richardf8: (Eating)
The shakshuka at Cafe Hillel leaves one feeling nostalgic, so I've been tinkering with the concept and after a couple of tries came up with this. It doesn't have much in the way of exotic spicing, but goes from kitchen to table with about 5 minute's knifework and 30 minutes stovetop.

Simple Shakshuka

One medium onion, medium dice.
1C Non-Green Bell Peppers, medium dice.
One Can (28 oz/800g) diced or crushed tomatoes.
A splosh of lemon juice (probably two Tbsp)
Four eggs.
One clove garlic, minced
One half tsp Salt
One half tsp Black Pepper
Olive or Grapeseed oil sufficient to saute in a 10" pan

Heat a 10" pan (I prefer cast iron for this) and add oil.
Saute the onions with the salt and black pepper.
As they become translucent, and the garlic, then the peppers.
Deglaze with the lemon juice, then add the tomatoes.
Simmer uncovered to reduce the liquid by about half.
Break the 4 eggs over the sauce and cover until eggs reach desired doneness (tradition dictates a set white with a runny yolk-about 4 minutes).

Serve with Pita or Challah. A garnish of steamed spinach creates a nice contrast on the plate

Serves 2. Parve.
richardf8: (Eating)
It's the day where the Hillel at Glasgow University makes kosher Haggis. Not difficult, really, given that Haggis is basically sheep entrails and grain, but there's always lots of discussion of it over there. You kind of need to have a good relationship with the abbatoir though so you can get a kashered sheep's stomach.

One day I'll try my hand at Haggis, I suppose, but I want to talk about about something similar. Stuffed Kishke. I made stuffed Kishka today (appropriate to Robbie Burns day in its way I reckon) following a recipe I learned from my teacher Rob Portnoe. The recipe goes very much like this:

1 Package of Ritz crackers or equivalent (ideal to find something Parve (ritually neutral with respect to separation of milk and meat))
4 Tbsp of a parve fat.
5 large Carrots
3 Stalks of celery
1 large onion
Salt and Pepper to taste.

To his teaching I add

4 leaves of fresh sage.

Grind the fat, crackers, and dry spices finely in a food processor. Decant to mixing bowl. Grind the veg in the food processor quite finely. Add to cracker mixture. Knead it all together so it is well blended, form into logs (its better than bad, its good!) and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Put your foil wrapped logs on a baking sheet and bake at 375F for 75 minutes. Let cool. At this point, I rewrap and freeze so I can use it at my leisure, slicing and frying it up when I'm fixing Shabbos dinner.

Now that that's before you (and recorded here so that I won't be at sea if I lose Rob's sheet), lets have fun with language.

Kishkes is a Yiddish word meaning "guts." Literally. So stuffed Kishke should and did mean a beef intestine stuffed with stuffing. The recipe I give above is a contemporary filling. Earlier, more traditional recipes might have made use of some organ meats, would have used chicken fat (schmaltz) rather than a parve shortening or margarine, etc.

But you will note, from the recipe, that no actual kishkes are used. The thing being stuffed is aluminum foil. One might find Parchment called for instead. This recipe is parve, and can be made Vegan with little effort. And when one speaks of Kishke today this is what one means. 20 years ago, if you ordered Kishke in a deli, you got it stuffed in a beef casing. The casing was the Kishke, and the stuff you actually ate was the stuff you actually ate. Now the Kishke has been cast off, and the word "kishke" has come to refer strictly to the stuffing.

The shift is sufficiently complete that one can get from Empire Poultry a Kishke stuffed-boneless chicken breast (similar in concept to chicken Kiev, but stuffed with, well, kishke instead of fat-n-scallions).

