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October 2014 COTM "The Book of Jewish Food" reporting thread for recipes in 'The Ashkenazi World', pages 58-202.

Oh thank you, thank you for this recipe!

about 8 hours ago
dkennedy in Home Cooking

October 2014 COTM "The Book of Jewish Food" reporting thread for recipes in 'The Ashkenazi World', pages 58-202.

It's a pretty common practice to boil your matzah balls in chicken stock ( a separate pot, specifically for this purpose). The water option is a cost saving option, as it absorbs a great deal of your broth! I prefer my matzah balls to taste like matzah, not broth, so I usually dilute my broth somewhat but I don't cook them in water. Ever.

about 18 hours ago
dkennedy in Home Cooking

October 2014 COTM "The Book of Jewish Food" reporting thread for recipes in the second half of 'The Sephardi World', pages 444-634.

If you have to be burning your food, at least you have a very good - and adorable - reason for doing so. Enjoy the time with your baby. It is fleeting.

October 2014 COTM "The Book of Jewish Food" reporting thread for recipes in 'The Ashkenazi World', pages 58-202.

I think this is going to be a fascinating month of reading for me. To hear all of your experiences (many for the first time) with tastes and flavors I know so well. It will be interesting to hear about it from another perspective. So interesting!

October 2014 Cookbook of the Month: "The Book of Jewish Food" by Claudia Roden

Thanks Quianning for putting together such a great summary. I have owned this book forever, but I don't think I ever read the many essays contained within. I just sat down with it now and had to comment that she really does capture the flavor of the old ways. I will definitely be reading this book, cover to cover. I am quite pleased with our group for selecting this book and feel very grateful to have to finish it as my homework!

about 19 hours ago
dkennedy in Home Cooking
1

Announcement Thread: October 2014 COTM "The Book of Jewish Food"

Trying to find a gluten free alternative for the pasteles dough....I thought the buckwheat tart dough mentioned in The French Market cookbook might work well but I don't own a copy of the book. Do any of you have it? If so, can you contact me through my email (on my profile page) and walk me through the dough recipe? Thanks so much.

Sep 29, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

Does anybody have t the French Market cookbook? I want to make the GF buckwheat tart recipe but I don't have the book. If any of you have it, could you send a copy to my email (in my profile). Thanks!

Sep 29, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking

Announcement Thread: October 2014 COTM "The Book of Jewish Food"

Agreed, a lovely byproduct of an unpleasant experience. Given a renewed reason to appreciate every moment. The brush was a car accident. Both my kids in the car, air bags went off, glass broke. We are all safe, except for stiffness, soreness, and shattered nerves, which can be fixed. Terrifying, but otherwise, an opportunity to remember how much we have to be thankful for. May each and every one of you, be safe in the new year.

Sep 28, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

The proportions are:

2 3/4 c brown rice flour
1 3/4 c oat flour
1 3/4 c potato starch
1/2 c cornmeal

Sep 28, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking

Announcement Thread: October 2014 COTM "The Book of Jewish Food"

I borrowed my mother's copy of Stella's book to compare it to the recipes from my South African Sephardi Cookbook. Based on the few recipes I make regularly, it seems the recipes are interchangeable. So, if you wanted a book focusing on Rhodes-centric Sephardic recipes, Stella's book would be an affordable alternative, although in my opinion it still falls into the pretty expensive category.

The book is: STELLA'S SEPHARDIC TABLE by Stella Cohen.

By the way, all this discussion about my roots coupled with a-brush-with-death experience yesterday has motivated me to make a Desayúno style spread for Yom Kippur dinner this year. No time like the present to instill in my children an understanding of their ancestors, right? I am making the filling for the pastélikos right now, and I will be tinkering with a gluten free pastry dough to use for the cups. Will report back when I have a workable dough. If all goes well, I will move onto boyos, etc. Wish me luck!

