Archive for the 'kosher cooking demos' Category



31
Jan
11

Our Guest This Week Will Be…


Last week we presented Jay Buchsbaum the Executive VP of the Royal Wine Co., as our interviewee. You can hear Jay and his encyclopedic knowledge of all things wine, here

This coming Wednesday, at 8:00pm, our guest will be Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum, the regulars of this blog know how much we enjoy her cooking demos, how much we enjoy her recipes. Mrs. Kirschenbaum has written three cookbooks Lévana’s Table, In Short Order and Lévana Cooks Dairy-Free!. She’s now hard at work on her fourth cookbook on Superfoods, due out this coming summer.

Who is Lévana? What are her credentials? Most of you may remember her ground breaking restaurant Lévana’s, but there is far more as we are told on her website:

For nearly thirty years Lévana Kirschenbaum has owned and operated a catering business, a bakery and a successful Manhattan restaurant all while raising a family. She understands that even gourmet chefs don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. With this in mind, she keeps the recipes simple, insisting that using fresh, natural ingredients will yield fantastic results without a lot of fuss.

When Lévana opened her eponymous restaurant with her two brothers-in-law twenty five years ago, all Kirschenbaums were perfectly aware they were facing a hard sell: introduce fine kosher dining to the Kosher public, who until then was content either eating at home or grabbing a bite in the rare joints that served institutional old world treats. The general prediction was that the presumptuous idea would fall flat on its face.

Undaunted by being the trailblazers of the trend, they surrounded themselves with the best chefs, developed the most delicious dishes and waited patiently until the idea of gourmet kosher caught on. The rest, as we all know, is history: kosher food and wine has experienced a veritable explosion and has its place among the most prestigious competitions. Many luxury kosher restaurants have opened and thrived since Lévana’s pioneering days, bearing out the dictum that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

With over 25 years of experience in professional cooking, recipe development, catering and teaching, celebrity chef Lévana makes the preparation of nutritious and exotic gourmet cuisine easy. She gets countless devoted fans for her fearless, practical and nutritious approach to cooking and spreads the good word on simple, streamlined, elegant and wholesome dining in her classroom on the Upper West Side – where she gives weekly demos – and around the country.

What is her goal?

Fine dining that is also contemporary, nutritious and easy to prepare is a way of life that Lévana instills in her classes. Lévana’s unfussy, straightforward approach utilizes fresh, all natural ingredients to create international flavors from her native Morocco and other wide-ranging culinary influences.

I’ve known Lévana for a while now and I can assure you that the show will be truly informative and entertaining. Just listen in, gentle reader, at 8:00pm on Wednesday, February 2nd, on Jewish Radio Network. Enter the site and click on the red “here” under the white “Radio,” then wait about 30 to 90 seconds for the application to start streaming.

CS

28
Jan
11

Shabbat Comfort Food


Last Friday we posted Oyfn Pripetchik… – In the Fireplace… with an unusual but interesting kugel recipe. Today we follow up with a very easy recipe for a great Yerushami Kugel. Truth is, I’ve never been a fan of this type of kugel, the idea of sweet pasta just doesn’t do it for me, but, last Monday at Chef Lévana‘s cooking demo I tasted this and was forced to change my mind:

Yerushalmi Kugel

Ingredients

  • 1 pound thin noodles, any noodles (gluten-free will work too!)
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper, or a little more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar or Sucanat
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup water

An individual portion of Chef Lévanas' Yerushalmi Kugel

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Boil the noodles until just barely tender. If you started with long noodles, cut through the whole pile with scissors until you get smaller pieces.
  3. Place in a mixing bowl, and mix in the oil, pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, and eggs. Combine thoroughly.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the sugar, agave and water in a small saucepan.
  5. Reduce the flame to low and cook about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns a nice amber color (watch the cooking, don’t let the mixture burn).
  6. Immediately add to the noodle mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan or a greased tube pan.
  8. Bake about 1 hour, or a little longer, until the top looks set.

Delicious warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy, gentle reader, and have a gutten Shabbos, Shabbat shalom umevorach!

CS

21
Dec
10

Soups as Comfort Food – Part 3


There are myriad types of soups, while I never intended an exhaustive listing when we started this series, while I realize there are far more types than I’m ever likely to try, this series only deals with some of my favorites from among those I’ve tasted. In this, the final installment of the series we will again feature two soups.

We chose all these recipes both because of their taste and the ease of preparation.

Last evening, at a cooking demo by Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum, I tasted her incredibly flavorful and very simple to prepare…

Aduki Bean Burdock Soup

Ingredients

  • 12 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground bay leaf
  • 2 cups aduki beans
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 celery root, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 large zucchini, cut in large chunks
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1 large piece burdock, peeled and cut in large chunks

Directions

  1. Bring all ingredients to boil in a wide heavy pot.
  2. Reduce to medium and cook covered for 1 hour.
  3. Cream the soup with an immersion blender.
  4. Adjust texture and seasonings.

If you do not have, if you cannot find burdock, you can substitute almost anything else. In spite of her recipe calling for burdock, Lévana – just to demonstrate the versatility of her recipe – used kale stalk instead

If you are like me you probably never heard of burdock before…What is burdock? For its culinary and medicinal properties look it up in the Wikipedia. Meanwhile, as the article says:

the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy wrote in his journal, in 1896, about a tiny shoot of burdock he saw in a ploughed field, “black from dust but still alive and red in the center … It makes me want to write. It asserts life to the end, and alone in the midst of the whole field, somehow or other had asserted it.”

For another of Chef Lévana’s superb soup recipes check out Quick Black Bean Chocolate Soup

To end this series I chose to adapt an Emeril Lagasse variation of the classic French Onion Soup on the Food Network :

Gratinee Lyonnaise (Lyon-style Onion Soup)

[adapted to conform with kashrus]

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup cognac
  • 8 cupspareve soup stock
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, tied into a bundle with kitchen string
  • 1/2 loaf French bread, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 pound Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2 egg yolks (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Port wine (optional)
  • Finely chopped parsley, garnish

Directions

In a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the cognac. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the alcohol has evaporated. Be careful as the cognac may ignite.

Add the soup stock and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the soup for 45 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, toast the bread slices until light golden brown. Remove from the oven.

Preheat the broiler.

When the soup is ready, divide 1/2 of the toasted bread slices between 6 individual ovenproof serving bowls or crocks and top with 1/2 of the grated cheese. Ladle some of the soup among the bowls and top with the remaining toasts. Ladle the remaining soup among the bowls and top with the remaining cheese. Place the bowls on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted, golden brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Optional topping:

In a small bowl combine the egg yolks and Port and whisk to thoroughly combine. Pour some of the mixture evenly among the soup bowls, stirring in around the edges so that it is incorporated into the soup. (The heat of the soup will cook the egg yolk and this will thicken and enrich the soup.)

Garnish the top with chopped parsley and serve hot.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Soups as Comfort Food – Part 2

Soups as Comfort Food

04
Oct
10

Kosher Cooking Demos at De Gustibus



L’CHAIM SERIES

Event title: DAVID KOLOTKIN – The Prime Restaurant Group

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 | 1 – 3:30 PM $95 per class

All food will be strictly kosher

DAVID KOLOTKIN, executive chef of The Prime Grill, imparts his cooking ideas to present a vibrant and informative take on tantalizing New American cuisine for the kosher home chef.

–)oOo(–

Event title: JOAN NATHAN – Cookbook Author

Thursday, November 11, 2010 | 1 – 3:30 PM $95 per class

All food will be strictly kosher

JOAN NATHAN, doyenne of Jewish American cooking, is the recipient of multiple James Beard Awards, a TV personality, and the author of 10 cookbooks, including Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France. Joan brings simple yet refined European flavors to the table, seasoned with a hint of the Mediterranean that is always in sync with the needs of the kosher gourmande.

–)oOo(–

Event title: SETH WARSHAW & SHLOMO BLASHKA – etc steakhouse

Monday, November 29, 2010 | 5:30 – 8:00 PM $95 per class

All food will be strictly kosher

SETH WARSHAW, executive chef of etc steakhouse in Teaneck, New Jersey, demonstrates an elegant kosher menu focused on the highest quality meats and satisfying seasonal ingredients.  SHLOMO BLASHKA, of Royal Wine Corporation, will pair the delectable dishes with an array of world-class kosher wines that are sure to please the most discerning palate.

–)oOo(–

Location

Venue : De Gustibus Cooking School
Homepage: http://www.degustibusnyc.com
Street: 151 West 34th Street, 8th Floor
ZIP:
10001
City: New York

Location description:

The cooking school is located on the 8th floor of Macy’s Herald Square on the 7th Avenue side of the building. You can enter the store at 151 West 34th Street and take the passenger elevators to the 8th floor and we are located between the coat / bathing suit department and human resources in the employee section of the store.

Please Click below to Register for this event:
REGISTER HERE

18
Aug
10

Cooking with Lévana – Part 5


It’s no secret to anyone who regularly peruses these pages (here, here, here, and here) that both SYR and I are enamored with Lévana’s cooking and teaching styles. Often defying the tried and true, she combines many an ingredient in ways that conventional wisdom might sometimes question but the results are always delicious! She does, time and again, prove that cooking for a crowd need not be a whole day affair, she invariably comes up with shortcuts that save hours of work, nerves and sweat.

This past Monday, after just over a month of being unable to do much, I found my way to Lévana’s Dinner and Show, this week. She covered Sephardi Finger Foods; the menu consisted of the following:

Lamb, Pine-Nut and Raisin Grape Leaves
Spicy Chicken Cigars
Mushroom Borekas
Fishballs in Lemon Sauce
Spicy Marinated Olives
Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini and Eggplant
Nut Truffles

"Let's start now, OK?"

It’s hard to choose just two of the recipes, but since this week we’ve been covering mushrooms we will include this one where she uses them:

Mushroom Borekas

Filling:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Good pinch nutmeg
½ teaspoon dry thyme or tarragon
2 pounds puff pastry sheets, kept chilled
1 egg, mixed with a little water

Preparing the filling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until all liquids evaporate. Add the remaining filling ingredients, and combine thoroughly. Cut the puff pastry to desired size. Place the filling in the center and close on all sides, pressing all around the sides with a fork. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Bake about 30 minutes, or a little longer, until golden brown and puffy. Serve hot.

Hot and delicious

Hot and delicious

The Spicy Marinated Olives were superb (and those who know me, know I’m no big fan of olives), with very subtle hints of anise. Unusual, delectable!  The Spicy Chicken Cigars were the best I’ve ever tasted; the Fishballs in Lemon Sauce, superbly delicious, didn’t taste fishy at all!

The Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini and Eggplant looked great and tasted supreme. The excellent Nut Truffles dessert, was just sweet enough without the sweetness drowning out any of the other flavors.

The pièce de résistance, for me, was the Lamb, Pine-Nut and Raisin Grape Leaves dish:

Lamb, Pine nut and Raisin Grape Leaves

Filling
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large cloves garlic1 large onion, quartered
1 small bunch flat parsley
¼ cup mint leaves, packed
1 pound ground lamb
1 large tomato, halved, seeded, and diced small
1/2 cup golden or black raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (325 degree oven. 10-12 minutes)
Good pinch saffron
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pepper to taste
1 15 ounce jar grape leaves, separated and rinsed
1 cup pomegranate or cranberry juice
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the oil in a skillet. In a food processor, finely grind the garlic. Add the onion, parsley and and mint, and grind coarsely. Add the ground mixture to the skillet, and saute until translucent. Add the lamb and tomato, and cook 2-3 more minutes. Add all remaining filling ingredients and mix thoroughly. Place a tablespoon stuffing at the bottom center of a leaf (smaller leaves: Make them overlap to get a larger more workable surface). Roll once, fold the sides towards to center, and roll all the way up. Place seam side down in a pan just large enough to fit the leaves snugly in one layer. Repeat with the remaining leaves and stuffing. Whisk the juice, tomato paste and oil in a little bowl, and pour evenly over the leaves. Bake about 40 minutes, until the juices are reduced and the leaves look nicely browned on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lamb and Pine-Nut Stuffed Grape Leaves - ready to be baked

All in all, it was a cooking demo and dinner to remember.

CS

29
Apr
10

Cooking with Lévana – Part 4 – Recipes!


Lévana has again allowed us to share 2 recipes with our readers.

Zucchini and Fennel Soup

Hot, creamy, delicious!

1/3 cup olive oil
4 large leeks, sliced
8 cloves garlic
6 ribs celery, peeled
Heads and leaves of 3 large fennel bulbs (save some leaves for garnish)
3 large yellow zucchini, cut in large chunks
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon anise or fennel seeds
2 quarts water
2 cups dry white wine
Salt to taste
4 cups milk or non-dairy milk
Pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a wide heavy pot. In a food processor, coarsely grind the leeks, garlic and celery. Add to the skillet and sauté until translucent. Add all but the last 2 ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook, covered 30 minutes. Add the milk and pepper and bring to just below boiling point. Cream the soup with an immersion blender. Adjust the texture and seasonings. Serve hot or chilled, topped with fennel leaves or you may sprinkle some celery over the soup.

