Archive for the 'Mozzarella' Category

07
Aug
12

Three Superb Imported Cheeses


This past Sunday, I run into Brent Delman (TheCheeseGuy.com) at a kosher foodie bloggers meetup, having met him before, having interviewed him on my radio show and having him sponsor our Shavuos contest for this year, it was natural we would get into a conversation. Of course, it centered on… you guessed it… cheese! We spoke about his latest cholov Yisroel offerings: Scamorza, Aged Havarti and Bastardo del Grappa.

The Scamorza is a new product and the one I had wasn’t even been labeled yet, it also did not make it to the photo above, because (I shamefacedly confess!) it did not last long enough for me to remember to take the picture for this post. It was originally made only from buffalo milk, though today it’s made from from whole cow’s milk (sometimes mixed with small amounts of sheep or goat’s milk). It’s basically a slightly salty type of mozarella, though smoked (in a smoker with cherry wood chips), unlike other smoked cheeses the smoke is not overwhelming. Rather, it’s balanced perfectly with the natural flavors. Creamy and with a somewhat nutty taste.

Aged Havarti (pictured above) is a cow’s milk cheese with a supple, elastic texture, with a sharp, intense tangy flavor tempered with creamy butter notes.

Bastardo del Grappa (also pictured above), used to be made with sheep, goat and cow milk mixed together, hence the name “Bastardo.” Today, it is produced by mixing cow’s milk from the previous evening and letting it settle during the night, with the milk from the morning. It’s got a strong flavor, with sweet notes and is slightly aromatic.

My favorite is the Scamorza and I can’t wait until I find it  in a store near me, meanwhile, I’m more than satisfied with the other two pictured above.

CS

03
Jun
11

Shavuos Recipes – Part 2


I am a confirmed hardcore carnivore, but every once in a while I have to make some nice pasta dishes for a milchig dinner. Especially now that Shavuos is almost upon us… Here are two of my favorites:

Fettuccine Alfredo with Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb fettucine
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 3/4 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Mozarella
Directions
  1. Mix the butter and 2/3 cup of the heavy cream, bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 2 minutes or until the cream has thickened slightly.
  2. Boil a large pan of lightly salted water, over medium heat.
  3. Add the pasta, bring back to a boil and cook for 9 minutes or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain pasta thoroughly, return to pan, pour in the sauce (from step 1)
  4. Toss the pasta in the sauce, over a low fire, until thoroughly coated. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of heavy cream, the shredded Mozarella, nutmeg, mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste. Toss the pasta thoroughly in the whole mixture while on a low flame.
  5. While pasta is cooking, sauté the mushrooms and garlic in a little bit of oil, until garlic pieces are golden brown.
  6. Put the pasta mixture on a large warmed serving plate. Add the sautéed mushrooms and garlic. Serve and sprinkle generously with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Vegetable Cannelloni

Delicious is an understatement!

Ingredients

  • 12 cannelloni
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • Basil, to garnish

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb 12 ozs canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon 10x confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 4 Mozzarella slices

Directions

  1. In a large pan boil some lightly salted water. Add the cannelloni, return to a boil and cook for another 9 minutes or until tender but still firm to the bite. Put pasta in a plate and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Cut the eggplant into small dice. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. add the eggplant, stir frequently while cooking for about three minutes.
  3. Add spinach, garlic, cumin and mushrooms. Reduce the heat. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Cooking for 2 to 3 minutes stirring constantly. Spoon the mixture into the cannelloni. Arrange cannelloni in a casserole in a single layer.
  4. To make the sauce, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar and basil. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over cannelloni.
  5. Arrange the Mozzarella slices over the sauce and bake in 375 F. preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbling. serve hot garnished with a prig of basil.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy AND don’t forget to send us your favorite Shavuos recipes (there is a nice selection of cholov Yisroel cheeses as the prize for the best!) to:

kosherscene@gmail.com

CS

RELATED POSTS

shavuos recipes 

————–

shavuos recipes – part 2

shavuos recipes – part 1 

For prize winning cheese cake recipes: and the winner is…

24
Oct
10

Pizza at Basil


Recently, this blog was chastised on chowhound.com for not having any photos of Basil‘s pizza in either of my reviews of this superb restaurant (here and here), even though its menu offers a full array of mouthwatering pizzas. I had to agree the particular commenter was absolutely right, which gave me the perfect excuse to return to Basil (270 Kingston Ave; Brooklyn, NY 11213; Telephone: 718.285.8777) for the omitted shots. Ahhh, the things we do to keep our readers happy.