Sep 28, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking
2

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

Just bought SMOKEHOUSE HAM, SPOON BREAD, AND SCUPPERNONG WINE based on someone's mentioning it up thread (I can't find the reference right now). Sounds like a very interesting read! Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

Have you tried Cup for Cup gluten free flour mix (sold at William Sonoma) or Pamela's gluten free flour mix? They both have yielded good results for me. I also really like Betty's four flour blend but that one is made from bean flours so it might be more controversial. But I use all three of these flour mixes in regular recipes with great results. Also, Huckleberry's cookbook offers her own gluten free flour blend recipe. If you are interested, I could email you the proportions.

Sep 26, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

I just "put up" my first batch of white nectarine jam flavored with earl grey tea leaves. I am loving this book! Also in my fridge - a batch of dill pickles, 5 more days until they are ready!

Sep 24, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking
1

Announcement Thread: October 2014 COTM "The Book of Jewish Food"

Aleichem Shalom.

Sep 24, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking

Announcement Thread: October 2014 COTM "The Book of Jewish Food"

Yes, it was me. I bought the Stella book for my mom for her last birthday. She loves it, but I don't think she really cooks anymore so I would have to take a look at it re the recipes. The book I rely on is The Sephardi Culinary Tradition by Elsie Menasce, out of South Africa. Sadly, it is out of print but copies come up from time to time on Ebay and Amazon. The instructions are better in this book than in most.

Sep 24, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking
1

Announcement Thread: October 2014 COTM "The Book of Jewish Food"

If this is your first introduction to Jewish food, there are some traditional dishes you will want to earmark just because they are delicious and have universal appeal: latkes, blintz, rugelach, and savory pies.

Other dishes, though traditional, may not sound yummy to someone who hasn’t been forced to eat it every year for the past 50 or so: gefilte fish, tripe, tongue.

As is true with all regional cuisine, the food choices were derived out of necessity. Historically Jews were a persecuted people. They often lived in poverty or in small ghettos (shtetls) so many of their traditional dishes were based on what was plentiful or seen as undesirable by others. If you look at it from this perspective, the food choices make sense. Potatoes, noodles, organ meat, long cooked cuts of meat, all things one could get their hands on even if resources were scarce or meat was expensive. This book is a wonderful resource for those trying to understand this cuisine for the first time because it gives you so much background information about the diaspora, and programs that resulted in two very different cultural groups emerging from one people, with very different foods and cultures resulting.

Back to answer the burning question as to what are some of my favorites from this book. Sorry but this is going to be a somewhat long winded answer. I am one of those almost extinct Rhodesli Jews referenced on the bottom of page 287. At least, I am descended from them. My daughter, who just celebrated her 13th birthday in January, will come with me this summer to see what is left of my grandparents’ village in Rhodes. I have never been there myself but I am told it was beautiful and their way of life even more so. My grandparents were fortunate enough to have emigrated to New York before Hitler came through and rounded up their village. Other than the few who migrated elsewhere before the round up, there were only 151 survivors world wide. I am happy to say, living in Los Angeles, I was lucky enough to be raised amongst many of them. Back to the recipes, this book, though representative of Sephardic communities elsewhere, does not accurately reflect any of my family’s recipes. I am sure they are probably very good renditions, just different. For example, I would never consider making pastelíkos without including rice! For those of you interested in learning more, I am going to attach some links where you can learn more about these variations and I’ll also make reference to some very good books.

For me, my favorite childhood food memories centered around Dezayúno, and the delicate savory pastries served as part of this meal. Dezayúno as it is used here means a special dairy brunch enjoyed after synagogue, on Shabbat, or on holidays. But that wasn’t how or when my family ate Dezayúno. I would describe my family as 'culturally' Jewish. What I mean by that is that while we went to services for the high holy days, lit candles on Hannukah, and had a Passover seder, we did not observe any of the other traditions. My parents are true Americans. They cast aside their culture to melt into their surroundings. So when we sat down for Dezayúno, it included anything and everything Sephardic. Both meat and dairy dishes served together, and eggs and sweets. It was basically a meal made up of noshes or small plates. I associated Desayúno with weddings, family gatherings, and other special occasions. Probably funerals too, though I don’t remember going to any of these as a child.

