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Brunch with the Sisterhood.

Byline: Jim Boyd The Register-Guard

"Next to monotheism, the greatest Jewish invention is brunch," authors Jennifer Traig and Victoria Traig say with a straight face in their humor book "Judaikitsch."

"Brunch is the most Jewish of meals," the Traig sisters continue. "It is certainly our favorite. And frankly, it makes us proud to belong to a people whose inability to make it all the way to lunch led them to discover a new meal."

Editor Harriet Behman of Eugene included the Traigs' quote in the 142-recipe cookbook she compiled for the Community Sisterhood of Temple Beth Israel. So it's not surprising that Behman chose a set of brunch recipes instead of "gefilte fish and chicken soup and those kinds of things" to demonstrate the Jewish nature of the book.

For the main dish, she selected Michelle Saul's recipe for Chili Egg Puff Souffle.

"Or, if the weather was nice," Behman said, "I'd do salmon on a cedar plank on the barbecue. ... When I started doing the cookbook, I had probably six or seven people call me to say, 'You have to get Sheldon Rubin's cedar plank salmon.' '

For the salad, she chose Diane Pergamit's Spinach, Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad With Raspberry Vinaigrette.

The remaining dishes are Ellen Todras' Noodle Pudding, a sweet kugel that serves both as the starch for the meal and the dessert, and Ellen Maddex's Chocolate Filled Babka, a sweet yeast bread.

The sisterhood's cookbook is titled "Mi dor l'dor" in Hebrew and an English translation, "From Generation to Generation: Recipes to Cherish."

Saul got the Chili Egg Puff Souffle recipe from her mother, Dvorah Colker.

"It's a recipe I grew up with that she probably got from a cookbook or a newspaper article or something," Saul said. "She uses it not just for brunch but also every year after the High Holidays at break fast for Yom Kippur. That's the one dish that everybody always asks for. So after not eating for our fast day, it's always been a wonderful meal."

Ellen Todras of Eugene said she got the recipe for Noodle Pudding from her mother, who got it from Aunt Ellie, Eleanor Katz, whose husband operated a delicatessen in Queens, N.Y.

"Every Jewish woman has a recipe for noodle pudding, and everybody thinks their recipe is best. But this one really is the best," Todras said. "And I know that because whenever I make it, people practically fall on the floor. It's just wildly popular."

Noodle pudding is a type of kugel, a Jewish puddinglike dish made from potatoes, noodles or a grain, eggs and flavorings that can be either sweet or savory. Todras' Noodle Pudding is flavored with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, and enriched with Neufchatel cream cheese.

In describing her Noodle Pudding, Todras said, "It's an interesting dish, because it's sweet enough to be a dessert, like a rice pudding, but it's also substantial enough that it could be like a potato dish would be in a meal. ... It's just solid comfort food."

Ellen Maddex said she contributed her recipe for Chocolate Filled Babka, a yeast-raised coffee cake, because she baked it for a sisterhood brunch and everybody adored it.

"They just loved it because it's the kind of thing people used to have," Maddex said. "It's the kind of thing my grandmother made for special occasions."

A baking powder coffee cake or muffins are a lot easier to make, she said, explaining that a babka - which has its origins in northeastern Europe - is a bread you'd normally reserve for an occasion when company is coming for brunch.

Maddex prepares a rich, sweet dough that she divides in half after it has risen, rolling each half into a 12-inch by 8-inch rectangle. She spreads each piece with a mixture of chocolate, cocoa powder, sugar and butter, and rolls it up like a jellyroll with its ends pinched. She places the two rolls of dough into a plain tube pan or fancier Bundt pan and pinches them together to form a ring.

"When my grandmother or my aunt made this, they didn't do it in a tube pan or a Bundt pan," Maddex said. "They rolled it and did it long, like a sausage. But it's prettier if you do it in a tube pan."

The sisterhood's cookbook was first published in time for Hanukkah 2003 and has been available mainly to members of the synagogue. The cookbook is being sold to the public now as part of the sisterhood's fund-raising for construction of a kitchen in the new synagogue. Copies are $18 each, available at the Temple Beth Israel gift shop, 42 W. 25th St., or by calling the synagogue office at 485-7218.

"There is a significance to the $18 number," Behman explains. "Eighteen in Hebrew is 'chai,' which is 'life.' There's a tradition about giving in multiples of 18."

Chili Egg Puff Souffle

10 eggs (can use egg beaters)

1/2 pint cottage cheese (use low- or nonfat)

1/2 pint sour cream (use low- or nonfat)

1/2 cup melted margarine

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound shredded jack cheese

1/2 pound shredded Cheddar cheese

2 cans (4 ounces each) diced Ortega mild green chilies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch glass dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Using a hand mixer, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add the cottage cheese, sour cream and margarine, and beat well. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and continue mixing until well blended. Add the shredded cheese and the chilies and stir in by hand.

Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake until eggs are set and lightly browned on top, 35 to 45 minutes.

Recipe contributed by Michelle Saul.

Salmon on Cedar Plank

(in a barbecue)

1 or 2 cedar planks, see note

1 fresh salmon fillet

Salt and pepper to taste

Soak one or two cedar planks in water for about 30 minutes (the wetter the wood, the more smoke; the more smoke, the more flavor).

Prepare grill. Salmon should be cooked over glowing coals or medium-high heat on a gas barbecue.

Place salmon directly on the wood, skin side down; make sure the salmon doesn't hang over the side (two planks might be required). Salt and pepper the salmon.

Cook the salmon directly over the fire in a closed grill to taste. Don't flip the fish. Cooking time depends upon thickness. Don't overcook it.

For a different enjoyable taste, cover the salmon with brown sugar in addition to salt and pepper.

Note: A bundle of untreated cedar shakes to use as planks can be purchased at any home improvement store.

Recipe contributed by Sheldon Rubin.

Spinach, Pear, Walnut

and Blue Cheese Salad

With Raspberry Vinaigrette

1 package (6 ounces) pre-washed spinach (about 8 cups), stems removed

1/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into bite-size pieces

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Raspberry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

In a large bowl, mix together the spinach, walnuts, pears and red onions. Toss with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with blue cheese and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

1/4 cup red raspberry vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until well chilled. Shake well before using.

Recipe contributed by Diane Pergamit.

Noodle Pudding

(a sweet kugel)

12 ounces cooked wide noodles

1 cup plus 3 teaspoons sugar

4 beaten eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups 2 percent milk

1 package (8 ounces) Neufchatel cream cheese (lowered fat)

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup cornflakes

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch-by-13-inch glass dish. Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain.

Put noodles in a large bowl and add 1 cup sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Place milk, cream cheese and butter in a pot. Over medium heat, cook until melted and smooth. Do not boil.

Combine noodle and cheese mixtures. Place in a prepared pan. Crush cornflakes and sprinkle over the kugel. Mix the cinnamon and remaining sugar together and sprinkle over the cornflakes.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until pudding is pulling away from the sides of the pan and top is golden brown.

Let cool slightly before cutting into 16 pieces.

Recipe contributed by Ellen Todras.

Chocolate Filled Babka

CORRECTION (ran 2/02/05): Ellen Maddex's recipe for Chocolate Filled Babka uses 1 regular package or 1 tablespoon of yeast, not a 2-ounce package. The error appears in "From Generation to Generation, a cookbook published by the Community Sisterhood of Temple Beat Israel, and was repeated Jan. 26 when the recipe was reprinted on Page E4 of Entree.

3/4 cup warmed milk (105 to 115 degrees)

1 package (2 ounces) yeast

1 cup unsalted butter (softened)

1/2 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup plus 3 cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour, or a combination of the two

For the filling:

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 to 6 ounces finely ground bittersweet chocolate (good-quality chocolate chips are OK)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

If using a bread machine, follow appliance instructions.

If preparing dough by hand, using a stand mixer or in a food processor fitted with a dough hook, use the following instructions:

Pour milk into the bowl of the mixer or processor. Add yeast and let stand until yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add butter, sugar, eggs, salt and 1 cup of the flour. Mix by hand or on low speed until ingredients are incorporated. Gradually stir in the remaining flour.

Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead well. Allow dough to rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours or as long as overnight (refrigerated).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Knead dough again briefly.

While dough rises, prepare filling in a bowl. Sprinkle vanilla onto the sugar and fluff with a fork (or use sugar that has been stored with a vanilla bean to acquire the vanilla flavor). Add ground bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder to the sugar.

Divide dough into two pieces. Roll out each into a rectangle, approximately 12 inches by 8 inches. Spread softened butter on the rolled out dough, leaving 1-inch border on long sides. Sprinkle chocolate mixture over the butter. Roll up each half of the dough as you would a jelly roll, pinching the ends to seal in filling.

Place the two halves, seam side down, on opposite sides of the tube of a 9- or 10-inch greased tube pan. Pinch ends together to form a continuous ring.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes or until golden.

Contributed by Ellen Maddex.

Jim Boyd can be reached at 338-2363 or jboyd@guardnet .com.

CAPTION(S):

Chocolate Filled Babka is perfect for special occasions. Kevin Clark / The Register-Guard Chili Egg Puff Souffle is one of the brunch dishes featured in a 142-recipe cookbook compiled by the Community Sisterhood of Temple Beth Israel. Kevin Clark / The Register-Guard Chocolate Filled Babka is a sweet yeast bread.
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Title Annotation:Food; A sampling of delectable dishes from Temple Beth Israel's cookbook
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jan 26, 2005
Words:1909
Previous Article:OBITUARIES.
Next Article:ENTREE NOTES.


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