Archive for March, 2010

28
Mar
10

Let’s not forget the Seder Plate…


Marissa Rosenberg – Marketing Director for Solo, Prime Grill and (soon to open) Prime Ko – has kindly sent us the following recipe by Solo‘s Guest Chef Eli Kirshtein:

The Passover Plate

Place the Charosset on the bottom of a shallow bowl.  Place the brisket cut into a 10 oz portion on top.  Garnish with the mixed herbs and the brined celery.

Zeroah

1 Brisket
1 cp Brown sugar
1 cp Horseradish
1 cp Dijon Mustard

Take the brisket and salt well. Smoke for 1 hour or cook slowly on a charcoal/wood grill. Combine the other ingredients and rub all over the brisket evenly. Wrap in foil and cook fat side up at 200 degrees for 11 hours

Charosset

1 btl Red Wine
¼ cp Dried Figs Small Dice
¼ cp Apples Small Dice
¼ cp Dates Small Dice
¼ cp Marcona Almonds
1 stick Cinnamon
1 Star Anise
1 Bay Leaf
¼ cp Sugar

Reduce wine by half with cinnamon, star anise, bay leaf, and sugar. Strain out the spices. Add the figs, apples, dates, and almonds and reduce by half

Maror

15 Tarragon Leaves
15 Parsley Leaves
15 Cilantro Leaves
15 Mint Leaves
15 Basil Leaves

Combine all.

Karpas

4 Stalks Celery Cut into 1 inch pieces
600 ml Water
50 gr Salt
50 gr Sugar

Combine the water, salt, and sugar till all is dissolved. Add the celery.

Between the above, the hardboiled egg (Beitzah), and the Romaine Lettuce (Chazeret) you have all that you need for the Seder plate!

Enjoy the Seder!!

[As you can see Chef Eli doesn't believe in heimische recipes either. He's obviously not afraid of defying convention to create delectable dishes! CS]

28
Mar
10

Passover Chilean Sea Bass


Chef David Kolotkin, from Prime Grill, has appeared on this pages before ( here, here, here, and here); now he’s back to give us one his superb recipes. As you already know, Chef David doesn’t do things the traditional heimische way but… the result are incredibly delicious!

Chilean Sea Bass Mousse, Wrapped with Smoked Salmon,
Sweet and Sour Beet and Basil Salad, Horseradish Lemon Aioli

Feeds 6-8 people

Chilean Sea Bass Mousse:

[Non-gebroks]
-1 small onion peeled and quartered
-2 small carrots peeled and cut into 1″ pcs
-1 celery stalk cut into 1″ pcs
-1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
-1/2 cup basil, chiffonade
-1 1/2 # chilean sea bass cut into 1-2″ pcs
-2 whole eggs
– sugar to taste (approx 1 1/2 tbsp)
– kosher salt to taste( approx 2 tsp)
-1/2# sliced smoked salmon
Preheat oven to 325

1. In a food processor with the blade attatchment, process onions until fine and minced. Place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Place carrots and celery in the food processor and repeat step #1. Place with onions in the bowl.
3. Add herbs to the vegetables.
4. Process Sea Bass until fine. Add the eggs, sugar, salt and pepper and mix until combined. Add this to the bowl with the vegetables and herbs. Mix well with a spoon.
5. Using a spoon, make 2-3oz quenelles and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until tender and firm. Cool and reserve. We will use the smoked salmon during the assembly of this dish so keep it refrigerated for later.

Sweet and Sour Beets with Basil

-1 cup sugar
-1 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
-1 1/2 cup water
-3 red beets peeled and cut into batons( or matchstick pcs 1/4″ thick)
-8 basil leaves chiffonade.