Therefore, if I were to direct your attention to any part of this book, it would be the savory pie section starting on page 279. The problem is there are no pictures in this book to get you motivated to do all this work! Borekas, Boyos, Pastelíkos, all are worth making. My family’s way of making Paselíkos, aka pasteles, is well illustrated on this link:

http://www.rhodesjewishmuseum.org/foo...

The only difference between what is shown here and the way we did it is we made them into little lided cups, covered with sesame seeds. When they were served (warm) they were accompanied by a salsa made from chopped tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, with a smashed garlic clove stirred into and then removed from the finished salsa. Here is a picture of what I mean:

http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/201...

She also does a really great job of showing how to make the pastry. As for the pastry, my aunts would make a well on the table, mix in the oil, water and that was the dough. Nothing more. The dough was bland, the meat and salsa were the flavorings.

Re boyos and boekas, look up the terms on the internet to get an idea as to all the differing shapes and sizes of these treats. My families were usually triangular when made in phyllo dough, round or folded over when made with regular dough. Here are two links:
http://www.theglobaljewishkitchen.com...
http://www.theglobaljewishkitchen.com...

I provided these links for the step by step guide, I can't speak to the authenticity of the recipes, they are not like mine.

I will provide recipes when the links go up. We always use a mix of kasseri and feta cheese in both our potato and our spinach boyos.

There are many, many other not to miss recipes that I will try to come back to post later. And some books to look at as references. The best ones are unfortunately out of print.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

While Huckleberry has a great deal of baking recipes, it classifies itself as a breakfast book. So muffins, breakfast sandwiches, donuts, coffee cakes, grain based cereals. It is wonderful, BTW. I have made 4 things out of it so far and everyone was outstanding.

Announcement Thread: October 2014 COTM "The Book of Jewish Food"

Will come back with my favorites soon.

Sep 23, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

SAVING THE SEASON by Kevin West

Last semester, my son's school offered as one of their auction items, a canning class with Kevin West and a copy of Saving the Season. I was lucky enough to get a spot in the class which took place last Saturday in a lovely home in Pacific Palisades. First of all, I really enjoyed the class. Kevin, a wonderful speaker, shared stories from his book and tips on how to get started canning. This book was written with the urban farmer in mind. In other words, for people like me who never intend to do anything but small batch canning.

I have never canned anything and though I feel pretty confident in the condition have always felt intimidated by the canning process. I shied away from it for fear of inadvertently killing a loved one if I got it wrong. I have made jam before, but only for immediate use, going directly from the pot to the fridge. I am not sure if the book alone would have been enough to get me from step A to step B but, the book, coupled with the class, did the trick. I now feel competent to can and am officially committing myself to the process!

Kevin demo consisted of explaining the necessary equipment and then went on to make a pear jam (p. 311) and a heirloom tomato sauce (p. 273) from his book. We got to take home a small jar of the pear jam, which I served the following morning with pumpkin waffles. I learned so much from this class and I am so grateful to be finally ready to enter the world of food preservation!!!!!!

I had three huge cucumbers waiting for me at home (the small bounty from my kitchen garden) so I set out to make Cucumber Dill Spears (p. 147) which for the next week will be sitting in their brine in my fridge before I can try them.

As for the book, it is quite thorough and like many other canning books I have perused, reading it cover to cover would be enough to make me, or anyone, a novice-expert, I think. So far, I have only made it through the canning basics and then paging through all the yummy recipes. But, because of my taking the class, my eyes are not glazing over at all the info being doled out. Instead, it is sinking in!!!! Finally.

For his demo, Kevin used the most beautiful copper confiture pan I have ever seen and though he cautioned that having a pan like this was unnecessary, I went right out and ordered myself an antique French one (off Ebay), along with a jar lifter, wide mouth funnel, rack and can inserts (from Amazon), to get me started. So I think it is safe to say teachers will be getting home made jams and pickles for their holiday gifts this year!

I know many of you are great canners and I am wondering if you are familiar with Kevin's book or his blog. I am also thinking of buying The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, down the line of course. Maybe in a week or so....

