couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the tag “recipes”

What’s going in the freezer? Biscochos de huevo

I am a little behind schedule and my freezer is quite full so these haven’t gotten in yet.  I don’t make them as much as I used to because it takes a lot of time to roll and shape the dough.  When my kids were younger they happily made all sorts of shapes- now they need a little more motivation.  The best part about this recipe is that it uses oil instead of margarine, as opposed to most cookie recipes- great for those of us who are watching our cholesterol.  These cookies look like Syrian kaak but are slightly sweet instead of savory.  The dough is very hardy and will last in the refrigerator or freezer as needed.  They make great tea biscuits or teething cookies for babies.

BISCOCHOS DE HUEVO

Source:  Come, Es Bueno: Sephardic Tastes of Congregation Etz Ahaim

Ingredients:

1 cup oil [I use canola]

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups sugar

7 teaspoons baking powder

6 eggs

5 cups flour (5 to 6- depends on humidity)

Directions:

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately.  Knead dough in bowl or on floured surface.  Cover dough and rest it for 30 minutes.  Dough should not stick to hands and should be shiny, not dull.  Add more flour if necessary.  Take chunks of dough, roll into cords, cut and form into rings.  Brush the tops with egg yolk.  Place on greased pan and bake 7-10 minutes at 200C.  Do not allow to get brown in the oven-they should be removed when they are just golden.

biscochos

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Free pastry cookbook

Ma’adanot has joined up with chef דודו אוטמזגין (sorry but I don’t know how to pronounce his name in English) to present a free cookbook of sweet and savory baked goods.

Click here to get a copy.

Israeli Cooking on a Budget by Sybil Zimmerman

With a title like that, it must be written for me!   I live in Israel, I love to cook, and I have to stay within my budget.  When we first made aliyah and invited over Israelis for meals, they would be surprised at how “expensive” my meals were.  They then proceeded to teach me how to make food that costs less.

Americans, especially those who use a lot of coupons, buy a relatively large amount of processed foods and carbohydrates.  How often are there coupons for vegetables, fruits, kosher meat, or cheese?

In Israel, however, the opposite is true.  Locally produced foods are much cheaper than imported foods.  Vegetables and chicken are relatively cheap.  Cheese is outrageously expensive as well as fish and red meat.  Pasta is relatively inexpensive compared with cereals and other processed foods, especially since you can rarely find coupons for those items.

The author’s recipes reflect this concept.  She bases her meals on vegetables, with meat/chicken/cheese/fish as a minor ingredient.  She almost always uses locally-produced foods in her recipes.

The best part of this book is that it reads like a history lesson.  If you are like me and read cookbooks like you read novels, this cookbook will take you back over 30 years to a simpler Israel- at least culinary-wise.  1978 was before Tivol, which revolutionized the vegetarian market.  The author discusses how to use SVP-Soy Vegetable Protein- which is dried and shaped into flakes, crumbles, and powders.  As she describes it, it has the consistency of a sponge and virtually no taste.  They are still on the market, and I agree 100% with Sybil’s description.

The author transliterates the names of many foods from Hebrew to English and even Arabic to help the new oleh learn the navigate the supermarket.  There are many outdated words, such as fruit squashes (petel syrup),  sterilized bottled milk (chalav amid), Afikal (shortening), and Marie biscuits (see Wikipedia).  She also lists the different cheeses on the market and describes how they are made.  Reading these lists makes me realize how far we have advanced over the past thirty years.  The variety and selection of food in your average supermarket has expanded exponentially since this book was written, much to my pleasure.

If you like food, and you like Israeli history, it is worth it to pick up a copy of this book.   Particularly when you can get it for as little as $1.40 at Amazon.com.  You will also find a lot of the standard recipes that every Israeli chef should know how to make- tehina, eggplant salad, falafel, and the like.

Happy Cooking!

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