1. Combine sugar, vinegar and water in a deep pot.
2. Add the beets to the pot and bring to a simmer uncovered until beets are tender. Approx 45 minutes and until only a little liquid is left. The remaining liquid should be a syrup.
3. Cool and when cool, add the basil chiffonade. Reserve

Horseradish and Lemon Aioli

-3 egg yolks
-2 tbsp prepared white horseradish, liquid squeezed out.
-1 Lemon, zested and juiced
-1/4 tsp kosher salt
-1 cup vegetable oil

1. Place all ingredients except the oil into a mixing bowl.
2. Combine using a flexible whisk.
3. Slowly start to drizzle the oil in while whisking vigorously in a slow steady stream. Whisk until all the oil has been emulsified. This entire aioli can also be done in a food processor.
4. Set asside.

To assemble:

1. Place a small dollop of the aioli on a pc of the chilean sea bass mousse.
2. Depending on the size of the smoked salmon slices you may need 1-2 pcs per mousse. Lays the salmon flat on a cutting board. Place the Chilean bass mousse ontop, and roll so the smoked salmon wraps evenly around. Repeat this process until done.
3. Place 1 -2 pcs of the Chilean Sea Bass Mousse, Wrapped with Smoked Salmon, on a plate with the sweet and sour beets next to them. It is nice to drizzle some of the natural beet syrup on the plate. Extra horseradish lemon aioli can be placed on the plate as well.

Enjoy!!

David Kolotkin
Executive Chef
The Prime Grill

26
Mar
10

Passover Almond-Pistaccio Cake


[Eran Elhalal, food consultant, (about to become a restaurateur) chef extraordinaire, brings us a delicious Passover cake recipe and accompanying photos. He provides the gebroks and non-gebroks version. CS]

Pesach Almond -Pistachio Cake

12 Servings

[Gebroks]
The origin of this recipe is the Italian Baci De Dama or Lady’s Kisses, a festive hazelnut cake. I replaced the flour for sifted Matzo meal and based the cake on fresh ground almonds and pistachios, to make it more our own.

Ingredients:

Getting the ingredients lined up

[For the non-gebroks version of this delectable dessert, use potato or tapioca starch instead of the matzoh meal. Make sure, however, that you mix it well with the nuts before incorporating into the wet mixture, or the starch may clump up.]

Cake base:
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups ground almonds
3/4 cup ground pistachios
1/4 cup sifted matzoh meal
5 eggs separated
pinch of salt
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting
2 Tbsp crushed pistachios ( Garnish)
4 ozs confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 Tbsp warm water

Method:

1. Whisk egg yolks and gradually incorporate 1 cup of the sugar.Continue until the batter is bright and fluffy.In a separate bowl mix the nuts , matzo meal, oil and then incorporate vanilla and lemon zest.
2. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with the salt first, and then gradually whisk in the rest of the sugar until stiff peaks are formed.
3. Fold the egg whites into the nuts mixture gently only until combined.
4. Grease an 8 inch round baking pan.Pour the batter into the pan.
5. Insert into a 350 degree preheated oven , and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out dry.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
7. Prepare the frosting by whisking the lemon juice, confectionery sugar and warm water well.
8. Spread evenly on the cake and sprinkle the crushed Pistachios .

A lusciuosly delicious slice

For a truly heavenly gastronomic experience, pair this cake with a glass of  Tzora Or 2006, a delicious wine from one of Israel’s boutique wineries. It is made Made from Gewurztraminer grapes, deep frozen for two months after harvesting. After 24 hours of thawing only the first drips of grape juice will be used for this potable. The gold colored wine is filled with honey and tropical fruits on the nose. Full bodied on the mouth, citrus, pinneaple and a hint of mint.

If this wine is not available, another great choice (more economically priced) is the Carmel Sha’al Gewurztaminer 2006 or 2007, otherwise, any dessert wine will most certainly suffice.

Enjoy!!

Chag kasher vesame’ach – Have a happy Passover

Eran Elhalal
Chef Entrepreneur

25
Mar
10

Brisket Recipes


Brisket is traditional Jewish American fare, but it need not be prepared from a “traditional” recipe. In fact, some “non-traditional” recipes enhance the culinary experience! Here are some of my favorites.

