Recipes of the Lower East Side

Recipes

Published May 17, 2010, issue of May 21, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Jane Ziegelman’s new book “97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement” (Smithsonian Books/HarperCollins) delves into the pantries of the lower East Side in the early 20th century. The book, slated for publication in June, will be released in conjunction with an expansion of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Ziegleman will run a new culinary program in the museum’s brand new demonstration kitchen. The book is a tribute to the women (and men) who preserved the recipes of their ancestors. Below, we bring you a few of those recipes.

— Nadja Spiegelman

Read the full article on “97 Orchard” here


Stuffed Cabbage

The following stuffed-cabbage recipe comes to us from Frieda Shwartz, born on the lower East Side in 1918. Her special touch is the addition of grated apple to the filling.

1 pound beef
1 egg
3 cups canned tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Beef bones
1 peeled and grated apple
3 tablespoons rice
3 tablespoons cold water
4 tablespoons grated onion
3 teaspoons salt
1 cabbage

1) Pour boiling water over cabbage. Let stand 15 minutes.
2) Separate the leaves. Remove the thick stem from the outside of each leaf.
3) Prepare the sauce in a heavy saucepan by combining tomatoes, salt, pepper and bones.
4) Cook 30 minutes, covered.
5) Mix beef, rice, onion, egg, apple and water.
6) Place a heaping tablespoon of the mixture in a cabbage leaf. Roll leaf around mixture and add to sauce.
7) Season with lemon juice and brown sugar.
8) Cook 2 hours.


Challah

Fannie Cohen was an immigrant homemaker from Poland, who arrived in New York in 1912, a married woman with two young kids. This is her family recipe, scaled down to yield two good-size loaves.

7 1/2 cups bread flour
2 ounces fresh yeast or 4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup peanut oil or other vegetable oil
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salt

1) Dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand until mixture looks foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
2) Combine with remaining ingredients, stirring to form a dough.
3) Knead dough for 10 minutes, then place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, 1 to 2 hours.
4) Punch down dough, knead ten times and divide in two.
5) Separate each half into thirds. Roll each section into a rope about 18 inches long. Braid rope, pinching the ends and turning them under.
6) Place on a lightly greased baking tray and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until doubled in size.
7) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
8) Before baking, brush challah with one egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water.
9) Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until golden brown.


Pickles

The following pickle recipe is adapted from Jannie Grossinger’s “The Art of Jewish Cooking”

30 kirby cucumbers of roughly the same size
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 cloves garlic
1 dried red pepper
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
2 coin-size slices fresh horseradish
1 teaspoon mixed pickling spice
20 sprigs of dill

1) Wash and dry cucumbers and arrange them in a large jar or two smaller jars, alternating a layer of cucumbers with a layer of dill.
2) Combine salt and water and bring to boil. Turn off heat.
3) Add vinegar and spices and pour liquid over cucumbers. They should be immersed. If necessary, add more salt water.
4) Cover and keep in a cool place for 1 week.*

*If you like green pickles, Mrs. Grossinger recommends you try one after five days.


Vegetarian Chopped Liver

Here’s Lillian Chanale’s family recipe for vegetarian chopped liver, with the “livery” taste surprisingly coming from the canned peas.

3 medium-sized onions, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large can sweet peas, drained
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1) Sauté the onions in the oil until they are soft and golden.
2) Mash peas with the back of a fork.
3) Combine onion and peas with remaining ingredients and chop by hand until you have the desired consistency. If you like, you can use a food processor, but be careful not to over-process.
4) Season with salt and a generous dose of freshly ground black pepper.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.