Author Archive for Chaim Szmidt



18
Mar
15

A Private Wine Tasting at Liquors Galore


Mayer Jacobovits, of Israeli Wines Direct, held a private wine tasting – yesterday – at Liquors Galore (1212 Avenue J, Brooklyn 11230 – Tel: 718.338.4166). Aside from Mayer, the two store operators and I were present.

kosher-scene-copyright-copy22

wine-tastings-1

Of the wines we tasted, I was surprised by Agur‘s Layam 2012
Wine-tastings-4

Set on Moshav Agur in the Judean plains, this boutique winery has been kosher since 2007 under the direction of owner/winemaker Shuki Yashuv. I first tasted their wines about three years ago and was unimpressed, this winery has since matured and now produces some good potables. The 2012 Layam, with a deep purple color, is floral on the nose exhibiting notes of red fruits, spices and herbs. It showed an unexpected, but subtle, salty finish.

As someone who grew up in Uruguay, I am very familiar with neighboring Argentina’s prime grape – Malbec – and I thought I knew what to expect from a wine made from it. Frankly, I never foresaw what was coming, as I tasted the Ramot Naftaly Malbec 2012…
Wine-tastings-3

Founded on Moshav Ramot Naftaly in the Upper Galilee – in 2003 – by vintner Yitzchak Cohen, this small winery has been producing kosher wines since 2009. The 2012 Malbec was as interesting as it was unanticipated. A round, gentle Malbec with strong Mediterranean overtones, it was very distinct in character from any of its Argentinian cousins. With light earthy tobacco notes on the nose, it exhibits some spicy wood, gentle gripping tannins with generous blackberry and purple plums. Easy to drink and very good!

Next we tried the Ramot Naftaly Barbera 2013. Rather earthy and laden with minerals, it exhibits crushed blackberries and licorice notes. It opens with a bit of bottle stink that quickly dissipates and gives way to generous fruits, a very likable wine.

Worthy of special mention are the Petit Verdot 2012 and Shiraz 2012. The Petit Verdot showed soft tannins, aromas and flavors of raspberries and crème patisserie. The Shiraz 2012, dark garnet in color, medium to full-bodied (leaning towards full) with well balanced tannins and subtle notes of sweet cedar. With notes of plums, cassis, spices on the nose and palate it shows saddle leather on the finish.

Of the two lower priced Special Edition wines by this winery…

Wine tastings-2

I appreciated the Shiraz 2012 most even though the Cabernet Sauvignon SE 2012 was selected by The Jewish Week TOP 18 Red wines $25 and over. The Shiraz is easy and delightful on the palate with its soft tannins, it exhibits red berry, plum and licorice notes.

Some nice wines you might want to enjoy over Pessach and beyond.

CS

17
Mar
15

The Jewish Week’s Grand Kosher Wine Tasting


Yesterday at the City Winery (155 Varick Street, NYC; Tel: 212.608.0555The Jewish Week held its annual Grand Kosher Wine Tasting. The most prestigious wine distributors and importers were there with hundreds of wines from all over the world.

kosher-scene-copyright-copy22

Partial views of the crowd...

Partial views of the crowd…

As always many old friends and familiar faces were there…

Chaim Hezkel from Liquors Galore

Chaim Hezkel, from Liquors Galore, talking wine to an enrapt audience…

Aron Ritter, from the Kosher Wine Society, trying to taste some wine...

Yeruchum Rosenberg, Aron Ritter (center), from the Kosher Wine Society, and Dani Myers, trying to taste some wine…

Nineteen distributors and stores were showing off their best wines, spirits and cocktails, food was available at eight different tables representing meat restaurants, cheese distributors, sausage distributors and chocolate stores.

It wasn't easy to photograph Brent Delman, TheCheeseGuy.com. His was one of the most popular tables, too many people around pushing and shoving to taste his products.

It wasn’t easy to photograph Brent Delman, TheCheeseGuy.com. His was one of the most popular tables, too many people around waiting to taste his products.

Gershon Bodner of Morad Wines, Estie Wartenberg of Recanati Wines, Shai Germezian of Allied Importers, Zaan Eksteen with Backsberg Wines, Ron Jordan who represents Taanug Wines from Spain, Mayer Jacobovits from Israeli Wines Direct, Michael from Skyview Wines & Spirits were, Shlomo Blashska and Jay Buchsbaum from Royal Wine Corporation were just some of the people manning the tables.

