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Welcome to Spike's & Jamie's "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection Archives"!!  Here we store all the back issues of the original "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection" and of the "Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection". These newsletters were written by Spike (Jann McCormick) and published by Jamie from 2000 until Spike's death in 2008.  Spike loved to cook and share her cooking with those she loved.  Sharing her recipes was the next best thing.

[Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipes]  [Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection]

(¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·-> Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection 43<-·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯)

April 15, 2005
from: Spike's and Jamie's Recipe Collection

Many of these recipes have not yet been added to the recipe web site - so you are getting a "sneak peek" of future additions. We hope you
enjoy these recipes!!!

Shalom, from Spike the Grate and Jamie the Webmistress


[] Happy Tax Day to all of our American readers! []

[]April 23, 2005 is the first day of Passover. Here is a handful of Passover recipes for your enlightenment and enjoyment. They will be posted on our website as Disk 498.[]



1 whole (3-4 pounds) Empire chicken (the best - but any fresh chicken
will do)
1 medium turnip quartered
2 leeks white part only cleaned thoroughly and quartered
1 small rutabaga quartered
3 ribs of celery with leaves halved
12 parsley stems
2 large carrots quartered
2 large onions quartered
8 peppercorns crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Kosher or coarse salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean the chicken and discard giblets or any other presents you've been given in the cavity. Salt the entire chicken inside and out liberally with kosher or coarse salt. Let chicken stand for 35 minutes. Wash salt from chicken and place in a medium to large stockpot. Cover chicken with all the other ingredients except salt and pepper. Cover with 4 or 5 quarts of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, occasionally skimming the foam from the top. Remove the chicken to a large platter when it is still firm and not falling apart. Remove the meat from the chicken and save for sandwiches (no bread during Passover!) and salads. Then take the bones and return them to the pot and simmer for one more hour. Strain the soup into a large bowl and discard everything in the strainer. Refrigerate long enough to allow hardened fat to form on surface, then simply remove the fat. Bring back up to heat with salt and pepper to taste.

Hint: You can add more vegetables at this point or start the process again for a really rich broth. That's the way Chinese chicken stock is prepared sometimes using as many as six or eight chickens.



4 pounds asparagus
4 tablespoons melted parve margarine
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Matzo Crumble
4 tablespoons pareve margarine
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 cups matzo meal
1/2 teaspoon salt

To cook asparagus: Cut off the woody stems of asparagus, leaving spears about 6-inches long. If stalks are thick, peel with a vegetable peeler, pulling from stem end toward tip. (Thin spears do not need peeling.) Separate into bundles of 6 to 8 spears each with tips pointing in the same direction. Tie with string.

In a large skillet, bring 1-inch salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until tender, 3 to 6 minutes after water comes to a boil. Timing depends on size and age of spears. Remove bundles, cut string and run asparagus until cold water to stop the cooking. Blot with paper towels. (Asparagus may be refrigerated overnight wrapped in paper towels. Bring to room temperature before reheating.

To make crumble: In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat margarine and oil on HIGH (100 percent) one minute or until margarine is melted. Stir in garlic, lemon juice, green onions, matzo meal, and salt. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH (100 percent) 6 to 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until dry and crisp. (Crumble may be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature.)

Before serving: Arrange cooked asparagus on microwave-safe platter. Sprinkle with salt. Cover with waxed paper and microwave on HIGH (100 percent) 2 to 4 minutes or until heated through. Heat margarine and lemon juice until melted. Drizzle over asparagus. Sprinkle crumble across the center.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.


Serves 12

5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 ounce dried yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)*

Place 3 cups of the flour in a large mixing bowl, making a well in the middle.

Dissolve the yeast mixed with the 2 tablespoons of the sugar in the warm water.

Pour yeast mixture into the well and add 1 cup of the sugar and the salt. Mix together thoroughly.

Melt 1/2 cup of the butter in the milk, remove it from the heat, and stir in the oil. Add the butter mixture to the flour, a little at a time, alternating with the eggs.

Beat in another 2 or 3 cups of flour (or more if needed) until mixture is not sticky.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth.

