Well, it’s actually Eggplant Parmigiana. But the cheese I bought was spelled Parmesan, so that’s how I’m spelling the title of this dish. Continue reading
I have seen this episode of Barefoot Contessa many many times. Ina makes this pot roast with some baked potatoes. It’s such an easy recipe, though you do need a whole bunch of ingredients to make it. I finally decided to try it, and it was definitely worth it! The pot roast is soft and flavorful, and the sauce is thick and delicious over rice or couscous. I dipped garlic bread in mine. yum! It’s also a pretty forgiving recipe, so if you don’t have some of the ingredients, don’t fret! Continue reading
Chag Sameach everyone! We hope everyone has a sweet and healthy new year.
Everyone knows the custom of dipping apples in honey for Rosh HaShanah…actually, our family has different customs (and we don’t even have honey at the table, we use sugar instead). The Sephardic custom is to make many brachot on simanim, the symbolic foods we eat during the seder, before the meal. Before sharing the Leek Ejjeh recipe with you, I thought I might explain what our holiday meal with consist of tonight, and share the simanim that we will eat in order to celebrate the new year. Some more information on a (somewhat different) Rosh HaShanah seder can be found here.
The first siman is apples dipped in sugar (or honey). We eat this so that we will have a good and sweet new year. Cut the apples and serve with a bowl of sugar. Done.
The mext is tamarim, or dates. We eat this so that our enemies may be destroyed. No need to prepare these, we just buy dried dates – medjool dates are quite tasty on their own.
The third siman is leeks. We eat these so that our enemies will be destroyed (again). The recipe for leeks is at the bottom of this post – thanks for your patience!
The fourth siman, swiss chard, is eaten in hopes of removing our enemies (yet again).
The fifth siman is gourd. We make a bracha asking God to tear up any oppressive decrees in areas where Jews live and to proclaim our merits before Him.
The next siman is black eyed peas, or Lubiyeh. We eat this in order to increase our merits. These small beans are eaten stewed with meat – our family uses kibbe (the same little meatballs I made with mushrooms the other day) – and served as part of the regular meal and the seder during the holiday meal.
We eat the next siman, pomegranates (or rimon), asking God to grant us bountiful merits and goodwill, as many as the fruit’s seeds. Cut the fruit in half and immerse in a bowl of water while scraping the seeds away from the flesh with your fingers. The white flesh will float to the top, and the seeds will sink to the bottom. Scrape the flesh from top of the bowl and drain the seeds, it’s as easy as that. This method also stops your kitchen and clothing from getting all red.
Lastly, we eat tongue as the next siman. Tongue is eaten to symbolize a lamb’s head (I think some families eat fish, as well). This is to symbolize that we will be leaders (at the head) rather than followers at the trail. The meat is also a reminder of the ram that Avraham sacrificed instead of his son, Yitzchak. We buy tongue from the deli. Most people at the table don’t want to eat it.
The last thing we eat, after the simanim, is a new fruit. This should be a fruit that has just come into season, and therefore we were unable to eat for an entire year. We say Shehechianu on this fruit and thank God for keeping us alive and bringing us to this season. Our family usually eats starfruit or dragon fruit.
And without further ado, the leek ejjeh we will be enjoying for the next two nights:
We actually make our leeks into small latkes, quite similar to the tasty Chanukah treat. They’re delicious this way – crispy, tasty, and small. Not breaded like onion rings, but with the same flavor. They taste somewhat similar, actually.
- 2-3 large leeks, or 4-5 small leeks, washed well and chopped (don’t try to grate them on a box grater. They will get stringy)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or matzah meal
- 2 eggs
- Egg white from one egg
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil, for frying
1. Prepare oil for frying: pour about 1/2 inch of oil into a high-walled pan. Place on burner over medium heat.
2. Combine leeks, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Mix to combine. Check consistency. If it’s too dry, add the egg white. If too wet, add more bread crumbs. The batter should be loose but be able to come together into a ball if squeezed. Add salt and pepper.
3. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out batter into balls.
4. Test the frying oil with a tiny amount of batter. Make sure it sizzles but doesn’t burn. Prepare a plate or tray to drain the patties after frying. I used a paper towel-lined plate. My grandmother used to use brown paper bags (yes, the ones from the grocery store). Alton brown uses a cooling rack on top of a towel-lined cookie sheet. That’s probably the best idea if you can do it.
5. Using a slotted spoon, drop the batter, one at a time, into the oil, flattening into patties as you drop them. Only put 5-4 in the oil at a time, because you don’t want the temperature to drop too much and the patties to get soggy.
6. After one minute, they should be brown. Flip the patties. Fry on the other side for a minute. Remove from oil with slotted spoon and place on draining plate. Repeat until all are fried.
7. Sprinkle with salt when still warm.
8. Serve along with the bracha: “that those who hate us be cut away”
Shavuot is distinct from most other holidays because we traditionally eat dairy (why?). This means that we can eat gooey cheesey dinners, and more importantly, we don’t have to make desserts using fake butter like we usually do!! So we always pick out some special recipes to share with our family during this holiday.
Every year we make the same hamentaschen recipe. Not because it’s the only one we know, but because it’s really the best. I can’t say I know where this recipe came from, all I know is that it has been photocopied many times, and the instructions are cut off on the side of the page. We’ve been able to figure out what to do. Oh, and the original recipe calls for margarine – yuck! We use butter instead. Continue reading
What? Just because we don’t celebrate Christmas it doesn’t mean we can’t make candy centered around candy canes. In fact, we LOVE candy canes. And we love Danielle’s building because they have a tree with candy canes that we get to eat…the only thing better than candy canes is chocolate with broken candy canes on it. Williams Sonoma thinks it’s okay to sell their peppermint bark for more than $25, so we decided to make our own kosher version of the stuff. It was WAY cheaper and super delicious! May I add that it makes a perfect Hanukkah (or Christmas) gift? Continue reading
You didn’t think we’d get through eight days of Hanukkah and not post a holiday recipe for you, did you?
We actually eat ejjeh potato all the time, not only on Hanukkah. It’s a delicious and easy food to make for the beach on a summer Sunday afternoon. They also make great leftovers, so make extra and take some for lunch in a sandwich the next day.
Because latkes are fried, they are a customary Hanukkah food. On these eight days, Jews load up on oily foods to remember the miracle of the oil. These latkes are different than the Ashkenaz version, which you probably see more often. These are more like home fries. They’re soft in the middle and really deliciously crispy on the outside. Continue reading
An etrog is a very interesting fruit. You never really hear of it except for during Sukkot, and even then nobody eats it; we just shake it. It doesn’t help that they’re really expensive, and not that easy to eat.
This was my first experience cutting into an etrog. It’s a citrus fruit similar to a lemon, but you can’t squeeze the juices out. I guess you can use the outside like you would lemon zest, but it would be much harder, since the surface isn’t very smooth.
Jewish superstition connects etrog jelly to pregnancy and fertility. I have heard that it eases labor pains, helps a woman get pregnant, and can be eaten any time during pregnancy for health and luck.
It’s a tradition to eat round challah during the holidays to symbolize a repetitive cycle – the end of an old one and the beginning of a new one. Usually people add some sweetness to the challah with raisins, and instead of dipping it in salt, as we dip it in sugar (or honey). I skipped the raisins – a lot of my guests don’t like raisins – but made sure to use plenty of sugar.
This challah was definitely a special one. I’ve been practicing the six-strand braid and got really good at it, but have never braided a round one. It came out really pretty. I also made it dairy, since we were having dairy for the second day of rosh hashanah. Instead of the usual oil and water, I used milk and butter, which I thought would add a delicious flavor. Continue reading