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The iNosh app features many of my favorite Jewish recipes from this blog. You’ll also find many how-to videos, favorite stories and stunning photography.

This is the app your grandmother would have in her kitchen!

Find it here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/inosh/id777362589?ls=1&mt=8

I’m donating half of my profits to Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger

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Ingredients

  • ½ pound dried cranberry, pinto or butter beans, or 1 15-oz can
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 pounds brisket
  • 2 large onions, sliced thick
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large sweet potato, chunked
  • 4 large carrots, chunked
  • 1 28-oz can whole plum
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 Tbs. thyme
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • coarsely ground pepper
  • tomatoes

Directions

  1. Soak the beans overnight, then cook in salted water, along with the whole garlic cloves and bay leaves, until just barely tender.
  2. When the beans are ready, season the brisket with salt and pepper and place into a large roasting pan. Cover with the onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes (with juice) and cranberries. Spoon on the cooked beans along with 1 cup of the bean broth. Sprinkle with the thyme and a few more grinds of pepper.
  3. Cover tightly and bake at 325˚ for 4-5 hours.

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Graduation Hummus

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After five years of high school (he wasn’t slow–it was a 5-year high school), Max is now a free man. With the weight of school off of his shoulders he wandered into the kitchen and asked if he could help with dinner tonight. I was making Cholae, an Indian garbanzo bean dish, with Indian Fried Rice. Max made the rice while I made the cholae.

I had cooked up enough extra garbanzo beans so that we could make hummus. The last time Max and I made hummus together it was fantastic—made from freshly cooked garbanzo beans the hummus tastes light and fresh, far superior to store-bought. It’s always my preference to cook from scratch, for the health benefits, the artistic enjoyment of creating a beautiful meal, as well as the cost. Tonight we wrote down what we did.

Hummus can be made from canned beans, however, although it takes longer to make from dried beans (they take about 3 hours to cook) we think it’s worth it. Shop at an ethnic market, where the prices are far lower than in the chain grocers.

Graduation Hummus

To cook the beans, combine the following, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 3 hours, or until the beans are quite soft. Save the liquid.

  • 2 c. dried garbanzo beans (also called chick peas or chana)
  • 8 c. water
  • 1 tbs. salt

Combine the following in a food processor. Process until smooth.

  • 4 c. cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1 c. liquid
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c. tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil (optional)

You may also add some chopped parsley and/or a little paprika.

;

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Jam with Mom

Strawberries are ripe now—those exquisite locally grown berries with the delicate skin. I picked up a flat at the Vienna, VA farmers market, which gave us enough to eat, and plenty for jam. The greatest thing about this, the first of the season’s jam, was that Max asked me if he could help. We think that he is prematurely homesick. And being the good scientist, always looking for a better way, he suggested using a pastry cutter to chop the berries.

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This is the weekend to dive into Passover cooking. My goal is to tackle a couple of family recipes and post them here: Passover teglach and chopped liver. I’m also going to make ingberlach, matzo granola and eingie.

My mother would save up chicken livers and chicken fat throughout the year. Her freezer was dotted with tiny plastic bags, each carrying the livers and fat from two chickens–the number that she would put on the rotisserie every Friday. I know that chopped liver isn’t everyone’s favorite, but it was a regular appetizer in our family’s house and I feel compelled to document the process. It’s rare that I buy a whole chicken anymore, so this morning I’m headed out into Northern Virginia in search of chicken livers and schmaltz.

For more Passover recipes, look under “Categories” off to the right on this page.

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Our first house, a log home in Ft. Collins, Colorado, had grapes growing out back by the car port. They were concord grapes, which are intensely flavorful—most known for grape juice—but not terrific as table grapes. My grandfather favored a grape pie, and I’m sharing the recipe here. The pie has an extremely intense flavor. Doug and I turned our harvest into grape conserve, which was my first try at production scale canning. Our friend Joyce was visiting and we put her to work, helping to cook the grapes, run them through the food mill, slice the fruit and can the conserve. The resulting conserve is wonderfully tart and complex, and really terrific on a biscuit.

Concord Grape Conserve (makes about 3 half-pint jars)

  • 2 lbs. concord grapes (to make 1-3/4 c. pulp)
  • 1-3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 medium lemon, cut off the ends, slice very thin, cut into quarters
  • 1 small orange, cut off the ends, slice very thin, cut into quarters
  • 1/4 c. raisins (optional)

Wash the grapes (wash them very well if they are not organic), and remove the stems. Place the grapes in a saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the seeds come free from the grapes. Run the grapes through a food mill to remove the skins and seeds, leaving you with the pulp. Clean out your saucepan. Measure the pulp, return to the pan, and add an equivalent amount of sugar.  Add the lemon and orange slices, and raisins if you like. Cook into the mixture becomes slightly thick and dark, and sheets off the spoon. Place into hot, sterilized jars, water process for 10 minutes.

Papa’s Favorite Grape Pie

  • 1 quart concord grapes
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. grated orange rind
  • 2 Tbs. tapioca
  • graham cracker crust

Wash and stem the grapes, cook over medium heat until the seeds come loose. Run through a food mill, discarding stems and peels. Combine grape pulp with remaining ingredients and pour into a prepared graham cracker crust, then chill until set. Serve with whipped cream.

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These are fresh and flavorful, not at all like mushy canned beans.

As summer “officially” ends today, Labor Day, I’m preparing an end of summer supper of good old hot dogs, potato chips, watermelon and baked beans. Although I don’t make my own hot dogs, I do try—more and more—to prepare what I can from scratch, and so today I am making homemade, not-from-a-can, baked beans. Right now they are in the oven. Baking. Our home has already been filled with the great smell of pinto beans cooking (each of the children, in turn, has asked what smells so good), and soon I imagine the aroma of sweet and savory beans will call them all to the table.

This recipe uses my green tomato chutney (click here for the recipe), but if you don’t have this, you may substitute a different chutney (probably best purchased at an Asian or Indian grocery store). Alternatively, substitute a chopped, tart apple.

Baked Beans with Green Tomato Chutney

  • 2 c. dried pinto beans
  • 4 c. water
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. chutney
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. molasses
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. (or to taste) salt

Cook the pinto beans in about 4 cups water for 1-1/2 hours or until just tender. Reserve 1 cup of the liquid, and then drain the beans. In a large bowl stir together all of the ingredients, including the 1 cup liquid. Taste, and adjust cayenne and salt to taste. Pour into a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees, covered, for 1-1/2 hours; uncover and continue baking for 30 mins.

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