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By Andrew Tobin for JTA
Cheesecake, amaretto or goat cheese and onion jam?
Those are just some of the new hamantaschen options this year at Roladin, a popular Israeli bakery chain. On Tuesday, the Dizengoff Center branch in Tel Aviv, one of dozens around the country, was bustling in advance of the Purim holiday, which starts next Wednesday evening.
Want more information on Purim? Check out Jvillage Network's Purim Guide.
By Joan Nathan for Tablet Magazine
Purim begins the evening of February 28
Every year at Purim we look forward to eating sweet triangular pastries called hamantaschen, but the first recipe I could find for cookies we might recognize as hamantaschen—filled with poppy seeds—appeared in Aunt Babette’s Cookbook of 1889. So what did American Jews eat on Purim before then? Purim fritters, also known as Queen Esther’s toast.
A recipe for Purim fritters appears in Jennie June’s Cookbook of 1866, and it was copied as Queen Esther’s toast in the National Cookery Book 10 years later, celebrating the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. It was made from the inside of a stale roll or loaf of bread, with the crust removed, soaked in eggs and milk; it was then fried in butter and served with cinnamon, a sugar syrup, honey, or “hundreds and thousands”—essentially, jimmies or sprinkles.
Want more information on Purim? Check out Jvillage Network's Purim Guide.
The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com
Get cozy with these delicious Jewish soups, carbs and sweets.
Yeah, yeah we know that hot chocolate is like the coziest thing to drink when it’s dreary and cold outside. But we prefer to snuggle up with babka, chicken soup and a whole bunch of other cozy Jewish dishes. Here are a few of our favorites to make your winter a little warmer.
Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls
Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Challah
Yemenite Vegetarian Soup
by Jaime Bender for FromtheGrapevine
The sesame-based treat, often eaten on its own, is about to be the new ingredient in your favorite foods.
At first glance, it looks like a cross between cake and fudge. And since both of those things are inarguably great, it's no surprise that we would be singing the praises of a treat called halvah, a sesame-based concoction popular in Israel, the Mediterranean and now, the U.S. You can make it at home, buy it at specialty shops and grocery stores in either candy bar or loaf form, and even use it as a ingredient in your favorite baked goods – which is where we come in.
Here are some classic recipes that we've discovered – and some we've created ourselves – enhanced with a healthy helping of halvah.
BY DAWN LERMAN for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com
I was the only person in Miss Duckler’s kindergarten class without a sibling. I had wished so long for a sister. But I had also wished on a star for a Baby Alive doll, and that never came true. So when my Aunt Jeannie picked me up from school and shared the birth of my sister April, I couldn’t really believe it. I started cheering, and skipping in circles. “I have a sister, I have a sister!”
As we drove off in her silver El Dorado Cadillac, I was dying with anticipation. I wanted to see what April looked like, hold her, and be one of the first voices she heard. Breaking the news that we would have to wait till morning before we could go to the hospital, Jeannie pulled out a bag of her just baked chocolate chip mandel bread. “They’re still warm,” she said, trying to comfort me.
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE for Kveller
Apparently, boxed mac n’ cheese has been declared bad for you now, because of all the chemicals. As Kveller editor Sarah Seltzer wrote here, it’s kind of hard to ditch the tried and true classic (especially since it’s all your kids want to eat, and can you really blame them?).
Considering the fact that everyone loves mac n’ cheese, we’re not about to ditch it—but we can make healthier (aka: chemical-free) versions of it. Because of that, we rounded up some of our favorite mac n’ cheese recipes that we still love and adore (and they don’t have nasty chemicals!).
Here are six below:
BY SONYA SANFORD for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com
Jewish and Vietnamese comfort food meet in one delicious bowl.
Growing up in Seattle, it’s easy to fall in love with pho. Nearly as ubiquitous as coffee shops or teriyaki spots (yes, teriyaki), pho restaurants seem to be just around every corner of the city. They welcome you in from the cold and the rain with their steamy glass windows and equally steamy giant bowls of soup.
Pho (pronounced fuh) is a traditional Vietnamese soup that was popularized around the world by Vietnamese refugees fleeing the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Pho Ga is the chicken noodle variety of the soup. For me, pho is the perfect meal: a big bowl of rich aromatic, sweet, salty broth filled with satisfying rice noodles and tender meat, and balanced by toppings of fresh herbs, crispy bean sprouts, and tart lime juice.
BY ALY MILLER for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com
With the popularity of Israeli cuisine, the Jewish foods of Yemen, Ethiopia and Egypt are becoming more and more well-known. Buzzy ingredients like hawaij, turmeric and the fruity liquor called arak have made their way into North American cupboards. The history of food in this region is celebrated and explored here.
In these desert-like regions, Jewish cooking was shaped by the hot, arid climate and trade with India. Turmeric, curry powder and fenugreek are all prominently used in soups and stews of the region. Cool, refreshing vegetable salads that combated the desert heat became common fare in Jewish Egyptian communities.
Broaden your culinary repertoire with some Nosher recipes that come from these parts of the world:
Trying to eat healthy? Start by opening your Bible to Deuteronomy 8:8, where the Israelites are promised "a good land… a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey."
