Archive for the 'Purim' Category

10
Mar
14

Fifth Avenue Synagogue – A morning of Learning


Yesterday, the 7th of Adar – Sunday the 9th, I attended a Full Morning of Learning, at Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue. What could be more appropriate on Moshe Rabbeinu‘s yohrtzeit than to honor him with communal learning?

There were fifteen lectures mostly (though not exclusively) dealing with Purim and Megillas Esther divided into three one hour sessions. There was plenty of choice for all levels, for all tastes.  For the first period I attended a lecture by Rabbi Eli Mansour from the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in Brooklyn

kosher-scene-copyright-copy22

Fifth-ElMan

Rabbi Mansour’s topic The Secret of Megillat Esther concerned the mistake Haman made when he thought the month of Adar would be a perfect time to annihilate the Jewish people. Rav Mansour quoted sources from R. Yonatan Eybischutz‘s writings, the Zohar and the Talmud, which aptly described Haman’s misunderstanding of the lots he cast before deciding which month would be best for the success of his nefarious intent.

Next I listened to Rabbi Shaya Karlinsky, from Shapell’s Darche Noam Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael.

Fifth-ShayKar

His spoke about Jewish Humor: Not a Laughing Matter. What makes a joke uniquely Jewish? Why is it, if you substitute another ethnic or religious group for the Jews the joke – at best – has diminished its impact or becomes totally unfunny? He also brought down various sources from the Talmud, Midrash and more. An example of a joke that only works fully if you understand the Jewish psyche and would barely cause a smile if the characters were not Jewish, goes as follows:

On the day of the Eastern Seaboard blackout in 2003, Max changes a light bulb. Sally, his wife is looking out the window and as soon he screws in the new bulb, she’s is appalled to see all the lights in the neighborhood go off; in dismay she cries out:

Max, what you done?!?!?

My last session was with Rabbi Yissocher Frand, Rosh Yeshiva at Baltimore’s Ner Yisroel Yeshiva.

Fifth-YisFran

He spoke on Favorite Lessons from Megillat Esther. Rav Frand stressed the importance of Megillat Esther in our time and in our values, the importance of an individual reaching out of his/her comfort zone to achieve one’s full potential.

All in all, it was a very interesting morning filled with inspiring and thought provoking lectures.

CS

02
Mar
12

Fond Memories


When I first arrived in Richmond, Va, in 1962 – straight from Montevideo, Uruguay, where I grew up – my first Shabbos on American shores, my parents and I attended a big kiddush in our new shul. Alongside the standard kugel, chulent, pastries and spirits, I got my first taste of a very delicious dark red liqueur with a strong, not overly sweet, black cherry flavor. It was love at first sip for me and Cherry Heering! Through the years, whether in Richmond, NY, Detroit,  Eretz Yisroel, or wherever life’s path took me, there was always that familiar, delicious bottle of Cherry Heering calling my name at every kiddush, every simcha, every family get together.


Like an old friend, seeing Cherry Heering among the liqueurs adorning the table, brings back warm memories and great moments of my past. At each son’s bar mitzva Cherry Heering was there, a guest tmidi - a constant complement to our simchas, warming hearts, with its distinct familiar cherry flavor, admittedly the cordial of initiation to each of my three sons.

After the 90’s, it disappeared from Jewish liquor stores and I missed it. Now it’s back, as good as ever along with an additional coffee flavour choice! Since 1818 Cherry Heering, has been appearing all over the world and is sold in over 100 countries. In 1936 it became the main ingredient of that most celebrated of cocktails the Singapore Sling. Not all the ingredients of this cocktail are kosher today but you can still make delicious drinks with Cherry Heering and Coffee Heering. Here are some of my favorite ones:

Coffee Sourz

  • 1 part Heering Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 1 part simple syrup

Fill a shaker with ice. Add ingredients, shake well and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry.

Cherry Royal

  • 1 part Cherry Heering Liqueur
  • 4 parts champagne or sparkling wine

Pour Cherry Heering liqueur and champagne into a champagne flute and serve ice cold.

Cherry Fizz

  • 2 oz Cherry Heering Liqueur
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Carbonated water
  • 1 Cherry

Shake Cherry Heering and lemon juice over ice and pour into a highball glass with 2 ice cubes in it. Ad carbonated water and a cherry.

