At the end of this month we will celebrate the Jewish festival of Shavuot. We know it well as a time to eat dairy products. It is a time where many Jewish people all over the world fress (eat with abandon!) cheesecake, cheese blintzes and pretty much anything with cheese in it, savoury or sweet. Any opportunity!
There are a number of reasons offered as to why. The main one is that at the time Moses received the 10 commandments on Mount Sinai, it was Sabbath in the desert, and the new rules meant the meat they had already prepared for eating was not in fact kosher (and therefore they were not permitted to eat it) and they had no choice but to eat a dairy meal. (There are several other compelling and not so compelling reasons which you can read about by googling the question).
But really, for us, it’s always about the food. It’s quite funny how things morph over time. We can imagine that centuries ago, a simple dairy meal would suffice. Now there are books, articles, blogs, competitions . . . all about the BEST cheesecake recipe or giving 8000 versions of cheesecake.
At the Monday Morning Cooking Club, we think we’ve done some of the hard work for you. Our years of research, testing and eating (yes it was so difficult . . . but someone has to do it) has produced the recipes for some of the best Shavuot recipes that can be found. Not to say that there aren’t still some great ones out there not yet discovered, but these ones are truly tried, tested and simply EXCELLENT. And we are honoured that ‘our’ wonderful cooks have chosen to share these recipes with us and with the world.
In our first book Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood we have:
– baked cheese blintzes
– ricotta lokshen kugel
– THE (best!) South African Cheesecake (biscuit crust)
– Hungarian cheesecake (pastry crust and lattice)
In The Feast Goes On, we have a few Shavuot options:
– Klarika’s sour cherry slice (a wonderful one bowl recipe with morello cherries and sour cream)
– Paula’s melktert (South African milk tart)
– Ricotta cheesecake (no crust!) – recipe below
– Zucchini and Gruyere Gratin
In It’s Always About the Food, we have a few savoury dishes perfect for this time of year:
– Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi (light gnocchi in a tomato sauce)
– Egg Strata Pudding (a savoury cheesy bread pudding – so good!)
– Anglesey Eggs (a Welsh dish of potatoes, eggs and cheese)
– Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta Dressing
In our latest book, Now for Something Sweet, we have a whole chapter devoted to cheese. It is wonderful!
– Romanian Malai (a polenta cheesecake loaf)
– a new version of the legendary South African Cheesecake
– Traditional Cheese Blintzes
– Cheese and Raisin (yeasted!) Pastries
– New York Style Cheesecake
– Cherry and Cheese Strudel
– Kolac (an apricot cheese crumble slice).
And that’s only in the sweet department. In the savoury we have:
– Spiced Cheese Biscuits
– Frojalda (the most amazing Turkish Cheese Bread)
– Plechinta (an amazing spinach and feta pie).
Almost too much deliciousness for one page.
Happy cooking xx