Archive for the 'shallots' Category

22
Apr
12

Chard, Mushrooms and Swiss Cheese Fritatta


Swiss chard is one of the most popular Mediterranean vegetables, while every vegetable has its own unique qualities, this one is rich in antioxidants and more. It is considered one of the most nutritious vegetables around, second only to spinach. Having said that, let’s face it we all remember the healthy food that tasted horrible, the foods that mom had to preface with: “Eat it, it’s good for you!” Well, surprise, surprise, Swiss chard actually enhances the flavor of any dish it’s used in!

This morning, for breakfast, I made frittata from a recipe I found in Sara Jay‘s Knives cooks Love:

knives cooks Love, detail from photo on page 130

Chard, Mushrooms and Swiss Cheese Fritatta

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Swiss chard
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup cup minced shallots
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 2/3 cups (5 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. trim the stems from the chard leaves. discard the stems. immerse the leaves in water to rid them of grit. Lift them out and drain. Crop the leaves coarsely.
  3. Heat 3 teaspoons of oil in a 10 inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle lightly with salt and sauté, stirring frequently, until golden brown, for 5 to 7 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, add the shallots, and cook until the shallots are softened but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add the chard a few handfuls at a time and cook, tossing with tongs, until soft and wilted, about 4 minutes.’ Add 1/4 spoon of the salt and continue cooking and tossing until all the liquid in the pan evaporates, about 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
  4. Whisk the eggs, half and half, mustard, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper together in a medium bowl. Stir in the cheese. add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. spread the out the vegetables evenly and, when the pan is hot, pour in the egg mixture. cook until the bottom is set, about 3 minutes, and then transfer the skillet to the oven.Bake in until the eggs are set on top, about 15 minutes.
  5. Place the  frittata under a broiler a few inches from the heat source until the top is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. remove from from the heat and let rest for a few minutes; the fritatta will pull away from the sides of the pan. Slice in the pan or else flip the frittata onto a plate and serve.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy; I did!

CS

24
Mar
10

Delicious Passover Recipes


Chef Laura Frankel’s blog features a few simply delicious, healthy recipes for Passover and the rest of the year:

Chef Laura at the Green Market

Chocolate Mousse with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

[non-gebroks]
Passover used to mean a hiatus from good chocolate. Recently there have been several new companies that have introduced kosher for Passover high end chocolate.

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (must be at least 70% cacao)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup brewed coffee
4 eggs separated
2/3 cup powdered sugar (kosher for Passover)
1/3 cup brewed coffee
1 vanilla bean scraped

1. Melt the chocolate and cool to room temperature. Mix in the olive oil and coffee and set aside.
2. Combine the yolks and powdered sugar and whisk until foamy, add the chocolate mixture.
3. Beat the whites to stiff peaks; fold the whites into the chocolate.
4. Pour into a 9-ich cake pan or loaf pan lined with plastic wrap and chill 8 hours or freeze for 3 hours. Unmold onto a serving plate and slice.

For a variation I like to sprinkle coarse sea salt onto the top of the mousse. The sea salt brings out the fruitiness of the olive oil and the chocolate.

Poached Halibut in Olive Oil

[non-gebroks]
I remember the first time I watched a chef/friend poach fish in olive oil. It was one of those moments when the light bulb goes off! The fish cooks through with a gentle heat transfer and gains the delicate olive oil flavor. The fish is moist and really luscious! Enjoy the fish hot or cold.

