Our friend Rachel makes such delicious challah and is always generous enough to share with us! The first time she brought me a loaf was when we went out to dinner on a Thursday night. She said she made six, so she could spare one. She brought another one when I invited her for a fish taco dinner at our apartment. I told her how much we loved it, so she shared the recipe with me, and now I can have Rachel Challah whenever I want (not that there’s a shortage of challah recipes out there)!
If you’re making meat for Shabbat lunch and want an easy and light dish, look no further than this mustard chicken salad. Yeah, I know, people will probably go crazier over the chulent you made, but this dish is simple, refreshing, and did I mention simple? You can serve it on top of a bed of romaine, like I did, or arugula, like Ina did. Or you can shred the chicken and cut the veggies a bit smaller and serve this in sandwiches, my favorite way to eat chicken salad. No matter how you do it, it’s a great Shabbat lunch. Continue reading
Or fasullieh. I’m really not sure how to spell it, and it doesn’t matter because it’s not English. In English, these are Great Northern Beans. These beans absorb flavor really well, so they are great in this dish. They take on the meaty flavor of the marrow bones, and tomatoey flavor from the tomato paste. Serve it over rice, and you have a perfect Shabbat dinner side. Or a nice weeknight meal. Continue reading
AKA Jeffrey’s Roast Chicken.
Apparently we’ve been on a chicken kick lately! But all of these recipes serve different purposes, and really, you can never have enough chicken recipes! Here’s our latest obsession from our favorite Ina Garten:
There aren’t many recipes that are this easy and yield so much flavor like this roast chicken. Ina definitely knows how to take simple ingredients and add that wow factor! This chicken was moist and juicy, with just the right amount of aromatics to make bring the flavor of this chicken to the next level. Next time you’re having company, impress them with this roasted chicken. You won’t be sorry. Continue reading
I’m pretty obsessed with my Crock Pot right now. I love to come home to the smell of a slow-cooked meal and to not have to cook dinner when I come home. It’s win-win. It’s pretty amazing how everything I make in there turns out delicious. I don’t even have to cook meat in it, vegetable stews work great, too. I always tell myself I will use it more often, then go through a slow cooker phase, and then put it away and leave it there for a couple of months. I hope this phase lasts longer!
I’ve been making a lot of stews to eat over rice lately, and I was in a pasta mood, so I decided to cook up a tomato sauce to serve on top of spaghetti, though it would be equally delicious with rice.
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
Growing up, we always thought Grandma Rena was the best cook! Our parents still make fun of us that we liked her can of Hunt’s tomato sauce over a box of boiled pasta better than theirs, but what can we say, there was something special about it.
Recently, our dad started buying veal so that our mom could recreate his mom’s veal pasta. We’ve been trying to recreate her recipe, and while it will probably never be as good as grandma’s, we can come close to it.
Chicken and spaghetti was always a Friday night staple in our home. Though Poopa Dweck’s book states that it’s a Syrian custom to not eat this dish for Shabbat dinner because it’s a sign of bad luck, my family’s been eating it for years, and I don’t think we’re any less lucky than other people out there. So If you’re superstitious, make it on a weeknight. It’s a good meal with just a small side salad or vegetable. If you’re not superstitious, or just want to make a main course that consists of a carb and a protein (does the tomato sauce count as a vegetable?), then make this for Shabbat dinner. Your guests and family will fight over the crispy burnt edges.
When my mother makes this, she always leaves the chicken pieces whole. This way, it’s easier to eat just the spaghetti, which I often like to do (especially when there’s chili on the table – chicken and spaghetti chopped with some chili is awesome). I sometimes shred the chicken into the spaghetti, so that every bite has a little bit of chicken and a little bit of spaghetti. I find that the chicken also stays more moist this way and soaks up the flavor of the sauce more. Try it both ways and let me know which you prefer. Remember if you’re shredding to be careful to remove all the bones and stuff. No one wants a mouthful of spaghetti and chicken bones!
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 chicken, cut into eighths (bone in, skin on)
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Place chicken on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 35 – 45 minutes, until cooked. Then let cool and shred, cut, or leave whole. Save the chickeny oil and juice!
3. While chicken is roasting, boil spaghetti in very salty water for one minute less than stated on the package.
4. Drain the spaghetti.
5. Place spaghetti in roasting pan and add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, spices, salt, and some pepper. Mix well.
— Now you have what we like to call “And Spaghetti” which is the BEST Friday afternoon snack ever.
6. Add the chicken (pieces, shreds, whatever you decided) and the chicken juice and mix well.
7. Cover and roast in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, until the edges are crusty and the middle is soft.
These little Syrian meatballs are totally different from the ones we eat on top of spaghetti. Keftes tend to be smaller and are cooked in a sweet and sour tomato-based sauce and are eaten over rice. They’re one of my favorite Syrian dishes, and though they’re usually served as part of a whole spread of meats, salads and vegetables (sometimes they’re not even the only serve-over-rice dish), I like to make them the main event on a weeknight!
Keftes, or Syrian Meatballs
For the keftes:
- 1 lb chopped meat
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons matzah meal
- salt and pepper
For the sauce:
- 2 (14 oz.) cans tomato sauce
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoons sugar
- salt to taste
- Mix all of the ingredients for the keftes together and form into balls, about 2 tablespoons in size.
- Brown the meatballs in a little bit of olive oil in a pot.
- Add all of the sauce ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil.
- Lower the fire, cover and let simmer for 40 minutes to an hour, making sure the keftes are cooked through.
- Serve over rice.
Oh, and happy birthday Rebekah!
When the 2nd Avenue Deli closed, I immediately bought the cookbook on Amazon so I could recreate the delicious flavors I grew up with. I didn’t know that it would reopen even closer to where I lived. The first thing we made from the cookbook was the health salad. It wasn’t the same, but it definitely resembled the real thing. The next thing I made was the delicious brisket. It’s easy and is definitely worth the time put into it. Now that I have a dutch oven, it’s even easier than it ever was. Continue reading