St. Louis Post Dispatch, April 16, 2008
by Judith Evans
Tradition writes the menu at many Passover Seders, the service and meal that marks the start of the Jewish holiday that begins at sundown Saturday.
If grandma started the meal with gefilte fish or chicken soup with matzo balls, you probably do, too. Brisket recipes get passed down through the generations like cherished photos or a beloved aunt's locket.
But when it comes time for dessert, this night can be different. It's a place to stretch, to be creative, to try out new recipes.
"You want to do all of the old, some of the new," says Judy Bart Kancigor, author of "Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes From the Rabinowitz Family" (Workman).
(Find the recipe for Spago Pistachio Macaroon Sandwiches With Chocolate Ganache when you Read the whole story.)
The Tennessean, April 2, 2008
by Nicole Young
Haroset is a fruit and nut mixture. Brisket is a beef cut. And matzoh is unleavened bread, which is bread that has not risen or does not contain yeast.
All these foods can be found on a Jewish table during Passover, a holiday lasting eight days to represent the exodus of the Hebrew people from slavery in ancient Egypt.
This year, Passover begins April 19 at sundown.
During Passover, Jewish followers are not permitted to eat anything that rises, meaning nothing with yeast. But, the holiday is considered one of two big food holidays for Jewish followers.
"It's a wonderful holiday for children and men," said Patsy Wind, a Gordon Jewish Community Center (GJCC) member and West End resident. "The women have a lot of cooking to do. There's no telling how long we spend cooking. It's easy, but it's just time consuming."
Wind, along with about 35 other GJCC members and Nashville residents, signed up for a Nourish Your Mind class on cooking at the center last week featuring guest speaker Judy Bart Kancigor, author of Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family. Read the whole story
New Orleans Times-Picayune
by Judy Walker
Judy Bart Kancigor started "Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes From the Rabinowitz Family" (Workman, $19.95) as a family project.
The flourless chocolate cake recipe, bete noire, "came from my cousin's daughter," said Kancigor, a writer for The Orange County Register in California. "She brought it to my kids' house the first time they had Passover." And she had given it the name "Too Good to Call Passover Cake."
Find this flourless chocolate cake recipe as well as Goat Cheese and Pine Nut Mini Cheesecakes with Cranberry Haroset when you Read the whole story
from the New York Daily News March 31, 2008
by Rosemary Black
The very first recipe that Judy Bart Kancigor tested for her new book, "Cooking Jewish" (Workman) was her grandmother's Passover nut cake. When it came out of the oven, the author gave a piece to her mother and asked, "Ma, is this it?" And was astonished to see her mother's eyes widen and brim with tears as memories flooded her mind of Passovers gone by.
(Find recipes for Gramma Sera Fritkin's Russian Brisket, Chicken Soup and Shiitake Mushroom Matzoh Balls when you read the whole story.)
Passover Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot
My friend Dede Ginter tested this recipe for me, and her husband Ed’s AK
/(alter kocker)/Poker Club gave these light and crispy cookies sixteen
thumbs up. If a recipe called for chocolate chips, you could always
count on Aunt Estelle to use lots. She should have named these Passover
Downfall. Enough said. Mom says “ditto.”
Parchment paper or vegetable cooking spray, for the baking sheet
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter or nondairy margarine, at room
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Passover vanilla
2 1/2 cups matzoh cake meal
3/4 cup potato starch
4 cups (two 12-ounce bags) semisweet chocolate chips
1.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a baking sheet, or better yet, line
it with parchment paper.
2.Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed
until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a
time, scraping the bowl several times. Then beat in the vanilla. Reduce
the speed to low, and add the cake meal and potato starch. Scrape the
bowl, and blend just until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate
chips.(If the dough feels too sticky to handle even with floured hands,
cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is stiff, 30 minutes
to several hours.)
3.Divide the dough into 4 portions. Flour your hands with cake meal, and
form each portion into a log the length of the baking sheet. Space the
logs evenly on the prepared baking sheet, and bake on the center oven
rack until they are golden and the tops are firm to the touch, 30 minutes.
by DEBORAH S. HARTZ
Sally Bower - nee Rabinowitz - has celebrated a lot of Passovers. But the one she remembers most fondly happened 70 years ago in Brooklyn. The Seder was at her boyfriend’s house, and it was the first time she would meet his family. When he opened the door, he had a bouquet for her.
During that evening, he put a ring on Bower’s finger in front of his family - even though the couple had been dating only three months.
Although this story is not in "Melting Pot Memories" by Bower’s niece Judy Bart Kancigor, many other exploits of the Rabinowitz family are. What started as a book written as a family heirloom has become popular across the nation with the book in its fifth printing and more than 3,200 copies sold.
It begins with the story of the Rabinowitz family leaving Slonim, in what is now Belarus, for the United States. It includes a history of the area, the family tree and 600 recipes gathered from 159 family members.
"It’s more of a story than a cookbook," Kancigor says by phone from her home in Fullerton, Calif.
But many of the recipes are from Bower, who was one of the tribe’s better cooks. She learned her way around the kitchen from her mother, who made a mean challah, and her mother-in-law, who had prepared meals for bar mitzvahs and weddings in the old country.
She remembers her mother soaking glasses for three days and burying the silver outside with hot coals for purification. The house was cleaned and any remaining crumbs of chometz - leaven - were searched out with a feather and burned.
Then there were the fish. The live ones kept in the bathtub so they’d be fresh when it was time to make the gefilte fish.
My grandmother, Mama Hinda, was a burier. No, not an undertaker. Okay, spell it berye. Yiddish for major-domo cleaner extraordinaire. As in white glove test above the door frame. As in you could eat off the floor. As in using the basement oven to keep the upstairs kitchen clean.
And if Mama was thorough during the year, before Passover she was fanatic, whipped to a joyous frenzy to ready the house for the holiday and remove all chometz (bread or any food containing leaven)…every last crumb.
Weeks before she would scrub, scour, scald, polish and shine. As the holiday approached, her Passover dishes – one set for milchig (dairy) and one set for fleishig (meat) – would be brought from the basement and washed. My Aunt Sally remembered, when she was a child in the 1920’s, Mama soaking glasses for three days and burying silverware outside with hot coals for use during the holiday. No closet, no shelf, no corner evaded her purification ritual.
On the night before Passover, Papa Harry and the children would search the already scoured home for any remaining crumbs of chometz, which would be swept up with a feather and burned. (So stringent is the prohibition that Jews are forbidden not only to consume, but even to possess such things as bread, noodles, yeast and other leavening agents, or anything made with flour during the holiday.)
Downstairs in the cold cellar, the earthen crock of rossl (fermented beets) Mama had started weeks before stood ready to infuse her borscht (beet soup), and eggs by the crate awaited her practiced hand to whisk them into ethereal citrus sponge cakes and irresistible chocolate nut tortes.
My Passover story in the Orange County Register features recipes for Rack of Lamb with Fig Marsala Sauce, Honey-Pecan Crusted Chicken, Zucchini Leek Latkes, and Chocolate Drenched Stuffed Fruit. Chag Sameach!!
Lisa Keys writes in the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) that new traditions can start at any time, with a little inspiration from COOKING JEWISH. Read the whole story.
Rosh Hashanah is coming, apples are in season, and thoughts turn to the familiar. Friends tell me this tried and true, really simple cake reminds them of the one their bubbe or tante used to make.
Aunt Sally's Apple Cake