Monday Morning Cooking Club From Sydney Sisterhood

  • Written by JESSICA CHMARA
  • Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 06:00
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Jewish Journal Staff

The Monday Morning Cooking Club was formed in 2006 by a group of Jewish women in Sydney, Australia who met weekly and bonded over their shared love and passion for food. Realizing that many family heirloom recipes are forgotten or discarded over time, they decided to create a cookbook to preserve treasured recipes from their diverse Jewish community.

Five years and hundreds of dishes later, six members of this sisterhood, a term they lovingly use to describe themselves, have published "The Monday Morning Cooking Club." The cookbook contains more than 100 recipes that they have tested and tweaked. Each begins with a short narrative about the cook and the history of the dish. Beautiful photographs are scattered throughout. There is also an international conversion table for home cooks to convert measurements.

"The Monday Morning Cooking Club" is a treasure chest of classic recipes from bygone eras, and a beautiful testament to preserving the past. A favorite of celebrities Nigella Lawson and Nicole Kidman, it will likely warm its way into your food repertoire and onto your bookshelf.

Monday Morning Cooking Club

HarperCollins, 2013

PEROGEN

2 T. olive oil 2 small onions, chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed Sprig of rosemary Pinch of salt 1 pound ground beef 7 oz. red wine 16 oz. peeled tomatoes 1 T. tomato paste 1½ T. ketchup 1 T. sweet soy sauce 1 T. Worcestershire sauce 2½ lbs. puff pastry Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook the onions on a low heat until soft and glassy, then add the garlic, rosemary and salt. Continue to stir until fragrant and soft. Add the ground beef and brown well, then add all the other ingredients (except the pastry) and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring from time to time.

Blend the meat mixture in the saucepan to create an even consistency. Cook for 10 minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking tray. You may need to bake the perogen in batches.

If using block puff pastry, roll it out on a well-floured surface

to a 1/8 inch thickness, or place the puff pastry sheets on the work surface. Using a cookie cutter or small glass, cut out circles from the pastry. Place one teaspoon of the meat filling onto one half of each circle and fold the other side over to create a small, halfmoon shape. Using a fork, press down around the edges to seal.

Place the perogen on the prepared tray and bake for 20-30 minutes until crisp and golden. Serve as an accompaniment to chicken soup, or on their own.

Recipe makes 80 perogen.

FISH SAMBAL

½ cup red mild chilies, roughly chopped 1-3 Serrano chilies, to taste (optional) 2 tomatoes, peeled 2 pounds boneless, skinless, firm white fish fillets 2 T. canola oil 2 large onions, finely chopped 2 t. crushed garlic 2 T. sweet soy sauce Zest of one lime 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed 1 t. tamarind paste Put the chilies and tomatoes into a blender and blend to form a paste. Set aside.

Cut the fish into pieces and lightly salt them. Heat half the oil in a large non-stick wok or frying pan on a high heat. Sear the fish pieces until lightly golden but not cooked through, then remove from the wok.

Fry the onions in the same wok, using a little more oil, until brown. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more before adding the chili paste, soy sauce, lime zest, lemongrass and tamarind. Continue cooking on medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until the mixture has become a rich sauce.

When ready to serve, add the fish and simmer for 6 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove the lemongrass stalk and serve with steamed rice. Serves 4-6.

SARA’S PICKLED BRISKET

4½ pound corned beef brisket 1 cup white vinegar 1 cup raw or white sugar 9 bay leaves 1 small handful black peppercorns 4 cloves garlic, crushed 4 large onions, halved and sliced 10 oz. honey 2 T. vegetable oil If possible, start this recipe the day before. Put the brisket in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add the vinegar and sugar, then bring to the boil, skimming any scum off the surface. Taste to check that you have an equal and strong flavor of both vinegar and sugar, and adjust if necessary. Add the bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer rapidly for about two hours, or until fork tender.

Drain and place the brisket in a non-stick roasting tin. Rub the garlic over the meat while it is still warm, and allow it to cool a little before refrigerating overnight, if possible.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the meat with the sliced onions and pour the honey on it. Drizzle with the oil. Roast, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, basting frequently, until the meat is tender and the onions are golden.

Slice thickly across the grain and serve warm with mashed potatoes and cabbage, or in a sandwich on fresh rye bread with mustard, pickled cucumber and coleslaw. Serves 10-12.

BUCHE DE CHOCOLAT

8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped 1 t. instant coffee dissolved

in 1/3 cup hot water 7 eggs, separated 1 cup sugar 10 oz. cream 2 t. confectioner’s sugar 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 2 T. cocoa powder

Raspberry Coulis:

2 cups fresh raspberries ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the base of a 10 x 15 tin with baking paper. You will need a few dressmaking pins to secure the cake.

Melt the chocolate with the coffee and water in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in the melted chocolate. Fold this mixture into the egg whites and spread it out into the prepared tin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. When the cake is cool, cover with a tea towel and put in the fridge for an hour.

Beat the cream with the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla seeds until thick, and set aside. Sift the cocoa powder over the cake, then cover with a piece of baking paper and turn it over. Remove the tin and the baking paper that is on the base of the cake.

Place the cream in the middle third of the cake, along its full length, and make a large, long log as follows. Lift up the two long sides of the cake and bring them over to meet in the middle, sliding one side under the other to encase the cream. Using dressmaking pins to secure the package, join the paper and fold down, holding the paper tightly around the log to help hold its shape. Put the cake in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the raspberry coulis, put the raspberries and confectioner’s sugar into a blender and puree. Sieve to remove the seeds. Remove the paper from the cake and serve with the coulis and extra raspberries or mixed berries. Serves 8-10.

Last modified on Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 06:00

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