Tag Archives: Jewish

Oreo and Cherry Cheesecake

Once again I have been blogging over on CartoonKippah.com; this time a completely unique and delicious take on a chilled cheesecake.

I created this cheesecake for Shavuot, a Jewish festival during which we eat dairy foods. My mum usually makes several delicious Israeli style baked cheesecakes topped with all sorts of summer fruits. Some Jews will eat cheese blintzes, a thin pancake.

I love chilled cheesecakes because I love the biscuit base, and the fact that there is no cooking involved! (Unless you are making your own cherry jam!)

This recipe is perfect for Shavuot, or simply as a delicious summer dessert. Definitely one for the sweet tooth!

Check out the recipe here:

Oreo and Cherry Cheesecake

All written content and photographs copyright Vered © 2012. All rights reserved.

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Baked Chicken with Thyme and Shallots and Sweet Potato Mash (Kosher for Passover)

There’s still two full days left of Passover. Are you wondering what to have for Friday night dinner? Are you bored of boiled and roast potatoes? Don’t even get me started on matzah!

Here’s a delicious recipe; it’s sweet, spicy and actually quite easy! Once you’ve prepared the chicken and sweet potatoes, they go in the oven, leaving you with an hour to wash up, set the table, make a salad or put your feet up!

This recipe is a perfect lunch or dinner during Passover or any other time. I used chicken thighs, but you could use legs or drumsticks instead.

Baked Chicken with Thyme and Shallots

Serves: 3
Prep time: 25 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs, skinless
8 shallots, peeled and halved
Handful of black olives, pitted and halved
1 lemon
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
Fresh thyme sprigs
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Sweet Potato Mash

3 large sweet potatoes, skin on
Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

2. Get your pestle and mortar out! Pour about 4 tbsp olive oil in, with the sliced garlic and chilli. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Grind it into a paste and then marinate the chicken pieces. Place them in an oven tray, ready to bake. Make sure every part of the chicken is covered.

3. Put the shallots and olives in the mortar to pick up any remaining marinade and then add to the tray with the fresh thyme and mix it all together with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the middle of the hot oven for 1 hour.

4. Cut up the sweet potatoes to small roasties size. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place in the hot oven for 1 hour.

5. During the hour that everything is cooking, check the food twice and turn both the chicken and the sweet potatoes. This helps keep the chicken juicy and stop the potato going crispy.

6. You can make your salad or vegetables in this time.

7. After the cooking hour, stick a fork in the chicken and check that the juice is running clear. If not, put back in the oven for another 15 minutes and check again. Make sure you turn the chicken pieces so that they stay juicy.

8. Take the sweet potato out the oven. Gently peel the skins off and put the soft part of the potato in a bowl. Keep the skins as we’ll use those for something else! Add a pinch of salt and pepper and mash the soft sweet potato.

9. Take the chicken out the oven and check again. When it is cooked through and running clear, add the other half of the lemon juice.

Everything should now be ready to serve with your favourite veg or salad. (Or if you are making this for Shabbat, you can place it on your hot plate now!)

It really is quite delicious and I hope you agree!

Enjoy!

Try making homemade crisps with the sweet potato skins.

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Fish Bites (Recipe and Good News!)

Great news readers! As well as my regular recipes and photographs here on my blog, I will now be posting kosher recipes over on CartoonKippah! They will be recipes inspired by my mixed Jewish background and will feature my own photography. Nothing will change on my own blog, I will just be cooking lots more!

My first post is a Kosher for Passover recipe for Fish Bites. It’s a healthy, cheap and low-fat recipe suitable for pescatarians, dieters, and those keeping Passover. Perfect for lunch or a starter. I hope you will check it out, enjoy!

Passover Recipe: Fish Bites

Penne Funghi (and Hanukkah)

Hanukkah starts tomorrow, and many people know that Jews traditionally eat oily foods like doughnuts and potato latkes (a potato pancake made from grated potato and onion). I’m sure we will see many delicious recipes for latkes this week!

Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days when the Maccabees rededicated the holy Temple in Jerusalem after their victory over the Syrian-Greeks. Fried foods like potato pancakes (“latkas” in Yiddish and “livivot” in Hebrew) and doughnuts (“sufganiyot” in Hebrew) are traditional Hanukkah treats because they are cooked in oil and remind us of the miracle of the holiday. From: http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/Hanukkah-Food-Traditions.htm

Another tradition which I had completely forgotten about (until my sister reminded me at our Christmukka themed food club evening) is that Jews often eat dairy at Hanukkah.

Dairy foods did not become popular on Hanukkah until the Middle Ages. The custom of eating things like cheese, cheesecake and blintzes emerged from the story of Judith. According to legend, Judith was a great beauty who saved her village from the Babylonians. The Babylonian army was besieging her village, when Judith charmed her way into the enemy camp with a basket of cheese and wine. She brought the food to the enemy general, Holofernes, who consumed increasing amounts of wine along with the cheese. (According to the story, the cheese was very salty, hence making Holoferenes very thirsty.) When Holofernes eventually became drunk and passed out, Judith beheaded him with his sword and brought his head back to the village in her basket. When the Babylonians discovered that their leader had been slain, they left. In this way Judith saved her people and eventually it became traditional to eat dairy foods in honor of her bravery. From: http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/Hanukkah-Food-Traditions.htm

I personally think this tradition is all wrong and really we should be drinking more wine to remember Judith on Hanukkah! Oh well, there’s always Purim! (On the festival of Purim, Jews are supposed to get drunk.)

At Hanukkah, lots of Jews will eat their dairy in the form of cheesecake, or cottage cheese on their latkes, yum! Here is how I will be eating my dairy this year; it ties in with my pasta obsession and my love for savoury foods.

