Chefs for Peace Cook Up Holiday Magic

Chefs for Peace is a Jerusalem based group of 25 chefs  who use food and cooking to demonstrate that living together peacfully is possible for all, no matter what faith or cultural difference they may have.

The group which includes Arabs, Jews, Christian and Muslims work together to prepare meals for celebrations, galas and culinary competitions. Their shared love for food and nourishing others transcends any differences between them and has created a respectful and trusting partnership within the dedicated group.

Their unique cusine reflects their belief in the value of blending various cultures and that sharing a simple meal is an act of peace and community.

Here is their receipe from Delicious Living magazine for Fresh Figs stuffed with Mushrooms and Pecans, which is pictured above. Something healthy and new to serve up for the holidays ~

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/3 cup minced onion

1/3 cup minced cremini mushrooms

1/3 cup minced toasted pecans

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, divided

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

Pinch of cloves

1/4 cup tamarind paste

1 cup water

2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste

3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

12-14 fresh figs

1. In a medium sauté pan, heat butter and olive oil. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté until golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Add pecans and half of cardamom, allspice, and cinnamon. Add a pinch of cloves, plus salt to taste. Stir well, cooking until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Add remaining cardamom, allspice, and cinnamon to pan (without cleaning it), plus tamarind paste, water, and sugar. Blend well with a whisk, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and continue cooking, stirring often, until sauce becomes smooth and velvety, about 5 minutes. Whisk in mascarpone cheese until smooth and sauce is heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and more sweetener, if desired.

3. Slice top 1/2 inch of figs almost all the way through, but still attached. Use a 1/4-teaspoon measuring spoon to dig out fig flesh; put in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons fig flesh to mushroom mixture and mix well. Stuff figs with mixture, overfilling slightly. Place stuffed figs in pan with sauce, spooning sauce over them. Bring to a gentle boil; then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

PER SERVING (1): 103 cal, 38% fat cal, 5g fat (2g mono, 1g poly, 1g sat), 5mg chol, 1g protein, 16g carb, 3g fiber, 8mg sodium

For more information about the Chefs for Peace:

With all good wishes,

Copyright 2010 G. Donadio