B'tayavon: Jerusalem artichoke soup

B'tayavon: Jerusalem artichoke soup

*You’ll just have to trust me that Jerusalem artichokes taste much better than they look. Ingredients 2 medium onions, chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 and 1/2 pounds Jerusalem Artichokes, scrubbed and quartered 4 cups chicken broth juice of 1/2 lemon salt, pepper to taste Directions 1) Slowly saute onion in olive oil for 20 minutes. 2) Add garlic and artichokes and saute on high for 5 more minutes. 3) Add chicken broth, salt and pepper. 4) Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes. 5) Remove from heat. Add lemon juice. 6) Puree. *Recipe by Shelley Neese, vice president of The Jerusalem Connection. Click here for her articles and videos. Share...
B'tayavon: Purim Hamantashen

B'tayavon: Purim Hamantashen

Ingredients 5 cups flour, sifted 1 cup sugar 1 cup oil 4 eggs 2 teaspoons baking powder pinch of salt 1/4 cup orange juice Filling: any flavor pie filling, preserves, jam Directions 1) Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. 2) Refrigerate the dough for several hours. 3) Roll out the dough on floured pastry board. 4) Cut out circles onto baking sheets and fill with a spoonfull of filling. 5) Pinch the corners together to make the traditional Hamantashen shape. 6) Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. *Recipe by Shelley Neese, vice president of The Jerusalem Connection. Click here for her articles and videos. Share...
B'tayavon: Challah French Toast with Mango

B'tayavon: Challah French Toast with Mango

*Every Shabbat I buy too much challah, on purpose. The reason: leftover challah bread makes the best French toast you will ever put in your mouth! I Ingredients 6 large eggs 3/4 cup milk 3/4 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 2 tablespoons butter, divided 8 (1-inch-thick) slices challah bread 3 cups mangos, chopped 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon orange juice 5 tablespoons water Directions 1) In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. 2) Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip challah slices in egg mixture, turning to coat thoroughly. Let the slices sit for 3 minutes before shaking off any excess. 3) Cook challah slices in a single layer on skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining butter, challah and egg mixture. Transfer french toast to plates. 4) In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the mangoes, butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, and water. Stir until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and serve over French toast. 4) Transfer French toast to plates and top with mango sauce or syrup or both. *Recipe by Shelley Neese, vice president of The Jerusalem Connection. Click here for her articles and videos. Share...
B'tayavon: Perfect brownies

B'tayavon: Perfect brownies

*I realize that brownies are by no means a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean tradition. I’m not even going to feign a connection. However, I feel compelled to share with you this brownie recipe from my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. Brownies and pecan pie are my go to desert for company and so I’m always looking for ways to improve either recipe. You don’t get any better chocolaty goodness than this. Ingredients 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt ¾ teaspoon baking powder 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces 2 ¼ cups sugar 4 large eggs 1 tablespoons vanilla 1 cup toasted pecans (optional) Directions 1) Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a cake pan. 2) In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. 3) Put the chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat the chocolate on high for 45 seconds and stir. Heat again for 30 seconds and stir. Continue at 15 second intervals until chocolate and butter are completely smooth. Be sure chocolate does not burn. 4) Whisk in the sugar and then eggs. Whisk in vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and stir carefully until the batter is smooth. Add nuts. 5) Spoon the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Cook for 30-35 minutes. Let brownies completely cool before cutting. *Recipe by Shelley Neese, vice president of The Jerusalem Connection. Click here for her articles and videos. Share...
B’tayavon: Chipotle chickpea soup

B’tayavon: Chipotle chickpea soup

Ingredients 2 16 ounces cans cooked chickpeas, drained 1 tablespoon olive oil salt and pepper 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1/4 cup unsalted butter 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup onion, diced 1 tablespoon flour 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 2 cups water 2 smoked chipotle peppers in adobo sauce from can, diced 1 (14.5 ounces) can fire roasted tomatoes, pureed or diced Directions 1) Drizzle one cup of chickpeas with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread them evenly on a cookie sheet. In a 400 degree oven, roast the chickpeas for 25-30 minutes. They should be slightly crunchy when finished. Set aside for garnish. 2) In a large skillet toast the cumin seeds until fragrant. Set aside. 3) In the same pan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and onion. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add coriander and flour and cook one minute longer. 4) Add canned tomatoes, chipotle peppers, and toasted cumin seeds. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 5) Add remaining chickpeas and two cups of water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 6) Garnish with roasted chickpeas. *Recipe by Shelley Neese, the vice president of The Jerusalem Connection. Click here for her articles and videos. Share...
B'tayavon: Hamantashen

