Parmesan and Potato Muffins for Shavuot

— by Margo Sugarman

Ahead of Shavuot, I tried out a recipe for potato muffins that my husband found in a local newspaper. Every now and again he shoves a recipe cutting at me to try out (he has a good eye for those). So with nothing on the menu for dinner last night, I decided to give these a go. As with all new recipes I try out, I am very critical and look to see how to improve on them. But as my family was devouring them rapidly, I realized that this recipe works very well as is, and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t find too much to change (I have upped the original cheese quantity, though).

Full recipe after the jump.
I love the combination of fresh herbs that give these muffins a really aromatic flavor. You can add the herbs you like, and you can increase the quantities as well. I tried to maintain a balance, so the kids wouldn’t turn up their noses.

One day after baking the muffins, I had them cold, and as delicious as they are warm, I think they’re even better cold. You can serve them as a substitute for rolls in a dairy meal.

Potato and parmesan muffins (Makes 18-20 muffins).

  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (about 1cm).
  • 1 large onion, finely diced.
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed.
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • About 1 tablespoon each of fresh chopped parsley and rosemary (you can increase these quantities to taste).
  • 3 large eggs ,beaten.
  • 200g/7 oz sour cream (about one container).
  • 100g/3 1/2 oz softened butter.
  • 150g (about 1 1/2 cups) grated Parmesan cheese.
  • 1 3/4 cups self raising flour.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  1. In a pot of salted water, boil the cubed potatoes just until they are soft. Drain the water and allow them to cool down.
  2. Saute the onions in the olive oil just until they are golden brown. Add the garlic, and saute for about another minute. Remove from the heat.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  4. In a medium size pan, combine the potatoes, onions, garlic and the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Fill your muffin cups to their 3/4. They will not even out in the oven, so you can smooth them out if you are concerned about appearances.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins start getting golden brown on top.
  7. Optional: Grate extra cheese, and sprinkle it over the muffins as soon as they come out of the oven.

Margo Sugarman is the creator of The Kosher Blogger, a website of keeping kosher and loving good food.

Purim From Bakery29: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Tel-Aviv-based Bakery29 enables you to send a gourmet Purim gift package to your family and friends in Israel, with all profits going to the  Friends of the IDF’s IMPACT program, a college scholarship program for low-income combat soldiers.

You may order online. You may also create your own mishloach manot with any of Bakery29’s products.

Bakery29 is kosher dairy, with certification from the Tel-Aviv Rabbinate.

More images after the jump.  


Judith’s Hanukkah Cheese Pastries

— by Ronit Treatman

There is a tradition of eating dairy meals to celebrate Hanukkah.  How did this custom come about?  During Hanukkah, we honor Judith, a brave heroine whose name means, “Praised” or “Jewess” in Hebrew.  During the Assyrian siege of Judah, 500 years before the time of the Maccabbees, she used beauty, wit, cheese, and wine to fight for her right to be a free Jewish woman in Jerusalem.  Judith inspired the Maccabees to fight the Seleucids until they achieved victory.  We honor her by preparing seductive dairy delicacies for our Hanukkah feasts.

Judith was a beautiful, young widow who lived in the fictional village of Bethulia (thought to symbolize Jerusalem).  The Assyrian general Holofernes besieged her town.  He succeeded in cutting off the water supply to Bethulia’s inhabitants.  Judith went to visit Holofernes in the Assyrian camp, bearing gifts of wine and cheese.  Holofernes overindulged to the point of inebriation.  Judith took advantage of his weakness, and decapitated him with his own sword.  In a shrewd bit of psychological warfare, she carried his head around the Assyrian camp.  His soldiers, terrified and bereft of their leader, fled.  

More after the jump.
We honor Judith’s bravery with the tradition of eating dairy meals during Hanukkah.  The type of milk available to her in Ancient Israel came from sheep and goats.  This Hanukkah, we can celebrate with a traditional Mediterranean shepherd’s dish: pastries filled with goat’s or sheep’s milk cheese, fried in golden olive oil, and sweetened with wildflower honey.  

Seadas di Vito.Hanukkah Seadas: Sardinian Cheese Fritters
Adapted from Academia Barilla

  1. Knead together the flour, water, eggs, butter, and salt to form a dough.
  2. Roll the dough into a ball, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. After half an hour, roll the dough out with a rolling pin.
  4. Use a glass to cut out circles of dough.
  5. Fill each circle with cheese.
  6. Fold the circle in half.
  7. Pinch the edges together to close it.
  8. Heat some olive oil in a pan.
  9. Place the pastries in the oil over medium heat.
  10. Turn the pastries over when they are golden brown.
  11. Drain on paper towels.
  12. Serve hot, with a drizzle of wildflower honey.