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5 New Products for a New Year
Friday, September 19, 2014

From authentic French puff pastry to tahini like you find in a Jerusalem market, creative new kosher products to try in the coming year.

South of the Border Jewish Cooking
Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Celebrate Latin American Jewish cuisine with me on Sunday, September 14th.

Radishes and a Jewish Food Festival
Friday, May 30, 2014

How I learned to appreciate the humble radish.

What to Do With Too Many Macaroons
Thursday, April 10, 2014

The ubiquitous Passover cookie is amazingly versatile and delicious in a variety of desserts.  

Einat Admony: A Modern-Day Balaboosta and Empowered Woman
Friday, March 07, 2014

Even with a delicious new cookbook and multiple restaurants, Einat Admony relishes entertaining family and friends—and has great Purim recipes too! 

Crackling Good Comfort Food
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chase away the wintry weather with griebenes, the newly trendy—and flavorful—morsels of Ashkenazi cuisine.

Sea Bass with Artichokes
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Guilt-free and good enough for guests.

THANKSGIVUKKAH
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This quirky holiday coincidence has inspired creative variations aplenty. 

Spicy, Healthy and Ethical: New Kosher Products to Enjoy
Monday, October 28, 2013

From “blond” chocolate to fair trade vanilla to parchment that eases clean up, keep these products in mind for holiday entertaining. 

Celebrating New Israeli Cuisine
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

“They say nobody comes to Israel for the food.” That’s how Janna Gur began The Book of New Israeli Cuisine back in 2008. And then she proceeded to pull the rabbit out of the hat, dazzling us with mouth-watering photos and recipes to demonstrate the incredible transformation of the Israeli food scene....more...

United Bakers Dairy Restaurant: The Place to Go in Jewish Toronto
Friday, August 23, 2013

“When I first came from New York to interview for an assistant rabbi position here, this is where they took me to see the real Jewish Toronto,” ...more...

The Go-To Summer Accessory
Thursday, June 27, 2013

Like a simple white dress and colorful jewelry, spoonfuls of flavorful yogurt seasoned with herbs and other add-ins becomes the perfect adornment for warm weather enjoyment...more...

The Many Uses of Halvah
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On my recent visit to Israel, I discovered that halvah is much more than the stuff of fond memories. It’s a varied and versatile addition to baked goods, yogurt and more.. ...more...

The Jewish Grandmother Behind a Popular Product
Wednesday, May 08, 2013

There’s a lovely Yiddish lullaby, Rozhinkes mit Mandlen (Raisins with Almonds) that my grandmother sang to me as a child. I thought of that song the first time I tasted Almondina, the toasted almond and raisin cookies somewhat reminiscent of mandel bread, but thinner, crispier and with fewer calories. ...more...

Simple, Yet Sublime: The Secrets to a Great Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Monday, April 08, 2013

"A gift from the chef," the waiter said, as he placed a finger of grilled cheese sandwich and a demitasse of cream of Portobello soup in front of me, a lagniappe before my meal was ready. I am in San Francisco, at a culinary conference, and the buttery melted cow's milk cheese in the sandwich sliver turns out to be a toma from Point Reyes and certified kosher by the Orthodox Union of San Francisco...more...

A Passover Dessert, English Style
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Recently, a friend of mine who grew up in Clacton-on-Sea, a resort town on England’s east coast, invited me over to peruse her late mother’s recipes. Among her stand-by dessert recipes for Passover were cinnamon balls, a simple cookie made only with egg whites, sugar, ground almonds and cinnamon, and something called plava, which my friend described as a light sponge cake....more...

A Savory, Creamy—and Pareve—Passover Pudding
Monday, March 11, 2013

Leeks are not only in season now; they are tied into Passover traditions, making them an ideal holiday ingredient...more...

Wonton Ravioli: A Savory Purim Surprise
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Young spinach leaves are one of the spring’s earliest gifts, which helps explain why Italian Jews eat spinach ravioli on Purim...more...

Purim Treats from Morocco
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Purim is a holiday that truly venerates wild imagination: the costumes, the Purim plays, even the story itself, which is so rife with inconsistencies, coincidences, and sudden plot twists.

And Purim food is no exception. We celebrate the holiday with an astounding number of delicacies creatively symbolizing Haman’s body parts and other attributes. Just a partial list: ears, fleas, hats, pockets, bribes, even a foot shaped from cheese pastry (often enclosing a hard-boiled egg—a particularly scrumptious bunion, perhaps?)... more...

New Products for Holiday Entertaining
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I noshed my way through the Fancy Food Show and discovered some delicious new items that are great for jazzing up holiday repasts... more...

