Archive for the 'pomegranate' Category

09
Jan
11

The World of Kosher Cheese – part 2b


Aside from Pomegranate‘s great selection of specialty cheeses, they have the biggest display of prepackaged cheeses I’ve seen anywhere.

Lots of choices!

From such small producers as Karen’s Bracha’s Cheese Co’s, Twisted Mozzarella with Zahatar; or Susan Gourmet’s selections of foreign styled cheeses to major producers such as Anderson International Foods cholov Yisroel Natural and Kosher line, their non-cholov Yisroel Les Petites Fermières to Fresh and Healthy, to Tnuva, you’ll find them all here.

Closeup of various cheese shelves

Sugar River Cheese Co.’s choices are among SYR’s favorite American made cheeses, Les Petites Fermières’ imported Camembert and Brie are her favorite imports. I’ve tried some of Fresh and Healthy‘s Capriccio collection and liked them all. The Cheese Guy also has some delicious cheeses but the company’s hechsherim vary by the cheese, be sure to check to make sure the individual hechsher is acceptable to you. Cholov is another company that produces an all time favorite like the Chevrai line of goat milk cheeses.

As a foodie, and expanding on Elizabeth Bland’s own blog, I could spend a whole day going and admiring the cheese choices with the same fervor, with the same passion, with the same delight with which I could through a museum filled with masterpieces! But… if you are a regular reader of this blog you already know that, of course.

Whether you are new to the world of cheese, whether you are connoisseur, whether you like raw milk, cow’s milk, or goat’s milk cheese, Pomegranate‘s got them all.

CS

07
Jan
11

The World of Kosher Cheese – part 2a


Back in ’70s when I lived in Tel Aviv, we would often travel to Europe – mostly to Paris – on any excuse we could master. Why Paris? On one one of our early jaunts we had discovered a small kosher fromagerie – cheese-maker shop (whose name I’ve long forgotten) in Les Marais, the city’s Jewish quarter. There, not only could we admire the creativity and beauty of their artisanal products, we could taste them and hear each cheese’s story and what gave it it’s particular character. Some were made with wine, some combined fruits or vegetables, some appeared as if plucked out of some colorful still life canvass. All delighted us with their looks and tastes…

Yesterday, on the second leg of my expedition in search of kosher cheeses, cheeses far superior to the old almost tasteless American kosher types of yore, Elizabeth Bland (cheese maven extraordinaire!) and I stopped over at Pomegranate (1507 Coney Island Avenue – corner of Avenue L – Brooklyn, New York 11230; Tel: 718.951.7112) and the memories of that little shop in Paris suddenly came back to me…

Pomegranate, at 1507 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn

As we looked on at Pomegranate‘s own cheese creations – they have a state of the art cheese making facility on their second floor – as we looked at their selections of foreign cheeses, whether prepackaged on foreign soils or packaged on premises we felt like little kids in a quaint little toy shop filled with the most  unusual gadgets and toys. Ms. Bland proceeded to explain about various European cheeses, how to eat them, what their origins were. She especially delighted in talking about the Raclette from Ermitage. Gabe Boxer, the store manager (who explained the store’s philosophy of bringing and creating the best to suit the emerging gourmet kosher palate), told us that shortly they would be carrying the pans where one warms up the Raclette before consuming it. As I looked through the shelves I suddenly spotted the last piece of their Argentinian Reggianito Parmesan, which reminded me of my youth in Uruguay and a favorite cheese of those days… I also found what looked like a delightful Manchego

Small detail of a shelf in the specialty cheese section

They had quite a few unusual cheeses of their own creation or created specifically for them…

Munstarella with Olives, Cranberry with Port Wine, Burcin Pepper, Halloumi, Brie Filled with Fruits, Goat Cheese Rolled in Toasted Nuts and many more!!!

Elizabeth Bland and Pomegranate's Gabe Boxer

So many superb selections I can’t possibly cover them all on this short post, gentle reader, you’ll just have to go in and see for yourself. I’ll have to do another post on their wide selection of pre-packaged cheeses from various American manufacturers, including artisanal cheeses.

CS

Elizabeth Bland’s post on her blog

RELATED POSTS

The World of Kosher Cheese – Part 1

05
Jan
11

The World of Kosher Cheese – Part 1


I, Vasco de CS – your intrepid kosher Conquistador – in an effort to bring all that’s kosher and great to The Kosher Scene, set about on an journey to find the variety of kosher cheeses available in New York City. Accompanied by Elizabeth Bland a world class cheese expert whom I interviewed last week, (you can hear the recording here) we toured the kosher cheese sections (on Monday afternoon)  sections at Zabar’s on Broadway and 80th – in Manhattan – and at Fairway on Broadway and 74th.

Interesting store with a big selection of kosher items

Ms. Bland’s encyclopedic knowledge of all things cheese was immediately evident as she explained  the various types of kosher cheese and hechsherim from around the world.

Two partial views of Zabar's Kosher Cheese showcase

There were selections from Israel, France, Spain, Italy, UK, New York State, Wisconsin, etc, etc….. She had tasted every one and had much to say about each. The rich selection was comprised of both cholov Yisroel and non cholov Yisroel types. Made from cow’s milk, goat milk, raw milk, some were very pungent, some were very sharp, some were mild in taste and smell.Elizabeth clarified some major differences amoungst the manufacturers, their aging processes along with those individual aged cheeses that require the halachic  six hours waiting time before eating meat. It was great to find certain cheese companies listed how long the individual cheese had been aged, unfortunately, this is not a universal practice, but it certainly should be! It would make it faaaar easier to determine whether one is required to wait six hours or not.

Elizabeth Bland holding up a cheese by one of her favorite manufacturers, Sugar River Cheese Co.

We then trekked six blocks south to Fairway. It was my first visit to Fairway (we don’t have one in Brooklyn) and while more crowded and with narrower isles than Zabar’s, I found the variety of foods abundant and the clientele diverse. They too had a great selection of kosher cheeses from around the world, and we discovered some that we hadn’t seen at Zabar’s and some were not present here.

There’s nothing like traveling with a seasoned navigator; my outing with Elizabeth was educational  and informative; we plan a follow up with a trip to Brooklyn’s Pomegranate to compare their cheese section with those we visited in the city.

CS

Elizabeth Bland’s post

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Last Week’s Broadcast and This Week’s Upcoming One

Sugar River Cheese Co.

Cheese! Cheese! Cheese! – Part 3

Cheese! Cheese! Cheese! – Part 2

Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!

Les Petites Fermières Plus Organic and Kosher

Naturally Kosher

07
Sep
10

“May it be Your Will…” – Symbolic Foods


It is customary to eat symbolic foods on Rosh Hashana, these symbols represent the individual’s requests for a better life for one self, for one’s family, etc… How did the custom begin?  The Talmud in Tractate Krisus states on page 6a: “Now that you say that an omen means something, each person should accustom himself to eat gourds, fenugreek, leeks, beets and dates…” As a result, we partake of these and other foods, all representing good things and the individual’s hopes for more and better. The foods mentioned are of types that grow fast and/or are very sweet.

Why do we eat them on Rosh Hashana, specifically, as opposed to any other time of the year? When we ask the Almighty to grant us something, just as when we would ask a king to give us something, we must invoke some merit or reason why we feel we deserve it. Therefore, these foods serve as a reminder that we must do tshuvah – repentance. Rosh Hashana being the time when the Almighty looks at the past year’s deeds and when we ask to be inscribed in the Book of Life, it is – of course – a time of self examination and repentance. Thus, these foods serve to remind us of our pressing need to repent, to resolve to be better and stronger Jews for the coming New Year.

These symbols blend in with the spirit of Rosh Hashana, as as Rabbi Yehuda Prero says on torah.org:

…If one looks over the prayers on Rosh HaShana, one will find that the basic theme is one of proclaiming the kingship and greatness of Hashem. Although Rosh HaShana is the day on which we are being judged, we do not make requests for sustenance, health, long life, etc.. We instead demonstrate how we have accepted Hashem as our king, and that we will listen to Him and follow His dictates.

By asking Hashem for our needs we obviously acknowledge Him as our King, upon whom we depend as the source of life, as the source of everything on this plane (and every other) plane of existence. The omens are a way of covertly asking the Boreh Olam – Creator of the Universe for our needs without being too blatant about it.

Immediately preceding each of these  foods we say a “Yehi ratzon – may it be Your will…” Each food, whether through a pun on its name, or through its very nature, alludes to our request.

A holiday plate with traditional symbolic foods

The Yehi ratzons are as follows:

“Yehi Ratzon Milfanecha, Ad-noi El-heinu Vei’l-hai Avosainu…”

“May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers…”

For fenugreek (most Ashkenazim use carrots, in yiddish Mehren – which can also mean “to increase,”):

“…Sheiyirbu zechuyosainu.”

“…that our merits increase.”

For leek or cabbage:

“…Sheiyikarsu sonainu.”

“…that our enemies be decimated.”

For beets:

“…Sheiyistalku oyvainu.”

“…that our adversaries disappear”

For dates:

“…Sheyitamu sonainu.”

“…that our enemies be consumed.”

For gourd:

“…Sheyikora gzar dinainu vyikaru lefanecha zechuyosainu.”

“…that the decree of our sentance be torn up and may our merits be proclaimed before you.”

For the apple in the honey:

“…shetichadesh aleinu shana tova umtuka.”

“…that you renew us for a good and sweet year.”

For pomegranate:

“…shenirbeh zechuyos kerimon”

“…that our merits increase like (the seeds of) a pomegranate.”

For fish:

“…Shenifreh vnirbeh kedagim.”

“…that we be fruitful and multiply like fish.”

For the head of a fish or sheep:

“…Shenihiyeh lerosh velo lezanav.”

“…that we be as the head and not as the tail.”

There are also many personal symbols that some people add, for example among some of my relatives it’s long been customary to have a lettuce leave, half a raisin and a piece of celery stalk… What is the pun and its meaning? “May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers, to let us have a raise in salary.

Do you have any personal or family symbols you add on Rosh Hashana? Please share them with the rest of us, we’d like to see them!

May this be the year, when everyone of us is granted all of his/her needs, as we acknowledge Hashem’s kingship!

CS

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

RELATED POSTS

Naturally Kosher

29
Dec
09

Unusually Creative and Delicious


Seth Warshaw, is the owner and executive chef of etc steakhouse (1409 Palisade Avenue; Teaneck, NJ 07666; Telephone: 201.357.5677). The De Gustibus School at Macy’s featured him as one of the top chefs in their The Fine Art of Kosher Cooking series.

Last week, Wednesday, I found my way to his establishment. It was a very pleasant, delicious experience and more than amply confirmed Salvatore Rizzo‘s (De Gustibus owner) high assessment of Chef Seth.

The walls are painted red, otherwise the decor is rather spartan. The dishes I tasted showed tremendous creativity, a rare understanding of the riches of flavor and very nice presentation.

I started with their Pomegranate Rolled Rib Eye..

Pomegranate Rolled Rib Eye

It came accompanied with a pomegranate and Satsuma clementine salad in a grapefruit reduction. The aged rib eye was very tender and juicy. The flavors were a superb blend of meat and subtle fruit juices. Succulent!

I followed with Sweetbreads with Glazed Rutabaga.

Sweetbreads with Glazed Rutabaga

It consisted of superbly prepared sweetbreads with a delicate lima bean puree and glazed rutabaga with a balsamic reduction. I then moved on to the Pomegranate Hangar Steak.

Pomegranate Hangar Steak

Because of the rules of kashrus (where meats must be salted for an hour – to extract the blood – after soaking in water for 30 minutes), in spite of all the rinsing, the meat ultimately absorbs some salt. As a result hangar steaks are very salty. Chef Seth, however, has found a unique way of enhancing the steak’s flavor without one noticing the salt. The result is a very juicy, tender, steak; yet another tribute to the Chef’s creativity and knowledge of the blending of flavors. The steak came with a sweet potato mash, haricot verts, caramelized onion rings in a pomegranate reduction.

I topped off the meal with a House Made Zeppole Trio with vanilla ice cream. Each zeppole was covered with a different sprinkling. One had a combination of fine cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar, another a sprinkling of coconut and the third had cocoa powder. Fried Italian pastries, they were sweet and indescribably delicious. What a great way to crown a superb meal!

CS

Etc Steakhouse on Urbanspoon




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