Archive for the 'recipes' Category

04
Aug
13

Honey-Lacquered Hens and Pears


It’s summertime and the grilling season, with its delicious aromas and promises of succulent treats. Poultry has long been a favorite on the grill. A reader, Shmuel L, from Miami sent us this recipe and photo, he writes that he stumbled upon it two summers ago, and it’s been a family favorite since:

Honey-Lacquered Hens and Pears

HoneyLackHen

Ingredients

  • 2 long metal skewers
  • 1/2 cup honey marinade *
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 2 game hens (about 2 pounds each) washed
  • 2 just barely ripe Bartlett pears, cored
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • Lavender blossoms for garnishing (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine the Marinade, dried lavender, and game hens in a 1 gallon zipper lock bag, press out the air and seal. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Light a grill for direct low heat, about 250 F.
  3. Remove the hens from the marinade and part dry, discard the marinade.
  4. Tie the ends of the drumsticks together. Coat the hens and the pears with with the oil. Arrange on skewers so that each hen is pierced from the shoulder to the leg  and add a pear at each end, thereby making it possible to turn everything at once.
  5. Brush the grill grate with oil. Grill until the game hens become lightly charred all the way around and the temperature on an instant read thermometer shows 165 F (about 45 to 60 minutes). Turn the skewers every 12 minutes or so.
  6. Meanwhile, mix together honey, vanilla extract, and Sriracha.
  7. Cut the game hens in half. Arrange each hen and pear half on a plate and drizzle with the honey-vanilla mixture. Garnish with the lavender blossoms for a dramatic presentation.

* Honey Marinade

Yields 3/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ground pepper

Directions

  1. Whisk together mustard, honey, vinegar, and oil. Season with pepper. Left over marinade will keep in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

Shmuel L.

16
Apr
10

The Art of Braising


[Eran Elhalal is a food consultant, chef extraordinaire (about to become a restaurateur). He is also the resident Chef at the Israeli Wine Lovers Club where his delectable creations, cheese and fruit selections greatly enhance the tasting experience. CS]

More than once, have I listened to my friends complain about a failed attempt at braising short ribs or Lamb Shanks and worst of all, after spending hours preparing,ended up with a dry/stringy/pale/tough piece of meat and finding all that right before the guests arrive.

So, from today onwards, those tales of woe, the agony will end.

Braising is a wonderful way of utilizing the less expensive tougher cuts of meat that usually are not fit for dry cooking methods like brisket, and chuck or cuts that would require a long slow roast like leg of Lamb,lamb shanks and Beef Short ribs . Moreover a braise can be made ahead of time in large quantities , making it a great solution for a big family. In fact, a braise is great the day it’s made, but it is FANTASTIC the next couple of days.

What we sometimes call tough cuts of meat are actually tougher due to the fact that they come from high mobility muscles. To give a simple example – cows stand and graze most of the day, hence their legs, chest and neck muscles are very strong. Strong=Tough!

And now, I’ll take you step by step through the braising process…

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients

6 Servings

2 1/2 Lbs short ribs /3-4 Lbs if on the bone. Have your butcher cut the meat to 3-4 incl long pieces,1 1/2 -2 inches wide.
1-1/2 cups dry red wine Ingredients
1 cup Apple cider
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Lb small red potatoes.If you find large ones,quarter them lengthwise.
2 carrots cut oblique
1 large parsnip sliced thick
2 large onions sliced 3/4 inch thick
2 ribs celery rough chopped
2-3 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
12 black pepper corns
2 Tbsp dark molasses
¼ Tsp smoked paprika
salt to taste
flour for dredging

Method

1. Turn oven to 450F and place a heat proof pan or low edged pot inside. (Earthenware or Pyrex are great for this)

2. Pat the meat dry, season well then dredge in flour. Heat a cast iron skillet or large heavy stew pot. Add 2 Tbsp oil and sear well on all sides. Remove and set aside.
3.
In the same skillet brown the vegetables and remove.
4.
Drain excess fat carefully place the vegetables in the hot Pyrex pan,add tomato paste and mix well with a wooden spoon .We want to coat the vegetables evenly and brown.
5.
Deglaze with wine, then add cider, molasses herbs and spices. Leave 6-8 minutes in the oven so the liquid starts to reduce.

6. Add the meat , taste , adjust seasoning then cover tightly and place in oven.
7. Lower the heat to 275F and braise for approx 5 hours. Check to see meat is very tender. Alternatively you can set the oven to 150F-160F and braise overnight.
8. Cool well in the pan. the best way is to make an ice-water bath in a clean sink or larger pan. Then, lift away excess fat.
9. Remove meat potatoes and carrots gently,discrad of the rest . Portion the meat when cold.( This is important ! ) Reheat the cooking liquid and strain well through a fine sieve.
10. Reduce the liquid until a smooth and thick sauce consistency is achieved. Add the meat and vegetables. Simmer gently in the clear shiny sauce.


(The above photos were taken by Eran Elhalal)

For a wine pairing I suggest a dry full bodied red wine. A big red, to cut through all the wonderful gelatin in the ribs. Try Tzora Judean Hills 2008 or Tabor Mes’ha Shiraz/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Enjoy!!

Eran Elhalal

))–oOooOooOo–((


[I will add two personal favorites to Eran's recommendations:

Château Pontet-Canet Paulliac 2002. A solid wine with berry, currant and mineral character. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long finish. Racy. On March 31 2005 the Wine Spectator awarded it 92 points, as one of the top French wines of its vintage year.

Yatir Forest 2004. This wine from grapes grown in the Judean Hills is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 6% Shiraz. It's aged for 18 months in small French oak barrels. It has a purple color with a strong bouquet of forest fruits, red currant, blackberry and a hint of vanilla. A full bodied wine with velvety tannins. Tom Stevenson (author of the 2007 Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia), described  the Yatir Forest 2004 as "the classiest Israeli wine I ever tasted." CS.]

ALSO FROM ERAN’S KITCHEN:

Passover Almond-Pistaccio Cake

08
Mar
10

Cooking Steak at The Center For Kosher Culinary Arts


Did you ever have a perfect steak? I did, when I attended a session at CKCA, (1407 Coney Island Avenue; Brooklyn, NY 11230; 718.758.1339 – they are right above Happy Home Housewares) when Chef David Ritter was teaching class the evening class. Though I’m not a student at the school, like all those present my attention was fully taken by Chef David’s directions and explanations.

This particular session was devoted to making Steak au Poivre (Peppercorn Steak)…

Steak au Poivre

Below is the recipe Chef Ritter has graciously agreed to share with us. As you read, you’ll see how dramatic the very act of cooking this recipe can be:

Steak au Poivre

2 tournedos – Tender Beef Filets – preferably Rib Eye medallions

1½ ozs. Cognac (Brandy)

2 ozs. Non-Dairy Creamer

1 ozs. Shallots – chopped

1-2 ozs. Margarine (optional) cold & cubed

1tspn Black Pepper – crushed

½ tspn Green Peppercorns

2 tblspn Clarified Margarine or Olive Oil

3 ozs. Demi-Glace (or, buy boxed beef stock and reduce it by ¾)

Preparation

Step 1 – Season Filet w/ Salt & Pepper.
Step 2
– Sautée Both Sides in Clarified Butter or Oil.
Step 3
– Remove meat; add shallots & sweat, Deglaze food particles on pan with Cognac – FLAMBÉE!
**(MUST REMOVE PAN FROM HEAT WHEN POURING ALCOHOL INTO PAN)**

Step 4
– Add green peppercorns.
Step 5 – Add Creamer and Demi Glace, reduce ‘til slightly thick.
Step 6 – Swirl in some margarine cubes without boiling sauce (optional).
Step 7 – Arrange plate and pour sauce over meat.

The aroma will conquer you. Just surrender and enjoy the taste!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Cooking Lamb at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts
Luscious and Pareve Lemon Bars
The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts




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