San Francisco resident a finalist in Manischewitz Cook-Off

Josie Shapiro, a resident of San Francisco, has been selected as one of five finalists in the seventh annual national Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off.

Shapiro is the director of advancement for Jewish LearningWorks in San Francisco. The mother of two will compete in the cook-off finals on March 21 at the retooled Manischewitz Headquarters and Manufacturing Facilities in Newark, N.J. A panel of judges, including cookbook author Jamie Geller, will decide who will win a grand prize package valued at more than $25,000.


Josie Shapiro

Shapiro’s recipe, “Faux Pho,” was selected from thousands of entries. She said she created it as a “fast, easy recipe that she can throw together after work,” after getting her kids home from day care and before they “start to melt down.”


Plus, she said, she loves Vietnamese food and fresh basil, her kids won’t turn up their noses at chicken soup, and her pantry is always well-stocked with Manischewitz products.

The other finalists are from New Jersey (“Garlic Chicken Rollatini”), New York (“Chicken Potato and Leek Pie”) and Georgia (“Balsamic Mushroom Matzo Panini with Mango Jam”). Four finalists were chosen by judges; the fifth will be chosen in an online vote that ends Thursday, Feb. 28 at

Entrants were asked to submit a family-friendly recipe that uses one of Manischewitz’s new broths and another Manischewitz product of their choice, and can be prepared in less than an hour.

“You’re allowed only eight ingredients, and two have to be Manischewitz products, so it’s not easy,” Shapiro said. “I have entered this contest every year, but I’ve never qualified.”

The last time a Bay Area resident was in the cook-off finals was in 2010, when Napa’s Jamie Brown-Miller made it with her “Rosemary Duck Cassoulet.” No one from the Bay Area has ever won. — andy altman-ohr


Josie Shapiro’s Faux Pho

Serves 4-6

12 oz. Manischewitz egg noodles

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

2 Tbs. curry powder

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6-8 oz. each

32 oz. Manischewitz chicken broth

1⁄2 cup orange juice

1 cup coconut milk

1⁄4 cup lime juice

salt and pepper

11⁄2 cups fresh basil leaves

Cook the egg noodles 2 minutes less than directed on package. Strain, run under cold water to stop cooking process, and set aside. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add curry powder, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken. Flip to coat in curry. Add broth, orange juice and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and gently simmer until chicken is almost cooked through, about 15 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, remove chicken from soup and roughly chop into bite-size pieces. Return chopped chicken to soup. Add cooked egg noodles, turn heat to high and return soup to boil. Lower heat and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with lime juice, salt and pepper. Serve topped with fresh basil leaves.