Archive for the 'Napoleon' Category

01
Dec
14

The Loft Steakhouse


Back in August, Costas Mouzuoras, my good friend and walking wine encyclopedia at Gotham Wines and Liquors, told me he “tasted the best kosher steak ever and one of the best in all of New York.” “Where?” I asked. “Some place in Brooklyn called The Loft,” he answered. This past week, I finally got around to visiting The Loft Steakhouse (1306 40th. Street, Brooklyn; NY 11218 – between 13th and 14th Avenues in Borough Park – Tel: 718.475.5600). kosher-scene-copyright-copy22

The couple at the table next to mine were true oenophiles, but the fact that the restaurant could accommodate their tastes speaks volumes.

The couple at the table next to mine were true oenophiles, but the fact that the restaurant could accommodate their tastes speaks volumes.

I started my repast with the Crispy Beef appetizer…

Crispy Beef - Looks good and tastes better

Crispy Beef – Looks good and tastes better

It consisted of slow braised beef, crisped and smothered in a fantastic, tangy ginger galze, with a vegetable saute of crimini mushrooms and sugar snap peas. It was a very worthy introduction to the dish to follow.

I continued with a medium well Delmonico Steak…

Just the way I like it!

Delmonico Steak – Just the way I like it!

A delicately seasoned, beautifully marbled steak, cooked to perfection, tender and juicy, served over superbly seasoned mashed potatoes, and topped with thin strips of caramelized onion.

I ended the meal with a Napoleon, though beautifully presented, it was not a worthy crown for this meal. It was quite good – and more than acceptable at a lesser eatery – having been completely spoiled by the two dishes that preceded it I expected a richer taste…

Beautiful and unusual

Beautiful and unusual

I washed it all down with a Rum Punch

Loft-8

It was made with tropical fruit juices, nutmeg, bitters, rum and strawberry syrup perfectly complementing a superb dinner.

Temur, my waiter, was very knowledgeable and made great suggestions. Service was impeccable. Prices were not cheap, but well worth it. I’ll just have to go back again and again, to taste the rest of their menu.

CS

18
Apr
11

Banging The Drum Slowly


Mom turns 87 this year, ad meah v’esrim. Her pride and joy revolves around her children, grandchildren, home, and her Hungarian rooted cooking. She was the renowned master balabusta of the neighborhood. When she made a Kiddush, everyone came. Her kugels, kishka, holoptzes, homemade sweet cabbage strudel, rum ball cookies, rum mousse, napoleons, chestnut cakesoron-golushkas, kokosh, markosh and diosh were devoured in minutes. Her challas stood tall and statuesquely braided.

I still remember how barbaric her scraping walls of the intestines looked, as she prepped them to be stuffed with gelinglach (lung, rice and lots of pepper), and those sweet breads looking like splattered brain matter, before she sautéed them with mushroom and onions, smelling heavenly- later to become one of my personal favorite delicacies. She made Jewish classics like p’tchah and roasts that melted in your mouth, brust-deckle, tzimmes, Hungarian goulash, and chicken paprikash, and homemade pickles, beets and ugorkashalata (cucumber salad). You name it  she could make it.

I don’t think she ever looked in a recipe book, she measured by eye and taste and what made innate sense to her. She had an uncanny sense for putting together ingredients be it for cooking or baking. Without knowing the chemistry of why she knew how and her tables were overflowing with amazing dishes. And I honestly can’t remember a time when something didn’t come out right, her consistency was truly remarkable. She used to raise thousands for Hadassah and UJA with her luncheons. I remember being floored when all these fancy clad high falutin American women came pouring into our house for her sit down dinner fund raisers. All cultural barriers disappeared as they sat and enjoyed the never ending multi course meals served on Herendi dishes and those blue or forest floral china with the gold accents that are so popular among the Hungarians. The lively chatter and coming together around delicious food in a homey environment was a fabulous success, each and every time. Her Shabbos and Yom Tov meals were no different. Relatives could call up a few hours before Shabbos to say they were coming, and two hours later between the freezer and adding to fresh dishes already on the stove a feastele was ready.

Mom lost cerebellar function close to twenty five years ago, and though it slowed her down, she found a way to continue cooking. It kept her sane, and proved each day that she was still the balebusta of the house. Nowadays, mom’s still at it. She makes the most delicious aromatic chicken soup; you would smell the parsley and dill welcoming the Shabbos malachim into our home every week. The freezer is till filled with plastic containers filled of her golden elixir, in case anybody gets hungry or needs a refuah.

This year she announced that she’s giving up baking. So this past Purim, I baked mom’s markosh and diosh and brought the loaves down and she prepared plates for her few surviving Hungarian friends and close neighbors. One of the delicacies mom served on Pessachwere her drum cookies. I’ve made a batch in her honor and lovingly share them with you now. I warn you, they are decadent and outrageous.

Drum cookies, addictive, delicious...

Drum Cookies

Yields 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar (à la Levana) Or use Kosher for Passover baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. potato starch
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely ground nuts- preferably filberts or pecans, for rolling the cookie sandwich

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Whip eggs with the cream of tartar and the salt until fluffy and shiny.
  3. Gradually add the sugar, starch and vanilla, and continue whipping until very stiff peaks form.
  4. Fold in the nuts gently, until thoroughly incorporated
  5. Spoon half dollar dollops onto a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. you will get approximately 20 -24 drops.
  6. Bake 30 minutes, or a little longer, until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown and the tops feel firm.
  7. Set aside to cool

Cream Filling

Ingredients

  • 1 stick margarine
  • 1 cup real chocolate melted
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee powder
  • 2 tbsp. water

Directions

  1. Whip the margarine in mixer, slowly add the chocolate and the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Chill for an hour before filling.
  3. Spoon about a tbsp. of filling onto cookie ( flat sides of cookie on outside), place another cookie on top and then roll in ground nuts.
  4. Chill before serving.

Enjoy!

SYR

09
Nov
09

A Touch of Class in Boro Park


Nestled in this residential street of Boro Park, better suited for Park Avenue, you’ll find an unusual restaurant specializing in fish and dairy dishes… Such a jewel is the Orchideä Restaurant located at 4815 12th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11219 — Telephone: 718-686-7500 and 718-686-9100.

The almost monochrome décor of silvers and grays accented by black and soft lavender produce a unique atmosphere of sophistication and romantic intimacy. Their delicately spiced salads are fresh, delicious, and a true feasts for the eyes. Exquisite attention to color, detail and placement of each vegetable on the plate elevates the gastronomic experience into near art-form.

We started off our meal with artistically prepared sushi, and colorful, flavorful salads. I recommend the Blue Cheese or the Spring Fling.

The mixture of flavors bespoke of exotic locales in far away lands. The Eggplant Parmegiano, was the best I ever had.

The wine selection was more than adequate, the settings regal, and the portions nicely sized. I have a sweet tooth, having been weaned on Austrian pastries, so I was delighted with their unusual looking Napoleon, fruit shaped custard divided among three layers of Middle Eastern fillo pastry. Superb, is an understatement!

orchidea2

In presentation, in taste, in service, few establishments can rival Orchideä

CS

Orchidea on Urbanspoon




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