Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck #AnimalWelfare #Herbs – Saving Animals and Herbs by Dolly Aizenman


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the final post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them. I use a lot of herbs in my cooking and I love animals and the people who rescue and keep them safe….

  Saving Animals and Herbs by Dolly Aizenman

I’ve had several people ask, “What’s with fresh herbs? Why not use dry stuff that stays fresh forever?” First of all, those things don’t “stay fresh forever, ” and, unfortunately, they don’t have expiration dates. So I don’t know about you, but I don’t exactly trust products without expiration dates. Secondly – and here comes the big revelation! – I’ve been here, in the land of disposable cars and dry spices, for almost 40 years, and I still haven’t learned to use dry herbs. I know the proportions and everything, but where I come from, in those times, parsley looked and smelled like parsley, and dill like dill, rather than like minuscule wood pilings. You bought it from a village woman at the farm market, and it was organic by definition, because no one but collective farms had chemical fertilizers. Old-fashioned as I am, I enjoy the look and feel of fresh organic herbs.

In one of my previous posts, I promised to tell how to preserve them.

So here goes: Step 1. Loosen your bunch of herbs and put it in a big bowl, throw some ice cubes on top, and generously pour salt. There are no exact proportions, but the bigger the bunch, the more ice and salt you need.

Herbs 1d.jpg

Don’t worry about sodium; all this salt will wash off later. The rationale of this process is that ice makes bugs, if there are any, float to the top, and salt kills them. It will be very easy to rinse them off without going at each leaf with a magnifying glass, the way a friend of ours does both at work and at home. Granted, that’s what makes him one of the most reputable Mashgihim in town, and everybody would eat at a place he supervises, but you know what, try to use my method and then check every leaf, and you’ll see – it works!

Herbs 1c.jpg

Make sure the bowl is big enough to fit the entire bunch, including stems. Keep it pretty loose and don’t press it down. Give those bugs a chance to float to the surface. Next, pour cold water into the bowl, making sure it covers everything and no green stuff is sticking out.

Herbs 1b.jpg

You can dunk it gently, to ensure that it’s fully covered by water, but don’t press. Put the bowl on the side until ice fully melts. Don’t put it in a warm place to speed up the process; you want the temperature to keep ice cold as long as possible.

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While the ice is melting, I know you are curious about me and the zebra. I am very much into preservation of nature in every manifestation of it. I also believe that preserving is ordained during the first days of creation, and wastefulness is practically sinful. In my perception, this principle applies to every flower and every blade of grass. As my grandmother used to admonish us, “It hurts the grass if you touch it roughly.” Kal vaHomer, even more so, it applies to animals, both domesticated and those in the wild. Imagine my excitement when I found out about the Jessy Williams Ranch, right here in Miami.

Before I retired, I used to run a private school for children with special needs that my husband and I had founded some years ago. Nowadays, nobody disputes the therapeutic benefits of communing with animals, petting zoos proliferate, parents are advised to get at least some goldfish, if not a dog or a cat, so I was always looking for a place to take my students where they could love an animal or a bird and be loved by them in return. And here is this amazing place that rescues wild animals and nurses them to health, that also has chicken, cats, and dogs wondering around, being totally sweet and friendly, and – wow! – it offers horse rides to even the littlest kids and it specializes in conducting tours for children with special needs!

Of course I took the kids there! Well, I just happened to be wearing this outfit on that day, and the owner Jessy Roth went like, “You have to take a picture with Mordechai! You have to!” Ok, I am game, but who is Mordechai? Yeap, that’s the zebra, and I got to feed him. They also have a pair of lovely horses called Lucy and Dezi, and a baby panther called… Baby. I was not allowed to hold or pet Baby because she wasn’t in the mood. Florida panthers are endangered species, and baby was rescued as a small kitten.

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That’s not one of my students, as I don’t have permission to publish their photos. There is a collection of images of other kids with special needs at the ranch, and you can literally cry browsing through them.

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Everybody gets a chance to ride! Out of the wheelchair and into the saddle!

jesse-williams-ranch

I didn’t want to miss my chance, either.

horse riding

I am not riding gentle Lucy, but all horses are sweet and friendly, just as the rest of the animals. As to Baby the panther, she became a big star. She is now the official mascot of the Florida Panthers, the hockey team (hockey in Florida? No comment!), and like every star, acts moody at times. She did come out to greet us, though.