This past Thursday I made my way to the restaurant anticipating a superb pie. I entered their doors at 4:00pm to a front room overflowing with early diners, and was directed to the recently opened backroom. It’s a comfortable large room featuring two fireplaces that generate a warm and cozy atmosphere.

In spite of the early hour, there were some people there already. I ordered a Pizza Margherita a la Genovese, it came with home made mozzarella (made in house from  curd), fresh San Marzano tomatoes (most chefs consider these the world’s best for sauce) and pesto.

Pizza Margherita alla Genovese

Extreme closeup of the above...

I accompanied the pizza with a delightful glass of 2007 Ramon Cardova Rioja. Made fully from Tempranillo grapes from old vines around the Spanish village of Haro, in La Rioja, this bright ruby red wine paired perfectly with the pizza, totally complementing and enhancing its taste; a marriage made in heaven.

As I finished this superbly made dish, I got to to speak to Basil’s new Italian Executive Chef, Andrea Milazzo.

After graduating from the very exacting culinary school in Alassio, in Italy’s Liguria region on the gulf of Genoa, – Savona Province, Chef Andrea went to work in Montecarlo for world famous Alain Ducasse’s Le Roi Louis XV restaurant at the Hotel de Paris (regularly listed on the Conde Nast Traveller Gold List). After a while he left for Munich, Germany, where he operated his own establishment for 8 years.

A few weeks ago he accepted the position of Executive Chef at Basil. When you speak to Chef Andrea, his passion for food becomes all apparent. I asked him what is his main criteria in creating a new dish or a variation of an old classic, his quick response was: “I follow my senses!” To determine how good his senses are, I asked the Chef to prepare me a special dish – regardless of price – that I would take home; even I was unprepared for the resulting masterpiece…

Chef Andrea Milazzo dramatically flambeeing his special dish for The Kosher Scene

He made me Gnudi alla Toscana. Gnudi (nude) are close cousins to gnocchi but more tender. Whereas gnocchi are made from semolina, wheat flour, bread crumbs or potatoes, gnudi are made from Ricotta cheese.

Watching the Chef at work was like being a spectator at a George Balanchine choreographed ballet, the graceful, elegant and precise moves coupled with the facial expressions, all bespoke of truly inspired artistry at its highest levels.

Before starting the preparation of the dish, Chef Andrea had me inspect all the ingredients. Starting with the superbly aromatic in-house made truffle oil (truffles are infused for two weeks into pure Tuscan olive oil, the result is great scent and a very distinctive flavor), the fresh tomatoes, spinach and cheese all combined for a beautiful symphony of taste and aroma, well worth many an encore. Bravo Chef Andrea! Bravissimo!!!

CS

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06
Aug
10

Cheese! Cheese! Cheese! – Part 3


[My good friend, Eran Elhalal, gives us the third and last part of his Intro to Cheese.

Eran Elhalal is a chef/Entrepreneur working in Manhattan. An Honors Graduate of the  Culinary Institute of America,  Eran was Executive Chef of two Manhattan restaurants in the past few years and consulted several others. He began educating customers about food and wine pairing and cheese in 2007 while working as the Chef at UES’s BarVespa.

These days, Eran talks about food and wine pairing as the chef for the panel of Meetup, a wine club, dedicated to introduce and educate the American public about Israeli wines. Photos: courtesy of Eran Elhalal.

