May 17, 2013 |
Chef Joncarl Lachman completes a long-sought homecoming with this month's opening of Noord - his Northern European bistro - at 1046 Tasker St. (267-909-9704), the southeast corner of 11th and Tasker. The 38-seat, white-tablecloth BYOB has a chef's counter. Lachman is drawing from his Dutch heritage and his extensive travels from the Netherlands north into Scandinavia, as well as from his work with chef Anne Rosenzweig at NYC's Arcadia and inspiration from NYC's Prune. And though the menu may have you scurrying to your Dutch-to-English dictionary, the food is actually quite accessible.
April 12, 2013 |
Like so many Yiddish words, schmaltz has mixed connotations - it can be used to describe something fine and expensive or something corny and over-the-top sentimental. But for many cooks, its true meaning lies on the palate. "If you don't use schmaltz, your food will be flavorless," says Russ Farer, general manager at Schlesinger's Deli in Center City. "It's that simple. " Schmaltz, of course, is the rendered fat of chicken (or goose) that European Jews adopted for kosher cookery in place of butter when tallow from beef proved prohibitively expensive.
April 14, 2011 |
The small gray loose-leaf binder is tattered. The typewritten letters - yes, from a typewriter - are fading. But for Jane Portnoy, that book is a vital taproot to her passion for cooking. It holds the recipes she started collecting growing up on the South Shore of Long Island, a mostly Jewish enclave, the place where her mother, Helen Zuger, a superb cook, diligently taught her daughter. The lessons took. Through college at Mount Holyoke, in the early years of marriage, when she worked as a French teacher, through medical school at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and over the years cooking for her family, Portnoy has referred to that little gray book.
December 2, 2010 |
Joan Nathan is the thinking person's cookbook author, known for bringing the past into the present and telling the stories of ordinary people whose histories remind us why food matters. Primarily associated with Jewish cooking in the United States and Israel, Nathan was in town recently to speak about her latest book: Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, (Knopf Books, 2010). France? The country where women don't get fat? To many, Jewish and French cooking styles seem mutually exclusive.
December 10, 2009 |
In my career as a chef, I cooked everything non-kosher from squid and lobsters to rabbit and sea urchins, and rejected the Orthodox way of life of my childhood. But in recent years, I've embraced my Jewish heritage, especially its connections to food and culture, and I am researching a book exploring Jewish culinary history through the spread of ingredients worldwide. So I jumped at the chance to teach Jewish cuisine and culture to high schoolers and junior high kids at the Jewish Community High School of Gratz College, whose mission is to educate Jewish teens about the heritage, traditions and language of the Jewish people.
September 10, 2009 |
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown Sept. 18, with a festive meal of traditional dishes. One almost universally followed tradition dictates serving a round (not braided and oblong) challah made with raisins, and dipping a slice of apple in honey to symbolize hope that the coming year will be sweet. But other traditional recipes and ingredients are largely dictated by the point of emigration for each family's ancestors. Just as Jewish history is a story of expulsion and migration, Jewish cuisine incorporates ingredients, spices, and cooking styles from lands where Jewish communities once flourished.
April 2, 2009 |
At Passover seders at Joan Nathan's home, guests tour the world through haroset. Nathan, the food journalist and cookbook author who specializes in international Jewish cooking, serves at least five different harosets at her annual feast because she believes that presenting an assortment of the fruit-and-nut dish demonstrates the Diaspora of the Jews. "I use my seders as teaching mechanisms, to show through food where Jews have gone in the world. Every haroset has a history," says Nathan.
June 20, 2001 |
Joan Nathan took 30 years of food experiences and turned them into a national family album. The nation is Israel. The album is Nathan's latest cookbook, The Foods of Israel Today (Alfred A. Knopf, $40). And it proves that Jews, Muslims and Christians can coexist, at least in the kitchen. Nathan, the author of five other Jewish cookbooks and host of the PBS series Jewish Cooking in America (which has aired locally on WHYY), committed to writing the book in 1995 after the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin.
April 4, 2001 |
There is no reason for a Passover dessert - or any food for the holiday - to offer anything less than the quality and flavor you would serve guests year-round. Kosher, low-calorie, or whatever the restriction, there's no excuse for not enjoying a good dessert, says Gil Marks, author of The World of Jewish Desserts (Simon & Schuster, $30) and other books on Jewish cooking. "I don't understand a mentality that will accept eating something that doesn't taste good just because it's low-fat or is made with matzo or whatever," he said.
April 20, 1997 |
For only a few days every year, Jewish bakers in small villages throughout Egypt used to open their bakeries for the holiday of spring. They'd scrub the hearths just in time to make matzo for Passover, then close again. Each community needed to ensure a supply of unleavened bread for the holiday that commemorates the ancient exodus from slavery in Egypt. Claudia Roden recalled watching these Passover preparations as a child in Egypt until she and most Jews left in 1956 when Egypt and Israel went to war. Her family's Passover meals blended Egyptian cuisine, centuries-old Spanish specialties, and traditions with biblical associations, such as eating fresh fava bean soup in remembrance of the fava beans that the Hebrew slaves ate in Egypt.