Lightly oil a large bowl, and roll the ball of dough around until all sides are covered with a little oil. Place a kitchen towel over the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down and place on the counter or a pastry board. Cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 parts and roll each part out into a rectangle about 12 inches long by 8 inches wide and 1/8-inch thick. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter. Brush rectangles with melted butter and sprinkle them with the 1/2 cup sugar mixed with the cinnamon, nuts, raisins, and chocolate chips, if desired.

Roll each rectangle up the long way (like a jelly roll) and place in a greased Bundt or 10 or 12-inch angel food cake pan. Cover with a towel and let dough rise again until doubled in size, 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Brush the top of the babka with the egg wash and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

*The egg mixture gives the babka a crispy crust. For a softer crust use melted butter instead of the egg mixture.


Makes 11

3½ cups bread flour
1 envelope “fast action” dried yeast
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil, plus a drop more to grease the dough
About ½ cup lukewarm water
1 egg white to glaze

In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar well. Then mix in the egg and the oil and add the water gradually, working it in with your hand-enough to make a soft dough that holds together in a ball. Add more water if necessary, or more flour if it is too sticky.

Turn the dough out and knead on a floured board for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is very smooth and elastic. Grease the dough all over by putting a drop of oil in the bowl and rolling the dough around in it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 1½ hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch the dough down and knead again briefly. An easy way of shaping the bagels into rings is to roll out the dough to a rectangle about 1 inch (2½ cm) thick and cut it into 11 equal strips with a pointed knife. Roll each strip between your palms into a rope about 7 inches (18 cm) long and ½ inch (1½ cm) thick and bring the ends together, pinching them to seal and form a bracelet. Place the rings on an oiled surface, and let them rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Bring plenty of water to a boil in a wide pan, then lower the heat to medium. Slip in 4 bagels at a time. Boil them for 1 to 2 minutes, turning them over once as they rise to the top. Then lift them out quickly with a slotted spoon and place them on a cloth to dry. Do the same with the rest of the bagels. Arrange on oiled baking sheets, brush with egg white, and bake in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until nicely browned.

Sprinkle the bagels lightly with poppy or sesame seeds, fried onion, or coarse salt before baking.

Another way of shaping the bread is to roll it into small balls, make a hole in the middle, and widen it by pulling the ring from the center. If you want to make the bagels in the old way, without the egg, you will simply need to add a little more warm water to bind the flour.



1/2 cup Crisco or other shortening
4 unsweetened baking chocolate squares (4 ounces)
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup matzoh cake flour
3/4 cup fruit preserves (cherry or raspberry)
2 teaspoons Kirsch or Slivovitz (plum brandy)

Grease and dust with unsweetened cocoa a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a double boiler melt the shortening and unsweetened chocolate together and let cool slightly.

With a mixer beat the eggs and sugar until thick. Add the chocolate mixture followed by the matzoh flour and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Blend together the kirsch and preserves. Drop by spoonfuls over the batter (do not stir in). Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Cut into 24 equal pieces.

Yield: 24 bars



For the Pancakes
1 cup flour
1-1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup water
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil plus more for greasing the pan

For the Filling
1 lb cottage cheese
1/2 lb cream cheese
1/2 cup or more sugar, to taste
Zest of 1-1/2 lemons
3 egg yolks
A few drops of vanilla extract (optional)
3/4 cup currants or raisins soaked in a little rum for 1/2 hour
2-3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Confectioners' sugar to sprinkle on (optional)
2 teaspoons cinnamon to sprinkle on (optional)
Sour cream to pass around

Add the milk and water to the flour gradually, beating vigorously. Add the egg, salt, and oil and beat the batter until smooth. Leave to rest for 1-2 hours.

Heat a preferably nonstick frying pan--with a bottom not wider than 8 inches (20 cm)--and grease very slightly with oil. Pour about half the pan around until its entire surface is covered with batter. The batter and the resulting pancake should be thin. As soon as the pancake is slightly browned and detached, turn it over with a spatula and cook a moment only on the other side. Continue until all the batter is used and put the pancakes in a pile.

For the filling, blend the curd and cream cheese with the sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks, and vanilla, if you like, in a food processor. Then stir in the raisins, if using.

Take each pancake, 1 at a time, put 2 heaping tablespoons of filling on the bottom half, fold the edge of the pancake over the filling, tuck in the sides so that it is trapped, and roll up into a slim roll. Place the rolls side by side in a greased oven dish. Sprinkle with butter and bake, in a preheated 375 F (190 C) oven for 20 minutes.

