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Hanukkah favorite, and more

Dessert: Jewish Apple Cake is one of many so-called Jewish dishes that have become part of various national cuisines.

December 01, 1999|By Joan Nathan | Joan Nathan,LOS ANGELES TIMES SYNDICATE

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

freshly ground pepper to taste

1 handful pomegranate seeds, optional

Slice eggplant into 2-inch-by-1-inch-by-1/2-inch slices. Sprinkle with salt and let stand in colander over bowl 30 minutes. Wash off salt and drain.

Saute garlic and onions with eggplant in oil, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes until eggplant is chewy and slightly crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle with spice combination and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, if desired.

Carciofi alla Giudia (Artichokes Jewish Style)

Serves 6

12 small artichokes

juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons kosher salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

3 cups extra-virgin olive oil

Soak artichokes in cold water to cover few hours or overnight. (Edda Servi Machlin, author of "Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews," Giro Press, 1993, tosses in a few ice cubes. This makes artichokes crisp and easier to clean.)

Clean artichokes. Remove and discard outer, deep-green leaves at base of artichoke until you reach lighter shade of green. Using sharp knife, 1 leaf at a time, cut off leaves where they change color. Cut tops off. Trim stems, removing tough outer green skin. Plunge cleaned artichokes into clean water mixed with lemon juice.

Remove 2 artichokes from water and hit 1 top against the other. This will open up 1 artichoke. Repeat with remaining artichokes. For last one, hit it with bottom of another artichoke. Thoroughly coat each artichoke with salt and pepper, inside and out, so that they penetrate inside leaves. Place in bowl.

Heat 2 inches oil in heavy skillet until almost smoking, to about 375 degrees. Add artichokes, few at a time, on their sides. They will sizzle as you drop them into oil. Do not crowd pan. Using tongs, turn artichokes so bottoms are submerged in oil as they need to cook longest, and rotate artichokes until golden brown on all sides. It will take about 15 minutes to cook bottoms. Remove from oil and drain. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Just before serving, reheat oil and place artichokes, 1 at a time, leafy top side down, into oil. Press down with fork to allow leaves to open and get crisp. Remove to paper towel and drain. Serve immediately.

-- Adapted from "Jewish Cooking in America" (Knopf, 1998) by Joan Nathan This is too long for the typesetter and will not be set.

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