Category Archives: Holidays

Citrus & Herb Roast Chicken

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A fresh take on roast chicken, this recipe leaves the meat tender, moist and perfectly infused with a citrus-flavor, nicely complemented by the mingling tastes of sage, rosemary and thyme.

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The colors are beautiful, and this goes really well with a side of quinoa (see Martha’s Recipe) or a dark veggie green.

This is a perfect recipe for a shabbat dinner chicken, or for a holiday, or just for having a nice, belly-warming simply delish meal. Inspired by the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s Roast Chicken, Shira has made a few changes to this recipe to make it her own. Bon appetit!

Ingredients

  • One 5-6lb. roasting chicken
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • large bunch of fresh thyme
  • large bunch of fresh rosemary
  • large bunch of fresh parsley
  • 2 lemons – cut in halves or quarters
  • 1 large orange – cut in half
  • 1 head of garlic – sliced in half, crosswise
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (or adjust to taste)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Rinse chicken well; pat dry
  3. Place chicken on large roasting pan or cookie sheet
  4. Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken
  5. Stuff the cavity with most of the thyme, rosemary and parsley (no need to chop), lemons and orange; be sure to mix it around so the flavors will be distributed evenly
  6. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wings under
  7. Brush outside of chicken with the olive oil
  8. Liberally sprinkle outside of chicken with salt and pepper
  9. Roast the chicken for approximately 90 minutes; check on it occasionally
  10. The juices should run clear when you put a cut between the leg and the thigh
  11. Remove the chicken to a plate or serving platter; cover with aluminum foil to keep warm and let sit for 10-15 minutes
  12. Carve and serve with remaining sprigs of herbs and any remaining lemon, orange or garlic slices. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.
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Yummy Strawberries

I made these strawberries for dessert after a big dinner party and they were a serious hit! They became an even bigger hit when my guests found out that I got the recipe from my 16 year-old niece who had just done a job-shadowing day with none other than Bonnie Stern!

Sari said, “They’re really good.”  That means….they’re really good. Sari says to use more chocolate than you need, so that way “you can lick the bowl…dip your fingers in it.”

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Ingredients

  • Baker’s White Chocolate 6 squares
  • 2 pints of strawberries – rinsed and dried
  • skinless, unsalted, roasted pistachios

Directions

  1. Make sure strawberries are “like really dry.”
  2. Melt chocolate in a double-boiler. Sari says, “be careful because you can burn the chocolate. watch it”
  3. Pulse the pistachios in a food processor or just crush ’em in a ziploc bag; “You don’t want to make them like sand.” Liat is throwing in her two cents (finally!) and offering “you want to make sure they’re kinda chunky.”
  4. Use a skewer to dip each strawberry in the melted chocolate
  5. Roll the strawberry tip (or as much as you want) in the crushed pistachios
  6. Lay out on parchment paper; put them in fridge to cool
  7. Serve same day

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Pesto Latkes: From Scott Saunders

Check out Pesto Latkes –

Winner of the Multicultural Category – Latke Festival 2000 and 2001

 

Turns out, every year there is a Latkes Festival in Long Island – hosted by Robert Mummert (pictured below), the festival organizer.The festival has been going on for over 20 years – and they’ve featured latkes influenced by every culinary flavor under the sun. Check out the NPR article here, for more on the festival, and more recipes. In the interim, below is the recipe for participant (and two-time winner) Scott Saunders.

 

Pesto Latkes

Winning Recipe: Multicultural Category, Latke Festival 2000 and 2001

Winner of the Culinary Engineer’s Golden Dreidel Award

Ingredients:

1 large onion

4 med. shallots

1 bunch of scallions, greens only.

8-10 russet potatoes

Salt and pepper

5 eggs

1/2 – 1 cup white corn meal

1/2 cup pesto sauce

1/2 cup pignoli nuts

1/4 cup grated Romano Locatelli cheese

1) Mix all ingredients well and check that the consistency is a “batter” and not too liquid.

2) Form into small, thick pancakes and squeeze any excess liquid out as you are forming each latke.

3) Fry to a golden brown, not dark brown color.

4) Spoon over a teaspoonful of pesto sauce and top with a few pignoli nuts and grated Romano Locattelli cheese.

