Chopped liver is a staple on holiday tables during Passover and Rosh Hashanah, as well as served up deliciously at Jewish delis across the country. It is a beloved, old-world dish born out of the desire to use every part of the animal – even the livers. And so its origins are quite humble. Still, the result of the livers with fried onions, oil or schmaltz and either eggs or vegetables is a super rich spread fit for a king. (Also, it’s really quite easy to make!)
When I think of knishes, like most people, I think of New York Jewish deli-style discs of creamy potato or savory meat, enveloped by a flaky crust. Potato knishes are my favorite, because they act as a vehicle for as much good, grainy mustard as I see fit.
Pickled cucumbers, borscht, kasha varnishkes, and knishes are just some of the stick-to-your-ribs foods that Polish and Russian-Jewish Cuisine is best known for. It’s no longer everyday fare, but rather the kind of meal that you cook when you’re craving something to combat the chilliest winter night.
Some experts say that food isn’t love, but I disagree. The glorious memories I have of my mother’s chicken fricassee have everything to do with love. This dish of hers was beyond delicious, it showed she cared. We were brought up to believe that the wings were the best, most precious part of the chicken and here was this wonderful meal, basically all chicken wings. It couldn’t get better than that.
I realize that latkes and donuts are iconic foods for Hanukkah, but in my family the holiday wouldn’t be right without our annual goose dinner. It’s the meal we start talking about on Thanksgiving and look forward to for weeks: a big, fat, roasted goose, amber-colored, crispy-skinned, with succulent, richly flavored dark-ish meat, served with braised red cabbage and crusty chunks of potato fried in goose fat and sweet wine-infused gravy.
I was the only person in Miss Duckler’s kindergarten class without a sibling. I had wished so long for a sister. But I had also wished on a star for a Baby Alive doll, and that never came true. So when my Aunt Jeannie picked me up from school and shared the birth of my sister April, I couldn’t really believe it. I started cheering, and skipping in circles. “I have a sister, I have a sister!”
One food you’ve probably heard of, but haven’t ventured to cook is kishke. It’s a sausage-like dish that appears buried deep in some Jewish deli menus in New York (like Katz’s) and although it’s definitely a less-kvelled (to burst with pride) – about Jewish food, it’s worth a try.