web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Easy Does It!

Something-Cooking-logo

If you are unfamiliar with Israeli cuisine, you probably wouldn’t know that Israeli’s believe “the spicier the better.”

As a newcomer over 25 years ago, spicy food was one of the hardest things for me to get used to. Until today, I can’t tolerate any more than a pinch of black pepper.

No hot pepper of any kind, including chili, of course, (can’t fool me into thinking it’s actually “chilly”…). I really don’t understand what Israelis see in peppery dishes. Whenever I ask I’m told “ze kol ha’taam!” meaning “that’s what gives it all its flavor!”

I strongly disagree. I feel that using pepper and hot spices in abundance prevents you from experiencing the succulent essence of the delicacy before you. This is because when your tongue is ablaze, you lose the ability to define other subtle seasonings that are meant to enhance your meal. I suspect that people use a lot of hot pepper in order to camouflage their otherwise tasteless dish (no offense intended…)Mindy-053014-Soup

I believe – easy does it!

Once, I ordered falafel at an Israeli eatery. I was almost done when suddenly I felt my mouth go afire. A quick investigation showed I had bitten into a fiery-hot red pepper (called shifka in Hebrew), the remnants of which I found in the small piece of pita I held in hand.

At this point, not only was my mouth burning, but my throat – all the way down to my tonsils – was aflame too. I found it hard to breathe, let alone talk. Downing my cold drink, swallowing another piece of pita and even panting didn’t help a bit. I needed to call someone to put the fire out, but who?! The Fire Department? Hatzalah? What would I say – “Mouth on fire! Come quick!”?

I called a good friend. Maybe she’d have an idea how to extinguish the searing blaze, fast.

“You’re asking me?” was her incredulous reaction. “You’re the tip lady, you should know what to do!” she laughed.

Devastated, the hot breath I was holding came out in a hiss and I was sure I saw dragon-like flames rush from my mouth.

What now? I racked my quickly-frying-brain for an answer. Looking for immediate relief, my eyes fell on the ice bowl nearby. I hastily filled my jumbo cup with the frozen ice cubes and then my mouth – full capacity. Slowly, oh, ever so slowly, my singed tongue began to cool and after a full hour(!), the burning sensation was finally under control.

For your average Israeli, spicy hot might be fun, but not for me. Allow me to repeat – easy does it!

By now, you’ve probably noticed that that’s my motto in the kitchen as well. Why work hard when you can get great results with minimum time and ingredients?

Hard to believe? Easy can be delicious!

Take my “Nothing Chicken” for example. It’s amazingly simple and succulent – nothing can beat it! All you need to do after cleaning the chicken parts is put them on an oven tray lined with baking paper and slide into the oven. Don’t add anything! Bake for 1½ – 2 hours and the dark golden tone will announce “dinner time”! Or make it for your Yom Tov meal and keep it warm, covered on the stove. No one will resist a hefty portion or two so make sure to make enough!

Bet you won’t believe that you can make chicken soup with no chicken at all!

This is something we came upon totally by mistake. It was Friday morning and we were preparing our chicken soup for Shabbos. All the vegetables and spices were in the pot, minus the chicken bones, when someone put it on boil. Somehow I got tied up with the challah dough (pun intended), planning to add the chicken later on.

About the Author: Mindy Rafalowitz is a recipe developer and food columnist for over 15 years. She has published a best selling cookbook in Hebrew for Pesach and the gluten sensitive. Mindy is making progress on another specialty cookbbok for English readers. For kitchen questions or to purchase a sample recipe booklet at an introductory price, contact Mindy at mitbashelpo@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Easy Does It!”

  1. Ita Benjamin says:

    Hot/strong spices are prevalent in cuisine from hot climates because they were originally added to cover the taste of spoiling meat and dairy.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Photo: Rotter.net / Tikonist
Live Updates: Ashdod Shul Hit by Rocket (Latest Update: 5:26 pm)
Latest Sections Stories
boo-leon-reich

Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs.

West-Coast-logo

Chabad of Arizona centers recently hosted an evening of remembrance to mark the 20th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

A CPE class at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn was tailor made for Orthodox participants.

“I didn’t choose the landscape; it chose me.”

Woe to us that we have to be put to death like common heathen and murderers!

The world sees the hand of God through us, and does not like it.

The Rebbetzin began campaigning to increase public awareness of the importance of saying Amen.

Some educators today believe that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder falls into an executive function category.

It’s ironic that the reality of death is often the greatest force steering the affirmation of life.

The theme of the event was “Together Let us Rebuild our Holy Beis HaMikdash on Tisha B’Av.”

Chaya Aydel Seminary has already established a close connection with France’s Jewish community.

More Articles from Mindy Rafalowitz
Mindy-072514-Beans

“Whole soybeans,” was the answer. “They have all the advantages of soy without being processed with hexane,” she added.

Mindy-062714-Bread

One thing I did know, judging from the urgency in her voice, was that she wanted an explanation fast.

For your average Israeli, spicy hot might be fun, but not for me. Allow me to repeat – easy does it!

 It’s no joke – Pesach is looming closer and there’s still so much to do. This is definitely not a time to rest! Who isn’t putting in their “all” these days? But there is just so much you can do. Keep in mind that the key to success is in the hands of Hashem, so […]

For me, there’s nothing like making challahs for Shabbos. But I can’t say it’s always been the height of my week. There was a time when baking fluffy, light-as-a-feather challahs was a total mystery to me.

Yeast dough is considered one of the most basic but complicated of the dough family. Just think of the first cakes you made – I’m almost sure they weren’t yeast cakes.
But mine were!

It’s all over.

The orchestra is still, the lights are dimmed. Your simcha outfits hang in your closet, silent witnesses to a time you will treasure in your mind and heart forever.

It happens to all of us.

I call them “kitchen mishaps” and they can range from the small to large. Sometimes they come in extra small and other times they might be XXL just like our clothes sizes. But as I said, they happen to us all.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/recipes/easy-does-it/2014/06/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: