Category Archives: jewish

Religious Freedom

Sufganiyot with Clove Marmalade

Consistency has never really been my strong point, so it’s not surprising that when I think of December, I think of three very different things. I think of skiing on Christmas day, when the crowds are thin and Santa’s finally been able to bag off work and take a few quick runs. I think of the menorah I must have forgotten to clean last year, like I always do, with a week’s worth of wax crammed into the little candle holes, waiting patiently for an hour of my time and a Swiss Army knife. And I think of my freshman year in college, when my friend Abby gathered a bowl of little Satsuma oranges, studded them with whole cloves, and put them on top of her bureau. I thought she was Martha incarnate; I didn’t grow up with décor. The sweet, spiced smell from that one bowl snuck under her dorm room door, and wafted down the hall, and planted itself deep within my psyche as the smell of Christmas.

Clove-Studded Satsumas

I grew up the blessed child of two religions. You hated me, remember? I was the one who got to celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas. Latkes and Christmas cookies. Eight days plus one.

Only, in reality, we didn’t really celebrate either—not in the way some families do. We swayed to the whims of two calendars, fitting gifts and meals around them, often forgoing one or the other if school events or ski races or a really good snowfall got in the way. And in the kitchen, our holiday rituals were even less dependable.

For Hanukkah, I think there were always latkes. And if we were home for Christmas, my mom would roast beef, and use the drippings for Yorkshire pudding, always marvelously puffy and lopsided, eliciting a seldom-heard insistence on getting to the table now, while it’s hot. But for a long time, instead of gathering my family’s odd holiday habits in a little bouquet of thankfulness, I was embarrassed by them. We were Jewish, but I’d never tasted sufganiyot, the little jelly-filled doughnuts traditionally served during the Hanukkah season. I didn’t know the prayers; I didn’t usually get Chinese food on December 25th. We celebrated Christmas, but we only had stockings every third year, and my mother never labeled the gifts, like I’m sure Abby’s mother did, so there was an equal, if not greater, chance that I’d open my brother’s Game Boy when I was supposed to be cracking into my Caboodles. And we certainly didn’t eat peppermint stick ice cream every Christmas Eve, or leave cookies out for Santa.

Now, though. They tell me I’m an adult. They tell me it’s my turn to pass my own traditions down. A decade ago, I might have said I’d just pick one avenue, one holiday. I’d have said I’d write down a list of Best Traditions, my own personal holiday declaration of independence, and stick to it, making the same foods every year, singing the same songs, smiling the same smiles. Now, though, having the freedom to celebrate however I want to each year, and to always do it differently, seems like the blessing.

A confused household

Now, my two-year-old is old enough to see the Star of David on top of our little Christmas tree, and to look up at me with a jammy grin as we sit on the floor in front of it on the first night of Hanukkah, stuffing our faces with sufganiyot made with leaf lard and filled with Christian-smelling sacrilege. This year, I’ll show him how to stick cloves into little baby oranges, and how to pile latkes with applesauce and sour cream, and how to set out cookies for Santa. (I’ll use Santa’s all-powerful presents as a threat, if I need to.) We’ll make pork-filled tamales on Christmas day, and steam them in the light of seven candles.

When he’s older, I’ll show him how to light the menorah one year, and the next year, we’ll forget where we put it, and stick to Christmas and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. But every year, if we’re lucky, we’ll be with our families, and we’ll share food with friends, and we’ll smell something special—something with orange and cloves and winter.

If we’re lucky.

Sufganiyot with Clove Marmalade

Spiced Buttermilk Sufganiyot with Orange-Clove Marmalade (PDF)
Recipe by Jess Thomson, inspired by Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker (by Mark and Michael Klebeck with Jess Thomson, Chronicle Books, September 2011)

Traditional sufganiyot are fried each year during Hanukkah to celebrate the miracle of light, when oil burned for light lasted eight days instead of the expected one. They’re often filled with strawberry or apricot jam, or a mixture of jam and custard. This version strays toward more typically Christmassy flavors, with a bittersweet filling made by spiking marmalade with ground cloves.

If you’re a really bad Jew that likes really good doughnuts, you could use leaf lard in place of the shortening.

Total: 1 hour 5 minutes active time
Makes 16 sufganiyot, or 24 if you reroll the dough
Special equipment: 2-inch round cutter, piping bag with medium round tip

3 tablespoons (four 1/4-ounce packets) active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk, warmed
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
2 teaspoons iodized salt
4 to 4 1/2 cups (550 to 620 grams) bread flour, plus more for rolling and cutting
1/4 cup shortening (trans fat-free preferred)
3 large egg yolks
1 gallon canola oil, for frying
2 cups orange marmalade
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

In the work bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar with the buttermilk and water and let sit for 5 minutes, until foamy.

