Archive for the 'kosher dairy cuisine' Category


Mamaliga, Mammelige!

I full well know that Jews were not the first to come up with this cornmeal dish, but among my earliest memories of my youth in Montevideo, Uruguay – from various relatives with Romanian spouses – was the aroma, the taste of Mamaliga (which some pronounced: mammelige)  I full well know that Mamaliga is not even a Yiddish name, yet there was also something very Jewish about the word, at least to my childhood mind, especially so, since my Italian friends’ mothers would call it polenta.

Elizabeth Wolf Cohen, in her Perfect Jewish, gives us the following recipe on page 154:

Romanian Mamaliga with Cheese

Serves 6 – 8
Cornmeal, made from maize  was introduced to Europe from the newly discovered Americas in the 16th century. Known as polenta in Italy, cornmeal became so popular in Romania that it was eaten as a porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


  • 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal or polenta
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons butter or pareve margarine
  • 1 cup cottage cheese, drained and strained

Mamaliga, mammelige... polenta?

Put the cornmeal and salt into a medium bowl and stir in 1 cup of the cold water and smooth. Bring to a large pan filled with 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Gradually pour the the wet cornmeal into the boiling water stirring to prevent any lumps forming. 
Cook stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until the cornmeal forms a mushy porridge and the water is absorbed.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the strained cheese. Leave to stand for 1 minute. Stir and spoon into a serving bowl.
Alternatively cook the cornmeal as above, reducing the water by 1 cup. Stir in only half the margarine and omit the cheese. Pour into a greased 9x5x3,5 inch loaf pan and leave to cool. Refrigerate, covered for 2 – 3 hours, or until firm and chilled.
Run a shar knife around the edges of the pan and unmold on to a cutting board. Cut into thin slices.
Heat the remaining butter in a large, heavy bottom skillet over medium-heat. Working in batches, add the cornmealslices and cook for 2 minutes, or until heated through  and crisp and golden. Carefully turn and cook for 1 minute more. Serve with roasted poultry or stew.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

Shavuos Recipes – Part 2

I am a confirmed hardcore carnivore, but every once in a while I have to make some nice pasta dishes for a milchig dinner. Especially now that Shavuos is almost upon us… Here are two of my favorites:

Fettuccine Alfredo with Mushrooms


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb fettucine
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 3/4 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Mozarella
  1. Mix the butter and 2/3 cup of the heavy cream, bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 2 minutes or until the cream has thickened slightly.
  2. Boil a large pan of lightly salted water, over medium heat.
  3. Add the pasta, bring back to a boil and cook for 9 minutes or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain pasta thoroughly, return to pan, pour in the sauce (from step 1)
  4. Toss the pasta in the sauce, over a low fire, until thoroughly coated. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of heavy cream, the shredded Mozarella, nutmeg, mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste. Toss the pasta thoroughly in the whole mixture while on a low flame.
  5. While pasta is cooking, sauté the mushrooms and garlic in a little bit of oil, until garlic pieces are golden brown.
  6. Put the pasta mixture on a large warmed serving plate. Add the sautéed mushrooms and garlic. Serve and sprinkle generously with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Vegetable Cannelloni

Delicious is an understatement!


  • 12 cannelloni
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • Basil, to garnish

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb 12 ozs canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon 10x confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 4 Mozzarella slices


  1. In a large pan boil some lightly salted water. Add the cannelloni, return to a boil and cook for another 9 minutes or until tender but still firm to the bite. Put pasta in a plate and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Cut the eggplant into small dice. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. add the eggplant, stir frequently while cooking for about three minutes.
  3. Add spinach, garlic, cumin and mushrooms. Reduce the heat. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Cooking for 2 to 3 minutes stirring constantly. Spoon the mixture into the cannelloni. Arrange cannelloni in a casserole in a single layer.
  4. To make the sauce, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar and basil. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over cannelloni.
  5. Arrange the Mozzarella slices over the sauce and bake in 375 F. preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbling. serve hot garnished with a prig of basil.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy AND don’t forget to send us your favorite Shavuos recipes (there is a nice selection of cholov Yisroel cheeses as the prize for the best!) to:



shavuos recipes 


shavuos recipes – part 2

shavuos recipes – part 1 

For prize winning cheese cake recipes: and the winner is…


Shavuos Recipes

The Shavuos Recipe Contest, which we announced on May 12th, has so far netted only 11 entries. Come now, gentle readers, we know there are some great cooks out there, please send us your favorite dairy recipes for a chance to win a nice selection of cholov Yisroel cheeses.

