Archive for July, 2012

31
Jul
12

Our Guest on this Evening’s Radio Show is…


Having cancelled my radio show last week – due to an unplanned visit to the E.R. at New York Methodist Hospital (I was dehydrated, a really foolish condition for a self-avowed foodie – or anybody else, for that matter) – and because of tomorrow evening’s Siyum HaShas, we rescheduled our regular show to this evening at 8:00 pm (Eastern Time) on BlogRalkRadio.com/kosherscene. Our guest will be Menachem Lubinsky, President and CEO of Lubicom, who has graced our pages and airwaves before (here and here). We will be talking about the state of kosher today. As always, you will find him extremely informative.

Prior and during his time at Lubicom, Mr. Lubinsky worked and continues to work extensively with both profit and non-profits. He has an M.B.A. in Marketing and Advertising from the Bernard Baruch College at City University of New York. He has received many prestigious awards and been honored by major organizations for his work and advocacy. As a major player in the field, he is the universally acknowledged expert on the matter of kosher marketing, its history and its growth.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, you can listen to our archived broadcast with delightful guest Naomi Sugar. Naomi blogs at 365scoops.com, a blog dedicated to making and sharing her ice cream creations. 365scoops believes in good, old fashioned ice cream, free of preservatives (and ingredients that you cannot pronounce!).

Please tune us in this evening at 8:00 pm (Eastern Time) on BlogRalkRadio.com/kosherscene when we will be talking to Menachem Lubinsky.

Hoping to “see” you there!

CS

30
Jul
12

Sirloin Steak Kabobs with Rosemary-Brushed Potatoes and Red Peppers **


[** While we kept the Lobels' book original title for this recipe, you will find that we do not use sirloin steak as there is no kosher sirloin. CS]

Now that that the Nine Days are over, we can again eat meat, considering it’s summer what could be better than something made on the grill? We’ve adapted the following recipe from Prime Time – The Lobels’ Guide to Great Grilled Meats.

Club Filet Mignon Kabobs with Rosemary-Brushed Potatoes and Red Peppers

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 small red-skinned potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 1/2 pounds club filet mignon (not a real filet mignon, or any well marbleized cut) , trimmed and cut into 24 cubes, each about 1 1/2 inches square
  • 3 red bell peppers (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 18 chunks
  • Six 12-inch metal skewers

Directions

  1. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover by 2 to 3 inches . Lightly salt the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer briskly for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are just fork tender. Drain and cool to room temperature . Cut into halves so that there are 12 pieces. Handle the potatoes gently to prevent the skin from slipping off.
  2. Combine the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary in a large bow, season to taste with salt and pepper . Add the potatoes and stir gently to coat.
  3. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Lightly  spray the grill rack  with vegatable oil cooking spray. The coals should be moderately hot to hot.
  4. Lift the potatoes from the marinade. Transfer the marinade to a small saucepan and heat gently until warm and fragrant. Thread the potatoes, steak, and peppers onto skewers, beginning and ending with a potato and threading 4 pieces of meat and 3 chunks of peppers onto each. Grill for 10 to 12 minutes, turning several times and brushing with the marinade, until medium rare, or until the meal reaches the desired degree of doneness, the potatoes are tender, and the peppers are slightly charred. Serve immediately.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

24
Jul
12

Summer Vegetable Soup with Pesto


Sure, we don’t eat meat during the Nine Days, but we still can have food that is nutritious and delicious!

From Pam ReissSoup – A Kosher Collection:

Summer Vegetable Soup with Pesto

The soup itself is light on flavor-but serve bowls up with a dollup of the pesto on top and you’ll be amazed. You can add any vegetables you like-see what your garden has to offer.

Serves 6
Ingredients

Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (freshly packed)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic(1 tsp), crushed
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese

Soup

  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch
  • 5-6 small new potatoes, skin on, cut in half and sliced into 1/4 inch
  • 1/4 lb button mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup green beans, tips cut off, then cut on diagonal into pieces
  • 3-4 spears asparagus, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch half -circles
  • 1 cup firmly packed spinach leaves (2 oz), cut into thin strips

FOR THE PESTO, place the basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Puree for 30 seconds and then scrape down the sides. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil and keep pureeing until you have a nice paste-don’t worry if it’s not liquified, you want to see a few small pieces of basil and garlic. Scrape this mixture into a bowl and mix in the Parmesan cheese. Cover and refrigerate.

For the soup, bring the stock to a boil in a covered pot over high heat. Add the onion, carrot, potatoes, mushrooms, green beans, asparagus and salt and pepper-reduce the heat and simmer gently for 7 minutes.