Serve hot, dusted with confectioners' sugar and cinnamon, if you like, and pass the sour cream for people to help themselves if they want to.

Variations: For an apple filling: Peel and core 2 lbs (1 kg) apples. Steam in a pan with the lid on and only a drop of water. Then puree and sweeten with sugar to taste, and add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a few gratings of nutmeg.

For a cherry filling: Pit 2 lbs (1 kg) cherries and steam them in a pan with the lid on. Some mix this with 1/2 cup (75 g) ground almonds and 2 or 3 drops of almond extract.


Serves 6

2 lbs raw beets
A little salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
6 peeled boiled potatoes (optional)
1 cup sour cream to pass around

Peel the beets and dice them. If they are young, that is easy to do. If they are old and too hard to dice, simply cut them in half and, when they have softened with boiling, lift them out, cut them up, and put them back in the pan. Put the beets in a pan with 9 cups of water and salt and pepper and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.

Let the soup cool, then chill, covered, in the refrigerator. Add the lemon and sugar to taste before serving (these could be added when the soup is hot, but it is more difficult to determine the intensity of the flavoring). Remove some of the beet pieces with a slotted spoon if it seems like there are too many of them and keep them for a salad.

Serve, if you like, with a boiled potato, putting one in each plate. Pass around the sour cream for all to help themselves.

When the soup is served with meat to follow, and the sour cream cannot be added, it is usual to thicken it with two egg yolks. Beat them in a bowl, add a little of the boiling soup, beat well, and pour into the pan, beating all the time. Take off the heat at once, before the soup curdles.

There are dozens of different Russian and Ukrainian borschts. These are rich hot soups made with a number of ingredients, including meat, cabbage and potatoes, carrots, onions, celery and parsnips, sometimes spinach or sorrel, tomatoes or mushrooms, leeks, dried beans, apples, and dried fruit. The common ingredient, which gives them their name and their color, is beets.


Serves 8

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs

6 eggs, separated
1 pound cream cheese
1 pound sour cream
1 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 300. Grease the sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan.

Melt the butter and combine with the graham cracker crumbs. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Save some crumbs.

Combine the egg yolks, cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and flour. Beat very well until light and fluffy.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle with the remaining graham cracker crumbs.

Bake 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave cake in the oven 1 additional hour. Then leave the oven door ajar 30 minutes more.


Serves 6

2 lbs fatty beef—brisket, breast, or rib
3 tablespoons light vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
3 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
2 marrow bones (optional)
2 lbs potatoes, peeled, whole if small, quartered if medium
½ lb dried white haricot or butter beans, soaked for an hour
½ cup pearl barley (optional)
Salt and pepper

In a large heavy pot or casserole with a tightly fitting lid, brown the meat in the oil. Remove it, and fry the onions until soft. Add the garlic and fry until the aroma rises. Return the meat to the pot, add the marrow bones, and arrange the potatoes, beans, and barley around it, sprinkling each layer with salt and pepper.

Cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove the scum, then put the lid on and leave in the lowest oven (225 degrees F) overnight. Remove the lid at the table, so that everyone can get the first whiff of the appetizing smell which emanates.

Two marrow bones (ask the butcher to slice them for you) add a wonderful rich flavor and texture.
Use 1¼ cups kasha instead of the beans and barley.
Some people put onion skins on top of the stew to give a more pronounced brown color.
Flavor with 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
Hungarians and Alsatians add smoked or preserved goose.

Accompaniments To Cholent Which Are Placed In The Stew Pot Before Cooking:

For a cholent knaidlach (dumpling) also referred to as “cholent kugel” (pudding), work 4 tablespoons finely chopped chicken fat into 1 cup (150g) flour with your hands, add 1 egg, 2 tablespoons grated onion, salt and pepper, and if you like 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley or 1 teaspoon paprika. Add a little water if the dough is too dry, or a little flour if it is too sticky. Roll into a fat oval loaf or ball and place on top of the other ingredients in the stew. When serving, cut in slices.

