Archive for November, 2012

29
Nov
12

Chicken Gumbo Soup


In our everlasting quest to find great products, great recipes and more – for our faithful readers – we scour the store shelves, the net, the cookbooks and SYR and I will even even experiment quite a bit. It’s winter, it’s cold outside and we need food that will warm and make us feel good as we come in from the chill. In such cases, soups all hit the spot.

From Pam Reiss” Soup – A Kosher Collection:

Photo by: Michelle Furbacher, page 144

Chicken Gumbo Soup

Serves 12

  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 whole jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cups okra, washed, trimmed and cut into 3-4 pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil.
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups stock
  •  1 cup rice
  • 1/2 lb cooked chicken, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

I use fresh okra  in this recipe, but if you can’t find it, you can use frozen. Don’t be alarmed about the somewhat slimy juices okra gives off. All the sliminess will disappear as it cooks.

  1. Over medium heat, sauté the onion, pepper, jalapeño, celery, okra, salt pepper, chilli powder and garlic in olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes. The vegetables should wilt but not brown.
  2. Add the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and stock. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked chicken, and simmer until the chicken is heated through and the rice is tender.

I just had two bowls of this soup and found it absolutely delicious and warming. So… enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

 

28
Nov
12

A Talk with Chaya Rivka Zwolinski


Our guest on BlogTalkRadio.com/kosherscene this evening at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time) will be Chaya Rivka Zwolinski. She blogs at healthyjewishcooking.com.  You may want to call in with any questions or comments at 714.333.3357.

Her blog isn’t just about traditional Jewish food recipes (there are many of those around!); she asks “Why is it that so many traditional Jewish foods are loaded with fat, salt, sugar and other ingredients best eaten in small quantities (or not at all)?”

She tells us about her own transition to healthy food, after she developed an ulcer at the age of 24, “I did an elaborate apache Tango with eating and cooking healthy. But the back and forth was helpful. It lead to me broadening my concept of eating right. It made me question why the Macro world (filled with plenty of Jews, by the way), was filled with frowning, ultra-serious, unhappy people, perpetually sneering at anyone different from them, that I began to rethink the whole trip.”

She is a ghostwriter, editor, and has doctored several books, as well as numerous ope-eds articles. Chaya Rivka writes for, both, adults and children and she’s trained/coached and edited a couple best-selling authors.

Photo by: Chaya Rivka Zwolinski, from her blog: HealthyJewishCooking.Wordpress.Com

Meanwhile, in case you missed it last week, please listen to our archived show with Susie Fishbein. It was a fun and informative broadcast you wouldn’t want to miss!

Don’t forget to tune us in this evening for a fascinating talk at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time) with Chaya Rivka Zwolinski. We will talk about food, Chaya’s life journey and chassidus from the Bratzlav perspective. Don’t forget to call in with questions or comments at: 714.333.3357. We’ll be waiting for you!

CS

27
Nov
12

Roasted Tomato Soup with Israeli Couscous


It’s winter and we need something hearty as we come in from a cold day. Soups have that marvelous quality of warming us up and make us feel good again.

From Sarah Lasry‘s The At Home Gourmet (page 66):

Roasted Tomato Soup with Israeli Couscous

Photo by: Joshua Shaub on page 67

There is nothing like a great tomato soup when I’m feeling blue and tired after a hard day’s work to perk me up. I usually take a big bowl of this soup, put on my pj’s, cuddle up in a bed and call it an early night. It makes a great, easy, quick supper when you are in a rush and want to serve something hearty.

NOTE: DO NOT REFRIGERATE your tomatoes! Cold temperatures ruin tomatoes. hurting their flavor and their texture. You can cut the acidity of your tomato soup by adding just a tablespoon of granulated sugar at the end of cooking.

For the Roasted Tomatoes:

  • 8 large tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

For the Soup:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • pinch kosher salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 tsp cilantro (optional)
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce (or juice)
  • 5 cups vegetable stock 9or water)
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous

Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees

On a large baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, lay your halved tomatoes face down. Drizzle olive oil lightly over the tomatoes and sprinkle a little kosher salt and pepper over them. Place in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool. when the cooked, chop up up the tomatoes into small chunks.

In a large soup pot heat the olive oil and saute the onions for a few minutes. Add all the spices to the onions and mix them well, making sure the onions are well cooked. Saute for another minute or two. Add the carrots to the onions and mix wel,; cook gently for 5 minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato juice. Bring the soup to a simmer and then add the vegetable stock and the couscous. Bring the soup to a full boil and cook until the couscous is soft and tender (about 20 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

NOTE: If you are short on time, substitute the roasted tomatoes with 3 cups of canned diced tomatoes (about 28 oz.)

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

25
Nov
12

Facon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich


I just had to try Jack’s Gourmet Facon in a sandwich…

Facon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich

Serves 1
Cooking Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 slices  Jack’s Gourmet Facon
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tomatoes sliced
  • 4 baby lettuce leaves
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat a small nonstick frying pan and cook the facon> turning once, until it is golden brown and crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  2. Toast the bread on both sides. Spread one side of each toast with mayonnaise and arrange the bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and facon on top of the pieces. Season with salt and pepper and top each with the  second piece of toast. Cut into quarters and serve hot or cold.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

23
Nov
12

Chicken, Potato and Facon Soup


Having tasted Jack’s Gourmet award winning delicious new product – Facon - at last week’s Kosherfest 2012, I just had to find a way of incorporating it into a dish and last evening I did just that!

Chicken, Potato and Facon Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 9 ounces, Jack’s Gourmet Facon , chopped
  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound 12 ounces potatoes, chopped
  • 7 ounces skinless breast, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in water (for thickening the soup and making it creamy)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooked facon and sprigs of fresh parsley to garnish

Directions

  1. Melt the margarine in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, the onion and cook stirring for 3 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the chopped bacon and leeks and cook for another 3 minutes while stirring.
  2. In a bowl mix the flour with enough stock to make a smooth paste and stir mixture into the pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Pour in the remaining stock; add the potatoes and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and lower the heat, simmer for 2o minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are tender and cooked through.
  3. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with the cooked facon and parsley and serve immediately.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy! I certainly did; in fact, this is about to become one of my favorite winter soups.

CS

22
Nov
12

Roast Turkey


CS is making a Roast Turkey with Maple-Mustard Glaze from Susie Fishbein‘s – just published – Kosher by Design – Cooking Coach (page 152). Since we will be eating at his place I can take it easy for a change, nevertheless I thought I’d share a favorite, easy recipe, I’ve made many a time over the years:

Roast Turkey

Photo by Chani U.

Serves 10
Total cooking time 3 hours and 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 13 pounds oven ready turkey, giblets removed and cavity wiped clean
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons margarine, softened
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the onion in the turkey’s body cavity with salt and pepper. Tie the turkey legs with string at the top of the drumsticks.
  2. Place bird in a large roasting pound, rub all over with the softened margarine and season the outside of the turkey with your choice of spices and seasoning. Add the vegetable oil to the pan
  3. Cover the prepared bird loosely with foil and roast in a preheated 375 F. oven, basting periodically. Remove the foil for at least 40 minutes to allow the turkey to brown and scatter the chopped thyme over it. Check the turkey is cooked by inserting a skewer or fork into one of the legs. If the juices come out clear, the bird is ready.
  4. Transfer the turkey to a a large dish, cover with clean foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving.
  5. Arrange the turkey on a warmed serving platter and serve with your choice of vegetables.

My guests always loved this dish, I know you will as well!

SYR

21
Nov
12

A Conversation with Susie Fishbein


Tonight on Blogtalkradio we will be speaking with Susie Fishbein, at 10:00pm (Eastern Time). Susie is the author of the Kosher by Design cookbook series. As she celebrates the 10th anniversary of the first book’s appearance she just published her eagerly awaited eighth title (Kosher By Design- Cooking Coach).

Susie Fishbein has been the featured celebrity guest on cruise ships as well as at week-long culinary adventures in Israel and Italy. She’s been profiled in The New York Times and CNN. The Forward has named her one of the 50 most influential Jews in America.

She was an honored guest at the White House in recognition of the National Jewish Heritage Month, she has taught at Macy‘s De Gustibus School of Cooking and has been a guest on dozens of network TV and radio shows. She’s also been featured at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Disneyworld

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, why not listen to last week’s show with award winning cookbook author Jayne Cohen?

Please don’t forget to tune us in, this evening at 10:00pm (Eastern Time). We’ll be wait’n for ya!

CS

19
Nov
12

Prime at the Bentley Hotel


Last Thursday Meyer Harroch (newyorkjewishguide.com) and I, went to the brand new Prime at the Bentley (500 East 62nd Street, New York 10065, 21st Floor – Tel: 212.933.9733).

Upstairs, downstairs (partial views)

The view of the East River, Queensboro Bridge and skyline is truly breathtaking! But… as amazing as the view is, the main reason one goes to a restaurant is the food. Having heard conflicting reports about the first few weeks, yet having been many a time to Prime Hospitality’s other superb venues I was not sure what to expect. Were the naysayers right? Were they spoiled brats? Was this new restaurant experiencing painful birth pangs as it first opened its doors?

Meyer started the meal with House Made Italian Sausage in a Blanket

Italian Sausage in a Blanket

I went for their Ocean Parfait sashimi combination served in a martini glass. Taste and presentation were great; a nice beginning, but what lay ahead?

While Meyer segued with a large Bentley Burger, I went for their Organic Irish Salmon

Organic Salmon

Tender, juicy and flavorful, perfect on all counts! The French fries that came with the burger were spiced just right!