Baby the Panther.jpg

She is growing up to be a beauty! I love all animals, but cats are exceptionally beautiful. I can’t get over the two lions killed in Santiago, Chile, zoo, to save a mentally disturbed young man who stripped naked and jumped into the lion pit to commit suicide. Yes, certainly, the poor guy nebech, but what about the poor majestic gorgeous cats?

Ok, back to our herbs. Ice has melted, bugs are dead, and we have to rinse them out under running water. I learned this method from my dear friend Linda Gershater who is a cook par excellence and a sushi expert. When she does fundraising sushi events for synagogues and schools, she is authorized to be her own Mashgiah. I trust her supervision much more than the magnifying glass.

Herbs 1a.jpg

Ah, the smell of fresh mint! My husband makes a mean Mojito. What, you don’t know what a Mojito is? Where have you been, in New Jersey? You need to get on that plane and come to South Florida where, to quote our resident famous humorist Dave Barry, you can live as close to the United States as possible without actually being there. I am not giving out drink recipes. For that you need a bartender, and I am not him (he!). Fresh mint is also essential for Nana tea, for a real traditional tabouleh, for steamed spinach with corn, and many other interesting foods and drinks.

So rinse it well, drain, and squeeze excess water trying not to bruise the leaves. Spread a double-layer paper towel and distribute your herb on it in a thin layer. Gently pat dry.

Herbs 1.jpg

At this point, there is no need to separate thick stems. Turn your paper towel sideways, with herb on it, and start rolling as you would roll sushi.

Herbs 2.jpg

As you roll, keep gently squeezing excess water. The goal is to get it as dry as possible before refrigerating, but without squashing or bruising the herb. Tuck everything inside if it tries to escape. Get more paper towels if this one breaks. The roll must be tightly wrapped.

Herbs 3.jpg

First one ready, paper towel is spread for the next bunch. I usually do them three or four at the time, and it really takes minimal time and effort. While ice is melting, you can do everything else. Incidentally, I give the same ice and salt treatment to organic lettuce, but instead of rolling and wrapping, I use a salad spinner to dry it.

So that’s it. We have gone from this…

Herbs 1e.jpg

…to this,

Herbs 5.jpg

but we are not done yet. Now you refrigerate your wrapped herbs for a day or two, until they are dry to the touch. Take them out and unwrap them.

Herbs 6

I apologize for the quality of this photo. A very helpful cat nudged my elbow from under the table. He knows that he is not allowed ON the table, but he still wants to participate. You can see the freshness of cilantro leaves that stayed in the refrigerator for two days. Separate the thick stems but don’t discard them. Chop them up and save them in a Ziploc bag. They lend intense flavor and aroma to your soups, stews, and casseroles, and anyway, wastefulness is a sin. I think so, at least. Dice the leaves as fine or as course as you like them, store each herb in a separate Ziploc bag (“freezerable, as my son used to say) and label them. Make sure to squeeze all air out of the bags! For better organization, store all your herb baggies in one large Ziploc bag and freeze them. Guaranteed freshness for up to two weeks!

Exception: basil. It doesn’t lose taste, but it becomes dark and looks wilted. You can’t use it in Mozzarella Caprese like this! But even basil will hold for a few days. A word of caution: once fresh-frozen, herbs cannot stay out of the freezer for more than a few seconds. They turn watery and mushy. Take them out when you need them, put them into your food, and immediately return them to the freezer.

PROCEDURE

  1. Place a loose bunch of fresh herbs in a large bowl
  2. Put some ice cubes on top
  3. Generously pour salt (larger bunches of herb require more ice and salt)
  4. Fill bowl with cold water
  5. When ice completely melts, rinse well under running water, drain, squeeze excess water
  6. Spread on double-layered paper towel, pat dry, roll
  7. Refrigerate tightly wrapped rolls for 1 – 2 days, until herbs are dry to the touch
  8. Separate stems, dice, place in Ziploc bags, freeze

Enjoy! 

©Dolly Aizenman 2016

About Dolly Aizenman

It wasn’t easy to keep kosher in communist Russia, where I was born and lived for 27 years, until I was allowed to leave. You couldn’t go to a kosher store and buy anything, from soup to nuts, with a Hecksher (kosher certification), the way it is in the US. Here, chicken is already shechted (slaughtered) for you, and cows conveniently label their own parts as “beef for stew.” As Yakov Smirnov used to say in the eponymous TV sitcom, “What a country!” After teaching for almost 40 years, I am now semi-retired, I love to cook, and I have time on my hands to share recipes and exchange new food ideas.

