Sep 292011
 

[Translate] I love researching the history of food, and one of the foremost experts on the history of Jewish Food is Gil Marks. I am going to have the immense honor of dining with him and hopefully picking his brain a bit. His entry about Challah in his book, Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, explains the different traditions of the Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities for eating bread on Shabbat: whereas Ashkenazi communities had little access to white wheat flour, and so reserved it for the challah on Shabbat, the Sephardi world had easier access to white flour, and so the difference between weekday and Shabbat bread was not so much in the type of flour used, Click here to continue reading this post

Mar 272008
 

[Translate] I am busy deciding what to prepare for the main dish and dessert for Passover, since most of the other items on the menu are the expected traditional fare. I am considering the following: Roasted Poussins with Pomegranate Sauce Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Spiced Pinenuts (from my friend Chef Farid Zadi) Patatine e Carciofi Arrosto (Roasted Potatoes and Artichokes) Torta del Re Nottingham Nut Cake Lemon, Creme Fraiche and Chestnut Cake (for a dairy meal) Damp Apple and Almond Cake Castagnaccio For more ideas, click here. I will post my menu in a couple of weeks.

Sep 272007
 

[Translate] Wednesday night was the beginning of the seven day festival of Sukkot. The word Sukkot is the plural of the Hebrew word sukkah, which means booth or hut. During this holiday, Jews are suppose to build a temporary structure in which to eat their meals, entertain guests, relax, and even sleep. The sukkah can be built of any materials, but its roof must be an organic material, such as palm fronds or tree branches, and it must be partially open to the sky. On each of the seven days of Sukkot, the Torah requires that Jews should take four species of plants and shake them in a specific manner. These species are: the lulav Click here to continue reading this post

Sep 212007
 

[Translate] Tonight, I making a simple two course meal consisting of a Moroccan Kdra called Djej Kdra Touimiya or Chicken Kdra with Almonds and Chick-Peas, green beans, and some fresh fruit for dessert. A Kdra is a tagine that is cooked with smen (I have to use olive oil), onions, saffron, cinnamon and sometimes ginger, depending on where you live. I am making a Fez version, which is made with a little dried ginger. I think I was Moroccan in a former life because I am in love with the food, the architecture, the music and the culture in general. My earliest introduction to Moroccan food was when I bought Paula Wolfert’s, Couscous and Other Click here to continue reading this post

Sep 152007
 

[Translate] Chag Sameach everyone! I hope you had a nice meal with your family. We went to my cousin’s house for the first night of Rosh Hashana and had a lovely time. We invited some friends of ours for dinner last night. My husband made a Rosh Hashana favourite and I introduced several new surprises to our repertoire. Everything was delicious. The cake calls for sour cream and one of my guests has a dairy allergy and can only tolerate butter in baked goods, so I substituted a non-dairy yogurt in its place. It worked fine. And in case you are wondering about why I served a dairy cake, we keep kashrut according to the Click here to continue reading this post

Aug 202007
 

[Translate] I decided to try something new for a change. I have been wanting to play around with warka leaves for sometime now. Warka leaves are a very thin pastry, thinner than phyllo which are used to make Maghrebi savoury and sweet pastries, such as beestiya and cigars. For an good explanation of warka and Algerian cuisine, see my friend, Chef Zadi’s blog. I also made some clove-cinnamon ice cream. I really love the flavour of cloves and thought it would be an excellent compliment to the peach briwatt. It was. As usual, I doubled the amount of cloves and used about 9 cinnamon sticks. My husband loved the strong clove flavour, but you might Click here to continue reading this post

May 132007
 

[Translate] King Solomon described the receiving of the Torah as “honey and milk guarded under your tongue”. Shavuot is not only the celebration of the receiving of the Torah from Mount Sinai and the ending of the morning-period that began after Passover, but it is also when the wheat was harvested in Israel. Farmers brought their first fruits to the Temple from the following seven species: Wheat Barley Grapes Figs Pomegranates Olives Dates We usually serve at least one dairy meal, followed by a meat meal during Shavuot and there are many different explanations to why we do this. One is because when the Torah was received, the Jews were immediately bound to the ritual Click here to continue reading this post

Apr 102007
 

[Translate] I have been under the weather since last Friday and I stayed home today. The dinner I planned to make on Sunday night (see Spanish and Italian-Inspired Shabbat Dinner) has been postponed until Friday night. Yes, I am still making the matza fritters! And, I will post the photos. I am really not a very good patient. My colleagues accuse me of being a workaholic. Maybe they are right…. I called work three times today and checked my office email three times. My name is Baroness Tapuzina and I am a workaholic. So, how does one cure being a workaholic? Bake some bread. Since Pesach is officially over, I decided we needed a loaf Click here to continue reading this post

Apr 072007
 

[Translate] I tend to do a lot of research when planning a trip. I always buy a guidebook and look for interesting places to visit on the internet. I spent weeks collecting information for our trip to Provence, including printing out maps on the Michelin website. It was quite helpful and we used those maps for our various day trips that we made. One of those places that I insisted on visiting was the village of Villeneuve-Loubet, because it is the childhood home of Auguste Escoffier and his birth home contains the Musee de l’Art Culinaire, or Museum of Culinary Art. This museum is dedicated to Auguste Escoffier, “King of Chefs and Chef to Kings”, Click here to continue reading this post

Mar 212007
 

[Translate] As Pesach is fast approaching, I have decided on what desserts I am going to make to make this year: Chocolate-Pistachio Cake and the Orange-Ginger Cake (See Passover Preparations). This pistachio cake is based on a recipe from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, Italian Easy: Recipes from the River Cafe. It is a very easy cake to make. I would prefer to make it with butter, but I must make a parve cake for Passover. Normally, I do not like Passover cakes made with matza meal, but this cake only calls for 1/2 cup and you really don’t notice it. Substitute with flour when it is not Passover. Since the Passover hostess is a Click here to continue reading this post

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