Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking: 200 Seasonal Holiday Recipes and Their Traditions

Overview

Deeply rooted in ancient rituals, the seasonal rhythms of the land of Israel, and biblical commandments, the Jewish holidays mark a time for Jews around the world to reconnect with their spiritual lives, celebrate their history, and enjoy tasty foods laden with symbolic meaning. With Phyllis and Miriyam Glazer's The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking as your guide, you will gain a rich understanding of the Jewish calendar year and its profound link to the signs of nature and the produce of the earth in ...

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Overview

Deeply rooted in ancient rituals, the seasonal rhythms of the land of Israel, and biblical commandments, the Jewish holidays mark a time for Jews around the world to reconnect with their spiritual lives, celebrate their history, and enjoy tasty foods laden with symbolic meaning. With Phyllis and Miriyam Glazer's The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking as your guide, you will gain a rich understanding of the Jewish calendar year and its profound link to the signs of nature and the produce of the earth in each season. This landmark volume addresses a central question often left unanswered: Why do we eat what we eat on these important days?

Organized by season, the ten chapters cover the major holidays and feast days of the Jewish year, providing more than two hundred tempting recipes, plus menus and tips for creative and meaningful holiday entertaining. In-depth essays opening each chapter illuminate the origins, traditions, and seasonal and biblical significance of each holiday and its foods, making the book a valuable resource for Jewish festival observance. Inspired recipes add a fresh, contemporary twist as they capture the flavors of the seasonal foods enjoyed by our ancestors. For Passover, prepare such springtime delights as Roasted Salmon with Marinated Fennel and Thyme, alongside Braised "Bitter Herbs" with Pistachios. On Shavuot, characterized by the season's traditional bounty of milk and the wheat harvest, try fresh homemade cheeses; creamy, comforting Blintzes; or luscious Hot and Bubbling Semolina and Sage Gnocchi. At Purim, create a Persian feast fit for a king and learn new ideas for mishloah manot, the traditional gifts of food.

The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking offers accessible, healthful, and intensely flavorful recipes with a unique and tangible connection to the rhythms of the Jewish year. The Glazer sisters will deepen your understanding of time-honored traditions as they guide you toward more profound, and delicious, holiday experiences.

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Editorial Reviews

Bruce Feiler
The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking is that rare cookbook that is as thoughtful as it is enticing.
Publishers Weekly
Setting this volume apart from other seasonal cookbooks, sibling authors Phyllis (an American-born food writer living in Tel Aviv) and Miriyam (a professor of literature at the University of Judaism in L.A.) not only provide the recipes and dishes suitable for each festival but offer the historical and theological background of each festival as well as their modern day rituals. Jewish observance has always revolved around food, with traditional dishes and ingredients associated with each festival, and the authors include not just traditional dishes but modern interpretations as well. From the Glazer Family Haroset, traditionally served at the Passover seder table, to Mom's Classic Hamantaschen for the Purim celebration, the authors take readers through the Jewish calendar, branching out to include the international inspirations of local cuisine that the Jews picked up and incorporated throughout their wanderings, both East and West. New dishes are also included from the biblically inspired Fragrant Chicken with Figs and the autumnal Cranberry Apple Crumb Pie to the simple but flavorful "Drunken" Salmon in Sherry-Butter Sauce, so suitable for Purim. Inserted throughout are fascinating explanations of traditions, historical developments and ingredients that make the book a good read as well as a good cookbook. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Phyllis Glazer, who grew up in New York and now lives in Tel Aviv, is a food writer and author of several other cookbooks; her sister, Miriyam, is a professor at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. Here they offer both traditional and more contemporary versions of holiday dishes, with an emphasis on their historical significance for Jews around the world. Besides the major religious festivals from Passover to Purim, they include some not found in most other books, such as Tu B'Av, "the fifteenth of Av's little-known festival of love." Well-written headnotes set the context for the individual recipes, and boxes provide additional religious and cultural history. A good companion to Joan Nathan's classic Jewish Holiday Kitchen and Gloria Kaufer Greene's The New Jewish Holiday Cookbook, this is recommended for all subject collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060012755
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/2/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 7.37 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Phyllis Glazer is an American-born food journalist based in Tel Aviv, Israel. She is the author of several cookbooks that have been published in Hebrew, German, and Italian, and has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Saveur, and the Jerusalem Post, among many other publications. She appears frequently on television and radio in Israel, and has been a guest on programs in the United States, India, and the United Kingdom.

Miriyam Glazer is a professor of literature at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, where she also studies for the Conservative rabbinate and teaches in the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. She is the editor of several books, including Dancing on the Edge of the World: Jewish Stories of Faith, Inspiration, and Love.

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Read an Excerpt

The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking

200 Seasonal Holiday Recipes and Their Traditions
By Glazer, Phyllis

HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN: 0060012757

Marinated Fennel in Olive Oil and Herbs

Fills a 2-quart Mason jar

These fennel "pickles" make a deliciously different condiment on the Seder table, as well as an accompaniment to both hot and cold dishes and salads throughout Passover week. They're a fiber-rich snack to munch on, and perfect on pasta throughout the year.

Thyme, which adds a subtle flavor and fragrance to this pickle, once grew wild in the hills of ancient Israel. The Mishnah mentions it both as a flavoring herb and as a plant suitable as tinder for fuel. It was traditionally eaten with fatty or heavy dishes made with lamb or beans, probably because it was discovered to help improve digestion.