Chicken Breasts with Artichokes and Carrots

Butterfly thinning the chicken cutlets

First the layer of chicken...

1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion, choped
8 chicken cutlets, pounded medium thin, thoroughly dry
Flour
2 good pinches saffron
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 cups water
Ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup good quality sliced pitted olives
6 very thin carrots, cut into inch sections
1 pound artichoke hearts (whole) or bottoms (quartered)
1/3 cup lemon juice

...and then all the ingredients.

Heat the oil in a very large skillet. Add the onion and sauté 2-3 minutes. Roll the cutlets in flour, shaking out excess. Add to the skillet and sauté 2-3 minutes on each side. Add all but last ingredient and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook covered 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook another 2 minutes. Serve hot. Room temperature OK.

Enjoy!!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Cooking with Lévana – Part 3 – The Rush of the Rustic

Cooking with Lévana – Part 2 – Recipes!

Cooking with Lévana – Part 1

Lévana’s Recipe

22
Apr
10

Cooking with Lévana – Part 2 – Recipes!


As we promised, here are 2 recipes Lévana has graciously allowed us to share with our readers.

Minted Lamb Kebobs

Ingredients

1 medium onion, quatered
4 large cloves garlic
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, including stems
1 bunch mint, leaves only
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
Good pinch cayenne, or more, to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 pounds extra lean ground beef, or extra lean ground lamb, or a combination.

Directions

Prepare the grill or preheat the broiler. Finely grind the onion, garlic, parsley and a mint in a food processor (pulse: do not let mixture get watery). Transfer to a bowl and add the cumin, paprika, cayenne, pepper and beef.

Form logs about 1″ in diameter and about 4″ long. Thread on wet wooden skewers. or on metal skewers. Broil 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve hot. Serve 2 to 3 skewers per guest.

Makrod: Semolina Date Pastries

I have always rather neglected this wonderful treat, as the traditional preparation requires frying, my nemesis: I don’t think I have more than a handful of fried dishes in my whole repertoire. But I tweaked the recipe to do my bidding as a baked, not fried, treat, and the result is scrumptious! I have streamlined it further by shaping it as bars. Sephardi flavors at their best! Gluten-free: Use GF flour and GF semolina.

Preparing the Makrod

Preparing Makrod

Ingredients

Dough

3 eggs
1 cup oil
3 cups flour
2 cups farina or semolina
1 tablespoon baking powder
A little water as needed

Filling:

1 pound pitted chopped dates
1 1/2 cups very hot water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
Peel of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons orange flower water

Topping:

1 1/2 cups honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the dough ingredients thoroughly, and knead it on a board for just a minute or two, adding a little water if necessary to obtain a smooth dough. Set aside.

Process all the filling ingredients in a food processor, using the pulse button to avoid splattering, until smooth. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured board, roll each piece into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick, about 11 inches wide and 14 inches long. Transfer onto a well-greased cookie sheet with straight sides (don’t worry if it doesn’t cover the whole surface). Cover the dough evenly with the filling. Repeat with the remaining dough, and place gently over the filling (it’s OK if it breaks, just patch it). Bake about 40 minutes, or a little longer, until golden. Immediately pour the honey evenly over the whole pastry. Let it cool, then cut it in bars or squares.

–)xoOox(–

This coming Monday, April the 26th, Lévana’s “Dinner and a Show” at Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan (200 Amsterdam Ave – at 69th Street – New York, NY 10023) will be: Seasonal Spring Bounty. As she describes it:

Winter is over and wonderful vibrant food colors and fragrances are upon us in every food display: cheer up and enjoy them while they last! Life would be more meaningful to all of us if we respected the seasons more, with the specific gift each season has to offer! This menu is 100% gluten-free, naturally and effortlessly!

I will be demonstrating:

  • Lemon chicken breasts with artichoke and carrot
  • Zucchini and fennel soup
  • Haricots verts, roasted peppers and heirloom tomato salad with grey salt
  • Herbed yukon fingerlings
  • Plum granola tart
  • Click here to register and view other upcoming classes

    Remember to mention The Kosher Scene and you’ll get a discount.

    Lévana with some of the class regulars, flanked by members of her staff

    SYR and I will be there, hope you will too. You won’t regret it!

    CS

    15
    Apr
    10

    Beyond Milk and Honey: Israeli Street Foods


    Lévana Kirschenbaum, from levanacooks.com is presenting another delicious “dinner and a show” this coming Monday, as a fitting end to Israel’s independence Day. As Levana’s site tells it:

    BEYOND MILK AND HONEY: ISRAELI STREET FOODS GLUTEN FREE

    Let’s celebrate the end of Israeli Independence Day together, simply and in style, and with loads of Sephardi Ta’am! Who knew Israeli salad could be so much more distinguished than the bland cucumber-onion-and-tomato hash that arrive with every falafel order? And yes, you can find gluten-free pita!

    Spicy bean soup; Chraimi fish; minted lamb kebobs; spicy eggplant salad; hummus-tehina; Israeli salad; makrod (date almond pastries)

    What? You haven’t heard about Lévana’s cooking demos before? Haven’t you missed the legendary Lévana’s Restaurant? Now you can again enjoy her food while learning some of her cooking secrets! Her food is naturally delicious. As her site explains it:

    Our new cooking class demo schedule is chock-full of exciting, fun, and super-natural menus! See how easy it is to prepare delicious nutritious meals within a reasonable budget. Enjoy learning practical shortcuts to gourmet cooking. Impress your friends with your culinary skills, exerting much less effort while doing the real thing than you previously have while settling for mediocre store bought stuff! It’s dinner and a show! Once you try it, you will return repeatedly, just as the rest of the big Lévana Cooking Demo extended family does!

    Gluten-Free: While I find it totally unnecessary (and frankly a little silly) to put the whole nation on a gluten-free diet, I think it is very useful to try whenever possible to offer gluten-free options to our celiac friends: You will be mighty pleased to see I have done just that, without even going out of my way!

    Whole grains, seasonings and natural sweeteners: This health nut cooks only with whole grains and natural unprocessed sweeteners, experimenting with the whole gamut. As a result all the dishes I demonstrate are natural, much lower in gluten, and much leaner than their “white” and commercial counterparts; needless to say, they are also much lower in sodium as well.

    International flavors: Around the world of seasonings and cooking techniques without even going through security, so come hungry, keep your shoes on and enjoy!

    ~Lévana

    CLASS INFO

    All cooking demos are from 7 to 9 pm at Lincoln Square Synagogue.
    200 Amsterdam Avenue @69th Street. 2nd Floor

    Class is followed by dinner and book signing so come hungry!

    Come watch Lévana as she demonstrates, step-by-step, just how easy it can be to prepare a nutritious gourmet meal. Lévana takes her students through the creation of an entire memorable meal and serves it at the end of class for all to enjoy. She shares many stories, preparation tips, kitchen tools and exotic ingredient sources. You will not be getting your hands dirty, but the classes are definitely interactive!

    Each student receives a full recipe booklet detailing each dish. When you attend Lévana’s class, you get so much more than just recipes. You’ll get the full benefit of Lévana’s experience and recipe development. Unlike a recipe in a cookbook, you will have seen the finished product and tasted each dish before you even consider making it yourself.

    Class Fees:
    $45 / class
    $25 — attending for dinner only
    $35 — child class fee (ages 12 and under)

    $10 off — when you bring a new friend to class (you will get your refund in class!)

    I hope to meet you there!

    Mention The Kosher Scene and you’ll get a
    $10 discount on your class fee!

    CS

    15
    Mar
    10

    Chef Laura Frankel’s Cooking Demo at DeGustibus Tomorrow


    Kicking off De GustibusInspired Kosher Cooking Series, Chef Laura Frankel will do a demo tomorrow.

    The official announcement says:

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | 1 – 3:30 PM
    LAURA FRANKEL, executive chef for Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering in Chicago, formerly of Shallots, and author of two cookbooks, most recently Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, returns to demonstrate healthy and delicious kosher fare inspired by greenmarkets.

    De Gustibus is located on the 8th floor of Macy’s (151 West 34th Street, 8th Floor; NY NY 10001; Telephone: 212.239.1652; Fax: 212.494.4741), in Manhattan. Having attended a class there myself, recently, I can attest to the high quality of teaching and the delectable food everyone is served.

    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. After class you will be able to buy cookbooks at 10% off.

    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!!!

    Having communicated recently with Chef Laura I can attest to her charm and wit. I have no doubt this will be an exciting class with superb food. Who can ask for anything more?

    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




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