Archive for February, 2013

27
Feb
13

This Evening’s Radio Show, a Book Review & a Recipe


This evening – Wednesday, the 27th of February – at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time) we will be talking to Leah Schapira and Victoria Dweck, the co-authors of the cookbook: Passover Made Easy: Favorite Triple-Tested Recipes on our BlogTalkRadio.com/kosherscene segment.

Easy to prepare, delicious recipes. What more can you ask?

Easy to prepare, delicious recipes. What more can you ask?

Leah and her first cookbook already appeared in this pages, and she also was our guest on BlogTalkRadio in 2011. Victoria Dweck is the Managing Director of AMI MAGAZINE‘s Whisk (the weekly food section – a magazine on its own!). Their backgrounds and customs may be very different BUT, their love of food makes them an unbeatable team.

Looking through their new cookbook with sections on:

  • Food and Wine Pairing
  • Seder Night
  • Building Blocks
  • Starters
  • Soups and Salads
  • Main Dishes
  • Side Dishes
  • Brunch and Dairy
  • Desserts
  • Replacement Index

…it is obvious this book will please the seasoned as well as the new bride who’s just starting to cook! The recipes from Meatballs in Blueberry Sauce to Brisket Eggrolls (my mouth is watering already!) and Antipasti Rolls, from Orange Soup to Butternut Squash Salad and Lime-Infused Pear Salad, from Eggplant-Wrapped Chicken to Veal Chops in White Wine Sauce and Braised Short Ribs in Homemade Duck Sauce are sure to enhance ANY Seder meal!

With side dishes like Stuffed Onions or Potato and Flanken Kugel, with breakfast goodies like Banana French Toast or Pineapple Pie; with desserts like Frozen Lemon Wafer Cake or Truffled Grapes this is the perfect gift to yourself, your family or Seder host (you can purchase this cookbook here).

With 60 easy to make, mouth watering recipes it was hard to choose just one to share with you, gentle reader, but as an incurable chocolate addict I think the following dessert is just perfect:

Chocolate Crackel  Sandwiches

(From page 112…)

Detail of photo by Daniel Lailah on page 113

Detail of photo by Daniel Lailah, on page 113

Yield: 9 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (optional)
  • 2/3 cup cocoa (scant)
  • pinch salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 cups walnuts halves, toasted

Chocolate Ice Cream Mousse

  • 15 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 9 eggs, separated
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a standard mixer (or using a hand mixer), combine confectioners’ sugar, vanilla sugar, and cocoa. Add the salt and egg whites. Beat well. Add the walnuts and mix until incorporated. Do not let the batter sit.
  3. Immediately spoon full tablespoons of batter onto each baking sheet. There should be 6 cookies per sheet for a toal of 18 large cookies (the cookies spread). Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.
  4. Prepare chocolate ice cream mousse: Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over low heat. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, oil, and melted chocolate. Process until well combined.
  5. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff, gradually adding the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar. Add lemon juice. Lower speed and add chocolate mixture.
  6. Pour ice cream into prepared pan. Freeze until firm,
  7. Assemble the ice cream sandwiches: Pair the cookies that are the most even-sized. Using a deep cookie cutter the size of a cookie cut the ice cream. The ice cream should stick to the sides of the cutter; when you lift the cutter, the ice cream should come with it. Push it out onto a cookie. Sandwich it with the matching cookie. Freeze.

Hot Chocolate Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the sugars, cocoa, salt. water, and oil. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens to desired consistency.

TIDBITCoca-Cola makes a special batch of soda for Passover using real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, which is kitnyiot. A yellow cap identifies the special bottles.

These crackels are a simply delicious cookie that work well either on their own or paired with ice cream. There’s just one rule. Once you mix the batter, drop it into the cookie sheet immediately. If it sits in the bowl, the batter becomes thick and chunky and result in cookies that aren’t as appealing. I haven’t yet figured out a way to reverse that – so work quickly!

