Ashkenazi Heaven

February 6th, 2021 § 0 comments

A classic Ashkenazi Jewish dish is kasha varnishkes. It is an HG favorite. It was served in every Jewish “dairy” restaurant in HG’s youth. Because of kosher dietary code, it was cooked without animal fat and smothered with onions and mushrooms simmered in olive or corn oil. Topped with sour cream and loads of black pepper and kosher salt. When HG’s late Mom cooked it, dietary laws were not followed and the dish got a big load of tasty homemade chicken fat. (That’s the way it was served at Sammy’s, New York’s now closed temple of schmaltz.) So, what is kasha varnishkes ? The dish consists of kasha (buckwheat groats) gently toasted with a beaten egg and then simmered in chicken broth and olive oil (chicken fat if you can source it). When the kasha is cooked into softness (but not mush) it is mixed with cooked farfalle (butterfly or bow tie pasta). Always accompanied by a bowl of sour cream. HG made it last night for BSK’s sister, Noel) and brother in law, Yossi, during an alternate Sunday dinner at HG/BSK’s home. HG used Russian kasha from an international grocer in Moncton, New Brunswick. N. & M.had never had kasha varnishkes before. They approved to the tune of second and third helpings.

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