Jewish Recipes
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My father made these Pickled Cucumbers when I was growing up.
 I tried them once, and my kids fell in love with them. Now every
morning they ask me to make them a pita stuffed with humus and
these pickles for school. I call them old fashioned pickles because
they don't use pickling mixes or any such modern ingredients. In
this recipe the cucumbers are pickled in water, salt, vinegar,
garlic and dill.


3-4 pounds (1 1/2-2 kilo) young and small cucumbers
(dark green, firm, warty skin)
2-4 sprigs of fresh dill
6-8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and cut in half
kosher salt
white vinegar


1. In a large jar, place 2 sprigs of dill and 3-4 cloves of garlic.
2. Wash and snip off ends of cucumbers. Put cucumbers in the jar until it is full.
3. Add water to the jar, one cup at a time. Then add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar for every 3 cups of water added.
4. Top with 2 more sprigs of dill and 3-4 more cloves of garlic.
5. Once the jar is filled to the top, seal jar. Gently shake to mix.
6. Set in window or outside where it will get some sun. Allow approximately 4 days for fermenting. If you like more sour pickles, can can let them stay in the jar for an extra day or two.
7. Refrigerate.


1. Use cucumbers that are small, young, dark green, firm, and have warty skin.
2. The jar should be filled to the top with the cucumbers and water (see photo).
3. The vinegar ensures the pickles will be crunchy and not soft. So if you like a hard pickle, add a bit more vinegar.
4. If you want your pickles to be ready in less than 4 days, you can boil the water with the salt and vinegar. Let it stand so it gets to room temperature. And then add it to the cucumbers. This speeds the fermenting time.

































Home Page

Kosher Dill Pickles

Adapted from Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking










Arthur advises making sure the cukes aren't bitter before pickling them, so be sure to take a bite of one. In the US, at farmer's markets, they often give samples first. If you live somewhere, like say, in Paris, you can do something similar to My Trader Joe's Wine Test: Buy a bottle, take it out to the parking lot, open it, and take a swig. If it's good, go back and buy a case.

I found the recipe made a bit more brine than I needed, but that's probably because my cucumbers were different than what was advised in the recipe. Just for fun, I did one jar by splitting the cucumbers lengthwise and they worked great. It's a good tip if you want your pickles in a hurry since that jar was ready after just days of fermenting.

4 quarts (scant 4l) water
6 tablespoons coarse white salt (kosher, if available)
18-20 Kirby cucumbers, scrubbed
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly-crushed
2 tablespoons pickling spice (see links below)
6 bay leaves
1 large bunch of dill, preferably going to seed, washed

1. In a large pot, heat 1 qt (1l) water with the salt until the salt is dissolved. Add the remaining water.

2. Prepare three 1 quart (liter) wide jars by running them through the dishwasher or filling them with boiling water, then dumping it out.

3. Pack the cucumbers vertically into the jars, making sure they're tightly-packed. As you fill the jars, divide the garlic, spices, bay leaves, and dill amongst them.

4. Fill the jars with brine so that the cucumbers are completely covered. Cover the jars with cheesecloth, secured with rubber bands, or loosely with the lids. Store in a cool, dark place for 3 days.
5. After 3 days, taste one. The pickles can ferment from 3 to 6 days. The longer the fermentation, the more sour they'll become. Once the pickles are to your liking, refrigerate them.





























Home Page  
Chopped Liver

1 pound Chicken Livers
4 large Onions, chopped
6 Eggs, hard boiled
1/4 cup Chicken Fat or Margarine
1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper
2-4 tablespoons Brandy, to moisten


Put the Chicken fat and Onions in a large skillet, over a low flame. Cook, stirring occasionally for at least 30 minutes, probably an hour. This is the most important step in making good Chopped Liver. The Onions must cook very slowly, so they caramelize and brown thoroughly. If you brown them over too high a heat, you will not get the full flavor. When done, they will have shrunk to a fraction of their original size and be very brown, but not burned.

Spray the rack of a broiling pan with Vegetable Oil. Place the Livers on the rack, pierce with a knife, and broil until the juices stop running from them. At this point, add the Chicken Livers to the Onions, and raise the heat slightly. Cook and stir the mixture, until the Livers are done. Remove from heat, and allow to cool.