This happens, quite simply, because beef intestine is hard for the consumer to come by, and the product wouldn't be parve if it were, and people tended to regard the stuffing as the point of the dish, so that was the thing that became what the word kishke signified in the culinary sense.
richardf8: (Default)
I braised some endive Sunday because I've always wondered what endives are for, and I came across the idea in a British cookbook I ran across in the bookstore. I didn't by the book, or even memorize the recipe, but I held onto the idea. Ultimately, what I did was to brown 8 endives in butter, deglaze with 2C chicken stock and 3oz Lemon Juice. Parked that in a slow oven for a couple hours. They came out really good, but I think I used more liquid than was necessary; I wound up wasting quite a bit of it.

They were a nice side with my Buffalo Burgers Caprese, which I make by cooking bison patties on a griddle with Balsamic Vinegar, a touch of Tabasco and a little grapeseed oil, adorning them with minced fresh basil layered with many thin slices of tomato and topped with a slice of mozzarella, served on grilled multigrain muffins. There was about one half of a medium sized tomato on each.


Apr. 22nd, 2008 02:33 pm
richardf8: (Eating)
First Night:

Friend S. Hosted. Wife M. Led. 16 People.

It's official: we've outgrown The Concise Family Seder. The term "Concision" was coined for the property of which this haggadah contained excessive amounts. The youngest, W., complained that the brief was too brief, which was very heartening. Our institutions are doing well by our youth, creating a generation that is more engaged than the parents. The maggid was considered too brief, and a factual error was observed in this haggadah's assertion that Abraham met Sarah in Canaan. It served us well for 5 years, but it's time to move on. The layered Kugel I made was a hit. It comprised a layer of yam kugel, a layer of spinach kugel, and another layer of yam kugel.

Second Night:

I hosted. I led. 8 People.

Friend J. lent us a bunch of the Baskin Haggaddah. Slightly different crowd from first night, so lots of different energy in the room. I was leading this one, and we had enough in the way of students of Hebrew and native Israelis at the table to be able to look at some of the differences between the Hebrew and the English, which was fun. Then R., the 14 year old who had not been around on Monday, raised all kinds of thorny issues around chosenness, and how can we reconcile the plagues and drowning of the Egyptians with the merciful God we Liberal Jews like to believe in. So midrash was shared, various personal theories explored, a discussion of the balance between mercy and justice and she was, of course, assured that this is one of the questions that never stops being asked. The Baskin Haggadah served us well, except for missing the handwashing. Food was my low-effort lamb-packets. There was lamb from the meaty, broiled shankbone in our Hillel sandwiches, because Reform Judaism does not long for a return to temple service. B. and A. brought a marvelous Potato thingy, L. some steamed veg, J. supplied Matza ball soup and I supplied some vegetarian borscht.

Lamb Packets, per serving:

2 Lamb Loin chops (a nice lean cut)
6 Stalks of asparagus
1/2 tsp of Astringent (Lemon juice most years, but this year it was Balsamic Vinegar)
a few aromatic sprigs (I usually use lavender, but I could see rosemary working well.

Stack it all on foil, seal it, and put it in a 250 degree oven about an hour before the Seder starts, and then don't spare it another thought until you're ready to eat. The beauty of this food prep method is that it will wait for you.

X-Posted to
richardf8: (Eating)
This is a Cabbage Roll recipe I developed for a Shabbos dinner some time during the winter. I thought I'd lost the recipe, but then I found it on my work PC, of all places, today.

Cabbage Rolls:
6-8 Leaves of Red Cabbage, steamed.
1/2 lb Ground Bison
3/4 C. Wild Rice/Brown Rice blend, uncooked
1 quite small Yam, grated.
4-6 leaves of fresh sage
1 Medium Onion diced
1/2 of a 16 oz Can of Tomato Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking Oil

1/2 of a 16 oz Can of Tomato Sauce
16-20 Oz of beef broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
4-6 leaves of fresh Basil

In a skillet saute the onion in cooking oil with the salt and pepper* until translucent. Rip the sage into it and then add the grated yam and the meat, sauteeing until the meat is browned. Cut the heat and add the tomato sauce and rice, blending them in.

Spoon the mix into the Cabbage leaves and roll Burrito style. Arrange the rolls in a 2-qt Crock Pot in two layers.