My recipes are different from traditional American Jewish food in that I literally adapt recipes from “the four corners of the world” to the guidelines of kashruth (Jewish dietary laws). I invite you to explore with me, to experiment, and by all means, to get your kids involved in the magical fun of transforming this-that-and the other into something spectacular to grace your table.

Kool Kosher Kitchen

From the four corners of the world – international fusion cuisine the kosher way! Cook Indian, cook Italian, cook Chinese and Japanese, or cook traditional Jewish; make it vegetarian, pescatarean, or vegan, make it festive and nutritious, always easy to make and delicious, for holiday and every day, but above all, have fun in your kitchen and make your kitchen a fun place to be!

One of the reviews for the cookbook

A beautiful cookbook… I loved the stories running throughout and I feel that I now know Dolly the cook, her glorious telling of her family history and the history of Kosher Cooking were enchanting and I learnt much.

The excerpt from The boyhood deeds of Fionn one of my favourites being ” Light swallows dart aloft, loud melody reaches around the hill, the soft rich mast buds, the stuttering quagmire rehearses ” added to the stories which wound themselves around Dolly’s recipes.

Two of my favourites Satsivi a spicy walnut dip which I could just see myself with my sundowners enjoying and the second the Kartofel Niki sweet potatoes encasing lovely mushrooms and lightly fried sounded just awesome. This was not just a cookbook it was a lovely journey through Kosher cookery which included how to store herbs and it all just meandered through her kitchen recipe after recipe with the stories.

Dolly Aizenman is another lady like me who cannot just write a recipe and it makes the dishes come alive and you so want to just sit down and eat them. If like me you want more than just a recipe then this is the book for you and why I gave it 5 stars.

Head over and buy the book in paperback or Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Dolly-Aizenman/e/B0789FDS7W

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kool-Kosher-Kitchen-Collection-Recipes-ebook/dp/B0787F3N35

Connect to Dolly Aizenman

Website: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SoBeDolly/

My thanks to Dolly for allowing me to raid her larder.. I mean archives and share these great recipes with you… I hope you will head over and raid them too. Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck #Dessert – Kind of Purple Peach Upside Down Cake by Dolly Aizenman


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the third post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them. We recently had some amazingly sweet and juicy peaches… and so this dessert immediately caught my attention…

Dessert – Kind of Purple Peach Upside Down Cake by Dolly Aizenman

This post is dedicated to two lovely ladies: my dear blogofriend Melinda and my new friend Lilly, the sweetest peach ever to come out of Georgia, together with her adorable husband.

This beautiful song has been performed by many great artists, but it is the legendary Ray Charles’ rendition that prompted the great State of Georgia to adopt it as the official state song.

Upsdwn peach cake 1.jpg

It was Melinda, my favorite purple person, who had mentioned that she loved peach pies, and thus challenged me with a task of making it purple. Having successfully made a purple cake once (see here), I did not expect any problems, and – oh! – was I wrong! But we’ll get to that point shortly; meanwhile, I confess: I cheated by using packaged cake mix (something I do very rarely). My kitty measuring cups correspond to ingredients required to be added to the mix. Note: to keep it vegan, simply substitute aquafaba for eggs listed on the box. If you are so inclined, you can also use any gluten free cake mix or your own cake batter recipe.

Upsdwn peach cake 2.jpg

These are sweet Georgia peaches, skin bursting with juice to the extent that my husband had to be very careful not to mangle these beautiful slices, but make them uniform. Transfer them to a bowl, sprinkle some brown sugar on them, and add a splash of rum (if you are adventurous). Leave them be for a few minutes, while you grease a baking pan.

Upsdwn peach cake 3

Lay the best looking peach slices in any pattern you like on the bottom of the pan, covering the entire pan. Chop up the rest of them and put aside. The best is yet to come!

