Author Archive for Chaim Szmidt

08
Mar
16

Maple Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables


I was invited for dinner to some old friends last eve, the whole repast was memorable but the vegetables were specially delicious. After the meal the hostess gave me her recipe and emailed me a photo…

Maple Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables

MaplGlazeRostdVegs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 3 turnips, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted, plus some more for greasing.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease lightly with margarine.
  2. Spread the carrots, turnips and parsnips on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the melted margarine and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss the vegetables to coat evenly with the melted margarine and spread them out on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned and just tender, about 40 minutes. Drizzle the maple syrup over the vegetables and mix gently. Continue baking until the maple syrup glazes the vegetables, another 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

07
Mar
16

Pescada New York – Classy Ambience, Delicious Food


This past Tuesday, March 1st, Zalman Slowix – a long time associate of mine – and I went to Pescada New York (509 Avenue P; Brooklyn, NY11223 – Telephone: 347.702.5711); we’d heard enough about it and wanted to try it.

The decor was subdued but quietly elegant, a perfect frame for the various dishes our eyes and palates were about to enjoy. I started the meal with Potato Cheese Balls

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Potato Cheese Balls

Potato Cheese Balls

…they came as a fried medley of potatoes, and cheese served on a smoked eggplant yogurt sauce.

Zalman opted for the Pumpkin Carpaccio with a bed of thinly sliced butternut squash covered with crusted pistachios, shredded feta cheese, pomegranate seeds, olive oil, sea salt, topped with micro greens. Both, Zalman and I found our selections tasty and fitting appetizers for the delights to follow.

Next, we split a Chef’s Special Salad

Pescada Mediterranean Salad

Chef’s Special Salad

Zalman segued with the Soup du Jour

Soup de Jour, for Tuesday the 1st of March.

Soup du Jour, for Tuesday the 1st of March.

Actually there were two soups, a Butternut Squash Soup, and Vegetable Soup with house croutons in the three container dish.

I, meanwhile, had their Classic Fettuccine Alfredo

Classic Fettuccine Alfredo

Classic Fettuccine Alfredo

Zalman followed his soups with a Miso Glazed Sea Bass, a grilled fillet of sea bass with a light coating of the Chef’s Special Miso Sauce. Judging by his face it was obviously cooked to perfection!

I went for the Grilled Tuna…

Grilled Tuna

Grilled Tuna

Whereas my associate had enough, I couldn’t resist a Double Chocolate Dessert…

Pescada8a

Double Chocolate Cake

…which consisted of Belgian Chocolate, a thin layer of crunchy sweet crumbs topped with a layer of White Chocolate with sides of Vanilla Ice Cream and a sliced Strawberry. I washed it all down with a…

Nana Smoothie

Nana Smoothie

Nana Smoothie, it’s minty and citrusy flavours, a perfect companion for a superb meal. Zalman had their house red, a Barkan Classic Cabernet Sauvignon 2014.

Chef Lior showed a unique mastery and understanding of the balance of flavors in every dish we tasted coupled with an artist’s conception of colors and shapes. I will definitely be back!

CS

29
Feb
16

Va Bene, Revisited


Last evening, Irving Schild – my videographer at KFWE 2016 – and yours truly, had dinner at my favorite dairy Italian restaurant in Manhattan: Va Bene (1589 2nd Ave, New York 10028 – Tel: 212.517.4448). The place, as usual, was mobbed when we got there around 7:00pm. We each had one dish and, at least for me, the portion was enough to satiate me.

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VaBene 1

Irving ordered Ravioli a la Giudia, this time it was covered in Alfredo Sauce (when I ordered it last time, it came in a tomato sauce), he asked to have some more grated Parmeggiano cheese over it. The Ravioli were filled with artichokes and cheese. He declared it absolutely delicious!

VaBene 2

I had a freshly stretched chunk of Mozzarella cheese, topped with tomato and onion bathed with lemon juice and olive oil, it was a rare treat, indeed!

VaBene 3

We each had a glass of the house Sauvignon Blanc, a perfect pairing!

CS

18
Feb
16

Yossis Glatt Sushi Inc.


One of my grandsons and I had just visited a relative at Maimonides Hospital, in Boro Park. We were both starved and we both wanted Chinese. During the visit, another relatives – who lived in the neighborhood – raved about Yossis Glatt Sushi Inc. (5221 Fort Hamilton Parkway – on the corner of 53rd St. – Brooklyn 11219 – Tel: 718.576.6636) which reopened its doors yesterday, under new management, and we decided to try it. While it is not the upscale type eatery we normally review in these pages, the food, the service, the prices made for a delightful surprise!

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As we watched the Sushi Chef prepare the rolls, my grandson had their Sweetheart Roll…

Sweethrtrll

…which consists of spicy salmon, spicy tuna, rice and avocado. I shared it with him it was very good.

I ordered the American Dream Roll

AmeriCnRll

…it comes with spicy salmon, cucumbers, avocado topped with spicy mayo. I loved it!

We followed these with a beef dish for him and a chicken one for me. He had Beef Lo Mein

BeefLMein

He found the beef juicy and tender, the vegetables cooked to perfection, the Chef’s sauce delicious.

I had the Sesame Chicken

SesmeChck

Aah, those nuggets! They came bathed in a delicious sauce and the right balance of tenderness inside with just a bit of crispness on the outside. It was a great way to end the meal.

The portions were nice, and the freshness and the dishes’ taste well worth the wait and more than worth the price.

I’ll definitely be back again and again; maybe I’ll even see you there, gentle reader.

CS

24
Nov
15

A Conversation with Ted Merwin


TedMrwnAfter a 5 months long hiatus, due to voice issues and more, we will be back this evening at 11:00 pm (Eastern Time) The Kosher Scene Radio Show. Our guest will be Ted Merwin, who is Associate Professor of Religion and Judaic Studies at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, where he is the Founding Director of the Milton B. Ashell Center for Jewish Life. He writes about Jewish theater, dance, and food for the New York Jewish Week and other major newspapers and magazines.

Professor Merwin is the author of a fascinating new book, Pastrami on Rye – An overstuffed History Of The Jewish Deli. I found it a fascinating read, very informative with just the right amount of nostalgia, a touch of humor and a tremendous love for the subject matter.

The book introduces its subject…

Is anything more emblematic of New York City than the overstuffed pastrami sandwich on rye? The picled and smoked meats sold in storefront Jewish delicatessens starting in the late nineteenth centurybecame part of the heritage of all New Yorkers. But they were, of course, especially important to Jews; the history of the delicatessen is the history of Jews eating themselves into Americans. The skyscraper sandwich became a hallmark of New PastramiYork. But it also became a a potent symbol of affluence, of success, and of the attainment of the American Dream. As the slogan for Reuben’s, an iconic delicatessen in the theater district boasted, “From a sandwich to a national institution.”

The deli became an institution, an institution not only for Jews, but as the book widely attests for many non-Jews as well. Why? As the Introduction continues:

[..]…the pastrami, corned beef, salami, bologna, and tongue that were sold in storefront New York delicatessen became, for a time, a mainstay of the American Jewish diet, taking on a primacy they had never enjoyed in Eastern Jewish culture…

[..]These Jewish eateries were known for the staggering amount and variety of food on display; the delicatessen, in the words of the food historian John Mariani “represented American bounty in its most voluptuou and self indulgent form.” Smoked and pickled meat, from their roots in central and eastern Europe, help a special place even within Jewish “cuisine,” which extended from kreplach (dumplings) and knishes (savory pastries) to kishke (stuffed intestines, also known as stuffed derma)…

My mouth is watering! I can taste and smell it all…

Please listen in this evening to at 11:00 pm (Eastern Time) The Kosher Scene Radio Show for a fascinating conversation about a chapter of Americana and its Jewish roots.

Meanwhile in case you missed it, why not listen to: A Conversation with Beth Warren, MS, RDN, CDN – 2.

We’ll be looking for you, but while we are waiting I better grab some mustard…

CS

11
Sep
15

Chef Lévana at Masbia in Flatbush


Yesterday Chef Lévana spent the morning cooking with volunteers at Masbia...
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Flatbush location, in Midwood, 1372 Coney Island Avenue; between Avenue J and Avenue K.

Flatbush location, in Midwood, 1372 Coney Island Avenue; between Avenue J and Avenue K.

Tina Weiss - volunteer - helping Chef Lévana, volunteer

Tina Weiss – volunteer – helping Chef Lévana, volunteer.

Putting 250 portions of chicken in the oven...

