Archive for the 'kosher Mediterranean cuisine' Category

09
Jul
13

Briami – Vegetable Casserole


This is a Greek dish, a prime example of healthy, natural, Mediterranean cuisine:

Briami – Vegetable Casserole

Briami

Serves 6
Ingredients

  • 2 pounds zucchini
  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 2 sweet green peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups chopped peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fennel
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • fennel, for garnishing

Directions

  1. Cut zucchini and potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Remove seeds and white membranes from peppers and slice. Mix together crushed garlic, tomatoes and sugar.
  2. Oil an oven dish and arrange some sliced onion on the bottom. Add a layer of zucchini, potatoes and peppers combined and top with part of the tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle on some of the herbs and oil. Repeat until all ingredients are used, about 3 to 4 layers depending on the size of the dish, finish with herbs and oil.
  3. Cover and put in a preheated 350 F. oven for 90 minutes, until vegetables become tender. Remove cover for the last 15 minutes.
  4. Garnish with additional chopped herbs and serve immediately.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

02
Jul
13

Moroccan Fish Tagine


Because of Morocco’s interaction with other nations and cultures over the centuries, its cuisine is extremely refined with marked Berber, Moorish, Arab, Spanish and French influences – especially the first three. Cooks in the Royal kitchens of Morocco’s kitchens have refined the cuisine over the centuries and created the basis for one of the top cuisines in the Mediterranean basin.

Though I’ve not always been a fish lover, I’ve made this dish before and it was absolutely delicious every time:

Moroccan Fish Tagine

FishTagne

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 7 ounces canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups fish stock *
  • 4 small red snappers, cleaned, boned with heads and tails removed
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole. Add the onion and gently cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until softened but not colored. Add the saffron, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and turmeric and cook for additional 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the tomatoes and stock and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 20 to 35 minutes, or until thickened.
  3. Cut each red snapper in half, then add the fish pieces to the casserole, pushing them down into the liquid. Simmer the stew for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked.
  4. Carefully stir in the olives, preserved lemon and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

* Fish Stock

Makes about 5 1/2 half cups

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 7 ounces white fish heads, bones, and trimmings, rinsed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  1. Cut out and discard the gills from the fish heads, then place the heads, bones, and trimmings in a large pan.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients and gradually bring to a boil, skimming all the foam that rises to the surface.
  3. Partially cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Strain the stock without pressing down on the contents of the strainer. Let cool, cover, and store in the refrigerator. Use immediately or freeze in portions for up to 3 months.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!.

CS

27
Dec
12

Lemon Veal Soup with Mushrooms


It’s that cold time of the year, and what better way to warm up than with some hot and hearty soup?

Lemon Veal Soup with Mushrooms

LemVeSoup2

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 12 oz boneless veal, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 pared strip lemon rind
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • 12 oz small button mushrooms, quartered
  • 6 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup unflavored MimiCreme
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 – 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Put the veal in a large saucepan and add the stock. Bring just to a boil. and skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, lemon rind and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veal is tender.
  3. Remove the veal and carrots with a slotted spoon and reserve, covered. Strain the stock, into a clean saucepan. Discard the onion, garlic, lemon rind, and bay leaf.
  4. Melt the margarine in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, season, and cook gently until golden. Reserve with the veal and carrots.
  5. Mix together the cornstarch and MimiCreme. Bring the cooking liquid just to a boil and whisk in the cream mixture. Boil very gently for 2 – 3 minutes, (until it thickens, whisking almost constantly.
  6. Add the reserved meat and vegetables to the soup and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, until heated through. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding nutmeg and a  squeeze  of lemon juice. Stir in the parsley, then ladle into warmed bowls and serve.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

22
Aug
12

Grilled Minted Beef Kabobs and Moroccan Tomato Salad


With the summer almost over, I’ve been frantically looking for more grilling recipes. I found this one – which promises to taste incredibly delicious – in Lévana Kirschenbaum‘s LEVANA’S TABLE:

Photo by: Ann Statton for LEVANA’S TABLE, page 105

Grilled Minted Beef Kabobs

This is the stuff of the barbecues of my childhood: hamburgers with a Meditteranean twist. These are perfect with Moroccan Tomato Salad (below). If you are avoiding beef or lamb and decide to substitute ground turkey, increase the amounts of seasoning to taste and add three tablespoons of olive oil to the mixture.

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

Makes about 6 servings

Prepare the grill or preheat the broiler

Combine the onion, parsley, and mint in a food processor and pulse untul finely choppe, do not let mixture get watery. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in the cumin, paprika, cayenne, beef and pepper to taste..