Upsdwn peach cake 4

Based on my previous “purple cake experiment,” I thought that simply using beet juice instead of water will do the trick. But you know what happens to “the best laid plans of men and mice” – as you can see, the batter came out sort of orangy hot pink. The peaches were screaming for attention, the oven was preheated, I didn’t have another box of cake mix, nor the time to make my own batter, so – sorry, Melinda! – I proceeded to dump the chopped up peaches into the cake batter and pour the whole mess on top of nicely arranged slices. Into the oven it went. While it was baking, I found this great clip from one of the best movies of all times, and was once again deeply touched by the lyrics:

Sister, we’re two of a kind… Oh sister, have I got news for you

I’m somethin’

I hope you think that you’re somethin’ too

Upsdwn peach cake 5.jpg

Dear friends and sisters, Melinda and Lilly, and all the rest of you wonderful ladies in the blogosphere, you are not only “somethin’,” you are something else! I can just flip sometimes when I read some of your stuff (especially Melinda’s Monday Memes!), but meanwhile, I flipped the cake, which came out kind of not really purple, but delicious nonetheless. I did plop a blueberry on top, in a feeble attempt to add a purple touch.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large or 5 medium ripe peaches
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix or equivalent amount of cake batter of your choice
  • Ingredients required by instructions on box
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Optional: splash of rum or any liqueur

PROCEDURE

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Mist baking pan with oil.
  2. Slice peaches into uniformly thin slices. Transfere to bowl, sprinkle brown sugar and splash rum on top. Put aside.
  3. Arrange peach slices on bottom of pan in pleasing pattern. Chop up remaining peach pieces.
  4. Mix cake batter according to instructions, replace water with beet juice, add chopped peach pieces. Pour into pan on top of arranged peach slices.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, invert.

Enjoy!

©Dolly Aizenman 2018

About Dolly Aizenman

It wasn’t easy to keep kosher in communist Russia, where I was born and lived for 27 years, until I was allowed to leave. You couldn’t go to a kosher store and buy anything, from soup to nuts, with a Hecksher (kosher certification), the way it is in the US. Here, chicken is already shechted (slaughtered) for you, and cows conveniently label their own parts as “beef for stew.” As Yakov Smirnov used to say in the eponymous TV sitcom, “What a country!” After teaching for almost 40 years, I am now semi-retired, I love to cook, and I have time on my hands to share recipes and exchange new food ideas.

My recipes are different from traditional American Jewish food in that I literally adapt recipes from “the four corners of the world” to the guidelines of kashruth (Jewish dietary laws). I invite you to explore with me, to experiment, and by all means, to get your kids involved in the magical fun of transforming this-that-and the other into something spectacular to grace your table.

Kool Kosher Kitchen

From the four corners of the world – international fusion cuisine the kosher way! Cook Indian, cook Italian, cook Chinese and Japanese, or cook traditional Jewish; make it vegetarian, pescatarean, or vegan, make it festive and nutritious, always easy to make and delicious, for holiday and every day, but above all, have fun in your kitchen and make your kitchen a fun place to be!

One of the reviews for the cookbook

A beautiful cookbook… I loved the stories running throughout and I feel that I now know Dolly the cook, her glorious telling of her family history and the history of Kosher Cooking were enchanting and I learnt much.

The excerpt from The boyhood deeds of Fionn one of my favourites being ” Light swallows dart aloft, loud melody reaches around the hill, the soft rich mast buds, the stuttering quagmire rehearses ” added to the stories which wound themselves around Dolly’s recipes.

Two of my favourites Satsivi a spicy walnut dip which I could just see myself with my sundowners enjoying and the second the Kartofel Niki sweet potatoes encasing lovely mushrooms and lightly fried sounded just awesome. This was not just a cookbook it was a lovely journey through Kosher cookery which included how to store herbs and it all just meandered through her kitchen recipe after recipe with the stories.

Dolly Aizenman is another lady like me who cannot just write a recipe and it makes the dishes come alive and you so want to just sit down and eat them. If like me you want more than just a recipe then this is the book for you and why I gave it 5 stars.

Head over and buy the book in paperback or Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Dolly-Aizenman/e/B0789FDS7W

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kool-Kosher-Kitchen-Collection-Recipes-ebook/dp/B0787F3N35

Connect to Dolly Aizenman

Website: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SoBeDolly/

My thanks to Dolly for allowing me to raid her larder.. I mean archives and share these great recipes with you… I hope you will head over and raid them too. Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #KosherKitchen – Eggplant Napoleon 2016 by Dolly Aizenman


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the second post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them. I selected this post from 2016 because I love eggplant or aubergine and always keep an eye open for recipes.

 Eggplant Napoleon 2016 by Dolly Aizenman

It seems that anything baked in thin layers interspersed with something creamy is nowadays labeled Napoleon. I’ve met – and duplicated! – beet napoleon, zucchini napoleon, even pumpkin napoleon (didn’t like the latter, though). Contrary to a popular belief, the name does not honor the French Emperor. Or maybe it does, after all, in a roundabout way? Let’s see.