Putting the first batch of 500 portions of chicken in the oven…

Shmuel Ben Eliezer, photographer and columnist for The Jewish Press, covering Lévana's cooking

Shmuel Ben Eliezer, photographer and columnist for The Jewish Press, covering Lévana‘s cooking

Rabbi Farahbot, the mashgiach speaking with Chef Lévana

Rabbi Farahbot, the mashgiach, speaking with Chef Lévana

Masbia is an organization with three locations: Borough Park, Rego Park, and Flatbush. They serve 500 meals a day, In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, they gave out over 20,000 meals to hurricane victims. As its website states:

The Masbia Soup Kitchen Network has been feeding the hungry for over ten years and since its opening in April, 2005 the kosher soup kitchen has expanded, now serving meals at three locations in Brooklyn and Queens and distributing one and a half million meals a year. Masbia relies heavily on the generosity of its benefactors and food donors, which oftentimes requires the cooking staff to rely heavily on creativity and ingenuity […]

[…]One of our favorite Bible passages is from Parshat Vayera. In the reading we learn about the virtues of kindness, or chessed, from Avraham and Sara. Avraham teaches us that helping others should be done with respect and dignity. This is evidenced by his running out to greet his guests despite having received his Bris Mila just three days prior. In addition, the Midrash teaches us that Avraham’s tent was open in all four directions, allowing him to see a guest coming from any direction. This serves as our inspiration for our service model and our logo.

Like Avraham and Sara we serve every one of our clients in a dignified manner, regardless of which direction, or from what life circumstances, they may come. Volunteers acting as waiters are present every evening in our restaurant-style locations. Individuals coming to Masbia will always find a warm welcoming atmosphere where they can rest their souls and fill their stomachs.

Avraham gave kindness freely and without judgment, and so does Masbia. Our logo represents how important Abraham’s acceptance was in shaping how we choose to help people. Individuals that are hungry in New York know that Masbia doesn’t have any requirements or restrictions on our services. Referrals, proof of income, or any paperwork for that matter are not required.[…]

  • […]Everybody in need is welcome. No qualifications are required and no questions are asked. However, in order to serve as many people in financial need as possible, we ask that those who dine at Masbia on a more regular and continuing basis to have a reference letter with them, either from a social worker or a community leader.

Chef Lévana and other dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the morning to produce nourishing meals for those in need. Masbia serves the meals in restaurant like settings.

Chef Lévana has graciously agreed to share one of the recipes she made yesterday:

Chickpea Vegetable Soup

This recipe makes 150 quarts, and serves about 500. I have no doubt you will want to make a smaller batch! I am including the smaller amount for each ingredient on each ingredient’s respective line in parentheses, to make about 8 quarts, 2 gallons.
60 quarts water (12 cups)
60 cups canned chick peas , rinsed (3 cups)
6 cups olive oil (1/3 cup)
16 cups tomato paste (2/3 cups)
10 pounds diced carrots (2 large carrots)
10 pounds diced zucchini (2 large zucchini)
10 pounds diced rutabaga or purple turnip (1 medium head)
10 pounds frozen chopped spinach (1 small box, about 12 ounces)
10 pounds chopped onion (1 large onion)
1 1/2 cups sea salt (1 1/2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup ground bay leaves (1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups paprika (2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cups turmeric (2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cups dried dill weed (2 tablespoons)

Bring the water to boil in a heavy pot with a broad bottom. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to boil again. Reduce the flame to medium, cover the pot, and cook for 1 hour. Adjust the texture and seasonings.

The aroma of this soup was very good, judging by the people tasting it, it obviously hit the spot. Judging by the ingredients, it’s obviously very nourishing; I’ll just have to make it at home.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!
CS 
11
Sep
15

Elul Reflections, 9/11- Despair and Hope


[SYR first wrote this post on September 11, 2011. It is time to re-post it… with all the newest dangers lurking around us, it is time to remember Who conducts the world, it is time to remember that if we ask from the depth of our hearts, He will listen! CS]

Usually when Elul – the month signifying the personal preparation for the Jewish New Year cycles round, I find myself absorbed with feelings of contriteness for all the things I could have/should have improved upon during the year. My bucket list includes everything from switching the early childhood imprinted critical j’ accuse confrontational rules of engagement with saner problem solving language and mannerisms, to not giving in to anger, to doing more for those I love and those I don’t, to praying better, to all the ways I could/should have been a better parent, child, sister, friend, person, etc.  This year however, my whole being feels beyond inconsolable…

The familiar paths toward repentance feel distant, out of my reach; I am like a devastated body transfigured by unrelenting pain and shame from which there is no easy peace or solace. I feel partly to blame Leiby’s heinous death. I feel that even though so many of us joined together to look for him, if only I had been better, if only we were a better klal– group – this could never would never have happened. I feel that somehow, collectively, we’ve reached an all-time low that facilitated someone from our own midst perpetrating such a horrendously inhuman deed. I cannot help but feel that somehow we all are answerable for the actions of this one individual, and that we are obligated to repair the sickness within us that enabled such monstrous measures in our midst.

