Photo courtesy of Tina Wasserman

Tina Wasserman
www.cookingandmore.comTina Wasserman is a cooking instructor in Dallas and author of two cookbooks: “Entrée to Judaism, A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diasporaand “Entrée to Judaism for Families, Jewish Cooking and Kitchen Conversations with Children.” Wasserman is trained in nutrition and education and received her master’s degree from New York University. She is a Judaic Food Historian and brings a knowledgeable and Kosher approach to teaching.

Latkes – Potato Pancakes
Makes 24+ small pancakes

  • 6-8 large thin skinned potatoes, California long whites or Yukon Gold
  • 3 eggs, beaten well
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2-cup matzo or cracker meal
  • 1 large onion, cut into 8 pieces
  • Oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Grate the raw potatoes using the large grating disk on a processor or the largest holes on a grater if doing it by hand. Place grated potato in a colander, rinse with cold water and drain while you grate onion.
  2. Combine eggs, salt, pepper and matzo meal in a 3 quart bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Change to the cutting blade on your processor.  Add onions to the work bowl.  Pulse on and off 5 times.  Add ¼ of the grated potatoes to the onion and pulse on and off to make a coarse paste. Add to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Add the drained potatoes to the bowl and mix thoroughly using a large spoon or your hands.
  5. Heat a large frying pan or large skillet for 20 seconds.  Add enough oil to cover the pan to a depth of 1/4 inch and heat for an additional 20 seconds. Drop mounds of potato mixture into the pan. Fry on both sides until golden. Drain fried latkes on a platter covered with crumpled paper towels. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.
Halva De Semola Sephardi Semolina Pudding
Serves 6 – 8

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups semolina (or cream of wheat), NOT semolina flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (honey may be substituted although not traditional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts (they should be fine but not a paste)
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling on top-optional

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a 2 quart saucepan over moderate heat.
  2. Add the semolina and stir to completely coat the grains of wheat with the butter.
  3. Continue to cook and stir the semolina until the mixture is light brown.  This should take about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil for 3 minutes.
  5. Carefully pour the boiling syrup into the semolina while you stir constantly. Avoid burning yourself with the spattering liquid.
  6. Remove the pan from the stove and continue to stir for about 4 minutes until the mixture becomes thick.
  7. Gently stir in the finely chopped walnuts and the vanilla until well combined.
  8. Cover pot with a double layer of dishtowel and let the mixture set for about 30 minutes or until thick and all moisture has been absorbed.
  9. Lightly butter an 11×7 glass casserole or 6-8 four ounce ramekins.  Stir the mixture one more time and then spread the semolina mixture evenly in the chosen container.  Smooth out the top/tops.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve warm or at room temperature.

Related: Ask An Expert: Giving Picky Eaters Healthy Food

Moroccan Coucous With Dried Fruits And Nuts
Serves 8 to 10

  • 8 ounces Israeli couscous
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 7-ounce package of chopped mixed dried fruit, or 1½ cups assorted dried fruits
  • 1/3 cup whole almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly roasted
  • 1/3 cup milk, with 1 drop of almond extract added
  • Cinnamon, pitted medjool dates and apricot slivers for garnish

Directions:

  1. Cook couscous according to package directions.
  2. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in a one cup bowl.
  4. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine.
  5. Pour the mixture over the couscous to coat thoroughly.
  6. Add the dried fruit and toasted nuts.
  7. Mix the teaspoon of almond extract into the milk and then add just enough to moisten the couscous. Do not add too much or the mixture will be runny.
  8. Pile the couscous into a mound or pyramid shape on a clean serving platter.
  9. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and garnish with the medjool date halves.

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Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com 
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