As always it was a pleasure to see Alyson Nathan from Abigael’s, and Yossi Horowitz, Esq., who over the last few weeks served as a judges –  in choosing the 18 Top Wines for each of the nine Jewish Week lists – together Miriam Morgenstern from Wine Spectator, and Aron Ritter from Kosher Wine Society among others.

Though I took copious notes, there were just too many wines to post on all of them, but I will discuss a few new selections I discovered here…

Backsberg Wines from South Africa...

Backsberg Wines from South Africa…

Backsberg Chardonnay Paarl 2013 –  With a very fresh lemon, melon and hazelnut tones combine to a give it a delightful aroma; its natural acidity is balanced by sweet fruit flavors of white peach, providing a medium bodied palate with a long, rewarding finish.

Backsberg Brut Paarl – A strong flavored mix of green apple and pear, with a long refreshing finish.

Backsberg Pinotage 2011 – With strong mulberry and strawberry notes, with hints of herbs, all combining to a very fruity finish.

Taanug Cava – Three grape varieties (Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo), are fermented separately, then blended and fermented again together in the bottle for 12 months. Intensely fruity on the nose, it is smooth on the palate and has a long finish; with a pale straw color and considerable effervescence.

TheCheeseGuy.com featured a selection selection of cheeses including a very creamy brie style from Vermont (my new favorite!!). Sabra presented their hummus variations and Greek yogurt dips. La Brochette Restaurant, as expected, had a nice meat selection but they run out way to early. Grow and Behold served some delicious, juicy sausages. I only wish I hadn’t been too full to taste the rest of the food.

All in all it was a very enjoyable and educational evening, and of course… delicious!

CS

16
Mar
15

The Manischewitz Experience – 3 Day Pop Up at Chelsea Market


Manischewitz just had a three day Pop Up at Manhattan’s Chelsea Market. It opened to the public this past Thursday and continued through Friday and yesterday (Sunday). Though I wanted very much to see and taste Jamie Geller‘s demos, work did not allow it, but I managed to make it there yesterday.

I arrived just in time for Chef Katsuji Watanabe‘s cooking demo. Chef Watanabe not only is superb at what he does, but also has a winning personality!

With humor, and lots of patience, the Chef proved himself quite a showman

Sake, Mirin Soy Braised Winter Root Vegetables & Shizito Peppers Over Fine Egg Noodles

Chef Katsuji Watanabe, pouring in the Sake...

Chef Katsuji Watanabe, pouring in the Sake…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Manischewitz® Vegetable Broth
  • 1 pkg. Manischewitz® Fine Egg Noodles
  • 1 cup Cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup Cubed blue potatoes
  • 1 cup Cubed heirloom carrots
  • 1 cup cubed red onions
  • 1 cup Cubed red onions 1/2 cup Chopped Shizito peppers
  • 1 cup Chopped shitake mushroom
  • 1/4 cup Chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Mirin
  • 1 cup Sake
Getting ready...

Almost done…

Directions

  1. In heavy pot add all vegetables. Add the garlic and sauté for three minutes. Add the soy sauce, Mirin, sake, and Manischewitz® Vegetable Broth and cook to reduce.
  2. Cook Manischewitz® Fine Egg Noodles according to package instructions.
  3. Serve over steamed noodles and garnish with shizito peppers.
Ladling it out...

Ladling it out…

The pop up was divided into several serving stations, my favorites were Manni’s Pizzeria where just like Elizabeth Bland (The Cheese Mistress) I thought – as did Meyer Harroch, as well – that the matzoh pizza was surprisingly good.

Also the soup with crackers was nice, hot and delicious, the potato latkes were extremely tasty (in spite of being made from a mix in a box!).

All in all, I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours enjoying the serving stations, the demos and meeting old friends.

CS

06
Mar
15

A Well Spiced Life


Barbara Bensoussan‘s book A Well Spiced Life, is a memoir – through food – of her transition from a not very committed Ashkenazi young girl who marries a boy from Casablanca, to become the religious wife and mother of a Sephardi/Askenazi family. Packed with great anecdotes and healthy doses of subtle humor, sprinkled with delicious and easy to make recipes, it’s truly a delightful book!
BarBensoussnBk

From Page 81:

Moroccan Chicken with Apricots

Photo by: CS

Photo by: CS

  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (curcum, if you are Israeli)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 chicken (about 3 pounds), cut into eights
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (can be made with one teaspoon consomme powder and hot water)
  • 1 1/2 cups apricots
Photo by: Barbara Bensoussan

Photo by: Barbara Bensoussan

In a large, deep saucepan that has a cover, begin to saute the onions in the oil over medium heat. When onions are transparent, add the garlic, turmeric, and tomatoes, stirring the blend. now add the chicken to the pot and let it brown. While it is browning, sprinkle it with the salt, pepper, cinnamon, and ginger.

Once it has finished browning, add the apricots and chicken broth to the pot. Now simmer it, partially covered, for one hour, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the apricots and chicken are soft and infused with each other’s flavors.

Nice served over couscous or rice.

Enjoy!

SYR

03
Mar
15

Purim Rolls – Ojo de Haman – Haman’s Eye


Barbara Bensoussan, author of The Well Spiced Life, shows us how to make Ojo de Haman in the following video:

kosher-scene-copyright-copy22

Ojo de Haman – Haman’s Eye

Makes 6 rolls

  • 1 large challa dough to be divided*
  • 6 hard boiled eggs

Haman's-Eye

* Basic Challah Recipe

(from page 37 in The Well Spiced Life)

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast (1 packet) dissolved in 1/2 cup very warm water along with 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups flour, preferably high gluten
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 beaten egg for glazing the challah, sesame or poppy seeds for garnishing if desired
  • Cooking spray and corn meal to grease the pans.

Place flour, sugar, salt, and wheat germ in the bowl of the food processor and pulse to blend. Add the yeas-and-water mix (it should be foamy after five minutes) and process another 5-10 seconds. Combine an egg and 1/3 cup cup of oil and water into a small bowl; now dump this into the processor and continue processing until the mixture forms a ball around the blades of the machine – this may take 20 to 30 seconds (if you have a plastic dough knife for your machine use it, if not, a regular steel blade will also do the trick. Check the dough; if it seems tough and dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water, if it seems too wet and won’t come together, add more flour., 1/4 cup at a time.

Let the dough process to a medium-low speed for one minute. Voila! The dough is done. Place into a greased bowl, turn it once, cover it, with a plastic bag, and let it rise until doubled, about  1 1/2 hours (may rise faster if kitchen is hot).

Punch it down and repeat the rising (it’s not absolutely necessary to do two risings, but I think it makes a smoother loaf). The rising may go faster than the first. When doubled again, punch down the dough.

Enjoy gentle reader, enjoy!

A freilachn Purim – Chag Purim sameach!!!

CS

03
Mar
15

Almond and Sesame Seed Brittle – Boulokunio


While we Ashkenazim eat Hamentashen (see here and here) on Purim, Sephardic communities have some very interesting foods for the occasion.

From Stella’s Sephardic Kitchen by Stella Cohen

Almond and Sesame Brittle

Detail from photo by: Marc Hoberman, on page 211

Detail from photo by: Marc Hoberman, on page 211

Toasted cinnamon seeds, honey and almonds make a deep-golden, chewy treat. Popupar at any celebration, this ancient confection is traditionally offered over the Festivals of Purim and Hanukkah (Feast of Lights). These petite treats, not unlike the nut bars that are popular today are utterly addictive.

5 cups hulled sesame seeds
1 tablespoon plain (all purpose) flour
1 tablespoon blanched spit almonds, toasted

For the syrup:

1 1/2 cups clear honey
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 1/2 cups sugar

SPRINKLE 1 cup of sesame seeds with a pinch of flour and toast lightly in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat for 4 minutes or until lightly golden. Shake the pan often and stir with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat this process, 1 cup at a time, with the remaining four cups of sesame seeds.

HEAT the honey, water and sugar in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until it thickens and reaches the soft ball stage *. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a very large, heatproof bowl.

ADD the almonds and 3 cups of sesame seeds and stir together vigorously with a wooden spoon. Spread the hot mixture onto an oiled worktop. Sprinkle in the remaining two cups of sesame seeds, working it a little at a time into the mixture. Dampen your hands with cold water and roll into four ropes about 1 inch in diameter. Cut diagonally into 1 inch sections using a sharp knife dipped into hot water. Allow to cool at room temperature until hardened.

STELLA’S HINTS:

* The soft ball stage is reached when a small drop of syrup forms into a little ball at the bottom of a cup of cold water. It will flatten and feel soft and pliable.