I try to bite back other thoughts that race at train wreck speeds with increasing velocity propelled by unaskable questions. You steer the world, nothing happens lest You allow it! There were so many moments when You could have saved Leiby, made a good hearted pedestrian appear that would steer him back on path to his waiting mom, a self-correcting moment in time that would have taken a happier turn, or a change of choice or happenstance while waiting for the predator – disguised as one of us – as he descended deeper and deeper into unspeakable depravity.
You, who changed Pharaoh’s thoughts, could You not have changed this dark malicious abducting heart, to contritely return the child? So many moments of possibilities to choose life especially once the predator saw the posters and all-out campaign to locate our lost child? The whys don’t stop! And  once you take the lid off of the vaulted why thought-bank, the outpouring of unanswerables becomes a flood gate incapable of resealing. The essence of my Elul endeavor to become closer to Him, is falling apart. The whole Elul concept of Ani leDodi veDodi liI am for my Beloved and my Beloved is for me (Song of Songs 6:3) –  is slipping from my grasp as I find myself sinking into the rabbit hole of despair.

Down the rabbit hole of despair… Photo from: http://lucasknisely.blogspot.com/2011/02/despair.html

Childhood memories filled with stories of death, survival, Hashem‘s seeming absence, His miracles, Divine Providence, good and bad, return with a sickening familiar spewing. Any child of Holocaust survivors, will tell you how powerless,  unfixably frustrated and burdened they feel with the historical back-pack they are obliged to carry forward as a living testament to our Diaspora’s deepest  abyss.  And if that were not enough for a midsummer’s night nighmare, then Irene stormed in with two more stories. The story of a brave Monsey rabbi who lost his life saving a young boy from electrocution and got electrocuted himself; or the one of the 90 year old vacationing survivor swept away and drowned in her cabin during the storm. Why? Why?!?!?

Couldn’t You have made that Rabbi a living hero? We certainly could use more present day heroes in Klal Yisrael. And this poor woman, who merited survival from the fires of Hitler’s WWII gehinnom only to be drowned in a vacation box terminating her old age? Where were Your waters back then when You could have extinguished the raging fires that ashed a million, nay two, nay three, nay four, nay five, nay six million of Your beloved ones?  All actions, we are taught, are clearly Yad-Hashem, His role, His actions, His will, perfect; no consolation to be drawn from the evil actions of man versus G-d argument.
The bile of injustice rising within me this year was compelling and not so good for the state of my desolate, inconsolable, soul.  There were the countless stories of miraculous moments where we felt touched by Hakadosh Baruch Hu, assisted by angels watching over us or our loved ones, where Divine Providence – hashgacha pratit – was palpable, (I fully acknowledge them, I don’t want Hashem to strike me down for not appreciating each and every one of those moments of celebration and victory over defeat). And then… and then… as my mind uncontrollably, feverishly, delved upon all these heart searing whys, I chanced upon the 9/11 story of stairway B that put me back on track somewhat, with its powerful implications.

Fireman Bill Butler – Photo by: The New York Times

Sixteen people – most of them firefighters carrying 100 pound packs on their backs – were trying to make it down stairway B of the north tower from the 22nd floor and doing so at a hopeful pace. The building’s shaking, debris flying everywhere, the south tower had just collapsed, the stairway itself buckling… On the 15nth floor they meet up with a 59 year old bookkeeper, Josephine Harris.  who had miraculously made it down 50 flights with an injured braced leg from a car accident sustained several months earlier.  She had stopped unable to go further without some help. The firefighters were faced with a dilemma; they were progressing well, and if they kept pace they might escape alive, should they stop and take her or not?  Survival adrenaline, waiting loved ones, a building collapsing over and around them… Jonas, a 43 year old firefighter didn’t hesitate. “Grab her, let’s go!” “If somebody needs help, we got to give it a shot. It wasn’t a difficult decision.” “We got to bring her with us,”  Butler, the fire company’s strongest man put her arm around his shoulder and helped carry her down; it was a slow process her legs were giving out; slowing the group’s progress significantly.  When they reached the fifth floor, the injured woman could not  go on, and she told the fire fighters to leave her. The clock was ticking away their deaths seemed imminent. Foreceful rushes of air hit the group, blowing some of them down to the first floor, the floors above them were collaspping like stacked dominos. Floor upon floor, upon floor, quickened to collapse on top of them and ten seconds later, the building gave fell. All were sure they were about to die. They hoped it would be fast. Instead, they were enclosed within a small pocket of debris, bubbled in a cavity of stairway B, all surviving to tell their stories.

