12 Questions About Schmaltz With Jake Cohen

Jake Cohen’s debut cookbook, Jew-ish, has the challah and latkes and matzo ball soup. But it also has biscuits with pastrami and milk gravy, kugel-ified mac and cheese, and pumpkin-spice babka. Which is to say, it’s Jewish but it’s also, well, Jew-ish—…

Jake Cohen’s debut cookbook, Jew-ish, has the challah and latkes and matzo ball soup. But it also has biscuits with pastrami and milk gravy, kugel-ified mac and cheese, and pumpkin-spice babka. Which is to say, it’s Jewish but it’s also, well, Jew-ish—a refreshingly personal take on how traditional recipes fit into messy modern life.

“I get very heated about steering away from my family’s tradition when it comes to many Jewish foods (just wait until you read my thoughts on brisket!),” Jake writes in the introduction. “But at the end of the day, we must celebrate any form of Jewish culture, old or new.”

Read More >>

Our New Favorite Charoset is from the Biggest Jewish Deli in Texas

Every year, in the days leading up to Passover, Ziggy Gruber makes up to 1,500 pounds of charoset. For comparison, my mom will make no more than a pound of the chopped fruit and nut mix, and there will be some left over. But when has Gruber ever done a…

Every year, in the days leading up to Passover, Ziggy Gruber makes up to 1,500 pounds of charoset. For comparison, my mom will make no more than a pound of the chopped fruit and nut mix, and there will be some left over. But when has Gruber ever done anything on a small scale?

David, who goes by Ziggy, is a third-generation deli man. His grandfather, Max, arrived in New York via Budapest at the turn of the century. He found work in delis across the city until 1927 when he opened his own, the Rialto Deli, with his brothers-in-law. The Rialto, they claim, was the first deli to open its doors on Broadway, just two years before the start of the Great Depression. Amidst the anguish of the era, the Rialto thrived, serving the likes of Ethel Merman and the Marx brothers. All three of them. Decades later, Ziggy’s father opened his own deli, on Madison Avenue and called it Genard’s. Once Ziggy came around, the family had moved, shuttered its prospects in the city, and opened a deli in decidedly quieter Spring Valley, New York.

Read More >>

marbled cheesecake hamantaschen

It’s almost too on-the-nose that I tried to make hamantaschen cookies that look like carrara marble and actually made cookies that evoke cow hides. Is the universe trying to tell me something about my kitchen hopes and dreams? Don’…

It’s almost too on-the-nose that I tried to make hamantaschen cookies that look like carrara marble and actually made cookies that evoke cow hides. Is the universe trying to tell me something about my kitchen hopes and dreams? Don’t worry, I’ve chosen to not read into this at all.

what you'll needalternate dough in blobssmoosh itmarbled doughcut shapescut circlesadd fillingform triangles

Read more »

Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup
This easy Matzo Ball Soup features tender poached matzo balls floating in a bowl of warm soup made from chicken stock and carrots. Make this classic comfort food for Passover, Rosh Hashanah, or to warm your soul any day of the year; it&…

A warm bowl of matzo ball soup on a yellow plate with a silver spoon in the bowl topped with parsley.

Matzo Ball Soup

This easy Matzo Ball Soup features tender poached matzo balls floating in a bowl of warm soup made from chicken stock and carrots. Make this classic comfort food for Passover, Rosh Hashanah, or to warm your soul any day of the year; it’s a wonderful weeknight soup recipe! Years ago, after a trip to Florida […]

READ: Matzo Ball Soup

bialy babka

Completely randomly — an idea just fluttered down like a November leaf and landed on this patch of calendar, the day before the day in which all of the time we do not spend on a line to vote we will instead spend glued to election return…

bialy babka

Completely randomly — an idea just fluttered down like a November leaf and landed on this patch of calendar, the day before the day in which all of the time we do not spend on a line to vote we will instead spend glued to election returns and trying not to bite our nails down to the nub — I’ve been thinking about the kind of cooking we do when tensions are high and a little distraction might be the height of self-care. May I recommend some extended time in the kitchen? Stirring a pot, kneading a dough, and reading a recipe forces us to briefly pause our scrolling and invest in something tangible, like a cozy meal. Lasagna with fresh pasta sheets! Peerless chicken noodle soup. A really luxurious Caesar salad. Pot pies. Wildly decadent macaroni-and-cheese. Falafel, from scratch. The highest calling of tomato soup and grilled cheese.

what you'll needmake your doughstretchy doughchop your onions

Read more »

tangy braised chickpeas

One of my most core cooking beliefs, cemented over 15 vegetarian years (that ended shortly before this site began) is that most, or at minimum, half of what we think we like about eating meat has absolutely nothing to do with meat, but the way…

