Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Mashed Potato Burekas

Yield:
16 burekas

Burekas are one of my favorite Israeli treats, and they are the perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes from your Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe is as easy and delicious as it gets – the best kind of recipe when you need a pick-me-up from all that Black Friday shopping. These are also fantastic during Shabbat dinner to serve with a salad course. You can even serve them with leftover gravy for a delicious dipping sauce.

Mashed Potato Burekas1

I used a pareve (nondairy) phyllo dough in this recipe for ease, but you are welcome to make your favorite bureka dough if you prefer. You can also switch up the fillings with whatever leftovers you have on hand: turkey and cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and even stuffing all make fantastic fillings.

Mashed Potato Burekas

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Mashed Potato Burekas

Posted on November 25, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Jeweled Veggie Orzo with Wheatberries

Yield:
6-8 servings

Oh, how I love pasta. Almost all of my favorite comfort foods involve pasta: egg noodles with cottage cheese (a childhood favorite); any kind of gnocchi smothered in just about any kind of sauce; and my pregnancy comfort food, spaghetti with butter and Parmesan.

But I have been trying to cut back on my pasta recently, adding in bulgur and even zucchini noodles as an alternate.

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For Thanksgiving though I really wanted to create (and eat) an orzo side dish. Orzo somehow seems like a compromise of carb: it looks like rice, but it’s actually pasta.  And to make it a little healthier than just some plain old pasta, I added some hearty wheatberries, an array of colorful vegetables and even some vitamin-rich pumpkin seeds into the mix.

The result is a scrumptious and satisfying side dish that can also serve as an entree for any vegetarian guests. Want to add some more protein into the mix? Add 1/2 cup cooked lentils or small white beans and you have a complete dish.

If you can’t find purple carrots at your local market, you can use a roasted beet instead to achieve the same color and texture. I also love this dish because you can prepare it a day ahead and either serve room temperature, or heat it back up to serve.

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Jeweled Veggie Orzo with Wheatberries

Posted on November 23, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

Hopefully you are just about ready for a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. I can picture the family around the table, reflecting on the year and soaking up the aroma of freshly carved turkey. Just remember, when you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving wine pairings, there’s more to consider than just the bird. I know it can seem confusing or even scary to pick the perfect wine for your celebration, or really any wine, but I hope to make that part a little bit easier with some great kosher wine suggestions.

thanksgiving wine bottles

As The Day Gets Going

When the kitchen starts to come alive with the buzz of Thanksgiving morning, nothing puts me in the holiday spirit more than an ice cold glass of Chardonnay.  This year, I’d recommend the Odem Mountain Volcanic Chardonnay 2012.  It’s a dry white wine that won’t give you a sugar rush too early in the day. The slow and cold 5 month fermentation process leaves this wine with a delightful golden color and an aromatic nose.  In plain terms, this chardonnay is refreshing, crisp and is a delight to sip.

While You Are Snacking On The Stuffing

Nothing says “get this party started” quite like a bottle of Brut.  Gilgal Brut  is a 50-50 mix of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and it presents floral apple and pear notes. While it is fresh and invigorating, it’s bright acidity pairs excellently with the sausage and chestnuts I put in my stuffing muffins.

thanksgiving wine and turkey

But What About My Turkey?

You’d think that pairing turkey with a white wine was a no-brainer. Nope. Wine Folly has written the perfect definitive guide to pairing wine with poultry and you have more to choose from than you would have thought. You won’t go wrong with Carmel’s Kayoumi White Riesling 2012, rated 90 points by Daniel Rogev. This is an impressive wine with a slight sweetness and a delightful color. I’d also recommend Pacifica Pinot Noir 2010 for it’s balanced acidity and generous fruity flavor. Not only with the Pinot Noir pair with the turkey, it’s the perfect match for many of the flavors of the day.

Something With The Side Dishes

Your Thanksgiving table will be complimented by attention to detail, so think about the perfect wine for your side dishes too.  Ramon Cardova Garnacha 2011 is a Spanish wine with a unique character that comes to life when paired with fall favorites like mushrooms and butternut. Similarly, Covenant Red C Sauvignon Blanc 2013 would compliments grains like rice and quinoa, wild mushrooms or green bean casserole. Now that I think of it, Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 is an equally impressive choice to par with your Thanksgiving side dishes.

