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Y’all will like this new cookbook

 
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Just in time for summer cooking and entertaining — and thinking ahead for the early onset of the High Holy Days (Rosh HaShanah is Sept. 9), here’s a taste of “Simply Southern — With a Dash of Kosher Soul.” Tracy Rapp and Dena Wruble are the editors of the book, a fund-raiser for the Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South (formerly the Memphis Hebrew Academy) in Memphis, Tenn. The book showcases “traditional kosher recipes turned Southern and traditional Southern recipes turned kosher.” Cooks can learn about Jewish life in the South through personal stories of some of the contributors and color photographs accompany many of the Jewish “soul food” recipes.

The book is a compilation of almost 300 Southern cuisine “classic” recipes, adhering to kashrut, chosen from 1,500 entries by the book’s editorial committee at the school, a small Orthodox day school. More than 2,500 copies have been sold since the book’s release in December.

The hard-covered, spiral-bound book is available at bookstores, Judaica shops, including the Judaica House in Teaneck, and online at http://www.simplysoutherncookbook.net.

Here’s a nice summer choice, perhaps even for a Shabbat lunch if you are serving meat. I am sure you could substitute chicken or maybe firm tofu instead of steak.

Molasses Marinated Meat Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing

Meat and marinade

1/2 cup molasses

1/4 cup coarse grain mustard

1-2 lb. skirt steak

Blend molasses and mustard. Pour over steak. Marinate for two hours or overnight. Grill or broil to desired degree of doneness. Cut steak into thin slices.

Dressing

1 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. dry mustard

2 tbsp. chopped onion

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. poppy seeds

Whisk together oil, sugar, mustard, onion, vinegar, salt, and poppy seeds until smooth.

Salad

1-2 packages Bibb, romaine, or iceberg lettuce

1 cucumber, diced

1 cup cubed mango

1 red onion, chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Sliced apples

Arrange lettuce, cucumber, mango, red onion, and cranberries on platter. Place meat slices over salad. Drizzle dressing over all. Garnish with sliced apples.

Yield: four servings

Carmelized Onions
and Pecan Green Beans

(Two savory delights from the garden in one easy dish!)

2 pounds green beans

4 tbsp. margarine

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Bring pot of water to boil. Add green beans and cook five minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water. Green beans will be al dente. Melt margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté pecans about five minutes until toasted. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon. Add onion to skillet. Cook and stir 15 minutes until caramel-colored. Stir in sugar. Return pecans and add green beans. Add salt and pepper. Cook five more minutes.

Mississippi Mud Brownies

(We’ve been told by someone who grew up in the South that this is a typical Southern dessert. Bring your sweet tooth to dinner!)

1 cup chopped pecans

2 sticks butter or margarine

1 (4-oz.) semi-sweet chocolate baking bar, chopped

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 tsp. salt

1 (7-oz.) jar marshmallow fluff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake 8-10 minutes until toasted and fragrant. Place butter or margarine and chocolate in a large glass bowl. Microwave on high power 1 minute, stirring at 30-second intervals or until smooth. Whisk in sugar, flour, cocoa, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Pour batter into a greased 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and spread marshmallow fluff on top.

Chocolate Frosting

1 stick butter or margarine

1/3 cup milk or soymilk

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar

I tsp. vanilla

Melt butter or margarine in a saucepan. Whisk in milk and cocoa. Bring to boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Gradually add powdered sugar, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Immediately drizzle frosting over warm brownies. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.

Yield: 16 servings

 
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Stay tuned for the return of comments

 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s ‘lower guilt’ latkes

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz — South Florida congresswoman, chair of the Democratic National Committee, mother of three school-age children — is also, apparently, something of maven in the kitchen. Ms. Wasserman Schultz (aka @cleancookingcongresswoman) maintains an Instagram account devoted to her culinary adventures, and was tweeting over the weekend about, what else, latkes.

“Was flipping through old recipes and came across this — only 3 days to Hanukkah and more of these!” she tweeted, along with a photo of golden brown potato pancakes.