Not every type of cheese described below is, so far, made for the kosher consumer. That situation, however is changing fast as various distributors (here and here) and manufacturers are constantly introducing new and delicious cheeses into the kosher market. CS]

“How can you be expected to govern a country that has 246 kinds of cheese?”
Charles de Gaulle

Trying to Categorize Cheeses

There is no one set of rules by which to categorize the world’s cheeses. After thousands of years of cheese-making , we still are unable to agree on one set of rules, and here is why:

  • Some factors are very difficult to quantify – for example the classification relying on smell. Detection and rating vary from person to person depending on how accute their sense of smell is. No one category can address all types and nuances. For example, Classification relying on rind alone, puts hundreds of cheeses with no rind in the same category.
  • Another example is classification by aging, it would put a Danish blue cheese and a Farmhouse Brie in the same category. Traveling between different categories- Cheese is a living thing. Every cheese is released with a certain fat content and certain water content. As the cheese ages these percentages change due to water evaporation. Hence, the same triple creamed cheese , tastes much more pungent a month after you bought it! Moreover, a cheese that was classified as Semi-hard like a dutch Gouda will turn rock hard as it ages.

Knowing this, we can now learn to pickout, describe and appreciate cheeses using the more common categories for classification:

Queso Manchego - Spanish sheep's milk cheese, has a wonderful and unique bite to it

 

 

Texture

Classification determined by water content:

  • Very soft – 80 % water, spoonable, includes most fresh cheeses like Cottage cheese, Chèvre, Labane.
  • Soft – 50 %-70% water, spreadable, includes the double and triple creamed cheeses (Brie, Camembert, Robiola, Taleggio, Colummiers…), but also some Feta cheeses (cow’s milk mainly).
  • Semihard – 40%-50% water, sliceable, includes Edam, Gouda, Manchego.
  • Hard – 30%-50% water, very firm and dense, includes Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino, Piave, Ossau, Iraty, Mimolette
  • Blue -40%-50% water, a classification within the semi hard group of cheeses, may be sliceable, spreadable or crumbly, includes all blue veined cheeses, like; Valdeon, Cabrales, Roquefort, Gorgonzola

 

 

Noordhollander Gouda - Yes, there are some delicious kosher variations of this cheese

 

Aging

Length of aging prior to release:

  • Fresh – Un-aged, produced and released, include Cottage cheese, Cream cheese, Chèvre.
  • Brief Molding period – 2 weeks-10 weeks, produced and allowed to take shape in a mold ( tub or basket), or for the rind to bloom, includes Feta, almost all blue cheeses and bloomy rind cheeses (Grayson, Taleggio, Brie…).
  • Aged – Anywhere between 2 months and 5 years, depending on the cheese, produced and allowed to mature until the cheesemaker deems it fully aged and flavored, includes all hard and semi hard cheeses,like; Parmigiano Reggiano, Idiazabal, Pecorino, Cheddar, Gouda

Type of Milk

Classification by what animal produces the milk:

The most common are Cow, Goat and Sheep (ewe), but there are also cheeses made with a mix of milk from different animals, and even cheeses from Buffalo, Moose, Camel or Yak’s milk.

 

Taleggio

 

Smell

Classification by degree of pungency:

A very difficult classification,works mainly for bloomy rind cheeses like – Taleggio, Robiola, Camembert, Brie

Methods of cheese-making

Classification by main cheesemaking traditional methods:

  • Fresh Cheese – Unaged or matured, includes some slightly pressed cheeses(Feta),whey based cheeses that are only strained (Urda, Ricotta) and the spoonable, Cottage, Cream cheese, Chèvre.
  • Pasta Filata Cheese – The curds are cooked, then streched and folded repeatedly before molding or shaping. The cheese is then ready to eat or may be ripened further and even smoked (Mozzarella, Provolone, Paneer, Kashkaval).
  • Unpressed Ripened Cheese – The curds are minimally cut and allowed to drain . They are then ripened with mold or bacteria on the cheese surface (Camembert, Brie, Taleggio…) or using a starter culture that is applied to the surface or inoculated into the cheese (Stilton).
  • Pressed and Ripened Cheese – The curds are pressed before ripening. Examples: Manchego, Idiazabal, Cheddar.
  • Cooked, pressed and ripened – The curds are cooked in whey, then milled, molded and pressed. These cheeses are aged for up to 5 years (Parmigiano Reggiano, Piave, GoudaEdam, Emmental…).
  • Processed – After the initial cheesemaking process is complete (see 2nd part of this series), more milk and emulsifying salts are added, food coloring and preservatives. This yields a very consistent product, yet rather unhealthy. Unfortunately, these cheeses, sold in blocks, slices, tubes and even sprays are the most commonly consumed types in the US. (American cheese, Kraft singles, Cheez Whiz ….and other such varieties of poor excuses for cheese!)

