Fighting Words

WASHINGTON — In a blow to Israel’s efforts to contain the controversy over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress, Vice President Joe Biden announced that he would not attend the address. Biden’s office informed the media on Friday that the vice president would be out of the country and would not fill his… Read More

Vegemite Australia

Australian children cry for this caramelized spread made of brewer’s yeast and vegetables as American tots do for peanut butter and jelly. Spread on buttered toast or bread as a snack or a sandwich or on biscuits as a special treat at teatime, Vegemite may not be pretty, but it is one of the world’s… Read More

Congee Asia

Like Westerners, the Chinese believe in starting the day with a hearty meal. Congee, a creamy rice porridge, is a favorite. Variations found throughout Asia are sold everywhere, from street stands to dim sum palaces. Preparation involves cooking short grain white rice until it approaches mush, then serving with a variety of toppings such as… Read More

Egg Cream United States

A New York original, egg creams contain neither eggs nor cream. A once ubiquitous street treat, this beverage is a lot harder to come by now. While traditional delis still serve them, you can make your own at home with a squirt of chocolate syrup, followed by a shot of seltzer and a quick stir,… Read More

White Asparagus Europe

Milder in flavor than the green variety, white asparagus is highly prized in Europe, while in the United States it has only recently come into favor. A harbinger of spring, asparagus is celebrated in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where special asparagus menus are featured in restaurants. For an Italian approach, eat it cold… Read More

Tagine North Africa

Like the pans Americans call “casseroles,” a tagine is both a cooking vessel and the stew cooked within. A tagine is a deep, wide terra-cotta bowl with a high-peaked conical cover that directs and concentrates heat. Meats, poultry or fish are slow-cooked with various vegetables over direct fire or charcoal, absorbing aromatic spices such as… Read More

Fresh Blueberry Cake With Crumb Topping (Dairy/Parve)

1⁄3 cup (5½ tablespoons) butter or margarine, softened 1 cup sugar 1 egg 2 cups flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup milk or soy milk 1 pint blueberries, rinsed and stems discarded ½ pint blueberries for garnish Topping: 1 cup flour ½ cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon ¼ cup (½ stick)… Read More

Sephardic Chopped Salad Drizzle (Parve)

¼ cup fresh parsley, minced ¼ cup red, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped small 1 large scallion, finely chopped ¼ cup good quality pitted black or green olives, chopped 2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil  1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or wine vinegar salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste Combine all ingredients and serve… Read More

Orange Marinated Olives (Parve)

1 cup pitted brine-cured olives ¼ cup fresh orange juice* ¼ cup olive oil About 8 strips orange peel, cut into very thin julienne strips 2 cloves fresh garlic, very thinly sliced ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional salt to taste In a medium bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients. Season to taste… Read More

Soul Food

JERUSALEM — Five haredi Orthodox men are standing around a large wooden table crowded with bowls of chopped tomato, garlic, carrots and greens, their ritual fringes poking out from under their aprons. Each is wielding a large chef’s knife. Their instructor, wearing an embroidered chef’s outfit and grasping a raw chicken thigh, tells his charges… Read More