Name version #1. Known as mille-feuilles (a thousand leaves), it was developed in France in the second half of 19th century. Napoleon Bonaparte was already dead on St Helene, the Restoration was striving to erase both his name and his deeds, and generally, the entire Europe was sick of wars and heroic battles. There is no chance that this delicious dessert would have been named after “the little corporal” and his meteoric rise to power at the expense of thousands of deaths. A thousand leaves sounded a thousand times better!

Name version #2. The pastry was invented by a Danish chef on the occasion of a state visit between Emperor Napoleon and King Frederick of Denmark. In this version, it is indeed named after the emperor, and the chocolate glaze on top is supposed to make multiple letters N. This seems a little far-fetched; however, Napoleon Hats cookies (very cute marzipan balls encased in triangle-shaped cookie “hats”) are still very popular in Denmark.

Name version #3. It’s not Napoleon at all, but napolitain, that is, made in Naples, Italy. It is, claim the Neapolitan chefs, an ancient dessert made in the ancient traditions of Neapolitan cuisine known for contrasts, combining sweet and savory, firm and gooey (they invented pizza, you know!), and, in this case, flaky dough and creamy custard. It’s a case of simple mispronunciation!

Name version #4. We’ve met this guy before – the famous traveling chef Marie-Antoine Careme. He appears in France and in Russia, creating a Charlotte (to see my Apple Charlotte recipe, Click here). He pops up in England (for Meatless Macaroni a la Sailor, Click here). Now he is in Italy, where the newly appointed King of Naples, A.K.A. Marshal Joachim Murat, is wining and dining his illustrious brother-in-law, Emperor Napoleon of France, A.K.A. The Little Corporal.

Joachim_Murat.jpg

Joachim_Murat.jpg

There is an anecdote about the relationship between the two of them. Murat, called The Dandy King, cutting a tall and splendid figure in his royal finery, jokingly remarked to Napoleon, “Your Majesty, I stand higher than you by a full head.” “Not higher, but simply taller, retorted The Emperor, – and this difference can very quickly be eliminated.”

Incidentally, Napoleon Bonaparte was not really short, even by today’s standards, and “the little corporal” nickname refers to his rank in the beginning of his rise to power, rather than his height. He stood 5’7″, but Murat, who really was “a full head” taller, got the hint and hastened to make nice. Enter Chef Careme who gets a secret message from King Murat to create a Neapolitan pastry with a French twist and twist the name as well. He refines the pastry itself and adds the icing on top. Viola! Napoleon pastry is born, it becomes Napoleon’s favorite, and he eats so much of it on the eve of Waterloo that he loses the battle. I did not make this one up!

Eggpl Nap 1.jpg

And what does eggplant have to do with all of that? Oh well, if we can do beet, zucchini, and pumpkin napoleons, why not eggplant? Especially since I got those cute striped egg type oriental eggplants, and was itching to play with them. They were too small to make eggplant rollatini or Georgian stuffed eggplant roll-ups, so I decided to combine all these ideas into one dish. Georgian roll-ups are usually stuffed with walnuts, garlic, and cilantro – easy stuff!

Eggpl Nap 2.jpg

Eggplant needs to be sliced paper-thin without peeling. It’s “one thousand leaves” after all, that we are trying to imitate. Then it needs to be tossed with salt, making sure that it is generously covered with salt on both sides, and put aside for about 20 minutes. Salt will take the bitterness out of it.

Eggpl Nap 5.jpg

Meanwhile, you can get the stuffing ready. Pulverize walnuts, garlic, and cilantro in a food processor until you get a creamy mass. Add a splash of wine vinegar, cinnamon and cumin, and season with salt and pepper. Keep mixing until you get a really creamy consistency. We are trying to imitate custard.

Eggpl Nap 3.jpg

Rinse eggplant “leaves” really well, gently squeezing them to get rid of both bitterness and salt. Pat dry with a paper towel. Fry them on medium heat, oil-misted pan for no more than a minute on each side. Make sure not to crowd them inside the frying pan as the thinner they are, the more fragile thy tend to get. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to blot out excess oil.

Eggpl Nap 6.jpg

To assemble napoleon, lightly mist a baking dish with oil. Place eggplant “leaves” on the bottom, overlapping them so as to create a full layer.

Eggpl Nap 7.jpg

Spread the creamy stuffing and sprinkle with sumac. If you don’t have sumac, a few drops of lemon juice will do the trick; however, lemon does not add color the way sumac does. Keep layering, making sure the top layer is eggplant.

