Food & Wine

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

Molly Wizenberg Is Back

The popular "Orangette" blogger has penned a second book.

Food and Wine Editor

Molly Wizenberg at Greenlight Bookstore. Lauren Rothman/JW

New Book Traces Knish History

Journalist Laura Silver's "Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food" charts the snack's rise and fall.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Forget pizza, bagels and burgers: in turn-of-the-century New York City, only one snack ruled the streets: the knish.

The knish's history. Laura Silver

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

A New 'Prime' Eatery

Impressario Allaham opens a new burger joint.

Web Editor

Joey Allaham, the restaurant impresario known for glitzy eateries that have celebrities raving about kosher food, opened up a new spot right before Passover on the Upper West Side.

A casual new spot from a restaurateur known for fancy. Danielle Praport

Branching Out

Trying less-familiar grape varietals can lead to big rewards.

Jewish Week Online Columnists

Many different wine grape varietals are actively cultivated and made into wine around the globe, yet only a handful of them are widely recognized by consumers. An unfortunate tendency among many wine drinkers is to avoid the unknown and stick to familiar varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc or Merlot and, for kosher consumers, ever-popular Moscato. Sure, some have ventured into Malbec, Shiraz, Petite Sirah, or maybe even the occasional Riesling. Most, however, seem to prefer the comfort of convention, rarely trying anything different.


Za'atar, Za'atar Everywhere

Middle Eastern ingredients are popping up all over — even on bagels.

Food and Wine Editor

The za'atar bagel, with a schmear. Lauren Rothman/JW

Growing up in Carroll Gardens, Fowad Assad’s daily breakfast was not, as you might expect of a native Brooklynite, a hard roll, a bialy or even a bowl of cereal. Instead, Assad’s mother, an American of Palestinian descent, would smear a pita with plenty of fruity olive oil, sprinkle it with a hefty dose of za’atar, and toast it in the oven. When it emerged, hot and fragrant, she’d quickly cover it in crumbled feta cheese, slice in a hard-boiled egg, roll it up and serve it to Assad.

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

The Clarets Of Bordeaux

Red wines with a distinguished history.

Jewish Week Online Columnists

Thanks to the British, the world of fine wine is firmly anchored to the love of claret. A derivative of the Latin word for “clear,” the word “claret” used to refer to the pale, rosé-like color of the wines produced in Bordeaux back in the 14th and 15th centuries. Even though Bordeaux eventually evolved into a darker, deeper wine over the centuries, the British wine trade —and its highbrow clientele — adopted the term still refers to the wines of Bordeaux generally, as well as to wines styled after Bordeaux. It’s even a legally protected trade name within the European Union.

Courtesy of Skyview Wine & Spirits
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