Form about 18 logs approximately 1 inch in diameter and 4 inches long. Thread onto wet wooden or metal skewers. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Serve hot. allow 2 to 3 skewers per guest.

As Levana tells us above, this dish combines perfectly with:

Photo by: Ann Stratton for LEVANA’S TABLE, page 65

Moroccan Tomato Salad

We Moroccans cook tomatoes, sun-dry tomatoes, pickle tomatooes, candy tomatoes-we prepare tomatoes in every way possible. In Mediterranean climates, they are spectacular year round, inexpensive and bursting with color and fragrance. Recently, it has become easier (altjhough not cheaper) to get decent tomatoes throughout the year in the United States. This salad includes capers, gherkins, and preserved lemons; it is delightfully fragrant, colorful and refreshing. If you do nopt have preserved lemons on hand, simply omit them and proceed with the recipe.  If you must make this salad ahead of time, make it without the tomatoes (up to two days ahead), then add the tomatoes before serving.

6 plum tomatoes, seeds and juice discarded, diced
2 tablespoons minced purple onion
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons capers, preferably tiny nonpareils
1/4 cup minced dill pickle
6 pitted green olives, minced
2 pickled hot peppers, chopped (optional)
1/4 of a preserved lemon, skin onl, rinsed and finely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper

Makes 6 servings

Place all ingredients in a glass bowl and mix well. Serve at room temperature.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

22
Aug
11

Chef Haim Dadi – The Dream Concrete


Since he was very young, Haim Dadi knew what he wanted to do. His parents had a restaurant in Israel and whenever he visited their place – as a child – he loved the hustle and bustle, the aromas, the sounds of the patrons.  He is currently Chef/Partner of 18 Restaurant on 81st Street and 2nd Avenue. I’ve watched and followed him through every area of his restaurant and – as amiable as he is outside the cooking area – it is in the kitchen that he truly comes alive as he cooks, as he talks to his staff, as he experiments with more delicious ways of preparing his fare.

I spoke to Chef Haim recently to find out what makes him tick, what it is that spurs him on. Twenty five years ago he opened his first restaurant in Beersheva with his brother, serving mostly shawarma and a few other grilled items. Three years later, he arrived in New York and opened his first venture in Forest Hills – Tel Aviv Haktanah, though very successful he did not get along with his partner.

He left for a place in Manhattan called Shelanu, which eventually evolved into Mr. Broadway. It started out with a limited Israeli menu, yet considering the demographics in and around its location, it did not work too well. Over a period of seven years they slowly introduced various new types: deli, Chinese, shawarma and sushi. With the addition of all those cuisines Mr. Broadway, soon had one of the largest menus in Manhattan. With very moderate prices and the rich selection they expanded over the years and became a very successful venture, a fixture of the New York kosher Scene.

About a year ago, Chef Dadi was ready for bigger challenges. Together with Sidney Cohen he opened up 18 Restaurant on the premises of what used to be the high end Turquoise. In spite of the high quality of its servings, Turquoise had become a victim of the new recession.

Walking into 18, with its turquoise wall and aquarium, opposite an antiqued stone wall and red fixtures, gives the impression of an upscale expensive place. A quick look, however, at the menu immediately dispels the notion of “expensive.” The food served here is of higher quality than at his former place and in the year since they’ve opened they managed to gather a faithful following that fills the restaurant every day at lunch and dinner. The sushi is superb, and coming from someone who never touched fish until two years ago, someone who never thought he’d ever taste sushi, you can take it as very high praise indeed. I can never resist ordering Chef Haim’s Yemenite Meat Soup, or his juicy hamburgers. He doesn’t serve exotic dishes, instead he specializes in a wholesome array including Eastern European, Mediterranean, sushi and deli selections. He envisions 18 as a purveyor of high quality food at reasonable prices and… the concept works!

As a young child, Haim Dadi had a dream; as a man, he’s made the dream concrete!

CS

02
Aug
11

POM Wonderful!


I learned at a very tender age that “Have it, it’s good for you!” would inevitably refer to something that tasted very bad. Fast forward a couple of decades (OK, OK so it’s more than that, I confess, I confess!) and  I’m a fan of Pom Wonderful because  it’s actually “good for you,” delicious and refreshing.

Delicious, refreshing, good for you

Pomegranate juice has a great concentration of antioxidants, various studies say it is similar to red wine, purple grape juice and black tea. Preliminary research has shown that it may reduce the danger of various types of cancer, it may reduce serum cholesterol and protect arteries from clogging. In the summer I like it as an ice cold drink, but it is a very popular ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It is also used as a marinade for grilled meats.