Thanksgiving wine 2014

And For Dessert…

Thanksgiving desserts lean nicely toward being paired with a full bodied glass of port. If Pecan Pie is on your menu, you deserve a bottle of Shiloh Fort. This is an intensely purple dessert wine with a massively full body. It’s sweetness is married to notes of raisin and caramel so it’s well balanced sweetness is great with rich dessert.

Psagot Prat is another port style wine that I admire greatly. After being aged in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun, this wine has a sweet fig-like aroma that can cut through the subtle flavors and creamy textures of homemade pumpkin pie. This is a dessert wine that screams of decadence. This would be my choice with pumpkin pie.

When The Day Is Still Young

As the day draws to a close and your guests move to the couch, some might move on to scotch or brandy but this is when I like open a bottle of one of my favorite wines. Ella Valley EverRed. This is a delicious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Syrah perfect for any occasion. The grapes for this wine are harvested by night and the wine is aged in French oak. On a personal note, this is one of the first bottles that taught me to explore and discover the wonderful world of wine. It really is a personal favorite so light a log fire and pour yourself a well-earned glass. The dishes can wait till tomorrow.

thanksgiving red wine pouring

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Posted on November 21, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Thanksgiving Chutney Three Ways

This Thanksgiving, I’m adding an array of chutneys to my holiday spread as a way to jazz up the traditional meal with simmered combinations of fruits or veggies. Chutneys are the perfect accompaniment to long roasted, rich turkey or braised meats because their vinegary bases help to balance the fat of heavier proteins and side dishes.

This selection of chutneys cover a range of flavors to please any palate. With that in mind, I simmered one sweet, one savory and one spicy condiment. They make use of seasonal ingredients and readily available herbs and spices. Best of all, they come together in one pot and with little fuss. And each of these combinations will be tastier and more nuanced when prepared in advance.

sweet cranberry chutney

Sweet Cranberry and Cherry Chutney

This chutney hints at Thanksgiving tradition with ruby red cranberries, nuts and dried fruit. It is believed that cranberries were served at the first Thanksgiving in 1621.

Serve this Cranberry and Cherry Chutney alongside roasted meat, turkey or chicken. Add a few tablespoons to mayonnaise and use as a spread on lightly toasted challah for turkey sandwiches with leftovers from your feast. Or place this chutney in a small serving dish alongside creamy, mild cheeses as a sweet element on a cheese plate.

Note: This chutney has a very strong vinegar odor when it’s simmering. The first time I made this, I was alarmed by the strength of the vinegary presence. After it’s cooked, cooled and refrigerated, the vinegar- sugar- honey combination settles into a perfectly balanced, slightly sweet condiment for your holiday meal.

Ingredients:

2 cups dried tart cherries
½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp honey
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup fresh cranberries (rinsed)
1 Tbsp lemon zest
½ cup finely chopped celery
1 cup raisins or currants
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
6 Tbsp water (or a little more if the pan appears too dry)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart. saucepan over medium heat. Cook 20-25 minutes, stirring well.

Cranberries should burst open. The texture should be slightly sticky and chunky, with little liquid remaining after the simmer. Chutney will continue to thicken as it cools.

Cover and refrigerate for up to one week. Serve at room temperature.

cauliflower chutney

Savory Cauliflower and Lentil Chutney

This vegetable and legume based chutney doesn’t include any added sweetness, making it a welcome savory addition to a holiday meal that tends to include lots of sweet flavors. It’s warm spices and toasted undertones provide unexpected flavors next to traditional dishes like sweet or mashed potatoes. This dish could easily be the star dish for vegetarians at your table.

Serve alongside turkey leftovers or as a condiment with pan-seared fish. If using this as a main dish for vegetarians at your Thanksgiving table, be sure to make stuffing without chicken or turkey broth so that they may enjoy stuffing with this savory chutney.

Ingredients:

¼ cup good olive oil
1 large red onion, finely diced
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tsp ras- el- hanout*
½ tsp mustard powder
1 cup dry red lentils
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups cauliflower florets, small pieces
1 ½ cups canned diced tomatoes
½ cup water
salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp paprika
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves- minced
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
*Middle Eastern spice mix found at well stocked markets like Whole Foods or at online on Amazon

Directions:

Heat oil and add onion, shallot and ginger until softened, about 4-5 minutes.

Add ras-el-hanout and mustard powder and stir, cooking one minute.

Rinse and examine lentils for particles of debris. Remove if found. Add lentils and wine to onion and spice mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cover pot and cook 10 minutes.

Add cauliflower, tomatoes, water, salt and pepper and paprika.