Rind

 

 

Dutch Gouda -Uses an artificial wax rind, to lock in moisture and deepen the flavor as the cheese ages

 

Classification by type of rind:

The rind of the cheese controls the rate of water evaporation from the cheese, oxidation of the surface and escape of gases from within.

  • No rind – The cheese is produced and packaged or at most strained, salted and packed. Includes all fresh cheeses like: Ricotta, Urda, Cream cheese, Feta
  • White mold rind – The mold grows on the surface and is edible. The rind is sometimes brushed away a number of times throughout ripening, so the cheese will develop a thicker rind. The mold is white at first but as the cheese ages it darkens. Includes: Camembert, Brie, Robiola Bosina.
  • Washed rind – the rind is washed with alcohol, usually Marc (Grape pomace Brandy) or wine. The alcohol dries the surface of the cheese and the white bloomy mold turns pinkish/Orange. The rind is moist and a has a slightly grainy mouthfeel, thus it is not usually eaten. Includes Taleggio, Robiola Pineta, Grayson, Pont I’Eveque.
  • Natural dry rind – The rind is in fact the dry outer surface of the cheese. The rind can be brushed, scraped, oiled or wrapped in cloth depending on the desired result. The rind is inedible, types include: Parmigiano Reggiano, Cheddar, Piave
  • Organic rind – Leaves, spices and herbs applied to the surface of the cheese after its made. The reason is to impart flavor and protect from insects traditionally (Fleur de Maquis, Corsican ewe’s milk cheese rolled in herbs & Juniper berries, or Majorero Pimenton – rolled in smoked pepper). another reason is to lock in moisture. Examples include: Valdeon, wrapped in sycamore leaves; Banon, tied in chestnut leaves and tied with raffia.
  • Artificial rinds – Added after the cheese is made. Rind is generally inedible. Includes Gouda, Edam (wax rind), Cheddar (plastic) and ash edible in St. Maure (for example).

So… these are just the main categories. When I describe a cheese, I try to use all the categories that apply most, focusing on the ones that characterize the paricular cheese category more than others.

One last example. Morbier

 

 

Morbier cheese

 

Origin: Comte region, North East France
Milk: Raw or Pasteurized Cow’s milk.
Texture: Semi hard (40 %-50% water), sliceable.
Method of cheese-making: Pressed and ripened,with a layer of ash running through the center.
Smell: mild pungent
Rind: Natural dry rind,brushed for firmness.
Aging; 2-3 months
Fat content: 45 %
Interesting facts: This cheese was traditionally made for consumption by the cheesemakers themselves. Leftover curds were put in a tub, then covered with ash to repel insects, while waiting for additional leftover curds from the evening or the next day.

Eran Elhalal

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Cheese! Cheese! Cheese! – Part 2

Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!

Les Petites Fermières plus Organic and Kosher

Naturally Kosher

14
Jul
10

Cheese! Cheese! Cheese! – Part 2


[Eran Elhalal is a chef/Entrepreneur working in Manhattan. An Honors Graduate of the  Culinary Institute of America,  Eran was Executive Chef of two Manhattan restaurants in the past few years and consulted several others. He began educating customers about food and wine pairing and cheese in 2007 while working as the Chef at UES’s BarVespa.

These days, Eran talks about food and wine pairing as the chef for the panel of Meetup, a wine club, dedicated to introduce and educate the American public about Israeli wines. Photos: courtesy of Eran Elhalal. CS]

“Well, and what’s Cheese? Corpse of Milk!” (James Joyce)

The Cheese Series- Second Chapter


How cheeses are made

There are countless nuances to Cheese making, hence, Different countries produce different cheeses , which reflect the country’s Terroir , traditions and even mentality. Each one of the steps in the process is crucial to the end result ,the way the curds are cut will determine the texture of the cheese, the method and quantities of salting will affect aging or ripening.