Add the zucchini and spinach and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve each bowl of soup with a large spoonful of pesto.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

23
Jul
12

Carciofi alla Giudia


I’ve enjoyed Carciofi alla GiudiaJewish Style Artichokes, the crowning dish (or, at least, the best known one) in the rich repertoire of Roman Jewish cuisine at both, Tevere 84 and its sister dairy restaurant Va Bene. I couldn’t get their recipe though there are superb ones posted on line, including a video link on Alessandra Rovati‘s Dinner in Venice blog. Here is my pareve version of this dish:

Carciofi alla Giudia

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 lemons, cut in half
  • 12 small young Italian artichokes
  • olive oil
  • bunch fresh -leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil leaves, shreded
  • 4 – 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cups bread crumbs, for coating
  • fresh parsley or basil leaves for garnishing

Directions

  1. Fill a large bowl halfway with water. Squeeze in the lemon juice from the lemons. Add the lemon halves to the water.
  2. Remove any tough or broken outer leaves from the artichokes and trim the tops with a sharp knife. Cut the stems to 2 to 3 inches and peel the remaining stem, if needed. Place each artichoke in the lemon wateras you prepare them this prevents discoloration.
  3. Combine 1/2 cup of oil with the parsley, basil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Pour the matzo meal into a shallow dish and set aside.
  4. Drain the artichokes. Holding each artichoke by the stem, press the top flat against the work surface to spread open the leaves.Spoon in some of the olive oil dressing between, then roll each one in the bread crumbs to coat evenly.
  5. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in large, heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Arrange the artichokes in the pan in a single layer and cook covered,  for 25 minutes, or until tender and golden brown, turning 3-4 times to brown evenly. Transfer to a serving plate and spoon over any pan juices or drizzle with fresh oil and leave to cool to room temperature before serving. Garnish with basil or parsley.

I strongly recommend using small, long purplish artichokes carried by most Italian specialty stores. If you use large artichokes you must remember to trim them carefully, remove the outer leaves and hairy choke.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

22
Jul
12

This Evening’s Kosher Scene’s Internet Radio Show


Our guest for this evening’s special show at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) is Avi Gantz, the General Manager at Pomegranate Supermarket (1507 Coney Island Avenue – corner of Avenue L – Brooklyn, New York 11230; Tel: 718.951.7112). We will be discussing Pomegranate‘s special offerings for the Nine Days.

With many new items and some items specially made for these Nine Days, meals need neither be drab nor boring. Avi will tell us how we can avoid meat and still have delicious, healthy, meals.

Partial views of the Salad department (above) and the Sushi Department (bottom)

Meanwhile in case you missed it, please listen to our show with Naomi Sugar, ice cream confectioner extraordinaire, blogger at 365scoops.com.

Don’t forget to tune us in this evening, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time), when our guest will be Avi Gantz, the General Manager at Pomegranate Supermarket (1507 Coney Island Avenue – corner of Avenue L – Brooklyn, New York 11230; Tel: 718.951.7112).

20
Jul
12

Italian Vegetable Stew


One of favorite dairy dishes, just perfect for the 9 Days!

Italian Vegetable Stew

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small acorn squash peeled and seeded
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 eggplant, sliced
  • 1 small celery root, sliced
  • 2 turnips, sliced
  • 1 small celery root, diced
  • 2 turnips sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 6 oz Swiss chard
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • pinch each of dried thyme, dried oregano, and sugar
  • 1 cup from fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable stock *
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve

Directions

  1. Finely chop the garlic and dice the squash. Put them in a large, heavy-bottom pan with all the other vegetable, the bay leaves, fennel seeds, chilli powder, thyme, oregano, sugar, and half the basil. Pour in the oil and vegetable stock.
  2. Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
  3. Sprinkle in the remaining basil and the parsley , season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately sprinkled with cheese.

–0o0o0–

* Vegetable Stock (follow the link)

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

19
Jul
12

Revisiting Sòlo


When you have a meeting, date or get together over food that needs to go flawlessly, Sòlo (550 Madison Avenue; New York, NY 10022; Telephone: 212.833.7800 – in the atrium of the SONY building) is the place to be. A swank counterpart to the high tech-upscale Sony building and atrium it’s located in, Sòlo is what contemporary high class chic tastes like. From its sleek artsy glass exterior wall – flanked through by oil with infused vegetables – down to its impeccably styled up-scale food presentation, Sòlo defines high quality cuisine; the fact that it’s under strict kosher supervision is sub-rosa fringe to its superb fare and service.

