A big thank you to those who made the Jews Around the World Weekend a big success:
Ed B. – Randi B. – Mike B. – Sharon C. – Roslyn C. – Ellen D. – Arlene F.
Gordon F. – Simeon G. – Al H. – Larry H. – Eta K. – Karen K. – Sy K.
Martin L. – Esther L. – Marty L. – Steve L. – Jessica M. – Karen M.
Dalia M. – Larry M. – Debby P. – Gail R. – Judy R. – Shira R. – Rambam S.
Andrea S. – Steve S. – Hedy W. – Jack W. – Jen W. – Deborah W.
Below are the foods at the International Kiddush.
Cholent is a Yiddish word for a traditional Jewish stew. It is usually simmered overnight for 12 hours or more, and eaten for lunch on Shabbat. Since Biblical times the Jewish people have scattered and settled all over the globe, adapting their foods to suit the regions where they’ve settled. Over the centuries countless regional ethnic dishes have been made kosher to fit the Jewish religious standards for pure eating. This means that “Jewish food” is really world cuisine; there are very few dishes that are uniquely Jewish
Joan Nathan, a prominent Jewish cookbook author says: “Throughout their wandering history, Jews have adapted their life-styles to the local culture. Food is no exception. Following the same dietary laws, Jews, relying on local ingredients, developed regional flavors. Because they have lived in so many places, there is no ‘Jewish food’ other than matzah; haroset (the Passover spread); and cholent or chamim (the Sabbath stews that surface in different forms in every land where Jews have lived).”
Cholent was created because Jewish law does not permit cooking on Shabbat. To adhere to this prohibition, Jewish cooks began to create meat and bean stews in heavy pots that would slowly simmer inside a low-heat oven overnight. They would prepare the stew on Friday before sundown, cook it partially, and place it into the oven to continue cooking throughout the night. That way, there would be no need to kindle a fire or light a stove during the hours of Shabbat; they would simple remove the stew from the oven at mealtime and it would be fully cooked and ready to serve.
There are many variations of the dish, but the basic ingredients are beef, potatoes, beans, and barley. Ashkenazi-style cholent was first mentioned in 1180, in the writings of Rabbi Yitzchak of Vienna. In the shtelts of Europe, before the advent of electricity and cooking gas, a pot with the assembled but uncooked ingredients was brought to the local baker before sunset on Fridays. The baker would put the pot with the cholent mixture in his oven, which was always kept fired, and families would come and pick up their cooked cholent on Saturday mornings. The unique cooking requirements of cholent were the inspiration for the invention of the slow cooker.
Harriet Miller’s Recipe (adapted)
3 lbs. beef chuck stew meat, cut in 1 1/2″ chunks
2 marrow bones
1 lb. chick peas
1 lb. lima or kidney beans or 1/2 lb. of each
1 cup pearl barley
3 potatoes, cubes
5 onions, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 carrots, chopped
3 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1. Soak the beans overnight. Line the bottom of a slow cooker with potatoes, then onion and garlic, then meat, sprinkling the meat with pepper to taste.
2. Scatter the barley and the beans on top, then pour in broth and honey. Sprinkle with the paprika and salt to taste. Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Cook on low for 12 to 15 hours, stirring occasionally, adding more water if necessary.
The longer it cooks, the better it will be. (Serves 12 )
Chamin is the Hebrew word for cholent. Sephardi – style chamin uses rice instead of beans and barley, and chicken instead of beef. A traditional Sephardi addition is whole eggs in the shell, which turn brown overnight. Chamin derives from the Hebrew word cham, meaning “hot.” The word chamin is mentioned a few times in the Mishna and can mean either hot water or hot food as it is always served fresh off the stove, oven, or slow cooker. The origin of this name is a phrase which essentially provides a prescription for keeping food hot for the Sabbath without lighting a fire.
Dalia Medin’s Recipe
Tbit (Tebeet) – Jewish Iraqi Chicken Cholent
1 1/2 large chicken, cut up – skinned and boned except for drumsticks
1/4 cup olive oil for browning 1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 cups Basmati rice 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups water 1 teaspoon turmeric
5 large tomatoes, chopped 3 teaspoons Baharat
6 large onions, chopped 2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chick peas (optional)
1. Soak rice in a bowl with water for 20 minutes, rinse well and drain
2. In large pot, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent, add chopped tomato and continue cooking until cooked well.