From Germany, an Intriguing Chanukah Dessert
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

For years I had no interest in visiting Germany. I confess to a lingering fear that when seeing people there of a certain age, my mind would immediately start spinning, trying to figure out what they had been doing during the Nazi era.

The horrors and aftershocks of the war were so visceral to me as a young American-Jewish girl growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s, that when we lived in a house overlooking Reynolds Channel, Long Island, I often had nightmares of Nazis sneaking up in U-boats to take my family and me to concentration camps.

Vivid imagination aside, there was also that other Germany, of course, that I knew from the authors I adored, especially Goethe and Hesse, not to mention the tales gathered by the Grimm Brothers that inform so much of the fabric of our mythic  unconscious... more...

Be Our Guest
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jewish holidays are filled with opportunities to welcome guests. Just look at the recent fall holidays: Beginning with Rosh Hashanah lunches and dinners, continuing with break-the-fast and going on through Sukkot and Simchat Torah, there are innumerable opportunities to receive guests in your home and make them feel welcome and cosseted.

Celebrating Italian-Jewish Cuisine
Friday, August 31, 2012

Sample cucina ebraica at a September 9 panel discussion and reception in N.Y.C. and with new kosher products, including remarkable wines, kosher cheeses and—amazingly—truffle honey.

Edda Servi Machlin told a story years ago in her second volume of The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews. After emigrating from Pitigliano, as a single woman in New York she was besieged by New York Jewish bachelors. Even conceding her attractiveness, she could not account for the vast number of marriage proposals she received... more...

Friday Night Dinners—They’re Special Whether You’re Religious or Not
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Even if I hadn’t spent a wonderful, leisurely lunch meeting Bonnie Stern on a recent trip to Toronto, I’d feel I know her personally and quite well, too.

That’s because I devoured her book, Friday Night Dinners, cover to cover.

Bonnie—a noted cookbook author, food writer, and, until recently, owner of the Bonnie Stern School of Cooking, a Toronto institution for 37 years—and I had corresponded by email occasionally over the past few years, but had never met. So when I knew I’d be in Toronto in June, we set up a date for lunch, and Bonnie brought her good friend and colleague, Fran Berkoff. It was one of those fabulous meals where you find that you not only share palates (we immediately decided to split everything and the food was excellent), but as you talk, you keep discovering the many ways your life’s trajectories intersect... more...

The Blessings of Spring Greens
Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Looking through one of my cookbooks (Please to the Table: A Russian Cookbook), I was surprised to find this written by the authors, Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman: “In Russia, the appearance of the first vegetable or fruit of the season is always a major event….When eating the first fruit or vegetable of the season, or tasting one for the first time, it is customary in Russia to make a wish. It makes this joyous moment even more significant.”

Post-Passover Turkey Meatballs
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

There are some stories my husband adores telling over and over. In a disarmingly self-deprecating fashion, he recounts one of his favorites to put guests at ease when they are unfamiliar with a food or when they shyly admit, as my nephew-in-law did, that they know nothing about wine but would like to learn... more...

We Have a Winner for Our Charoset Contest!
Tuesday, April 03, 2012

I  am happy to announce Amy Kritzer’s Apple-Beet Charoset as our contest winner. Amy will receive the beautiful etched glass charoset dish from BeeDazzled Designs in Houston.

Charoset Contest
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The “model seder” sponsored by the Workmen’s Circle that I attended a couple of years ago was quite different from those at the Long Island synagogue of my youth. The beautiful, progressive service incorporated music and was conducted in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English....more...

Purim Socca
Monday, March 05, 2012

When there was nothing to snack on in our house—or even when there was—my parents often turned to the Jewish culinary staple, chickpeas. They’d drain a couple of cans of arbas (also known as nahit and garbanzos), heat them, then toss the earthy, buttery-tasting legumes with heaps of fresh-ground pepper...more...

A "Stinking Rose" for Valentine's Day
Monday, February 06, 2012

It must have been some accident of birth: a food writer born without a chocolate-loving—or even liking—gene.

So, no, there are no products of the cacao bean working their seductive charms in my house come Valentine’s Day.

I prefer instead the potent aphrodisiac Jews have relied on for centuries: way before there was Viagra, there was garlic... more...

In a Pickle
Friday, January 13, 2012

Potato chips rarely inspire me with anything--except guilt for eating way too many of them. But there were those barbeque-flavored ones that I crushed up as a luscious topping for a potato kugel.

And in a supermarket in the Charlevoix region outside of Quebec where we spent the New Year’s holidays with dear friends, I came across an unusual kind I’ve never seen in the States: Dill Pickle, or Cornichons  À L’Aneth, made by Lay’s and OU-certified kosher... more...

Bring on the Cheese
Friday, December 16, 2011

When my sister and I shared an apartment in Chelsea many years ago, we never shared our groceries when she was following her quick-weight-loss diet of choice. Known as Stillman’s, it involved only protein and fat—no carbohydrates at all.

So all the steak, lamb chops, even salami and eggs you wanted were fine, as long as you’d abstain from carrots and spinach. Coffee with heavy cream: uh huh; coffee with low-fat milk: no way. Yes to butter sauce, no to broccoli puree. Ketchup somehow had near vegetable status, though the diet predated the Reagan administration by several years.

Latina Chicken Soup in My New Kitchen
Friday, November 18, 2011

So what would I cook in my newly remodeled kitchen?

We had recently returned from a trip to Miami, where I had tagged along for a conference my husband was attending. We’d thoroughly enjoyed the speakers’ dinner we organized at Señora Martinez, the restaurant that Michelle Bernstein was in the process of opening when I first interviewed her for a Jewish Woman magazine article on Latina-Jewish Passovers a couple years ago. Michelle’s flavors were beautifully orchestrated: even a simple appetizer of fried eggplant chips was impeccably seasoned, drizzled with local tupelo honey and sprinkled with sea salt... more...

Saying Good-bye to Local Tomatoes
Monday, October 24, 2011
I’ve pretty much missed one of my favorite mini-seasons at my local greenmarket: when summer collides with fall and the winy aroma of fat Niagara and Concord grapes hangs heavy in the air. With my kitchen still under construction since mid-August and no means of cooking (no, no microwave and yes, I am that much of a Luddite), I pass by impossibly glossy eggplants and peppers—riotous displays of saturated yellow, orange, red, and amethyst; the squashes and pumpkins in fire colors plus lizard green and even smoky blue... more...
Unlocking the Lox/Smoked Salmon Mysteries
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Many North American Jews plan to break their Yom Kippur fast with lox. But then they go to their appetizing stores and buy something very different.

 

What they buy is smoked salmon. more...

Rosh Hashanah Apples
Monday, September 26, 2011

Terroir—the way climate, soil, topography, and the other unique characteristics of a region influence crops—often comes up in discussions of fine wines, teas, coffees, and lately, best-quality chocolates. But terroir can also affect the way far humbler ingredients taste: think of the russet (baking) potato from Idaho. And this is definitely true of apples as well... more...

Jewish Foods with Gourmet Creds
Thursday, September 08, 2011

Join Jayne and some of Manhattan’s most creative chefs and restaurateurs for a discussion about the inspired Jewish dishes that are turning up on their menus.

While gefilte fish isn’t quite the new sushi, around Jewish holidays these days you might find it prepared with spices from Kerala at an Indian restaurant or Veracruz-style at a Mexican one. For as readers of Beyond Brisket know signature Jewish foods and reimagined classics have been making their way into the culinary mainstream... more...

Discovering Fresh Corn Kugel
Monday, August 29, 2011

For years, corn sliced off the cob brought up some rather unpretty memories.

First, there was the year I had to eat my corn that way because my orthodontist attached yet another set of silvery squares to my already heavy-metal braces. And that, of course, always reminded me of Neil, my seventh grade nemesis, who hounded me daily with the brilliant words of wisdom, “Every time you smile, U.S. Steel goes up 30 points.” (Well, U.S. Steel and I have both radically changed since those days.) ...more...

Beat the Heat With Delectable Paletas—Mexican Popsicles
Monday, August 08, 2011

Fany Gerson’s sheer passion for Mexican sweets was enough to seduce me. Even though my own sweet tooth has been called underdeveloped, my disdain for chocolate and sugary treats even labeled un-American by friends, I had been looking forward to Fany’s book, My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats, ever since I interviewed her for a Passover story in Jewish Woman magazine on Latina-Jewish cuisine....more...

Kosher Paris
Monday, July 18, 2011

Nearly forty years ago, my sister Sami and I began our “grand European tour” in Paris, like so many American before us. Using our savings, $500 that Grandma Rebecca had left each of us, and a Student/Youth Eurail Pass that afforded us unlimited first-class train travel, we spent a few autumn months traveling throughout France, Switzerland, Italy (including Sicily). Ah, youth! And ah! the former glory—and buying power--of the U.S. dollar! more....