Recipe created by Scott Saunders.

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Asian Latkes with Soy Dipping Sauce

This is one I’ve never seen before: cabbage in latkes?!! But it actually sounds like it could be good – especially if you’re looking to switch it up a bit. 

This is a recipe from Rabbi Rachel Berenblat – you can find her blog here. Her recipe was featured in The Boston Globe, in 2006.

SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce – LOW SODIUM
  • 1/2 cupe mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 teaspoon Asian-style chili/garlic sauce
  • 1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 1 bunch scallions (white part only)  – chopped; reserve the green for the latkes

1. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, mirin, chili sauce, ginger, and scallions.

2. Stir well and set aside.

LATKES

  • 1 large sweet potato – peeled
  • 5 small russet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 carrots
  •  1/4 green cabbage – cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 purple cabbage – cut into thin strips
  • 1 bunch of scallions – green part only
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 piece (4 inches) gingner – peeled & grated
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup black sesame seeds
  • 10 ounces Matzo meal
  • Canola oil for frying

DIRECTIONS
In a food processor with the grating disk, grate the sweet and white potatoes, carrots, and onion. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the green and purple cabbages and scallions. Toss to mix.

2. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs with 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil. Add the ginger.

3. Stir the egg mixture into the potato mixture. Add salt, sesame seeds, and matzo meal. Mix thoroughly. Use your hand to gauge the texture. A handful of the batter should just stick together but not be too dry. If it’s too dry, add more beaten egg; if it’s too thin, add a little more matzo meal.

4. In a large skillet, heat enough oil to make a 1/4-inch layer. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil to the pan. Heat until the oil is hot.

5. With a spoon, pick up enough batter to make 2-inch pancakes and gently ease them into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry about 4 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Turn and fry on the other side until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve with dipping sauce. Adapted from Rachel Barenblat Notes:

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Wolfgang Puck’s Fancy Shmancy Latkes – with Caviar, Lox and Dill Cream

“Pravda” in Russian, means “truth.” It’s also the name of the self-proclaimed “underground” caviar and vodka bar in NYC on Lafayette, made famous by Sex and the City. Aside from all that, they make a mean “crispy potato pancake” with smoked salmon (a.k.a. ‘lox’) and sour cream. Check out their website here.

A quick search brought back Wolfgang Puck’s recipe – and while I’m not so into caviar myself – the rest of it sounds just about perfect. His recipe makes 6 servings and takes 35 minutes! To see it at its home on Food & Wine, click here.

Vodka (our family friend Moti swears only by Finlandia – and drinks it with every meal after 11:30 AM) cuts the intense (code: oily) flavor of latkes nicely, even though Puck suggests wine.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 2 medium baking potatoes (1 pound), peeled
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 2 ounces caviar

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir the crème fraîche with the dill and lemon juice. Season with salt and black pepper and sprinkle with the chives. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the potatoes and the onion. Transfer to a large, clean kitchen towel and squeeze dry.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the shredded potatoes and onion with the egg, flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet or on a griddle, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten with the back of a spoon to make a 3-inch round. Make about 5 more pancakes and cook over moderately high heat until golden on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture; you should have 12 pancakes.
  5. Arrange the potato pancakes on a platter. Serve warm, with the dill cream, smoked salmon and caviar.

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Zalabia: Middle-Eastern Chanukah Fritters in Syrup

As the Jewish holiday of Chanukah fast approaches (this year, it begins on the evening of Tuesday December 4th), recipes for latkes and other deep-fried delicacies will abound. Here is a recipe from our favorite – Claudia Roden – for “Zalabia” – deep-fried yummies, which she writes are from Egypt.

To purchase this book, click here.

I’ve copied and pasted the Q & A below, but you should check out the whole article here. Of course, recipes embody cross-cultural influences and often you’ll find many recipes for the same dish, each region claming it as their own and/or emphasizing the traditional tastes of their own locale.

The politics of the Palate.

If you click here, you’ll find the “Horesh Family Recipe index” (Horesh is a common last name of Iraqi Jews – and there are lots of good recipes here) . They list the Zalabia as being Iraqi Chanukah Fritters.

