Category: Purim

Amba Bloody Harry

When I get into a new ingredient, I really get into it, and amba is my poison these days! It all started when my instafeed went viral for sabich, the Iraqi Jewish dish, on the #celebritychefbirthright trip. There it was – the fried eggplant, hardboiled egg and Israeli salad-stuffed pita sandwich dripping with amba, and I just new, although I had eaten it various times, that it was time to make amba myself.

So I turned to the most trusted source – Mike Solomonov’s new cookbook, Israeli Soul, for the recipe, and I. was. hooked. Sweet, spicy, tangy, earthy – everything you’d want in a condiment. I smothered it over sabich stuffed eggplant, marinated pargiot in all of it’s glory and made amba london broil. And truth be told – I’ve got some in the fridge right now that’s going to be drizzled over my eggs for lunch. But I wanted to take it a step further and deconstruct it, and with Purim pending any day now, a cocktail was born. I took inspiration from the traditional Bloody Mary – subbing mango juice for tomato, harissa paste for Tabasco sauce, fennel for celery and Israeli pickles for olives. I added a touch of the other prominent amba spices and what I can say? It honestly tastes like amba, but you still want to drink it, and it just works! And let me tell you, I’m no mixologist – a testament to the true deliciousness of this unique ingredient.

L’chaim!

Related Recipes:

The Hamantini
Strawberry Limonana
Cherry Basil Limonana
Tahini Frappuccino

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Arayes: Kofta Pita Pockets


I love how today’s food trends have made Middle Eastern food so popular. Otherwise, I probably never would have heard of sabich, or hawaij, or arayes.

So what are they? Arayes are native to Lebanon, where they stuff kofta, a spiced beef or lamb mixture, into pita pockets and grill them. Yes, it’s as good as it’s sounds.

What I love even more than traditional arayes, is that chef’s have been creating their own adaptation of the classic for a fun twist. A local restaurant had fish arayes on the menu last week, and I’ve been seeing lots of other variations of the traditional filling as well.

While I’m usually one for turning tradition on it’s head, I loved my classic recipe so much that I went with it. But I did spare you the annoying blogger habit of calling anything with 3 corners hamantaschen, because frankly, they are not. Although in the festive Purim spirit, they are triangular, and they really do make the perfect Purim party appetizer.

Speaking of Purim party appetizers, I love to put out of bunch of finger food for my Purim feast every year because everyone is so busy coming and going, there’s hyper kids all over the place and probably a bunch of adult drunks too – so no one really wants a formal meal. Finger food makes the perfect spread and arayes are just the thing.

Some other great party appetizers that I’ve done in the past include:

drunken hasselback salami
pulled beef tacos
hummus bassar
breaded honey drumsticks
hot dog eggrolls
potato borekas
franks in blanks
chicken wings
charcuterie board
roasted sweet potatoes with gooey pecans (recipe in Millennial Kosher)
lachmagine pizza (recipe  in Millennial Kosher)

Enjoy!

Related Recipes:

Jerusalem hummus in jars
mechshie
herbed pita chips
grilled chicken fattoush

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Salami Tarte Tatin

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!
S-A-L-A-M-I  T-A-R-T-E  T-A-T-I-N!!!!!!!

OK I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so excited about a recipe!!! Salami time AKA Purim, AKA the Busy In Brooklyn yearly salami tradition is here and YAYYYYYY!!


I love that the young girl who used to throw her weekly salami sandwiches down the incinerator chute is now known for her salami trash-ups! My friend recently said to me, “You know Chanie, no one is every going to look at salami without thinking of you”, and I’m OK with it. In fact I’m all over it. Because becoming known for a particular ingredient means I’m doing a good job as a blogger and that my friends, is my jam (also job, but yes, jam!).

So… why in the world am I so excited? Well I’ll tell you. If you’re not well versed in French pastry, you might not be familiar with the classic dessert, TARTE TATIN, an upside-down pastry in which fruit is caramelized in butter and sugar as it bakes under a blanket of puff pastry. Fancy pastry chef’s make their own, but most recipes call for the store-bought variety which means only one thing – QUICK & EASY.

But still, WHY am I so excited??? Well traditional tarte tatin uses fruit as it’s base, and you even might find some unique recipes for vegetable-based tarts, but you have never found a SALAMI tarte tatin and I, my friends, think it’s pretty genius. And I’m a pretty hard sell.

Whats more than the salami is the bourbon caramel that the salami bathes in as it cooks down. Yes, you got that right. Bourbon. Caramel. And although I abhor margarine, there was no winning here because coconut oil + salami is a no go, so I caved. And I’m ok with it. I mean the puff pastry is virtually all margarine anyway, so whats another few tablespoons, amiright?

It’s hard to keep up with myself with this salami thing and I was worried about how I’d one-up my previous recipes. The now infamous drunken hasselback salami is sold at virtually every kosher deli stand, and salami babka has made it around the world, so coming up with something new was quite daunting. But I’d said I hashtag #nailedit on this one.

I’m also crushing on the photos of this recipe, which is why I’m doing a lot of salami rambling aka filler content :) But in case you’re still scratching your head on this whole salami thing – it’s a BUSY IN BROOKLYN Purim tradition that I started a couple of years ago on the blog, after reading about a custom to eat salami on Purim, since it’s hung, like HAMAN. Cute, right??

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!  Happy almost-Purim!

This post is sponsored by Abeles & Heymann.

Other Salami Recipes:

last year: salami potato latkes
two years ago: salami babka
three years ago: salami quiche
four years ago: beer battered salami chips with beer mustard
five years ago: drunken hasselback salami
six years ago: salami chips

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Fig Newton Hamantaschen

It’s officially hamantaschen time and while baking is not my favorite thing, I always try to push myself to a fun twist on the classic 3-cornered-cookies, and these FIG NEWTON delicious bites did not disappoint!

Fun fact – I first tested this recipe three years ago, but it needed tweaking, so I put it off year after year (see above! ;), but recently I made a decision to stop being afraid of dough, and I held myself to it! Yes baking is a science, and I’m not very technical but I can do it, and you can too.

Now if I’m honest, I’ve never actually had traditional fig newtons because they are OU-D and I keep cholov yisroel (dairy which has been derived from milk that has been milked under the supervision of a religiously observant Jew – not the case with OU-D certified foods), however, I have tasted an off-brand copycat version and I’ve also made them from scratch a few times (can you tell I like figs?), so I think I have a pretty good idea of what they taste like.

Purim prep is in full swing here with the kids deciding on custumes, shalach manos shopping and menu planning. I for one was dead set on dressing up as the SHTISEL family because I’m a huge fan of the series, but the kids are not having it! So, I’m on my own with this one.

Happy Purim Prep!

Related Recipes:

ma’amoul hamantaschen
raspberry hamantaschen hand pies
healthy thumbprint hamantaschen
baklava hamantaschen

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Mom’s Potato Knishes

As a recipe developer, it’s not often that I make other peoples recipes, and when I do, it’s often ones that have been in my family for years. I usually find myself cooking my mom’s dishes around the High Holidays – there’s just something about the Days of Awe that makes me want to connect to my roots, and how more so than with food.

Mom’s potato knishes are a staple at every holiday meal, and it has always been my favorite, because, well… potatoes. It’s probably the only time you’ll see me using margarine – EVER – because coconut oil just doesn’t fly here and to keep the knishes pareve, I’ve got no other choice. Plus, puff pastry is basically 80% margarine anyway, so what’s a little more, amiright?

What I love about this recipe is that the filling makes enough to fill 3 whole rolls and they freeze great! And since they’re frozen unbaked, they taste like you just made them when you bake them up before serving. = a perfect recipe for long holidays like Succos coming up! If you have a custom to eat stuffed foods for the Harvest Holiday, I’ve got you covered there too!

Related Recipes:

cabbage bourekas
deli roll
spanakopita bourekas
salmon en croute with creamed leeks

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