Archive for the 'recipe' Category

03
Mar
11

Cooking With Class — Susie Fishbein at Pomegranate Supermarket


Pomegranate Supermarket has been running a cooking demo series called Cooking with Class. Their guest Chef, this past Monday, was award winning cookbook author Susie Fishbein. In a friendly and entertaining manner, she demonstrated three fish dishes.

  • Miso Glazed Cod
  • Blackened Tilapia or Red Snapper
  • Sole en Papillote

Answering a question from the audience...

She explained how to ensure that the fish, whether filleted or whole, is absolutely fresh as that would guarantee a non fish smelling or fish tasting dish. After each dish was done (and all three were done in minutes!), samples were given out for the audience to savor. Those of you who have been following these pages for a while, know that I’m not a fish fan (until just over a year ago I’d always refused to get near a fish dish). On Monday,  like the rest of the audience, I savored these delicious finned creatures… because they neither smelled nor tasted fishy!

Now, get ready to taste it!

Of the dishes demonstrated, my favorite was the second one and Mrs. Fishbein graciously agreed to share the recipe.

Blackened Tilapia or Red Snapper

This dish is an authentic Cajun, mouth-on-fire delicacy. Blackened refers to the spices, not the lack of cooking prowess. If you are worried about the heat, only coat one side of the fish with the spice mixture, although it will still be hot. I like to make a batch of the spices and keep them in a baby food jar so that dinner preparation on this dish (it’s also great on thinly pounded chicken breast) is a snap. If you have a cast iron skillet, it is the way to go. If not, use a nonstick frying pan and get it very hot as well. Warn your guests, pour a big pitcher of ice water and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 4 (6 ozs) tilapia or red snapper fillets
  • 4 medium fresh tomatoes, each cut in half, trimmed tops so they seat flat
  • oregano
  • sour cream

Directions

  1. Spray a large frying pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray. In a flat plate combine the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, white pepper, paprika, thyme, oregano and basil. Mix well.
  2. Dredge each fillet in the melted butter, then coat with the spice mixture in one or both sides. reserve the melted butter.
  3. If using a cast-iron skillet, get it very hot. If not, heat the frying pan over medium -high heat until very hot but not smoking.
  4. Carefully place the fillets in the skillet and sear about 3-5 minutes or until blackened. Pour 1 tablespoon of reserved melted butter on each fillet. Flip the fish over and pour 1 tablespoon of of melted butter over each fillet and blacken the other side, about 2-3 minutes. If you only spiced one side the second side won’t get black, just cook the fish through until it’s done. Remove fish to dinner plates.
  5. Brush the tomato halves with the melted butter and sprinkle with oregano. sear the tomatoes in the frying pan about 3 minutes or until soft. Flip the other side and cook 1-2 minutes longer.
  6. Serve each fillet with a big dollop of sour cream and two tomato halves.

Yield: 4 servings

The finished dish, as seen on one of the two giant TV screens

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

Mrs. Fishbein will be back at Pomegranate on Tuesday, March 8, to demonstrate how to cook Grouper and Mahi Mahi and again on Monday, March 14 to demo her techniques for Halibut. Can’t wait to learn from her!

CS

25
Nov
09

Thanksgiving and the Jews


The first Jew to set foot in Colonial America, was Joachim Gans, who came here in 1584 having been recruited by Sir Walter Raleigh as he set out on an expedition to explore the Virginia territory. In 1654 a group of 23 Dutch  Jews arrived from Brazil, on the shores of New Amsterdam (New York), fleeing the Inquisition recently instituted in Portugal’s new colony. Like the Mayflower Pilgrims before them, this group came to the New World in search of opportunities and religious freedom. Life wasn’t easy; dreams could only be realized through an incredible amount of determination, hard work, sweat, tears and personal sacrifice.

I can just imagine these Dutch/Brazilian Jews in the new land celebrating Thanksgiving with a slowly cooked Moqueca Capixaba (a Brazilian dish consisting of: fish, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, chili pepper and additional ingredients). Fish was plentiful,  requiring no shechita.

As the years and centuries progressed, Jews realized unparalleled success in the New World, engaging in  fields of study and a variety of livelihoods unrivaled in our history… We educated ourselves and our children, excelling in areas in academia, maths and sciences, commerce, technology and the arts.  We suddenly had new freedoms and exploited unprecedented opportunities. 

In 1946, my dad, a teenager at the time, arrived to these shores,  on an orphan transport boat called the Ernie Pyle. In his hand was a shabby little suitcase that contained his Tefillin and a herring. Shortly after his arrival, speaking but a few words of English, he landed a job in a baby blanket factory, sewing & sweeping floors. His one meal a day was dinner at Ratner’s, one of the famous dairy eateries of its day, where he’d sit down to a bowl of soup and all the bread he could eat. The Hungarian wife ( and amazing cook) he married two years later, kept him happy and content in the kitchen and in life. May they continue together in health and happiness till 120!

Dad’s early days in the new land remind me of an old joke:

Abe Cohen goes to a restaurant every day for lunch. He always orders the soup du jour. One day the manager asks him how he liked his meal. Abe replies (with a Yiddish accent) “Vass goot, but you could give a lidle more bread.”

The next day, the manager tells the waitress to give him four slices of bread. “How was your meal, sir?” the manager asks. “Vass goot, but you could give a lidle more bread”.

Next day the manager tells the waitress to give him eight slices of bread. “How was your meal today, sir?” the manager asks. “Vass goot, but you could give a lidle more bread”.

The manager is now obsessed with seeing Abe say that he enjoyed his meal, so he goes to the bakery and orders a 6ft long French loaf. When Abe comes in – as usual – the next day, the waitress and the manager cut the loaf in half, butter the entire length of each half and lay it out along the counter, right next to his bowl of soup. Abe sits down, and devours both his bowl of soup and both halves of the 6ft loaf of bread. The manager now thinks he will get the answer he is looking for. When Abe comes up to pay for his meal, the manager asks in the usual way: “How was your meal TODAY, sir?” Abe replies “It vass goot, as usual, but I see you are back to giving only 2 slices of bread!”

How times and country have changed us all! America is still  a land of opportunity, if we can just get past the gauntlet of recorded voice messages that stand between us and our daily bread. Though the the ‘Goldeneh Land’ has lost some of it’s glitter, we have much to be grateful for.  We enjoy freedoms in this country that others less fortunate literally die for each and every day.  Though our health care system is in shambles, we have access to medical care, medication and vaccines that don’t even exist in other countries. We benefit  from technologies we never dreamed of; at our fingertips we have the power to transform the world or to destroy it.

In our tfilos we thank the Almighty each and every day, three times a day.  We acknowledge His mastery over Creation and bless His handiwork in everything we eat and partake of in His world. All our accomplishments are through His divine grace. Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the US, it brings families together from near and far, as collectively America remembers all we have to be thankful for.

Wishing those that celebrate this holiday a Happy Thanksgiving filled with good cheer, good conversation, good food, in the company of loved ones.

In the holiday spirit, I’ll leave you with a personal heimishe recipe for turkey stuffing and simple turkey baste. Enjoy!!

Challah Stuffing

(serves 10)

1 large challah, dried out (leave out overnight)
2 cups shredded carrots, sautéed
2 cup sautéed minced onions
2 cup sautéed finely diced celery
2 cups wild mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts (washed and drained)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, optional
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced, and sautéed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped dill
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
2 cups chicken stock
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Directions:

Soak Challah in water, remove crust top when moistened, and squeeze out all water, break into small pieces. Add eggs, oil, stock and seasoning. Sautée vegetables; when cooled to room temperature, add into mix . Stuff inside turkey cavity, alongside turkey or bake in a separate casserole.

Turkey Baste

¾ c. oil
dried garlic powder
onion powder
sweet paprika
dried parsley, dried dill, salt and pepper.

Place sliced onions, celery, clove of garlic, (brussel sprouts-optional garnish) in bottom of roasting pan.  Add water.

Turkey

Place turkey in prepared roasting pan, tented with aluminum foil.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes per pound.  Baste 4-5 times with oil/spice mixture. Bake uncovered for last 15 minutes.

Here is my simple, homemade turkey (the guests always love its finger lickin’ goodness!):

turkey

As a dessert, some may want it as a side dish with the turkey, you might make this simple to follow but delicious recipe:

Cranberry Crunch Mousse

2 Rich’s Rich whip 8 oz topping
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

Whip up topping. When whip is formed add vanilla and confectioner’s sugar.

1 12 oz. package fresh cranberries
1 8 oz bag of mini marshmallows
8 oz honey glazed pecans chopped

Chop cranberries in food processor for about a minute, don’t pulverize. Fold cranberries, marshmallows and chopped pecans into whip mixture and serve chilled.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 8-10

SYR




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