In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, mace, salt, and 4 cups of the bread flour. Set aside.

Add the shortening and egg yolks to the foaming yeast mixture. Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed for 1 minute, to break up the shortening. Add about a third of the dry ingredients and mix until blended on low speed, then repeat with the second third of the dry ingredients.

Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until no dry spots remain, adding additional flour as necessary, until the dough is dry enough to clean the bottom of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and knead for 2 more minutes. (It should be smooth like bread dough, but still a bit tacky.)

Transfer the dough to a baking sheet sprinkled with 1 tablespoon flour, shape into a flat disk 6 inches in diameter, dust lightly with flour, cover with a dish towel, and set aside.

Create a proofing box in your oven: Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Pour about 8 cups of the boiling water into a 9-by-13-inch (or similar) baking dish, and set it on the floor of your oven. Place the sheet with the covered dough on the middle rack of the oven, close the door, and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

While the doughnuts rise, combine the remaining teaspoon ground cloves with the marmalade in a small saucepan. Warm the mixture over low heat until it bubbles, strain through a fine-mesh strainer, then refrigerate. Transfer the cooled jam to a pastry bag fitted with a medium-sized round tip.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a roughly 9-inch circle, about 3/4-inch thick, with a lightly floured rolling pin. Cut the dough into about 16 rounds with a 2-inch round cutter. (Reroll the dough for additional sufganiyot.) Gently transfer the sufganiyot to two baking sheets sprinkled with 2 tablespoons flour each, arranging them at least 2 inches apart, and let rise in the oven (with new boiling water), uncovered, for another 20 to 30 minutes, until doubled in size.

Using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, heat oil (2 to 3 inches deep) in a deep fryer, large pot, or high-sided frying pan over medium heat to 350°F. When the dough has doubled, carefully place a few in the oil, taking care not to overcrowd them, and fry for about 45 seconds. (Note that the sufganiyot will look more brown when they’re done than they do in the oil. If you’d like, you can use scraps from cutting to test the oil.) Carefully turn the sufganiyot and fry for another 35 to 45 seconds, until golden on the second side, then transfer to a cooling rack set over a layer of paper towels to cool, rounded side up. (After the first batch, check to see that one has cooked through completely, and adjust frying time accordingly.)

When the first sufganiyot are cool enough to touch, poke the marmalade-filled pastry bag into the top of each pastry, and squeeze a scant tablespoon of filling into it. (The pastries are easiest to fill while they’re hot.) Repeat with the remaining sufganiyot and marmalade, dust liberally with confectioners’ sugar, and serve immediately.

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Filed under bread, Breakfast, jewish, recipe

Passover for procrastinators

Flourless Chocolate-Banana-Almond Cake 2

It’s a shame that my brother’s an environmental historian, because he’d make a damned fine food writer. He’d be one of those issues writers, verbose (in a good way) about Things That Need To Be Discussed. He’d be a good raw milk advocate, and he’d detail the best way to cure venison sausage, and he’d write about how a stranger fries trout in Tennessee, if there are really good trout in Tennessee. (I’m not one to know.) And every April, his Haggadah (PDF) – the religious guide to the Jewish Passover service that’s traditionally done the same way every year – would be anticipated like the New Yorker’s cartoon issue.

That’s how I see it. It’s not that I look forward to The Uncle Josh Haggadah Project – that’s what we’ve all come to call it, my family and the separate group of friends he shares Passover with each year in San Francisco – because I’m so into religion. On the contrary, I only really like the tradition of Passover because it instigates a familial bond we might not otherwise get every year when April rolls around. I don’t really observe, if by observe you mean cutting out everything but matzo. (I do add matzo to my diet, though, and as my sister points out, it makes fine fodder for a prosciutto and cream cheese sandwich, which is obviously Kosher.) I stink at remembering the story, and frankly, I don’t find it all that interesting, which means that reliably, on the day Passover starts, I’m frisking the internet for a dummy’s guide to the Seder plate when I get a nice long email from Josh. I know that makes me the world’s worst Jew, but seriously, doesn’t the whole schmegegge about Moses floating down the Nile in a wicker basket get more interesting when you learn that it was found on Craigslist, listed as a two-bedroom with on-site laundry?

Here, celebrating means channelling Josh’s voice, and a proper feast, and not much on the religious front.

This year, I’ll be celebrating with my husband and Graham, who might be actually old enough to find the matzo. My mom will be here, as will my sister, and whichever soul walks past the door when we open it. We’ll start with artichokes with homemade garlic aioli, then we’ll have matzo ball soup, fragrant with lemon peel and peppered with parsley. There will be brisket with carrots and parsnips, and sautéed spring greens, and roasted potatoes. And then, when we can’t possibly eat a bite more, we’ll have cake.

Flourless Chocolate-Banana-Almond Cake 1

Flourless cake is the Kate Moss of the pastry world. It always seems like it should be too anemic to stand up, but there it is, beautiful, even if you wish you didn’t think so. This version, structured with almond meal and eggs and flavored with bananas and cocoa, isn’t exactly congruent with the whole doing without concept that surrounds Passover. But you know what? Once you take a bite, I’m not sure you’ll be all that concerned.

Flourless Chocolate-Banana-Almond Cake (PDF)
Flourless cakes have been a Passover staple for ages. Although this simple, satisfying cake is made without chametz, you may find yourself making it all year long, because it carries the flavor of a chocolate-infused banana bread but only takes half the time to bake. The cream cheese ganache that tops it is like a cross between whipped cream and cream cheese frosting—serve it dolloped on top of the cake, with extra sliced bananas.

Time: 20 minutes active time
Makes: 8 servings

For the cake
Vegetable oil spray
2 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 tablespoons canola oil

For the cream cheese ganache
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup regular cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Note: If you can’t find almond meal, make your own: Toast slivered almonds on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Let cool completely, then grind cooled nuts in a food processor or coffee grinder.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8-inch cake pan with the vegetable oil spray. Line the pan with a round of parchment paper, and spray the parchment. Set aside.

Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl with a large fork, then stir in the sugar, honey, salt, and vanilla. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs for about 1 minute on medium speed, or until foamy. Add the sweetened banana mixture, and mix again on medium-high speed until very smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the almond meal and cocoa powder, and mix on low speed until well blended. Add the canola oil, and pour the batter into the prepared pan. (It will be thin.)

Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is slightly domed and firm in the center. Cool cake 5 minutes in the pan. Invert onto cooling rack (run a small knife around the edges if necessary), then invert again onto a plate.

While the cake cools, make the cream cheese ganache: Beat the butter and cream cheese in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth. Add the cold cream and sugar, and whip again on high speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, for a minute or two, until light and fluffy.

Serve the cake with the cream cheese ganache, topped with extra banana slices.

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Filed under Cakes, dessert, gluten-free, jewish

The Uncle Josh Haggadah Project, 2010 Edition

No one writes a modern Haggadah quite like my brother. He does it every year. I wish I could be half as funny.

For those of you new to the story of Exodus, here’s a little hint: This isn’t quite the same as the original. Think of asking a Shouts and Murmers author to rewrite the Bible. You should probably swallow your matzo before reading.

Here’s an excerpt from Exodus:

For a number of happy years long ago, our ancestor Jacob and his son Joseph lived simple, sustainable lives in the prosperous wine country of Canaan.  During a famine, however—caused by a combination of climate change and poor planning—Jake and Joe were forced to give up their small-scale sustainable winery and get jobs as bureaucrats in Sacramento (then known as Egypt), where food and middle-management white collar positions with healthy benefit packages were equally plentiful.  Jacob retired in a time when 401Ks still had value, and his son Joseph soon rose to high position writing environmental policy in the Pharaoh’s court.  Led by Joseph, our people were well-respected and well-regarded, comfortable and secure in the power structure of the time despite an innately unnatural suburban lifestyle and a general dearth of good bagels.

Generations passed and our people remained in the central valley of Egypt.  As rulers came and went, a new Pharaoh ascended to the throne, propelled by a personal fortune made in internet salesmanship and a relentless, self-aggrandizing television ad campaign that positioned her as a prohibitive favorite for a job that nobody else really wanted.  The new Pharaoh felt threatened by the strangers and immigrants in her people’s midst, and noting that we wore funny hats, smelled of gefilte fish, and routinely failed to watch our fair share of NASCAR, she ordered our people enslaved.  Fearing rebellion, Pharaoh decreed that all Hebrew boy-children be sent to semi-religious charter schools in the suburbs.  Blocked by activist judges opposed to bussing, however, she decided he would just kill them instead.

