Archive for June, 2012

20
Jun
12

Al Principio… – A Judaica Auction – Part 2


The third installment of The Cassuto Collection of Iberian Books is being offered at tomorrow’s auction. Many of the books in this allotment not only had to deal with the Inquisition’s censorship, but in some cases had to even use deception in order to get printed, as is the case with Lot 307, the crown jewel of the collections current offerings…

Al Principio crio el Dio alos çielos y ala tierra – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

[..]Ferrara, 1553 $30,000-50,000

OF UNPARALLELLED BEAUTY, THE FERRARA BIBLE REPRESENTS ONE OF THE GREAT LANDMARKS IN THE HISTORY OF PRINTING. It is the first Spanish translation of the entire Hebrew Bible, the work of Jews who had carried the language with them into exile. The Gothic typography and the presswork of this stately folio volume are exceedingly fine. The text, based upon older medieval Castillian versions that had circulated among the Jews of Spain, became virtually canonical for Sephardic Jews in Europe.

[..]Completed on March 1st, 1553, the Ferrara Bible is a remarkable achievement. The entire text is obviously Jewish from beginning to end, avoiding the Christological nuances and mistranslations of the Vulgate…

[..]The title page of the Bible proclaims that it is a “word for word translation from the Hebrew Truth.” It also states that the translation was “seen and examined by the Office of the Inquisition.” On the bottom of the page is recorded that the book was printed “under a privilege from the Duke of Ferrara.” There is no doubt the Duke permitted the Jews to print the book, but it is inconceivable that this translation could have been approved by the Inquisition. The Catholic Church would have approved of no translation other than the Vulgate, which was its official version. Moreover it would not have given approval to a translation based upon the Hebrew text, edited in a style that was faithful to the traditional Jewish Bible commentaries. Aside from that, authorizations by the Inquisition never appeared as part of the title of a book, but rather as a seal on the title page or the last page. Such authorizations did not refer to the “Office of the Inquisition,” but rather to the “holy Office” (santo oficio). Most likely the formula printed here on the title page was coined for the sake of appearances and Duke Ercole II probably agreed to the deception.

Important to note is the tragic iconography of the title-page which is truly emblematic of the entire era. In the top center of the ornate woodcut frame is a head of a bearded Neptune, who, with bulging cheeks, is blowing a storm . Beneath the lines of text, a ship flounders in the waves of a raging sea, its sails torn, its mast broken. The ship represents the afflicted Jewish people, particularly the Spanish and Portuguese exiles, in their perilous search for a safe heaven. Further symbolism may be found: At the top of one of the masts there is an armillary sphere which represent a dramatically inverted symmetry. The very same device that was for Portugal, a sign of its great age of exploration and its hope for glory, becomes here, a symbol of Jewish latest age of wandering, and its hope for a secure refuge from the storm of its suffering.

THE FERRARA BIBLE, A MASTERPIECE OF 16TH CENTURY JEWISH BOOK PRODUCTION, BECAME THE CLASSIC SPANISH VERSION OF THE BIBLE FOR THE MARRANOS RETURNING TO JUDAISM AND INDEED FOR THE ENTIRE SEPHARDIC DIASPORA AS A WHOLE FOR CENTURIES THEREAFTER.

A truly daring achievement for the times, and proof that the Jewish spirit is truly unconquerable as long as we tenaciously cling to our beliefs, and to our tradition.

Lot 324 is another interesting work…

LEON, JACOB JUDAH (TEMPLO). Tavnith Heichal – Libellus Effigiei Templi Salomonia. FIRST HEBREW EDITION. Separate Hebrew and Latin titles, Spanish dedications to the Parnassim of the Sephardic Congregation Talmud Torah of Amsterdam, followed by a Hebrew translation of the Privileges granted by the United Dutch Provinces. Numerous previos owner’s marks, including various members of the Belmonte Family. ff 6, (l), 4-38. Ex-library, some staining. Contemporary calf, worn, spine taped. Sm. 4to. Vinograd, Amsterdam 179 (unseen); Fuks, Amsterdam 266.

