Archive for January, 2010

29
Jan
10

China Glatt


We all know of that strange cultural phenomenon, the Jewish American fascination with Chinese food. Wanting to understand it, seeking some clues, I decided to try Boro Park’s venerable China Glatt (4413 13th Avenue; Brooklyn, NY 11219-2017; Telephone: 718.438.2576) where I found moderately priced, good wholesome Chinese fare.

I started the evening with Sushi, the choices were raw or cooked fish. I opted for cooked, and I ordered the Garden Dragon and the New Thirteen.

Garden Dragon and New Thiteen Sushi

One comes with mango on the outside with apple and imitation crab, the other is made with a spicy, pan seared salmon with cucumbers and avocado. Both dishes were appealing to the eye, delicious to the taste.

I then had Shmulk’s Pan Fried Wontons, named for one of the restaurant’s frequent customer’s  whose original recipe this was.  The wontons were filled with sweet and spicy chicken. I liked these wontons!!!

I followed with Empress Chicken, a less spicy version of General Tso’s Chicken.

Empress Chicken

Then I segued with the Singapore Chicken. This very good dish consists of grilled chicken sauteed with vegetables, bamboo shoots, mushroom, onion and pepper.

Afterwards I had the Beijing Beef with onion carrots and snow pea pods.

Beijing Beef

like everything else I’d eaten here, it was delectable! I finished the meal with a pareve cheese cake that tasted surprisingly good.

China Glatt has been at this same location – in the heart of Boro Park – for 15 years, considering the quality of the food I’m not at all surprised. As for my original motivation to try Chinese food, my search for clues as to the Jewish longing for it, I can only surmise that it must be the similarity between kreplach and wontons, lokshen and lo-mein.

I once heard a joke that perfectly encapsulates the Jewish love affair with Chinese food, considering the current Jewish year is 5770 and the Chinese just started their 5730th year, what did the Jews eat for 40 years?

CS

27
Jan
10

New York City Restaurant Week


T-Fusion Steakhouse

3223 QUENTIN ROAD

BROOKLYN, N.Y 11234

TEL: 718.998.0002

PRESENTS

GOING ON FROM:

JANUARY 25TH – FEBRUARY 7TH 2010

Enjoy some of your favorite Appetizers, Salads,
Pastas, Fish,
Desserts, and Even STEAKS!!!

$30.00 for a Three Course Dinner

Make your reservations today!!!

This is the menu featured during this time:

*$30 Three Course Plus Tax & Gratuity*
*Not Valid With Other Discounts*


PRESTIGE MENU

(Please select one of each course)

Starter

House Salad
Mixed greens, tomatoes, Julienne cucumber, carrots, onions topped with balsamic vinaigrette.

or

Minestrone Soup
Clear chicken broth with fresh garden vegetables, chicken, and homemade pasta

Entrée

Rib Steak (12oz)
Bone in prime rib cut with cowboy seasoning served with roasted garlic & House Fries

Pan Seared Salmon
Served with fresh lemon and homemade yellow rice

Pasta Primavera
With mixed garden vegetables in garlic and olive oil

Spaghetti Bolognese
Served with a classic beef marinara sauce

Dessert

Chocolate Soufflé
Freshly baked and served with ice cream

Fresh Fruit Plate
Seasonal Fresh Fruit

Sorbet
See server

T Fusion Steakhouse (3223 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, NY 11234 — Telephone 718 998 0002)

As we’ve said before in these very pages, the food is excellent, the service is friendly, the ambiance is very nice. Who can ask for more?

27
Jan
10

Kosher Cooking Demos


De Gustibus is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and the Spring 2010 season has some stellar Kosher classes to offer. Chef Laura Frankel will delight us with her healthy and delicious Kosher cooking & Chef Jeff Nathan is back to share his contemporary, and always yummy Kosher fare. Having attended a class there myself, recently, I can attest to the high quality of teaching and the delectable food. And back by popular demand- we are also offering a Knife Skills class with Jeffrey Elliot, where only Kosher food will be served. Whether you are new to cooking, or if you are an experienced cook looking to hone your knife skills or learn some new tricks, we highly recommend your taking this class! As usual, these classes are filling up quickly, so please call or visit the De Gustibus website to make your reservations soon (De Gustibus Cooking School; 151 West 34th Street, 8th Floor; NY NY 10001; Telephone: 212.239.1652; Fax: 212.494.4741)