Confess! I can see you salivating as you read the recipe, so… enjoy.

Don’t forget to tune us in, this evening, at 10:00pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkRadio.com/kosherscene. Meanwhile, in case you missed, just listen to the archive of our last show with Esther Zafrani?

CS

20
Feb
13

Bargains at Deals Maven


dealsmavenWe never imagined when we started The Kosher Scene that our coverage would include deals and bargains. Let’s face it, however, with (expensive!) Passover fast approaching, with items one needs in the kitchen and outside of it, we felt compelled to tell you about a site – we just discovered – which can save lots of money while bringing you links from all over the internet. Such a site is dealsmaven.com.

Current and recent deals include:

Cuisinart TOB-80 Compact Toaster Oven Broiler, Only $69.95!

Hot!! SodaStream Jet Home Soda Maker, Only $59.99! + Receive $10 Kohl’s Cash!

Seagate Backup Plus 1TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive, $77!

KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Series, 5QT Bowl, Stand Mixer, Only $259.77! w/Free Shipping.

New Passover Cookbook: Passover Made Easy: Favorite Triple-Tested Recipes, $10.87!

15% Off Select Baby Products At Amazon!

DeLonghi Juice Extractor, Marked Down To Only $149.99!!

Ends Today! Emeril All-Clad Hard Anodized Nonstick 8″ & 10″ Fry Pan Set, $24.99!

Hurry!! Shop Taste of Home: $5 Sale on Kitchen Gadgets and Cookbooks!

So far the categories covered are:

Categories

  • Apparel
  • Baby
  • Camera
  • Coupons
  • Credit Cards
  • Freebies
  • GPS
  • Hot Deals
  • Kitchen
  • Laptops
  • Luggage
  • Shoes
  • Toys
  • Travel
  • Uncategorized

It may be a new site, but it has a lot to offer. Personally, I know I’ll be visiting and revisiting often.

Meanwhile enjoy the savings, gentle reader, enjoy!!!

CS

14
Feb
13

Kosher Food and Wine Extravaganza 2013 – Part 1


[I apologize to our readers for posting so late, but I had a family emergency. Immediately after the KFWE 2013 I had to leave for Richmond, VA. to deal with my 100 year old (ad meah ve'esrim!), Holocaust survivor uncle - my mother's baby brother - who both broke a hip and developed pneumonia all at the same time. While far from perfect, things are under control again and I can get back to work. CS]

KFWE 2013 took place on Monday, February 4th, last week. As always the wine selections were superb, the restaurants and caterers exhibiting were tops. Better and bigger than ever, with more people attending than ever. Today we are posting the first of a multi part series of video interviews with winemakers, chefs, restaurateurs and some of the people attending.

We started with Baron Edmond de Rothschild wines…

All videos copyright of © The Kosher Scene, 2013

Next we spoke to Joe A. Hurliman from the Herzog Wine Cellars

We segued with our friend, producer of award winning wines, Dr. Moises Cohen owner and founder of Spain’s acclaimed Elvi Wines.

After quite a few more interviews we went to the main floor to taste and see what the interviewees were talking about. My favorite was the Clos Mesorah 2009, it tasted even better than last year. On the nose I found it to be rich in blackberry, black cherry, blueberry and floral notes. On the palate it exhibits concentrated and layered fruit, silky tannins, along with plenty of spice, buttered herbs, and good cedar that fills the mouth and makes for a rich and unusual experience, with a long finish of chocolate, vanilla, berries, and butterscotch, with fruit and butterscotch lingering long after the wine is gone. Wooow, we loved it!

We will be telling you about the other wines we also enjoyed at KFWE 2013, so… just stay tuned. Meanwhile enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

03
Feb
13

Chocolate Checkerboard Cookies


Some of my grandkids will be visiting today, I thought these would make a special treat:

Chocolate Checkerboard Cookies

(adapted from Jacqueline Bellefontaine‘s What’s Cooking: Chocolate)

Detail of photo from Page 125

Detail of photo from page 125

Yield: 18

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup margarine, softened (use butter if you prefer creamier tasting dairy cookies)
  • 6 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or the grated rind of 1/2 an orange
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1oz dark bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • a little beaten egg white

Directions

  1. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Beat the margarine and confectioner’s sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract or the grated orange rind.
  2. Gradually beat in the flour to form a soft dough. Use your fingers to incorporate the last of the flour and to bring the dough together.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and beat the melted chocolate into one half. Keeping each half of the dough separate, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out each piece of dough to a rectangle about 3″ x 8″ inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Brush one piece of dough with a little egg white and place the other piece of dough on top.
  5. Cut the block of dough in half lengthwise and turn over one half. Brush the side of one strip with egg white and butt the other up to it, so that it resembles a checkerboard.
  6. Cut the block into thin slices and place each slice flat on a cookie sheet, allowing enough space to spread a little during baking.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F. for about 10 minutes, until just firm. Cool on on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack with a spatula. Cool completely.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

01
Feb
13

The Michael & Judy Steinhardt Collection at Sotheby’s


You can glean an indication of a people’s essential soul through its art; you can tell an artist’s darkest fears or highest aspirations through his/her artistic creations. From its very beginning, Jewish art has been heavily influenced by its homestead environs, the cultural milieu, and the political and economic times of each era. Regardless of the external influences, however, the unique Jewish en-soulment  lives within every creation like a burning spark in each work. You can view these spiritual sparks in a collection of Judaica currently on partial display at Sotheby’s (1334 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021 - Tel: 212.606.7000). The full collection of 400 lots, collected by Judy and Michael Steinhardt consists of rare Jewish art spanning from antiquity to the 20th century and will be auctioned on April 29th, 2013.

Among the collection’s items one can find The Frankfurt Mishnah Torah, published sometime around 1457 to 1465, it is a beautiful set of eight illuminated manuscripts (another five volumes are in the Vatican). As Sotheby’s press release states, it is by far the most profusely illustrated manuscript of MaimonidesMishna Torah and is expected to command between $4.5 to $6 million. An item that is currently on display is this beautiful North German Bronze Lion Aquamanile, from the 12th century…

kosher-scene-copyright-copy

One of only four known Aquamanilia (hand washing vessels) with a medieval Hebrew inscription.

One of only four known Aquamanilia (hand washing vessels) bearing a medieval Hebrew inscription.

Other items I was privileged to see are a German psomim bixl, used for havdallah at the end of Shabbos, a very ornate Torah crown…

An Italian Torah crown, circa 1730

An Italian Torah crown, circa 1730

The detailed work and beautiful lettering on the crown, speak eloquently of the artist’s reverence for his subject and mastery of the delicate nuances of his raw material. Also displayed is a Torah breastplate of rare workmanship unequaled today…

Intricately designed, unique in its beauty.

Intricately designed, unique in its beauty.

Other items displayed include 2 Ketubas – like the one below, for example:

The full ketuba above and the actual written contract on the bottom...

The full ketuba above and the actual written contract on the bottom…

An unusual lot also on display is The Rouchomovsky Skeleton: A Russian Gold Articulated Skeleton in a Silver-Gilt Coffin, from Odessa 1892-96 and estimated at $150,000 to $250,000…

Very small, yet incredibly detailed.

Very small, yet exquisitely detailed.

This collection affords more than just a glimpse at the collective Jewish soul, to see it and even more to own a piece of it connects a person to centuries of Jewish hopes, dreams, tears and laughter. The complete collection of 400 lots will be on display at Sotheby’s (1334 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021 - Tel: 212.606.7000) from April 24 trough 28, while the auction itself will take place on the 29th of April.

CS

RELATED POST

Judaica at Sotheby’s – Valmadonna Trust Library




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