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Monday, March 13, 2006

Eyes of Haman- A Special Purim Bread

Ideations of symbolic or actual violence are all in vogue this season, whether it is the roving Jewish Purim gangs of early modern Europe, or the blithe eating of Oznei Haman by delighted school-children.
My family's purim tradition is a fanciful bread known as "Ojos de Haman", Eyes of Haman. An egg in the middle, gleefully ripped out and distributed to participants in the Purim Seuda, represents the much-vaunted eye, and our triumph over Haman. These are great as Mishloah Manot because they are two berakhot in one and actually can be used as part of your seuda.

Eyes of Haman

6 hardboiled eggs
6 cups white or whole wheat flour or a mixture (and some gluten to add if you are using all whole wheat)
1 packet dry active yeast
2 eggs
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 cups (plus a little more or less) hot tap water

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Crack the eggs into a 2 cup liquid measure and add the oil, then fill it up the rest of the way with hot tap water. Add to the bowl and stir until the dough holds together enough to be kneaded for a while on a lightly floured surface, adding more flour or water if the texture is too sticky or dry. When you are done, the texture should be smooth and elastic. Oil the mixing bowl and turn the dough into it, turning it over in the bowl once so that a bit of the oil is on the bottom and the top. This keeps it from drying out. Set in a warm place with a damp dishtowel over the bowl for 45 mins or untill doubled in bulk. Punch down. Take challah. Divide into 6 disks plus a 6 little leftover bits.
Punch a slight depression in the center of each disk and place an egg inside. Roll up the bits into long snakes, then pinch them in half and stretch over the egg in an X, anchoring in the dough disk. With a scissor, cut 5 or 6 cuts into the disk, pull them out slighlty, and pinch into decorative points- see above. Preheat your oven to 350. Let the shaped breads rise for a bit, then wash them with egg and pop them in the oven untill they are golden brown and thump hollowly when tapped on the bottom.

Purim Sameah!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hol Cooking I

Well, I haven't been cooking so much for shabbat lately, due to a combination of having gotten invited out alot and going away, but I have been cooking during the week, both to have healthy dinners and leftovers to take for lunch. The results have been quite interesting, with many dishes of my own invention taking shape. I'll start with one of my favorites,

weeknight pasta sauce.

1 28oz can chopped tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
3 pressed garlic cloves
1 or 2 onions
olive oil
rosemary, pepper flakes, ground black pepper, salt
a jar of marinated artichoke hearts (Season is the only brand I've seen with a hekhsher)
A few splashes of wine
A 16oz can of canellini beans
Saute the onions and garlic untill softened and fragrant. add the drained artichoke hearts, pulling them into pieces with your fingers while you add them to the pot. add the tomatoes, canelinni beans, and tomato sauce with the wine and spices. Simmer until reduced and yummy.

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