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!)
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.
Because I am someone who runs her life a million miles per minute, but still values the fruits of a home-cooked meal, the slow cooker is certainly a mainstay in my kitchen. Because of this favorite small appliance, my family gets to enjoy rich, hearty meals that taste like they’ve been simmering all day, even on those days when I’ve got just a few minutes to get dinner on the table.
Tahini is a remarkably versatile ingredient. Its rich, nutty flavor adds unique character to everything from cookies, to roasted veggies, raw veggie salads and simmer sauces. For tahini newbies, be patient when you’re mixing tahini with water and lemon. Go for the right texture first, adding more water and lemon until the sauce is pourable. The paste will turn from beige to white-ish, letting you know that you are heading in the right direction. Season with fresh minced garlic and whichever green herb you like best.
A few years ago when I was out in Los Angeles visiting my family, my brother insisted we head to Canter’s Deli, an iconic Jewish deli that has been around since 1931. I am never one to turn down some good Jewish comfort food, and was thrilled to order a big bowl of matzah ball soup on a cool, rainy December night to share with my then 2 year old daughter. The bowl was filled to the brim with not only a larger-than-life matzah ball, but kreplach, rice and noodles. That’s right – it was a matzah ball carb fest, and it was glorious.
Challah, soft and rich, brushed with egg wash, and woven into complex shapes or beautiful braids, is served in households around the world with Shabbat dinner. In many parts of the U.S. and Europe, challah appears more similar than different — golden, shiny, braided and perhaps dusted with poppy or sesame seeds. Sephardic loaves, on the other hand, take on different flavors, shapes and textures. How did Shabbat’s symbolic bread become the beloved rich and eggy braided loaf that’s baked and enjoyed by millions, worldwide?
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.
My 4-year-old previously meatball-loving child, has recently decided, in fact, she does not like meatballs any longer. Or tomato sauce. My husband does not like spaghetti squash. And I am trying to cut back on my carbs just a smidge. In short, dinner is becoming harder and harder to coordinate. So when I made sweet and sour meatballs for the first time recently and they were devoured, I knew we had a winner.