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Sep 30 2014

Cooking With 12-Year-Old Kosher Chef Eitan Bernath Before His “Chopped” Debut

By at 1:25 pm
Eitan-Bernath-Food-Network

Courtesy Food Network

 

Last week, we wrote about the talented kippah-clad tween who landed a spot on the teen episode of Food Network’s cooking competition, “Chopped.” Eitan Bernath is a 7th grader at Yavneh Academy Paramus and lives with his parents and 9-year-old brother Yoni in Teaneck, New Jersey. Eitan agreed to sit down with me and talk about his experience on the show and share one of his favorite recipes. Be sure to catch the show, which airs TONIGHT on the Food Network at 10 p.m. EST.

1. How did you figure out that you love cooking? 

I got more into it when I was 9.5 or 10. I just helped my mom make dinner. There’s one meal we’d always make with beans and cheese and baked tortilla. Over the past year I really got into it. I made homemade hot sauce, cheese, and cinnabons. Most of it I learned on my own from watching YouTube or Food Network or going on my iPad to look it up. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 19 2014

The Challah Recipe That Changed My Life

By at 9:38 am

Challah-post

It was a no-brainer for me to send my daughters to a Jewish preschool. I loved the program, the teachers, and the sense of Jewish community. The school didn’t celebrate Halloween or Christmas and the students dipped apples in honey for Rosh Hashanah and made latkes (OK, they were frozen from a bag) for Chanukah. They ate lunch in a pre-fab sukkah once or twice every fall and sang Jewish songs and read Jewish-themed books. I knew my kids would go to public school starting in kindergarten, but at least they would go to Jewish preschool.

The school sent home lots of things about being Jewish–Jewish parenting articles and Jewish activities we could do at home. And then one day, when my older daughter was 3, they sent home a challah recipe.

My daughter and I had enjoyed some simple baking projects before, and I wondered what baking a challah would be like. Of course, baking a challah is more complex than, say, chocolate chip cookies, but I was willing to try it. So that Friday, I set about making my first-ever challah. I didn’t own a Kitchen Aid mixer at the time, so I mixed and kneaded the entire thing by hand. With risings, it took about four hours from start to finish. I made a roast chicken, carrots, and potatoes to go along with it. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 16 2014

My Husband’s Grandmother Cooked in Yiddish

By at 10:02 am

grandmas-cheesecake

A few years before my husband Adam’s grandma passed away, we started asking for some of her recipes so we could record them and continue to enjoy them on holidays. Grandma Jean was the quintessential old world Jewish grandmother. Tiny, with a thick Polish accent, her world centered around food and family. She cooked mostly old-world Ashkenazi dishes, and was very serious about them.

The first Rosh Hashanah Adam and I spent together was in Rio Grande City, in south Texas near the Mexico border. Since none of our friends had ever attended a Jewish holiday celebration, we decided to cook some traditional recipes for them. And since no Rosh Hashanah would be complete without apple cake, Adam called up his grandma to get her recipe. The conversation went like this:

Adam: “Hi grandma, can I get your apple cake recipe from you? We want to cook it for Rosh Hashanah.” Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 13 2014

There Will Always Be Kugel

By at 10:06 am

kugel

I buy egg noodles like they’re going out of style. Inside my pantry are bags of noodles– some full, some half empty–and some with the last handful sitting in the bottom of the bag. I wasn’t always such an egg noodle fanatic. In fact, it wasn’t until I started cooking for the Jewish holidays that my love of egg noodles began.

A few years ago, as my husband and I discussed the menu for Rosh Hashanah, we decided on brisket (his mom’s recipe), matzah ball soup (made by his mom), and a veggie dish. But we got stuck on the kugel.

“I want you to make my family’s recipe,” he told me.  Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 30 2014

The Glamorous Housewife’s Vegetarian Shabbat

By at 10:05 am

vegetarian-enchiladas

We are currently in a period known as the three weeks. It’s a not-so-fun period of mourning for the destruction of the Temple and our being exiled from Israel into the diaspora. The last nine days of this time period are commemorated by a few personal sacrifices such as not eating meat or drinking wine, no new clothing, no swimming, no planting trees, and no cutting of one’s nails. This culminates with the fast of Tisha B’Av, often known as the saddest day of the Jewish year.

The good news is that on Shabbat we don’t follow some of the rules of mourning, such as not eating meat. However, I thought now would be the perfect time to introduce you to a vegetarian meal which is both filling and delicious. You won’t even notice there is no meat!

If you have been following my monthly Shabbat menus, you will notice a pattern. I usually start my meal plans by deciding on a main course. I happen to have a recipe for vegetarian black bean enchiladas that are to die for! To contrast the spice of the enchiladas I like to serve a light corn and tomato salad with basil and a quinoa with mango and blueberry salad. All you need to round out this meal is some salsa, guacamole, corn chips, and dessert! I find lemon glazed cupcakes a simple and enjoyable way to end the meal. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 2 2014

A Glamorous Asian-Inspired Shabbat

By at 10:08 am

asian-inspired-shabbat-dinner-1

I don’t know about you, but my kids are out of school and things around my household are a bit crazy. I call it summer madness. With everything so hectic, I find that I really look forward to Shabbat.

