Paula Wolfert Eats to Remember
By Adeena Sussman for Hadassah Magazine
The cruelest irony of Paula Wolfert’s Alzheimer’s disease is that her 79 years have been marked by enough unforgettable experiences to fill five lifetimes. While not a household name, Wolfert was the globetrotting culinary adventurer largely responsible for bringing couscous and other Middle Eastern staples to American kitchens. Today, she finds herself in a race against the clock to document decades packed end to end with indelible memories.
Enter Emily Kaiser Thelin, who stepped up to become her mentor’s memory keeper. Thelin first met Wolfert in 2008 while on assignment for Food & Wine magazine in Morocco. Together, the two women wound their way through Marrakesh’s ancient marketplace.
Savory Sufganiyot Offer a Different Taste of Hanukkah
By Dana Kessler for Tablet Magazine
Forget the strawberry filling or the sugary toppings. These savory pastries are stuffed with meat, or fish, or cheese. And they make everything else taste like kids’ stuff.
For Jews in America, where latkes rule, sufganiyot are mediocre, unimaginative jelly doughnuts that appear as an afterthought every Hanukkah. In Israel, however, sufganiyot are a huge deal, and bakeries everywhere stock up: Everywhere you look in Israel, you see a huge variety of sufganiyot in bakery windows—and every year retailers add new flavors, which get more elaborate with each year that passes.
At the Roladin chain of bakeries, for instance, you’ll find sufganiyot with names like Cream Cheese Pavlova (filled with vanilla-flavored Italian mascarpone cream cheese and topped with white chocolate, meringue bites, blueberries, and a little test tube filled with a raspberry-crème de cassis liqueur chaser) or St. Honoré, paying homage to the famous French cake (filled with caramel-flavored mascarpone cream cheese and topped with caramel, chocolate lace, chantilly cream, and profiteroles).
Kiftes - A Macedonian specialty
This recipe is highlighted in our Hanukkah Guide. Find more articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
By Joan Nathan for Tablet Magazine
Made with lamb and leeks, savory ‘kiftes’ bring a taste of Macedonia to your holiday table
In Macedonia—both the Balkan state and the northern section of Greece—leeks grow as plentifully as onions, so there are many leek dishes from this region. In particular, Jews from Macedonia wax nostalgic about leek kofta, as these patties are known locally, made with lamb, beef, or potatoes and cheese.
As I was researching recipes for my forthcoming book King Solomon’s Table, Tablet’s editor in chief, Alana Newhouse, gave me permission to tamper with the traditional recipe for “kiftes” or “kiftes de prasa” made by her maternal grandmother, who came from Monastir (now Bitola), Macedonia. I didn’t have to change much. Roasting the leeks at a high heat instead of boiling them, as Alana’s grandmother would have done, and adding a bit of spice made all the difference in bringing out the flavor.
Tunisian Spiced Squash Soup
By Shannon Sarna for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com
Butternut squash, pumpkin, butternut squash, pumpkin…after awhile, all that squash and pumpkin kind of looks and tastes the same. Which is why I came up with this slight variation on a classic butternut squash soup: same roasted butternut squash, but with a Middle Eastern twist.
And I must give credit where it is due. While I am pretty picky about my cookbooks, especially kosher cookbooks, I do love Saffron Shores which inspired this soup recipe.
Better Than Falafel? Israel's Sabich Sandwich Has My Vote
DANIEL GRITZER for seriouseats.com
I'm convinced that one of the world's greatest sandwiches comes from the Middle East. And I am most certainly not talking about falafel. My obsession is the sabich, a pita sandwich stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, hummus, tahini sauce, and Israeli salad and pickles. To me, it's not even a contest.
I've never really understood the fascination with falafel. In theory, I should love it—chickpeas are my favorite beans, and deep-fried...well, I love deep-fried so much that I'm now using it as a noun. But falafel has yet to win me over, with even the moistest versions way drier and more crumbly than I want. Pack it inside starchy pita, and...I just don't get it.*