Archive for the 'The Kitchen' Category

Plum Chicken for a Sweet New Year


I like to serve a sweet chicken on Rosh Hashanah and  I found the plum chicken recipe I made few years ago–it got rave reviews!  I quadrupled (or maybe quintupled) the recipe, made the sauce ahead of time and when I got home from shul I poured the sauce over the chicken and popped it in the oven.  The most difficult part was finding plum jam. 

 Plum Chicken

1 chicken cut in 8ths

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup orange juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

Combine all ingredients and pour over chicken.  Bake uncovered at 350 F for 60-75 minutes.  Baste occasionally.


* Just a note: I totally concur as I’ve had Plum Chicken at Your Other Jewish Mother’s house.  It was the first time my daughter ever asked for “more chicken!”

– Your Jewish Mother


Brisket, the Recipe I Like


This is my mom’s brisket recipe.   Ok, it’s actually Betty’s recipe, a long-time family friend. 

This is not the recipe with grape jelly or beer.  I never understood those, they did not sound very Jewish to me.  It is not the recipe with onion soup mix–that is how my aunt made brisket–that is the one my sister likes. 

This is the recipe I like. 

But my daughter the vegetarian, of course does not eat it.

My son, the carnivore, does not like any brisket, so he will not eat it. 

My mother also makes it with a veal brisket, but my brother-in-law will not eat that because of the way the calves are raised. 

My husband will eat this, but he eats almost anything.

Nevertheless-this is the recipe I will make, or my mother will make, for Rosh Hashanah. 

Roast the brisket 1/2 hour per pound, covered, at 300 F (less 1/2 hour)

Refrigerate or use ice cubes to congeal fat and remove the fat.

Slice, and add to sauce below.

Brown 3 sliced onions and 1 lb sliced fresh mushrooms.

Add 2 large cans tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp worsteshire sauce, salt, petter, and 1/4 tsp garlic flakes or 1 clove garlic.

Simmer sauce a few minutes and pour over uncovered meat last 1/2 hour.

 That’s the recipe, word for word from my mom’s recipe card.

Thanks Mom!  Shana Tova, and will you make it this year?

Please don’t cook the noodles


This recipe for the easiest, breeziest noodle kugel ever come directly from a friend of mine. Indirectly it comes from the pages of Bon Apetit in 1998.

Easiest Noodle Kugel

8 ounces wide egg noodles (Take note, this is not the whole bag. Don’t use more than 8 ounces or no one will like your kugel, which would really be embarrassing for both of us)

1 cup dark raisins (I leave out the raisins)

5 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled

1/3 cup sugar

4 cups whole milk

3 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed

1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

(I’ll admit that I lighten up everything except the butter – and it tastes just fine.)  

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

Spread UNCOOKED noodles over bottom of prepared dish and sprinkle with raisins. Whisk eggs, sour cream, butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Whisk in milk and pour mixture over noodles. Let kugel stand 5 minutes. Mix cornflakes and brown sugar in bowl; sprinkle evenly over kugel.

Bake kugel until set in center, about 1 hour. Cut kugel into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8 to 10. 

I say kamish bread, you say mandelbrot


If you can bake something and freeze it and not eat it until the holidays – here’s the recipe for you.  They are also mighty tasty frozen – which is the problem.  It’s the only thing I like to bake even though the double-baking component means it’s time-consuming.   

But even more than the time it takes to bake and bake again is the time it takes to figure out if it’s Mandelbrot or Kamish Bread.  I never heard the term mandelbrot until I moved to the Midwest.  And here, no one knew what Kamish Bread was.  They do now because I bake it and take it everywhere I go, at least on holidays. 

Mandelbrot seems to be the term of choice, although after some research I found one reference on the World Wide Web to Kamish Bread – which means – almost bread – and makes perfect sense to me, unlike Mandel which means almond and brot which means bread – especially when there is nothing almond in my main recipe.

Chocolate Chip Kamish Bread 

¾ cup sugar

1 cup oil

4 eggs

3-4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

Mini chocolate chips  

Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, oil and eggs.  Add the sifted flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, and mix well.  If you leave out the vanilla, your kamish bread will have no taste.  A little bit of vanilla packs a powerful punch.  Take my word for it.  Don’t forget the baking powder either.  The loaves still bake, but they don’t rise at all and the taste is flat.  Take my word for this too.   

Add the chocolate chips until there are enough, but not too many.  

Mixture should be very thick and sticky. Shape into two loaves and place on either side of a cookie sheet.  