For a nice variation on the traditional:

Passover Brisket Recipe

[non-gebroks]
Like most holidays Passover has lots of traditional foods, such as matzo ball soup, hard-boiled eggs and matzah, a type of flat bread. The holiday kicks off with two dinners in a row, where the story of Passover, the exodus from Egypt, is told. The main dish of the dinner is often brisket, a delicious and succulent type of pot roast perfect for larger groups. Here’s a recipe adapted from Chicago caterer, City Provisions that uses red wine, mushrooms and dried cranberries. Serve it with plenty of mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup organic beef broth
1/2 cup cranberry juice
3 Tablespoons potato starch
1 large yellow onion, sliced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 4-5 pound
brisket, trimmed
6 ounces large Portobello mushrooms, dark gills scraped away, caps thinly sliced
6 ounces of cremini or button mushrooms, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
Kosher salt and cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk wine, broth, cranberry juice and potato starch. Pour into large roasting pan. Mix in onion, garlic and rosemary. Sprinkle brisket on all sides with Kosher salt and pepper. Place brisket, fat side up, in roasting pan. Spoon some wine mixture over the brisket. Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty foil.

Bake brisket until very tender, basting every hour, for about 3 hours. Remove from oven, transfer brisket to plate; cool 1 hour at room temperature.

Thinly slice brisket across grain. Arrange slices in pan with sauce, overlapping slices a bit. (Cover and refrigerate. To save time on the day of, the brisket can be made a day or two ahead of time)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Surround the brisket with the mushrooms and cranberries in the sauce. Cover pan with foil. Bake about 30 minutes or so, until the mushrooms are tender and brisket is heated through

Transfer sliced brisket and sauce to platter and serve. Garnish with a few more of the cranberries.

—–Amy Sherman.

For a very different taste:

Chef Emeril Lagasse’s Passover Brisket

[non-gebroks]
Ingredients

8 to 10 pound brisket
Garlic cloves
1 quart beef stock (unsalted or low salt)
3 large onions, sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Emeril’s Original Essence, (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup ketchup
1 cup chili sauce
1 cup brown sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Using a paring knife and your finger, stuff brisket all over with garlic. Place brisket in a baking dish or casserole and bake until browned on top, remove from oven, turn brisket and return to oven until browned on both sides. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Add enough beef stock to casserole to come up 1 inch on sides, cover with foil and bake one hour.

While brisket is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat and saute onions in vegetable oil, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and most liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

Remove brisket from oven after one hour and add caramelized onions and all remaining ingredients, moving meat around to combine ingredients. Cover and continue to bake until very tender but not falling apart, another 2 to 3 hours. Remove brisket to a carving board and slice. Strain reserved cooking liquids and pour over sliced brisket. Brisket may be returned to casserole dish and allowed to cool, then served the next day. (Reheated in oven.)

Brisket is better if made a day in advance.

Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning):

* 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
* 2 tablespoons salt
* 2 tablespoons garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon black pepper
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
* 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
* 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

If you’d rather make a very traditional brisket, here is a delicious recipe:

Baker’s Best Passover Brisket

[non-gebroks]
Baker’s Best chef Geoff Skillman trims his own brisket, but butchers will do it for you. Don’t eliminate all the fat (or you may not have any flavor left). You can make the brisket, chill and skim the liquid, and reheat the dish the following day.

1 whole brisket (6 to 7 pounds)
9 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
6 stalks celery, strings removed, cut into 3-inch pieces
8 medium onions, roots intact, cut into quarters
3 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups Concord grape wine
1 quart beef stock
1 cup honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes, stems removed

Set the oven at 350 degrees.

Trim excess fat from the brisket and place it in a large flameproof casserole. You can also use a deep roasting pan.

Place the carrots, celery, and onions around and on the meat. Add the bay leaves, garlic, wine, stock, honey, and plenty of salt and pepper.

Cover the pan with a double thickness of foil and transfer it to the oven. Bake the brisket for 3 to 4 hours or until it is very tender. Remove it from the oven.

Turn the oven temperature up to 450 degrees. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet.

