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February 13, 1987 - Image 140

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-02-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Serve Fruit And Nut
Treats For Tu B'Shevat


Special to The Jewish News


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Friday, February 13, 1987


onight is Tu b'Shevat,
the festival that celeb-
rates the "New Year of
the Trees" and marks the onset
of spring in Israel.
A Tu b'Shevat Seder featur-
ing readings about fertile,
luxuriant spring along with
samplings of different types of
fruit, nuts, wine and juice is
just the thing to cheer one up
on a bone-chilling night.
Among the possibilities for
dried fruits are: dates, figs,
light and dark raisins, cur-
rants, pears, peaches, prunes,
papaya, mango, apricots,
apples, pineapples and
bananas. The best dried fruits
are soft and plump, not tough
or leathery (banana slices are
usually thin and crisp.)
A selection of nuts might in-
clude: almonds, walnuts, pe-
cans, hazelnuts, coconut,
Brazil nuts, cashews; pine nuts
and macadamia nuts. Nuts
should be fresh, never rancid.
It's preferable that they be un-
Both dried fruit and nuts
freeze quite well, so they can be
stored in a freezer until needed
(up to a year or longer)
Of course, fresh fruit is also
appropriate for Tu b'Shevat.
For family meals on Tu
b'Shevat, I often include dishes
and baked goods that feature
fruit and/or nuts. Following
are some of my recent favo-

1 to 2 tbsps. olive or vegeta-
ble oil
1 medium-sized onion,
finely chopped
1 green pepper, diced (op-
11/4 pounds skinless, boned
chicken breasts, cut
into 1-inch pieces
1 8-oz. can plain tomato
% cup water
1 8-oz. can pineapple
chunks in juice, drained
and juice reserved
11/2 to 2 tsps. "hot" chili
powder, or to taste
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 7h tsp. salt, or to taste
2 medium-sized sweet
potatoes, peeled and cut
into %-inch chunks
1 medium-sized crisp apple,
quartered, cored and
cut into 1/4-inch slices
(peeling is not neces-
1 medium-sized green-
tinged banana, cut in
half lengthwise, and
then crosswise into
1/2-inch pieces
v4 to 1/2 cup blanched whole
or slivered almonds
To Serve:
Hot, Cooked white or brown

In a very large, deep skillet

(or a Dutch oven), heat the oil
over medium-high heat; then
saute the onion and green pep-
per (if used) until tender but
not browned. Add the chicken
and stir until browned on all
sides. Stir in the tomato sauce,
water, juice from the pineap-
ple, chili powder, cinnamon
and salt. Add the sweet
potatoes, and stir briefly to dis-
tribute them. Bring to a sim-
mer. Lower the heat, and cook,
covered, for about 45 minutes
or until the sweet potatoes and
chicken are tender.
(Note: If the sauce gets too
dry during the cooking period,
stir in a few tablespoons of
water as needed.)
Stir in the drained pineapple
and the sliced apple. Simmer,
covered, about 5 minutes
longer or until the apple slices
are tender but not mushy. Stir
in the banana and almonds,
and cook about 1 minute longer
or until heated through. Serve
over hot, cooked rice. Makes 4
to 5 servings.

1 /2 cup butter or margarine
% cup packed dark or light
brown sugar
1 /4 cup granulated sugar
1% cups "quick" rolled oats*
1 cup whole wheat or all-
purpose white flour

1 8-oz. package chopped pit-
ted dates
1/2 cup water or orange juice
1 tbsp. sugar
V4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 /4 cup chopped walnuts (op-

For the crust, melt the butter
or margarine in a small sauce-
pan (or in a bowl in the mic-
rowave oven); then stir in the
brown and granulated sugar.
Add the oats and flour, and stir
with a fork until crumbly.
Press half the crumbs into the
bottom of an 8- or 9-inch square
pan. Reserve the remainder for
the top crust.
For the filling, combine the
dates, water or juice, sugar and
cinnamon in another small
saucepan. Cook over medium
heat, stirring constantly and
mashing the dates with the
back of a spoon, until the dates


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