Bake at 325F for 30-35 minutes and then remove from oven.  Cut into slices while still warm and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, or until slices are light brown. 

You can also substitute one of the teaspoons of vanilla for almond extract and add dried fruit and/or nuts.  Dried cranberries and walnuts are a good combo, since I know you were wondering.  You can also roll the loaves in cinnamon and sugar before baking. 

You can also buy Kamish bread at a bakery, but ask for Mandelbrot no matter what flavor you favor, or no one will know what you’re talking about. 

And no, it’s not the same thing as Biscotti.

Sushi Shmushi

Today I was thinking about my grandmother, the one who cooked hams and put Franco American gravy on her brisket, but who spoke Yiddish like a banshee and tied red ribbons to everything when my son, her first great-grandchild, was born, just like she put a penny in my shoe and used a teeny tiny safety pin to attach a red bow to my bra strap on my wedding day.

 Tuh Tuh Tuh.

And then I remembered Chopped Herring and how she loved it and set it out with Ritz crackers for company.  So I thought I would post a recipe for chopped herring here, in honor of my grandmother on the birthday of her only great-granddaughter. 

I found this easy Chopped Herring recipe at Totally Jewish dot com.


Chopped Herring (serves 6)

Sushi, shmushi! If it’s raw fish you fancy, try out Ethel’s totally traditional recipe for chopped herring.

6 herrings
3 large eating apples
4 hard-boiled eggs
1 large onion
1 tablespoon of sugar, or to taste

Finely chop one egg and set it aside. Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor until all ingredients are chopped.

Spoon into serving bowl and sprinkle remaining chopped egg on top.

Kasha Varnishkes


From the days before noodles were pasta comes one of my favorite childhood taste memories: Kasha and Bowties (which really does sound better than bowtie egg noodles and buckwheat groats).

It’s yet another combo (like bagels and lox) I really think my kids should like, therefore when I make it once a year on Rosh Hashanah, I make them taste it again. 

I don’t use chicken fat or butter in the preparation, but thought I’d post the real-deal recipe here as we all start to consider, in the back of our minds, not only the start of school, but the holidays that are around the corner.

Kasha Varnishkes 

  • 3 tbl chicken fat or butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup kasha, medium
  • 1 each egg large, beaten
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 tbl parsley chopped
  • salt and black pepper—to taste
  • 1 8-ounce bow tie egg noodles (or any bowties) cooked and drained
  • 1 tbl chicken fat or butter

1. In a heavy pot. cook the onion in the chicken fat till lightly browned, add the garlic.2. Add the kasha and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat on full. The kasha should get very hot.

3. Add the beaten egg, all at once, and start stirring like crazy. You want to coat all the grains of the kasha, and not see scrambled egg. The kasha will puff up a little. Keep stirring till it becomes dry and separate.

4. Add the liquid, which will boil up furiously. Bring the liquid to a full boil and cover. Lower the heat as far as it will go. In five minutes or so, the liquid will be on its way to being absorbed. Stir with a fork. When the liquid is all absorbed, fluff it with a fork, recover and turn off the fire. Leave it on the burner for 15 minutes longer. Stir in the chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper. It needs a lot of both to bring out the rich nutty flavor of kasha.

5. Boil the noodles and drain them. add chicken fat or butter to dress them, then combine 1/2 the cooked kasha and toss. Add the second half of the kasha, and toss again.

Can be served as is, but is improved by a little mushroom gravy over the top.

A bagel needs more than a schmear

I don’t remember not liking bagels and lox.  So at some point I realized if I didn’t put my foot down my kids wouldn’t eat lox and the tradition would get lost like a sock in the dryer and be gone forever. 

I started with very generic store-bought salmon cream cheese.  I passed it off without a hitch.  Then, we moved into something a little more authentic, perhaps from a deli. 

And then I explained to my kids that lox is an acquired taste, and unless they eat it they are never going to like it, and fact is, Jewish people eat lox. I laid it on the line.  I wanted them to eat lox because I eat lox and because my parents eat lox.  I want their kids to eat lox – and I don’t ask for much now do I?  Taste it.

And they did.

And now my daughter eats lox on her bagels and cream cheese.  She’s 12.  And while at 15 my son is still a die-hard lox-cream cheese guy, he has taken to adding onion.

I’m very proud.

By Your Jewish Mother

Your Jewish Mother blogs about

Your Jewish Mother loves company!

  • 31,367 visits to Your Jewish Mother

Your Jewish Mother says read this: