Archive for the 'cholent' Category

23
Dec
12

Nobo Wine & Grill


Teaneck’s Nobo Wine & Grill (1400 Palisade Avenue; Teaneck, NJ 07666, Telephone: 201.837.1000), never ceases to amaze and delight. Under the direction of Executive Chef Josh Massin (formerly of Manhattan’s Mike’s Bistro), this restaurant which we reviewed before – with a different chef and a different name, though still under the same owners – redefines the meaning of “succulent.” This past Tuesday, the incomparable Lévana, treated SYR and I to this eatery.

We started our culinary adventure by sharing three appetizers: Big Eye Tuna Nicoise

kosher-scene-copyright-copy21

Big Eye Tuna Nicoise - Olive oil poach tuna, with assorted olives, capers, hard-boiled egg, frisee, cinfit campari tomatoes, raw honey emulsion, fried bread & red wine vinegar syrup.

Big Eye Tuna Nicoise – Olive oil poach tuna, with assorted olives, capers, hard-boiled egg, frisee, cinfit campari tomatoes, raw honey emulsion, fried bread & red wine vinegar syrup.

Traditional Cassoulet

Traditional Cassoulet - Bean stew with duck confit, veal sausage, veal bacon & roasted bone marrow on the side.

Traditional Cassoulet – Bean stew with duck confit, veal sausage, veal bacon & roasted bone marrow on the side.

…and Wild Mushroom Risotto. The tuna in syrup, tasted heavenly with a subtle citrusy flavor and sides that perfectly complemented it; the cassoulet was quite reminiscent of a fine cholent, in fact Chef Josh told us that cholent (or chaud lent) was most likely based on this French delicacy. The marrow bone was – for me – a superb touch, after all as a kid I used to fight my dad for these bones. After all these years, after all the changes in palette, nothing compares to a great marrow bone. Hmm, hmm!  The risotto came with parsley puree, salamesian and white truffle oil, strongly flavored and delicious!

We then proceeded to share three mains: Boneless Braised BBQ Short Ribs

Boneless Braised BBQ short Ribs - with roasted garlic & rutabaga mash, smoky cannellini beans, leek sauce, maple syrup infused barbeque sauce.

Boneless Braised BBQ short Ribs – with roasted garlic & rutabaga mash, smoky cannellini beans, leek sauce, maple syrup infused barbeque sauce.

The short ribs, and sides, brought in a beautiful tapestry of perfectly balanced flavors and tender, juicy meat!

We then proceeded with a Crispy Skin Poached Dark Skin Meat Chicken, it consisted of smoky white wine, braised savoy cabbage, local Rusian fingerling potatoes, chicken sausage dumplings, braised leeks, red pepper aioli and garlic crouton. Incredibly flavorful with an orangey taste, and very juicy. We loved it!

But the pièce de résistance was the Butcher’s Cut Steak, not on the regular menu and not always available, it was recommended by the Chef. Cooked sous vide* it came with sauteed haricot vert and Yukon Gold potatoes. It came medium rare, it was superbly tasty, soft like butter and very juicy.

We washed it all down with Segal Merlot 2011, it was adequate without being overpowering

For dessert, in a tremendous display of self restraint, we shared a single Peanut Butter Chocolate torte, with a Lace Cookie and a Cinnamon Ice Cream. Ahhh, a perfect cap to a perfect meal!

A perfect ending!

Just the right ending!

With a very attentive, unassuming Chef, great food, superb company and just the right ambiance… who can ask for more?

CS

*Sous Vide – From the French “under vacuum.” The ingredients are slowly cooked (for as long as 72 hours) in a water bath – while sealed in airtight plastic – as a result the natural juices and flavors stayed undiluted with whatever ingredient is so cooked. The reason for this method of cooking is to cook the item evenly, without overcooking the outside as the inside gets the same amount of donenness, with all around juicier results. Meat, using this method is cooked between 131F. to 140F. Vegetables need a higher temperature.

22
Feb
12

A Conversation with Ari White


At last week's KFWE 2012...

This evening, February the 22nd, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) we will host Ari White on our internet radio show. Ari runs (together with his wife Gemma) Got Cholent? Inc/Gemstone Catering. Ari started Got Cholent? Inc., a few years ago, because he was fascinated with the variations of cholent around the world. Whether you want a standard Ashkenazi cholent, like mama used to make or you prefer the Moroccan Dafina, or a Texas, Asian or other versions, Ari’s company offers them all with more than 12 finger-licking choices. At last year’s KFWE he debuted Gemstone Catering (Gemstone? In honor of his wife Gemma, of course!).

Presentation and unusual combination of flavors makes these two companies stand out from the crowd, their imagination and creativity has elevated their food into art. Tonight Ari White will tell us what/who inspires him, what he’s done and where he’s going next.

Meanwhile in case you missed it, last week we did two internet radio shows, on Wednesday we did the first part of our interviews with winemakers from around the world, company executives and attendees and on Thursday we featured the second part. Why don’t you give us a listen, you’ll hear how the quest for a perfect kosher wine transformed the lives of winemaker, winery owners and just how often their life journey took them to unexpected, and originally unwanted harbors that turned out to be far warmer and welcoming than they could have believed.

