Welcome to “A Ner Yoh” Blogpost. We are delighted to share with you some of our best recipe books, articles about our traditions, and much more. Now that the high holidays are behind us, it is time to focus back on our weekly holiday, with its weekly Friday Evening Gathering around our family tables. And so this week bring you 7 delightful way to enhance your Shabbat tables.
Ah already in November, the colder months of the year are almost upon us here in North America, This is the time of the year in which many of us enjoy rich, hearty, stick-to-your-bones comfort food. Most of our traditional Sphardic menu is suitable for any time of year, it is however especially good after the High holidays from Rosh HaShana to Sukkot, to continue spicing up and colouring our weekly delight (The Shabbat) with the best ideas.
And therefore we are bringing here some of the typical Mediterranean appetizer, red peppers stuffed with tuna, which is a simple, light hors-d’euvre that’s a good way to start off the meal, following the Kiddush wine and breaking of the challah Bread. The first course, grilled eggplant, is equally light and tasty. The meal then moves on to a delicious, traditional Sephardic chicken dish, Moroccan-style chicken cooked with garlic and peppers. No one is going to twist your arm to try the next item (but it is highly recommended) is the rich Tarta de Almendra for dessert.
The entire menu can be made ahead of time to be enjoyed throughout the whole Shabbat (Shalosh Seudot) except for the fried potatoes, which are best served immediately after making. Enjoy !
This hors-d’euvre is light, easy and delicious — and no cooking required! It is about as simple as opening a jar of peppers, a can of tuna and chopping green onions and olives. Regardless of your cooking expertise, you can easily make this dish. It is one of those classic Spanish tapas that’s perfect any time of year when you want a light start to the meal.
This is a healthy idea that’s bound to be a new family favorite around your Shabbat tables. Our three colors Tuna Stuffed Peppers are prepared with Kosher Chunk of Light Tuna with plenty of added herbs.
1 (11 oz.) Pouch – Kosher Chunk Light Tuna; 6 peppers, red, yellow and green; 1 cup chopped onions; 1 clove garlic, minced; 1 Tbsp. olive oil; 1⁄2 tsp. Oregano; 1 tsp. Parsley; 11⁄4 cups cooked brown rice; Salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350°F ; Cut tops (~1⁄3) off the peppers and clean out the interiors. Cut the stem from the top of the pepper (discard the stem) and cut the remaining pepper from the top into small dices. Reserve the bottom 2⁄3 of each pepper for stuffing. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, garlic and diced pepper and cook until onions and peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. Add oregano, parsley, salt and pepper, tuna and rice. Mix to blend well.
Stuff peppers with mixture. Place in 8″ x 8″ square baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Although this dish is often served as an hors-d’euvre, it can also easily replace a standard green salad any day of the year. Even people who think that they don’t like eggplant or tomatoes have raved about this dish! The only cooking involved here is grilling slices of eggplant under the broiler. The rest is chopping some tomatoes, garlic, green onions, and garlic, then mixing the vinaigrette. Make it ahead and allow it to marinate before serving.
You can paint slices of eggplant with olive oil and grill them over coals for this Moroccan Tzarfati salad. The only trick is to cook the eggplant over a gentle fire, so the texture is soft and creamy. Alternatively, it may be cooked on a stovetop grill, baked, or pan-fried. Be sure to let the eggplant marinate in the sauce for at least an hour.
1 teaspoon coriander seeds; 1 teaspoon cumin; 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; Dash of ground red pepper; Dash of ground cinnamon; 3/4 cup almond milk; 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided; 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint; 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley; 2 (1-pound) eggplants; 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt.
Preheat the grill to medium heat. Combine coriander and cumin in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 1 1/2 minutes or until toasted. Combine coriander mixture, black pepper, red pepper, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place spice mixture in a spice grinder; process until finely ground (you can also crush with a mortar and pestle). Combine 1/2 teaspoon spice mixture, 1 tablespoon oil, almond milk, mint, and parsley in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Next, Partially peel eggplant lengthwise with a vegetable peeler, leaving long stripes. Cut eggplant crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices; lightly coat with oil. Sprinkle evenly with remaining spice mixture, pressing to adhere. Arrange eggplant on grill rack coated with oil; grill 5 minutes on each side or until just tender. Place eggplant on a platter; cool to room temperature. Spread almond milk mixture evenly over eggplant. Cover with foil, and let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with salt.
