On a Saturday evening in downtown Los Angeles, as the somewhat surreal hush started to descend on Broadway following the weekend daytime hustle, diners gathered around an open kitchen at Umamicatessen, the flagship outpost of the reigning champ of nouveau burger chains.
This year, Chanukah and Thanksgiving coincide: Chanukah is celebrated for eight days by candle-lighting, gift exchanges and eating foods fried in oil, an ancient custom, commemorating a miraculous event at the Temple in Jerusalem, while the Thanksgiving meal reminds us of our American heritage.
It took a lot of stress and hard work to come up with this hassle-free turkey. Don’t think I didn’t personally slave just because I say it’s the easiest ever.
On Yom Kippur, after the day’s hard spiritual work is done, the break-the-fast meal poses its own challenges. An upside: No one is terribly picky about what they’re taking in after 24 hours of fasting.
My son Paul and his wife, Amber, were the original baby boomers, graduating from college in the ’80s, getting married and raising four children.
When I lived in Jerusalem in the 1970s, working as foreign press attaché for Teddy Kollek, the legendary mayor of Jerusalem, we would seek out good food in East Jerusalem’s restaurants. The best ones in West Jerusalem were mostly for tourists, ersatz Italian or French or hotel restaurants that were known for their boiled chicken and Eastern European, overcooked Jewish food. As Henry Kissinger, on a trip to the city, said, “In a country with 2 1/2 million Jewish mothers, you’d think the food would be better.”
Gone are the days when the Chanukah holiday meant an eight-day binge fest of all things fried.
Thanksgiving is a holiday when American-Jewish families can enjoy the best of both heritages — hearty American food and an occasion to give thanks for their blessings. Food has always been the center of the holiday celebration, and I like to plan an old-fashioned farmhouse menu for the holiday.
Now that the states of Colorado and Washington have legalized the recreational use and commercial sale of marijuana for its residents 21 years or older, there are all sorts of way to get creative in incorporating the new legal substance with Jewish edibles. Here's a recipe for Happy Chulent that one seasoned "cook" shared with the JTA -- he guarantees it will uplift your Shabbat spirits.
When my boys were younger we had hot cider for them and the neighborhood kids after a hard day playing in the leaves. Now that my kids are out of the house and all I’m doing all the raking (yeah, right) I’ve decided to invite other “parents of children too old to do the chores we don’t want to do” over to share stores of epic piles of laundry that engendered shock and awe to all that beheld them.
This is a very flavorful dish using Chinese ingredients. I prepare it in advance and just reheat. I like to serve this with Parsnip and Potato Purée (page 126), White Bean and Potato Purée (page 131) or Vegetable Medley, Asian Style (page 121).
Once upon a time in a land before Starbucks there existed this stuff we call coffee. Not half fat mocha late skinny with frappo organic raw sugar and a twist of Madagascar kumquat syrup or a Free range micro tannic free Sumatran upside down turbo tea.
There’s a certain bittersweetness to the festival of Sukkot. On the one hand, it’s z’man simchateinu, the season of our rejoicing: In ancient Israel, it marked the end of the harvest season, the time when the storehouses were full of sustenance for the coming agricultural year, the time of thanksgiving. We celebrate that today with wonderful meals for friends and family in our own sukkahs — a time of warmth, conviviality, plenty.
So this is where it all comes together — all the thought, all the planning, the testing. And the tasting, the tasting, the tasting. (That’s the best part). A simanim-inspired menu brings added challenges, but it also adds a level of meaning to your Rosh Hashanah meal. Simanim — literally it means signs or indicators — are meant to point the way to improved circumstances.
Considering the history of the Jewish people, the fact that Jews are still celebrating the High Holy Days today is a miracle in itself. Strong traditions and lasting rituals have enabled Jews to survive the most threatening periods of history. With the freedoms we have as modern American Jews, it makes sense that we use these same traditions and rituals to enjoy holidays to the fullest. As a chef and registered foodie, the best way I know to relish in the upcoming holidays is by making really delicious food.
It was only after I got married that I realized fruit salad and yogurt do not a dinner make — at least not for Hubby. Now, I happen to love a really good salad, but Hubby doesn’t really take to those single-girl-I-use-my-oven-for-storage-recipes from my repertoire.
Passover may be the mother of all kitchen yontifs — but stay cool, and don’t stress. Here are some of my favorite recipes from last Passover that you will love this Passover and all year.
Award-winning pastry chef Chris Hanmer doesn’t let a little matzah meal scare him. Hanmer, who, in 2011, came in first in the second season of “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” has been pastry chef at catered Passover programs at Ritz-Carlton hotels in Lake Las Vegas, Nev., and Naples, Fla.
Do women and food always have to be locked in a complicated, co-dependent relationship? Not if Shimona Tzukernik and Miriam Wiener have anything to say about it.
I’ve been searching for a doughnut with two main requirement. 1. It has to taste good even an hour after I fry it. 2. It had to be easy, so that I don’t need to pull out my mixer.
A mural of shadowy black silhouettes covers the wall with just one splash of color: a solitary red man. As the jazz-era-style mural stretches along the length of the restaurant, it follows the red man as he meets a lone red woman, and they end up sharing a table ... and a drink. The painted walls illustrate the overall theme of The Rack, an eclectic Woodland Hills eatery designed with the kind of intimate atmosphere that makes it an ideal meeting place.