In the Kitchen Nosh News

Shavuot in the Kitchen

Israeli Couscous Mac and Cheese

By Shannon Sarna/The Nosher

When my co-workers suggested I try out a mac and cheese made with Israeli couscous, instead of traditionally larger pasta like elbows or shells, I happily accepted the challenge and decided to combine a more American-style pasta dish with some Israeli flavors, like cottage cheese and feta. This baked dish is cheesy and familiar enough for young and old alike. You can make it ahead and serve it alongside some baked salmon for Shavuot.

2 1/2 cups uncooked Israeli couscous (also called Middle Eastern couscous, or pearl couscous)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk or half & half
8 oz. 4% cottage cheese (around 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For the topping:
1/3 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pinch salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cook couscous 5 minutes. Drain in a large mesh sieve. While couscous is cooking, combine butter and all the cheeses, milk, salt and pepper in large bowl. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 inch square pan. Drain couscous and add to bowl with cheeses. Mix well.

Add to couscous mixture to greased pan. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon melted butter, paprika and pinch of salt. Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over top over couscous. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.


No-Bake Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake Bites Recipe

By Shannon Sarna/The Nosher (

For the crust:
10 full graham crackers
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pinch salt

For the filling:
3 8 oz. packages cream cheese, left at room temperaute
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 14 oz. can condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Juice of 1/2 lemon plus zest

For the topping:
2 cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (can also use chocolate melts)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Sprinkles (optional)
1 cup white chocolate chips + 1 tsp.­ vegetable oil (optional)

Line an 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper. Place graham crackers in a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Pulse until crumbs form. Add crumbs, melted butter and pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Combine well. Spread crumbs in bottom of pan and press down evenly. In a large bowl mix cream cheese using hand mixer until smooth. Add sugar and beat. Add vanilla and lemon juice and beat again. Add condensed milk. Spread evenly on top of crust. Chill covered for 6 hours or overnight. You can also freeze for 2 hours. Remove cheesecake from pan and cut into even squares. Melt chocolate and oil in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals until completely smooth. Dip each square of cheesecake in chocolate. Top with sprinkles or drizzle melted white chocolate on top.

Shavuot in the kitchen: The joys of yogurt
Beyond Brisket: Go ahead, get crazy. Change up your Rosh Hashanah.
Dessert, Passover style

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