Archive for June, 2010

30
Jun
10

Noah’s Ark


Smack in the middle of Cedar Lane stands Noah’s Ark (493 Cedar Lane; Teaneck, NJ 07666; Telephone: 201.692.1200) this roomy180 ft long eatery sits 190 people comfortably. Established in 1988 by a young Noam Sokolow (who started in the food industry at the tender age of 14), it has grown from a neighborhood deli style place to the largest family Glatt Kosher restaurant in all of Jersey – boasting over 140 different items on its extensive menu.

One of the sit down areas...

Get this- 20 different types of burgers!!  So many mouthwatering choices, ranging from their Lower East Side Burger ( topped with their succulent chulent and kishka), to their Ginormous Burger (a Super-Deluxe 36ozs. mouthwatering grilled burger, topped with LTO – lettuce, tomato and onions – and a side of crispy french fries). CS and I shared their BBQ Brisket Burger, topped with slow-roasted brisket, caramelized onions and their Chef’s Special BBQ Sauce, with a side of sweet potato fries and Chipottle sauce.  A glorious, perfectly cooked, fat, juicy, oversized burger topped with melt-in-your-mouth sauce.  It was thoroughly decadent and delicious!

BBQ Brisket Burger, with sweet potato fries and Chipottle sauce

Noah’s Ark likes to do things up ‘big’. Their portion sizes are huuuuge!.  Last year, as a kick-off event for the Big Apple Games – featuring an Israeli team – they entered the Guinness Book of World records with the world’s largest matzo ball – weighing in at a hefty 267 pounds.

X-Treme Combo Sampler (a very big sized plate!)

What Noam served up for us, was comparably massive, we couldn’t begin to do it justice!  We started with their X-treme Combo Appetizer of onion rings, chicken wings and chicken fingers.   All three were great.  My family happens to love chicken nuggets and these tenders rivaled any of our favorites in Brooklyn.

Nacho Appetizer Salad

We followed with a Nacho Appetizer of chopped salad mixed with Mexican spiced chopped meat, sitting on tortilla chips topped with guacamole and pareve sour cream. I found it far above similar dishes I’ve eaten at other establishments billing themselves as Mexican…

We sampled their deli favorites of Corned Beef and Pastrami on rye.  Both were reminiscent of the old Shmulke Bernstein’s on Essex – hot, fresh, tender, great quality and well seasoned.  All we missed was the side of cole slaw and Guss’s sour pickles.

I chose their popular Large Tossed Salad with Grilled Chicken, one of the many healthy additions made to the menu as their customer base became more health conscientious.

Noam’s got a really simple modus operandi – Give the customers what they want! Though he runs a tight ship with loyal long tenured staff, he claims not to be the boss, “the customers really own the restaurant.”  Noam’s totally customer driven; “If the customers walk out happy, I’m happy!”  Noah’s Ark has evolved with its customers. They, like their consumers, are more sophisticated and health savvy. Their landmark establishment is like a gastronomic family retrospective. Entire families have grown up on this delicious comfort food; sustaining folks from Bris to nuptials. Their Dove Room, celebrating simchas/private parties holds anywhere from 40-100 people at affordable rates of $35-$45 per person.

Whether for corporate or simcha events, Noah’s Ark will deliver platters and meals right to your doorstep. And if you’re on the road, not to worry, Noah’s Ark has full portion travel meals that can be Fed Ex’ed next day to your destination anywhere in the U.S. Hours of operation are M-Th 10-10 fri- 8-4 and Sunday 9:30-10. A great place to take the family; in fact, make it a tradition!

SYR

Noah's Ark Glatt Kosher on Urbanspoon

29
Jun
10

The Three Weeks


Today is the 17th day of the month of Tammuz, in the Hebrew calendar. Today marks the start of the three weeks, which commemorate a slew of calamities in the history of the Jewish people starting with the Romans breaching the walls surrounding Jerusalem. These three weeks end on the 9th day of Av - Tisha b’Av – with the last nine days representing the final assault on the Kingdom of Judea’s capital and the burning down of the Temple. On the 9th, both the First and the Second Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed. Many other calamities throughout the lands of Europe befell the Jews during these the weeks, as well… Today, when the Jewish people are once again living in their own independent, sovereign country the lessons of Tisha b’Av still need to be learned, perhaps more so than ever before!

As long as the Jews were one – one people of one heart (am echad, belev echad) – they were invincible! When divisions, polemics and unwarranted hatred arose, when they splintered into factions, when the nation’s common goal suddenly stopped being common or even a goal… the Jews faltered. They no longer were invincible, the mightiest empires easily took them over and eventually dispersed them throughout the world. Even so, once those empires sunk in the quicksands of history, the Jews – against all odds, against all logic, against all historic precedent – did not disappear. Yes, the world repeatedly made sure their numbers were violently kept down. Many, unwilling to fight on, many tempted by the offers of the non-Jewish world, converted and became part and parcel of those who could potentially destroy or at least harass them… But…  these no-longer-Jews were  destroyed spiritually, if not yet physically.

Excavated steps on the South side of the Temple Mount

Yet a core of Jews refused to give up their values, their national aspirations, their dreams, their history. Twice the stones (of the Temples) paid the price, when there were no stones left to destroy, when there was no kingdom of Jews to capture, the world just came up with reason after reason to kill them anyway… and yet… yet… they are still here.

In this the 21st century, the challenges are still many; the battle is still an uphill one… the odds, however, are slowly turning the Jews favor… if only… if only they manage to remember, their heritage, their history, their past and future glory…

CS

25
Jun
10

Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!


[Eran Elhalal is a chef/Entrepreneur working in Manhattan. An Honors Graduate Culinary Institute of America,  Eran was Executive Chef of two Manhattan restaurants in the past few years and consulted several others. He began educating customers about food and wine pairing and cheese in 2007 while working as the Chef at UES’s BarVespa.

These days, Eran talks about food and wine pairing as the chef for the panel of Meetup, a wine club, dedicated to introduce and educate the American public about Israeli wines. Photos: courtesy of Eran Elhalal. CS]

Cheese comes in a variety of shapes and types

Cheese: 8000 years in the making!
The first chapter in our love affair with manipulating milk

Cheese is one of the most uniquely varied and refined foods in the world. So meticulously formed and perfected in specific regions, we seek them out by origin and romanticize the process and the people making it. We want our Brie and Camembert to be from Île-de-France, our Gouda from Holland, our Parmigiano Reggiano from the Emilia Romana region in  Italy….

Cheese making’s true origins have long been forgotten, but many countries claiming the honors. Archaeological findings show it being made and stored in clay jars as far back as 6000 BC. There are murals depicting cheese making in Egyptian tombs from 2000 BC .

Cheese is mentioned in the Bible. For example, as David escaped across the River Jordan he was fed with ‘cheese of kine’ (cows) (2 Samuel 17:29), and it is said that he presented ten cheeses to the captain of the army drawn up to do battle with Saul (1 Samuel 17:18). Moreover, a location near Jerusalem called ‘The Valley of the Cheesemakers‘.

Legends about its origins abound, but one of the most commonly repeated themes is that cheese was accidentally discovered in the Mediterranean by an Arab nomad traveling through the desert.

Legend speaks of the nomad about to embark on a long journey on horseback, filling a saddlebag with milk to sustain him while crossing the desert. After hours of riding the nomad stopped to quench his thirst only to discover that his milk had separated into solid lumps and a watery liquid.

The combined heat, agitation from riding and rennets [rennet is a natural complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach to digest the mother's milk, and is often used in the production of cheese. Rennet contains many enzymes, including a proteolytic enzyme (protease) that coagulates the milk, causing it to separate into solids (curds) and liquid (whey). The active enzyme in rennet is called chymosin or rennin but there are also other important enzymes in it, e.g., pepsin or lipase. There are non-animal sources for rennet that are suitable for vegetarian consumption]. The saddlebag, made of an animal’s stomach parts and lining, caused curdling of the milk and separation into curds and whey.

Cheese, cheese, delicious cheese!

The watery liquid, and the floating whey were found to be drinkable, while the curds were edible and nutritious.

What makes some cheeses kosher? First and foremost, the facility producing the cheese has to comply with kosher rules of food handling and preparation-that is obvious! The above legend gives us another reason… Renin, the enzyme that helps fermentation and coagulation, is a meat byproduct and therefore can only be used under certain conditions in the production of cheese, which is a dairy product. Luckily , nowadays, technology has yielded plant based rennets which are used to create styles of cheese we could have before! Some delicious examples of this type are kosher Parmigiano, Grana Padano, Manchego, etc. Yayyyyy!

Eran Elhalal

MORE FROM CHEF ERAN

The Art of Braising

Passover Almond-Pistaccio Cake

24
Jun
10

Cool White Night


Last evening, the Israel Wine Lovers Club hosted an evening of white wines. The wines were made from three types of grapes: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.

From left to right: Avi Ashman, Rafi Sutton, Eran Elhalal

It’s been said that if Chardonnay didn’t exist it would have to be invented. No other grape, red or white, ever achieved international recognition as effectively as this grape. It possess chameleon like adaptability to almost any climate and terroir. Compared to the rest of its sisters, this grape is a cinch to grow and thrives at both climate extremes of the viticultural spectrum (and in-between!), but unlike so many other grapes it is also very easy to work with at the winery. It’s harvested in almost every wine producing country. If unoaked its taste will remind you of a tart apple, lemon and even pears. When lightly oaked, it brings out the tastes of melting butter, baked apple, nutmeg, oatmeal. When heavily oaked one can taste vanilla, lemon curd, chocolate or woodsmoke.

After Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc is the world’s most popular white grape.  Unlike Chardonnay, which barely has any aroma, Sauvignon Blanc has a very distinctive strong aroma. It’s wine is paler and somewhat light but acidic. One can detect almost any fruit in this wine’s flavors, from sour greens to melon, passion fruit or mango. It often has a very definite black currant hint. It also can bring to the fore vegetable flavors like green peas, asparagus and – occasionally – sweet red peppers. Other times it brings out far more earthy flavors. At times it even shows a faint smokiness.

Viognier is a relatively new grape in the international market, the average consumer may never have heard of it before the early 1990s. It’s often been blended with Chardonnay, but more and more are we starting to see it stand out on its own. It is a great alternative to Chardonnay, with a nice pleasant aroma. Its most obvious flavor is apricot in all its range, you may also detect faint notes of cinnamon, cardamon and ginger. At times it may resemble a honey-lemon lozenger.

Raffi Sutton who used to write for Globes (Israel’s equivalent of our Wall Street Journal) on Israeli wines and later was the editor of an Israeli food and wine magazine, before becoming an investment banker in the US, did the wine presentations. He was ably aided by Avi Ashman – the Club’s President and founder – and Eran Elhalal, a graduate of the presitigious Culinary Institute of America, chef and consultant whose recipes and wine pairings have already graced our pages.

Some of the evenings selections...

The tasting started with a 2009 Dalton Unoaked Chardonnay. This wine was fermented without any barrel influence and aged over the deposits of dead yeast that forms after fermentation. This Unoaked Chardonnay is fruity wine with well-balanced acidity, bursting with citrus and tropical fruit flavours. This particular aging process is known as “sur lie,” greatly enhances the complexity and flavor of the wine.

We continued with a 2007 Binyamina Unoaked Chardonnay. Light golden straw in color, a simple wine showing some citrus and tropical fruits but lacks the crisp minerality one hopes for in an unoaked Chardonnay. Unfortunately I found it past its prime.

The third wine of the evening was the 2007 Domaine du Castel C (Chardonnay) Blanc du Castel. Full-bodied, elegant Burgundy style white, showing citrus, pineapple, green apple, toasted bread and fig aromas. While quite promising this wine was certainly “before its time.” It hasn’t fully matured and the chardonnay flavors were still battling with the alcohol which hadn’t fully blended in. Yet, this white wine was robust enough to be consumed with almost any red meat, thus destroying the myth that white wines should only be paired with fish or delicate white meats.

Next came the 2006 Tishbi Special Reserve Chardonnay. Very fruity, lighter, citrus. it’s a full bodied dry white wine is made grapes grown in the Gush Etzyon vineyards and harvested by hand. This chardonnay carries the exotic aromas of apricot, melon and peaches. Though considerably cheaper than its predecessor I liked it far better!

That fourth selection was followed by 2007 Yarden Odem Chardonnay. Made entirely from Chardonnay grapes grown on the Golan Heights Odem organic vineyads. Barrel fermentation and sur lie for seven months, produced a complex wine balancing fruit and floral notes with hints of butter and vanilla. Chef Eran suggested an unusual pairing for it… Café Brulé!

The sixth selection was the 2008 Recanati Sauvignon Blanc. With Fresh hay and bell pepper notes, typical of fine Sauvignon Blanc, develop and linger in the bouquet. It had an initial bite almost like a sparkling wine. Outstanding when paired with fish, sushi, risotto and grilled vegetables.

Next came a 2009 Tabor Chalk Sauvignon Blanc. Citrusy, pleasant and light, with a bitter aftertaste. It wotld make a great selection for a hot summer day.

The eighth selection was the 2007 Galil Mountain Viognier. It displayed a clear lemon yellow color. The wine is extremely aromatic with flavors of ripe apricot and nectarine set against hint of oak and honey. Well balanced with delicate acidity, medium body and a long, velvety finish.

The last wine was the 2008 Dalton Reserve Viognier. It starts with a certain smokiness, showing intense, vibrant and complex with spice, floral, fig and melon aromas and flavors. Deep and rich with a long, broad finish. Chef Eran suggested pairing it with desserts that are not too sweet. This wine is by far much better than its price range would suggest!

The participants, enjoyed an evening of Chef Eran’s selections of sharp kosher cheeses by Danablue, Gilboa, Shahat, marmalades and grapes. The conversation was great, well worth many a repeat visit.

CS

RELATED POSTS

Tasting Tabor Wines

Benyamina Wines Tasting, Getting Ready for Tomorrow’s Tasting


23
Jun
10

Israeli Wine Tasting Tonight


Photo by: Easy Destinations Blog

Announcing a new Meetup for Israeli Wine Lovers!

What: Cool White Night (Israeli Wine That Is)

When: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 7:00 PM

Price: $36.00 per person

Where:
Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.) 6th Floor
New York, NY 10001

All our tastings started with white wines and generally ended with reds. Now its time to give Kosher Israeli white wines ALL the attention they deserve…. Come and explore crisp Chardonnays, lively Sauvignon Blancs, refreshing Viogniers as well as other wonderful blends….

Sit back and relax and join other wine lovers at the Israeli Wine of the Month Club’s interactive wine tasting experience.

What is interactive wine tasting?

* Nine wonderful Israeli wine will be explored. Artisan cheeses and breads, crackers and fruit are also served.
* A panel of our Sommelier/Wine Critics will describe each wine and guide you in exercising your palate tasting them. Also, the panel will offer wine and food pairing suggestions
* You will be encouraged to voice your opinion about each wine and write elaborate notes — be Robert Parker, Tom Stevenson or Daniel Rogov for a night…
* We will collect everyone’s tasting notes and distribute them via a newsletter. The newsletter will also include professional tasting notes as well as detailed descriptions of the wineries, and more…

When? June 23, 2010 at 7PM
Where? Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.)
6th Floor
The buzzer on the ground floor, # 6

How much? $36 at door
RSVP (space is limited)

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/Israeli-Wine-Lovers/calendar/13756812/

These tastings are fun and informative, you get to meet new and interesting people. Why not bring your spouse or a date?  Please, register at: http://www.meetup.com/Israeli-Wine-Lovers/calendar/13756812/

We’d love it if you mentioned The Kosher Scene as the blog where you first heard about it.

Tonight’s selection includes:

Dalton Unoaked Chardonnay
Binyamina Unoaked Chardonnay
Tishbi Reserve Chardonnay
Yarden Odem Chardonnay
Domaine du Castel C Chardonnay

Recanati Sauvignon Blanc
Tabor Chalk Sauvignon Blanc

Galil Mountain Viognier
Dalton Viognier

CS

20
Jun
10

Healing with Kindness – An Evening with Women of Valor


The RaMBa”M (Maimonides) said; Ma’aseh avot siman lebanim…the actions of our forefathers are symbols/models for their descendants to follow.  Such is certainly the case for the women who make up Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim of Crown Heights.

The honoree, Mrs. Ita Lustig (Photo, courtesy of: COLive.com/Yossi Percia)

Baila Olidort, editor of Wellsprings Magazine & Lubavitch.com, did a superb job hosting the evening and sharing her personal account of how helped her mother during her illness. The matriarchs of the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim had labored with Herculean effort –short staffed, under-funded, and as low-tech as imaginable.  Women like Mrs. Ita Lustig –the Honoree, Tzippora Clapman and a host of others got the job done through persistence, a love of chesed, wearing out their shoe-leather, speed dialing the old fashioned way; catching neighbors at simchas, by chance or design to get the necessary funding and aid required for the community’s Bikur Cholim.

What was heartening to see was the enthusiasm, arduous commitment, talent, and passionate fresh young talent of the new generation that took up the torch of chesed – infusing new blood and koiches into attending the growing needs of their community. When the Olidorts called, they mobilized; creating rides, services, and revitalizing the organization to meet the needs of not only this family but the community at large.  Kol Hakavod to Bikur Cholim’s administrators: Grunie Grossman, Ruthie Kirschenbaum, Esther Blau and to the staff of the Services department: Esther Lebovic, Naomi Pinson, Esther Blum, Rivkah Krinsky, Chanah Pinson., for all their hard work on behalf of Bikur Cholim and in making the Summer Fete Evening the great success it was.

Kudos to Marcia Bodenstein, CEO of Start Fresh Weight Control Program for her “SNAP” summary of what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle.

Chef Levana Kirscenbaum (Photo, courtesy of: COLive.com/Yossi Percia)

Levana Kirschenbaum, renowned chef, author and cooking instructor demonstrated her quick-easy-wholesome whole food philosophy & techniques, preparing a sampling of the fabulous dinner later served to all the guests in attendance: miso soup, salad, maple roasted salmon with spanish couscous, and chocolate espresso mousse along with her award-winning carrot cake.  She makes it looks soooooo easy as she efficiently tosses the fresh ingredients into her food processor and bowls.  The woman is a culinary master magician. Chick chock it was all done and healthy, delicious and fabulous.  Judging from the way the food disappeared, the guests were more than delighted with the outcome.

Everything tasted spectacular; it’s hard to pick a favorite.  I’d just serve up the whole menu if I were preparing for a large group.  I’ve included, with permission, Levana’s  Maple-Roasted Salmon.  Enjoy!  Enjoy!

As several women said during the course of the evening, in the future may we only need Bikur Cholim services to attend to kimpeturen (women of childbirth).  May all our readers and Klal Yisroel be healthy & happy, giving generously of their time and efforts for those less fortunate.

Maple Roasted Salmon (Photo, courtesy of Miriam Slater)

Maple Roasted Salmon

Ingredients

1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cracked pepper, or less to taste
1 whole side salmon, about 3 1/2 pounds, skin off, bones out.

Preparation

Mix all but the last ingredient in a bowl. Place the salmon skin side up in a baking pan just large enough to fit it snuggly in one layer. Pour the sauce evenly over the fish. Bake 18 minutes to 20 minutes. Transfer to a platter and pour the cooking juices over. Serve hot, or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

SYR

18
Jun
10

Braiding a Six Strand Challah


[Daniel Ronay, baker extraordinaire, shares with us his step by step instruction on braiding challah. Photos by Daniel Ronay. CS]

Braiding challah is not that difficult, but it takes some patience and practice. I use a little flour to dust the strands. Sometimes the dough can be sticky, also when using dusting flour on the braids can be more pronounced. When dusting flour sometimes is not used the results can have an effect on the look of “baking blind” braids that looks like they weld together too much and are not well defined. I do not worry about a little flour if any remains. Remember we are going to glaze the challahs with an egg wash so the topical flour is washed away.

  • When making your 6 strands ideally make your strands a little longer than your desired length of your challah.
  • I make the strands with a “belly” in the middle, tapered on both end. The result will be a challah that is fatter in the middle and tapers to the ends.  This is a desired look for some if not using a pan to bake the challahs.
  • When braiding your challahs try to make the braids not overly tight. If the braids are too tight then when proofing it might have a possibility of tearing. There still has to be some tension though against other braid.

Picture (1) in this step we are making sure the strands are equal in length and thickness


Join the 6 strand together. Pinch them together. With them as shown 3 X 3.  I have known people to put a weight on the pinched ends to hold them in place.

Picture (2) in this step we are setting up the 1st braids getting them in place


Strand #3 is in your right hand and strand #4 in your left hand. Put your left hand on top of your right hand. Pick up strand #4 with your left hand and move it to the top upper left and same time put strand #3 next to where strand #4 used to be.

Picture (3) in this step we continue to braid the 2nd pairings.


Hold the far left strand #1 in your right hand, and the far right #5 strand in your left hand. Have your right hand on top of your left hand. As you pick up your right hand with strand #1, move it to the upper right and picking up with your left hand strand #5 have it come to the center where strand #2 is.

Picture (4) to make it easier to understand, think of it as trying to have 2 strands on the top and 4 strands on the bottom.  This is basically the same step as in pic 2, but the far right strand is lower


The far right strand comes across the upper left and strand #3 and goes next to strand #2 in the center on the left side.

Picture (5)


The upper left strand goes in the center on the right next to strand #3 and the and far right goes to the upper left

Picture (6) we continue repeating the steps till the strand complete the braiding


Move the upper left to the center, and the outer right to the upper left

Picture (7) Beautiful braided football type shape

Enjoy!

Daniel Ronay

16
Jun
10

Breakfast at Basil


Having heard so much about Basil Pizza and Wine Bar‘s (270 Kingston Ave; Brooklyn, NY 11213; Telephone: 718.285.8777) Pastry Chef, Ehud (Udi) Ezra, and his delectable creations, SYR and I decided to catch him as Basil just opened up at 7:30 in the morning on Friday past. We were not disappointed! We were greeted by the the enticing aromas and colors of the fresh croissants, scones, chocolate chip cookies, muffins and more.

Freshly baked croissants, cookies and more...

muffins, muffins!

We both got delicious Cappuccinos, made from Danesi Gold Beans, nicely decorated on top, delicious to the palate. SYR opted for a Cranberry/Orange Scone while I chose a Plain Croissant. Her scone was flavorful, fresh and perfect in its taste. My croissant was buttery, delicate, melt in your mouth… just like the croissants I remembered from my travels in Europe, my youthful years in Uruguay…

Next SYR ordered a very different looking Tiramisu.

Tiramisu

It came on a sponge cake soaked with espresso and brandy.  SYR loved it!!!

I had their Fruit Tart, a pastry with vanilla beans and custard, topped with strawberies, kiwi slices and blueberries. It was great tasting and very refreshing! I finished with their Crème Brûlée (which came in three superb flavors… cardamon (unusual but amazing!) chocolate and vanilla bourbon bean. Wooow!!!

Chef Ehud then gave us a tour of the kitchen, ahhh… the aromas of freshly baked bread and pastries… few things can even compare…

Chef Ehud Ezra getting ready to bake some Italian Ciabatta

I watched the staff at work as their creations were going in and out of the oven. I was truly impressed. I went back yesterday afternoon for a succulent personal pizza, but… that’s a post for another time…

CS

RELATED POST

Basil – Pizza & Wine Bar

14
Jun
10

Puah – Celebrating Life


Kudos to Eden and David Glickman, of Woodmere, for hosting a fabulous brunch last week Sunday – June 6, 2010 – celebrating Puah’s 19 years of dedicated services helping couples become parents. Eden prepared an amazing spread of salads, delicious home dishes and baked goods that rivaled the finest catered affair. The presentation (fit for royalty!!!) clearly showed the time, the effort, the heart, that went into making the event a great success.

Rabbi Zvi Ralbag, Moreh De’asra of the Island shul, relayed his experiences with Puah and the families he’s counseled.  Susan Settenbrino, a family law attorney and host of The Dov Hikind Show, shared her powerful personal journey with the luncheon attendees. Lea Davidson, Executive Director of Puah Institute, USA,  spoke about the specific role of Puah, the first organization to help couples with infertility and women’s health from and its exceptional halachic and medical guidance.  Puah plays a vital  role in communities around the globe helping couples find halachic and medical fertility solutions. If you’d like to contribute or find out more you can visit them at www.puahonline.org, or call them at 718.336.0603

Eden, graciously agreed to share her fabulous cheese cake recipe with us. Thanks Eden.

Photo, courtesy of Mr. & Mrs. Glickman

Marble Cheesecake

Ingredients

1/4 cupcookie crumbs – I like to use any type of butter cookie
4  eight ounce
packages of cream cheese
16 ounces
– sour cream
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons – for chocolate batter
1 stick – butter
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
2 teaspoons of vanilla
5 eggs
4 ounces – of semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup – unsweetened cocoa powder

Preparation

[The SECRET to great cheesecake is that all of the ingredients must be room temperature. Leave them out for at least 6 hours. If I am planning to make the cake in the morning I leave the ingredients out overnight.]

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a nine inch spring form pan and cover the bottom and sides with a nice dusting of the cookie crumbs.

Beat the cream cheese, sour cream, 1 cup sugar, butter,  cornstarch and vanilla on a low speed until it is combined. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition until combined.

In a separate clean and dry bowl melt the chocolate in the microwave 30 seconds at a time until it is melted. Stir in the 2 remaining tablespoons of sugar, 2 cups of the cheesecake batter and the cocoa powder until it is combined. The mixture will be thicker than the plain cheesecake batter. Pour half of the plain batter into the spring-form pan and then drop thick dollops of the chocolate batter all around. Repeat with the rest of the batters. Take a knife and make figure 8 patterns through the batter without touching the crumbs on the bottom until the cake looks marbleized.

Bake in a 350 oven for 1 hour. Cover the cake loosely with a tented piece of tinfoil after 30 minutes of baking. This will prevent the cake from getting too brown. After it is finished baking turn off the oven and let it sit in there for another hour.  Allow the cake to cool for 4 hours and then refrigerate until serving.

Do not worry if the top of the cake cracks. There are so may ways to cover the cracks. My favorite way is to shave chocolate over the top of the cake. All you need is any type of chocolate bar and a vegetable peeler. Just hold the bar in your hand over the cake and start peeling. Make sure your cake is completely cooled before you do this or your shavings will melt.

Enjoy!

SYR

11
Jun
10

18 Restaurant


Eighteen ‘s marketing team has an innate business sense predicated by one important rule of the game; know your  customers’ tastes and quickly adapt accordingly. Just open three weeks,  18 is taking off like gang-busters. Inheriting a great restaurant design modified with red accents, its managing team created an upscale, sophisticated 21st century deli, with a few marvelous twists.  They’ve hired a terrific sushi chef from Salt Lake City, who creates one mouth-watering roll after another. Chef Haim Dadi, the main chef,  flips so many fat burgers-to-go, it’s making Popeye’s Wimpy cry (it’s the quality of the meat, baby! They buy top-of-the-line.).  Chef Haim kept the best of the Moroccan-Israeli fare, kept the great fish and salads, and offers a great assortment of grilled steak entrees.

Located where Turquoise used to be, 18 Restaurant (240 E 81st St, New York NY10065; Tel: 212.517.2400), opened its doors barely three weeks ago. We felt a welcoming warmth as soon as we walked in…

...a partial view

We sat on a corner next to the turquoise wall that once made the late Turquoise so distinctive. SYR and I started the meal with their Salt Lake City Sushi Roll.

Salt Lake City Roll, colorful, delicious!

It came with tuna, avocado, cucumber, tempura crumbs, soy glaze and a spicy masago. Neither, SYR nor I have been great fans of sushi BUT this roll was amazing!

We both followed with the Yemenite Soup with Meat.

Yemenite Meat Soup

It comes with potatoes, carrots and meat, its aroma and taste linger on for quite a while. This is a new favorite of mine!

Next we shared a large Israeli Combination Platter consisting of hummus, babaganush, Turkish salad and tahini, we dipped our Morrocan Cigars and the baguettes in it for new combinations of rich flavors. Their delectable Israeli Salad with chopped cucumber, tomato w/parsley, lemon and olive oil proved that fancy ingredients are not always necessary to create wholesome, delicious salads but… freshness is!

Next, SYR had the Eighteen’s Beef Burger, 8 ozs topped with mushroom and sitting on a bed of fried onions inside a brioche bun. It came with sides of a sliced sour pickle and French fries. It looked great, and tasted superb. It was obvious why this particular dish is one of their bestsellers.

I followed with Romanian Tenderloin Steak, it came with fresh grilled peppers and superb Yukon gold mashed potatoes.

Romanian Tenderloin

As I’ve said before, I grew up in Uruguay where steak was an almost daily dinner staple, I know steaks!  This one was tender, very juicy and full of flavor. Even my mother couldn’t have made it any better!

Whatever you do, don’t miss their Yemenite meat soup.  It’s delicioussssssssss! The portions are generous, the prices more than reasonable. What more can you ask?!?

CS

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