Food & Wine

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.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
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)

Breaking Records In Tel Aviv

World's largest Shabbat dinner to take place in the White City next month.

05/29/2014
Food and Wine Editor
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Courtesy of Nefesh B'Nefesh

On the evening of Friday, June 13th, a diverse group of Jews will gather together at sunset to break bread and celebrate Shabbat. There will be baked chicken, fluffy rice, and steaming-hot potatoes, as well as elegantly braided challahs and plenty of wine.

High-Tech Mevushal Wine

A flash-heat technology preserves grape flavor.

05/27/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnists
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One trend that’s on an uptick in the world of kosher wines released on the US market is “mevushal,” or “cooked,” wines. These are wines that have been thermally processed in accordance with religious strictures so as to inoculate the wine from being rendered not-kosher by the handling of non-Jew or a non-Sabbath observant Jew.

Courtesy of Wally Wine

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.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
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

What Is Hummus?

Sabra trying to establish legal U.S. hummus standards.

05/21/2014
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If Sabra Dipping Co. has its way, the use of chickpeas and tahini in making hummus will become U.S. law.

The hummus manufacturer, which is co-owned by PepsiCo and the Israel-based Strauss Group, has filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration to create a standard for which dips are considered hummus.

Not every legume mash can call itself hummus. Wikimedia Commons

Cheesy Hummus-Stuffed Mushrooms

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

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

New Blend, Ancient Winery

The royal line of Abarbanel continues.

05/21/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnists
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The Abarbanel Wine Company traces its family roots from the biblical King David to Don Isaac Abarbanel, the leader of Spanish Jewry at the time of the 1492 expulsion. Born in Lisbon, Don Isaac was a scholar, philosopher and prodigious author who also served as treasurer for the Portuguese King Alfonso V, and subsequently for the Spanish royal family. He lent large sums to the Spanish throne during their battles with the Moors, and their reluctance to repay him likely contributed to their decision to expel the Jews at the war’s end.

Courtesy of Abarbanel Wines

That Perfect Midnight Snack

Cheesecake pops are sure to sweeten your Shavuot study break.

05/20/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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Don’t break out your cheesecake pan just yet. Shavuot, which starts the evening of June 3, is the recognition of the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people. The reasons we traditionally eat dairy on this holiday are varied. Some say it’s because when Jews received the Torah, we also got the commandment to keep kosher. Since the Jewish people did not have kosher meat or tools ready, they took the dairy route. Others say the dairy is a reminder of our freedom in Israel, the “land of milk and honey.” Either way, each year Jews gladly dive into blintzes, kugel and, of course, cheesecake.

But ordinary cheesecake is so last year.

Cheesecake cake pops, aka cheesecake on a stick. Amy Kritzer

Wine And — Sigh — Cheese?

Kosher cheese lags behind libations in quality, but passionate artisans are catching up.

05/20/2014
Food and Wine Editor
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Nothing goes better with a fine glass of wine than a nice hunk of aged cheese. But when you’re cracking open a lovely bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon whose grapes were harvested from the mineral-rich hills of the Promised Land, a shrink-wrapped package of Muenster cheese slices just won’t do.

Yonkers cheesemaker Brent Delman’s aged pecorino with black peppercorns. Lauren Rothman/JW
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