Archive for April 22nd, 2010

22
Apr
10

Cooking with Lévana – Part 2 – Recipes!


As we promised, here are 2 recipes Lévana has graciously allowed us to share with our readers.

Minted Lamb Kebobs

Ingredients

1 medium onion, quatered
4 large cloves garlic
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, including stems
1 bunch mint, leaves only
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
Good pinch cayenne, or more, to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 pounds extra lean ground beef, or extra lean ground lamb, or a combination.

Directions

Prepare the grill or preheat the broiler. Finely grind the onion, garlic, parsley and a mint in a food processor (pulse: do not let mixture get watery). Transfer to a bowl and add the cumin, paprika, cayenne, pepper and beef.

Form logs about 1″ in diameter and about 4″ long. Thread on wet wooden skewers. or on metal skewers. Broil 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve hot. Serve 2 to 3 skewers per guest.

Makrod: Semolina Date Pastries

I have always rather neglected this wonderful treat, as the traditional preparation requires frying, my nemesis: I don’t think I have more than a handful of fried dishes in my whole repertoire. But I tweaked the recipe to do my bidding as a baked, not fried, treat, and the result is scrumptious! I have streamlined it further by shaping it as bars. Sephardi flavors at their best! Gluten-free: Use GF flour and GF semolina.

Preparing the Makrod

Preparing Makrod

Ingredients

Dough

3 eggs
1 cup oil
3 cups flour
2 cups farina or semolina
1 tablespoon baking powder
A little water as needed

Filling:

1 pound pitted chopped dates
1 1/2 cups very hot water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
Peel of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons orange flower water

Topping:

1 1/2 cups honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the dough ingredients thoroughly, and knead it on a board for just a minute or two, adding a little water if necessary to obtain a smooth dough. Set aside.

Process all the filling ingredients in a food processor, using the pulse button to avoid splattering, until smooth. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured board, roll each piece into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick, about 11 inches wide and 14 inches long. Transfer onto a well-greased cookie sheet with straight sides (don’t worry if it doesn’t cover the whole surface). Cover the dough evenly with the filling. Repeat with the remaining dough, and place gently over the filling (it’s OK if it breaks, just patch it). Bake about 40 minutes, or a little longer, until golden. Immediately pour the honey evenly over the whole pastry. Let it cool, then cut it in bars or squares.

–)xoOox(–

This coming Monday, April the 26th, Lévana’s “Dinner and a Show” at Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan (200 Amsterdam Ave – at 69th Street – New York, NY 10023) will be: Seasonal Spring Bounty. As she describes it:

Winter is over and wonderful vibrant food colors and fragrances are upon us in every food display: cheer up and enjoy them while they last! Life would be more meaningful to all of us if we respected the seasons more, with the specific gift each season has to offer! This menu is 100% gluten-free, naturally and effortlessly!

I will be demonstrating:

  • Lemon chicken breasts with artichoke and carrot
  • Zucchini and fennel soup
  • Haricots verts, roasted peppers and heirloom tomato salad with grey salt
  • Herbed yukon fingerlings
  • Plum granola tart
  • Click here to register and view other upcoming classes

    Remember to mention The Kosher Scene and you’ll get a discount.

    Lévana with some of the class regulars, flanked by members of her staff

    SYR and I will be there, hope you will too. You won’t regret it!

    CS

    22
    Apr
    10

    Scotch, Bourbon, Cigars…


    This past Tuesday I attended Kosher Wine Society‘s event at the Roger Smith Hotel, on Lexington Avenue, in Manhattan. Aron Ritter, the Society’s president and founder celebrated his 30th birthday, this event was held in the Solarium, a roof balcony. The view was nice, the potables more than memorable.

    Aron Ritter, the birthday boy

    The event featured some rare but superb scotches, great bourbons and – for the smokers – some good cigars.

    Superb selections!

    I started with the Usquaebach [pronounced whisk-ay-bay] ‘Premium Blend’ Flagon. It consists of an 85% single malt blend and 15% grain whiskey. With a fruity nose carrying a vanilla sweetness, it runs to a grassy, herbal freshness. The very smooth rich palate is balanced with ample spiciness. The sweet character lingers on in the finish with Caribbean spices. Unusual in character and richness, definitely the best I ever tasted!

    I followed with Usquaebach 15YO Pure Malt. Very nice, very smooth!

    A partial view of the crowd

    After some photo shooting and pleasant conversation I had some Glenmorangie 10 year old. It’s long been my favorite, it has an enigmatic aroma, delicate but very noticeable, sweet but with a strong hint of dryness, young yet oaky. On the palate it combines an oaky taste, a complex toastiness to the barley, with the lightest hint of smoke. I find it uncompromising from the first sniff to the last sip. Why else would it have been my favorite?

    After some more photography and comparing notes on the scotches I went back for the bourbons. I always liked Blanton’s Single Barrel, it won a Siver Medal at the 2008 SAN FRANCISCO WORLD SPIRITS COMPETITION. The taste has a masterful start with powerful dry vanilla notes in perfect harmony with hints of honey and strong caramel. The long, creamy caramel holds the fort until some late soft peppers arrive to spice things up. Smooth, superb selection!

    I ended the evening with the Eagle Rare 10 Year Old, Single Barrel, Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Honey-colored with aromas of toasted wheat bread and hints of tobacco, opening up to almond butter, melon and lanolin. On the palate it is oily and toasty with flavors of cereal grains and oak. The finish is long and sweet with a little spice.

    From the ledge, looking around

    An event I’ll long remember, I will definitely be back!

    CS




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