For a matzo knaidlach, beat 2 eggs with salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons rendered chicken fat and mix in 1 1/3 cups (175 g) medium matzo meal. Form into a ball and put on top of the other ingredients in the pot. When serving, cut in slices.



Apple Layer:
5 large apples, sliced thin
6 dried apricot halves, coarsely minced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup matzoh cake meal
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
Pinch salt
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sugar

Toss apples with sugar and cinnamon. Set apples and apricots aside.

In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, matzoh meal and oil. Blend until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with pinch of salt until stiff and glossy. Loosen batter with generous dollop of egg whites, then fold remaining egg whites into batter.

Spoon half of batter into greased 9-inch spring-form pan. Arrange apples on top. Dot with minced apricot and cover with remaining batter. Batter will be thick and sticky; don't worry about spreading it evenly.

Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over cake batter. Bake 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


Moroccan Cholent
Serves 6 To 8

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 to 6 garlic cloves
2 cans (15 ounces each) chick­peas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 beef bones with marrow
3 pounds brisket or chuck roast, cut into 4 pieces
3 pounds small potatoes
2 or 3 sweet potatoes cut into chunks
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground pepper
4 to 6 large eggs

Preheat oven to 225°F.

In a large pot, heat the oil and sauté the onions and garlic until soft and translucent. Add the chickpeas, bones, meat, potatoes, honey, paprika, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Add enough water to cover, place the unshelled eggs in the center, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for 1 hour. Skim off the foam occasionally. Cover the pot tightly, place in the oven, and cook overnight, or cook on low on the stove for 5 to 6 hours, or until meat is tender and done.

In the morning, after cooking all night, check the water level. If there is too much water, turn the oven up to 250°F or 300°F, cover, and continue cooking. [If cooking over Shabbat, traditionally observant Jews would refrain from changing the heat level, for doing so would run counter to Sabbath laws against manipulating flame and cooking.] If there is no water, add another cup, cover, and continue cooking.

To serve, place the chickpeas and cooking liquid in one bowl, and the eggs, potatoes, and meat in separate bowls.


Makes 10 “Roses” (This dessert is similar to the Greek Diples)

5 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
vegetable oil for deep-frying

For the Syrup:
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon orange flower water
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the baking soda and 2 1/2 cups of flour, mixing well to form a firm dough. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.

Sprinkle a little flour over a work surface or pastry board and the rolling pin. Separate the dough into 5 pieces and roll out each piece in paper-thin strips.

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan.

Cut the large strips into strips two-inches wide and about 12-inches long, and prick the dough with a fork. Carefully begin wrap­ping the strip around the prong of a wide two-prong fork while frying it. This forms a "rose." Keep rolling (or coiling) it around itself as it fries and fry until lightly browned. Remove from the oil and drain in paper-towel lined colander.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Prepare the syrup by combining the sugar, 1 1/2 cups of water, lemon juice, orange-flower water, and vanilla together in a pan. Just cover the mixture with water and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes to thicken the syrup. Stir and remove from the heat.

Use immediately or set aside for later use.

Dip the debla into the heated syrup, soaking it well, and drain in a colander. If the syrup becomes too thick, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of warm water.

Place the debla on a platter and serve.


Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 cups shelled hazelnuts
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
4 tablespoons buckwheat honey or other dark honey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
6 (1 1/2 inch thick) veal chops
ground white pepper

Preheat oven to broil.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the nuts, garlic and shallot until finely minced. Add in the honey and pulse to make a paste. Stir in the chopped chives. Set aside.

Season the veal chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the veal chops on a baking tray 6 inches from the heat and broil 5 minutes per side.

Spread a layer of the honey paste over the top side of each veal chop. Place crust side up on the baking tray.

Return the tray, uncovered, to the oven on the rack furthest from the heat. Broil for 10 minutes longer, checking to make sure the honey crust is not burning. Garnish with chopped chives.


Makes 8 servings

Lamb Kabobs:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh curly parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 pounds boneless lamb cubes
cherry tomatoes
1 medium red onion, cubed

Eggplant Purée:
2 large purple eggplants
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons tahini

In a large mixing bowl or zip lock bag, combine the onion, garlic, thyme, mint, parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin, paprika and olive oil. Mix to combine. Add in the lamb cubes and mix again to evenly distribute the spice mixture with the lamb.

Cover or seal and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Meanwhile prepare the eggplant purée. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

With the skin intact, cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Make diamond shaped slash marks on the cut surface of the eggplants. Place them cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour or until soft.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place the garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander and tahini. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scoop the flesh out of the shells and place into the food processor bowl. Discard the eggplant skin.

Purée the mixture. Add salt to taste. The purée can be served room temperature or warm, so feel free to make it a few days in advance and keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Remove lamb from spice mixture, leaving some of the onions and spices to adhere to the lamb. Place the lamb on skewers, alternating with tomatoes and red onion cubes.

Place the kabobs on a hot oiled grill or in a hot grill pan, lightly coated with olive oil. Grill for a total of 8 to 10 minutes, turning to cook all sides, until lamb is done. It should still be slightly pink inside.

You can broil them in your oven as well, turning every three minutes until done, for a total of 10 minutes. Serve with eggplant purée.



4 eggs
1/2 cup club soda
2 Tbsp vegetable oil or chicken fat (schmaltz)
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup ground almonds or walnuts
1 tsp of almond or walnut oil
4 or 5 scrapes of freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup matzo meal

Whisk the eggs until blended. Now add the club soda, oil or schmaltz, salt and pepper. Easy on the salt, you can always add but you can never take away. Blend in the parsley almonds or walnuts, almond or walnut oil, nutmeg and matzo meal. Cover and refrigerate this mixture for about 1 hour. Bring about 5 quarts of water to boil. Rub vegetable oil on hands and form balls with about two tablespoons of mixture. Drop in boiling water and simmer covered and don't peek (okay, maybe once or twice) for about 25 to 35 minutes.



4 eggs
1/2 cup club soda
3 Tbsp vegetable oil or chicken fat (schmaltz)
2 Tbs[ finely chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup matzo meal

Whisk the eggs until blended. Now add the club soda, oil or schmaltz, salt and pepper. Easy on the salt, you can always add but you can never take away. Blend in the parsley and matzo meal. Cover and refrigerate this mixture for about 1 hour. Bring about 5 quarts of water to boil. Rub vegetable oil on hands and form balls with about two tablespoons of mixture. Drop in boiling water and simmer covered and don't peek (okay, maybe once or twice) for about 25 to 35 minutes. Serve in Absolute Best Passover Chicken Broth. Yield: about 12 to 15 matzo balls


Meat or Parve, Makes 10 to 12 servings

1 large onion, chopped into 1/2 inch dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 sweet potatoes (3 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
3/4 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth (veggie broth makes it parve)
2 cups canned chick peas, also known as garbanzo beans, drained
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Place the onions and garlic into a large pot with 1/4 cup water. Cook, covered, over low heat until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes, adding more water as necessary to prevent scorching.

Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon, curry, cumin, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, eggplant and broth. Raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

Add garbanzo beans and tomatoes, and simmer, covered, until sweet potatoes are tender, about 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.


(Fruit & Nut Fritters)

3 matzahs, soaked and squeezed very dry
2 tablespoons currants
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
2 tablespoons chopped dried apricots
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup matzah meal
1/3 cup sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Kosher-for-Passover vegetable oil for frying

Mix together the matzahs, currants, almonds, apricots, egg yolks, matzah meal, sugar, lemon rind, and lemon juice.

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold into the matzah mixture, adding matzah meal to make the mixture hold together.

Using an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat about 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees F. Drop the mixture by tablespoons and brown a few minutes on each side until they are crisp. Cook only about three at a time. Drain well on paper. Serve at room temperature or crisped up in the oven. The fritters are especially delicious with stewed prunes with orange juice as an accompaniment, if desired.

Note: You can make these in the morning, drain on paper, leave out all day, and crisp in the oven just before serving.


Parve or Dairy, Serves 14
In the winter, when these fruits are no longer in season, substitute a combination of Macintosh and Granny Smith apples with fresh or frozen blueberries.

4 to 5 large ripe peaches (2 pounds), peeled (see note), pitted and
10 ounces blueberries
10 ounces raspberries, can be combination of red and black raspberries
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold margarine, or butter, cut into 16 pieces (butter makes it dairy)

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spray 14 (1/2 cup) ramekins, 7 (1 cup ramekins) or 1 large (4 quart) baking dish, any shape, with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange on the prepared sheet to avoid oven spills and for ease in removing from oven.