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month October 2014

At this point I have cast my vote but still very much on the fence. I hope whichever one doesn't win gets its chance in the sun next month, or in the next few months. They are both great books.

Sep 22, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

If it wins, you should just buy this one LLM. I own it, along with a lot of other Jewish cookbooks. As I posted elsewhere, these are recipes I pretty much do without consulting a recipe because I was raised on them, but her collection is well researched and the instructions are clear and they will give you an excellent reference point for approaching Jewish cooking, both culinarily and culturally, and from both the Sephardic and Ashekenazi perspectives.

Sep 20, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking
1

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month October 2014

This sounds delicious.

Sep 19, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month October 2014

I am having such a hard time casting my vote.

I really feel like Soul needs its day in the sun and it has been nominated so many times before and hasn't made it this far. We have never cooked out of an African book before and I love, love all things from this continent and have loved the few things I've made out of this book. If Soul wins, it will motivate me to explore this book further.

On the other hand, I would love to see a Jewish cookbook make it through the ranks. I make most of the recipes in this book by heart having been raised on these kinds of dishes, but Claudia's book is very well researched and written and I could benefit from a month re-reading it and cooking from it.

What to do, what to do? I wish we could vote for two consecutive months. I would do that for sure!!!! (I know this is not an option, but oh, how I wish it were).

Sep 19, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

All great choices!

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

Got mine on the 17th! Oh joy! It was worth the wait!

Sep 18, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month October 2014

On the bright side, I have both books and will happily cook from either this month. But I am very torn.

Sep 16, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking
1

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month October 2014

Ok, for the second spot:

SOUL OF A NEW CUISINE

Sep 15, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

Maybe try doing a Google search for The Good Cook join and see if it brings you to the appropriate link. It is not the easiest site to navigate, it takes you where it wants you to go. If you want it to go outside the box, you usually have to call - which I would not recommend.

Sep 14, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking

Cooking From Buvette, By Jody Williams

More on the Toasted Oatmeal Brûlée:

It turns out this recipe was not quite as intuitive as I would have hoped, at least not for me. As I mentioned above, my husband is the resident oatmeal maker in our house, so I wasn't exactly sure which pan to use. As a result, my pot boiled over, I dirtied about 500 dishes, and my stove top, and I am not sure I got the measurements right. Here's what happened: I toasted up 2 c. of oats (425 for 10 minutes), then added this to 4 c. already boiling water which had 1 t. course salt in it. When the oats hit the pot the entire thing boiled over. I transferred burners, guesstimated that I lost about 1 1/2 cups in the boil over, so added that, and allowed it the cook for 10 minutes, per instructions. Based on this disaster, I was hesitant to pour it into the pie tin, so I poured it into my paella pan. Way too big. So retransferred it to my chantal round dish. Perfect. Mixed in the golden raisins, nuts (I used toasted sunflower seeds, pepitas, pecans, walnuts and ground hemp) I forgot the flax seeds altogether. Put this back into the 425 degree oven for 13 1/2 minutes. Cleaned the kitchen during this time.

It is now cooling on my counter top. I've tasted the crust and it is yummy. I will serve it for dessert tonight or breakfast tomorrow.

Per the recipe, I can hold it at this stage for up to a week! If you choose to do that, you warm the dish at 400 for 15 minutes then, to finish if off, I sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 c. sugar over the top and broil it 4-6 inches from the heat source, until the sugar is melted and caramelized but not entirely burned. Then sprinkle with bee pollen and serve with warm milk.

Other than the learning curve, this is a pretty straight forward recipe. I am looking forward to trying it and will report back.

Sep 14, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking
1

Cooking From Buvette, By Jody Williams

Reporting back on the breakfast sandwiches. Sprayed the waffle iron well this time (used coconut oil) and the waffles easily lifted out of the pan, crisp and picture perfect. Drizzled them with maple syrup, sunny side up eggs and black forest ham that had been crisped in the pan. Delish. My kids were thrilled! These will become permanent fixtures in the rotation.

Sep 14, 2014
dkennedy in Home Cooking