3. Take 1/2 cup water and dissolve tomato paste in it, pour into mixture and cook another 5 – 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, paprika, turmeric, and chicken pieces. Mix it well. then bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour.
4. Pour meat broth from the pot into a measuring cup. Add enough water to equal 4 1/2 cups of liquid. Return liquid to pot. Add Baharat, cinnamon, cardamom and washed rice. Stir well.
5. Cover and bring to a boil, immediately reducing heat and simmer over low heat for 35 -45 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Place in crock pot or heated platter until ready to eat. (Serves 8 )
Kasha was the daily fare for the poorer Jews in Russia and Poland. Usually made from buckwheat groats or grains, it could also be made from wheat, oats or barley, although buckwheat is the grain most indigenous to Russia. Cooked with water, milk, or broth, whole buckwheat groats made a hearty porridge. Grains are often browned first to produce a crunchy, nutty flavor. Kasha varnishkes was a dish for special occasions. Eaten on Purim, it is made from sauteed onions, kasha, and noodles. Jews from Eastern Europe brought the food to America and it remains widely popular in the American Jewish community today.
2 large onions, sliced in rounds
3 tablespoons chicken fat or canola oil
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup kasha, medium or coarse
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 pound large bow-tie noodles
1. Saute’ the onions in 2 tablespoons of chicken fat in a heavy frying pan with a cover until golden brown. Remove to a plate.
2. Beat the egg in a small mixing bowl and stir in kasha. Mix, making sure all the grains are coated. Put the kasha in the same frying pan, set over high heat. Flatten, stir, and break up the egg-coated kasha with a fork or wooden spoon for 2 to 4 minutes or until
egg has dried on the kasha and the kernels brown and mostly separate.
3. Add the stock, salt, and pepper to the frying pan and bring to boil. Add onions, cover tightly, and cook over low heat, steaming the kasha for 10 minutes. Remove the cover, stir, and quickly check to see if the kernels are tender and the liquid absorbed. If not, cover and continue steaming for 3 to 5 more minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the bow-tie noodles, according to the directions on the package. Drain.
5. When the kasha is ready, combine with the noodles. Adjust the seasoning. If desired, add a bit more chicken fat. (Serves 6-8)
Israeli salad is a chopped salad of finely diced tomato and cucumber. “Distinguished by the tiny diced tomatoes and cucumbers,” it is described as the “most well-known national dish of Israel.” The origins of the Israeli salad are traced back, actually to an Arab salad. The idea that what is known in New York delis as “Israeli salad” is actually “Palestinian rural salad” is also agreed on by Joseph Massad, a Palestinian professor of Arab Politics at Columbia University, as one example of the adoption of Palestinian and pan-Syrian foods by Israel.
Popularized in Israel by the kibbutzim, variations on the basic recipe have been made by the different Jewish communities to immigrate to the country. For example, Jews from India prepare it with the addition of finely chopped ginger and green chili peppers, North African Jews may add preserved lemon peel and cayenne pepper, and Bukharan Jews chop the vegetables extremely finely and use vinegar, without oil, in the dressing. Whatever your preference, it is enjoyed breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
1 red , yellow, or green pepper or mix of each
4 tablespoons of olive oil
juice of 1 large lemon
1/2 fresh parsley
1/2 cup of fresh mint, dill, cilantro or a mix of these, finely chopped, optional
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Chop the vegetables into small pieces. The secret to a really good Israeli salad is finely chopped vegetables.
2. Immediately before serving , season with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. (Serves 6 – 8)
Sephardic Eggplant Salad is a healthy and surprisingly filling dish, without any meat or dairy. It’s meant to be served with bread, like challah. The bread can be dipped into the delicious sauce. The salad is a staple in most Israeli homes.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, peeled and diced
1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, sliced into 1″ by 3 ” strips
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 green or yellow bell pepper, seeded, sliced in 1/2 rounds
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup water, plus
12 green olives and 1/4 teaspoon harissa, optional
1. Pour oil into large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until softened about 5 minutes. Add eggplant, garlic, bell pepper, tomatoes with liquid, sugar, salt, tumeric and 1/4 cup water.
2. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and slowly simmer for 1 hour. Check occasionally. If mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan, quickly add 2 tablespoons of water to loosen the browned bits and stir to incorporate them into the sauce. After an hour, remove cover and cook until thickened.