One of my most core cooking beliefs, cemented over 15 vegetarian years (that ended shortly before this site began) is that most, or at minimum, half of what we think we like about eating meat has absolutely nothing to do with meat, but the way it’s prepared, from the salt-pepper char on a steak to the layers of flavors in a long braise. It’s this logic that led me to mushroom bourguignon and pate and even pizza beans, where the beans take the place of meat and pasta in a ziti-like dish. And it’s what led me to drop my jaw at the brilliance of Molly Yeh’s 2018 “brisket-braised chickpeas” (cozy braised chickpeas with squash), a brisket-free, vegan dish that uses the flavors you’d put in your favorite brisket braise but with chickpeas and vegetables. My sister had recently gone vegan, and the timing was perfect for our new year meal.

what you'll needcook the onionsadd the mushroomsadd broth

Read more »

46 Celebratory Recipes to Make for Rosh Hashanah This Year

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time to reflect on the past year—and look forward to the coming one.

The holiday’s celebratory meal can include favorites like yeasty challah, matzo ball soup, and apples dipped in honey. What do these things h…

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time to reflect on the past year—and look forward to the coming one.

The holiday's celebratory meal can include favorites like yeasty challah, matzo ball soup, and apples dipped in honey. What do these things have in common? Their friendly circular shape, which symbolizes the ongoing nature of time, the round-and-round-ness of the year. Similarly, sweet foods are favored for a sweet new year.

Read More >>

My Family Hadn’t Been Kosher for 76 Years. Then My Brother Came Along.

My older brother, Jake, was called to the Torah almost 19 years ago to the day. As he chanted in Hebrew to our congregation, he wore a yarmulke on his head and a tallit around his shoulders, while a photographer snap-snap-snapped photos, which we can n…

My older brother, Jake, was called to the Torah almost 19 years ago to the day. As he chanted in Hebrew to our congregation, he wore a yarmulke on his head and a tallit around his shoulders, while a photographer snap-snap-snapped photos, which we can no longer find.

I still remember the bagels: everything, sesame, pumpernickel, onion, poppy seed—but not blueberry, which we didn’t believe in—piled as high as the clouds. Cream cheese, scallion–cream cheese, more cream cheese, more scallion–cream cheese. Lox, herring, whitefish salad. Oh, the whitefish salad!

Read More >>

hazelnut gelt cookies

10-4-19-molly-yeh-hazelnut-gelt-cookies-20.jpg
10-4-19-molly-yeh-hazelnut-gelt-cookies-17.jpg
10-4-19-molly-yeh-hazelnut-gelt-cookies-6.jpg
10-4-19-molly-yeh-hazelnut-gelt-cookies-15.jpg
10-4-19-molly-yeh-hazelnut-gelt-cookies-10.jpg
10-4-19-molly-yeh-hazelnut-gelt-cookies-12.jpg
10-4-19-molly-yeh-hazelnut-gelt-cookies-19.jpg

These cookies were born out of my desire to build a repertoire of Hanukkah cookies in a Christmas cookie world! I mean I obviously love a Christmas cookie but I also love a Hanukkah dessert that a) doesn’t require me to fry anything and, b) can allow me to pull out all of the sprinkles and decorate stuff. A few years ago, I learned the joys of making homemade gelt. It’s so simple yet fun! You just melt blobs of chocolate and add any toppings you want. And you can control your own currency and game the dreidel system so that whatever happens, you’re rich! (Oh, your gelt is topped with sunflower seeds? Well mine is way more valuable since it’s topped with sea salt. Therefore I win.) So this year I decided to up the ante and put this gelt right on top of a cookie. Gelt on cookies is nothing new, but homemade gelt on a thick soft hazelnut cookie is a thing of modern beauty! You could obviously schmear melted chocolate on any kind of cut out cookie but I’ve used these hazelnutty orange zesty pucks here because they’ve got more personality than your standard holiday sugar cookie. The result is a combination of textures (soft cookie + snappy chocolate) and flavors (hazelnut + chocolate + orange) that is worthy of a prime spot in your Hanukkah cookie box.

So have at it and let your creativity run wild! Make some for your Ultimate Hanukkah Challenge viewing party*!!! 

*Your daily reminder that the Ultimate Hanukkah Challenge is a show that exists and it is premiering on December 21st at 9pm/8c on Food Network.


