March is such a tempting mistress. The sun is in the sky later and the flowers are beginning to pop up, but it’s still just a bit too early for an appreciable amount of spring produce to show up at farmers’ markets. I spend March wistfully looking out my window at my vegetable garden, waiting for something, anything to happen. One more month of root vegetables and then I’m moving to California (for real this time).
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!)
Ma’amoul is a traditional small pastry from the Levant (the area between Syria in the north and Egypt in the south including Lebanon, Israel and Palestine). Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in this area, alongside each other for over 1500 years. Among the many cultural and culinary traditions they share are the date and walnut-stuffed cookies called Ma’amoul.
Tiramisu translates to “pick me up.” And this popular Italian dessert sure lifts our mood! Here, we altered the classic by using matzah in place of traditional ladyfingers. The matzah soaks up the cream, chocolate, and rum with mouthwatering results.
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.
Chicken—roasting it, simmering it, sharing it—is more often than not on the menu for Shabbat and many Jewish holidays. And as careful as we are in going to the right butcher or grocery store, it can be hard to know which chicken to buy. But it turns out, we recently learned, that the quality of the chicken you buy can vary greatly depending on the breed.
Driven by a lust for riches, the 16th-century Spanish conquistadores set out for El Dorado, a mythical kingdom of gold and plenty. What they found instead was Peru, and plenty of potatoes. And that turned out to be the real treasure.
“You can’t beat a babka!” These immortal words, spoken by Elaine Benes and Jerry Seinfeld, introduced the United States to one of the most delicious but one of the most mysterious desserts in the world.
Chef Jim Solomon, owner of the Boston restaurant, The Fireplace, likes to stir the pot. The award-winning Jewish chef’s recipe for “Spanish Inquisition Remembered” is a boldly named new twist on a centuries-old Spanish chickpea-based stew known as cocido, that will spice up the Purim menu and the conversation around the Purim dinner table.
We know that hamantaschen can be tricky to master. The cookies explode, the dough is too crumbly, the list goes on. So if you don’t feel like going through the hassle of making dough from scratch, just go to the supermarket and pick up some prepared pie crust. Yes, that’s right – pie crust. Then use your favorite fillings like nutella, jam or even savory flavors like pesto and cheese. Watch me and my crazy kids make hamataschen or read below for the full instructions.