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Eating Jewishly: Amy Kritzer and What Jews Wanna Eat
Monday, 01 October 2012
By Andrea Abel

Homemade LoxWhen corporate conference planner Amy Kritzer moved to Austin nearly three years ago, her mission was to escape the cold and high rents of New York City and continue in her same professional field. Little did she anticipate how her life would change!

A recent graduate of Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, Kritzer has channeled her cooking hobby into a full-time job with her contemporary Jewish cooking blog – What Jew Wanna Eat – as the main course! With her entertaining narrative style, Kritzer reaches out with step-by-step instructions, photos, and videos on how to make everything from Pomegranate Brisket with Cranberry Succotash to an Apples and Honey Cocktail. Eating Jewishly caught up with Kritzer to hear more about her goal to make Jewish cooking fun, fashion-forward, and accessible to young cooks who may not have grown up in the kitchen with bubbe.

EJ: Who were your biggest cooking influences growing up?

WJWE: My Bubbe. We always cooked together. My mom as well. My mom is more of a baker. Bubbe will call me up with recipes she finds in the paper and ideas for my blog. Since I’ve been in culinary school, she’ll buy little things for me from places like Marshall’s and send them -like little strainers.

EJ: Now that it is fall, what are you cooking up?

WJWE: I love to do seasonal recipes. Pumpkin is a favorite fall ingredient. And, I love cooking for the Jewish holidays. We always eat Bubbe’s Famous Brownies for the holidays. I make a pumpkin challah which I then use in a bread pudding. One of my most popular recipes on my blog is my Mexican potato latkes. I hope to come up with some other recipes.

EJ: You recently were a finalist in Daily Candy website’s In It To Win It contest for small-batch brands hoping to make it big. How did that come about and what did it mean to you?

WJWE: I kind of entered on a whim. Daily Candy is based in New York City. I follow it to keep on top of the trends. My blog started taking off and so I entered. I filled out the form and had totally forgotten about it. Being a finalist made me feel validated. I had quit my job. I gave up health insurance. Now, influential outlets are taking notice.

EJ: What’s next for What Jew Wanna Eat?

WJWE: I’d really love to come up with a cookbook. That’s why I entered the Daily Candy contest. I’m looking to get more exposure with Google videos (look for them on Google+), more viewership and more viewers for my blogs. People have mentioned a TV show or more writing gigs. Everyday it’s something new! I’m excited to see where it’s going to take me!

Follow Amy Kritzer on her blog What Jew Wanna Eat at www.whatjewwannaeat.com to find these and other recipes as well as her instructional videos on Google+ and YouTube.

Homemade Lox

Ingredients
1 pound salmon fillet
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup salt
Bagels, red onion, schmear, capers, lemon and dill for breakfast!

Instructions
First up, check your fish for any pin bones. Those are the tiny bones along the thick side of the fish. Your salmon may not have any- mine didn’t! But if you do simply remove with tweezers or your hands if you are dexterous like that.
Next up, mix your salt and sugar. Then simply cover the salmon completely on both sides in the mixture.
Then cover your fish tightly with Saran Wrap. Cut a slit in one end where the fish juices can escape.
Now we have to refrigerate the lox for curing! I put mine in a cake pan. Then covered it with my toaster pan and weigh it down with a bottle of olive oil. Any heavy object will do!
Now you want to tilt the salmon curing contraption so the fish juices drain to one side. I used a sauce pan top to prop up one side of the pan.
After 24 hours check on your salmon. It should start looking like lox and some of the fish juices should be piling up. Check on your salmon- if all the salt/sugar mixture is gone, reapply and rewrap. If there is still salt on the fish, no need to reapply. Drain the fish juices and put the lox back for another 24 hours.
After 48 total hours unwrap the lox and wash it off well. The skin should peel off easily at this point. If it doesn’t, you can always filet it off with a sharp knife.
Now just cut off small pieces on an angle and you’ve got lox!
Serve with the above accoutrements.


Bubbe’s Famous Brownies

Ingredients
For brownies:
1 cup butter (226.81 grams)
3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (88.5 grams)
2 cups sugar (400 grams)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour (125 grams)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet
chocolate chips
(182.4 grams)
1 cup white chocolate chips (182.4 grams)
Optional: walnuts, peanut butter chips, etc.

For frosting (optional):
1/2 cup butter
(113.4 grams)
1 pound powdered sugar (453.59 grams)
2-4 tablespoons milk

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
Melt butter in a medium size saucepan over a double boiler over low heat.
Remove melted butter from heat and add cocoa. Stir in well until blended.
Add sugar and mix well. Add vanilla and mix. Add eggs one at a time beating, blending each one until incorporated. Then add flour and salt. Mix, but DO NOT OVER MIX. Stir in chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.
Bake 25-30 minutes (Bubbe always bakes 28 minutes exactly!) Brownies will be done when a toothpick comes out almost clean.
Let brownies cool at least one hour to overnight.
For frosting, beat butter until fluffy, add confectioners’ sugar, and incorporate enough milk to get the desired texture. Frost if desired and garnish with extra chocolate chips or garnish with powdered sugar cut into 24 bars.
Enjoy!

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