Shalom Life | March 03, 2015

'The Perfect Meal' with Jewish Celebrity Chefs- Day 5

We celebrate five of the world's best Jewish chefs - Day 5: Joan Nathan

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: May 28th, 2011 in Culture » Food » Recipes

'The Perfect Meal' with Jewish Celebrity Chefs- Day 5

Five of the world’s most celebrated Jewish chefs have joined Shalom Life in creating “The Perfect Meal”. Each chef has supplied one of their original recipes: Jeffrey Nathan (soup), Jamie Geller (Salad), Steven Raichlen (Appetizer), Susie Fishbein (Entrée), and Joan Nathan (Dessert).

Join us over the next 5 days and watch this wonderful five-course meal unfold. Use these recipes individually or together in an attempt to create “The Perfect Meal” to share with friends and family.

Fifth Course: Dessert

Joan Nathan is the author of ten cookbooks including the recently published "Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France" (Knopf, November 2010). She is a regular contributor to The New York Times, among other publications.

In 1994 Nathan published the much-acclaimed Jewish Cooking in America, which won both the James Beard Award and the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook of the Year Award as well as An American Folklife Cookbook, which received the R.T. French Tastemaker Award in 1985. She most recently wrote The New American Cooking which also won the James Beard and IACP Awards as best American cookbook published in 2005. Her other books include Foods of Israel Today, Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook, The Jewish Holiday Baker, The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen, The Jewish Holiday Kitchen, and The Flavor of Jerusalem.

In 2004 she was the Guest Curator of Food Culture USA, the 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC, based on the research for her book, The New American Cooking. Ms. Nathan's PBS television series, Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan, was nominated in 2000 for the James Beard Award for Best National Television Food Show. She was also senior producer of Passover: Traditions of Freedom, an award-winning documentary sponsored by Maryland Public Television. Ms. Nathan has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and television programs including the Today show, Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, The Martha Stewart Show and National Public Radio.

An inductee to the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who in American Food and Beverage, she has also received the Silver Spoon Award from Food Arts magazine. In addition, Ms. Nathan received an honorary degree from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Culture in Chicago and the Golda Award from the American Jewish Congress.

Nathan serves on the board of DC based organization, Martha's Table, by whom she was recently honored for her work on Sunday Suppers, an annual fundraising event chaired by Nathan, Alice Waters and Jose Andres. Through a collaboration of chefs, organizations and concerned citizens, the dinners, held one night a year in various homes across the DC Metropolitan Area, have raised over $200,000 for Martha's Table and DC Central Kitchen.

Joan Nathan was born in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a master's degree in French literature and earned a master's in public administration from Harvard University. For three years she lived in Israel where she worked for Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem. In 1974, working for Mayor Abraham Beame in New York, she co-founded the Ninth Avenue Food Festival. The mother of three grown children, Ms. Nathan lives in Washington, D.C. and Martha's Vineyard with her husband, attorney Allan Gerson.

Joan Nathan presents Tarte au Citron

Source: QUICHES, KUGELS AND COUSCOUS

WHEN I WAS A STUDENT IN PARIS, I became hooked on intensely tart yet sweet French lemon tarts, and sampled them at every pastry shop I could find. I still love them, especially when they are bitingly tart.

FOR THE CRUST

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or pareve margarine

1 cup all- purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

¹⁄8 teaspoon salt About

2 tablespoons cold milk or water

FOR THE FILLING

2 cups sugar

4 lemons

3 large eggs

4 tablespoons unsalted butter or pareve margarine

To make the crust, cut the butter into small pieces, and toss into a food processor fitted with a steel blade, along with the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse until the texture is like very coarse meal.

Pour in the milk or water a tablespoon at a time, pulsing until the dough comes together in a ball. Be careful not to add too much liquid, or the dough will be impossible to roll out. Shape the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Roll out the piecrust, and line an ungreased 9- inch tart pan with it. Prick it all over with a fork, and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. (This can be done ahead of time.)

To make the filling, pour 2 cups water into a heavy medium- sized saucepan. Add 1 cup of the sugar, and bring to a boil.

Slice one of the lemons into thin circles, drop them into the boiling sugared water, lower the heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes, uncovered. Drain, and discard the liquid.

Grate the zest of the remaining 3 lemons to get 2 tablespoons of zest, then juice the lemons to get about ¾ cup juice. Whip the eggs and remaining sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed. Gradually add the lemon juice and zest. Pour the filling ingredients into a medium saucepan, add the butter or margarine, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, being careful not to boil, until the lemon thickens into a curdlike custard, about 5 minutes.

Spoon the filling into the prebaked crust. Lay the lemon slices all over, and refrigerate until firm

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