Remove the vegetables from the pan with a slotted spoon and set them on the baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and roast the vegetables for 40 minutes or until they caramelize at the edges.

Set the brisket on a cutting board and slice it diagonally against the
grain.

Reheat the meat by setting the flameproof casserole or roasting pan directly onto a burner. When it is hot, taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

Arrange the meat on a large platter and garnish with the caramelized vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and roasted potatoes. Serve at once.

Any of the above, is absolutely delicious!!

SYR

24
Mar
10

More Delicious Passover Recipes


I found two great Passover recipes and… my mouth is already watering. Both come from the same site:

Here’s the first:

Chicken & Vegetable Croquettes

[Gebroks]
This is a recipe amended for Passover from the one printed in Food & Wine which originated from Ismael Prados, the chef at La Vinya del Senyor, a well-known tapas bar in Barcelona. Substitutions have been made for flour and bread products, and this recipe calls for coconut milk instead of regular milk, which does change the flavor, but also makes this dish kosher. During non-Passover times, it would also be possible to use unflavored soy milk instead of the coconut milk.

Ingredients

4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 leek, white and lt. green parts only, cut into 1 inch lengths
1 carrot, cut into 1 in. chunks
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. Madras curry powder salt & freshly ground pepper
2 cups lite coconut milk
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cups matza cake meal, plus more for dusting
about 1 quart vegetable oil for deep frying
2 eggs
1 cup matza meal

Makes 35 croquettes.

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a small roasting pan, toss the chicken thighs with the onion, leek, carrot & garlic. add the olive oil and 1 1/2 tsp. of the curry powder. Season with salt & pepper. Roast, turning once, until the chicken thighs are tender (about 35 minutes). Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, on med-low heat, bring the milk to a simmer with remaining curry powder. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a food processor, pulse the chicken with the roasted vegetables until a puree forms, Season the puree generously with salt & pepper.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the cake meal and cook over a moderately low heat, stirring constantly until lightly browned. Stir in the chicken puree. Gradually add the coconut milk, little by little at first, and whisking constantly until it has all been added. coo over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is no longer sticky, about 15 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and let cool to room temperature, about an hour.

In a large saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of vegeable oil to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured (matza cake meal) surface, roll the croquette mixture into 3/4 inch ropes. Cut the ropes into 1 1/2 in. little pieces.

In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Spread the matza meal in another shallow bowl. Dip the croquttes in the egg, then coat with matza meal, Add the croquttes to the hot oil in bacthes, taking care not to crowd the pan, and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer croquettes to paper towels to drain and serve piping hot.

Here’s the second recipe:

Stuffed Portabellini Mushrooms

[Gebroks]
Smaller versions of portobello mushrooms, portobellinis taste just as great and are the perfect size to use in this stuffed mushroom appetizer recipe. A great appetizer for a Passover seder dinner, this vegetarian recipe (vegan, actually) can also be used as a Thanksgiving dinner appetizer. You can substitute bread crumbs for the farfel when it’s not Passover. This also makes a great holiday party appetizer recipe as mushroom appetizers make good, easy to handle, finger food!

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup vegetable or no-chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup. balsamic vinegar
6 portobellini or portobello mushrooms
1 cup matzah farfel (use bread crumbs when not Passover)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage (pineapple sage if you can get it)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
cooking spray (olive oil if you can get it)

Makes 6 servings.

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine 3/4. c. broth, vinegar and garlic in a small bowl, let stand 15 minutes. Strain through a sieve over a small saucepan to reserve garlic. Bring vinegar mixture to a boil, and cook until reduced to 6 tbsp (about 6 minutes). Keep warm.

Remove the brown gills from the mushrooms using a spoon, and discard gills. De-stem the mushrooms, finely chop stems and set aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over med high heat. Add farfel , cook for 4 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Stir in the reserved garlic, chopped mushroom stems, chives, sage, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 c. broth. Keep warm.

Place the mushroom caps, stem sides up, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until tender. divide farfel mixtured evenly among mushroom caps and drizzle 1 tbsp of vinegar mixture over each serving. Garnish with sage leaves, if desired.

