NEW YORK (Press Release)– With the Jewish New Year soon to arrive, EL AL, the national airline of Israel is preparing for this holiday season by offering traditional desserts which symbolize a sweet new year.
More than 550 pounds of honey cake is served to passengers travelling on EL AL from the USA in all classes of service as well as to premium class passengers in the King David Lounges.
Also offered in the lounges is another symbolic holiday snack, apples and honey. Over 330 pounds of sliced apples and 170 pounds of honey will be consumed!
In celebration of the Rosh Hashana holiday Chef Steven Weintraub, Executive Chef of Borenstein Caterers, is providing two special recipes for signature holiday sweets.
HOLIDAY HONEY CAKE RECIPE:
1 cup of honey
½ cup of sugar
4 whole eggs
1 cup of coffee, black and room temperature
¾ cup of vegetable oil
1 fresh orange, grated fine (include juice pulp and skin)
4 – 4 ½ cups of flour (adjust flour amount to ensure mixture is moderately loose)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
A pinch of salt (1/8 tsp)
1 cup of raisins
Mix honey, sugar, eggs, coffee, oil and orange thoroughly. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add dry mixture into liquid mixture. Blend well. Fold in raisins. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 greased baking pan or into a 36 muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour. After 45 minutes of cooking, check periodically. Let cool on a wire rack.
Another delicious recipe that EL AL passengers have enjoyed is Baked Apples:
BAKED APPLE RECIPE:
6 fresh, large Granny Smith apples
1 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
4 oz of almond or macaroon paste
¼ cup of dark raisins
2 egg whites from extra large eggs
2 cups of honey (for sauce, 2.5 oz per portion)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon-sugar mixture (1/2 tablespoon of each)
Blanch the apples in boiling water for 5 minutes and shock in cold water, drain well. From the top of the apples, make a crater by coring and removing the inside meat down 10 % depth, leaving the outside edge with an approximate ¼ even border. Place the apples in a shallow pan and set aside. Using a mixing bowl, add brown sugar, cinnamon, almond/macaroon paste, raisins, egg whites and blend well. Reserve honey and cinnamon-sugar mixture for garnish. Fill apple crater with mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Test for doneness to the feel of a cooked baked potato. Cool apples down to a warm state and serve with honey at room temperature. Finally, sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Preceding provided by El Al Airlines
Jewish Home Cooking by Arthur Schwartz,Ten Speed Press, $35
Jewish Holiday Cooking by Jayne Cohen, John Wiley and Sons, $32.50
By Marc Yaffe
BETHESDA, Maryland–The two Jewish cookbooks that are being reviewed here were both runners-up for the 2009 James Beard Awards in their individual categories. Clearly I am guilty of a certain hubris for selecting volumes that have already been declared among the best of the best, but I defend myself on the basis that my reviewing criteria are probably not among those applied by the selectors of the James Beard Foundation.
It is almost 40 years since I read –and saved for future reference– an article in the Arts Section of the Sunday New York Times by the noted music critic and essayist, Nat Hentoff. In his article Mr. Hentoff wrote of his interview of Al Cohn, a noted jazz saxophonist of the day. He quoted Mr. Cohn as saying: “It’s what you listen to when you’re growing up that you always come back to.” Hentoff then added: “. . . Cohn’s Law is essentially valid in that we do not forget what brought us the most pleasure when we were younger and what most won our respect.” It is no great stretch to apply Cohn’s Law to the foods that gave us most pleasure as children, and even today evoke the same pleasurable memories of our youth.
So when I pick up a Jewish cookbook the first thing I do is search out the recipes that my Grandmother, who emigrated from Kovna, a small village near Vilna, made regularly, especially those that graced our Passover table. One of the first recipes I look for in the Index is Brisket. Of course, my Grandmother used Nyafat for frying the onions and braising the brisket, and, to be sure, she salted and soaked the meat. I can’t criticize Mr. Schwartz for employing Canola Oil, but I cannot excuse him for baking his brisket after having braised it, and not adding a small amount of water to kick-start the gravy-making process. About midway through the cooking my Grandmother would add some par-boiled potatoes and cut up carrots. What a joy: Tender, juicy meat with gravy infused potatoes and carrots.
What it all boils down to (pardon the pun) is Mr. Schwartz’s heritage: Galitzianer or Litvak? Clearly, when he refers to the recipes he inherited from his Mother he is a Litvak. And while his Mother is to be excused for not coming from the same stetl as my Grandmother, her recipes, as interpreted by her son, do evoke many mouth-watering recollections. But where is her recipe for Taiglech? To my mind, a very serious omission.
