Kofte and a Meatball Blog Hop

Just as I became obsessed with Greek food (like chicken souvlaki and Greek salad) after our trip to Rhodes, I’ve returned from Istanbul with a hunger for all things Turkish. The incredible flavors, intoxicating scents, and evocative spices have left their mark on my palate, and I find myself trying to recreate little bites of our trip at home. As I mentioned in my post about where to eat in Istanbul, the first place we ate when we arrived was a wonderful, no frills kofte  restaurant that had me craving these Turkish meatballs for the rest of the trip.

Turkish Kebab Recipe

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Matzo Ball Soup

Homemade Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo ball soup may be one of the most quintessential Jewish recipes, but growing up in New York you didn’t have to be Jewish – and it didn’t have to be Passover – for you to consider this classic dish comfort food. Living in Israel Passover takes on new meaning as all chametz, or leavened foods, are cleared from supermarket shelves and restaurant menus. Even a week before the holiday begins, the chip aisle was replaced with matzo, matzo meal, and more matzo. Passover begins this Friday, but I started craving matzo ball soup weeks ago, and have been buying matzo just to snack on. Apparently I’m weird like that. Continue reading “Matzo Ball Soup”

Sweet and Sour Meatballs for World on a Plate

I am excited about this post for so many reasons! First of all I get to share with you what may be the world’s greatest recipe: my mother-in-law’s sweet and sour meatballs. Second of all, I am part of a wonderful new blogging group called World on a Plate! Started by Pola from Italian in the Midwest, World on a Plate is a purposefully small group that is all about cultural exchange. Each month we will have a theme (this month’s theme is meatballs!) and will post a recipe from our “home country” that fits the theme. We are currently eight bloggers who represent Germany, India, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United States (that’s me!). If you are interested in joining and see that your home country is not represented, give Pola a shout!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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Irish Beef Stew Recipe and a St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop

Irish Beef Stew with Daikon Radish Puree

In case you couldn’t tell from my last name, I’m not Irish. But growing up in New York City, come St. Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish. It’s fun and festive, rowdy and chaotic. I know that drinking lots of beer is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition (an entirely made up one, by the way – but who’s to argue?!), but this weekend why not save some of that brew for your stew (watch out, I may break out into limericks at any moment…). Enter Irish Beef Stew, sometimes called Guiness Beef Stew, a hearty and delicious way to celebrate the luck of the Irish.


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Ropa Vieja with Fried Plantains

Ropa Vieja

Spotting plantains with Liz and Beth in Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market was one of our most exciting, unexpected finds of the year. Plantains, which are indigenous to South Asia but popular throughout Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, don’t come up much in Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine. And, while you can find Libyan, Yemeni, and Iraqi food galore throughout the country, Cuban restaurants aren’t exactly commonplace. Excited to purchase the plantains I bought two (yes, only two – what was I thinking?!) with no distinct plan but thoughts of frying them. Beth made some super awesome plantain chips with hers. Continue reading “Ropa Vieja with Fried Plantains”

Barefoot Contessa Lemon Chicken

Barefoot Contessa Lemon Chicken

Like many of you, I am always looking for nourishing, simple, flavorful recipes that taste delicious but don’t take up too much of my time. Don’t get me wrong, I love to linger over a slow braise or all day sauce as much as the next Slow Food member, but some nights just don’t allow that luxury of time. Recipes that can do double duty for weeknights as well as entertaining are even more cherished. This chicken recipe from Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa, fits the bill. Continue reading “Barefoot Contessa Lemon Chicken”

Sriracha Turkey Meatballs

Sriracha Turkey MeatballsWhen I saw Martha Stewart’s recipe for Asian Turkey Meatballs, I didn’t just bookmark them, I made them immediately. Like that night. I’ve been obsessed with turkey meatballs lately and make these at least once a month. But these had something else going for them: Sriracha. I was thrilled to find a bottle of the real stuff in the Asian specialty store in Jerusalem since my husband puts it on everything, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This simple but genius recipe calls for Sriracha in the meatballs along with bread crumbs, fresh cilantro, scallions, fish sauce, and sesame oil. The result is a super flavorful meatball with a nice (but not unbearable) kick. Those needing more can put additional Sriracha on the meatballs. My husband did! Continue reading “Sriracha Turkey Meatballs”

Pollo Fritto per Chanuka

Our Italian Jewish Hanukkah
Our Italian Jewish Hanukkah

Christmas may have come and gone (did you have a nice holiday?), but there’s still two days of Hanukkah left! If you’re tired of latkes and sufganiyot (as if that could happen), allow me to suggest a few recipes from the Italian Jewish canon. Italian Jews make up one of the world’s oldest Jewish communities, combining two great culinary traditions. After doing a good bit of research for an article in the Jew and the Carrot (check it out here), I learned that while Hanukkah traditions vary by region, one dish is universal throughout the country: Pollo Fritto per Chanuka, or Fried Chicken for Hanukkah. Continue reading “Pollo Fritto per Chanuka”

Ranch Steak with Onions and Mushrooms

I’m not sure how it came up, but the other day my husband mentioned steak. We rarely eat red meat in Israel, not so much out of health concerns but because it’s pricier than poultry and tofu, and because even when we go out it’s hard to find a decent burger. I also haven’t taken the time to familiarize myself with the cuts of beef readily available here. I rarely grow tired of all the amazing things that can be done with chicken, turkey, tofu, and vegetables but suddenly a thick, juicy steak was on my mind. So I went to the grocery store and picked out the biggest, nicest looking steaks I could. When I came home I was able to do a little reverse research and learned (with the help of Google Translate) that I had bought a boneless chuck shoulder center cut steak, more glamorously known as Ranch Steak. Continue reading “Ranch Steak with Onions and Mushrooms”

Daring Cooks: Oolong Turkey Breast

Way back when I was a nascent food blogger (of a now defunct blog more embarrassing to look at than middle school photos), only just discovering the wonderful world of culinary media, I was a member of Daring Bakers. It was an amazing community that pushed me to try things I had yet to make like flourless chocolate cake and tuiles (neither of which are nearly as intimidating now as they were then). But then I got a job – my dream job, where I professionally lived and breathed food – and my blog fell to the wayside, along with my membership to Daring Bakers. You can imagine my excitement when I began blogging again to see that not only was Daring Bakers still around (and my, how it has grown!), but they had expanded to Daring Cooks. Now there’s something I could really get into. Continue reading “Daring Cooks: Oolong Turkey Breast”