I thought this post apropos during Hanukkah, which celebrates miracles, for the following two recipes were instant successes, miracles if you will. Using kitchen appliances I had never previously owned,let alone used, and attempting foods I had never made, I was definitely apprehensive and the odds were against me- But I was lucky enough to find recipes that came out deliciocily, and my search for these two classics came to an end.
Indeed, by these 2 classics I am referring to Challah and Chicken Soup. There are certain foods that every Jew eats, and that every Jewish cook has to get down (or buy from her/his local butcher)- and these two lead the pack on that category. What would a Friday night, Shabbos dinner be without them?
Now- While I clearly have expressed a fetish with kosher cookbooks, I decided to attempt these kosher classics from online recipes. The beauty of recipes from websites such as foodnetwork.com, food.com, or allrecipes.com is that you can see people’s reviews of recipes and their ratings. Thus, you can eliminate the losers in a never ending world of recipes and move straight to attempting the winners.
Challah (courtesy of Allrecipes.com)!
I was perusing online for a Challah recipe, and came across one on allrecipes.com that stood out from the others because it does not include any margarine (yes- I know we’ve discussed that a bissel margarine won’t hurt anyone, but come on, so unnecessary in challah!). http://allrecipes.com/recipe/bread-machine-challah-ii/
While the recipe comes out great following the directions exactly, I am going to include my revisions below, which I think make for a truly delicious, comes-out-great-every-time recipe:
Disclaimer- haven’t quite figured out the braiding situation. Any advice would be appreciated!
MY RECIPE CHANGES:
-This dough comes out very very sticky, so I add 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (still comes out pretty sticky, feel free to add even more). Altogether I use 4 cups bread flour, and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour- the whole wheat adds delicious texture. Additionally, sprinkle some dried rosemary, sesame seeds, and salt on top of your challah before baking for an extra-delicious kick!
Turns out bread makers are not as scary as they seem! In fact, they may be the most useful kitchen appliance!
Update: Since the original writing of this post, I have learned how to braid challah, and more exictingly, how to make pull apart challah! Woohoo- thanks everyone for your advice!
CHICKEN SOUP (Courtesy of food.com)!
As I considered making chicken soup for the first time, my husband mentioned to me that during the winter, his father sometimes make chicken soup in a crock pot, or slow cooker, Friday afternoon, which they then feast on for Shabbos lunch. Imagine that- soup in a crock-put, who’da thunk it? In my home, the slow cooker only ever made rare appearences for cholent, never for soup!
But I decided to give it a go- and found this delicious as anything recipe!
The only changes we made to the recipe was to eliminate the noodles (i’ll save the matzoh-ball saga for another time), skin the chicken, and add a sweet potato or two. I make this soup even as early as Tuesday night, wake up to a geshmack-smelling apartment the next morning, and Friday before I warm the soup up, I skim the fat off. So So easy and delicious!!