To store: Place the brittle between layers of baking paper and store in an airtight container up to 1 month.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

02
Mar
15

We Gotta Live Together


Jews come in many varieties, Sephardim, Ashkenazim, religious, secular; each group is further subdivided, but we all have one thing in common… We are all Jews! In spite of our strong disagreements, whether political or religious, in spite of differences in minhagim or nussach of prayer, we are all Jews! To the world at large, we are all one. You doubt it? Look at Jewish history throughout. Especially look at Hitler, yimach shmo vezichro, and his murderous Nazi henchmen. They didn’t care if we wore a shtraimel, a hat, a yarmulkeh or sported no head covering at all. Hitler didn’t care where, or even if, we prayed. In the interest of a mythological Aryan purity, the Nazis went went back six generations to see if there was a drop of Jewish blood so they could add more individuals to the roster of those they wanted to exterminate. Why? Because to them, whether one was an Eastern European Ashkenazi or a Greek Sephardi from Salonika, whether a world famous scientist, or a well known doctor, a renowned author or academic, or just a lowly – previously unheard of – shoemaker, we were all – without exception – verdammte Juden.

This week we commemorate the 70th anniversary of Anna Frank‘s death in a concentration camp, you would have thought that after the horrors of WWII, the world would have learned its lesson. Well… it obviously learned nothing or forgot it too soon! Look around you, religious and ethnic hatred are rampant and at heightened levels. Antisemitism in Europe is once again approaching the infamous levels of the late 30s. The more things change, the more they stay the same…

Starting on Wednesday evening through Thursday, we celebrate Purim. In the Hebrew year 3404, Haman – King Achashverosh‘ Prime Minister – decreed the Final Solution that was to annihilate every Jew in all 127 lands ruled by the Persian Empire. On the following year 3405 (356 BCE), on the 13th of Adar the Jews were victorious against their enemy. Today 2370 years later, Israel once again faces the same existential threat from Haman‘s spiritual heirs, now it is the Persian satrap, the Supreme Leader of Iran and his murderous fanatics. Just as we did then, we will emerge victorious again! We must realize that regardless of differences in degrees of religious observance or lack thereof, regardless of the hue of our skin, regardless of religious customs, regardless of social status, regardless of the cultural influences that mold the individual, we are all Jews; far too many people around the world still consider us verdammte Juden. WE GOTTA LIVE TOGETHER , in peace and harmony for only then will we be invincible!!!

CS

01
Mar
15

Braised Lamb Shanks


It’s snowing out there, it’s obvious that dinner must consist of a hearty comfort dish, and it has to be something special since one of my granddaughters and her husband are coming over. I always liked cooking with wine, and my granddaughter shares my love of lamb, what better occasion then, could present itself to prepare this delicious recipe emailed by S. Lefkowitz, from Miami, Fl? She writes that it was adapted from Pam Anderson‘s Perfect One-Dish Dinners.

All Photos EXCEPT for the one by S. Lefkowitz are copyright of
The Kosher Scene

I can't remember a year where it snowed so often, as long as I've been in NY...

In all the years I’ve been living in New York, I can’t recall it ever snowing as much…

Braised Lamb Shanks

Photo sent in by Shoshana Lefkowitz from Miami, FL.

Photo sent in by S. Lefkowitz from Miami, FL.

Serves 6

 

MonCabSauvIngredients

  • 6 large lamb shanks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 large carrots, cut into medium chunks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into medium chunks
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cup dry red wine
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cans white beans, drained

Directions

1. – Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 F. heat a large heavy roasting pan set over two burners on low heat. Meanwhile, place shanks in a medium bowl with the 2 tablespoons of oil and turn to coat. Season with salt and pepper generously.

2. – A few minutes before searing shanks, increase heat to a medium-high until wisps of smoke rise from the pan. Add shanks and sear on all sides until well browned, 7 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a bowl. Shanks should have rendered enough fat to cook onion. if not add another tablespoon of oil.

HerzVari53. – Add onions, carrots an celery to roasting pan and cook while stirring until browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and Italian seasoning until fragrant about 1 minute. Whisk in flour, then broth, wine and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. – Return shanks to pan, Using two potholders to protect hands, place a sheet of heavy-duty foil over pan, Press foil down so that it touches shanks and seal foil completely around edges. Repeat with a second sheet of foil to ensutre a tight seal. Continue to shanks on medium-high until you hear juices bubble. Set pan in oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

5. – Transfer pan from oven to stovetop. Arrange shanks on a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Stir beans into pan juices and simmer over 2 burners on medium heat to blend flavors, for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

I don’t use “cooking wine,” why ruin a good recipe with a lousy wine? In this case I cooked with Mony Cabernet Sauvignon Classic 2009, a great choice.

