Category: Breakfast

Shaktuna (Tunisian Tuna Shakshuka)

Having recently traveled to Paris, I have a newfound love of tuna – and not the type we mix with mayo and stuff in a bagel. But the kind that’s canned in good quality olive oil and served with sesame bread. Or the kind that’s stuffed into a teeny tiny sandwich with potatoes, eggs, capers and olives: the Tunisian tuna sandwich known as Fricassé.

I made my way to Charles Traiteur, the popular kosher catering/take-out to taste their renowned Tunisian Tuna Sandwich, a soft sesame baguette stuffed with tuna, eggs, harissa, olives and a hint of mustard. It was good, but it didn’t quite live up to the hype, maybe because the bread was soggy.

But then I went back before Shabbos and got their Tunisian Fricaseé sandwich – mini bites of heaven with the same ingredients of the tuna sandwich, only on delicious fried bread and I haven’t stopped dreaming about it since!

Now lets go back a couple of months, when I was introduced to Finer Fin tuna, aptly named because that tuna is FINE!!! I have been hooked on their amazing flavors, including Mexicana, 3-Bean, Zesty Lemon and Spicy Chili. Each filet is hand-sliced and packed in extra virgin olive oil. The tuna is wild caught, a great source of Omega 3, Non-GMO, low in mercury and sustainable caught. It basically sells itself!

So, back to Paris, I came home re-inspired on the tuna front and decided to do a riff on shakshuka and the classic Tunisian Tuna sandwich and let me just say…WOW. Like seriously this makes the perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch or even dinner. It was just THAT good.

Because Finer Fin’s tuna is already packed with flavor, it needed only a small can of tomato sauce to create a base for shakshuka. I added the other classic elements of olives and capers, but you can easily leave those out if you’re not a fan of briny flavors.

You can also throw in some spinach or kale into the mix if you’d like, which is really what I love about shakshuka – it’s just so versatile! (see the gazillion different combos I linked to below, I can’t get enough!).

So if you’re looking for a taste of Paris, or you just want a quick and easy dinner to get on the table, look no further than SHAKTUNA!

This post has been sponsored by Finer Fin. All opinions are my own.

Related Recipes:

roasted eggplant shakshuka
Mexican quinoa shakshuka
beet, kale and goat cheese shakshuka
zoodle shakshuka,
garbanzo bean shakshuka with labneh
spaghetti squash shakshuka
stuffed portobello shakshuka

Post a Comment

Orange Cardamom Noodle Kugel

Well hello there blogosphere, it’s been so long, hasn’t it?! Life has been hectic as ever, but I’ve always got my blog on the back of mind, wanting to cook, and photograph, and post and just share with y’all. Pesach (in Beijing, China!) has come and gone. I’ve since been to Ohio, and off to Antwerp tomorrow, and guess how I’m celebrating? By making kugel!

If you know me, I consider myself the Anti-Kugel. Yes, that’s right. I’m Jewish and I don’t like kugel! Why, you ask? Well I believe that instead of boiling up veggies, mashing them, and then mixing them with oil and eggs and who-knows-what-else, why don’t you skip the whole complicated process and JUST. ROAST. VEGGIES. Same goes with potatoes. And noodles? Well you can cook em and eat em JUST. LIKE THAT. But alas, kugel has stood the test of time, and you’ll find the gazillion calorie concoction in most Jewish Ashkenazi houses on Erev Shabbat (my mom included)!

So what, pray tell, is kugel doing HERE? Well in one word: Shtisel. The viral Israeli TV series that was made popular by Netflix has captured my heart, and that of many, Jews and non-Jews alike. It has me craving Israeli salad with tahini, tea, and all sorts of traditional heimish foods that I haven’t looked at in years. In short: If Shtisel has ME making kugel, and you’re not watching it, then you’ve got to GET. ON. IT. Chasdei Hashem I’m here to spread the Shtisel love!

So I’ve been sprinkled with “heimish” dust but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to made traditional kugel, because, well, I’m still ME. And because Shavuos is coming up, what do you think I did? I made dairy lokshin kugel – one that’s lightened up with the refreshing taste of orange, cardamom and vanilla bean + some ricotta for creaminess and yogurt for some tang. All in all, a perfect compliment to your Shavuot menu. B’hechlet!

Related Recipes:

orange cardamom malabi
shavuot menu roundup
rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits
Bubby’s challah kugel

Post a Comment

Salted Tahinut Chews

I’m not much of an actual peanut person but peanut butter is my jam – and I definitely love the iconic sandwich. In fact, during my last pregnancy, I craved PB&J sandwiches for the first few months, and I secretly hoped it would immunize my baby against peanut allergies. Once my daughter was born though, that all went out the window because my house it peanut free, and you won’t find any bamba in the pantry.

A couple of years ago, when my now-5-year-old son was about 16 months old, I gave him a Larabar for snack, and a few bites in he broke out in hives all over his body. Having never dealt with food allergies with my other children, I wasn’t really familiar with such as extreme reaction, but I gave him Benadryl and he fell fast asleep. When I went to check on him, his lips had turned blue so I quickly called Hatzalah and he was rushed to the hospital, with a dose of epinephrine administered on the way. Thus began my journey as a mom of a child with life threatening food allergies.

Let me tell you – there is literally nothing more terrifying than watching your child struggle to breathe because of something they ate. I always try to use my platform to spread awareness because I know what it means to be that clueless parent who is lucky enough to be unfamiliar with food allergies. When my son turned three and started to wear a kippah, I partnered with iKippah to design the first ever ALLERGY KIPPAH to help keep young boys with food allergies safe. My son proudly wears his kippah and I know that in case of an emergency, his allergy and emergency information can all be found underneath.

So what has that got to do with TAHINUT CHEWS? Well, since my house is peanut free, but thankfully we are free of sesame allergies, TAHINI has become our new peanut butter. And the truth is, it’s a great stand in. The texture is pretty similar and pure raw tahini paste really does taste a bit like peanut butter too. I use it in recipes like my tahini muddy buddies, in place of peanut butter in Asian sauces, cakes and treats. The best part is, you don’t have to melt tahini, since it’s liquid at room temperature, so this recipe comes together in just minutes. And I love that I don’t have to forgo one of my all time favorite indulgences – Rice Krispies Peanut Chews!

Now if you’ve got a peanut AND a sesame allergy? I truly feel bad for you! I always say G-d was good to me by at least saving us from a sesame allergy because TAHINI IS LIFE. Although I’ve got you covered there as well – cookie butter works as a great alternative to peanut butter too!

Related Recipes:

tahini muddy buddies
tahini scones
sweet tahini dip
halva krembos
halva and ricotta stuffed figs

Post a Comment

Hawaij Honey Cake with Labneh Frosting

If you are lucky enough to own a copy of Millennial Kosher, chances are you are one of hundreds who has made my hawaij garlic confit a staple on their Shabbos table. I for one can not get through the weekend without the intoxicating smell of hawaij wafting through my home. And my challah can’t live without dipping into the fragrant oily dip.

I’m proud to have introduced so many people to one of my favorite spice blends – a Yemenite curry that is famous for it’s use in chicken soup. What many don’t know, however, is that there is also a sweet version of hawaij, traditionally used for coffee. Since many honey cakes incorporate coffee into the batter, I figured that spicing up the cake with some hawaij for coffee was the perfect way to introduce the sweet side of the Yemenite spice.

Besides for the fragrant spice blend, I also incorporated one of my favorite Israeli ingredients – silan or date honey. It’s interesting to note that when the Torah speaks of Israel being the “Land that flows with milk and honey”, it is actually referring to date honey. There is nothing quite like dates from the shuk in Israel, and silan has become a much-loved ingredient in my house. It works both in sweet and savory applications (try it over pargiot!) and it’s delicious when paired with tahini.

Now lets talk about the other unique component of this amazing recipe – the frosting! If you’d never tried making labneh before, it’s so much easier than it seems! Labneh is the Israeli cream cheese – light and creamy with a healthy dose of tang. I’m personally not a fan of classic American cream cheese, so it’s all about the labneh for me!

Labneh is extremely versatile – it can be rolled into balls and marinated in olive oil with different spices, drizzled with some olive oil and za’atar for dipping pita, or made into a sweet frosting with some added hawaij to perfectly compliment this breakfast loaf!

I am totally obsessed over how this recipe came together! The cake is crazy moist, nothing like that dry honey cake we all dread. The hawaij adds just enough spice, but nothing over the top, and the creamy frosting adds a nice tang to balance out the sweetness of the cake.

My favorite part about this cake though, was decorating it!! I had a vision for incorporating my favorite seasonal fruit – figs – and I just love how it came out! Feel free to play around with fresh pomegranate, honeycomb, cinnamon sticks and other fun toppings to make the cake your own.

I always say I’m not a baker, but this recipe helped me realize that even though I don’t like the science of baking, there is still so much room for creativity and if I can get around the technicalities, I can create a masterpiece.

Here’s to a New Year of trying new things, delicious eats and sweetness all around!

This post was sponsored by Norman’s. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

parsnip honey cake with cream cheese frosting
honey cake with caramelized apples
bourbon honey cake balls

Post a Comment

Tahini Scones

I’m fond of calling myself a #bakernonbaker but the truth is, sometimes I surprise myself. These scones were next-level. The crunchiest exterior, pillow-soft interior and crazy flaky – almost like halva! How my little of this and little of that achieved scone-perfection is a mystery even I cannot solve, but I think it has a lot to do with the magic ingredient – tahini.

I’m pretty open about the fact that I’m not into the science of food. I’ve never been a very technical person. Technicalities give me a headache. I don’t find gastronomy intriguing, but one thing I can tell you is that tahini has special powers. Something about it’s fat content makes it bind with other ingredients in a completely different way. Fold it into whipped cream and you’ll get the thickest emulsion that will not deflate – and it will freeze up so smooth and creamy with the texture of ice cream! Mix it with water and you’ve got the silkiest, creamiest dip or stir in some silan and you’ve got a thick fudge. What is it about this magic ingredient that can be used in both sweet or savory applications, mixed into doughs and salad dressings, fudge and candy?

Tahini so fascinates me, I almost want to explore the science of emulsification. Almost. It does something so special to these flaky scones, you’ll never believe they don’t have butter!

Buttery pastries intimidate me. The way you have to get the butter into the perfect pea-size, and you can’t melt it with the heat of your hands. How you have to be careful to handle the dough just-so and not overmix it. How you have to perfect the process to allow for pillows of flakiness in every bite. Too painstaking for this impatient cook.

But cream-based scones? I got this. And so can you. Because it’s just as simple as mixing some ingredients into a bowl and forming them into a disc. And you can thank the magic ingredient, tahini, for doing the work of butter – minus the technicalities.

I thought about glazing the scones (and even posted a poll on my Instagram!), but I decided not to mess with perfection. Sometimes you get something just right and you don’t need to over-complicate things. So I left the scones as-is, allowing the subtle tahini flavor to shine, and served them with a side of dairy whipped cream and fresh berries, ‘cuz really, does it get any better than that?

OK, maybe with a side of a steaming hot cafe hafuch and some fresh figs. (on a porch somewhere in Israel. I’m pushing it now, aren’t I?) The breakfast of my dreams.

Related Recipes:

halva krembos with sesame cookies
halva and ricotta stuffed figs
tahini frappuccino
tahini puppy chow 

Post a Comment