange Honey Cake Il




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