Purim is this weekend, so what better time to get back to the Jewish Omnivore list than today?
Purim is seen as one of the “lesser” holidays (meaning it isn’t Hanukkah, Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur – the only three holidays most celebrate) but as a kid I recall it being all sorts of fun. The Schul would would have a carnival, I’d win lots of goldfish playing a “throw the ping pong ball in the fishbowl” game (98% of which would die within 24 hours of winning them) and we’d partake in the eating of thet hamantaschen.
I will never understand why Purim gets ignored. You drink, you dance, you eat a bunch of delicious cookies… sounds like a good time to me.
Wondering how to make some cookies that represent that douchebag Haman’s hat? Here’s a bomb-ass recipe from the folks over at AllRecipes.com:
2 cups pitted prunes, cooked, drained and mashed
2 cups dried apricots, cooked drained and mashed
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup safflower oil
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup white sugar, or to taste
Yep, we’re talkin’ the dreaded Gefilte fish. Perhaps the most disgusting thing on the entire Jewish Omnivore list. It’s such a staple though that you simply must try it, even just once.
Chabad.org describes it as “fish prepared in a certain manner, a dish traditionally enjoyed by Ashkenazi Jews on Shabbat and Jewish holidays”. The word “enjoyed” is used extremely loosely here, as I have yet to meet a single person who has ever said “man, I could really go for some Gefilte fish!”.
Basically what you have is ground up fish (usually pike, carp or whitefish) mixed with spices, carrots, onions and some egg (to hold it all together). Most people don’t bother with cooking it, since it’s a serious pain in the ass to prepare. Instead they go for one of the lovely bottles pictured above. Ground up fish in “jelled broth”. Tastes about as good as it sounds.
Don’t forget to get (or make) some strong horseradish to go with it because 1) it masks the disgustingness and 2) horseradish is awesome. Feel free to wash it down with some awful Manischweitz too complete this culinary nightmare.
If you’re up for a challenge, here’s a solid recipe put together by Wolfgang Puck:
1 head (about 2 1/2 pounds) green cabbage
1/2 cup matzoh meal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium (5 ounces) onion, minced
2 pounds whitefish fillets, such as pike, carp, or whitefish, cut into chunks
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons (6 or 7 sprigs) chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 to 3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 quart fish stock
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into julienne
1 medium leek, white part only, cut into julienne
Recipe props: Food Channel