Mix the broth and remaining Tomato Sauce, Basil, salt and pepper. Pour into crockpot - it should be sufficient to cover the rolls; if not, add more broth.

Cook on low all day.
richardf8: (Eating)
My plan for this Shabbat, after having a perfectly harried Erev Shabbat/Rosh Hashanah is to come straight home from work (No stop for Challah - I have another plan - or Kiddush Wine - secured that tonight, or dessert - I will be home baking it) and get finishing a meal I just started.

The centerpiece is a Kosher* Cajun Bean soup.

2 Medium Onions, diced
3 Stalks celery, diced
2 biggish carrots, diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 smallish Chipotle peppers, sliced. (This is what gives the soup its characteristic smoked flavor in lieu of ham)
2 Andouille Sausage (Neshama makes Glatt Kosher Chicken ones.)
1 can of Kidney Beans
1 can of White Beans (Great northern or Cannellini)
1 can of Black Beans
(I like the tri-color effect this yields)
4 Cans Chicken Broth**
Fresh Ground Pepper

Saute in a bit of Canola oil the onions, carrots and celery. Add the garlic and chipotles just after the onions have begun to become translucent. Continue to saute until the garlic starts to become golden. DO NOT allow the garlic to carmelize; that will not be a welcome flavor in this dish.

Dump saute into 4 quart crock pot.

Drain and rinse beans. Dump in crock pot.

Slice Andouille Sausage. Dump in crock pot.

Mix the ingredients in the crock pot carefully. A silicone spatula works well; canned beans are delicate.

Add 4 cans of Chicken Broth.

Now at this point I've put the crock-liner in the fridge. Tomorrow, before I leave for work, I will put it into its heater and set it to low. Watch this space for results regarding the edibility of my efforts.

For the rest of the meal:

Maple Biscuits to accompany the soup
Bread pudding for dessert

*In the interest of full disclosure, my practice when it comes to Kashrut is basically "don't eat forbidden animals." That said, Neshama makes a lovely, Glatt Kosher Chicken Andouille sausage that will quite well in this recipe. I use an organic Turkey Andouille sausage from Wellshire farms. All other ingredients are fleishig or parve.

**Yes, I use canned broth. It has served me well over the years for those who use fresh, this amounts to approximately 8 cups.
richardf8: (Default)
When the Oklahoma City Federal Building was blown up, the first suspects pursued were "middle eastern men seen driving away from the scene." I suppose it was unfortunate that they happened to be driving there and middle eastern.

Turned out the terrorist responsible was just a good ol' American boy, from a good ol' American town. He was executed a few months before 9/11. I can't help but think it must have been a great relief to the Bush administration for this white, American face of terrorism to have been scrubbed from the planet, in time for him to hang an Arab face on terrorism.

I can't help but think that had Oklahoma City happened on Bush's watch, those two middle-eastern men would have found themselves whisked away to a place from which they would never be heard again, while McVeigh remained free to attack again.

Bison Stew

Oct. 17th, 2003 05:29 pm
richardf8: (Default)
Fixing some for dinner tonight.

Night before:

Saute in oil 1 Large onion, sliced.
Add two sliced cloves of garlic.
Add a sliced stalk of celery.
Remove and reserve.
Brown 3/4 Lb Cubed Bison in the oil.
Remove and reserve.
Toast 1 heaping Tbsp of Flour in the oil. (you might need to add a little more oil)
Deglaze the pan by pouring in 3/4 c. Cooking Burgundy and blending pan residue with it.
Add 1 can (1 1/4c) Chicken or beef Broth.
Add 1 can (1 1/4c) Tomato Sauce.
Add the needles of 1 sprig rosemary.
Add the leaves of two sprigs fresh dill.
Return the solids to the pan.
Cut a large leek into 1/2" pieces and add.
Simmer for 45 minutes.

Stash it in the fridge overnight. The following morning, before you leave for work, stick it in a slow (~220 degrees Fahrenheit/110 degrees Celsius) oven. Come home dragged out and tired to the smell of major numminess.

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