Bonfires Offer Unique Cooking Opportunities


There was something very special about being in Israel on Lag B’Omer with bonfires everywhere you looked. Here are some fun recipes you can make over your own Lag B’Omer bonfire — or any time you light up the fire pit in the backyard.

With Pesach behind us, every day we count sefirah, excitedly getting closer to Lag B’Omer and the ginormous bonfire, roasted marshmallows, hot dogs and campfire songs.
One of my favorite Lag B’Omer memories was when I was in seminary in Israel, I went with a few friends to a bonfire hosted by some nearby local Israelis. I’ll never forget the songs, the camaraderie and the incredibly sweet, thick and delicious Israeli coffee one of the young men made for me.
There was something very special about being in Israel on Lag B’Omer with bonfires everywhere you looked. Here are some fun recipes you can make over your own Lag B’Omer bonfire — or any time you light up the fire pit in the backyard. Be careful — these recipes are addicting. Chag sameach, and sing a few Hebrew songs around your fire.
Pineapple S’mores with Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Sauce
Pareve, gluten-free, makes around 24-30
What’s the first food that comes to mind to make over a bonfire? S’mores, of course. With this recipe you can have succulent roasted pineapple, gooey marshmallows and decadent chocolate sauce — all in one bite. Make sure to have lots of pineapple and marshmallows on hand. Also, use long metal skewers, as we all know that wood has a tendency to burn. If you don’t have metal skewers, the wood ones will do; just be careful. You can make a grownup version by soaking the pineapple in bourbon before putting in on the skewers. Just don’t s’more and drive.
1 bag marshmallows (not miniature, like the ones you use in hot chocolate)
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, quartered and cut into ½- inch slices, or 2 cans pineapple chunks, drained
Le cordon bleu chocolate sauce
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
8 oz. good quality semisweet chocolate chips
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsps. margarine
Heat the sugar and water in a small pot. Whisk until the sugar is completely melted. Remove from the heat, then add the chocolate chips. Let the chips sit for 30 seconds, then whisk until the chips are completely melted. Whisk in the vanilla and margarine until completely blended. Drizzle over pineapple s’mores.
Herbed Bonfire Corn
Pareve, gluten-free, makes 6
Simple but yummy. Using your favorite fresh herbs, you get the smoky, fired flavor and savory, fresh herbaceous goodness, all in a single piece of bonfire-roasted corn. You can use dried herbs, but fresh will give more flavor. Make sure to have lots of napkins handy as this corn is juicy.
Extra virgin olive oil or your favorite soft margarine
Sea salt
Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme) or dried herbs
Crushed red, cayenne or black freshly ground pepper (optional)
6 ears of corn, husked
Heavy duty aluminum foil, cut into six 8-inch by 12-inch pieces
Long tongs
Rub a thin coating of olive oil onto the corn. If using margarine, spread a thin layer on each ear of corn. Place each ear on the end of a cut piece of foil. Sprinkle the corn with sea salt, herbs and pepper. Roll the foil around the corn, sealing the ends tightly. Place the corn on the hot coals of the bonfire. Let the corn roast for around 20 minutes, then remove it with the tongs. Allow the corn to cool slightly before unwrapping.
“Facon”-wrapped Zucchini and Cipollini Onion Kebobs
Meat, gluten-free (optional)
This recipe was inspired by my manicurist, as well as my physical therapist. After some lengthy discussion regarding the merits of different recipes, I came up with this recipe, which is a conglomeration of many different suggestions. The initial suggestion called for bacon (neither of them are Jewish), so we substituted “facon” (fake bacon) or beef fry. There were several sauce alternatives suggested. I’m a huge fan of teriyaki sauce — it’s my go-to when I need a quick flavor enhancer — but you could easily substitute barbecue, sweet and sour or your absolute favorite sauce as a glaze.
3 large zucchini, sliced into ½-inch disks
½ pound “facon,” beef fry or chuck pastrami, thinly sliced
½ pound cipollini onions, or red/white pearl onions, peeled
½ pound baby colored heirloom or grape tomatoes
½ cup teriyaki sauce or your favorite dipping sauce
If the beef fry is cut into wide strips, cut the slices in half lengthwise. Cover each piece of zucchini with a strip of facon, wrapping around the green peel portion of the zucchini.
Using a long metal skewer (or a wooden one, if metal isn’t available), skewer the wrapped zucchini cut side out. Skewer an onion through its side, then thread another zucchini onto the skewer, followed by an heirloom tomato through the stem side, then another wrapped zucchini.
Hold the skewer over the flame until browned and the beef fry is crispy. Be careful not to hold the skewer too close to the flame or the fat will cause the fire to flare.
Brush the skewer with sauce, then roast over the flame for another few minutes to caramelize the sauce.
Serve over rice, in a hot dog bun or just eat it off the stick.



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