Meanwhile, having attended Lévana’s delicious Shavuos themed Dinner and a Show this past Monday, she graciously agreed to share two recipes:

Photo by:

Cold Watercress Soup Recipe

Cold soups would always be a thrill if only they were made with full-bodied and full-flavored veggies, as they are here. No stock or broth whatsoever! Bouillon cubes? Let’s not even go there!

There are several variations you might enjoy on this theme, keeping as always a short and sweet ingredient selection: Broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus instead of the watercress and zucchini; potatoes, turnips, parsnips, cauliflower instead of the celery root. Play with all the possibilities!

The immersion blender is a wonderfully nifty tool, inexpensive and portable (it will fit in a drawer), that allows you to blend your soup directly and in one shot right in your pot. No transferring, no mess. Just make sure there are no bones in the soup, or you will break your blade.


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 large leeks, sliced
  • 1 large celery knob, diced
  • 2 large zucchini, cut in large chunks
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) water
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 bunches watercress, stems and leaves
  • Good pinch nutmeg
  • 4 cups cold milk or non-dairy milk
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a wide heavy pot. Add the leeks and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add the celery, zucchini, turmeric, water, wine and salt, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the watercress and cook only a few seconds, until wilted. Turn off the flame.
  5. The remaining ingredients and cream the soup with an immersion blender. Adjust the texture and seasonings.
  6. Chill the soup.

As a kid growing up in Montevideo, Uruguay, I had to contend with two major handicaps:

  • The first neighborhood we lived in was mostly Italian and we were the only Jews in our building, the lone Jewboy was a natural target…
  • I was extremely overweight and couldn’t run too well, that much better for the nabe’s bullies.

My saintly mother (aleha Hasholom!) decided she’d become the best Italian cook in the neighborhood. Why? So that everyone would want to be invited over for a meal and thus, out of pure self interest, stop beating up the very fat Jewish kid… One of the favorites was polenta, here’s Lévana’s own version:

Polenta Casserole au Gratin Recipe

Please ignore those insipid cooked polenta rolls you find in the supermarket: Making the polenta base takes minutes, and is the bulk of the work for this delicious dish, which will serve a good dozen guests! Au Gratin just means it is topped with a crust: Yum!

This is only one of the wonderful polenta possiblities: You will love to explore them, as it is not only delicious but very nutritious, and gluten-free to boot. You can:

  • Eat the polenta as is, hot and un-assembled (in other words, only the first step of the recipe) as the grain for a main course.
  • Thin it with a little water, garlic and minced basil, maybe a couple diced tomatoes for a great soup
  • Cut the cooled polenta in cubes or triangles and put it right under your broiler flame
  • Make other fillings: Roasted diced vegetables (mushrooms, eggplant, red pepper, fennel, artichoke hearts, etc…..
  • Make it dairy-free. Cook it in water or dairy-free milk, and/or substitute some white wine for some of the water or milk.


  • 9 cups milk, low-fat OK
  • A few drops olive oil
  • Salt to taste (remember the cheese is salty, so very little please)
  • 3 cups coarse cornmeal
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan or other strong cheese
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 5 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • Good pinch dried pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs, gluten-free OK
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  1. Boil water, oil, and salt in a large pot. Add the cornmeal and stir until thick. This should take about ten minutes.
  2. Stir in the cheese.
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased cookie sheet, in a layer no more than half an inch thick. You might fill one and a half cookie sheets. Let the polenta cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  5. While the polenta is cooling, make the sauce: in a food processor, coarsely grind the garlic, basil and onion. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining sauce ingredients.
  6. Grease an 11-by-14-inch lasagna pan. Make one layer polenta, making sure you leave no blank spaces. Add half the sauce.
  7. Repeat: one layer polenta, one layer sauce. Bake the casserole for about 45 minutes, or until the dish looks bubbly and hot.
  8. Mix the bread crumbs with the butter, and sprinkle over the dish. Bake another 10 minutes.
  9. Let cool slightly before cutting into squares. Makes a dozen servings.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy AND don’t forget to send us your favorite Shavuos recipes (there is a nice selection of cholov Yisroel cheeses as the prize for the best!) to:

Meanwhile, check out Lévana’s pages for more Shavuos delicacies.



shavuos recipes – part 2 


shavuos recipes – part 2

shavuos recipes – part 1

and for prize winning cheese cake recipes: and the winner is…


Shavuos Contest

Last year we announced The Kosher Scene’s First Annual Shavuot Cheese Cake Contest, as a result we received 21 recipes by the time it was over. We realize that not everyone is a baker so this year instead of cheesecake we are announcing a Shavuot Best Dairy Recipe Contest. It need not be a cheescake, it can be anything, BUT cheese must be one the ingredients.

Last year’s winner got the following cholov Yisroel cheeses from N&K some of whose products we’ve reviewed on these pages (here and here):

Stack 108 slices stack White American, 16ozs. Mozarella chunk, 8ozs. Muenster chunk, 8 ozs. Cheddar chunk, 6ozs. Muenster slices, 6ozs. Swiss slices, 6ozs. Processed Pepper Jack slices, 8ozs. shredded Pizza Cheese, 8 ozs. shredded Chef's Blend, 12 Mozarella Cheese Sticks

You may not like to bake, but you may like to cook up a storm of delicious dishes for Shavuot, so please, send us some of your best recipes to:

We’ll publish the most mouth watering ones with the author’s name and the winner will receive a selection of cheeses from N&K to rival last year’s prize. All entries must be emailed by Monday, June 6 of 2011. We will announce the winner on Monday the 13th of June. Send us your best recipes, don’t be shy. Even if you think other readers may send in better ones, try anyway, don’t let your modesty keep you from winning. Your family will be proud of you, other readers will thank you. We can’t wait to see your best efforts, our mouth are already salivating.

For last year’s delicious winning cheesecake recipes, check out: and the winner is…



This Evening’s Radio Show and a Recipe

Right before Pessach we did a two hour show featuring various wine experts and distributors, talking about kosher wines from around the world. It ended with a half hour conversation with Chef Jeff Nathan of Abigael’s.  You can listen to the archived show here.

This evening our internet radio guest will be Chef Sarah Lasry. Mrs. Lasry is Food Editor at Binah Magazine, author of The Dairy Gourmet and The At Home Gourmet. For eight years she owned and operated Tastebuds, a very successful dairy restaurant in the Howell/Lakewood area in New Jersey. You can hear our conversation, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalk Radio. To talk to our guest, or to comment, you may call in at: 714.333.3357, we will be on from 8:00 – 8:30pm.

Looking through her latest of cookbook, The At Home Gourmet, I found it well organized and easy to follow. It’s divided in seven sections (Amazing Appetizers, Simple Soups, Zestful Salads, Lazy Lunches, Delicious Dinners, Waist Watchers, Basic Desserts) )and has a well organized Index. Quite a few of its recipes are destined to become new favorites, among them some of the very decadent desserts.

While I’m a carnivore to the core, those who follow this blog also know that any recipe that calls for cheese is sure to get my attention. Therefore, out of the many mouthwatering recipes in this book, I thought the one below would be perfect…

So Cheesy Onion Potato Gratin

  • 1 large onion sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp.extra virgin oil
  • 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Mozarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter
  • Extra shredded Cheddar or Mozzarella for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a skillet over med-high heat, saute the onions in olive oil until they have browned (about 4-5 minutes). In a sprayed 9 x 13 baking pan, layer the bottom with the fried onions. Then layer the potatoes over the onions, covering them completely and overlapping the potatoes one on top of the other.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk the heavy cream, salt, black pepper and both cheeses together. Pour the heavy cream mixture over the potatoes. In a separate bowl, add the crumbs and melted margarine, mix well and then spread generously over the top layer of potatoes. Sprinkle with a little more cheese and bake the gratin until it becomes bubbly, the top is brown and the potatoes are completely soft, about 20-30 minutes. Let gratin rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy! As for me I plan on pairing it tonight with a well chilled Balma Venetia 2006 Muscat Beaumes de Venise… can’t wait!



