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Mediterranean Memories Begin with Roasted Eggplant

Michele Braun shares her recipes for eggplant done 3 different ways.
Two recipes start as one: Babaganoush and Roasted Eggplant+
For Roasted Eggplant:
- 1 - 1½ pounds eggplant
- 1 head garlic, with ¼ sliced off from the pointy end
- Olive oil
- Salt
For Babaganoush:
- Roasted Eggplant prepared as above
- 2 tablespoons tahini (mixed well)
- 1 tablespoon + a drizzle of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Za'atar
Roasted Eggplant+
- Roasted eggplant prepared as above
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons, divided, + a drizzle of olive oil
- Salt
- Fresh pita, pita chips, baguette, or crostini

Crispy Rice Cakes with Three Sauces

Jewish food traditions are inspired by the regions throughout the world. Sephardic Jewish cuisine, including North African Jewish dishes, is influenced by neighbors along the Mediterranean. Rice cakes are traditionally included in North African Shabbat meals, with aromatic spices including turmeric, saffron, ginger, cumin, and cinnamon. 

RICE CAKES
3 cups basmati rice, cooked and cooled
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
Salt, to taste
1 whole lemon
2 eggs
4 tablespoons cooking oil
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PARSLEY POMEGRANATE HERB SAUCE
1 bunch fresh parsley, curly or flat leaf
2 garlic cloves
1 pomegranate
1 lemon
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
*******
CUCUMBER MINT YOGURT
1 cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek
1 English cucumber
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon
2-3 sprigs fresh mint
Salt and pepper, to taste
*******
MATBOUCHA
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 garlic cloves
1 small yellow onion, chopped
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
2 roasted red bell peppers (from a can or jar), sliced
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Easy Chicken Kreplach

30 minutes

Using store-bought wonton wrappers and leftover chicken, you can enjoy the heartwarming comfort of kreplach in less than 30 minutes.

Leftover Shabbat chicken or rotisserie chicken works great for this recipe. Need a vegetarian version? Substitute your favorite cooked veggie crumbles for the chicken and use hearty vegetable broth for the soup.

FOR THE KREPLACH:
2 tablespoons cooking oil
½ medium sized onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cooked chicken*
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 sprigs fresh dill
2 eggs
10 -12 wonton or dumpling wrappers
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FOR THE SOUP:
4 cups chicken broth
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

Change up the regular chicken soup routine with a flavorful hot and sour soup!

4 large dried shitake mushrooms
6 tree ear mushrooms
6 dried tiger lily buds, stem (hard end) removed
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 pound finely julienned veal scaloppine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 cup finely shredded bamboo shoots
5 cups chicken broth
Salt to taste
2–3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 block firm white bean curd, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped scallions