B'tayavon: Hamantashen

*The hamantashen is the classic purim cookie, served in every classroom party across Israel. In theory, the idea of the cookie is a little gross. The cookie’s three-cornered shape represents Haman’s clipped ears. Move past the fact that a poppy-seed filling seems like the ear hair (YIKES) and these cookies are a wonderful treat and a fun activity for Purim. Hint: If you don’t have time to make this cookie dough you can use store bought sugar cookie dough and filling…the trick is just making the triangle cookie. Ingredients 4 cups Flour 3 easpoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup Sugar 1/3 cup oil 1/3 cup vegetable shortening 3 eggs 1/2 cup Orange juice 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1 egg for glazing Suggested fillings: A can of poppy seed filling is the traditional filling but you can use any filling like nutella, prune butter, strawberry jam, apricot preserves, cherry or blueberry pie filling. Directions 1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease your cookie sheet. 2) Sift all the dry ingredients togther. 3) In a seperate bowl cream the sugar, oil and shortening. Stir in 3 eggs, one at a time, vanilla, and the orange juice. 4) Add dry ingredients. Mix well. 5) Roll dough into a ball and refrigerate for one hour so it is easier to roll out. 6) Divide the dough into four parts. 7) Roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface. 8) With the rim of a glass or cookie cutter cut the dough into 3 inch circles. Place the circles on the cookie sheet. 9) Place less than a teaspoon of the...
B'tayavon: Rasberry squares

B'tayavon: Rasberry squares

Ingredients 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 ¼ cups quick cooking oats 1/3 cup sugar 1/3 cup light brown sugar ¼ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup chopped pecans 1 and ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 cup rasberry preserves Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square pan. 2. With an electric mixer, mix the flour, oats, sugars, baking soda, salt, and nuts at low speed for 30 seconds. With the mixer running on low, add small pieces of the butter and continue to beat until the mixture is well blended, approximately 3 minutes. 3. Transfer two thirds of the mixture into the prepared pan. Spread the mixture evenly over the pan and press the crust down with your hands. 4. Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Spread the preserves evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture over the preserves. Bake an additional 30 minutes. 5. Let pan cool for 1 hour before cutting into squares. *Recipe by Shelley Neese, vice president of The Jerusalem Connection. Click here for her articles and videos. Share...
B'tayavon: Shakshuka

B'tayavon: Shakshuka

Ingredients 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon jalapeno, seeded and minced 2 red bell peppers, chopped 8 tomatoes, seeded and chopped 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon sugar 1 cup canned tomato juice 1/2 cup vegetable broth 4 large eggs za’atar (optional Israeli spice) pita breads Directions 1) Heat olive oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned. 2) Add garlic, jalapeno and bell peppers, and saute 2 minutes more. 3) Add fresh and canned tomatoes, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. 4) Add paprikas, turmeric, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir for 1 minute. 5) Add tomato juice and vegetable broth and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until mixture is very thick and has little liquid left, about 1 hour; stir occasionally to make sure vegetables do not stick to bottom of pan. Add salt and pepper. 6) Gently crack eggs into pan (do not break yolks). Simmer until whites solidify but yolks remain runny, about 8 minutes for runny eggs, more for cooked eggs. 7) Sprinkle with zaatar and serve with warm pita bread. *Recipe by Shelley Neese, vice president of The Jerusalem Connection. Click here for her articles and videos. Share...
B'tayavon: Banana Nut Torte

B'tayavon: Banana Nut Torte

With the close of Passover, I imagine by now you have restocked your pantry with flour, baking soda, and your other baking needs. I eat my fair share of chocolate covered matzah during Passover but I’m still ready for a nice baked desert once the season of unleavened bread is over. If you love bananas (or just have extras that are about to go bad) give this recipe a try. Ingredients 1/2 stick margarine 1 and 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 eggs plus 3 egg whites 3 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cloves 1 teaspoon allspice 2 teaspoons cinnamon 2 teaspoons baking soda 7 large bananas, mashed with fork 1 and 1/2 cup raisins 3/4 cup pecans, chopped Directions 1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease bundt pan or two loaf pans. 2) Beat margarine, sugar, and oil in mixer for 10 minutes until creamy. Add eggs to mixture. 3) In separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Stir dry ingredients to batter. 4) Add mashed bananas, raisins, and nuts to batter. Pour into pan. 5) Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. *Recipe by Shelley Neese, vice president of The Jerusalem Connection. Click here for her articles and videos. Share...