LEAH Koenig has cooked up a new treat for fans. Following last year’s Little Book of Jewish Feasts, Leah’s latest tome, The Jewish Cookbook, is published by Phaidon on September 11.
The Jewish Cookbook is an Aladdin’s cave of recipes, featuring 400 of the most popular Jewish dishes from around the world.
The book charts the diaspora of the cuisine as it has travelled around the world and over many generations.
Recipes include classics such as shakshuka, New York-style baigels and matzo ball soup, as well as updated and contemporary offerings like roasted aubergine with tahini and pomegranate, yeasted pumpkin bread, Yemeni oxtail soup and curried sweet potato latkes.
Leah has published many cookbooks, including Modern Jewish Cooking and Little Book of Jewish Appetizers.
THERE are many different types of cheese-filled breads and savoury pastries in Georgian cuisine, which are traditionally baked in a large clay oven called a tone. Among the most decadent is adjaruli khachapuri, an elongated bread boat filled with a pool of melted cheese, butter, and often an egg. Georgian Jews created dairy-free bean-filled and potato-filled versions of khachapuri.
- 7g active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 240ml warm water (110°F)
- 350–385g plain flour, plus more for kneading and rolling
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 60ml vegetable oil, plus more for greasing and brushing
- 240g shredded mozzarella cheese
- 225g feta cheese, crumbled
- 2–4 eggs
- 30g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
In a medium bowl, stir together the yeast, sugar, and water and let sit until foaming and frothy, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together 350g flour and the salt. Add the oil to the yeast and water mixture and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together, then turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead well, adding up to 35g additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed, until dough is smooth and supple, about 10 minutes. You may not need all of the additional flour.
Grease a large bowl with about 1 teaspoon of oil, add the dough, and turn to coat. Cover with cling film or a tea towel and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1–1½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, stir together the mozzarella and feta. Gently deflate the dough with the heel of your hand and divide into 2 equal balls. On a floured surface using a floured rolling pin, roll one of the balls into a thin round about 12 inches in diameter. Spread the dough with half of the cheese mixture, leaving a ½-inch border.
Roll up one side of the round toward the centre, stopping a little bit less then halfway. Roll up the opposite side in the same manner. Pinch the ends on one side and twist the ends a few times to seal. Repeat on the other side, forming a boat shape with the filling exposed in the middle. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Carefully transfer the filled dough boats to the prepared baking sheets. Brush the dough with a little oil and bake until puffed and lightly golden, 12–14 minutes. Gently crack 1–2 eggs into each dough boat and continue cooking until the whites are just set, 3–4 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top of each dough boat with half of the butter. Drag and swirl a butter knife through the filling, breaking the yolk and mixing the filling together. Serves 4–6.
FRAGRANT with fenugreek and coriander and thickened with finely ground walnuts, this beef and rice soup is anything but ordinary. Kharcho is a mainstay of Georgian cuisine, including for Georgian Jews. The soup traditionally gets its tangy flavour from the sour plum paste called tkemali, but the more readily available tamarind paste and pomegranate molasses make worthy substitutes.
- 30g walnut halves
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
- 910g beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon dried mint
- ½ teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
- 240g canned crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste or Pomegranate Molasses
- 1.9 litres beef or vegetable stock
- 50g long-grain white rice, rinsed well and drained
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Roughly chopped fresh coriander and dill, for serving
Pulse the walnuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, until nuts are finely ground with a few slightly larger pieces. Set aside.
In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add a drizzle more oil if the pot begins to look dry. Transfer the beef to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, carrots, garlic, and a pinch of salt to the pot.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 8–10 minutes. Add the paprika, fenugreek, coriander, mint, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomatoes, tamarind paste, browned beef, and stock. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is very tender, about 1½ hours.
Stir in the ground walnuts, rice, salt, and a generous amount of black pepper. Continue cooking, covered, until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. (The amount of salt needed will depend on how salty the beef and stock are). Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped coriander and dill. Serves 6–8
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