Oh Chanukah Oh Chanukah come cook with Beth…
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Oh Chanukah Oh Chanukah come cook with Beth…

Hope all my loyal readers have been cutting out the recipes from the last two weeks of The Jewish Standard. There were some fabulous ones. In my review, I promised a few more recipes from “Temptations,” a new cookbook by members of Cong. Keter Torah in Teaneck www.ketertorah.org/cookbook as well as from “Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking” (Artscroll) by Leah Schapira. I am also including a donut recipe (thinking sufganiot) from a beautiful new book “Rose Petal Jam – Recipes & Stories From a Summer in Poland” (Tabula Books). Although not a kosher cookbook, there are many adaptable recipes, and the photos and stories from Poland (so many of us have ancestors from there) are just breathtaking and wonderful. Author Beata Zatorska (with Simon Target) recall childhood in Poland, mixing stories of youth with her grandmother’s handwritten recipes.

Thinking about a good main dish to serve with the latkes – from “Temptations” is an easy recipe for sweet and sour spareribs.. from “Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking” is a good one for honey mustard chicken. Enjoy!

Sweet and sour spareribs

8 ounces puréed (can use baby food)
1/2 cup chili sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
4 pounds beef spareribs (flanken)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine peaches, chili sauce, crushed garlic, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and dry mustard in a saucepan. Place spareribs in a roasting pan and pour chili sauce mixture over meat. Bake the spareribs, covered, for 2 1/2 hours. Lower heat to 325 degrees, uncover spareribs, and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Yield 6 to 8 servings. The recipe is easily doubled.

Honey-mustard chicken

1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3-4 tablespoons oil
2 large onions, diced
(optional vegetables-suggestions.. red or yellow bell peppers, sugar-snap peas, baby corn, water chestnuts, carrots, mushrooms)
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons mustard
Cut chicken cutlets into 2-inch strips. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Add chicken strips and cook for 5 minutes. Add vegetables, if using. Add honey, mustard, and soy sauce. Cook for 10-15 minutes-stirring occasionally, or until sauce reduces. Serve over orzo or rice. (Beth’s note..or with latkes!)

Yield 3 to 4 servings.

Donuts (Pczki) with Rose Petal Jam

From “Rose Petal Jam ““ Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland” by Beata Zatorska and Simon Target, www.tabulabooks.com.

My Polish grandmother filled these yeasty buns with jam made from the rose petals I gathered as a child, then left them to puff up under towels on tables and chairs, sofas and sideboards. Visitors, attracted by the smell of her baking, had to be careful where they sat. She simply crushed the rose petals with sugar to make a thick, paste-like jam, my favorite filling for these traditional Polish donuts. You can use store bought rose petal jelly ““ or substitute orange marmalade, apricot, or plum jam, even chocolate.

Makes 20 donuts

2 whole eggs
2 pounds, 3 ounces all-purpose flour
17 ounces warm whole milk
6 ounces fresh yeast (or 3 ounces dry powdered yeast)
4 egg yolks
7 ounces caster or superfine sugar
rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Polish spiritus* (or brandy or rum)
4 ounces butter, melted
14 ounces rose petal jelly (or marmalade)
4 pints vegetable oil for deep frying
5 ounces powdered sugar
For the glaze

2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 – 2 teaspoons water or freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 drops almond essence (or almond extract)
Place the eggs, 4 ounces of the flour, and 8 ounces of the milk with the yeast in a small bowl and work it together with your hands. This is your starter pastry that is going to grow and form the basis of your donut mix. Leave it under a clean cloth in a warm place for an hour to expand. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together. Add the remaining flour and milk and your expanded starter pastry mix. Also add the lemon juice and rind, the spiritus (or brandy), and the melted butter. Work it all together into a big ball of dough. Leave it for another hour to expand; it should double in size. Take the dough, a handful at a time, and roll it out on a floured wooden board to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut out 3-inch discs of pastry with an inverted tumbler. Put a teaspoon of rose petal jam (or jelly) in the middle of each disc, then pull the outside edges together, and pinch the dough to seal the donut so the jam is trapped inside. Roll the ball in your hand into an even sphere. Place completed donuts on a flat surface under a clean towel and leave them to grow for another half hour or so. Heat the oil. To test when the oil is hot enough, drop a marble-sized ball of pastry in and see if it fizzes. If so, drop a donut in ““ it should float in the oil. When the submerged underside is golden, roll it over so the top gets cooked too. Remove after a couple of minutes and allow to drain on a paper towel. Once cool, dust the donuts with powdered sugar. If you prefer to glaze them, make a thin icing by mixing 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar with a 1- 2 teaspoons of water or freshly squeezed lemon juice, adding 2 drops of almond essence.

* Polish Spiritus ““ a form of rectified alcohol repeatedly distilled until it is very strong ““ up to 95% is obtainable in Polish delis. (It is not a good idea to try drinking this undiluted). Substitute a tablespoon of brandy or rum if you can’t find it.

Rose Petal Jam

This fragrant jam is my favorite filling for Polish donuts (paczki). It is best made with fresh petals from the wild rose.

3 or 4 large handfuls fresh rose petals
roughly 1 pound granulated sugar
Gather the wild rose petals in the morning, before they have been in the sun too long and released their fragrance. Place them in a stone mortar or makutra. Slowly pour in the sugar and use the pestle to crush the petals together with the sugar. The juice in the petals will gradually blend with the sugar into a deep red, thick paste. No further cooking is needed. The jam can be preserved in sterilized glass jars for up to two years.

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