Having enjoyed Israeli falafel for many years, it occurred to me that the basic ingredients of falafel, namely the fried chickpea concoction could be flavored with many different seasonings, not just the usual Middle Eastern ones. So, here is my take on Mexican falafel.
Category Archives: Jewish Food And Middle Eastern Food
Every Jewish cook worth her salt (yes “her”) has a favorite recipe for gefilte fish, passed down from generation to generation. In the old days, this recipe was a tedious and smelly chore since the fish had to be chopped by hand. Today, the food processor has liberated the traditional Jewish cook. There is nothing nouveau or fusion about this recipe. It is just plain excellent, the quintessence of Jewish holiday cooking.
Many of the ingredients in this beef brisket recipe will be familiar to Jewish cooks, including the Coca-Cola. However, I find that the addition of the Chinese Five Spice gives this dish a much more interesting layer of flavor.
This is a spring vegetable stew served at Passover in Algeria. The artichoke and fennel combination is served as a salad in Tunisia, minus the celery root and with less garlic, but with the addition of harissa.
Julie is the proprietor of Phoenix, a well-known Chicago Chinese restaurant, located not far from Manny’s, President Barack Obama’s favorite deli. Manny’s corned beef sandwiches are legendary. Julie has devised the perfect use for left-over corned beef or pastrami.
This delicious brisket recipe takes about 3 hours of preparation.
The Jewish community of Italy, tragically, was decimated by the Holocaust. Still, its remaining community has preserved its unique culture and traditions, including a distinctive cuisine that fuses Sephardic, Middle Eastern and Spanish cooking with Italian ingredients and methods. The cuisine of the Italian Jews is a fabulous example of Jewish Fusion at its very best.
Some recipes, although not actually Jewish, just seem that way, probably because they are the favorite of so many traditional cooks. This egg salad recipe is an especially good example. It is often served at a brunch or the “break-the-fast” at the end of the Jewish Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) It is pretty enough to serve on a festive occasion.
I have been perfecting my chopped liver recipe for the past 20 years, and this recipe is the culmination of countless experiments. I never use anything except fresh chicken livers. Other livers tend to impart bitterness. There is actually more onion and egg than liver in this recipe which gives it a somewhat lighter color and definitely a lighter texture. This recipe should be well chilled but eaten within one day of its preparation. It does not last long in the refrigerator.
This is an easier and much lighter version of a traditional Jewish recipe. The use of wonton wrappers (squares) gives these kreplach a much airier texture. Rather than tasting mostly dough, which more often than not is pretty heavy, the taste and texture is primarily that of the filling.
Leave it to an East Village Jewish Deli to come up with an actual American/Jewish/Asian fusion dish! That is because the Second Avenue Deli has had a Chinese chef for many years. I have enhanced this recipe with even more Asian flavor. Although this recipe calls for baking and broiling the chicken, it is definitely better on a charcoal grill.
This is a great example of Jewish fusion from a chef who has taken a traditional but basically boring recipe and adds his own favorite spices. The result is a much more exciting version of an old Jewish recipe. Congratulations to Emeril Lagassefor adding new spirit to a tired standard. I have made a few changes of my own.
This recipe has been adapted from a description in Giuseppe Maffioli’s La cucina padovana, and is probably Ashkenazic in origin.
For those a little weary of traditional chicken soup, here is a Middle Eastern variation that is sure to bring a smile to your guests’ faces. It has a few surprises.
Here we have the traditional Chanukah snack, potato pancakes, made with lots of extra zip. Let’s face it—potato pancakes usually derive their flavor from being fried in oil. These latkes have plenty of added flavor; they are fused with Cajun seasonings. This is an inspired combination thanks to Chef Paul Prudhomme. For those who may not wish to combine all the spices, Chef Prudhomme’s Cajun spices are available in most supermarkets, under the “K Paul” brand name.
This chicken soup recipe is only a distant cousin of what is often called “Jewish penicillin.” It may not be traditional, but you will discover that it has great flavor. Mazah balls or egg noodles could be substituted for the cubed potatoes to give this recipe more of a Jewish touch.
This quick, simple and delicious recipe for south of the border-style Matzah Brei (sometimes spelled Matzah Brie or Matzoh Brei) can be prepared in just a matter of minutes.
A delicious, traditional Israeli falafel recipe.
Falafel, crunchy fried chickpea croquettes, are Egyptian in origin but have become a signature dish of Israel. Now considered a Jewish food, they definitely qualify as Jewish Fusion.
One would not normally associate Cajun and Jewish cooking. At first glance, they would not appear to be that compatible, particularly since Cajun cooking often uses ingredients that are blatantly non-Kosher. There is the Kosher Cajun Cookbook, by Mildred L. Covert and Sylvia P. Gerson, which adapts Cajun classics to conform to the Jewish dietary laws. This chopped liver recipe is much more innovative because it truly combines the texture and traditional Jewish chopped liver with seasonings that never could have been imagined by our Jewish mothers. It has a lot of zip, I promise.
I realize that for many traditionalists, fooling around with an old standard comes close to sacrilege. However, in my opinion, gefilte fish desperately needs help. In its usual form, it is at best, an acquired taste. This southwestern version receives fabulous reviews every time. Even people who dislike gefilte fish like this recipe. This is another example of how a somewhat boring Jewish recipe can be brightened up a lot with the fusion of ingredients from other communities.