Hazelnut Gelt Cookies

makes about 26 cookies

ingredients

for the cookies:

3 1/2 c (448g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 1/3 c (150g) ground toasted hazelnuts (you can make your own or buy hazelnut flour, bob’s red mill sells it!)

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1 c (226g) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 c (137g) granulated sugar

2/3 c (80g) powdered sugar

Zest of 1 orange

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

for the topping:

6 oz (168g) chopped milk chocolate or milk chocolate chips

sprinkles

clues

to make the cookies, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, ground hazelnuts, baking powder, and salt and set aside. in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream together the butter, sugars, and orange zest on medium high until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each, and then add the vanilla.

reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until blended. at this point you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour, or up to two days, or you can get going on rolling out your dough and cutting out your cookies immediately. 

when ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºf. line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside. working with half of the dough at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness that’s just under 1/2” thick. cut out 2 1/2” circles with a biscuit cutter and then transfer to a baking sheet, 1" apart. re-roll scraps and cut out more shapes. bake until they’re lightly browned on the bottom; begin checking for doneness at 12 minutes. let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

To decorate, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwavable bowl in 30-second increments, stirring after each. Melt until it’s just smooth and then remove from heat. Spoon a teaspoon of chocolate onto the top of each cookie, and spread it around with a spoon into a little Gelt-sized circle. Top with sprinkles and let set in the fridge or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Print this recipe

-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen

pizza latkes

10-18-19-molly-yeh-pizza-latkes-7.jpg
10-18-19-molly-yeh-pizza-latkes-12.jpg
10-18-19-molly-yeh-pizza-latkes-3.jpg
10-18-19-molly-yeh-pizza-latkes-8.jpg
10-18-19-molly-yeh-pizza-latkes-11.jpg
10-18-19-molly-yeh-pizza-latkes-6.jpg

Sometime last spring (when all of the good Hanukkah R and D happens), I was knee deep in latke brainstorming when my extremely cool friend Natasha texted me a picture of Erin’s cheesy potato pancake with the commentary “omg, pizza latke.” To which the only proper response was, “omg, let’s.” 

Because omg what is better than a crispy fried potato pancake that is topped with melty gooey cheese-pull cheese??? Or if you look at it the other way, what is better than a pizza that basically has a hash brown crust??? Potato, potahto, it was inevitable. We make matzo pizza on Passover pizza Friday, why have we not made pizza latkes on Hanukkah pizza Friday? Dang it, they are so freaking good. I can’t stop eating them. The fact that they’re handheld and small and easy to eat in multiples of four doesn’t make things any easier. My only regret is that Natasha and I never crossed paths for long enough to make these together because she lives in LA-slash-Barcelona. One day!!!!

A great added bonus about these is that because they get cooked twice (fried in a pan, then topped with toppings, and then stuck in the oven so that the cheese melts), you have a fairly easy solution to the thing I always whine about, which is having to stand at the stove for the entire Chrismukkah party, tending to the latkes. With these, just make all of your latkes ahead of time, put them on a baking sheet, top with toppings, and keep them in the fridge for up to a day before your party. And then stick them in the oven before the party and pull out a steaming hot tray of latkes! They won’t be as crispy as a freshly fried latke, but no one will care because they’ll be covered in cheese.

That’s all I have to say about pizza latkes but since we’re on the subject of latkes, I have to tell you about the Ultimate Hanukkah Challenge!! It is (Food Network’s first??) Hanukkah-themed cooking competition and I got to host it and judge alongside Duff Goldman and Sharone Hakman!!! You guys, it was so much fun to film. I wore sufganiyot nail decals and star of David sparkly hair clips and ate piles of latkes, sufganiyot, and brisket. I can’t give any spoilers obviously but there are plot twists and Hanukkah miracles and the most incredible personalities, I am so excited about it and I hope you’ll tune in on December 21st at 9pm/8c on Food Network!!!! 

10-18-19-molly-yeh-pizza-latkes-1.jpg

Pizza Latkes

Makes about 20

Ingredients

1 batch of latkes (here’s my go-to recipe), freshly fried or made a day ahead and cooled, or just use leftover latkes! 

About 1 c marinara sauce

1 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4” slices

(Any other toppings!)

A shower of parmesan

Sprinkles of crushed red pepper

Chopped fresh basil

Clues

Preheat the oven to 450ºf. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange the latkes an inch apart. Top each with about 2 teaspoons marinara sauce and a slice of mozzarella and any other toppings you’d like and stick in the oven until the cheese is melty and has brown splotchy spots; begin checking for doneness at 7 minutes. Top with a shower of parmesan, sprinkles of crushed red pepper, and basil, and devour. 

Print this recipe

-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen