Category: Brunch

Crispy Rice Latkes

Call ’em crispy rice latkes, call ’em snap crackle and pop cakes, call ’em crispy crack or even tahdig – just do yourself a favor and make them, ok??

These leftover sushi rice cakes were a total afterthought the morning after a make-your-own-sushi-roll for dinner night. I usually just stir fry my leftover rice and top it with a runny egg for breakfast the next morning but this time, I decided to crisp it up into what basically turned into a crack cake. It’s tahdig on steroids and solves the soggy latke problem, because even hours later, the latkes remained super crispy.

I think my biggest problem was what to top them with but I solved it pretty fast because runny eggs are my jam, especially when they are jammy soft boiled ones. But honestly, the options are endless. Lox and creme fraiche if you’re feeling fancy. Caviar if you really want to take it over the top. Some tuna tartare if you want to go Asian, or some sesame pulled beef if you’re feeling meaty.

And if you really want to be fancy, mix the scallions INTO the rice before frying. Or add any fillings of your choice. ENDLESS. OPTIONS.

Chanukah has been so good to me. It gave me life (I was born on the 5th night), and it celebrates my Anniversary (I got married on my birthday). I’ve always felt a special connection to the holiday of fried food, donuts and wine + cheese and I secretly wonder if it’s one of the reasons I was born with the foodie gene!

This Chanukah is especially momentous because I get to share the holiday with so many of my fans and followers at my local book signings in Williams Sonoma and Bloomingdales! I could not be more excited to share some of my favorite Chanukah recipes in some of my favorite stores. I am feeling so. very. blessed. Thank you all for making this year so special to me!

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Chanukah!

Other Latke Recipes:

salami potato latkes
sabich latkes
falatkes (falafel latkes)
poutine latkes
confetti latkes
butternut squash latkes
cheese latkes

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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 

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Roasted Eggplant Shakshuka

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’ve got a thing for stuffing roasted eggplant halves. I’ve made it a bunch of different ways – in fact – I had so many variations that I wanted to put into my cookbook, Millennial Kosher, that I almost wanted to do a stuffed eggplant chapter! Alas, we had to nix this shakshuka recipe because I already had 2 other stuffed recipes in the book (fully loaded stuffed eggplants and lamb moussaka eggplant boats).

It was a hard decision because this recipe is just THAT good. But the great part about being a food blogger is that I knew I could eventually just post it on the blog, and this seems like the perfect week! With the Nine Days upon us (a period of mourning in which observant Jews abstain from eating meat), we’re all looking for light and healthy vegetarian fare, and this fits the bill.

If you’re a fan of shakshuka, I’ve got lots of other variations available on the blog too, like this Mexican Quinoa Shakshuka, the beet, kale and goat cheese version that WhatJewWannaEat guest posted for me when I was on maternity leave,  this fun zoodle version, one with garbanzo beans and labneh, another one with spaghetti squash and spinach, and even a stuffed portobello one. Can you tell I have a thing for runny eggs in spicy tomato sauce??

All the above versions are kinda great – but I’m partial to the ramen shakshuka in my cookbook, and this incredible variation. The silky fire roasted eggplant with the runny egg and the spicy tomato sauce marry so well together, it’s a wonder no one came up with this before!

If you’re a fan of stuffed roasted eggplants, you can also try these other ideas: roasted eggplant parmesan, roasted eggplant parmesan with fetastuffed roasted eggplant, and sous vide stuffed eggplant with dukkah and pomegranate.  I wasn’t kidding. I heart stuffed eggplant. Almost as much as shakshuka. Ok as much as shakshuka.

Related Recipes:

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

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Grilled Chicken Fattoush with Za’atar Ranch

Reunited (with my camera) and it feels SO good! I haven’t picked up my equipment to photograph food since I shot my cookbook months ago and I thought I might be a little rusty but by George I think I’ve still got it!

Shooting food today reminded me just how much I love what I do and I’ve missed it! Recipe development, food photography and food styling give me SO much joy, and I am legit the luckiest girl in the world to get to do it for a living. As a food blogger, it’s easy to get caught up in the world of social media – keeping up with the ever changing algorithms, apps and platforms – you almost forget why you got into it in the first place and coming back after a long break is just so good for the blogger soul.

It’s funny because when my book went to print in March, I took a sigh of relief that my schedule would finally ease up and I’d be able to take a breather, but the exact opposite happened. I had a book launch to plan, interviews, book signings and demos that followed in quick succession. It’s all been a roller coaster ride and I’ve been wanting so badly to come up for some air – until I finally did this week, and you know what I realized? I don’t even know how to relax. So I went back to what I know and that’s food. And my camera. And even though you could look at it as work – it was exactly what I needed. I had no deadline. It wasn’t for a book, or a magazine, or even the blog. It was for me.

The food: cuz lets face it, it’s always about the food! Lemon Sumac Grilled Pargiot to be precise. I’m a total pargiot convert. I can’t go back to dry grilled chicken breasts, they’re just so, blah! But pargiot? – so. darn. tasty. And they never dry out! This lemon sumac version is so light and fresh for summer, with a hint of sweetness from the silan. The perfect marriage.

The chicken is a great topping for the summery fattoush – a fresh salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and fried bread (in this case pita chips). I paired it with a lip-smacking za’atar ranch because that’s just how I roll. This is your new summer salad, and you can thank me later.

Related Recipes:

farro grain bowl
grilled chicken shawarma salad
grilled marinated chicken

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Poke Bowls

Move over sushi salad, poke bowls are in the house! The Hawaiian raw fish dish has become a popular food trend and poke’ bars are popping over all over the place! I recently had a delicious make-your-own-bowl at Bravo Kosher Pizza in New York City and I’ve been wanting to recreate it ever since.

There’s nothing not to love about this light, fresh, quick and easy bowl of goodness, unless of course you don’t like raw fish! In that case, go ahead and use some mock crab (kani), or add some flaked cooked salmon. The possibilities are endless, so make it your own.

Related Recipes:

sushi burrito
sushi salad
tuna sashimi with herbed crema
kani salad

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