I just picked a few bottles (full size and mini size for the mishloach manot on Purim) of each Peter Heering flavor at Liquors Galore (1212 Avenue J in Brooklyn 11230) but it’s also available all over.

It can and will greatly enhance your Purim as Rukhl Schaechter and Eve Jochnovich tell us in the following video:

Do you have any memories of Cherry Heering? Why not share with us?

Meanwhile, enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

18
Mar
11

Purim’s Significance Today…


Almost 2500 years ago the Israelites, who’d been exiled to Persia, saw themselves threatened with mass murder through the instigation of Artaxerxes II’s (Ahasuerus) vizier, Haman. The odds were against them, bribes couldn’t accomplish much. Running away to safer places was not a viable option, especially since the Persian Empire extended through 127 lands! There seemed to be little that could be done… One man, one of the king’s advisors, a Jew, not only did not take this laying down but he seemingly exacerbated matters by refusing to bow down before the vizier. Rather than hide as soon as he saw Haman, he made it a point to stay where he was and while everybody bowed and prostrated themselves he stood defiantly upright. At first, this behavior seems incomprehensible. Every one was supposed to bow down or risk getting killed, yet this man seemed oblivious of the punishment. He continually and openly defied and enraged the vizier. Common sense would have dictated bowing down. What was the point of attracting undo attention to oneself? And why would Mordechai, the Jew, be so brazen about it?

Haman was a descendant of King Agag, who was defeated by Shaul Hamelech. King Agag was a descendant of Amalek, a desert chieftain in the Sinai Peninsula who attacked the Jews fresh out of Egypt and was very badly defeated. The enmity between the two people was strong; Haman, as a descendant of Agag, craved vengeance from the nation he hated most. Now, the head of that nation, Mordechai seemed to egg him on, to go out of his way to provoke him with his insulting attitude. Why did this Jew, Mordecai, refuse to bow and prostrate himself? Haman was considered a deity, he wore a necklace with his likeness in the form of an idol. Had Mordechai bowed to Haman, he would be bowing to a living idol. No Jew could do that! By being so brazen, he hoped that Haman would take out his wrath on him and him alone. But Haman was too smart for that. He knew Mordechai had saved Ahasuerus’ life by revealing a plot he’d overheard when two courtiers were planning to assassinate the king. For Haman to go and demand Mordechai’s head from the king was not likely to succeed. Instead, he told the king that one nation stands apart and refuses to blend in therefore it should be destroyed, including every man woman or child. By destroying all Jews he certainly would kill Mordechai! Esther, the queen, foiled the whole scheme when she invited the king and his vain vizier to dinner. At dinner she revealed to Ahasuerus, the plot against her people. Soon Haman and his 10 sons were hanged instead. That in short is the story of Purim as related in Megillas Esther… What is it’s relevance to our world of today? What if anything can it teach us? Patience, gentle reader, you will soon see…

In the days of the British Mandate in Palestine, the Jews – in the interest of peace with their Arab neighbors – were asked to give up any and all claims to the area of the Kotel Hama’aravi – the Western Wall, which is a remnant of the old Temple and thus the holiest existing site in the Jewish religion. In exchange for relinquishing all claims against it, the Arabs would permit the Jews to pray at the Wall without resorting to violence. Considering the number of Jews that had been killed or hurt on their way to prayers at the Wall, the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Committee were ready to sign such a deal. They could not however do so, their signatures would lack legitimacy unless Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook – the Chief Rabbi – could be convinced of the merits of the idea and would publicly endorse it.

Chief Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook

Various groups and organizations went to see the Chief Rabbi and carefully explained the situation, stressing the fact that by simply relinquishing Jewish rights the bloodshed of Jews would stop. The Rabbi however listened painfully  but did not answer. His beadle, sensing the Chief Rabbi’s pain, went into the next room where the Rabbi’s oldest son was engaged in studies with others. He explained the situation and the son then entered his father’s room and explained to the important members of the delegation that his father could never agree. They eventually left disappointed… they had presented their case to the Chief Rabbi, they had explained to him that lives could be saved, but he did not badge, as if he did not fully grasp reality!