Eggpl Nap 8.jpg

Generously sprinkle with more cilantro, cover and bake on middle rack for about 20 minutes. Alternatively, if you want to serve it on Friday night, assemble it and put it in the oven right before Shabbos. By the time you get to it, the flavors of stuffing permeate the layers of eggplant, the unpeeled skin gets dry and crusty, and the perfect balance of flaky and creamy is achieved.

Eggpl Nap 9

Garnished with some cilantro sprigs and walnut halves, it makes a delicious salad or side dish, whether cold, warm, or hot.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium size eggplants or 4 egg-type eggplants
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 – 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon or more light wine vinegar
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle of sumac or lemon juice

PROCEDURE

  1. Slice eggplants lengthwise as thin as possible, generously cover with salt on both sides, put aside for 20 minutes.
  2. Place walnuts, garlic, and 3/4 cup of cilantro in food processor, pulse until creamy consistency. Scrape the sides as necessary. Transfer from food processor to a bowl, add wine vinegar, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix until well blended and creamy, add more vinegar if needed. Put aside.
  3. Preheat large frying pan to medium, mist with oil. Wash eggplant slices well, squeezing gently. Blot dry with paper towels.
  4. Place into frying pan, allowing space between slices. Fry on each side for about 1 minute until sides start curling. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to blot out excess oil.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Mist baking dish with oil, layer eggplant, spread stuffing between layers, sprinkle sumac on top of stuffing before the next eggplant layer. Generously sprinkle chopped cilantro over top layer of eggplant.
  7. Cover tightly, bake on middle rack for 20 minutes.
  8. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and walnut halves.

Enjoy!

©Dolly Aizenman 2016

About Dolly Aizenman

It wasn’t easy to keep kosher in communist Russia, where I was born and lived for 27 years, until I was allowed to leave. You couldn’t go to a kosher store and buy anything, from soup to nuts, with a Hecksher (kosher certification), the way it is in the US. Here, chicken is already shechted (slaughtered) for you, and cows conveniently label their own parts as “beef for stew.” As Yakov Smirnov used to say in the eponymous TV sitcom, “What a country!” After teaching for almost 40 years, I am now semi-retired, I love to cook, and I have time on my hands to share recipes and exchange new food ideas.

My recipes are different from traditional American Jewish food in that I literally adapt recipes from “the four corners of the world” to the guidelines of kashruth (Jewish dietary laws). I invite you to explore with me, to experiment, and by all means, to get your kids involved in the magical fun of transforming this-that-and the other into something spectacular to grace your table.

Kool Kosher Kitchen

From the four corners of the world – international fusion cuisine the kosher way! Cook Indian, cook Italian, cook Chinese and Japanese, or cook traditional Jewish; make it vegetarian, pescatarean, or vegan, make it festive and nutritious, always easy to make and delicious, for holiday and every day, but above all, have fun in your kitchen and make your kitchen a fun place to be!

One of the reviews for the cookbook

A beautiful cookbook… I loved the stories running throughout and I feel that I now know Dolly the cook, her glorious telling of her family history and the history of Kosher Cooking were enchanting and I learnt much.

The excerpt from The boyhood deeds of Fionn one of my favourites being ” Light swallows dart aloft, loud melody reaches around the hill, the soft rich mast buds, the stuttering quagmire rehearses ” added to the stories which wound themselves around Dolly’s recipes.

Two of my favourites Satsivi a spicy walnut dip which I could just see myself with my sundowners enjoying and the second the Kartofel Niki sweet potatoes encasing lovely mushrooms and lightly fried sounded just awesome. This was not just a cookbook it was a lovely journey through Kosher cookery which included how to store herbs and it all just meandered through her kitchen recipe after recipe with the stories.

Dolly Aizenman is another lady like me who cannot just write a recipe and it makes the dishes come alive and you so want to just sit down and eat them. If like me you want more than just a recipe then this is the book for you and why I gave it 5 stars.

Head over and buy the book in paperback or Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Dolly-Aizenman/e/B0789FDS7W

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kool-Kosher-Kitchen-Collection-Recipes-ebook/dp/B0787F3N35

Connect to Dolly Aizenman

Website: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SoBeDolly/

My thanks to Dolly for allowing me to raid her larder.. I mean archives and share these great recipes with you… I hope you will head over and raid them too. Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #July4th – #Recipe for Fireworks on the Beach by Dolly Aizenman


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the first post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them. Since it is July 4th tomorrow, I thought I would share this patriotic recipe (and delicious) to give you something to bake for the celebrations.