Some New Cheeses from Natural & Kosher

N&K's newest selections

I may be a carnivore to the core, but I’m also a cheese lover. Thus, over the last seven days I’ve been trying some of Natural and Kosher‘s latest selections. These included: Horseradish Cheddar, Olive Cheddar, Part Skim Mozzarella, Goat Kashkaval, Sharp Goat Cheddar, Goat Mozzarella with Red Peppers, Goat Mozzarella with Fine Herbs, Cranberry Pecan Chèvre Goat Cheese, Fine Herbs Chèvre, 2 types of American Slices, Cheddar Cubes, Mexican Blend (Shredded blend of Monterrey Jack, Cheddar and Asadero) and a superb Fitucci Grated Parmesan Cheese. I found them all to be delicious choices. Feeling adventurous I decided to do a white omelette. SYR had been telling me about an omelette without yolks, made with only the egg whites. What’s the point you ask? A drastic reduction in calories and the elimination of almost all the cholesterol with no sacrifice of taste!

SYR‘s Hearty White Omelette

Delicious and filling!

Yield: 2 servings


  • olive oil
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1/3 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 Baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 6 egg whites
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 slice N&K Horseradish Cheddar
  • 1 slice N&K Olive Cheddar
  • Fitucci Grated Parmesan
  • 1 medium tomato
  • Parsley flakes


  1. Saute onion and peppers in a sprayed or lightly greased coated pan till light brown.
  2. Add in chopped mushrooms. and saute for another few minutes till onions are golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Toss egg whites into pan on low-medium flame till lightly golden add salt and pepper to taste- flip
  4. Add in suated onions, pepper ch0pped parsley mushrooms and cheese.
  5. When cheese melts, fold in half and slide onto plate.
  6. Garnish with tomato slices and sprinkle the whole with parsley flakes and grated Parmesan cheese.

What did we do with the yolks?!? With Purim coming up in a few days they were used for baking, of course.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!



Natural Village Cafe

Warm, welcoming, classy, delicious… these four words give us a faint idea of my impressions of Natural Village Cafe (2 Avenue I – across from Shoprite Supermarket – Brooklyn, NY 11218; Tel: 347.492.5337 or 347. 417.6424). The restaurant is cholov Yisroel and pas Yisroel, with a mashgiach temidi and under the certification of Harav Meir Goldberg of the Va’ad Hakashrus d’Flatbush.

Upscale atmosphere, organic fare, beautiful and healthy in every possible way...

Nina Shapir, who presides over this eatery is truly a fascinating personality, the personal journey that changed her life and motivated her to open this establishment is full of commitment and dedication.

Fourteen years ago, Mrs. Shapir – a very young mother of three – found herself sick and unable to move, unable to cope. It was not a question of being financially overwhelmed, any such concerns were well taken care of. Medical tests and treatments produced no positive results, on the contrary things inexplicably kept getting worse. She met Harav Chay Azoulay, from Herzliya, who told her the real malady was not physical but rather one that affected her neshama. After some thought, trying to make sense of Rav Azulay’s words, she went on a detox diet with the help of healthfood stores, intent on ridding herself of all negative energies. This decision was followed by six very hard weeks before she saw any measurable improvements but soon after she was her old active, curious, intelligent, enterprising self again.

At this stage, Nina decided to help others who, though similarly afflicted, may not be aware of the real source of their health troubles. She went on to study Healing Arts at The School of Natural Healing in Utah from which she graduated. Seven years ago her first organic restaurant opened its doors. Her partner, however, was not frum and it proved frustrating eventually Nina bought her out. In 2008 she moved to the present location which combines her personal philosophy, her exquisite sense of aesthetics and the true love of a foodie for superb fare. She also has an an office adjacent to the restaurant where she treats the many in search of natural healing.

The restaurant sports geometric patterns on its walls and ceiling, with warm earth tones that give us a clue to the owner’s style and personality. Chef Bobby Brabaloni is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America – America’s foremost Culinary School – a fact which becomes obvious when you see the presentation, smell the aromas and taste the wonderful flavors.

My companion and I started our early dinner with a dish of Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

It consists of white mushrooms with sauteed onions, creamy pesto sauce, melted mozzarella and feta cheeses with a kick of chopped parsley. It was a perfect opener to a memorable meal.

We segued with their Village Pizza

Village Pizza

It came in a sesame crust, red onions, mushrooms, two types of mozzarella cheese and their very own red sauce. I know pizza, I’m a pizza addict and I must confess this one ranks among my favorites. My companion also found it delicious.

