Savory Sufganiyot Offer a Different Taste of Hanukkah
By Dana Kessler for Tablet Magazine
Forget the strawberry filling or the sugary toppings. These savory pastries are stuffed with meat, or fish, or cheese. And they make everything else taste like kids’ stuff.
For Jews in America, where latkes rule, sufganiyot are mediocre, unimaginative jelly doughnuts that appear as an afterthought every Hanukkah. In Israel, however, sufganiyot are a huge deal, and bakeries everywhere stock up: Everywhere you look in Israel, you see a huge variety of sufganiyot in bakery windows—and every year retailers add new flavors, which get more elaborate with each year that passes.
At the Roladin chain of bakeries, for instance, you’ll find sufganiyot with names like Cream Cheese Pavlova (filled with vanilla-flavored Italian mascarpone cream cheese and topped with white chocolate, meringue bites, blueberries, and a little test tube filled with a raspberry-crème de cassis liqueur chaser) or St. Honoré, paying homage to the famous French cake (filled with caramel-flavored mascarpone cream cheese and topped with caramel, chocolate lace, chantilly cream, and profiteroles).
Kiftes - A Macedonian specialty
This recipe is highlighted in our Hanukkah Guide. Find more articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
By Joan Nathan for Tablet Magazine
Made with lamb and leeks, savory ‘kiftes’ bring a taste of Macedonia to your holiday table
In Macedonia—both the Balkan state and the northern section of Greece—leeks grow as plentifully as onions, so there are many leek dishes from this region. In particular, Jews from Macedonia wax nostalgic about leek kofta, as these patties are known locally, made with lamb, beef, or potatoes and cheese.
As I was researching recipes for my forthcoming book King Solomon’s Table, Tablet’s editor in chief, Alana Newhouse, gave me permission to tamper with the traditional recipe for “kiftes” or “kiftes de prasa” made by her maternal grandmother, who came from Monastir (now Bitola), Macedonia. I didn’t have to change much. Roasting the leeks at a high heat instead of boiling them, as Alana’s grandmother would have done, and adding a bit of spice made all the difference in bringing out the flavor.
Tunisian Spiced Squash Soup
By Shannon Sarna for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com
Butternut squash, pumpkin, butternut squash, pumpkin…after awhile, all that squash and pumpkin kind of looks and tastes the same. Which is why I came up with this slight variation on a classic butternut squash soup: same roasted butternut squash, but with a Middle Eastern twist.
And I must give credit where it is due. While I am pretty picky about my cookbooks, especially kosher cookbooks, I do love Saffron Shores which inspired this soup recipe.
Better Than Falafel? Israel's Sabich Sandwich Has My Vote
DANIEL GRITZER for seriouseats.com
I'm convinced that one of the world's greatest sandwiches comes from the Middle East. And I am most certainly not talking about falafel. My obsession is the sabich, a pita sandwich stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, hummus, tahini sauce, and Israeli salad and pickles. To me, it's not even a contest.
I've never really understood the fascination with falafel. In theory, I should love it—chickpeas are my favorite beans, and deep-fried...well, I love deep-fried so much that I'm now using it as a noun. But falafel has yet to win me over, with even the moistest versions way drier and more crumbly than I want. Pack it inside starchy pita, and...I just don't get it.*
Updating Old World Foods for the Modern Cook and Eater
Sarah Rich for Jewish Book Council
Sarah Rich is the co-editor of Leave Me Alone with the Recipes: The Life, Art, and Cookbook of Cipe Pineles. Cipe (pronounced “C. P.”) was one of the most influential graphic designers of the twentieth century, and the first female art director at Condé Nast.
When I first flipped through Cipe Pineles’s hand-painted recipe book from 1945, it felt deeply familiar. This was my family’s food—not the food we ate for dinner on an average evening during my childhood, but the food we kept in our cultural pantry.
It was a wonder to see these dishes rendered with so much vibrancy and character in Cipe’s art. In my mind, many Eastern European Jewish foods were fairly plain and monotone. You could paint matzo balls, gefilte fish, potato latkes, noodle kugel, kasha and brisket all within a spectrum from beige to brown. Yet here was a rainbow of beets, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes; not to mention the cool blue enamel and warm clay of the cookware. It was a visual celebration of a cuisine that typically feels nostalgic, comforting, old.