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The Nosh Pit - Recipes That Take the 'Ew' Out of Traditional JEwish Dishes

Let's face it. Some traditional Jewish dishes are somewhat to be desired and are rarely prepared by younger generations. These fresh twists on the classics will ensure these traditions continue on for years to come.

By: Sarah Bauder
Published: July 22nd, 2013 in Culture » Food » Recipes
Beet Borscht, Kishka, Schav, Gefilte Fish

It could get messy, but it will always be memorable. Every week in the Nosh Pit, we’ll lead the gathering of an impassioned group of foodies, offering delectable dishes, seasonal treats, and other goodies to nosh upon.

We’ll introduce the timely scenario – what to bring to an obligatory sports party or contribute to a spring picnic--and share some auspicious recipes. Spice up a soiree, diversify your dinner, or help convince those reluctant souls that ‘soy substitute’ is not synonymous with ‘stale.’

Recipes are best shared, passed from one sated soul to the next, with everyone adding just their own flair, and creating endless yummy possibilities. At a concert, people shed inhibition and share passion in a moment of synergy and excitement; they will do the same in the Nosh Pit, directing their unparalleled enthusiasm towards food.

Take the “Ew” Out of Traditional JEwish Dishes

There’s no getting around it, certain traditional Jewish dishes are definitely an acquired taste. Some would even go so far as saying that said fare was inedible, to say the least. Well, with an open mind, and a discerning palette, take a look at these gourmet versions of old-timey Jewish dishes that many folks think are disgusting.


Baked Gefilte Fish from Epicurious

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds rockfish fillet

1/2 pound pike fillet

1/2 pound flounder fillet

8 cups fish stock, preferably homemade

3/4 cup matzo meal

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Boiled carrots with prepared horseradish for serving

Directions:

Prep the fish. Working in batches if necessary, place the rockfish, pike, and flounder fillets in the container of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until pureed. Transfer the fish to a large bowl. Bring the fish stock to simmering in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Mix the fish. Add the matzo meal, eggs, sugar, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper to the bowl with the fish. Mix together with a wooden spoon until well combined. Shape the fish mixture into oval patties about 2 by 4 inches. Carefully lower the patties into the simmering fish stock, return to simmering, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the patties to a paper towel-lined tray. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer into the dish with the patties. Let the stock cool (it will gel) and then refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours. Bake the fish. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish patties from the gelatin and transfer to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake the patties until lightly caramelized on edges—about 20 minutes. Serve topped with a dollop of the gelatinous stock and some Boiled Carrots with Prepared Horseradish on the side. Enjoy!


Tyler Florence's Roasted Beet Borscht from Food Network

Ingredients:

1 pound beets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups chicken stock, heated
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Sour cream, for garnish

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Scrub the beets and put them on a large piece of aluminum foil; season with salt and pepper, add 3 thyme sprigs, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until the beets are tender, about 1 hour. Set aside. When the beets are cool enough to handle but still warm, slip off their skins, and chop them into large chunks.

In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Put in the onion, carrots, garlic, and remaining 3 thyme sprigs and cook until softened and just starting to color, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs. Put the chopped beets into a blender and add the cooked vegetables and most of the stock. Blend until smooth, add more stock if the puree is too thick. Add the vinegar and honey; season with salt and pepper. Blend again to incorporate flavors. Borscht can be served hot or cold.

To make the garnish, grate the apple on the large holes of a box grater and mix in the dill. Serve in bowls, garnished with a big dollop of sour cream and topped with the apple and dill mixture.


Chrain from Food.com

Ingredients:

2 medium beets, cooked and peeled
1 horseradish root, about 4 inches long
2 -4 tablespoons white vinegar or 2 -4 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Directions:

Grate the beets into a bowl using the fine side of a hand grater (wear gloves or you'll have some real memories that will last for days). Finely grate the horseradish into the bowl (do not touch your face!). Add the vinegar, salt, and sugar, and taste for seasoning. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator; will keep for several weeks with same strength, and afterwards, the intensity will be reduced. Enjoy!


Israeli Cholent from The Gutsy Gourmet

Ingredients:

1 Cup(s) Dried Navy beans, chick peas or other bean
1½ lb Boneless beef chuck; cut into 4 equal pieces, boneless, skinless chicken breasts or lamb chunks.
4 Potatoes; peeled
2 large carrots cut into 1 inch chunks
1 Onion; quartered
1 Teaspoon(s) Salt
½ Teaspoon(s) Black pepper; fresh ground
3 Cup(s) Chicken stock

Directions:

1.  Soak the beans in water to cover overnight.
✚  Preheat the oven to 350℉.
2.  Drain the beans and place them in a large clay or cast iron bean pot with the meat, potatoes, onion, salt, and
     pepper.
3.  Add enough water to just reach the top of the ingredients, about 1½ cups. Cover the pot tightly, first with a
     piece of aluminum foil, then with the lid of the pot. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 200℉ and bake for
     10 hours or more. Do not disturb in any way.
4.  Serve the cholent in soup bowls, adding a little hot chicken broth, if you wish.

Related articles: The Nosh Pit, Recipes, Jewish, Kosher, Traditional Dishes, Classic, Modern, Gourmet, Cholent, Gefilte Fish, Schmaltz, Kishka, Borscht, Chrain
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Now that we’re in the midst of the lazy, hazy days of summer, who has time to slave in the kitchen? Check out these tasty (and easy) slow cooker recipes

The Nosh Pit - Vegan Rosh Hashanah Recipes

Try out these delicious vegan recipes during the upcoming Jewish high holidays.

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Take a gander at these adventurous and tasty takes on our favorite chickpea spread

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Let's face it. Some traditional Jewish dishes are somewhat to be desired and are rarely prepared by younger generations. These fresh twists on the classics will ensure these traditions continue on for years to come.

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