The first Two steps of cheese making  however , are common to all cheeses. Essentially, cheese is made by extracting the water and whey from milk and allowing the remaining milk solids ( Curds ) to spoil in a controlled environment, monitoring bacterial growth, expansion of molds throughout the cheese and so on…

First step: Collecting and Preparing the milk

Artisanal cheese makers collect the raw milk from their own farm or nearby farms. That is the traditional way and the best one. Travel time , agitation , temperature and cleanliness of the transport vats are highly important factors to the resulting cheese. Much like wine proximity is crucial. The shortest the time between milking the animal and starting the cheese making process, the better.

A word on : Pasteurization

Not all cheeses are made from pasteurized milk, but for the majority of modern cheeses, this is when the process is applied. The milk is typically heated to a temperature of 160o F for 15 seconds or to a temperature of 114oF and held for 30 minutes. Un-pasteurized cheeses are more flavorful because the heat inactivates natural enzymes in the milk that help develop the final flavor of the cheese . Pasteurization also slows down the action of the Rennet , thus prolonging the ripening/aging step in achieving full texture and flavor. On the other hand, pasteurizing makes the flavor of milk homogenous, which large volume producers seek to maintain consistency of flavor from different batches of milk.

I say, that in the sense of depth of flavor and uniqueness, the difference between cheeses from un-pasteurized milk to those from pasteurized milk is the same as the difference between wines which are non-kosher or kosher to wines that are Mevushal (Hebrew for: cooked).

http://aftercheese.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/swiss-cheesemaking1.jpg?w=539&h=405

Second step: Curdling

Raw milk will actually sour and curdle on its own , but this natural method is inconsistent. Pasteurized milk does not sour this way ,so nowadays all cheeses are made by introducing an acid like lemon juice (Citric acid) , or vinegar, but in most cases a starter culture of special Bacteria is used to change milk sugars (lactose ) into lactic acid. The increased acidity denatures the milk protein (Casein), so it separates from the milk water into solid curds when a coagulating agent  (Rennet) is introduced. The protein molecules then lump together to a soft gel. The curds are allowed to settle at a temperature of 70oF-95oF for 30 minutes-120 minutes, depending on the type of cheese being made. Low tempo yield soft curds for soft cheeses and high tempo yields hard rubbery curds used to produce semi hard and hard cheeses.

Third step: Concentrating and processing the curds

First the curds are cut to release the whey . The method applied here will determine the texture and moisture content of the cheese. Softer cheeses are made by minimal cutting of curds and piling them up to drain naturally . Harder cheeses are cut horizontally and vertically to very fine pieces , thus releasing much more moisture that results in a drier, harder cheese.

Some hard cheeses are then heated to temperatures in the range of 100 °F–130 °F. This forces more whey from the cut curd. It also changes the taste of the finished cheese, affecting both the bacterial culture and the milk chemistry. Cheeses that are heated to the higher temperatures are usually made with thermophilic starter bacteria which survive this step—either lactobacilli or streptococci.

Salt has a number of roles in cheese besides adding a salty flavor. It preserves cheese from spoiling, draws moisture from the curd, and firms up a cheese’s texture in reaction to contact with the denatured proteins. Some cheeses are salted from the outside with dry salt or brine washes. Most cheeses have the salt mixed directly into the curds. Salting also slows down the starter bacteria culture, thus contolling the rate of ripening/Aging.

Processing methods:

Cheddaring: The cut curd is repeatedly piled up, pushing more moisture away. The curd is also milled for a long period of time, taking the sharp edges off the cut curd pieces and influencing the final product’s texture. (Hence- Cheddar)

Stretching: The curd is stretched and kneaded in hot water, developing a stringy, fibrous body.(For example: Mozzarella , Provolone , Kashkaval).

Washing: The curd is washed in warm water, lowering its acidity and making for a milder-tasting cheese. ( Examples: Gouda,Edam)

Whey based cheeses: Once the whey has been drained,it can be used to make some cheeses ,without the use of curds.(Ricotta,Urda).

