With potatoes.

Tastes like Italy. Feels like Shabbat.

My brisket is made with Jewish heart and Italian flavors. I cook it much in the same way a Northern Italian might braise a different cut of beef (in wine, tomatoes, and aromatics: meaning rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, etc.) to create a dish that tastes like Tuscany but feels like Shabbat… get the full recipe here!




a.k.a. Kugel That Won’t Kill You

Jewish food is not for the faint of heart. Literally. We know of the dangers of brisket, but kugel is the silent killer. Kugel lures you in. It’s served on the side of the main course so psychologically you convince yourself it’s a vegetable. Each delicious sweet forkful beckons another bite. And since you know the tempting evils of the dessert table is still another 15 minutes away, another piece of kugel doesn’t seem so bad.

That is because most well-meaning Jews do not have any idea of what goes into a kugel. Well I do. Sour cream. Heavy cream. Cups of sugar. But to NOT eat kugel is like not kissing your grandmother hello. To not eat kugel is to not partake in tradition. It is to dismember from the tribe. To insult Moses. To go home hungry.

Finally, here’s an indulgent kugel that won’t kill you.




a.k.a. Chik-sa Soup: Chicken soup easy enough for shiksas (and good enough for the most discerning Jews)!

Put a little schmaltz in your balls.

Those unschooled in Yiddish, might suspect that I am suggesting you add a little fire to your life, a spring in your step, a little chutzpah to your decisions. Yes, that too. However, schmaltz is the yiddish word for chicken fat and we are talking matzo balls.



Elana Horwich’s sense of adventure and desire to know the unknown has led her from her birthplace, Beverly Hills, to the rural pueblos of Latin America, the war-torn Middle East, and the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. It eventually landed her in Italy where she was captivated by the cooking sensibilities of the Italian mammas. In 2010, Elana founded Meal and a Spiel, a private cooking school and recipe blog rooted in the philosophy that anyone can learn to cook well. Based in Los Angeles, Elana  reaches out to inspire olive-oil-based home-cooking in cities throughout the county. Look out for her in your hometown!
Follow @MealandaSpiel on Instagram for recipes and answers to all your cooking questions.
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