For this month’s Glamorous Shabbat meal, I decided to go Asian style. I found a wonderful recipe online for a chicken cooked in coconut milk (pictured above). I know it sounds crazy, but I assure you the results are heavenly. And the best part is, all you have to do is throw the chicken in a pot with the aforementioned coconut milk and a few fragrant herbs, and let it cook.

With such a succulent treat like the chicken, all you need are a few simple side dishes to round out the meal. I thought coconut rice would be the perfect accompaniment, because it is plain enough to balance the chicken, but elevated through the use of the coconut milk. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 25 2014

When It Comes to Food, Southerners & Israelis Have a Lot in Common

By at 3:51 pm

spices

I am a southerner. My husband is an Isreali. On the outset, many people think it is a strange pairing, but in fact, our backgrounds share much in common. We are both from communities made up of tenacious people of faith whose circumstances inspire ingenuity and who are intensely tied to the land.

I was not raised Jewish, but my spiritual journey to Judaism began long before I met my husband. I converted on my own terms, yet my decision to go kosher was one that was venturing into a new and frightening territory. It was encroaching on the little piece of home that I had left, my kitchen.

Living in New York, most Jewish food is of the Ashkenazi fare. Either sweet or salty, it often tasted bland to my palate, and completely foreign to me. I never had a vegetable that wasn’t cooked in bacon grease until I moved here. Nor would I believe you, if you had told me I would never go to another crawfish boil again. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 25 2014

The Glamorous Housewife’s Guide to Shabbat: Sweet Tea Chicken

By at 4:25 pm
sweet-tea-chicken-4.2

Sweet tea chicken

 

For this edition of The Glamorous Housewive’s Guide To Hosting Shabbat (you can see January’s menu here and February’s menu here), I am thrilled to introduce my new favorite chicken. The “secret” ingredient is a southern staple–sweet tea! At first I was wary of how chicken would taste when marinated overnight in sweet tea, but after taking my first bite I was hooked! The sweetness of the tea combines perfectly with the tang of the lemon and the piney scent of the fresh rosemary. The side dishes are easy to prepare, delightfully flavorful, and most can be made ahead of time.

Menu

Sweet tea chicken

Israeli couscous with caramelized onions and cranberries

Broccoli salad with a twist

Strawberry spinach salad with a raspberry vinaigrette (omit the feta if you are kosher)

Salted caramel apple cupcakes (you can substitute margarine and soy cream cheese if you are kosher) Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 27 2014

The Glamorous Housewife’s Guide to Shabbat: Cold Weather Comfort Food

By at 10:56 am

mom

Ever tried hosting your own Shabbat dinner and felt a touch… overwhelmed? Bethany from The Glamorous Housewife is here to help with her monthly how-to series on Kveller. Read last month’s Shabbat Dinner Guide here.

We are deep into winter and although many of us long for spring, the weather is still cold and comfort food is often what we all crave. Therefore I thought a traditional brisket would be a perfect main dish for this month’s meal. The recipe I use the most is via The Barefoot Contessa because I think it is quite easy and totally foolproof. My favorite part about this dish is it can be made the day ahead and then reheated in the sauce. My only tip is to not use brisket but to substitute with chuck roast. Chuck often has more fat than brisket and fat equals flavor and tenderness, so when you cut into it there should be no resistance and the meat will melt like butter! Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 28 2014

The Glamorous Housewife’s Guide to Hosting Shabbat Dinner

By at 11:42 am

mom

Ever tried hosting your own Shabbat dinner and felt a touch… overwhelmed? Bethany from The Glamorous Housewife is here to help with her new series on Kveller.

Hi there! My name is Bethany Herwegh and I am The Glamorous Housewife. I am thrilled to be starting a new series here on Kveller regarding all things Shabbat dinner. I started making Shabbat meals about nine years ago and I now host about 35-40 meals per year. So though I am not a chef, I do know a few things about cooking and hostessing a dinner party, and I would like to share that knowledge with you.

Once a month I will be laying out an easy and tasty dinner meal based on seasonal products that are geared for the unskilled at-home cook. I know how intimidating it can be to have people over for dinner, especially if you are not experienced around the kitchen, but I think I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I would like to teach you so you too can enjoy all that Shabbat dinner has to offer.

I am starting with a simple winter meal with big bold flavors but not much effort. The main dish is maple dijon chicken with fresh rosemary and is supported by roasted brussels sprouts with a garlic dipping sauce, mashed potatoes, a roasted squash salad, and for dessert, a raspberry and chocolate trifle. Read the rest of this entry →

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