Chef-de-cuisine Guillermo Quiroz, trained by Chef David Kolotkin was just a delightful; the look of pride as he brought and explained each dish, knowing without a doubt we would be as pleased to eat as he was to present it, added to the experience.

We stated our feast with a Big Eye Tuna Tartar accompanied by avocado, citrus, mango and chips. It was very fresh, succulent, and not in the least bit fishy tasting (a great start to a great meal!).

We followed with another appetizer, Crispy Veal Sweetbreads, it came with celery root and Bosc pear puree, Swiss chard in a pomegranate reduction. Since I do not – on principle – eat veal, CS had it all to himself. Considering he cleaned the plate, I believed him when he described it as “superbly spiced, and absolutely delicious.”

Beef Carpaccio with spinach and grilled endive salad in a mustard and lemon vinaigrette came next. Well seasoned, beautifully presented, just perfect.

Next, came the pièce de résistance. We got the Roasted BBQ Short Ribs, sides were German potato salad and cauliflower puree. They reminded me of Mike’s Bistro‘s ribs. Sauce and flavors were excellent, the beef superbly tender, yet not overcooked.

Typical Uruguayan that he is, CS preferred the 8 oz Black Angus Steak au Poivre (available in 16 oz. as well), with caramelized onion puree, basil mash potatoes, and grilled asparagus in a red wine sauce. It was very flavorful, the crisp pepper top was just right, I just loved the wine sauce and onion puree combo. It’s hard to believe that in spite of its flavor, in spite of its tenderness, it was not aged meat.

The last main was a Pan Seared Black Angus Filet with turnip puree, mushroom ragout and fingerling potatoes in red wine sauce. Superb fare!

We washed it all down with a very good Binyamina Shiraz 2007, served to us by our favorite waiter, the multi-talented Eka Halim (he’s a professional photographer, as comfortable on a fashion shoot as on a bar mitzvah!). CS described the wine thus, “Deep garnet in color, medium bodied with soft tannins and a gentle wood influence. Smooth, round wine with blackberry and plum notes, with hints of tar and licorice.”

For dessert we shared two incredible creations by Pastry Chef Felencia Darius, now at Prime Butcher Baker. Warm Chocolate Cake with gingerbread ice cream and espresso sauce, the molten chocolate cake was superb and so was the sauce, but I expected more from the ice cream.

The evening’s crown, however, belongs to the Hazelnut Rocher, a hazelnut mousse with vanilla cream and a candied nut shell. Take my advise, folks, do not even think of leaving Sòlo without trying this one!

We had reservations for 6:00pm, by the time we finished at around 7:30pm there was not a single free table, not even in the private alcove we were in. People obviously know what’s good.

Though it was a superb dinner, and one that guarantees we’ll keep on revisiting again and again, we do have a minor criticism. We wish the presentations, as beautiful as they were, showed less repetitiveness.

SYR

Both Sòlo and its sister restaurant Prime Grill have a

Nine Day Menu.

18
Jul
12

Naomi Sugar from 365scoops.com


Our internet radio show this evening (at 8:00pm Eastern Time) will feature Naomi Sugar from 365scoops.com. There is a bit of background noise because we pre-taped it, yesterday lunchtime, at Tiberias Restaurant (45 East 34th Street; NY, NY 10016; Tel: 212.481.4222).

Naomi Sugar blogs at 365scoops.com, a blog dedicated to making and sharing her ice cream creations. 365scoops believes in good, old fashioned ice cream free of preservatives (and ingredients that you cannot pronounce!) Ms. Sugar uses only the best organic milks, creams, sugar and eggs, with a variety of flavors to create artisanal, custom-made flavors. When not blogging or developing new ice cream ideas, Naomi works for Project Sunshine and holds an MA in public health from Columbia University.

In her own words:

My last name is Sugar, and I am addicted to sugar.

That’s right.

I. Love. Sweets.

All things sweet, ice cream and cupcakes especially, but I do not discriminate against cookies, popsicles, brownies and cake.

Armed with a new found sense of free time (I recently completed my Master’s in Public Health) and an “old found” love of cooking all things sweet, I decided I should chronicle this exciting business venture. So, I took matters into my own hands and bought a three Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (this one), began testing recipes, and soon enough, started selling these delicious creations!

About 365 Scoops

After returning from Argentina, one of the ice cream capitals of the world, I decided that we needed more deliciously creamy, silky and high quality ice cream here in NYC. This site is dedicated to sharing those recipes, and to ultimately achieving the goal of universal access to gourmet ice creams!