Enjoy!

CS

24
Mar
10

Delicious Passover Recipes


Chef Laura Frankel’s blog features a few simply delicious, healthy recipes for Passover and the rest of the year:

Chef Laura at the Green Market

Chocolate Mousse with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

[non-gebroks]
Passover used to mean a hiatus from good chocolate. Recently there have been several new companies that have introduced kosher for Passover high end chocolate.

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (must be at least 70% cacao)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup brewed coffee
4 eggs separated
2/3 cup powdered sugar (kosher for Passover)
1/3 cup brewed coffee
1 vanilla bean scraped

1. Melt the chocolate and cool to room temperature. Mix in the olive oil and coffee and set aside.
2. Combine the yolks and powdered sugar and whisk until foamy, add the chocolate mixture.
3. Beat the whites to stiff peaks; fold the whites into the chocolate.
4. Pour into a 9-ich cake pan or loaf pan lined with plastic wrap and chill 8 hours or freeze for 3 hours. Unmold onto a serving plate and slice.

For a variation I like to sprinkle coarse sea salt onto the top of the mousse. The sea salt brings out the fruitiness of the olive oil and the chocolate.

Poached Halibut in Olive Oil

[non-gebroks]
I remember the first time I watched a chef/friend poach fish in olive oil. It was one of those moments when the light bulb goes off! The fish cooks through with a gentle heat transfer and gains the delicate olive oil flavor. The fish is moist and really luscious! Enjoy the fish hot or cold.

4 cups olive oil
4 6-ounce halibut filets-skinned and boned
1 whole head of garlic cut in half
6 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig

Preheat oven to 275.
1. Place the olive oil into a large oven proof dish. Cover the fish with olive oil ¾ of the way. Add the garlic and herbs. Cover the fish directly with a piece of parchment paper.
2. Poach the fish until firm and completely translucent (about 15 minutes). Gently remove the fish and discard the garlic and herbs. Strain the oil and refrigerate covered. The oil can be used to poach fish again and will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Parsley sauce with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

[non-gebroks]
2 large bunches of flat leaf parsley, leaves trimmed off (reserve the stems for stock making)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Sear the parsley for about 2 minutes until it is bright green and slightly wilted.
2. Place the parsley and extra virgin olive oil in a blender and process until the sauce has a smooth consistency. Salt and pepper to taste

Chef Laura, who authored Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes, is known for the health consciousness reflected in her recipes. As she puts it, in her blog:

When cooking for Passover and for every meal, I recommend whole, natural ingredients. I never go to the dark side of cooking with products that are loaded with laboratory made ingredients and faux flavors or colors. For this holiday and everyday-let’s keep it real.

I’ve tasted some of the recipes in Chef Laura’s books, I’ve eaten at Shallots when it was open in New York; I can assure you they are all excellent!

CS

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18
Mar
10

Sweet Wines Tasting


This past Wednesday evening, Avi Ashman’s Israeli Wine Lovers Club held a tasting with the theme “How Sweet it ISrael”. We tasted and discussed 6 selections.

The wine selection

Jay Buchsbaum, Director of Wine Education at the Royal Wine Corporation, started the evening by talking about wines in general, methods of manufacture and sweet wines specifically. He then took questions from the audience

Jay Buchsbaum sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of wines in all their nuances.

The tasting started with Carmel Moscato di Carmel 2009, a very nice fruity light wine. It’s sweet with hints of peach and citrus. It is meant to be consumed within the first 2 years of production as it doesn’t age well.

Next we had a Carmel Vineyards Selected EmeralRiesling and Chenin Blanc 2009. Drier than the first, most of us agreed that it would have more fair to this bottle had we tasted it before the Moscato. Even so it exhibited some interesting qualities. I would not have classed it among dessert wines, however.

We then tasted a Gamla White Riesling 2007 from the Golan Heights Winery. It tasted better than the previous one, exhibited some floral notes and tropical fruits. It can be enjoyed as an aperitif, would likely do very well in conjunction with spicy food.