So whether these are Egyptian, Greek or Iraqi in origin – who cares? Enjoy!

There are many different recipes for Loukoumades, called Zalabia in Egypt. They are served soaked in sugar syrup or dusted with icing sugar. I use a recipe that is delicious although the fritters do not come out quite round. It is not an easy recipe but I hope you enjoy making it.

ZALABIA
Serves 6
For the sugar syrup
1kg sugar
500 ml water
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon rose or orange-blossom water

For the batter
500g flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 packet fast action dry yeast
750 ml warm water (1 part boiling to two parts cold)

Light vegetable oil for deep-frying.

Directions

For the syrup, put the sugar, water and lemon juice in a pan and simmer for 15 minutes or until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add the rose or orange-blossom water and simmer a few seconds longer, then chill, covered.

For the batter, put the flour in a large bowl, mix in the salt and yeast, then stir in the water gradually, beating vigorously for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour, then beat the batter once more and let it rise again.

Make the fritters in batches. Pour little balls of batter by the teaspoon or tablespoon (they can be small or large) into sizzling but not too hot oil and fry until puffed up, crisp and golden, turning them to brown them all over. You may find it easier if you dip the spoon in oil so that the batter rolls off easily. Lower the heat a little so that the fritters have time to get done inside before they are too brown. The batter is light and produces irregular, rather than perfectly round, shapes. If the oil is not hot enough to begin with the batter tends to flatten out.

Lift the fritters out with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and dip them in the cold syrup for a few seconds, or let them soak up the syrup for longer. They are at their best hot, but are also good cold.

For variation, you can pour over the fritters honey heated up with about half the quantity water. You can also sprinkle instead with icing (confectioner’s) sugar and cinnamon.

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Martha’s Chicken Soup

It’s cold outside. My space heater is on and I can hear the rush of the wind through the trees outside, who are holding on to their colored accessories – the leaves – with determination. It’s Friday today and one of those afternoons when I wish I would be home tonight for the Shabbat Crew – Martha returning from Israel, Levi and Zoe running around and Liat and Sari chasing them, while somehow, those of us that got bumped into being the ‘older’ generation, sip wine and argue politics and laugh.

A standard staple of Shabbat in the Shem-Tov setting is Martha Shem-Tov’s chicken soup. You’d never know how quick and easy it is – with the help of course of the brilliant modern-day invention of the pressure cooker. A must have. Shabbat Shalom.


Ingredients

  • 3 carrots – chopped in big chunks
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 cooking onions
  • garlic cloves (optional – Martha doesn’t include them, but I love the kick)
  • 1 parsnip
  • parsley & dill
  • a slice of green cabbage (secret ingredient outed)
  • chicken – I use chicken thighs – about 4. I take the skin off, but you could leave it on
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Rinse everything. Clean chicken.
  2. Place chicken in pressure cooker, and then situate the veggies etc all around it – but placing the dill and parsley on top. [we don’t chop the celery parsely or dill because we remove them at the end – but you could chop up the dill and parsley and leave it in]
  3. Add the salt and pepper
  4. Add cold water to the line indicated on the pressure cooker; close and seal
  5. Bring to a boil; wait for the little thingy to pop up ; cook for 20 minutes on med-high; once the pressure cooker makes the sounds of a “choo-choo” train (sorry – it’s the best way I can explain it) reduce the heat and cook for 15-20 minutes
  6. Turn off heat; Let it cool. Once the red thing on the pressure cooker goes down it means its safe to open.
  7. Strain it as you like it – taking out the things you don’t like in it and leaving in the things you do (I chop up the chicken pieces and include them in the broth)
  8. Serve with Mazto Balls and the Osem Soup Croutons. I season with ground black pepper and garlic salt – but I have a bit of a garlic addiction.

DISCLAIMER: BE VERY CAREFUL USING THE PRESSURE COOKER: read and watch the accompanying video for directions if you are not experienced with it – otherwise can be rather dangerous. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll never make chicken soup without it.

Additions: you can add boiled potato (don’t cook it in the broth – makes the broth cloudy); Martha used to add lima beans, a throw back from her Poland days. But don’t knock it – they are surprisingly delicious.

B’Teavon!

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