Amsterdam, Marcus Levi, 1650 $1000-1500

Treatise on the exterior, interior, and ritual objects of the Temple of Solomon. The name “templo” was added to the author’s family name on account of the celebrated copper engravings of Solomon’s Temple that Jacob Judah Leon prepared for his scarce work. Retrato del Templo de Solomon (1642).

It is interesting to note that earlier this year, we spoke of the Spanish and English translations of this very same book (photo of a detailed illustration included), published in 1654 and 1675 respectively and currently in the possession of the New York Public Library.

Lot 317 is important mainly because it exposes the ruthlessness of the Inquisition…

(INQUISITION). Beringer, Joachim. Hispanicae Inquisitionis & Carnicinae Secretoria. [“The Spanish Inquisition and the Secret Torture Chamber”) FIRST EDITION. pp. 334. Foxed. Contemporary vellum, discolored. 8vo.

Amber (Bavaria) Johannes Schönfeld, 1611 $500-700

Anti-Inquisitorial tract, based on maily on the earlier work of Reginaldus Gonsalvius Montanus (pseudonym of the Spanish theologian and Bible translator Casiodoro de Reina), SanctaeInquisitionis Hispanicae Artes (heidelberg 1567).

Lot 312 shows the craziness behind the Inquisition, even if it never intended to do that…

(HEBREW). Joannem Ab Incarnatione. Dikduk Leshon HaKedosha / Grammatica Linguae Sancta. FIRST EDITION. Latin interspersed with fully vocalized Hebrew. pp. (8), 4, 549, (I blank). Lightly browned. Contemporary calf-backed marbled boards. 4to.

Coimbra, Typis Academiae, 1789 $500-700

Rare Hebrew grammar printed in Portugal. It might strike one as ironic that at the height of the Inquisition, when Portugal had been purged of Judaism, the Hebrew language – “the sacred tongue” – was studied by Catholic theologians at the prestigious University of Coimbra.

WorldCat shows but a single copy of the book, located in the Sterling Library, Yale University.

It seems very strange that even as the Inquisition denied the Jews the right to live as Jews – under penalty of death – that its theologians felt compelled to study what they regarded as “the sacred tongue.” Confused?

There is so much among these offerings covering everything from halacha to kabbalah, from TaNa”CH to prayer, from ethical writings to historical documents and much more. This auction will take place tomorrow June 21st, 2012; 3:00pm at Kestenbaum & Company at 242 West 30th, 12th floor; New York, NY 10001- Tel: 212.366.1197 – Fax: 212.366.1368.

RELATED POSTS

You Have Taught Me Since My Youth – A Judaica Auction – Part 1
A Journey Into History, Rare Judaica Auction – Part 1

A Journey Into History, Rare Judaica Auction – Part 2
A Journey Into History, Rare Judaica Auction – Part 3

19
Jun
12

You Have Taught Me Since My Youth – A Judaica Auction – Part 1


Elokim, limadtani mine’uray ve’ad henah agid nifla’otecha – True God, You have taught me since my youth and until now, I will say your wonders. Thus opens up Lot 101 (Menachem Azariah Da Fano‘s Yonath Elem) in the upcoming Judaica auction at Kestenbaum & Company – this coming Thursday; June 21st, 2012 at 3:00pm. The opening phrase above best sums up the treasured first or early editions of learned books, of awe inspiring manuscripts, and of the ceremonial art that – starting this past Sunday afternoon – are on display at the auctioneers’ offices (242 West 30th, 12th floor; New York, NY 10001- Tel: 212.366.1197 – Fax: 212.366.1368).