A Light, Tangy Summer Supper or Lunch: Scrambled Eggs with Rhubarb and a Yogurt Drink
Monday, June 20, 2011

It just may be in the DNA. After all, so many Jews seem to have a taste for the tangy and the sour. On the Ashkenazi side, there are sorrel-flavored schav, sour pickles, sour cream, dishes made with buttermilk, and so on. Sephardim make use of sour apricots and plums, tamarind, pomegranate molasses, and more. And of course, there’s the sweet-and-sour thread that runs through both... more...

For Shavuot, an Exotic Persian Yogurt Soup
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Salts from various seas, honeys, assorted vinegars and oils, teas, dried mushrooms, nuts and condiments galore—it’s impossible for me to resist buying food souvenirs on trips away from home.

Yes, even though I could find nearly everything—and often have—in my own backyard, New York City. That exquisite pistachio oil from a tiny French mill sold at its outlet in Paris? I later discovered an identical bottle in the back of Kalustyan’s in Manhattan... more...

Leftover Matzoh? I’m Serving Mine with Cocktails
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

About this time every year, I am staring at several boxes of leftover, unopened matzoh and wondering “what was I thinking?” Standing right out in the open—yes, taking up valuable real estate on the counter because there’s no more room in my cramped Manhattan kitchen cabinets—they do mock my primal Jewish fear of not having more than enough... more...

Post-Passover Pasta
Monday, May 02, 2011

Yes, I do love superior breads and excellent, thin-crusted pizza. A bowl of slow-cooked, steel-cut oatmeal, fluffy couscous, crepes and their cousins...more...

For the Seder, a Riff: Chicken and Artichokes with 36 Cloves of Garlic
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sometimes I think that the real Fifth Question at the Seder is not “when do we eat,” but “why on this night do we always eat brisket?” Like many other families, we often have brisket on both the first night at my sister’s house and the second night at mine. Fortunately, because there are many of us at table on each night, the brisket is one of at least two main dishes...more...

Classic Chicken Soup
Monday, April 04, 2011

I’m not much of a make-ahead cook. My freezer is usually filled with nuts, packages of green peas and artichoke hearts, chicken fat waiting to be rendered, vodka, ice, ice packs, and the occasional leftover.

But even with a few 36-hour-day cooking marathons just before the Seder, I cannot prepare the from-scratch Seder I host on the second night without some advance work. (In the first place, the day of the first Seder, I am cooking all day at my sister’s house for the Seder she hosts; since she is Orthodox, I cannot prepare anything at my house to take to her Seder.) more...

A Hamantaschen Filling with a History
Friday, April 01, 2011

Purim means “lots,” and the description of the holiday as The Feast of Lots reveals typical Jewish irony: Haman drew lots to choose the day the Jews of Persia would be eliminated.

Faced with so many delicious filling entries in our hamantaschen contest, we decided to choose the winner by drawing lots too—or in this case, drawing the name from our “most” favorites... more...

Purim Recap: Our readers’ filling suggestions and preferences ran the gamut from traditional prune to multi-cultural—hamantaschen as mini-pizza.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

By now the costumes and masks have been put away and, though lucky pastry lovers may still be savoring the few hamantaschen remaining in their cookie jars during the next few days, the last of these Purim treats have been baked. So while you may not still be baking, we decided to announce the winner of The Great Hamantaschen Filling contest on April 1st to give those of you who have been working out your recipes during the holiday enough time to submit them to us...more...

The Great Hamantaschen Challenge--What is your best filling idea?
Monday, March 07, 2011

I realized it years ago on a sweltering July morning in one of those sandwich shops/fast food joints called a deli these days but light years away from old school Jewish delicatessens. It was far from my native New York—Maine, maybe, or northern California. There, along with the oversized chocolate chip cookies and melting brownies, were fist-sized hamantaschen filled with raspberry and apricot jams... more... 

Making the Most of a Valentine’s Bouquet of Endives
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I was leaving for Japan, but I didn’t want the endives in my refrigerator to go to waste. Thus, a recipe was born--Endives with Anchovy-Garlic Bread Crumbs...more...
In Lieu of Sunshine: Fresh Orange Slices with Pomegranate Molasses and Honey
Thursday, February 10, 2011

For weeks my Greenwich Village neighborhood resembled the sooty tundra of a Soviet bloc border town in a bad, grainy movie. Not just too cold to walk out—too ugly.

It’s been a balmy 42 degrees for the past couple of days, and most of the snow is melted. But tomorrow more snow and freezing rain are forecast again.

Ugh! ...more...

Discovering French Matzot: C’est Très Chic, Le Matzoh
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When Alex and I went to Paris on a recent mother-daughter trip, much of our memorable takeaway had to do with food: glorious new combinations, recipe ideas, and ingredients gleaned from restaurant meals, markets, and local newspapers. And one was the discovery of a delicious French matzoh... more...

