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Posts Tagged ‘parasha’

“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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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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“If a woman conceives and gives birth to a male, she will be unclean for seven days. . . And on the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” (Leviticus 12:2-3)

Questions: What does the circumcision of a baby have to do with the ritual purity of its mother? And why are these numbers so important? Seven days? Eight days? Can you think of other series of numbers in our lives that are important? What is the significance of the number seven? Of the number eight?

Ideas: Add an eighth layer to your seven-layer salad, or seven layer cake! Put out items of food in multiples of seven or eight: cookies, pretzels, veggies – talk about the number of items at your table and why they are there in that way. Food that needs to marinate is also great – cook something up that needs to marinate for seven or eight days – you can do this even with your kids – then spend the week waiting for it to be ready – talk about what it feels like to have to wait, and what the value is in this.

Silhouette of summer garden BBQ isolated against fire

Recipe for Eight Day Brisket here

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One of the things I notice now, since I finished all the photo shoots for my cookbook, is that I look at food differently. I was cutting up garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots for today’s recipe and all of the sudden, the mundane turned into art. I started to think about the arrangement of what I was cutting, and how the photographer would have arranged the peels, the knife, the cutting board, the vegetables. I noticed how beautiful the carrots were, both before I peeled them, and after. I noticed how beautiful the potato peels were, and the contrast of the two orange colors of the carrots and sweet potatoes, and of the whites of the potatoes and garlic cloves. And I think more than anything that is one of the things I try to do in my cookbook – to find the beauty in the mundane, to find the culinary references in the simple text. To bring carrots, potatoes and garlic to life in the way my photographer was able to do meant that he saw the vegetables differently, just like I try to see, and help others to see the Bible in a different, more tasty and tactile light. There is much beauty in the Bible, and it’s not in elaborate pageants and great shows of wealth, it’s in the simple things: carrots, potatoes, garlic, stones, sand and stars.

“Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, each took a pan, put fire in it, placed incense upon it, and they brought a strange fire before God which he had not commanded. And fire went forth from God and consumed them, and they died.” (Leviticus 10:1-2)

Questions: While the text makes it clear that Nadab and Abihu died, and that they brought a “strange fire” into the sanctuary which God had not commanded them, we are not told why this fire was “strange.” Why couldn’t Aaron’s sons bring an extra offering to God? What was “strange” about their fire?

Ideas: BBQ! Serve anything flame-roasted to get the conversation started about fire, and what makes some fires strange and others less strange. Anything hot and spicy could work too. Some commentators suggest that Nadab and Abihu were drunk, so douse your chicken in wine, or simmer your beef in some broth.

I am making Flame Roasted Drunken Chicken this week. Recipe here.

Image

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“And they embittered their lives with hard labor, with mortar and with bricks and with all kinds of labor in the fields, all their work that they worked with them with back-breaking labor.” (Exodus 1:14)

Questions: What is the difference between “hard labor,” work with “mortar and bricks” and “all kinds of labor in the fields”? Why does the Bible list these different types of work like this: “all the work that they worked with back breaking labor“? Ok, we get the point. They worked hard. Enough! Is it just for emphasis? Or is there something else going on here?

Ideas: Use peanut butter, apple butter, caramel spread, chocolate spread or any other thick and gooey, mortar-like substance to put together cookie pr cracker “bricks”. Hummus or cream cheese could be used as mortar too.

spread cookie

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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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“Joseph gave the wagons according to Pharaoh’s instructions, and he also provided them with food for the journey…. Joseph sent the following to his father: ten male donkeys carrying Egypt’s finest products, and ten female donkeys carrying grain, bread and food for his father’s journey.” (Genesis 45:21–23)
“And when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to transport him, the spirit of Jacob their father was revived.” (Genesis 45:27)

Questions: Why do you think that Joseph sent wagons to his father instead of going himself? Why do you think that Jacob’s spirit was revived at the sight of the wagons?

Ideas: Arrange slices of citrus, avocado, red pepper or other vegetables on a plate in the shape of a wagon wheel. Make little wagons out of celery, carrots, peanut butter and raisins (cut a small section of celery, fill with peanut butter, use two round carrot slices for wheels and decorate with raisins). Serve round cookies for dessert, and don’t forget some good-quality aged wine!

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