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Archive for the ‘Jewish recipes’ Category

 

 

Best. Hamentashen. Ever. Made these last week. The crust on these is amazing. The filling is fantastic (I used almond butter instead of peanut butter), and I will definitely be trying other fillings with this amazing recipe, too.

Chocolate almond butter hamentashen (from one of my favorite blogs, Couldn’t Be Parve)

filling:

6 tablespoons almond butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted margarine

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, cold

2 tablespoons AP flour

dough:

2 cups AP flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted margarine

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make filling: Combine the almond butter and powdered sugar. Stir until well mixed. Set aside. Melt the margarine and chocolate over a double boiler, stirring frequently until smooth. Alternatively, melt in a microwave in a medium bowl at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. (this is what I did). Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until fully incorporated before adding the other egg. Add the flour and stir with a spoon until the mixture is smooth and glossy, and the batter comes away from the side of the pan. Pinch off pea-sized pieces of the almond butter mixture and add to the chocolate batter. Repeat until the almond butter is used up. Stir the batter well to distribute the almond butter.

To make the dough: Thoroughly mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. On low speed add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Form the dough into 2 flat patties. Wrap and refrigerate the patties until firm enough to roll, preferably several hours or overnight.

To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove one of the dough patties and let it sit until soft enough to roll, but still firm. Roll the dough between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper until it is 1/8″ thick. Cut out rounds using a 3″ round cookie cutter or the rim of a drinking glass, dipping the edges of the cutter in flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Repeat with the remaining disk and the scraps.

Place the cookies 1/2″ apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Scoop and place 1 level teaspoon of filling in the center of each cookie. Fold up the three sides of the cookie to make a triangle with the filling visible in the middle. Pinch the edges well to seal the corners.

Bake hamentashen until pale golden at the edges, about 12 minutes. Let sit for 2 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

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This dish is filled with fond and delicious memories of my grandmother’s kitchen and the splendid dinners she unfailingly and lovingly prepared. These were Old World recipes, handed down from mother to daughter for generations. I felt very connected to her when I made this, even though I’ve seen variations of this recipe in other cookbooks. Enjoy!

Prakas (sweet and sour stuffed cabbage)

1 heat of cabbage (2 pounds)

2 pounds ground turkey

1 medium onion, grated

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice

salt and pepper to taste

2 sliced onions, for lining the casserole dishes

3/4 cup ketchup

1 1/2 cups tomato juice

3/4 cup brown sugar

juice of 1 large lemon

sour salt

Core the cabbage and place it in a large pot of water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until the cabbage is wilted. Run under cold water and drain.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 6 quart casserole dish and a 3 quart casserole dish with the sliced onions.

Mix the ground turkey, onion, garlic, rice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Assemble the prakas by putting a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture onto each cabbage leaf. Roll up and then tuck the ends under. Arrange the prakas, seam side down, on top of the onions.

Mix the sauce ingredients (ketchup, tomato juice, brown sugar, lemon juice, sour salt) and adjust to taste. Spoon all of the sauce over the prakas in the two casserole dishes, cover, and bake in the oven for about 2 hours.

Serve the prakas on a platter with sauce spooned over them. Makes about 20 prakas. Sop up any sauce left on your plate with some homemade challah.

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A kugel is a noodle pudding, and I made this sweet one to help usher in the Jewish New Year. Made without any dairy, this kugel gets its sweetness from the honey added, and its nice crunchy/sweet topping, made from crushed oat bran flakes. Many kugels have raisins added to their batters, but this one has chopped and toasted pecans. It was really good, while it lasted. Enjoy!

Honey-apple kugel

Margarine (for the dish)

1 pound medium egg noodles

6 eggs, lightly beaten

2/3 cup honey

1/2 cup chopped and toasted pecans

2 apples, peeled, cored, grated

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup crushed oat bran flakes

2 tablespoons margarine, cut up

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish with margarine.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the noodles and cook for about 8 minutes until JUST tender. Drain into a colander and then place noodles in a large bowl.

In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs; then stir in the honey, pecans, apples, cinnamon, and orange juice. Pour the honey-apple mixture over the noodles and toss gently. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish.

Sprinkle the top with brown sugar and bran flakes, than dot with the margarine. Bake for 1 hour (the top will be golden. Makes 10-12 servings.

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Gefilte fish, those boiled fish balls that are traditionally served with horseradish at the Passover table, are not only a time-consuming and expensive proposition to make, recent studies have shown that the very fish we use for this dish may be coming from contaminated waters.

