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 Russian Potato Salad

Russian Potato Salad

(The Nosher via JTA) -- Certain rituals and traditions that are fixtures in the annals of your life simply mean something by virtue of their existence. For me, the traditions that hold the most weight almost always have to do with food. My family came to this country from the former Soviet Union in the late ’70s. New Year’s was the biggest holiday of the year in the U.S.S.R. for all people, including Jews. For post-Soviet Jewish immigrant families around the world New Year’s, or Novy God, is still one of the most important holidays of the year.

The Nine Essentials This London-Based Israeli Chef Always Keeps in His Pantry

Located in the buzzing Soho neighborhood of London, Palomar has become a popular eatery whose meat and vegetable-heavy menu is proudly described as Jerusalem-style. Though it is not kosher, the offerings, such as Kubaneh, Yiddish Style Hand Chopped Chicken Liver Pate, and Malabi, span the Israeli food spectrum, and are not dishes you would find in a typical English restaurant (fish and chips this food is not).

Tapenade

Tapenade

This is a simple yet very useful olive paste that you can use for salad dressings, sandwiches, pasta and fish sauces, or just serve with some good bread. The recipe usually contains anchovies, but I’ve found that a touch of soy delivers the right level of saltiness while keeping it entirely vegetarian. Feel free, however, to swap the soy for an anchovy fillet.

Matbucha

Matbucha

One of the biggest stars of Friday night dinner in my house is definitely the Matbucha. My mama makes this tomato and pepper mezze especially for Friday, and by 5pm (after 2–3 hours of cooking) the whole house is filled with an intoxicating peppery-garlicky smell. I wait until my mama is off-guard and sneak a preview with a piece of Challah. She uses fresh tomatoes, but in this recipe I’ve swapped them for canned. It works just as well and saves an hour of cooking.

Kubaneh Bread

Kubaneh Bread

Kubaneh is a traditional Yemeni bread, traditionally baked overnight in a special lidded aluminium pot. According to Orthodox Jewish law, you’re not permitted to cook from sunset on Friday to sunset the following day, so this lovely bread was born out of necessity, which in turn became a ritual. The end result is beautifully rich in texture.

Join the (Wine) Club

Over the past decade, wine clubs, which send bottles of wine to consumers’ homes, really began to take off here in the United States. Some perks wine club members enjoy are limited edition bottles and discounts on future purchases.

Thankfully, some great domestic kosher wineries jumped into wine club the craze too.

Hagafen Cellars in Napa, has three wine clubs, and the Covenant Winery in Berkeley has two.

Rachael Ray Cooked Israeli Food — And Stirred Up Some Controversy

Chef Rachael Ray on stage at the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival in New York City, Oct. 15, 2016. (Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

(JTA) — Are hummus, za’atar and cucumber salad Israeli foods?

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray said they are — and the floodgates of Middle Eastern conflict opened: Palestinians claimed the foods as their own and are accusing her of cultural erasure. Israelis thanked her and are accusing her critics of ignoring Jewish Israelis of Middle Eastern descent.

A Bubbly New Year

For those who like to mark the end of one year and the start of the next in celebration, here are some pointers on choosing adult beverages for the occasion.

The easiest and most traditional option is, of course, Champagne. From the pop of the cork, to the rush of the bubbles, sparkling wines are firmly lodged in the wine drinking world’s collective psyche as fun, luxurious, celebration-inducing wines.

Crockpot Chicken

Crockpot Chicken

(The Nosher via JTA) — The crockpot has never been my favorite kitchen gadget. I know people love their crockpots and their instant pots, but there have been limited things I have made in a crockpot that I loved, or actually found more convenient. When I am dinner prepping for busy weeks, I typically don’t make long-simmering meals that require my attention but rather just throw a bunch of stuff in the oven.

Four Fun Chanukah Desserts To Try

One of the fun things about planning a Chanukah menu is that you have many nights to try different things. That’s not to say you’ll be organizing a feast every night – but you can amuse yourself and your family with some creative desserts. This year it’s a little late for recipes or dessert ideas – but these are a few ideas you might want to keep in mind for Chanukah 2018. 

Torah Cannoli