November 22, 2007
Chanukah menu dishes up a travelogue of treats
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Fry them a few at a time in the hot oil until puffed and golden brown on both sides. Transfer to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm.
Makes about eight or nine dozen.
Chicken Liver Nut Bars
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds chicken livers (prepared according to kosher dietary laws)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Roasted chopped hazelnuts
In a large, heavy skillet, heat olive oil and saute the onion until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add the livers to the skillet with additional olive oil if needed, and saute, turning the livers on both sides, until lightly browned. (Do not overcook.) Add the balsamic vinegar and simmer three to four minutes.
Spoon the chicken livers with the onions and eggs into a meat grinder and grind into a large bowl or chop in a wooden bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Shape into bars, insert a wooden stick in the bottom and dip in hazelnuts. Cover and refridgerate. Serve with balsamic vinegar.
Makes about 24 bars.
Baked Eggplant Onion-Tomato Sauce
1 large eggplant, unpeeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the onion-tomato sauce and set aside. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into half-inch-thick slices. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil on both sides, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on an nonstick, oiled baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake five minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
Brush the bottom of a 7-by-11-inch or 8-by-10-inch baking sheet with olive oil and spoon a little of the sauce in the bottom. Place a layer of the sliced eggplant over the sauce and spoon additional sauce over eggplant slices. Repeat, ending with sauce. You should have two or three layers of eggplant.
Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on top of the sauce and transfer to a preheated oven. Bake covered for 15 minutes, uncover and bake another 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced and eggplant is tender. Remove from the oven and serve.
Makes four to six servings.
This sauce keeps for one week in a refrigerator or up to four months in a freezer.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, 1/4-inch diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 carrot, finely diced
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes, diced
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a three-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until soft and light golden brown, about six to eight minutes. Add the carrot and rosemary and cook five minutes more, until the carrot is soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often.
Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until thick. (If tomatoes are still in chunks use a potato masher for a smoother sauce.) Season with salt and pepper.
Makes about two cups.
Cartellate (Italian Wine Cookies)
Cartellate are little wheels of dough, pinched to look like flowers, which are fried and dipped or drizzled with wine cotto (a thick wine-honey syrup) and allowed to dry.
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup warm sweet white wine
1/2 cup honey
Pistachio nuts, optional
4 cups olive oil
In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add olive oil and warm wine and mix until the dough comes together (add additional wine if needed). Transfer to a floured board and knead until smooth. Cover in plastic wrap to keep from drying out. Using a pasta machine, knead dough and refrigerate until ready to use.
Form rosettes by putting small pieces of dough through the roller of a pasta machine until smooth (or place dough on a floured board and using a rolling pin, roll out to a 12-inch long piece.
Using a ruffled pastry wheel, cut dough into strips 12 inches long and one inch wide. Pinch each strip at one-inch intervals and beginning at one end roll up like a snail or rosette. Place each pastry on a towel to dry a little.
In a large heavy pot, heat olive oil to 350 degrees and fry rosettes until golden; drain on paper towels.
In a small saucepan, add wine and honey and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half. Dip the fried Cartellate in this syrup, or drizzle the syrup onto the pastry. Sprinkle with toasted pistachio nuts, optional.
Makes about two dozen.
Star Sandwich Cookies
One morning while having cappuccino at a coffee bar in the south of Italy, I discovered another delicacy. As I gazed at their display of delicious pastries, what caught my eye was a six-pointed star cookie sandwich filled with chocolate frosting. I learned that the dough was rolled out, cut into stars, baked covered with a chocolate filling and topped with another star cookie. Remember to make extra cookies for everyone to take home to enjoy during the Chanukah celebration.
1 cup unsalted nondairy margarine