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A Zesty Purim

February 19, 2015 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

Jazz up your Purim meal with these extra fun dishes.

I like to jazz up my Purim meal with extra fun menu items that are special for Purim and I do not serve on any other Yom Tov. Some are full of unique or zesty flavors, some are cooked with liquor, and some are exciting for kids. These are all on my list this year. Chag Sameach!

Spiced Chickpea Soup

Spiced Chickpea SoupServes 8 – 10

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (spice mixture available in major markets)
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Garnish, if desired drizzle with chili oil, S’rirachi sauce, crushed red pepper, parsley, cilantro or Tofutti sour cream

Heat an 8 – 10 quart soup pot over medium heat. Add oil, then onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, garam masala and ginger, and stir for 1 – 2 minutes. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, apple juice, coconut milk and stock. Bring soup to a boil, then lower to simmer and cook, uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add cilantro. With an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Add salt and pepper. If too thick, add some additional stock.

Serve warm. Drizzle with garnish, if desired.

This soup freezes well.

To make homemade garam masala:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cardamom
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Beer Bathed Pulled Brisket

Beer Bathed Pulled BrisketServes 10

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (5 pound) brisket
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 bottle good barbecue sauce

Stir together the brown sugar, chile powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the brisket. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Place onions in a large roasting pan. Put the brisket top of the onions. Roast until fork-tender and falling apart, about 3 ½ - 4 ½ hours. Remove the brisket from the pot and set it on a cutting board.

Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and add 1/2 cup of hot water. Scrape the pan to loosen up the bits and add beer and barbeque sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes or until sauce is thick and reduced a bit.

Shred the meat with two forks, then toss in the barbecue sauce until it's fully coated.

Serve with sauce in lettuce cups, on hamburger or slider buns, or over mashed potatoes.

Spicy Drumettes or Chicken Wings

Spicy Drumettes or Chicken WingsServes 10

  • 3 lbs chicken drumettes or chicken wings

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Scallions, chopped, optional
  • Sesame seeds, optional

Preheat oven to 450°F. Drain drumettes/wings from marinade and pat dry.  Arrange in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets and spray with cooking spray. Bake 30-40 minutes, switching oven racks once, or until wings reach and internal temp of 165°F and are crispy and browned.

For the sauce, heat margarine until melted and slightly bubbly over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and black pepper, and mix to combine. Add Sriracha, tomato sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire and sugar; simmer until slightly thickened.

Transfer sauce to large bowl, add drumettes to sauce and toss to coat

Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds, if desired.

Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes

Oven Roasted Greek PotatoesServes 8

  • 8 large potatoes, peeled, cut into large wedges ( about 6-7 wedges per potato)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or parchment paper

Place all the ingredients into a baking pan large enough to hold them. Season generously with salt and black pepper. Toss to make sure all ingredients are coated.

Bake for 40 minutes. Toss them once while baking.

Add 1/2 cup more water if pan appears to be getting dry, and pop back into oven to brown other side of potatoes. Serve warm. Reheat uncovered.

Fluffernutter Cupcakes

Fluffernutter CupcakesMakes 12 cupcakes

Adapted from original recipe by

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup soymilk, non-dairy milk or milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 2/3 cup marshmallow fluff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream margarine and peanut butter together in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and eggs and beat together until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix for another minute or so.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the soymilk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients. Fold in peanut butter chips and marshmallow fluff.

Pour into cupcake tins and fill 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15-18. Let cool completely before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons soymilk, if needed

Beat margarine and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy. Add in vanilla extract, then with the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes until fully combined, scraping down the sides. If frosting is too thick, add in soymilk and beat for 1-2 minutes more. Fill a pastry bag with frosting or using a spoon, poke a hole into the cupcake and scoop out about ¾ inch of cake from the center. Fill with some of the peanut butter frosting.

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup margarine (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar

Beat margarine in the bowl of electric mixer until creamy. Add in fluff and beat for 2-3 minutes, then add in vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Once all the sugar has been added, beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. If mixture if too runny, add a bit more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a bit of soymilk one tablespoon at a time. Frost cupcakes and drizzle with melted peanut butter if desired.

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