Fourth step : Molding

Most cheeses achieve their final shape when the curds are pressed into a mold or form. The harder the cheese, the more pressure is applied. The pressure drives out moisture ,the molds are designed to allow water to escape , and unifies the curds into a single solid body.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_YJWbOrG-e-E/S0pxGl9ultI/AAAAAAAABDA/baMEKCzbi0k/Cheese%20Aging,%20Molise%202.jpg

Final step :Ripening/ Aging

Ripening/ Aging is the stage where enzymes and microbes change the chemical composition of the cheese from complex organic molecules to simple ones and transform the cheese’s  texture and intensity of flavor. Temperature and humidity are monitored carefully. Some traditional cheese are aged only in near caves which contain unique molds and yeast which result in a one of a kind cheese. More often, cultures are used, giving more consistent results and putting fewer constraints on the environment where the cheese ages. These cheeses include soft ripened cheeses such as Brie and Camembert, blue cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Cabrales, Stilton, and washed rind cheeses such as Taleggio, Grayson.Soft Cheeses- like Brie, Camembert, ripen quickly and at a lower tempo than hard cheeses. Soft cheeses ripen from the outside in. It is all about controlled spoilage here. Bacteria multiplying too quickly results in uneven maturation of the cheese. High humidity ( usually 80%-95%)is crucial to a moist surface in cheese. The ripening/aging period (called Affinage in French) can last from days to several years. This transformation is largely a result of the breakdown of casein proteins and milkfat into a complex mix of amino acids,amines and fatty acids.

http://www.thomaswalshphotographer.com/_images/Cuisine%20Web%20Photos/Comte-Cheese-Aging.jpg

Eran Elhalal

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Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!

09
Mar
10

Les Petites Fermières plus Organic and Kosher


A small selection of Les Petite Fermieres and Organic And Kosher cheeses

I like cheeses, as does CS, I use them in cooking, I use them in sandwiches and even in between wines at wine tastings. Thus I was happy to find that Les Petites Fermières (distributed by Anderson International Foods in Mineola, NY), has an interesting collection of available cheeses and most can be found at supermarkets and kosher groceries throughout the US and Canada. Some of my favorites include Gouda, Fontina, Havarti and Havarti with Dill.

Gouda is a distinctively flavored cheese, first developed in Gouda (Netherlands), as it ages it develops a slight caramel like taste.

Fontina, like Gouda, is made from cow’s milk and it originated in Italy’s Valle d’Aosta. Today, however it is also made in the US, France, Denmark and Sweden. Les Petites Fermières’ selection is softer and creamier than its fully aged, darker, Italian sibling.

Havarti was first made in the mid 19th century in an experimental farm, just north of Copenhagen, Norway. It has a subtle flavor that makes it perfect for slicing, grilling or melting. I also like its sibling Havarti with Dill, which has a somewhat stronger yet delightful taste due to the herb.

When I want something sharper I go for their Cheddar or the Mediterranean Jack. Frankly, I found all of them delicious! I like a cheese omelette for breakfast, so I made one using various cheeses.

CS’ Simple Cheese Omelette

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of Les Petites Fermières Chef’s Blend (natural cheddar and pizza style blend) Shredded Cheese
  • 1 slice of Mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Roland Oven Roasted Tomatoes (optional)

Preparation

  1. Melt the butter in an 8” inch skillet, over a medium flame, until it starts sizzling. Tilt skillet until bottom is completely covered.
  2. Drop in the two eggs and tilt the skillet to cover as much as much of it as possible.
  3. Sprinkle the Chef’s Blend cheese on top of the eggs liberally. Within a few seconds it will melt.
  4. With a spatula reach under the omelette and fold it over itself.
  5. Immediately cover the top with slice of Mozarella.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. I also added a couple of oven roasted tomatoes over of the Mozarella. Do not overcook.

Sometimes I also add other spices, when I mix the eggs, prior to folding them into the skillet. Delicious!

For those of you who prefer organic food, Anderson International Foods also distributes Organic and Kosher. If you love cheese you’ll notice the difference between organic and regular cheeses. I did and absolutely liked the difference.

SYR

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Naturally Kosher

25
Feb
10

Naturally Kosher


I’ve spoken before of my predilection for cheese, so I was delighted to find a nice selection of cholov Yisroel cheeses from Natural & Kosher.

Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Muenster, Mozzarella and Pizza Cheese

I picked up their Mozzarella (slices), Pizza Cheese (slices), Cheddar (slices), Muenster (slices), Processed Pepper Jack (round slices),

Pizza Cheese (shredded), Mozarella Sticks, Chef's Blend (shredded)

Mozarella Cheese Sticks (for the grandkids), Pizza Cheese (shredded) and the Chef’s Blend (natural Cheddar & Pizza Style Cheese).

I found all of them very good (so did my grandkids!). I used the shredded Pizza Cheese to make myself a 7” personal pizza

'Twas delicious!

It was so good and easy I had to keep on making it for lunch for the next 4 days. Here’s my simple recipe:

CS’ Personal Pizza

2 Natural & Kosher Shredded Pizza Cheese
1 Package Roland Oven Roasted Tomatoes
1
Can of tomato sauce
2 packages (3 in each package) of 7” pizza crusts
Spices: oregano, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper

Cover each Personal Pizza with tomato sauce, sprinkle with shredded cheese and spices; add the oven roasted tomatoes and sprinkle again, very liberally, with shredded cheese and spices. Preheat oven to 450F degrees, when ready to put it the pizza lower heat to 425F and cook for 8 to ten minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is all melted.

As I took the pizzas out of the oven, the aroma was strong and made our mouths water. I used to think I was the fast eating mouth in the west, but these set of 2 grandkids left me in the dust! The Mozarella Sticks didn’t last very long either. I guess they really must have like the pizza and the sticks.

It was fast and easy to prepare. Once upon a time I used to make my own pizza dough as well, I no longer find it necessary these days.

The dish used in the photo of the pizza is part of a set I picked up at Happy Home Housewares (1407 Coney Island Avenue,, Brooklyn, NY 11230; Telephone: 718. 692.2442). It is part of a set I use for milchig dishes, Attractively priced, it’s melamine, easy to clean and with a design based on Gianni Versace’s similar themes.

I’ve been using these cheeses for other recipes, like pasta sauces, omelettes, salads and so on. In each case the results were delectable. Naturally kosher, naturally delicious!!!

CS

30
Dec
09

Colorful, Tasteful!


Having heard quite a bit, from some friends, about this six months old eatery I felt I had to try it out and taste their fares myself. Earlier this week, SYR and I made our way to Tuscany (547 Kings Highway, corner of 4th Street; Brooklyn, New York 11223; Telephone: 718.339.5200), the ambiance is casual and friendly.

We decided to go for their $44.99 special which consists of one salad, one appetizer, 2 mains and 1 dessert. We started with their Ceasar Salad, fresh, delicious and nicely presented! We followed it with Melanzane Di Rolentini…

Melanzane Di Rolentini

This is a delectable combination of Grilled Eggplant with Ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese with mushrooms all rolled and baked in Marinara sauce. It looked great and tasted even better, both SYR and I loved it.

For the main dishes, SYR ordered Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon

The grilled salmon came with a teryaki sauce and some vegetables. There was nothing “fishy” about the taste, a masterpiece!

I ordered the Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

This is a spaghetti pasta with carrots, zucchini, broccoli and mushrooms in a delicate homemade pink sauce, colorful and delicious.

The portions were generous and we certainly felt satisfied, we almost had no room for the desert, except… when we saw it… there was no question we’d have to have it! We got a  Homemade Tiramisu… while every dish, up to now, had been a veritable feast for both eye and palate the dessert was in a class by itself…

Tiramisu


It was a nice, filling, dinner for two with friendly, prompt service; all very reasonably priced. But, there is more! Enticed by the exclamations of delight at the table next to ours, we ordered – in addition – Tuscany‘s signature dish, the sushi Spider Roll. This was outside of the special, but worth it. We  had the rolls right before the Melanzane Di Rolentini, again the taste was superb and quite different from what either of us expected.

Sushi Chef Joe, takes special delight in coming  up with unusual flavor combinations and pleasing presentations. Those who recommended Tuscany to me said the sushi is unequaled. Having tasted the Spider Roll, I wholeheartedly agree. We’ll just have to work our way through the rest of Suchi Chef Joe’s creations. We can’t wait for an encore. Bravo, bravissimo!

CS
[In our upcoming website we'll have more about this delightful kosher restaurant specializing on fish and dairy, including their menu and MORE!]




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