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Rebecca Naumberg

Shavuot Recipes

When you think Shavous, what comes to mind?  Spring, flowers…. And of course cheese!  As a cheese-lover this has always been one of my favorite meals to prepare and eat.  The plethora of kosher cheeses available today has made this Yom Tov a truly enjoyable gastronomic experience.

And while I’m at it, I like my table to be aesthetically gorgeous as well. This Herbed Flower Salad sets the tone for your meal. I always prepare the salad in mini clear bowls (glass or Lucite) so when the guests arrive it looks my table is a garden. The effect is green and beautiful.

Herbed Flower Salad

This salad is beautiful as an appetizer for a Shavous meal. Your table will look like a freshly grown flower garden!


flower salad

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • ½ cup chopped scallion (green part only)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 heads assorted lettuce (e.g., red leaf, red leaf, Boston and Bibb), leaves separated and left whole


Blend: Pulse together mayonnaise, sour cream, scallion, thyme, capers, anchovy fillets and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth and pale green. Season with salt and pepper. Keep in covered container in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Assemble: In 6 clear individual bowls, arrange lettuce leaves in circles, one circle for each color of lettuce you are using: Arrange red leaf lettuce in a complete circle around the bowl’s edge. Then layer the Boston leaves inside the red leaf lettuce and end with the Bibb leaves, the yellow cluster at the center. Drizzle salad dressing on top and serve.

Serving Option: This may also be made in one large bowl and served as a large salad. Simply use the same layout of lettuce leaves, but use all of the lettuce for each layer.

Prep Time : 10-15 min
Ready Time : 10 min
Servings: 6

The Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Rounds are a snap to prepare and offer a delicious bite in contrast to the salad.  You can arrange a few on each person’s plate beside the salad or on serving platters in the center of the table.

Broccoli Cheese and Herb Bread Ring

An outstanding addition to any meal, this savory bread stays moist and tender as Parmesan cheese melts bakes into it.


Broccoli Cheese and Herb Bread Ring

  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, divided
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup milk, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 6 ounces parmesan cheese, cubed


Dough: In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, combine flour, egg yolk, 2 tablespoons butter and salt. In a separate small bowl, dissolve yeast in milk. Add to flour mixture. Mix until a homogenous and elastic dough forms. Cover and set aside to rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.

Cook: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add broccoli and season with salt. Add oregano, parsley, chives and pine nuts, and sauté for about 7 minutes. Set aside.
Fill: Preheat oven to 350. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a rounded long rectangle, 1-inch thick. Brush with 6 tablespoons of butter and distribute broccoli mixture and cubed parmesan along the center. Roll over to form a cylinder, and pinch to close. Fit the cylinder into a buttered bundt pan to make a ring. Set aside to rise until it fills the mold, about 30 minutes.

Bake: Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown. Unmold and serve warm.

Prep Time : 25 plus 1 hour for rising min
Ready Time : 25 min
Servings: 8

Just tide your guests over until you bring out the next sumptuous course….

Watermelon Salad with Sugared Pecans and Blue Cheese

The combination of watermelon with blue cheese may seem strange at first – but with one bite, the salty-sweet contrasts will be immediately understood...and loved!


Watermelon Salad

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
  • 6-8 cups mixed baby greens or arugula, roughly chopped

Raspberry Vinaigrette (recipe below)

  • 2½-3 pounds watermelon, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into ¾-inch-thick cubes
  • ½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • ½ small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

Raspberry Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup seedless raspberry jam
  • ¼ cup cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Candy pecans: Melt butter in a heavy medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sugar
and stir to blend. Add nuts and stir to coat. (Butter may separate.) Transfer to a plate and cool.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Assemble: Place greens in a large bowl with vinaigrette to coat, reserving a few tablespoons
vinaigrette. Divide salad among individual plates. Gently place watermelon cubes on each
plate and sprinkle with cheese, red onion and sugared nuts. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.

Raspberry Vinaigrette: Pureé jam, juice and vinegars in a blender until smooth. With machine running, gradually add oil.
Season with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Cook’s Tip – Gorgonzola cheese or feta cheese are great options as blue cheese substitutions.

Simpligy – Substitute purchased honey-glazed pecans for the sugared pecans.  Use purchased raspberry vinaigrette – add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and mix well.

Servings: 8

Salmon on Wine-Soaked Plank

Deep, smoky cedar scents seep into the salmon while grilling, lending it an incomparable flavor. Salmon can be presented on the plank...“oven to table” serving in a whole new light!


cedar salmon

  • 1 cedar plank, soaked for 1-4 hours in wine or beer
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 side of salmon
  • 2 onions, sliced into rounds
  • 1 zucchini, unpeeled, sliced into rounds
  • 1 red pepper, cut into long, thin strips
  • 6-8 baby portabella mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika


Prep: Preheat grill to medium. Season the plank with sea salt and rub in to bring out the flavor. Rinse salmon and dry with paper towel. Place salmon on the plank and surround with vegetables. Brush fish and vegetables with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

Grill: Place plank in center of grill and close the cover. Grill for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve fresh.

Cook’s note – Cedar planks can be purchased in some grocery stores and may be soaked in a variety of liquids.  If you have nothing on hand, water may be used.

Prep Time : 10 min
Cook Time : 30 min
Ready Time : 40 min
Servings: 8

Creamed Spinach and Red Wine Timballo

A timballo is a dome-shaped Italian casserole usually made with pasta, rice or potatoes. In this timballo, a layer of creamed spinach adds extra creaminess and color to the dish.

Looks just like Mount Sinai...



  • 1½ cups marinara sauce
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 12 ounces ziti
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg, finely grated
  • 1 ounce (½ cup) parmesan cheese, freshly grated, divided
  • 4 ounces (scant 1 cup) fresh mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes


Prepare sauce: Heat marinara sauce in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. Add celery, tomato paste, wine and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until most of liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Pasta: Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain, but do not rinse. Set aside.

Creamed spinach: Heat butter in a 1½-2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat until foam subsides. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add milk in a slow stream, whisking. Bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach, salt, pepper, nutmeg and 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Remove the pan from heat.

Assembly: Place oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 375. Grease a soufflé dish or domed glass mixing bowl, and line bottom with greased foil. Cover bottom of the dish or bowl with a single layer of pasta. Sprinkle ½ cup cubed mozzarella and 3 tablespoons parmesan over pasta. Spoon half of sauce in an even layer over cheese. Arrange one third of remaining pasta over sauce and top with all of creamed spinach. Add another layer of pasta (about half of remainder).  Sprinkle with remainder of cheeses. Spoon remaining sauce over cheese. Top with remaining pasta.  (You may have some pasta remaining.) Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover pasta.

Bake: Place the dish into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Fill the 9×13 dish with water halfway up the sides of the soufflé dish. Bake until bubbling and a metal skewer or thin knife inserted in center of timballo comes out hot to the touch, about 1 hour. Remove soufflé dish or bowl from water bath and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove foil and run a knife around edge of timballo to loosen. Place a platter on the soufflé dish and invert the dish onto the platter. Remove the soufflé dish or bowl and remaining foil.

Plan ahead – The timballo may be prepared up to 2 days ahead.
Store covered in the refrigerator, unmolded. To serve, reheat in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 300. Unmold as per the recipe directions.

Simplify – In a pinch, you can get the look of the timballo, minus some of the work (and flavor). Instead of the creamed spinach, substitute spinach mixed with ½ cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon salt.  Use plain marinara sauce in place of the sauce recipe.

Prep Time : 15 min
Ready Time : 15 min
Servings: 8

Zucchini Crowned Quiche is a stunning centerpiece that will crown your Yom Tov table. If the cheeses intimidate you stick to one kind but know that the cheese flavors stand out in the filling for a savory delight in every bite.

Zucchini Crowned Quiche

With its regal crown, grace your Shavuos table with a quiche fit for a king! Rich and creamy, a wonderful dairy entree or side dish.


Zucchini Crowned Quiche

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 scallions, white and light-green parts only, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 slices Italian bread, cubed and lightly toasted
  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 31/2 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1⁄3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 1 pound frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 4 ounces baby gouda cheese, cubed
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated


Vegetable and cheese filling: In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat.  Add scallions and sauté until slightly soft, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add bread cubes. Saute for about 10 minutes and set aside. In a separate skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add zucchini and thyme, season with salt and pepper and saute for 7 minutes. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs, ricotta cheese, heavy cream, nutmeg and salt. Add scallions and bread cubes, and mix well.

Prepare dough: Preheat oven to 350. On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry to a 1⁄10-inch thickness. Transfer to a 9-inch round spring form pan, and press with your fingers to line the pan with the dough. Fold overhanging dough back over itself and press firmly, creating a thicker layer on the sides. Trim any excess dough. Spread ricotta mixture and top with cubed cheese. Arrange zucchini in a layer over mixture, and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, remove pan from the oven. Carefully remove the ring from around the springform, without breaking the crust. Place pan back in the oven and continue to bake for another 10-15 or until golden brown.

Prep Time : 30 min
Cook Time : 45 min
Ready Time : 1 hour, 15 min
Servings: 8

Summer Fruit Medley with Cinnamon-Ginger Reduction

Spice up a simple fruit salad with this ginger-infused dressing – an invigorating twist that your family will love!


Fruit Medley

  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (from 4 limes)
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 small lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice (from about 8 limes)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ small ripe honeydew melon, seeds and rind removed, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger


Reduce: Combine lime zest, ginger, lemon juice, cinnamon and cardamom in a small bowl; set aside. Combine lime juice, sugar and salt in a small, heavy, nonreactive saucepan over high heat.  Simmer until syrupy and honey-colored, about 15 minutes–mixture should be reduced to ¼ cup.  Remove pan from heat and add ginger mixture. Steep for 2 minutes and strain.

Assemble: Combine fruit in a medium bowl and pour warm strained dressing over fruit; toss to coat. Sprinkle chopped crystallized ginger over fruit. Serve immediately at room temperature or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours. Serve chilled.

Serving Option: For an elegant brunch option, serve individual portions spooned over Greek yogurt in parfait glasses.

Prep Time : 20 min
Cook Time : 15 min
Ready Time : 35 min
Servings: 6

I can go on and on about each every recipe featured here until there is no time left to cook.  So take my word for it and try them out! And enjoy all that cheese.

Happy Shavuos!

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