INSPIRED KOSHER COOKING

Chef Demonstration Classes
Series of 2 $180 or $95 per class if available

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | 1 – 3:30 PM
LAURA FRANKEL, executive chef for Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering in Chicago, formerly of Shallots, and author of two cookbooks, most recently Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, returns to demonstrate healthy and delicious kosher fare inspired by greenmarkets.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 | 1 – 3:30 PM
JEFF NATHAN, executive chef of Abigael’s on Broadway, author of Jeff Nathan’s Family Suppers, and chef-host of public television’s New Jewish Cuisine, brings globally influenced, contemporary kosher fare that is always sophisticated and beautifully presented.

Hands-On Knife Skills
Single class $140, limited enrollment

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | 1 – 4 PM
JEFFREY ELLIOT is the National Manager of Culinary Relations for Zwilling J.A. Henckels.Jeffrey returns to teach the essential techniques of knife skills necessary for the home cook. Kosher food will be served and knives will be provided by Zwilling J.A. Henckels.

We’d be grateful if you mentioned where you saw it!

CS

26
Jan
10

Enjoying Your Wines – Part 1 – Buying


One of the aisles at Liquors Galore. Photo: ©2010 The Kosher Scene

Liquors Galore-always a step ahead.  Our upgraded selection provides our customers with the highest quality, regional and international wines and whiskys available on the kosher market.  Not only does our friendly and professional staff assist you in matching your specific taste and needs, but we educate our consumers to become knowledgeable in self-selecting the perfect wine for any occasion-all in a comfortable, spacious, state-of-the-art environment.

Here are a few tips to enhance your wine buying experience.I expect this will expand your knowledge the world of wine.

What do I look for when buying a wine?

When selecting a wine make sure to look for three points which are Price, Preference and Pairing. Keep these in mind when purchasing at our store and you will likely come away with a winning wine.

Price

The price you are willing to pay for a bottle of wine is a key determining factor in selecting a wine that is right for you. Gone are the days when you could only buy a “good” bottle of wine for over $30. In today’s market there are plenty of great wines available for around $15, some for considerably less. So rest assured that you won’t have to drop a bundle of money to experiment with various wines. In our store you’ll find a big enough selection to suit your price range.

Preference

Preferences. ……we all have them and they often change in a moments notice, but with wine preferences, consider what you will be drinking them with or who you will be sharing them with. For example, if you are hosting a get together, your preferences might lean towards “safe” reds and whites. For people that may not be accustomed to heavier-bodied, heartier wines, give them a break – buy a softer Merlot or Pinot Noir. For a white, if you are new to wines and are looking for a few suggestions – try a Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, or a Muscat dessert wine if sweeter wines suit your fancy. If you prefer a dry white wine then look for a Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc. As for reds, start with a Gamay, Pinot Noir, or Merlot if you do not want anything too complex or full-bodied. If you are looking to turn up the complexity meter, then go with a great California or Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or a Zinfandel.

Pairing

If you are looking for a wine specifically to pair with dinner tonight, then take into account what the key ingredients will be. Will it be white or red meat? Will you be using fresh or dried herbs and what types? Will the dish be spicy or fruit-filled? These questions can play a key role in deciding which wines will pair well with specific entrees. In general, white wines accent lighter flavored meals really well; while, red wines often compliment heartier meals a bit better. Keep in mind that pairing foods and wines is 99% personal preference and 1% science.

Why do some wine labels list the name of the grape and some the name of the region?

Wine labels can be straight-forward or fairly tricky to decipher, depending on whose you’re trying to read and where it’s from. New World labels tend to be easier to read, with the varietal or blend clearly labeled, the producer, where the grapes were grown and the alcohol content right there in plain view. Old World wines have a reputation for being tougher to interpret. Instead of the varietal being the primary piece of information on the Old World label, it is the location – where the wine is from. Old World wines are heavily invested in their individual terroir, not necessarily the specific grape.

Does the “Vintage” from one year to another really make a difference?

Most consumers don’t pay attention to vintage reports from year to year, they know that they like “wine X” and they continue to scout for it year in and year out, they may notice that it doesn’t taste quite like the last bottle and maybe even that the year has changed on the label, but beyond those details they press on and stick with the particular wine.

When in reality, the wine could be dramatically different from year to year depending on the weather patterns hitting the vineyards, the harvest time and how a unique micro-climate was affected by both obvious and subtle nuances in the weather. Was it unusually hot this year, but last year they battled an ongoing soggy season? Were there any unusual early or late frosts this year?

Grapes varietals are affected by weather in various ways. The Riesling grape, for example, thrives under cooler growing conditions, however, if you have a particularly warm, dry growing season, the Riesling vintage could suffer that year and the same producer that offered the Riesling you fell in love with the year before, might not meet prior expectations this vintage and you could be left waiting to see what the next year’s weather will bring to a region and ultimately a vintage.

Skilled winemakers can really work their magic. If poor weather patterns prevail for a given region, an experienced winemaker can salvage the vintage by employing various interventions and techniques during the process. Whether, the vintner brings the wine around via blending, utilizing different fermentation processes or considers additives – it takes a knowledgeable winemaker to “save” a potentially sour vintage and keep reasonable consistency in a specific wine between vintages.

Aaron Zimmerman

[Mr Zimmerman owns and operates Liquors Galore, 1418 Avenue J (between 12th and 13th Streets); Brooklyn, NY 11230-3702; Telephone: 718.338.4166. The above post is part of a multi-part series we’ll be posting once a week on these pages)

25
Jan
10

2010 Kosher Restaurant & Wine Experience


Over 200 wines from all over the world and including an extensive French collection. Seventeen of Greater New York’s top restaurants will be represented and feature their top dishes.

Wine seminars will be given by Jay Buchsbaum (Director of Wine Education at Royal Wine Corporation) and Pierre Miodownick, renowned French winemaker. Celebrity Chef Jeff Nathan from Abigael’s will present a cooking demonstration.

Some the featured restaurants include: Abigael’s, Carlos & Gabby, China Glatt, Cho-Sen, ClubHouse Cafe, Colbeh, Dougie’s, El Gaucho Steakhouse, etc steakhouse, Fumio, Glatt A La Carte, Le Marais, Noah’s Ark, Nesher, Noi Due, Tevere.

Some of the wines represented include: Alfasi, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Barkan, CAPÇANES, Domaine de Castel, Flegman, Gamla, Goose Bay, Herzog Reserve Wines, Laurent-Perrier, Louis Royer, Porto Cordovero, Segal’s Selection Bokoska, Teal Lake, Tzubah, Yatir and many, many more!

Tickets are $100.00 each, two for $175 – – Tickets available by calling 888.710.2439 or visiting www.royalwines.com

Shuttle bus to pier 60 from 8th Avenue and 23rd Street A, C, E, Subway Station.

If You love food, if you love wine, this is an event you don’t want to miss!!!

25
Jan
10

R. J.s Kosher Beef Jerky


Jerky refers to  meat that has been cut into strips, trimmed of fat, marinated in a spicy, salty, or sweet liquid, and dried or smoked with low heat (usually under 70°C/160°F) or is occasionally just salted and sun-dried. The result is a salty, savory, or semi-sweet snack that can be stored for a long time without refrigeration.

Jerked meat was one of the first human-made products and was a crucially important food preservation technique for survival. Beef jerky comes in many flavors, until recently none was kosher.

Over the weekend I picked up at Pomegranate, my favorite supermarket, three different flavored packages of R. J.s Kosher Beef Jerky. These were:

Original: sligtly spiced and marinated.

Original flavor

Teriyaki: for that sweet oriental flavor.

Teriyaki flavor

Spicy Strips: with just enough spice for you to notice.

Spicy Strips

Of the three the last one was my favorite. I went on a few hours drive yesterday and this was a perfect snack as I didn’t have to worry about refrigeration.

Beef jerky textures

Beef Jerky is normally associated with America’s early cowboys, however, while these cowboys may have popularized such snacks on our shores, various encyclopedias tell us that the process of making jerky has been around from the earliest time. In fact, a booklet from R.J.s traces this particular method of preserving meat all the way back to biblical times.

The hechsher is given by the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC). Their website lists many other mouthwatering flavors and products, I’ll have to try them all! Meanwhile I found these three packs very tasty!

CS

24
Jan
10

An Uzbeki Melave Malkah


A good friend, originally from Samarkand in Uzbekistan, – a college professor who teaches in Manhattan –  invited me to a melave malkah last night at his daughter’s house, not far from me. The main features were Uzbeki lamb based delicacies, samsa (round meat pies filled with lamb) and manty.

Samsa

Manty

The lady of the house graciously agreed to share with us this simple, delicious recipe:

SAMSA

Ingredients

2 packages of pastry dough
2 lbs finely chopped lamb
3 lbs finely chopped onions
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Mix the lamb, the onions, the salt and pepper in a bowl. When well mixed take a small quantity and put it on one of the square pieces of dough, close up the dough in the shape of a ball. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350° F, until a golden brown crust has formed.

There were six of us at the table and there was plenty, including leftovers, for everyone of us.

For taste variations you may use any other meat and your own favorite spices. When you’ve bitten into a round pie sprinkle some vinegar/olive oil on it and enjoy!

The wine that accompanied our meal was a delightful Argentinian non-mevushal 2007 Flechas De Los Andes Gran Malbec. This wine has a lovely floral lift with intense, smooth, chocolatey black fruit. It has plenty of nice mouthfeel and presence, very rich on the finish.

All in all a delightful evening, with great company, great food and lots of good conversation.

CS

22
Jan
10

Wine Tasting


Last Friday there was a wine tasting (like every Friday from 12:00 to 3:00) in the tasting room at back of Liquors Galore (1212 Avenue J; Brooklyn, NY 11230-3702; Telephone: 718.338.4166)

Jordan Weisz, the Kosher Brand Manager at Monsieur Touton Selection, LTD, presented five superb selections which definitely proved a kosher wine need not be expensive to be good.

I started with a 2008 Chateau Joumard Bordeaux. It had great bouquet and hints of red berry on the palate. Having been aged in French oak casks it add some vanilla shades to its flavor. It goes perfectly with pasta, grilled meat, lamb and pizza. Its delicate taste perfectly compliments the stronger flavored food.

I then tasted a 2006 Jerusalem Hills Mount Hevron Red, a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Syrah. These grapes mature gently in the warm days and cool nights of the Jerusalem Hills. It’s got a smoky flavor with raspberry accents and a hint of black pepper.

I followed with the 2006 Gedeon Cabernet Sauvignon, a very nice smoky wine. I then proceeded to 2008 Grand Sud Merlot. Delightfully fruity, dry with currant accents.

The last selection I tasted was a 2007 Cantina Grabrielle Chianti. Chiantis are usually very dry, this one however was unusually gentle soft in tannins and acidity. Liked it, I’ve found a new friend.

Cantina Gabrielle, never cease to amaze me. Very moderately priced wines, with delightful flavors. One that I like a lot of, is their Dolcemente. It reminds of an old fashioned wine that combines Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with the fruitiness of the Cesanese grapes. It has fresh floral aromas and notes of berry and cherry, very smooth tannins, and a lovely sweetness on the palate. Absolutely delightful!

[Starting next week, Aaron Zimmerman, the owner of Liquors Galore will post a multi-part weekly series on how to chose and how to taste wine.]

CS

22
Jan
10

Noi Due


Noi Due – Us Two (143 W 69th St New York; NY 10023; Telephone: 212. 712.2222)… aah, the memories it brought back! Having traveled extensively through Italy, having taken in the aromas, this restaurant made me feel I had somehow magically returned to il bel paese. With its authentic decor, softly played romantic Italian songs… SYR and I knew almost from the moment we stepped in that the food would also have that authentic, simple, fresh taste. We were not disappointed!

As soon as we sat down they brought us a basket of home made foccaccia bread, with an oil dip. The bread had that fresh delicate scent that easily succeeded in whetting our appetite for what would come.

SYR stated her meal with a Minestrone, while I had a Zuppa di Pomodoro con Ricotta (Cream of Tomato Soup with a Ball of Ricotta).

Minestrone

The aroma of both soups, the simple country look, the freshness… mmmmMMMmm mmmMMmm! My tomato soup was a slight bit more orangeish than I had expected and that made it a greater feast for the eye. The combination of hot soup and the cold ricotta, brought two different flavors to perfectly complement each other. Somehow the contrast brought out both the soup’s and the cheese’s flavors in full force. The aroma of the fresh basil only enhanced the culinary experience.

SYR‘s Minestrone cooked to perfection, allowed her to taste each individual piece of vegetable. She loved it!

She followed it with a grilled Salmone which sat on a bed of potatoes and asparagus, it was topped with onion rings. Between the presentation and the aromas emanating from it it looked very enticing. She described the potatoes as very buttery, the salmon as delicate and not “fishy” tasting in the least, and the onion rings as just perfect.

Salmon with potatoes and onion rings

I had the Carcioffi Ripieni – Stuffed Artichokes. They came with artichoke bottom stuffed with fresh vegetables served in a lemon caper sauce. The flavor was just tart enough to enhance the vegetables without overpowering them.

We then shared a dish of Cheese Ravioli.

Cheese Ravioli with Gorgonzola and Parmigiano

The ricotta filled ravioli came with Gorgonzola, cream, walnuts, sprinkled parmigiano and spices. Being a cheese lover (wifey used to joke that I must have been an Italian mouse in another gilgul) the combination of the three cheeses was – as my mother used to say in yiddish – ta’am fun ganeiden, the taste of paradise!

The dishes went well with a delightful 2008 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc.

No meal at an Italian restaurant could be complete without a good cappuccino for me, and an espresso for SYR. Again, the aromas seduced us, and at least in my case this was one the best cappuccinos I ever enjoyed!

By six o’clock, this 40 seat eatery was filled to the gills. Service was prompt, the staff was friendly and enthusiastic, the portions were fair, the prices surprising low. Noi Due‘s motto is “poco ma buono – little but good.” They more than lived to it! We both enjoyed our experience there. We know we’ll be back, we have to!

CS

21
Jan
10

The Making of a Corporate Chef


Chef David Kolotkin is no stranger to these pages, but every time he reveals more and more about the Chef’s art. This time I went with him to Manhattan’s Union Square Farmers’ Market.

Chef David Kolotkin looking at mushroom varieties

We looked at tomatoes, cucumbers and some interesting varieties of mushrooms as the Chef explained about their flavor nuances, how the various types differed from each other. Next we turned to stalls carrying mesclun, arugula, and a few other salad greens. I really got an education today! Before we left the Chef picked up about four pounds of fresh Jerusalem artichokes for The Prime Grill.

But who is David Kolotkin? What makes him tick? He was barely in his teens when his interest in cooking first manifested itself. His mother had taken him to a restaurant where the food was prepared table-side. David watched fascinated and decided right there and then that one day he too would join that profession.

After high school he attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America from 1991 t0 1993, he then went on to apprentice at the legendary Club 21Club 21 was a favorite meeting place for many of the rich, the famous, powerful politicians and entertainers. After a while he resumed studies at the CIA and returned to Club 21 for another 3 years.

Leaving Club 21, he became sous chef for the Restaurant Associates operated, very exclusive, Trustees Dining Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From there he went on to to become sous chef at Windows on the World, which occupied the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower at the World Trade Center.

After 9/11 he landed at The Prime Grill (60 East 49th Street; New York, NY 10017; 212.692.9292). He left in 2005 for his own venture in Miami, it didn’t work out and on his return to New York he worked for famed restaurateur Kenneth Uretsky, whom he knew from his RA days. Mr. Uretsky hired him for his Butterfield 81 restaurant. In 2007 he went back to The Prime Grill. Since then while still primarily at The Prime Grill he went on to became Corporate Chef for Joey Allaham’s restaurant ventures, including Solo and soon to open up Prime Ko, an upscale Japanese steakhouse.

Unlike others in his profession, Chef David is no prima donna, he puts on no airs, is well aware of his self worth without any need to toot it around. He’s totally dedicated to his profession and the people at his restaurants. Is it any wonder that he rose in the ranks?

CS




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