The final step is most easily done in the food processor with a metal blade. Put the Liver mixture, Eggs, Seasoned salt, Lemon Pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the Brandy in the bowl. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but not smooth. Good Chopped Liver is not a paste, and you should be able to recognize the individual ingredients. For that reason, do not just turn the processor on. It will make puree in seconds. If it seems at all dry, add a bit more brandy and stir. Chill this thoroughly before serving, so the flavors have time to blend.

Note: If you would like to make a “Vegetarian Chopped Liver”, substitute 1˝ pounds finely chopped Mushrooms, and 1 cup ground Walnuts for the Liver in this recipe. Just cook them with the Onions, until they are thoroughly browned


Potato Latkes

A recipe for potato fritters.

By Claudia Roden

This is one of the most famous of Jewish foods and a specialty of Hanukkah. The latkes are served as an appetizer, as a side dish, and even for tea with a sprinkling of confectioners' sugar. They can be marvellous if properly prepared, just before eating.

2 lbs (1 kg) potatoes

2 large eggs


Oil for frying


Peel and finely grate the potatoes. Put them straight into cold water, then drain and squeeze them as dry as you can by pressing them with your hands in a colander. This is to remove the starchy liquid, which could make the latkes soggy.

Beat the eggs lightly with salt, add to the potatoes, and stir well. Film the bottom of a frying pan with oil and heat. Take serving-spoonfuls, or as much as 1/4 cup (50 ml), of the mixture and drop into the hot oil. Flatten a little, and lower the heat so that the fritters cook through evenly. When one side is brown, turn over and brown the other. Lift out and serve very hot.


You may add black pepper, chopped parsley, and finely chopped onion to the egg and potato mixture.

Adding 4 tablespoons of potato flour binds the fritters into firmer, more compact cakes, easier to handle but not quite as lovely to eat.

Polishe Perogies without meat

48 perogies (change servings and units)




  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup milk, warm
  • 1/2 cup potato, well mashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2-3 cooked potatoes, mashed
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Alternate Filling

  • 2-3 cups cottage cheese, drained (or use dry curd)
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper (taste before adding egg!)





    Mix dough ingredients together.


    You may have to add more liquid or flour to make the dough soft and somewhat sticky.


    Turn onto a floured surface and knead more flour into dough- just enough to make it easier to handle.


    The dough will be slightly sticky.


    Do not over-knead.


    Place dough in an oiled bowl.


    Cover and let rest for 30 minuets.




    Cook onion in butter.


    Mix with potatoes, and add cheese while the mixture is still hot.


    You may substitute Gouda or Ementhal  for the cheddar.


    Let filling cool before using (place in fridge.) If you are using the alternate filling, simply mix those ingredients together.




    Set a large pot of water to boil.


    Form walnut-sized balls of the filling.


    Roll out dough on floured surface fairly thinly (3 millimetres, or 0.125 inch).


    You will probably need to add flour as you roll.


    Cut out circles approximately 7 1/2 centimetres (3 inches) in diameter (a wider-mouthed glass should do fine.) Press scraps into a ball.


    Place filling ball in centre of dough circle.


    If the dough has a less-floury side, keep that side up.


    Fold dough over ball, and pinch edges to form a half circle.


    To prevent perogies with"horns", I pinch at the top ("90 degree mark") of the perogy first, then pinch at the 180 and degree edges, working up to the 90 degree mark.


    You can cheat pinching the perogies by smearing water on the filling side of the dough at the edges, and keep your fingers floured when you pinch (on the non-filling side.) In order to prevent perogies from drying out, keep finished perogies on a floured surface, and cover with a floured clean dishcloth.


    Place several perogies in boiling water.


    Stir once, gently with a slotted spoon.


    Perogies are done when they float for a minute (this will take 2-3 minutes).


    Melt about 1/2 cup of butter or margarine in microwave.


    Rescue and drain the perogies with the slotted spoon.


    Place in a bowl, drizzle with some melted butter, and gently shake to distribute the butter.


    Cook, drain, and drizzle the other perogies in the same manner.


    *Platzkies (pronounced "plutch-keys"): (The scrap dough is not tender enough to make into perogies, but make good"dumplings" by themselves.) Roll out scraps to approxamitely the same thickness as before.


