Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category



12
Feb
10

Valentine’s Day Specials


T Fusion Steakhouse (3223 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, NY 11234 — Telephone 718.998.0002 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              718.998.0002      end_of_the_skype_highlighting). is extending their Valentine’s Day Special Prix Fix Menu through Tuesday, the 16th of February.

Chicken Lollipos

“Valentine’s Day Menu”

Please select one from each course:

STARTER

House Salad
Mixed greens, tomatoes, Julienne cucumber, carrots, onions topped with balsamic

Roasted Beet Salad
Arugula, roasted beets, red pepper, candied walnuts, and granny smith apples with cider vinaigrette dressing

Chicken Lollipops
Corn flake crumb crusted chicken drumsticks served with sweet & sour sauce

ENTRÉE

Cowboy Steak
(16oz)Bone-in prime rib cut with cowboy seasoning served with house fries & Garlic

Roasted Chicken
Half roasted chicken, slowly cooked, served with rice and mixed garden vegetables

Fillet Salad
Sliced filled steak strips served over romaine lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and avocado topped with honey mustard dressing

Pan Seared Salmon
Served with fresh lemon and homemade yellow rice

DESSERT

Red Velvet
Layers of red velvet and non-dairy cream cheese Valentine’s Day cake

Duo Fondue
Perfect for the couple: array of fruits, and sweets for chocolate dipping

Chocolate Soufflé
Freshly baked and served with ice cream

Sorbet
Raspberry/ Strawberry/ Fresh Mint

$55 per Person plus Tax & Gratuity

Valid Until Tuesday Feb. 16th, 2001

***Complimentary Glass of Wine & Chocolate Covered Strawberries**

T Fusion Steakhouse
3223 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, NY 11234 — Telephone 718.998.0002

12
Feb
10

Luscious and Pareve Lemon Bars


Easy, but delicious recipe. The grandkids loved it and so did my own sweet tooth! I just had to reprint it from from the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts Pro Baking and Pastry Professional Program blog.

CKCA director Jesse Blonder recently took this gorgeous picture of the Pro Baking and Pastry class’s lemon bar creations. Such a picture deserves applause, and everyone who has seen the photo is asking for the recipe. So here is the CKCA version of the incomparable lemon bar.

Dough:

3 cups unsalted margarine
2 and 2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 pint pasteurized egg substitute
1 egg yolk
2 whole eggs
7 cups flour

Cream the margarine and powdered sugar. Combine all egg products, and slowly add to the creamed sugar mixture and incorporate. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour. Do not overmix.

Dust a pan with flour, cover with parchment paper, and pack the dough with your fingers into the pan evenly and refrigerate for at least one hour. Prick the surface with a fork and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.

Filling:

8 eggs
2 and 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
11 fluid oz. lemon juice
5 fluid oz. almond milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Whip the sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the pastry flour, then add the liquid ingredients and salt. Pour the filling into the baked dough, and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, until set. Cool, and then dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

It was easy to prepare and tasted great. We decided to make them again, for this Shabbos. Based on Tuesday’s experience, I know we’ll enjoy them

CS

10
Feb
10

Mike’s Bistro


Mike’s Bistro (228, West 72nd Street; New York, NY 10023; Telephone: 212.799.391) is an elegant eatery serving wholesome, delicious gourmet fare. SYR and I recently enjoyed a great evening there.

SYR started with a delicious Portobello and Arugula Salad which came with Ceasar style dressing, drizzled with a port wine reduction, red onions, enoki mushrooms and fresh chives. The combination of two types of mushrooms and the port wine was incredibly flavorful.

I had a Beet Salad.

Beet Salad

It was made with roasted and marinated beet, shaved endives, chervil, candied walnuts, fresh orange slices and beet vinaigrette. It looked great and tasted better! I liked the contrast soft beets and the harder walnuts.

At Richard, the waiter’s, suggestion we then shared a Hawaiian Ahi and Citrus Crudo.

Hawaiian Ahi in Citrus Crudo

This Hawaiian tuna comes with shaved fennel and a citrus salad. Not only were the colors artistically combined, only a master chef using the freshest ingredients could have made such a perfect dish.

She followed with Braised Boneless Short Ribs

Braised Boneless Short Ribs

The ribs came with a barbecue glaze, cauliflower, and potato mash, braised kale, cilantro, and celery root sauce. Tender, juicy and full of flavor!