Next we had their Salmon Salad…

Salmon Salad

A superbly tasting salad fresh romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, grilled salmon, pan sauteed red inions, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms with a subtle teriyaki sauce. A fitting crown to our meal!

Wholesome food, warm ambience, reasonable prices, a nice bakery on premises… I know I’ll be back again and again.


Natural Village Cafe on Urbanspoon


Sugar River Cheese Co.

Europeans have long laughed at the pretentiousness of American cheeses (especially kosher ones), but, judging by the latest entries into the field, that situation will soon change. I’ve seen quite a few interesting cheeses at the Pomegranate isles, among them some intriguing flavored ones from the Sugar River Cheese Co. Having tasted these delicious cheeses we just had to contact them and interview Mark Rosen, the company’s President.

I found Mr. Rosen very personable, witty and a true foodie. Besides being a fountain of information on cheese making processes, he also told us some amusing stories about himself, stories that gave us a glimpse into the make up of his love of food and pursuit of quality. That carefully nurtured quest for the best led him to start this company in 2002 with the aim of bringing “natural, terrific tasting, unique, kosher Wisconsin Cheeses to the kosher consumer.” Judging by what we tasted, he certainly succeeded.

The superb tasting Sugar River cheeses we've sampled...

The Sugar River cheeses we’ve sampled were: Parmesan (aged 18 months, my personal favorite), White Cheddar (aged 18 months), White Cheddar with Roasted Garlic and Green Onion, White Cheddar with Chipotle, Prairie Jack with Parsley and ChivePrairie Jack with Green Peppercorns, Monterrey Jack with Jalapeno and Cilantro, Monterrey Jack With Roasted Garlic And Basil (second place award in the Flavored Monterey Jack judging category at the 23rd Annual Competition and Judging by the American Cheese Society‘s (ACS) held July 22, 2006 in Portland, Oregon. The first time Sugar River cheeses ever entered a competition and the first time a kosher cheese ever won!) and Monterey Jack With Tomato And Olive.

SYR, thought this cheeses would go perfectly with some of her favorite pasta recipes. Here’s one she tried which turned out terrific:

SYR‘s Easy Penne Alla Romana

YIELD: 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 package of penne
  • water to fully cover the pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 chopped garlic
  • 6 chopped pearl onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, cubed
  • 10 shitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup oyster mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10-15 chopped leaves of fresh basil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 package Sugar River White Cheddar with Roasted Garlic and Green Onion
  • Sugar River Parmesan

Aaahh... the aroma, the taste!


  1. In a medium size pot pour in water to two thirds height (enough to cover the pasta).
  2. Add the penne and cook until it is al dente (still firm, not hard).


  1. Pour the oil into a medium shallow pan.
  2. Sauté the chopped garlic and onions.
  3. Add the tomatoes when the above show some golden brown.
  4. After 30 seconds add the zucchini and mushrooms.
  5. Let it all cook for 1 minute and add basil and parsley.
  6. take off fire after 2 more minutes.
  7. Add mixture to drained penne


  1. Cut the Sugar River White Cheddar with Roasted Garlic and Green Onion into small cubes.
  2. Add the cubes into the mixed penne and vegetable. Continue mixing until cheese is mostly melted.
  3. Sprinkle with shavings of Sugar River Parmesan.
  4. Serve while still hot.

Please remember, by using the 18 month aged Parmesan you have to wait six hours before you can eat meat.

Enjoy, gentle reader, Enjoy!



From the Heart of Dixie

Even when I lived outside of the US, whether in Uruguay, Israel, etc., I’d hear about Southern cooking. When I first came to the States in 1962 and moved to Richmond, VA (the capital of the Confederacy), I actually got to taste a few superb kosher variations on the Southern theme.

Recently, I came across Simply Southern – With a Dash of Kosher Soul, a cookbook published by the Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South of Memphis, TN. I couldn’t wait to try out some of the book’s delicacies, I wasn’t disappointed! The recipes are a easy to make, short-cutting more complex directions with readily available ingredients that make preparation a snap. This ain’t no diet cookbook, so if you’ve been watching your waist after yom tov feasting save this for the times when you want to cook quick tasty dishes with that special touch of true Americana.  The recipes are clear, the assortment fun, pretty to look at and absolutely delicious.

