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Posts Tagged ‘silan’

“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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I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last posted! The summer ran away from me. We were on vacation in Cyprus for two weeks, which was where I concocted this recipe (which is good for dessert but also makes a really decadent breakfast!)

It’s based on this verse of the Book of Joel:

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall flow with waters; and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.” (Joel 4:18)

It’s an interesting chapter of Joel, because one sentence,  a little earlier on, caused me to do a double take: “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears; let the weak say: ‘I am strong.’ ” (Joel, 4:10) – We are so used to the other verse from Isaiah that states: “And He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4) – but here in Joel, the prophet and God are calling people to take up arms! To fight! And that certainly resonates in a personal way with me – this past month has been a very difficult one for the People of Israel and the Land of Israel – a lesson that there are times for peace and times for war.

Being in Cyprus reminded me so much of Israel – Halloumi cheese originates there – which is such a popular dish here, and Greek yogurt is in abundance, along with fresh mountain honey, rich cold-pressed olive oil and wineries on every hilltop. And it made me think that there is so much that everyone in this region shares – milk and honey, wine and olive oil – foremost among the ingredients common to all of this region – Mediterranean and Middle Eastern. My only wish is that all the people of the region could see it that way.

This mousse is an explosion of flavor in your mouth – creamy and seductive, yet slightly spicy and richly decadent by virtue of the Port Reduction, and the grapes add a fantastic crunch.

photo 1

Honey Cardamom Mousse with Port-Silan Reduction and Fresh Grapes

Honey Cardamom Mousse:
1 tsp plain unflavored gelatin
1 Tbsp water
1 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup whipping cream

Port-Silan Reduction:
1/2 cup port
1/4 cup Silan (date honey)
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cinnamon

Fresh seedless red grapes

Let gelatin dissolved in 1 Tbsp warm water. Mix together yogurt, honey, vanilla and cardamom. Add gelatin, whisking as you mix it in. Whip the whipping cream until it holds stiff peaks. Fold the yogurt mixture into the whipping cream until combined, then portion out into individual serving dishes and place in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight. Mix port, silan, vanilla, balsamic vinegar and cinnamon in a saucepan. Cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes until thick. Top mousse with seedless red grapes and port-silan reduction. Serve.

photo 3

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In the last chapter of Hosea, the prophet speaks and says:

“Take with you words, and return unto the LORD; say unto Him: ‘Forgive all iniquity, and accept that which is good; so will we render for bullocks the offering of our lips. ” (Hosea 14: 3)

I felt like I couldn’t move on to another book of the prophets without giving a nod to this very famous verse, and one of my favorite verses and concepts in the Bible. Basically, the prophet here is saying that the way back to God is not via any kind of sacrifice, but rather through simple words. “We will render for bullocks the offering of our lips,” means that the words our lips say can replace cows, that our mouths can and should be filled with words instead of beef, that to a certain degree that is the clear and truest way to return to God – no bells and whistles, no fancy offerings.

And so I offer here a simple, lip-smacking recipe. Not terribly original, because, in truth, words don’t need to be, so long as they come from the heart. And for this verse, any beef will do, a slow-cooked stew, a simple roast, or even meatloaf – something to represent the fact that though our mouths may be filled with meat, it is the words we say that matter, they will fulfill our obligation, not the beef.

Silan Glazed Corned Beef

Corned Beef 1

1 (2kg/1lb) corned beef
Water to cover

1/4 cup Silan (date honey)
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 tsp. ground ginger

Put the corned beef in a pan (it should come pre-packaged from your butcher with pickling spices already on it,) and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until your fork can slide easily in and out of the meat (or until the meat reaches an interior temperature of about 180 degrees F)

Drain the water from the pot and put the meat in a roasting pan. Cover with Silan, Dijon mustard, apricot jam and ground ginger. Bake for 30 minutes. The glaze should be nicely browed and caramelized, and the meat should still be moist.

Cool, slice thinly and serve.

Corned Beef 4

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