7 Jewish Ways to Eat Guacamole, No Peas Necessary

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Have you been following the uproar over pea guacamole, aka #peacamole, this past week? In case you missed it let me catch you up: The New York Times recently had a recipe for green pea guacamole. President Obama apparently did not approve and tweeted “respect the nyt, but not buying peas in guac. onions, garlic, hot peppers. classic.’ (For more information, read the whole story here in Eater.)

Well I must say I respect the President’s strong views on classic guacamole (I agree), though I think I would also like to know what Jeb Bush (aka “Jebcito”) would have to say about guacamole.

Nevertheless I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to talk about the way our tribe has Jew-ified the consumption of guacamole and have put together 7 Jewish ways to eat the classic, and not so classic, avocado dip. Got a recipe to share? Make sure to post below!

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1. Hatch Chile Latkes with Hatch Guacamole from The Little Ferraro Kitchen There are few things more Jewish than latkes, and so by adding hatch chiles both to the latkes and guacamole you have an ultimate Jewish-Southwest hybrid sure to impress even POTUS.

2. Whitefish Guacamole from Chef Julian Medina If whitefish added to guacamole doesn’t scream, “serve me at a shul Kiddush” I don’t know what does.

3. Harissa Guacamole with Yogurt from Broke Ass Gourmet Ok, ok I know harissa isn’t just Jewish but lots of Middle Eastern Jews use harissa in their cooking and so I love this Middle Eastern version with the extra addition of tangy yogurt.

4. Tex Mex Matzo Brei with Guacamole from Pamela Salzman The ultimate Tex-Mex-Jewish brunch fusion – I can’t wait to try this for Passover next year.

5. Persimmon Guacamole from Busy in Brooklyn Persimmon might be more Israeli than Jewish per se, but it’s a pretty awesome combination of sweet, fresh and savory flavors.

6. Potato Pancakes w Guacamole and Poached Eggs from Joy of Kosher There are few things I love more than poached eggs on top of latkes…but add guacamole and you have an avocado toast hybrid even Brooklyn hipsters could sink their teeth into.

7. Guacamole Hummus from Martha Stewart When all else fails, add chickpeas and serve with tortilla chips and pita chips. Martha Stewart gets it right as usual.

Guacamole hummus

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Posted on July 6, 2015

Super Simple Strawberry Peach Cobbler

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We finally made it – it’s the long weekend and time to crack open some wine and start making the party rounds. It’s hot, its beautiful outside and probably the last thing you want to do is start patchke-ing with a big baking project. But I have just the baking project for you, and it’s so easy.

I was thinking about making cobbler for this weekend, but I didn’t want to start messing the kitchen up with flour and pastry cutters and whatnot. So instead I grabbed a can of store-bought biscuits. No really. I popped it open, cut the biscuits into quarters rolled it in sugar, a pinch of salt and some chopped fresh rosemary and topped my cobbler.

strawberry peach biscuit cobbler

If you are thinking that rosemary seems like a strange flavor on top of a sweet dessert, that’s totally fine – feel free to leave off the rosemary if it weirds you out. But if you want to try a new combination of flavors, I would highly recommend trying the combination of fruit and fresh herbs. Instead of rosemary you could also use basil.

The cobbler is delicious on its own, but I highly recommend topping it with fresh whipped or a big heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serve this dish at your summer parties to wow your friends and family, and they don’t need to know you barely broke a sweat putting this together.

biscuit cobbler1

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Posted on July 2, 2015

The Great Nondairy Ice Cream Taste Test

non dairy ice cream

Non-dairy ice cream. Oxymoron? Perhaps. But for those who keep kosher and want to enjoy a creamy treat after a meat meal or who are lactose-intolerant, it’s a real challenge.

The market for nondairy ice cream has come a long way. We remember the days when the only nondairy ice cream available was vanilla Tofutti. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – in fact, it was one of our top picks. But there is a decent variety of nondairy ice creams ranging in creaminess, flavor combinations and quality; some made with almond milk, some with soy and others with coconut milk. We also hear that Ben & Jerry’s is even working on a vegan ice cream!

We wanted to test the wide world of nondairy ice creams and see how they stacked up. It was a daunting challenge, but we faced it head on, mouths open, spoons at the ready. This taste test was conducted by the staff of 70 Faces Media and each type of ice cream received a rating from 1-5 based on the following scale:

5. Great! I would definitely buy this.

4. Good. I enjoyed it but am not bowled over.

3. Slightly better than average.

2. Meh, I didn’t despise it.

1. Is this even edible?

 

TOP PICKS

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Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip, Overall rating 4.5

The hands-down top choice for creaminess was the Trader Joe’s cherry chocolate chip flavor, which multiple staff members said they would happily buy and keep eating by choice, not only by necessity. Another staff member commented she doesn’t even like cherry, but liked this flavor.

Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy Vanilla, Overall rating 4

Also rated highly for its creaminess factor. One staff member commented “it screams to be made into an ice cream sandwich.” Another staffer praised its vanilla-ness.

Tofutti Vanilla, Overall rating 4

The tried-and-true flavor that started it all earns high marks for creaminess, though lacked a little in the vanilla category. Nevertheless, it is a go-to for a reason and would go nicely in between two nondairy chocolate chunk cranberry cookies.

 THE MIDDLE GROUND

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So Delicious Vanilla Bean, Overall rating 3.5

The So Delicious vanilla made with coconut milk mostly received largely positive comments, but had perhaps too much of a coconut flavor for some people. If you don’t like the taste of coconut this flavor is likely not for you.

Sorbabes Peanut Butter Banana with Chocolate Fudge, Overall rating 3.5

The combination of the peanut butter, banana and chocolate swirl in this ice cream was perhaps better than the actual quality of the base ice cream, which was a bit icy. That being said, ten points for a great flavor combination which still earned decent ratings and one of our staffers said she could eat the whole pint! We would recommend trying this one out for yourself.

So Delicious Coconut, Overall rating 3

Some people really liked the coconut flavor and texture, but others felt the coconut flavor was too overwhelming and didn’t enjoy the chewiness of real pieces of coconut in the mix. Another staffer felt that, given the choice, she would rather just eat coconut sorbet. That being said, if you love the taste of coconut you will want to test this one out.

LEAST FAVORITES

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Arctic Zero Salted Caramel*, Overall rating 1

Arctic Zero Mint Chip*, Overall rating 1

Arctic Zero Cookie Shake*, Overall rating 1

The flavors of Arctic Zero sounded much more appealing on the shelves than they tasted on spoons. Our staff generally thought this brand tasted icy and had a bit of a fake flavor to it. “The flavor is bad and the after-taste is worse,” shared one staffer. The texture of the ice cream was anything but creamy. One staffer questioned, “Is this real food? How can it only be 35 calories? Yet it is oddly addictive.” We would largely say to pass on this brand.

* Please note, Arctic Zone products are lactose-free but not nondairy (pareve).

 

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Posted on June 30, 2015

Challah Hot Dogs

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Its officially hot dog season if ever there was one, and I freely admit: I love hot dogs. I have even found a way to combine a love of hot dogs with a love of challah with my famous challah dogs.

What are challah dogs you might be wondering? Well it’s my answer to the bagel dog, or the pretzel dog. And one of the great things about this recipe is you can use any challah recipe you prefer. The key is rolling your challah into roughly 3 oz size pieces and then snaking it around the hot dogs. I brush them simply with a beaten egg before adding toppings.

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Photo credit Emily Goodstein Photography

And the challah dogs are all about fun toppings. I like making an “everything bagel” topping by combining 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp poppy seeds, 1 Tbsp dried garlic (whole pieces, not garlic powder), 1 Tbsp dried onion (whole pieces, not onion powder) and 1/2 Tbsp thick sea salt and then sprinkling it on top.

You can also top with poppy seeds, black sesame seeds or even caraway seeds.

These are such a fun appetizer for your summer parties, Shabbat dinners, game-watching nights or even kids’ birthday parties. Make a big batch and don’t count on leftovers. Can you make them and reheat them? Yes actually you can. They are always better immediately out of the oven, but I have also served them several hours later either reheated or at room temperature.

challah dogs3

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Posted on June 25, 2015

FREE STUFF: Abeles & Heymanns Hot Dogs for Your 4th of July Barbecues

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The 4th of July is just around the corner, and so we are all starting to menu plan for the picnics, barbecues, and cookouts (or whatever you call them) we will be hosting. Hot dogs are a quintessential 4th of July food, and three very lucky readers are about to win a whole bunch of delicious kosher hot dogs and deli meats from the award-winning brand Abeles & Heymann.

Never heard of Abeles & Heymann? In addition to being our favorite brand of kosher hot dogs, they make pastrami, corned beef, salami, bologna, beef fry, kishka, and even reduced fat and sodium hot dogs. Although they are a small company, they have been ranked No. 1 by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, The New York Daily News and The Forward. Not too shabby.

assorted Abeles & Heymann

Each winner will receive a box that will include at least 8 different Abeles & Heymann’s products valuing $75. So even if you weren’t planning a party, now might be a good time to invite a few friends over.

Please note, you must live in the U.S. in order to be eligible. Winners will be notified on Sunday, June 28th in order to receive the package in time for July 4th weekend. To enter to win, please click below to follow directions. Good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted on June 23, 2015

Lemon and Herb Roast Potatoes with Harissa Mayo

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I love roasted potatoes for Friday night, but sometimes they can get a bit boring. Of course you can dress up your potatoes with za’atarmustard or even truffle oil just to name a few of the hundreds of ways you can make roasted potatoes.

But I have been perusing a lot of middle eastern cookbooks lately and I got it into my head to make a harissa dipping sauce to go with potatoes. What is harissa? It’s a spicy chili paste native to North African cuisine and varies from country to country but typically includes dried chilis, garlic, olive oil and spices like coriander, cumin, caraway and mint.

harissa

If you have never made harissa before, don’t get scared. It is much easier than you might imagine. I really liked this how-to guide from The Kitchn which explains how to use various ingredients to make the spicy paste. When I went to make this recipe for Shabbat last week I opened my cabinet and was like “Oh f@$%ck! I don’t have any of the right kinds of peppers.” But I ended up using two different kinds of dried peppers that I did have, a regular old red bell pepper I roasted under my broiler, garlic cloves, fresh mint, olive oil and tomato paste. There are countless ways to make harissa, so you can use what you have on hand, research your favorite combination or (gasp) just buy some at the supermarket.

lemon potatoes marinating

At the last minute I decided to marinate my potato wedges in lemon, herbs, garlic and olive oil for a complimentary flavor to the spicy harissa and I was not disappointed. If you have the time, I would recommend marinating your potatoes 1-2 hours ahead of time to intensify the flavors.

These were anything but boring Friday night potatoes and there wasn’t a single leftover potato during cleanup. You can go back to simple roast potatoes next week, but why not try something a little different this week.

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Posted on June 18, 2015

Check out the Taste of Jewish Culture Street Fair in New York This Weekend

Digital Street Fair2

For the second year in a row I’ll be out of town and missing out on The Taste of Jewish Culture Street Fair, taking place this Sunday, June 21st in New York City. And I am seriously bummed. Last year there were so many delicious-looking Jewish eats on hand and this year there is going to be even more.  More Jewish food!

Vendors will include Mile End Deli, who are serving up smoked meat and turkey, Breads Bakery, who will have their famous rugelach, babka and borekas on hand, Kossar’s will have their famous bialys, Shelsky’s of Brooklyn will be serving up sandwiches once again and Georgian restaurant Marani will be serving traditional khachhapouris.

Photo credit Clay Williams

If you’re not sure what to do with dad on Father’s Day,  I can’t think of anything better than a Jewish food street fair. Did I mention there is going to be an egg cream competition at 2:00 pm? This is literally the definition of FOMO.

But just because I can’t go doesn’t mean you can’t. The Taste of Jewish Culture will be taking place from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sixth Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets in Manhattan. It is free and open to the public and will include the following list of vendors, the ones with a little star * are certified kosher. If you go make sure to snap some photos on your phone and post them to our Facebook page or tag #noshthis on Twitter and Instagram so we can follow along (and drool).

Full list of vendors:

Baz Bagel
Black Seed Bagels
Breads Bakery
Brooklyn Seltzer Boys with Gefilteria
Brooklyn Sesame
Court Street Grocers
Dassara Brooklyn Ramen with Scharf & Zoyer
Guss’s Pickles*
Judy’s Knishes
Kossar’s Bialys*
La Newyorkina
Marani*
Mile End Delicatessen
OddFellows Ice Cream Co.
Sage Kitchen*
Shelsky’s of Brooklyn: Appetizing and Delicatessen
Taim*
Photo credit Clay Williams

Photo credit Clay Williams

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Posted on June 16, 2015

Sweet Potato Quinoa Veggie Burgers

sweet potato quinoa veggie burger main

You’re back in your summer BBQ groove and have invited friends for a day of sizzling fun. Just as you’ve settled into your menu choices, you realize that one of your guests for that “easy” fete you’re planning is vegetarian. Now what!? You’ve been down this route before, serving plenty of vegetable centric sides and maybe even those dry, vegetarian patties you find in the frozen food aisle.

Newsflash- vegetarians would rather not eat those faux burgers. So don’t bother with those thin, cellophane wrapped stand- ins for the real deal. Instead, show some love by making these moist vegetarian burgers from scratch. Yes, you need to use your food processor but you can make this mixture a day in advance and then forget about it until you fire up the grill. You may even find other guests peering over your shoulder wondering what smells so darn good.

sweet potato burger ingredients

In these easy vegetarian burgers, sweet potato and quinoa lends structure while healthy walnuts ensure that they remain moist. Cumin, turmeric and curry balance the sweetness of the potatoes and pair perfectly with this Roasted Poblano and Heirloom Tomato Salsa.