Kabbalistic works mingle freely with less esoteric commentaries of the TaNa”CH, chassidic tomes share space with the writings of fierce opponents to the fledgling movement. What is remarkable to me, what fills me with emotion as I peruse these old books, these fragile manuscripts from the hands of some of the greatest figures in our history (past and just passed), is that though the ideas seem divergent, the disagreements often lie more in the semantics than in the actual contents. Yes, historically we have witnessed very bitter arguments between rationalists and kabbalists, between chassidim and misnagdim, but there is little doubt these disagreements between the leaders were not for the sake of personal honor but about how we could best serve Him, speak of, sing about or praise His wonders. All these various ideas, all these disparate ways, are nothing more and nothing less than multiple roads leading to the same eternal truth…

Menachem Azariah MeFano‘s  Asarah Ma’amaroth was first printed – partially – in Venice in 1597. Lot 101, Yonath Elem, is the first printed edition of one of the individual ma’amarot on kabbalistic subjects.

FANO, MENACHEM AZARIAH DA. Yonath Elem [kabbalah] FIRST SEPARATE EDITION ff38. Lightly worn, some worming (mostly marginal but touching some letters in final leaves). Contemporary calf, needs rebinding, 4to. Vinograd, Amsterdam 150; Fuks, Amsterdam 254.

Amsterdam, Judah ben Mordechai and Partners, 1648 $500 – 700

One of ten Kabbalistic treatises, collectively entitled Asarah Ma’amaroth. R. Menachem Azariah (1548-1620), of a well-to-do banking family in Bologna, Italy, was first a follower of the Cordoveran system of kabbalah but afterward, under the influence of an elusive figure, R. Israel Sarug, switched his allegiance to the Lurianic school. The propagation of kabbalah emanating from Safed in Europe was largely due to his prolific efforts. The title cites the words of the “Shelah HaKadosh” R. Isaiah Horowitz, who advisded a colleague to attach himself to attach himself to this work, which is “pleasing to the eyes of God and man”.

Another work that is sure to inspire deep feelings of awe is Lot 75:

Seder Tephilah miKol haShanah im Kavanoth HaAri”zal. Prepared by Asher ben Solomon Zalman Margoliuth. FIRST EDITION. Lengthy contemporary ownership inscription on opening blank. ff398. Stained, couple of neat paper repairs. Modern calf. Thick 8vo. Vinograd, Lemberg 45.

Lemberg, Solomon Yaros Rapaport, 1787 $10,000-15,000

THE HIGHLY IMPORTANT SIDDUR OF R. ASHER – A RARE COMPLETE COPY

Chassidim hold in the very highest esteem this particular prayerbook that contains many Lurianic Kavanoth. R. Asher was a disciple of R. Chaim of Sanz the famed Chassidic-group known as the Broder-Kloyz.” In the same year, 1788, the printer Rapaport produced this Reb-Asher Siddur, he also issued the famed first edition of the Noam Elimelech.

Now we turn from the chassidim to the misnagdim… Lot 99:

(ELIJAH, GAON OF VILNA). Perush al Yona [Commentary on the Book of Jonah]. Introduction by R. Chaim of Volozhin, the Gaon’s principle disciple. FIRST EDITION. ff. (I). 6 Some light staining , corners rounded. Modern marbled boards. 4to. Vinograd, Vilna 14; Vinigrad, Gra 50

Vilna, Wielmoznega Kanonika, 1800. $600-800

With approbations from the Dayanim of Vilna who bear witness that this work is among the very earliest authentic texts written in the Gaon’s own hand.

I also found Lot 57 and Lot 58 very worthy of being mentioned here…

ASHKENAZI, ELIEZER BEN ELIJAH HAROPHÈ. Yosef Lekach {commentary to the Book of Esther, with text] FIRST EDITION. Title within historiated woodcut architectural arch. Wide margins. The Valmadonna copy. ff.83 (I-blank). Some staining, censor’s signature and inscriptions. on recto and verso of final leaf, ff 6 and 7 misbound upside down. Recent blind-tooled morocco boards. Sm 4to. Vinograd, Cremona47; Benayahu , Cremona 44; Adams B-1335.

