Recipes

Homemade Baci (Chocolate-Hazelnut Kisses)

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Like many long-time expatriates, I am still surprised by how certain minor holidays, such as Valentine's Day, have become so mainstream in the States that they are celebrated with enthusiasm by people of all ages and backgrounds. Only here have I seen kindergarteners decorate Hello Kitty cards with glittery hearts and distribute them to their little classmates, or retirees purchasing bunches of roses for their belles.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
For the praline:
1/4 pound dark chocolate, chopped or chips
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (or more or less, to taste)
Scant 1/2 pound coarsely ground hazelnuts
30 to 50 whole hazelnuts
About 9 ounces of Nutella

Ginger-Sorghum Cookies

Gluten-free sorghum might be getting trendy today, but it has been on American tables since Abraham Lincoln's time.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Who knew that gluten-free would become so trendy? True, gluten is a real concern for people with Celiac disease. But many of us without a diagnosis have also discovered that we also feel better after cutting down on bread, pasta and other products made with wheat, rye and other grains.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 egg
1/4 cup sorghum syrup
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Parmesan-Dusted Cauliflower

Take the trendy vegetable to a whole new level.

Online Jewish Week Columnist

It's odd, but vegetables come in and out of fashion. One year asparagus is everywhere, the next zucchini blossoms are the hottest thing since sliced bread, and after that kale is on every menu.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
One head cauliflower
3-4 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup grated parmesan

A Sweet Crowd Pleaser

To satisfy demand, make a double batch of these chewy honey cookies.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

I'm always looking for crowd pleaser cookies. Sure, I love experimenting with peanut butter, oatmeal, craisins, apples and pretty much anything one can put in a cookie. But if I'm baking for a big crowd, I like to play things a bit safer, so I know that everyone will enjoy them.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
2/3 cup (150g) oil
1 cup (200g) sugar
1/4 cup (85g) honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups (250g) flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
turbinado/demerara sugar, for rolling

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

Skal's Charred Broccoli, Green Garlic and Breadcrumbs

Skal chef Ben Spiegel shares his preparation of smoky, funky broccoli.

Chef, Skal
Ingredients
Ingredients: 
1 head broccoli, stem removed, sliced lengthwise approximately 1/2" thick
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons schmaltz, or any oil
4 salted anchovies, soaked in water
1 teaspoon minced dried shallots or onions
5 cloves garlic, preferably young or green garlic
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 egg, boiled for 1 minute 10 seconds, then cooled
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brine from a jar of capers
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh lemon juice, to taste

When Life Hands You Browned Bananas ...

Turn overripe bananas into a delicious breakfast or snack.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

I love convincing people they actually do like food they profess to hate. Can't stand brussels sprouts? Try my roasted garlic version. Hate cooked fruit? Here's a slice of my apple pie. Can't stand coconut? Try these cookies.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
2 whole very ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
4 ounces (115g) semisweet chocolate, melted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk or soy milk
1 1/4 cups flour

In The Market For Inspiration

After a stroll through the suk, a new recipe for pepper-smothered chicken is born.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

I was wandering through Jerusalem's open-air market (aka, the shuk) the other day, and these beautiful, brightly-colored peppers caught my eye. I knew I had to have some, even though I didn't know yet what I wanted to make with them.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 medium onions
6 bell peppers of a mixed variety of colors
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Classic Cookie, Secret Ingredient

A 'magic' addition to chocolate chip cookies brings them to a whole new level.

Online Jewish Week Columnist

Practically everybody has a recipe for chocolate cookies. Depending on your preferences, chewy or crispy, thin or thick, big chunks of chocolate or little slivers dispersed throughout, there's a tried and tested favorite for everyone. But I'm betting most people haven't tried this version, with a secret ingredients transforms things completely.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
1 cup (2 sticks/225g) butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips or chunks (or finely chopped chocolate)

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
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