We washed it down with a Herzog Variations Five Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – which the young couple brought – with aromas of ripened blackberry, notes of blackcurrant and bold blueberry flavors. It proved a superb companion to the lamb shanks. My granddaughter and her husband showed excellent taste in wines.

Enjoy gentle reader, enjoy, we certainly did!

CS

27
Feb
15

Barbara Bensoussan interviewed by Esti Berkowitz


Who is Barbara Bensoussan? What makes her tick? Sunday afternoon, at Kim Amzallag‘s home, Esti Berkowitz interviewed Barbara about her background and how her new book came about:

kosher-scene-copyright-copy21

Enjoy.

CS

19
Feb
15

Capers and Eggplant Pizza


I confess, I’m a pizza junkie, in fact as long as I have cheese, some sort of tomatoes (sauce, diced, sliced, pureed, or whatever) and a crust, I’m happy. I constantly experiment with the toppings, the following recipe is my latest creation. Yes, I know, I didn’t discover America; others have made similar pizzas before me – but – this one came out delicious and I’ll be making it often.

Capers and Eggplant Pizza

CapeEggplPizz

Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.
  2. Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Roll out to a 10″ circle.

Topping

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed
  • 1/2 lb of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 25 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Wash and slice the eggplant into very thin slices (I used a mandolin). Grill the eggplant slices in a pan for about 2 to 2.5 minutes on each side.
  2. Wash and quarter the cherry tomatoes. Cut the mozzarella cheese into medium-large dices and tear the basil after cleaning it carefully.
  3. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese into, the capers and the cherry tomatoes over the pizza; season with olive oil, salt and pepper, then bake at 450 F for 4 minutes.
  4. After 4 minutes add the eggplant and continue cooking for another 4 minutes, until the edges brown lightly browned and crispy. Remove from oven, garnish with the basil leaves and serve immediately.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8,986 other followers

Calendar of Posts

July 2015
S M T W T F S
« Jun    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Archives

Visit our friends at the Kosher Wine Society

Category Cloud

18 Restaurant Abigael's baking baking recipes BlogTalkRadio cheese Chef David Kolotkin Chef Jeff Nathan Chef Lévana Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum chicken chicken recipes cookbook authors cookbooks dairy cuisine dairy recipes Esti Berkowitz fine dining fine kosher dining fine kosher dining in Manhattan fine kosher restaurants fine restaurants fish fish recipes Geila Hocherman Internet Radio Irving Schild Jack's Gourmet Jeff Nathan Jewish history Kim Amzallag kosher kosher baking kosher baking recipe kosher baking recipes kosher beef kosher beef recipes kosher cheese kosher chefs kosher chicken dishes kosher chicken recipes kosher cookbook authors kosher cookbooks kosher cookery Kosher cooking kosher cooking classes kosher cooking demos kosher cuisine kosher dairy kosher dairy cuisine kosher dairy recipes kosher desserts kosher dining kosher dining in Brooklyn kosher dining in Manhattan kosher dining in NY kosher fine dining kosher fine wines kosher fish kosher fish recipes Kosher food kosher Italian cuisine kosher lamb recipes kosher meat dishes kosher meat recipes kosher meat restaurants kosher meat restaurants in Manhattan kosher Mediterranean cuisine kosher parve recipes kosher poultry dishes kosher poultry recipes kosher recipes kosher restaurant review Kosher restaurants kosher restaurants in Brooklyn kosher restaurants in Manhattan kosher restaurants in New York City kosher restaurants in NY Kosher Revolution Kosher Scene kosher soup recipes kosher wine kosher wines Lévana Lévana Kirschenbaum meat recipes parve recipes Passover Pomegranate Supermarket poultry poultry recipes Prime Grill Royal Wine Corporation Shavuos recipes Susie Fishbein The Kosher Scene The Kosher Scene Radio Show Uncategorized Wine

BlogTopSites


<a href="//www.blogtopsites.com/food-drink/" title="Food & Drink Blogs" target="_blank"><img style="border:none" src="//www.blogtopsites.com/v_158881.gif" alt="Food & Drink Blogs" />
<a target="_blank" href="//www.blogtopsites.com" style="font-size:10px;">blog sites


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,986 other followers

%d bloggers like this: