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Posts Tagged ‘Genesis’

“And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold” – Genesis 24:22

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Vegetable Bracelets and Rings with Coriander Pesto

2 onions, sliced into rounds
3 zucchini sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (remove centers with a small cookie cutter, or cut out with a knife)
2 red peppers, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
2 yellow peppers, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
4 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Coriander Pesto:
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper flakes, to taste
pinch sugar (optional, but I think it adds complexity)
1 tsp lemon juice (or more, to taste)

Slice all of the vegetables into rounds – make sure that all the slices are perfect circles of various sizes. Place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick foil or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until soft and slightly beginning to turn brown around the edges.

Place all pesto ingredients into a tall container and blend with an immersion blender (or place in a food processor and process until smooth). The mixture might need to be thinned a bit – either with more olive oil, more lemon juice (to taste), or with water.

Drizzle roasted vegetables with Coriander Pesto, serve.

veggie photo 3

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“And Abraham said unto his servant, the elder of his house, that ruled over all that he had: ‘Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh.” Genesis 24:2

Abraham asks his servant to go down to the city of Nahor and find Isaac a wife. He makes him swear that he will not bring back a Canaanite woman. Apparently this was the way that people made vows and swore things to one another in the times of the Bible. I think nowadays we would be much more likely to do so over an ice cold beer and a hearty meal!

chicken 3

Chicken Thighs in Silan, Beer and Dijon with Thin Potatoes and Onions

6 chicken thighs
1 bottle beer (I used Israeli Maccabi, but any beer will do!)
6 Tbsp Silan (date honey)
4 Tbsp Dijon mustard (I like Reine Dijon – spicy and strong)
6 tsp corn starch
6 cloves of garlic, minced
6 tsp paprika (smoked is fantastic if you can get it)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced into rounds
3-4 medium potatoes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl place all the chicken. Pour Silan and Dijon mustard over chicken, rub into the thighs. Sprinke with paprika, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic, rub to distribute evenly. Pour beer over the chicken. Let marinate for half an hour.

Peel potatoes and slice into 1/4 inch rounds. Slice onion. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the skillet or baking dish. Place onion on the bottom of the skillet (or baking dish), then add potatoes. Put chicken, skin side down, on the potatoes.

Put the cast-iron skillet or baking dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Flip chicken so that it’s skin-side up and then bake for 30 minutes more. For the last 5 minutes of baking, turn the oven temperature up and bit and let the skin crisp until it’s slightly and crispy and looks caramelized.

chicken 2

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“And he made the camels to kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water.” Genesis 24:11

“So let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say: Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say: Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also; let the same be she that Thou hast appointed for Thy servant, even for Isaac; and thereby shall I know that Thou hast shown kindness unto my master.'” – Genesis 24:14

Abraham’s servant Eliezer is sent to find a wife for Isaac. He asks God to help him, to send him some kind of sign, he wants the first girl that comes down to the well and gives both him and his camels to drink to be the right one for Isaac. Rebecca comes down to the well – and not only does she give water to Eliezer and his camels, but she gives the camels first, showing kindness to animals.

I present to you:

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Spiced Acorn Squash and Apple Soup in Squash “Wells”

4 acorn squash
3 Granny Smith apples
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil (plus 4 tsp)
4 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp dried ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)
5-6 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or water)
1 can coconut milk

Dice the onion and garlic and saute in the soup put together with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Cook on a low temperature and let brown. Cut the long tops off the of the acorn squash, peel and cut into large chunks and add to the soup pot. Peel and dice the apples and add to the soup pot. Add all the spices to the vegetables in the pot and mix well, allow to cook for 3-5 more minutes. Add 5-6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock. Allow to cook for 30-45 minutes.

Hollow out the bottoms of the acorn squash, adding any extra squash to the soup pot, dispose of all the seeds and scrape the inside of each sqaush bottom with a spoon to clean it of all strings. Rub 1 tsp olive oil on the outside of each squash bottom and rub 1 tsp maple syrup on the inside of each squash. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Taste soup and adjust seasonings to taste. Add coconut milk just before serving.

Ladle into squash bottoms.

Garnish with toasted spiced sunflower seeds and coconut cream.

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I’m in a bit of a backlog with my posts, as my Hebrew cookbook came out and I’ve been blessed by a flurry of media attention here (TV, print, radio, online and more…) I’m going to take a break from my Prophecy in the Kitchen posts (even thought I have two recipes from the Book of Amos ready to go: Miniature Summer Fruit Basket Pies and Mashed Potato Mountains with Zaatar, Silan and Red Wine Sauce).

Today I had a journalist come cook with me. She asked me to prepare recipes related to the Weekly Portion of “Chayei Sarah – The Life of Sarah” which spans from Chapter 23 verse 1 of Genesis, to Chapter 25, verse 18. The recipes and photos were too beautiful not to share! And perhaps I will find a way to connect them to some of the books of the prophets as I go, but for now, I wanted to post some of them here.

We made:

Spiced Acorn Squash and Apple Soup in Squash “Wells”

Chicken Thighs in Silan, Beer and Mustard

Bejeweled Beluga Lentils with Lemon-Mint Dressing

Vegetable Bracelets and Rings with Coriander Pesto

Tunnel of Fudge Cave Cake

all the recipes from chayei sarah

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The Forward Reviews EATING THE BIBLE!

Cooking the Bible

By Alix Wall

I have to admit that while chopping garlic or sautéing onions, my mind is likely to wander to wondering about the completed dish, thinking about the next step, or about who I need to call when I’m done.

Thinking about the Torah portion of the week is not likely to make it onto that list.

Enter Rena Rossner. Her new book, Eating the Bible: Over 50 Delicious Recipes to Feed Your Body and Nourish Your Soul ” (Skyhorse Publishing) has grown out of a column that she writes for the Jerusalem Post, “The Weekly Portion,” in which the Jerusalem-based mother of five combines biblical verses with recipes inspired by them, hoping that you can feed your mind at the same time you’re working to feed your family.

Each recipe is preceded by a page or two comprising of a verse or two from the Bible, commentary on that verse, and then a recipe inspired by it. On the recipe page – which is usually opposite a photo of said recipe – she gives a few ideas to modify the recipe, and questions that can be asked about that verse.

For example, a recipe for red lentil soup is preceded by “And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Please give some of this red, red stew, for I am faint,’; and he was therefore named Edom.”

This is followed by her commentary on the story of Jacob and Esau and the birthright, followed by a recipe, other red foods that could be served to spark the same discussion, and the following questions: “Why did Esau think that he was about to die? Why do you think he calls the food that Jacob is cooking ‘red’ twice? Why does the Bible then make the point of telling us that it is because of this request of his (or this incident) that he is called ‘Edom?’”

While I feel completely proficient at judging a cookbook by its recipes, I felt less confident about this particular book, given its particular slant, so I invited back my favorite Bay Area power couple (their description), one of whom is a rabbi, along with my cousin and his partner. Recipes aside, Rabbi Mike thought the book would be ideal for family education.

We began with the red lentil soup. While it was seasoned well, and the suggested squeeze of lemon juice as well as a drizzle of olive oil (my idea) were good accents, everyone was unanimous that it would have benefitted from more spice.

“The patriarchs were very wealthy, so they could have afforded more spices,” said Anthony, while Mel said “Every cookbook has a lentil soup and most of them are better than this one.”

Mike said it was good, “but not worthy of a birthright.” Paulie seemed to like it better than everyone else, but when asked “Would You Make This?” everyone said yes, only with modifications of more spice.

Rossner ties her Festive Golden Brisket to the story of the Golden Calf, and therefore it has chunks of carrots, sweet potatoes, and potatoes cooked in a sauce made mostly with apricot jam, ketchup, mustard, mandarin oranges and their juice, giving it a golden hue. I was hesitant when I saw one cup of brown sugar in the recipe, and only added a fraction of that to the braising liquid in the beginning. When I tasted the sauce later, I left out the additional sugar.

While the brisket was edible, if I had used one cup of brown sugar as written, we probably wouldn’t have been able to eat it. Mike said it tasted like brisket and tzimmes combined. We all ate it, but felt it was much too sweet, so when asked “Would You Make This?” everyone said no.

I accompanied the brisket with Technicolor Salad with Silky Avocado Dressing, which obviously accompanies the story of Joseph and his Technicolor Coat. We all agreed that coming up with such dishes, to link them to biblical stories was quite clever, since all foods can’t be as easily found in the Bible as red lentils.

While this salad, which has mango and mandarin oranges in addition to the more savory elements, is also quite sweet, an avocado dressing spiked with cayenne saved it from going over.

Mike, a spicy food fan, said he never thought to make a spicy salad dressing, while some others said that same kick should have been in the soup. Anthony especially loved the cashews. When asked “Would you make this?” everyone said yes.

Last, a Marble Pound Cake with a Hard Chocolate Crust (the hard chocolate refers to Jacob’s neck turning to hard marble, and in the cake, it’s made by affixing chocolate chips to the cake when it’s still hot, and then smoothing them into a crust).

I have to admit I didn’t have high hopes for this cake. Given the power couple being kosher, I had to make this cake parve, when I knew it would taste better with butter, and I pretty much despise desserts made with margarine. I took a risk making it with coconut oil instead, and while the batter required some additional water to aid the beating process, the results were better than expected.

Anthony said it was positively “buttery,” even though there was no butter involved, and while no one detected it right away, everyone appreciated the subtle orange flavor. It also wasn’t too sweet, causing us to joke that perhaps I should have served the cake as the main dish, with the brisket for dessert. While I often prefer richer desserts than pound cake, for a pound cake to be served with coffee, this is quite a good one, especially with the coconut oil substitution. “Would You Make This?” As a coffee cake, yes.

Jacob’s Marble Pound Cake

Joseph’s Technicolor Salad

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My recipe: Joseph’s Technicolor Salad from the Eating the Bible cookbook was featured on THE FORWARD by The Jew and the Carrot!


http://blogs.forward.com/the-jew-and-the-carrot/190001/josephs-technicolor-salad/

EATING THE BIBLE was published by Skyhorse Publishing on November 25, 2013 and is available on Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and more…

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“May the angel who redeemed me from all harm bless the youths, and may they be called by my name and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, and may they multiply abundantly like fish, in the midst of the land.” (Genesis 48:16)

Questions: Why do you think it is a blessing to increase like the fish of the sea? Why are the children of Israel compared to fish? Why do you think that we sing this song to little children? Who is the angel that is mentioned in the verse?

Ideas: Fish! Gefilte fish, sardines, tuna quiche, salmon concealed in puff pastry or phyllo dough, Angel Food Cake. Set your table with hamsas, scatter turquoise beads and eye charms or tie napkins with red string.

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