Archive for the 'kosher catering' Category

23
Feb
11

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2011 – Part 1


It was billed as bigger than its preceding shows… it was, it was billed as better than its preceding shows… it was! This was one of those rare occasions when hype and truth actually walked in locked step. The food, the wine, the liquors, all added up to a wonderful evening, an epicure’s dream come true.

SYR and I went in at 4:00pm, we saw and met many friends, magazine editors, fellow foodies and bloggers. We delighted in some products we’d already raved about on these pages, we discovered the new and revisited some great restaurants. As we spoke to favorite chefs, we  were happy to hear their craft was more than just a job, their passion for food, their creative juices continue unabated. Chef David Kolotkin of Solo and Prime Grill, Chef Jeff Nathan of Abigael’s and his wife Alison, Chef Mark Green of Glatt A La Carte, Jose Mireilles of Le Marais were among old friends showing off their creations.

Pomegranate had a large booth serving up some dishes that could have been made at any top restaurant.

Chef Emilio getting ready to hand out some delicacies.

Shana Wendel and staff presented Pardes‘ fares…

Lamb Meatballs with Turnip and Olive. Juicy, succulent, beautiful to look at... unmistakably Pardes!

Dr Alan Bronner and Chef Jack Silberstein of Jack’s Gourmet were serving  Chorizo Tacos, Pepper and Onion Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage and Bratwurst Sliders. We sampled all three and and loved them, here is an easy recipe they shared with us:

Bratwurst Sliders

Ingredients

  • 1 package (4 links) Jack’s Gourmet Cured Bratwurst Sausage sliced 1/4″ thick on an angle
  • 12 slider buns (4 burger buns can be substituted instead)
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 4 tablespoons grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Directions

  1. Combine the sauerkraut and caraway seeds and reserve.
  2. Combine the mustard and tarragon leaves and reserve.
  3. Heat a saute pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons oil. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  4. To serve, slice the buns in half. Spead a small amount of mustard on the bottom half of each bun. Top with sausage and sauerkraut and place other half of bun on top. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.

Some other friends with a great product are Valerie and Robert Groper from My Brother Bobby’s Salsa. SYR finally got to taste their salsas, she fully agrees with me they are superb. Can’t wait until they are available in Brooklyn!

Shalom Bombay was there as well, I had a selection of their Chicken Pakoras, Chicken Biryany and the Chicken Tikka Masala liberally sprinkled with the Mint and Tamarind Chutney and loved the whole combo. Noi Due still makes the best Espresso I’ve ever tasted in the US.

A new discovery was got cholent? Inc. I had their Moroccan Dafina and the Polish Cholent (just like my mamma used to make!!!). They have 16 different types of cholent, wish I could taste them all… The same people folks also own Gemstone Catering and we were very impressed with their Eve’s Apple and Hickory Wood Smoked BBQ Pulled Brisket Sliders. Tammy Polatsek from Aristocratic Design Co. told us these guys make superbly delicious food, well… they do!

There were so many restaurants to choose from, so much looked, smelled and tasted great I could write a very long post extolling the virtues of each, suffice it to say that the choice of eateries and caterers represented was tops. We also talked to cookbook authors Chef Lévana KirschenbaumChef Jeff Nathan, Chef Susie Fishbein, Chef Jamie Geller. All in all a delightful evening, amidst delightful people.

CS

25
Feb
10

Purim Recipes


Although today is a Ta’anit Esther – The Fast of Esther and observant Jews around the world are fasting, we also prepare for Sunday’s Purim feast. While looking for inspiration around the web, I came across the following (superb!) holy day recipes on famed Chef Laura Frankel‘s  blog:

I like hamantashen and certainly have eaten my fill of the tender cakey treats. Don’t get me wrong. They are delicious and fun to make. But, they are safe and not at all sexy. So, this year-I want some excitement on Purim. I think I am just tired of winter, the economy and bad news. Time for FUN! Get out your martini shakers, groggers and whatever else you need to put on a splashy and delicious Purim Feast. For dessert-I recommend you pull out those nice hamantashen or do like the Persians and serve dried fruit, nuts and fresh citrus.

All of the recipes can be prepped ahead of time, leaving you lots of time to get your Esther or Mordechai on. Have a Freylich Purim!

Blood Orange Martini

It is scary how tasty these martinis are-like you could easily get into trouble with a pitcher of these scary! Oh well, Haman-Mordechai…whatever! just have fun

1 ½ ounces vodka
2 ounces blood orange juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
1. Shake together and serve. Garnish with blood oranges slices and pomegranate seeds

Persian Meatballs (Kufteh)

This is a great dish for the end of winter. Serve this for Purim as a first course or as part of a Purim feast! Traditionally, the meatballs would not be browned before being poached. As a chef, I think the caramelized crust on the meatballs is essential and gives a great texture and more pronounced flavor. You can opt to do it either way.

2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 cup cooked yellow split peas
1 pound ground chicken, turkey or beef
½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
½ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 cup chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic-chopped
2 large red onions-peeled and chopped
2 eggs-lightly beaten
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom

1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well combined. Do not over mix as the mixture will be too tight and tough. Salt and pepper the mixture (I like to take a small amount and fry it to taste if the seasoning is correct).
2. Lightly, shape the meat balls with your hands.(I find that wetting my hands with cold water and using a rolling motion keeps them from getting too packed and tight.) You can store the meatballs at this point covered in the refrigerator for 2 days or freeze them for 1 month.
3. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the pan with olive oil. Brown the meatballs in batches. Remove form the pan and drain on paper towels.

For the poaching liquid

1 16-oz can of canned tomatoes with their juices
2 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon saffron threads
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice and zest 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Bring the poaching liquid ingredients to simmer in a large saucepan. Place the meatballs in the pan. Gently poach them until cooked through. Do not stir the pan as the meatballs will break apart.

Basmati Rice
This is a show stopper for any buffet or dinner. The crispy crust on the rice tastes a little bit like popcorn. It is easy to make ahead and can be reheated in the pan in a low oven.

2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a large saucepan bring water with salt to a boil. Add rice and boil 10 minutes. In a colander drain rice and rinse under warm water.
2. Place a 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Coat the bottom with olive oil. Spoon rice into the pan, cover pan with a kitchen towel and a heavy lid. Fold edges of towel up over lid and cook rice over moderately low heat until a golden brown crust forms, about 30 to 35 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving platter. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and blood orange sections.

According to The Jew And The Carrot website, Chef Laura is currently Executive Chef and head of food services at the Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and café at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. She is the former chef and founder of the Shallots restaurants. Mrs. Frankel has training and extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens. Before committing herself to her culinary passion, she played both alto and baritone saxophones. She taught and played professionally. She is the author of Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.

Chef Laura will be giving a Kosher Food Demo at De Gustibus (on the 8th floor of Macy’s) on the upcoming 16th of March.

I’ve eaten many times at Shallots when it used to be located in Manhattan at the atrium of the SONY building’s where Solo is now situated. I definitely can vouch for her succulent creations!!!

CS

28
Dec
09

I Ate… Fish


Whoever knows me in person, whoever has been reading this blog, knows I used to intensely dislike fish. In spite of my Mother’s best efforts, it wasn’t until I got to mesivta that I learned to tolerate gefilte fish on Shabbos eve. But, it never went beyond that! And yet in spite of that dislike, I’ve described – on these very pages – instances where I’ve eaten fish and… like them! One specific restaurant taught me to enjoy what I previously disliked…

Towards the end of May past, SYR and I found our way to Borough Park’s Avenue Plaza Dining (4626 13th Ave; Brooklyn, NY 1121; Telephone: 718.552.3222). The restaurant is located one floor below the Avenue Plaza Hotel‘s main lounge

One of the frescoes in the dining room of Avenue Plaza Dining

It’s a cozy, comfortable place; the dishes are unusual and delicious. Knowing full well that fish are not something everybody likes, Chezky Klein and his staff strive to have their creations look and taste very different from what one would expect. They are known throughout for what they do with fish, for what they do with pasta.

We started the meal with their most popular dish, “Buffalo Wings” Style Tilapia. Soft and tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, then smothered with lightly spicy sauce. Delectable!

SYR followed it with a Tilapia in Plum Sauce

Tilapia in Plum Sauce

The grilled Tilapia was glazed with plum sauce. The plum got rid of any “fishy” taste! The result was a tender, fruity, but meat like taste.

I had their “Spare Rib” Style Fillet of Salmon

"Spare Rib" Style Fillet of Salmon

It came grilled to perfection and had been basted in a delicious sauce that indeed made it taste like a very delicious “spare rib.” SYR and I, then split their Orange Scented Tilapia

Orange Scented Tilapia

Tender strips of tilapia, slightly coated with a subtle, fragrant, orange sauce.

Yes mommy, I know you won’t believe this, but I finally ate fish and… loved it! As Chezky Klein puts it, “This is not your grandma’s gefilte” and he’s absolutely right.

CS

08
Dec
09

For Your Eyes and Palate Only!


On December 3rd, last Thursday, the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce held a full day conference in the Wall Street area of Manhattan at 55 Broad Street. Many distinguished American and Israeli business leaders and professionals (in a variety of disciplines) were in attendance. Israel’s Minister for Infrastructure (Uzi Landau) was keynote speaker. The Governor of the Bank of Israel, Dr. Stanley Fischer, was among the many notable speakers and workshop moderators. Subjects ranged from Education to Health, to discussions of the many challenges the US and Israel face in the current global climate.

At 12:30pm there was a networking dairy lunch. Who would the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce use for a caterer, a caterer that could provide a delicious, nutritious feast  for the palate and the eyes? u café, of course!!

The photo doesn't give you a true idea of size... these cheese sandwiches were mouthwatering big!!!

Certainly there was plenty more to eat, look at the colors and textures…

Healthy, nourishing and beautiful to look at. Who can ask for more?

Salads were plentiful, all colors, for every taste…

Pasta!

And the fruit platters? Sheer artistry and super fresh!!!

I get hungry just looking at these kiwis

Two long tables filled with sandwiches, salads, soups, hot dishes and fruit platters… Ahhh, the presentation! Deeeelicious!! Catering in style!!!

CS




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