Unlike Mr. Schwartz’s work, Jayne Cohen’s 575-page collection of recipes draws from every corner of the diaspora. If you are ever inclined to introduce new items into your traditional holiday menu, this is the source book for you. While it must be quite evident how much I relish my Grandmother’s pot roast, I confess to a strong curiosity to try Ms. Cohen’s Aromatic Marinated Brisket with Chestnuts. Her Syrian Stuffed Zucchini in Tomato-Apricot Sauce, a dish for Sukkot, is suitable for any occasion. As is her recipe for Iranian Grilled Chicken Thighs.
What Ms. Cohen offers is choices, a multitude of choices. Are you thinking about making latkes? She gives you not one recipe, but eleven. There are ten recipes for matzo brei, and a like quantity for kugel. And so on. For most of her dishes she does have basic recipes, introducing variations subsequently. Ms. Cohen’s work is a rich compendium of holiday fare, which, if you are inventive, can lead you to producing your own variations.
But as abundant is her collection of recipes, she, too, has omitted one for taiglech!
Kidding aside, it must be said that there is an important difference between these two volumes. The first, Mr. Schwartz’s tome, is truly a cookbook. It has a point of view and it tells its own story; about the foods that his family holds dear, and that he is drawn to as we are drawn to the music we heard as children. Ms. Cohen’s work is simply a compendium of recipes. That they are tied together by the thread of their Jewish origins there is little doubt. I do believe, however, that her work would have been considerably more meaningful had she sought to trace the evolution of all those recipes as they made their way into the diaspora.
Yaffe, based in Bethesda, Maryland, travels the world in search of culinary creations to compare with his bubbe’s.
SAN DIEGO (Staff Report)–Erez Strasburg, former Israeli shaliach assigned to the Jewish Federation offices in San Diego, is now offering personalized tours of Israel for English speakers. He can be reached through his “Personal Tourism” company website.
Congressman Bob Filner, whose own political career began when he decided to run for the San Diego City School Board, has picked his favorite in San Diego’s District B race to succeed School Board Trustee Katherine Nakamura. He’s given his endorsement to Kevin Beiser, who previously taught in the Sweetwater School District and has been honored as a “math teacher of the year.”
The public is invited to attend groundbreaking ceremonies for San Diego’s new central library at 11th and K Streets at 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 28. Mayor Jerry Sanders will be among the speakers. Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs was one of the major donors to the project.
For the cooks among us, there’s a new website offering some classic Jewish recipes. Bob Hiller is calling it ”My bubby’s kitchen” in honor of Molly Dembo Losick.
Preceding culled from emails and press releases sent to San Diego Jewish World
SAN DIEGO — Shoshi Bogoch, the new Israeli emissary or shlicha assigned to the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County submitted some recipes reflecting her mixed Ashkenazic-Sephardic background to A Taste of Hebrew Day School recipe book now on sale for $18.
One recipe, which might have been made by the German Jewish side of her family, is for chicken soup. The other, cooked by Jewish grandparents from Afghanistan, is for goundi meatballs.
More than 200 recipes from all over the globe are included in the recipe book, according to project coordinator Sandi Masori, who’ll be happy to sell you a copy of the book. She may be reached at email@example.com
Submitted by Shoshi Bogoch
Chicken- 6 drumsticks
2 celery stalks
Pumpkin or squash
Chicken soup powder
1. Fill a pot ¾ with water. First boil chicken.
2. Add vegetables
3. Add salt and chicken soup powder
4. Boil for 10 minutes
5. Simmer for 1 hour
Submitted by Shoshi Bogoch
A special recipe from the Afgani Jewish community
1 lb ground meat
½ cup rice, washed
1 egg- beaten
1. Blend everything together
2. Form into balls and put them into chicken soup or boiling water
3. Serve with soup
SAN DIEGO–The following recipe is reprinted with permission from A Taste of Hebrew Day, Volume I (re-titled from Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School Kosher Cookbook). The cookbook with more than 250 all-kosher recipes from around the globe may be obtained from the school for $18 (plus $5 shipping). For more information, contact Sandi Masori at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yummy Vegetarian Latkes
Submitted by Rachel Nissim
10 green onions
½ bunch of Italian parsley
A few celery leaves
3 tbsp matza meal
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp oil
1. Mince all the ingredients together in a food processor and fry in oil till golden brown
Preceding provided by Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School
The following recipe is reprinted with permission from A Taste of Hebrew Day, Volume I (re-titled from Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School Kosher Cookbook). The cookbook with more than 250 all-kosher recipes from around the globe may be obtained from the school for $18 (plus $5 shipping). For more information, contact Sandi Masori at email@example.com
Recipe submitted by Iris Avgil
1 ½ cup self-rising flour
1 cup yogurt (or sour cream)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
Pinch of baking soda
Mix the ingredients well
Using a rounded spoon, drop in balls of the mixture into a pot of boiling oil
The balls will turn over automatically when one side is done (fun to watch! Be careful not to get splashed with frying oil!)
When the balls are golden colored, put them on a plate with paper towels.
Tip for keeping oil clean: Slice a piece of raw carrot and drop it into the hot oil before you start deep frying the sufganiy ot. The carrot absorbs the black. When your piece of carrot gets black, take it out and replace it with a fresh slice. It really keeps your oil clean.
Preceding provided by Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School
By Linda Capeloto Sendowski
BEVERLY HILLS, California—Hot from the sizzling oil, dripping with warm, lemon scented, honey syrup the bumuelo is a Sephardic tradition. That first bite of sweet crispy goodness is worth the calorie conscious guilt I will feel after eating this traditional goodie.
Bumuelos also known as birmuelos, as burmuelos, depending on where Sephardic families are from, are the Jewish version of a doughnut or beignet. Since bumuelos originated in Spain, they traveled with Ladino (Judeo Spanish) speaking Jews in the 15th century to the Ottoman Empire as part of their traditional cuisine. Bumuelos have their counterparts in many other countries. This honey puff is known in Greece as loukoumades, and in Syria, as zalabieh.
Where I grew up in Seattle, Washington, we called them bumuelos and my Turkish mother made great ones. She had a special blue enamel pan that she reserved for deep frying French fries or Chanukah bumuelos, and we ate them golden brown, hot out of the oil, after pouring the special syrup on top. My mom or Nona as the kids call her was always the most capable of all her sisters. She is an ace at Sephardic baking including, borekas, baklava, and biscotios and is still going strong at 91. She wears a homemade terrycloth apron with pockets and her tan hands, still nimble, work quickly with the soft sticky dough. Today, I do that job with my mom at our family Chanukah dinner in sunny southern California.
So why do we eat bumuelos or other fried treats on Chanukah? Chanukah commemorates the great, although not long lived, physical victory of the Maccabees over their enemies the Greeks in the year 164 BCE. It is the philosophical victory of freedom of individuality and freedom of religion over the enforced uniformity of the Hellenistic majority.
The Maccabees were a father, his five sons, and all their followers. The most famous was Judah Maccabee or Judah ‘the Hammer’. They conducted a guerilla war from the hills around the town of Modi’in near Jerusalem. The story has it that when the victorious Maccabees returned to reclaim their temple after 3 years of fighting, they found it defiled and used for Pagan rituals. To reinstate the temple, oil was required to rekindle a menorah. The amount of oil available was not sufficient, so a miracle occurred, and the oil lasted for 8 days until they could obtain more.
We recall the miracle of the oil in the victory story by eating fried food. Food as symbolism is used often in the Jewish calendar. Chanukah is not of major religious importance; it’s really just a celebration on the Jewish calendar. However, with the twist of fate of having roughly the same timing as the Christmas holidays Chanukah became huge. We light candles, give gifts or gold coins, and eat.
Most are familiar with latkes made with shredded potatoes, fried in oil, and served with applesauce and or sour cream. I make them all year long, but other kinds of fried treats are consumed as well including, bumuelos, Israeli sufganiyot (filled doughnuts), sweet potato latkes, zucchini ejjeh (fried individual frittatas), and bread crumb crusted cauliflower florets.
This Chanukah, try including bumuelos in your Chanukah feast. It enhances a dinner of latkes and brisket or a dairy meal as well. While I was recipe testing last week I served them for desert after a meal of roast rack of veal with wild mushrooms, braised fennel, Brussels sprouts and baked yams.
Makes 15-18 bumuelos, serves 6-8, parve
1 envelope rapid rise yeast (2 teaspoons)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups unbleached flour
Vegetable oil for deep frying, (I use about 2 quarts)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
¾ cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Place the yeast and sugar in a medium bowl. Pour in the warm water and stir. In a few minutes, when the yeast begins to foam, add the oil. Mix the salt into the flour and starting with ½ cup of the flour, whisk it into the yeast and water. Add the flour in additions of ½ cup each and mix until smooth and well blended. The dough will be a little loose and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set the dough aside in a warm draft free corner to rise for one hour.
Prepare the syrup while you wait for the dough to rise. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat. When the sugar has dissolved, let the liquid boil for 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat. (You could make the syrup well ahead and just rewarm it.)
When the dough is ready, preheat the oil in a deep 4-6 quart saucepan pan or deep fat fryer to 360º-365º. The oil should be 3-4 inches deep. Prepare a small bowl with water for wetting your hands. Dough doesn’t stick to wet hands.
With your right hand scoop up about 2 tablespoons of dough into your left hand, make a ball, and open a hole in the center with your thumbs. Then slide the dough off your fingers into the hot oil. The dough will drop into the oil and then unfold into a freeform doughnut with a hole in the center. Fry for about 1.5 minutes on the first side until golden, then flip with a tongs, and fry until the second side is a beautiful gold color. Remove the bumuelo from the oil with a tongs and drain on paper towels. For best results, fry 3-4 at a time so as not to overcrowd the pan.
Dip the bumuelos into the hot syrup and serve. Alternatively, you might pass the syrup and let the guests serve themselves.
Linda Capeloto Sendowski is a food blogger and cooking teacher based in Beverly Hills, California. For more recipes, stories, and food, visit her blog at http://www.theborekadiary.com.
By Donald H. Harrison
SAN DIEGO—Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School has devised a delicious corollary to this publication’s motto that “there is a Jewish story everywhere.” Gourmets may like the Orthodox school’s saying even better: “There’s great kosher food everywhere.”
Coming out next week, in plenty of time for the December 11th first evening of Chanukah, will be Volume I of the Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School Kosher Cookbook. Recipes were donated by the families and friends of the faculty, staff and students, whose ancestral countries of origin and ethnic tastes span the globe.
My daughter, Sandi Masori, who coordinated the project with graphic designer and illustrator Aliza Shalit, said it’s anticipated there will be a Volume II in another two or three years. “I’m already beginning to collect the recipes for it,” she said.
In the meantime, there are some 200 recipes in this volume to digest. They are culled from a wide variety of international cuisines, including those of these United States of America. The recipes are grouped in ten chapters: Breakfast, Appetizers and Side Dishes, Breads, Dips and Sauces, Soups and Salads, Fish, Dairy, Poultry, Beef and Lamb, and Desserts.
It’s a Jewish cookbook for people who want to travel the world while staying in their own kitchens. Of course, there are many of the Eastern European dishes that people often associate with kosher cooking such as blintzes, gefilte fish, kugels and latkes.
But there are also numerous recipes that may be a surprise to those who don’t realize that the basics of kosher food preparation are to eschew certain proscribed foods like pork and shellfish, and to refrain from mixing meat and dairy products.
In the mood for tastes from Europe? There are recipes for Cheese Quiche (France) from Muriel Algazi , Cold Pesto Pasta (Italy) from Rayna Levitt, Mediterranean Eggplant Salad from Tamar Adato; and Grandma Rosey’s Honey Sponge Cake (Hungary) from Daniel and Eliezer Kraiman, who are the sixth generation of their family to love it.
Do you like the flavors of the Middle East? A sampling of recipes include those for Shakshuka (Israel) from Liat Alon; Kubana (Yemen) from Shahar Masori; Red Chatzilim (Morocco) from Leah Moryosef; Tbit Brown Rice (Iraq) from Anat Levi; Tadiq (Iran) from Loretta Levi; and Goundi (Afghanistan) from Shoshi Bogoch, the Israeli shlicha stationed at the United Jewish Federation.
The Far East also is represented in this volume with Oriental Hot and Sour Soup (Asia generally) from Cheryl Horn; Thai Tom Yam Soup (Thailand) from Sara Reisman; Kosher Mock Crab Eggrolls (China) from Betty Weiser, and Cucumber and Carrots Sushi (Japan) from Gabriel, Max, Alexis and Valeria Simpser.
How about the savory foods of South America and the Caribbean? There are recipes for Huevos Ahogados in Tomato Sauce (Mexico) from Becky Krinsky; Caribbean Salmon with Guava Barbecue Sauce and Mango Veggie Salsa from Jessica Breziner; Arroz con Pollo (Chile) from Jacqueline Jacobs; Papa Rellena (Peru) from Aliza Shalit; and Cuscuz Caipira (Brazil) from Carla Berg.
What about the U.S.A.? Well, what could be more American than a recipe for Coca-Cola chicken from Shari Marks or Coca-Cola Brisket from Debbie Rappoport?
Included with the recipes are the brachot (blessings) to be said over various foods, as well as the ritual for burning a piece of challah as a symbolic offering to God. Rebbetzin Ariella Adatto provided the religious instructions and explanations.
Given that the cookbook was created as a fundraising project for Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School, its cost is not surprising. It is $18 – eighteen being the numerical value of the Hebrew word “chai,” which means life. Just as people need food to live, schools need money for their programs to thrive.
To purchase a cookbook, contact Sandi Masori at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World