Another delegation of notables came to see Rabbi Kook, these were even more important people, nobody ever denied them their request. For while couched as requests, their words were meant as orders. They too accomplished nothing, especially after Chief Rabbi Kook told them. “Mordechai never bowed, nor would he prostrate himself! (Book of Esther 3:2)” Defeated in spite of their entreaties, in spite of their threats, the notables left empty handed. Rabbi Kook knew full well that compromising at this time would mean that at a later time the Jews would be told that they should stop praying at the Western Wall altogether, after all, their Chief Rabbi and all the Jewish notables had given up any claim and therefore it was no longer theirs. They – the Jews – would now be encroaching on the Muslims by insisting on praying at the Western Wall, to which they had given up all claims!

Fast forward a few years to WWII, this story is about the Grand Rabbi of Skulen, Elazar Zushe Portugal ZaTZa”L. Nothing stood in the way of the Rebbe when it came to save Jews. During the war he was in the city of Chernowitz, then under Soviet control, so as to be able to assist those who had tried to smuggle themselves to Romania. Any Jew that was caught was immediately found guilty and as punishment was either sent to Siberia for life or he got a bullet in his head… The Rebbe, no matter the odds, always pleaded for those that had been caught and usually succeeded in getting them free.

The colonel in charge of the border patrols, also lived in Chernowitz, he was a ruthless man, but there was something about the Rabbi’s manner and his words that always managed to win him over, but even he had had enough of this Jew! He finally told the Rabbi, ” This will be the last time you will bother me. If you come again on behalf of your Jews I will kill you!”

Shortly thereafter the Rebbe was notified that a family of nine had been caught in the process of smuggling out. The Rebbe felt it was his duty to save them. Big bribes did not work, the Russians were absolutely determined to make an example of these people and thereby stop or at least slow down the escapes. The Rabbi felt he could still go to the Colonel and plead. His family and acquaintances begged him not to go, “why risk your life?” they argued. His answer was that while it was not a given that he would be killed as the colonel threatened, the lot of the unfortunate family was sealed unless he could do something about it!

Rabbi Portugal approached the colonel’s home with trepidation, climbed the steps and knocked on the door. The colonel opened and was immediately overcome with anger. He grabbed the Rebbe and threw him down the stairs. Badly hurt, and with extreme difficulty he managed to get up. With whatever strength he had left he barely climbed up the stairs again and knocked on the door.

The colonel opened the door and could not believe what he saw. There stood the Grand Rabbi of Skulen, dirty, bloodied, clothes torn, in obvious pain but… with a look of defiance in his eyes. “I must speak to you colonel!” the Rebbe said, tears streaming down his face. The colonel listened, the Rebbe begged, cried, as he told of the family’s plight. The colonel’s hardened heart was softened by the Rebbe’s selflessness and heartfelt devotion. He was impressed and the family was freed! The Grand Rabbi of Skulen, regardless of personal danger did not accept the family’s fate. He never wavered in his resolve to save them at all costs even at great personal risk. “Mordechai never bowed, nor would he prostrate himself! (Book of Esther 3:2)”

A 1930 Purim play, based on the Book of Esther

Still wondering what these stories of dead old Jews have to do with the 21st century world we live in now? Let me explain, gentle reader, 2500 years ago some Jews stood up to the Persian vizier. In Iran, would be new satrap, the putrid little maggot Ahmedinejad, is threatening the free world with impunity. Today, in Europe, in America, we are threatened by IslamoFascists who demand every right for themselves in exchange for nothing! Leaders in the UK, in the US, throughout Europe and Latin America are giving in without a fight, Frankly, these leaders have nothing to fight for, no spirituality, no lasting values worth defending. In the UK Imams preach hatred for the West, while comfortably living off the British taxpayer’s money. Their freedom of speech and incitement to violence is protected, While Geert  Wilders, who exposes their kind without inciting or preaching violence is denied entry to the UK and his freedom of speech is curtailed. Western politicians have long given up their values in exchange for power, money, lust. None of those lasts long, thus they have no reason to fight for. We the people are of no import to these so called “leaders,” all they want is to perpetuate themselves in power! They know full well that as long as they are useful to IslamoFascism, as long as they bow and prostrate themselves they will be reelected by that malevolent minority who would tear away the rights from the rest of us. There are still some people in the West who cling to their spiritual values, there are still people in the west who pride themselves of their lifestyle and Western heritage… UMordechai lo yichra velo ishtachaveh – Mordechai never bowed, nor would he prostrate himself. Will we?!?!?

