It’s Adar… so let’s get cooking! Kosher Cooking Carnival (KCC)
Life really does get cooking at this time of year… kind of literally. I’m usually pulling out of my winter hibernation just in time for yom tov cooking/baking, first in a fun Purim way and then in a dead-serious Pesach way.
This carnival is about all things kosher and cooking. If your blog is, too, or if you’ve blogged about kosher food on another blog, then you’re welcome to join us!
- Last month’s KCC was hosted by Batya at me-ander
- Next month’s KCC will be hosted… well, that’s TBD. (If you blog about food, why not step up?)
- For more information and an upcoming schedule, visit our facebook page
So what’s doing in kosher food?
What we’re eating
First of all, with Pesach on the way, you should be inventorying your food and trying to use up what you’ve got. If you haven’t already, there’s still time to start, as Batya does at her blog me-ander in Pre-Passover Inventory Time. She says, “Sometimes I'm totally amazed at what has been stored away all year waiting for a special occasion.”
Latkes, wine, brisket, and a new glatt-kosher meal ingredient home-delivery kit? (I wonder if they deliver to Israel?!?) It’s all packed into the review of This Week in Kosher Food Trends by Shannon Sarna of The Nosher. “I went home happy, full, a little buzzed and inspired from the innovative approaches to Jewish food.”
On her new macrobiotic cooking/eating/thinking blog, Jerusalem MacroLovers, Klara discusses how cooking is so much more than just having the right recipes in Is Cooking Magical?? She says, “My ideal kind of a cooking class is where first the teacher demonstrates, then the student goes home to practice, then comes back to class and does it again.”
What we’re drinking
When creating Christmas ales has become a traditionfor brewers all over the world, what are kosher Israeli brewers to do? Well, some do say “Christmas,” while others create “holiday ales.” But one brave brewery opted to create a “Hanukkah Ale,” which Doug Greener, in his roundup of Six Winter Holiday Ales, calls “a beautiful dark copper with a reddish tinge.” It offers a “citrusy hops” flavour, “well balanced by the brown sugar and berry sweetness.” Almost, almost ALMOST makes me wish I drank beer.
Nice to meat you
Finding & cooking meat here in Israel is a strange new adventure for me, and I know it is for many other olim as well. Chef Marc Gottlieb aims to demystify meat on his Culinart Kosher blog, and in Stuffed Breast of Lamb, with a few helpful photos, he makes it look easy to prepare this gorgeous breast of lamb. Lest you wonder where you’re going to find such a thing, he says he just sort of stumbled over it in Osher Ad, a very common supermarket that has branches all over the country. “Rami Levy had best pay attention, because between non-numbered meat and Kirkland products, Osher Ad is playing for keeps.”
The biggest trend in the Machane Yehuda shuk in Jerusalem is restaurants, and Batya is right there to chronicle them (an onerous task, I’m sure!). Her latest exploration is a new Lebanese dining spot, as she writes in Lebanese Fare in the Jerusalem Market. Surprisingly, Batya says, the meat restaurants are generally “a better buy than the dairy ones, if your budget is limited and you don't want a meal based on carbohydrates.”
So if there’s anything I like more than caramelized onions, it’s ricotta cheese… and heck, if I had to decide between the two, maybe I would opt to eat them TOGETHER. On Pizza. Like Stephanie does at Kosher Foodies, in Caramelized Onion and Ricotta Pizza. This is a white pizza, meaning there’s no tomato sauce in sight. Mmm… I love the fact that her caramelized onions look as disgusting as mine do… but they probably taste just as heavenly.
Sick of same-old potatoes? Mashed, boiled, baked, fried, steak-cut, whatever… it all gets kind of tired. Why not smash them, animal style, as Whitney does at Jew Hungry in Smashed Potatoes: Animal Style. What’s “animal style?” She says it originally meant “french fries which are topped with melted cheese, thousand island dressing and then kissed with a boat-load of teeny tiny sautéed onions.” Looks like it works great on these smashed potatoes as well.
Treats for the sweet
In case all this savoury is making your sweet tooth tremble, you’d better click through and check out these Halva Krembo’s from Chanie at Busy in Brooklyn. Even if you’ve never had an actual Krembo, these look like a delicious homemade alternative without all the junk-food additives. “With tahini being just about the most popular food of Israel, I was surprised they never came out with a halva flavored krembo – so I decided to do just that!” You will be very, very happy that she did.
One of the comfort-food treats I’ve been hankering for pretty much since I started keeping kosher over 20 years ago is Pop Tarts. There have been a couple of organic brands with a hechsher, but I’d love to be able to make my own. Now, Nina Safar of Kosher in the Kitch shares her not-really-secret recipe in Vegan Pop Tarts. They’re full of flaxy goodness, vegan and additive-free, so you don’t even have to feel guilty. She’s also got a pop-tart hamentasch recipe that I’d love to try!
We all love banana cake around here… banana bread, banana loaf… whatever you want to call it, it’s delicious (just polished off last night the one I made for Shabbos). We like ours with chocolate chips… maybe because it never occurred to me that you could add great big honking huge CHUNKS of chocolate, as Pragmatic Attic does in Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread. She says the recipe is “moist, with an intense banana flavor and with a more subtle undercurrent of caramel from the dark brown sugar.” (She also has a scaled-down version of the recipe for those who want something smaller.)
New hacks for old faves (okay, they're all about hamentaschen)
When it comes to Purim, many of us feel like we’re stuck in the same-old groove, doing what we’ve always done. It can be a relief to have trusty recipes to come back to, but sometimes, we’re looking to shake things up a little. That’s what I tried to do with this jaw-dropping roundup called Thinking outside of the Triangle: 26 zany new hamentashen you’ll “flip” for in 5775!
Shoshana at Couldn’t be Parve is also mixing things up – or at least, simplifying things – by offering this “life hack” for creating perfect hamentasch circles - without a rolling pin! In Hamentashen Life Hack: How to Make Hamentashen Without a Rolling Pin, she admits that she’s been doing it wrong her whole life, saying that, “after all that rolling, and chilling, and cutting, and rerolling, and rechilling, not to mention the filling and folding, by the time Purim comes around I am relived that I don’t have to do it again for another year.”
The coconut-oil revolution has taken the kosher baking world by storm, and home bakers everywhere are rushing to update margarine-based recipes. Liz Rueven, at Kosher Like Me, offers The Perfect Hamentaschen Dough courtesy of Sarah Lasry Yes, it uses coconut oil, and she promises, “Your Hamantaschen will be crispy with a little chewy bite.” And also that they will STAY triangular. Sounds just about perfect to me!
That’ll do it for this month. If you blog about kosher food, hop on over to the facebook group and stay tuned to find out who’ll be hosting next month’s Nissan version of the KCC.