I had the Slow Roasted Lamb Chops.

Slow Roasted Lamb Chops

It came with freshly combined ratatouille, black bean puree, meyer lemon zest, aromatic spicy oil and cilantro. Flavorful and Juicy! Absolutely delicious!

SYR capped the meal with their Sorbet Sampler which came with a superb blueberry and cream, an interesting citron, an excellent raspberry, a great mango and very good passion fruit. I had the Sour Cherry, Bread Pudding. It comes with cherry and vanilla sauce, citrus segments and vanilla ice cream. Sweet without being overpowering, just perfect!

There are restaurants where the presentation is far better than the food’s taste, there are others where the taste is great but the presentation is mediocre. At Mike’s Bistro the presentation and the dish’ taste are just right!

CS

Mike's Bistro on Urbanspoon

***UPDATE***

Mike’s Pizzeria Italian Kitchen (654 Amsterdam Ave; New York, NY 10025; Telephone:212.362.0700) will now offer fresh Sushi, FOR DELIVERY ONLY. Not the gimmicky type of rolls that look great yet give you nothing, but wholesome, healthy, fresh, nutritious sushi rolls. Call them, you won’t regret it!

03
Feb
10

Practical but Delicious!


Chef Jeff Nathan is a celebrity in his own right. Yet… like his first, this second cookbook is not only easy to follow, unpretentious in tone, but above all, the results are delicious!

Cooking for the family, even on a normal weekday, is fun again. Yes, the recipes are kosher but they have that international flair that only someone of Chef Jeff Nathan’s caliber, imagination, mastery of the mysteries of food preparation and understanding of the delicate flavor nuances of the various ingredients, could produce.

I’ve tried many of these book’s recipes and liked them, to pick one as an example here is not easy. I’ll find something that illustrates how well the New Jewish Cuisine has become a superb blend of the old traditions and the newest trends.

The recipes in this book have a relatively short cooking time, yet their tastes are not compromised. Everything we’ve tried was delicious!

So… what to choose to feature on this pages? I’ve tried the soup recipes like the Tuscan Vegetable Soup, the Chilled sweet Pepper and Pineapple Soup, the Sherried Cream of Mushroom Soup, any of these easily attests to the author’s passion for food.  But… I am basically a carnivore to the core, I will therefore give you one of the many mouthwatering meat recipes here.

Since hardly anything is more heimisch than a good brisket, I chose the following… heimisch yes, but with a twist. As I always liked cooking with wine or liqueur, this one’s is my newest favorite:

Brisket with Port Wine and Mushrooms Sauce

Makes 7 to 10 Servings

Tender melt-in-your-mouth brisket is one of my favorite dishes to serve to friends and family. Every time I make it home I make it differently. My latest version simmers the meat in rich port wine with lots of mushrooms, so much the better for a deep, dark sauce that is made for pouring over noodles. It’s a waste of time to make only a three pound brisket, so this recipe makes enough for precious leftovers. If you have the time, make the brisket the day ahead, which makes it easier to to slice thinly.

3 tablespoons canola oil
Two 3-pond first-cut beef briskets, trimmed
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons
8 garlic cloves, halved
13/4 cups tawny or ruby port
2 pounds assorted fresh mushrooms, sliced or quartered, depending on size
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat at 325° F

2. Heat the oil in a very large, deep Dutch oven over medium-high heat.One at a time, add the briskets and cook. turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a platter.

3. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the port, mushrooms, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in a pot with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 5 minutes. Return the briskets and any pieces on the platter to the pot. Add enough cold water to barely cover the briskets and bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and bake until the briskets are fork-tender, about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

4. Uncover and let the brisket cool in the pot. Cover and refrigerate until the next day.

5. Scrape off and discard any hardened fat on the on the surface of the cooking liquid’ Transfer the briskets to a carving board and slice thinly across the grain.

6. Meanwhile bring the cooking liquid to a boil over high heat. Taste, and if the flavor needs concentrating, boil for a few minutes to evaporate excess liquid.

7. Whisk the flower and water together in a medium bowl to dissolve the flour. Whisk in about 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Whisk this liquid into the pot.. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the the sauce thickens and has no raw flour taste, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return the sliced briskets to the sauce, and simmer until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot with the sauce.

Enjoy, we certainly did!

CS

29
Jan
10

China Glatt


We all know of that strange cultural phenomenon, the Jewish American fascination with Chinese food. Wanting to understand it, seeking some clues, I decided to try Boro Park’s venerable China Glatt (4413 13th Avenue; Brooklyn, NY 11219-2017; Telephone: 718.438.2576) where I found moderately priced, good wholesome Chinese fare.

I started the evening with Sushi, the choices were raw or cooked fish. I opted for cooked, and I ordered the Garden Dragon and the New Thirteen.

Garden Dragon and New Thiteen Sushi

One comes with mango on the outside with apple and imitation crab, the other is made with a spicy, pan seared salmon with cucumbers and avocado. Both dishes were appealing to the eye, delicious to the taste.

I then had Shmulk’s Pan Fried Wontons, named for one of the restaurant’s frequent customer’s  whose original recipe this was.  The wontons were filled with sweet and spicy chicken. I liked these wontons!!!

I followed with Empress Chicken, a less spicy version of General Tso’s Chicken.

Empress Chicken

Then I segued with the Singapore Chicken. This very good dish consists of grilled chicken sauteed with vegetables, bamboo shoots, mushroom, onion and pepper.

Afterwards I had the Beijing Beef with onion carrots and snow pea pods.

Beijing Beef

like everything else I’d eaten here, it was delectable! I finished the meal with a pareve cheese cake that tasted surprisingly good.

China Glatt has been at this same location – in the heart of Boro Park – for 15 years, considering the quality of the food I’m not at all surprised. As for my original motivation to try Chinese food, my search for clues as to the Jewish longing for it, I can only surmise that it must be the similarity between kreplach and wontons, lokshen and lo-mein.

I once heard a joke that perfectly encapsulates the Jewish love affair with Chinese food, considering the current Jewish year is 5770 and the Chinese just started their 5730th year, what did the Jews eat for 40 years?

CS

22
Jan
10

Wine Tasting


Last Friday there was a wine tasting (like every Friday from 12:00 to 3:00) in the tasting room at back of Liquors Galore (1212 Avenue J; Brooklyn, NY 11230-3702; Telephone: 718.338.4166)

Jordan Weisz, the Kosher Brand Manager at Monsieur Touton Selection, LTD, presented five superb selections which definitely proved a kosher wine need not be expensive to be good.

I started with a 2008 Chateau Joumard Bordeaux. It had great bouquet and hints of red berry on the palate. Having been aged in French oak casks it add some vanilla shades to its flavor. It goes perfectly with pasta, grilled meat, lamb and pizza. Its delicate taste perfectly compliments the stronger flavored food.

I then tasted a 2006 Jerusalem Hills Mount Hevron Red, a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Syrah. These grapes mature gently in the warm days and cool nights of the Jerusalem Hills. It’s got a smoky flavor with raspberry accents and a hint of black pepper.

I followed with the 2006 Gedeon Cabernet Sauvignon, a very nice smoky wine. I then proceeded to 2008 Grand Sud Merlot. Delightfully fruity, dry with currant accents.

The last selection I tasted was a 2007 Cantina Grabrielle Chianti. Chiantis are usually very dry, this one however was unusually gentle soft in tannins and acidity. Liked it, I’ve found a new friend.

Cantina Gabrielle, never cease to amaze me. Very moderately priced wines, with delightful flavors. One that I like a lot of, is their Dolcemente. It reminds of an old fashioned wine that combines Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with the fruitiness of the Cesanese grapes. It has fresh floral aromas and notes of berry and cherry, very smooth tannins, and a lovely sweetness on the palate. Absolutely delightful!

[Starting next week, Aaron Zimmerman, the owner of Liquors Galore will post a multi-part weekly series on how to chose and how to taste wine.]

CS

06
Jan
10

Young and Classy


Humbly cloistered in the heart of Boro Park, is a secret exclusive grotto of fine dining.

Bistro 1310, (1310 – 40th Street; Brooklyn, NY 11218; Telephone: 718.483.8792), right off 13th Avenue, has the look and feel of a higher end city eatery.  Its glazed brick walls, warm chestnut and russet colored interior along with the glass waterfall wall and soft music melts the tension of the surrounding outer world, giving one the feeling of sanctuary.

Bistro 1310's ground floor

Bistro 1310’s menu is evolving, a work in progress; as they engage in exacting their culinary coordinates for this new venue. This young eatery presently offers an amalgam of flavors from around the world, offering specially aged grilled meats as well as chicken and fish dishes spiced with Indian and Asian influences.