4 cups olive oil
4 6-ounce halibut filets-skinned and boned
1 whole head of garlic cut in half
6 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig

Preheat oven to 275.
1. Place the olive oil into a large oven proof dish. Cover the fish with olive oil ¾ of the way. Add the garlic and herbs. Cover the fish directly with a piece of parchment paper.
2. Poach the fish until firm and completely translucent (about 15 minutes). Gently remove the fish and discard the garlic and herbs. Strain the oil and refrigerate covered. The oil can be used to poach fish again and will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Parsley sauce with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

[non-gebroks]
2 large bunches of flat leaf parsley, leaves trimmed off (reserve the stems for stock making)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Sear the parsley for about 2 minutes until it is bright green and slightly wilted.
2. Place the parsley and extra virgin olive oil in a blender and process until the sauce has a smooth consistency. Salt and pepper to taste

Chef Laura, who authored Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes, is known for the health consciousness reflected in her recipes. As she puts it, in her blog:

When cooking for Passover and for every meal, I recommend whole, natural ingredients. I never go to the dark side of cooking with products that are loaded with laboratory made ingredients and faux flavors or colors. For this holiday and everyday-let’s keep it real.

I’ve tasted some of the recipes in Chef Laura’s books, I’ve eaten at Shallots when it was open in New York; I can assure you they are all excellent!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Purim Recipes

25
Feb
10

Purim Recipes


Although today is a Ta’anit Esther – The Fast of Esther and observant Jews around the world are fasting, we also prepare for Sunday’s Purim feast. While looking for inspiration around the web, I came across the following (superb!) holy day recipes on famed Chef Laura Frankel‘s  blog:

I like hamantashen and certainly have eaten my fill of the tender cakey treats. Don’t get me wrong. They are delicious and fun to make. But, they are safe and not at all sexy. So, this year-I want some excitement on Purim. I think I am just tired of winter, the economy and bad news. Time for FUN! Get out your martini shakers, groggers and whatever else you need to put on a splashy and delicious Purim Feast. For dessert-I recommend you pull out those nice hamantashen or do like the Persians and serve dried fruit, nuts and fresh citrus.

All of the recipes can be prepped ahead of time, leaving you lots of time to get your Esther or Mordechai on. Have a Freylich Purim!

Blood Orange Martini

It is scary how tasty these martinis are-like you could easily get into trouble with a pitcher of these scary! Oh well, Haman-Mordechai…whatever! just have fun

1 ½ ounces vodka
2 ounces blood orange juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
1. Shake together and serve. Garnish with blood oranges slices and pomegranate seeds

Persian Meatballs (Kufteh)

This is a great dish for the end of winter. Serve this for Purim as a first course or as part of a Purim feast! Traditionally, the meatballs would not be browned before being poached. As a chef, I think the caramelized crust on the meatballs is essential and gives a great texture and more pronounced flavor. You can opt to do it either way.

2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 cup cooked yellow split peas
1 pound ground chicken, turkey or beef
½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
½ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 cup chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic-chopped
2 large red onions-peeled and chopped
2 eggs-lightly beaten
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom

1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well combined. Do not over mix as the mixture will be too tight and tough. Salt and pepper the mixture (I like to take a small amount and fry it to taste if the seasoning is correct).
2. Lightly, shape the meat balls with your hands.(I find that wetting my hands with cold water and using a rolling motion keeps them from getting too packed and tight.) You can store the meatballs at this point covered in the refrigerator for 2 days or freeze them for 1 month.
3. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the pan with olive oil. Brown the meatballs in batches. Remove form the pan and drain on paper towels.

For the poaching liquid

1 16-oz can of canned tomatoes with their juices
2 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon saffron threads
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice and zest 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Bring the poaching liquid ingredients to simmer in a large saucepan. Place the meatballs in the pan. Gently poach them until cooked through. Do not stir the pan as the meatballs will break apart.

Basmati Rice
This is a show stopper for any buffet or dinner. The crispy crust on the rice tastes a little bit like popcorn. It is easy to make ahead and can be reheated in the pan in a low oven.

2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a large saucepan bring water with salt to a boil. Add rice and boil 10 minutes. In a colander drain rice and rinse under warm water.
2. Place a 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Coat the bottom with olive oil. Spoon rice into the pan, cover pan with a kitchen towel and a heavy lid. Fold edges of towel up over lid and cook rice over moderately low heat until a golden brown crust forms, about 30 to 35 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving platter. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and blood orange sections.