July 4th – Fireworks on the Beach 2016 by Dolly Aizenman

Everybody is doing something special for 4th of July! I used to do that, too. When I was still running the school, every summer in camp I did weekly International Food events. They were thinly disguised group therapy / team building sessions, but kids enjoyed themselves playing with food (I did mostly desserts!), in the process learning appropriate interactive social skills. Eventually they got to take some goodies home, if they haven’t eaten them before the end of the day. For Independence Day, we did Very Berry Fireworks, which were nothing much but skewered cut up strawberries, marshmallows, and blueberries – red, white, and blue – stuck in paper cups decorated with sticker stars and stripes. I have never pretended to be as good at arts and crafts, as Jessica of This Happy Mommy, who is simply amazing. Whatever I came up with, was mainly designed to train asocial kids to join a social milieu. Obviously, it was not enough for home. I needed something more substantial, while preserving the red, white, and blue motif.

Fireworks 1c

I had some egg whites saved, so I thought, meringue is white – that’s a start! The next idea was, since tomorrow night we are walking to the beach (Ocean Drive is two short blocks from our house) to watch fireworks, I can make those meringue cookies look like ocean foam, to give them some local ambiance.

Fireworks 1b.jpg

I whipped my egg whites until stiff, then gradually added sugar and vanilla. You can use xylitol, if you want. Make sure you add sugar little by little and keep whipping at high speed until all sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, I got my oven preheated to 220.

Fireworks 1a.jpg

Using a rounded ice cream spoon, I dropped spoonfuls of the stiff white sugary mass onto a lightly misted with oil baking sheet and popped it in the oven. As I wanted to achieve the effect of ocean foam, I purposely kept random shapes.

While meringue cookies were baking, I worked on the foundation. Yes, I have realized from the beginning that some kind of a firm foundation was needed for what I intended to do later. So following My Own Rule of Desserts #1 (It’s not a dessert without chocolate), I dug up an old favorite recipe for whole wheat chocolate chip cookies.

Fireworks 2.jpg

Pretty basic stuff: whole wheat flour, sugar free chocolate chips or carob chips (whatever you prefer), a bit of baking powder. As usual, you would mix the dry ingredients first and put them aside.

Fireworks 1.jpg

Then I whisked the egg, oil, Smart Balance, vanilla extract, and brown sugar together. When all wet ingredients were well blended, I gradually introduced the dry ingredients. Chocolate chips came last.

Fireworks 3a.jpg

When everything blended well, I used the same rounded ice cream spoon to drop cookie dough on a dry baking sheet. I remember just in time that these cookies are like old-times Odessa ladies; they tend to grow sideways, so I had to leave about 1 inch (2,5 cm) between them.

Fireworks 4.jpg

At this point my meringue cookies were jumping off the baking sheet, which meant that they were ready. I raised the temperature of the oven to 375 and popped the chocolate chip cookies in. These guys bake fast, about 10 – 12 minutes, until golden brown and hardened at the edges. A word of caution: the middle will still be soft, but not wet. It will harden while cooling.

Fireworks 9.jpg

While both sets of cookies were cooling, I prepared the rest of my supplies: raspberries, blueberries, and a bunch of toothpicks that I had painted red and blue (I know this is crazy, you don’t have to tell me!). Following My Own Rule of Desserts #2 (the more chocolate, the better!), I decided to use chocolate fudge frosting to hold this whole construction together. I think you can use peanut butter, if you like, but my husband is not a peanut butter guy. Chocolate is the word!

Fireworks 10.jpg

To assemble the pastry, you first need to connect “the foam” to the foundation. Spread just enough frosting on top of the chocolate chip cookie to keep them together and gently press the meringue cookie down on top of the frosting.

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The time has come for starts and stripes, and for getting your kids involved, if you have any, of course. You can keep them occupied for a while by skewering blueberries and raspberries onto the painted toothpicks, one each on each toothpick, with raspberries as tips. Meanwhile, they might pop some berries into their mouths which is also not a bad idea!

Fireworks 12

Five berry skewers inserted into the frosting between two cookies form a star. Blue and red toothpicks are stripes. They burst from the cookies as fireworks burst in the sky. White ocean foam tops it all, and there you have it, beautiful people – scrumptious Fireworks on the Beach. Happy 4th of July!

