A Spice Master Reimagines an Ancient Festival

America’s leading authority on spice blending, Chef Lior Lev Sercarz, has reimagined a staple dish of the ancient Jewish festival of Shavuot. Perhaps best known as the owner of New York City’s La Boîte, Sercarz also serves as the Director of the Galilee Culinary Institute by JNF in Israel. Having grown up eating the often-bland (according to Sercarz) Ashkenazic foods of Eastern Europe, the spice-focused chef has dedicated his career to creating new and unexpected spice blends that delight the taste buds and excite the senses. On the evening of May 28, Jewish communities around the world will celebrate Shavuot – a festival associated with the consumption of dairy products. Although cheesecake is the traditional go-to for this holiday, why not try Sercarz’s Cherry and Pistachio Clafoutis with Chamomile for a new twist on a delectable dairy dessert. Chef Lior Lev Sercarz will talk all things spices on Wednesday, May 27TH at Jewish National Fund-USA’s virtual Midwest Women for Israel event. For more information, visit jnf.org/midwestregionalwfi or contact Kim R. Levy, Executive Director, Midwest at klevy@jnf.org or 847.656.8880 x763. Cherry and Pistachio Clafoutis with Chamomile: Cherries are the most iconic fruit for clafoutis. Here, tangy sumac highlights their tart side, Sichuan peppercorns give them a little zing, and mellow, floral chamomile balances those bold flavors. A cherry pitter comes in handy here, but a chopstick or metal straw can poke out the pits too. MAKES ONE 12-INCH SKILLET SERVES 6 TO 8 MAIN SPICE BLEND 3⁄4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (1 gram) 1 teaspoon sumac (3 grams) 2 teaspoons dried chamomile flowers (2 grams) 3⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Vietnamese (2 grams) Finely grind the peppercorns, sumac, and chamomile together and immediately mix with the cinnamon. CLAFOUTIS 2 tablespoons salted butter (29 grams), plus more for the pan 1 pound pitted cherries (454 grams) 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar (13 grams) 3⁄4 cup shelled roasted unsalted pistachios (96 grams) 1 cup pitted prunes (184 grams) 1⁄2 cup rum (113 grams) 1 cup whole milk (224 grams) 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream (284 grams) 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (3 grams) 1 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar (125 grams), plus more for the pan 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour (71 grams) 3 large eggs (180 grams), at room temperature Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting 1. To make the clafoutis: Preheat the oven to 350°F. 2. Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pan and then add the cherries and brown sugar. Stir until the cherries are evenly coated. Add one-third of the spice blend, stir to evenly coat the cherries, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, turning the cherries occasionally, until softened a bit and evenly browned, about 5 minutes. 3. Add the prunes and pistachios and stir well. Add the rum and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid evaporates and glazes the fruit, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature while making the custard. 4. Whisk the milk, crème fraîche, vanilla, and the remaining spice blend in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk the granulated sugar and flour together in a large bowl; add the eggs and whisk until well blended. Make sure there are no lumps of flour remaining. While whisking, add the...

read more

Introduction to Judaism Class

Kol Rinah is hosting the American Jewish University’s “Miller Intro to Judaism Program” and welcomes you to join in the learning! This course is geared toward both Jews and non-Jews who want to learn more an dgain new perspectives on Jewish life. Bring your questions, concerns, and thoughts together with a group of thoughtful, inquisitive learners and explore the wisdom depth, and joy of Jewish living. Classes are Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 9:00pm and will be led by Rabbis Arnow and Shafrin (August – February). A complete schedule is available at kolrinahstl.org or call 314-727-1747. Tuition is only $100 for the entire...

read more

Elul Learning: High Holiday Skills

Brush up and prepare for the High Holidays with some classes taught by Rabbis Shafrin and Arnow. Classes are free. Classes are August 28, Sept. 4, Sept. 11th and Sept. 18th starting at 7:00pm. Located at Kol Rinah 829 N. Hanley Rd. RSVP at KolRinahstl.org or call nancy at 314-727-1747 or email her at nancy@kolrinahstl.org

read more

When Did Zion Become A Four-Letter Dirty Word? Modern Zionism In Flux

With Guest Speaker, Dr. Harold Goldmeier July 17, 2019, at 7:30 pm in Banquet Hall – Gimmel Dr. Harold Goldmeier is a writer and teacher specializing in such topics as Middle Eastern Politics, Zionism, Ethics, Healthcare, and Business. He is the recipient of the Illinois Governor’s Award, held the position of Executive Director of the Massachusetts Com for Children and Youth, and chaired the Workforce Youth Council for Mayor Daley distributing up to $30 million a year. While earning his doctorate, he served as a Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard. His e-book, Healthcare Insights: Better Care Better Business is available on Amazon. His articles and book reviews appear on Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, The Jerusalem Post, Seeking Alpha, financial websites, Life in Israel, Arutz Sheva, and Times of Israel. He was a correspondent for the Atlanta Jewish Times. Harold contributed a series of articles in the Gale Business Insights Handbook of Investment Research...

read more

J Family Passover Seder

Don’t forget to register for the J’s Family Passover Seder! This event includes a musical and interactive Passover Seder experience catered by Simon Kohn’s and led by Rabbi Brad Horwitz from the J. Avoid the cooking and cleaning and spend the evening with friends at the J! Registration deadline is April 15. To RSVP or for more information contact Rabbi Brad Horwitz 314-442-3271 bhorwitz@jccstl.org

read more

B’Chol Dor V’dor: In Every Generation – 11th Annual Shabbat St. Louis

Experience Shabbat in a whole new way! Area Reform and Reconstructionist congregations will come together as one community for the 11th Annual Shabbat St. Louis on Saturday, April 20, at Congregation Shaare Emeth, 11645 Ladue Rd. in Creve Coeur. The morning will begin at 9:30 a.m. with Torah study taught by rabbis and cantors will be offered at 9:30 a.m. A spirited and music-filled Shabbat of Passover service will follow at 10:30 a.m. In keeping with the theme B’chol Dor V’dor: In Every Generation, all generations are welcome and encouraged to attend. The service will be sign language interpreted. The Shabbat St. Louis service is unique in that it is led by adults and youth representing congregations Shaare Emeth, Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Community, Temple Emanuel, Temple Israel-Godfrey, IL, Temple Israel-St. Louis, and United Hebrew, and the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School. A Passover Kiddush will follow the service. Shabbat St. Louis is also known for its spirited music, led this year by songleader Samantha Thal, a community choir directed by Cantor Patrice Kaplan, and the band HaShemesh. Service attendees are asked to bring a donation of non-perishable food for the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. Shabbat St. Louis is made possible through the generosity of community sponsors Berger Memorial Chapel, Chevra Kadisha Cemetery, New Mt. Sinai Cemetery, Rindskopf-Roth Funeral Chapel and the St. Louis Circle of Jewish Music, and with the support of our participating congregations and clergy. For more information, contact shabbatstl@gmail.com or connect with us on Facebook...

read more