    Add minimal flour, and handle dough as little as possible.


    Try to keep edges even.


    Cut dough with a knife into strips about 8 cm (3 inches) wide.


    Cut each strip into several triangles and/or squares.


    Cook strips in water until they float.


    Repeat draining and drizzling treatment as with perogies.

Whether you spell it pierogi, piroghi or pierogie, authentic homemade pierogies are a delicious treat and a Pittsburgh tradition. Here in Pittsburgh we eat more than 11 times the pierogies of any other city in the nation, according to a recent survey, with pierogi fillings ranging from standard potato and cheese to sweet prune. A popular Pittsburgh business, Pierogies Plus, ships pierogies as far away as Alaska and Hawaii. The Pittsburgh Pirates even hold a pierogi race during the bottom of the 5th inning at every Pirates home game.

Sour cream in the dough is a favorite secret of many Pittsburgh pierogi makers.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, plus extra to serve with the pierogi
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • butter and onions for sauteing
  • ingredients for filling of your choice (potato & cheese filling recipe below)


Pierogi Dough
To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and the softened butter pieces and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to overbeat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Each batch of dough makes about 12-15 pierogies, depending on size.

Prepare the Pierogies
Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8" thick. Cut circles of dough (2" for small pierogies and 3-3 1/2" for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of filling (about a tablespoon) on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork.

Boil the perogies a few at a time in a large pot of water. They are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes). Rinse in cool water and let dry.

Saute chopped onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft. Then add pierogies and pan fry until lightly crispy. Serve with a side of sour cream for a true Pittsburgh pierogi meal.

Homemade Pierogi Tips:

  1. If you are having a hard time getting the edges to stick together, you may have too much flour in the dough. Add a little water to help get a good seal.


  2. If you don't want to cook all of the pierogies right away, you can refrigerate them (uncooked) for several days or freeze them for up to several months.


  3. You can fill pierogies with pretty much anything you want, though potato and cheese is the most common (recipe below). Sweet pierogies are often filled with a prune mixture.

Potato, Cheese & Onion Filling: Peel and boil 5 large potatoes until soft. Red potatoes are especially good for this. While the potatoes are boiling, finely chop 1 large onion and saute in butter until soft and translucent. Mash the potatoes with the sauted onions and 4-8oz of grated cheddar cheese (depending on how cheesy you want your pierogies), adding salt and pepper to taste. You can also add some fresh parsley, bacon bits, chives, or other enhancements if you desire. Let the potato mixture cool and then form into 1" balls.
PIERMANI (Similar to Pierogies) :
1 lb. hamburger
2 onions
1/2 c. milk (or less)
Salt and pepper (lots)
Mix and put through Cuisinart so texture will be very fine. Add lots of salt and pepper.

DOUGH: 1 c. water Salt 1 egg Flour

Knead well until dough is elastic and firm. Chill. Roll dough into sausages and cut into slices. Dab each quarter-sized slice in flour and flatten with rolling pin or in the palm of your hand. Fill with 1 teaspoon meat and enclose in dough, pinching edges tightly shut with fingernails. Add to salted, boiling pot of water and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Serve with butter and sauteed onions and a dollop of sour cream. Feeds an army!


RUSSIAN ROULETTE (Bread with Poppy Seeds) :
1 c. milk, warmed
2 pkgs. yeast
3/4 c. butter, melted
5 eggs
1/2 tbsp. salt
2 c. sugar
5 lbs. flour
2 c. milk
1 c. sour cream
3 cans Solo poppy filling


Stir yeast into milk and let it sit for a few minutes. Mix together remaining ingredients. Add yeast. Knead the dough well. Give it 2 risings.

Divide into 5 parts. Roll each out flat with rolling pin. Spread about 2/3 can of poppy filling onto dough. Sprinkle with raisins. Roll up tightly, stretching dough lengthwise. Let rise a third time.

Loaf will be the shape of French bread, long and thin. Bake on cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Brush hot loaves with melted butter.


Beef meat with bone and lots of fat
6 qts. water
3 fresh beets, grated
1 onion, diced
Bunch of parsley
1/2 stick butter
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 green pepper, diced
3 potatoes, quartered
1 carrot, grated
1/2 head cabbage, sliced thin
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped


Wash meat. Add to water in large soup pot. Cover and simmer until meat is tender (about 1 hour). Remove scum as it accumulates. Saute onions in butter. When yellow, add tomatoes, carrots and beets. Saute them too in frying pan.

