Monday, 29 February 2016

100 Best Jewish Recipes Review and Giveaway

What's Jewish cooking? I had no idea, I heard that bagels were Jewish, but that's about it. The UK has a large Jewish community in the UK (the second largest in Europe) but yet this cuisine is something new to me. If I had to sum up what I consider Jewish cuisine to be, I would state that the cuisine is diverse, with influences from the Middle East and Europe. In fact, in 100 Best Jewish Recipes: Modern Classics, From Everyday Meals To Food For Special Occasions there are influences from the variety of countries where Jewish communities have migrated to. I certainly think that a lot of the recipes are more Middle Eastern inspired, which is understandable given to the positioning of Israel.  The recipes featured in 100 Best Jewish Recipes are accessible, I am familiar with the majority of the ingredients used in the book and you are like to be access the majority of the required ingredients in your local supermarket. There is a wonderful introduction of Jewish cooking culture, such as the dietary laws, kosher cooking and eating on the Sabbat, alongside the Jewish Festivals. As a lover of all things cultural, I was fascinated. This book is great for accessible, flavoursome and culturally diverse recipes. 

Roast Chicken, Jewish style

Beetroot Borscht 

Oven Fried Chicken

The chapters are split into the following:
  • Small Plates: Recipes to try include: Hummus B'tahina with toasted pine nuts, chicken liver pate Jewish style and Syrian Cheese Puffs.
  • Soups: recipes that appealed to me are: mother's milchike soup, borscht on the rocks and taratour (herbed yoghurt and cucumber soup).
  • Poultry: Recipes to try include Oven-Fried Chicken, Moroccan Chicken Pilaff With Fruit and Nuts and Roast Chicken With Pine Nuts.
  • Meat: Recipes to try include Pan-Seared Rib Steak, Gefilte Paprika (stuffed peppers, Hungarian Style) and Le Gigot Qui Pleure (Kosher-style rolled shoulder of lamb). 
  • Fish: Stand out recipes include: Golden Fillets of Mackerel With A Clementine and Cucumber Salad, Salmon Kedgree and Samak Kebab and Grilled Trout with Sesame Sauce. 
  • Vegetables Dishes and Sides: Recipes that I'll be trying first are Israeli Salad, Caponata Alla Sicilana and Badinjan Kuku (Persian Aubergine Fritatta)
  • Bread, Bakes and Desserts: Standout recipes include bagels, challah, Lithuanian Chocolate and Nut Torte. 
  • Basics
Recipe for Borscht On The Rocks
Serves 6
2 bunches of young beetroots or 600g old beetroot
1 onion
1 carrot
1 3/4 pints of hot water plus 2 vegetable stock cubes
10 grinds of black pepper
1 tbsp sugar

To Thicken
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs
100ml soured cream

Have ready a large saucepan. Trim the beets, wash thoroughly and peel only if old. Peel he onion and the carrot. Cut all the vegetables into roughly 2.5cm/1 in chunks, then process in two batches until very finely chopped. Put in the pan with the water, pepper and sugar. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the liquid is rich, dark red.

Pour the contents through a coarse strainer into a bowl and discard the vegetables. Return the strained beet juice to the pan and leave on a low heat.  Put the lemon juice and eggs into the food processor and process for 5 seconds until well mixed. With the motor running, pour two ladles of the hot beet through the feed tube and process for a further 3 seconds, then add to the beet juice in the pan and heat gently, whisking constantly with a batter whisk or balloon whisk until the soup is steaming and thickened slightly. Do not let it boil or it will curdle. Taste and adjust the seasoning so that there is a gently blend of sweet and sour.
Cool, then chill thoroughly. Just before serving, whisk in the cream. 

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