CS

02
Mar
11

This Evening’s Internet Radio Guest Will Be…


Last Wednesday, we spoke to radio and TV personality, newspaper columnist Rabbi Yaakov Spivak. We spoke about some interesting insights on Megillahs Esther. If you missed the broadcast you can hear it here.

This evening we will feature a conversation with Aaron Zimmerman, owner of Liquors Galore (1212 Avenue J – between 12th and 13th Streets; Brooklyn, NY 11230-3702; Telephone: 718.338.4166).

Mr. Zimmerman opened his first liquor store in 1998, it was located 2 blocks away from his current location, it was long and very narrow. Three years ago he moved to his present location into what is one of the most beautiful, best organized wine and liquor stores. When you first walk into this well appointed store you can’t being impressed by the looks, the knowledgeable stuff and the encyclopedic knowledge of their product by the store owners. Wines, for example, are organized by country of origin and – within each country – by winery. Center isles display sale items as well as some of the newest products.

Aaron has shared some basics of wine tasting on this blog’s pages before, with a four part series on Enjoying Your Wine (Buying, Tasting, Storing and Grape Varieties). This evening we will talk about some of the newest kosher wines to enjoy on Purim and Pessach and suggestions on how to enjoy the Arba Kosos at both sedorim without getting sick.

Just listen in, gentle reader, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) on Wednesday, March 2nd, on Jewish Radio Network. Enter the site and click on the red “here” under the white “Radio,” then wait about 30 to 90 seconds for the application to start streaming.

CS

28
Sep
10

Galupces, Galumpkes, Holishkes, Holipces, Holopches


Stuffed cabbage rolls are known by a variety of names, depending on what part of Europe you or your ancestors came from. The recipes, however, are very similar. Traditionally, though it can be enjoyed on any holiday, it has become a staple on the Simchas Torah table.  My favorite recipe follows:

Aunt Judy’s Holopches (Stuffed Cabbage)

Yields: approximately 20 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1 large head green cabbage(outer leaves are for rolls, chop up remainder into long
    pieces)
  • 1 bottle or package of sauerkraut (tightly squeeze out liquid)
  • 1 medium onion grated
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 lb ground lean beef
  • 1/2 cup long grain rice,
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 raw eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1½ tsp salt, or salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup water mixed with 1 cup tomato puree
  • ½ lb salami cubed (optional)
  • Pinch sour salt

Directions

  1. Remove core of cabbage head, place cabbage head in a large pot of water, bringing to boil.
  2. Cook until the outer leaves begin to loosen and soften.
  3. Remove loose softened leaves and return rest till more leaves are softened.
  4. Repeat till all leaves for rolls are removed.
  5. Trim thick veins on larger cooked leaves.
  6. Chop center core leaves for sauté.
  7. Mix beef with eggs, rice, grated onions salt, pepper in bowl.
  8. Put a handful of meat mixture into center of each cabbage leaf, roll it up and tuck in
    sides.
  9. Prepare all stuffed cabbage leaves.

Rue

  • 4 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • Pinch of salt

Preparation

  1. Sauté in a separate pan till golden brown.
  2. Then stir in water and tomato puree.
  3. In large pot, sauté sliced onion in oil till translucent.
  4. Add sauerkraut, shredded cabbage, seasoning and salt.
  5. Place the cabbage rolls seam side down.
  6. Cover with remainder of chopped cabbage.
  7. Add peppercorns and bay leaf.
  8. Slow cook on low-medium until mixture begins to bubble.
  9. Simmer for approximately 3 hours.

Aunt Judy is an incredible balabusta, baker and cook. In her younger years, on yomim tovim and simchas, her house was always full of guests, the table arrayed with the most delicious home made foods. Stuffed cabbage was a standard on Chanukah, Purim and Simchas Torah No one made it better!!!

