When you think of traditional Jewish cooking, do you think of healthy cooking?
I used to love my grandmother’s food that she lovingly and carefully prepared in her small kitchen. Yet all good intentions could not have saved her noodle kugel, brisket and latkes from gobs of unhealthy ingredients like chicken fat, lots of salt and too much sugar.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, says cookbook author Paula Shoyer. She still wants to be connected to her ancestors, yet without the fatty, salty, unhealthy legacy of Jewish cooking. Shoyer’s book, The Healthy Jewish Kitchen, offers up recipes with healthy ingredients like whole grains and cuts down on unhealthy ones traditionally used in Jewish cooking, like salt and margarine (to name just two of many.)
As a preview and tease, here is one drool-worth recipe:
And if you read all the way through to the end of this post, there might just be a Chanukah gift in it for you!
BAKED SCHNITZEL WITH NUT CRUST
Meat, Gluten-free, Passover • Serves 4 to 6 (8–10 slices)
My goal with this recipe was to bake it first, rather than frying it, and then see if I could come up with a gluten-free coating that everyone would love. This schnitzel is great cold after the first day. It should be made after Passover when, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have leftover ground nuts in your pantry. You can also use the same baking method with your favorite schnitzel breadcrumbs.
PREP TIME: 10 minutes • COOK TIME: 15 minutes • ADVANCE PREP: May be made 3 days in advance or frozen
- EQUIPMENT: Measuring cups and spoons, cutting board, knife, 2 jelly roll pans, food processor, 2 shallow bowls, gallon-size freezer bag or shallow bowl, large plate, tongs
2 to 2½ pounds (910g to 1.2kg) chicken scaloppini
(thin slices), about 10 pieces
3 tablespoons sunflower oil, divided
1 cup (120g) shelled pistachios
1 cup (120g) slivered almonds
½ cup (45g) ground hazelnuts (filberts)
1½ teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2½ teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2–3 large eggs, as needed to coat all the pieces
1 cup (110g) chickpea flour (or potato starch)
Sprigs of Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 475– 480°F (245– 250°C).
- Place 1½ tablespoons of oil on each of 2 jelly roll pans and spread to coat. Place the pistachios, almonds, and ground hazelnuts into the bowl of a food processor. Add the turmeric, cumin, paprika, ginger, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Process until the nuts have been reduced to very small pieces, but not ground into a powder. Place them in a shallow bowl.
- Crack two of the eggs into a shallow bowl and beat them well. Place the chickpea flour into a gallon-size freezer bag or a shallow bowl (the freezer bag works well). Cut the chicken into as many pieces as you like and, using your fingers, dip each into the chickpea flour to coat it completely, shaking off any excess. Then dip the pieces into the beaten eggs and press them into the nut mixture to completely coat the chicken. Place the chicken on a large plate and set it aside. Wash your hands with warm soapy water.
- When the oven is preheated, place the oil-coated pans into the oven and heat for 5 minutes. When the jelly roll pans are hot, very carefully remove one pan at a time and add the chicken, leaving a little room between each piece so that they don’t touch each other. Put the pans back in the oven and bake the chicken for 10 minutes. Using tongs, turn over the pieces and bake them for another 5 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through the cooking time so that each pan has a turn on the bottom rack to ensure maximum crunchiness.
If you’d like to win a copy of The Healthy Jewish Kitchen, which offers a new take on Jewish cooking, please leave a comment and tell me what your favorite Jewish dish is; the one that evokes the strongest memories and ties to your faith.
A winner will be chosen by random; deadline to enter is this Friday, December 15 at 9:00 PM ET. Good luck, happy cooking and most of all, happy Chanukah!