About a year ago, a friend of mine got interested in the raw food movement. Raw foodists prefer their food, as advertised, raw. Uncooked. She said it changed her life. OK, lots of people say stuff like that. But I have to admit that I see the difference – she is more relaxed, and brimming with beauty and energy. Four kids? No problem!
Tomorrow night on the Food Network, Amanda Cohen will become the first vegetarian chef to compete on Iron Chef America. After seeing an episode of Top Chef last year in which chefs had to make a vegan dish for guest Natalie Portman, I can see that the combination of a vegetarian and a reality cooking show is going to make for good television!
Here’s what I wrote about Cohen after she was named as one of the Heeb100 in 2009:
Fall vegetables bring to mind the hearth, coziness, beautiful autumn colors, hearty food and interesting one dish and multi-dish menus. We think about roasting, caramelizing, thick rich stocks, braising and sautéing when we think about the preparation of root vegetables and the other succulent vegetables which brighten up farm stands and markets all over the country at this time of the year.
I hope that all of you enjoy Fall Vegetables as much as I do. What’s fun about the change of seasons is that we are forced into creative ways to cook with the new bounty of the season. In this way, your food is never boring and you don’t get stuck eating the same foods day in and day out.
Jacob Levenfeld, who has spent extensive time in the Negev, writes about Orly Sharir’s project to grow argan oil in Israel’s desert. Orly, a supplier of herbs and spices for Negev Nectars in the United States, writes more on the subject on the Negev Nectars blog.
Isn’t it frustrating when you eat something delicious but you can’t quite put your finger on that little ingredient that pulls everything together? In Moroccan cuisine, that extra spice could just be a little-known delicacy known as argan oil. Used in all sorts of food recipes, lotions, and creams, this reddish oil is derived from argan tree nuts native to Morocco. Lately, though, a small number of farms in Israel’s Negev desert have also forayed into argan production.
I spent most of the day yesterday on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Not literally. I was reading Jane Ziegelman’s new book, 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement. I wanted to know what they ate in the days before Crisco, Cool Whip, corn syrup, and Cocoa Puffs.
My interview from earlier this month was featured on Our Hen House‘s podcast this weekend. We talked about Torah teachings about compassion for animals, how well Judaism and vegetarianism mesh together, kosher slaughter, the new Jewish food movement, and vegan versions of traditional Jewish foods.
In California, it works. (We planted late in a mild winter.)
That means just in time for outdoor Shabbes dinners, we have the basic ingredient for coleslaw.
But with this gem-like vegetable sitting on my kitchen counter, I couldn’t bear the thought of traditional coleslaw: cabbage shreds drowned in mayonnaise and sugar. I decided to celebrate the color. The following recipe is adapted from several sources.
This is a wonderful Parve side dish that I’ve been making for the past five years. Ask anyone in my family and they’ll tell you it’s a favorite at home. (My dad especially loves it). This recipe is simple and delicious and can be made up to a day in advance.
One time my brother came home to find me on the couch watching The Food Network. He threw his hands up, “all you watch is food TV!” That’s pretty true, but there is one cooking show I was missing out on, until now. Eat in Good Health is a Yiddish cooking show produced every 2 weeks by The Forward. It is one of the most enjoyable cooking shows I’ve seen. The show is a great mixture of tradition, modernity, entertainment, and education.
For my first recipe post on The Jew and the Carrot, I thought I’d start off with something versatile. I sampled a version of this quinoa recipe while browsing at my local Whole Foods and then came home and made my own version. It’s great served as a cold salad or as a warm side dish and it is ideal for all of those summer picnics and pot lucks you have on your calendar. Quinoa packs up really easily and this one is so full of veggies, colors, and flavors that it’s sure to be a hit!
Not long ago, at a party, I met a dark-eyed Peruvian woman with a sultry accent who had just discovered her slow cooker. She’d owned it for two years before a visiting friend released it from confinement in the back of the kitchen cabinet. That whole week they ate nothing but stews. After years of indifference toward it, my new friend had fallen in love with her slow cooker because “it giff so mush flavor!” When I told her that good, complex flavor means good nutrition, and that she should use it as often as she wants, she fell in love with me.
Right now, the dill is taking over my herb garden in its lovely, flavorful and feathery bloom. My attempts to use it don’t usually make a dent in the amount growing, even as I leave plenty to seed next year’s crop, or to share with the next interested gardener. Mostly, I have been cutting it into salads. I could also add it to butter, or make pickles, or hang some upside down to dry. The dill is everywhere, self seeding from beautiful, zebra-colored seeds given to me a few years ago by a patient who also grows startlingly lovely lavender roses.
See those blue ribbons? My challah (and my husband’s bagels) won those at the county fair last year. Both recipes always turn out reliably scrumptious, which should be enough for any baker, but there is something undeniably, down-home country-satisfying about serving your family and friends “blue-ribbon” baked goods.
Folks looking for Jewish food and culture might not head for the county fair; as Jewish pig farmers, pole benders and log-rolling lumberjacks are rarities in most parts, yet the lure of competition, fancy ribbons and yearlong bragging rights might make you wish to consider participating. That’s right, I suggest you get your apron on and whip, bake, pickle or jar up your Jewish delicacies and head to your county fair. Trust me, your homemade kosher dills will taste even better adorned with a Best of Show ribbon. All you need is a copy of your local fair’s open-class entry form to start planning your submissions.
As Shavuot approaches, I’m sure many people are contemplating cheesecake recipes. Chocolate with an Oreo crust; pumpkin with a caramel swirl; lemon or key lime; peanut butter chip; or just pure, unadulterated cheesecake.
It’s not so much the dilemma over recipe that irks me every Shavuot, it’s the huge crack (or 3) down the middle of the cheesecake when all I want is a smooth, beautiful top I don’t have to cover with fruit to hide the imperfections.
After doing some reading on the chemistry of baking cheesecake (and lots of failed experiments [in appearance, not taste ]), I found the perfect technique for making a smooth, creamy cheesecake. It freaked me out the first time I did it, but it was the most amazing cheesecake I’ve ever made.