Leah Koenig is a writer and cookbook author whose work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Saveur, CHOW, Food Arts, Tablet, Gastronomica, and Every Day with Rachael Ray. Leah writes a monthly food column for The Forward and a bimonthly column for Saveur.com called “One Ingredient, Many Ways.” She is the former Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning blog, The Jew & The Carrot, and she is a frequent contributor to MyJewishLearning.com, where her recipes are very popular, and highly praised.
Her first cookbook, The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook: Daily Meals for the Contemporary Jewish Kitchen, was published by Rizzoli in 2011. The book was named one of the “Best Books of 2011″ by Library Journal and The Kitchn called it “a big, beautiful book that is also down-to-earth and completely accessible.”
For Passover, Leah brings us a sweet and hearty side dish that looks as good as it tastes–which is to say, gobsmackingly phenomenal.
2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 medium shallots (approximately 1/2 lb), thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter or pareve margarine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper
Boil sweet potatoes in a 4-quart sauce pan until tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain potatoes, then add them back to the pan and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium pan set over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until shallots soften and brown, about 10 minutes. Season with a little salt, remove from heat, and set aside.
Add approximately 1/3 of the cooked shallots to the potatoes along with butter and stock and mash until well combined. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve topped with remaining shallots.
This recipe comes to us from Rivka at NotDerbyPie. Rivka is a native Washingtonian, back in her home town after stints in Manhattan and Jerusalem. Food is “merely” a hobby for her — she’s a consultant during the day — but she writes and photographs food beautifully, and she’s the author of some of our favorite and most popular recipes. Here she gives us a recipe for carrot kugel, adapted from everyone’s favorite sisterhood cookbook, “Second Helpings, Please.” Theirs is a year-round recipe (who doesn’t love a little carrot kugel after a long day at work?) but Rivka only makes it on Passover, and has adapted it to be both Passover friendly and slightly more delicious.
1 cup matzah cake meal
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 1/4 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup melted butter or canola oil
Preheat oven to 325F and set a rack in the center of the oven.
Butter and flour an 8" square baking pan.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, oil, lemon juice, and carrots.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until the two are combined and no lumps of flour remain. Transfer batter into the prepared baking pan, and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 45 minutes; when done, kugel should spring back when touched.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Welcome to the Nosher’s Communal Seder. Pull up a chair, and we hope you came hungry, because we’ve got a full seder’s worth of recipes for you, from bitter herbs that will make your eyes tear up all the way to chocolate mousse two ways, we’re here for you. We promise not to make you say the Four Questions, but we do ask that you try everything—and we promise it’s all delicious. We tapped our favorite food bloggers and writers, and they are all ready to present you with some of their favorite Passover recipes. Starting on Monday we’ll be posting a few recipes per day, and by April 2nd (also known as t-minus four days til Seder #1) you’ll have two whole seder menus ready for you, right here. We’ll also give you some great recipes for the rest of the week of Passover, and point you towards some wines we love.
For now, sit back, relax, and get salivating. We’re kicking things off with a main course that will knock your guests right over (even if they haven’t been taking the four cups of wine really seriously).
P.S. You can see all the recipes we’ve published so far by clicking here.
Passover is a-coming, and that means it’s time to start choosing recipes, planning menus, and writing shopping lists. Next week on the Nosher we’re going to inundate you with amazing Pesach recipes from our favorite food bloggers. Everyone from Olga at Sassy Radish to Rivka at Not Derby Pie, plus our own Shannon Sarna, and lots and lots of others. But this week we’re getting a head start, featuring some amazing recipes to get your Passover juices flowing.
Brisket may be the quintessential Jewish food. Many families have the tradition of serving brisket at both Rosh Hashanah dinner, and at the Pesach seder, and it’s no wonder—this wonderfully tender meat gets better over time, so it’s easy to make it before the holiday starts, and know that it will be delectable for your guests when you reheat it one or two days later. If oven space is a problem, making a brisket a few days ahead can be a real life saver. And brisket is remarkable because it’s so incredibly easy to make. Our recipe calls for sweet wine, chili sauce and barbeque sauce, but you can get away with basically just seasoning it and cooking it if you need to.
The biggest challenge for your brisket making might be ensuring you have a big enough roasting pan for your meat. If you’re cooking for a crowd I recommend measuring your pan, and measuring your meat before you purchase it. And that reminds me, you need to head to your butcher pronto if you want to order the best cuts of meat for your holiday.
Now, without further ado, check out the amazing Holiday Brisket recipe on MyJewishLearning, or Cranberry Brisket and Passover Brisket from Kveller. For more Brisket ideas check out Baked Bree, big girls small kitchen, and Cooking with Grandma Irma.
Lots of things taste better covered in chocolate. They taste even better when covered in chocolate and caramel with a sprinkling of sea salt! Use good chocolate to make this even more indulgent, and keep a candy thermometer on hand so that the caramel is Passover perfect!
Emily Pearl Goodstein is a photographer, sweatpants enthusiast, online organizer, and rabble rouser Washington, DC. She leverages her status as a native Washingtonian (and expert Googler) to recommend products, restaurants, recipes, and shops (in addition to other things she finds mildly diverting) on her blog, Wild and Crazy Pearl. She spends too much money on iTunes and her favorite possession is the cobalt blue KitchenAid mixer she used part of her Bat Mitzvah money to buy (it is still going strong). She also enjoys drinking grapefruit juice, photographing babies and baby bellies, and taking naps.
4 to 6 sheets unsalted matzah
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges. Cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line the bottom of the sheet with matzah, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.
In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil. The temperature on the thermometer should reach 120F. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the salt and vanilla, and pour over matzah, spreading with a heatproof spatula.
Put the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. As it bakes, it will bubble up but make sure it's not burning every once in a while. If it is in spots, remove from oven.
Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips.
Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with an offset spatula.
If you wish, sprinkle with cashews, pecans, or some flaky sea salt.
Let cool completely, cut into pieces (I like to make large diamonds for a dramatic presentation) and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. It should keep well for about one week.
For years I lived a dark Potato Kugel-less existence. For some reason my mom never made it when I was a kid, and it wasn’t until high school that I experienced the true starchy joy of potato kugel. It’s a great side dish for any Shabbat meal, particularly in the winter, but for some reason it tastes particularly good on Pesach. And like the best Pesach foods, potato kugel has a simple but very rich flavor. Should you eat it every day? Definitely not. Should you have it right next to brisket on your plate during the seder? Absolutely.
And now, the only Potato Kugel recipe you’ll ever need…