Fireworks 13.jpg

The weather was great, and we just came back from watching – among a huge crowd! – fireworks on the beach. Steamy ocean, silky sand, palm trees, distant rhythms of salsa from Ocean Drive, and a spectacular fireworks display! That’s why we live on South Beach, beautiful people!

INGREDIENTS

Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar or xylitol
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Betty Crocker Recipes):

  • 1 ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup Smart Balance, softened
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Dash of salt
  • ¾ cup sugar free chocolate chips

Fireworks:

  • 1/2 pint raspberries
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • Chocolate fudge frosting
  • Alternative: peanut butter

PROCEDURE

Make meringue first.

  1. Preheat oven to 220.
  2. Beat egg whites until very stiff.
  3. Gradually add sugar and keep beating until mixture forms peaks.
  4. Lightly mist baking sheet with oil, place round spoonfuls (ice cream spoon) on baking sheet about 1/2 inch (1 cm) apart.
  5. Bake on middle rack for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Check for doneness by gently pressing the middle. It should be dry to touch.
  6. Remove from oven and from baking sheet; cookies should come off easily. Cool them off completely before frosting.

Next, make chocolate chip cookies.

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat sugar, Smart Balance, olive oil, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat in flour, baking powder and salt until well blended.
  2. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. On ungreased baking sheet, drop dough by rounded ice cream spoonfuls about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
  4. Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until very light golden brown (centers will be soft). Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Assembling the pastry:

  1. Prepare mini-skewers by either selecting blue and red toothpicks from among colored ones or painting plain toothpicks red and blue.
  2. Skewer one blueberry and one raspberry on each toothpick with raspberry as a tip.
  3. Insert five skewers into frosting between foundation and “foam” of each pastry, forming a “starburst” Make sure they are firmly embedded.

Enjoy!

©Dolly Aizenman 2016

About Dolly Aizenman

It wasn’t easy to keep kosher in communist Russia, where I was born and lived for 27 years, until I was allowed to leave. You couldn’t go to a kosher store and buy anything, from soup to nuts, with a Hecksher (kosher certification), the way it is in the US. Here, chicken is already shechted (slaughtered) for you, and cows conveniently label their own parts as “beef for stew.” As Yakov Smirnov used to say in the eponymous TV sitcom, “What a country!” After teaching for almost 40 years, I am now semi-retired, I love to cook, and I have time on my hands to share recipes and exchange new food ideas.

My recipes are different from traditional American Jewish food in that I literally adapt recipes from “the four corners of the world” to the guidelines of kashruth (Jewish dietary laws). I invite you to explore with me, to experiment, and by all means, to get your kids involved in the magical fun of transforming this-that-and the other into something spectacular to grace your table.

Kool Kosher Kitchen

From the four corners of the world – international fusion cuisine the kosher way! Cook Indian, cook Italian, cook Chinese and Japanese, or cook traditional Jewish; make it vegetarian, pescatarean, or vegan, make it festive and nutritious, always easy to make and delicious, for holiday and every day, but above all, have fun in your kitchen and make your kitchen a fun place to be!

One of the reviews for the cookbook

A beautiful cookbook… I loved the stories running throughout and I feel that I now know Dolly the cook, her glorious telling of her family history and the history of Kosher Cooking were enchanting and I learnt much.

The excerpt from The boyhood deeds of Fionn one of my favourites being ” Light swallows dart aloft, loud melody reaches around the hill, the soft rich mast buds, the stuttering quagmire rehearses ” added to the stories which wound themselves around Dolly’s recipes.

Two of my favourites Satsivi a spicy walnut dip which I could just see myself with my sundowners enjoying and the second the Kartofel Niki sweet potatoes encasing lovely mushrooms and lightly fried sounded just awesome. This was not just a cookbook it was a lovely journey through Kosher cookery which included how to store herbs and it all just meandered through her kitchen recipe after recipe with the stories.

Dolly Aizenman is another lady like me who cannot just write a recipe and it makes the dishes come alive and you so want to just sit down and eat them. If like me you want more than just a recipe then this is the book for you and why I gave it 5 stars.

Head over and buy the book in paperback or Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Dolly-Aizenman/e/B0789FDS7W

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kool-Kosher-Kitchen-Collection-Recipes-ebook/dp/B0787F3N35

Connect to Dolly Aizenman

Website: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SoBeDolly/

My thanks to Dolly for allowing me to raid her larder.. I mean archives and share these great recipes with you… I hope you will head over and raid them too. Sally.