Place the peaches, blueberries and raspberries into a large bowl. Toss with lemon juice, sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. Combine. Transfer to prepared ramekins or baking dish.

Bake fruit for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

While fruit is baking, prepare the topping. Whisk 1 1/4 cups flour with brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add in margarine or butter. Rub in with fingertips until small moist clumps form. Sprinkle generously and evenly over the hot fruit. Return to oven and bake until crisp and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Serve warm or room temperature. Can be re-warmed if made in advance.

Note: To find a ripe peach look for well-colored fruit that yields slightly when pressed. Sniff the bottom, not the stem end of your peach; if it is very fragrant it is ripe. If it has little or no aroma, it is not.

To peel, cut a small x into the bottom of each peach. Drop into a pot of boiling water for 45 to 60 seconds. Run under cold water and slip the skins off with your fingertips.


Parve, Makes 50 to 60 truffles

1 1/4 cup firmly packed sweetened flaked coconut, divided
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 medium pineapple, ripe
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
4 large egg yolks

In a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, process 1/4 cup coconut with 1/4 cup sugar. Remove to a bowl or zip lock bag. Set aside.

Cut the pineapple out of the shell. Discard core and cut the flesh into chunks. Purée pineapple in blender or food processor. Transfer the puréed pineapple to a medium pot. Mix in 1 cup coconut, 1/2 cup sugar, and the confectioner’s sugar.

Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until all of the liquid evaporates, about 30 to 35 minutes, stirring often to make sure the mixture is not browning on the bottom. If the mixture is starting to brown, lower heat slightly and stir more often.

The mixture will turn a dark golden color. Turn off the heat.

Remove 1/2 cup of the pineapple mixture and mix it into the egg yolks to temper them. Add the tempered yolks into the pot and mix back on heat until dry and pulling away from the sides of the pot, about 5 minutes.

Place the pot in the freezer and chill completely.

Remove the pineapple mixture from the freezer. Using a tiny melon baller or 1/4 teaspoon measure, make balls. Roll in the coconut/sugar that was blended in the first step. If the truffles get too sticky to roll, place the mixture back into the freezer for a few minutes.

Place on parchment lined baking sheets and place into freezer. Once frozen, remove and store in an airtight container in single layers separated by parchment paper. Return truffles to freezer.

Serve right from the freezer or place in little paper candy cups or on a platter 10 minutes before serving.


Serves 15 To 20 (About 4 Dozen Pastries)

Sambussak Cheese Filling
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 cups coarsely grated kashkevalle cheese or mix half Parmesan and half

Bastel Meat Filling
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups finely chopped yellow onions
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 pound ground chuck
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several grindings of black pepper
1 cup pomegranate seeds (from about 1 large pomegranate; see note below)

Basic Pocket Dough
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour (available in natural food and Middle Eastern stores)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened to room
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt (for bastel only)
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water, if needed
Dish of sesame seeds (about 1/4 cup)

Prepare the sambussak filling. Pour the beaten eggs into a bowl. Add the baking powder and grated cheese(s) and mix well.

Prepare the bastel filling. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet for about 30 seconds over high heat. Cook the onions, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring, until the onions are golden. Add the meat and brown, mashing with a fork, until it loses its redness. Add the cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper and cook for another 1 minute. Take off the heat and let cool to room temperature. Mix in the pomegranate seeds and set filling aside to prepare dough.

Prepare the dough. Put the all-purpose flour, semolina, softened butter, baking powder, and salt (if making bastel) in a large bowl. Mix by squeezing everything between the tips of your fingers. The dough should be soft and moist (sprinkle with the ice water if the dough is too dry to work).

Preheat the oven to 350°F if you intend to bake the pastries (you can also freeze the pastries and bake at a later date).

Form the dough into small balls 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working with one ball of dough at a time, press one side into the sesame seeds until well coated.

Lightly flour a wooden work surface. Place the ball on the surface, sesame seed side down. Flatten it gently with your palm. Using the bottom of a lightly floured round glass or rolling pin, form a circle 2 1/2 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. Place a teaspoon of filling (cheese or meat) in the center of the dough circle.

Fold one side of the dough over until the edges meet. Press the edges together all around to firmly seal. This will form a half-moon shape (diagram C).

Using your thumb, gently press around the edges to "plump" the filling toward the center (this will help each pastry puff up a bit when it bakes).

There are two methods of decorating the edges: The traditional edging, which gives each pastry a fancy "braid" look, is created by starting at one end of the dough, pinching it between thumb and forefinger, and then gently twisting the dough inward (diagram D).

If this is too difficult, you can flute the edges with the tines of a fork (diagram E).

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes on an ungreased baking sheet. When done, the edges should be lightly golden but not brown and the tops should stay on the light side. (If the pastries are baked too long, the filling will dry out.) Serve warm, which is preferable, or at room temperature.

To freeze either bastel or sambussak, place the uncooked pastries between layers of wax paper in a tightly sealed plastic container (the pastries will last about 2 months in the freezer). Defrost and bake in a preheated 350°F oven until the outside is flaky.

Note: To remove the seeds from a pomegranate, cut one into quarters. Holding one piece of the fruit at a time, use your fingers to gently dislodge the small red seeds into a large bowl.


Serves 4 To 6

2 1/2 cups dried split red lentils
10 cups cold water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 to 2 teaspoons minced garlic, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour dissolved in 3 tablespoons
cold water
Lemon wedges (1 to 2 per person)

Submerge the lentils in a medium-size bowl filled with cold water. Pick out small rocks and skim off any dirt or old shells that float to the surface. Drain.

Put the drained lentils in a 5-quart saucepan or kettle, add the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add the salt and mix well. Continue to simmer until the soup becomes fairly thick, like pea soup, an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the garlic, cumin, and coriander.

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat and add the garlic mixture. Brown the mixture until the garlic and oil turn into a yellow sauce, about 30 seconds (make sure not to cook the garlic over high heat; it burns easily). Remove from the heat and set aside.

Add the dissolved flour to the soup. Simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. (May be frozen for up to 1 month at this point or refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. When reheating, it may be necessary to add water, as the soup thickens upon cooling.)

Taste the soup for salt. Serve very hot accompanied by lemon wedges, which are squeezed, several drops at a time, into each spoonful of soup as it is eaten.

By Jennifer Felicia Abadi
Reprinted with permission from A Fistful of Lentils (Harvard Common Press).

Kubbeh, or kibbeh, is the noun based on the Arabic verb "to form into a ball or circular shape." Kibbeh nabilseeyah is bulgur wheat fashioned into a torpedo shape, stuffed, and then fried in oil; it is one of the hardest Syrian appetizers to prepare. Its reputation for difficulty is so widespread that it makes even the best cooks irrationally nervous! A special appetizer for a gala occasion, these "torpedoes" require time and patience. But when you're rewarded with blissful sighs as each guest bites through the crisp, cumin-scented crust into the aromatic filling, you'll be glad you went the extra mile.

To add an authentic touch, serve with fresh lemon wedges; the juice should be squeezed onto each bite until the torpedo disappears. Add pomegranate seeds to the meat mixture and you'll pass as a native. If doing these pastries scares you off (as it did Grandma Fritzie) but you still want to impress your guests, try the "alternative" bulgur wheat pie [see variations]. Follow the same basic guidelines below when stuffing and frying the dough for all three variations. SERVES 20 (3 1/2 TO 4 DOZEN KIBBEH)

Beef Filling
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 tablespoons if using pomegranate seeds)
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1 pound ground chuck
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several grindings of black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts or seeds from 1 pomegranates

Turkey Filling
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup pine nuts

Potato-Spinach Filling
3 medium-size white potatoes (about 2 pounds; any kind)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
3 cups finely chopped spinach
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
Several grindings of black pepper

Basic Bulgur Dough
3 cups fine-grain bulgur wheat (you must use fine-grain and not anything
coarser or the
dough will turn to mush)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
5 tablespoons cold water

To Fry And Serve
1 to 2 cups vegetable oil
Lemon wedges

If preparing the potato-spinach filling, rinse unwashed leaves thoroughly in cold water to get out all of the dirt (you may want to rinse 2 to 3 times). Dry well in a salad spinner or use paper towels to squeeze out excess water. Chop finely, discarding the stems. Set aside.