The whole shebang:
A Fool’s Haggadah (PDF)
By Joshua Howe

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The macaroon I was craving

Double Chocolate Macaroon Cake 2

These days, because Graham prefers to monopolize one of my upper appendages at all times with his babooning, my recreational kitchen activity falls into two distinct camps: Things I Can Do While My Child Naps and Things I Cannot Start Until He Goes to Bed. In the former group, I place things like “eat a bowl of cereal,” “empty the dishwasher,” and “throw a salad together for lunch.” Since this time of year, most produce hasn’t quite mastered the art of needing nothing, these are not usually exciting things. The latter hosts more ambitious projects, like making a few pans of lasagna for the freezer, or a batch of chicken and kale stew – you know, useful, dinnerish things. This is not a time in my life for French onion soup, or homemade pasta, or for fancy layer cakes.

But somehow, late last week, in the space of a morning nap, I made a macaroon cake.

By now, you must know I have a weakness for simple cakes. To qualify as “simple,” there are criteria to meet: A simple cake must be made in one bowl, without the aid of anything electric. It must be single-layer. It must beckon the next day at 10 a.m. and at 2 p.m. And, above all, it must be flexible – gussy-up-able for a party, or delicious made in its absolute simplest form, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, and eaten straight out of the pan. Simple cakes are the favorite jeans of the dessert world. (Last week, I retired my favorite jeans. It was time; jeans make better doors than windows. I’m a wreck about it.)

I thought, when I slid it into the oven, that this was a cake that wanted a little drama. It had been so simple to make – just a little melting, a little whisking, and a little folding, plus enough coconut to satisfy last week’s macaroon issue. I thought I heard it cry for frills and lace, in the form of a flood of deep chocolate ganache and a blizzard of toasted large-flake coconut. I melted chocolate. I toasted coconut. Only, when the cake came out, it cried louder to be eaten. I listened. (Pay close attention, readers. Anthropomorphizing desserts enables you to excuse any lack of self-restraint in the kitchen.)

When you have a cake that’s less patient than an almost-one-year-old, there’s not much you can do. I recommend taking a seat on the porch steps, just inside the shade line, so you (and perhaps a small hipster) can watch the camellias absorb a warm spring afternoon. I’m not sure there’s anything nicer.

Well, okay. Two slices is pretty nice, too.

(You Passover people: I’d be willing to bet it’d be fabulous with a scoop of Coconut Bliss.)

Double Chocolate Macaroon Cake

Double Chocolate Macaroon Cake (PDF)

It’s a cake. No, it’s a chocolate macaroon. No, wait, it’s a cake. It’s both! Stuffed with coconut but stirred and baked like a regular cake, this sweet confection is quick to make and absolutely satisfying. Eat it straight up, right out of the pan like brownies, or fancy it up with a drizzle of ganache and a flurry of toasted coconut. (For real drama, make two, and layer it up.) My preference is somewhere in between—topped simply, with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

Note: I melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave with good results. In my appliance, two 30-second increments on high power (stirring in between) works well.

TIME: 20 minutes active time
MAKES: 8 to 10 servings

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces, plus extra for greasing the pan
4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate (65% to 75% cacao)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch processed)
1 cup unsweetened medium-shredded coconut (such as Bob’s Red Mill)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and center a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of waxed paper or parchment paper, and butter the paper.

Place the butter and the chocolate in a small saucepan and melt over very low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the mixture is smooth, transfer to a large mixing bowl, and stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, blending completely between additions. Sift the cocoa powder over the batter and fold it in gently with a spatula until no dry spots remain. Fold in the coconut, then pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges of the cake just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and the center is puffed. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then invert the cake onto a cooling rack, then again onto a round serving plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature. To store, let cool completely, then cover and keep at room temperature up to 3 days.

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Filed under Cakes, dessert, gluten-free, jewish, recipe

Doing without

This cell phone conversation annoys me:

Person 1: Hello?

Person 2: Hi, it’s me, how are you?

Person 1: Fine, but I’m sorry, I can’t talk right now, I’m busy. Can I call you back later?

Person 2 thinks: Then why did you answer the phone?

It represents an epidemic of permanent indecisiveness, the fact that many people (myself included) are no longer capable of making a conscious choice between, say, doing what they’re doing on the computer and talking to the person on the other end of the phone. I’m as guilty as the next person: I always try to do both. It makes me crazy, so I’m trying to be better about deciding where to spend my time and then following up on that decision.