Had Josephine not slowed him down, Lim later said, he’d have been dead. The consegrity of their righteous, courageous, choice and good action saved them. Obviously the Boreh Olam went along with the plan. There have been times, many have experienced, where they are so focused on the task of good  action that it feels like the universe and shamayim synchronically move in unison with their movements to achieve a good outcome.  This story resonated within me, it brought me back a hopeful sense of rhyme and reason to a world I so often don’t comprehend.

Sometimes we are not saved, it’s true.  We claw at shamayim’s gates with our cries, our protests, our prayers, knowing full well we are but lowly creatures unable to fathom His ways. Yet sometimes in the course of our hishtadlut, the wings of His nesharimsurround us and and carry us into the palms of His hands, rushing with us joyfully toward the accomplishments of our right and good actions.

Kotel at sunrise – Photo from: http://www.askabba.com/gen123.html

As we travel through this final leg of our millennia old galut, as we approach this holy time of the year, the grieving Shechina again pours out her heart right  beside us. This year her presence is almost palpable. We are a sister to her tears, her pain, her sense of loss for Yerushalayim, as never before, knowing that our tefilot, our actions, have the power to imprint the outcome of our fates. May all our tefilot be answered letova– for the good. G-d give us the strength to be the best that we can be, to make the right choices and hasten the bringing of Mashiach tzidkenu, bimhera beyamenu. Amen!

SYR
10
Sep
15

Prime Burger – Brooklyn


True to their word, Prime Burger (1202 Avenue J, corner of 12th Street; Brooklyn, NY 11230 – Tel: 718.521.6164) opened two weeks after its dairy sibling next door, around the corner (Prime Pizza and Shakes).

They opened on Tuesday eve, I first went there yesterday in the late afternoon. I decided to order a sampler of their signature dishes…

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From left clockwise: On the front - Fried Pickles, Fully Loaded Burger, Prime Burger, bottom right - from the Charcouterie items: Dry Salami, Dry Pepperoni and Strawberry Chorizo.

From left clockwise: On the front – Fried Pickles, Fully Loaded Burger, Prime Burger, bottom right – from the Charcouterie items: Dry Salami, Dry Pepperoni and Strawberry Chorizo

I had never seen nor heard of fried pickles and by looking at them I would never have guessed that’s what what they were, but boy were they good! The Fully Loaded Burger – like all the burgers here – is made of 100% natural prime Angus beef. All the burgers are antibiotic and hormone free daily ground 5 ounce rustic ground patties. It comes with griddled egg, beef bacon, onion, tomato, and chipotle mayonnaise. The Prime Burger (comes with lettuce, tomato, onion and a pickle), comes like its Loaded brother with the unique Prime sauce. This sauce elevates the burgers to a new realm of flavors, unequaled by any burger I’ve ever tasted! The charcuterie show definite signs of Chef David Kolotkin‘s influence over the menu, I’ve had these items many times at Prime Grill and I just keep on returning for more, now I just won’t have to go further than a mere few blocks.

Today, Chef Levana who spent the morning cooking at Masbia, invited me to lunch at Prime Burger and here is what we had…

Levana had the Jalapeno Wrapped Bacon (in the back) and a Quinoa Spinach Veggie Burger (in front, which we shared).

Levana had the Jalapeno Wrapped Bacon (in the back) and a Quinoa Spinach Veggie Burger (in front, which we shared).

While I’ve never been a fan of veggie burgers, I must admit this one was truly delicious. Levana loved both burgers. “They are very good!” she said. I had…

Moroccan Lamb Sliders

Moroccan Lamb Sliders

The sliders, were juicy, flavorful, spiced just right! We also shared a very good Kale and Quinoa Salad. We finished off lunch with…

Truly a monster in size!

Truly a monster in size!