As you may have realised, I’m a big fan of easy, quick recipes. This is also a super simple and cheap recipe and works really well as part of a ‘pot luck’ dinner or buffet style lunch. And of course, it’s totally kosher. If you’re in a real rush you could get the pasta on as soon as the garlic is cooked. Make sure you give the mushrooms enough time to cook though. I personally don’t like half-cooked mushrooms as I think they can be a bit slimy that way and it gives them a bad reputation!

Penne Funghi

Takes: 35 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
300g penne pasta (or your favourite pasta)
100g button mushrooms, sliced
4 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp dried oregano
25g butter
3 tbsps olive oil
3 tbsps soft cream cheese

salt & pepper

1. Heat the butter and oil in a pan on a low heat. When melted, add the garlic and about 2 minutes later, the mushrooms.

2. Soften the mushrooms for about 10 minutes or until they are all cooked and soft and covered in the garlicy butter. Then add the herbs, and some salt and pepper, stir and continue to cook on a low heat. If the sauce starts to dry out, add a little water.

3. In a separate pan, boil your pasta in the usual way for about 12 minutes or the time stated on the packet.

4. About 2 minutes before the pasta is ready add the cream cheese to the mushrooms and stir though until melted. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

5. As soon as your pasta is sieved, stir in the sauce and serve hot!

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I would like to, once again, enter this recipe to Pasta Presto Nights, hosted by Ruth. The next post PPN will be in 2012!

For The Love of Cookbooks


I love cook books, if they were cheaper or I had an endless supply of money I would own every cookbook possible. The best thing about them has to be the pictures. My two sisters and I often sit in the lounge simply looking through the books, chattering about how delicious the recipes look. It is quite dissapointing when you order a book and it arrives and only every 5th page has a photo. Dear Chef, please show us more photos! Gratefully, Vered

My first cookbook was Claudia Roden’s ‘The Book Of Jewish Food’ which I received as a Batmitzvah present when I was 12. I never cooked anything on my own at that age so it sat on my shelf for several years. Nowadays, I like to flick through it here and then. Some of my favourites these days include Lorraine Pascale’s ‘Baking Made Easy‘ (I have made her banoffee pie many times) and the small BBC Good Food ones, (my sister Danya introduced me to these as she owns almost all of them – a bargain at £5 each and bursting with photos).

I often browse the book section in charity shops, as this can be a great way to find cheap used recipe books. The idea that someone else has used it and passed it on is quite romantic to me.

Yesterday, I found a wonderful cook book in the pound shop: ‘The perfect Marriage. The Art of Matching Food & Sherry Wines from Jerez’. It has a foreword and special section by Heston Blumenthal. It consists of tapas style recipes from 15 different chefs, including Marcus Wareing, and each recipe comes with a suggestion of the best accompanying sherry.

Of course, I bought it. I read my new cook book all the way home on the bus. The photos are pure food porn! Some of my favourites of the exciting recipes are:

  • ‘Deep-Fried Watercress’
  • ‘Foie Gras with Chilli Jam’
  • ‘Masala Crab cakes with Crab Mayonnaise’
  • ‘Cardamon Rice Pudding with Honey & Cumin Glazed Figs’
  • ‘Crispy Lamb Rolls with Caramelised Sweetbreads’

Hungry yet? I was!

A food blog is born

I love everything about food. I love cooking it, I love talking about it, and above all I love eating it! I’m obsessed with all things food; and that’s what my blog is about.

My name is Vered, and I’m a 24 year old female living in London. I’m an amateur cook and my love of food was heavily influenced by my parents. Food has always been a big thing in my family. I’m Jewish, (and you know we love to eat!) and Indian/Israeli from my mother’s side and Italian/English from my father’s side. I am the middle of three sisters, or ‘the best bit of the sandwich’ as my mother used to say. My parents cooked a homemade meal every night as we grew up, and we would eat together around the table without fail.

My mother’s cooking is mainly Indian and Israeli style food, a lot of vegetable curries and the best dahl in the world…and of course, chicken soup! My father’s cooking is more influenced by his Italian mother and his hippy days, when he and his friends would teach each other recipes from their travels around the world. He cooks delicious simple pasta sauces, but my favourite of all his dishes has to be his kleftiko! If I can steal some recipes I promise you can expect to see them on here at some point!

So, as you can imagine the food was always good in my house. Which is why I am obsessed with food and probably why my younger sister Danya-Zohar has turned her love for food into her career and is now entering her third year of her Bakery and Management BSc degree. She’s worked at Hummingbird bakery, had private cake orders and she’s won a trip this year to train in Bologna, Italy! You can read all about it in her food blog.

My taste in food is very mixed, but I think Indian and Italian are the best foods in the world! (Perhaps I’m biased!?) I love cooking for my boyfriend, friends and family. I also love being cooked for! I like to browse recipe books for inspiration, however I don’t follow recipes strictly and will often add my own twist!

I will always try to make the most authentic version of whatever I am cooking, and I don’t like bad imitations! However, I’m not prepared to pay through the roof for the freshest fish in the country and so I try to find the happy medium.

So what is Eat Now Talk Later about?

Well, I spend a huge amount of time cooking and experimenting with food.  I’ll be uploading my photos and recipes, and sharing my thoughts with you.

I also eat out at restaurants far too much, and I like to think of myself as a bit of a food critic. So I shall be giving you my two peas worth on local restaurants.

And, through stories and photographs, I may reminisce about some of my travels through South East Asia and holidays in Europe.

So here it is: My food diary! I hope you enjoy it. And if you do, please pass it on to someone else who might like it.

Please feel free to leave comments and let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like a second helping of!

Bon Appetito! / Be Te’Avon!