Jewish Soul Food Part 2

I’ve already posted some of my recipes for Jewish Soul Food This is a continuance of that post. These recipes are NOT healthy or recommended by cardiologists, but they are authentic and delicious to me. I do not prepare them often or eat large amounts, but to me, the foods that follow are the ultimate in comfort food.


One of the staples of many of these meals is schmaltz aka chicken fat.  Years ago the kosher Empire Company would sell the schmaltz packaged and found in the freezer section. I’ve searched and searched for this, and have been unable to find any. I decided to make my own. After calling several grocery stores, and finding they do not butcher on premises, I finally found some from Shoppers Corner and they gave me almost a pound of chicken fat. I washed it well, then cooked it in a cast iron frying pan till crisp.  The end result is about 2 cups of schmaltz and crispy chicken fat also called gribenes I admit I threw this away. I strain it and then freeze it.

Rendering Chicken Fat with end result called Gribenes. (i threw this away)

Schmaltz from about a lb of chicken fat

With this liquid gold, I make a variety  of things including Matzoh Balls, chopped liver, kasha varnishkes, and potato kugel.

“Yoo Hoo, Mrs Goldberg”

One day we were flipping through the new channels of Direct TV and found on 366 “Jewish Life Television” We watched episode after episode of “The Goldbergs,” and while I admit it is no “Seinfeld,” it was certainly entertaining.  I heard many references to Jewish cooking and discovered there was actually a Molly Goldberg cookbook!

Molly Goldberg Cookbook

Kasha Varnishkes

This is a recipe from Joan Nathan for Kasha Varnishkes. Kasha is buckwheat groats. This meal quite simply is bow ties and buckwheat groats with onions.

Kasha Varnishkes

2 large onions sliced in rounds

2-3 TBS chicken fat (you can use butter or vegetable oil)

1 large egg slightly beaten

1 cup of medium or coarse kasha

2 cups of water or boulion

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

3/4 lb of large or small bowtie shaped noodles

2 TBS freshly cut parsley

2 TBS fresh coriander (optional)

1) Saute onions in chicken fat in heavy frying pan with cover until golden.  Remove from frying pan

2) Beat the egg in small mixing bowl and stir in the kasha. Mix, making sure all the grains are coated.  Put the kasha in same frying pan and set to hight heat.  Flatten, stir and break up the egg coated kasha with fork or wooden spoon from 2-4 minutes or until the egg has dried on the kasha and the kernels brown and mostly separate.

3) Add water or bouillon, salt, and pepper to frying pan and bring to a boil.  Add the onions, cover tightly and cook over low heat steaming the kasha for 10 minutes. Remove the cover; stir and quickly check to see if the kernels are tender and the liquid has been absorbed.  If not, cover and continue steaming 3-5 minutes more.

4) Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook bow-tie noodles according to the directions on the package; drain.

5) When the  kasha is ready combine with the noodles; adjust seasoning and sprinkle with parsley and coriander.  If desired add more butter or chicken fat or oil.

Chopped Liver

1 lb chicken livers

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chicken fat

4 hard boiled eggs

salt and pepper to taste

1) Broil the livers lightly, then saute in chicken fat with onions and celery until onions are golden.

2) Chop all ingredients in chopping bowl or food processor. Do not over chop.  Add additional chicken fat if mixture seems dry.

About kuby2u

I love sewing, machine embroidery, cooking, photography and MAC's. I love my iPhone. I have a beautiful chinese sharpei named Chole. I'm happily married to my best friend. I have a wonderful son named Bart who is a LCSW, that I'm very proud of. I am a Christian. I have a Nikon D300S and an Olympus 510 along with a few other point and shoot camera's. I love my Bernina 830 sewing machine.
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5 Responses to Jewish Soul Food Part 2

  1. marlis says:

    OOH so loving this.. In Germany, Schmalz is usually fat.. chicken or goose. And they would let it get room temperature, so it was semi hard. Then they spread it on the thick German bread and salt it a bit and eat it. Okay, so not heart healthy at all. I am going to try the bowties, groats and onions. Pure comfort food. Thank you for this heart warming post. Maybe not heart healthy but heart happy.

    • kuby2u says:

      Oh Marlis, thanks so much for your comment. I think much of Jewish/Yiddish culture is centered in Eastern Europe. I’m so grateful for that.

  2. Mattie says:

    Kuby, there is another cookbook that I bought years ago for an old employer of mine, he absolutely loved it and it had most of the Jewish foods from NYC that we all grew up having, it was written by Molly O’Neill, I think the title was NY Cooks or something similar, it really was a great cookbook and I think it is still in print.

    • kuby2u says:

      New York Cookbook by Molly O’Neil. Is that the one you’re referring to?

      • Mattie says:

        I think that’s it, matter of fact I think his wife gave it back to me when he passed away years ago, she said it was one of the favorite gifts he had ever received and he was always just sitting reading it when he was sick.

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