Cremona, Christopher Draconi, 1576. $400-600

Eliezer Ahkenazi’s Biblical exegesis is permeated with the contemporary rationalistic spirit of rabbinical scholarship. This edition of Yosef Lekach, was the last Hebrew book printed in Cremona, which for over twenty years was a center of Jewish learning and printing, amidst the rigid censorship of the Inquisition. See D. Amram, The Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy (1963) pp. 306-19

BACHIAH BEN JOSEPH IBN PAQUDA. Chovoth Halevavoth. Translated into Hebrew by Judah Ben Tibbon. Scholarly marginalia in an Italian hand especially on Sha’ar HaTeshuvah (ff. 66-68) ff. 103. Some staining in places, previous owners’ signature on title, censor’s signature on final leaf , closely shaved. Later calf-backed boards. Sm 4to. Vinograd, Mantua 62.

Mantua 1559. $700-800

An attractive copy of this classic work, with new corrections plus seven leaves of indices to Bible and Talmudim.

Throughout the ages, the book enjoyed wide popularity in a variety of circles, although in later centuries Eastern European Jews would shy away from the introductory Sha’ar HaYichud, which is of a decidedly philosophical nature. and focus instead on the remainder of the work, with its ethical guidance.

For those who prefer halachic works, the second sepher in Lot 1 should be truly appealing…

AARON IBN CHAIM. Lev Aaron [Commentary to the Books of Joshua and Judges, with text] . ff. 122, (2), 129, (3).

Bound With: Isaac Ben Abba Man of Marseilles. Sepher Ha’Itur. ff 110. Geometrical diagram on f. 101a. Two works bound in one volume. FIRST EDITION. Some staining and slight marginal repair to upper corner of title of first woork. Later calf-backed boards. spine worn. Folio. Vinograd, Venice 1052 and Venice 1041.

Venice, Giovanni di Gara, 1608 $1000-1500

The author of the first work, R. Aaaron ibn Chaim I (1545-1632) served as dayan in the court of Vidal HaTzarfati in Fez, Morocco. He is most famous for his study of the Siphra. The present commentary to Joshua and Judges excels in its command of Midrashic and Talmudic literature. See Ch.J.D. Azulai, Shem HaGedolim I, V-6; EJ. Vol VIII cols. 1179-1180 (inc. facs.)

The second work is a monumental halachic compendium discussing fiscal and marital laws, forbidden foods, festivals, etc. The work is a primary source of Gaonic responsa and is frequently cited by Joseph Karo in his Beth Yoseph.

It is utterly impossible in this brief space to do justice to this wondrous collection of sepharim, kithvey yad, letters and more. There are – in this assortment – some truly unique treasures on so many different aspects of Judaism, it is obvious there should never be a problem finding a way to learn and speak of His wonders.

CS

RELATED POSTS

A Journey Into History, Rare Judaica Auction – Part 1
A Journey Into History, Rare Judaica Auction – Part 2
A Journey Into History, Rare Judaica Auction – Part 3

13
Jun
12

Judaica Auctions – A Conversation with Daniel Kestenbaum


Towards the end of March we wrote on these very pages about a fascinating Judaica auction, where rare and ancient sfarim, awe inspiring kitvey yad,  ceremonial art and more, were up for bids (here, here, and here). This evening, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time), we will talk to Daniel Kestenbaum – the president and founder of Kestenbaum and Company – who run that auction and has a new one coming up on June 21st.

Growing up in England, in London, Daniel developed a passion for Jewish history from a very early age on; becoming an auctioneer of fine Judaica allowed him to literally touch history. I had the pleasure of taping our conversation with him yesterday at Kestenbaum and Company‘s offices (at 242 West 30th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10001; Tel: 212.366.1197). You will hear, stories of unusual finds, stories about the Jewish intelligentsia of Tel Aviv in 1935 and more. At their offices I was surrounded by thousand year old manuscripts, books printed in the late 15th century, ceremonial art from around the world.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it or even if you want to hear it again, why not listen to our last week’s broadcast with brothers David and Zev Brooks, the creative brothers’ who brought us the funny/touching movie The Yankles - about a chassidic yeshiva’s baseball team.

