London Gorges at Gefiltefest

Jewish London was jumping last week as the city celebrated its fifth annual Gefiltefest food fair.

The popular festival, started by the energetic and charming Michael Leventhal, was held at the sprawling Ivy House in Golders Green. Kosher food was being made—and discussed—in every corner: teenagers on how to raise free-range eggs at home, a challah-baking workshop with Challah for Hunger, Claudia Roden and Chef Silvia Nacamulli on Italian-Jewish cuisine, a local rabbi on the kosher status of the giraffe. (Last year, the same fellow, Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski, discussed the kashrut of locusts—with samples.)

Two days before the festival, Nacamulli delighted the fair’s three American authors—Kim Kushner, Poopa Dweck, and myself—with a Roman Jewish Shabbat dinner featuring eggplant dishes, and, as a special treat, carciofi alla giudia, with artichokes she’d brought from Italy, and then fried.

After the festival, which featured the launch of The Gefiltefest Cookbook, I visited Honey & Co., a tiny restaurant advertising “food from the Middle East.” For breakfast there I had coffee and an Armenian lahmajun topped with spinach, mint, dill, and parsley with Israeli chef owner Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer, who with worked famed Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi for seven years. One night I dined at Zest, whose chef, Eban Tibi, also worked at Ottolenghi’s, the chef’s eponymous restaurant.

This innovative kosher fish restaurant features dishes like sweet potato tahini with garlic oil and crisp onion, and butterflied sea bream with brik papillote, chilli, and bay glaze with a harissa coconut sauce. The chef told us that the coconut milk was a happy mistake. He’d wanted to use heavy cream, but it was so expensive they switched.

Downtown in Soho, the chef-owners of Machne Yehuda in Jerusalem have joined forces with an English couple to open Palomar, on Rupert Street, once considered an unsavory part of London with a bad reputation. Here, I was able to share a table with Israeli writer Gil Hovav and taste the dishes I’d tasted in Jerusalem, and then some.

But it was with Yotam Ottolenghi at his restaurant Nopi that I understood where all this excitement was coming from. At lunch we tasted new dishes for his menu. As we ate, Ottolenghi and his business partner Sami Tamini, who co-authored the cookbook Jerusalem, came by to taste and talk. With dishes and unexpected flavors like sea bass, lovage, and watercress sauce; borage and roasted cherry tomatoes; and what they call a M.E. Mess—a deceptively simple-seeming pomegranate trifle with mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, strawberries, pomegranates, and crumbled meringue, among other flavors.

While critiquing the dishes back and forth, I understood the standard they set, flowing from two sons of Jerusalem to our global world of food. Fortunately for the British, they landed in London.

This aritcle first appeared June 26, 2014 in Tablet Magazine





Joan Travels Through Europe!

Joan Travels Through Europe!

Enjoying the view from a hot air balloon!

Keep up with Joan as she travels through France, England, and Italy in June! Joan will participate in Gefiltefest 2014, meet up with Yotam Ottolenghi for dinner, explore Cambridge's Genizah Collection, dine with Fiippo Bartolotta of Mama Florence, and interview home cooks throughout Italy. Be sure to check Joan's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - you never know where she'll be next. 





For cookbook author Joan Nathan, a home that ‘loves people’

For cookbook author Joan Nathan, a home that ‘loves people’

View from Joan's kitchen. Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"When you’re in a home where dozens of renowned chefs are about to gather for a weekend of merrymaking and fundraising for a good cause, you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement of a potential 'pastrami-off' between two chefs and the opportunity to indulge in black hummus and shakshuka, an egg dish concocted by cookbook author Joan Nathan."

Read on for the rest of Michelle Lerner's article in The Washington Post about Joan's home and Sips & Suppers. 





Sips & Suppers 2014

Sips & Suppers 2014

Preparing brunch for Sips & Suppers chefs. Photo © Paul Kim Photography, LLC

Sips & Suppers 2014

Brunch for Sips & Suppers chefs. Photo © Paul Kim Photography, LLC

Sips & Suppers 2014

Joan at Sips & Suppers brunch. Photo © Paul Kim Photography, LLC

Sips & Suppers 2014

Brunch for Sips & Suppers chefs. Photo © Paul Kim Photography, LLC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sixth Annual Sips & Suppers fundraiser raised over $500,000 to benefit DC Central Kitchen and Martha's Table, two organizations dedicated to fighting hunger in our nation's capital. As an honarary chair, along with Chefs Alice Waters and Jose Andres, Joan Nathan helped to plan this two-day fundraiser featuring chefs and mixologists from every corner of the world. Read more about the event and learn how to participate at www.sipsandsuppers.org

 





Joan Interviews Ottolenghi and Tamimi for The Splendid Table

Joan spoke to Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi about their experiences growing up in Jerusalem. Listen to the full interview and get recipes on The Splendid Table's website.





Joan on Tell Me More, Mashing Up Holiday Favorites

Listen to Joan's interview on NPR's Tell Me More, where she talks about her Thanksgiving and Hanukkah plans, holiday favorites, and a new sweet potato latke recipe!





Joan’s Thanksgivukkah Menu on The Kitchn

See Joan's Thanksgivukkah menu featured on The Kitchn. It's sure to be a memorable meal!





