Category: Side Dish

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

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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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Hawaij Couscous

It all started with Zahav, the fabulous book on Israeli cooking by Michael Solomonov. Reading Michael’s descriptions of traditional Yemenite soup made me want to charter a flight to Israel, but I did the next best thing: I purchased some Hawaij (and practiced the pronunciation more times than I’d like to admit….CHA-WAYIJ). I was hooked.


There’s just something about the warm golden spices that transports me – and I don’t even know where. I’m 5th generation American on my Mom’s side, and while my Dad is Israeli, his Ashkenazi mother was cooking up shlishkes when he was a kid. I’ve got no Sephardic blood, although I later married into a Syrian family where they cook up their couscous with allspice. This, then, is the power of hawaij, I decided. It has the ability to carry you to a place you never even knew – but it feels like home. Perhaps it’s my souls yearning for Jerusalem, the city of gold, the color of this truly intoxicating blend: Zahav.


Of course the first thing I cooked up with Hawaij for soup wasn’t soup. Because I never go the traditional route (you should know that by now). Instead, I made Jerusalem Hummus in Jars, followed by Hawaij Garlic Confit  (you can find that life-changing recipe in my cookbook, Millennial Kosher), some roasted chicken and potatoes, and, yes, finally the soup (where I mixed the meat and chicken in one pot). I also explored the sweet side of Hawaij, with Hawaij for coffee – although of course not in coffee – with my Hawaij Honey Cake.

If you’re confused – let me explain. Hawaij is so good – the Yemenites decided to make two blends – one sweet and one savory. The savory one is used for classic Yemenite soup and the sweet one, for coffee. But the magic spice deserves more and I’m all over it.


So this summer I was putting up a last minute pot of Israeli couscous when I realized I was out of chicken and vegetable stock. I prefer not to cook my couscous in water, since it’s kind of bland, so I looked through my spice cabinet to see how I could improvise. The hawaij for soup looked at me and I realized that if I didn’t have soup – then I could just let the hawaij for soup take it’s place, and then THIS happened! It’s everything you never knew you wanted in Israeli couscous and it’s about to become your go-to recipe.


And since I know by your messages that y’all have hawaij in your cabinets by now, no need to go searching. Just make sure you use the savory blend otherwise this will be a couscous to remember for other reasons  (insert facepalm here!).

Related Recipes:

hawaij honey cake with labneh frosting
Jerusalem hummus in jars

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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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Lemon Grilled Leeks with Crispy Panko

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: leeks are an underrated vegetable. Thankfully, they are one of the symbolic foods that is customary to eat on Rosh Hashanah, so once a year people actually take the time to pay attention to them!

Leeks are buttery soft when braised, crispitty crunchy when fried and smoky when grilled. In a word: they are versatile. And I’m so happy to share this method + recipe with you!


First, let us consider that since Rosh Hashanah is so early this year, we can still make use of our grills, and if you don’t have one, there’s still time to savor some al fresco dining. PC Richard & Son has everything you need for outdoor grilling – like these Traeger grills that I’m personally hoping to upgrade to, and some more affordable Weber models. I’ve been grilling so much this summer and I can honestly tell you that there’s nothing quite like it. You keep the mess outdoors, the food is full of flavor and meals come together in minutes. It’s a win-win.

I’ll tell you what else is a win-win: the combo of lemony leeks with a hint of sweet honey and garlicky crispy crumbs makes this humble vegetable the star of the holiday table. It also makes the perfect side to some braised brisket, a leg of lamb or grilled rib eye steak. So lets get grillin!

This post is sponsored by P.C. Richard & Son. All opinions are my own.

Related Recipes:

salmon en croute with creamed leeks
roasted smashed potatoes with leeks
cream of leek soup

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