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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

FUN WITH PHYLLO: Whether you're searching for exotic appetizers or just a lighter alternative to standard dessert crusts, take a leaf from the Turks --- literally (3 recipes; includes techniques)

By Kathy Hunt





JewishWorldReview.com | Whether you're searching for exotic appetizers or just a lighter alternative to standard dessert crusts, take a leaf from the Turks -- literally -- and use phyllo. Layered into stacks, this tissue-thin dough adds a bit of zest to commonplace fruit pies and a hearty crunch to vegetable, meat and cheese snacks.

Although its name comes from the Greek word for "leaf," phyllo originated with the Turks. Eleventh-century Turkish nomads used an early form of it to create layered breads, and with the rise of the Ottoman Empire phyllo-based pastries became a jewel of Turkish cuisine. By the 17th century, an elaborate procession was being held annually in Constantinople in which soldiers received trays of the phyllo and chopped-nut pastry known as baklava.

Today phyllo is a mainstay not only of Turkish cuisine but also throughout the Mediterranean. Stacked up in a dozen or so sheets resembling the pages of a book, it acts as the foundation for such recognizable sweets as honeyed baklava and custard-filled galaktoboureko. It also shows up in such savory appetizers as the spinach triangle spanikopita and the cigar-shaped, feta cheese-stuffed sigara boregi.

Along with starring in traditional Mediterranean pastries, phyllo serves as a substitute for the customary crusts of quiches, pies, strudels, tarts and napoleons. With phyllo, cooks are limited only by their imaginations.


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At one time almost every Mediterranean cook made his own phyllo. Wielding a long, slender rolling pin reminiscent of a broomstick, the baker would roll out his dough of two cups flour, 3/4 cup water and a teaspoon of salt into a flat disk.

Once the circle was formed, he would then gently pull and stretch the dough until it became thin enough to see through. To reduce the risk of tearing, he would use his knuckles instead of his fingers to coax the dough across the work surface.

Because of the time and care needed for homemade phyllo, most now purchase it either fresh at specialty markets or frozen at the grocery store. Sealed airtight, phyllo will keep for one year in the freezer or a few days in the refrigerator. Once opened and used, it should not be refrozen, as the dough will dry out and crumble.

Whether homemade or store-bought, phyllo is susceptible to brittleness. To prevent crumbling, cover the yet-to-be-used sheets with waxed paper or plastic wrap and place a damp cloth on top. Each sheet should also be brushed with melted butter or olive oil before layering into a pastry.

After the pastry is formed, you needn't worry further about dryness. However, to ensure a perfect baked product, use a few other tricks. If adding a moist filling, such as cooked spinach in spanikopita or custard in galaktoboureko, remember to squeeze out any excess liquid before placing the filling between the phyllo.

Likewise, once the pastries have been filled, pop them into the preheated oven as quickly as possible. This way the dough won't become soggy and fall apart.

If making smaller treats, such individual pies or tarts, check them regularly as they bake. Phyllo can shift from a steamy, delicious golden brown to a smoky, unpalatable black in a matter of minutes.

One of the biggest challenges of baking with phyllo is simply deciding what to create. For a taste of North Africa, consider the unique Moroccan poultry dish bisteeya. Moroccans fill this giant pie with shredded pigeon or chicken, toasted almonds and onions, and dust it with sugar and ground cinnamon. Served at weddings and other feasts, bisteeya remains one of the country's most elaborate and memorable foods.

For dessert, opt for the staple of the Mediterranean dessert table, baklava. Baklava features layers of phyllo, spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, and chopped almonds, walnuts, and/or pistachios. Baked, sliced into diamonds and then soaked in honey, it achieves its fullest flavor two or three days later.



CHICKEN-ALMOND BISTEEYA


SERVES : 8



  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, washed

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 Spanish onion, grated

  • Pinch of saffron

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 8 tablespoons margarine

  • 3 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten

  • Salt, to taste

  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds, toasted and chopped

  • 3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 11 sheets phyllo, thawed and covered with a damp cloth

  • Confectioner's sugar, for garnish


In a large pan or Dutch oven place the chicken, garlic, parsley, onion, spices, three tablespoons of butter and the water. Bring the contents to a boil and then reduce the heat, cover and allow to simmer until cooked, about 1 hour.

Remove the chicken and cinnamon stick and set aside. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the lemon juice followed by the eggs, stirring continuously. Don't worry if the eggs curdle; they should do this. Taste, adjust for seasonings and set aside.

Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add it to the egg-broth mixture. Check the seasonings, adding more salt if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Mix together the almonds, sugar and ground cinnamon. Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter. Using a pastry brush, butter the inside of a 12-inch pie pan and a sheet of phyllo. Place the phyllo inside the pan; some of the phyllo will extend over the sides. Butter five more sheets of phyllo and layer in the pan.

Spoon the chicken filling into the pan. Butter and place three sheets of phyllo over the filling. Sprinkle the almond-sugar mixture over the pastry and fold the edges of the phyllo inward so that the nuts are covered. Butter and layer the remaining two sheets of phyllo on top of the pie. Tuck these sheets under the pie, brush the top with butter again and pour any remaining butter around the edge of the pie.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top of the bisteeya is golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven, slice into individual pieces and dust each one with a little confectioner's sugar. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Paula Wolfert's classic Moroccan cookbook "Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco" (Harper and Row, 1973).



OPEN-FACED APPLE PIES


MAKES: 6 individual pies



  • 5 medium-sized Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and diced

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1/3 cup golden raisins

  • 2 sheets phyllo, defrosted

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  • Confectioner's sugar, for decorating

  • Cinnamon or vanilla ice cream, optional


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 6-cup muffin pan.

Place the apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and water in a medium saucepan and bring the contents to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for approximately 5 to 10 minutes, until apples are soft. Add the raisins, stir and then strain the mixture, reserving the liquid. Allow to cool.

Cut the phyllo into 24 squares with each measuring 4 by 4 inches. Cover the squares with a damp cloth. Take one square and brush the top with butter. Place another square at an angle on top of this square and brush the second square with butter. Repeat the angle-butter step with two more squares; you will have a stack of four overlapping squares. Place the buttered, overlapping quartet into the greased muffin cup. Repeat these steps with the remaining phyllo squares.

Spoon the apple filling into the pastries, filling each to the top. Bake the individual, open-faced apple pies for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, return the cooking liquid to the saucepan and cook until the liquid thickens into a syrup. Once the pies have finished baking, cool them for 5 to 10 minutes before gently removing from the pan. Place each one on a plate, spoon the syrup over the top, dust with confectioner's sugar and serve with an optional scoop of cinnamon or vanilla ice cream.


CHERRY CHOCLAVA


MAKES: 24 pieces


For the syrup:



  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 whole cloves

  • Pinch of cinnamon


For the pastry:


  • 2 cups walnuts

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup dried cherries

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate morsels

  • 2/3 cup butter, melted

  • 11 sheets phyllo, thawed




To make the syrup, bring the water, sugar, cloves and cinnamon to a boil in a small saucepan. Continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the stove, remove the cloves and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13- by 9- by 2-inch metal baking pan.

To make the filling, place the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and coarsely chop. Add the dried cherries and semi-sweet chocolate morsels. Using the pulse or "on/off" setting, pulse the ingredients three times.

Take one sheet of phyllo and place it on a clean, flat work surface. Cover the remaining phyllo sheets with plastic wrap and a damp cloth so that they don't dry out and become brittle.

Using a pastry brush, cover the phyllo sheet with the melted butter. Place a second sheet of phyllo on top of the first one and brush the fresh sheet with butter. Lay these sheets buttered side up and lengthwise in the greased pan.

Cover another sheet with butter and then fold it in half to form an 8- by 12-inch rectangle. Paint this folded sheet with butter. Repeat this butter-fold-butter step with two more sheets. Place the sheets in the pan, buttered side up. Sprinkle half of the filling over the top.

Butter, fold and butter one phyllo sheet and place it over the filling. Spread the remaining filling on top of this sheet. Repeat the butter-fold-butter step again with three sheets of phyllo. Place these on top of the filling.

Butter the final two sheets. Do not fold these but instead lay them, buttered side up, on top of the phyllo layers. Tuck the ends into the pan so that the edges of the pastry are completely enclosed in phyllo.

Using a sharp knife and without cutting all the way through to the filling, score the phyllo diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner. Repeat in the opposite direction to form individual diamonds roughly 2 inches in size.

Bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and pour the cooled syrup over the pastry. Cool completely before covering and allowing the cherry-chocolate baklava to stand overnight. Before serving follow the scored, diamond pattern and cut the pastry into 24 individual pieces.

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© 2012, Kathy Hunt. Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.