As a Mid-West boy at heart, fried chicken was always one of my favorites. On many Sundays, our family would take a drive out to a country restaurant that was actually a farm, where we as kids would pet the animal while we waited for our table to be ready. The meal was always served family style, with such standards as cole slaw, corn fritters and, of course, apple pie for dessert. Ever since, I have been attempting to perfect a fried chicken recipe that would come close to the chicken dinners I remember from Peoria. There is nothing particularly ethnic about this recipe. It simply is the result of about 40 years of chicken experimentation.
This soup recipe is only a distant cousin of what is often called “Jewish penicillin.” It may not be traditional, but you will discover that it has great flavor. Mazah balls or egg noodles could be substituted for the cubed potatoes to give this recipe more of a Jewish touch.
Almost every Chinese restaurant serves some version of Kung Pao chicken. Most, in my opinion, miss the mark They tend to rely on thick, brown sauce with some spice added and a mélange of various vegetables. I feel that a truly excellent Kung Pao should be much more distinctive. The peanuts should be very fresh. The major ingredients should not be swimming in sauce, but rather flavored by the sauce. I actually use no vegetables except the scallions. The result is a Kung Pao that will knock your socks off with great flavor and texture.
Falafel, crunchy fried chickpea croquettes, are Egyptian in origin but have become a signature dish of Israel. Now considered a Jewish food, they definitely qualify as Jewish fusion. The crunchy fried falafel are tucked into pita bread with chopped tomato, cucumber, and tahini dressing, possibly enriched by a spoonful of hummus. Other possible additions (called tosefot at Israeli felafel stands) include shredded cabbage, pickle slices, and fried eggplant slices.
Every cook has his/her own personal favorites that are sure-fire hits every single time. I have been preparing this dish for many years and it never fails to please. The fabulous aroma of the ginger and garlic wafting from the kitchen put diners in the right mood even before the dish comes to the table. When served on a gleaming white tray, with the green of the lettuce, a sprinkling of scallions and sesame seeds, and the bright color of the sauce, you have an exciting dish. This is definitely not your garden variety lemon chicken.