Step Into Summer

Detox from dairy-heavy Shavuot with an unexpected salad.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Remember the fully-loaded cheesecake I presented last week? Well some commenters weren't too happy with it, declaring it way too decadent, even for once a year. So I think they'll be happier this week, with a light summery salad celebrating the best produce has to offer - a perfect post-Shavuot detox.

1/2 cup pine nuts
1 bunch thick asparagus
2 medium zucchini
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cheesecake, Fully Loaded

This Shavuot, embrace all-out decadence for 48 hours.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

I try to eat fairly healthy a good chunk of the time, but cheesecake is a major weakness of mine. Though I avoid it most of the year, when it comes to Shavuot I feel fully justified in giving in.

For the Crust:
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter, melted
For the Filling:
20 ounces (2 1/2 packages) cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup mini peanut butter cups, roughly chopped
For the Cookie Dough:
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Chocolate ganache, for serving (optional)

Go Beyond Plain Old Vanilla

For this Shavuot, try an avant-garde ice cream flavor: fig with orange and rosemary.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Ronnie Fein/JW

Can you guess America’s favorite ice cream flavor?

If you said vanilla, you’re right—by a large margin. Vanilla’s runner-ups, according to the International Ice Cream Association and the International Dairy Foods Association, are chocolate and butter pecan.

4 ounces chopped dried figs
1 tablespoon honey
2/3 cup orange juice
3 cups half and half or light cream
½ cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 sprig fresh rosemary

Cheesy Hummus-Stuffed Mushrooms

A Middle Eastern twist on the classic hors d'oeuvre. 

Jewish Week Online Columnist
24 small white button mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and reserved
½ white onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup prepared hummus
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Midnight Snack: Cheesecake Lollipops

A fun, bite-sized twist on Shavuot classic.

Jewish Week Online Columnist
1 9-inch prepared cheesecake
1 10-oz. package of candy melts (I used vanilla)
24 lollipop sticks
Rainbow sprinkles

Golden, Crispy Fries - No Potato

Use cornmeal to make these uber-tasty baked polenta fries.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

I once interviewed a prominent cookbook author about Chanuka foods, and how all things fried are totally tasty. She told me: "I always say you can take a lego piece and throw it in the fryer and it is so delicious." Fried things are obviously delicious, and I'm a sucker for a perfectly crisp french fry. But frying everything all the time is... not exactly artery-friendly. Luckily, we can get that crispy crunch in other ways, as with these golden-brown baked polenta fries.

6 cups water
2 cups cornmeal (coarse ground)
1 teaspoon salt + more to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Cooking spray

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.

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

Chocolatey Brownies, Gluten Free

You won't miss the flour in these gooey treats.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

My cousin and her daughter suffer from Celiac Disease, so whenever I spent the weekend with them I try to bring gluten-free treats that they can enjoy as well. These cookies have proved very popular, but I'm always looking for new recipes. Problem is, when I look around online, most gluten-free recipes call for a complicated mix of flours, from brown rice flour to sorghum flour and tapioca starch, that are expensive, not readily available in Israel, and not practical for someone who only bakes gluten free every few months.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
18 ounces (or 500g) semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225g) sugar
4 eggs plus one egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup cornstarch
Heaping 1/3 cup cocoa powder (about 45g)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (85g) butter or margarine
Heaping 1/3 cup cocoa powder (about 45g)
2 2/3 cups icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-4 tablespoons milk or soy milk

Bakery Fresh, From Your Kitchen

Think you can't make bagels at home? Think again.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

There are some foods you might think just aren't worth making at home. Croissants, for one. Sushi, for another. Until recently I thought that bagels—the ultimate Jewish New York food—were on that list. But when I decided to experiment and make them at home, I was pretty surprised by how easy they were, and how incredibly delicious.

1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast*
4 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg white plus 1 tablespoon water
Optional: Sesame seeds, poppy seeds or other toppings

Bubby Ida Malnick’s Sweet and Sour Tongue

2 tablespoons fat or oil
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups tongue stock (chicken or beef stock can be substituted, though if you cook your own tongue reserve the liquid)
⅓ cup white vinegar
⅓ cup honey
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup blanched sliced almonds
1 lemon, sliced thin
4 pounds cooked beef tongue
Syndicate content