Next we had Kobe Beef Sliders and Long Island Duck Sliders, cooked to perfections (at least to my taste – medium well), spiced just right and very juicy.

We followed with Steak and Frittes and a Flatiron Steak…

Steak and Frittes

With Chef David Kolotkin at its helm it’s no wonder Prime Grill has become the kosher steakhouse par excellence; Prime at the Bentley has inherited the same art of succulence in steaks. For side dishes we had Haricot Vert with Sundried Tomatoes…

Haricots Vert with Sundried Tomatoes

…and Kobacha Squash. This squash, a native of New Zealand, has a taste reminiscent of chestnuts with a hint of sweetness – perfect match for incredible steaks.

The service was good, whatever may have have caused complaints when it first opened, had obviously been remedied. Within an hour of opening for dinner, the restaurant had nary an empty seat, a fitting tribute to the upscale locale and the delicious food.

CS

18
Nov
12

Kosherfest 2012 Highlights


While we will be adding more videos (properly edited) to these post, over the next 2 days, we can’t wait to tell you about last week’s two day event at the Meadowlands Exhibition Center, Kosherfest 2012.

With more exhibitors than ever it was hard to talk to everyone or taste everything, but both Geila Hocherman (kosherrevolution.net) – author of  Kosher Revolution – and I, still managed to find some of the best products at the event.

We spoke to Scott Sunshine (video to follow), chef at OSEM, who spoke to us about the company’s new line of gluten-free products and their improved couscous; Ruti Schwarcz, The Wine Lioness from Happy Hearts Wine, who had us taste us to three superb new wines they are introducing to the American market;  Jack Silberstein, co-founder (with Dr. Alan Bronner) of Jack’s Gourmet (here, here, here and more).

Jay Buxbaum from the Royal Wine Corporation spoke to us about some of the newest healthy foods products recently introduced; Koby Cohen, from Gelato Petrini winners of this year’s Best New Product in it category (video to follow);

Next we spoke to brothers Benjamin and Martin Weisz, from Elegant Desserts, who described their new products for caterers and consumers – especially exciting was the news of their association with a young but seasoned chocolatier.

On Wednesday, we spoke to Rachel Golian, from Simply Bar – whose product won this year’s Best New Snack Food Award; our old friend Gabriel Boxer spoke to us next about his new company and delicious product – Shani’s Tahini Sauce; Leah Haddad, from Voila! Hallah came next; she was followed by the Iron Chef Competition sponsored by the Center of Kosher Culinary Arts  (here, here, here and more) and Jack’s Gourmet Kosher Sausages. Geila then spoke to the competition’s winner, Chef Alexandre Petard from Ladino Restaurant.

Paula Shoyer, one of the judges and author of  The Kosher Baker; we then spoke to Paul BenSabat, coCEO of The Manischewitz Company (here, here and more) who told us of some exciting new introductions. Elan Kornblum, from Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine, spoke to us next…

Our last interview was with Alexander Rappaport, CEO of Masbia, Yaakov Leibowitz, from Agri Star  and Chef Ruben Diaz for the Masbia Soup Kitchens and the wonderful work they are doing by feeding over 1000 Hurricane Sandy victims every day!

CS

15
Nov
12

The First Kosher Food Bloggers Conference


This week, started with a whole slew of important activities for the kosher food bloggers community. Monday opened up with Melinda Strauss and Shelley Serber‘s Kosher Food Bloggers Conference held in the Milleseme at the Carlton Hotel.

Melinda (from Kitchen-Tested.com) and Shelley ( from thekosherhome.com)hosted a superb 7 hour event, featuring recognized authorities on a variety of subjects of vital interest to the blogging community. The wildly successful Jamie Geller opened the procedures by defining the purpose and explaining the mechanics of becoming a brand.

Photographer Noah Fecks followed and told us what makes a photograph dramatic and relevant. A panel composed of Leah Schapira - Senior Food Editor for Ami Magazine, author of Fresh and Easy: Ordinary Ingredients – Extraordinary FoodsDani Klein from YeahThat’sKosher.com, and Ely Rosenstock – Founder and CEO of BookofWin. This panel discussed the various approaches to making contents relevant and keeping it fresh.

The incomparable Lévana Kirschenbaum (who’s graced our pages countless times!!), then segued with her proven technique on making successful cooking demos, while Joe Applebaum, CEO of AjaxUnion Inc, spoke about Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Market

With over sixty bloggers and brands in attendance, this conference was ably produced by the team Melinda Strauss and Shelley Serber, with direction from event planner extraordinaire – Nelly Rosenking. A hearty lunch of deli meat wraps, salads, fruits and desserts was prepared by Fairway Market.

For a first event by a young team, this one showed a tremendous degree of dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism; I can’t wait to again be pleasantly surprised by whatever event they plan next!

CS




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