Articles by Bracha Shor

Crepes on Fire!


crepes on fire

Ooh la la! Crepes are delicious and French and can be very fun for the Purim seuda. They are also super-easy, healthy, can be made gluten free, and can filled with just about any filling you would be willing to eat. They can be savory or sweet and used as an appetizer, entree, or dessert. They can also be gussied up “Fancy Nancy” or a pedestrian street food.

Recently, I went to the TA tea and demonstrated how to make crepes suzette – or their much more exciting title, crepes on fire.  Where did crepes suzette come from? Crepes had already existed in France before 1896. The addition of the flambe and alcohol was the crucial new step that distinguished crepes suzette from plain crepes with filling.

Who made the discovery? It’s a mystery! Henri Charpentier (a young teenager at the time) claimed he created the dish by accident – accidentally setting fire to the alcohol in the dish in front of the then-Prince of Wales (King Edward VII) and that the king requested the dish to be named for his friend. Auguste Escoffier (of melba toast and culinary school fame) also claimed to have invented the dessert. Whoever created it (and I wish I knew definitively), the end result of orange butter, sugar, and crepes is truly delicious. The fire caramelizes the sugar and blends the flavors so amazingly that it elevates them to the next level.


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Winter!


soup

Winter is a time for heart-warming, cozy food. Here are a few great wintertime recipes that your family is sure to enjoy.

A good friend of mine, Julie A., has taken on making something special for the third meal each Shabbos. I bought a three-quart Crock-Pot just for that purpose. I like to make hot dishes that will be delicious for the third meal (after cooking in a Crock-Pot for almost 24 hours). One of the perfect dishes I found is French onion soup, though if you want to enjoy it with cheese, you’ll have to make it during the week (or serve dairy for lunch!).

 


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Sheva Brachos Menu


fancy meal

Mazel tov! You’ve agreed to host a sheva brachos. As always, let me just remind you that everyone coming just wants to have a good time, so whatever you do, they’ll enjoy it and be so grateful to you for hosting. Here are some different and fun recipes to showcase your fun and frisky side as you wish the happy new couple years of simchas.


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Little Helpers


cooking

Having little helpers in the kitchen means spending quality time with little ones while teaching them so many things. There’s math – if half a cup is called for, but I can only find the one-cup measuring cup, how much do we need? How do we double a recipe, etc.? There’s real-life responsibility – oops, I dropped the peanuts all over the floor, how do we clean that up? There’s real-life problem solving – I don’t have any black beans, what can we do? (Use red beans? Leave it out? Ask a neighbor?) And one of the most important lessons in my mind – hey, I really like you and want to spend some time with you (and I think you’re clever and important and can help me figure this stuff out). (Disclaimer: there might be a tad bit more of a mess to clean up.)


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Pesach Selections


cranberries

I am very excited about Pesach – so many fun dishes to be made! With lots of fresh vegetables, fresh fish, and meat available, it’s going to be a cooking extravaganza! Pesach isn’t a scary time, and it certainly doesn’t have to be only potatoes. The farmers’ markets, H Mart (Asian grocery in Catonsville), and Whole Foods all have an appealing variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. These can be used to elevate the very holy time of Passover to a food sensation as well as a spiritually uplift.

Most vegetables are delicious when they are grilled with a little salt and pepper. I have found you can hardly ever go wrong. And what could you top these grilled vegetables with? Onion and roasted garlic jam, I say! A friend of mine took me to Serengeti for the first time. We ordered the smoked pulled brisket with onion jam, and, well, that onion jam was delicious. So I thought, what could be even better? Adding some roasted garlic. Make a lot, and it will last the entire Pesach. Make it pareve, and you can use it with cheese and matza or with chicken, meat, lamb – just about everything. Be warned, you might just start slathering it on everything. It takes a little bit of time to cook it, but it’s worth it!


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Purim Seuda


purim

Baked Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Appetizer

These appetizers are delicious, fun, and gorgeous. You can put them out on the plates as a first course.   

10 oz. frozen spinach (defrosted)

1 sheet pastry dough (12x8 rectangle) 

6 oz. artichoke hearts, drained and dried

1 c. diced onions

2 T. chopped sun-dried tomatoes


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