Boston Jewish Food Conference dinner recipes 2017

Our workshop dinner is only possible with the help of a lot of planning and people power!

Here are the recipes from our feast. Please let us know if you use them, we’d love to share your story.


Demystifying Yeast Workshop
Makes one 15 1/2” by 10 1/2” pan of focaccia

Chef Bettina Scemama is fascinated by the art of baking and how it is a deeply personal expression of love and home across cultures. German by birth but growing up in Frankfurt, Beirut, London and Rio de Janeiro becoming a pastry chef was the ultimate culmination of her childhood travels. After completing her training in pastry at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School (now the Institute for Culinary Education), she worked at various restaurants in Manhattan. When she moved to Boston six years ago she found the perfect spot to share her craft, and work for social justice at Haley House Bakery Cafe where she is in charge of new recipe development and specialty items sold to local companies. When she is not designing the latest holiday cookie, she is home raising her three boys, listening to Brazilian music and squeezing in a bit of knitting.


1 medium baking potato (about 9 ounces) peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (can be white whole wheat, whole wheat bread flour or stone ground whole wheat flour) (So total flour amount 1.2 lbs)
1 cup water (warm, 105 to 115 degrees)
2 T olive oil plus extra for oiling bowl and pan
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 T sugar

  • Bring large pot of water to boil and simmer potatoes until tender/firm (not mushy)
  • Drain and cool to touch. Grate on large holes of box cutter. Measure out 1 1/3 cups lightly packed potatoes.
  • While potatoes are cooking and cooling mix the yeast and 1/2 cup of the water and 1/2 cup of the flour until well combined. Cover well and set aside until bubbly – about 20 minutes. This is the starter.
  • Once the starter is ready add the remaining dough ingredients including the potato to the starter. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
  • Transfer the dough to a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel and place in a warm spot. It should take the dough about an hour until it is puffy and doubled in volume.
  • With wet hands press the dough into your well oiled sheet tray (s).
  • Cover with well oiled plastic wrap and let the dough rise again for about an hour.
  • While the dough is rising prepare your toppings: grate carrots, mix zaatar with olive oil, cut cherry tomatoes in half, chop herbs.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

  • Using wet fingers dimple the dough at regular intervals.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and topping of your choice.

Bake until bottom is crisp and well browned – about 25 minutes.


Pesara Pappu Cabbage Fry
Alexis Daniels, MS, OTR/L is the Director of the East Boston YMCA’s Teaching Kitchen, a founding member of Eastie Farm (East Boston’s first non-profit urban farm), and Director of Community Partnerships at Parachute Teachers. Alexis balances her time between classrooms, gardens, and the kitchen, cross-pollinating these beloved worlds. As a culinary teacher, she is motivated by the following questions: How do we prepare urban youth to address 21st century environmental and social problems, from food deserts to food waste? How do we engage children to be solutions-focused, systems-thinkers (and eaters)? Alexis takes “food for thought” literally, using cooking to increase scientific literacy and spark innovation.


1 head cabbage
½ cup yellow moong dal
1 ½ Tablespoons fresh ginger
8 green chillies
1 stem curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 dry red chillies
1 tsp Urad Dal
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
4 tsp coconut powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil
Juice of ½ lemon


  1. Cook lentils with 2 cups water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes, stirring periodically.
  2. Strain and SAVE water from cooked lentils.
  3. Add cooking liquid and 1 cup water to large shallow pan and cook cabbage in that water, adding ½ teaspoon salt and lemon juice in high flame for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile blend ginger and green chillies into a paste.
  5. Once cabbage is cooked, close the pan and keep aside
  6. Strain water from cabbage when cooled
  7. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a pan, fry Urad Dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chile, curry leaves.
  8. Add 2 green chillies (sliced), fry for 1 minute.
  9. Add ginger chile paste, fry for 1 minute and keep moving.
  10. Add ¼ tsp salt and ½ tsp turmeric powder.
  11. Add cooked cabbage and yellow lentils. Mix once and close the lid, fry for 5-6 minutes in medium flame (add salt if required after tasting).
  12. Add 1 tsp ground coriander and coconut powder; fry for 5 minutes on high flame by mixing thoroughly.
  13. Once mixed thoroughly and off the flame, pesara pappu cabbage fry is ready to serve, with rice and a sprinkle of cilantro.


Join Chef Ari Kendall, owner of the ChikChak food truck, to explore Mediterranean flavors through the humble dish of Shakshuka. Whether you fancy yourself a regular Dr. Shakshuka or you think it sounds like the newest dance craze, you’ll be delighted to learn new cooking techniques and ways to make Shakshuka your very own. See the difference farm fresh eggs make to this delicious dish thanks to The Farm School. Workshop will include demonstration and hands-on food preparation as you work together to prepare part of our meal for the conference dinner.


1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chili powder (mild)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste– spicy!)
Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
5-6 eggs
1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)

The sauce can be prepped early and left to simmer all day and then be combined with the eggs in hotel pans prior to service and finished off in the oven.

  • Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté pan on medium.
  • Slowly warm olive oil in the pan.
  • Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften.
  • Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.
  • Add the bell pepper, sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened.
  • Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended.
  • Add spices and sugar, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce.

At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce.

Transfer sauce to hotel pans and crack eggs directly into the tomato mixture.
Cover with tin foil and place in the oven at 350 for 15 mins.