And while you’re celebrating summer’s bounty set aside a few ears of corn for this Corn Salad. Double up on carbs and consider this Classic French Potato Salad (sans mayo, of course). Both are easy do- aheads so you can be free to sip cold brews and tend to the coals.

While thirst may be slacked by lemonade, iced tea and chilled brews, everyone hankers for watermelon at a summer gathering. This farm fresh watermelon corn salsa is a refreshing compliment to the sweet potato and quinoa base of the veggie burgers.

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Eating dessert after a BBQ always feels exciting. Maybe it’s the setting sun or the waning heat, but there’s something magical and festive about it. If you’re a frozen dessert type of person, check out these Strawberry Basil Popsicles with a creamy mid-layer of vegan sour cream. If you’re picking or buying local strawberries for a frozen dessert but think that the herbaceous mid-layer won’t suit the kids (it probably won’t), consider buying double the amount of strawberries and make these super easy, all-fruit Strawberry Pops for the kids.

And while you’re shopping your local market for fruit, you may want to keep your grill going for dessert. Relish those juicy summer stone fruits with Grilled Apricots and Herbed Strawberries over slices of angel food or pound cake. You can even buy the cake. With perfectly ripe summer fruit, nobody will notice.

Note: This proposed menu is dairy free and may be served alongside traditional burgers.

sweet potato quinoa veggie burgers

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Posted on June 14, 2015

Herb Marinated Meat and Potato Skewers for Your Favorite Dad

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When it comes to husbands there’s no doubt I hit the jackpot. For nearly seven years of marriage, Kenny has proven to be an incredible partner. He humors me when I’m down, encourages me when I’m afraid, supports my wild, imaginative tendencies, and loves me unconditionally.  Because he is a good partner, I had a hunch Kenny would be a good father, too. Still, I never could have anticipated how good, until we welcomed our little bundle of joy two months ago.

Kenny gave me a preview of his fatherly ways while I was pregnant, as he would send messages to our baby through “the portal” (also known as my belly button). He spent hours perusing our entire library, reading to my growing belly, and even got in a good round of pat-a-cake, once the baby started kicking. He accompanied me to every pre-natal appointment, and when our son surprised us three weeks early, Kenny was beside me the entire time, beaming with pride and joy.

Our first few days as parents were tough. As I recovered from the delivery and got a taste of the sleep deprivation that would become my new normal, Kenny was right on cue to help pick up any slack. He handled diaper duty like a pro, and made sure we got to our post-partum appointments on time. I never thought I could love my husband more, but observing him grow so naturally into his new role as a father has made my love for him grow immeasurably.

kenny and baby Stempel

My only hope on his very first father’s day is that Kenny feels appreciated, loved, and cared for, which is why I’ll definitely be spoiling him with my marinated meat and potato skewers. When it comes to food, my husband has very simple tastes. His favorite foods consist of meat and potatoes, and let’s be honest…everything tastes better grilled on a stick. The vinegar in the marinade helps to tenderize the beef, leaving it moist and easy to bite. Fresh herbs perfume the potatoes, and the char marks left by the grill add a distinctly smoky flavor that is sure to be a hit.

There isn’t anyone else I’d rather be on this journey with than Kenny, and hopefully, this fan favorite recipe will help make his day extra special.

meat and potato skewers cooking

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Posted on June 10, 2015

Whole Wheat Banana Zucchini Bread

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I’ve never been a huge zucchini fan. I have found that it is generally not prepared well and turns out mushy and rather tasteless, even though it can be quite sweet and delicious when sautéed simply with butter, or delightful and fresh when served as a raw salad. But it was this zucchini bread recipe from Chef Ashley Christensen that really turned my view on the subject of zucchini.

And I have always loved banana bread. It was probably the item my mother baked most often throughout my childhood. After all, what’s better to do with mushy bananas? And inevitably, there is always a mushy banana leftover from the weekly bunch.

whole wheat zucchini banana bread

The recipe I have created below is really a hybrid of Ashley Christensen’s perfect zucchini bread, which is delicious and easy, and my favorite childhood banana bread. In my never-ending quest to eat copious amounts of baked goods, with butter, while tring to remain healthy I have added whole wheat flour and ground flax seed  to make this a little less of a guilty indulgence. Did I mention this delicious treat is also nondairy?

The whole flax seeds, oats and pumpkin seeds on top add a nice crunch and yes add a little extra health factor, but you can leave those off if you prefer. And don’t you worry, even though this bread is packed with whole wheat, flax, fruit and veggies, I still slather mine with plenty of butter. You should too.

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Posted on June 9, 2015