Archive for November, 2010

Crunchy Jam?!

I had a large amount of plums, so I made plum jam (I haven’t bought jam in years…). However, the plums were not the regular kind: They had dark purple skin, their inside was light purple, and while they were sweet they remained hard. I didn’t really think about this and made jam the usual way: cut up, 1:3 sugar to fruit by weight, pectin, bring to boil, boil 3 minutes (can very depending on what kind of pectin you’re using) and jar. The result was that the plums didn’t get softer at all so I had… crunchy jam.

Now, while I want my jam to be many things – delicious and delectable, for example – crunchy is really not the way I want to describe my jam sandwich.

At first I tried to recook it. I had some more plums, so I planned to make new jam and cook the old one at the same time. I cooked only the fruit and the sugar, and planned to add the pectin once the fruit had softened. I cooked and cooked and cooked and — you get the idea. In addition, it was Friday afternoon, Shabbat was coming (we do not cook on Shabbat – Friday sunset to Saturday stars out) and I was loosing patience. At this point I remembered that technological revolution, the food processor (I use it so much I’m surprised it never occured to me to use it in jams before). I poured the fruit and sugar mixture into the food proccessor, processed until smooth, returned to the pot, added pectin and continued according to the directions. The jam came out smooth and yummy, and delectable and delicious. Not a crunch in sight…

Lots and lots of jam!

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Fish and Red Burgul

I felt like somthing special, so I decided on fish. I had some bream in the freezer, so it seemed the obvious choice. (Wikipedia tells me that the fish known as “Dennis” in Hebrew is called Gilt-head bream in English, and I’ll assume it’s correct). I put it in a pyrex with sliced spring onion, sliced cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, white wine  and some oregano and basil, coverd and baked at 160 C for 20-30 minutes (as my fish was frozen, I cooked it a lot. If your fish is fresh, 20 minutes is usually enough). What to have with it? I felt like burgul, so I went for “Red Burgul” (or bulgur, burghul, bulghur, otherwise known as cracked wheat or wheat groats).  The red color in my case comes from tomato and red pepper. This was a wonderful treat that really lit up my day, especially as my day was full to bursting with running from one place to another at world record speed. Sitting down and having this meal was the one point of peace and pleasure in an otherwise hectic day.

Bream in the oven


  • 1 whole fish, cleaned
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes, sliced (or 1/2 large tomato)
  • 1-2 sliced spring onions
  • 2-3 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • dash of white wine
  • dried oregano and basil, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Place all ingredients together in a pyrex. Cover with aluminium foil. Bake for 20 minutes at 160 C or until fish is white all through.

“Red” Burgul


  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 red pepper
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes or one small tomato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup burgul
  • 2 cups water
  • salt to taste (1/4-1/2 tsp)
  • dried basil, to taste

Fry the onion in the oil for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic, fry for 1 more minute. Add other vegetables and saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add burgul, mix together until bulgur is coated in oil. Add water, salt and spices. Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes (like rice).

Bon apetit!


"Red" Burgul




I’ve finally found somewhere to connect to a lot of people who cook – and write about it (though of course I am unique (joking!) ). I have joined the Foodie blogroll. I’ve already subscribed to two excellent sites (Tes at Home and Recipe1k) and I’ll probably be drowning in great recipes in the future! Can’t have too much of a good thing…


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Easy Tasty Chicken and Couscous

Some time ago, I planned to make chicken and chicken soup. For this purpose I bought chicken pieces. I didn’t make it in the end and I froze the chicken. Usually I freeze the wings and neck (for soup) separately from the rest, but this time I planned on chicken and soup next weekend. In the end I needed only wings and neck for chicken soup, and I was stuck. Everything was frozen together. I also needed to make meat and cake and a bunch of other stuff. What to do? My family, as you may have gathered, aren’t crazy about chicken. Schnitzels, yes. Soup, yes. Otherwise, no. I make chicken for myself for meals during the week or when we have guests that I know will like chicken. In this case the guests were my parents in law and my sister in law and family, and out of all these only my MIL and me like chicken. Also, I had no time to do anything fancy.

At this point inspiration struck as I remembered my mother’s “Spanish chicken”. I doubt it was Spanish. It was the only chicken my mother made on the stove top and it was great. However, I didn’t want stove top. I wanted minimum of fuss. So I came up with this chicken. It was a great success, my toddler ate some (!) because of the olives, my MIL ate some in spite of the olives, I brought some to a friend who’d recently given birth, and the rest I put in the freezer. Yesterday I took out the serving that was left and had it over instant couscous. It was amazing and I’m sooo going to make this again…

1 onion, cubed (not minced, or small cubes. 2×2 cm about).
1 red pepper, cubed (same size)
50-100 gr tomato paste (I had an open box, otherwise I would use 100 gr)
about 1/2 cup sliced olives, or to taste
1 chicken, cut in pieces (I did without the wings and neck, but you can do with, of course)
about 1/2 cup white wine
dried oregano, basil, whatever you lioke.

Put onion and red pepper in deep dish. Arrange chicken on top. Cover with olives. Add wine to cover the bottom of the dish. Mix tomato paste with 1 cup water and pour over chicken. Sprinkle dried oregano and basil on top. Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 200 C for 1 hour or until juices run clear.



Couscous on FoodistaCouscous

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