Shakshuka

Sherry Ansky, author, Eating in Jerusalem and The Food of Israel, shares her authentic recipe for this popular Israeli dish; a piquant addition to any brunch menu.

Ingredients:

4 ripe tomatoes, grated or diced
1/4 cup fine olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 red or green pepper, cut into strips
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper and/or hot red pepper
4 fresh eggs

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers. Fry 15-20 minutes until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Break the eggs into a bowl and either beat them and pour into the simmering vegetables or slip them in whole one by one. Cook until the egg whites harden and the yolk is almost hard. Serve immediately with chunks of fresh bread or pita bread.

Servings: Serves two to four.

Almond and Honey Pie

This traditional recipe, from Sherry Ansky, author, Eating in Jerusalem and The Food of Israel, is rooted in the days of the Crusades, when the Christian invaders incorporated fresh local produce and flavors into common European recipes such as pies.

Ingredients:

1 pound pie dough
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup honey
8 ounces blanched and roughly chopped almonds
2 eggs
1 teaspoon rose water
3 tablespoons butter

Directions:

Roll the dough until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Place in the bottom of a round pie dish and pierce with a fork. Cut off the excess around the edge and save for decorating.

Pour milk and honey into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about ten minutes, until the mixture thickens. Remove from stove. Add almonds, eggs, rose water, and butter. Mix thoroughly.

Spoon filling mixture into the dough-covered pie dish. Adorn filling with woven strips of dough. Bake on medium heat for 30 minutes.

Servings: Serves eight.

Meurav Yerushalmi

The traditional “Jerusalem mixture” is a medley of local meats and spices served mainly in market eateries. This version comes from Sherry Ansky, author, Eating in Jerusalem and The Food of Israel.

Ingredients:

Chicken breast, liver, spleen, and heart (small morsels)
Beef kidney (small morsels)
Steak pieces
Whole egg yolk (optional)
Coriander seeds
Turmeric
Cardamom
Cloves
Sumac
Curry powder
Black pepper
Salt
Cumin
Grilled chopped onion
Garlic
Pita bread

Directions:

Mix meat and egg ingredients. Season with spices, grilled onion, and garlic.

Heat an open grill plate or skillet. Place the mixture over the heat and sear, then lower the heat until the pieces cook on the inside. When cooked thoroughly, briefly increase to maximum heat before removing from grill.

Stuff in pita bread and serve immediately.

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