The expression ‘a land of milk and honey’ appears in the Torah, with only one exception, in reference to the Land of Israel.
That exception is found in our parsha; Datan and Aviram, Korach’s co-conspirators, abuse the term by applying it to Egypt (Bamidbar 16:13). The midrash teaches that Datan and Aviram had prospered in Egypt and therefore saw it as a land of plenty.
But Israel is the land of milk and honey because its agricultural bounty is not merely material. The Rambam (Guide to the Perplexed III, 43) calls Israel the best place in the land and the fattest [as in fat of the land]. This description appears earlier in the Sifrei (Devarim 37): A land of milk and honey – its fruit are as fat as milk and as sweet as honey fat is the Land of Israel… The Land of Israel is higher than all other lands and is therefore superior to them. The elevation to which the Sifrei refers is the lands proximity to God’s blessing.
On that note I thought why not try out some great recipes with Milk and Honey.
Founder of The Jerusalem Culinary Institute
Baked Honey Dijon Salmon
- 1½ lbs. Atlantic salmon fillet(s)
- 3 Tablespoons mustard
- 1 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons corn flakes crumbs
- 1 teaspoon butter, softened
- 1 Tablespoon parsley, fresh, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a small bowl, stir together mustard and honey. Set aside.
- In another bowl, mix together corn flakes crumbs, butter and parsley.
- Spread mustard mixture over salmon fillet (You can also add one clove of crushed garlic to the mustard mixture if you wish); top with crumb mixture.
- Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork (cooking time varies depending on the thickness of the salmon).
- Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with lemon wedges if desired.
The perfect wind accompaniment is: Chardonnay 2003
Tishbi Estate Winery
- Note: Eight months in oak barrels.
- Color: A mellow golden color that’s soft and sweet looking.
- Aroma: A sweet floral scent with hints of vanilla and caramel. So far so good…
- Taste: A sharp, biting fig and vanilla flavor.
Chinese Country Ribs
- 2 cups Ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon Five spice powder, (opt.)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons Fresh ginger, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 teaspoon cold water
- 4 lbs. country ribs cut into individual pieces
- Hot cooked rice
- In a 3½ quart slow cooker, combine ketchup, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, five-spice powder, onion, ginger and garlic.
- Position a broiler rack 6 inches from the source of the heat and preheat the broiler.
- Broil the ribs, turning once, until browned. About 10 minutes.
- Transfer the ribs to the slow cooker. Stir to coat the ribs with the sauce. Cover and slow cook until ribs are tender, 5-6 hours on LOW.
- Transfer the ribs to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce.
- In a medium saucepan bring the sauce to a simmer over a medium heat. Cook until reduced to about 1 cup. (6-8 minutes)
- Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook just until thickened.
- Pour the sauce over ribs and serve immediately with hot cooked rice.
The perfect wine accompaniment is:
Merlot 2005 Noah Winery
- Color: A dark, rich, heavy looking ruby color. Looks very full-bodied.
- Aroma: A heady, earthy aroma of berries and oak. Rich, full and very nice. So far, this is a winner….
- Taste: Oh, that’s good! Very rich and full-bodied with a strong dry oak and berry flavor. It has a nice long finish. It’s a classic dry Merlot that will just get better and better with age. This is a winner!
Coconut Creme Brulee
- 8 oz. heavy cream
- 8 oz. coconut milk
- 8 egg yolks
- 2½ oz. sugar
- 1 teaspoon coconut rum
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a saucepan, combine the cream and milk and bring to a boil.
- In a small bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, and coconut rum.
- When the milk mixture has come to a boil, remove from heat. Stir a small amount of the milk mixture (2 to 3 Tablespoons) into the eggs yolks, whisking vigorously.
- Slowly add the remaining egg yolks back into the hot milk mixture, whisking continuously. Pour into individual Corning ware or Pyrex serving dishes or custard cups.
- Place on a deep baking sheet filled with hot water in center rack of oven.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until center is nearly set.
- Remove from oven to a heat-proof surface. Sprinkle heavily with a layer of coarsely granulated sugar. Using a small torch, apply heat directly to surface of custard until a browned sugar layer forms. (Note: this step may also be performed directly under the flames of a gas broiler, but the results may not be so dramatic).
The perfect wine accompaniment is:
Rashi Moscato 2004
- Aroma: Light, sweet and fruity. Very floral essence of jasmine.
- Taste: Bubbly and crisp with a fruity melon and honey flavor. A little zesty at the end with a long finish.
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup brandy
- 1/3 cup dark rum
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 cups milk
- All liquids should be very cold. Refrigerate in advance.
- Beat the eggs for 2 or 3 minutes with an electric mixer at medium speed until very frothy.
- Gradually beat in the sugar, vanilla and nutmeg.
- Turn the mixer off and stir in the cold brandy, rum, whipping cream and milk.
- Chill before serving.
Sprinkle individual servings with more nutmeg.
Recipes by Chef Yochanan Lambiase, Founding Director and Chef Patron of The Jerusalem Culinary Institute. Born into 5 generations of well-known chefs, he trained at Westminster Hotel School and has a BTec in Business Management. He trained with Raymond Blanc and Jamie Oliver, and worked at the Ritz and the Savoy in London as well as the Sheraton Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem. Chef Lambiase has won medals at international Hotelympia competitions and has represented Israel at the Culinary Olympics.
Wine suggestions by Adam Neustrader, Senior Wine Lecturer at Jerusalem Culinary Institute. He has a career spanning 18 years and has lectured all over the United States on the processes of making, tasting and selling various types of alcoholic beverages. Mr. Neustadler has consulted some of New York’s finest restaurants about their wine lists and trained their staffs. He has acted as a spirit educator at “Whiskey fest” in New York City and is also a certified bar tender.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.