If you yearn for Israeli flavors as you prep for your Super Bowl party, consider creating a mash-up of old school cheesy potato skins and bold Israeli flavors.
I don’t even know who is playing in the Super Bowl this year (Confession: I never know who is playing), but I know it’s coming up, and I love planning delicious party food. And I am pretty sure there are lots of other people who are just like me.
If a fried macaroni and cheese ball met a zeppoli and then converted to Judaism, their baby would be one of these fried kugel balls. They are sweet, gooey, crunchy on the outside with just a slight bit of saltiness that I think is pretty divine. I recommend topping with a light dusting of powdered sugar for an over-the-top touch.
Bourekas are a Sephardi, and more specifically Turkish, treat coming from the word borek which means pie. They are often made with phyllo dough and can be shaped in a variety of ways. In Turkey they are formed into circles. But in Israel they are formed into small, hand-held pies akin to empanadas. Bourekas are one of the foods I most look forward to enjoying when I visit Israel. And you can truly find them everywhere — small ones at the breakfast buffet, larger ones at coffee shops, or row after row in the market — all shaped differently depending on the filling: potato, mushroom, eggplant, spinach or cheese.
We love hummus, and we love pumpkin so we decided to marry these two loves in an easy, seasonal dip: pumpkin hummus.
If you are looking for a light, healthy appetizer to brighten your Sukkot table, this sweet potato hummus is bursting with flavor. Because of its high protein and fiber content, it will help control your appetite and mood. My 450-pound ad man dad named it the caviar of hummus — exclaiming that it was almost illegal for something so nutritious to be this delicious. “All the ‘gusto’ without all the Jewish guilt,” my dad complimented, paraphrasing his award-winning slogan for Schlitz Beer and my 11-year-old, culinary skills.
By the time Sukkot arrives, and we are three weeks into nonstop Jewish holiday mode, some people might be a little tired of cooking. I don’t blame those people one bit. But Sukkot is probably my favorite holiday of the season to cook for – I love sitting outdoors in the brisk autumn air, enjoying harvest-inspired dishes with friends and family.
Ah, Rosh Hashanah. The holiday in which we’re not only allowed to eat leavened bread, but are encouraged to slather honey over fat slices of the stuff. As my sister and I used to shout from the backseat of our car on our way to Rosh Hashanah dinner as kids—challah! (see definition #2.) Much as I love the pillowy bread, I’m not going to wax on about the wonders of challah. A slightly quicker, crisper gluten-based treat has my heart this new year: Fenugreek frybread.
There are so many different ways to enjoy hummus, and I must admit, I usually love them all – I grew up in Israel! And equal to my love of hummus is my love of Asian flavors. I even made sushi latkes last year for Hanukkah, which were a huge hit. This Asian-inspired green pea hummus is a marriage of my two passions for interesting hummus varieties and Asian influences.