Farm to Table from Goat to Goatgurt

I’m still abuzz from all of the new experiences I had last weekend at the Hazon Food Conference.

Over the course of four jampacked days, I met  passionate, articulate and inspiring food, social and environmental activists, Rabbis, educators and students, chefs and home cooks, gardeners, farmers and food producers, writers and filmmakers. Continue reading

Ready, Stuff, Roll for Chanukah

Giveaway is now CLOSED. BUT please keep on reading and find the scrumptious recipe at the end of this post.

Sometimes the mere suggestion of a twist on tradition is enough to get me going in the kitchen.  And I wasn’t even thinking about Chanukah yet.

On the last day of the  outdoor Westport Farmers’ Market in November, organic farmer, Patti Popp of Sport Hill Farm, beckoned me to come check out her pile of brussel sprouts still firmly attached to their stalks.

My focus shifted as I noticed the generous, fan shaped LEAVES fanning out at the tip of these nobby supportive stalks.

THE LEAVES?  I had never given them a moment’s notice, and likely had never even seen them before.  They were both  dusty and vibrant and Patti encouraged me to experiment with these lovelies as wrappers for whatever filling I saw fit. Continue reading

Chanukah in Venice with Holy Pumpkin Fritters

Pumpkin Fritters Recipe and photo: Alessandra Rovati

“Man tracht un Got lacht”.

Man plans and G-d laughs. Sometimes stuff just happens.

After weeks of planning the perfectly timed Chanukah cooking demo and tasting, we needed to postpone it due to unforeseeable circumstances.

I love to share my experiences at compelling culinary events, so you might guess that I had a cool post sketched out. I was just waiting to perk it up with action shots of charming Alessandra barely breaking a sweat while she fried up 50 fritters,  tempting close-ups of perfectly crisped, celebratory Italian treats, along with captivating descriptions of the Holy Pumpkin Fritters on the menu.

If the irristable aromas of traditional potato latkes (pancakes) or sufganiyot (doughnuts)  reduces your will power to nil,  you’ll love these novel and unfamiliar fritters from my blogging buddy,  Alessandra Rovati.

 

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Kosher Tipples For Your Turkey (and everything else on your table)

contributed by Zachary Sussman.

Michel Murciano, wine maker at Hevron Heights Winery. photo: Bertrand Celce

Chances are that this isn’t the only “Thanksgiving Wine” post you’ll read this year.  The yearly roundup of turkey-friendly tipples has become an inevitable fixture of the holiday season, perhaps even a bit of a cliché. And yet, with its nearly schizophrenic hodgepodge of textures and tastes— from sweet to salty and everything in between— the traditional Thanksgiving meal poses a notorious challenge for even the best-intentioned wine pairing efforts.

To wash down your kosher bird with an equally sanctified wine only increases the difficulty— particularly since the familiar regiment of big, tannic Cabs and buttery, oak-driven Chards will all but drown out the wide spectrum of flavors that miraculously cohere at the Thanksgiving table. Continue reading

Baking “Torah Tuiles”

Here’s the thing about giving a real pro a challenge. When you toss it to the right gal, she’ll take you up on it and even surpass your expectations.

I was wracking this little ol’ brain o’ mine trying to come up with some more edible wonders related to these Autumn holidays. I asked Melissa if she could drum up an idea for something scroll shaped to eat on Simchat Torah.

Scroll shaped treats? No problem!

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Celebrating Autumn’s Bounty

It’s time to exhale deeply as we approach the joyful holiday of Sukkot. We are in the homestretch of the fall holiday series and the tenor has shifted to lighthearted celebration.

Sukkot  punctuates the final harvest of the agricultural season with eight days and nights of celebration and shared meals with family and friends.

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Impossible to Resist Honey Cake

 

photo courtesy of RED BEE HONEY

I tried to avoid this. Really, I did.

I wracked my brain, rustled through my ever expanding kosher cookbook collection and finally through up my hands and yielded to Melissa Roberts, my go-to recipe writer, for a traditional Rosh Hashanah recipe with a twist.

Like you, I was thinking, aren’t there enough honey cake recipes out there, already?

Maybe so, but I’m feeling sentimental about honey cake and here’s why.

I clearly remember the first time I fell for it.  D. brought S. home from Boston to share Rosh Hashanah with us. I could see that their love was deep and for real.
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Let’s Talk Gefilte

image courtesy of Gefilteria

Question: How do you recognize a gefilte fish swimming in the ocean?
Answer: It’s the only one with a carrot on its head.

The subject of gefilte fish, in all of its old and new permutations, brought a standing room only crowd of over 200 enthusiasts to the Center for Jewish History in NYC last week.

An enthusiastic group of curious old timers (“what’s to talk about  so much?”) and young hipsters (“SO cool”) gathered in the comfortable theatre to hear New York’s quintessential gefilte makers talk about their recipes, why gefilte fish has lasting appeal, what their patrons have to say about it, and best of all, to offer samples to the hungry crowd after the panel discussion. Continue reading

Celebrating with Simmons Family Farm Yogurt

Sometimes there’s an unexpected confluence of circumstance that makes writing about holiday foods a real thrill. Maybe it’s the adventure of discovering a new product that I suddenly feel I must have in my ‘fridge at all times.

In my perennial search for traditional foods with a twist, it was a great coincidence when the CT. farmers Robin and Ron Simmons contacted me about trying their organic, local, low fat and kosher yogurt .

Simmons Family Farm Yogurt almost sounded too good to be true. I shared with family and friends and began tasting the product over a period of a couple of weeks, just in time to make the connection between dairy and Shavuot. Continue reading