Archive for November, 2014


Kosherfeast 2014

Last evening, once again, Esti Berkowitz and Roberta Scher (unfortunately Roberta was unable to attend) hosted their annual Kosherfeast. This year it was held at the old Streit’s Matzoh factory in the Lower East Side.

We met a lot of old friends and new faces…


Esti Berkowitz and Naomi  Stein Nachman welcoming the crowd.

Esti Berkowitz and Naomi Stein Nachman welcoming the crowd and opening the awards ceremonies.

Brent Delman, from, purveyor of some of the most delicious cheeses from the US, Europe and Latin America…

Brent Delman and his award

Brent Delman and his award

Jeff Nathan from Abigael’s Restaurant, pioneer of kosher TV cooking shows and Estee Kafra, cookbook author…

Awaiting their awards

Awaiting their awards

Shlomo Klein (Chief Marketing Officer) and Shifra Klein (Editor-in-Chief) from Joy of Kosher magazine…

The couple behind Joy of Kosher magazine's everyday functioning.

The couple behind Joy of Kosher magazine’s everyday functioning.

Herzog Wine Cellars Winemaker extraordinaire…

Joe Hurliman

Joe Hurliman

Mindy Erreich, media person, from Prime Hospitality Group

Accepting the award for her company.

Accepting the award for her company.

Chef Sara Black

Chef Sara Black

Caterer (Asparagus Catering) and Private Chef

Cookbook author and the Pastry Chef who taught us how to bake with friends…

Elizabeth Kurtz (Gourmet Kosher Cooking), Pastry Chef Paula Shoyer, Kim Amzallag (Forwards' Advertising Manager)

Elizabeth Kurtz (Gourmet Kosher Cooking), Pastry Chef Paula Shoyer, Kim Amzallag (Forwards‘ Advertising Manager)

We can’t possibly put up every photo, nor can we remember every person that was there but, notable among many other attendees, were Menachem Lubinsky of Lubicom – the brain behind the annual Kosherfest, Jay Buchsbaum of Royal Wine Corporation, Alison Nathan of Abigael’s, Gloria Kobrin (Kosher by Gloria), Asher and Judith Girshberg of De La Rosa, David Mintz from Toffutti, and many, many more.

‘Twas an evening to remember!



Chef Sara Black at JCC Rockland – Part 2

Last evening, under Micki Leader‘s able orchestration, JCC Rockland presented another installment of their 2014 Festival of Arts, Books and Culture. The evening opened with journalist and author Allen Salkin‘s talk about his book – From Scratch: The Uncensored History Of The Food Network – and video presentation about the Food Network. Renowned Chef Peter X. Kelley, a local restaurateur, was interviewed next by Mr. Salkin, as he recalled his TV battle with Chef Bobby Flay and his victory over him. He also introduced his smooth, exquisite Slovenia Vodka.


Chef Sara Black

Chef Sara Black

The highlight of the evening, however, was Chef Sara Black‘s cooking demo. Four participants were chosen and they made four recipes of the thirteen dishes that Chef Sara and a whole slew of volunteers cooked up on Friday for this motzey Shabbos presentation.

Chef Sara‘s menu for the evening included:

  • Pita Bread
  • Tomato Eggplant Salad
  • Moroccan Matbucha
  • Moroccan Spicy Salad
  • Assorted Cheese Balls
  • Spinach & Pear Salad, Feta & Toasted Pumpkin Seed
  • Green Salad with Toasts and Goat Cheese
  • Brown Rice Noodle with Chives, Carrot Strips & toasted Walnuts
Salmon Carpaccio with Olive oil and Fresh Herbs

Salmon Carpaccio with Olive Oil and Fresh Herbs

  • Stuffed Mushrooms Served with Remoulade Sauce
  • Deep Fried Avocado with Vinaigrette Sauce
  • Salmon Carpaccio with Olive oil and Fresh Herbs
  • Tuna Tartar with Wasabi Sauce
  • Baked Salmon Coated with Basil and Sea Weed
  • Grilled Antipasti
Tuna Tartar with Black and White Sesame Seeds

Tuna Tartar with Black and White Sesame Seeds in Wasabi Sauce

The last two photos were of items cooked by the four people selected to demo some recipes under Chef Sara’s direction.

Chef Sara gave out three ultra easy recipes and here are my two favorites:

Moroccan Spicy Carrot Salad


  • 1 pound fresh carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • harissa or hot pepper (optional)


  1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Peel and slice carrots into rounds. Cook until semi soft. Shut off heat and let carrots sit for 5 minutes more.
  2. Drain carrots well… Toss with oil, garlic, paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste (add harissa/hot pepper, if you like). Serve at room temperature.
The Chef putting Chef's hats on her demo volunteers.

The Chef putting Chef’s hats on her demo volunteers.

Israeli Eggplant Caponata


  • 2 large eggplants
  • 3-4 tablespoons canola oil
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley ingredients and season to taste.
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup or tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Slice eggplants (do not peel) into 1/4″ rounds. Sprinkle with oil. kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Bake until eggplant is translucent, about 20 minutes or so. Let cool slightly.
  4. Toss remaining ingredients and season to taste.

Delicious food, great conversation, funny videos, great company… What a beautiful evening!



Levana’s Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Bread Crumbs Topping Recipe. Gluten-Free Variation

A couple of weeks ago, Chef Sara Black and I had the pleasure of dining with the famed Lévana Kirschenbaum at her apartment. She graciously agreed to let me post the recipe of my favorite dish of the the evening.

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Bread Crumbs
Gluten-Free Variation



I love the robust flavor of  cauliflower, and the roasting intensifies it even further.  I use frozen cauliflower, as it is already cut, cleaned, and every bit as delicious and nutritious! Attention Gluten-Free readers: This is for you too!

Although this dish needs no help from the usual pasta suspects to be fantastic, feel free to jazz up this recipe some more with one of the following: Minced anchovies or sardines, capers, grated parmesan, toasted nuts. In this case make absolutely sure to include no salt in your recipes, as one of these additions will be amply enough to salt the whole dish.


  • 2 pounds frozen cauliflower florets, larger pieces cut smaller
  • 6 slices bread, any kind including GF
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1 bunch flat parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 good pinches nutmeg
  • 1 pound pasta, boiled and drained (rice noodles or other GF pasta OK), 1/2 cup cooking liquid reserved
  • ¼ cup more olive oil
  • Pine nuts, for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment and spray with vegetable spray. Spread the cauliflower florets in one layer on the cookie sheet, and spray again generously with vegetable spray.
  2. Line another cookie sheet with foil or parchment. In a food processor, using the pulse button, process the bread, olive oil, garlic, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg, until you get coarse crumbs. Place them on the second cookie sheet. Place both sheets in the oven, using upper third rack for the crumbs, and lower third rack for the cauliflower. Bake about 25 minutes, check a couple times on the sheets. The crumbs might be ready first. The cauliflower should be nice and dark.
  3. In a platter, toss the pasta with the cauliflower, the reserved liquid, the crumbs and the added oil, and serve hot. Top with pine nuts.

Together with the Branzino fish entree we had next, we washed it all down with a delightful bottle of red – Ramon Cardova Rioja. Just like every time I ate Lévana‘s homeit was a meal to remember!

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!



Chef Sara Black at JCC Rockland

Attention Monsey and surrounding areas! Attention Monsey and surrounding areas! Our dear friend Chef Sara Black will do a cooking demo, this motzey Shabbat – November 8th at 7:30pm, at the JCC Rockland (450 West Nyack Road in West Nyack) as part of their  2014 Festival of Arts, Books & Culture:



Chef Sara Black will appear together with author Allen Salkin and Chef Peter X. Kelly:


The Kosher Scene will be there to cover the evening, don’t forget to get your tickets and come over to say hello!


Cooking with Dr. Alan Broner – Fast & Easy Chili

[My good friend and dentist, Dr. Alan Broner, has graciously agreed to let me tape him and share his easy to prepare Chili dish. CS]

Fast and Easy Chili


  • 1 box Jack’s Gourmet Chorizo patties
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 Bell pepper diced
  • 1 can of Kidney beans (or beans of your choice)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • canola oil for sauteing


  1. Sweat the onions then the peppers in the canola oil until translucent, remove to another dish.
  2. Saute the chorizo patties as you break them apart in the pan until cooked through.
  3. Return the sauteed veggies to the pan with the chorizo.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, beans and and tomato sauce and bring up to temperature.
  5. Serve with taco chips.

One of the advantages of doing food demonstration videos is that I get to taste the results… Though there were no rare, exotic, ingredients, though everything in this recipe is a common item you’d find in almost every home, the result was a truly delicious chili!

Enjoy, gentle reader enjoy!


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