Sweet Potato Latkes with Celeriac Root and Apple

Try Joan's Sweet Potato Latkes with Celeriac Root and Apple at your Hanukkah or Thanksgiving table. They're sure to be a hit!





Thanksgivukkah, The Extraordinary Intersection of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah

With Thanksgivukkah around the corner, I have already been bombarded with requests for my favorite sweet potato recipes from my Jewish cookbooks.  Here are my four favorites:  my 100 year old mother’s standard sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pineapples from the original Jewish Holiday Kitchen, a southwestern tsimmes with cilantro stuffed in Anaheim chilies from chef Lenard Rubin, a curried sweet potato latke from the New Prospect Café in Park Slope Brooklyn, both from Jewish Cooking in America, and Moroccan Sweet Potatoes and Vegetables from Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook.  All of these are great side dishes for turkey.  Of course, when I make my Soufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) this year on November 27th, the first night of Hanukkah, I’ll fill them with apples, pecan pie filling, or maybe Speculoos spread!  Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Sweet-Potato Tsimmes with Pineapples
From Joan Nathan’s The Jewish Holiday Kitchen

4 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter or pareve margarine
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Paprika or marshmallows

1. Boil sweet potatoes in their jackets until cooked. When done, cool, peel, and mash. Stir in the butter or margarine. Fold in pineapple, salt, and brown sugar.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Grease a medium casserole and spoon in mixture. Either sprinkle with paprika or, for a sweeter taste, place marshmallows on top, pressing gently into the sweet potatoes, and cook 10 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown.

Serves 6 – 8

 

Newish Jewish – Southwestern Tsimmes Stuffed in Chilies
From Joan Nathan’s Jewish Cooking in America

¾ pound pitted prunes
6 medium peeled carrots, cut in chunks
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and diced
6 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
12 green or red Anaheim chilies

1. Mix all the ingredients except the cilantro and the chilies in a greased 3-quart baking dish.

2. Cover and bake in a preheated 250-degree oven, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, but not mushy, about 2 hours. Let cool.

3. Using a fork or a potato masher mash the mixture coarsely with the chopped cilantro to facilitate stuffing into the chilies. This can be prepared a day ahead.

4. Place the chilies on a cookie sheet in a preheated 450-degree oven. Roast for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until the skin is black. Remove to a plastic or paper bag and leave until cool. Peel off the skin.

5. With a sharp knife, make a slit from the bottom of the stem to the point of each chili.

6. Gently scrape out the seeds and rinse the inside of the chili.

7. Pat each chili dry and stuff with chopped tsimmes so that each chili is slightly overstuffed, causing the slit in the chili to open, exposing the filling.

8. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Alternately, you can merely put the stuffing mixture in a greased flat casserole, approximately 9- by 13-inch, and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until it is warm.


Yield: 10 to 12 servings

 


Curried Sweet Potato Latkes
From Joan Nathan’s Jewish Cooking in America

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 large eggs, beaten
½ cup milk (approximately)
Peanut oil for frying

1. Grate the sweet potatoes coarsely. In a separate bowl mix the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cayenne pepper, curry powder, cumin, and salt and pepper.

2. Add the eggs and just enough milk to the dry ingredients to make a stiff batter. Add the potatoes and mix. The batter should be moist but not runny; if too stiff, add more milk.

3. Heat ¼ inch of peanut oil in a frying pan until it is barely smoking. Drop in the batter by tablespoons and flatten. Fry over medium-high heat several minutes on each side until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve.

Yield: 16 three-inch pancakes

 

Moroccan Sweet Potatoes and Vegetables
From Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook

4 large onions, sliced thickly
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 pound acorn squash, pumpkin, or carrots, peeled, cubed and microwaved for 5 minutes
1-2 sweet potatoes or yams, peeled cubed, and microwaved for 5 minutes
1/4 cup raisins
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9 by 13-inch casserole.
2.  Sauté the onions in the oil until golden.
3.  Put the chickpeas and onions in the bottom of the casserole.  Cover with the remaining vegetables and raisins.  Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon, and add a little oil, if desired.
4.  Bake for 30 minutes, covered, and another 20 minutes uncovered, or until well browned. 

Serves 10 to 12 as a side dish





A Conversation with Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi at Sixth & I

A Conversation with Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi at Sixth & I

Joan with Chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi in Washington, D.C.

A Conversation with Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi at Sixth & I

Joan with Ottolenghi and Tamimi at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. Photo © Bruce Guthrie.

A Conversation with Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi at Sixth & I

Joan interviewing Ottolenghi and Tamimi at Sixth & I. Photo © Bruce Guthrie.


A Conversation with Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi at Sixth & I

It was quite an event! Photo © Bruce Guthrie.






Joan's Recipes

"Chestnuts with Onions and Prunes"
from Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France


"Huevos Haminados or Baked Eggs Jewish Style"
from Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France


"Harissa - Tunisian Hot Chili Sauce"
from Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France


"Babka à la Française - Babka Rolls with Olive Tapenade"
from Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France


"Choucroute de Poisson au Beurre Blanc - Fish Sauerkraut with Wine and Butter Sauce"
from Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France


"Salade à Ma Façon"
from Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook


"Citrus Fruit Soup"


"Salty Anise Butter Cookies"


"Persian Fruit Compote"


"Fesenjan (Walnut-Pomegranate Chicken)"
from Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook


Catch Joan on Facebook