Is that too awkward of a grouping? In the "what's for dinner" thread, LaGatta makes the comment, "I'm glad you liked the chicken paprikasch. The recipe I had was kosher so it contained no sour cream." I think this illustrates the overlap these two cuisines have, although of course all Jewish cooking is not Eastern European.
Anyway, please click on the picture below to access a glorious slide show of festive Jewish cooking. Next to each slide are links to articles and recipes related to the picture. And if you have treasured recipes that would fit into this thread, please, please share them here!
Of course it is Askenazi Jewish cooking that is part of Central and Eastern European foodways - that is the Jewish cooking most prominent in North American (and in South America, Australia and South Africa). Askenaz was the Hebrew name for what is now Germany (and some parts of France along the Rhine) and in one of the many antisemitic expulsions, Jews welcomed to Germany found refuge in Poland and other Eastern and Central European countries - including back in Germany of course.
In France I think Sephardic or Maghrebi Jewish communities are of about equal size as European (Central and Eastern immigrants and native French) and in Israel, "oriental" Jews (Sephardic, Maghrebi and other "Eastern" are a slight majority. But their cuisine would probably be a better fit for Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern food.
Central and Eastern European Jewish cuisine is more distinct from the foods of the Christian majority for the simple reason that pork is so prominent in countries such as Poland. Obviously the differences in North Africa from the Muslim majority are smaller (Jews drink wine liturgically; Muslims can combine meat and dairy so there can be butter in couscous made by Muslim Arabs but not their Jewish compatriots - the Jews will use olive oil in those blessed lands). And even Christian Arabs such as many Lebanese don't eat a lot of pork.
An interesting development is the place Mediterranean Jewish foods have acquired on the Ashkenazi table, largely for reasons of health and love of fresh flavours.
I'm starting to plan a post-Hannukah meal, with potato latkes as a pivotal element. There will be either a sauerbraten or a braised pot roast, chunky apple sauce, and I don't yet know what for dessert.
(Putting beets into latkes might be good, but not for Hannukah. Why mess with tradition?)
I would think the red-flannel latkes might provoke pouting among those hoping for the beloved tradtional meal.
Can't remember if the recipe below is any of the above links, but I think it has possibilities on a number of levels. The author compares it to french toast, but I can see it working as a sort of yorkshire pudding addition, as well, although perhaps without the apples.
Apple-Gruyère French Toast With Red Onion
2 1 3/4-inch-thick slices challah bread from middle of loaf
3 ounces grated Gruyère cheese (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small apple, cored, quartered and very thinly sliced
Fried eggs, for serving, optional.
1. Place one slice of bread on kitchen counter, the bottom crust nearest you. Cut into bottom crust, parallel to counter, to make a pocket. Do not cut all the way to top of slice; bread should remain attached there. Tuck half the cheese and onion slices in pocket. Repeat with other slice.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour custard into a wide, shallow dish. Soak stuffed bread in custard, turning once halfway through, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the apple slices in a single layer and cook for 1 minute. Place bread slices in pan, covering apples. Arrange remaining apple slices on top of bread; cook 1 minute more.
4. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to medium; cook until bottoms are golden, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn bread and apples and cook until bread is golden and cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve topped with fried eggs if desired.
For me this is the time of year for latkes and pirogie's,all that great comfort food I grew up with. Have to make your own though here,absolutely no delis,well there is one out in Metairie(suburb),the Kosher Cajun. Fly in a lot of stuff from NY. Small kosher community here. Great sandwiches.
Some of the best sources of homemade pierogies and other Polish/Northern Slavic wonders are mmm local church bazaars. There are very good Polish, Ukranian and Russian ones here. Sadly I happened to be working during all of them this year.
Mmm and then there are blintzes, the Eastern European cousin of the crêpe. People always like those, just stuffed with ricotta, or with a savoury stuffing that cand be meat and or mushrooms. I really like the Eastern European combination of mushrooms and sauerkraut, in pierogies as well.
Of course we can't forget all the many chopped and grated vegetable salads that add vitamins and a measure of lightness to what could be a very heavy cuisine (especially for NOLA or Oaxaca - does just fine here).
There is a blizzard here - it isn't really snowing much but there are very high winds blowing around yesterday's snow. Across the street is an old, red-brick Bell Canada building and there are two smokers outside feeding their habit in the doorway. There is a sign telling workers not to smoke there - they have to go some metres from the entrance - but nobody is going to enforce that today.
Lots of Polish and Ukrainian food available here but the last real Jewish deli (Simons) closed a few years ago. Perogies are a staple on most diner menus here and polish sausage and kielbasa (called Koobasa or Koob or Garlic Sausage here) is ubiquitous.
I do recall that Christmas Eve was a huge feast however,a fast day,no meat. Lots of seafood in lieu of. Multi courses,several soups,one with beets,Barszcz very traditional. Another,sweet almond soup and one with beer and eggs,really yucky to my best recollection of.
Main course,seafood:Courtbouillon,Poached Pike,and some other cold water fish,Carp perhaps,with a horseradish sauce. Several side dishes. Finish with Fruit Compote and a traditional Christmas Eve bread,a slight variation of a fruit cake,less dense though.
Post by existentialcrisis on Dec 17, 2009 10:14:45 GMT
I would also appreciate Polish/Ukrainian recipes! Loves it! In the Maritimes there aren't many decendants of those cultures, so the food is hard to come by. I started noticing Ukrainian food as I moved westwards, in Sudbury and throughout the prairies. I love beet borscht! I make several versions of it ... but it's hard to find somebody who appreciates a good beet soup
1 onion,chopped 2 stalks celery,sliced 2 carrots,peeled and chopped 1/2 head savoy cabbage salt and pepper to taste 6 cups beef broth 6 fresh beets(roasted then peeled and chopped fine) sugar to taste 1 Tlb. fresh lemon juice or to taste
Combine ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes.Stir in sugar. Simmer 10 more minutes. Squeeze in lemon juice and serve.
That is so interesting and different. Nothing gets sauteed first?
I've notice that you frequently mention roasted beets. Is that a traditional Polish treatment of them, or simply the method you prefer? If so, why, please?
yes, traditional treatment of,always beets in the oven roasting next to potatoes when growing up on the farm.It's a wonder I still love both.Comfort food. It's a traditional peasant soup,no saute.I suppose you could for flavor variation.
You must, DonC, you must. And one of you with an authentic background in this food culture surely has a family recipe to share. Bjd needs to get off that tropical beach & back to a European winter. That might cause her to shake out the old recipes.
I wouldn't make the batter as runny as buttermilk. I don't often cook them, but I would make the batter like crepe batter, but a bit thicker and add a bit of baking powder. I guess that's why they use self-raising flour in the recipe. You also have to slice the apples very thin because otherwise they settle at various angles and it's hard to cook the pancake evenly.
LaGatta alerted me to this very interesting story about Sephardic influences on eastern European Jewish cooking:
CORYNNE MAS said the pastries she makes for Rosh Hashana were like teiglach, Eastern European cookies covered with nuts and honey.
But the version she’ll give her family when the holiday starts next Wednesday night will be stuffed with spiced dates and scented with orange flower water — Middle Eastern touches her mother, a French Jew with Eastern European roots, would not have recognized. They are called makroud, something she learned from her mother-in-law, an Algerian Jew.
Read the rest of the story here, and be sure to check the side bar for all the recipes.
Cookbook author Joan Nathan wrote that article; she has written a book on the subject of Jewish Cuisine in France, in particular the growing North African and to some extent Middle Eastern influence. As she says, except for small but vocal fundie minorities (not only Muslim, but also Christian and Jewish) most people in France are very committed to secularism and religion being a private affair.
She has some more recipes here, at epicurious: www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/highholydays/nathanfrenchroshhashanah Note that there is a wealth of salads of all kinds in Moroccan cooking, some involving raw ingredients, some cooked. Also note that there is a recipe from Metz, a town close to K2's heart. Both banks of the Rhine and its affluents (here, la Moselle) were home to one of the most ancient Jewish communities in Europe north of the Alps. The "Italian plum" tart is also from neighbouring Alsace and is a seasonal treat for people of all confessions or none in northeastern France and southeastern Germany. Oh, we have wonderful "susini" as they are called in Italian, right now at the Jean-Talon market. There is a link to Nathan's forthcoming book in the epicurious article.
Similar to the recipe above except my Ukranian grandmother added cubes of beef till tender plus sometimes some cubes of potato. The beetroot was diced raw and put in also. I don't know if this is what they did back home.
My mother though now uses canned beetroot and it's juices so no need for sugar or vinegar/lemon to be added. Tastes great!