Please do not forget to listen, this evening, to BlogTalkradio.com/kosherscene at at 8:00pm (Eastern Time), when we will talk to Daniel Kestenbaum of Kestenbaum and Company. It will be a very interesting, fascinating look at Jewish history and rare books. We’ll be waiting for you.

CS

11
Jun
12

Spicy Aromatic Chicken


Some dishes not only taste great, not only smell great, they are also easy to prepare. What could be better than combine all three for a summer meal when you want to stay away from the kitchen heat as much as possible?

I found the following recipe in The Big Book of One Pot:

Spicy Aromatic Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4-8 chicken pieces skinned
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsley chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 14 ounces canned chopped tomatoes in juice
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 14 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 8 black olives, pitted
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Rub the chicken pieces with the lemon. Heat the oil in a large, flameproof casserole or lidded skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 5-10 minutes until browned on all sides.
  2. Pour in the wine and add the tomatoes with their juice, along with the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover the the casserole and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chicken is tender.
  3. Meanwhile,cut the artichoke hearts in half. Add the artichokes and the olives to the casserole about 10 minutes before the end of cooking, and continue to simmer until heated through. Serve hot.

Your kitchen will be filled with an inviting aroma, your palate will enjoy it. What more could you ask?

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

08
Jun
12

Ignorance or Willful Misspeak?


At The Kosher Scene, we never thought we would become either consumer advocates or customer service people, it just never was part of what we envisioned, though… I guess being restaurant critics, where we show you the good and warn you of the pitfalls is somewhat akin to “consumer advocates,” perhaps?

Yesterday we received an angry email – from a faithful reader – with photos, and receipts clearly showing some deceiving advertising. The sum involved here was a paltry $2.40, so it obviously was not the money that motivated her email, rather it was the principle that caused her frustration and complaint.

The reader – who prefers her name withheld – went to a store at the 1700 block on Avenue M, in the Flatbush area (Brooklyn), this past Wednesday. The handwritten sign in the window promised a 15% special on “ANY 3 BOTTLES OF WINE,” she asked for a champagne and the bottle of Bartenura Asti was offered her as a “Champagne.” Needless to say, it isn’t any such, this Asti is merely a nice sparkling wine, but let’s set that aside for a moment.

She bought the Asti and two other bottles, expecting her 15% percent discount, then she was told by Chris, the store clerk, “A champagne is not a wine,” therefore it was not eligible for the discount, she then picked up a fourth bottle so as to get her discount on the other two… Chris also called Hal, his boss, who told our reader “Whiskey and bourbon are not wines, and champagne is not a wine.”

The Asti‘s label clearly says “Sweet Italian Sparkling Wine.” It clearly calls it a wine, NOWHERE is this bottle described as a “Champagne,” neither in the front, nor in the back! In all fairness, however, any store has the right – at its sole discretion – to decide which items are or are not part of any given special. To misspeak about a champagne (which – in this case – is not even a champagne by any stretch of the word!) not being a wine is something very different. At best it shows the clerk’s utter ignorance of the products the store carries, at worst it’s a deliberate misrepresentation.

Is champagne a wine? The Wikipedia says:

Champagne

Champagne, situated in eastern France, close to Belgium and Luxembourg, is the coldest of France’s major wine regions and home to its major sparkling wine. Champagne wines can be both white and rosé. [my emphasis].

Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst‘s Food Lover’s Companion – on page 128, says:

Champagne; champagne [sham-PAYN] This most celebrated sparkling wine [my emphasis] always seems to signal “special occasion….”

