Tag Archives: recipe

Recipe: Sumac or Za’atar Latkes

Both sumac and za’atar (hyssop) were biblical spices, the former used to impart a lemony flavor to food, and the latter to season almost anything. During the time of the Macabbees’ revolt in late autumn, and lemony sumac berries had just been harvested, and za’atar grew wild in the hills.

Today, the word za’atar refers to a spice blend of hyssop, salt, sumac and sesame seeds, popular on bread, in salads, and over yogurt cheese. You can find sumac and za’atar in Middle Eastern and Persian markets. This recipe was created by Nadav Granot, chef at the biblical gardens of Neot Kedumim, in Israel.


Makes about 8-10 (Serves 4-5)

  • ½ cup virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium-large)
  • 2 tablespoons crushed garlic
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt (slightly less if using za’atar)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared za’atar mix or dried crushed sumac
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 – 2 ½   tablespoons hot water
  • Thick Yogurt or Sour Cream

Pour ¼ cup oil into a frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic till lightly golden, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the sumac or za’atar.

Stir in the onion and garlic mixture and beat in the eggs. The batter will be thick and sticky.

Add 2 tablespoons water (or more if necessary) so that the batter is the consistency of pancake batter.

Heat the remaining oil and use a small cup or soup ladle to form 3-4 small latkes each time. Fry on both sides till golden. Serve with a dollop of thick yogurt or sour cream.

Adapted from The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking, by Phyllis Glazer with Miriyam Glazer (Harper-Collins 2004).

Sufganiyot Muffins from Modern Domestic

By Jenna Huntsberger – The Modern Domestic
Haunakah started Wednesday, which means it’s time to dust off your favorite Haunakah recipes. Because Haunakah celebrates the miracle of the oil, the holiday usually features fried foods – latkes, fried potato pancakes, are the food of choice in the United States, and sufganiyot, fried jelly doughnuts, are the popular treat in Israel.

Being a baker, I naturally gravitate to making sufganiyot – and, in fact, I did make themlast year. But I’m not much of a deep fryer. I don’t have a fryer myself, and my attempts at frying the doughnuts in my four quart pot didn’t turn out so well – they were overcooked on the outside and barely cooked through.

This year, I spared myself the pain, and made sufganiyot muffins instead.

Doughnut muffins have been all the rage on the Internet for years, and now that I’ve made them, I understand why – they’re delicious. You take a bready, moist dough, flavor it with nutmeg, and bake it in muffins tins. Then, you brush the muffins with butter (or, in my case, dipped them in butter), and coat them in cinnamon sugar. Finally, fill them with the jam or preserve of your choice. I used a mixer berry jam that I made from all the fruit hogging precious space in my freezer – it was a tart, refreshing contrast to the sweet, buttery muffin.

Yes, these muffins aren’t fried in oil – they’re coated in butter – but there’s oil in the batter, and that’s enough for me. Now that I’ve tried sufganiyot muffins, I don’t think I’ll ever be tempted to fry mine again.

I really like them when they’re warm, and the coating comes off on your fingers.

Sufganiyot Muffins
Makes 24 muffins
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

For the muffins:

  • ¼ cup (4 oz) butter
  • ¼ cup (4 fl oz) canola oil
  • ½ cup (3.5 oz) sugar
  • ⅓ cup (2.8 oz) dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 ⅔ cups (13.33 oz) AP flour
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz) buttermilk

For the topping and filling:

  • 2 oz butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz) jam or preserves (of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, oil, sugar, and dark brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined. Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.

Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions (ending with the dry). Scoop or pipe the batter into well-greased muffin tins – each tin should be about ⅔ full.

Bake for 20 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through, until lightly browned. Let cool in the pans until cool enough to handle – then remove. (If you have trouble removing the muffins from the tins, run a knife or offset around the edge to loosen. Or, turn the pan over and rap on the counter to pop them out).

To finish muffins:

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Lightly brush the muffins with the melted butter (or dip in the melted butter), and roll in the cinnamon sugar. Fill a piping bag with jam and fit with a medium round tip. Plunge the tip into the center of the muffin and fill with jam. Repeat with remaining muffins.

Re-blogged from Modern Domestic.

Recipe: Sweet Potato Latkes with Spiced Maple Syrup

With Hanukkah approaching fast, people everywhere are getting excited to dine on treats such as latkes and Sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts).  But after eight days, those delicious dishes can get tiresome.  This year, why not try out a little variation? According to Phyllis Glazer, modern takes on traditional foods are becoming all the rage in Israel (check out her article on the history of latkes in the current issue of Moment here!).  Here is one of our favorites:

Sweet Potato Latkes with Spiced Maple Syrup

Makes 10-12  (4-6 servings)

For the Latkes:

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼  cup matzah meal
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch white pepper
  • 2-4 tablespoons light olive oil for frying

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup real maple syrup
  • ½  teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chopped fresh coriander or mint leaves to garnish


Scrub the sweet potatoes, peel and shred them on the fine side of a grater or in the food processor. Transfer to a wire-mesh strainer and squeeze to remove moisture. Let stand in the strainer or a colander placed over a bowl for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and add the matzah meal, sweet potato, salt and pepper. Let stand an additional 5-10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the sauce: In a small pan combine the ingredients for the sauce, heat over low heat and keep warm.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet and add a small ladleful of the batter. Flatten gently and fry on both sides till golden-brown.

Add more oil to the pan as necessary, and fry the remaining latkes.

Place the latkes on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Pour some of the heated sauce on individual plates and arrange three latkes on top per serving, or use a serving platter and pass the sauce separately. Garnish with fresh coriander or mint.  Serve with sour cream or plain yogurt if desired.

“Adapted from The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking, by Phyllis Glazer with Miriyam Glazer (Harper-Collins 2004).”

Recipe of the Moment: Etrog Jam

By Niv Elis

Although careful steps are taken to ensure an unblemished, perfect etrog for Sukkot, once the holiday is over it has little use.

Or does it?

Many families use the post-Sukkah etrog, a member of the citrus family, to make a delicious jam!  Here’s our favorite recipe, taken from the out of print “Jewish Cooking for Pleasure” by Molly Lyons Bar-David.

Etrog Jam

  • 1 etrog
  • 1 orange
  • sugar
  • water
  1. Wash the etrog and orange, cut them in half lengthwise, and then very thinly slice them.
  2. Remove seeds.
  3. Soak the fruit overnight.
  4. Change the water to cover the fruit, and bring to a boil.
  5. Change the water again, and bring to a boil once more.
  6. Pour off the water.
  7. Weigh the fruit, and add an equal weight of white sugar.
  8. Cook over a low heat for about 45 minutes until the jam begins to gel.

An etrog, any which way you slice it.

Make Your Own Matzoh

By Nonna Gorilovskaya

My friend and cooking goddess Jenna Huntsberger never tasted matzoh before she decided to bake her own. (Note to self: I am a bad Jewish friend.) matzoh2She documented her valiant efforts on her ModernDomestic blog:

This recipe is from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s book, The Bread Bible, but the recipe is originally from Noel Comess, founder of Tom Cat bakery in Queens, New York. The recipe takes liberties with the original recipe for Matzoh, which is traditionally made from plain flour and water. Beranbaum adds olive oil for crispness, and salt, wheat flour and rosemary for flavor. According to Jewish law, the dough must be baked 18 minutes after the dough is mixed, otherwise it is considered “leavened” and unsuitable for Passover. But Beranbaum’s dough rests for a full 30 minutes before shaping…

While this matzoh is not strictly kosher for Passover, it is a recipe well worth adding to your year-round baking arsenal. The flavors are earthy and satisfying, with the rosemary and salt adding a savory punch to the simple dough.

Jenna liked matzoh so much that it might make a cameo on her Easter dinner plate. Click here for Jenna’s adaptation of Beranbaum’s Mediterranean matzoh recipe.

Bookmark and Share