Cover and cook over medium heat, covered, for 20-25 minutes until lentils and cauliflower are tender but not mushy. Stir occasionally. Add ¼- ½ cup more water if chutney appears dry.

Cool mixture and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

May be refrigerated for up to one week in airtight container. Serve at room temperature.

tomato chutney

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Posted on November 19, 2014

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Butternut Squash and Sage Challah

Butternut squash and sage are one of my favorite flavor pairings. It makes a wonderful soup, and who doesn’t want to smother butternut squash filled pasta in a sage butter sauce? I do, and I would happily eat it for breakfast.

Butternut Squash Challah Nosher3

Pumpkin challah I have made and conquered, and I have even seen recipes for sweet potato challah. Still, I wanted to try my hand at using butternut squash, which is why I was thrilled to write a guest post for my friend and fellow blogger Melinda of Kitchen-Tested based on this idea.

Let me assure you: the result was fantastic. The butternut squash blended incredibly well into the challah dough and the color was just so pretty: a subtle orange flecked with tiny bits of fresh sage.

If you are looking for something uniquely Jewish to add to your Thanksgiving table this challah is definitely the thing.

For the full recipe, head over to Kitchen-Tested.

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Posted on November 18, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

The Turkey Round-Up

The first time I made a turkey was actually for Passover, not Thanksgiving. Truth be told, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but got lucky enough that my turkey came out well. I marinated the turkey overnight in a mixture of fresh oranges, lemons, herbs and pomegranate juice. I googled how long to cook the turkey, and somehow, it came out juicy. I was also lucky to have someone at the dinner who knew how to carve a turkey, because I certainly did not. In fact I still don’t know how to carve a turkey.

Thankfully (get it – thankfully!?), my family takes care of roasting the turkey, and I just show up with dessert and a side dish. But for all you folks out there prepping to roast a turkey next week, we wanted to pull together some of the best tips, tricks and recipe ideas the internet has to offer in order to make your turkey roasting a little easier and a little more delicious.

turkey dinner1

Are you trying to figure out how much turkey to buy for your guests? How long to roast it? What’s the difference between fresh or frozen? Then check out 20 Thanksgiving cooking Dilemmas Solved from Thanksgiving.com.

Have you decided that brining is the way you want to go to ensure a moist and flavorful turkey? Then check out Food and Wine’s 5 Best Brines for Thanksgiving Turkey.

How do I thaw a turkey? What equipment will I need to roast? These questions answered and more from The Kitchn’s How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey: The Simplest, Easiest Way.

Need some carving tips? Here’s a tutorial in How to Carve a Turkey from Pop Sugar.

No butter? No problem! I realize many turkey recipes call for butter, which can be frustrating when looking for cooking inspiration. But I have found replacing olive oil with butter works just fine in almost all poultry recipes, so peruse all the non-kosher recipes you like for inspiration, and then just swap out the butter for olive oil instead.

simple roast turkey

Go simple:

The Simplest Roast Turkey from Epicurious

Classic Roast Turkey from Joy of Kosher

Citrus and Herb Turkey from Martha Stewart

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

turkey w pear and sage

Go gourmet:

Roast Turkey with Pear and Sage from Adventures in Cooking

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Wild Rice and Cranberries from The Perfect Pantry

Roast Turkey with Pomegranate Gravy from Epicurious

Honey Roasted Turkey with Butternut-Shiitake Stuffing from Joy of Kosher

Cider Sage Gravy from Food52

thanksgiving dinner1

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Posted on November 16, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Mushroom, Onion, and Challah-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Challah stuffing stuffed acorn squash

Thanksgiving is one of my family’s favorite holidays. Besides Passover, it is one of the only times we all come together during the year and so my mother and I get pretty excited about planning; we spend months working on the perfect place cards, décor, side dishes and desserts. We went all out for Thanksgivukkah last year creating this recipe for sweet potato latkes with toasted marshmallows.

This year we are very much in the midst of menu planning, and can’t wait to make this new dish for challah stuffing stuffed acorn squash, made with classic Thanksgiving flavors like squash, dried cranberries, thyme and even pecans.

Challah stuffing stuffed acorn squash

This dish has a great “wow factor” due to its eye-catching presentation but is quite simple to make. You can even make it ahead of time to save time the day of Thanksgiving. This dish also serves as a great vegetarian entree for your guests.

