Victoria Prever

Why gin is no longer just a mother's ruin

By Richard Ehrlich, March 30, 2014

For a few years now, the white spirit of the moment has been gin. Most bartenders are very happy about this, and so am I. Don’t get me wrong: good vodka is a wonderful thing. But gin is just more interesting. Fiddling around with the botanicals – the flavourings, led by juniper, that give gin its unique flavour – allows distillers to produce an infinite range of drinks.

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Muscovado chocolate cupcakes with cocoa nibs

By Paul A Young, March 28, 2014

My name is Paul A. Young and I am a cake-a-holic. I cannot imagine my life without the humble cake, whether it’s for afternoon tea, a quick coffee break or a stolen hour gossiping with friends. Moist and sticky with crunchy cocoa nibs and an aromatic sweet-spiced syrup, these cakes are the perfect dessert served warm with real vanilla ice cream or cold with rooibos or Earl Grey tea.

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Chocoholics identify a sweet gap in market

By Anthea Gerrie, March 28, 2014

What is it about Jews and chocolate?

Britain has more than its fair share of Jewish entrepreneurs making, marketing or simply selling the addictive stuff. Many from unrelated backgrounds — seduced by their inner chocoholics into working with the products of the cocoa bean.

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Melanzane alla Parmigiana

By Silvia Nacamulli, March 28, 2014

This is a delicious classic which never fails. It is made with deep fried aubergines and I suggest you stick to this as it tastes far better. Make it seldom but do it right.

Serves: 6 as starter, 4 as a main course
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
500-600g tomato passata
7-8 leaves fresh basil

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Tahini, lemon and garlic hummus

By Lisa Roukin, March 21, 2014

Making your own hummus means that, with practice and by trial and error, you can flavour it just the way you want. Play around with the seasonings like garlic, tahini and lemon juice to obtain a hummus to your taste.
The tahini you use can dramatically affect the flavour of your hummus. Raw tahini is stronger while canned, roasted tahini has a milder, nuttier flavour.

Serves 8-10

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A good vintage for kosher wine

By Richard Ehrlich , March 21, 2014

A lot can happen in two years. In 2013 I was unable to attend the annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience, sponsored by Kedem and held at the Park Lane Hotel in Piccadilly. This year, after getting there late (idiotically missed my bus stop), I dived into tasting and quickly became aware of something curious.

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Pretty pink rhubarb caramel tarts

By Fabienne Viner-Luzzato, March 20, 2014

This beautiful dessert pairs tart, unsweetened rhubarb with a sweet, crisp pastry, covered with a crunchy sugar dome that melts on the fruit and in your mouth.

Makes: 18 tarts
Preparation time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 45 mins

INGREDIENTS
225g plain flour
140g butter or margarine softened
75g icing sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 egg
1kg rhubarb, washed
Vanilla extract, a few drops

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Carrot and poppy seed cake

By Denise Phillips, March 15, 2014

This cake is very fast to make and can be put together in one bowl. It is also a healthier option and the carrots and pineapple count towards your ‘5 a day’ so ideal for family Purim celebrations.
Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS
225g plain flour
2 tbsp poppy seeds
175g caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

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Purim cocktails

By Victoria Prever, March 14, 2014

Drinking is actively encouraged at Purim – for those of drinking age, of course. So here are a few cocktail recipe ideas:

Kosher Caribbean cooler (2)
Non-dairy Avocaat based Walders liqueur is the kosher equivalent of Bailey’s and is made in Holland.

INGREDIENTS
35ml Walders Vanilla Liqueur
15ml Malibu or other coconut liqueur
75ml pineapple juice
75ml mango juice

METHOD

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Why Purim poppy seeds are more than a topping

By Josephine Bacon, March 14, 2014

No ingredient says Purim quite so much as poppy seeds.

They are the most traditional Ashkenazi hamantaschen filling.

The tiny blue black or grey seeds were also said to be favoured by Queen Esther while she lived in King Ahasuerus’ palace; her vegan diet allowing her to remain kosher as inconspicuously as possible.

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Tunisian savoury aperitif biscuits

By Fabienne Viner-Luzzato, March 8, 2014

Cakis are tiny savoury biscuits - perfect with a Purim drink. You can add all sorts of things to the basic recipe to flavour them such as green olives, anise seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled cucumbers, nuts and anchovies. I have used olives, capers, jalapeno peppers and nuts.

Makes: 180 approx
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 – 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS
For the basic biscuits:

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Gorgeous gluten free granola

By Lisa Roukin, March 8, 2014

V This is delicious with Greek yoghurt and topped with granola and blueberries. After the oat mixture has cooked, you can add whichever dried fruits you prefer. I love dried banana chips and pecans, but if there are other dried fruits, nuts or seeds you prefer feel free to use those.

Serves: 12
Preparation: 20 mins
Cooking: 26-28 mins

INGREDIENTS
400g gluten free oats, sifted

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Homemade sun dried tomatoes

By Silvia Nacamulli , March 8, 2014

The wonderful thing about sun dried tomatoes is they keep their flavour no matter the season. It is important that you use the dry tomatoes as the beauty of this recipe is that you can choose your own oil and herbs. Being Italian I like to add garlic, rosemary and capers but you can be creative with what you add. Use them in salads, on bruschetta, as pasta sauce and in may other ways.

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Zesty blush orange curd

By Victoria Prever, March 7, 2014

Blush oranges, as blood oranges are so coyly named nowadays, are beautiful, but have such a short season. They make a gorgeously orange curd, which gives breakfast toast a zesty bite and is perfect for sandwiching between two Victoria sponge cakes. It is also delicious with Greek yoghurt.

INGREDIENTS
5 or 6 blush oranges
155g caster sugar
4 large eggs, yolks only
115g unsalted butter

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Cashew Nut Butter

By Lisa Roukin, March 7, 2014

If you want an even nuttier flavour, you can roast the cashew nuts before blitzing them.

Makes 500g
Preparation: 15 - 30 mins
Cooking: 13 mins (if you roast the cashews)

INGREDIENTS
500g cashew nuts
1 tsp maple syrup
Sea salt
3 tsp chocolate hazelnut spread (optional)

METHOD

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Very Important Wines for celebrating

By Richard Ehrlich, March 1, 2014

I took my wife out to dinner at Racine, a short walk from the V&A, for what is known in the matrimonial trade as a VIB.

Racine is one of her favourite restaurants, and mine too, for that matter. It’s a Paris bistro more properly Parisian than many you would find in Paris itself – though there wasn’t a scowl on the faces of any of the front-of-house staff.

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Sicilian blood orange and feta salad

By Silvia Nacamulli, February 28, 2014

Blood oranges are one of the few seasonal ingredients we still have. Sicilian and Spanish oranges are particularly good. The feta is my addition and is optional, but a lovely one which accentuates the contrast of sweet and savoury and also adds texture and colour. It makes a refreshing and different starter. Replace the blood oranges with regular oranges out of season.

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Chocolate halva babka

By Orly Ziv, February 28, 2014

This braided yeast cake with chocolate and halva is a favourite in the Jewish repertoire.
I add halva crumbs, a popular Middle Eastern sweet, to give it a little added texture and flavour.

Makes 2 loaves
Preparation: 30 mins plus approx 45 mins rising
Cooking: 20 – 25 mins

INGREDIENTS
For the dough:
560 g all-purpose flour
1 tbsp dry yeast
100 g sugar
100 g butter, softened

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Grilled Aubergines Baladi

By Orly Ziv, February 28, 2014

I learned this recipe in a cooking class and it turned out to be a very successful dish with a surprising flavour combination. It is a wonderful use for date honey (silan in Hebrew), which is very popular in the Israeli kitchen. Date honey or date syrup is available from some UK supermarkets.

Serves: 4 - 6
Preparation: 15 mins
Cooking: 15 mins

INGREDIENTS
2 medium eggplants

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Israeli flavours on a plate

By Zoe Winograd and Victoria Prever, February 28, 2014

Middle Eastern cooking is bang on trend.

Chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi and more recently, Eynat Admony (Balaboosta) have worked hard to ensure that the flavours of the shuk are now up there with French, Italian and other popular Mediterranean cuisines.
So much so that visitors to Israel now expect an epicurean adventure as well as the more traditional historical sights and sounds.

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