Culinary school founder Jesse Blonder talks cholent and kosher sushi bars.
Food & Wine Editor
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Jesse Blonder is all about making the most of what he has, especially when it comes to food. He's the managing director, co-founder, and owner of New York's Center for Kosher Culinary Arts. CKCA, now in its fifth year, will be expanding its program this fall from 38 classes to 50 to provide a more in-depth education for the program's 12 lucky chefs and bakers in training. Blonder, who has never kept kosher, shared his take on sushi at kosher restaurants and why cholent is the best dish in the entire world.
When a food giant like Manischewitz, the iconic company that first mass-produced Ashkenazi food in the United States, is taken over by Moroccans and starts making couscous, it’s a signal that the cuisine of North African and Middle Eastern Jews is having its moment.
I tend to stick to pareve desserts for most of the year – it’s just easier when it comes to Shabbat meals and often during the week.
But Shavuot – that is the time to dream of rich cheesecakes, sweet blintzes and decadent danishes. I certainly have grand cheesecake plans for this year, it is also nice to indulge in a touch of dairy desserts without going overboard. These red velvet cupcakes, with a sweet and creamy frosting, hit the spot.
Mini pies and tarts aren’t just for dessert anymore.
I’m not surprised that cupcakes have become such a national trend. After all, what’s better than a slice of cake? A mini cake made just for you. Individualized and mini desserts are all the rage, but the trend is less pronounced in savory dishes, and I’m not sure why. Individual tarts –whether served as an appetizer or side dish, are a way to impress even the most jaded dinner guests.
You know what I hate? Besides squirrels, Times Square in the summer and adults who wear hats with bunny ears on them? I hate recipes that call themselves “caramelized onion” something, and call for cooking the onions for 10 to 15 minutes. Caramelizing onions - truly caramelizing them, until they’re almost falling apart, a deep, dark brown and your whole kitchen smells like them – takes a while. Like an hour. But it is totally worth it.
There are a few days left of Passover, and either your fridge is full of leftovers, or you’re thinking desperately about what to eat for the rest of the week. But if you fall in to either of those categories, this cake is for you.
Jewish eating connects us, literally, to our roots in the land.
It was on a trip to the Sinai many years ago around the time of Shavuot that my eyes were opened to the fascinating cycles of the year. Kids and lambs were everywhere, nursing from their mothers. Bedouins were busy making cheese from the leftover milk, which they later dried and salted to save for the long winter when little milk would be available. Little tufts of green herbs — what we would call weeds — peeked out through the earth, to be consumed by the animals and people in the area. In the desert where so little grows, life is so deeply appreciated when it finally appears.