The ancients might not have known the word "antioxidant," but they were onto something with this list of biblical "super-foods." Explore this gallery to find out exactly how on-target they were.
By Adeena Sussman for Hadassah Magazine
The cruelest irony of Paula Wolfert’s Alzheimer’s disease is that her 79 years have been marked by enough unforgettable experiences to fill five lifetimes. While not a household name, Wolfert was the globetrotting culinary adventurer largely responsible for bringing couscous and other Middle Eastern staples to American kitchens. Today, she finds herself in a race against the clock to document decades packed end to end with indelible memories.
Enter Emily Kaiser Thelin, who stepped up to become her mentor’s memory keeper. Thelin first met Wolfert in 2008 while on assignment for Food & Wine magazine in Morocco. Together, the two women wound their way through Marrakesh’s ancient marketplace.
By Dana Kessler for Tablet Magazine
Forget the strawberry filling or the sugary toppings. These savory pastries are stuffed with meat, or fish, or cheese. And they make everything else taste like kids’ stuff.
For Jews in America, where latkes rule, sufganiyot are mediocre, unimaginative jelly doughnuts that appear as an afterthought every Hanukkah. In Israel, however, sufganiyot are a huge deal, and bakeries everywhere stock up: Everywhere you look in Israel, you see a huge variety of sufganiyot in bakery windows—and every year retailers add new flavors, which get more elaborate with each year that passes.
At the Roladin chain of bakeries, for instance, you’ll find sufganiyot with names like Cream Cheese Pavlova (filled with vanilla-flavored Italian mascarpone cream cheese and topped with white chocolate, meringue bites, blueberries, and a little test tube filled with a raspberry-crème de cassis liqueur chaser) or St. Honoré, paying homage to the famous French cake (filled with caramel-flavored mascarpone cream cheese and topped with caramel, chocolate lace, chantilly cream, and profiteroles).
This recipe is highlighted in our Hanukkah Guide. Find more articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
By Joan Nathan for Tablet Magazine
Made with lamb and leeks, savory ‘kiftes’ bring a taste of Macedonia to your holiday table
In Macedonia—both the Balkan state and the northern section of Greece—leeks grow as plentifully as onions, so there are many leek dishes from this region. In particular, Jews from Macedonia wax nostalgic about leek kofta, as these patties are known locally, made with lamb, beef, or potatoes and cheese.
As I was researching recipes for my forthcoming book King Solomon’s Table, Tablet’s editor in chief, Alana Newhouse, gave me permission to tamper with the traditional recipe for “kiftes” or “kiftes de prasa” made by her maternal grandmother, who came from Monastir (now Bitola), Macedonia. I didn’t have to change much. Roasting the leeks at a high heat instead of boiling them, as Alana’s grandmother would have done, and adding a bit of spice made all the difference in bringing out the flavor.
By Shannon Sarna for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com
Butternut squash, pumpkin, butternut squash, pumpkin…after awhile, all that squash and pumpkin kind of looks and tastes the same. Which is why I came up with this slight variation on a classic butternut squash soup: same roasted butternut squash, but with a Middle Eastern twist.
And I must give credit where it is due. While I am pretty picky about my cookbooks, especially kosher cookbooks, I do love Saffron Shores which inspired this soup recipe.
DANIEL GRITZER for seriouseats.com
I'm convinced that one of the world's greatest sandwiches comes from the Middle East. And I am most certainly not talking about falafel. My obsession is the sabich, a pita sandwich stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, hummus, tahini sauce, and Israeli salad and pickles. To me, it's not even a contest.
I've never really understood the fascination with falafel. In theory, I should love it—chickpeas are my favorite beans, and deep-fried...well, I love deep-fried so much that I'm now using it as a noun. But falafel has yet to win me over, with even the moistest versions way drier and more crumbly than I want. Pack it inside starchy pita, and...I just don't get it.*
Sarah Rich for Jewish Book Council
Sarah Rich is the co-editor of Leave Me Alone with the Recipes: The Life, Art, and Cookbook of Cipe Pineles. Cipe (pronounced “C. P.”) was one of the most influential graphic designers of the twentieth century, and the first female art director at Condé Nast.
When I first flipped through Cipe Pineles’s hand-painted recipe book from 1945, it felt deeply familiar. This was my family’s food—not the food we ate for dinner on an average evening during my childhood, but the food we kept in our cultural pantry.
It was a wonder to see these dishes rendered with so much vibrancy and character in Cipe’s art. In my mind, many Eastern European Jewish foods were fairly plain and monotone. You could paint matzo balls, gefilte fish, potato latkes, noodle kugel, kasha and brisket all within a spectrum from beige to brown. Yet here was a rainbow of beets, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes; not to mention the cool blue enamel and warm clay of the cookware. It was a visual celebration of a cuisine that typically feels nostalgic, comforting, old.
Jamie Geller for The Joy of Kosher
15 BUNDT PAN RECIPES THAT AREN'T NECESSARILY CAKE
The bundt pan is the secret workhorse of your kitchen. Besides cakes, you can make kugels and breads as well as totally crazy dishes like roast chicken or lasagna.
Here are a few of our favorite bundt recipes that aren't necessarily cake (and a few that are).
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