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Challah Stuffing Stuffed Acorn Squash

Posted on November 12, 2014

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Pumpkin Spice Babka

Yield:
3 babka loaves

pumpkin babka

Everyone loves pumpkin these days, eh? Every cafe carries their own version of a pumpkin latte and pumpkin-themed candies overflow on supermarket shelves this time of year. ‘Tis truly the season of pumpkin, and I am not really complaining.

I love finding news ways to cook and bake with pumpkin including white pumpkin cheddar ale soup, pumpkin pizza and pumpkin corn ricotta enchiladas, which is a perfect dish this time of year when pumpkin is first coming into season and fresh corn is still in abundance at local farmers markets. Some other fun pumpkin recipes to try? Pumpkin Flan, pumpkin challah and of course some classic pumpkin bread.

pumpkin babka

As with many recipes I dream up, I was merely staring in my fridge when a leftover can of pumpkin puree sparked the idea: pumpkin babka!

Well, I whipped up a batch of babka dough, impatiently let it rise, and filled it with pumpkin puree, brown sugar and cinnamon. After 35 minutes of baking, my apartment smelled like a perfect piece of autumn heaven, and a new pumpkin recipe was born.

This babka is perfect to serve at your Yom Kippur break-fast, brunch gatherings or just with a cup of coffee for breakfast. Because you can use canned pumpkin, you can make this recipe year-round, so you can enjoy a little slice of pumpkin spice even when pumpkins aren’t in season.

How to roll babka

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Pumpkin Spice Babka

Posted on September 29, 2014

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Cakey Crunch Sweet Potato Kugel

Yield:
16 servings

Most of my favorite recipes use wholesome, healthful ingredients that are local and seasonal. I don’t buy a lot of processed products or packaged snacks. I truly enjoy making things from scratch.

But once in awhile I find a recipe or a product that I simple cannot resist. Oreo cookies. Entenmanns’s Cheese Danish Twist. And most recently a sweet potato kugel my mother-in-law made last year using sweet potatoes, marshmallows and a box of cake mix.

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My sister-in-law and I sat at one end of the long kitchen table with two heaping platefuls of the addictive kugel, unable to prevent ourselves from eating yet another serving.

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Soon after the sweet potato kugel binge, I fell asleep with my daughter upstairs for a full hour and a half. Forget the turkey-induced snooze fest…my kugel nap was just divine.

I convinced my mother-in-law to hand over the recipe, and with just a few small tweaks, I share it with you all. But I warn you: there is no going back. Make this at your own risk. You may not be able to put down your fork.

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Cakey Crunch Sweet Potato Kugel

Posted on November 20, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

DIY Thanksgivukkah Tablescape Ideas

I am so excited Hanukkah and Thanksgiving decided to team up this year and give us the ultimate holiday: Thanksgivukkah! And since this holiday will not happen again for another 70,000 years, we decided to really do it up. We set up a beautiful table inspired by the traditions of both holidays, and gave you some DIY’s so you can bring this Thanksgivukkah spirit to your own home.

Thanksgivukkah Gelt Table Runner

DIY STEPS FOR HANUKKAH GELT TABLE RUNNER

1.& 2. Staple together cardstock to create a base. We used 3 pieces of 11×14 cardstock, but you can customize the size of the paper and the length of the base for your own table. Carefully unwrap all gelt – you will need both wrapper pieces intact.

3.Fold down all edges flat against the underside [silver side] of the wrapper.

4. Separate the designs into two piles, matching like with like. Using pieces from one pile, lay down a row of wrappers from edge to edge of cardstock. With a hot glue gun, attach the row to cardstock. Lay a second row over the first using pieces from the other pile.

5.Continue to scallop the rows, alternating designs.

6. Place along center of table, and voila! You have your very own gelt table runner.

 

GELTDIYalt

 

DIY STEPS FOR METALLIC FEATHER PLACE CARDS

1.Lay feathers out along bottom of a cardboard box. Using painter’s tape, cover about 2/3 of each feather completely. Tape just below the exposed feather tip at an angle for an artistic flair.

2. Coat the exposed tips of the feathers with metallic spray paint.

3. Allow to dry fully before gently peeling off painters tape.

4. Thread name cards* with craft wire, cut into approximately 6 inch pieces.

5.Align name card at base of feather.

6. Wrap entire length of wire around base to secure name card to feather, then place atop the dish or plate at each setting.

*We printed our name cards, but you can write guests’ names on cardstock of any size.

FEATHERDIY


Posted on November 4, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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