26 11 / 2013

On November 28, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will fall on the same calendar day for the first time in recorded history. So a 9-year-old invented the Menurkey.

20 11 / 2013

On Nov. 28, 2013, for the first and only time in any of our lifetimes, the first day of Hanukkah falls on the same day as Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving + Hanukkah = Thanksgivukkah. (Yes, it’s kind of like Sharknado.)

This holiday won’t happen again for 70,000 years. ( Really .) So celebrate to the max: Manischewitz-brined turkey, pecan pie rugelach, a cornucopia of gelt, and lots more.

11 11 / 2013

Jerry Lewis singing Katz’s famous jingle “Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army”.  Thank you to all the veterans for protecting our freedoms!

01 11 / 2013

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Pan de muerto, or Day of the Dead bread, is a holiday-must in Mexico.  The egg bread is scented with orange and anise and decorated in a variety of shapes, the most common being the skull and crossbones design above.  Egg bread? Jews know from egg bread.  We call it challah and indeed challah is a kissing cousin to many of the pan de huevo recipes used in making pan de muerto.  So we decided to take our challah recipe from Artisan Jewish Deli at Home and transform it into pan de muerto.

Topping

6 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon dried orange peel
1 tablespoon anise seed

Dough

7 cups all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 packets active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons orange extract
1 teaspoon anise extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 for egg wash
1 cup lukewarm water
Vegetable oil as needed

Mix together the turbinado sugar, orange peel, and anise seed in a bowl and set aside.

Stir yeast into 1/2 cup of lukewarm water to proof for 15 minutes or until the water begins to bubble or foam.

Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.  Add the honey, melted butter, three eggs, yeast and water, additional 1/2 cup of lukewarm water, orange extract, and anise extract to the center of the dry ingredients.  Mix the dough on low speed to moisten the dry ingredients and create a tacky, slightly sticky dough. If the dough is too dry, add up to 1/2 cup more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough reaches the proper consistency.  Increase the speed to medium-low and mix for about 3 minutes, until the dough is glossy and elastic.

Lightly oil two large bowls.  Split the dough in into two equal pieces. Shape the dough into balls and place each into a bowl, turning to coat all sides of the dough with oil. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Line two baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  Prepare the egg wash by whisking one large egg with 1 tablespoon of water.

Take one ball of dough and divide it into four equal pieces.  Take one of the dough balls and pinch off a smaller piece, about the size of your thumb, perhaps a bit larger on a small hand.  Form the larger piece of dough into a ball and flatten it with your hand, maintaining the round shape, so that it’s about 1 inch tall.  Take a small piece, about the size of the end of your finger, of the remaining dough and form it into a disc.  This is the “skull”. Set aside. Take the remaining piece of dough and cut into four equal pieces. For each piece, roll it between your hands or on the work surface to make thin cylinder of dough, about the thickness of a pencil.  Take your finger and firmly roll the dough cylinder in the center until fat on the two ends and much thinner in the center. This is a “bone”. Do this with each of the remaining three pieces.  Dip your finger in the egg wash and make a streak from the center of the large, flattened piece of dough to the edge.  Place one of the “bones” along this moistened portion of the loaf.  Repeat with the other three bones to form a cross with a small space in the center of the loaf.  Moisten the back of the “skull” with egg wash and place at the center of the loaf.  Repeat with the remaining three dough balls.

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Carefully transfer the loaves to a prepared baking sheet, arranging them so that they have as much room as possible to expand and spread.  Cover the loaves with a towel and let rise for 45 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size. As the first pan of loaves rises, repeat the shaping procedure with the second bowl of dough.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Remove the towel from the loaves of the first pan and brush them generously with the egg wash.  Heavily sprinkle each loaf with the mixture of sugar, orange peel, and anise seed.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and lower the temperature to 350. Bake for 20 minutes.  Rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes until the loaves are golden brown. (If you have an instant read thermometer, the loaves should register about 190.) Transfer the loaves to a wire rack to cool completely before serving, at least 1 hour.

Repeat with the second pan of loaves.

10 10 / 2013

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Artisan Jewish Deli at Home author, Michael Zusman, will be in San Francisco this weekend talking deli:

Omnivore Books: Saturday, October 12th, 3pm to 4pm, to chat about deli and read Michael’s essay “Bagel Daze” from the book. 3885a Cesar Chavez Street.

18 Reasons: Sunday, October 13th, Noon to 2pm, brunch and chat with our friend Evan Bloom from Wise Sons Deli. Tickets required. 3674  18th St.

Contemporary Jewish Museum: Sunday, October 13th, 3pm to 5pm, chatting deli culture and showing slides. The authors of Nosh on This will also be there. 736 Mission Street.

07 10 / 2013

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Photo by Caren Alpert

Pacific Northwest deli maven Nick Zukin—co-founder of Portland, Oregon’s Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen, Bagelworks and Deli Bar—brings his brand of modern Jewish cuisine to the home kitchen in his new book, The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home. The book, for which Zukin partnered with Portland food writer Michael Zusman (who also developed the bread recipes used at the Kenny & Zuke’s spots), offers fresh takes on all the classics, from corned beef to cabbage rolls. This brisket recipe, which utilizes the acidity of apple cider and red wine to help tenderize the beef, is our top pick for autumn, when fresh cider and sweet butternut squash are in steady supply.

Full recipe on Imbibe’s web site.

30 9 / 2013

24 9 / 2013

Long lines, cramped quarters, and totally worth it for great Montreal smoked meat at Schwartz’s.

Long lines, cramped quarters, and totally worth it for great Montreal smoked meat at Schwartz’s.

20 9 / 2013

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Our recipe for Hungarian Casino Egg Salad is up on The Splendid Table. It’s a favorite of ours, pairing the funky flavor of anchovies against the bright, briney flavor of capers.

17 9 / 2013

Start thinking of leftover pickle brine as an ingredient in its own right.

16 9 / 2013

True hand-rolled bagels at the great St. Viateur in Montreal.

True hand-rolled bagels at the great St. Viateur in Montreal.

15 9 / 2013

But for eaters who’d rather not wait for artisan deli practices to trickle down, The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home is chockablock with recipes. Befitting the book’s artisan slant, a few of the recipes call for something of a time commitment, such as the roasted onion-poppy seed bialys, which require the usual rising and resting required for making bread. But the majority of recipes sound eminently doable: I’ve already dog-eared the page featuring a Hungarian egg salad with anchovies.

Recipe for whitefish salad also included.

15 9 / 2013

For this soda adaptation of wine-poached pears, there’s no need to don high heels or a jacket and tie. Use a variety of pears for a more complex sweetness, but make sure they’re fully ripe and tender to the touch before using.

14 9 / 2013

Amid a resurgence in the care and craft of classic Jewish delicatessens, a new Northwest cookbook brings the experience to your own kitchen.

13 9 / 2013

Jews across the world are sitting down to a big meal before Friday’s Yom Kippur fast. And many of them are eating kreplach. Some say these strange-sounding-yet-good-tasting dumplings are a holiday meditation on our inner and outer selves. Or maybe they’re just a delicious example of the peasant cooking of Eastern Europeans.