Food & Wine

Drink In Persimmon Season

A sweet recipe for a persimmon Old Fashioned.

Food and Wine Editor

I distinctly remember the first time I tasted a persimmon: I was 19 and visiting Israe l— on a Birthright trip, of course — and for the fifth morning in a row was hitting the breakfast buffet, hard: I had fallen in love with the savory Israeli morning meal, habitually filling up on chopped salad, squares of fresh white cheese, and rounds of warm pita. I had hardly any room left on my plate when I came to the fruit area of the buffet table and spied a bowl of bright-orange, roundish fruits that looked something like an underripe tomato. Taking note of my curiosity, a hotel worker said, “They’re persimmons, and they’re delicious.”

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
For the Persimmon Purée:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
Small piece cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 medium persimmons, peeled and cut into chunks
For the Old Fashioned:
2 ounces bourbon
2 tablespoons persimmon purée
4-5 generous dashes orange bitters
Orange slice, for garnish

Delicious But Difficult

Pinot noir frustrates winemakers, but wine drinkers love it.

02/26/2014
Special to the Jewish Week

Pinot noir can drive winemakers mad. It’s difficult to grow and vinify, temperamental in the barrel and prone to closing down in the bottle for years before becoming drinkable again. But these challenges seem to inspire, rather than inhibit, winemakers who consider crafting a pinot noir the pinnacle of their profession.

Yarden Pinot Noir 2009. Photo courtesy of Golan Heights Winery

Halvah Hamantaschen

An updated filling and dough bring richness and tenderness to an often-disappointing Purim classic.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Welcome to our new series in which we seek to gently tweak the anachronisms of the Jewish culinary canon (shav, we’re looking at you). With a little bit of love, we’re convinced we can reclaim the dishes that seem the strangest to the modern palate. Sweet and sour tongue, anyone?

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
For the Dough:
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 tablespoons orange juice
For the Filling:
1 cup tahini paste
1 cup powdered sugar
Water, as needed
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish

Hearty Soup, Biblical Style

Stay warm and full with this classic dish, a helping of lentils in every bite.

Online Jewish Week Columnist

It's one of the most ancient recipes in the world. The Torah tells how Esau returned from hunting in the fields, starving. He finds his brother Jacob cooking a pot of red lentil stew. Esau is so hungry, he agrees to give up his birthright in exchange for some soup.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 cups green or black lentils
1 cup (8 ounces) tomato paste
5-6 cups vegetable stock or water

Nach Waxman's Rare Books

Owner of legendary UWS cookbook store transitions to out-of-print.

02/19/2014
Food and Wine Editor

30 years ago, when he opened his now-legendary food and drink bookstore Kitchen Arts & Letters on a quiet stretch of Lexington Avenue, former publisher Nach Waxman quickly discovered that being a bookstore owner wasn’t exactly how he had imagined it. 

Waxman with his books. Lauren Rothman/JW

Debating Bacon Matzo Balls

Jewish foodies talk authenticity at Limmud NY food panel.

02/18/2014
Food and Wine Editor

There was something for everyone at the tenth annual Limmud NY conference last weekend: from guided meditation to bluegrass music to late-night improv, this year’s three-day gathering devoted to Jewish learning in all its facets filled the Stamford, Conn. Hilton Hotel with rabbis, scholars, historians, and… foodies.

From left: Mary Zamore; Michael Twitty; Shannon Sarna. Lauren Rothman/JW

Reimagining The Cherry Cordial

Spiff up the candy box classic with these little brownie bites.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Have you ever had a cherry cordial? Chances are, if you've ever gotten a box of chocolates as a gift (say, for Valentine's Day?), you have. It's a chocolate shell filled with a candied cherry and syrup. They're not my favorites in the box - more of the one I'll take a bite of and put back - mostly because they have a very artificial cherry flavor. Whatever may once have been a cherry is obscured by the sugary-sweet syrup.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
11 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsps dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped

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

Blending Grape Varietals

Judean winery Barkan experiments, with delicious results.

02/11/2014
Special to the Jewish Week

One of the more difficult aspects of winemaking is creating a blend. It requires the ability to predict how a very young wine will evolve, as well as knowing which additional varietals will enhance the finished product. Since the bottle might not be ready to drink for years after the vintage is harvested, a finely crafted blended wine is a true testimony to a winemaker’s skill and experience.

Barkan Assemblage Tzafit 2010. Courtesy of Barkan Winery
Syndicate content