SYR

26
Feb
10

Purim Thoughts – Realities and Hopes


I wrote the following on February 27th, 2007, most of it still applies:

Starting this coming Saturday night and Sunday until nightfall, Jews around the world will celebrate the festival of Purim. What is Purim and what is its significance today other than the commemoration of a long, long past event? As in those days again the foe is Persia, Iran as it’s currently called. The King’s Vizier wanted to annihilate all the Jews on the day of Purim, instead he was hung and his henchmen killed… The descendant of pigs and apes, that putrid little maggot Mahmoud Ahmedinajad also obsesses about wiping Israel off the map, like Haman of yore he too is a Persian. Like Haman of yore, he is too blinded by his arrogance and hatred to do what is best for his country (whose economy is going down hill, fast), rather than follow his destructive whims…

But, gentle reader, he is unfortunately not alone as an evil creature these days. The list of those who want to build their careers by destroying Israel and eventually vanquish the West is unfortunately, much larger than just this Iranian wannabe world Satrap. You might recall Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah who wants to destroy the fragile democracy in Lebanon and turn it from a secular country into yet another repressive Muslim theocracy. Among the members of this infamous club you will find murderers such as Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniye who seem to totally ignore their constituents’ welfare in favor of their personal hatred for the Jews. And then, of course… the Dean of them all, Osama bin Laden (who may still be here on this earth or perhaps already “there” wondering why he didn’t get his 72 virgins and his beautiful valley, filled with fragrant flowers) and his next in line Ayman al-Zawahri, who actually runs the day by day operations of Al-Quaida… and the list goes on and on…

Haman, the vicious Vizier, was ultimately hung and so were his ten sons. They were hung on the very same tall gallows Haman had prepared for his hated foe, the Jew Mordechay. Then it took only one woman, to bring down the mighty Vizier and his minions, today one very brave person could still do a very good terminal job within each organization or country… Do miracles still happen in our day and age, are they as overtly open as they were then? Would it not be nice if they all did the World a favor and these scurges of mankind were eliminated one by one whether on Purim day (Sunday) or Shushan Purim (Monday)… or any other day?

In the days of King Xerxes or Artaxerxes, we are told: Layehudim hayta orah vesimcha, sason viykar – For the Jews there was light and joy, gladness and honor (Book of Esther 8:16). Would today’s world at large (not just dem Jooz!) not rejoice if these murderous terrorists were all given a final taste of their own medicine? Oh, I can just see the joyous headlines, but then I imagine there would be quite a few American bashers who’d bemoan the deaths (whether violent or otherwise) of these creeps. Why would anyone cry at the demise of such poor specimens of mankind, at the destruction of such malodorous pieces of devil’s dung? Why, folks, because it is fashionable to be anti-American, to be anti-West! These marked men are the heroes of the far left! What a tupsy-turvy world we live in where right is wrong, where truth is a lie. And yet, all this could be straightened out if there would be another Purim miracle… even if just one on this long list of vermin would loose his life in the exact way he wishes it on us… the free world might yet feel light and joy, gladness and honor… One can dream, can’t one? Sometimes dreams become reality, don’t they? Oyyy, what a banquet we will have!

There is so much in the above that hasn’t changed three years later… will the West ever wake up or has it given up?!?!?

A freilachen Purim!
Chag Purim same’ach!

CS

26
Feb
10

Hamentashen!!!


I had always made Hungarian Lekvár filled hamentashen, but for this upcoming Purim I wanted something different. So here is my variation on an old theme. These hamentaschen look great and truly taste great.

Peanut Butter Crunch Hamentashen

(Makes about 20 Hamentashen)

Dough Ingredients

2 cups flour
1 large egg
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ cup sugar
8 TABLESPOONS melted margarine (1 stick)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 3 tbsp. parve milk
1 tbsp. orange zest

Dipping chocolate

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, 3 tablespoons parve cream
2 tbs.p oil or margarine

Filling

Semisweet chocolate chips
8 tbsp. Chunky Peanut Butter
1 tsp. Confectioners’ sugar

Dough prep

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Add in melted margarine, orange zest, parve milk, egg, vanilla. Mix at medium speed in electric mixer for about 1 minute.

Roll out dough to ¼ “ thickness on well-floured surface. Cut into circles with cookie cutter or glass mouth. ( around 3” circumference) Place about 4-5 chocolate chips in center of circle. Pinch three sides, and place on oil sprayed cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for approximately 15 minutes, till golden. Cool.

When hamentashen have cooled, squeeze peanut butter filling into center.