…a huge Monster Chocolate Chip Cookie, truly a monster in size and very good; a little less sugar would have made it even better.

Click for full menu, full size.

Click for full menu, full size.

When SYR heard that not only did I eat here last eve, but had lunch with Levana here today, I had no choice but to placate her with a Prime Burger, which she found excellent.

I’ll going in quite often, gentle reader. Will I see you there?

CS

10
Sep
15

Taiglach – Honey Poached Pastry Nuggets


[Leah D. from Miami, sent us the following photo and recipe. It brings back memories from my childhood in Uruguay, when my mother used to make Taiglach every year for Rosh Hashana. CS]

Taiglach – Honey Poached Pastry Nuggets

Makes: 35 nuggets

Teiglach

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra if necessary
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons, vegetable oil, plus extra for oiling
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts and sesame seeds, for rolling

Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups honey grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

  1. Prepare the dough. Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt into a big bowl and stir to blend. Make a well in the center, beat the egg, egg yols, and oil together in a small bowl and pour into the well. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until a sticky dough forms. Turn on to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and just slightly elastic, adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky. Shape into a ball and refrigerate tightly wrapped for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Bring the ingredients to a boil in a large deep pan (to prevent boiling over).
  3. 3 Cut the dough into 6-8 pieces and, on a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece into long thin sausage shapes about 1/2″ thick pieces.
  4. Lightly oil 2 pieces of foil and lay on the surface. Working in batches, add the dough pieces to the honey syrup and simmer for 15 minutes or until rich golden in color and cooked through, If the honey thickens too much, add a little water to thin. Repeat with all the dough pieces.
  5. Put the walnuts and sesame seeds into separate shallow dishes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the taiglach and turn into the nuts and sesame seeds, rolling them with a kitchen fork to coat. Arrange on foil.

Enjoy  them, they are delicious!!! Ktivah vechatima tova!

Leah D.

07
Sep
15

Tuna Burgers with Wasabi Mayo


Having spent most of last week in the hospital, having gone in to the ER on Monday for what I thought was simply dehydration only to find out it was more serious, having survived on Palace Caterers fare, occasionally interspersed with some truly delicious chicken soup and meat balls – prepared and given to me by the ladies of Bikur Cholim – I couldn’t wait to try out some new dishes (new for me, at least).

Although over the last few years, I’ve tried some fish and slowly changed my mind on their edibility, I have never become a fan. A notable exception – however – has been tuna ever since I first tried it at Levana’s home. Since it’s time for me to start cutting down on red meat – rather unfortunate for a lifelong hardcore carnivore – I thought I’d try some Tuna Burgers…

I found an interesting recipe in a paperback titled: Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking, by best selling James Beard Award winning author, Beth Hensperger published in 2008 by Harvard Commons Press and adapted it.

Tuna Burgers with Wasabi Mayo

Serves 4

Photo by: Eksite Photography - photo between pages 118-119

Detail from photo by: Eksite Photography – photo between pages 118-119

Cooking Method: Stovetop
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: About 10 minutes

Ingredients

WASABI MAYO

  • 3 green onions (white part and some of the green), cut in chunks
  • One 1/2-inch chunk fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

TUNA

  • 3 green onions (white part and some of the green)
  • One 1 and1/2-inch chunk fresh ginger
  • 1 1/4 lbs tuna steaks, dark spots trimmed away
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick)cold butter, cut into chunks (use margarine if you do not want a dairy version)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 round sesame seed-topped buns
  • Butter lettuce leaves for serving

Directions

  1. To make the mayo, in a food processor, add the green onions and ginger; pulse to finely chop. Add the soy sauce, wasabi sauce and mayonnaise. Process until smooth. Remove to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until serving.
  2. In the food processor, toss in the green onions and ginger; pulse to chop. Cut one-quarter of the tuna into  1/4-inch dice and place the rest in the food processor with the butter (or margarine); pulse to combine the butter and tuna; do not overprocess. Place in a bowl and add the diced tuna, soy sauce, sesame oil, and pepper.. Shape into 4 equal size patties.
  3. Split the and toast the buns, set aside.
  4. Preheat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Place the patties in the pan and brown quickly on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn over with a patula and brown the second side to the desired degree of doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes., leaving the center moist and reddish for medium-rare.
  5. Slather the toasted buns on both sides with the wasabi mayo and top with butter lettuce leaves. Place the burgers o the buns and serve immediately.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!
CS




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