Very Easy Parve Ice Cream


— by Margo Sugarman

Years ago, not long after I got married, my late mother arrived on a visit to Israel with a pile of yellow A4 pages on which she had hand written some of her favorite recipes. The truth is that not all her favorites were my favorites, but I kept them anyway. Some I used and referred to; others I ignored. Needless to say, after she passed away, these aging pieces of paper with my mother’s distinctive handwriting are priceless to me and even if I wasn’t going to use all the recipes, I certainly wasn’t planning on disposing them.

The full recipe after the jump.
So while I had resigned myself to the fact that some of these recipes weren’t going to be made, one day not long ago I did take a quick glance at one that looked like, in spite of my initial misgiving, could be OK. It was a recipe for a parev coffee ice cream. I always remember the parev desserts of my childhood tasting like the parev cream they were made of — in other words, fake. In South Africa it was Orley Whip that gave parev desserts their artificial taste. Nevertheless, in need of a new parev dessert for my repertoire, I decided to give this one a go. Not only did it turn out well, but when I had finished serving dessert, the teenagers at my Shabbat dinner table grabbed the bowl and licked last remnants of the ice cream. Now that’s what I call success.

This recipe makes a large amount of ice cream, so I split the basic mixture in half and made one half with the coffee ingredients and the other half with grated dark chocolate. Both were wonderful, and the non-adults loved the chocolate chip version the best. You can also opt for just one flavor (if you’re having kids, go for the chocolate chip).

This can be made several days ahead of time and kept in the freezer.

PAREV COFFEE AND CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM

Ingredients

  • 500 ml (1 pint) non-dairy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
  • 3 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 50g (2 oz) grated dark or semi-sweet chocolate (parev)

How to do it

  1. In a large bowl, beat the non-dairy cream until it’s stiff.
  2. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and sugar and beat well.
  3. Divide the mixture in two (if you decided to only make one flavor, then don’t divide the mixture, and double the quantities of the flavoring in step 4 below that you choose)
  4. In one bowl, add the coffee liqueur and the coffee granules and mix well till combined. In the other bowl, add the grated chocolate and mix well.
  5. In a mixer, beat the egg whites until they are very stiff. Fold into each of the flavors (half and half) until the whites are combined and you have a creamy consistency.
  6. Pour each flavor into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.

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

Let Our Children Cook!

— by Ronit Treatman

In my family, the fun of Passover begins long before the Seder.  It starts with perusing all of our cookbooks and discussing which recipes will be prepared.  It continues with the shopping expeditions for all the specialty Passover supplies.  The celebration begins with the cooking.  In many homes, children are excluded from this step.  I believe that it is important to welcome the little ones into the kitchen, and to encourage them to prepare something that is kosher for Passover.  By cooking with us, children absorb treasured family recipes, and the laws of kashrut for Passover in a hands-on way.  This is a very special bonding time.

More after the jump.
The important thing is the process, not the end product.  Homemade dishes have a charm to them that professionally prepared foods cannot compete with.  Your child’s offering for the Seder will be sure to delight your family and friends.  Here are some suggested recipes.

Chocolate Covered Fruit

  • Pareve or dairy chocolate chips
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • Fresh strawberries, mango, bananas, raspberries, kiwi, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, pineapple, or any other fruit of your choice.
  1. Wash the fruit.  If using banana, mango, or pineapple, the fruit should be cut up (with adult help if necessary).
  2. Insert a toothpick in each piece of fruit.
  3. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.  Heat in the microwave for about one minute.  Stir the chocolate well.
  4. Dip the fruit into the melted chocolate.  Place it on a plate covered with a piece of parchment paper.  When the chocolate has hardened, transfer the fruit to a serving platter.

Matza Bark

  • Matza
  • Pareve or dairy chocolate chips.
  • Dried cranberries, cherries, figs, dates, mango, pears, or apricots.  Large dried fruits should be cut up.
  • Pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, shredded coconut, or any other nut of your choice.
  1. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave for one minute.  Stir well.
  2. Dip the matza in the melted chocolate.  Strew the dried fruits and nuts of your choice over the chocolate.
  3. Place the matza bark on a plate covered with parchment paper.
  4. When the chocolate has hardened, transfer to a serving platter.

Almond Macaroons (Amaretti)

  • 3 cups ground almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
  3. Separate the yolks from the egg whites.  Reserve the yolks for another use.
  4. Mix the ground almonds, sugar, egg whites, and vanilla extract in a bowl.  
  5. Drop a teaspoon of dough at a time onto the parchment paper.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes.

You can vary this recipe by combining the ground almonds with shredded coconut and/or chocolate chips.

When the macaroons emerge, they will be very soft.  As they cool, they will harden.

Walnut Cake

  • One cup of ground walnuts
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Oil a 9-inch pan with olive oil.
  3. Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl, and the whites in another.
  4. Mix the yolks with 6 tablespoons of sugar in a mixer.
  5. Whip the egg whites with the salt and 6 tablespoons of sugar.
  6. Combine the yolk mixture with the whipped egg whites and the ground walnuts.  
  7. Pour the batter into the oiled pan.
  8. Place in the oven and lower the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Bake for 50 minutes.
  10. After this cake has cooled completely, it may be garnished with any of the following:
    • Powdered sugar
    • Whipped cream: Whip together 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon pure vanilla or brandy.
    • Fresh Berries
    • Chocolate Sauce: Heat one cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan, over low heat.  Add 1/4 cup of pure vanilla or Sabra Liqueur and mix well.  Pour in 1 cup of chocolate chips.  Combine until smooth.
    • Warm Apricot Preserves

As we begin the frenzy of preparing for the Passover Seder, we can benefit in many ways by availing ourselves of the help of our children.  This will be fun for them, and time saving for us.  When they present their creations at the Seder, the sweetest reward of all will be the look of pride in their shining eyes!

Venetian Passover Dishes: A Taste Of Multiculturalism From The Past

Venice Grand Canal— by Ronit Treatman

Visiting Venice is an incredible adventure!  Architecturally, it is one of the most sumptuous cities in the world.  Its Jewish history goes back to the tenth century, when Jewish traders first came to Venice to engage in commerce.  By the 1500s, Venice had the world’s first ghetto, in which Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and German Jews coexisted.  The community practically disappeared after World War II.  Currently, only about 500 Jews live in Venice.  It is possible to sample some Jewish Italian specialties in Venice’s only kosher restaurant, which is run by the CHABAD in the Ghetto Nuovo.  In order to really savor Venetian Jewish specialties, I turned to Alessandra Rovati, one of the few Jews who is originally from Venice.  She shares her family’s Venetian Jewish recipes on her Dinner in Venice website.

More after the jump.
Trying to find kosher food in Italy can be daunting.  When we visited Venice, I confidently asked our waiter in Italian about the ingredients in a sauce.  “Does it have pork?” “A porco?” I queried.  He threw his napkin down angrily and stomped off in a huff!  I had no idea why this question would have insulted him, until another waiter explained that “porco” is a slang word with many off color connotations.  I should have said “maiale.”  Trying to find authentic Jewish Italian food is just as hard.  It is possible to find Jewish artichokes, or “carciofi alla giudia” in any Jewish neighborhood in Italy.  We sampled these crispy, lemony artichokes in the Gam Gam kosher restaurant.  If you would like to taste genuine Jewish Venetian recipes, there is nothing better than getting yourself invited to a Jewish Venetian family’s home.  

In her site, Ms. Rovati invites us into her virtual home to share some unique Jewish recipes from Venice.  These recipes have been passed down in her family.  They are healthy, colorful, and full of Mediterranean vegetables.  Here is an adaptation of her Venetian spinach frittata.  Its ingredients reveal that it came to Venice with the Jews of Turkey and Catalonia.  This frittata is pareve, and kosher for Passover.

Venetian Passover Spinach Frittata
Adapted from Alessandra Rovati

  • 1 lb. baby spinach leaves, pre-washed, in a microwavable bag
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of matza meal (you may substitute
  • ground almonds to make this gluten-free)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Granulated sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 4 tablespoons of raisins
  1. Place the raisins in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Cover the bowl, and allow the raisins to absorb the water.
  2. Cut the onion in half, and chop up one half of it.  Reserve the other half for another dish.
  3. Pierce the bag in three spots, and microwave the baby spinach for three minutes.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a pan.  
  5. Sauté the chopped onion for about five minutes.
  6. Add the steamed spinach to the onion and stir well.
  7. Season with salt, pepper, and cinnamon to taste.
  8. Set the spinach aside and allow it to cool.
  9. Drain the raisins.
  10. In a bowl, blend the four, eggs, matza meal (or ground almonds), one tablespoon of granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, a pinch of cinnamon, raisins, and pine nuts.
  11. Mix the spinach into this batter.
  12. Take a large frying pan, and heat some olive oil in it.
  13. Pour the spinach batter into the frying pan.  Lower the flame to medium, and allow it to cook for a few minutes.  You can check the bottom to see when it turns brown.  When the bottom is brown, flip the frittata over.  
  14. Place the spinach frittata on a serving platter, and sprinkle it with some confectioner’s sugar.

This eggy, spinachy dish is a little bit sweet, and a little bit savory.  It is very satisfying, and works well as a vegetarian main course or a side dish.

All of Ms. Rovati’s recipes are straightforward, without too much fuss.  The featured ingredients are healthy, and the resulting dishes are both delicious and exotic.  This year, add a historic Venetian accent to your Passover Seder.  If you visit Ms. Rovati’s Facebook page, you will note that there are many discussions in Italian about different recipes.  Fortunately for us, her website is in English.  This will help us avoid both pork and vulgar affronts!

Celebratory Fall Harvest Soups for Sukkot

–by Ronit Treatman

Other than bread, we are not instructed to serve any specific dishes during Sukkot.  The point of this festival is to celebrate the fall harvest.  A wonderful way to connect to nature is to cook with what is in season locally.  In Pennsylvania we are blessed with a bountiful fall harvest.  Hearty homemade vegetable soups accompanied by an assortment of breads are a wonderful way for your family and guests to warm up during the chilly fall evenings in the sukkah.

You can source your local vegetables by gathering your own crops from your garden, picking vegetables yourself at a farm, being a member of a Community Supported Agriculture group, or shopping at your local farmer’s market, coop, or supermarket.  Fresh seasonal produce will result in the most flavorful soups.  

Soup and bread recipes after the jump.
Some fruits and vegetables that are harvested in Pennsylvania in the fall are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, lima beans, peppers, pumpkins, and apples.  Here is a recipe for a pareve harvest soup that incorporates some of these fresh vegetables adapted from Casey’s Café.


Spicy Fall Harvest Soup

  • 2 or 3 of any kind of squash such as butternut squash, pumpkin, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, or hubbard.
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 rutabagas
  • green onions
  • cilantro
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 cups of coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red Thai curry
  • 2 tablespoons Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoons Ground coriander
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut the squash in half.  Remove the seeds and rub the inside with olive oil.  Place on a cookie sheet.
  2. Place the onion, sweet potatoes, rutabags, and turnips in a porcelain baking dish.  Add ½ cup of water, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake all of these vegetables for 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Peel the squash.
  4. Puree all the vegetables in a food processor.  
  5. Place the puree in a stockpot with 4 cups of water, the vegetable broth, and coconut milk.
  6. Add ginger, chili sauce, coriander, curry, and garam masala to taste.

You can chop up green onion and cilantro to garnish.

Serve with whole grain corn bread for a gluten-free feast.  Here is a recipe adapted from The Fresh Loaf.

Whole Grain Corn Bread

  • 2 cups ground corn meal
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups of soymilk
  • 1 ¾ tablespoons of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  
  3. Oil an 8X8 inch porcelain baking dish.  
  4. Pour the batter into the dish.  
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

Pennsylvania is one of the largest growers of mushrooms in the world.  The rich variety of mushrooms we can get in Kennet Square is not to be overlooked.  Phillips Mushroom Farms grow White, Portobello, Baby Bella, Crimini, Shiitake, Oyster, Maitake, Beech, Enoki, Royal Trumpet, and Pom Pom mushrooms.  Below is an adaptation of Ina Garten’s mushroom soup recipe.


Mushroom Medley Soup

  • 2 cups thinly sliced assorted fresh mushrooms
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 leeks, diced
  • 1 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  1. In a large stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Sautee the onion, one cup of mushrooms, and carrot.  Season with salt, pepper, and thyme.  When the vegetables have softened, after about 15 minutes, add 6 cups of water.  Bring the mixture to a boil, and then allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Take another stockpot, and heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the leeks.  Let them soften slowly over low heat.  After 20 minutes, add the remaining mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in the flour, and then add the wine.  Pour in the mushroom stock from the other pot and stir.  
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the heavy cream and half and half.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve hot, with a crusty baguette.  Here is a recipe adapted from Food.com


Fresh Baguette

  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  1. Mix water, sugar, and yeast together.  Allow to foam, and then add flour and salt.  Knead well.  Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.  Allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.  
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.  
  3. Form loaf on a cookie sheet.
  4. Prepare an ovenproof bowl with water.
  5. Place cookie sheet with loaf and bowl of water in the oven.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.

A warming, sweet, cinnamony fall fruit soup is the perfect end to the Sukkah feast.  


You may use freshly harvested Pennsylvania heirloom apples that are good for cooking such as:

  • Red Gravenstein:  An apple variety that was brought to Pennsylvania from Germany in the 1600s.
  • Grimes Golden:  This apple variety is believed to have been planted in West Virginia by Johnny Appleseed in 1795.  
  • Cox Orange Pippin:  This apple was brought from England in the 1830s.  It matures to a beautiful red color, and is excellent for cooking.
  • Calville Blanc:  A French apple grown for King Louis XIII, it has a tart flavor.
  • Newtown Pippin:  This variety was grown for export by Benjamin Franklin in the 1700s.

You can order these apples from #1 Farm, at [email protected].  


Fall Fruit Harvest Soup

  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 pear, diced
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, diced
  • 3 plums, diced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Raw honey to taste (optional)
  1. Place the apple, pear, plums, and cranberries in a pan.  
  2. Cover with water and bring to a boil.  
  3. Add the cinnamon stick.  
  4. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.

Stir in honey if desired.  Enjoy hot.

This soup goes well with fresh, hot pumpkin bread.  It is a pareve recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.


Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all the ingredients except the roasted pumpkin seeds in a bowl.
  3. Pour into a 9X5X3 inch loaf pan which has been coated with olive oil.  
  4. Decorate the top with roasted pumpkin seeds.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes.

As the fall days grow shorter and cooler, the yearly ritual is upon us.  We celebrate the fall harvest together in our sukkot.  Whether you are hosting or visiting, offering a delicious, homemade warming soup and a fresh loaf of fragrant bread is the perfect way to bond with friends and family.