Microwave semisweet chocolate for 30 seconds, then stir, then heat for another 30 seconds and stir till smooth and of dipping consistency. Dip each of the three corners of the hamentashen into chocolate dip. For added color and décor, sprinkle dipped edges with topping of your choice. I used butter crunch, and colored mini chocolate chips. but get a little crazy and creative. Invite the kids to bake with you inventing fun alternative fillings and toppings… Hey it’s Purim. Turn up the music and let your creative and simcha energies flow into the foods you make for family and friends.

A freilachen Purim, chag Purim same’ach!!!

SYR

25
Feb
10

Purim Recipes


Although today is a Ta’anit Esther – The Fast of Esther and observant Jews around the world are fasting, we also prepare for Sunday’s Purim feast. While looking for inspiration around the web, I came across the following (superb!) holy day recipes on famed Chef Laura Frankel‘s  blog:

I like hamantashen and certainly have eaten my fill of the tender cakey treats. Don’t get me wrong. They are delicious and fun to make. But, they are safe and not at all sexy. So, this year-I want some excitement on Purim. I think I am just tired of winter, the economy and bad news. Time for FUN! Get out your martini shakers, groggers and whatever else you need to put on a splashy and delicious Purim Feast. For dessert-I recommend you pull out those nice hamantashen or do like the Persians and serve dried fruit, nuts and fresh citrus.

All of the recipes can be prepped ahead of time, leaving you lots of time to get your Esther or Mordechai on. Have a Freylich Purim!

Blood Orange Martini

It is scary how tasty these martinis are-like you could easily get into trouble with a pitcher of these scary! Oh well, Haman-Mordechai…whatever! just have fun

1 ½ ounces vodka
2 ounces blood orange juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
1. Shake together and serve. Garnish with blood oranges slices and pomegranate seeds

Persian Meatballs (Kufteh)

This is a great dish for the end of winter. Serve this for Purim as a first course or as part of a Purim feast! Traditionally, the meatballs would not be browned before being poached. As a chef, I think the caramelized crust on the meatballs is essential and gives a great texture and more pronounced flavor. You can opt to do it either way.

2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 cup cooked yellow split peas
1 pound ground chicken, turkey or beef
½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
½ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 cup chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic-chopped
2 large red onions-peeled and chopped
2 eggs-lightly beaten
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom

1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well combined. Do not over mix as the mixture will be too tight and tough. Salt and pepper the mixture (I like to take a small amount and fry it to taste if the seasoning is correct).
2. Lightly, shape the meat balls with your hands.(I find that wetting my hands with cold water and using a rolling motion keeps them from getting too packed and tight.) You can store the meatballs at this point covered in the refrigerator for 2 days or freeze them for 1 month.
3. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the pan with olive oil. Brown the meatballs in batches. Remove form the pan and drain on paper towels.

For the poaching liquid

1 16-oz can of canned tomatoes with their juices
2 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon saffron threads
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice and zest 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Bring the poaching liquid ingredients to simmer in a large saucepan. Place the meatballs in the pan. Gently poach them until cooked through. Do not stir the pan as the meatballs will break apart.

Basmati Rice
This is a show stopper for any buffet or dinner. The crispy crust on the rice tastes a little bit like popcorn. It is easy to make ahead and can be reheated in the pan in a low oven.

2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a large saucepan bring water with salt to a boil. Add rice and boil 10 minutes. In a colander drain rice and rinse under warm water.
2. Place a 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Coat the bottom with olive oil. Spoon rice into the pan, cover pan with a kitchen towel and a heavy lid. Fold edges of towel up over lid and cook rice over moderately low heat until a golden brown crust forms, about 30 to 35 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving platter. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and blood orange sections.

According to The Jew And The Carrot website, Chef Laura is currently Executive Chef and head of food services at the Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and café at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. She is the former chef and founder of the Shallots restaurants. Mrs. Frankel has training and extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens. Before committing herself to her culinary passion, she played both alto and baritone saxophones. She taught and played professionally. She is the author of Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.

Chef Laura will be giving a Kosher Food Demo at De Gustibus (on the 8th floor of Macy’s) on the upcoming 16th of March.

I’ve eaten many times at Shallots when it used to be located in Manhattan at the atrium of the SONY building’s where Solo is now situated. I definitely can vouch for her succulent creations!!!

CS




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