Since we are in the Nine Days and meat may not be eaten, I thought it appropriate to bring you a delicious fish recipe, which I adapted from Perfect Jewish, by Elizabeth Wolfe-Cohen, published by Parragon Books.

Photo from: Perfect Jewish, page 106. - Copyright by: Parragon Books, Ltd.

Stuffed Oven-Baked Trout with Pomegranates

Yields: 4 servings

  • 4 Whole trout, about 10 to 12 oz each, cleaned, scaled, rinsed and dried
  • vegetable oil for oiling
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
Stuffing
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled and skinned
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 4 tablespoons POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 ripe pomegranate
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prepare the stuffing. heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium high fire. Add the onion and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Stir in the pistachios, cardamon, POM Wonderful and the remaining oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. With a sharp knife, slice off the top of the pomegranate. Cut the thick skin into 6 wedgesand pull apart into sections. Carefully scoop the seeds into a small bowl, removing the skin membranes and reserving any juice. Add about three quarters of the seeds to the stuffing and stir to combine.
  4. Oil a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the fish. Season fish to taste with salt and pepper, inside and out. Cut into the fish’ skin diagonally 2 to 3 times on each side. Spoon one quarter of the stuffing into each fish. Arrange in the dish.
  5. Drizzle with the melted margarine. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the flesh flakes when pierced with a tip of a knife. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with the remaing pomegranate seeds and juice.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

21
Jul
11

This Evening’s Radio Show, Yesterday’s Superb Lunch


If you missed last evening’s very informative show: A Conversation with Menachem Lubinsky, you can hear it here.

Yesterday Alessandra Rovati (from dinnerinvenice.com), Esti Berkowitz (from primetimeparenting.com), Geilah Hocherman (author of upcoming cookbook The Kosher Revolution), Kim Amzallag (from Kosher Inspired/Mishpacha Magazine), Suzannah Raff (from koshershopaholic.com) and yours truly met at Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum‘s (from levanacooks.com) place.

We started the session with an incredible Moroccan lunch feast prepared by Lévana, of course. It consisted of:


  • Cold avocado cucumber soup
  • Spicy olive lemon salad
  • Celery remoulade
  • Moroccan tomato salad
  • Hummus-Tehina with za’atar
  • Lamb-stuffed artichoke bottoms
  • Chicken roasted in dry spice rub
  • Chicken Pastilla
  • Hot and sweet parsnips
  • Potato, tomato and olive tajine
For dessert she made us:
  • Spicy nut truffles
  • Date nut roll
  • Chocolate “salami”
  • Chocolate espresso bark
  • Coconut cookies
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Quick halvah

After the meal we started our discussion, Suzannah Raff put it on video (she will have it up on YouTube soon!), while I taped it for this evening’s radio show. After such a rich, healthy, scrumptious meal you can bet our discussion was lively, entertaining, informative.

The topic of our discussion was Healthy and Delicious versus Delicious at any Cost. This pretaped show will air it this evening at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkRadio. Please tune us in this evening, we’ll be wait’n for ya!

CS

17
Jul
11

Events of the Week


Just because it’s summer and Brooklyn’s Jewish neighborhoods’ street are half empty doesn’t mean that New York has become a ghost town. Kosher events abound and our favorites for this coming week are:

Monday, July 18th at 7:00pm (Eastern Time)

Lévana’s Moroccan Feast Part 2: Salad Buffet

Please make certain to register to the demo, as the venue has moved to my apartment!

We grew up eating no end of salads at almost every meal: Is it any wonder we loved our veggies and ate them without any prompting? I am even including a dessert salad. True to form, we will bake an authentic Moroccan bread to go with the feast so we don’t leave a drop of sauce behind (this bread is the only item on the menu that will not be gluten-free).

I’ll be demonstrating:

  • Matbookha
  • Grated carrot salad
  • Roasted pepper salad
  • Spicy lettuce and chick pea salad with salmon
  • Tomato salad
  • Eggplant salad
  • Minted orange, endive and romaine salad
  • Moroccan Bread

Click Here to Register!

Registrations: A gentle reminder – Please register at least two days before any cooking class demo so A) We know for sure we have a demo going, and B) We have ample servings!

P.S. Throw in a C) – It makes my life easier :-) P.P.S. Throw in a D) I’ll give you a free signed copy of my new cookbook if you bring a new friend!

