Ronnie Fein

Hot And Spicy Hummus

Creamy chickpeas with a kick. 

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Apparently, today has been declared Hummus Day, though I have no idea why. Judging by the sheer number of packaged hummus varieties available, it seems as if this chickpea dip is as everyday as fare like like breakfast cereal and potato chips.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
1 (15-ounce) can chick peas, drained, liquid reserved
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup tahini
Chili (see options below)
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Pita bread, for serving

Gelt-Covered Cranberries

Tart and sweet come together in this Thanksgivingukkah mashup.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

There’s another Hanukkah miracle of sorts to contemplate this year. In 2013, for the first time, and not again for several thousands of years, Hanukkah converges with Thanksgiving.

Actually, if you look a little closer, it’s not that simple. As we are the people of the book, I did some reading. Here’s what I found: Because Jewish holidays begin at sunset, the first night of Hanukkah falls on Wednesday, just before Thanksgiving. Given that, we only have to wait until 2070, when the first night of Hanukkah falls precisely the evening of Thanksgiving.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
36 fresh or dried cranberries
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate or about 36 dark chocolate candy coins
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (approximately) cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar, crushed toasted coconut, ground toffee, sprinkles, finely ground nuts, crystallized sugar

Shakshuka: Always Spicy, And Sure To Be Hot, In 2014

The classic Middle Eastern poached egg stew is trending, say the culinary cognoscenti.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Shakshuka, the classic Middle Eastern stew of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, will be one of 2014's "hot" dishes. Yahoo says it's a culinary buzzword. Buzzfeed calls it the perfect food, for 26 reasons. And Food & Wine magazine recently offered an Italian version.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 medium serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped
4 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter
2 pita breads
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

A New, If Slightly Pseudo, Fish Sauce Arrives

Lend an added authenticity to your Asian-style cooking by trying this new, reliably hekshered fish sauce.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Click here for Ronnie Fein Reviews: Queen of Tuna-brand Tuna Fish Sauce.

Remember that nam pla is not intended for sprinkling straight from the bottle onto food. It’s not like ketchup, Worcestershire sauce or tabasco, but more in the nature of tomato paste or hoisin sauce, to be used for cooking.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
For Chicken:
1 whole boneless chicken breast
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon honey
For Dressing:
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Cayenne pepper to taste, optional
1/2 cup chopped cashews, optional
For Salad:
8 ounces rice noodles, spaghetti or linguine shape
3 carrots, cut into julienne strips
2 stalks celery, cut into julienne strips
1 medium zucchini, cut into julienne strips
1 serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
The stirfried chicken

An Easy-Bake Sufganiyot Alternative

Forget the Cronut; dig a Duffin for a simple, no-fry Thanksgivukah dessert option.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Just in time for Hanukkah, with its glad ritual consumption of doughy, fried sufganiyot, comes news of a doughnut that’s got the bakery world in a tizzy -- and it's not the Cronut.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Gluten-Free Cranberry-Orange Noodle Kugel

With the right specialty pasta, a delicious, gluten-free noodle pudding doesn't have to be a contradiction in terms.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Was there ever a High Holiday season without a noodle kugel on the menu?

Not if you’re Ashkenazi! This is a dish we wait for all year long.

But for those who can’t tolerate gluten protein, Ashkenazi or not, eating noodle kugel can be a nightmare. The pasta we use for our classic kugels are gluten personified, loaded with wheat.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
8 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces butter
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups sour cream
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pound Sam Mills Pasta D’Oro Gluten Free Lasagne Corte

Grilled Peaches With Mascarpone, Honey And Sea Salt

Kosher cooks can play with culinary darling Maldon Sea Salt, thanks to the Manchester Beth Din.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

We take salt for granted these days, so it’s easy to forget how important it once was in human history. Today, we get paid a “salary,” because back in the day, the Romans paid their soldiers in salt.

So the stuff isn’t the rare, precious and expensive commodity it once was -- except if you’re talking about Maldon Sea Salt, darling of the culinary world, kosher cooks included. Since 2012, this  treasured seasoning has carried kosher certification from the Manchester Beth Din.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
4 ripe peaches (or use nectarines or apricots)
2 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt
Garnish: mint leaves, raspberries or strawberries

Rumaki: A Showcase For The Best Bacon Substitute

Facon-wrapped chicken livers are a quick, rich summer hors d'oeuvre option.

Special To The Jewish Week

Think about bacon. The fragrance is mesmerizing and it glistens golden brown and crispy. Of all the treif in the universe, this stuff has to be the most unsettling, the most tempting.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
1/2 pound chicken livers
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons crumbled, crystallized ginger
1 clove garlic
1/2 star anise, finely chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon anise extract
1/2 pound façon
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