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.
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.
One of the things I like most about Sephardic food is the enveloping aroma of warm spices that just screams comfort food. It’s like a cure for everything from physical to mental.
It’s cool outside, which means it’s time to break out the cozy sweaters and dust off your slow cooker.
Veering off the matzah path towards plenty of fresh veggies is an easy way to stay healthy and feel satisfied during the eight days of Passover. I like to serve vegetable soups to take the edge off that inevitable and inexplicable hunger we sometimes feel when we have, uh, matzah belly. Eating plenty of fresh greens takes the cue from one of the Hebrew names for Pesach, Chag Ha’aviv, or spring festival. With symbols of rebirth and new beginnings front and center on the seder plate, consider including green veggies and herbs as often as possible.
Chicken soup is one of the most comforting dishes in the world, and I know every culture has their own version. It’s not only delicious, but it also has healing powers. It’s not called Jewish penicillin for nothing, after all.
A little over a year ago, I dragged my then 2-year-old daughter on a food adventure while in Los Angeles visiting my family.
Thanksgiving was a sacred holiday in my family growing up. There were a series of rituals, smells, sounds and foods we knew we could expect each and every year without fail. The Macy’s Day Parade on TV in the background. Pillsbury biscuits with lots of butter. Stuffed mushrooms. Glazed sweet potatoes. And at least one person lighting themselves on fire by accident.
This gently seasoned beef and barley mushroom soup is a cold weather classic. The simple ingredients come together to form a comforting, glistening and nutritious dish that will fill your home with aromas like what you remember from grandma’s kitchen.
More than any other question that I get from friends and readers is how to make a great chicken soup with matzah balls. Chicken soup is universal, comforting and enjoyed year-round, as opposed to some traditional Jewish foods that are enjoyed only at a particular holiday.