Holiday Fast Food

Holiday Fast Food

Episode 41

 

Chef Laura Frankel

Holiday Fast Food

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Chef Laura Frankel and I talk about holiday food prep and planning for Yom Kippur. She shares some great ideas that will be helpful for menu selection through break-the-fast. We even get a chance to talk about Chef’s favorite holiday, Sukkot

Kasha Varnishkes-A Modernized Classic

Kasha Varnishkes-A Modernized Classic

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bowtie pasta
  • 1/2 oz dry porcini mushrooms Don't skip this ingredient
  • 1/2 cup schmaltz or extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 large leek sliced thinly
  • 1/2 lb cremini or button mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup kasha preferably coarse
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • While pasta is cooking, in a small bowl soak porcini mushrooms in 3/4 cup of warm water for 10 minutes until softened. Drain mushrooms, retaining the soaking water. Mince mushrooms and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 1/4 cup of schmaltz or oil. Add onions, leek, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Saute until well-browned.
  • Add porcini mushrooms and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant and has softened. Add kasha, pepper, and thyme sprigs and cook for 3-5 minutes to toast the kasha. Stir in stock, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add cooked pasta to the pan and stir together. Garnish with parsley.

Notes

Chef Laura says this is the perfect autumnal side dish for pre-Yom Kippur or break fast. It's also great as a choice for a Sukkot meal.
Kasha is an earthly and fiber-filled grain. It is one of the oldest known food staples in Eastern European cuisine. Also known as buckwheat groats, kasha is popular with descendants of Ashkenazi and Yiddish-speaking Jews form Eastern Europe and Russia.
Booking groats with rich porcini mushrooms and fresh herbs updates the classic dish by adding deep, earthy flavor from mushrooms and by substituting vegetable stock for chicken stock. Everyone, including vegetarians will enjoy this rendition of European comfort food.

Jewish Food Through an Ethiopian Lens

Jewish Food Through an Ethiopian Lens

Episode 40

 

Guest: Zenash and her granddaughter Nebbe 

Jewish Food Through an Ethiopian Lens

I’m at Ras Dashen, a wonderful cozy Ethiopian restaurant in my own neighborhood in Chicago. I’m talking with owner and chef Zenash and her granddaughter Nebbe. She tells an amazing story of how she comes to Chicago and starts her own restaurant. She’s one of the most passionate food people I’ve ever met. To say she puts her whole self into everything she prepares does not do her food or her story justice. I’m sure you’ll find her as engaging and endearing as I did. 

Kosher Food Coming Your Way from the Balkans

Kosher Food Coming Your Way from the Balkans

Episode 38

 

Guest: Rabbi Yisroel Finman

Kosher Food Coming Your Way from the Balkans

While on a dream vacation in Greece I got a call about a Kosher food company focused on bringing kosher food from the Balkans to the US and Israel and around the world. What a crazy coincidence. Once back home I decided to follow up on that call and bring that information back to you. There’s nothing like olives and wine from Greece experienced in Greece but the next best thing is to try some of that at your own kitchen table. 

 

An Israeli Perspective on Food Diplomacy

An Israeli Perspective on Food Diplomacy

Episode 37

 

Guest: Moran Birman, Consul for Public Diplomacy,

Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest

An Israeli Perspective on Food Diplomacy 

On this episode you’ll meet Moran Birman, Consul for Public Diplomacy with the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest. I met Moran a little over a year ago when he connected me with Gil Hovav, Israeli food critic and entrepreneur. This time I had the opportunity to talk with Moran about a food topic of special interest to me, Food Diplomacy. It can be a weighty subject and Moran and I barely scratched the surface. It’s so interesting to think about food as a creative art, as a critical human need and at the same time, the important role it can play in world politics, I hope you enjoy our conversation in this episode.  Be sure to check out the recipe for Moran’s favorite Israeli go-to snack: M’sabacha.

 

M’sabacha (no-blend warm hummus)

 

M'sabacha (No-blend warm hummus)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 garlic clove optional
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • Olive Oil to serve
  • chilies, pine nuts, cumin, paprika, sumac, cilantro optional toppings

Tahini Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 juice from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cumin

Instructions

  • The night before you intend to make the hummus, put chickpeas in a bowl and cover with 3-4 quarts of water. Soak chickpeas at room temperature overnight. In the summer, keep the bowl in the refrigerator.
  • The next day, drain chickpeas, cover with about 4 inches of water, add baking soda, and bring to boil over medium high heat. Skim foam with a large spoon, lower heat, cover and cook for about 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally (this will help remove the skins), until chickpeas are very soft and almost falling apart. Remove skins if they float to top.
  • When chickpeas are cooked, turn off the heat and keep on the stove so it stays warm.
  • To make tahini sauce: Mix tahini, lemon juice, cold water, salt and cumin with a fork or a whisk until smooth. You might have to add more water or tahini if it doesn't get smooth. A dd some water, one tablespoon at a time and blend until smooth. If it's too watery, add tahini, one tablespoon at a time and blend until it reaches the right texture. (Note: This sauce is great on its own on bread or as a dressing!)
  • Move about 1/2 cup of the ready tahini sauce to a bowl.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of the warm chickpeas using a skimmer on top of the tahini sauce.
  • Quickly mash the mixture with a potato masher or a fork, until most of the chickpeas are mashed.
  • Top with olive oil and your favorite toppings. Enjoy with pita, bread or on its own.