Indian-Jewish Fusion: Ramping up the Flavor of Jewish Classics
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A few years ago, I enjoyed a special Passover soup at Tabla, a restaurant in the stunning former MetLife Building in Manhattan overlooking Madison Square Park: chicken soup with Indian-inflected matzoh balls. more...

Kosher Fried Rice, Post-Holiday
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On Christmas night this year, we did what thousands of Jews across the country have done for decades: we ate Chinese food. The stuff of countless comedians’ schticks and YouTube videos, the practice makes perfect sense, since Chinese restaurants are one of the few that are open, and Jews, well, just want to have fun on Christmas Day too... more...


A Sparkling Winter Salad of Orange, Red Onions and Avocado
Thursday, December 16, 2010

Now in dreary December, when greens taste tired and tomatoes somnambulant, wintry fruits play fairy godmother with weary, graceless salads. Pomegranate seeds add dazzle and crunch, as do roasted pears teamed up with toasted pecans. And tangy citrus—grapefruit, oranges, kumquats, even chunks of lemon flesh—brings sparkle to a salad and a welcome foil to heavy winter menus. more...


Chanukah Rugelach: Revisiting the Traditional Jewish Pastry Yields Delicious Results
Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I think of myself as a food lover, but truthfully, the foods I love include very few desserts. So when I was asked to talk about rugelach on the Morning Living show on Martha Stewart Living Radio on Tuesday, the day before Chanukah, I was relieved. more...

Sweet Potatoes--More than a Thanksgiving Staple
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Following the lead of fancy-schmancy restaurant menus, my mother always called the sweet-fleshed orange tubers “yams.” Somehow, that name, derived from one denoting a much mealier—and completely unrelated—African vegetable more...

Jewish Cuisine in Budapest: A Sumptuous Meal to Remember at Fulemule
Friday, November 12, 2010

“It tastes like Chapstick. It’s like you rolled Chapstick all over the bread,” I’d tell my grandmother when she set a piece of corn-rye bread slathered with schmaltz (poultry fat) in front of me...more...

Report from Budapest #1: Matzoh Ball Soup
Monday, November 01, 2010

I’d been trying to figure out a way to eat at Fulemule (Nightengale) Restaurant ever since I interviewed the owner, Andras Singer, for an article I was writing about Jewish Budapest. And after reading Julie Orringer’s extraordinary first novel, The Invisible Bridge, this summer, I was eager to return to the city... more...

Making the Most of Challah Leftovers
Thursday, October 14, 2010

It’s not quite like the kitchen parade of leftover matzoh boxes after Passover, but by the end of the fall holidays, an army of half- and quarter-loaves of challah have overrun my freezer. You see, holiday and Shabbat dinners call for glorious full loaves to be blessed... more...

Exploring the Vegetarian Option
Wednesday, October 06, 2010

"What is this—a restaurant?” was a frequent refrain from my father when I was growing up, when at least once or twice a week, one of us three kids was served a different special dish at dinner. The foods that we refused to eat were simply ones we didn’t like—either the long-standing, stomach-roiling distasteful kind (tongue, for example) or a recently fallen-out-of-love variety (green beans)... more...

Stuffed Cabbage for the Time-Challenged
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Every Jewish holiday has a special taste, and for many Jews, Simchat Torah, which comes at the close of Sukkot and celebrates the ending and beginning anew of the Torah annual reading cycle, tastes like stuffed cabbage... more...


Sukkot: A Perfect Time for Entertaining
Monday, September 20, 2010

It sounds like a pre-election fundraiser on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Or a kinky scene in another Coen brothers’ flick about 1970s Jewish culture in the suburbs... more...

Tips for an Easy Yom Kippur Fast
Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Years ago, a comedian—Buddy Hackett, I think it was—revealed his mother’s strategy for coping with the Yom Kippur fast: fill up on her Magic Matzoh Balls, specially made so that they time-released as needed into the digestive tract... more...


Tomatoes and Nectarines: Bringing Out the Best in Each Other
Friday, September 03, 2010

Like most food lovers, I look for edible souvenirs on vacation: locally made products, such as Maine mustard, or special ingredients, like Mexican vanilla beans or Sicilian pistachios. I overload my suitcase with fruits and vegetables that I can’t find at their peak or in variety in the Northeast: purple figs, baby artichokes, golden pomegranates... more...

Start the Year with Artisanal Honey
Monday, August 23, 2010

Yes, a few brown crackly leaves have already fallen on my block. But for me, late August has always been the time to think about fresh starts and beginning anew... more...

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