One of the reasons I created this column was because you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy great kosher products internationally. Here are a few tips.
Dagim Is Way More Than Fish For Pesach
Several years ago, I bought Dagim tuna fish in water for Passover. I noticed every can I opened was filled with solid, white pieces that filled the entire can. I told several of my non-Jewish friends to try it and compare with the popular supermarket brands, and they agreed with me. Since then, we are all hooked. Go on the Dagim website, and you find so many great choices of fishes, even prepared fish sticks and salmons. It is easy to serve fish from Dagim and never bore your family with just one option. Stay tuned for upcoming recipes and presentation ideas.
Here is the Dagim website:
Special Traditional Purim Challah
OJOS DE PURIM
Recipe and Write Up by Rochie Pinson excerpted from Rising! The Book of Challah / Feldheim 2017
Most of us are familiar with the tradition of eating “oznei Haman” (“Haman’s ears”), the Hebrew term for hamentashen, which adds to the fun and and joy of Purim. But have you ever heard of eating “einei Haman” (“Haman’s eyes”)?
This is a very special challah, called Ojos de Purim or Einei Haman (Haman’s Eyes), popular amongst Moroccan Jews and a big part of their Purim tradition. The challah is special because of the hardboiled eggs—Haman’s eyes—that are submerged within it. During the festive Purim meal, the eggs are pulled out of the challah, symbolically representing the tearing out of Haman’s eyes.
As I researched this custom, I found that the tradition of placing hard-boiled eggs in challah for Purim appears in one form or another across the spectrum of Jewish communities. The Greek Jews of Rhodes also incorporated hard-boiled eggs into special Purim challahs. Their small loaves, called folares, are wrapped around the eggs. The loaves are supposed to look like cages, with the eggs – which symbolize Haman – trapped inside.
One Ashkenazi custom I have discovered is that of forming the challah eaten at the festive Purim meal into the shape of a flower. This is because the medieval liturgical song Shoshanat Yaakov (The Rose of Jacob) is traditionally recited after the reading of the Megillah. Another Ashkenazi tradition is to bake keylitsh, an elongated and extensively braided challah, which is intended to resemble the rope that was used to hang Haman.
I’ve combined a whole bunch of these traditions into this challah, plus added a little twist of my own with the addition of sweet, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth delicious halva.
If it’s not Purim, or the idea of hard-boiled eggs in your challah doesn’t make you smile, go ahead and leave them out. The rest of this recipe is fabulous for anytime you want your challah to be extra sweet and delicious.
* Challah should be taken with a blessing.
Yield: 8 x 1lb challahs (medium-sized challahs)
each 1lb challah yields 6 small challah rolls or 3 large rolls
43/4 cups very warm water 11/2 cups sugar or 1 cup honey 7 tsp granulated yeast
2 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
all-purpose unbleached white flour
1 tsp almond extract 1 cup shredded halva
1/2 cup sesame seeds
filling (per medium challah):
4-8 oz classic or flavored halva, crumbled or shredded 2 eggs hard-boiled
1 egg, well beaten with 1 tsp water honey
Challah toppings: sesame seeds slivered almonds
1. In a large bowl, pour very warm water. Add the sugar and then the yeast. Allow a few minutes for the yeast to bloom.
2. Add six cups of the flour. Add the salt and mix until a smooth batter forms.
3. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla, almond extract, shredded halva, and sesame seeds and stir
again until smooth.
4. Gradually add 7–9 additional cups flour, mixing with your hands or stand-mixer until the flour has fully incorporated into the dough. Be sure to add only as much flour as is needed to form a non-sticky workable dough.
5. Turn the dough out onto a hard surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough springs back when lightly touched.
6. In the bowl, turn the ball of dough into 1–2 tablespoons of oil until its outer layer has been thinly coated.
7. Cover the bowl and place in warm spot to rise.
8. Allow the dough to rise for 1.5–2 hours (depending on the temperature in the room),
until dough has doubled in bulk.
9. Separate challah with a blessing. See page 320 for instructions.
10.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Shape the challahs as per the instructions on the following page or as desired and place on lined baking sheets.
11. Brush each challah with the egg glaze.
12. Allow challahs to rise for an additional
13. Dip a pastry brush into oil. Then dip the brush into honey and paint the surface of the challah with honey. Sprinkle on a generous amount of sesame seeds and slivered almonds, covering the entire surface of the challah.
14. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes (medium-sized challah; time will vary according to challah size). The challah is ready when its underside is brown and it sounds hollow when tapped.
SHAPING THE OJOS de PURIM
1. Divide the dough based on the amount and size of the challahs you’d like to make. Separate and set aside two small pieces of dough from each “challah” to be used as “cages” over the eggs.
2. Flatten or roll out each piece of dough with a rolling pin to form a boule (round) shape. Crumble and scatter the halva across the surface of the dough. Then fold one half of the dough over the other so as to enclose the halva between both layers of dough. Re-shape the dough to form a boule or taper the ends of the dough to form the shape of a mask. Make two deep indentations into the dough and place the hard-boiled eggs inside.
3. Roll the small, reserved pieces of dough into long, skinny strands. Divide one of the strands into four. Lay two of the mini-strands across each egg in criss-cross fashion. Then, loop the second long strand around and across the eggs like the number eight.
4. If making this challah in a boule shape, you can use kitchen scissors to snip all around the edges—creating a flower effect reminiscent of the Shoshanat Yaakov liturgy that is sung on Purim.
5. You can also use this dough to form smaller challah rolls and insert one “eye” (egg) per roll. 6. If braiding this dough, fill each strand with halva.
Grow & Behold
A few weeks ago, I featured Grow & Behold meats. Since then, I was at a wedding in Cleveland where a follower read my column and ordered from them. At an event in New York, another reader mentioned she ordered meats for her friends in South Carolina. Finally, I gave two Denver steaks to a chef at a non-kosher steakhouse to cook and compare. He gave rave reviews. It’s unanimous, it’s simply the best!!! You still have time to order for Purim baskets, Seudah meals and for your everyday needs.
Here are some suggestions:
Fresh & Dried Salami
Sweet Italian Sausages
Beef Jerky —
Grow & Behold brings you premium kosher pastured meats, raised on pasture with no hormones or antibiotics. Every cut is trimmed to perfection. Our Black Angus steer are bred for tenderness and the quality of our meats is truly unparalleled — in the kosher world and beyond. Our meats are glatt kosher, under the supervision of the Star K (red meat) and OU (poultry).
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Cindy Grosz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org