Home Food The Shabbat Table: ESTEE KAFRA’S SCOOP ON SHABBOS AND TU B’SHVAT

The Shabbat Table: ESTEE KAFRA’S SCOOP ON SHABBOS AND TU B’SHVAT

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Challah tea biscuits with raisins

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! Are you bored with making the same recipes for Shabbat every week? Are you looking for some culinary inspiration? Estee Kafra’s website features an excellent selection of delicious recipes from the three creative cookbooks that she’s authored, as well as recipes contributed by many other food writers.

Estee’s cookbooks, Spice it Right, Cooking With Color, and Cooking Inspired: Bringing Creativity and Passion Back into the Kitchen serve as great assets to thousands of kosher cooks. Her recipes include traditional kosher classics as well as creative, trendy dishes for those cooks who are more adventurous.

After completing photography classes in both Israel and Manhattan, Estee Kafra’s interest in beautiful food photography led her to photograph several well-known kosher cookbooks. She eventually joined the team at Binah Magazine, where she became the food editor, publishing two best-selling cookbooks during her four-year tenure with them.

READ: SHARING CULINARY HERITAGE THROUGH NOSTALGIC RECIPES

When Mishpacha Magazine launched Kosher Inspired, Estee headed the team as editor. A year and a half later, Kosher Inspired morphed into an online food-based magazine called KosherScoop.com. Estee serves as the site’s editor and contributes recipes and photographs on a regular basis. Believe it or not, Estee rarely uses cookbooks. Her love of new things ensures that she is always original and creative in the kitchen.

Estee Kafra lives in Toronto with her family. The busy mom also produces a top-quality line of kosher products, including premium quality Callebaut pareve chocolate chips labeled: Best Ingredients For Best Results. These are scrumptious in Estee’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie, made with oil, not margarine.

When we spoke recently, Estee shared: “Friday night is one of the highlights of the Jewish week. Below are some of my favourite dishes that I love to serve for Shabbat, simple classics but with a creative, contemporary twist.”

Planning ahead? Are you looking for some delicious inspiration to celebrate Tu B’Shvat next Shabbat with a 7-Species dinner? Estee explains: “It is customary to eat fruit on Tu B’Shvat, and many incorporate the seven species of fruit that are especially abundant in the land of Israel. The shivat haminim are listed in the Torah as the special fruits of Israel, and you too can incorporate them into your family’s supper.”

Wheat:

Mother and daughter challah baking video for Signature Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Challah.

Barley:

Lentil Barley Soup.

Grapes:

Grilled Chicken with Grape and Onion Salsa (see recipe below)

Olives:

Super Spirals

Dates for Dessert:

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Figs:

Balsamic Roasted Fig Tartlets

Pomegranates:

Pink with Polka Dots Salad (see recipe below)


GRILLED CHICKEN WITH GRAPE AND ONION SALSA (Meat)

Estee explains: “Concord wine grapes are ideal for this recipe, but it works well with other varieties as well. Thanks to my Aunt Chaya for this recipe.”

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Marinade:

1/3 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Grape Salsa:

2 cups Concord or red grapes (you can also mix the red grapes with some green), halved (or quartered if grapes are big)

2 small shallots, thinly sliced

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (optional)

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to broil or grill.
  2. Pound chicken breasts to 1/4-inch (1/2-cm) thickness in a large resealable plastic bag. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add to the plastic bag and let sit for 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  3. Broil or grill chicken for 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked through.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature with Grape Salsa.
  5. To prepare Grape Salsa: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Let flavours meld for about 15 minutes. Serve over chicken.

Makes 4 servings (recipe multiplies easily)


MAPLE ROAST (Meat)

When a friend came by with this roast after Estee’s son Chaim was born, Estee was positive that Rachelli had put chocolate in it. “Chocolate is always on my mind and the roast’s sweet scent with rich tones of flavour all but convinced me. (Did I mention that I was a chocoholic?) Alas, I blamed my inability to detect the inclusion of maple syrup and soy sauce on my post-partum status, but based on the success of this recipe, I would have to guess this was one of the best baby gifts I ever received. A great recipe is the kind of present you use over and over again.”

1 brisket or brick roast (about 3-4 lb.)

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 onions, sliced

2 sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks

1 cup red baby potatoes, cut in half

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup soy sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the Dijon mustard over the sides and top of the roast.
  2. Arrange the onions in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Top with the sweet and baby potatoes. Place the meat on top of the potatoes.
  3. Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the meat and potatoes. Stir together the maple syrup and soy sauce in a small bowl. Pour over the meat. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Let cool. Chill overnight.

Slice the meat, return to the pot with the vegetables. Reheat in a 250-degree F oven until warmed through.

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