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Posts Tagged ‘kosher’

homemade pesach pickles

13 Mar

As far back as I can remember, my mother has made her own pickles for Pesach.  It was a tradition she got from her mother, no doubt because they did not use Passover vinegar or fresh garlic.  I can’t say that I liked them, so I never continued the tradition.  Her pickles would sit for weeks in the boiler room and then on the window sill throughout Yom Tov.  They were soft and mushy inside (practically alive!) and I stayed far away from them.  Now my brother has experimented with his own version and this is the first year that I am attempting my own jars of fresh homemade pickles for Pesach.

INGREDIENTS

  • fresh dill
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 lbs. Persian cucumbers
  • jalapeno peppers, optional, whole or cut, with or without seeds (wear gloves!)
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • cold water to fill jar
  • If you use kosher for passover vinegar, you can use equal amounts of water and vinegar, and cut down the salt to about 2 Tbsp.

DIRECTIONS

They are quite simple to prepare.  First, I  bought a couple of 8-cup “ball” brand jars with a 2 pc screw on cover.  While preparing the cucumbers, I soaked the rubber part of the cover in hot water.  Start by putting the dill and garlic cloves on the bottom of the jar.  Top with cucumbers and jalapeno peppers.  Pour salt into the jar, fill with water, and tightly screw on the cover.  Store in a cool dry spot for 2-3 weeks.  Store jar upside down for the first 24 hours.  When pickles are to your liking, store in the refrigerator.

note: The pickles were delicious (albeit a bit salty).  By request, I will have to make more next year!!

 

 

the hot dog taste-off

20 Jul

My 10-year old son would eat hot dogs daily for breakfast, lunch and supper – if I’d let him.  And certainly, on any given day, he is likely to come home from school or day camp and eat a hot dog or two for snack, before dinner is served a couple of hours later.  So I always have hot dogs in my fridge, and when my husband came home from Costco last week, with a package of Abeles & Heymann hot dogs, which is known to be a top of the line frankfurter, I decided to do a testing of several brands to see if it is indeed “the best”!

We compared 4 different brands, all of which were kosher beef frankfurters.  There was Aaron’s, Abeles & Heymann, Meal Mart and Solomon.  All were 2 oz. hot dogs except for Solomon’s, which was less than 1 3/4 oz.  All 5 tasters agreed that Aaron’s was the #1 tasting hot dog.  Firm in texture (it was also the thinnest hot dog), it had a nice smokey flavor, which did not disappoint.  Abeles & Heymann came in second, more for it’s plump, juicy texture than for its’ flavor.  Solomon, had the lightest color, and came in a close third – with its’ hot dog also having a nice texture and flavor but somehow lacking a bit of oomph.  Surprisingly, the Meal Mart hot dog came in fourth, and was unremarkable.

After we tasted, we ate, and realized that, after all that, once the hot dog is in the bun, with all the trimmings, it was hard to differentiate one from the other!

 
 

aranygaluska

17 Mar

I was quite organized this week so I got all my baking orders for Purim and deliveries out of the way.  Today, Tannis Esther is a nidcheh (pushed off) as it is usually a day before Purim (Shabbos this year), and we do not fast on Shabbos unless it is Yom Kippur.  So that leaves me with a free day to make what I’d like for the breaking of the fast tonight, and for Purim.  My plan today is to make hamantashen, which I have only made once in my life when I tried it in a dairy variety, dairy chocolate bobka and rugelach and Aranygaluska.  Wikipedia defines Aranygaluska as Hungarian sweet dumplings.  In actuality, it is balls of a rich yeast dough dipped in oil and rolled in ground walnuts.  It is then layered and baked in a tube pan and traditionally served (at least in homes of Hungarian background) on Purim.   We always had a (slightly overbaked ;)) Aranygaluska straight out of the oven on Purim.  It is similar to monkey bread in that it’s eaten “pull-apart” style as opposed to in slices.  When I googled Aranygaluska, I saw a picture of one which had lekvar (prune jam) filling in each ball.  Although not authentic in my mother’s home, I think I will make it that way today since I love the lekvar filling and look for opportunities to use it.  I think the best option for a fresh cake, would be to freeze it raw and then thaw and bake it fresh on Purim morning.

This is a recipe that was printed in Mishpacha’s Family First Magazine in the March 5, 2008 edition.  I tried it that year and must have been in one of my organized moments, because I found it just where I thought it would be and in a protective plastic sleeve. I am glad I was able to find it now.

 

ARANYGALUSKA

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 cups (2lbs + 4 oz) or 1 Kilo flour
  • 1 cup margarine or butter, melted
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice (use milk if making it dairy)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

TOPPING:

  • oil
  • 3 cups choppped/ground walnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla sugar

Directions

Place the flour, margarine, and sugars into a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, pour the lukewarm water over the yeast and wait 2-3 minutes.  Add this to the flour, along with the apple juice, egg yolks, and salt.  Mix together until it forms a dough.  The dough should be soft and pliable.  Tranfer the dough to a bowl sprinkled generously with flour.  Cover and let the dough rise for 45 minutes.

After the dough is risen, transfer it to a work surface and roll it out gently to a 1/2-inch thickness.  Use a glass with a 3-inch rim and cut out circle.  Cover the circles and let them rest for 15 minutes.

Prepare two bowls.  Pour some oil into the first; in the second one, combine the walnuts with the sugar and vanilla sugar.

Lightly grease two tube pans with removable bottoms.  Working quickly, dip the dough circles into oil and then coat them with the nut/sugar mixture. Put the coated balls inside the pan to form layers.  Sprinkle additional nut mixture on top of each completed layer, until you have three layers in all.  The cake should reach about 3/4 of the height of the pan.  Repeat the same process with the second pan.  If using lekvar filling, put a teaspoon or two of the jam in the center of each round.  form into a ball, enclosing the filling.  Then dip in oil and nuts and described above.  Rise 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 45 minutes.  Let cool.  Use both hands to carefully remove the cake from around the tube.  Serve whole on a cake plate, and expect the balls to be pulled apart for eating.

yield: 2 cakes