3. MORROCAN CHIKEN STEW
The northern region of Africa called often Magrebh is best known for its delicious Sephardic cuisine. Although their winters are not as cold as ours, there is no problem in adapting their these ideas to our regions as many of our Sephardic brothers did as they move back and force in their trade routes, they knew what foods will warm us up. Chicken cooked in white wine and flavored with garlic, red peppers and Some Mediterranean style Glatt Kosher sausages, making a wonderful winter stew. Serve with homemade Julian cut fries and enough buns to soak up the sauce.
large handful flaked almonds; 1 tbsp white wine; 1 tbsp olive oil; 2 red onions, finely sliced; 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped; thumb-sized piece ginger (about 40g), unpeeled if organic, finely grated; 1 tsp ground cumin; 1 tsp ground cinnamon; ½ smoked sweet paprika; 4 chicken thighs, skin on; 3 Italian or Polish style Glatt Kosher sausages; 2 red peppers, sliced into thin strips; 1 large lemon, cut into 6 thick slices handful green olives, stoned; 250ml chicken stock or bone broth; 4 pitted dates or dried apricots, chopped; a small pinch of chilli powder or 1 fresh, red chilli, chopped (optional); 150g green beans, halved; handful fresh coriander, chopped; handful fresh parsley, chopped.
In a large, dry pan, gently toast the almonds for 2 minutes until golden – don’t take your eyes off them, as they burn easily – then set aside.
In the same pan, heat the some olive oil and gently cook the onions for 8 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and spices, and fry for 1 min more. Add the chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is golden and crisp. Add the sausages cut in small slices, then turn and cook to lightly golden on the flesh side. Add the wine, the red peppers, lemon slices, olives, stock or bone broth and dates or apricots (and chilli, if using). Simmer with the lid on for about 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
If you find the sauce is too watery, take off the lid and leave it to reduce a little. If the sauce is too thick, add a few more tbsps of water. Add the green beans for the final 4 minutes of cooking time. Season to taste and top with the coriander, parsley and the toasted almonds to serve.
4. CHICKEN MEATBALLS IN CURRY
1 pound of ground kosher chicken – 1 onion – 1 egg – 1 cup of breadcrumbs
Salt – Pepper – 1 tsp of turmeric – Olive oil – 5 tomatoes cut in small pieces
1 tsp of paprika – 1 pinch of fresh curry powder
In a food processor, ground the onion. Add it to the ground chicken with the egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, curry powder. Mix very well. In a large skillet, heat up one tbsp of olive oil or other vegetable oil. With wet hands, form the meatballs and flatten them a little. Sear the meatballs for about 3 minutes on each side.
In a small bowl, fill up with 1/2 cup of hot water and add the saffron. Let it infuse for a couple of minutes. In a large pan, heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, paprika, saffron in the water and cook for 10min. With a potato masher, puree the tomatoes. Add the meatballs and cover. Cook on a low fire for 20 minutes.
Traditionally served alongside steamed white rice, I see no reason why this can’t be served with a good old-fashioned kugel to mop every last bit of flavor that the saucy overflow provides. Carne con Patatas is definitely one of those dishes where you won’t want to waste a single bit.
2 lbs Kosher beef top round or stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks; 3 sour oranges (or 2 oranges and 2 lemons), juiced; 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano; 4 cloves garlic, finely minced; 1 Tbsp smoked mustard (*If you can’t find smoked mustard, coarse Dijon works, too); 5 Tbsp olive oil, separated; Kosher Salt; fresh ground black pepper; 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour; 1 large onion, sliced; 1 green bell pepper coarsely diced; 1 red bell pepper, coarsely diced; 1 yellow bell pepper, coarsely diced; 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes; 1 8oz can tomato sauce; 2 cups beef broth; 2 lbs small white-skinned potatoes, halved; 2 dried bay leaves; 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped; 1 Tbsp ground cumin; 1 Tbsp of a spice mix involving salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, coriander, cumin, oregano and annatto seeds.
In a plastic zip-top bag, combine beef, citrus juice, oregano, garlic, mustard, 3 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Close the bag, making sure to remove all the air, and massage the ingredients together until well-combined. Place the bag in the refrigerator, and let marinade for 1-4 hours.
In a large skillet, heat remaining olive oil. Separate the marinated beef into two sections, reserving the marinade liquid. Brown the first batch of beef for 3 minutes, and set aside. Lightly coat the second batch of beef in flour, and brown for 3 minutes. Set aside.
In the same skillet, add onion and bell peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, and reserved marinade liquid, and deglaze the skillet using a wooden spoon. Stir in cumin and sazon goya.
Transfer the beef, vegetables, and sauce to a slow-cooker, and add in the dried bay leaves and potatoes. Stir to combine, cover, and cook on low for 7 hours, or until beef is fork-tender. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, as needed. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with steamed white rice.
6. MOROCCAN FISH WITH CRISPY RICE CAKE AND TURMERIC CRUST
Moroccan cooking is better defined by the classical Maggrebhian preparation of fish. With their outstanding red, yellow, and green colors, their spicy aroma, it all comes together in this dish. Traditionally, the fish is assembled and marinated, left in the fridge overnight, but if short on time for the overnight preparation, it can easily be cooked straightaway.
