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December 1, 2010December 1, 2010  0 comments  B'tayavon

Sweet glorious Hanukkah.  Who wouldn't love a holiday that requires you to eat fried food?  The normally forbidden donut or French fry is all the sudden--for eight glorious days--the food of the righteous.  I can assure you that I remember the Hanukkah miracle better when I really really concentrate on that first bite into a Krispy Kreme donut.  I can't say if the holiday requires me to also eat it with icing and sprinkles but a girl has to take certain liberties.

1 medium sweet potato, peeled
1 medium yukon potato, peeled
1 ½ tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying

1) Grate the potatoes using a cheese grater.  Be sure to grate the potatoes lengthwise so the strands are nice and long.  Toss the shredded potatoes together and place them in a clean dish towel or cheesecloth. 
2) Hold the towel over a sink to ring out all of the extra liquid from the potatoes.  Let the potatoes sit in the towel for 10 additional minutes and then ring them out again.
3) In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients.  Stir in the potato shreds and 2 eggs. 
4) Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Spoon ¼ cup of mixture into the hot oil and press down slightly. 
5) Cook latkes about two minutes on each side.  They should be just golden.
6) To keep the first batch of latkes warm while you cook the remaining batches you can place them in an oven preheated to 200 degrees F.

Shelley Neese is managing editor of The Jerusalem Connection, a Christian Zionist website with all the latest news from a Biblical perspective.

Tags: recipe hannukah food 

December 1, 2010December 1, 2010  0 comments  B'tayavon

In June 2000 I married my college sweetheart. We had a big wedding in Moss Bluff, Louisiana at the church my father pastored for thirty years. Three weeks later-barely getting the "just married" scribble off our car-we packed everything we could in four check-in suitcases and moved to Beer Sheva, Israel. We lived there for three and a half years doing graduate work at Ben Gurion University.

Before Israel, this small-town Southern girl had never so much as touched a cutting board or peeled an onion. I learned quickly, however, that student loans and eating out don't go together. So learn to cook I did! I never left a Shabbat dinner without a new recipe which I would take to the grocery store with Hebrew dictionary in hand. Those first trips took me several hours as I deciphered how to say things in Hebrew like buttermilk and baking soda. In the end, food is what taught me Hebrew and our stomachs fell in love with Israel.

Now my family lives in Texas where Israeli cooking is hard to come by. It's up to me to keep those culinary traditions alive. And it is these recipes that make me feel close to Israel still. They are well loved and they show it; large sections are often illegible because of stains from splashed olive oil or smeared paprika. In an effort to preserve them, I typed them up and now I've decided to share them with you. I will be adding new recipes on a regular basis so check back.

So if you are hankering for some comfort food-Mediterranean style-you have come to the right place. As they say in Hebrew, B'tayavon!

Shelley Neese is managing editor of The Jerusalem Connection, a Christian Zionist website with all the latest news from a Biblical perspective.

May 14, 2012May 14, 2012  0 comments  B'tayavon

"Um, What is a Kugel?" When I first asked this question at a Sabbath dinner, it was like I had just stamped the letters "G-E-N-T-I-L-E" on my forehead.

As it turns out, kugels are as common in a Jewish Ashkenazi kitchen as jambalaya is in my Louisiana home. Kugels are baked puddings, usually with egg noodles or potatoes as the base. Their eggs give them a custardy essence and they are usually served as a side dish for Sabbath lunches. Besides those commonalities, no two kugel recipes are alike. They can be savory or sweet; parve or dairy; fruit based or vegetable based. Over the next few weeks I'll be rolling out my various kugel recipes but feel free to search the vast array of kugel recipes there are out there.

1 pound flat egg noodles
8 tblsp unsalted butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
5 eggs
2 cups sour cream
1 ½ cups milk
2 cups cottage cheese
1 tblsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1 cup of dried fruit (optional)
2 cups cornflakes, crushed
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1) Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9×13 baking pan (or even slightly larger).
2) Cook the egg noodles in salted boiling water until they are al dente. Toss noodles in 4 tblsp butter.
3) With an electric mixer, beat on low the cream cheese, sugar, and 4 tblsp butter until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time while mixer is going. Mix in the sour cream, milk, cottage cheese, vanilla, and salt.
4) Using a large spoon, add the noodles to the batter and fold them into the egg mixture. If adding dried fruit, now is the time to stir that in as well.
5) Pour the kugel into the greased baking pan.
6) For the topping, combine the cornflakes, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the kugel.
7) Bake for one hour. The top should be golden brown and the sides pulling away from the pan. Let cool slightly before serving.

*Recipe by Shelley Neese, vice president of The Jerusalem Connection. Click here for her articles and videos.


Tags: recipe b'tayavon food 

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B'tayavon: A collection of recipes shared during many a Shabbat dinner in Israel.



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