Ingredients

3 pounds fennel (3 bulbs with 1-inch stalks)
2 medium onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 lemons, scrubbed and sliced thinly, lengthwise (unpeeled)
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2/3 cup Passover white wine vinegar (optional)
Pinch of sugar dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, to cover

Instructions

Wash, dry, and trim the fennel stalks until they meet the top and sides of the bulb. Remove dry or pulpy outer leaves, stalks, and edible leaves. Save the outer leaves and stalks for soup, and the leaves for garnishing.

Slice the bulbs thinly crosswise. Place the slices in a large bowl with the onion, garlic, lemon, and thyme. Mix in vinegar if using and sugar water. Season with salt and pepper and cover with extra-virgin olive oil (or half olive oil, half vegetable oil), making sure that the olive oil covers the fennel.

Use a dish smaller than the circumference of the bowl, and a kettle half-filled with water on top as a weight to help submerge the vegetables. Let sit several hours at room temperature before serving.

Remove thyme sprigs and transfer to a 2-quart Mason jar. Store tightly closed in the refrigerator. More fennel may be added to the same marinade throughout the week. Top up with olive oil so fennel is submerged.


Fragrant Chicken With Figs

6 servings

Why are the words of the Torah likened unto the fig tree? The more one searches it, the more figs one finds. The more one studies the words of the Torah, the more wisdom one finds in them.

-- BT Eruvim 54a

So simple yet so special, this dish combines three of the biblical Seven Species -- figs, olive oil, and honey -- to create nuances of flavor that are appealing, satisfying, and a delight to the senses.

Ingredients

1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut into pieces
12 dried figs
1 1/2 cups Muscat wine (preferably Golan Moscato)
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves

Rinse the chicken and place in a bowl. Pour boiling water over to cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a sharp knife, scrape the skin to remove excess surface fat. Pat dry and set aside.

Rinse the figs and snip off the tops with scissors. Place chicken and figs in a single layer in a large roasting pan.

In a small bowl, mix wine, honey, cinnamon, coriander, salt, pepper, and bay leaves and pour over chicken. Cover and marinate for 1 to 4 hours in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Roast, basting and turning occasionally about 1 hour, until chicken is tender and brown. Serve chicken and figs with a little pan juice poured on top. (May be prepared in several hours in advance and reheated in the oven. Leftovers may be reheated the next day in the microwave.)

Continues...

Excerpted from The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking by Glazer, Phyllis Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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First Chapter

The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking
200 Seasonal Holiday Recipes and Their Traditions

Marinated Fennel in Olive Oil and Herbs

Fills a 2-quart Mason jar

These fennel "pickles" make a deliciously different condiment on the Seder table, as well as an accompaniment to both hot and cold dishes and salads throughout Passover week. They're a fiber-rich snack to munch on, and perfect on pasta throughout the year.

Thyme, which adds a subtle flavor and fragrance to this pickle, once grew wild in the hills of ancient Israel. The Mishnah mentions it both as a flavoring herb and as a plant suitable as tinder for fuel. It was traditionally eaten with fatty or heavy dishes made with lamb or beans, probably because it was discovered to help improve digestion.

Ingredients

3 pounds fennel (3 bulbs with 1-inch stalks)
2 medium onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 lemons, scrubbed and sliced thinly, lengthwise (unpeeled)
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2/3 cup Passover white wine vinegar (optional)
Pinch of sugar dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, to cover

Instructions

Wash, dry, and trim the fennel stalks until they meet the top and sides of the bulb. Remove dry or pulpy outer leaves, stalks, and edible leaves. Save the outer leaves and stalks for soup, and the leaves for garnishing.

Slice the bulbs thinly crosswise. Place the slices in a large bowl with the onion, garlic, lemon, and thyme. Mix in vinegar if using and sugar water. Season with salt and pepper and cover with extra-virgin olive oil (or half olive oil, half vegetable oil), making sure that the olive oil covers the fennel.

Use a dish smaller than the circumference of the bowl, and a kettle half-filled with water on top as a weight to help submerge the vegetables. Let sit several hours at room temperature before serving.

Remove thyme sprigs and transfer to a 2-quart Mason jar. Store tightly closed in the refrigerator. More fennel may be added to the same marinade throughout the week. Top up with olive oil so fennel is submerged.


Fragrant Chicken With Figs

6 servings

Why are the words of the Torah likened unto the fig tree? The more one searches it, the more figs one finds. The more one studies the words of the Torah, the more wisdom one finds in them.

-- BT Eruvim 54a

So simple yet so special, this dish combines three of the biblical Seven Species -- figs, olive oil, and honey -- to create nuances of flavor that are appealing, satisfying, and a delight to the senses.

Ingredients

1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut into pieces
12 dried figs
1 1/2 cups Muscat wine (preferably Golan Moscato)
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves

Rinse the chicken and place in a bowl. Pour boiling water over to cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a sharp knife, scrape the skin to remove excess surface fat. Pat dry and set aside.

Rinse the figs and snip off the tops with scissors. Place chicken and figs in a single layer in a large roasting pan.

In a small bowl, mix wine, honey, cinnamon, coriander, salt, pepper, and bay leaves and pour over chicken. Cover and marinate for 1 to 4 hours in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Roast, basting and turning occasionally about 1 hour, until chicken is tender and brown. Serve chicken and figs with a little pan juice poured on top. (May be prepared in several hours in advance and reheated in the oven. Leftovers may be reheated the next day in the microwave.)

The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking
200 Seasonal Holiday Recipes and Their Traditions
. Copyright © by Phyllis Glazer. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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