Getting latkes just right can present something of a challenge: forget to squeeze the water out of the potatoes and you’re likely to get a patty that’s heavier than it is crispy; fail to flip at precisely the right time, and the product may be more burnt than golden.

 

The Dreydl

I liked him more than any of my friends in kheder or in town. I adored Benny because he was the best looking, smartest, and cleverest of the boys. He was loyal and generous to me and always took my part. Benny was also the oldest boy in our group as well as the richest boy in kheder.

Benny was a chubby, freckle-faced fellow with yellow prickly hair, bulging white cheeks, gap teeth, popping fisheyes where a shrewd smile always lurked. The minute we met—during my first day in kheder—we became fast friends.

I got my first glimpse of the rebbe when my mother brought me to his kheder. A man with thick brows and a pointy skullcap, he was studying Genesis with all his pupils. Without the slightest hesitation the rebbe told me: “Move to that bench over there—between those two boys.”

I squeezed in between the boys and was immediately accepted.

 

Music hath charms to soothe December Dilemma

Hillel Kuttler

PHILADELPHIA — In text accompanying a new exhibition at this city’s National Museum of American Jewish History, Sammy Davis Jr. is quoted on why he converted to Judaism.

“I became a Jew because I was ready and willing to understand the plight of a people who fought for thousands of years for a homeland,” the late entertainer said.

What immediately follows is a curator’s observation: “Davis knew that becoming a Jew also meant recording Christmas songs.”

The comment, while somewhat facetious, has a ring of truth to it: Some of the most popular Christmas tunes were written and/or sung by American Jews — notably the children of immigrants, like Irving Berlin, who composed the iconic “White Christmas,” or in Davis’ case, new to Judaism.

It also encapsulates the theme of the exhibition, which carries a provocative title — “’Twas the Night Before Hanukkah.”

 

RECENTLYADDED

Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s ‘lower guilt’ latkes

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz — South Florida congresswoman, chair of the Democratic National Committee, mother of three school-age children — is also, apparently, something of maven in the kitchen. Ms. Wasserman Schultz (aka @cleancookingcongresswoman) maintains an Instagram account devoted to her culinary adventures, and was tweeting over the weekend about, what else, latkes.

“Was flipping through old recipes and came across this — only 3 days to Hanukkah and more of these!” she tweeted, along with a photo of golden brown potato pancakes.

Getting latkes just right can present something of a challenge: forget to squeeze the water out of the potatoes and you’re likely to get a patty that’s heavier than it is crispy; fail to flip at precisely the right time, and the product may be more burnt than golden.

 

The Dreydl

I liked him more than any of my friends in kheder or in town. I adored Benny because he was the best looking, smartest, and cleverest of the boys. He was loyal and generous to me and always took my part. Benny was also the oldest boy in our group as well as the richest boy in kheder.

Benny was a chubby, freckle-faced fellow with yellow prickly hair, bulging white cheeks, gap teeth, popping fisheyes where a shrewd smile always lurked. The minute we met—during my first day in kheder—we became fast friends.

I got my first glimpse of the rebbe when my mother brought me to his kheder. A man with thick brows and a pointy skullcap, he was studying Genesis with all his pupils. Without the slightest hesitation the rebbe told me: “Move to that bench over there—between those two boys.”

I squeezed in between the boys and was immediately accepted.

 

Music hath charms to soothe December Dilemma

Hillel Kuttler

PHILADELPHIA — In text accompanying a new exhibition at this city’s National Museum of American Jewish History, Sammy Davis Jr. is quoted on why he converted to Judaism.

“I became a Jew because I was ready and willing to understand the plight of a people who fought for thousands of years for a homeland,” the late entertainer said.

What immediately follows is a curator’s observation: “Davis knew that becoming a Jew also meant recording Christmas songs.”

The comment, while somewhat facetious, has a ring of truth to it: Some of the most popular Christmas tunes were written and/or sung by American Jews — notably the children of immigrants, like Irving Berlin, who composed the iconic “White Christmas,” or in Davis’ case, new to Judaism.

It also encapsulates the theme of the exhibition, which carries a provocative title — “’Twas the Night Before Hanukkah.”

 
 
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