We sampled two appetizers Tandoori Chicken – thin bread crumb crusted chicken breast pieces with a blend of Indian spices and mayo based curry dipping sauce; tasty! Our second appetizer was a Tuscan Steak Salad served with field greens, red onion, roasted pepper in a lemon vinaigrette; the thinly sliced aged meat was delicious and well appointed.

Tuscan Steak Salad

For our main we ordered two of Bistro 1310 early favorites. Teriyaki Chicken with sautéed vegetables and white rice, and Skirt Steak with mashed potatoes. The chicken was flavorful, the teriyaki sauce a tad sweet for my taste; the white rice was cooked just right, with light lovely seasoning that was delicious. CS by nature is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so he loved the Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and the very tender Skirt Steak. I sampled a piece, and found it slightly salty.

Skirt Steak

We ended our meal with a Tiramisu boxed in chocolate. The quality of the chocolate was superb and the Tiramisu was very respectable.

Tiramisu

This young chic bistro is a hidden treasure of Boro Park and has a promising future. We will revisit it again as it hones in on its niche in the beau monde of Kosher fine dining.

SYR

Bistro 1310 on Urbanspoon

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

18
Dec
09

Somewhere in Marrakech


Just missing the story tellers, local souk and snake charmers, I walked into mystical Morocco when I entered Darna (600 Columbus Ave – North East corner of 89th; New York 10024; Telephone: 212.721.9193), right here in New York City, in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Magically transported to the heart of Fez, Rabat, Marrakech or perhaps Casablanca and Rick’s Café Américain… I expected to hear the echo of Ilsa’s voice asking Sam: “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.'”

I arrived at Darna as they began dinner service. Carlos tastefully arranged a corner table for me while Katja navigated me through the extensive menu of surprisingly well priced fare.

I started with a Humus plate, which came with a zaatar (hyssop) pita and mixed greens.

Deliciously flavorful, it was followed by Moroccan Cigars with accompanying greens and tomato flower garnish atop a Tehina Sauce.

The meat filled cigars were crispy on the outside, tender and savory on the inside; a perfect blend of flavors.

Darna’s Stuffed Chicken was the main course, a whole roasted Cornish hen stuffed with prunes, apricots, raisins, mushrooms and almonds with a side of  Couscous (their signature dish!) topped with string beans and carrots.

The stuffed hen was tender and superb in taste; the side dish delicious! The meal was accompanied by a delightful 2007 Barkan Pinot Noir.

Darna means “our home” in Moroccan Arabic. The time went by too quickly; the homey food, the polite and friendly staff, the cozy beautifully appointed authentic Moroccan décor, the soft Moroccan music certainly made me feel like a valued guest at the home of some trusted old friends…truly a hidden precious jewel in Manhattan!

To borrow a line from the movie Casablanca, “Luis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” I’ll be back!

CS

16
Dec
09

Chef’s Guest


This past Thursday, December 10th, I had the pleasure of being the exclusive guest of Chef David Kolotkin at Prime Grill. As I’ve mentioned in past postings,  this eatery is one of my favorite meat restaurants.

A partial view of Prime Grill

Chef David’s special menu did not disappoint. I started the meal with a House Cured Duck “Prosciutto” served with light frisee, dried fruit, almonds and a citrus soy reduction.

House Cured Duck "Prosciutto"

I found it delightful, subtly tart, with the individual flavors coming to the fore with each bite.

The House Potato Gnocchi with Duck Sauce followed next, served with tomato in a delicate herb sauce. It looked blissfully tasty and tasted even better. It left a very pleasant, unusual, aftertaste.

House Potato Gnocchi

The third course was  Southern Style Veal Sweetbreads & Grilled Tongue; which came with home-style grits, collard greens and a piquant horseradish coulis.

Southern Style Veal Sweetbreads & Grilled Tongue

The synchronicity of flavors was superb, but merely part of the buildup to the crescendo of the main dish, a 60 Day Dry Aged Reserve Steak. It was served with truffle scallion and whipped potato. Personally, I prefer my steak medium well done, but Chef David insisted I order it medium. He was right. It was tender, juicy and just perfect – in every sense of the word!

I sipped a very nice 2008 Teal Lake Shiraz throughout the four courses. When I first came the Chef asked me what I would like, I told him to surprise me. And he did, deliciously, scrumptuously so. The meal was fit for a very fortunate king or… this most fortuitous food critic.

CS




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