There are myriad definitions of champagne online and in print clearly showing champagne as a wine, thus Chris, the store’s clerk, claim is absolutely wrong. If he did not intend to have sparkling wines on sale, why not just say in his handwritten sign that sparkling wines are not eligible for the sale?!?!? It would have saved the store a faithful, free spending, patron!

Was it worth for this merchant to so callously lose a customer over a mere $2.40 discount?!?!?

CS

06
Jun
12

Penne with Creamy Mushrooms


Last evening I had pasta, it was absolutely delicious! I like to cook with wine and this was just a perfect experiment that succeeded fully.

Penne With Creamy Mushroom

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter (or margarine if you prefer to keep it pareve or will use use during a meat meal)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 shallots, sliced
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup Velouté sauce (or MimiCreme if you prefer to keep it pareve)
  • 2 tablespoons Port wine
  • 4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 12 ounces dried penne
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnishing

Directions

  1. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large, heavy bottom skillet. Add the shallots  and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally , for 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook over low heat for an additional 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle in the flour, and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  2. Remove skillet from heat and gradually stir in the Velouté sauce (or MimiCreme) and Port wine. Return to the heat, add the sun-dried tomatoes and grated nutmeg, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large bottom pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, return to a boil, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the pasta well and add the mushroom sauce, cook for 3 minutes, then transfer to a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy; I did!

CS

05
Jun
12

Tomorrow Evening’s Internet Radio Show


Zev (with the mike) and David Brooks at the Geneva Jewish Film Festival

Tomorrow, Wednesday evening, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) our guests – on BlogTalkRadio.com – will be brothers Zev (Writer/Producer) and David Brooks (Director), the creative duo responsible for The Yankles. Zev is an attorney in California and his brother David graduated from film school and worked on many Hollywood productions in various capacities.

They will talk to us about how the idea for the movie came about, it’s long gestation period and finally filming and editing it on a shoestring budget. As I’ve said last week, it’s hard to believe how little such a professional production actually cost them. Both brothers are very good story tellers and have many interesting anecdotes to regale us with.

I prerecorded this program while both were in town, last Thursday. It was a great session peppered with tidbits about the movie and various personal facts. It certainly was interesting, quite funny at times, and quite informative about the film making process.

Meanwhile in case you missed it, why not listen to last week’s show? Our guest were Jeffrey ElliotExecutive Chef and National Manager of Culinary Relations for Zwilling JA Henckels, and Salvatore RizzoOwner/Director of the De Gustibus Cooking School at Macy’s Herald Square store on Broadway and 34th in Manhattan.

Please tune us in tomorrow evening at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkRadio.com. We will be talking with brothers Zev (Writer/Producer) and David Brooks (Director), the creative duo responsible for The Yankles.

We’ll be watching out for ya!

CS

04
Jun
12

And this Year’s Winner Is…


We are proud to announce 1 runner up and the 2 winners of our 3rd Annual Shavous Contest. We received 17 recipes (some with accompanying photos, some without), some recipes were mediocre, most were very g0od; they ranged from easy to intricate. We finally selected this three:

1st Runner Up

Grilled Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwich

Photo by Leah Rubenfeld – The best photo that was sent in.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices country style bread, cut 1/4″ thick each
  • 1/2 lb whole milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 16 sun dried tomatoes
  • 16 large fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

  1. On each of 4 bread slices, place 3 slices of mozzarella. Season with salt, top with 4 sun-dried tomatoes, 4 basil leaves, cover with another slice of bread.
  2. Heat 2 large nonstick pans over moderately high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of butter to each pan and swirl to melt the butter and coat the pan. Put 2 sandwiches in each pan and place a heavy skillet on top of each as a weight. If the to is not heavy enough you can weigh down with canned goods or anything that will add weight. cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the bottoms are well browned and remove.
  3. Add another 1/2 teaspoon butter to each pan, put sandwiches back on with the browned side up. Weigh them down again and cook until the second side is well browned (2 to 3 minutes).
  4. Cut sandwiches diagonally and serve while hot.

