Virtual Cooking Eases Cabin Fever

Oct. 30, 2020 

By BARBARA SILVERSTEIN

Shabbat Shalom and welcome to “Kitchen Talk,” the weekly food blog of the CJR. The weather is getting colder and COVID rates across the country are on the rise. We’ll soon be spending much more time indoors.

However, it’s not all gloom and doom. It’ll be Zoom and more Zoom.

This technology has become quite the lifesaver during this pandemic. Thanks to Zoom, I participate in a study group with a rabbi. I attend Kabbalat Shabbat services at a synagogue in Long Island, N.Y. I listen to U.S. political lectures, and I take all kinds of cooking classes, some with top international chefs.

I’m looking forward to attending Building the Jewish & Cookbook at 2 p.m. on Nov. 8., a virtual cooking workshop hosted by the Miles Nadal JCC and The Wandering Chew, a non-profit group that embraces Montreal’s Jewish food cultures and traditions.

Kat Romanow

Wondering-Jew co-founder Kat Romanow will teach how to make her family’s recipe for Pizza Napoletana through the Jewish& Cookbook program. “Jewish&” celebrates Jewish diversity through various programs. To register: https://www.amilia.com/store/en/miles-nadal-jcc/shop/activities/2864377

Romanow has shared two recipes from The Wandering Chew Website https://wanderingchew.ca/

Lysette’s Mock Chopped Liver is a Mexican take on chopped liver that uses avocado as the base and mixes in hardboiled eggs, caramelized onions, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Massafan is an Iranian-Jewish recipe for flourless cookies that are often eaten at Passover.

This week, the late Norene Gilletz, Canada’s Queen of Kosher Cuisine was posthumously inducted into the Taste Canada Hall of Fame. Taste Canada honours food writers, and cookbook authors.

To mark this bittersweet but special occasion, I am including a recipe for Hoisin Sesame Chicken from Gilletz’s last book, The Brain Boosting Diet: Feed Your Memory. Co-written with the late Edward Wein, The Brain Boosting Diet was on the long list of nominations for a Taste-Canada Award in the category of Health and Special Diet Cookbooks.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT:

Kat Romanow promotes Montreal’s Jewish food traditions

The Wandering Chew’s Kat Romanow, director of food programming for the Museum of Jewish Montreal, says her pizza workshop for MNJCC’s Jewish& Cookbook program (Nov. 8) “marries her Italian and Jewish background.”

Romanow grew up in a close-knit Italian-Ukrainian home and was raised Roman Catholic. While doing a master’s degree in Jewish studies, she specialized in food traditions. She later converted to Judaism.

Romanow’s maternal great-grandfather, an Italian immigrant, founded the Carona Bakery in 1932 and built homes for his family next door to the bakery in Montreal’s east end.

“When the bakery was in operation it was a meeting place for the whole family living on the street,” she recalled.

The bakery, known for its Pizza Napoletana, closed in 1995. Romanow said she, her mother and grandmother were able to recreate the pizza recipe for a home-kitchen oven. She also adapted the recipe by substituting shortening for lard. This recipe will be sent to participants in MNJCC workshop.

Romanow suggested that the dough be prepared in advance because it takes 1½ hours to rise.

Romanow founded The Wandering Chew with Sydney Warshaw in 2013. “We both have a deep love of Jewish food,” she said. “Our mission is to share the diversity of Jewish stories through food.”

The pair runs cooking workshops, food events, and cookbook launches. “We were doing it all in person prior to the pandemic. Now we have moved on line. We are meeting our mission through our events and the recipe collection on the website.”

For recipes and upcoming workshops visit The Wandering Chew Web site, https://wanderingchew.ca/

RECIPES

LYSETTE’S MOCK CHOPPED LIVER The Wandering Chew

2 eggs
1 white onion, finely diced
2 avocados
Juice of ½ lemon
Canola oil
Salt & pepper, to taste

Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and immediately turn off the heat. Leave the eggs in the covered pot for 8 minutes, until hard-boiled. Drain and run the eggs under cold water. Peel and chop the hard-boiled eggs into half-inch pieces.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Cook the onions until caramelized, about 8–10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Mash the avocados until smooth and mix in the onions, eggs and lemon juice.

Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve with rye bread or tortilla chips.

MASSAFAN The Wandering Chew

1 cup (250 ml) almond flour
1/3 cup (100 ml) sugar
1 egg white
½ tsp (2 ml) ground cardamom
Rosewater

Mix the ground almonds, sugar and cardamom together until evenly combined.

Mix the egg white into the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until the dough comes together. This will take around 1–2 minutes. Wet your hands with rose water and shape into stars. Continue to wet your hands with a little rose water to shape each cookie.

If freezing, place the baking sheet in the freezer until the cookies are frozen and then place the cookies in a single layer in a freezer bag.

Bake the cookies for 8–10 minutes until light golden brown. To bake from frozen, bake the cookies for 10–12 minutes until light golden brown. Yields 12 star-shaped cookies

HOISIN SESAME CHICKEN Norene Gilletz

6 boneless, skinless single chicken breasts (or 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
Freshly ground black pepper 
¼ cup (60 ml) hoisin sauce
1 tbsp (15 ml) apricot preserves (reduced-sugar or all-fruit)
1 tbsp (15 ml) minced garlic 
1 tbsp (15 ml) orange juice 
¼ cup (60 ml) sesame seeds

Place the chicken on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with pepper on both sides.

In a medium bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, apricot preserves, garlic, and orange juice; mix well.

Brush the sauce evenly over chicken on both sides, then sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Let marinate for 30 minutes or refrigerate, covered, for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Bake, uncovered, for 20–25 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork. Serve hot or cold.

Norene’s Notes:

Grilled hoisin sesame chicken: Prepare and marinate the chicken as directed in Steps 1–3. Preheat the barbecue to medium-high. Grill the chicken over indirect heat for 4–6 minutes per side, or until the juices run clear and grill marks appear. (If using a two-sided indoor grill, spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken on the grill and close the lid. Total grilling time will be 4–6 minutes.)

Sheet pan dinner: Make a double batch of the sauce mixture in a large bowl. Add assorted sliced vegetables (e.g., 2 onions, 2 red or yellow bell peppers, 1 zucchini, or 2 cups (500 ml) mushrooms) and mix well. Spread out in a single layer on the same baking sheet as the chicken. Bake, uncovered, for 20–25 minutes, stirring the vegetables once or twice.

CULINARY CALENDAR

Nov. 8, 2 p.m: Montreal-style Pizza making workshop through MNJCC’s Jewish& Virtual Cookbook program https://www.amilia.com/store/en/miles-nadal-jcc/shop/activities/2864377 

Nov. 4, 11 a.m: Virtual Cooking with Katie Giles. The winter-squash recipes includes Butternut Squash Lentil Curry and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn 

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYocuyupjgtHdH4SkYK9XS69aolga5nsjd_