If preparing the beef or turkey filling, heat 2 (for the beef filling) or 3 (for the turkey filling) tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet and cook the onions, stirring, over medium heat until golden and soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground beef or turkey and stir constantly with a fork until the meat loses its red or pink color, about 10 minutes. Cover and cook for 5 additional minutes. Add the spices, salt, pepper, and water (for the turkey filling) and mix well. Continue to cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, mashing with a fork. Remove from the heat. If using pine nuts, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and brown, shaking the skillet a few times, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove when just beginning to turn brown (be careful not to burn, as they will cook quickly). Add the pine nuts or pomegranate seeds to the meat mixture and mix gently. Set aside.

If preparing the potato-spinach filling, peel the potatoes (they're easier to peel if you don't wash them). Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peeled potatoes and continue to boil until very soft, 35 to 40 minutes (test with a fork after 30 minutes). Drain well. Place the boiled potatoes and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large bowl and press with a large masher or fork into soft and smooth mashed potatoes. Set aside. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet and cook the onions, stirring, over medium heat until golden and soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the spinach, one handful at a time, and toss to coat with the onions and oil. When all of spinach has been added and mixed, cover and let steam over low heat until the spinach is cooked down and wet in texture, about 10 minutes. Add the coriander, salt, and pepper and mix again. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl with the mashed potatoes. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Set aside.

Prepare the bulgur dough. Place the bulgur in a large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water. Place the rinsed bulgur in a large bowl. Add the flour, oil, salt, cumin, and paprika and mix well by squeezing the mixture with your hands to distribute the spices evenly. Add the water and knead the bulgur by hand to form a dough-like consistency.

Shape the kibbeh. Keep a dish of cold water at hand as you work. Wet your palm and place a small amount of the dough, about the size of a golf ball, in it. Roll it into the shape of a 3-inch-long torpedo or sausage.

Holding the dough in one hand, make an indentation (with the index finger of your opposite hand) in one end of the torpedo to create a tube, open on only one end. Remember to keep your palm and fingers moist with cold water as you work, diligently smoothing out any cracks or holes that occur along the way.

Stuff each shell with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the filling of your choice. Gently seal the open end of the torpedo by pinching it closed. Set on a large platter or baking sheet and continue to shape and fill all the torpedoes in the same fashion. (May be frozen at this point between layers of wax paper in a tightly sealed plastic container. When ready to serve, deep-fry without defrosting. Will keep in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.)

In a small saucepan, heat 1 to 2 cups of oil (there should be enough oil to completely submerge a torpedo) over high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Deep-fry 2 to 3 torpedoes at a time until they are brown and crisp, but not black. Use a spoon to gently turn each one so that the shell fries evenly.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer each fried torpedo to a plate covered with 2 sheets of paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Repeat with the remaining torpedoes.

Serve the torpedoes immediately or hold in a warm oven until they're all done. Serve on a platter with lemon wedges.

You can also make an easier and healthier version of the kibbeh in an 8-inch square baking pan. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Spread the filling over the dough, then place the remaining dough on top. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until the top is brown and crispy, 20 to 30 minutes. Cut into diamonds and eat hot.

If you have leftover meat filling once you have stuffed all of the meat-filled torpedoes, refrigerate it and use it as a delicious sandwich filling in warm pita bread for lunch the next day.

If you have leftover bulgur dough, you can make what the Syrians call eras. Form the dough into small pancakes and deep-fry them. They are delicious served with a wedge of lemon and can be put out on the same platter as the kibbeh nabilseeyah.


Parve, Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
3 cups shredded green cabbage (1/2 small head)
1/2 cup grated or shredded carrots (about 1 carrot)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries, like Craisins
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon roasted or toasted sesame oil
zest from 1 lime
juice from 2 limes
1 jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds discarded, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
black and white sesame seeds for garnish

In a large bowl, toss the red cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, scallions, red onion, almonds and cranberries. Toss to combine. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, with an immersion blender, combine the canola oil, sesame oil, lime zest, lime juice, jalapeño pepper, salt and pepper. Blend until emulsified. Pour the dressing over the salad. Mix to combine.

Garnish with the sesame seeds. Allow the flavors to mingle for at least 1/2 hour before serving.


Chag Sameach,

from Spike and Jamie


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