Add potatoes and a little later, when potatoes are partly cooked, add cabbage to soup pot. Cover both pot and frying pan and simmer.

Cut meat off bone. Cut into 2-inch squares. Return to stock. Add sauteed vegetables to stock. Add 3 large teaspoons salt and generous shake of pepper.

Wash parsley (Italian, flat-leaf type), wring out and cut fine. When potatoes and cabbage are soft, add parsley and remove from heat. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.


5 eggs, cooked and peeled
5 lg. potatoes, cooked and peeled
1 carrot
3 pickles
1 cucumber
1 (17 oz.) can peas
1/2 pkg. bologna
1 c. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 onion, diced
Chop everything into small pieces. Stir together. Eat at once because it doesn't keep well (not past 1-2 days in refrigerator).

1 c. creamed cottage cheese
1 tbsp. melted butter
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. raisins
1/4 tsp. cinnamon


Cream cheese with melted butter. Add beaten egg, sugar, raisins, and cinnamon. Serve the filled, cooked Pierogi, with melted butter and sour cream.

Yield: 1 cup.


1 c. dry cottage cheese
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/8 tsp. salt
Dash of chives


Place all ingredients in an electric blender and blend until smooth; or press cottage cheese through a sieve. Mix with remaining ingredients and blend well.

Makes 1 cup.


1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. butter
1 c. finely chopped fresh mushrooms
1 c. ground beef, cooked
4 tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper


Fry onion in butter until tender. Add mushrooms and meat. Stir in sour cream and seasonings. Blend well and cool before filling Pierogi.

Makes 2 cups.


1 c. sauerkraut
1 sm. onion, chopped
2 tbsp. butter
1 c. chopped fresh mushrooms
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
2 tbsp. sour cream


Cook sauerkraut with 2 cups water for 15 minutes; drain, cool, and chop finely. In a medium saucepan saute onion in butter. Add mushrooms; stir in chopped sauerkraut, salt, and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Add sour cream; mix well and cool before using for Pierogi filling.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups.


2 c. dried prunes
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. brown sugar


Boil prunes for 5 minutes. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 20 minutes. Remove seeds; add lemon juice and sugar. Cook, uncovered, until liquid is almost gone.


Grandma's Perogen  
1 to 2 pkgs. lean beef mince
1 egg or 2 eggs if a lot is to be made
2/3 medium sized onions
three or four cloves of garlic
1 -1 1/2 cups. water
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups. flour
Dash of salt
Schmaltz (opt.)


MEAT: Brown and cook beef approximately 2 hours in a large covered saucepan with 2 cups water. (Add water as necessary while cooking.) Grind meat while still warm if possible, so meat packs together in little handfuls (if meat is cold, add egg to help it stick together).

Chop the onion and garlic together. Brown to a light tan to make onion clear

DOUGH: Combine water, egg and salt. Fold in flour 1 cup at a time and mix with your hands. The dough should become soft, but not sticky (if sticky, add a little flour).

Sprinkle flour on table, knead dough until smooth (avoid over handling). Roll dough out on table with a floured rolling pin until dough is thin (but not too thin where you cannot pick it up). If dough starts to stick to the table, place some flour underneath.

Take a small handful of the meat mixture, place on dough a little in from the edge. Fold dough over the meat and with a large mouth glass (rim has been dipped into flour), place glass over dough with meat and cut. Pinch ends of dough together, place on floured plate (DO NOT STACK!). Continue on until all the meat is used.

After all Perogen are made, boil large saucepan of water. Place Perogen in boiling water for approximately 8 minutes (or until they float). They can be served a number of ways: Serve with melted schmaltz or low fat / zero fat spread with salt and pepper over top..
Grandma used to roast them slightly in the oven which dried the outside to a nice golden brown and made them irresistible to eat.
 Alternatively, after boiling, place the Perogen in a frying pan with onions, garlic and butter/butter and cook another 5 minutes and serve
Final alternative, after boiling, top the Perogen with gravy and salt and pepper and serve.