Here at 365scoops we believe in good, old fashioned ice cream free of preservatives (and ingredients that you cannot pronounce!) We mix only the best organic milks, creams, sugar and eggs, with a variety of unique flavors to create artesanal, custom-made ice cream. You want it? We’ll make it. Just ask.
**In addition, here is a link to an ice cream making workshop that I hosted in DC last month at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue http://www.ticketfly.com/event/117535/

While at Tiberias, Naomi had a Mushroom Panini (top), while I had my favorite… French Onion Soup with Crustini (bottom)

In case you missed it why don’t you listen to our show with Hirsh Eidlitz, for a fascinating look into the world of ancient Jewish books and manuscripts?

Meanwhile do not forget to tune us in, this evening at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) at BlogTalkRadio.com/Kosherscene, for an interesting, informative, entertaining conversation with Naomi Sugar from 365scoops.com. We’ll be wait’n for ya!

CS

17
Jul
12

Kollel Ayshel Avraham’s Sixth Graduating Class


Monsey’s Kollel Ayshel Avraham, graduated 13 musmachim this past June 24th. Various speakers spoke of the meaning of becoming a rabbi, of the obligation to the public they are serving, of the responsibilities their new titles conferred upon them. Rabbi Chananya Elbaz, spoke for the Iggud Harabbonim. With gentle wit, he delineated the obligations, the rewards, and the often grueling job of teaching, counseling and leading the congregation. He was followed by Rabbi Yaakov Klass, the Halacha Editor at The Jewish Press

One of the graduates, Rabbi Dovid Stein, sang a stirring rendition of Eylu Devorim… 

The Rosh Kollel, Rabbi Yaakov Spivak, then presented the diplomas to the graduates and spoke emotionally about the unbroken shalsheles, the chain of learning and tradition, which his Rebbeim at Baltimore’s Ner Yisroel Yeshiva passed on to him and which he now passed on the to the graduates.

Rabbi Moshe Schmerler, President Kollel Ayshel Avraham Alumni Association and Rabbi Mendy Myrocznick Director of Alumni Affairs Kollel Ayshel Avraham Alumni Association planned and more than ably conducted the proceedings, making for an interesting event filled with touching moments and words of chizuk.

CS

16
Jul
12

Spaghetti with Ricotta


Anyone who’s been following this blog knows that I am a hardcore carnivore, but I also like pasta with cheese. With the Nine Days fast approaching, it’s time to look for some succulent dairy recipes, here’s one that is easy to make and delicious.

Spaghetti with Ricotta

(Adapted from The Big Book Of Pasta)

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 12 oz dried spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh-flat  leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • pinch of grated  nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pareve broth*
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, to garnish

Directions

  1. Bring a large, heavy bottom pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti, return to a boil, and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite.
  2. Drain the pasta, return to the pan, and toss with the butter and chopped parsley. Keep warm.
  3. To make the sauce, mix the ground almonds, ricotta cheese, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sour cream together in a small pan  over low heat to form a thick paste. Gradually stir in the olive oil. When the oil has been fully incorporated, gradually stir in the stock, until sauce is smooth. Season to taste with pepper.
  4. Transfer the spaghetti to a warmed serving dish, pour over the sauce, and toss together well. Sprinkle over the pine nuts, garnish with the parsley sprigs, and serve warm.

* Parve Chicken Free Broth

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 parsnip (8 – 12 inches)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 4 oz mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • Seasonings to taste

Directions

  1. Take out a pot large pot. This will allow room for boiling, stirring and simmering without making a spill on the stove top. Chunk up the parsnips, carrots, and onions. Coarsely chop the garlic, mushrooms and celery. Pour the water into the pan. Turn heat on to medium high flame.
  2. Add all vegetables. (You can run everything through the food processor using the shredding blade. This goes a lot faster and reduces the simmer time as it increases the surface area of the veggies). When the water becomes warm stir in the turmeric. Bring to boil and boil for 2 – 3 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer. (If you are using an electric stove top you can bring everything to a boil and immediately reduce heat to simmer as it will take 2-3 minutes for the temperature to fall to a simmer)
  3. After about 15 minutes begin to add your seasonings – pepper, rosemary, ginger – whatever you like but IN SMALL AMOUNTS as you can always add more but cannot take it out. Be sure to get your seasonings set within the first 45 minutes. This will allow the seasonings to blend and incorporate into the soup. Let simmer for a total of 2 – 3 hours.
  4. Strain through a professional kitchen sieve or use a colander lined with coffee filters. Use the broth just like you would chicken broth.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS




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