I can honestly say that no two weeks are ever the same at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Each week I am usually consumed with planning meetings and group visits, so I usually jump at the chance to do something different and last Sunday was one of those occasions to do something a little different.
A few days after Thanksgiving, the Executive Director of the JMM asked me if my family and I would be willing to participate in a photo-shoot for the Museum in connection with our current exhibition, Chosen Food: Cuisine, Culture and American Jewish Identity. My first instinct was to ask- why my family and exactly what would we be doing… The answer… . Having an Israeli breakfast at home with family and friends…. With an offer like this- how could I refuse?
There are many things that I love about Israel-(besides my husband, Shay who LOVES to cook) and one of them is the very extravagant Israeli breakfast. In the United States, a traditional breakfast is, bagel, lox, cream cheese, a slice of tomato and some cucumbers, or eggs served with breakfast meat and hash browns. This is NOT the traditional breakfast fare that we served at our house this past Sunday………
There was not a bagel in sight- just a few loaves of earthy, crusty bread. Lots of veggies, sliced tomatoes, onions, cukes, red peppers on a platter in addition to Israeli salad with tomatoes, cucumbers onions and lettuce slices in very small pieces drizzled with olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper.
We served homemade burekas (that my friend Ayela taught me how to make almost 20 years ago). Burekas are small puffed pastries that can be filled with anything that you like, sweet or savory. I made cheese burekas and added some garlic to the cheese and we also served potato burekas.
Eggs came in a lot of varieties at our breakfast. First, Shay made haveeta (omelette) with lots and lots of parsley and feta cheese. It was cooked to perfection with such a beautiful green color.
We served hard boiled eggs that are traditionally served with burekas. In addition, Shay made shakshooka –a Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, and lots of cumin. It is believed to have Algerian and Tunisian origins. It was yummy and pretty as a picture.
We served jachnun – a traditional Yemenite Jewish dish prepared from rolled dough which is baked on very low heat for about ten hours. The dough is rolled out thinly, brushed with shortening and rolled up, similar to puff pastry. It turns a dark amber color and has a slightly sweet taste. It is traditionally served with a crushed/grated tomato dip, hard boiled eggs and schkrug, a hot sauce.
We celebrated the morning with mimosas. We drank Turkish coffee and finished the meal with fruit salad, coffee cake and rugelach. A perfect way to start our Sunday with family and friends! -Israeli Breakfast Style!