Make Kosher Cooking Easy With These Simple Recipes
When it comes to keeping Kosher, there are a lot of rules to follow. There are restrictions on what you can eat, and how those foods must be handled, stored, prepared, served and consumed. It can be intimidating for someone who isn't very familiar with all of the restrictions to prepare a Kosher meal.
If you've been hesitant to cook Kosher in the past, rest assured that there are some basic recipes out there that can help you get your feet wet and build your confidence in the kitchen. Here are three recipes that are great for beginners.
Potato Kugel with Fried Shallots
This Jewish casserole is usually served on Shabbat and other holidays. Essentially kugel is a giant tater tot filled with all kinds of yummy ingredients.
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and coarsely shredded
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsely grated
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- 2 large egg yolks, beaten
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup boiling water
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil until it starts to shimmer. Then, add the shallots and cook them over high heat until they are crisp and golden. Transfer the shallots to a plate using a slotted spoon, and keep the leftover oil in the saucepan.
- Squeeze out as much liquid from the potatoes as you can before transferring them to a large bowl.
- Add the onion, potato starch, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and stir well.
- Now stir in the eggs, egg yolks, olive oil and boiling water. Once incorporated, stir in the shallots.
- Heat two 8-by-11 1/2 baking dishes over high heat until they are hot to the touch. Add 2 tablespoons of the leftover shallot oil to each dish, then heat until it begins smoking. Once this happens, spread the potato mixture into the dishes.
- Transfer the dishes to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 40 minutes until the kugel is crisp and golden on the sides.
- Now, preheat your broiler. Broil the kugel for two minutes, getting it as close to the heat as you can. This will give you a nice brown, crispy top to your kugel. Remove from the heat and let your kugel stand for 20 minutes before serving.
You can buy braided challah at the store, but it's just as easy to make it from home. You can use a bread machine or make it without, either way, you'll end up with a delicious and fluffy challah.
- 3 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (about 1 1/2 packages)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 8 to 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup raisins per challah, if using
- Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and prepare baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, dissolve the years and 1 tablespoon of sugar in the lukewarm water. Make sure your water isn't too hot or you risk killing the yeast.
- Whisk oil into your yeast mixture, then beat 4 eggs, one at a time, with the remaining sugar and salt.
- Gradually add the flour, continuing to stir the mixture, until dough forms.
- Turn your dough onto a floured surface and knead it until it's smooth. Wash the bowl you used to make the bowl, grease it with cooking spray or vegetable shortening, then place the dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place for an hour so the dough will rise.
- After the dough has raised, punch it down, cover it back up and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
- Now it's time to knead the raisins into your challah if you are using them.
- Take half of the dough and split it into six balls. Use your hands to roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the strands next to each other in parallel lines, pinching the tops of the strands together.
- Move the outside right strand over the top of two strands, then take the strand second from the left and move it to the far right. Now take the outside left strand and move it over top of two stands, then take the second strand from the right and move it to the far left. Continue this pattern until your challah is braided all the way down, pinching the ends together to seal the braid. You should have enough dough to create two loaves.
- Place the loaves on your prepared baking sheet. Beat the remaining egg and brush it on the loaves. Let them rise a final time for one hour.
- Brush the loaves with the egg wash one more time, then sprinkle with seeds if you are using them. Place the loaves in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. The loaves should be golden when finished.
- Remove the loaves and let them cool completely before serving.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
What's a party without a little dessert? Having something sweet in your kosher-cooking arsenal is a must, and this chocolate cake is the perfect thing!
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
- confectioner's sugar, for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 10-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk eggs and sugars together until they are light and creamy.
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Once melted, slowly pour the chocolate into the egg mixture.
- Add the espresso powder and fold in.
- Transfer the batter to your cake pan, then place the pan in the oven.
- Bake for roughly 25 minutes until cake has risen and is slightly firm.
- Allow the cake to cool completely. In the meantime, mix the strawberries and powdered sugar together. Let them stand for about 30 minutes.
- To serve, slice the cake and place a spoonful of the strawberries on top. Dust with additional confectioner's sugar if desired.