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by Ronnie Fein


                                                           photo - Ronnie Fein

This is grandma's challah recipe. The original was for  8 "hands" flour, 1/2 "hand" sugar. Were her hands the same size as mine? Worked it out. Delish!


2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (about 105 degrees; feels slightly warm to touch)
1/2 cup sugar
8 cups all-purpose flour, approximately
1 tablespoon salt
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1–1/2 cups warm water (about 105 degrees)
Poppy seeds or sesame seeds, optional


In a small bowl, mix the yeast, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of flour. Stir and set aside for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly.

While the yeast is resting, place 7-1/2 cups flour with the remaining sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook. Add 4 of the eggs, the vegetable oil and the 1-1/2 cups water. Mix, using the dough hook until well combined. Add the yeast mixture and blend in thoroughly.  Knead (at medium-high speed) until the dough is smooth and elastic (3–4 minutes). Add more flour as needed to make the dough smooth and soft, but not overly sticky.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1-1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down, cover the bowl and let rise again for about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Remove the dough to a floured surface.

Cut the dough into 3 or 6 pieces, depending on whether you are going to make one large or two smaller loaves. Make long strands out of each piece. Braid the strands and seal the ends together by pressing on the dough. Place the bread(s) on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Beat the last egg. Brush the surface with some of the egg. Sprinkle with seeds if desired. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

While the dough is in the last rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes for one large bread, 22-25 minutes for two smaller breads. They should be firm and golden brown.


Yield: Makes one large or two smaller challahs. You can make the dough in a food processor — cut the recipe in half.

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Adapted from a recipe from the historical 2nd Avenue Kosher Deli

Plan to marinate the brisket overnight or at least 12 – 24 hours before cooking.


3 tablespoons onion powder
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (4-5 pound) brisket
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
5 (3 cups) yellow onions, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh garlic


In a bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, celery salt, salt, pepper, and mix with whisk. Rub spice mixture all over the dry brisket. Place in a deep dish covered with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large skillet, add the meat, and brown on both sides. Transfer brisket to an oven proof casserole. Add water, cover, and simmer on low for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet, add the onions, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized; add garlic, and continue simmering for a couple of minutes. Add onions and garlic to brisket pot. Cover, and continue simmering* for 2 1/2 hours or until meat is fully cooked. To test for doneness, check with a fork; it is done when there is a slight pull on the fork as it is removed from the meat. Cook longer if necessary.

Refrigerate at this point if serving the next day. Slicing is much easier when meat is cold. If not, remove the brisket to a plate, and trim all the visible fat. Then place the brisket on a cutting board, and carve thin slices across the grain (the muscle lines of the brisket) with a very sharp knife. Serve hot with gravy.


*Instead of stove top pot roasting, brisket may be baked covered in a slow 300 degree oven as well.

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by Nina Safar, Kosher in the Kitch

When we spent Rosh Hashanah with my husband's family, his uncle, Shumi Zipor who is of Yemenite descent, made this dish and it was fantastic! It is full of rich flavors like cilantro and garlic and the fish comes out very tender. This is a GREAT sauce to cook any fish in. I use  Tilapia, however you can use Salmon or White Fish as well.


A bunch of cilantro, chopped up
8 cloves of garlic, diced
1 red pepper (diced or cut into strips)
1 green pepper (diced or cut into strips)
2 tomatoes, diced
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of parve chicken soup mix

Fish fillets


Sauté the garlic. Then add cilantro. Once that has cooked together, add the red peppers/green peppers and tomatoes.

Once that has cooked for a few minutes, add the can of tomato sauce with a little bit of water to thin it out a bit.

Then add lots of paprika, a little bit of cumin, salt, pepper and parve chicken soup mix. (If you like it spicy, you can add schug to it as well!)

Once the peppers are soft, add the fish and cook. It shouldn’t take more than 10-15 min for it to cook.


I often serve this dish for the first course on Shabbat. However it can also be served for dinner as the main course with rice. (I would serve it with a simple white or brown rice. There is so much flavor in the sauce you won’t need to add any spices to the rice)

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Adapted from a recipe by Chef David Cooper, Chefs' Confidential Cookbook

Soup is one of our favorite comfort foods and this recipe for Flanken Mushroom Barley Soup is delicious. In fact, this soup gets better each day. It is a hearty soup – just add some crispy bread or rolls,a salad and you have a complete meal.


1 pound flanken
Salt, pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound onions, diced
10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
10 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced, stems removed
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
½ cup pearl barley, rinsed
3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1½  quarts beef or chicken broth*
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley, divided


Season flanken with salt and pepper and brown both sides in heated oil; remove meat and set aside.

Sauté onions until golden.  Add mushrooms and sauté about 3 minutes . Add garlic, barley, thyme and sauté 3 minutes more.  Add broth and scrape bottom of pot. Add  flanken back to the pot along with the bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of parsley ; bring to boil.  Lower heat and simmer about  1½ hours.

Remove flanken and cut meat from bones – put small pieces of meat back into soup.
Simmer 15 more minutes- Discard bay leaf; Garnish with parsley when serving.


Yield: 8 Servings
If making this soup in advance – When reheating, adjust consistency by adding additional broth

*For recipes calling for broth, we often use Imagine Food’s no-chicken or vegetable broth

Recipes: Soup, Meat, Beef, Mushrooms, Kosher

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