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May 19, 2017     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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May 19, 2017
 

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 19, 2017 By Ronnie Fein (The Nosher via JTA)--I can't eat borscht that comes from a jar that's been sitting on a supermarket shelf for who knows how long. So sue me. Tell me I'm a snob. I just can't. It's the wrong color, it's too thin and has these shimmering chopped- looking things on the bottom that I suppose are beets but remind me of pocket lint. But I do love borscht, all kinds. Years ago I was surprised when a friend served me a version that wasn't at all like the simple beet soup so familiar to Ashkenazi Jewish families. Hers was a thick, marrow bone-based dish laden with vegetables that included lots of cabbage, carrots, parsnips and potatoes, and beets of course. She told me this was the "real thing" and, after doing a little research, I learned that borscht covers a lot of ground and can be vegetarian or made with meat and even poultry. It may or may not be chock full of vegetables, but it's always a slightly tart or sour soup with beets as the common denominator--whether it's Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Jewish or any other type. My friend's borscht is a hearty dish, fit for cold weather comfort. But now, with the arrival of spring andwarmweather, I want a lighter, beets-only version--more like the kind sold in the jars, but thicker, richer and more flavorful. I've experi- mented with several recipes and I love this version with orange and mint. There's enough orange peel and apple to give it that familiar borscht tang, which is balanced by sweet beets. You can make it with or without dairy, and you can serve it hot or cold. You can add half-and-half cream or coconut milk as an enrichment. Make it more substantial by placing slices of hard cooked egg or boiled potato into each serving, or top the soup with fresh mint, an orange slice or a blob of dairy sour cream or plain, Greek-style yogurt. You can make this soup two to three days ahead. It's a good family dish and makes a lovely first course for Shabbat dinner. This version of cold borscht is a smooth, beets garnished with mint and citrus. Ingredients: 3 large or 4-5 medium beets 2 tablespoons olive oil i tablespoon butter, margarine, or olive oil I medium onion, chopped I tart apple, peeled, cored and chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped I teaspoon chopped fresh ginger 2 tablespoons grated fresh orange peel Ronnie Fein pureed soup of 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 4 cups water I cup cream, coconut milk or soy milk, optional dairy sour cream or unflavored Greek style yogurt, optional sliced hard cooked egg or potato, optional Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 F. Scrub the beets, wrap them in aluminum foil and roast for about an hour, or until the beets are tender. When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Chop the beets and set them aside. Reserve any natural liquids that have accumulated. Heat the olive oil and butter in a soup pot or large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onion, apple, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the ingredients have softened. Add the beets (plus any accumulated juices), orange peel, mint, salt and pepper and stir. Pour in the water. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Puree the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pan to heat through. For a creamier, thinner soup, add the cream. Serve garnished, if desired, with sour cream or yogurt for a dairy meal, or cooked egg or potato. Ronnie Fein gave up a fast-track, high-paying job as an associate at a major Wall Street law firm to become a freelance food and lifestyle writer. Over the years she has written for the food sections of daily newspapers includ- ing Newsday, The Connecticut Post, Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time. The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www. TheNosher.com. By Cnaan Liphshiz presidential elections, but who on Sunday became the that doesn't make him their youngest French president PARIS (JTA)--FrenchJewsdream president, in recent history, Jews voted may have voted en masseLike many other sup- for Macron mainly to block for Emmanuel Macron in porters of the 39-year-old hisfar-rightopponent, Marine the final round of France's former investment banker, LePen.Thecentristwonwith Jewis ng Call on Central Florida's Exclusively Jewish Funeral Home for Details Regarding: Traditional Jewish Funerals Non-Traditional Services Interstate Shipping Pre-Arranged Funerals (Shalom Assurance Plan) Headstone, Grave Markers (Cardinal Memorials) 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD Samuel P. (Sammy) Goldstein, Executive Director 65 percent of the vote to 34 percent for Le Pen. Leaders of French Jew- ry said they were relieved and even "happy" to see Macron elected, but the honeymoon may be short lived. A self-declared progressive with a foreign policy rooted in human rights, Macron even during the campaign demonstrated that like his Socialist predecessor, Fran- cois Hollande, he is willing to clash over Israel and Islamism with the conservative and pro- Israel mainstream of French Jewry. To be sure, the youthful- looking Macron has charmed many voters, Jews and other- wise, on his own merits. He is known for an energetic oratory style, a profound understand- ing of finance and a passion for inter-European coopera- tion, and he promises to heal France's deeply divided society by building a post-partisan consensus based on tolerance. His good looks, coupled with his apparent devotion to his wife--his former high school teacher, who is 24 years his senior--have endeared him to women especially, ac- cording to Elle. Yet in a town hall meeting on March 22 with hundreds of Jewish voters Macron, an independent politician who had served for two years as Hollande's industry minister, showedwhy he and the Jewish mainstream may be on a col- lision course over Israel and Muslim extremism. For the first 90 minutes of the meeting, sponsored by the the CRIF Jewish federation, Macron discussed his eco- nomic vision lucidly and in great detail. Juggling data and well-chosen anecdotes, he was clearly in his element as he explained his support for free-market labor reforms, greater cooperation with Germany and no new taxes on corporations' revenue- producing capital. Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images A man looking at an Emmanuel Macron poster at the French consulate in Jerusalem, May 7, 2017. But then he turned to ers, including former Prime foreignpolicy--aweakersub- Minister Francois Fillon of ject for the wunderkind who The Republicans and the fiery became the first candidate in far-left candidate, Jean-Luc decades to win a presidential Melenchon. election in Francewithout the Macron's attempts to ap- support of its main political pease the audience by pro- parties, claiming his attachment to "My policy is to continue Israel's security "as well as to the current line of French the two-state solution" did not diplomacy," Macron told the seem to have a particularly crowd of 700. mollifying effect. To his evident surprise, Apparently unwittingly, the promise of continuity did he touched one of the raw not sit well with his listen- nerves of French Jewry under ers, whose hisses and booing Hollande, who has led a firm forced him to pause, line--and according to some "Oh, no?" he mumbled incritics at times even a hostile surprise when the booing one--on Israel. started. "Perhaps it's not your Leaders of French Jewry policy, but it is mine," he said were especially angry when in the unapologetic style that France voted last year in favor helped him through debates with more seasoned speak-Macron on page 15A