HOLIDAY SPECIALTIES (all faiths/traditions/nationalities) - Cuisine of the Quarter, Fall 2018 (Oct-Dec)


Thank you…Just wait until (usa) Thanksgiving…we do may old world favs…along with modern day items like Broccoli and cheddar cheese pie…
Fried chicken gizzards with a dusting of onion and garlic powder and then dipped into a Humus like dip…


You should really try to make them…they are really easy if you have the time…

(Dan) #23

Would you share your recipe or start a topic on jewish dumplings. I have so many questions😉

(saregama) #24

What wonderful memories! Food memories are the best, aren’t they? I can remember both my grandmothers making or supervising specific dishes too… and the bustle and smells and tastes associated with them…


This recipe makes about 25 to 30, enough for 6 to eight people.
I can put out the basic recipe that I use, and then we could elaborate from there.

My dough: 3 cups of flour sifted into a large bowl, 1 large egg beaten, teaspoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons of cold water. I mix flour & salt, add the egg, then the water. I mix it until it all comes together in a ball. Sometimes It will need a few more drops of water, depending on the humidity. I then cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 1 large egg beaten to seal the closed the kreplach

Filling: 1/2 pound of ground beef or chicken, one medium onion chopped fine, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley.

I brown the onions in a tablespoon of either vegetable oil or chicken fat, and set it aside. I then brown the beef or chicken in the pan until no longer pink, with the salt and pepper…I add back in the onion and then mix in the parsley. The mixture is set aside to let cool to room temperature. (I usually make the filling first then the dough for the best timing)

The dough is then divided into 3 pieces and each is rolled as thin as you possible can on a pastry board with some additional flour so it does not stick.

(NOTE: Why 3 pieces? I do not really know but that is how my grandmother did it.)

Using a 3" round pastry cutter, I punch out the wrappers. I use one teaspoon of meat/chicken filling for each, moisten edge all around with beaten egg diluted with a tablespoon of water, fold in half sealing the dough. I then take the corners and bring them together to form almost like a “tortellini” shape but much larger.

I them set them onto a parchment lines baking sheet with a splash of some flour.

I boil about 4 or 5 quarts of water with a tsp of kosher salt and add the kreplach for 20 minutes. (At this point you can serve them right away or put them in a container refrigerate and use them within two days. I generally drop them into hot boiling water for a minute or 2 to bring back to life before putting them in the hot soup.

They freeze well if they are uncooked. I simple wrap them in layers of wax paper, place in the plastic bag. When it comes time to cook them the go straight into boiling water and cook as noted above.
I do also sometimes use a potato filling which I add dairy to. Although I am not kosher, I was taught to just fold over the wrappers filled with the potato mixture into a half moon, seal with egg wash, and not tie the ends together. This way it is very easy to distinguish between the meat and dairy version. Essentially the potato filling is mashed potato, and fired onions in butter, made to a still consistency.

(Dan) #26

Outstanding step by step directions. How long do you let the prepared, raw kreplach rest before you drop into boiling water? I always concern myself with bursting. I have a large biscuit cutter hoping that will work on dough division. Ever use a combo of ap and wwheat flour? Does the meat filling need to be a fine ground or sloppy joe like lumpy? On the potato version do you use dry potato flakes or cooked potatoes? I get concerned with how wet a potato filling can be. Tips?

Very generous, P. I need to shop for parsley, potatoes and ground protein but I’d like to give kreplach a try.


(Dan) #27

hummus like dip? details, pls.

(Dan) #28

Mandel bread, must be walnuts, not double baked like biscotti, was a treat my maternal great grandmother was known for. Mandelbrot has been adapted to the point of unrecognizable in some circles. My Uncle would play with nuts and flavorings and his recipe never tasted the same. The original recipe depended greatly on hand cracking the walnuts, using a alcohol based imitation vanilla extract and salted margerine. The ingredients my GGmother would have had accesss to once she arrived in America from Russia.

turkey leg confit offered at Thanksgiving, made intentionlly separate from the bird slathered with thyme he grew, sweet cream butter and raw garlic pcs under the skin. A tradition my Sicilian GGfather would make and covet like gold. Hugs and kisses were expected by all before we could partake.

His fish stew was also a source of family pride. Lots of Italian bread from the baker buddy to scoop up the stewing liquid. Heaven.

With both GG parents gone many years now, our family has taken these three recipes and adapted which drives me a little crazy for tradition. I tend to share the stories, being the oldest, in the hopes that holiday recipes from our tribe remain.

Now Im missing the smells…


Dan, I like you are very fortunate to have had career ( and still do work at my pace) that now affords me much time to do things I want to do… Cooking and traveling are just two. Here are come comments and suggestions.
I really do not let the kreplach rest…I make them and then perhaps a few minutes later start boiling them.
The 3 inch round pastry cutter is part of a set I bought. I use the 3" as it approximately the size of the cap on a typical mayonnaise jar that I used when first making these about 30 years ago. It also gives me the yield as stated above. I have never used anything but AP flower, but I would imagine that WW flour would work very well, except that you might have to adjust the moisture. So a little trial and error would be in order. You have to feel the dough before it rests.

Concerning the texture of the meat, what my grandmother actually did was to boil in water some chuck, and meat from the neck with onion, whole garlic cloves and salt and black pepper. She would discard the garlic and grind the meat herself incorporating the onion and some of the liquid. She would double grind it with her hand grinder that she would attach to the counter for the occasion. I would have to say the meat texture is on the finer side.

I do use fresh potatoes, not instant and only use butter no milk or other liquid, so the consistency is pretty stiff. I whip them by hand so they do not become too thin and have a glue like texture. I guess by not over beating the potatoes you help maintain the fibrous properties of the potato. Again I use an all purpose Idaho potato, and I am sure one could vary that was well.
The key to them not opening during boiling is to not overfill them, and seal them completely all around.


This dish was actually something my aunt prepared , the learned it when my uncle was stationed down south going to OCS during WW2. Since my uncle was stateside, my aunt could stay with him during training. The times were very different and they were always invited to a local Jewish families’ home on Friday nights. (Hattiesburg Mississippi) The dish was brought back by them.
The humus like dip was actually roasted eggplant & garlic and mashed into which was added whole chickpeas as my aunts roots were Sephardic, and ours Ashkenazim.
Both the gizzards and “humus” as my aunt called it were on the same plate as an appetizer…as a 6 year old I am told I ate two plates full at diner!

(Dan) #31

Phreddy, we are gonna continue to get on famously! Your words ring true in my ears. Thxs for the tips. We are fortunate in many of the same ways. When I get to it, I will post pics.

(Dan) #32

That’s what I’m talking about and remembering fondly, old world cooking. My grandparents and parents were spoiled by my great grandparents cooking when they were coming up and none of them spent as much time in the kitchen as a result. My Aunt went to culinary school, my Uncle a micrbiologist loved baking but without their guidance my cooking skills were years of “figure it out buddy” until I married. Roadie life means eating on the fly, thousands of hole in the way joints and later as I moved into Wrangler/transport work the talent hired chefs. With two feet in one place, I plan to dig into kitchen detail at least until my bride retires…which to hear her tell it isnt soon.

Those family recipes are housed at my sisters place, gotta get myself over there and dig through the index cards. Its good to be free to try.

(saregama) #33

Revving up the planning for Diwali - just two weeks to go!

First event is this weekend - dinner party at my uncle’s. I offered to bring a dish, but my aunt wants to cook everything :smile: So I’ll bring a sweet instead - probably Kalakand / Milk cake - sweetened and caramelized fresh ricotta - formed into small balls (peda).

For the other (snacky) holiday things, I’ll dial back on sweet in favor of savory because I brought back some sweets from India already.

.> Mathiya - special fried papads only made at Diwali - my absolute favorite.
.> Chakri / chakli - crunchy spirals - experimental, I’ll make 2 kinds, a multigrain and a classic.
.> Masala puri - savory, soft-crisp discs, a year-round kid favorite, no room for negotiation or error here given mini-expert comparative critical commentary :rofl:
.> Suwali - mildly sweet, soft-crisp white discs, family-specific and Diwali-only. Personal challenge - only mom has made them so far, so we’ll see how this attempt turns out.
.> Shakkarpara - crunchy, sweet, diamond-shaped, fried cookies that I adapt to a family-approved baked version.

Well now that I’ve organized my thoughts I better get started!

(Dan) #34

Pls attach a photo if you can. I adore Indian snacks both sweet and savory. Your post had me remembering fondly my first community fair and how overwhelmed I was to try everything.

(saregama) #35

First I have to make something :joy:

Check out the NJ indian stores the next few weeks, especially the first weekend in Nov … they’ll be exploding with goodies!

(Dan) #36

I will😀

(Dan) #37

Edited to add pic

Halfway thru baking, another 25 mins to go.

I am baking two loaves of mandel bread this morning. Photos to come. Lots of wheat bran, walnuts and almond/vanilla extract added. I don’t double bake like biscotti because I enjoy a chewy texture and pliable nuts.


Save me some!!

(Dan) #39

:+1: kitchen smells like almond extract and toasted nuts!

(Dan) #40

Making coffee as we speak…