This dish is better served with crispy rice cakes with Turmeric crust. Which is a wonderful side dish to make all year- round; it is crunchy, light, and flavorful. For better result the rice maybe covered with a few paper towels as it cooks to absorb the excess of moisture, which will help to create that golden crust at the bottom of the rice, well known in the Spanish Caribbean islands as “Concon”.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE RICE
2 cups (14 oz/440 g) basmati rice, well rinsed; Kosher salt; 3 Tbsp corn oil or rice bran oil
4 saffron threads, crushed between your fingertips; 1 heaping tsp sweet paprika
In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups (32 fl oz/1 l) water to a rapid boil over high heat. Stir in the rice and1 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 9 minutes. You don’t want the rice to be fully cooked or the water to be completely absorbed. It should be only halfway there. Spoon the rice into a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl and letit stand until all of the liquid has drained.
Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and use a wooden spoon to swirl the saffron and paprika into the oil. When the oil starts to sizzle, carefully spoon in the rice, pressing it into the bottom of the pan to form a sort of “rice cake.” Reduce the heat to medium, place a few paper towels over the rice, and cover the pan. Cook until the rice cake is nicely browned and crisp, 15–20 minutes. Using a spatula,lift the cake occasionally to make sure the rice isn’t burning. When the cake is ready, uncover and let cool for a few minutes.
Remove the paper towels. Carefully invert a large plate over the top of the pan, invert the plate and pan together, and then lift off the pan. Serve right away. The rice cake can also be made up to one hour ahead and kept covered at room temperature. Just before serving, reheat in a 300°F (150°C) oven.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FISH
For the paprika oil: 1⁄2 cup (13⁄4 oz/55 g) sweet paprika; 2 cups (16 floz/500 ml) canola oil
For the Turmeric water: 1 Tbsp saffron threads; 1 cup (8 floz/250 ml) boiling water
4 cloves garlic, quartered; 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems reserved and left whole, leaves chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely diced; 3 dried red chiles, such as guajillo, ancho, or pasilla
6 grouper or tilapia fillets, about 6 oz (185 g) each; 1–2 preserved lemons, cut into small pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper; Fresh cilantro for garnish
To make the paprika oil: In a glass jar combine the paprika and oil and shake until well blended. Set aside. This will serve as the base for your Moroccan cooking. Store in a dark pantry and always shake before using.
To make the saffron water: Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Place the saffron on a small piece of aluminum foil and fold over to secure the saffron inside. Toast in the oven for no more than 1 minute. Use your fingersto crumble the saffron into tiny pieces. Place in a small glass jar, pour in the boiling water, and shake until well blended. This mixture will also come in handy for Moroccan cooking.
If you have time to marinate the fish: Pour 1 ⁄4 cup (2 floz/ 60 ml) of the paprika oil into a large sauté pan. Add the garlic, cilantro stems, bell peppers, and chiles. Place the grouper on top and add the preserved lemons. Pour 3 tablespoons of the saffron water evenly over the fish. Use your hands to rub the liquids into the fish.
Season with salt and pepper. If you have time, cover the pan and let the fish marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Remove the pan from the fridge, place over medium- high heat, and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, sprinkle the cilantro leaves over the fish, and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes longer. The dish should look bright and bubbly.
Serve right away.
If you don’t have time to marinate the fish: Pour 1 ⁄4 cup (2 floz/60 ml) of the paprika oil into a large sauté pan. Add the garlic, cilantro stems, bell peppers, and chiles, place over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers and chiles are softened, about 4 minutes.
Place the fish on top and add the preserved lemons. Pour 3 tablespoons of the saffron water evenly over the fish. Season with salt and pepper. Tilt the pan so that the liquids are evenly coating all of the fillets. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, sprinkle the cilantro leaves over the fish, and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes longer. The dish should look bright and bubbly. Serve right away
7. SEPHARDIC ALMOND TART
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CRUST
1 egg; 1 teaspoon vanilla; ¼ cup sugar ; ½ cup vegetable oil; ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups flour ;
INGREDIENTS FOR THE ALMOND TOPPING
1¼ cups sugar; ½ cup butter; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 4 tablespoons almond milk; 2 cups blanched, slivered almonds; pinch of salt;
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla and sugar until uniform. Add vegetable oil and salt, and whisk to combine. Whisk flour into wet mixture until dough is formed. Press into greased 10” tart pan with your fingers, evenly distributing dough within the pan. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until lightly golden at edges. Meanwhile, work on the almond topping. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring sugar, oil, vanilla and milk to a boil. Add the slivered almonds and salt and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, until a pale caramel color is achieved. Pour almond mixture on top of crust and spread into an even layer. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Put tart on sheet pan (some bubbling over of almond may occur) and bake for another 15–20 minutes. Tart is ready when deep golden brown color is visible. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from pan to finish cooling.
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Our traditions whether it is during our holidays or on our common daily routines, they are often defined by food. However our cultures are enhanced by an ever changing cuisine, enriched by our numerous blend of kitchen encompassing the flavors of the whole world, embracing local culinary traditions of every place in which we have...