Then we turned our attention to Zion Dolev Muscat Hamburg 2009. Made from Musct Hamburg grapes grown in Galilee, it was was pleasantly sweet and silky. A very nice dessert wine, a perfect complement to any pastry.

Carmel Sha’al Gewurztaminer 2006, very flavorful it evoked some exotic fruits bringing to mind the Chinese litchee among others. Produced from gewurtztraminer grape grown in the Sha’al Vineyards, this wine has a lively flower aroma. Sweet with just the right touch of tartness. This wine will taste better as it’s allowed to age.

The last selection was a very unusual wine, Zion Dolev Cabernet Sauvignon Semi-Sweet 2009. Cabernet Sauvignon, is the prime grape used for dry wines. None of us expected the subtle sweetness of this bottle. A superb wine that would go well with more than just a sweet dessert.

Eran's delicacies...

As usual Eran Elhalal, the group’ resident chef, prepared a great selection of cheeses, grapes, and walnuts. This time he also added some very nice desserts to help us pair the wines. Not only were they delicious but they made the wines taste better!

CS

17
Mar
10

T-Fusion and “Dine in Brooklyn Week”


Always striving to provide great food at great prices, T-Fusion celebrates “Dine in Brooklyn Week.” Below is their new prix fixe menu:

“DINE IN BROOKLYN MENU”

(Please select one of each course)

Starter

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

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

Entrée

Roasted Boneless Prime Rib (10oz)
Boneless prime rib cut, steak seasoning, oven roasted with whipped Yukon

Oven Roasted Half Chicken
Bone-In roasted half chicken served with homemade yellow rice

Baked Tilapia
Baked filet with wine and herbs served with sautéed mix garden vegetables

Pasta Primavera
Pasta served with mixed veggies in a garlic & olive oil.

Dessert

Chocolate Banana Loaf Cake
Homemade chocolate chip & banana pound cake

Fruit Martini
Freshly cut fruit served in a cocktail glass

Sorbet
Mango/ Rainbow

$25 Per Person/ Plus Tax & Gratuity/ Cash Only/ Parties up to 8
March 15th –March 25th

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

As we’ve already said on these pages, this is not only one of Brooklyn’s top restaurants, but it compares well with any Manhattan eatery. At this menu’s prices you are getting a real bargain!

CS

17
Mar
10

Flourless Chocolate Cake


[Passover is fast approaching, I thought this would be a good time to start posting some great Peissach recipes. My good friend Daniel Ronay, has consented to share an easy, delicious, recipe with us.

Mr. Ronay conditor (baker) extraordinaire is a fourth generation baker. He has been in the industry for over three decades and  brings his family's'  European baking expertise  to today's delicacies. A graduate of AIB (American Institute of Baking), Mr. Ronay has been involved in every aspect of the industry from wholesale to retail. His knowledge, experience and delicious products have made him the go to consultant in the industry. CS]

Daniel's photo of the recipe below

Flourless Chocolate Cake

8 Large eggs (cold)
1 pound bittersweet chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate
½ pound unsalted butter. (if you’re making it parve, then substitute margarine)
¼
cup strong coffee or liqueur (optional)
confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder for decoration

Preparation

1 - Line the bottom of an 8” springform pan with parchment paper. Cover pan underneath and sides with heavy aluminum foil.

2 – Beat the eggs with a hand held mixer or if you have a stand mixer with a whip attachment. Depending on your mixer it could be 5 min. Look for the eggs to double in volume.

3 - Melt the chocolate and either margarine or butter (add the coffee liqueur) in a double boiler. DON’T HAVE A BOUBLE BOILER? à Take a metal or a heat proof bowl, set it over simmering water. Be careful  that the water does not touch the bowl. If you like the temperature should be about 115 F.

4 - Once the chocolate/fat mixture is melted and homogeneous. Fold in about 1/3  of the egg foam into the chocolate using a rubber spatula. Fold in another 1/3 of foam and then the last of the eggs. Try to get rid of the egg streaks but remember to fold in the eggs.

5 – Scrape the batter in the springform pan, and smooth the surface out. Put the springform pan in a roasting pan and set the roasting pan in the oven. Pour enough hot or boiling water in the roasting pan to come about half way to the side of the springform pan. Bake at 325F. The cake will rise slightly. There will be a light crust on the cake surface like a brownie and the edges look like they are setting. If you have an instant read thermometer, look for a temperature of 140F. This should take about 22-25 min depending on your oven

6 - Cover and refrigerate overnight, this way it can mellow. Before serving remove the springform pan, peel off the parchment paper. Put the cake on a fancy serving platter. Here is where your imagination and artistry can be used. Sprinkle powdered sugar of cocoa powder for a nice presentation. Use a doily or a stencil as an added design

Enjoy!

Daniel Ronay

16
Mar
10

Benyamina Wines Tasting, Getting Ready for Tomorrow’s Tasting


On the evening of  Thursday, January the 21st, I attended a wine tasting of Benyamina wines given by Avi Ashman’s Israeli Wine Lovers Club. Asaf Paz, one of the two wine-makers at the Benyamina winery, presented a selection of wines in all price ranges.

Some of the wines we would taste...

Eran Elhalal, the club’s chef, prepared a nice assortment of cheeses (sharp and mild), fruits and sweets. Raphael Sutton, who edited Israel Food and Wine magazine and wrote on wines for Globes (Israel’s premier financial publication) was the resident expert together with Eran and Avi.

Asaf started the presentation with a Chardonnay 2007, we tasted it first at room temperature. It was pleasantly tart, with hints of citrus, grapefruit and apricot. When chilled it became fruitier with peach and floral notes. It’s made in the Champagne style since the Chardonnay grape together with its red grape cousins, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier is part of the triumvirate of grapes used for Champagne. This grape which easily adapts to every climate, no matter how extreme, is also used in large proportions in the production of classic sparklers around the world.

We followed with Yogev 2007, that combined Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. With Cherry and berry notes, the Shiraz gave it a smoky spiciness. Made from classical warm weather grapes, it won’t age as well as other higher end wines.

We continued with another Yogev 2007 selection, also a dry red. This wine combines 20% Petit Verdot (grown in the Negev Mountains, it has high acidity and produces fruity tannins) and 80% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s aroma brought out mint and black currant tones. Ages well and has a very unique strong personality.

Next we had a Reserve Merlot 2005, with hints of cherry and sweet spices. it goes well with lamb shanks and strong flavored meats. Next we had a delightful Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006.

Some of the higher end selections

Sapir 2004 followed this wines is aged for 16 months in the cask and 4 years in the bottle before it leaves the winery. It has 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Shiraz, and 25% Merlot, fruity with floral accents and sweet spices.

Odem 2005 was next, this wine has 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier it has a nice smoky taste and goes well with charcouterie meats.

Finally we got to taste Benyamina’s top of the line, The Cave – Hama’arah 2006, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend. A superior wine that is aged not in the main winery but in a 300 year old cave in the heart of the Carmel Mountains, hence its name. This top quality wine, a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, the grapes were harvested in  the Upper Galilee. The wine was aged over 24 months in new French oak barrels and will continue to age well. Truly a superb wine.

Tomorrow, March 17, the Israeli Wine Lovers Club will be meeting again in Manhattan, at:
Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.) NYC
6th Floor
The buzzer, on the ground floor, is # 6.

As Avi’s email advised: “Earlier today I got the wines for the “How Sweet It ISrael” tasting from the Royal Wine Company (the largest Kosher wines importer/distributor). The list is great — Carmel Shaal, Gamla White Riesling, Carmel Moscato, and more. Eran (our Club’s Chef) promised to make special treats for the tasting…. So, are you ready for a sweet feast as I am? We’d like to see you at the event.

You can RSVP at their web site: http://www.meetup.com/Israeli-Wine-Lovers/calendar/12765713/ The cost for this tasting is $36 at the door. Hope to see you there.

CS




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