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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

3 festive Mideast feasts you'll go absolutely nuts over!

By Faye Levy



JewishWorldReview.com | As soon as the markets start featuring nuts in their shells, many cooks begin planning their holiday baking. Yet nuts are equally useful on the savory side of the menu. Because they have protein, they are satisfying and they play sensational roles in salads, vegetable dishes, rice and pasta.

Everyone is familiar with Chinese almond chicken and with pesto made with pine nuts, but nuts can contribute enormously to countless other dishes. I've had wonderful nut-crusted fish with lemon butter sauce in Paris and delicious pistachio-studded lamb kebabs in Gaziantep, Turkey. Nut-based sauces are a category in themselves, including such favorites as Spanish romesco sauce with roasted peppers, almonds and hazelnuts; Mexican mole poblano with almonds; Provencal and Turkish garlic-walnut sauces; and Persian walnut pomegranate sauce.

Adding nuts is a surefire way to make your salads more interesting. Just a small sprinkling of toasted nuts turns a green salad or diced vegetable salad into a welcome appetizer.

A standard Mediterranean vegetable salad of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and parsley is transformed with warm toasted walnuts and walnut oil in the dressing. (Also add some chopped salad greens, which carry the flavor of the nut oil well.)

It helps to vary the nuts you use to keep the salads interesting, alternating toasted almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans and hazelnuts, and pair them with a matching nut oil when you have it or with fruity extra virgin olive oil.

One of the best cabbage salads I ever tasted, made by a neighbor, was as simple as could be to put together -- coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage with carrot) combined with vinaigrette dressing flavored with soy sauce and a touch of sugar. It owed its excellence to a generous garnish of toasted cashews.

Sauteed almonds are a time-honored French garnish for buttery green beans, but they and other nuts make just about any vegetable medley festive. An Israeli friend uses a combination of toasted slivered almonds and sauteed onions to enhance all sorts of vegetables, whether steamed or stir-fried. One delicious almond-enhanced dish features Brussels sprouts, green beans, water chestnuts and edamame (green soy beans).

Rice may be the food that benefits the most from being matched with nuts. Embellishing rice with nuts is a longstanding culinary custom in India. Nuts are the garnish de rigueur for holiday and special occasion rice dishes in the Mideast, where bulgur wheat also benefits from being dressed up this way. I've found the same is true for just about any grain, as well as for couscous and other forms of pasta. Indeed, when I have a buttery dish of couscous topped with toasted hazelnuts, pine nuts and dried apricots, it is so tasty and satisfying that I don't even need dessert!



NUTTY (MUST-)KNOWS

STORING NUTS: Nuts keep longest if you store them in the refrigerator. Walnuts are the most perishable and turn rancid when stored for long in a warm place. The California Walnut Board recommends refrigerating them away from foods with strong odors and, if you intend to keep them longer than a month, to freeze them.

TOASTING NUTS:

Toast nuts on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 F oven. A toaster oven is convenient for small amounts. Transfer the toasted nuts to a plate as soon as they're ready. If you will be chopping or grinding the toasted nuts in a food processor, cool them completely before processing.


  • Walnuts, pecans or cashews: Toast about 5 to 8 minutes, shaking baking sheet or stirring once or twice, until aromatic and very lightly browned.

  • Hazelnuts: Toast hazelnuts, shaking baking sheet once or twice, about 8 minutes or until their skins begin to split. Transfer to a strainer. While nuts are hot, remove most of skins by rubbing nuts energetically with a towel against the strainer.

  • Almonds: For whole almonds with skins or whole blanched, toast the nuts in the oven about 7 minutes; blanched almonds should brown lightly.

    Slivered or sliced almonds: Toast slivered nuts 4 to 5 minutes, and sliced almonds 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned lightly, shaking baking sheet once or twice.

  • Pine Nuts: Toast pine nuts in oven, shaking baking sheet once or twice, about 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer them to a plate. Some cooks find a skillet is safer than the oven because you can watch the pine nuts and there's less chance of burning them. Toast nuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, tossing them often, for 2 to 3 minutes.



RICE STUFFING WITH TOASTED NUTS AND SPICED MEAT

MAKES 4 or 5 servings as a side dish or about 5 to 5 1/2 cups, enough to stuff 1 chicken with extra to serve separately

In the Mideast, this sumptuous pilaf is the most popular stuffing for all sorts of poultry, from quail to turkey to whole roasted lamb. When it's not baked inside a bird, it's served as a bed for roasted poultry or meat and is also loved as a main course. The most festive versions include several kinds of nuts.