Contributed by Leah Rubenfeld

(2) 1st Prize Winners

This year Brent Delman from The Cheese Guy.com gave us 2 baskets, a good thing, because we would had a tough time choosing the final winner.

Tiramisu

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup espresso or strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. rum (preferably dark)
  • 8 oz. Mascarpone
  • 16 ladyfingers
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting (I used Dutch process cocoa powder, because it’s not as bitter as regular cocoa powder)

Directions

  1. Combine 3 egg yolks, 1 Tbsp. espresso, sugar and rum in large mixing bowl. Beat 2-3 minutes, until pale. Add Mascarpone and beat 3-5 minutes until smooth.
  2. In another bowl, combine 3 egg whites and a pinch of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into Mascarpone mixture.
  3. Spread half of the mixture on the bottom of your serving dish.
  4. Dip one side of each ladyfinger into remaining espresso and layer on top of the first layer of mascarpone mix.
  5. Spread the remaining mascarpone mixture on top, and sprinkle with cocoa.
  6. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.

Contributed by Nossi Fogel,
from his website: http://thekoshergastronome.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/moms-tiramisu/
on the site you can also see step by step photos
.

–oOOoOOo–

Chocolate Drizzled Cheesecake IceCream Pie

Photo by Sari Minzer

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 package chocolate Tea Biscuits
  • 6 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted

Filling

  • 8 oz. 5% Soft White Cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. corn starch (dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water)
  • 1 10 oz whip
  • 1 bar Dairy Chocolate

Directions

  1. Blend Tea Biscuits with sugar and butter.  Press into a 9″ round pan.
  2. Beat the whip.  Combine all other ingredients, besides for the chocolate, and fold into whip. Pour into pie crust.
  3. Melt the chocolate bar and drizzle on top of filling and use a fork to marbleize.
  4. Freeze for at least 2 hrs and garnish with chocolate curls.

Congratulations to the 2 winners and the runner up!!!

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

03
Jun
12

My Most Favorite Food


This past Thursday I had lunch at My Most Favorite Food (247 W 72nd St, between Broadway & West End Avenue; New York, NY 10023Tel: 212.997.5130), with owner Doris Schechter and Karen Brooks. MMFF is a classy, dairy eatery where I had already stopped for breakfast before.

My Most Favorite Food ambiance is warm and friendly, perfect for a nice meal. I settled in the Garden Room, at the back. One of the brick walls was lined with artwork depicting desserts, the view itself is beautiful with some trees and bushes peeking in through the glass, the brick walls perfectly match the building behind the garden, all tastefully done! Whenever I’ve gone there for breakfast, I always sat in the enclosed front, watching the various types of people passing by, imagining their lives, would have been a great pastime, except the food’s always been too delicious to allow for such distractions.

I started out with a Grilled Salmon Ceasar Nicoise, sprinkled with parmesan shavings. The salmon was very fresh and tasty. The parmesan was strong enough to be noticed, a delightful accompaniment to the salmon, croutons and lettuce.

I followed with a superb Kale Soup, creamy and delicious. But my sweet tooth got the best deal…

The Strawberry Shortcake was very good indeed, but it was only a warmup for what was to come next…

Though the photo above fails to do them justice, the selections that followed were a study in creamy decadence at its best: Carrot Cake, Cheese Cake, Chocolate Truffle Cake and my favorite of them all, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake!

The espresso coffee tasted like the best I’ve had in Italy, very authentic. As always, service was friendly and attentive. Now that I’ve enjoyed breakfast and lunch, I’ll just have to come back for dinner and pair a fish dish with some great wine. Meanwhile, I’ll have to try their boxed lunches, come to think of it they’ll make nice picnic fare on a family outing.

There is one thing I wish could be overcome… the noise level was rather high. Overall the experience was well worth it and yes, gentle reader, I’ll be back again and again.

CS




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