Shavuot Tartines

Counting the Omer, One Tartine at a Time

Today’s recipe is really a list: 49 different delicious, chometzdik, sustaining, take-it-along open sandwiches. Called tartines, they are an emanation of medieval peasant food in which a meal would be served atop a slice of bread so as to be eaten while on foot. I thought about making quail, the other culinary miracle performed for those desert wanderers, but then, not many of us have quail in the freezer. If you do, please send us a photo of those little delicacies, and my chef’s hat is off to you.

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Shavuot Trout Cheesecake

For a New Twist on Shavuot, Try this Lox-Bagel-Turned Cheesecake

by Rachel Harkham More than three thousand years ago, as the story goes, the Israelites received the Torah from God on top of Mt. Sinai. Shavuot, which begins tonight and lasts two days, celebrates the acceptance of that enduring tradition. At this time it is customary to eat a roster of rich dairy dishes for several reasons: the plentiful milk of late springtime, the lines in the Bible describing Israel as the land of “milk and honey” and the dairy dishes that followed the acceptance of the laws of kashrut before Jews could cook kosher meat. Fast-forward from the slopes of Mt. Sinai to New York in the late-aughties. I was trying to come up with an original dish to serve to my guests for Shavuot, finding myself completely uninspired by the usual suspects—sweet cheese blintzes and...

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Dispatches from the Melting Pot: 5 New Jewish-American Recipes

Recipes by Rachel Harkham As we found out while coming up with the Top 10 Jewish Foods for May's Jewish-American Heritage Month, embracing our heritage sometimes means embracing the fact that many of our time-honored traditions have been transformed to fit the tastes of mainstream American culture. Some of the resulting dishes are marriages of transcendence (lox and bagels), while some are abominable (blueberry bagels and pizza-flavored hummus, anyone?). Such is the nature of the melting pot: tastes meld, traditions fuse, and new creations are ever being born. No one knows what the next hit dish will be, but Rachel Harkham, the author of Get Cooking! A Jewish American Family Cookbook, has been busy spawning a few geshmackers herself. Here on the blog, she shares her recipes for five modern fusion dishes in honor of JAHM. Enjoy! Fraiche New...

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Shavuot Cheese Blintzes

Shavuot Blintzes: Take Your Lactaid, Folks

Shavuot, the holiday that marks the receiving of the Torah and the annual cheesecake overload, begins on the evening of Tuesday, May 14. The holiday celebration is twofold in that we celebrate receiving the Torah, including all of the commandments, and the grain harvest, which occurs at this time of year in Israel. When the Jewish people received the Torah, which included all of the dietary laws, they would have needed time to kasher, (make fit or proper) all of their dishes, utensils and vessels. Hence, the custom of eating a dairy meal developed, as they would not have had access to kosher meat without enough time to prepare. My family has always eaten blintzes on this holiday, at times homemade and at times store-bought. I’ll be honest--I usually dread making blintzes. I make it into...

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Rededicating Hanukkah Foods

By Merav Levkowitz For those of us with food allergies and intolerances, social events tend to be awkward and isolating. So many Jewish events revolve around food and involve eating in social settings or at the houses of others. Though many Jews are used to  accommodating kashrut, vegetarianism, and lactose intolerance, which is common among Jews (but irrelevant during a kosher meat meal!), it can be uncomfortable to ask even the most accommodating host to modify his/her menu or recipes and cook differently, especially when old family recipes are at hand. Celiac disease is one such dietary restriction that requires extra attention and is rising in the prevalence in general and especially among Jews. Celiac disease is, in a nutshell, an autoimmune digestive disease in which the body is unable to tolerate gluten, the protein in wheat,...

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Recipe: Bumuelos In Red Wine Sauce

Here's another great Hanukkah recipe.  Jews of Spanish origin developed bumuelos or buñuelos—fritters or pancakes fried in olive oil and dipped in honey or sugar syrup or sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar—as sweet Hanukkah treats.  Here's a modern take on the Sephardi classic! BUMUELOS IN RED WINE  SAUCE Makes about 14-15 (Serve 2-3 per portion) For the Bumuelos: 1 cup water ½ cup butter Pinch salt 2 teaspoons sugar 1 ½ cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour 4 eggs Canola oil for frying For the Red Wine Sauce: 2 cups sugar ⅔ cup dry red wine 2 cinnamon sticks 4 whole cloves Prepare the Red Wine sauce first: Mix the ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the syrup thickens to the consistency of honey. Keep warm....

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