For the last week we made quite a few of them and each proved delectable. The recipes are divided into ten sections running from

  • Appetizers and Starters
  • Soups and Sandwiches
  • Salads
  • Brunch & Dairy
  • Pasta, grains & Rice
  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Vegetables & Side Dishes
  • Desserts

As you can see, it covers the gamut of the most common cooking types. It is hard to chose just one recipe to share, in fact it’s hard to chose, two, three or even four favorites from those we tried. But here are two very Southern selections:

Real Fried Chicken

True Southerners make enough for leftovers. Nothing beats cold fried chicken for lunch the day after. Do not skip the salt! salt is an especially important ingredient to the authentic taste of this signature dish of Dixie!


1 quart water
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


Whisk together water, salt, cayenne, garlic powder, white pepper, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.


4 cut up chickens
12 cups vegetable oil
Self rising flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper


Add chicken pieces to marinade. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 360-375 degrees. Drain marinade from chicken on paper towels and pat dry. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with self-rising flour. Blend eggs and water. Combine all-purpose flour, salt, garlic powder, cayenne and white pepper. Dip chicken in egg wash. Dredge in flour mixture. Place chicken on a large baking sheet. Let sand for 10 minutes. Fry chicken in hot oil turning a few times for 20-25 minutes or until golden browned. Drain on a rack over paper towels.


For dessert I loved the Chess Pie, I also liked the humor in the intro to this dish.

Chocolate Chess Pie

Chess pie is one of the South’s great contributions to the culinary arts. One folk story asserts that it was originally called “just pie,” which was drawled as “jus’ pie,” eventually rolling off the tongue as “chess pie.” This is always a favorite!

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 eggs
10 tablespoons soymilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (9-inch) pie shell, unbaked
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
Chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, cocoa, and margarine in a bowl. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Blend in soymilk, vanilla and salt. Pour filling into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool top with whipped topping. Pie freezes well. Drizzle chocolate syrup across the top!


Each section starts out with a few short paragraphs detailing the transition of Southern cooking into Kosher cooking or an occasional anecdote to bring the Memphis community a little closer to wherever you are. Liberally sprinkled with humor and folksy story tellin’  Simply Southern – With a Dash of Kosher Soul is sure to change your view of classic American cooking.

Enjoy it, gentle reader, enjoy it in all its finger lickin’ goodness!



It Isn’t Just for Kids Anymore

As a kid I used to love macaroni & cheese, my kids loved/love it, so do my grandkids AND… I still like it! Looking at one my favorite Chef’s blog (Chef Laura Frankel), Laura’s Kosher Kitchen, I came across her adult version of a lifelong favorite:

Macaroni and Cheese

Let me have it, let me have it! (Photo by: Elle239 on

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Serves 6 generously


  • 1 pound macaroni or favorite pasta shape
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 shallot, minced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic minced finely
  • 2 cups of milk (I use whole milk for this)
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese-grated (I use White Sharp Cheddar)
  • 1 cup Emmentaler or Swiss cheese-grated
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • ½ cup bread crumbs-Panko* is perfect for this
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Bring a large saucepan with water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente (about 10 minutes depending upon size of pasta). Drain and set aside.
  2. Place a large sauté over medium low heat. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add chopped shallot and garlic and sweat the vegetables until they are very soft (about 2 minutes). Add flour and stir together. Cook the mixture for several minutes to remove the raw flour flavor.
  3. In a separate pan heat the milk until simmering. Add all at once to flour mixture. Whisk to prevent lumps. Add the hot sauce and cook until thickened (about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat. Add grated cheese and stir until melted and incorporated.
  4. Stir sour cream with cooked pasta. Add cheese mixture and stir to combine. Place in a lightly greased casserole.
  5. Stir bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake at 350 until bubbly and golden (about 30 minutes).

As Chef Laura explains in her intro to this dish:

Use the best quality cheese you can find-do not skimp and by all means, have some fun with it and try your favorite cheeses. I have made this dish with a sprinkling of Blue cheese for an adult version. I also have substituted whole wheat pasta instead of the traditional semolina pasta and no one complained. Attention all comfort food cravers-Skip the box and go for the good stuff-we are after all adults even if we need a bit of comfort now and then.

After a hard, tiring day at work, on any cold day, I find that macaroni and cheese just warms one up as it recharges the batteries…



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