Recipes to make your holiday meal pop!
Moroccan Braised Chicken with Dried Fruit for Tu B’shEvat
This unique recipe is made with three different kinds of dried fruit and fragrant turmeric and cinnamon. It comes from Mas’uda Swissa who was born in Casablanca, Morocco and immigrated to Israel in 1963.
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 whole chicken thighs
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 sliced onions
2 cups water
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp honey
1 cup dried prunes
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried dates
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Sear chicken on each side, starting with skin side down, until brown and golden. Remove chicken from pan. Add onions to pan and cook until translucent, around 6 minutes. Add turmeric and cinnamon and saute for 1 minute. Add dried fruit and water and bring to a simmer. Add chicken back to pan, cover and cook for 45 minutes on medium-low heat. Optional step: stick chicken under broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown on top if desired.
Easy Date Bars
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cut up pitted dates
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 7x11x1”baking pan and set aside. Beat eggs in a mixer until light. Add vanilla.Gradually add sugar. In a bowl sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the date and nuts to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Fold dry mixture into the wet. Spread in pan and bake for 20-22 minutes until nicely browned. Cool thoroughly. Cut into bars and enjoy.
Seven Species Challah
Modern bread-making utilizes a sponge instead of old-fashioned “proofing yeast.” A sponge yields a flavorful and better textured end result. Cultivated yeast is a “magnet” for wild yeast (which is literally everywhere) and adds flavor and density to loaves, also allowing you, the bread baker, to use less yeast in your recipe. Less yeast means your loaves won’t stale as quickly as commercial loaves or those that don’t utilize a sponge.
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup pomegranate juice, at room temperature
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 cup bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup barley flour
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup silan, date (honey) syrup
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
4 – 5 cups bread flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried figs, stemmed and chopped
1 Tbsp water
In a mixing bowl for a stand mixer, combine water, pomegranate juice, yeast, bread flour, and salt. Cover and allow to rise for 1 to 3 hours. The surface of the sponge will appear puffy and spongy in texture with bubbles and divots. The sponge will also smell rich and yeasty with a bit of an alcohol aroma. Those are the flavor building blocks for good bread!
Add barley flour, evoo, silan, whole eggs, yolks, flour, raisins, and figs to sponge. Knead until a dough that is slightly tacky forms. You don’t want to add too much flour to produce a dry dough. Flour needs to rehydrate and a tacky dough allows enough moisture to do that. Either cover and refrigerate dough overnight or cover and allow to rise about 2 to 3 hours in a warm spot before braiding. If you cover and refrigerate, the next day allow dough to come to room temperature before braiding. Once dough has risen, braid or pan as desired on a greased baking sheet or pan. Cover and allow to rise at least 2 to 3 hours. A long second rise gives the dough better flavor, so do not rush the second rise!
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk egg and water. Brush egg wash on challah. Allow to “set-up” on dough for 10 minutes. Brush dough a second time for a lacquered effect. Bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes, rotate baking pan, and bake an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until you hear a hollow sound when bread is thumped gently.
Pomegranate, Orange PapAya and Kiwi Green Salad
1 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 quart mixed greens
2 oranges, peeled and sliced
2 medium papayas, peeled and sliced
4 kiwis, peeled and sliced
1 medium pomegranate, seeded (about 3/4 cup)
To make dressing, combine vinegar and next three ingredients; whisk in oil.
Toss greens with 2-1/2 tablespoons dressing; arrange on a serving platter.
Alternate orange, papaya, and kiwi slices over greens. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.