According to The Jew And The Carrot website, Chef Laura is currently Executive Chef and head of food services at the Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and café at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. She is the former chef and founder of the Shallots restaurants. Mrs. Frankel has training and extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens. Before committing herself to her culinary passion, she played both alto and baritone saxophones. She taught and played professionally. She is the author of Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.

Chef Laura will be giving a Kosher Food Demo at De Gustibus (on the 8th floor of Macy’s) on the upcoming 16th of March.

I’ve eaten many times at Shallots when it used to be located in Manhattan at the atrium of the SONY building’s where Solo is now situated. I definitely can vouch for her succulent creations!!!

CS

05
Jan
10

The Pasta Factory


One of the greatest joys of preparing entries for The Kosher Scene blog has been meeting the talented seasoned restaurateurs and chefs along the way.  Sol Kirschenbaum, owner of The Pasta Factory (1400 Palisade Avenue; Teaneck, NJ 07666, Telephone: 201.837.1000) and former partner of Levana’s has just an amazingly vast knowledge of the kosher restaurant business. Sol’s also an incredible wine connoisseur; he loves his reds especially those from the lesser known Israeli wineries; his many years in the fine kosher dining business and vast experience with what makes for fine food, were just the recipe for a great evening of food talk and tasting.

It was one of those freezing, weather is frightful, 20°, teeth chattering, winter nights. Chef Chase Sanders prepared a lovely Roasted Truffle Butternut Squash with Basil soup. This creamy soup had just the right blend of sweetness and the basil overtones were delicious; and it was hot.

Appetizers followed. We split the Grilled Chicken Quesadilla, tender bites of grilled breast with tricolor salad and balsamic dressing. The combined flavors and crispness of the quesadilla were flavorful and authentic. The second appetizer was a Lamb Merguez Pizza with arugula, olives, capers and shallots drizzled with Tahina.  This dish demonstrates Chef Sanders adaptive and creative talents in executing an authentic Mediterranean dish modified to meet the strict standards of the kosher cuisine. It looked great, the tahina resembled drizzled cheese, and the combination of flavors really worked!

Grilled Chicken Quesadilla

Lamb Merguez Pizza

At some point, someone brought us two great glasses of wine. I had a Dalton Safsufa Cabernet Sauvignon, very solid and flavorful, while CS had a Herzog Selection Merlot, also quite good. At this point my feet were thawed and I was ready for the main course.

The waiter brought out a Crispy Breast of Chicken with asparagus risotto, seasoned with preserved lemon. I’m still a little floored as to how he made simple chicken taste so good, (must be that special ingredient he adds to his dishes; (see our little piece on Chef Sanders that will follow next week, if you want to find out), but it was simple and savory. The risotto was cooked to perfection and I loved the asparagus accent; gave it great flavor. CS had a fabulous Skirt Steak marinated in molasses and shallots. He reluctantly gave me piece to taste, (South Americans are so possessive with their beef), and the blend of flavors was terrific. Presentation on all our dishes was simple and elegant

Skirt Steak

I’m really dating myself here, but does anyone out there remember “Felix the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat. Whenever he gets in a fix he reaches into his bag of tricks.”  Well… let me tell you about Pasta Factory’s dessert chef, Felix. Forget tricks, this man is a magician. His desserts taste sinfully milchigdairy…oh…the creams….the chocolate…. the mousse…the taste….oh my! We were served a flourless Triple Chocolate Cake and a dish of Butterscotch Cream. I was gonna have to pay for this with an additional forty laps in the pool next day, but it was all well worth the calories. Pastry Chef Felix’ 14 years of experience at the 4 Seasons really showed in his presentation and mouth-watering desserts.

Tricolor Chocolate Cake

The Pasta Factory has a warm brick interior, a lovely quiet ambiance suitable for family and one on one dining. They are also the only kosher restaurant in Bergen County with a liquor license. They boast a diverse, exciting menu of delicious food, and beautifully served ample portions. Enjoy. We certainly did.

SYR

Pasta Factory on Urbanspoon




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