Most often the rice is flavored with sauteed ground lamb or beef, but chicken giblets are another option, as in a Louisiana specialty known as dirty rice. I particularly enjoyed a rich rendition I tasted in Turkey as an accompaniment for a braised whole chicken, where the rice was enriched with a bit of lamb and with plenty of pine nuts and currants.

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or 2 to 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 to 12 ounces lean ground lamb or beef
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups hot meat or chicken broth or water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (see sidebar)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see sidebar)
  • 1/2 cup shelled toasted pistachios

Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil or margartine in a deep saute pan or stew pan. Add onion and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes or until softened. Add meat, allspice and cinnamon, and saute, stirring to separate meat into small pieces, until it browns lightly.

Add rice and saute, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add broth, salt and pepper. Stir once and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat, without stirring, for 18 minutes, or until rice is just tender. Dot with remaining tablespoon margarine, if using. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes or until ready to serve.

Gently fluff rice with a fork. Taste and adjust seasoning. Lightly fold in two thirds of the toasted nuts. Serve hot, topped with remaining nuts.



WE FEED YOUR SOUL, INTELLECT --- AND STOMACH

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CHICKEN IN PERSIAN POMEGRANATE WALNUT SAUCE

MAKES 4 servings

This dish is one of the glories of the Persian kitchen. Its charm stems from the luxurious walnut sauce in which the chicken gently cooks, served in generous amounts. Although its exotic flavor and slightly chunky texture are different from common American and European sauces, it is easy to love. The stew's time-honored partner is Basmati rice.

If you prefer a smoother sauce, add the optional flour in the recipe. For extra color, garnish the chicken with pomegranate seeds or with chopped parsley and a few toasted walnuts. The sauce is also delicious with turkey.

You can use pomegranate juice or the concentrated form of pomegranate paste, also called pomegranate molasses, which you can find at Mediterranean and Middle Eastern markets and gourmet shops. Substitute cranberry juice if you can't find pomegranate.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour (optional)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups pomegranate juice or 1/3 to 1/2 cup pomegranate paste
  • 1/2 cup water or chicken broth (if using pomegranate juice) or 1 1/2 cups water or broth (if using paste)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste or 3 to 4 tablespoons tomato sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley (optional)
  • A few toasted walnuts (optional)

Heat oil in a heavy, wide casserole or Dutch oven. Add chicken in batches and saute over medium-high heat until golden brown. Remove chicken pieces to a plate as they brown. Discard fat from pan, leaving 1 to 2 tablespoons.

Add onion to pan and saute over medium heat for 7 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, finely chop walnuts with pulsing motion of food processor. Reduce heat under onion pan to low. Stir in flour, then walnuts and cook over low heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in pomegranate juice and 1/2 cup water, or pomegranate paste and 1 1/2 cups water, and bring to a simmer, stirring.

Add chicken and any juices on plate to pan. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat, turning occasionally, about 35 minutes for breast pieces or 40 to 45 minutes for leg and thigh pieces, or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from pan. Add tomato paste and cardamom to sauce and simmer until thickened to your taste.

Taste, adjust seasoning and add lemon juice and sugar if needed. If you like, whisk in a few more teaspoons pomegranate juice or paste. Return chicken to sauce and heat through. Serve hot, garnished if you like with pomegranate seeds, parsley, walnuts or all three.

FAST AND FESTIVE COUSCOUS WITH HAZELNUTS, PINE NUTS AND DRIED FRUIT

MAKES 4 servings

This couscous makes a lovely side dish and can be made at a moment's notice. It's great with turkey, chicken, lamb, veal and baked or stewed vegetables.

  • 1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • 1 (10-ounce) package couscous (1 2/3 cups)
  • 1 green onion, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricots
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (see sidebar)
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted (see sidebar) and coarsely chopped

Bring broth and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in margarine or olive oil, followed by couscous, green onion, currants and apricots, and return barely to a boil. Cover pan. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Taste for salt; add a little pepper and cayenne. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts and hazelnuts.

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Faye Levy is the author of "Feast from the Mideast."




© FAYE LEVY. Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.

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