Archive for June, 2011



15
Jun
11

Perfect Jewish


Published by Parragon Publishing, UK; 2008

From the dust cover:

The unique flavors of Jewish Regional cooking are brought to life in this fascinating new cookbook. It features an enticing range of 120 recipes from Jewish communities all around the world.

Perfect Jewish is a delightful cookbook by Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen features both Ashkenazic and Sephardic dishes divided into 5 sections:

  • Soups, aalads & appetizers
  • Main dishes
  • Light dishes and accompaniments
  • Desserts, cakes & cookies
  • Breads & pastries
The featured recipes cover Central, Eastern Europe and Russia, Spain, Portugal, the Middle East and North Africa. The selections and the beautiful photos paint a rich picture of our culture adapting itself to the various regions around the world that were graced with a Jewish presence.
The easy to follow, detailed recipes, and the mouth watering photos make this a must have book for every kitchen. It was hard to choose just one recipe out the many succulent selections but I finally decided upon something uniquely American, so we adapted (the original deli recipe calls for Gruyere cheese) the following from the book:

Detail from photo on page 142...

The Reubens Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp margarine softened
  • 4 slices “deli” rye bread
  • 4 – 6 oz cooked roast beef, or corned beef, or pastrami, [or a combination of any of these] thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup sauerkraut, well drained
  • vegetable oil or margarine for frying
  • Pickled cucumbers to serve [yes, there is recipe for these on page 41, if you are truly ambitious!]
Thousand Island Dressing
  • 1 cup bottled or home made mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp ketchup or chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp seeded and finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped pimento
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped sweet and sour pickled cucumber
Following the great emigration of the 1880s, by the 1920s more than 2 million Jews were working in sweatshops. They bought kosher foods from Jewish neighbors and a great Jewish-American institution, the Jewish deli, was born. It served some fantastic sandwiches.
  1. Dressing: Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl until well blended. Store, refrigerated, in an air tight container for up to one week.
  2. Spread margarine on to one side of each bread slice. Lay margarine- side down. Spread the center with 1 tbsp each of the dressing.
  3. Divide the roast beef between 2 bread slices tucking in the slices to fit. Divide the sauerkraut and make an even layer over the roast beef. Top with the remaining bread slices, margarine side out, and press firmly to compress the layers.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet or ridged griddle pan over medium-high heat. Carefully slide the sandwiches into the pan. Press down on on the tops of the sandwiches. Cook for 3 minutes or until the undersides are crisp and golden.
  5. Carefully turn, press down again and cook for 2 minutes, or until golden and the beef is hot. Transfer to a cutting board Cut in half and serve with pickles.
Serves 2
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!
CS
13
Jun
11

A Very Special Shabbat at the Manhattan Sephardic Congregation


Between family events, Shavuos and then Shabbat I was away all week in another state. I couldn’t wait, however, to share my experience of a very special Shabbat.

On the Shabbat prior to Shavuot (Parshat Nasso) I stayed by some good friends who are members of the Manhattan Sephardic Congregation (325 East 75th Street, New York, NY 10021). Having grown up in Uruguay with a lot of Sephardi cronies, attending a shul – here in Brooklyn – where we have quite a few Persian members, I was somewhat familiar with non-Ashkenazi rites, or so I thought…

A weekday Schacharis... Photo by: Irving Schild

On Friday eve - erev Shabbat, as everyone was reciting the Shir Hashirim together, there was a certain electricity in the air. The recitation wasn’t just a word mouthing exercise, the fervor was palpable! Each chapter was led by a different member of the kehilla, each picking up where the other left off, without skipping a beat. The tfilllot and their haunting, lilting melodies transported me to another era, to another place. Shabbat eve’s meal consisted of Moroccan and Latin American dishes, a delight for the eyes, the nose, the palate. For the first time in many a decade, a major part of the conversation was in Spanish, I loved it. All that, however, was just the appetizer for what was about to come. The tfillot on Shabbat day introduced me to even greater depths of feeling. Never since I returned to the US in 1977 – after 10 years in Eretz Yisroel – did I get to join other kohanim on a Shabbat for the birkat kohanim on a regular Shabbat, not once but twice! Though the melodies were far different from any I was used to, there was something indescribably beautiful in the voices, the words, the emotions. Many time I was left full of awe after the blessings, but never before, here in chutz la’aretz, have I felt so much like a true descendant of Aharon HaKohen.

Rabbi Benchimol, the Congregation’s Rav, gave an inspiring drasha (but even this was only a forerunner of things to come) weaving golden threads, from Sephardi and Ashkenazi sfarim, into a stunningly rich tapestry.

After Mussaf was over we had kiddush. The previous evening I’d been warned that this particular kiddush was rather a meager one… Meager? By what standards?!?!? Like most of the members, I had challah at the kiddush, there was no need for further lunch. They dare call this meager?!?

Before mincha Rabbi Benchimol gave a shiur, again the wealth and breadth of his lamdut reminded me of a large treasure chest bursting with precious stones, with gold, with silver. Not only does he know his mekorot but his way of meshing them together, his insights, had us all enthralled as we listened and eagerly picked up every pearl pouring forth..

