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Challah

It seems like a simple recipe but there’s so much Jewish history and love behind it. This particular Challah recipe was given to my guest, Dr. Beth Ricanati by a good friend of hers many years ago in a class at the JCC on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Please enjoy the experience of baking this Challah and of course sharing in the eating!

Challah

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 tsp Yeast loose
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 cup warm water almost too warm, but not hot!
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4+ cups flour

Instructions

  • Mix yeast, sugar & warm water together in small bowl (1); let stand ~ 10 min. This mixture will start to bubble.
    Meanwhile, in a lg mixing bowl, mix eggs, salt, sugar, oil & 2 c flour together (2). Now is a great time to say, “I am making this dough in the merit of _____ (name someone…maybe a friend who is sick that week, or someone you are happy for, sad for, mad at, etc.)
    Add yeast mixture (1) to flour mixture (2).
    Add ~ 1½ cups of flour to mixture. Dough should start to form a ball, separating from the bowl.
    Place dough on a floured surface & knead, lifting up with one hand & then the other. Knead at least 5 mins as dough becomes increasingly elastic. If still sticky, add a bit more flour to dough. Knead dough into a ball.
    Place dough back into oiled bowl, cover & place bowl somewhere warm for 1 – 1½ hours to rise, ~ doubling in volume.
    Preheat oven to 375º. Remove cover from bowl, place dough on floured surface. Take a small piece of dough (~size of an egg), double wrap in plastic wrap & say the prayer over separating the challah (technically only say if more than 5 lbs of flour used, but more on that later)*. Discard this piece of wrapped dough & cont.
    Punch out dough one more time. Cut dough in half, one for each challah. Then divide each half into 3 equal pcs. Roll out each piece, crimp together at the top and braid into a loaf. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with second ball of dough. May let rise again at this step.
    Paint each challah with a mixture made of egg yolk plus a little water.
    Bake ~ 25 – 30 mins, or until bread rises & is golden brown. Remove, cool.
    Place challah on platter, cover and wait for Shabbas dinner. Eat and enjoy!
    *Baruch Ata A-Do-Nay Elo-haynu Melech Ha-Olam Asher Kidishanu B’Mitzvotav V’Tziyvanu L”Hafrish Challah. (Blessed are You, Lord, our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to separate the Challah.)

 

Rachel’s Hamantaschen

Rachel's Hamantaschen

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Butter or margarine
  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp Milk or almond milk
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Zest grated
  • 1 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt

Instructions

  • Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add egg, milk, vanilla and lemon zest until mixed thoroughly. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry mixture to wet mixture until incorporated.  
    Note: if the dough is too soft, increase flour amount by 1/2 cupfuls until firm. 
    Chill dough for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. 
    Dust surface with powdered sugar to keep from sticking. Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch think. 
    Using a round cookie cutter, cut out and place onto cookie sheet. To keep the dough from sticking to your cutter, dip in powdered sugar before each cut! 
    Fill each round with your favorite filling, using your favorite method, pinch corners together tightly. Bake at 400 degrees for about 7-9 minutes.
    Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook, General Mills, 1950

I love what Shannon had to say about this Hamantaschen recipe in her book so I have to share this with you.

Shannon’s Confession: I do not love Hamantaschen. Most varieties are dry, crumbly and tasteless. But a few years ago I had a friend’s recipe and so now I have amended my original opinion and I can say: I only like Rachel’s Hamantaschen! Rachel and her mom graciously shared their Hamantaschen recipe with us so that we can all say buh-bye to dry Hamantashen forever.

Beets with Black Garlic Tehina, Pumpernickel and Dill

Beets with Black Garlic Tehina, Pumpernickel and Dill

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. red beets
  • 1 lb. chiogga or candy cane beets
  • 4 slices pumpernickel rye bread
  • ¼ + ⅛ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Morton’s Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed ground
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed ground
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 cloves black garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Morton’s Kosher Salt
  • 1 ½ cups raw tahini (preferably Soom brand)
  • 1 ½ cups ice cold water
  • 3 sprigs of dill

Instructions

  • For the Roasted Beets:
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. Make sure all the tops are removed from the beets and wash them under cold water to remove any dirt but don’t peel them. Toss the beets in 1 tablespoons salt and ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil in a large mixing bowl.
  • Place the beets in a single layer in a large baking dish. Add any excess water from the bowl to the pan. If you don’t have excess water, then add a ⅛ cup to the bottom of the pan. Wrap the edges of the pan tightly in foil.
  • Bake the beets for about 1 hour. To check them, gently lift the edge of the foil and place a small knife inside. If the knife slides in very easily they are done. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 15 minutes. (If they’re not fully cooked put the foil back around the edge of the pan and check them every 15 minutes).
  • Once the beets are cooled but still warm, remove the foil. With a dry dish towel in your hands, gently rub off the skins of the beets and place in a large bowl. Gently rinse any excess skin off in cold water.
  • Cut the beets into ½-inch slices or cubes and set aside or refrigerate if using later.
  • For the Pumpernickel Crumble:
  • Change the temperature on the oven to 225 F.
  • On a baking sheet, lay down the slices of pumpernickel rye bread. Drizzle the ⅛ cup of extra virgin olive oil on the slices and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt and the caraway and dill seeds.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until very crispy. Remove and cool fully.
  • Break the dry pieces into chunks and place in a food processor with a blade. Pulse at 3 second intervals for about 2 minutes until it becomes a medium crumble.
  • For the Black Garlic Tehina:
  • Crush the garlic cloves on a cutting board with the side of a large knife and add to the lemon juice. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the garlic cloves and any peels from the lemon juice. Place the lemon juice in a blender with the black garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon of salt. Puree on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
  • In a stand mixer with a whip attachment, whip the raw tahini for about 5 minutes on high speed.
  • Decrease the speed to medium and slowly drizzle in the black garlic-lemon juice. The tehina will get very grainy and tight in texture but will get smooth immediately after.
  • Slowly add the ice cold water with a steady stream. Once all the water is incorporated, turn the speed on high for 5 minutes. You’ll see the tehina become smooth and glossy and become very airy like an aioli or a mousse. (Note: It’s best to add most of the water but not all of it. You can always add more if you would like it thinner).
  • To Assemble:
  • Pick the dill from the whole sprigs and chop very lightly.
  • Place the tehina on the bottom of the plate in a large circle. Toss the beet pieces in a little olive oil and salt and spread on top of the tehina. Sprinkle the pumpernickel crumb with a heavy hand and then follow with the chopped dill.

This recipe is based on a traditional salatim seen all over Israel with some bold flavors. It’s great for large parties and easy to make some of the components (or all of them) a day or two beforehand for less time in the kitchen while hosting!

Milk & Honey Punch

Milk & Honey Punch

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces KOVAL Bourbon
  • 1 ounce KOVAL Chrysanthemum & Honey Liqueur
  • 4 ounces milk Nutmeg

Instructions

  • Fill glass with crushed ice. Build over ice in shaker. Shake well and strain into glass over crushed ice. Sprinkle nutmeg over top.
  • L'chaim!

A great way to toast your next brunch! I can vouch for this! 🙂

Pomegranate Brisket

Pomegranate Brisket

Ingredients

  • 1 whole beef brisket
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate molasses
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1.5 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 shallots sliced
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

If you are in the mood for Brisket but want to add a new flavor to your already special dish this is the recipe for you! And pomegranate is a flavor that works any time of year. This could be your new go-to recipe.

Passover Chocolate Mousse with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

You can’t go wrong with a chocolate anything recipe for dessert but THIS recipe is amazing! it’s kosher for Passover and gluten free too.

Passover Chocolate Mousse with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate must be at least 70% cacao
  • 1/2 cup best quality extra virgin olive
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar kosher for Passover
  • 1/3 cup brewed coffee
  • pinch of sea salt optional

Instructions

  • In a saucepan over low heat, gently melt the chocolate and cool to room temperature. Add the olive oil and the scraped vanilla bean and coffee and set aside.
  • Combine the yolks and confectioners' sugar and whisk until foamy. Add to the chocolate mixture.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the whites to stiff but glossy peaks; fold the whites into the chocolate.
  • Pour into dessert cups and chill at least 4 hours or pour into a parchment or plastic lined mold and freeze for four hours.
  • You can garnish the mousse with a sprinkle of sea salt. The salt gives the chocolate a "sparkly" flavor.
  • TIPS
  • Purchase the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find. For this recipe, Chef Frankel uses an oil from France that is buttery, fruity, and rich with no harsh taste of bitterness. It is expensive--but since the olive oil is her fat of choice for all her pareve and fleishig meals during the holiday and year round, it is worth it. During Pssover, she uses Schmerling's 70% Bittersweet Chocolate. When Passover is over, she uses Callebaut 71% Bittersweet Chocolate.