3. Cool to room temperature. Add olives and harissa to taste. Serve at room temperature. Can freeze. (Serves 8-10)
Challah is a special Jewish braided bread eaten on Sabbath and holidays. According to Jewish tradition, the three Sabbath meals (Friday night, Saturday lunch, and Saturday late afternoon) and two holiday meals (one at night and lunch the following day) each begin with two complete loaves of bread. This “double loaf” commemorates the manna that fell from the heavens when the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years after the Exodus from Egypt according to Jewish religious belief. The manna did not fall on Sabbath or holidays; instead, a double portion would fall the day before the holiday or Sabbath. Each single loaf is sometimes woven with six strands. Together, both loaves have twelve which may represent each tribe of Israel.
Traditional challah recipes use numerous eggs, fine white flour, water, sugar, yeast, and salt. Modern recipes may use fewer eggs and may replace white flour with whole wheat or oat. Sometimes honey or molasses is substituted as a sweetener. The dough is rolled into rope-shaped pieces which are braided and brushed with an egg wash before baking to add a golden sheen. Sometimes raisins are added. Some bakers like to sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds on top for flavor.
Mandelbrodt, anglicized to Mandelbread, is a dessert associated with Eastern European Jews. The Yiddish word mandelbrodt literally means almond bread. It is made by forming dough into a loaf, baking it, slicing the loaf into oblong cookies. Some recipes call for baking the slices again, to form a crunchy exterior. The crunchy, dry cookies were popular in Eastern Europe among rabbis, merchants and other itinerant Jews as a staple dessert that kept well. Its precise origin is unknown, as is its historic relationship with “biscotti” – an Italian term that means ‘twice baked’. Mandelbrodt and biscotti are both crispy, but mandelbrodt is more substantial. Each baker has his own variation; common additions include walnuts, cinnamon, chocolate chips or bits of fruit. Mandelbrodt is called kamishbrot in Ukraine. In the United States, the two terms are often used interchangeably.
Dates & Chocolate Truffles Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around Iraq, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 4000 BCE. The Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to make date wine, and ate them at harvest. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia in 6000 BCE. In later times, traders spread dates around South West Asia, northern Africa, Spain, and Italy.
Were it not for the Jews, France would not be known for its chocolate especially croissants. Fleeing the Inquisition, Sephardi Jews settled in nearby Bayonne in southwestern France in the early 16th century and established the country’s first chocolate factories. The region’s residents and local workers quickly learned the secrets of processing chocolate, but by the 17th century when France was then the chocolate capital, Bayonne Jews were gradually evicted from the chocolate industry by the chocolatiers guild – the very people they had taught.
20 dried dates, pitted
15 raw almonds
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
6 oz dark chocolate
pinch kosher salt
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1. Put dates, almonds, cinnamon, chocolate and salt in a food processor and process until very finely chopped.
2. Spread the coconut on a plate.
3. Form rounded 1/2 teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls with your fingers, then roll in the coconut, pressing to coat.
4. Refrigerate before serving. (Serves 6-8)
Pita Bread at Sephardic Fair
Hedy Weiner’s Recipe
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 package yeast
1 tsp. sugar,
1 1/2 c. water
Combine flour, yeast, salt,sugar, about 1/4 cup sesame seeds. Mix well. Add the water and form a ball of dough. Knead until smooth, add flour, if necessary, if dough is sticky. Let rise for about 1 hour. Divide dough into 12 balls. Roll balls in sesame seeds and roll out until about 1/8 of an inch thin- approx 5 to 6 inches wide. Let rise approx. 30 min. Bake at 345 degrees for about 5 min or until lightly browned. Turn pita over and bake the other side until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. May be frozen.
Kubaneh Sephardic Shabbat Bread
Hedy Weiner’s Recipe
1 pkg. yeast
6 cups flour
7 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt AND cinnamon
1 1/2 – 2 cups water
margarine for greasing:
Combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Add the water and combine to make a dough ball. Knead until smooth but still a soft dough. Put in greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, approx 1 hour. Form a long loaf (like Italian bread) or divide into 8 pieces and place into a greased tube pan or a greased Bundt pan. You can use a 9 or 10 inch cake pan also. Allow to rise until almost doubled in volume. This bread is semi steamed so grease a piece of aluminum foil that is large enough to cover pan and seal it well. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour, or until it’s internal temp. is 190 degrees. The sides will be slightly browned but the top will be pale. You can continue baking the bread with the foil off to brown the top if you wish. Cool on wire rack. It freezes well, be careful when removing the foil because of the steam.
Education Vice – President