Case in point: Passover. Last week, when I realized Passover was approaching, I decided not to hold or attend a seder. I’m Jewish by religious law and the nose on my face, but I celebrate Passover the way most people celebrate Thanksgiving or Saint Patrick’s Day; for me, it’s about the food and the people and the stories and all that other schmaltzy stuff, not about God. I thought that making dinner would overtake the things I was supposed to remember and be thankful for, and figured I should choose one or the other over doing a bad job at both. So, I admit, doing without Passover this year was actually a conscious attempt to save time, one I’d planned to stick to until the 5 o’clock light came glinting in through the kitchen window late yesterday afternoon.

Then I got a little sad. I remembered the funny, irreverent seder service I’d found online last year and shared with friends who had never seen a seder plate, and started craving the brisket recipe my friend Rachel shared with me once for a piece I wrote on the holiday. I lassoed the dog and nonchalantly headed out on a walk, knowing full well that I’d end up at the grocery store even though we had perfectly serviceable leftovers in the fridge. I’d just pick up a small brisket, some whole-berry cranberry sauce, and Lipton onion soup mix and throw it in the oven. (Didn’t know white trash casserole cooking could collide with Jewish holiday cuisine? Oh, yes.)

By the time I got to the store, visions of matzo balls danced in my head. But the store didn’t have brisket, the cranberry sauce, or any form of any matzo product left.

So I improvised. I grabbed the cheapest cut of meat I could find, in this case a top round roast, and decided to nix the matzo ball soup. I used dried cranberries in place of the sauce, and still made it home in time to put it all in the oven by six, so we could eat around 8.

While we waited for the roast to braise, my husband and I sat at the kitchen counter, nibbling on the awesome pate I’d made a few days earlier (thank you, Jacques). I looked down at the perfect little croutons I’d made, feeling slightly guilty that I hadn’t put the effort into a real seder, or at least found a box of that good onion matzo for the pate.

Then I shrugged, and forgot about it. Because in the kitchen, what’s Passover about, if not just doing what you can with the ingredients and the time you have? (If you’re screaming “sacrilege!,” I agree.)

Recipe for Braised Top Round for Passover
Recipe 93 of 365

This is a version of a brisket my friend Rachel Horwitz’s family makes, only it uses top round instead of brisket, tomato sauce instead of ketchup, real onions instead of powdered, and dried cranberries instead of cranberry sauce. So it’s not really the same at all, but it’s what I was going for. You can also leave out the flour, if you’re avoiding chametz.

TIME: 35 minutes prep, plus 2 hours cooking time
MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (2 1/2 pound) top round roast
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cups red wine
1 (1-ounce) package Lipton or Kosher-for-Passover Onion Soup Mix
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 pound (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat a heavy, ovenproof pot with a lid (such as a Dutch oven) over medium heat on the stovetop. Place the flour on a plate, and season it liberally with salt and pepper. Roll the roast in the flour mixture, coating it on all sides. (Reserve the flour for later use.) When the pot is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl the pan to coat. Add the roast and brown it for 4 to 5 minutes per side, for about 25 minutes total, or until well browned on all sides, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning. Transfer the meat to a clean plate and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the pot, then the onions, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions begin to soften. Add the remaining flour to the onions, and stir to coat them on all sides. Cook for about a minute, then increase the heat to high and add the wine, scraping any remaining brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. When the mixture begins to simmer and has thickened a bit, remove the pot from the heat. Add the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Slide the meat back into the liquid, spoon some of the liquid over the meat, cover the pot, and cook for one hour. Carefully turn the meat over, replace the cover, and cook another hour, or until the meat is tender enough to be pulled apart with tongs.

Transfer the meat only to a cutting board, and slice thinly against the grain. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, and return the sliced meat to the pan. Serve hot, as is, with bread, or over rice, gnocchi, mashed potatoes, Israeli couscous, or polenta.

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Filed under Beef, jewish, recipe

When the best recipe is no recipe

In a fit of compulsion, I lined up my Passover brisket recipes side by side this afternoon. My friend Rachel’s Betty Crockerstein-ish ketchup-and-Kosher-onion-soup-mix version went head to head with some Irish fusion beer-braised version (did I already say I’m only very slightly Jewish?), and I debated.

In the end, I didn’t use a recipe. And for once, I didn’t write down what I did as I went along–I took the path of freedom, so to speak. Yes, I used real onions and garlic instead of powdered. Yes, I used mustard (Dijon, not yellow) and ketchup. No, I did not use Manischewitz. And yes, it was delicious.

What I also used, and what I believe is essential in every kitchen, is a common Jewish household cooking ingredient called instinct. Though I can’t speak a lick of Hebrew, my mother taught me how to use it well. Thanks, Mumz–some people never do get that ingredient, and are forced to choose between two recipes that aren’t quite right.

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