The seudah shlishit, was a veritable feast again, but by this time I expected it to be… and it didn’t disappoint. The warmth of the predominantly Moroccan congregation, the depth of the feelings evoked, tfillot that left me feeling feeling humbled but inspired, made this a Shabbat I will long treasure. One Ashkenazi member of MSC told me – in response to my question as to what brought him to a Sephardic bet knesset - “I find myself emotionally drawn to this minyan!” Frankly, I’m starting to feel the same way…

CS

03
Jun
11

Shavuos Recipes – Part 2


I am a confirmed hardcore carnivore, but every once in a while I have to make some nice pasta dishes for a milchig dinner. Especially now that Shavuos is almost upon us… Here are two of my favorites:

Fettuccine Alfredo with Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb fettucine
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 3/4 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Mozarella
Directions
  1. Mix the butter and 2/3 cup of the heavy cream, bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 2 minutes or until the cream has thickened slightly.
  2. Boil a large pan of lightly salted water, over medium heat.
  3. Add the pasta, bring back to a boil and cook for 9 minutes or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain pasta thoroughly, return to pan, pour in the sauce (from step 1)
  4. Toss the pasta in the sauce, over a low fire, until thoroughly coated. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of heavy cream, the shredded Mozarella, nutmeg, mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste. Toss the pasta thoroughly in the whole mixture while on a low flame.
  5. While pasta is cooking, sauté the mushrooms and garlic in a little bit of oil, until garlic pieces are golden brown.
  6. Put the pasta mixture on a large warmed serving plate. Add the sautéed mushrooms and garlic. Serve and sprinkle generously with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Vegetable Cannelloni

Delicious is an understatement!

Ingredients

  • 12 cannelloni
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • Basil, to garnish

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb 12 ozs canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon 10x confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 4 Mozzarella slices

Directions

  1. In a large pan boil some lightly salted water. Add the cannelloni, return to a boil and cook for another 9 minutes or until tender but still firm to the bite. Put pasta in a plate and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Cut the eggplant into small dice. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. add the eggplant, stir frequently while cooking for about three minutes.
  3. Add spinach, garlic, cumin and mushrooms. Reduce the heat. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Cooking for 2 to 3 minutes stirring constantly. Spoon the mixture into the cannelloni. Arrange cannelloni in a casserole in a single layer.
  4. To make the sauce, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar and basil. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over cannelloni.
  5. Arrange the Mozzarella slices over the sauce and bake in 375 F. preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbling. serve hot garnished with a prig of basil.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy AND don’t forget to send us your favorite Shavuos recipes (there is a nice selection of cholov Yisroel cheeses as the prize for the best!) to:

kosherscene@gmail.com

CS

RELATED POSTS

shavuos recipes 

————–

shavuos recipes – part 2

shavuos recipes – part 1 

For prize winning cheese cake recipes: and the winner is…

01
Jun
11

Internet Radio Show Tonight


Thanks to Sidney and Tammy Cohen  we did an incredible one hour show last week, live from 18 Restaurant (240 E 81st St, New York NY10065; Tel: 212.517.2400). Our guests lineup included: Gil Marks – author of Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, Chef Lévana Kirschenbaumwho spoke of her brand new cook book. Kim Amzallag from Kosher Inspired Magazine, Esti Berkowitz from the Prime Time Parenting blog and, of course, the incomparable Tammy Cohen . The food was great, the atmosphere just perfect and the place was packed.  We all loved it!

This evening, at 7:30 pm (Eastern Time), we will broadcasting again. You can listen to our show at BlogTalkRadio/kosherscene. We will start with a reading of a very short piece I wrote a few years back (which was reprinted on The Jerusalem Post and on Ynet.com) it’s about the first Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day, commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem. I was there when the Old City – Ir Hatika became ours again…

Then we’ll turn the conversation to Shavuos and dairy food with Brigitte Mizrahi and Moshe Vogel from Anderson International Foods (who manufacture the cholov Yisroel line of cheeses Natural & Kosher, and the non-cholov Yisroel brands Les Petites Fermieres and Organic and Kosher. We will follow with Kim Amzallag (whom I prerecorded yesterday afternoon), who will talk to us about the new Shavuos issue of Kosher Inspired and much more.

A tiny selection of Anderson International Foods' cheese offerings

Please tune us in this evening from 7:30pm t0 8:30pm, at: BlogTalkRadio/kosherscene. We have a very interesting program, geared to Shavuos (which is next week, starting Tuesday eve and continuing through Thursday night, the evening of the 7th through the 9th of June). We’ll be waiting for you!

CS

01
Jun
11

A Community Tzedaka Affair


This is not the usual The Kosher Scene post, but, since we know the people personally and are fully aware of their plight, we felt it necessary to publicize this.

There is a family in Flatbush, Brooklyn, living in untenable circumstances including serious health issues. The community is banding together to help them find a new place to live.  Come enjoy the evening and help us with this worthy cause.

Could you find it in your heart to help out? By attending? By contributing? By sponsoring a prize for the Chinese auction? By sponsoring the family? If so please call either 718.290.0233 or 718.415.5992. Make out your check to Merkaz Hatefilla Tzedaka Fund and mail it or join there at the Merkaz Hatefilla 1898 Bay Avenue, Brooklyn 11230 on June 20th at 7:30 pm.

Hope to hear from you,

SYR




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