Why not tune us in this evening at BlogTalkRadio.com/kosherscene? We will be talking to Ari White from Got Cholent? Inc/Gemstone Catering at 8:00 pm (Eastern Time).

We’ll be wait’n for ya!

CS

21
Jan
11

Oyfn Pripetchik… – In the Fireplace…


It snowed overnight, after most of the snow and ice on the ground had just about melted away…

This morning's view from my apartment window

Oyfn pripetchik brent a fayerl
Un in shtub is heys.
Un der rebbe lernt kleyne kinderlekh
Dem alef-beys.

A fire is burning in the fireplace
and its warm in the house,
as the Rabbi is teaching little children
the aleph-beys.

Street view...

It’s cold and Shabbos is coming and as we recharge our batteries from the week’s harsh realities, or we contemplate on the week’s successes, there is that special Shabbos food to warm us, to comfort us. Cholent, kugel (whether potato or lokshen – noodles) and more.

As we sing Shabbos zmiros, as we tell over divrey Torah there is a warmth that permeates the heart’s own hearth – the tiny inner pripetchik where the pintele yid is always burning, always reminding one who and what he or she is. Regardless of the weather outside, whether cold, freezing, warm or hot, the heart’s temperature is perfect, as the mind feels uplifted by the niggunim, by the words of ancient wisdom, by the stories that touch one’s soul and the body enjoys those special flavors of the Shabbos food (the same food, prepared the exact same way, just tastes so different during the week).

[..]Gliklekh iz der yid vos lernt toyre,
Vos darfn mir nokh mer?

Happy is the Jew who learns Torah
What more do we need?

(Oyfn Pripetchik - Old Yiddish song)

Talking about the special taste of Shabbos food, I came across this easy recipe, on The Food Network, by Joan Nathan, it is different and very good:

Vegetable and Fruit Kugel Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 apples, grated
  • 1 large sweet potato, grated
  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 1 cup matzoh meal
  • 1 stick pareve margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 24 paper muffin cups
  • 2 (12) cavity muffin tins

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Place the paper muffin cups in the muffin tins.
  3. Pour the batter into the cups. They should be two-thirds full.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until done in a preheated 350 degree oven.

A gutten Shabbos – Shabbat shalom umevorach, gentle reader.

CS

14
Jan
11

Jachnun


Ever since I first tasted it at a Shabbat kidush in shull, I can barely eat cholent without it anymore. Looking to make my own  jachnun, rather than buy it, I found the following on Astray Recipes:

Making jachnun - Photo from: travelpod.com

Jachnun

Ingredients

  • 3¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¼ cup water
  • ¾ cup margarine; cut into 6 pieces

Directions

  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor and process to blend. Add egg and 1 cup water and process with on/off turns to mix. With motor running, gradually add remaining water, about 1/4 cup, adding enough so mixture comes together to a smooth, fairly stiff dough. It will be sticky. Remove from processor.
  2. Knead dough well by slapping vigorously on the work surface. Divide into 6 pieces and knead each one with a slapping motion until smooth. Roll each in your palm to a ball.
  3. Put on an oiled plate or tray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Oil working surface and rolling pin. Let margarine stand at room temperature until very soft.
  5. Roll out 1 ball of dough on oiled surface to a very thin 12-inch square. To help stretch dough, pull it gently from time to time by hand, until very thin. If dough tears, simply press it together. Spread with a piece of soft margarine. Fold in half, then in half again to make a long strip. Roll up strip from a short side in a tight cylinder. Repeat with 5 remaining pieces of dough.
  6. Put in greased, shallow 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with foil and a lid and refrigerate at least 2 or up to 8 hours. Preheat oven to 200 F. Bake pastries 13-14 hours or until golden brown. Serve hot.

Source: “International Jewish Cookbook“, by Faye Levy, Warner Books 1991. Found on the Internet.

Personally, I’ll skip the sixth step. I’ll take one serving put it in the cholent and freeze the others to be used on subsequent weeks. I also add some hardboiled eggs (Yemenite custom) which by lunch time, on Shabbos, taste superb having cooked for so many hours on low heat.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

13
Apr
10

Israeli Food Blogs – Part 2


Over the years I’ve tasted many variations of tcholent (tchulent if you are of chassidische background), some tasted superb even if they were sometimes exotic. Baroness Tapuzina – a food blog I read voraciously – offers a Sephardic variation on the theme. Like Food Bridge, this one also offers a small glimpse into the life and personality of its author.

[All photos in this post are the property of Baroness Tapuzina.]

Israeli Hamin, North African Shahina and Dafina, Iraqi Tabit, Yemenite Taris, Hungarian Solet, Kurdish Matfunia, Ladino Haminado, German Shalet and Eastern European Cholent or Chulent are all words for a Shabbat slow-cooked meal that has been made since at least the 12th century and possibly as far back as ancient Egypt in many households except my own. Whatever you choose to call it, hamin originates from the ban on lighting a fire or cooking during Shabbat, since these are considered to be forbidden forms of work. However, it’s permitted to start something cooking before Shabbat starts, so provided the heat is kept low enough, it’s possible to start cooking the hamin on Friday afternoon and have a nice tender slow-cooked meal for lunch on Saturday.

I had never heard of this dish until I moved to Israel. I remember my grandmother telling me how she and my great-grandmother would make challot at home and take them to the village baker to bake on Friday morning, but she never mentioned making this stew and my great-grandmother, who died when I was 19 years old, never made it for Shabbat, so I have to assume that this dish was as unfamiliar to my family as was gefilte fish.

Growing up in the Deep South, baked beans, pinto beans, and blackeyed peas were all readily available, but not a very popular staple in my house. My mother loved all of these, but I always thought they were disgusting. So when I saw cholent for the first time, it reminded me of refried beans or baked beans, two dishes that I really disliked. I tried it once at the house of one of my relatives in Israel, but I couldn’t bring myself to eat it again. However, one day I was discussing my dislike of cholent with Mimi of Israeli Kitchen and she told me that there are many different types of cholent, some without beans, that I should try.

I started doing some research and found that there are Sephardic versions that use chickpeas, bulgar, rice, and even couscous instead of the European versions that use white beans (also called navy beans) or barley, like the ones used in cassoulet. The Ashkenazi ones used beef, goose, and duck while the Sephardic ones used beef, lamb and chicken. This dish is supposed to be a complete main course in one pot, so it also can contain stuffed goose necks, chicken necks or stomach.  If you are Ashkenazi the stuffing is likely to be some variation of flour, bread crumbs, chicken, goose or duck fat and potatoes; if you are Sephardi, it is more likely to be minced meat and rice flavored with spices such as cinnamon, cardamon and allspice.

The hamin may also may contain dumplings. Kurdish Jews make a cracked wheat and semolina dumpling that is stuffed with minced beef or lamb; Moroccan Jews serve a large fragrant dumpling made with a mixture of ground nuts, minced lamb, mince beef and bread crumbs, flavoured with sugar, black pepper, mace, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

For my virgin hamin, I found an interesting recipe from the master chef of cholent, Sherry Ansky, a food writer who is passionate about this slow-cooked dish, so much so, that she devoted an entire book to the subject, punctuated by stories from her own life about the role different types of hamin and cholent had played for her. I chose to make a root vegetable hamin with asado or short ribs and goose drumsticks. This recipe does not contain the dreaded bean nor the much loved slowed eggs that I also loathe. I started by browning the meat and the vegetables in a large frying pan and then did the next stage of cooking in a large soup pot, and only after that moved all the ingredients to a very large clay pot, but if you have a large enough Dutch oven or Pojke, then you can just do the whole job in that one pot. You should cook this for about 20 hours, including the one hour it cooks on the stove top.

Since I never prepare a heavy Shabbat lunch, I decided to make this Thursday night and serve it for Shabbat dinner. It is a bit unconventional, but it worked for us. This hamin is delicious and I have been converted. I am going to wait a few weeks, but I would like to try another hamin. I see an Iraqi Tabit in our future or maybe one with pitim or maybe one with pasta……

Don’t plan any activities after lunch because you will probably be too heavy and bloated to even move from the table.

Printable recipe here

Root Vegetable Hamin made in a Clay Pot
Adapted from a recipe in Hamin by Sherry Ansky
Serves: 6-8

2 kilos (4lbs) veal or lamb osso buco (I used short ribs)
1 kilo goose drumsticks
10 whole shallots, peeled
2 heads of garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
3 to 4 celery stalks, chopped
2 celery roots
2 parsley roots
4 to 6 small turnips
1/2 (1lb) kilo Jerusalem artichokes
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
2 -3 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2-3 fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
3 medium tomatoes chopped or 250g crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 to 7 potatoes, peeled and cut in half
2-3 small sweet potatoes (optional, instead of some of the potatoes), peeled and cut into thick slices
Water to cover

Peel and cut the turnips, celery root, parsley root and Jerusalem artichokes into large cubes. Place the root vegetables and celery in a bowl and set aside.

Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Brown the meat and goose drumsticks, in batches, on all sides, and set aside in a bowl.

Add 2-3 more tablespoons of oil, reduce the heat to medium and saute the whole shallots for 3-4 minutes. Add all of the root vegetables except for the potatoes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon to ensure that the vegetables do not stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the paprika, cayenne, black peppercorns, chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and stir a little more.

Then return all of the meat to the pot and stir everything together. Pour on enough boiling water to just cover all of the ingredients and add the thyme, bay leaf, sage, and rosemary. Reduce the temperature to a simmer and cook for one hour. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 90-100C (195 – 212F).

Add the potatoes and garlic, add a little more salt to taste, cover the pot tightly and put it in the oven until lunchtime the following day.

Sounds great! I’ll have to try it this coming Shabbos, though I’ll use a slow cooker or crockpot (on low heat) rather than the oven. When I make my own recipe I use flanken meat, pastrami, kishka and add a bar of Yemenite jachnun to the beans (which I soak in water for, at least, 8 hours), Vidalia onions, potatoes, garlic and tomato sauce with lots of spices.

CS




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