Not that all fish these days isn’t contaminated in some way, shape, or form, but I was moved this year to try an alternative gefilte fish, and a recipe that fit more into my lifestyle, time constraints, and pocketbook. Here is a version of gefilte fish with a “better” twist – it’s made from skinned and boned salmon fillets, and no more labor-intensiveness – just drop all the ingredients into the food processor, then place into your loaf pan, insert into oven, and away you go! These came out delicious, and were healthy, too. Enjoy!

Salmon gefilte fish terrine (adapted from Jane Brody’s gefilte fish loaf)

2 large carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise

2 pounds of skinned and boned salmon fillets

1 cup chopped onion

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

1/4 cup matzo meal

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoons salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3 eggs

Steam the carrot halves for 7 minutes or until they are partially softened. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In your food processor, coarsely grind the fish; transfer to a bowl. Add the onion to the food processor and mince; transfer to the bowl with the fish. Stir in the grated carrot, matzo meal, oil, sugar, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and eggs. Mix ingredients thoroughly.

Transfer 1/3 of the mixture to a nonstick 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Place 2 of the carrot halves lengthwise on the fish. Add another 1/3 of the fish mixture, and place the remaining 2 carrot halves on top of that. Top with the remaining fish mixture.

Place the pan in the hot oven, and bake for 1 hour. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool on a rack. When the loaf is cool, loosen the sides with a knife and carefully turn out onto a platter. Cover the loaf, and chill it until serving time.

Slice, and serve it with horseradish. Serves 8 – 10. (I made two loaves)

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This Passover I tried my hand at Marcy Goldman‘s chocolate-covered toffee matzo that is presently the rage on some of my favorite food blogs. This recipe is not only easy to make; it really takes Passover desserts up to the next level. The outstanding level. Make some today, but be warned – try and eat just one piece. Cannot.Be.Done. I have made this dairy-free, but the recipe can be made with either butter or margarine. Caloric-wise, this treat is not for the faint of heart, but hey, it’s Passover – aren’t you tired of all those boring snacks and desserts? Treat yourself to something really special!

Chocolate-covered toffee matzo crunch

4 to 6 sheets unsalted matzos

1 cup margarine, cut into chunks

1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

sprinkle of flaky sea salt

Line a rimmed baking sheet completely with foil, and cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the bottom of the sheet with matzo, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.

 In a 4 quart heavy saucepan, melt the margarine and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring until the margarine is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil.

Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and pour over matzo, spreading with a heatproof spatula.

Put the pan in the oven, reduce the heat to 350 degrees F., and bake for 15 minutes. It will begin to bubble in the oven, but make sure it’s not burning. If it is, remove the pan from the oven, reduce the heat to 325 degrees F., and then replace the pan.

Remove the pan from the oven after 15 minutes, and immediately cover with the chocolate chips. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

Then spread the chips into the toffee and cover everything. Use an offset spatula.

You can then sprinkle toasted chopped nuts over the top, or flaky sea salt, as I did. Let it all cool completely, then break into pieces and store in an airtight container. Keeps for about a week.

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Macaroons are a staple at every Passover seder – a chewy or crisp cookie made with no flour at all. The ones shown here are made from ground almonds, and only have 4 ingredients! Easy to make with a food processor, these macaroons bake up in a flash, and are crisp on the outside with a slight chewiness on the inside. Enjoy!

Almondy macaroons

1 cup almonds

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Place the almonds and sugar in your food processor, and process until smooth. Add the egg whites and pulse until blended. Add the vanilla and pulse an additional 3 or 4 times. This will be a sticky and thick batter.

Shape into 1″ balls and place on the pans covered with parchment paper. You may need to wet your hands periodically with water while shaping the balls, to prevent sticking. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove the pans from the oven and cool completely before storing. Keeps fresh, tightly covered, for a week. Makes 2 dozen.

Here’s what the macaroons look like before they are baked:

And after: 

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falafel.jpg

Tonight was Middle-Eastern night at our place, and we enjoyed some of our favorite flavors — garlick-y (hummus), salty (olives), and spicy (felafel)— all wrapped in a warm flatbread with some freshly cut veggies tossed in, and a lick of tehina spread. This is Israeli fast-food – mmm, goood. Normally, felafels (chickpea croquettes) are fried in a fair amount of oil, but I simply browned them in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. I served this with some seasoned whole wheat couscous on the side. A mouth-watering change of pace, and gobbled in seconds!

Felafel wraps

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons olive oil for saute-ing

Combine all of the ingredients (except the olive oil) in your food processor until well blended. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Wetting your hands with water, form the mixture into 1″ balls, and saute over medium-high heat until lightly browned on all sides (it’s okay to mash them a little while they are cooking, for ease in even browning).

Serve either inside of a pita pocket or wrapped in a flat bread spread with tehina sauce or hummus, and filled with freshly chopped vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, onions – you choose. Add some imported olives or chopped pickles for a really delicious zing to your sandwich.

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