New flicks with celebs in interfaith relationships and from interfaith backgrounds, plus their baby news!Go To Pop Culture
Stuffed breads, like dumplings, exist across many cultures. There are theÂ babkas; the Kurdish Jewish stuffed bread known asÂ kadeh; there are PolishÂ kolaches;Â and IndianÂ parathas.Â This year, instead of the usual Hamanâ€™s hat (Hamantaschen) for Purim, I wanted to try making Queen Esther’s crown. The pastry ring is supposed to look like a queenâ€™s crown and with the inspiration of Indian parathas, this one is stuffed with a samosa-like filling. I hope those of you with Jewish and Indian influences in your home will especially enjoy this recipe!
Queen Esther’s Crown Stuffed Bread
1. Â Remove pizza dough from the fridge to let it come to room temperatureÂ for at leastÂ 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400Â° F.
2. Â Peel the potatoes and the carrots and dice them into pea-sized cubes.
3. Â Add 3/4 cup of water into a small pot with a lid. HeatÂ the water to just before a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Add in the diced carrots, diced potatoes and peas. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Once the vegetables are soft and cooked through but not mushy, take them out of the pan. The water may or may not be completely absorbed.
4.Â Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seed and cook until you start to hear a popping sound. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent. Then, add the steamed vegetables and sautĂ© for 5 minutes. Add all the spices: salt, mustard seed, turmeric, garam masala andÂ fresh ginger. Stir to combine.
5.Â Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside in a bowl to cool. With scissors or a knife, cut the dried apricots into little ÂĽ-inch strips and add them to the vegetables.
6. Â Prepare a pan with a sheet of parchment paper.
7.Â Grease your hands with a little oil and stretch out your pizza dough into a long thin rectangle. I like to hold the dough up high and let gravity help me stretch it. Keep turning the dough so that you get an even stretch.
8.Â Put the edges together and make a wide crown of dough. It may seem impossible, but stick with it and keep tweaking it. It doesnâ€™t have to be perfectly round and you can adjust it later.
9.Â Spoon the filling onto the dough, leaving a small seamÂ at the center of the circle and a larger space on the outer part of the circle. Pull the outside of the crown over the filling andÂ pinch the dough together in the inner circle.
10.Â Brush the crown with a beaten egg. Cook for 25-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
11.Â Serve slices with a spoonful of cool, creamy plain yogurt.
Let’s face it, the star of any Hanukkah meal is always the latkes. Those crispy, fried, salted potato pancakes could be turned out all night and the plate would always be polished off within minutes.
Whether you dollop apple sauce or slather sour cream on top, latkes don’t quite make a full meal. (For the perfect latke recipe, click here.) This hearty salad is a perfect way to round it out. It can easily be prepped while the latkes are frying or earlier in the day. If your crew is especially hungry, start off with a bowl of matzah ball soup.
Almost every culture has a way of using up stale bread, from Italian panzanellas to Lebanese fatoush salads, from crisped bits of bread at the bottom of a French onion soup to croutons on a garden salad.Â Inspired byÂ mandel/Shkedei marak, which are mini crackers that Israelis (and Jewish Americans)Â like to pour in their soup, this fall salad has sweet potato mandel. Mandel are used like New England’s oyster crackers, but they are much smaller in size.
Hanukkah Salad withÂ Delicata Squash & Baby Spinach
This salad serves four people as a main dish to be served with latkes. It can serve 6-8 as a side salad.
1. Â Preheat a toaster oven or oven to 425Â° F. Put a medium sized pot of water on the stove to boil. Salt the water well (3-5 tsp. of sea salt or Kosher salt). Fill a medium-sized bowl with ice water leaving room for the Brussels sprouts when they come out of the blanching pot.
2. Â While the water is boiling, prep your Brussels sprouts. Remove a few of the outer leaves of the Brussels Sprouts until you get to the clean, fresh leaf. Cut large ones in half andÂ smaller onesÂ can be leftÂ whole. Do not remove the stem or core yet.
3. Â Put the clean Brussels sprouts into the boiling, salted water for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the Brussels sprouts and plunge them into the ice water. Keep the blanching water for later. Cut larger Brussels sprouts in half. Remove the bottom stem from the tiny ones and you can core the larger sprouts by cutting a small ‘v’ in the bottom just above the stem.
4. Â Wash and slice the delicata squash, skin and all, and carefully remove the seeds and pulp. Keep the seeds in a bowl to be roasted.
5. Â On a foil-lined tray, drizzle 1/2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Place the slices of squash and the Brussels sprouts on the tray. Drizzle the other 1/2 Tbsp. of olive oil on top and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt, three sprigs of thyme and 1/2 tsp. of pepper.Â Roast for 25 minutes.
6. Â While the squash is roasting, peel the sweet potato and cut it into pea-sized cubes. Place the cubes into a bowl of water. Bring the blanching water back to a boil and prepare another bowl of ice water. Blanch the sweet potato cubes for 2 minutes and then submerge in ice water. With a slotted spoon remove the sweet potato cubes from the ice water and let them dryÂ on a dish towel.
7. Â Prepare your salad dressing. Mince 1 shallot and place in a jar. Add 1 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. of Kosher salt, 1/2 cup of light cream and the leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme. Shake the jar and place it in the fridge until the rest of the salad is assembled.
8. Â Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and let them come to room temperature. Leave the oven on. Then, add canola oil to a large frying pan over medium high heat. Once a drop of water dances on top of the oil, it is ready. Carefully pour in the dried sweet potato cubes and let them brown on all sides, 10-15 minutes. With a slotted spoon remove the sweet potato mandel and sprinkle them with salt.
9. Â Wash and dry the delicata squash seeds. In the hot sweet potato oil, add the leaves from 3 more sprigs of thyme. (Be careful: They will splatter a little.) Toss in the dry squash seeds and stir. Roast the seeds on a tray in the oven for 5-8 minutes until golden. In a small bowl, mix the Sriracha and honey. Toss the seeds in the honey/Sriracha mix and then return to the tray to roast for 2-3 more minutes. Watch these as they can burn quickly.
10. Â In a bowl, add your spinach and top with the sweet potato mandel, roasted squash and Brussels sprouts. If you would like to add nuts, you can toast them in a dry pan and then sprinkle them over the salad once cooled. With the carrot on a cutting board with a lot of pressure on the peeler, peel strips of carrot and sprinkle them over the salad. Top with the roasted squash seeds and serve with the creamy lemon thyme dressing.