Also starting tomorrow you can take advantage of a great, reasonably priced menu at 18 Restaurant:

240 East 81st Street, New York - (212) 517-2400

THE KOSHER SCENE SPECIAL DINNER PRIX FIXE MENU

$32.00 per person, tax and gratuities not included. All wine, beer and alcohol billed separately.
Any item ordered, not on the Prefix will be billed separately

May not be used in conjunction with ANY other special

APPETIZER

Combination Platters:

Humus, Babaganuosh, Turkish Salad, Tahini

Mixed Green Salads

Assorted Breads

Photo by: seamlessweb.com

ENTREE

Eighteen Mixed Grill Kebob Special Combo Platter:

Chicken

Beef

Side Dishes: Choice of 2

grilled vegetables

french fries

mashed potatoes

basmati rice

DESSERT

Coffee/tea

Assorted Rugelach or Slice of Cake

Cold beverage (non alcohol) included

The food’s delicious, the price is very reasonable, the portions are generous, the ambiance is elegantly casual, a perfect eatery to take your wife, your date or the family. Go ahead, treat yourself! All of you deserve it. (For this Prix Fixe, please print out the following  .pdf)

18 Restaurant
240 East 81st. Street (map)
New York, NY
Telephone 212.517.2400
www.eighteenrestaurant.com

CS

21
Jun
11

Live at Nargila – Part 3 – Tomorrow’s Radio Show


Tomorrow we will once again, be’ezras Hashem, be transmitting live from Nargila Grill (1599 York Avenue – between E. 84 and E. 85th Street – New York 10028; Tel: 212.535.3700). Why? Because… tomorrow the owner’s mother will be cooking her famed Bukharian dishes.

A corner at Nargila Grill...

With me will be Alessandra Rovati (Dinner in Venice), Esti Berkowitz (Primetime Parenting), Levana Kirschenbaum (Levana Cooks), Kim Amzallag (Kosher Inspired/Mishpacha Magazine), Marlene Mamiye (The Jewish Hostess), and Suzannah Raff (The Kosher Shopaholic).

Another corner...

We will discuss the cultural differences in Jewish foods, how the Jews throughout history were influenced by the local environment, but still managed to keep a strong Jewish tradition. It’s been said that its food defines a people, we will discuss how we adapted ourselves how the Jewish cuisine evolved and is far more than just gefilte fish, brisket and tcholent.

You can tune in to us at 7:30pm (Eastern Time) tomorrow evening at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kosherscene or you can join us at Nargila Grill ((1599 York Avenue – between E. 84 and E. 85th Street – New York 10028; Tel: 212.535.3700) for an evening of great talk and superb food. Nargila Grill is under the hasgacha of of the O K Labs.

I can’t wait to be surprised by owner/manager Michael’s mother cooking, I’m sure we’ll likely wash with some lepeshka bread, have some plov (Bukarian rice), or maybe we’ll have some samsa? or kebobs? Hmmnn, my mouth is watering! Oh, what’s the use, I better not think about and just taste whatever delicacies as they come.

So, gentle reader, considering the great food and the low prices we’ll we see you there? Why not come over and say hello?

CS

17
Jun
11

Live from Nargila! – Part 2


This past Wednesday, The Kosher Scene Radio Show did a live broadcast from Nargila Grill (1599 York Avenue – between E. 84 and E. 85th Street – New York 10028; Tel: 212.535.3700).

From left to right: Esti Berkowitz (Primetime Parenting), Alessandra Rovati (Dinner in Venice), Marlene Mamiye (The Kosher Hostess), Yours Truly, at the controls (The Kosher Scene), Kim Amzallag (Mishpacha/Kosher Inspired Magazine); Suzannah Raff (The Kosher Shopaholic), not pictured - as she spoke to us on the phone - Amy Channa (The Gluten Free Maven) PHOTO BY: Irving Schild

Nargila Grill is a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean type restaurant, the decor authentic Middle Eastern, with softly piped in music to match.

Getting ready to order. PHOTO BY: Irving Schild

After the show we all enjoyed an incredibly delicious meal consisting of assorted Mediterranean salads, beef, lamb, and chicken kabobs. Each type of meat was done in a variety of styles and came on multiple skewers, each more succulent than the other!)

We are going back next Wednesday, to do another live show and to enjoy the owner’s mother’s Bukharian cooking. She comes in once a month to prepare some real delicacies. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Why don’t you join us at: Nargila Grill (1599 York Avenue – between E. 84 and E. 85th Street – New York 10028; Tel: 212.535.3700), next Wednesday evening? We’d love to meet you and we know you’ll love the food! We’ll leave the light on for ya. May we have the pleasure of seeing you there?

CS




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